Best Albums of 2018

To me, 2018 wasn’t a stellar year for music. Artists I normally love like Fall Out Boy, Ashley Monroe, and Mumford & Sons disappointed me with their albums and with the exception of the few on this list, I continued to listen to last year’s favorites instead.

My list is country heavy, features a new-ish album from my favorite band and an EP from their little brother. What were you listening to and loving in 2018?

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Graffiti U by Keith Urban
Is he pop or country? It’s getting harder and harder to tell with Mr. Urban but on his tenth studio album, Graffiti U,  the Aussie musician turns out another solid effort full hooks and signature guitar solos. He’s joined on several tracks by up and coming female singers and even shares a songwriting credit with Ed Sheeran on “Parallel Line.” Probably the best song on the album though is “Female”, a powerful ballad about respecting women in the #MeToo era.
Songs to Download: Coming Home, Same Heart, Drop Top, Texas Time, Female

Continue reading “Best Albums of 2018”

Music to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Christmas is only 20 days away – do you have your shopping done yet? I don’t know about you but Christmas music is one of my favorite things about the holidays and I love listening to it when driving to/from work, wrapping presents or baking goodies for the office holiday pitch-in.

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Gifts for the Hanson Fan in Your Life

This is probably the most unconventional gift guide you’ll ever read but there are so many Hanson fans in my life that I thought it would be fun to put together a post of unique things we might like for Christmas.

Snowed In on Vinyl
Amazon is selling a limited edition pressing of Snowed In on vinyl. While this is not an official piece of merchandise sold by the band themselves, it is still very cool. The U.S. version is green and if you live in the U.K., your pressing is white.

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Vintage Hanson Tee
This one takes me back to 1997 – I had this tee in the white version (and still do, except it’s full of holes and yellowed now). Urban Outfitters is selling the black version and I couldn’t be more excited!!

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2019 Hanson Wall Calendar
This is beautiful and handmade by someone on Etsy. Actually the next several ideas are from Etsy – sometimes fan created items are better than actual official merchandise from the Hanson.net store.

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Hanging Wooden Sign
I want this and may buy it for myself and kind of hate to share it in case it sells out!

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Hanson Pins
Add some flair to your bag or show the world who your favorite Hanson brother is with these handcrafted enamel pins. Pins not your thing? She also has patches and plenty of resistance approved designs as well if that’s your thing.


Tulsa Snow Globe
Made famous by 1997’s Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere, the Tulsa Snow Globe is a coveted item for fans all over the world. Formerly sold at Saks, Ida Red now has them and ship, so what are you waiting for?

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Lyric Charm Bracelets
These can be customized and are handmade by another fan. I bought one a few years ago and love wearing mine stacked with other bracelets and I put my Hanson necklace pendant charm on it for an added personal touch.

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Favorite 90s Country Songs

Adam got me SiriusXM for Christmas and I’ve been loving the Prime Country station that plays 80s and 90s country. That was mostly what I listened to during my middle school years. Until a band called Hanson came along in 1997, that is…

My 90s country nostalgia made me think compiling a list of my all time favorite 90s country songs would be fun, so here goes! I’m limiting it to a Top 20 and I’d love to know some of your favorites too, so share those in the comments if you feel like it.

20. Dust on the Bottle by David Lee Murphy
I didn’t really know this was about drinking at the time but I liked the way the song sounded, haha. Where is he now? According to wikipedia, David Lee Murphy is writing songs for other artists like Jason Aldean, Thompson Square and released an album recently with Kenny Chesney.


19. One Way Ticket – LeAnn Rimes

LeAnn Rimes was one of my very first non-bluegrass concerts that my parents took me to. I was SO excited – she was one of my very favorites at the time. Even though “Blue” was the song that catapulted her to stardom, this one was always my favorite.


18. Rebecca Lynn – Bryan White
Bryan White was also at that concert with LeAnn Rimes and I had the biggest crush on him. Later, I got to meet him when he performed one of the high schools in Evansville.


17. You Win My Love – Shania Twain

Before there was Taylor Swift, there was Shania Twain. Country’s first pop crossover queen. When you listen back though, Shania’s songs sound a whole lot more country than today’s country does.

 

15. That’s How Your Love Makes Me Feel – Diamond Rio
Who doesn’t want to crank this tune up when it comes on the radio??


14. Something Like That – Tim McGraw
Did Tim McGraw have a bad song in the 90s?


13. Fancy – Reba McIntire

I obviously had no idea what this song was talking about until I got older but I loved how fierce Reba sounded in this career defining hit.

 

12. Strawberry Wine by Deanna Carter

This whole album was off the hook. Strawberry Wine told a captivating story of a summer love that burned hot then flamed out by the time fall rolled around.

 

11. – She’s in Love with the Boy – Trisha Yearwood
Songs that tell stories are the best and what teenage girl doesn’t relate to a song about her dad not liking her high school boyfriend?

 

10. I Wanna Fall in Love – Lila McCann
After LeAnn Rimes, Lila McCann was my favorite teen country singer. Lila apparently released a new album last year, so I’ll have to go check it out.


9. Should Have Been a Cowboy – Toby Keith
Even Toby Keith with his permed mullet and an incredibly cheesy video couldn’t ruin this fantastic song.

8. Unanswered Prayers – Garth Brooks
Every once in a while a song comes along and hits you right in the heart. This is one of those songs. Who hasn’t prayed for something in life and didn’t get the answer you wanted at the time, only to have something better happen later on?

 

7. Where the Black Top Ends – Keith Urban
Mr. Urban’s first country single was a fun, guitar heavy uptempo ditty about heading to the boonies on the weekend to relax in God’s country.

6. How Forever Feels – Kenny Chesney
90s Kenny Chesney was the best. It all went downhill in the 2000s when Kenny decided he needed to be the next Jimmy Buffett.


5. When You Say Nothing at All – Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss has one of the best voices of all time – she’s phenomenal live and one of the few artists that sounds better in person than on her records. This was her country breakthrough – before that she traveled the bluegrass circuits. I got to meet her around the time this song was blowing up and she seemed overwhelmed by her fame.

 

4. Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks
These three ladies were magic together. Every album is amazing and until a few years ago, I never thought I’d ever see them live but got to check that off my bucket list when they did a reunion tour. I hope they make another album someday.

 


3. It’s Your Love – Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
Is there a better husband/wife duo than this? Faith and Tim are country royalty and adorable together. This is one of my favorite songs of all time.

 

 

2. Wild Angels – Martina McBride
Everyone was all about Independence Day, but I always liked Wild Angels better. In my opinion, Martina McBride was the best vocalist of the 90s country queens.

1. Heads Carolina, Tails California – Jo Dee Messina
This song is kind of an anthem for me. It’s the perfect road trip song and I’ve always fantasized about flipping a coin or throwing a dart at a map and going where it landed. The video is so incredibly 90s but the song really holds up all the years later. Another one of my all time favorites!

Honorable mentions – these are great songs but didn’t quite make the top 20: No News by Lonestar, Daddy’s Money – Richochet, That Ain’t My Truck – Rhett Atkins, Wild One – Faith Hill, Maybe it was Memphis – Pam Tillis, What the Cowgirls Do – Vince Gill, Sold – John Michael Montgomery and Gone Country – Alan Jackson.