There are some big names on this part of the list starting right off with the band at #15…
Top Country Songs of 2011 Part 13
15. Easy – Rascal Flatts
It’s been a great year for Rascal Flatts. They’re latest album has sold over a million records. The first two singles went #1 and #2 on the charts and the third single, Easy, has become this huge crossover song for the country trio. The band switched labels just last year and proved to be rejuvenated by the change in their career. Their latest album has been hailed by critics for its fresh sound and positive energy. For Easy the band employed the help of pop singer Natasha Bedingfield. The song is about two people that have broken up. They’re trying to get over each other. They each think the other is making it look so easy yet when you see the perspective of each person you know they’re really struggling with the pain of the break up. It’s a great song and the addition of Bedingfield really made this song cross genres. And that’s what Rascal Flatts has been good at their entire career. They bring people that wouldn’t normally listen to country into the genre and that’s good for everybody.
14. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
Blake topped the chart for the last quarter of 2011 with Honey Bee. His second single off the Red River Blue album is just about to crack the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Singles chart, but I couldn’t quite give it that high a ranking on this chart. God Gave Me You is yet another little twist in Blake Shelton’s career. The song is a cover song of a popular Christian pop song from just a few years ago. Blake heard it on the radio in his truck one day and was so touched by the lyrics he knew he had to record it. The song turned out to be so good that it was released as a single and people have really latched onto it as a great song. God Gave Me You has a great melody. It’s easy to sing along with as Blake sings about how much his special someone means to him. And we all know the passion in his voice is real. He’s got a new wife and things seem to be going really well in Blake Shelton’s life right now.
13. Where Country Grows – Ashton Shepherd
I love Ashton Shepherd. I think her voice is amazing. She’s country through and through. She’s still young, but she’s got the life experience of a matured woman. Her songs are great and her latest record is another winner. The title track became the 2nd single from her latest album just a few months ago. Where Country Grows is already in the top 40 on the charts and appears to be inching its way to the top 20. All of Ashton’s singles have reached right around the top 20 spot. I’m thinking this one will probably finish up about the same, but I’m holding out hope that it can crack the top ten here by the end of the year. We shall see. Where Country Grows is just a great song about where Ashton is in her life right now. She’s living right where she’s always lived and living the good country life just like her family. It’s a great song and the video is special as well. This is one of my favorite songs of the year.
12. Colder Weather – Zac Brown Band
This song goes back a ways in the year. When I realized I had forgotten it I knew I had to include it on the list. Colder Weather has been one of my favorite songs of 2011. Zac Brown Band came out with the song earlier in the year and it became another top hit for the group. The song is about a man that’s away from his family for a time. He’s working to get home and trying to see his love. The real story of the song, though, is the vocals and the musical arrangement. By the end of the song Zac is singing with such focus and such passion you can’t help but to feel inspired. He’s giving it his all on every single note and it’s really something special. There is no other act like the Zac Brown Band right now. I had the chance to see them perform earlier this summer and when they started playing Colder Weather the entire crowd stopped what they were doing and stared at the stage. And then everybody was singing along just as passionate as Zac. It was a cool moment.
11. I Don’t Want This Night To End – Luke Bryan
Luke Bryan is starting to hit his stride. The country boy kicked things up for his last record with Country Girl. Now things have slowed down, but only a little bit for I Don’t Want This Night To End. The song still moves right along. It’s about a girl and a guy spending a long night together. They ride around the town getting lost with each other. They’re having a good time. They don’t want the night to end. They’re wide awake staring into each other’s eyes and doing all the things that lovers will do. It’s a sexy song. It’s got this really urgent, fast paced feel that makes for a really cool sound. It seems like you’re right there with the couple trying to experience everything before the day breaks. If you’ve ever been in that situation you know just what that feeling is like. You don’t want to lose this special moment, but you know things will end at some point.