Year in Review: My Top 100 Country Music Songs of 2019

Posted December 11, 2019 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

It’s that time of year again where I like to take a quick look at my favorite country music songs of the year. We’re just about to the end, so now is as good a time as any, right?

Now, let me preface this list as I always do.

  • I’m not a professional music reviewer.
  • I don’t get paid to promote artists.
  • I don’t go by Billboard or radio airplay charts.

This list consists of the top 100 songs that I liked in 2019. The songs that I wanted to come on my radio while driving to and from work, on a road trip, or when I was just sitting at home. Note that not all songs may be “traditional country”. I listen to all genre’s of music, so I have no issues with country artists who play “non-traditional” country. To me…music is music. If I like it, I’m going to listen to it (and enjoy it).

By the way, my three kids had input into this list so some songs might have ended up higher than I might have put them myself. But hey…I value their opinions!

Also, you’ll notice that a lot of mainstream, radio hits by major artists are not included. No reason except for the fact that my list is not based on how famous you are. Simple as that. It’s the songs that I love (but please feel free to sway me in your direction if I left a song off).

You probably heard some of these songs every hour (on the hour) on your local country station. Others may not have been played much (if at all) when they should have been, in my own, personal opinion. Also, while some of these songs may have come out in late 2018, and may have even landed a low spot on my wrap up of the year, they were ones that were predominantly played (if they made the radio) in the 2019 calendar year.

Others may be primed for success next year so keep your ears open!

Either way, I’m sure that I’m going to leave quite a few songs off this list that could have easily made it. I know this going in and expect each and every one of you to say “hey, what about this song…or that song.” Please do.

Fight for the music and artists that YOU love!!!!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go through each entry and provide detailed background on the song, reasons for it’s placement, etc…But, feel free to leave a comment and I’d be happy to respond.

Now, without further ado, let’s get this party started:

