Song of the Day #3,759: ‘Best Years of My Life’ – Pistol Annies

Few musical announcements excite me more than word of new material from Miranda Lambert. Lambert is one of the few artists I follow who has yet to release an album that’s less than excellent.

2016’s double album The Weight of These Wings was her best work yet, and that’s saying something given that her previous two records showed up in my top five albums of the first half of the 2010s.

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Song of the Day #3,572: ‘He Ain’t Coming Back’ – Ashley Monroe

I love when Random iTunes Weekends tip me off to new music. Ashley Monroe, for example, has a new album due out five days from now and I might not have learned that had she not popped up today.

Monroe hit my radar as one of the three Pistol Annies, then won me over as a solo artist with her 2013 album Like a Rose. Its follow-up, 2015’s The Blade, was an even stronger record, making my expectations sky high for the upcoming Sparrow.

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Song of the Day #2,723: ‘If Love Was Fair’ – Ashley Monroe

ashley_monroe_bladeBest Songs of 2015 – #17
‘If Love Was Fair’ – Ashley Monroe

Unfortunately my favorite country artist (and one of my favorite anything artists), Miranda Lambert, took 2015 off (though I can’t wait for her inevitable break-up album).

Fortunately her Pistol Annies bandmate Ashley Monroe stepped up to fill Lambert’s shows admirably with solo album The Blade.

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Song of the Day #2,602: ‘The Weight of the Load’ – Ashley Monroe

ashley_monroe_bladeThis hasn’t been a great year for new releases, at least not so far. Upcoming albums from Ben Folds, Lana Del Rey, Adele and Rihanna might change that, or they might be too little too late.

At least one recent release, Ashley Monroe’s The Blade, has been a delightful standout.

I discovered Monroe as one third of Pistol Annies and really enjoyed her 2013 album Like a Rose, but The Blade puts her on a whole new level.

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Song of the Day #1,985: ‘Like a Rose’ – Ashley Monroe

ashley_monroe_like_a_roseBest Songs of 2013 – Best Songs of 2013 – #9

This has to be the strongest year in recent memory for female country artists. I’ve already posted a Pistol Annies song, and today’s SOTD is the first of three by female country performers in my top ten.

Ashley Monroe is herself a member of Pistol Annies, making her the only artist to show up in my top 25 twice.

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Song of the Day #1,829: ‘Monroe Suede’ – Ashley Monroe

ashley_monroe_like_a_roseIn a year that, so far, has been pretty light on new music, Ashley Monroe’s solo debut Like a Rose remains one of the bright spots.

Monroe, one third of the Pistol Annies, has a lot of the wit and flair that have made her friend and band mate Miranda Lambert a big star. This album has received a ton of acclaim and performed modestly well on the charts, but I don’t know if Monroe will hit the mainstream (or if she even wants to).

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Song of the Day #1,774: ‘Weed Instead of Roses’ – Ashley Monroe

ashley_monroe_like_a_roseI’ve bought a handful of albums this year (including Vampire Weekend’s latest a day or two ago) and curiously, four of them are country records.

I didn’t plan it that way. Brad Paisley and Pistol Annies released new albums, which I naturally snapped up as a fan of both. Then the excellent newcomer Kacey Musgraves burst onto the scene amid a flurry of great reviews so I picked that one up. Finally, Ashley Monroe, one of the Pistol Annies, released her own solo album to critical raves.

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