Favorite Country Music Duets

With the upcoming country duets release from Mary Sarah titled Bridges, I thought it would be interesting to look at my personal favorite (mostly) country duets. The genre has flourished countless duets over the years, many I personally haven’t gotten to hear yet, so this list would change as time goes by. Here’s a few in no particular order:

“Leather and Lace” by Stevie Nicks with Don Henley. I know this isn’t traditionally labeled as “country” but just listen to it. In fact, listen to the entire album it’s featured on called Bella Donna and you’ll hear more “country” than you might think. But the song was born thanks to country superstar Waylon Jennings. According to Stevie he asked her to write a song called “Leather and Lace” for him, so she wrote it as a duet for Waylon and his wife Jessi Colter, but they never recorded it. Instead, Stevie recorded it with Don Henley of The Eagles. It’s an amazing song because it addresses the difficulties of a couple staying together when they both work in the industry together. As luck would have it, Stevie and Don were seeing each other at the time. To give the song even more country-cred, Stevie’s grandfather was a country singer. Leather and Lace

“Picture” by Kid Rock with Sheryl Crow. Kid himself has a whole ROCK MEETS COUNTRY thing going on himself (I’ll ignore the rap). When the song came out it seemed like a weird pairing to me because I personally associated Kid Rock with just rap, and not really rock. So “Picture” was the turning point for me and of course we all know how big of a rock fan (and performer) he really is and has played with the best. Also, a duet with a woman seemed way out of character for him at the time. Sheryl Crow has now lived in Nashville for several years and in 2013 released an album featuring all country songs. Although on the mellow side for Kid Rock, his bad-ass persona still comes out with lines like “been fuelling up on cocaine and whiskey, wish I had a good girl to miss me.” Picture

“You and Tequila” by Kenny Chesney with Grace Potter. As I’ve said before, I love tequila and pretty much every song written about it (or referenced). There’s something about it that reminds you of California, with its warm and rich color and taste, and apparently that was what co writers Matraca Berg and Deana Carter had in mind when they wrote it. There’s a beautiful simplicity to Kenny’s version, and Grace’s vocals are minimal but perfectly placed. Prior to this song I only knew Grace from her appearances on the TV show One Tree Hill, but she brings such a coolness to this song. This one is definitely top shelf and goes down smooth. You and Tequila

“It’s Five O Clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson with Jimmy Buffet. This song was recorded and released as a single for one of Alan Jackson’s greatest hits compilations. It’s just a fun drinking song as you can tell by the title. It goes hand in hand with Jimmy Buffet’s laid back beach bum persona, something that even country boy Jackson can relate to now and then. He has so many other wonderful songs with great vocal performances that he deserves a vacation! When this song comes on it doesn’t matter what time it is, it’s just another reason to have a drink! Five O Clock Somewhere

“Jackson” by Johnny Cash with June Carter. I’ve watched old videos of them performing this song on TV shows and whatnot, and you can tell that this was just a fun song for them to perform together. The word “jackson” really pops in the song, which was on purpose since it wasn’t written about any specific town. “Jackson” was prominently featured in the biopic “Walk the Line” and recorded by Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix, which is a great version as well. Jackson

“Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton. This song screams 80s country and is obviously sung by two of the biggest record artists of that time. The lyrics are kind of cheesy but I really do like the song. It makes you secretly wish Kenny and Dolly were singing about each other (or if you didn’t know any better it makes you think they were actually together)! Not really knowing each other prior, it did mark the first of many hit duets between them. After all these years the song stands the test of time (and memory) because everyone still knows the lyrics and can sing along. It was even featured in karaoke form in an episode of The Office, sung by Jim and Michael. Islands in the Stream