Every week, The Boot highlights recent favorites from country, Americana, folk and everything in between. In every list, you'll find picks from our contributing team that we think you'll love. Keep reading to check out the latest installment of The Boot's Weekly Picks.
Kaitlin Butts"she's using"
Oklahoma born singer-songwriter Kaitlin Butts tells the story of a friend battling substance abuse who disappeared and later returned home on “she’s using,”a cut from her new album What Else Can She Do. Throughout the raw tune Butts contemplates possible reasons for her friend’s need to escape into “a codeine dream” —like her dad leaving her out of curiosity and “a bad boyfriend that wouldn’t let her be” — before admitting that she doesn’t hold her friend’s actions against her. Instead, she simply acknowledges “whatever makes her remember to take / whatever makes her forget.”
The song is a wonderful pushback to many of the stigmas against those battling addiction, illustrating that love, compassion and understanding is vital to helping those grappling with it get their lives back on the right track. -- Matt Wickstrom
Mama's Broke"How It Ends"
Canadian duo Mama's Broke provide a folk breakup song for the ages with "How It Ends." Powered by engaging fiddle and plucky banjo, the stunning tune taps into the lingering pain of a love that's been lost. It's the first single from their upcoming album Narrow Line, due out on May 13 via Free Dirt Records. -- Lorie Liebig
Nashville-based singer-songwriter Charles Johnson shares an autobiographical new track that melds elements of modern Americana, classic country and heartland rock. "Coyote" finds Johnson digging into the pain and personal struggles that can emerge while trying to achieve your dreams in a difficult industry. -- Lorie Liebig
Cristina Vane"How You Doin'"
Born in Italy and now living in Nashville, singer-songwriter Cristina Vane laments the dynamics of modern relationships on “How You Doin’,” the first single from her forthcoming album Make Myself Me Again, out May 20. The song combines both of Vane’s signature sounds —delta blues and bluegrass— as she sings of partners who, in “a classic case of boy-ish men,” can’t help but play games by pursuing heavily before suddenly losing interest. -- Matt Wickstrom
Those who were lucky enough to attend last week's Black Opry anniversary celebration in Nashville were treated to a stellar night of music, including a performance from Tennessee native Jett Holden. Last year, the burgeoning singer-songwriter released his debut single "Taxidermy," an incredibly powerful track in response to the unacceptable, still untreated epidemic of police brutality targeted toward Black Americans. -- Lorie Liebig
Nick Dittmeier & The Sawdusters"Hotel Pens"
Southern Indiana’s Nick Dittmeier documents his adventures on the road and how he writes out his confessions on the Tom Petty-esque “Hotel Pens,” the first single from his album Heavy Denim, due out on July 15.
Whether it’s having a TV thrown through a truck windshield outside of your hotel room at 4 a.m. or an "alien" waking you up with a knock at your door, Dittmeier’s crazy stories from the road are endless, and all penciled into permanence with hotel pens. -- Matt Wickstrom
LISTEN TO "HOTEL PENS" HERE