Hello, Music Fans!
As we approach the September return to DMU, we here on the Demon Music Team decided to have a little end-of-Summer hoedown with some of our favourite Country stars on this week’s Monday Playlist!
Perhaps we’ve gone a little out of the box with this week’s playlist, stepping away from the present and into the past, but we still hope that you make some new music discoveries in our Wild Wild West! Monday Playlist.
This week we looked back across the month of August in the music world with one of our writers, Harry Dean, and also went back in time with Alex Underwood to see what The Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul’ album had to offer upon its release. This week we have some equally exciting content as we head down under to explore the Australian music scene with Bradley Duggan on Wednesday, before coming closer to home to see what spotlight stars Macklemore & Ryan Lewis offered the Brummie crowd during their upcoming midweek show at Birmingham’s O2 Academy, as told by our very own Harry Dean this coming Friday!
Whatever you’re up to in the week ahead, make sure that you squeeze in a little line-dance here and there – hit ‘play’ below to get started!
‘Til next week…
Music Editor, demon-media.co.uk
P.S: You’ll need to download Spotify and grab yourself an account to access the playlist!
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1. ‘Jolene’ – Dolly Parton
Nicola Allen (@NicoClaireAllen) says: “Now what would a Country music playlist be without a little bit of Ms Parton? Famed for her platinum blonde locks, buxom physique and interesting wardrobe choices – not forgetting that wonderfully unique voice too – ‘Jolene’ is perhaps her most second loved track after the brilliant ‘9 to 5’. With its repetitive lyrics of “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, JOLENE”, you may not know the song by name, but you will recognise it as soon as you hear it. If you fancy having a bit of a country hoedown in your bedroom with your hairbrush microphone and cowboy (or cowgirl) hat, ‘Jolene’ is a great place to start if you want something a little less known.”
2. ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ – Glen Campbell
Nicola says: “Typically associated with the Country segment of a wedding disco, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ is the song that gets all the men howling as they line-dance about the dance-floor. Harnessing the traditional wavering tone on the vocals, the musicality is the usual laid-back orchestral string section, meets acoustic guitar, meets piano. Its gentle and calming on the whole, but with a loud and memorable focal point in the chorus – great after one or two whiskeys.”
3. ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ – Shania Twain
Natalie Whitehouse (@_natbcfc) says: “Nostalgia is definitely in the air with the playlist theme this week, and I’ve gone for a song that takes me back to my childhood! The playful 90s track ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ has a more pop feel to it than some of Shania Twain’s other songs; however her country-sounding voice still shines through. The lyrics are what I like most about this song, embodying female empowerment throughout, with the message that takes more than material goods to impress us!”
4. ‘Hurt’ – Johnny Cash
Rachael Scarsbrook (@andthe_machine) says: “I don’t think there’s a single song in the entire world that carries as much pain in the vocal delivery. Every little syllable is like a dagger straight to the core of emotion. Thousands of people cover it all of the time, but as yet, no one has managed to come close let alone match the actual hurt that Cash must have felt as this song was recorded.”
5. ‘I’m Already There’ – Lonestar
Ethan Williamson (@E523W) says: “Lonestar are unapologetically country. Absolutely shameless about it. They are named for the state of Texas. Yes. That unapologetic. Despite this, they ain’t half bad – although they can be blamed as the originators for a few good few boy band covers. This track is an example; sound familiar, Westlife fans?”
6. ‘Oxygen’ – Willy Mason
Ethan says: “Going more modern, Willy Mason is a countrified Singer-Songwriter, and ‘Oxygen’ is one of the catchiest songs that I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. I first heard it on the radio, about 6 years ago. It was then, off and on, stuck in my head until I eventually identified it a couple of years ago. Absolutely amazing track.”
7. ‘Folsom Prison Blues (Live at Folsom Prison)’ – Johnny Cash
Alex Underwood (@broadcasteralex) says: “If you’re going to listen to this woeful tale, and lend a sympathetic ear to the criminal whose perspective it is from, the live version – recorded in front of inmates incarcerated at the titular jail – is the one you listen to. The wild crowd creates a fierce atmosphere that comes through the years in waves, and eclipses the original studio record. And it goes to show that it’s not just today’s music full of violence.”
8. ‘Far Away Eyes’ – The Rolling Stones
Alex says: “This is probably a sound that is unexpected to come from the rock giants if you’ve only been exposed to their hits. Yet the ‘Stones have made many exertions into the Country scene, and have produced many fine, and at times tongue-in-cheek songs of which this is principle. A simple story at times spoken with a South-American drawl, and accompanied by a beautiful wailing slide guitar.”
9. ‘I Want Crazy’ – Hunter Hayes
Harry Dean (@harrydeansays) says: “Compared to the old timers, Hunter is fairly new on the Country music scene. Although a growing star for many years – the recent success of his self-titled studio album saw him supporting Taylor Swift on her American tour a few years ago. Now going it alone, the 21-year-old has released three chart-topping country hits since 2011. ‘I Want Crazy’ is a simple song about falling in love, and it’s solidified my love for his music. I am literally obsessed, often finding myself drifting off late at night to his album! I’m sure I won’t be the only person crossing my fingers for a European tour in the not too distant future!”
10. ‘Before He Cheats’ – Carrie Underwood
Harry says: “She rose to the spotlight as the 2005 Winner of American Idol, but has since become a multi-platinum award winning country superstar! With so many awards that they cannot be listed, Underwood will surely go down as one of the most influential country artists of her time. She’s just finished a marathon worldwide tour and this song is a great testament to her work. ‘Before He Cheats’ is a gritty country heart-breaker that, when in the mood, can pluck at your heart strings. Singing at full volume as you drive along the motorway – this is one of those classics you sing defiantly in to the hairbrush alone in your room. Great song, great message. Keep it up Carrie!”
11. ‘Islands In The Stream’ – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
Nicola says: “We have to end with this Country classic! I’ll be honest, until I heard Uncle Bryn and Nessa cover this track on TV sitcom Gavin & Stacey, I had never heard it before. Now though, it’s a firm favourite amongst my ‘Cheesy Songs’ on Spotify. This is a true Country lick and is also, arguably, one of the most notable duets of all time. ‘Islands In The Stream’ is definitely one to sing with your sweetheart on the karaoke, but just make sure that you capture Dolly’s truly gorgeous voice. I’ll admit though, I cannot help but sing it in Uncle Bryn’s beautiful Welsh accent instead!”
If you have a couple more minutes to spare, why not check out the past week’s other content?
- The Monday Playlist: Around The World
- Feature: Harry’s August Music Highlights
- From The Archives – Review: The Beatles – ‘Rubber Soul’
Header image (c) Kristine Keil