With all the new country songs with rock and rap influences out there, I've seen less and less true country in country music lately.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with the new stuff, I just think there's room for the classic sound mixed in.  Luckily there are at least five songs on the charts, by relevant artists, that give me hope country is not dead just yet!

1) Randy Houser "Like A Cowboy"

From someone who's been all over the board as it relates to style and content, this true artist, and tremendous vocalist not only brought the word 'Cowboy' back into country, but brought the country power ballad back!  Randy Houser's "Like A Cowboy" is one of the best out there right now!

2) Tim McGraw "Shotgun Rider"

Tim really seems ageless.  He doesn't mind trying new things, and if they don't work, like the auto-tune infused, "Looking For That Girl," he goes back to what brung him to the dance.  Listen to the brilliance of "Shotgun Rider."  The lyrics are very current and topical, not straying too much from the popular 'bro-country' model, however the music totally takes you back to his 90's hits like "Just To See You Smile."  Is that steel guitar I hear!

3) Jake Owen "What We Ain't Got"

Jake has been one of the culprits that critics have pointed at for the deterioration of country.  I don't think it's fair to do that, but for folks who don't like beachy, party, frat boy songs, I get it.  That's when this Florida boy turns things around and hits you with a stripped down pain song that George and Willie could be proud of!


4) Justin Moore "This Kind Of Town"

While Justin gets lumped in with the group critics call 'bro-country,' there's no getting around his Arkansas drawl.  This guy is country to the core, even when covering Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home."  But his new single, "This Kind Of Town" is exactly what mainstream country needed to break up the pop, rock, and hip-hop of today!

5) Eric Paslay "She Don't Love You"

From a guy who wrote "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" and performed "Friday Night," this tune sounds like something straight out of a Saturday night in the 60's coming through the radio from the Grand Ole Opry.  The pure country of this song is unmatched, and I hope Paslay has huge success with it!