100. “Slow“, Michael Beck

99. “Story of You and Me“, Sam Riggs

98. “Mostly Stoned“, Tim Montana

97. “Ballad of an Outlaw“, Seth Anthony

96. “Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere“, Chad Brownlee

95. “Where You Been All My Life“, Jordan Rager

94. “Stay Over“, Jackson Michelson

93. “Thank You Baby“, Ray Scott

92. “Try Saying Goodbye“, John King

91. “To a T“, Ryan Hurd

90. “Rather Be Us“, Tyler Rich

89. “Yellow Rose Motel“, George Ducas

88. “Still Gonna Be You“, Jade Eagleson

87. “Thirsty Weather“, R.T. Johnson

86. “Nothin’ on You“, Cody Johnson

85. “Whiskey in a Teacup“, Dean Brody

84. “If You Met Me First“, Eric Ethridge

83. “What Could’ve Been“, Gone West

82. “Her World or Mine“, Michael Ray

81. “Some Girls“, Jameson Rodgers

80. “Heartbeat of a Small Town“, Travis Denning

79. “Boots Like Mine“, Josh Gallagher

78. “She’s Mine“, Kip Moore

77. “Kinfolks“, Sam Hunt

76. “Rival“, LANCO

75. “Chasin’ Me“, Caroline Jones

74. “I Hope“, Gabby Barrett

73. “Somebody’s Daughter“, Tenille Townes

72. “Don’t Let Her“, Walker Hayes

71. “Break it In“, Eli Young Band

70. “It Always Rains in Portland“, Mark Mackay

69. “Right Where I Left It“, Cole Swindell

68. “Drink About Me“, Brett Kissel

67. “Highway Honey“, Kari Lynch Band

66. “The Bones“, Maren Morris

65. “Middle of Nowhere Kids“, Drew Baldridge

64. “The Picture“, Steve Moakler

63. “Makes Me Want to Stay“, Clay Walker

62. “Raised on Country“, Chris Young

61. “Slow Dance in a Parking Lot“, Jordan Davis

60. “Love is Stronger“, Matt Kennon

59. “I Do Too“, The Reklaws

58. “Dirty Looks“, Lainey Wilson

57. “Can’t Miss Something“, Maggie Rose

56. “Catch“, Brett Young

55. “If I Was a Cowboy“, Stephanie Quayle

54. “Living“, Dierks Bentley

53. “What Happens in a Small Town“, Lindsay Ell and Brantley Gilbert

52. “It Won’t Always be Like This“, Carly Pearce

51. “Famous“, Adam Doleac

50. “Put Me in My Place“, Muscadine Bloodline

49. “It All Comes Out in the Wash“, Miranda Lambert

48. “One Man Band“, Old Dominion

47. “Homemade“, Jake Owen

46. “Even Though I’m Leaving“, Luke Combs

45. “Ridin’ Roads“, Dustin Lynch

44. “I Hope You’re Happy Now“, Carly Pearce and Lee Brice

43. “Cool Anymore“, Jordan Davis and Julia Michaels

42. “Good Vibes“, Chris Janson

41. “Country Boy Things“, Canaan Smith

40. “Southbound“, Carrie Underwood

39. “Your Mama“, High Valley

38. “Lonely if You Are“, Chase Rice

37. “What if I Never Get Over You“, Lady Antebellum

36.”Somebody’s Gotta Be Country“, Easton Corbin

35. “Like I Miss You“, Waterloo Revival

34. “What Whiskey Does“, Randy Houser

33. “Heartache Medication“, Jon Pardi

32. “Miss Me More“, Kelsea Ballerini

31. “Love You Too Late“, Cole Swindell

30. “After a Few“, Travis Denning

29. “Some of It“, Eric Church

28. “10,000 Hours“, Dan & Shay

27. “The Ones That Didn’t Make it Back Home“, Justin Moore

26. “The Git Up“, Blanco Brown

25. “God’s Country“, Blake Shelton

24. “Make it Sweet“, Old Dominion

23. “Beer Never Broke My Heart“, Luke Combs

22. “Family Tree“, Caylee Hammack

21. “Tip of My Tongue“, Kenny Chesney

20. “Nothing to Do Town“, Dylan Scott

19. “Hard Workin’ Man“, Brothers Osborne and Brooks and Dunn

18. “Old Town Road“, Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus

17. “Dive Bar“, Garth Brooks featuring Blake Shelton

16. “Heaven Bound Balloons“, Granger Smith

15. “Livin’ My Best Life“, A Thousand Horses

14. “The You I Wanna Know“, James Wesley

13. “Make Me Want To“, Jimmie Allen

12. “My One and Only Weakness“, Cash Creek

11. “The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost“, Craig Morgan

10. “Remember You Young“, Thomas Rhett

9. “Hail Mary“, Haley & Michaels

8. “One Night Standards“, Ashley McBryde

7. “I Wish Grandpas Never Died“, Riley Green

6. “Brand New Man“, Brooks & Dunn and Luke Combs

5. “Love Ain’t“, Eli Young Band

4. “Be Alright“, Parmalee

3. “Nashville“, Kari Lynch Band

2. “More Hearts Than Mine“, Ingrid Andress

1. “Beautiful Crazy“, Luke Combs

Well that’s it. My Top 100 of 2019!

Where did I hit the nail on the head? Where did the arrow miss the mark?

I want to hear from you!

Let me know in the comments below!

Review: Cash Creek Strikes Gold with “Duality” Double Album

Posted October 14, 2019 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

So I have been really excited to write about this one since early summer. Trust me. This is one you are gonna want to read (and then go out and pick up the album).

First, a little background…

Although Cash Creek  may be considered a relatively new band on the country music scene, it’s members have enjoyed long histories and friendships together. Each member has carved out their own niche in the music industry as entertainers, road and session musicians, producers and songwriters.

The list of artists that the members of Cash Creek has worked with is nothing short of impressive. That list includes the likes of Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Trace Adkins, Alabama, Hank Williams, Jr., John Michael Montgomery, Josh Turner, David Lee Murphy and many more. Needless to say, the band knows what it takes to be successful.

So, I’m originally from the town of Petaluma, located in Northern California. Much of my family still lives there. My mom lives in Hidden Valley Lake (California) and teaches at Middletown High School. Every time I drive up to her house, I have to go through Napa, Angwin and Pope Valley, which is basically a quick stop between the Napa Valley and the Lake Berryessa. So do you want to take a guess where Cash Creek is from?

You got it. Pope Valley. Small world, right?

Anyways, I digress. When they formed Cash Creek, the band members knew they wanted to create a sound that would reflect a common vision, and maintain a cohesiveness that would be instantly recognizable, regardless of the song.

20190712_123631

Band members Monty DeVita and Kimo Forrest have been friends since elementary school and they met James Blaylock back in high school. DeVita started playing rhythm guitar in Forrest’s band when he was just 13 years old, but he eventually handed in his guitar to focus on playing bass, which he still plays for Cash Creek. He also adds his vocals to their harmonies. Forrest focuses on vocals, guitar, keys and now producing. In fact, he produced their latest release, Duality: The Center and the Edge (more on this later).

