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10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week: Brent Cobb, Sarah Shook and More

Cobb’s royal “King of Alabama,” Shook’s kiss-off “Good as Gold” and more songs to hear now

10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week: Brent Cobb, Sarah Shook and More

Brent Cobb and Sarah Shook are among the artists whose songs make our list of the 10 best of the week.

Brent Cobb serves up greasy funk, Sarah Shook delivers a punky kiss-off and up-and-comer Dillon Carmichael arrives with a must-hear voice. Here are the country and Americana tracks you need to listen to this week.

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Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, “Good as Gold”

Sarah Shook & the Disarmers’ forthcoming new album Years (out April 6th via Bloodshot Records) is one of 2018’s more intriguing new releases. Following quickly after her 2017 debut Sidelong, Years shows Shook to be an artist who isn’t content to sit still, and who’s more than capable, too, of growing artistically in a short period of time. New tune “Good as Gold” is an expert distillation of Shook’s talents: sly wordplay, gritty arrangements, and vocals that find the sweet spot between country and punk. A cleverly produced accompanying lyric video cobbles together classic film footage, with more than a few scenes echoing the song’s refrain, “You’re as good as gold, and I’m as good as gone.” B.M.

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Brent Cobb, “King of Alabama”

A tribute to country singer Wayne Mills, who was shot and killed in 2013, “King of Alabama” dishes up greasy slabs of country-funk and Southern soul. Cobb sings the song as though he’s three beers into a night of heavy drinking, which lends a laidback, loose-lipped strut to the proceedings. Produced by cousin Dave Cobb and recorded between breaks from the road, “King of Alabama” doubles as an appetizer for Providence Canyon, Cobb’s second major-label release. Come for the raw twang and countrified croon; stay for the Thin Lizzy guitarmonies that punctuate the bridge, proving that Cobb still isn’t unafraid to push beyond his genre’s borders. R.C.

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J.D. Wilkes, “Down in the Hidey Hole”

The Legendary Shack Shakers’ frontman goes solo, putting a Kentuckian spin on Tom Waits’ gypsy-voodoo roots music. Members of the Squirrel Nut Zippers get a piece of the action too, adding horns to this song’s groove-heavy bounce. Released on Wilkes’ Fire Dream, “Down in the Hidey Hole” tells the story of a survivalist who digs his way to safety, hiding out from some apocalypse on ground level. The only problem? “Our protagonist realizes he brought everything he needed except a girlfriend to share it with!” the singer explains. (Wilkes, a master harmonica player, was recently in the studio adding harp to Sturgill Simpson’s upcoming album.) R.C.

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I’m With Her, “Game to Lose”

Acoustic-music supergroup I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Aoife O’Donovan and Sarah Jarosz) weigh risk and reward in “Game to Lose,” from their newly released debut LP See You Around, advising an evasive lover or a detractor to never rule them out. “I’m on the ropes, but I got something you can’t see,” they sing, between urgent verse sections of mandolin and fiddle that morph into taut, jagged choruses of power chords and the central question: “How much longer is it gonna be before I get where I’m going, get what I need?” There’s no way to know for sure, but it doesn’t sound like they’re tapping out anytime soon. J.F.

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Danielle Bradbery, “Worth It”

Danielle Bradbery’s soulful empowerment anthem “Worth It” has been floating around for a few months now, originally released as an instant-download track for fans who pre-ordered her latest album I Don’t Believe We’ve Met. Now, Bradbery is releasing “Worth It” as an official single. The smoldering tune takes stock of a lame lover, with soaring vocals from Bradbery that recall early Martina McBride. “Worth It” follows first album single “Sway,” which peaked at Number 47 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart. B.M.

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