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December 2023

My Favorite Songs of 2023!

2023 was a pretty solid year music-wise, and as I do every year, I like to compile a list of what I really loved from the past twelve months.

It’s not based on any particular merit, or me trying to be hip and pleasing people. When it comes to music, for me, it’s what makes ME happy.

I couldn’t really care less about an artists political affilations, or what’s controversial at the moment. I feel like people like to pick everything apart and take the joy out of things. I try to not do that, and enjoy a song for what it is.


Here’s my “Top Picks” for 2023:

#12- Olivia Rodrigo “Vampire”:

Olivia is such a fresh talent, and her latest album “Guts” proved that she is here to stay. The lead single “Vampire” is catchy, creative, and relateable as hell.

“You called them crazy, God, I hate the way I called them crazy, too”

What woman hasn’t been in that position?

I’m really excited to see how Olivia develops as an artist in the next few years. She’s got it all. Talent, musicianship, songwriting abilites, personality and looks.

She’s like a darker Taylor Swift, and I’m all for it.


#11:Staind “Here and Now”:


“You, you always said
That I’m better when I’m not trapped in my head”

What a great opening lyric, and it really spoke to me.

Staind made another comeback this year, and they still have the same sound and great lyrics that perfectly encompass relaionships. It’s kind of like a sequel to their 2005 hit “Right Here” which I’ve always loved as well.

A lot of rock bands from my high school/college era are still going strong, making new music, and gearing up for tours in the new year, which I am totally loving. Nostalgia mixed with some great new offerings… Green Day, Blink 182, Red Hot Chili Peppers… the list goes on.

Keep it coming!

#10- Hailey Whitters “Everything She Ain’t”:

Hailey Whitters had a breakout year with her hit single “Everything She Ain’t”- ALL the sass with this one.

She’s basically Miranda Lambert 2.0, with an extra dose of honey and whiskey.

The female force in Country Music is strong. Let’s keep that train a rolling, ladies!


#9-Chris Stapleton “White Horse”:

Chris Stapelton can do no wrong in my eyes. Dude is a future legend. And he dropped his new album “Higher” last month, and the lead single “White Horse” is the perfect mix of Rock and Country with a smidge of Blues thrown in.  Chris is a genre unto himself.


#8-Taylor Swift “Cruel Summer”:

What a freaking year Taylor had!  I mean, all of her years are big, but she made 2023 her bitch. Now, I will be honest, I don’t love all of her music. I think she’s incredibly talented and brilliant, but I wouldn’t say I celebrate her entire catalogue. That being said, I love what she’s doing- and she’s at the top without selling herself short or, you know, making a sex tape or having public meltdowns. She is proof that you can do it ALL- and will go down as one of the greats of all time.

Roll your eyes, complain about her… as Taylor says, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate”.

You don’t have to be a fan of her music to be a fan of her.

Also, this song- even through it came out several years ago, became a massive hit this year- is catchy as hell.

“I’m drunk in the back of the carAnd I cried like a baby coming home from the bar (oh)Said, “I’m fine, ” but it wasn’t trueI don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you”

Been there.



#7-Jelly Roll feat. Lainey Wilson “Save Me”:

Another artist who had a stellar year was Jelly Roll. Rock, Country and Top 40 all had him topping charts, and he’s another artist deying genre lines. I don’t think there’s a damn thing wrong with it. I know some traditionalists snarl and say “that ain’t Country”, but I beg to differ. If Country music never evolved, and stayed as it was in the Hank Williams days, people would complain about that, too.

Music has to evolve. It always has, and always will.

And this song by Jelly Roll with the addition of the badassery that is Lainey Wilson is really, really good. Thankfully, I don’t releate to the song (at least, not yet. I don’t want to speak too soon!) but I love the meaning, and know that many do feel this way. I know Jelly Roll himself had been in that position at one point, and has managed to make a massive turnaround in his life. The guy really is an inspiration – look up his story if you haven’t yet.

And Lainey’s vocals at the end are CHILLLLLLLS.




Hot damn, HARDY.

HARDY is another artist who rides the lines of Country and Rock. He’s had mega-hits on Country radio, both as an artist and a songwriter, and his song “JACK” was #1 on Mainstream Rock this year. I absolutely love this song- the lyrics, the music, and anyone who has had a tangle with Jack Daniels (which I’ve had a few in my early twenties) kniws this song is truth.

This is why I stick to wine.

HARDY, like Chris Stapleton and Jelly Roll, is proving once again that Country and Rock go together extremely well.

I consider myself a Country/Rock hybrid with a sprinkle of Pop mixed in (just as a human) so obviously I’m down with this trend.