Cash Creek is a unique blending of vocals and guitars, with a little bit of fiddle and mandolin thrown in. Why not, right. The songs and production are of such a high-caliber, it’s hard to believe these guys are self-produced. With their distinctive sound, and especially the catchy hooks, you’re going to want to listen to Cash Creek over and over again.

Now, on to the new album “Duality: The Center and the Edge“.

Cash Creek | Duality: The Center and the Edge

Duality” is the culmination of decades worth of influences on Cash Creek from a variety of genres. This double album is a collection of twenty four songs, divided into groups of twelve, which the band refers to as “The Center” and “The Edge”.

“The Center” contains a sampling of straight forward country music, while “The Edge” contains tunes and performances that could easily be found on any playlist from Americana to hard rock, to funk and more.

Sounds like the playlist I have at home, in my car, just about everywhere!

To put it mildly, the boys in Cash Creek have truly outdone themselves on their latest, double album. I had extremely high expectations for this album and I was concerned that these expectations might lead to a letdown with the finished piece. However, I was pleasantly surprised that my fears were immediately quashed upon my first listen.

For me, “Duality” has a full circle feel to it. It comes at you in one way and then takes you in a number of directions, only to bring you back to the band’s roots in the end. That’s not something I can say about many of the albums I listen to. A lot of albums these days seem to be rushed, thrown together without any rhyme no reason. But “Duality” is different. I believe that this comes from the quality of lyrics on songs spanning both parts of the album, as well as the melodies and rhythm in every track.

“My One and Only Weakness” is, and will be, the standout song on the album that people will be talking about. The song is already seeing some movement on the charts. “Good Ole Days” is another song on the album which definitely has a nostalgic feel, reminding you of your favorite times in the past. Other tracks that jump out at me include: “All Wrapped Up”, “One More Night”, “The Neighbors Do Too”, “Should’ve Loved” (featuring William Shatner & Jeff Cook) and “Turn it Up”.

I had the opportunity to listen to the album from beginning to end a few times on my cross country road trip this summer. I’ll admit…it’s just what anyone needs to pick them up from a hard day at the office, or just working out in the yard. There is not one song on “Duality” that will disappoint you.

Most of all, I love the multi-genre influence on the two parts that make up both halves of the double album. I have always felt that this is something missing in traditional country music, and I’m glad to see more and more artists putting this into their music. It really helps to draw a larger audience. Go check out the album and you’ll see what I mean!

You can find more information (and purchase the album) here: https://cashcreekband.com/product/duality-cd/

Also, don’t forget to follow the band on Twitter at @cashcreek and on Facebook.

Give these guys a chance! Trust me, their music is worth your time.

Review: Kari Lynch Band Takes You to “The Other Side”

Posted August 3, 2019 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

I’m very excited about this one as I have the opportunity to introduce everyone to new music from Kari Lynch with the release of her album “The Other Side“.

First, a bit of background.

The Kari Lynch Band is fronted by Lynch with support from an amazing group of artists including singer-guitarist Justin Eames, lead guitarist Travis Radaz and drummer Brian V, along with bassist Mat Churchill.

Lynch1

Photo Credit: Eric Ellis 2018

Like other great, young artists that I’ve written about, one thing that I truly love about Kari is her deep appreciation for the dedicated fan base she has built up. Her unique voice, which combines classic country with a sort-of modern pop-rock twist, paired with great lyrics about real life and love, resonates with me immediately.

In creating her sound, Kari learned early on that what inspired her most was real life and struggles,  which includes a familiar topic with listeners of country music: love and loss.

In her own words, Kari says:

“I witnessed and experienced heartbreak early in my life. I think it made me grow up faster than most kids my age so I always had that longing for connecting with the rest of the world. Writing songs became my way of figuring out life and it was my place to say exactly how I was feeling, no holds barred.”

The Nashville-based band, originally from the state of Michigan, has played thousands of shows across the country and abroad. They have played to crowds in the tens of thousands and earned an impressive resume opening for some of country music’s most recognized artists including: Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Pistol Annies, Alabama, Brothers Osborne, Charlie Daniels Band, Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini and more.

LynchLive

Live at The Local – Nashville, TN – 11/2/18

Now, onto the new album.

The new, independently released album, “The Other Side” takes you on a musical journey which you won’t want to return from. From the first note of “Highway Honey,” the first single released from the new album, you can sense the determination and passion that is shown by the band through every song on the album.

