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kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini and Noah Kahn “Cowboys Cry Too”

Well, this one tugs the heartstrings.

Kelsea Ballerini has teamed up with Folk-Pop singer/songwriter Noah Kahn (you may know his Top 40 hit “Stick Season”) for a beautiful duet called “Cowboys Cry Too”,  which basically addresses “Toxic Masculinity” and serves as a reminder that it’s ok to cry, even if you’re a “tough guy”.

Here’s the lyrics:

“He’s as tough as the tattoos up his right arm
And I’ve talked him down from getting in a fight or two
He stands his ground, he’s as stubborn as the weeds in the backyard
‘Cause growing up, he had to go where the wind blew
He hides his heart and hurt, guess he kinda had to
In a world that says, “Saddle up and be a man”
When the sun goes down and his hazel eyes go blue
That’s when I understand

[Chorus: Kelsea Ballerini]
Cowboys cry too
They may not let ’em fall down in their hometown thinkin’ they still got shit to prove
That well runs deep
But when he’s showin’ his skin, lettin’ mе in, that’s when he’s toughest to mе
I never knew cowboys cry too

[Verse 2: Noah Kahan, Noah Kahan & Kelsea Ballerini]
I grew up wishing I could close off the way my dad did
‘Cause that man never felt a damn thing he didn’t wanna feel
But I’ve burned too many miles tryna ride out all the sadness
But you can’t outdrive pain, someday it’s gonna take the wheel
Can’t be alone, but don’t wanna get close to anybody
Don’t wanna bare teeth, but don’t wanna look weak, it’s a tough spot
But I’m afraid you’ll walk away when the tears start runnin’
But I hope not”

Pretty solid lyrics, and I love the subject matter.

Both Kelsea and Noah contributed lyrics, and I have to say, Kelsea is really beginning to impress me as a songwriter, and she just wrapped up her 5th studio album, so we should be hearing something soon.

More info at https://www.kelseaballerini.com/#!


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!


Was Kelsea Ballerini Lip-Synching?

The inaugural “People’s Choice Country” awards was this past Thursday night on NBC, and Kelsea Ballerini (who I love!) performed her song “Mountain With a View” live, and did a fantastic job. So much so, that some people thought she was lip-synching.

Ok, she sounded good. Reallly good. I can see why people think she was faking it. But if you listen closely, especially at the end, you can hear that she’s live and not pre-recorded. And Kelsea has since addressed the issue, saying that if she was lip-synching, it would have sounded way better. Also, she said that one of the cameras was off, and that happens often during live shows, espeically if it’s a show’s first time happening, like the People’s Choice Country Awards.

Seriously, I don’t know how she could have sounded better. She has really come into her own these past couple of years as an artist, and I really can’t wait to see where she goes.

Haters Gonna hate. That’s all.

Also, she looks incredible. I always feel like if Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift had a baby, it would be Kelsea.

Get more info on her music and upcoming tour dates at https://www.kelseaballerini.com/#!




Kelsea Ballerini “If You Go Down”

The longer Kelsea Ballerini is on the Country scene, the more I like her!

Her latest single had me from the start. “If You Go Down” totally reminds me of me and my best friend since the 6th Grade Erica Carroll. This song is so us, and I’m sure any woman (hell, or guy) who has a lifelong friendship where you know waaaay too much about the other can totally relate.

Isn’t that fun?


I love it.  Kelsea’s latest album “Subject to Change” is out now, and it’s really, really good.


I want to drink wine with her. We’d so be friends.