listen to this, meg says listen to this

Listen to This: “Tin Man”

It probably comes as no surprise that one of my favorite tracks on Miranda Lambert’s new album The Weight of These Wings is “Tin Man.” I mean how can you listen to this song, and not feel anything? I’m not really sure. On Sunday, she preformed it live on the ACM’s. Acoustic. Raw. I think there’s something beautiful and admirable about someone revealing their heart for anyone to see. It’s a real song, and it’s vulnerable, and I think that’s wonderful. The world needs more of that. I believe it’s a brave thing to do, even if it’s scary, to put your emotions out there like that. You never really know how that situation will transpire, but it’s better than hiding away. And isn’t that  kind of how love works, anyway? It’s all a risk, but what is life without taking those chances? Her performance gave me goosebumps, but the song has that effect anyway. I’m not sure I’ve listened to it one time without getting tears in my eyes yet. (*Sap alert* I know, but it’s so good.) It had been a few years since her last one, and this much anticipated album was well worth the weight. I believe it when they say she brought her heart to the table, ready to pour it out into these songs.

“Hey there Mr. Tin Man
You don’t know how lucky you are
You shouldn’t spend your whole life wish’
For something bound to fall apart
Every time you’re feeling empty
Better thank your lucky stars
If you ever felt one breaking
You’d never want a heart

Hey there Mr. Tin Man
You don’t know how lucky you are
I’ve been on the road that you’re on
It didn’t get me very far
You ain’t missing nothing
Cause love is so damn hard
Take it from me darling
You don’t want a heart

Hey there Mr. Tin Man
I’m glad we talked this out
You can take mine if you want it
It’s in pieces now
By the way there Mr. Tin Man
If you don’t mind the scars
You give me your armor
And you can have my heart”

If you haven’t heard it yet:

listen to this, meg says listen to this, Uncategorized

Meg Says Listen to This: Favorite Music of 2016

Since I already gave you a run down of the books I was reading in 2016, I figured I should also share some of my favorite music. This wasn’t intentional, but coincidentally these all fall in a country genre. It was quite the year in country music! This definitely doesn’t all the music I stumbled upon this year from artists older work it took me too long to find and I’d been missing out on, or my obsessive playing of old favorites.

mm_hero_rgbMaren Morris Hero. Maren Morris was definitely my favorite musical discovery of 2016. You might recall the post I typed after hearing “80’s Mercedes” on satellite radio during our drive back from Key West to Tampa last March. (And I definitely thought to myself “this is what I’m missing out on?!”) Soon after, I heard “My Church” and then of course I was chomping at the bit for her whole album to hit in June. I still buy CDs, and hers was steady on repeat for quite a while. She has such a soulful voice, and raw relatable lyrics. “Wish I Was” and “Once” just get me every time. There’s a song for every emotion, and I sing along to all of them. I cannot wait to see her live for the first time next month in February! And I can’t wait to see what she does next. There’s a Crossroads special on CMT she did with Alicia Keys, that was really fun to watch.

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Caitlyn Smith Starfire
I heard Caitlyn Smith on Bobby Bone’s Podcast, and I was just like oh my goodness how have I been missing out on this girl for so long?! Of course, songs she’s written have been sung by plenty of stars, but I think she’s a star herself. “This Town Is Killing Me” and “Before You Called Me Baby” kick me in the gut. Like, I’ve found myself holding back tears on airplanes listening to her music. I hope that we hear more from her, and I hope that people keep listening to her because I feel like Caitlyn Smith puts her heart and soul into every one of her songs, each note she breathes and that’s something special.

 

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Walker Hayes Good Shit (Vol 1)/Break the Internet (Vol 2)
When an artist can inspire laughter, tears, nostalgia, and perspective on the same album? You know they’re onto something. Walker Hayes is nothing short of awesome. “Beautiful” makes me think about the past.”The Comedian” makes me cry. “Layla’s Stars” pulls on my heart strings. “Dollar Store” makes me laugh. “Halloween” I play on repeat. All the songs just take you through a gamut of emotions. This is another album I found myself playing on repeat on public transportation on my travels this year. Hayes has this music on  his website to download for FREE, so what’s stopping you?