What I love most about the album is that it has a little bit of everything. I’ts fun. It’s honest. It’s a mix of both traditional and modern country music. But, it also has an element of rock. It’s Americana with even some sprinkles of pop as well. As I mentioned, “Highway Honey” sets the tone for the album with it’s upbeat melodies and lyrical genius. While you might think the song is new since it kicks off the album, in fact, it was actually written a couple of years ago and the band decided to save it for this album.

Other top tracks on “The Other Side” include “Running Outta Love“, “Fly, Fly, Fly” and my personal favorite, “Nashville“, a ballad which tells the story of one woman’s journey to find her dreams in Music City. If there is one song that you MUST listen to on this album, “Nashville” is the one.

I had the chance to sit down with Kari when I was in Nashville recently and she was very excited to talk about the new album, their upcoming tour and what’s next for the band. When I asked about the aggressive timeline for completing the album, Lynch said that the group had an absolute blast making it, even though there were a lot of sleepless nights trying to record the album in less than a week. She also mentioned that, most of all, the band is excited for their fans to finally listen to their new music, both on the album, and at their shows.

I want to thank Kari for inviting me into her home to talk about the new album, and give me, and my family, an intimate performance of two of the new songs, “Fly, Fly, Fly” and “Nashville”, as well as the song which first attracted me to the band, “Sweetheart“. I introduced by daughter to The Kari Lynch Band two years ago and their music has had a major impact on her life. Learning to deal with life’s challenge and face them head on.

KariCaitlyn

Kari and Caitlyn in Nashville, Summer 2019

“The Other Side” is THE new album you need to check out in 2019. There is a little bit of something for everyone and you won’t find a bad track from top to bottom. Also, if the Kari Lynch Band is coming to your town, make sure that you catch a show. If the show is all ages, bring the whole family! You won’t regret it.

Also, make sure to check out her website and follow Kari on Twitter at @KariLynchMusic and on Facebook. Upcoming tour dates can be found here.

Hey Kari. Can’t wait to see you on the West Coast in either San Jose or Portland. How about both???

Decade in Review: My Top 100 Country Music Songs from 2008-2018

Posted December 31, 2018 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

On Twitter, I said a few weeks ago that it might be fun to pull together a list of my Top 100 songs of the past decade. Little did I know, that I would actually do it.

It sounded like fun and, well, there has been A LOT of good (albeit it diverse) music in the past 10 years.

So, let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Now, let me preface this list as I always do.

  • I’m not a professional music reviewer.
  • I don’t get paid to promote artists.
  • I don’t go by Billboard or radio airplay charts.

This list consists of the top 100 songs that I liked dating back to 2008. The songs that I wanted to come on my radio while driving to and from work, on a road trip, or when I was just sitting at home. Note that not all songs may be “traditional country”. I listen to all genre’s of music, so I have no issues with country artists who play “non-traditional” country. To me…music is music. If I like it, I’m going to listen to it (and enjoy it).

By the way, my three kids had input into this list so some songs might have ended up higher than I might have put them myself.

Also, you’ll notice that a lot of mainstream, radio hits by major artists are not included. No reason except for the fact that my list is not based on how famous you are. Simple as that. It’s the songs that I love (but please feel free to sway me in your direction if I left a song off).

You probably heard some of these songs every hour (on the hour) on your local country station. Others may not have been played much (if at all) when they should have been, in my own, personal opinion.

Either way, I’m sure that I’m going to leave quite a few songs off this list that could have easily made it. I know this going in and expect each and every one of you to say “hey, what about this song…or that song.” Please do.

Fight for the music and artists that YOU love!!!!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go through each entry and provide detailed background on the song, reasons for it’s placement, etc…But, feel free to leave a comment and I’d be happy to respond.

Now, without further ado, let’s get this party started:

