1) JASON ALDEAN – Dirt Road Anthem
Like it or not, this could be the turning point that steers country pop toward rock and R&B for a long time to come. It was popular (I mean, MASSIVELY popular) almost despite itself. You can say it ain’t country, but you can’t say it ain’t what a hit should be: memorable.
2) TRACE ADKINS – Just Fishin’
This one wins the “perfect traditionalist country” category for the year, hands down. Storytelling that’ll send you to the Kleenex box every time, even if y’ain’t got kidsa yer own yet. Powerful good.
3) BRANTLEY GILBERT – Country Must Be Country Wide
I wonder how many country stations that still stir “Cash, Hank, Willie and Waylon” into the stew were among those that made this’n a hit in 2011. Not many, I’ll bet.
4) KENNY CHESNEY featuring GRACE POTTER – You and Tequila
It took a while to grow on me, but that line, “one is one too many / one more is never enough,” is one of the all-time classics, y’ask me.
5) PISTOL ANNIES – Hell on Heels
These ladies have steam and attitude to spare in this ode to gold digging (and I mean the Kanye West style, y’all, not the ol’ 49ers).
6) ALAN JACKSON – Long Way to Go
One of the most overlooked songs of the year. Jackson swims ably through Jimmy Buffett’s waters, which mostly involve drowning yer troubles on a beach somewhere.
7) BILLY CURRINGTON – Like My Dog
I’m pretty sure songwriters Harley Allen and Scotty Emerick found a way to steal this one straight outta my head with some kinda sci-fi machine.
8) JUSTIN MOORE – Bait a Hook
Just plain funny the way he lists the reasons she should dump that city-boy loser, all the while extolling the virtues of country livin’ of course.
9) RONNIE DUNN – Cost of Livin’
If this one don’t hit home, I’m not sure what yer doin’ listening to country music in the first place.
10) LUKE BRYAN – Country Girl (Shake It for Me)
Like I said many times on the air, I’m pretty sure Luke Bryan missed his calling: he shoulda been a comedian. This is one of the funniest songs ever. “Shake it for the catfish swimmin’ down deep in the creek?” C’mon, you can’t be taking this song seriously.
BEST SONG YOU’LL PROBABLY NEVER HEAR ON THE RADIO:
WILLIE NELSON – Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die
He’s been playing this one live lately. It surely was one of the highlights of his Santa Fe Opera performance.
BEST LIVE BAND IN NUEVO MEXICO:
ANTHONY LEON & the CHAIN
See them. You won’t be sorry.
# # #
And…just ‘cause I’m a fair-minded cuss, here’s some opinion-free rankings from the year gone by for comparison:
NATIONWIDE COUNTRY RADIO MOST PLAYED of 2011:
1) THOMPSON SQUARE – Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not
2) JASON ALDEAN / KELLY CLARKSON – Don’t You Wanna Stay
3) TIM McGRAW – Felt Good on My Lips
4) BILLY CURRINGTON – Let Me Down Easy
5) KENNY CHESNEY – Somewhere with You
6) SARA EVANS – A Little Bit Stronger
7) BLAKE SHELTON – Honey Bee
8) THE BAND PERRY – You Lie
9) MIRANDA LAMBERT – Heart Like Mine
10) CHRIS YOUNG - Voices
(Source: © 2011 Mediabase Research)
Well, that was a totally different list than mine. Wonder what happens if I ask the computer to tell me what was actually the most played songs this year on 107.5 Outlaw Country?
KQBA-FM TEN MOST PLAYED of 2011:
1) LUKE BRYAN – Country Girl (Shake It for Me)
2) MIRANDA LAMBERT – Heart Like Mine
3) DIERKS BENTLEY – Am I the Only One
4) THE BAND PERRY – You Lie
5) JERROD NEIMANN – What Do You Want
6) ELI YOUNG BAND – Crazy Girl
7) JAKE OWEN – Barefoot Blue Jean Night
8) CHRIS YOUNG – Tomorrow
9) DARIUS RUCKER – This
10) KENNY CHESNEY / GRACE POTTER – You and Tequila
Well, by gum, all them lists are different. How ‘bout yer favorites this year? Y’all can post lists in the comments section below (^_^) HAPPY NEW YEAR!