Must-Listens for July: The Shotgun Seat Team Picks

Check out our July favorites, from a tried-and-true Patty Griffin tune to rising star Carly Pearce’s latest release and a new one from “Hurricane” hit-maker Luke Combs.

ANNIE: “If My Name Was Whiskey” by Carly Pearce

Ooooof, Carly. The “Every Little Thing” singer hits hard on this song, which is absolutely phenomenal. If you’ve ever been emotionally involved with someone with an addiction, Pearce’s latest – which was released as a surprise teaser of her upcoming debut album – will hit hard and close to home. The lyrics are simple and poignant, and her vocals are on point.

Key Lyrics: “When you got off work at five, I’d be the first thing on your mind / Every time / And if I wasn’t where you thought I’d be, you’d drive around till you found me / If it took all night.”

LYDIA: “Little Bit Of Rust” by Will Hoge featuring Sheryl Crow

The words honest, real and authentic all immediately spring to my mind when I hear the name Will Hoge.  “Little Bit of Rust” is no exception with it’s take on what it means to be in it for the long haul, not giving up on a relationship just because the newness has worn off or when you’re faced with obstacles. Hoge tapped Sheryl Crow to join him on this duet, the first single off forthcoming album Anchors. The combination of their vocals both with Americana/rootsy sounds blend perfectly together and lend a sense of seasoned experience which are portrayed in the lyrics.

Key Lyrics: “Ain’t nothing we can’t fix, ain’t no broken trust / Ain’t no great divide between the two of us / It’s just the heavy hands of time that kinda wear away the shine / But don’t worry it’s just a little bit of rust.”

EMILY: “When It Rains It Pours” by Luke Combs

When I first heard Luke Combs’s “When It Rains It Pours,” I had to double check to make sure it wasn’t actually 1998. This song is bursting with classic 90s country charm. The story involves a self-centered girlfriend storming off, and her boyfriend running into a string of glorious redneck good luck. (He wins the lottery, gets a number from a Hooter’s waitress, calls into a radio station and wins a beach trip, wins a used four-wheeler at a raffle, etc.)  The line that really sells it is “And I ain’t gotta see my ex future mother-in-law anymore,” and the title line is dripping with good-natured sarcasm. The unabashed lowbrow lyrics combined with a bouncy strong guitar line and Combs’s growly vocals take the listener back to a time when landlines ruled and Kenny Chesney had hair.

Key lyrics:Then I won a hundred bucks on a scratch off ticket / Bought two twelve packs and a tank of gas with it / She swore they were a waste of time, oh, but she was wrong / I was caller number 5 on the radio station / Won a 4-day, 3-night, beach vacation.”

NATALIE: “Long Ride Home” by Patty Griffin

What the heck Natalie this song has been around for 15 years? I know. But until recently the only Patty Griffin track I knew was “Rain” (thanks, Taylor Swift, for your killer iTunes playlist circa 2008, which also featured “Damn” by LeAnn Rimes and “Unbroken Ground” by Joe Nichols). So now, I’m delving into Griffin’s amazingly rich catalog, and this SONG. Y’all. It’s a heartbreaking gem about marriage and love and hardship and death, all wrapped into one post-funeral limo ride that’s conducive to 20/20 hindsight and tears (on my part, at least). The entire album is fantastic, but I keep coming back to “Long Ride Home.”

Key Lyrics: “Forty years of things you say you wish you’d never said / How hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead.”

JONNY: “It Ain’t My Fault” by Brothers Osborne

It’s finally summer in Britain, where the thermometer nudges EIGHTY degrees! Soundtracking the heat are a wealth of songs up in the high bits of the charts, but “It Ain’t My Fault” by Brothers Osborne (featuring Mrs. John Osborne Lucie Silvas providing gang-chant vocals), could be song of the summer. The woah-oh’s are ecstatic, the verses are smart, and the chorus is hooky. “I’m only guilty of a damn good time” is a bumper sticker waiting to be printed.

Key Lyrics: “I got my hands up, I need an alibi / Find me a witness who can testify / You made a mistake, you got the wrong guy / I’m only guilty of a damn good time / No it ain’t my fault.”