100. “Girl Next Door“, Brandy Clark

99. “American Outlaw“, Halfway to Hazard

98. “From a Table Away“, Sunny Sweeney

97. “Good Hands“, Troy Olsen

96. “It Feels Good“, Drake White

95. “I Still Miss You“, Keith Anderson

94. “Already Gone“, Sugarland

93. “She Won’t Be Lonely Long“, Clay Walker

92. “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)“, Gary Allan

91. “Love is a Beautiful Thing“, Phil Vassar

90. “It’s America“, Rodney Atkins

89. “Bottoms Up“, Brantley Gilbert

88. “Drink to That All Night“, Jerrod Niemann

87. “Trailer Hitch“, Kristian Bush

86. “Back When I Knew it All“, Montgomery Gentry

85. “Greatest Love Story“, LANco

84. “Hole in a Bottle“, Canaan Smith

83. “Carolina“, Parmalee

82. “All Country on You“, Austin Webb

81. “Biscuits”, Kacey Musgraves

80. “Middle of America“, Will Hoge

79. “Country“, Mo Pitney

78. “All Over the Road“, Easton Corbin

77. “Song for Another Time“, Old Dominion

76. “Young & Crazy“, Frankie Ballard

75. “The One That Got Away“, Jake Owen

74. “Compass“, Lady Antebellum

73. “Rockin the Beer Gut“, Trailer Choir

72. “It Ain’t My Fault“, Brothers Osborne

71. “Wild at Heart“, Gloriana

70. “Parking Lot Party“, Lee Brice

69. “Dance With Ya“, Drew Baldridge

68. “Didn’t I“, James Wesley

67. “Keep Them Kisses Comin“, Craig Campbell

66. “If I Didn’t Have You“, Thompson Square

65. “See You Tonight“, Scotty McCreery

64. “Sweetheart“, Kari Lynch Band

63. “Cowboys and Angels“, Dustin Lynch

62. “Backroad Song“, Granger Smith

61. “Anything Goes“, Florida Georgia Line

60. “Outta Style“, Aaron Watson

59. “From the Ground Up“, Dan & Shay

58. “Drinkin’ Problem“, Midland

57. “Long Way Back“, Hillbilly Vegas

56. “Even Angels Have Bad Days“, Cash Creek

55. “How ‘Bout You Don’t“, The Lost Trailers

54. “Burning House“, Cam

53. “Mean“, Taylor Swift

52. “You Broke Up With Me“, Walker Hayes

51. “Small Town USA“, Justin Moore

50. “Hey Pretty Girl“, Kip Moore

49. “All Summer Long“, Kid Rock

48. “Looking Back Now“, Maggie Rose

47. “What We Ain’t Got“, Jake Owen

46. “What Kinda Gone“, Chris Cagle

45. “Up All Night“, Jon Pardi

44. “How Country Feels“, Randy Houser

43. “If I Die Young“, The Band Perry

42. “Every Little Thing“, Carly Pearce

41. “Redneck Crazy“, Tyler Farr

40. “Angel Eyes”, Love and Theft

39. “American Kids“, Kenny Chesney

38. “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight“, Cole Swindell

37. “Saltwater Gospel“, Eli Young Band

36. “Dirt Road Anthem“, Jason Aldean

35. “Where It’s At“, Dustin Lynch

34. “May We All“, Florida Georgia Line featuring Tim McGraw

33. “People Are Crazy“, Billy Currington

32. “American Saturday Night“, Brad Paisley

31. “Crash and Burn“, Thomas Rhett

30. “Girl Crush“, Little Big Town

29. “Friday Night“, Eric Paslay

28. “Wasting All These Tears“, Cassadee Pope

27. “Little Bit of You“, Chase Bryant

26. “Better Man“, Little Big Town

25. “Homegrown“, Zac Brown Band

24. “House Party“, Sam Hunt

23. “Drunk Girl“, Chris Janson

22. “My Church“, Maren Morris

21. “Drink in my Hand“, Eric Church

20. “Hooked Up“, James Wesley

19. “Out Last Night“, Kenny Chesney

18. “Die a Happy Man“, Thomas Rhett

17. “When it Rains it Pours“, Luke Combs

16. “Beers Ago“, Toby Keith

15. “Welcome to the Future“, Brad Paisley

14. “Country Man“, Luke Bryan

13. “Roots“, Zac Brown Band

12. “Keep in Mind“, LoCash

11. “Drunk on a Plane“, Dierks Bentley

10. “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart“, Old Dominion

9. “Beat of the Music“, Brett Eldredge

8. “Wagon Wheel“, Darius Rucker

7. “I Hold On“, Dierks Bentley

6. “She’s with Me“, High Valley

5. “Stay a Little Longer“, Brothers Osborne

4. “Smoke“, A Thousand Horses

3. “Real“, James Wesley

2. “Cruise“, Florida Georgia Line

1. “Even if it Breaks Your Heart“, Eli Young Band

 

Well that’s it. My Top 100 of the past decade.

Where did I hit the nail on the head? Where did the arrow miss the mark?

I want to hear from you!

Let me know in the comments below!

Year in Review: My Top 100 Country Music Songs of 2018

Posted December 9, 2018 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

It’s that time of year again where I like to take a quick look at my favorite country music songs of the year. We’re just about to the end, so now is as good a time as any, right?

Now, let me preface this list as I always do.

