The Country Way of Life Fabulous Fifty of 2020

NB Each act is limited to one song, which must have been first released in 2020.

50 Scotty McCreery – You Time. American Idol, now indie act, making lovely pop music

49 Everette – Can’t Say No. Promising duo with Luke Laird’s blessing

48 Mickey Guyton – Black Like Me. GRAMMY-nominated topical song from a current voice

47 Maddie & Tae – Merry Married Christmas. Their life in a Christmas song

46 Cam – The Otherside. Avicii plus a terrific vocal equals anthem

45 Brent Cobb – Good Times and Good Love. Romantic front porch waltz

44 Luke Bryan – A Little Less Broken. Middle of the dirt road but a willing ear

43 Mac McAnally – Almost All Good. Feelgood music for dark times

42 The Texas Gentlemen – Ain’t Nothin New. Studio musicians show off in a melodic manner

41 William Michael Morgan – Cowboy Cool. Punchy indie country from an act loved in the UK

40 Little Big Town – Sugar Coat. Lori McKenna melancholy sung by the best

39 Ashley McBryde – Voodoo Doll. Sabbath Bloody Ashley

38 Steve Earle – It’s About Blood. History song sung with menace

37 Canaan Smith – Colder Than You. Wry breakup song

36 Dustin Lynch – Dirt Road. Smart contemporary country from the pen of Rhett Akins

35 Shenandoah and Blake Shelton – Then A Girl Walks In. Beautiful production to match a wonderful song

34 Ashley Campbell – Something Lovely. A hell of a meet cute

33 Ruston Kelly – Radio Cloud. Poppy and melodic

32 Trace Adkins – Big. A gift from Brothers Osborne to a voice of the ages

31 Lee Brice – More Beer. A bro’s gonna bro

30 Lauren Alaina ft Jon Pardi – Getting Over Him. Loud as hell from two fine contemporary voices

29 Luke Combs – Six Feet Apart. He can even turn quarantine into gold

28 Jordan Davis – Almost Maybes. Three chords and the truth from a poppy kid

27 Parker McCollum – Pretty Heart. Texan country star does heartbreak

26 The Mavericks – Cuando Me Enamoro. Glorious Tejano tune

25 Tim McGraw – Good Taste In Women. Insistent tune sung by a great voice

24 Jason Isbell – Be Afraid. Agitprop from a guy who won’t ‘shut up and sing’. Chorus literally grows as the song goes on

23 Aaron Watson – Silverado Saturday Night. High octane love song from Texan king of indie

22 Eric Church – Hell of a View. A love song with poise and control

21 Kenny Chesney – Here and Now. Built for stadiums

20 Devin Dawson – Range Rover. Quirky and cute breakup song

19 Matt Stell – Everywhere But On. Ploddy to match the message of the song

18 Ryan Hurd – Every Other Memory. Marvellous love song

17 Keith Urban – Out The Cage. Chic plus Keith does it again

16 Brandy Clark – Who Broke Whose Heart. The best of the breakup songs on a tremendous GRAMMY nominated album

15 Caylee Hammack – Redhead. One of the year’s best riffs, with added Reba

14 Will Hoge – Midway Motel. Nobody matches what he does for heartland rock

13 Chris Stapleton – Cold. Strings, as befits a king

12 Brothers Osborne – All Night. Another wonderful riff and a smart lyric

11 Kelsea Ballerini – Hole in the Bottle. Good fun with plenty of character

10 Lori McKenna – The Balladeer. A playlet in a pop song

9 RaeLynn – Keep Up. 99% character with production to back up the tune

8 Josh Turner – I Can Tell By The Way You Dance. Fun cover which outshines the original

7 Eric Paslay – Nice Guy. Pleasant and tongue in cheek

6 Mo Pitney – Local Honey. Very country, very simple, very good

5 Hardy ft Ashland Craft – So Close. A beautiful rock ballad

4 Lady A – Champagne Night. Who knew a smash about loving the low high life could come out of Songland?

3 Sam Hunt – Hard To Forget. Thanks to a Laird loop, Sam brings the old school into 2020

2 Mackenzie Porter – These Days. Nostalgia tied to a brilliant chord loop and vocal

1 Brett Eldredge – Magnolia. He’s having fun again doing it his way

See the playlist on Youtube here.

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