When this playlist was first launched as a simple collection point of the best songs of the current moment in the country, who knew that it would still be about five years later and would collect more than 7 700 subscribers on Spotify alone? Since then, it has helped launch songs and artists, not least thanks to the loyalty of so many listeners. Thank you for your part in maintaining the reading list.
The Saving Country Music Top 25 playlist is designed to keep you up to date with all the best songs and albums coming out right here in country and roots music. It’s available on most streaming formats (see below), or you can simply use the song, artist, and album recommendations to find something new to listen to.
Ian Noe – “Ballad of a Retired Man” – This up-and-coming Kentucky songwriter lands the rare second concurrent selection on the playlist for this song from his recent album Mad of the rivers and saints of the mountains who could very well claim the song of the year in December. A stunning example of character and story, it illustrates why Ian Noe is quickly being regarded as one of the best in the art of songwriting.
Tami Neilson with Willie Nelson – “Beyond the Stars” – Giving you chills because of the uncanny similarities to Patsy Cline – for whom Willie Nelson wrote the iconic song “Crazy” – with just a hint of Marty Robbins as well as his western windswept air and countrypolitan approach, “Beyond The Stars” was inspired by the passing of Tami Neilson’s father and was recently performed live with Willie at Luck Reunion (read more).
Michelle Rivers – “Party” – Get this Montana-based songwriter on your radar now. She has a big new album on the way and big performances planned for this summer, including at Montana’s Under The Big Sky Fest where Saving Country Music first saw her in 2021. Her songwriting talent and compelling chorus is very evident in “Gone.”
Kristina Murray – “I’m going to hurt her on the radio” – It’s rare to see a cover slip into the playlist, but when it’s Kristina Murray, and well articulated, it would be criminal not to include it. Written by Mac McAnally and Tom Brasfield in the 80s, originally recorded by David Allan Coe, and later a hit for Charley Pride with “Love” replaced by “Hate”, Kristina does her own perspective swap and gives the impression that the song is as always relevant.
Kaitlin Butts – “Jackson” – Inspired by the iconic duo between Johnny and June, Kaitlin Butts’ “jackson” story isn’t quite so feverish, and instead illustrates the flip side of love when embers smolder instead of burning. Plus, Butts uses this song’s waltz beat and strong, confident vocals to really deliver a moment at the end. From his new album What else can she do?
Arlo McKinley – “Stealing Darkness from the Night Sky” – The last time Arlo McKinley released a record, the damn thing worked and won Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year. All the more reason not to temper the excitement of his next album This mess we’re in released July 15. Another reason is this haunting song of poetic brilliance and melodic hypnotism.
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The Saving Country Music Top 25 playlist lives primarily on Spotify, but is also available to those who use Amazon Music, Youtube, Apple Musicand Tide. For those who don’t stream music, you can still find the song recommendations in list form below.
Note: The songs in this playlist are designed for listening pleasure and fluency. Otherwise, they are not in any specific order.
Saving the current top 25 country music playlist:
- “Jackson” – Kaitlin Butts – What else can she do?
- “Down Home” – David Quinn – fresh country
- “Neon Blue” – Joshua Hedley – neon blue (4-22)
- “Twisted Tree” – Molly Tuttle – twisted tree
- “Beyond the Stars” – Tami Neilson, Willie Nelson – Kingmaker (7-15)
- “June 12” – Lyle Lovett – June 12 (5-13)
- “Butler Hayes” – The Wooks – fly high
- “Stealing the darkness from the night sky” – Arlo McKinley – This mess we’re in (7-15)
- “In Texas with a Band” – Brennen Leigh with Asleep at the Wheel – Obsessed with the West (5-6)
- “Hard to make it rain” – Randall King – shot glass
- “Gone” – Michelle Rivers – (Single)
- “Friends with Benefits” – Mike Kuster – Better late than never
- “Ballad of a Retired Man” – Ian Noe – Mad of the rivers and saints of the mountains
- “Demons” – Dolly Parton, Ben Haggard – Run, Rose, Run
- “Song of Fire” Jessica Willis Fisher – (Single)
- “Love Thy Neighbor” – Stefanie Joyce – (Single)
- “Lincoln’s Ghost” – The Wild Blue – Eponym
- “Annabel” – 49 Winchester – Fortune favors the brave (5-13)
- “I will love you until the day I die” – Willie Nelson – a beautiful moment (4-29)
- “I’m going to hurt her on the radio” – Kristina Murray – (Single)
- “River Crazy” – Ian Noe – Mad of the rivers and saints of the mountains
- “Leaving Since You Came Here” – Matt Castillo – how the river flows
- “From Austin” – Zach Bryan – American grief (5-20)
- “Bad Mom Jamma” – Alma Russ – Fool’s Gold
- “blood” – Kaitlin Butts – What else can she do?
- “Go Loretta” – Drew Moreland – (Single)