  • I’m not a professional music reviewer.
  • I don’t get paid to promote artists.
  • I don’t go by Billboard or radio airplay charts.

This list consists of the top 100 songs that I liked in 2018. The songs that I wanted to come on my radio while driving to and from work, on a road trip, or when I was just sitting at home. Note that not all songs may be “traditional country”. I listen to all genre’s of music, so I have no issues with country artists who play “non-traditional” country. To me…music is music. If I like it, I’m going to listen to it (and enjoy it).

By the way, my three kids had input into this list so some songs might have ended up higher than I might have put them myself. But hey…I value their opinions!

Also, you’ll notice that a lot of mainstream, radio hits by major artists are not included. No reason except for the fact that my list is not based on how famous you are. Simple as that. It’s the songs that I love (but please feel free to sway me in your direction if I left a song off).

You probably heard some of these songs every hour (on the hour) on your local country station. Others may not have been played much (if at all) when they should have been, in my own, personal opinion. Also, while some of these songs may have come out in late 2017, and may have even landed a low spot on my wrap up of the year, they were ones that were predominantly played (if they made the radio) in the 2018 calendar year.

Others may be primed for success next year so keep your ears open!

Either way, I’m sure that I’m going to leave quite a few songs off this list that could have easily made it. I know this going in and expect each and every one of you to say “hey, what about this song…or that song.” Please do.

Fight for the music and artists that YOU love!!!!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go through each entry and provide detailed background on the song, reasons for it’s placement, etc…But, feel free to leave a comment and I’d be happy to respond.

Now, without further ado, let’s get this party started:

100. “Old Fashioned“, The Springs

99. “Three Coors and the Truth“, 17 Memphis

98. “Clockwork“, Cody Wolfe

97. “Cure“, Wild Fire

96. “When It Comes to Loving You“, Jon Langston

95. “Worth It“, Danielle Bradbery

94. “High Note“, Haley & Michaels

93. “Don’t Get Better Than That“, LoCash

92. “Town You Never Heard Of“, Eric Burgett

91. “Fall Crazy“, Phil Vassar

90. “Meet Me in Vegas“, Halfway to Hazard

89. “Just Say You Love Me“, Hillbilly Vegas

88. “I Can’t Wait“, Cash Creek

87. “Gentle Man“, Drew Baldridge

86. “Call Your Momma“, Seth Ennis featuring Little Big Town

85. “Drunk People“, Chris Lane

84. “Day Drunk“, Morgan Evans

83. “Color Blind“, Trae Edwards

82. “Eyes on You“, Chase Rice

81. “Rollin“, Jackson Michelson

80. “Lonely for You Only“, Midland

79. “On My Way to You“, Cody Johnson

78. “I Was Jack (You Were Diane)“, Jake Owen

77. “Goodbye Summer“, Danielle Bradbery and Thomas Rhett

76. “Mercy“, Brett Young

75. “Hooked“, Dylan Scott

74. “Space Cowboy“, Kacey Musgraves

73. “Hands on You“, Ashley Monroe

72. “Caught Up in the Country“, Rodney Atkins

71. “Lose It“, Kane Brown

70. “The Difference“, Tyler Rich

69. “Bring Your Love Back“, Brandon Ray

68. “Blue Tacoma“, Russell Dickerson

67. “Tailgate“, RaeLynn

66. “Love You Too Late“, Cole Swindell

65. “Last Shot“, Kip Moore

64. “Dear Life“, High Valley

63. “Woman, Amen“, Dierks Bentley

62. “I Hate Love Songs“, Kelsea Ballerini

61. “All on Me“, Devin Dawson

60. “Buy My Own Drinks“, Runaway June

59. “Must Be the Whiskey“, Cody Jinks

58. “One That Got Away“, Michael Ray

57. “Love Wins“, Carrie Underwood

56. “Under the Influence“, Cloverdayle

55. “Growin’ Up“, Walker McGuire

54. “All Day Long“, Garth Brooks

53. “The Long Way“, Brett Eldredge

52. “Written in the Sand“, Old Dominion

51. “Another One Just Like That“, Michael Beck

50. “U-Turn“, Ryan Scripps

49. “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright“, David Lee Murphy and Kenny Chesney

