New music from artists including Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Catie Offerman, Danielle Bradbery, Charley Crockett and Alana Springsteen take listeners on a journey from chasing their dreams to dying on death row. Hear these songs and more in CMT’s Roundup Playlist linked at the bottom.
Thomas Rhett wrote the song with Ashley Gorley and Zack Crowell after visiting a Tennessee men’s prison with friends Russell Dickerson and Tyler Hubbard. The lyrics explain what it was like to meet the men, discover their search for redemption and realize the inmates weren’t that different from the singers.
“We left with a lot of complex feelings, so I started writing as a way to process the heaviness,” Thomas Rhett said in a statement. “Our goal was for people to understand our experience by way of music – it’s basically a page directly from our journal that day.”
Lyrics include: One of ’em sang, “Amazing Grace,” how sweet the sound| With one hand raised and one foot chained to the ground| Yeah, he sang it like he knew he’d just been found| Yeah that next week, they laid him six feet down
In a time where people complain that country music has gotten too far from its core, “Death Row” pierces its heart.
“Death Row” is from Thomas Rhett’s new album “Where We Started,” available April 1.
Catie Offerman, “Happyland Trailer Park”: “Happyland Trailer Park” is Offerman’s debut single, and the frolicsome tune is a feel-good, insightful nudge to follow your heart to what makes you happy. Offerman idolizes George Strait, but “Happyland Trailer Park” is reminiscent of a Kenny Chesney summertime smash.
Offerman is a multi-instrumentalist who grew up on a ranch in Texas playing in polka and western swing bands and graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music.
“Happyland Trailer Park” combines Offerman’s laidback vocal with an infectious melody that feels like a road trip with the windows down adventure.
Lyrics include: Everybody’s got a different definition of the good stuff| Heading down the highway looking for a hook-up| You know that you’ve found it when the dreamer in your heart|Is pulling into Happy Land Trailer Park
“A lot of my friends have talked about having mild depression the last couple of years, but one of the things that have kept me going in the uncertain times is finding adventure in the unknowns,” she says. “Where does your heart take you? I follow my heart. It gets me in trouble, but it also leads to the most amazing experiences of my life.”
Cole Swindell, “Down to the Bar” featuring Hardy: “Down to the Bar” is up-tempo heartbreak hilarity. Written by Swindell, Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt and Josh Thompson, the song implores the love interest to “take his broke heart down to the bar” on her way out of the house if she’s determined to leave him.
Lyrics include: And take the records off the wall| Take the pictures out the hall| Take the blender and my Fender guitar| Take the forks and the spoons| Yeah, the mop and the broom| And if you still got room in your car| Well, take my broke heart down to the bar
“Down to the Bar” is sure to be a cups raised, singalong anthem at shows, and is from Swindell’s new album “Stereotype” that will be available April 8.
Charley Crockett, “I Feel For You”: Charley Crockett transports country music fans back in time with his captivating cover of Jerry Reed’s classic “I Feel for You.” The 1966 smash hit serves as the first single from his forthcoming 14-piece record, “Jukebox Charley.” While paying homage to the honky-tonk legend – the Texas native keeps the integrity of the track by maintaining its traditional country elements. However, Crockett brings his distinctive flair to the table with his buzzworthy baritone pipes, which flawlessly produce a smoky sound that pairs with Reed’s tear-jerking narrative.
Crockett released a compelling black and white music video to elevate the old-school ballad. Crockett’s magnetic-like aura and knack for storytelling pull the listener in as he sings directly into the camera.
“Mark Neill turned me on to this one,” said the budding artist about the song selection process. “It was a guiding light for both ‘Welcome to Hard Times’ and ‘Music City USA.’ It really spoke to me, hit me as a timeless song. Once we started the sessions for Jukebox Charley, it became clear this would be a single.”
Come April 22, fans can expect to hear old-world R&B components interweaved with his signature western-country swing in the highly anticipated collection “Jukebox Charley.” The album will include fan-favorites from Willie Nelson, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, and several more hitmakers who have set the foundation of country music. Crockett’s daring risk-taking and go-getter attitude, makes the 37-year-old destined for greatness in the ever-changing musical landscape.
– Tiffany Goldstein
Alana Springsteen, “Me Myself and Why”: Country rising star once again proves that she wears her heart on her sleeve with the relatable anthem, “Me Myself and Why.” The Nashville-based artist penned the breakup ballad alongside Josh Jenkins and Pete Good. The diary-like anthem is destined to help individuals struggling to move forward from a messy relationship or encourage hopeful romantics to love themselves before opening their hearts again.
“As a songwriter, I write what I know, and this past year definitely brought its share of heartbreak. ‘Me Myself and Why’ is about that heart-versus-head moment after a breakup when you know you need to walk away, but you falter, even though this person has given you every reason to leave and not look back,” Springsteen recently revealed. It’s full of passion, conflict, angst, pain, and anger – at myself and at him. I found myself going back-and-forth between that range of emotions a lot when I was in the thick of it in my own life, and I’m so proud that we were able to make the final track mirror the way I felt.”
The razor-sharp lyrics within “Me Myself and Why” verify that the 21-year-old has an old soul and is wise beyond her years. However, the bold notes and exhilarating melody is what makes “Me Myself and Why” stand out among any other modern-day love song.
– Tiffany Goldstein
Danielle Bradbery, “Look At The Mess I’m In”: Country music powerhouse Danielle Bradbery stepped into the country music space at just 16-years-old. Since then, the powerhouse performer blossomed into a dynamic vocalist and curated a unique sound of her own. The singer-songwriter is now reflecting on her time spent climbing the ranks in the ten-year-town and the different chapters of her life with, “In Between: The Collection.”
“Over the last nine years, I’ve put out a handful of music. All this time I’ve been finding my voice, finding the things I really want to sing about and overall continuing to create who I am. I’ve felt in my heart that I needed to close this last chapter of my music, so I gathered all the songs I’ve put out over the past few years and made In Between: The Collection,” she shared in a previous statement.
Today (March, 4) the robust artist included a new chapter into her storybook with “Look At The Mess I’m In.” Within the mid-tempo ballad, Bradbery invites listeners in and delivers a moving message about a woman recalling all the mistakes she has made throughout her lifetime. Throughout the heart-wrenching track, music buffs instantly feel the emotion and heavyweight on the individual’s shoulders.
“Look at the mess I’m in, look what I’ve gone and done | Took all my promises and broke ’em all one by one | So I guess this is what I get, two empty bottles of wine | A ghost in an empty bed and a diamond that lost its shine| Nobody left to blame, I’ve ruined everything | Look at the mess I’m in,” Bradbery sings in the traditional country track.
– Tiffany Goldstein
Listen to the full Roundup Playlist: