Top Twenty Songs of 2017
Okay, first and foremost y’all need to understand who I am and where I stand. I do not work for a record label; I do not write professionally for anyone; I don’t even work in the music industry!
What I am is a Professional Country Music Fan (PCMF)
Professional Country Music Fan
/pro-fesh-in-al country music fffff-AN/ (lmao)
- A person who has a strong interest or admiration for country music.
- This same person attends probably up to 25-30 shows per year.
- They also tend to have an irregular knowledge of when album releases are and have the capability to name one or two songwriters/producers that work with each “camp”.
- This same human also can express the emotion a song/album/artists brings out of them, rather than knowing the science behind the chords of the instruments or decibel of a voice.
Now that we have that crystal clear, we can focus in on the fact that I am a PCMF and these are MY Top Twenty Songs of this year.
This process was probably the HARDEST playlist I had to curate! Unlike most of the haters out there, I preach that a ridiculous amount of incredible music was released this year in the country music genre. Some traditional and some that crossed over genres (no I’m not talking about Body Like a Backroad) sorry Sam you didn’t make my list.
Rule 1. Original release date had to be in 2017. (Sorry Jon Pardi, Eric Church, Midland, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, etc.)
Rule 2. It has to be in top plays in MY Apple Music
Rule 3. It’s my opinion. I genuinely don’t care what you think but please do tell me.
Rule 4: There has to be a reason WHY… unlike so many other articles that posted top lists out there.
WOO SO HERE WE GO!
BTW the playlist link is at the bottom.
Artist: James Barker Band
Album: Game On
Released Date: March 3, 2017
Writers: Donovan Woods, Travis Wood, Gavin Slate & James Barker
I AM SO READY FOR THESE CANADIANS TO CROSS OVER INTO UNITED STATES COUNTRY RADIO.
If I am being completely honest, I don’t even know how I found these guys but they appeared in my country world one day **(April 21, 2017,)** and every single song from their Game On EP has been included in ALL of my playlists. I highly recommend checking them out if you love Old Dominion & Eli Young Band like I do.
Needless to say Game On has given them the road map that they need to make 2018 a huge year. “The third, single “Chills” released on March 3 also received a #1 from CMT Chevy Top 20 Countdown, but also a #1 at Canadian country radio, making them the first band to have a number one at radio off a debut album. The boys have played shows with the likes of Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Brothers Osborne, Kip Moore, Jon Pardi, Dean Brody, High Valley, Tim Hicks and more.”
As a PCMF I always love to introduce my friends to new music and I can say that every chance I could, these were my go-to guys for this year.
**FYI you can look up “Song Info” in your iTunes and see when you added a song** Amazing I know.
Added Date: October 26, 2017
Writers: Camaron Ochs, Tyler Johnson & Jeff Bhasker
Diane. Speaking of chills.
This. Song. Is. Everything. CAM!
Way to keep us West Coasters proud as a California country artist that keeps making her way in Nashville. Diane is such a extraordinary tribute to traditional country with the lyrics and bringing value to the conversation behind the writing process of a song and the original premise of an idea. (All songs have them).
However, I gotta say it is absolutely perplexing that no one had thought of a response to Jolene prior to this but MAYBE or I mean OBVIOUSLY Cam was meant to write Diane and belt it out as good as she does.
I have high hopes for this song in early 2018 and have faith that it will bring us PCMF some incredible live award show duets.
(Oh please Country Music Jesus*** have a performance with Dolly and Cam, PLEASE)
***Country Music Jesus
An eternal being who has an affinity for twangy melodies and blesses fans with emotions and artists with inspiration. Together they go hand in hand in the process of music as an experience and CMJ rules over record label decision with moral authority.
Also, a kick ass Eric Church Song that was released in 2011. You really think I would write a blog about MY favorite music and not be able to twist my #1 Eric Church into it…
Added Date: July 21, 2017
This song is as addicting as Parmalee is on social media.
Despite album reviews that mention it being on the side of
Bro Country UGH, the clever lyrics and play on words makes it a perfect summer song. I am actually surprised this song has not skyrocketed on the country music charts but I anticipate a gust of wind under its skirt with Parmalee ending their 2017 headlining tour (and hopefully picking back up again in 2018 out to California.
I’ve included Hotdamalama on my playlist because it’s a song I’ve added to multiple playlists and find myself introducing my friends to. I also love songs that reference different phrases or song titles so you should take a listen and try to catch everything I am talking about. Not all country music needs to be serious and this song will get you ready to cut loose for the weekend.
Song: One Number Away
Artist: Luke Combs
Album: This One’s For You
Released: May 18, 2017
Writers: Luke Combs, Sammy Mitchell, Robert Williford, Carlos Battey & Steven Battey
Luke Combs is the best thing that has happened to country music radio this year.
I will be blatantly honest because I am biased but I know I am SO damn right with this statement.
Holy hell it has been a whirlwind to just sit on the sidelines and watch Luke rise over the last two years and it isn’t going to slow down. His clever lyrics, passion for his fans, inclination to give back, two #1s, sold out tour & first round of nominations is a true testament to his first full album release. I have a personal tie to Luke and have been able to watch closely how this all came to fruition. I am proud to say that he is an artist I am eager to share with anyone who will listen and radio is listening now… hell all of country music is.
This entire album is kick ass and is perfectly put together…. BUT One Number Away has been my go-to song every time I want to hear Luke (which lets be honest is everyday).
I understand why When It Rains It Pours was the second single BUT FINALLY THIS IS A SINGLE NOW. If I continue to be honest, Don’t Tempt Me comes in a hot second as my favorite but I would like to see One Number Away to get to a #1 spot.
Luke is one of my favorite artists because he is capable to hit those (awe-struck) high notes but you are also able to sing along with him through the rest of each song as it might be your single anthem for the day. One Number Away is a perfect break up and the emotional bullshit song. If that is relevant in your life this is the perfect for you.
Regardless this One Number Away is easily in my Top 5 songs of 2017 (but I am not arranging this blog post that way) HA
Artist: Lindsay Ell
Album: The Project
Added Date: July 21, 2017
I was fortunate enough to see Lindsay twice this year and I have two statements:
1. STRONGEST shoe game in country.
2. Holy shit she can play the guitar.
Okay maybe I have three statements.
3. THIS ALBUM IS AS AMAZING AS ARE THE FANS WHO SUPPORT HER.
I absolutely can’t wait to watch where The Project takes Lindsay because it continues to keep us all in suspense in how radio will adjust to your unqiue sound. We all really know they just need to sack up and be ears wide open because you’ve got it girl.
I selected this particular song because it is the one that gives me all the confidence any female should have in herself. Its play on words and its seductive beat make anyone feel just like “champagne.”
Artist: Danielle Bradbery
Album: I Don’t Believe We’ve Met
Added Date: June 2, 2017
Writers: Danielle Bradbery, Johan Fransson & Emily Weisband
There is a certain twinkle in an older persons eye when they are smiling at a child. That’s the exact look I have on my face when I listen to this song. It’s like a wonderful and exciting young artist with such a bright life and music career ahead of them.
I may be no Grandma
(and they may have sound creepy) but I genuinely can’t wait to watch Danielle continue to grow and get the recognition she deserves. Danielle has matured so much over the years since the Voice, that I imagine she feels a lot older than 21. But we have to point out that this ENTIRE album that was released earlier this month is complete FIRE.
Sway is included in our Top 20 for the sole reason that I haven’t even been able to have time to digest all of my emotions through her latest release but also it was on my top played this year… so it fits my rules 😉
Lyric to use as a caption: “Get lost in the groove that will make you lose your mind”
Danielle is my MOST Anticipated Female artist to see live of 2018.
Song: No Such Thing as a Broken Heart
Artist: Old Dominion
Album: Happy Endings
Added Date: July 6, 2017
Writers: Trevor Rosen, Matthew Ramsey, Brad Tursi & Jesse Frasure
I love Old Dominion. All my friends know this.
I purposely saw them four times in 2016. I literally only went to the ACM’s Party for A Cause in Vegas that year to see them… then I was fortunate enough to catch them in my hometown of Redding and then again at Levi’s Stadium opening up for Kenny Chesney. I pretty much followed them around on the West Coast…
Anyway… this sophomore album was a HUGE deal because I was hungry for more music from this dynamic and talented group. With the clever production of the clapping in the background along with the heartwarming phrases that would make anyone have hope in such a difficult year, it is easy to understand that this became such a huge hit for them.
No Such Thing as a Broken Heart can be interpreted in multiple ways. Most that love with their heart on their sleeves, hear it as a testament to invest in relationships of someone they are attracted to.
However, this song means something different to me. You have to give each day everything you have and to care about everyone around you. Not just the people you interact on a daily like family, coworkers & friends but anyone you come across because that contagious feel good energy is valuable. Hopefully when the “whole world is down on its luck” you can always bring an uplifting spirit that would keep anyone young and old inspired.
If there were a song that inspires me to be the best person I can be… this is it.
Also… “chase after the dream, don’t chase after the money” pretty much is the mantra of this entire BBC project. So thanks Trevor Rosen, Matthew Ramsey, Brad Tursi & Jesse Frasure… I really needed this song. I’ll be singing along in the crowd on February 14th in Sacramento.
Artist: Keith Urban
Added Date: November 9, 2017
Writers: Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman & Nicole Galyon
Speaking of love. Female. Keith Urban. Atta boy for picking up this song right after it was written by powerhouses song writers mentioned above.
Female as a song is empowering. Tear worthy. Timing is everything in the music industry and I trust that these kind of lyrics are inspirational and healing for so many country music fans. As a female I am a loss for words in how to express what this brings out of me… and only truly remarkable songs can do that. It’s not necessarily a song you select to dance to but Female is a song you play to start a day to realize how impactful you can be. It brings the light that any female deserves to be respected because they can take on the world. Thank you for it.
Side Fact: Nicole Kidman is singing in the back vocals.
Song: All On Me
Artist: Devin Dawson
Album: Dark Horse
Added Date: February 17, 2017
Writers: Devin Dawson, Austin Smith & Jacob Durrett
My #1 California Country crush and seemingly significant artist to Blue Bandana Country. I launched our Instagram in March and this was the very first song that we posted. I remember hearing it and feeling so consumed by the lyrics that I had to share it to my very little small Instagram world. After doing further research I found out he is from my neck of NorCal woods (Orangevale) to which BBC is based out of Sacramento. From there it just felt all too right…
Regardless I heard this song and had to know more. All On Me is easy to obsess over because the words that are so significantly important to taking a relationship to the next level. Rather than saying count on me… put it all on me. Okay. I’m game.
Devin we are ready to put it all on you with your Dark Horse. The last few song releases really has me biting at the bit for January 19, 2018 to get here.
Song: You Broke Up with Me
Artist: Walker Hayes
Added: April 4, 2017
Writers: Walker Hayes, Thomas Archer & Kylie Sackley
We all need a little shade in our lives, aka the f*ck you I’m doing awesome kind of songs.
You Broke Up with Me is the absolute perfect song for it. If there was a “Bye Felicia” song for country music this would be it (is that phrase still relevant???).
Also any song that can bring up Patrick Swayze is a hell yes kind of song. Walker had me sold on that alone then with the catchy whistling loop and the other sets of lyrics, I only became that much more curious. From there I fell into a rabbit hole of listening to everything that Walker had out.
As I become obsessed, whenever someone got in my car (which they always anticipate unheard of songs) Walker was my first pick. From there my girls became addicted too. For the haters out there all I gotta say is you “can’t tough my good-as-gold.”
Walker Hayes is easily my Most Anticipated Male Artist of 2018 — I will literally go out of my way to catch this show.
Other song to check out. Halloween. Okay Bye.
Be sure to check out our second set of ten songs in Part 2!!!
My Top Twenty of Twenty Seventeen – Apple Music Playlist