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10 Best Country and Americana Songs to Hear Now: Chely Wright, Austin Jenckes

Wright’s moving “Revival,” Jenckes’ nostalgic “Never Forget” and more songs to hear this week

Best Country Songs, Chely Wright, Austin Jenckes

Chely Wright and Austin Jenckes have new tracks on our must-hear list.

Matthew Rodgers* & Courtesy of the Media Social*

Chely Wright and Austin Jenckes take different approaches to chronicling the journey to meet their partners in a pair of excellent new tracks, the Sisterhood aim for summer radio dominance with “Get Up and Go” and Tenille Arts pays tribute to her mother in this week’s group of must-hear songs.

Chely Wright, “Revival”
The title track from Chely Wright’s new EP finds the singer/songwriter ruminating over past relationships, all of which helped shape her into a worthy partner for her wife. A moving song about closure and forgiveness, “Revival” shimmers with reverb-heavy guitars and cinematic percussion.

James Wesley, “Running”
A staple of James Wesley’s shows for the past half-decade, “Running” receives its official release on this month’s self-titled James Wesley EP. Co-written by the singer himself, it’s a right-down-the-middle anthem for country-radio devotees, delivered with a hint of rock & roll and a heaping of modern production.

Corey Smith, “Down Easy”
Corey Smith wrote “Down Easy” on his back porch and self-produced the song in his home studio, so it’s no surprise that this low-key, summery salute to family should focus upon the people who keep him grounded between tour dates. “Your love’s sweet like sugar cubes; you make it go down easy,” he sings to his wife.

Austin Jenckes, Never Forget
Austin Jenckes retraces the steps that led him to his first encounter with his now-wife. A nostalgic love song from his upcoming debut, If You Grew Up Like I Did, “Never Forget” is cut from the same cloth as country heart-warmers like Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.”

Tenille Arts, “Call You Names”
Released just in time for Mother’s Day, “Call You Names” pays overdue tribute to Tenille Arts’ biggest fan. “I call you mama, my best friend, my everything ’til the end,” she sings to her Mom, tracing the pair’s relationship from the angst-ridden days of Arts’ adolescence to their mutually-supportive present.

The Sisterhood Band, “Get Up and Go”
Don’t try to tie Alyssa Bonagura and Ruby Stewart down. A funky, stir-crazy song about getting the hell out of dodge, “Get Up and Go” hits its singalong-worthy stride during each chorus, where vocal harmonies and a poppy percussive pulse join forces to form an early contender for song-of-the-summer status.

Kacy & Clayton, “Carrying On”
Produced by Jeff Tweedy, “Carrying On” — the title track from Kacy & Clayton’s upcoming October release — is an old soul of a song, reminiscent of the roughhewn roots music that once poured forth from places like Big Pink and Laurel Canyon.

Kelly Hunt, “Across the Great Divide”
Although born in Memphis, Kelly Hunt sings with the lilting cadence of a folksinger born somewhere far away, sometime long ago. That timelessness serves her well on “Across the Great Divide,” a sparse, banjo-propelled song about love, heartbreak, and forgiveness.

Joanne Shaw Taylor, “All My Love”
The British blues-rocker returns, bringing with her a new album — this year’s Reckless Heart, inspired by big-voiced belters like Chris Stapleton and Tina Turner — and a soulful single about leaving her mark upon a lover’s heart. “I wanna give you all my love so no other lover will ever be enough,” she sings, right before launching into a guitar solo worthy of the Faces.

Adam Chaffins, “I’m Over You”
Recorded live at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground studio, this Keith Whitley cover is downright cinematic, thanks to a full string section and a nuanced arrangement that prizes layers over dense heaps of sound. At the center of mix is Chaffins, who accompanies himself on upright bass.

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