And it’s obviously not because country radio is any sort of indicator as to what good music is or isn’t, but the exposure that can bring is still, unfortunately, bigger than any other institution within the genre.
Like many of you, I’m sure, my favorite songs almost never end up being the singles that get released to radio. I always find one or two album cuts that stick with me for a long time, and then wish that a certain particular one would’ve had a chance for more people to hear it.
So, I made a list of five album cuts that I wish would be released as singles. I’m sticking with more mainstream artists here, because we all know even some of the guys and girls on my list struggle with radio play, so there’s about a snowball’s chance in hell that anybody independent’s ever gonna get their single played on a corporate mainstream station.
Maybe one day, though… I have hope for the future.
Let’s get into it:
Eric Church – “These Boots”
This has to be the obvious first choice here. I mean, I could easily do a list of 15 or more of Eric’s deep cuts that also deserve a chance on the radio, but this is a long-standing fan-favorite and I truly don’t know why it was never picked from Sinners Like Me to be a single.
And if you’ve ever seen him live in concert, then you know just how much it means to so many people… there is literally no other artist I would take a boot off in the middle of a show for.
Miranda Lambert – “Bathroom Sink”
This is in my top three favorite Miranda Lambert songs. It’s not only an underrated deep cut and solo write, but one of her best songs altogether. It’s one of the most incredible ways to describe what it’s like to be a woman I’ve ever heard.
While the quickest way to mask the pain and insecurities we all have is to do so physically with eyelashes and lipstick, of course surface level resolve can only go so deep.
Yeah, some would probably consider it “too deep” in terms of how raw it is for people to want to hear in their car on the way to work, but I think it’s just what a lot of us need to hear.
From her incredible 2021 record 29: Written In Stone, she comes to terms with the fact that, after her very public divorce and relationship troubles, she understands Loretta Lynn’s music and lyrics more than she ever thought she would… because she’s lived all the heartbreak herself.
If it ever did get picked as a single, this would easily be the most country songs to hit the radio in years.
Luke Combs – “I Know She Ain’t Ready”
Another longtime fan-favorite, Luke Combs included the song on his 2014 The Way She Rides EP. I will say, I’m extremely biased towards it for sentimental reasons, because I listened to it non-stop back in my early college after it came out.
While Luke was still playing shows in our college town of Boone, this one was always my favorite. Plus, similar to the revisited version of “Crazy One More Time,” I think it could really benefit from a fresh recording and a little fine-tuning now in a real deal studio.
Riley Green – “Georgia Time”
I’ve talked about this one more in-depth before, but it’s very likely the fan-favorite of all of Riley Green’s EP’s and albums. I’d say it does as well, if not better than, “I Wish Grandpa’s Never Died” at a live show. And technically, it was released as a single back in 2017, but that was before he signed a record deal and it didn’t get much attention at all.
What really makes it so great is the simple story it tells, one that has all the makings of a quintessential country song. Namely, it’s all about cheating, heartbreak and wishing someone you want to be with would return the interest.
Plus, it’s just really damn catchy and fun to sing along to. I wouldn’t be mad if he ever wanted to send “Same Old Song” to country radio, either.
What are some of your favorite deep cuts?
Which songs from your favorite artists do you think deserve a chance on country radio?