The latest punk-vaudeville from Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt, and Valerie June’s mesmerizing Hendrix tribute make up this week’s list of must-hear country and Americana tracks.
Leo Rondeau, “Get On With It”
While a chugging rhythm section keeps pace in the background, Nashville-by-way-of-North Dakota songwriter Leo Rondeau packs his bags and hits the road, looking for the quickest way to heal a broken heart. “I never know what I want, and in the end it’s only my fault,” he sings, shouldering the blame just before his sad, singalong chorus makes its final stand.
Nancy And Beth, “I Don’t Hurt Anymore”
Will & Grace‘s Megan Mullally taps into a lifelong Dinah Washington fascination with help from Stephanie Hunt, her musical partner in the cabaret-inspired “punk-vaudeville” duo Nancy And Beth. Their version of the 1950s standard “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” is indebted to Washington’s own reading of the song, with some sly winks, Broadway-worthy brassiness and serious vocal chemistry tossed in for good measure.
Caroline Jones, “Chasin’ Me”
Accompanied by a high-gloss music video shot in Big Sur and Zion National Park, “Chasin’ Me” finds Caroline Jones playing a literal game of hard-to-get, daring a would-be boyfriend to keep up the pursuit. Her voice is coquettish and cooing, not unlike a mid-Nineties Mariah Carey, and her guitar playing is appropriately understated, focused on vibe rather than virtuosity.
Valerie June, “Little Wing”
Jimi Hendrix’s bluesy ballad gets a deep-space makeover courtesy of Valerie June, who focuses on atmosphere rather than guitar pyrotechnics. Everything builds toward the song’s dynamic, horn-filled outro, where June multi-tracks her own voice into layers of roughhewn harmonies.
Maren Morris, “Kingdom of One”
Winter is coming, but not before Maren Morris cranks the heat with this slow-burning ballad from the Game of Thrones soundtrack For the Throne. Dominated by acoustic guitar and Morris’ Brienne-of-Tarth-sized voice, “Kingdom of One” is haunting, lovely and thoroughly cinematic, just like the show itself.