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10 Best Country and Americana Songs of the Week: Luke Bryan, Maggie Rose and More

Bryan’s chart-topping “Most People Are Good,” Rose’s smoldering “It’s You,” Trixie Mattel’s heartwarming “The Well” and more songs to hear now

maggie rose luke bryan

Maggie Rose and Luke Bryan

Jeff Hahne/Getty Images, Debby Wong/REX Shutterstock

The latest chart-topper from the format’s biggest star, a welcome comeback by an underrated vocalist and a poignant anti-violence statement by new artist Bill Eberle make up this week’s country and Americana songs you need to hear right now.

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Traveller, “Hummingbird”

Robert Ellis, Cory Chisel, and Jonny Fritz are three of Nashville’s most beloved songwriters, so the announcement that their supergroup Traveller – a project they teased in 2015 – had a full-length album on the way was a welcome one. Western Movies is out May 4th, and its first single, “Hummingbird,” is a fitting introduction to the music these three artists make together: playful, endearing, and an eccentric homage to the influences (traditional country, folk, roots-rock) that makes each such a success in his own right. B.M.

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Maggie Rose, “It’s You”

Maggie Rose turns a new page in 2018 by turning back the clock, dropping the soulful new slow-burner “It’s You.” Mixing the vocal prowess of Adele and Aretha, Rose becomes a full-throated chanteuse, building things up from near a cappella to a full-on swoon with the choral assistance of her 11-piece backing band. “It’s You” is only an opening salvo, as Rose – channeling the example of the soul singers and girl groups of yore – has a slew of “digital 45s” coming down the pipeline. J.G.

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Luke Bryan, “Most People Are Good”

“Most People Are Good” is this week’s Number One on Country Airplay and its message ­– coming from a star on the level of Luke Bryan – is important in the country music world. The mid-tempo ballad, a statement of acceptance that includes a subtle nod to same-sex relationships, recently received a new music video. The touches remain subtle, with images that suggest natural disasters and police violence, but seeing Bryan surrounded by mothers and minorities is a powerful celebration of diversity from the format’s biggest voice. J.G.

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Tami Neilson, “Stay Outta My Business”

Tami Neilson may have gotten her start with her family band, the Neilsons, but make no mistake, the Canadian who resides in New Zealand is a fire-breathing R&B belter on her own terms. She says so in roughly so many words on her rollicking new track “Stay Outta My Business,” a crackling, hand-clapping soul vamp that would do Amy Winehouse proud for its swagger and defiant self-reliance. J.G.

Erin Rae

Marcus Maddox

Erin Rae, “Can’t Cut Loose”

Nashville can be a competitive place, but it can also be a collaborative one. Erin Rae, a gifted singer-songwriter, has never seemed to shy away from lending her vocals – which evoke the effortlessness of Nick Drake with the velvet coo of Mary Travers – to the projects of her friends, like Margo Price and Andrew Combs. But her solo work, particularly her new track “Can’t Cut Loose,” feels equally generous – just in emotion, this time. From her forthcoming LP Putting on Airs (on Single Lock Records), it’s a hauntingly honest folksong for the frank, modern mind. M.M. 

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