Monday, December 23, 2013

That Nashville Sound’s Top Ten Best Duets and Music Collaborations of 2013

This marks the last of three year-end lists that you’ll see from That Nashville Sound that included a Top 30 Album List and a Top 100 (and something) Song List. For this one, we’ll cover one that isn’t normally seen across the blogosphere. Count down with us the top ten duets and music collaborations in country music for 2013.

1. Will Hoge with Wade Bowen - "Another Song Nobody Will Hear"- Hoge and Bowen are songwriting legends, especially around the Lone Star State of Texas. They've just recently collaborated on a new track called "Another Song Nobody Will Hear" that is Hoge's most recent release on the Texas radio scene. For anyone that's found themselves at the mercy of having to create a piece of art that's not a vehicle for wealth development, but a personal validation, it's the perfect message.

2. Dean Brody with Lindi Ortega - "Bounty"- While most in the lower 48 states aren't going to know about Brody and this terrific album, Canadian country fans know him well. Brody has won nearly every available award up north and this makes his fourth release. "Bounty" is a terrific story told and sung with Lindi Ortega" about a man who saves his love from a predator and has to move to Mexico.


3. Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison - "Leavin'" - She is carrying the torch for female honkytonk singers. He is the singer/songwriter with #1 records cut by the Dixie Chicks, George Strait, and Tim McGraw. Married and singing together, they have put together an incredible album that truly belongs in the echelon of Tammy and George. Together they are the first couple of Texas music, and, they have finally recorded together. Each song is a polaroid of life, none more stripped down and revealing than "Leavin." That song is a snapshot of the album, showing the ups and downs of married life can be truth and inspiration in songwriting.

4. Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss - "No Mas Amor"- Willie cut an entire album of duets with some of country and non-country music's best vocalists. But there were none better than the beautifully haunting and ethereal voice of Alison Krauss. Together, they sing about there not being any more love in Spanish. It's magic. And not the magic that happens when you sit on Willie's bus too long either.

5. Dierks Bentley and Kacey Musgraves - "Bourbon in Kentucky"- Dierks released this single to radio off of his yet-to-be-announced album next spring. And despite having the current "it" girl when it comes to singing and songwriting, it stalled high on the charts, unfortunately. They both deliver a great performance on vocals and the songwriting chops on this one are as strong as they are classic. This could go down as one of 2013's more underrated radio singles.

6. Justin Moore and Miranda Lambert - "Old Habits" While too much of Moore's Off the Beaten Path album talks about hanging out on dirt roads off the beaten path, this piano driven duet with Miranda Lambert is a shining star on the album. Lambert's powerhouse twangy vocals are allowed to be the focus through the production and the lyrics about longing over a lost love will resonate forever.

7. Neal McCoy and Trace Adkins - "Roll On Mississippi"- This year, Neal McCoy released a much-too-under-the-radar dedication album to Charley Pride and this was certainly a highlight. If you missed it, check out this live and heartfelt performance that they did together on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

8. Dwight Yoakam and Michelle Branch - "Long Goodbye" - This was originally supposed to be on a Michelle Branch album, but Dwight Yoakam released it on his album this past year. According to Branch, "One of my favorite artists is Dwight Yoakam. When I was in the studio in Nashville, we met and I told him it would be a dream come true if he sang on my record. Next thing you know, he was in the studio singing "Long Goodbye" with me. I couldn't imagine this song without his voice on it. This song was meant to be the follow up single to "Sooner Or Later" (off the album that never was, Everything Comes and Goes.)"

9. Randy Houser and Kristy Lee Cook- "Wherever Love Goes" - It turns out that Mississippi soul and American Idol pipes make a pretty good match. This duet from these two label-mates was the best track off of Houser's album this year and they trade powerhouse vocals on this terrific universal love-themed song.

10. Gord Bamford and Joe Diffie- "Country Junkie"- In a year in which Jason Aldean "paid tribute" to Joe Diffie with a rap song of all things, Canadian country star Gord Bamford does it the right way: Getting his legendary hero into the recording studio and putting together a honkytonk driven song. THAT'S that right way to honor Diffie and Bamford makes it sound like they had one hell of a good time.

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