 

yqo8ouicRyan Hurd Oh man. Ryan Hurd. We already knew his talent from some of the hit songs he wrote (“Lonely Tonight” ?!), but man he’s got a voice too. I didn’t find out about Hurd until his EP had already been pulled from the internet, (ugh crushing I know!) But then started releasing one song at a time to Spotify. Each song is so great. “Love In a  Bar” is definitely one of my favorites. “City Girl” is fantastic, so is “We Do Us” and “Hold You Back.” They all have a little bit different vibe, but I like the way they showcase his versatility as an artist. Check out the videos he’s released that are like “get to know you” and about his craft. They’re so artistically shot, gorgeous scenery, intimate setting and every word counts. He just signed to Sony this week, and I cannot wait to hear more from him. (He’s opening for MM at the Athens, GA show! And he’ll be on the Home Team tour with Thomas Rhett & Kelsea Ballerini!)

db_black_cover_digitalDierks Bentley Black This album actually came with my purchase of a concert ticket to Dierks show in Panama City Beach.The concert was awesome, and so is this whole album. Literally all of the songs have really hit me at some point. I feel like I find myself with “Can’t Be Replaced” stuck in my head a lot. But I was initially pretty dang obsessed with “I’ll Be the Moon” written by Ryan Hurd and featuring Maren Morris. “Freedom” is a fun one (love the PC shout out!) “Pick Up” “Black” they’re all so emotionally driven. Also, “Somewhere On a Beach” was one of my go to songs on that road trip to get to Key West. I’m a fan of the whole, movin’ on theme of that one. I think Dierks Bentley was really onto something with the duet with Elle King on “Different For Girls.” This whole album felt like it was full of surprises, and totally fresh.

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Jake Owen American Love 
I figured I would really get into this Jake Owen album, when “American Country Love Song” was such a staple on the  radio, and I was singing along every time. When it finally hit, I found myself loving all the songs. “After Midnight” makes me laugh because it reminds me of what my parents used to tell me when I was younger (and there’s probably a hint of truth to that.) “LAX” is so freakin’ clever, and it makes me think of Penny Lane – just the epitome of “cool girl.” “If He Ain’t Gonna Love You” with Chris Stapleton is top notch. Actually, they all are. The whole album has a great vibe, and I really love the cover art – that VW van – I want it.

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Miranda Lambert The Weight of These Wings
Miranda’s long-awaited album did not disappoint. I’m still combing through all these songs. (24 of them!) She worked with twelve different song writers, and there is so much grit in this album. You can feel how real she’s being through the songs, everything laid bare – mistakes, love, friendship, life – it’s all on the line. I just think it’s something really beautiful. “Vice” was the first released single, and I cannot tell you how many times I listened to it on a repeat. “We Should Be Friends” is just fantastic, and witty. “Pink Sunglasses” not only makes me want to wear a pair, while I belt along but it’s just so catchy and feels like she knows her audience. “Runnin’ Just In Case” quite frankly makes me feel like someone punched me in the stomach, but in the way where you breathe and say “ok, someone gets it.” I can’t wait for her to tour with this album.

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Keith Urban Ripchord
Okay, Keith Urban does it every single time. Every album. This one wasn’t any different – just hit it straight out of the park. I’m sorry to say I didn’t see his tour last year because I can only imagine how phenomenal it was. “Blue Ain’t Your Color” is definitely one of my favorite songs of the year. “Break on Me” is beautiful, and obviously so many things can make me cry and this is one of them. I’m a big fan of “Wasted Time.” I also love the metaphors in “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.” Keith Urban is just a class act talent.

Because this list could go on forever, I’ll share a few more of my faves across the board. Of course, I’m leaving out about a million artists and albums because it’s impossible to add them all, but it was a great year for music. Drake gave us Views, the other Drake (White) gave us Spark, Gaga gave us Joanne, Brandy Clark Big Day in a Small Town, Bon Iver 22, a Million, Dawes We’re All Gonna Die, Margot Price Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, and of course Beyonce Lemonade.

meg says listen to this

Meg Says Listen to This: “Vice”

Damn, Miranda. That’s the first thing that came to mind following my first listen of Miranda Lambert’s latest song, “Vice.” I saw Shane Mcanally’s Instagram post last night before I’d even heard it (and after I saw the teasers on Facebook). Reading the words just sent a shiver down my spine:

shanemcanally No matter what your taste in music is, you gotta respect when an artist is willing to put their soul out on the table. @joshosbornesongwriter & I were lucky enough to be sitting in the room when @mirandalambert came in with this song on her heart. Everything about this is bold and heartbreaking and honest and even a little hard to listen to….this is the kind of song I set out to write when I came to Nashville. I am so blessed to write with people who take these kind of chances.

