I think we all have those albums that we just love.  They probably have some kind of connection for whatever reason, even if they weren't a critical success or a chart blockbuster.  I have a bunch of CD's that I'm pretty sure not many folks own, but I strongly suggest you pick them up if you get the chance.

Amazon / Mercury Nashville

The Mavericks - The Best Of The Mavericks

These guys had a pretty good run in the mid 90's giving us hits like "What a Cryin' Shame," "Here Comes The Rain," "There Goes My Heart," and "All You Ever Do Is Bring Me Down."  Luckily you can get all their hits plus some more fun latin-inspired tunes, including an awesome, horn-filled and cow bell-infused cover of the Tremeloes song, "Here Comes My Baby."


Amazon / Baccerstick Records

Jason Meadows - 100% Cowboy

If his name sounds familiar, you may have seen him in the finals of season 3 of Nashville Star.  Jason is a true Oklahoma cowboy in every sense of the word.  If you get this one for the rockin'-country anthem, "100% Cowboy," don't forget to check out "18 Video Tapes," a song that I am shocked never got mainstream attention.  It is just too touching to explain, but if you get the album, you'll see what I mean!



Amazon / Curb Records

Shane McAnally - Shane McAnally

His singles never made it into the Top 30, but I don't really know why.  As a senior in high school, I knew his music and was desperate to find it.  It was harder than you might think.  One day, there it was...a single copy of this CD in a Target bin.  Since then it's been one of my go-to CD's when I want something different.  Songs like 'Are Your Eyes Still Blue' and 'It Comes and It Goes' are songs that should still be hits to this day!


cracker barrel

Various Artists - Cracker Barrel Songs Of The Year

Unless you've been hanging out around Cracker Barrel, you probably don't have this one.  On this CD, Song of the Year winners from the ACM, CMA, and Grammy awards are performed by artists who didn't originally cut them.  Take for example Kenny Rogers' song of the year, "The Gambler" sung by Blake Shelton.  And that's just the tip of the big hit iceberg.  Get to an Old Country Store near you, grab a rocker, some pancakes, and see if they've got a copy of this one.

Amazon / RCA Nashville

Tommy Shane Steiner - Then Came The Night

Oh, c'mon, you remember ol' TSS.  How 'bout "What If She's An Angel?"  This one-hot wonder was much better than us radio folks gave him credit for.  He had some great songwriting on this one and only album, plus an awesome cover of "I Go Crazy," the 80's pop hit from Paul Davis.  If you can find it - get it!

Amazon / Dreamworks Nashville

Emerson Drive - What If

Sometimes an album fails due to no fault of the artist.  I think this one had a lot to do with record label issues, and the Canadian group being dropped.  This could have spawned a ton of hits, but instead we got a moderate one with "Last One Standing."  Proof of how big this CD could have been is the fact that two of the songs were turned into hits the next year by Lonestar.  They were "You're Like Coming Home" and "I'll Die Trying."  No offense to Lonestar, but those will always be Emerson Drive songs to me.


Amazon / MCA Nashville

                                                                Shannon Lawson - Chase The Sun

This Kentucky native burst onto the scene with "Goodbye On a Bad Day," then faded away faster then his lost love in that very song.  From the title track to the hidden song, with a bluegrass/gospel feel, Lawson put his heart, soul, and Kentucky roots into this album.  Personally, I think it's a dang shame that more songs from it weren't hits.  "Superstar" was a Top 10 for sure.  Lawson still tours the club circuit and has made a recent stop in Evansville.  He's expected back at the end of May, and I hope he does his laid-back cover of "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye (also on the album).

Amazon / BNA Records

                                                                             The Warren Bothers - King of Nothing

Fitting Title for the second CD of this often over-looked duo (Not quite as fitting as their 3rd: "Well-Deserved Obscurity").  These guys have given the world some awesome stuff, that mostly went ignored.  You probably caught "That's The Beat Of A Heart" with Sara Evans, from the movie Where The Heart Is.  You might've even heard "Move On," but more than that, if you don't have this CD, you're missing the things Brad and Brett do best.  Funny, and sarcastic songs like "It Ain't Me" to painful and real ballads like "Where Does It Hurt."  Roll it all together with the haunting and bluesy title track, "King Of Nothing" and you've got a CD you need in your collection. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Amazon / Arista                                                                                                                                                                              

Sherrie Austin - Words

 I can't count the number of times I listened to this CD and let the sweet Aussie's voice rock me to sleep.  Not that the CD is boring, but she just takes you through a good ride of fun country toe-tappers like "Lucky In Love" and "Put Your Heart Into It."  She also winds through nice ballads like "One Solitary Tear."  She briefly dabbles with some rock guitar on "Tenderly" which is anything but.  Then by track 10, (from the days before CD's had 17 tracks...or 6) she will make sure your eyes close as the finishes with the sweet lullaby, "You Keep On Loving Me." ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Amazon / MCA Nashville

Sons of the Desert - Change

This is the one group I wish would have made it big.  I actually had to search for this album.  After their first album did ok with singles like "Whatever Comes First,"  I heard "Albuquerque" and I had to have the 2nd CD...it didn't come out.  I Heard "Change" and I had to have the CD...it didn't come out.  I heard "Everybody's Gotta Grow Up Sometime" and I had to have the CD...I finally tracked one copy down at a local music store and have worn it out ever since.  This one was worth the wait and it's the number one CD you don't have that you need!  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________