Wednesday, December 19, 2012

That Nashville Sound's Top 100 (and something) Songs of 2012

2012 was another fabulous year of country music. Traditional country, bluegrass, modern country and Americana were all represented well and this list proves that out.

Here are the rules by which this list was selected. It had to be released off an album that was released in 2012 or is an already-released single off a to-be-released album. If the album came out in 2011 or before, it couldn’t be included- even if it wasn't released as a single until 2012.

Let us hear what you think. Anything we missed? Without further ado, here is That Nashville Sound’s Top 100 (and something) Songs of 2012.

  1. Waylon Jennings – “I Do Believe” - Kris Kristofferson, who toured alongside Jennings in the Highwaymen said it best, “The pure beauty of Waylon's voice - unlike any other I ever heard - has the powerful honesty and heart of the man himself. Like his outlaw companions Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, they broke the mold when they made him. I do believe ‘I Do Believe’ is the only one of these I've heard before, and I could listen to it forever."
  2. Darrell Scott- “Someday”- Plaintive songwriting and emotional depth unlike any other tune this year are the hallmarks of this introspective piece of genius. 
  3. Jason Eady- “AM Country Heaven”- Eady was rung through the Nashville country radio ringer and has come out the other side better for it. 
  4. Jamey Johnson – “Would These Arms Be In Your Way”- Nearly every song on Johnson's dedication album to songwriter Hank Cochran is a duet or collaboration. The best track on the album is the one solo- highlighting the depth of Johnson's emotional delivery all on his own. 
  5. Gord Bamford – “Leanin’ On a Lonesome Song”- Bamford's a Canadian for those not in the know. Here, he takes on a song that holds it's roots in great 70's country themes. 
  6. Lori McKenna – “Sometimes He Does”- Few songwriters are currently singing about the stinging ups and downs of a relationship as well as McKenna. She shines on revealing the good, the bad and the ugly. 
  7. Joe Walsh- “Analog Man”- Eagles member Walsh goes solo on this rocking set of tunes, led by this great track about the loss of our soul as we go digital in music. 
  8. Chelle Rose – “Rufus Morgan (Preacher Man)”- Feeling as it was dug out of the Appalachian mountain lore, this wonderful story song is the epitome of Rose's great album- Americana at its very best. 
  9. Marty Stuart – “The Lonely Kind”- Most of Stuart's album, which TNS ranked as the best of the year earlier this week, is rocking classic country. But this beautiful slow number really steals the show. 
  10. Taylor Swift – “Begin Again”- As she’s done so well across the rest of the album, she pulls back the comforter on the intimacy of a relationship on “Begin Again.” This one is a first date where she exquisitely details out the intricacies of the nervousness that comes with it. She’s unsure she can put her heart out there again after having been burned before, “But on a Wednesday in a cafĂ©, I watched it begin again.” In just under four minutes, she reveals what insecurities from her past relationship influence this new one, how this encounter shakes (some of) those fears, and how she is effectively putting the past behind her. Her breathless vocal stylings perfectly reflect that apprehensiveness. 
  11. Ashley Monroe – “Like a Rose”
  12. Live Wire – “What Makes You a Man”
  13. Chris Stapleton –Tennessee Whiskey”
  14. Corb Lund – “Pour Em’ Kinda Strong”
  15. Jason Eady – “Old Guitar and Me”
  16. JT Hodges – “Sleepy Little Town”
  17. Emily West – “Boys In The Morning”
  18. Ray Wylie Hubbard – “Mother’s Blues”
  19. Josh Thompson – “Comin’ Around”
  20. Lee Brice – “A Woman Like You”
  21. Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott – “House of Gold”
  22. Raylene Rankin – “Grim Cathedral”
  23. Josh Turner – “Pallbearer”
  24. Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen – “If I Didn’t Know Better”
  25. Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss – “Make the World Go Away”
  26. Joey+Rory – “When I’m Gone”
  27. Jack Ingram – “Right For You”
  28. Marty Stuart – “Tear The Woodpile Down”
  29. Bobby Bare –Lookout Mountain
  30. Kacey Musgraves – “Merry Go’ Round”
  31. Gary Allan – “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)”
