Zach Bryan is one of the best stories in country music right now.
Just a guy with a lot on his mind who initially decided to use songwriting as an outlet, Bryan started releasing songs on YouTube a couple years ago hoping his music might help a few people find hope like he did through music. Fans of country music everywhere fell for his honest and humble personality, and since his first video he has amassed a devout following and released two full albums, DeAnn and Elisabeth.
Despite his large and still growing audience on Spotify and other streaming services, Bryan has released and continues to release songs on his YouTube page that aren’t included in his two albums. If sad songs make you happy, he’s your guy.
Here are 10 of my favorites.
10. “Dress Blues”
“Dress Blues” is a Jason Isbell cover, but it had to be included anyway. The song is about a young man serving and dying in war, and Bryan is active duty in the US Navy, so it makes the cover eerily authentic.
9. “Your Hand”
8. “Another Day Dying”
7. “Matt & Audie”
A chilling song about a struggling couple turning into a modern day Bonnie & Clyde to make ends meet.
“He made it out alive and looked her in the eye,
He told his lover no more scraping by,
We’re gonna be richer than the big machine,
I’ll buy you diamonds bigger than the stars it’d seem”
6. “Let You Down”
5. “Carried Away”
4. “Seeking Subtle Hands”
3. “Pain, Sweet Pain”
I may be biased on this one, but I think any Turnpike fan would have to love this tribute to the band he released after they announced their hiatus.
“The way you looked around on the stage when you couldn’t go
You should’ve told us man we’d have stopped the damn show
The way that you write your songs none of us compare
Sturdy in your voice that makes a young heart tear”
Thankfully, Evan Felker is healthy now and new music could be on the way.
Bryan channelled his inner Cash with this murder ballad. He explains at the beginning of the video that the song is based on a story he heard from one of his grandfather’s friends when he was a kid.
“I nod off and then wonder what my tombstone would say
Would they mention any of my good or just the evil in my days
That night out there in Birmingham that boy he tried to rob me
I did not want to but I had to show that boy the real me”
If you want to learn more about Zach Bryan, definitely watch this documentary on the making of his most recent album Elisabeth.