Dakota Joe’s Best In Country Music 2015

Tough Choices from a Great Year in Country

Best Single: John Michael Carroll - God Only Knows

With its infectious chorus and strong vocals, this song reminds me of the best of the 90s. The regret is palpable, the backup haunting.  This guy's in serious pain.

Best Video: Brothers Osborne - Stay a Little Longer

A simple, straightforward video, it's about real people and real life. The longing, the bickering, the conflict and the passion.  TJ and John Osborne put out one of the best songs of the year.

Best Album: Turnpike Troubidours 
Is making real country music uncool?  Don't tell that to me. Or the best Red Dirt band around.

Best Sad Song to Dance To:  Thomas Rhett - Crash and Burn

I challenge you to sit still when you listen to one of the saddest songs of the year.  From the rock-heavy guitar to the happy whistle to the whooping of the backup singers, this is a song I never get tired of hearing.

Best Surprise: Eric Church - Mr. Misunderstood

It’s hard to believe this album was made in less than three weeks this summer; And no one knew it was coming until it just showed up.  It blew me away when he performed it at the CMA awards. And while “Mr. Misunderstood” is getting a lot of attention (and airplay here at Outlaw Country), it wasn’t released as a single.

 Best Female Artist - Kelsea Ballerini

Miranda? Carrie? Kacey? Reba?  Nope. I’m gonna call it for Kelsea Ballerini.  Her voice is unmistakable, with a bit of innocence.  Her lyrics are fun and youthful, and she co-wrote both “Love me Like you Mean it” and “Dibs.”  There’s a reason she won Billboard’s Women in Music “Rising Star” award.  

Best Male Artist - Mo PItney

He’s a purist, but fans of Zac Brown Band and little big town probably love this guy, too.  If you can listen to “Country” without getting a little misty, you’re a tougher man than I am.

Best Bad Rhyme: Florida Georgia Line - Anything Goes

Props to anyone who rhymes "masterpiece" with "Dos Equis."  And it's a fun song, to boot.