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10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week: Brandi Carlile, John Prine and More

Carlile’s “Hold Out Your Hand,” the Oak Ridge Boys’ Brandy Clark cover and more songs to hear now

10 Country, Americana Songs You Must Hear Now: Brandi Carlile, John Prine and More Rolling Stone Editors' Picks

Songs by John Prine and Brandi Carlile are among the 10 must-hear country and Americana tunes this week.

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Too much music, never enough time. In a particularly prolific era for both country and Americana music, with artists from Nashville to Austin releasing songs to radio and online, it’s near impossible to digest every new track. Which is why Rolling Stone Country is launching this new regular series, a curated list of the 10 songs you must hear each week. We’ll do the work; you just press play.

brandi carlile

Oak Ridge Boys, “Pray to Jesus”

“Pray to Jesus” isn’t a gospel song – it’s not even a religious one – but it’s a neat trick that the Oak Ridge Boys manage to make it sound as such. A frayed blue-collar ballad by Brandy Clark, the song is turned into a stained-glass boogie by the Oaks. In their hands, it’s a hustler’s creed with a pious streak that could have been a holdover from a Sun Studio session circa 1954. With its original incarnation dating back to the Forties, the Oak Ridge Boys have a deep history of gospel singing, and they have no trouble picking up the habit here. J.G.

brandi carlile

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Lindi Ortega, “Lovers in Love”

Lindi Ortega knows how to put the bite in romance, but “Lovers in Love” ­– released on Valentine’s Day – isn’t shy about getting sentimental. Perhaps it’s the influence of her recent marriage and move back home to Canada, but Ortega is decidedly light here, both in tone and in the song’s breezy arrangement. And Charlie McCoy’s harmonica certainly gets the pulse racing, with the Nashville legend making an appearance that adds extra sparkle to the moment. J.G.