Country releases took a turn for the reflective -- and sometimes somber -- this week, with elegies to the dead in both a traditional reinterpretation and a brand-new ode to a fallen soldier, as well as an intimate reflection of life after losing a parent. However, the week brought country songs dealing with triumphant moments, too, including one new track that's all about naysayers and how good it feels to prove them wrong. 

Erik Dylan, "Omaha":

Erik Dylan has created a musical tribute to a late soldier who died without any family around. Stanley Stoltz was a veteran of the Vietnam War who, sadly, passed away without any known family to mourn him; however, after an obituary was placed in his local paper asking locals to show up at his service so he would not be buried alone, plenty of people turned out to celebrate his life. In the song, Dylan imagines himself as one of those mourners: “Honey, pack up the kids / ‘Cause we’re headed to Omaha / In lieu of his family unknown / The paper says he was a Vietnam soldier / And he needs some help getting back home.” -- CC

Ashley McBryde, "Girl Goin' Nowhere":

Ashley McBryde’s “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” is a message for all the people who said she would never make it. The rising star reflects on how people told her she wouldn’t cut it in the music industry, and would eventually have to head back home with her tail between her legs. Next, however, McBryde gets to prove all of those naysayers wrong. “I need to thank my daddy for that first set of strings / And all those folks who swore I'd never be anything,” McBryde sings. “It took a whole lot of ‘yes, I will’s and ‘I don't care’s / A whole lot of basement dives and county fairs / To this show right now, and y'all sure look good out there / Not bad for a girl goin' nowhere ...” “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” was written by McBryde and Jeremy Dewayne Bussey. The song will hit radio on Jan. 14. -- CC

Colter Wall, "When the Work's All Done This Fall": 

Colter Wall has shared his own version of “When the Work’s All Done This Fall,” a traditional tune. The solemn song is about a cowboy who gets killed on the job and won’t be able to return to his old home and see his mother. “Boys, send my mother my wages -- the wages I have earned / ‘Cause I am afraid, boys, my last steer I have turned,” sings Wall. "I'm going to a new range / I hear my Master's call / Yes, I am going home, boys, when the work's all done this fall.” -- CC

The Cactus Blossoms, “Please Don’t Call Me Crazy”:

The Cactus Blossoms have shared the first track off of their newly-announced sophomore album, Easy Way. “Please Don’t Call Me Crazy” has a rock-meets-vintage country sound. Brothers Page Burkum and Jack Torrey sing, “Computer in your pocket, nobody has to know / Two fingers in the socket, breaker’s gonna blow / Trouble on the line, fodder in the feed / What you want, not what you need.” Of the inspiration for the uptempo track, Torrey explains to Rolling Stone, “Part of the inspiration was this local legend named Curtiss A. He does an annual John Lennon tribute that everyone in town loves, and he’s been playing punk and rock ‘n’ roll since the late ‘70s. So it’s looking at the world through the eyes of an old rocker in the age of Facebook.” -- CC

Mandolin Orange, “Golden Embers”:

Losing a loved one is never easy, and dealing with the heartbreak can be draining and overwhelming. In Mandolin Orange’s latest song, “Golden Embers,” Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz sing about Marlin’s personal experience with death. Marlin talks about losing his mother and keeping her memory alive, like golden embers of a dying fire: “Like notes on the pages,” he reflects, “she breathed life into all things.” “Golden Embers” comes from Mandolin Orange’s upcoming album, Tides of a Teardrop, which is due out in early 2019. -- CC

The Lonely Heartstring Band, "Just a Dream":

A lively, rhythmic mandolin line takes center stage in this uneasy new track from roots quintet the Lonely Heartstring Band, backed by soft vocal harmonies and an acoustic, genre-bending accompaniment. The track comes off of the group's sophomore album, Smoke & Ashes, which was produced by Bridget Kearney of Lake Street Dive. While bluegrass is the bedrock of the Lonely Heartstring Band, the new project blends elements of rock and '60s pop, while exploring distinctly modern themes of uncertainty in turbulent times. -- CL


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