  32. Brett Eldredge – “One Mississippi
  33. Kellie Pickler – “Mother’s Day”
  34. Coyote Grace –Kansas
  35. Alan Jackson – “She Don’t Get High”
  36. The Trishas – “One Down (Set Yourself On Fire)”
  37. Corb Lund – “Dig Gravedigger Dig”
  38. Iris Dement – “The Night I Learned Not To Pray”
  39. Ricky Skaggs – “Nothing Beats A Family”
  40. Linda Ortega – “Demons Don’t Get Me Down”
  41. Bucky Covington “A Father’s Love (The Only Way He Knew How)”
  42. Gretchen Peters – “Idlewild”
  43. Zac Brown Band – “Sweet Annie”
  44. Dean Brody – “Leilah”
  45. Julie Roberts – “Sweet Dreams”
  46. Wade Hayes – “Hope Is Just Ahead”
  47. Lindsey Lou and the Flatbellys – “The Power”
  48. Kelly Clarkson and Vince Gill – “Don’t Rush”
  49. The Time Jumpers – “On the Outskirts of Town”
  50. RyLee Madison – “Run”
  51. Eden’s Edge – “Liar”
  52. Kip Moore “Crazy One More Time”
  53. Shooter Jennings “Southern Family Anthem”
  54. Amy Dalley – “Somebody Said It Rained”
  55. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard – “Horse Called Music”
  56. Josh Abbott Band – “I’ll Sing About Mine”
  57. Bruce Springsteen – “Wrecking Ball”
  58. Lewi Longmire- “Vanport 1948”
  59. Deric Ruttan –Main Street, 1979”
  60. Tom Skinner – “All You Can Do”
  61. Bobby Bare – “Boll Weivel”
  62. Joey+Rory – “A Bible and a Belt”
  63. Don Williams and Alison Krauss – “I Just Come Here for the Music”
  64. Lionel Richie and Little Big Town –Deep River Woman”
  65. Alan Jackson – “So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore”
  66. Zac Brown Band – “Lance’s Song”
  67. Lee Ann Womack – “Mama’s On A Roll”
  68. Shooter Jennings “Black Dog”
  69. Marty Stuart – “Sun Down In Nashville
  70. Dierks Bentley – Home”
  71. Carrie Underwood – “Two Black Cadillacs”
  72. Love and Theft” – “Town Drunk”
  73. Shellee Coley – “Cotton Dress”
  74. Taylor Swift – “All Too Well”
  75. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Hope Is Just Ahead”
  76. Todd Fritsch – “Horses He Can’t Ride Anymore”
  77. Emily West – “That’s Why The Boy Gets the Girl in the Movies”
  78. Linda Ortega – “Murder of Crows”
  79. Keith Urban – “For You”
  80. The Grascals – “Still They Call Me Love”
  81. Sarah Darling – “Blackbird”
  82. Bruce Springsteen – “Death To My Hometown”
  83. Emily West – “All My Fault”
  84. Kellie Pickler – “The Letter (To Daddy)”
  85. Ricky Skaggs and Barry Gibb – “Soldiers Son”
  86. Dwight Yoakam – “Waterfall”
  87. Elizabeth Cook – “If I Had My Way, I’d Tear This Building Down”
  88. Jerry Douglas and Marc Cohn – “Right On Time”
  89. Mary Chapin Carpenter – “Chasing What’s Already Gone”
  90. Billy Dean – “Seed”
  91. Toby Keith – “You Ain’t Alone”
  92.  Kristen Kelly- “Ex-Old Man”
  93.  Mindy Smith – “Sober”
  94.  Julie Roberts – “I’ve Been Looking for Somebody”
  95. Corb Lund and Hayes Carll– “Bible On The Dash”
  96.  Kenny Chesney – “Sing Em’ Good My Friend”
  97. Tim McGraw – “Die By My Own Hand”
  98. Neal McCoy – “Real Good Feel Good”
  99. Casey James – “Miss Your Fire”
  100. Steep Canyon Rangers – “Ungrateful One”
  101. Sugar and the Hi-Lows – “See It For Yourself”
  102. Ray Wylie Hubbard – “Coricidin Bottle”
  103. Randy Thompson – “Old ‘97”
  104. Stetson & Cia – “Don’t Hide Your Love”
  105. Kip Moore “Reckless (Still Growing)”
  106. Dierks Bentley – “Heart of a Lonely Girl”
  107. Don Williams – “She’s a Natural”
  108. Mary Chapin Carpenter – “What To Keep and What To Throw Away”
  109. Sara Watkins – “be There”
  110. Paul Thorn – “What the Hell is Going On?”
  111. Don Wiliams – “And So It Goes”
  112. Sarah Darling – “Home To Me”
  113. Shellee Coley – “Home To You”
  114. Jerry Douglas and Alison Krauss and Union Station – “Frozen Fields”
  115. Kenny Chesney – “While He Still Knows Who I Am”
  116. Kris Kristofferson – “My Father’s Advice”
  117. The Bankesters – “First Minnesota
  118. Raylene Rankin – “Heartbroke”
  119. The Trishas – “Strangers”
  120. Easton Corbin – “A Thing For You”
  121. Bucky Covington “Sail On”
  122. Ricky Skaggs – “What You Are Waiting For”
  123. Jason Aldean – “Black Tears”
  124. Bobby Bare – “The Devil and Billy Markham”
  125. Dwight Yoakam’s Classic Covers – “Ring of Fire” and “To Love Somebody”


  1. how about The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two"? Top 10 is pretty weak on vocal ability.