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HARDY

Toby Keith and Luke Combs “Ships That Don’t Come In”

HARDY released his “HIXTAPE: Vol 3: Difftape” today, on the day that 90’s Country Legend Joe Diffie passed away from Covid back in 2020.

It’s a project full of tributes to the late, great Joe Diffie featuring some of the biggest and brightest in the Country genre, as well as Joe’s vocals.

One of the standouts is the classic “Ships That Don’t Come In” featuring Luke Combs and Toby Keith, who recently passed away last month to stomach cancer.

What noone realized at the time is tha this would be Toby’s final studio recording:

Oh, wow. I’m tearing up over here.

First of all, it’s an amazing song. And then you add Toby and Luke, and it’s just… woah.

Well done.

The full version of  “HIXTAPE Vol. 3: Difftape” is out now, and I’m loving it.

Good call on ALL of it, HARDY.

HARDY “ROCKSTAR”

One of the biggest stars in Country Music right now is HARDY.  Singer/Songwiter and one hell of a performer, this guy has had a massive few years.  And he also had a recent Rock hit with “Jack” which went #1 on the Mainstream Rock charts last year.

Well, he just announced his first full-length Rock album (details coming soon), and he released the first single off of it called “ROCKSTAR” this morning, and no, it’s not a Nickleback cover…

It IS pretty dang awesome, though, and it has one of the best music videos I’ve seen in a long time.


SO much YES right there.

Great song, great video, and great artist.

The trifecta, kiddos!

More info at http://hardyoffical.com

Can’t WAIT for the full album!

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.

 

 

#6-HARDY “JACK”:

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,

Yesssssssssss…

#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”

HELL. YES.

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!

 

Post Malone Goes Country With Morgan Wallen and Hardy at the 2023 CMA Awards

In case you missed it…

Last night Morgan Wallen, HARDY, and Post Malone teamed up for a medley honoring the late, great Joe Diffie at the CMA Awards.

And you know what?

It was pretty damn cool.

Posty has some Country Chops!

I grew up listening to Joe Diffie, and 90’s Country music in general, and I was all for it.

I know there are some people who have no lives complaining on social media that “That’s NOT COUNTRY”.

Oh, get over yourself, and enjoy the damn music. If that’s what gets your goat, then consider yourself blessed.

Also, HARDY announced his “Hixtape Vol. 3” which whill feature Morgan Wallen and Post Malone, and it features the Joe Diffie covers.

Get more info, music, and some sweet merch at https://hixtape.com/

 

Chase Rice “I Hate Cowboys”

Chase Rice released his new single “I Hate Cowboys” and I LOVE it!

Chase has mentioned in the past few months that he’s moving away from the “Bro-Country” sound (Thank God!) and is putting out the music that he actually wants to put out.  His new single “I Hate Cowboys” is definitely a winner.

Oh, and it’s co-written by HARDY, so you know it’s good stuff.

 

This song has me looking forward to his new album “I Hate Cowboys and All Dogs Go to Hell” which comes out February 10th.

Also, I love cowboys.  I’m married to a Cowboy/Soldier combo, and I highly reccomend it.

 

My Favorite Songs of 2022!

2022…another totally bizarre year.  But what’s great about music is that it’s always being made, and it can put a bright spot into even the stupidest day.

How’s that forbeing profound?

 

Anyway, here are my picks for the Top Songs of 2022… in my humble opinion, of course.

A reminder, I love ALL genres.  Equal opportunity listener right here!

 

HARDY featuring Lainey Wilson “Wait in the Truck”

HARDY is quickly proving himself as one of the hottest songwriters on the Country Music scene, and songs like this is why. Plus, he got Lainey Wilson- one of my fav new artists on it, so 1,000,000 bonus points on that.

His new album drops January 27th, and I can’t wait to hear what he’s got for us!

 

Mammoth WVH “Epiphany”

 

Wolfgang Van Halen is continuing to make his daddy proud.  I think this one may be my favorite of the band’s so far.