48. “Kiss Somebody“, Morgan Evans

47. “Born Ready“, Steve Moakler

46. “One Number Away“, Luke Combs

45. “Rich“, Maren Morris

44. “Need to Breathe“, Love and Theft

43. “This Town is Killing Me“, Caitlyn Smith

42. “All Out“, Haley & Michaels

41. “Working on Me“, Clay Walker

40. “Feels Like a Party“, LoCash

39. “Got My Name Changed Back“, Pistol Annies

38. “Born to Love You“, LANCO

37. “Whole Lot in Love“, Austin Burke

36. “Desperate Man“, Eric Church

35. “Whiskey Glasses“, Morgan Wallen

34. “Nothin’ That a Shot Won’t Fix“, Kari Lynch

33. “Break Up in the End“, Cole Swindell

32. “Criminal“, Lindsay Ell

31. “What Whiskey Does“, Randy Houser

30. “Night Shift“, Jon Pardi

29. “One Man Army“, A Thousand Horses

28. “Cry Pretty“, Carrie Underwood

27. “Hide the Wine“, Carly Pearce

26. “You’re In It“, Granger Smith

25. “Far From Ugly“, Stephanie Quayle

24. “Drunk Me“, Mitchell Tenpenny

23. “Make Him Wait“, Abby Anderson

22. “Sleeves“, Jake Rose

21. “Wonder Woman“, Waterloo Revival

20. “Singles You Up“, Jordan Davis

19. “She Got the Best of Me“, Luke Combs

18. “Tequila“, Dan + Shay

17. “Life Changes“, Thomas Rhett

16. “There Was This Girl“, Riley Green

15. “Shoot Me Straight“, Brothers Osborne

14. “You Won’t See Me Cry“, Cash Creek

13. “Mr. 3 a.m.“, Kaylee Starr

12. “High Horse“, Kacey Musgraves

11. “Girl Going Nowhere“, Ashley McBryde

10. “Love Ain’t“, Eli Young Band

9. “Best Shot“, Jimmie Allen

8. “David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs“, Travis Denning

7. “Movin’ On“, Muscadine Bloodline

6. “Better Me“, Montgomery Gentry

5. “Burning Man“, Dierks Bentley featuring Brothers Osborne

4. “Diane“, Cam

3. “Hotel Key“, Old Dominion

2. “You Broke Up With Me“, Walker Hayes

1. “Drunk Girl“, Chris Janson

 

Well that’s it. My Top 100 of 2018!

Where did I hit the nail on the head? Where did the arrow miss the mark?

I want to hear from you!

Let me know in the comments below!

 

June 24, 1997. The Last Day of my Life…

Posted September 10, 2018 by Kreuzer33
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

On this World Suicide Prevention Day, it’s time to get personal. Sit back because it’s story time, and this is one that I hope you all will read until the end.

I’ve only told this story to three people (two currently are Facebook friends, and one who does not participate in social media), so most of you will have no idea that this was even going on in my life in the summer of 1997. Frankly, I’ve thought about telling this story many times over the years, but decided that it was better left a secret held between myself and a couple close friends.

Today, I’m going to tell the story from beginning to end. A lot of you will probably be quite surprised. Some of you will probably be pretty pissed off at me for never saying anything. In fact, this will come as a shock to a lot of my family members, all of whom have never heard this story until now.

To my family, I’m sorry for broadcasting it to everyone at once, rather than telling each of you about it individually, but I feel that today is the day to do this and that this is the forum that I can tell it the best. Hopefully, after you read my entire story, you can take this, learn from it, and potentially help someone else who may be hurting.

The date was Tuesday, June 24, 1997. My first year of college had just completed and it had been an extremely difficult year. A year before, my parents had announced their divorce after a marriage that lasted the first 18 years of my life. I had reached a weight of nearly 275 pounds which was contributing to my self esteem issues. Fitting in at school, even though it was close to home, was still difficult. While I had hoped to make new friends in college, it just wasn’t happening. At the same time, I was too busy with school work to spend the time that I used to with my high school friends, except on the weekends.

For nearly 10 months, I had been experience bouts of depression and by the end of the school year, I was spiraling out of control. I had fallen in with a crowd of people that I never should have associated with. They were friends of friends that were leading me down a path that I simply didn’t care if I ever came back from. And, to be honest, I almost didn’t come back from. I was finding myself distancing myself from everyone. Long time friends. New friends. Family. Just about anyone who could have helped me.

For weeks, I had contemplated taking my own life. I was depressed. I had begun cutting myself. First, just a few cuts that didn’t leave much of a mark. But as the days and weeks went by, it got worse. First drawing blood. Later, going deeper and deeper until I needed to wear gauze and bandages. I started to wear long sleeves and sweatshirts, even in the early summer heat, to cover the marks. I felt ashamed. I felt scared. “Is this something I really wanted to do? Is this something I could actually do?”

