25 Best Country Songs of 2014

Little Big Town's shocker, Keith Urban's rocker and more of the songs stuck in our heads this year

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6. Old Crow Medicine Show, "Sweet Amarillo"

It's one thing to get Bob Dylan's seal of approval — it's another to actually have the folk legend dial you up, hand over a song fragment and say, "Go to town, boys." Those may not be his words verbatim, but it sums up what happened on "Sweet Amarillo," which was built around a leftover bit from Dylan's 1973 Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid sessions and continued the trend of Dylan letting Old Crow finish what he'd started long ago (case in point: "Wagon Wheel," which has become a near-traditional). "Sweet Amarillo" is crafted to be the same kind of collective chant-along, anchored by Ketch Secor's lyrical fiddle and illustrative metaphors, topped with a subtle wink to these unconventional co-writes as he sings, "I was blinded by glory with a half-written story." Those half-written stories sure do sound glorious, though, when OCMS is done with them.

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