#5- Teddy Swims “Lose Control”:

Teddy Swims showed UP this year. His breakout single “Lose Control” made me stop in my tracks when I first heard it. I was like, “who is THAT???”

Definitely one of my favorite new artists of the year!

That voice is just sick. In the best possible way.

You know what needs to happen?

A Teddy Swims/Chris Stapleton duet,


#4-Lainey Wilson “Wildflowers and Wild Horses”:

Lainey Wilson is another artist who had a massive 2023. She was EVERYWHERE. As she should be.

And her latest single “Wildflowers and Wild Horses” is easily my favorite of hers so far.

“I’m four-fifths of reckless and one-fifth of jackI push like a daisy through old sidewalk cracksYeah, my kinda crazy’s still running its courses withWildflowers and wild horses”


Although, I’m a bottle of Yellow Tail merlot instead of Jack, but close enough.



#3- Kelsea Ballerini “If You Go Down”:

This is SUCH a fun song, and it reminds me of me and my best friend Erica and all of our shennanigans over our 30 year friendship.

Kelsea is really coming into her own as an artist and songwriter, and has put out some really good stuff post-divorce. (Isn’t that how it always goes? Silver lining, I guess.)


#2- Cody Johnson “The Painter”:

Cody Johnson is here to save Country Music.

His latest album- a double album called “Leather”- came out this Fall, and the lead single “The Painter” is a perfect Country love song.

“I don’t rememberLife before she came into the pictureBrought the beauty I was missin’ with herShowed me colors I ain’t never seenShe took chancesWith every wall I built, she saw a canvasI thank God every day for how He made herMy life was black and white but she’s the painter”

What a beautifully written chorus.

#1- Miley Cyrus “Used to Be Young”:

Miley Cyrus has come a long way- both as an artist and a person- and her music has been pure pop perfection lately.

I know “Flowers” was her big hit this year, but I personally love her latest single “Used to Be Young”.

As someone who had way too much fun in her early twenties (hey, had to get it out of my system!), this song resonated with me big time.

Was I wild and crazy? Hell yeah.

Maybe not to Miley Cyrus’s level, but still.

But it was fun, and embarrassing and ridiculous and beautiful and everything in between.

Isn’t that what youth is for?

All I know is that I had a good time, and now at 40, my idea of a good time is bed by 9:30 after a glass of wine and some pork chops.

I get excited over crock pots and Dysons.

It happens, kiddos.

There is a season for everything. Enjoy each one to the fullest.


Now that I dropped a middle-age wisdom bomb on you, I want to know what was YOUR favorite song of 2023?

How did it speak to you?

I love hearing your stories and comments.

Cheers to 2024, and more great new music to come!


Luke Combs Teases New Song on Instagram!

One of the biggest acts in Country music right now is Luke Combs, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. He’s continuously putting out great music, while being an awesome human and relateable as hell.

Luke just post a clip of him performing an acoustic version of an unreleased song called “Plant a Seed” and I’m betting it’ll be a future hit single.

He explained how this song came to be on his latest instagram post: “Got sent this song a while back from @wyattmccubbin that he wrote with @bigrobsnyder and @jeffhydemusic. Last night it was in my head and I couldn’t sleep so I got up and messed around with it for a few hours. Been singing it to myself all morning and as I watched the boys while Nicole got a shower in I recorded this. Hope y’all like it and sorry for all the dad songs but that’s where I’m at these days and I couldn’t be happier about it. A lot more songs to come soon.”

As a momma, I absolutely love it, and I can’t wait to watch my own seed I planted to continue to grow.  Having a son is my absolute greatest joy in life.

As for Luke Combs, he is gearing up for a big 2024 with a ton of stadium tour dates… and apparantly a lot of new music, too.


Get more info at http://LukeCombs.com

Country Music had a banger of a year in 2023, and I can’t wait to hear what’s in store for ’24!

Heart is BACK!

Heart is BACK!

After a few years apart due to personal issues, Ann and Nancy Wilson seem to have worked out their familial differences, and are ready to rock into 2024.

Their first performance together in a few years happened earlier this week in Highland, California at the Yaamava Casino, and they killed it.

Ann Wilson is 73, and Nancy Wilson is 69.

Let that sink in.

Also, how badass in Nancy’s outfit? I’d totally wear that.

Seriously, these women are amazing, and they will be on the road in 2024 with Def Leppard, Journey, Cheap Trick and The Steve Miller Band.

What a line-up, right?