Seriously…is that not moving or what? Then you go and listen to the song. Miranda Lambert hasn’t put out any new music in quite some time, and for this to be the first? It’s raw and real, and it cuts deep. It feels so transparent, and edgy, and relatable. It makes my heart sting when I hear it because it’s a sucky place to be, the depth of where that emotion comes from but then I think about just how many of us have probably found ourselves there. That’s the beauty in it – how realistic it is about life. One of the things I appreciate about her as an artist is she never sugar coats anything. Here is some sharp true emotion, in song, laid right out on the table.

Do yourself a favor, and listen now. I’ve got it on repeat over here. If this is a taste of what’s to come, big things are in store.

Listen, turn it up tuesday

Turn It Up Tuesday, Listen to This: “Mine Would Be You”

You know how some girls have their weddings planned to a T by the time they’re seventeen and they haven’t even started dating yet? I’m kind of the opposite of that, (though I miiight have a Pinterest board aptly named “Wedding Related Stuff For No Reason.”) Anyway, even still because I love music so much when I hear a really sweet song I tend to think “ohh man that’d make for a good first dance song!” Yeah, I can be pretty sappy like that. The first time I heard Blake Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You” (on the new Based On a True Storyalbum) that’s exactly what I thought. Maybe some of the lines aren’t perfectly suitable for a family gathering, but whatever the sentiment is there. And if I’m perfectly honest, I might indulge in the idea that a piece of me might like to imagine that someday when I hear these lyrics, I’ll have one person in mind and hopefully they’re sitting on the other side of the car from me but not yet – for now, I’ll just enjoy the sweet simplicity and belt it out like I know what that’s like.

“What’s your double dare, your go all in?
The craziest thing you ever did?
Plain as your name in this tattoo
Look on my arm, mine would be you
Mine would be you
Sun keeps shining, back road flying
Singing like crazy fools
Making up our own words
Laughing ’til it hurts
Baby, if I had to choose
My best day ever
My finest hour, my wildest dream come true
Mine would be you?”

I’ll admit I got pretty excited on the drive-in to work this morning when I realized it’s Tuesday and I could share this as my “Turn It Up Tuesday” post for the week. I hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, safe & fun times had by all – I know I did! So if you don’t know it yet, I’m telling you – you should. Listen here:

 

Listen

Listen to This: “Crash My Party”

I know, you might be thinking “why so much country music?” But hey, next week I’ll have that Andrew McMahon show on my mind and it’ll be all switched up again. You’ll get over it 😉 So, Luke Bryan was named Entertainer of the Year on Sunday night, which was actually pretty refreshing. He humbly accepted his award. (He and Blake Shelton were hosts of the evening, so pause from that to collect such a mega award – wow.) Tears were shed. I was so excited for him watching from my bedroom. I’m kind of a sucker for most of the award shows. From movies to music, I don’t care I just love to see people who have been striving to achieve their dreams for a long time, reach this point where they feel like “woah! I made it this far…” or “wow, I remember being a little kid looking up to these people I’m in the same room with right now!” or “Man, this is a crazy road…” the people who are full of gratitude and awe over these moments. The people who are really dang good at what they do and deserve some recognition. (I also love seeing people in the same industry super excited for each other – like Miranda Lambert fist pumping in the audience as she jumped up so excited for Luke Bryan!) I mean this guy has had a long road to the fame that he’s reached right now. He’s been playing music for years, but it was awhile before he made it out to Nashville. Tragedy struck his family multiple times. Luke was actually literally all set to move to Nashville after he graduated high school, but the day before he was set to move his brother was killed in a car accident. He held off on the  move, and went to college at Georgia Southern, (while continue to play music) and then later he ended up working with his dad (a peanut farmer) for awhile. It sounds like he loved the hard work, but his dad just couldn’t let him not pursue a music career so he basically made him move! (Unfortunately, his family suffered another huge loss in 2007 when his older sister was killed in a car accident.) (GAC Artist Page.) The cool thing about all of this? These kind of experiences really shape you as a person, they’re the stories of our lives – so you know when he’s singing about something, he means it – it’s heartfelt. I think Entertainer of the Year is a well deserved award for Luke Bryan, he can definitely get a room moving, and he’s so talented. He’s toured with Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, Trace Adkins and more and now it’s his time to shine. Luke Bryan has had some great hits over the years (including but not limited to: “Country Girl,” “Drunk On You,” “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” “Take My Drunk Ass Home,” “All My Friends Say,” “Rain Is a Good Thing,” and HELLO SORORITY GIRL THEME SONG “Sorority Girl” (there’s a Phi Mu shout out in there, yeahhh!) so you’re probably no stranger to his voice!

Anyway, with all that being said I definitely enjoyed the debut of his new song “Crash My Party.” So do yourself a favor, and check it out!

Ain’t a bar that can make me buzz the way that you do