Best Country Songs to Hear Now: Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson - Rolling Stone
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10 Best Country, Americana Songs of the Week: Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson

Musgraves’ sterling “Space Cowboy,” Cole Swindell’s delicate “Break Up in the End” and more songs to hear now

Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson

Songs by Kacey Musgraves and Willie Nelson are among the 10 country and Americana songs you must hear this week.

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images; Gary Miller/Getty Images

A country legend, some rising radio stars and burgeoning Americana singer-songwriters make up this week’s list of songs you need to hear right now.

willie nelson

The California Honeydrops, “Call It Home”

This Bay Area ensemble calls on the sounds of classic soul and funk in “Call It Home,” evoking the greasy rumble of Booker T and the MGs in the opening bars before channeling the spiritual ecstasy of Sly and the Family Stone in the soaring choruses. The opening track and title song from their forthcoming two-part album Call It Home: Vol. 1 & 2, “Call It Home” features some sublimely gritty ad libs from the iconic Bonnie Raitt, a pretty solid endorsement of the group’s bona fides. J.F.

willie nelson

Willie Nelson, “Last Man Standing”

If Willie Nelson’s twilight years are to be spent amidst constant speculation over whether he’s “Still Not Dead,” then he’s sure not going to take it lying down. “Last Man Standing,” the title track from the new record due to be released before the Red Headed Stranger’s 85th birthday in April, is yet another rumination on the country legend’s mortality, as well as the friends – Merle and Waylon, among them – who have passed away before him. Nelson approaches this grim subject with candor and a typically jaunty tone. Then again, as he once sang himself, he just might live forever. J.G.

willie nelson

Don Gallardo, “A Boat Named Harmony”

Don Gallardo stakes his claim as a roots-rock lifer with his upcoming April release, Still Here. It’s an album rooted in persistence and purpose, with songs like “Kicking Up the Pavement” shining a light on the struggle of the modern-day road warrior. On the acoustic “A Boat Named Harmony,” though, Gallardo trades his band van for a sailboat, painting himself as the unlucky captain of a sinking ship. With open water all around him, he choses love over panic, finding peace in the presence of his duet partner, Erin Rae. Heartwarming and harmony-heavy. R.C.

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