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.
Produced by Cheyenne Medders, "Lonely Man" is the latest stand-out single from country singer-songwriter Sam Outlaw. Fresh off the release of his 2021 record Popular Mechanics, Outlaw serves up a fresh blend of pedal steel, pop-rock production and heartfelt lyricism. -- Lorie Liebig
Jonah Tolchin"Black Hole"
Jonah Tolchin wrote "Black Hole" while regularly waking up before sunrise, a dark, dogged energy that's certainly on display in this bluesy track. Its haunted imagery and themes of alienation and isolation make for an intoxicating teaser for his upcoming "cosmic outlaw blues" album Lava Lamp, due out July 15. -- Annie Parnell
Aly Halpert"She Is On Her Way"
Based in Schaghticoke land in Millerton, N.Y., Aly Halpert is part of a growing movement of musicians creating Jewish spiritual music rooted in, well, American roots music. "She Is On Her Way" is a hopefuly protest song for the ages, welcoming the eventual and inevitable future of a more just world, an extension of the Jewish belief of tikkun olam. Halpert establishes a rhythm that is persistent and inexorable, inspiring the listener to put their weight into the work of building the world to come. -- Rachel Cholst
Jaime Wyatt"Need Shelter"
Jaime Wyatt dances around her home, gets a tarot card reading and goes roller skating in the newly released music video for “Need Shelter,” her contribution to last November’s tribute album Highway Butterfly: The Songs of Neal Casal. The song touches on feeling misunderstood and confused by the world around him with a chorus that sings “I don't need a hand but I do need shelter / I've been running wide awake too long / So if you take a chance on a two-time user / Never again will you be left alone.”
Casal, a longtime member of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals and the Chris Robinson Brotherhood along with being a sought after session musician, died by suicide in August 2019 at the age of 50. -- Matt Wickstrom
Brittany Ann Tranbaugh"Kiss You"
There is a special kind of poignance to growing up queer in the 2000s: the excitement of a new crush, the fear that your future won't be anything like you imagined -- mostly because there was nobody to show you what it could be. Philadelphia's Brittany Ann Tranbaugh's new release is gently humorous and hopeful, capturing the joy of something new and the reservations that might cause one to smother it. -- Rachel Cholst
Valerie June offers solace on "Use Me," an open-hearted love song that encourages a discouraged partner to "let the sunshine in."
"We've got true love, not just three words spoken," she declares -- "but I love how you say them to me." -- Annie Parnell
British roots rocker Mike West has long been an advocate for the genre in the UK. West is also an avid comic book fan and metalhead, and "Mothman" marries all of these passions. The song has a rolling beat, calling to mind '70s trucker anthems. West's gravely vocals tell the fearsome tale of a brush with the supernatural. -- Rachel Cholst
Amanda Rheaume"All Sides Of Me"
Amanda Rheaume, a member of Canada’s Métis Nation and LGBTQ2S+ communities, explores the relationship between accountability and acceptance in herself as a foundation for openness on “All Side Of Me,” the latest single from her forthcoming album The Spaces In Between, out May 27 on Ishkōdé Records. The stripped-down ballad also touches on the practice of trusting your intuition and embracing both her indigenous and European heritage with lyrics like, “In between and out of place / It’s hard to tell / When you see my face / My spirit bleeds, and my heart aches / Where’s my home and will I find my way?” -- Matt Wickstrom
Shaela Miller"Tidal Wave"
Canadian country artist Shaela Miller has a classic country sound, but her focus is contemporary. Miller's "Tidal Wave" sounds like a country crooner at first, but it's really a distillation of Betty Friedan's The Mystique. Miller's band gently grooves the listener along, even as she describes the overwhelming nature of balancing motherhood, career, and romantic passion. -- Rachel Cholst