New Country Friday: Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge Release New Songs

by Suzanne Halliburton
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In this edition of new country Friday, we’re giving you everything from Blake Shelton to Tim McGraw to an Aussie duo called Seaforth.

So take a break — it is almost the weekend — fix yourself a cold drink, put your feet up. It’s going to be a fun, but relaxing, new country kind of day. We’ve got details behind the new releases from Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw/Tyler Hubbard, Brett Eldredge, Hailey Witter, Seaforth and Kip Moore.

Blake Shelton and Minimum Wage

Here on new country day, we’re wondering if there really is no such thing as bad publicity. Wonder if Blake Shelton believes in the adage, whether this has all been some sort of guerilla marketing campaign? Shelton first sang “Minimum Wage” on NBC’s New Year’s Eve special. The blowback was huge.

Why?

Folks who criticized Shelton said some of the lyrics might’ve been tone-deaf. A ton of Americans are struggling to make ends meet because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Shelton and Stefani are two of the richest entertainers in the world.

Shelton initially ignored the critics. But in interviews this week to promote the new country song, Shelton said it had been kicking around for more than a year, pre-pandemic. He said: “‘Minimum Wage’ is a song that I heard for the first time about a year ago…maybe a little but longer, and had a lot of ideas how I wanted to record this song.”

“I fell in love with it instantly. I love the message of the song, and I love that it says something about how you don’t need a lot of money, you don’t need all the possessions in the world, you just need to have love.” And the best part for him, “The song on top of that…is just a blast.”

I’m betting you want to hear Minimum Wage to see what all the fuss is or isn’t about. We got you covered with the most popular new country song of the week.

Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard Want Us “Undivided” In New Country Release

Tyler Hubbard stepped away from Florida Georgia Line for a project with Tim McGraw. And yes, we love this merger of talents, even if it’s for only one song.

The track is called “Undivided.” And although neither McGraw nor Hubbard scripted current events as a backdrop for its release, this new country song is a perfect ballad for these times. May it tamp down on some fears.

“Last week, when I heard the news about the Capitol and (how) sad that was, I thought, ‘Man, I thought we needed this message last year,’” Hubbard told CBS This Morning. “I didn’t think we could need it any more than we needed it last year, but apparently we still do.”

Listen to the new country song. You’ll feel better. Promise.

Brett Eldredge Promises It’s Going To Be “A Good Day”

Flip on this new country song by Brett Eldredge. We promise, if you’re feeling anxious about anything, it’ll all melt away.

Eldredge released the music video to the new song last May. But the song dropped on Spotify on Friday, Jan. 15.

He conceded that he was trying to focus on the positives while putting every other nagging thought on the mental backburner.

“I wrote this song when I was searching to find positivity in my life instead of focusing on a day being dark and stormy and your emotions being in a tough spot,” Eldredge told People magazine. “I make the decision to have a good day, even in the darkness, and that awareness gives me a better outlook on life.”

The 34-year-old Eldredge has five No. 1 songs in his career, but none since 2016. He did combine with Kelly Clarkson for some Christmas music with “Under The Mistletoe.”

For Friday, we suggest trying your day like Eldredge’s sings in the first verse of his new song. We all think it’s going to be a good day.

“I think I’ll start my mornin’ with Sinatra and let those blue eyes speak to me. Skip all the things that I don’t want to and let my mind wander free. It’s forty two, cold and rainy and something’s got me thinkin.’ Maybe it’s gon’ be a good day. I don’t know why but it feels like love’s comin’ my way. And the sun ain’t even shinin’. If the world gonna keep on spinnin’ let it keep spinnin’ on my way. I got a feelin’ It’s gon’ be a good day.”

Devin Dawson Drops Pink Slip

For another fun Friday new country music drop, we give you Devin Dawson, who used to tour with both McGraw and Eldredge.

This work is his first new stuff since his debut album, “Dark Horse.”

And for those wondering, the title of his new country album has nothing to do with a pink slip you may get from losing your job. Rather, Dawson says it’s in reference to the title slip of McGraw’s truck. After all, Dawson’s song “I Got a Truck” is inspired by McGraw.

Dawson includes his family on the album. His grandfather is featured in the music video for “He Loved Her.” And his wife is in the “Whatever Forever” video.

Dawson also thinks his new country music is perfect for the times. Everybody needs a boost. He’d already started working on the songs, pre-Covid, he says.

“It was really, really lucky that these were the first songs that we started with,” Dawson said. Because then I listen to them as a whole and it was like, ‘Wow, this is dope. This is actually something that is really indicative of the things that I’ve gone through in the last year.'”

“And it’s also something that I really feel like people need and want in these times.”

Dawson will play his new country music tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on his YouTube channel.

Hailey Witters Loves Everybody In Announcing New Country Song

Hailey Witters was dropping hints about her new country release on Twitter this week. On Friday, Witters celebrated her new super rich edition of last year’s album. It’s called “Living The Dream Deluxe.” The first of the five new tracks to drop is “The Ride” featuring Jordan Davis.

In a statement, she thanked all the artists involved because they allowed Witters to “hang up the apron strings and make music full time.

She said: “All of the artists featured on this project are responsible for me being able to hang up the apron strings and make music full-time. The royalties from Little Big Town’s cut on “Happy People” helped pay for part of The Dream. Brent Cobb and Jordan Davis were two of the first artists to take me on tour.

“Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey are my two songwriting idols and favorite co-creators. And Trisha Yearwood is one of the first artists that got me excited about moving to Nashville and pursuing country music. I wanted to show fans full circle what “living the dream” looks like for me — from where I started with “Ten Year Town” to the bucket list moments that have resulted since I released my record, The Dream. I felt it was important to show them what can happen when you don’t give up on yourself.”

So bring on “The Ride.”

Well, If You Need A Good Song About Breakups …

So new country music Friday can’t be all puppies and sunshine. We give you “Breakups” by the Australian group Seaforth. The duo features lifetime friends Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson, who both grew up in Seaforth, a suburb of Sydney.

Their newest song is a sad one since it’s about the first few days of a bad breakup. But country music does sad really well. So enjoy.

Finally, Kip Moore’s “How High” Will Make Your Week

Kip Moore is adding four new songs to his album “Wild World.” And Friday’s new country release “How High” is the first of the four.

The song is terrific. It’s a love song from someone who really is in love. A sampling of the lyrics: “It’s your eyes, it’s your touch; it’s tonight, it’s your love. It’s the ride. And it’s the rush. It always feels just like a drug. Take me there, take me on. Let down your hair, anything I want. Yeah, I need you like the air. Girl, I swear you keep me stoned.”

The music video is delightfully fun. The star of it is an older woman. She’s first seen sitting on the stairs of her home. She’s looking at old photos. Then something prompts her to let down her hair and put on her party clothes. She walks through the neighborhood while carrying a red balloon. And she stops to talk, to smoke a cig or take a swig from someone else’s beer.

So y’all, enjoy your Friday and the new country music that comes with it.

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