Get more info and dates athttps://www.heart-music.com/

Miley Cyrus “Faithfully” Live at Chateau Marmont


A few weeks ago, I shared a clip of Mikey Cyrus singing a stellar version of Journey’s “Faithfully” at her birthday celebration at Chateau Marmont, and I know a lot of you really enjoyed it.

You know what you’ll enjoy even more?

The FULL version with actually good audio that Miley herself just shared!

So damn good.

Miley has such a unique voice and delivery style, and I’m really hoping she does a covers album soon. She’s got some great versions of classic songs, so why not?

Maybe that’s what she is hinting at?

Either way, Miley has really grown so much as an artist, and my respect and admiration for her has grown for her in these past few years.

I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in 2024!

Miranda Lambert “If We Make it Through December”

Happy (or is it Merry?) Christmas Eve?

Miranda Lambert just gave us an early Christmas present by covering a classic by Merle Haggard “If We Make it Through December” and of course, she nails it.

Because, you know, Miranda.

I think an album of Classic Country covers by Miranda Lambert would be just the ticket, you know?

I’m just putting it out there into the universe, so manifest!!!

T-Pain Covers “Tennessee Whiskey”

I’m just as shocked as you will be after seeing this.

T-Pain- yes, the rapper- recently put out a covers album called “On Top of the Covers”, and on it, a cover of Chris Stapleton’s version of “Tennessee Whiskey”.

You have to watch this to believe it.

I mean, WHATTTT?

I was NOT expecting that. At all.

Now all we need is Chris Stapleton covering “Buy You a Drank”, and life will be complete.

Or at least a collab between the two?

I’m still in shock over here.

Exit Eden “Separate Ways”

One of my friends – what up Tony Page Jr.!- alerted me to the recent existence of this cover of one of my favorite Joureny songs “Separate Ways”. It’s by an all-female supergroup called “Exit Eden” who specialize in stellar covers, and I was pretty damn impressed.

It’s like a a mash-up of “The Craft” and “Celtic Women”. That’s the vibe I’m getting.

The group is composed of Marina La Torraca, Clementine Delauney, and Anna Brunner, and will release their new album “Femme Fatales” on January 14th.

I’m honestly excited to hear more. These are some hella talented women, and I can’t wait to hear what else they cover!

Get nore info at https://exit-eden.com/

“I’m Just Ken” Christmas Version!

Ryan Gosling and Mark Ronson just gave us an early Christmas gidt with the holiday version of “I’m Just Ken”, and it made my morning!

Of course, it’s a spinoff of the “Barbie” movie song “I’m Just Ken”, and it’s perfect.

In case you missed it, Ryan Gosling released an “I’m Just Ken” EP with remixes of the Grammy nominated power ballad from the movie this week.

Find out more here: https://www.billboard.com/culture/tv-film/ryan-gosling-im-just-ken-christmas-version-ken-the-ep-video-1235562383/

Taylor Swift Medley Christmas Light and Fireworks Show

Tis’ the Season for ridiculous holiday light displays!

I’m always impressed by big holiday light shows, especially as my holiday lights are always less than stellar. I always think I will do better the next year, and by the time the holidays roll around, I’m over my big ideas. So, kudos to anyone who puts the time, energy and money into their decorations. I’ll get there one day.

That being said, I always like to see what people come up with, and every year, the level of effort and creativity seems to level up.

This Taylor Swift Christmas light and fireworks display- yes- freaking FIRE WORKS- caught my eye this morning. THIS is next freaking level.

Any guesses what their utility bill is? I’m pretty sure they could put their entire neighborhood through college with it.

So, this guy, Tom BetGeorge with Magical Light Shows is behind the magic, and apparantly you can hire him to jazz up your house.

Check out his site here: https://magicallightshows.com/

Maybe one day when I win the lottery I’ll do one. It’ll be a Guns N Roses medley, and HOA will absolutely love it.



Lainey Wilson and Miranda Lambert Performing in Vegas!

Ok, this was an awesome surprise.

Last night in Las Vegas, Miranda Lambert joined Lainey Wilson onstage at her show at the Theater at the Virgin Hotels and it was everything!

They performed Miranda’s breakout hit “Kerosene” and then a song that they wrote together called “Good Horses”.

Check it out below:


@jessmess8806 When i say i couldn’t breathe, yall ???????????? @Miranda Lambert @Lainey Wilson ♬ original sound – jessmess

Is https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZPRcNhy99/


@coondaddy7 #lasvegas #viginhotellasvegas #vegas #laineywilson #mirandalambert #kerosene #fypシ゚viral #fyp ♬ original sound – Coondaddy

All I can say is HOT DAMN!

I really hope they release “Good Horses” as a single.

This NEEDS to happen,