Friday, December 17, 2021


When a song hits you where it needs to, it stays with you. The words lift you, give you a reason to keep moving forward, inspire you, bring tears that you never realized you needed to shed, they make you smile, laugh and sometimes they just make your heart start to beat again when you feel that it's stopped ... they just make a difference that you needed. 

Below are just some of the many songs that have stuck with me over the past 15 years of learning to listen beyond the notes and beyond standard country radio. Most of them may not have saturated the charts (a few got some high numbers), some may not have been played on your favorite stations or heck, you may not even know some of them, but they all stuck with me and continue to leave an impression. They still make me stop what I"m doing and really listen. They helped shape me into the person I am and they continue to help me in becoming the person I strive to be. 

These are in no particular order because they're all just as important as the one next to it.

To these artists and writers, thank you. 

"Are You Happy Now" - Shannon Lawson (Shannon Lawson / Del Gray)

"Even If It Breaks Your Heart" - Eli Young Band (Eric Paslay / Will Hoge)

"Tougher" - Lainey Wilson (Lainey Wilson / Forest Glen Whitehead)

"I Ain't No Quitter" - Craig Wayne Boyd (Arlis Albritton)

"High Road" - Ray Scott (Ray Scott)

"People Fall in Love" - Mason Douglas (Mason Douglas / Cory Batten)

"The Song" - Craig Morgan (Craig Morgan / Phil O'Donnell / Tim Owens)

"Love Don't Run" - Steve Holy (Rachel Thibodeau / Joe Leathers / Ben Glover)

"Shake It Off" - Ash Bowers (Ash Bowers / Adam Craig / Shane Minor)

"The Journey of Your Life"- Jake Owen (Ronnie Bowman / Troy Jones)

"Ordinary Angels" - Tate Stevens (Victoria Banks / Phil Barton / Rivers Rutherford) 

"The Power of a Song" - Randy Houser (Randy Houser / Cory Batten / Kent Blazy)

"Old Keys" - Drew Smith (Drew Smith / Other writers unknown)

"Music City" - David Kroll (Writers Unknown)

"Better Me" - Montgomery Gentry (Josh Hoge / Randy Montana / Jamie Moore)

"She Don't Love You" - Eric Paslay (Eric Paslay / Jennifer Wayne)

"You Won't See Me Cry" - Cash Creek (Anita Cox / Barbara Smiley / Corey Lee Barker)

"Girl Goin' Nowhere" - Ashley McBryde (Ashley McBryde / Jeremy Bussey)

"She Only Wanted Flowers" - David Adam Byrnes (David Adam Byrnes / Adam Fears / Jay Brunswick)

"What Are You Listening To" - Chris Stapleton (Chris Stapleton / Lee Thomas Miller)

"Love Owes Me One" - Ronnie Dunn (Ronnie Dunn / Terry McBryde / Bobby Pinson)

John J. Blanchard" - Anthony Smith (Anthony Smith / Chris Wallin)

"Better Off" - Karyn Rochelle (Karyn Rochelle / Marla Cannon-Goodman)

"All Your Favorite Bands" - The Roadhammers (Jonny Fritz / Taylor Goldsmith)

"Fear is a Liar" - Zach Williams (Zach Smith / Jonathan Smith / Jason Ingram)

"Did I Make A Difference" - The Oak Ridge Boys (Bill Anderson / Rob Crosby)

"Tough People Do" - Jason Matthews (Jason Matthews / Chris Dubois /  Joel Shewmake)

"Humble and Kind" - Lori McKenna (Lori McKenna)

"Shadows" - Cody Wickline (Writers Unknown)

"Tears in God's Eyes" - Ty Herndon (Kim Williams, Kent Blazy, Skip Ewing)

"That's Life" - Paul Thorn (Paul Thorn / Billy Maddox)

"The One That Broke the World" - Levi Lowrey (Levi Lowrey / Other Writers Unknown)

"Massachusetts" - Aaron Lewis (Aaron Lewis)

"How I Learned to Pray" - Charlie Worsham (Charlie Worsham / Jeremy Spillman / Ryan Tyndell)

"A Music Man" - Mo Pitney (Mo Pitney / Bobby Tomberlin)

"Leave Something Behind" - Chris Wallin (Chris Wallin)

"Love is Stronger" - Jason Crabb and Matt Kennon versions (Michael Mobley)

"Don't Miss Your Life" - Phil Vassar (Phil Vassar / Charlie Black)

"More Than Me" - Justin Moore (Justin Moore / Paul DiGiovanni / Chase McGill / Jeremy Stover)

"She's Somebody's Daughter" - Drew Baldridge (Drew Baldridge / Jimmy Yeary / Cameron Jaymes)

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