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Top country music song and album picks for 2013

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For 2013, it seemed as though it was the year of the song rather than the actual collection of songs into an album. There are several top picks that have not left my music player. Here are a few of our top country music song and album picks for 2013. Sound off below if you think of any others that should be added to the list.

For album picks, here are the best bets from 2013 to add to your musical collection:

Erin Enderlin – ‘I Let Her Talk’
You could consider Erin Enderlin one of the strongest singer-songwriters out of Nashville that is also one of the most underrated. Her vocals of heartache and sorrow make you want to reach over and give her a hug with assurance that things will be alright. Top song picks are "Unbroken" and "Monday Morning Church."

Fifth on the Floor – ‘Ashes & Angels’
Kentucky natives Fifth on the Floor have put a stamp on their blend of Appalachian, country, rock, boot stomping, whiskey drinking, soulful as their own music style. A variety of songs are strong throughout the album that sure to please your ear. The elements of good songwriting, instrumentation, and production provide this as one of my top picks. Top song picks include "Whiskey," "Wine," and "What For." Check out full review here.

Alan Jackson – ‘The Bluegrass Album’
Bluegrass enthusiasts were hesitant on what to expect with Alan Jackson's latest release. However, Jackson brought together some of Nashville's finest pickers, as well as his best vocals to bring out a traditional country bluegrass album. His take on several traditional tunes was done tastefully and his self-penned tunes are soon to be classics. Top song picks include John Anderson's "Wild and Blue," as well as "Blue Side of Heaven," written in memory of George Jones. Check out full review here.

Hank 3 – ‘Brothers of the 4x4’
Radio is playing quite a few truck, backwoods, mudding, and dirt road songs. However, they are filled with extra dance beats that fit in some hip hop club. Hank Williams, III, or simply known as 3, wrote, played, and produced his own album full of those type songs with a real country flavor. The hillbilly, Appalachian, twang filled along with some rock influence makes you want to grab your four wheel drive square body Chevy truck and hit the fields. You feel the heartache and loneliness, as well as the freedom to get wild. Top song picks include "Brothers of the 4x4" and "Dreadful Drive." Check out full review here.

There are some other notable song picks of 2013 that brought the attention to our ears. Here are top picks in country music that you should add to your playlist.

‘You Are My Sunshine’ by Jamey Johnson, Shooter Jennings, Twiggy Ramirez
Sons of Anarchy featured the song as the closing of one of its episodes this season. The eerie production puts on a new twist to the favorite childhood classic. Check out full review here.

‘Two Black Cadillacs’ by Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood surprised everyone with the dark song about the death of a cheating spouse/boyfriend and the ones that know about the secret of how he died are the women he scorned. It was a new twist of Underwood's vocal abilities that provided one of her best performances to date.

'Better Dig Two' by The Band Perry
Another dark country song in our list, but The Band Perry brings the elements of using true love until death do us part. From the lyrics to the instrumentation and stern vocals, this is one song that you find yourself singing along to while driving down the road.

'Hey Pretty Girl' by Kip Moore
Kip Moore released several songs but the simplicity of this song pulled heartstrings. It is a real love story of meeting the girl for the first time, proposing, and being there until the end. The song was more about the lyric than anything and why it fits perfectly of having just the guitar and vocals. No fluff or filler, just good lyrical content.

'Pretty Little Lie' by Blackberry Smoke
Blackberry Smoke go towards the opposite direction of their fellow Georgia natives, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, with their own sound that should go noticed. 'Pretty Little Lie' showcases lead singer, Charlie Starr's authentic vocals, as well as a tight knit band playing. The song itself is the subject of the female going back and forth between two loves. Watch the music video to capture what their live show is about.

'Nighttime Sky' by Nick 13
Fans of Roy Orbison rockabilly country sound should tune into Nick 13. The song 'Nighttime Sky' debut on the CMT Pure fan voted countdown and stood at the top for several weeks. Taking a note of Nashville songwriters past, rocker Nick 13 fits right in alongside the country music sounds of yesteryear. Check out our interview with Nick 13.

'What Are You Listening To' by Chris Stapleton
Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton's unique rustic vocals are a force to be reckoned with. The song really captures the traditional country sound full of soul. It makes you want to hear more of Chris Stapleton's material and hopefully we will hear more of that come 2014. Check out our interview with Chris Stapleton here.

In the words of Chris Stapleton, what are you listening to? What songs and albums would you add to this list that others should take a listen to?

Don't miss the best original reporting about country music by visiting Jessica's Kentucky Country Music and National Country Music Examiner columns. Subscribe and you'll get first word when we publish.

Copyright Jessica Blankenship. Please do not reprint in full on other sites without permission. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Don't miss our weekly Nashville News Roundup available Fridays on WFKY at 9:25 a.m. You can also check out Jessica's blog at


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