 

Beyonce “Cuff It”

I loved Beyonce in Destiny’s Child and her first few years as a solo artist, but then she kind of lost me for a few years. Now she’s back with some fantastic dance songs on her latest album “Renaissance”, and “Cuff It”, although not lyrically a masterpiece, I can’t help but sing and dance really badly to it, so I’d say it’s a win.

 

Boomtown Saints “All Trucks Go to Heaven”

 

I’m calling Boomtown Saints the artists to watch in 2023.  I connected with these guys a few years ago, and it’s been so cool to see them evolve and start making some serious headway in the industry. Ben and Chris are some of the nicest, most deserving guys, and I’m so happy for them both!

Be on the listen for them, and check out my interview with them here:

 

ERNEST featuring Morgan Wallen “Flower Shops”

 

Like it or not, Morgan Wallen is freaking SLAYING the music industry right now, and you know what? Good for him. He got completely cancelled and given a second chance and I’m here for it. I could totally go on a soapbox, but I’ll refrain just now. Anyway, he helped spotlight another great artist ERNEST with this song “Flower Shops”. I loved it the first time I heard it, and it makes me so happy to hear that this sound is trending in Country again.

Thank GOD>

 

Also, I got a chance to chat with ERNEST earlier this year, and he’s hilarious!  Check the interview here:

 

Meghan Trainor “Made You Look”


Meghan Trainor is BACK and I have been singing this song nonstop the past couple of months.  Girl knows how to make an earworm!

 

Kacey Musgraves “Can’t Help Falling In Love”

Kacey Musgraves is life, and she gave a whole new life to this Elvis classic for the soundtrack to the Elvis movie this year.

I know a ton of artists have covered this song, but this is by far one of my favorite versions.

 

Ava Max “Million Dollar Baby”

I love the energy that Ava Max brings to Pop Radio, and her latest single “Million Dollar Baby” is giving major “Flashdance” vives, and I am here for it 1,000%

It makes me want to wear legwarmers and a leotard and burst into dance in the middle of a crowded street.

Maybe after a few glasses of wine that will happen.

You never know.

 

Papa Roach “No Apologies”


I’ve been a Papa Roach fan since the start, and this has been one of my favorite new Rock songs of the year. The sound is great, but most importantly, it’s the message.  I think it’s a song a lot of people needed to hear.

 

Miranda Lambert “If I Was a Cowboy”

Ya’ll know I LOVE me some Miranda, and she did not dissapoint this year. He latest album “Palomino” is fantatstic, of course, and this single is perfection.

“If I was a Cowboy, I’d be the Queen”

Ya damn right.

 

Three Days Grace “Lifetime”

Ughhhh… this song gets me right in the feels.  Just a reminder that nothing and noone lasts forever, so appreciate the heck out of them every. single. day.

 

Cody Johnson “Til’ You Can’t”

 

Cody Johnson broke into the mainstream hardcore with this song, and as he should. I’ve been loving his sound for years, so it was great to see him get all the airplay for this song, and a #1 hit to boot. So well deserved.

It’s another song that hits me in the feels, and also makes me hopeful for the future of Country music.

 

Ok, so those are the songs that spoke to me the most this year.

 

What’s your favorite song of 2022?

 

Hardy and Lainey Wilson “Wait in the Truck”

Damn, HARDY… way to write a powerful Country song!

Anyone who has been a victim of domestic abuse can appreciate this.  Yes, I’ve been there. I’m so damn lucky to be out of that relationship.

Anyhow, HARDY is quickly becoming one of the most celebrated songwriters in Country music, and Lainey Wilson, well, she’s a freaking superstar in the making. Both the song and the video will get you hard.

Right? Damnnnn…

 

Definitely one of the most important songs of the year in Country music. After all, isn’t that what the genre is about? Telling a story.

Ad Hardy can definitely do that.