Paula Boggs Band, Fern Maddie and more

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Each week, The Boot highlights recent favorites from country, Americana, folk and everything in between. Within each list, you’ll find picks from our team of contributors that we think you’ll love. Keep reading for the latest episode of The Boot’s Weekly Picks.

  • Maddie Fern

    “Hares on the Mountain”

    Fern Maddie from Vermont has a knack for telling powerful stories in her otherworldly renditions of traditional music. His EP 2020 North Branch River is a breathtaking tour de force of storytelling, ensuring that tales of elves and kings blend seamlessly with meditations in the woods. With her rendition of the traditional song “Hares on the Mountain”, Fern Maddie gives the love song a haunting, almost menacing air. -Rachel Cholst

  • Triston Marez and Jenna Paulette

    “Once in a Blue Moon”

    Texas-born, Nashville-based artists Triston Marez and Jenna Paulette — also a newly minted member of CMT’s Next Women of Country class of 2022 — flip the well-worn “Once in a Blue Moon” cliché on its head in their new joint single of the same name. Written by Trea Landon, Faren Rachels and Nate Kenyon, the song is about two friends who hold back their strongest feelings for each other until “it looks like the moon is blue again.” Matt Wickstrom

  • Stacy Antonel

    “Planetary Heartache”

    Stacy Antonel’s effortless voice is perfect for the retro country jazz she sings. Antonel’s ballad “Planetary Heartache” has all the soulful charms of a 1930s vaudeville act – without any of the coy timidity around matters of heart and body. Playfully dancing among sci-fi themes, Antonel knows just what it takes to pin us down in the tender parts. Rachel Cholst

  • Paula Boggs Group

    “Ponies”

    Seattle-based songwriter Paula Boggs brings together heavenly harmonies, bluegrass and jazz arrangements on “Ponies” from her new album janus. The song tells the story of how his mother impulsively bought a pony – which they soon discovered was pregnant – without knowing how to care for it after the family moved to a farm in Chesterfield County, in Virginia. The song incorporates the spirit of Hayes Carll and traditional sounds akin to Rhiannon Giddens and Dom Flemons, the latter of whom joins Boggs on parts of his new music collection. Matt Wickstrom

  • Brennen Leigh ft. Ray Benson

    “In Texas with a Band”

    North Dakota-born, Nashville-based musician Brennen Leigh is joined on vocals by Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson on the swinging “In Texas with a Band,” the latest single from his upcoming album. Obsessed with the Westout May 6. On the catchy tune, she sings how even though she performed for smiling faces of “From Idaho to Old Oslo and a Thousand Other Places”, and how she had “exchange my salary just to be on stage in Texas with a band.” Matt Wickstrom

  • Shane Sweeney

    “While I’m Trying to Sleep”

    Half of Americana band OG Two Cow Garage, Shane Sweeney has spent the COVID era creating intimate, raw music grappling with our altered reality. On his most recent, “While I Try to Sleep,” Sweeney brings a full band sound to confront us with the question we’re too afraid to ask: how, as a society, do we assist in dealing with mass death? Everything around us ? Even if COVID-19 has not affected us directly, how will we live with the consequences? Sweeney doesn’t offer answers, but his rock ‘n’ roll lullaby can reassure us that we’re not alone.Rachel Cholst

    Listen through BandCamp here.

  • Michael Shaw

    “Cowboy boots and a little country dress”

    Montana artist Michael Shaw remembers a cowgirl he met one winter at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada on “Cowboy Boots and a Little Country Dress,” from his album He climbed ondue out June 3. During the rock ballad he mentions “a horseman who rears up, who is not afraid of being thrown,” referencing the wild woman he met and continued to party with for the rest of the weekend. Matt Wickstrom

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