Every night the answer to that questions was: I don’t know.

For weeks, I had been trying to talk to someone…anyone about it. Every time I approached the subject, no one seemed to take me serious. They either pushed back that they didn’t want to talk about the subject of depression, suicide, etc…Like I was just joking around with them. But I wasn’t, and apparently, I was the only one who knew that I was dead serious. I tried, unsuccessfully, for weeks to get help from friends. Each time, no one was there for me. At the time, I wanted to talk to my immediate family, or other relatives, but I didn’t want them to be disappointed in me, like I thought everyone else was. Looking back, I should have gone to them first.

I almost did. One night on the weekend before, I sat in the garage of our home. In the dark. Wearing all black. Listening to Pink Floyd in the dark. At one point, my brother made the walk down the ramp to look grab laundry (I think). He didn’t even know I was in there. But he heard the music. He looked at me and was like “WTF?”. He grabbed his clothes and walked back up the ramp, shut the door and I just sat there. Continuing to listening to Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here on repeat for the next 4 hours.

Finally, came the day that I had decided would be the end of it all. The weekend before had not gone as hoped. Trying to fit in at social functions was a bust. Typical adolescent “picking on” and “being ditched” by friends had left me all alone. When I woke up that Tuesday morning, I knew that I needed to make one final effort to reach out to anyone that I could to stop me. I set up a series of meetings with everyone close to me to try and talk to them. To get them to talk to me. To talk me out of what I was thinking. Or to simply say my goodbyes.

I started with breakfast with my mom who had finished another one of her overnight shifts. She was so worn out that morning. She was talking about how tough things were. With work. With housework. With everything going on with her life. We sat and ate Frosted Flakes and eggs. I just couldn’t bring up the topic because I felt that I was one of the burdens on her life. So I had failed (in my mind) to do what I had intended to do. I gave her a hug and let her go take a short nap while I carried on with my day.

Next came lunch with my grandparents. We sat at their kitchen table and I had a tuna sandwich. Afterwards, I went with them to their garden to help pull weeds and talk. However, I knew that if anyone would be disappointed in me in what I was thinking, I assumed that it would be them. I didn’t want to burden them with my problems, so I said goodbye and left. Without even approaching the subject.

Next came a quick trip to my dad’s house. Anyone who knew him, knew that he spent many of the first few years after the divorce depressed. When I arrived, his house was trashed. Covered in records, boxes, garbage. It was a hoarders paradise. From the moment I arrived, I became more and more depressed in conversation. Talking about how bad his life had become. That people weren’t visiting anymore. That he didn’t know what he could do to make his life better. If anything, I blamed myself because I had distanced myself so much from everyone that I was ruining people’s lives.

I said goodbye and headed to my final destination.

Pepperwood Lane in Petaluma had become a destination for quite some time to get away from life, and have a good time. The stories I can tell won’t be repeated, but we had a lot of fun in the years after high school. However, even the good times weren’t getting me through the bad. I had hoped that this might be the place where someone would talk me out of what I was planning that later that evening.

The whole crowd was there. The good…and the bad. That weekend, and that night in particular, it was a melting pot of all the good, the bad and the ugly. I must have gone up to everyone that night. Trying to talk. Trying to get their attention. I was wearing short sleeves so that everyone could see the pain I was feeling in the form of bandages and gauze halfway up to my elbow. Unfortunately, no one seemed to know. Everyone had their own things (and I’m sure problems). I finally sat there, sitting on the couch, thinking about my life. Was it really as bad as I thought? Was I really ready to do what I thought needed to be done?

As I sat there alone, I decided to take a walk. It was almost 10 p.m. on one of the longest days of the year and the sun had finally set. There was a park in the complex where we used to go hang out and drink, smoke, whatever. I found myself sitting atop the playground structure in the dark, thinking about my life. Thinking about the good times…and the bad. Trying to justify reasons for living. Why should I stay? Who would miss me? It kept coming back to me that I was a disappointment. To my family. To my friends. Would they miss me if I was gone? Would killing myself take away the pain I was feeling?

Then, as I had finally come to terms with my decision, I was getting ready to head home. I took a deep breath as I stood atop the structure, looking out across the complex where I had hung out with friends for the past few years. It was quiet. The early summer fog was rolling in. The temperature was dropping and I knew that it was time to go home. No one would be there so having the house to myself was ideal.

As I stood there, I saw a shadowy figure walking towards me. She called my name. Was she looking for me? I didn’t respond, thinking that she would either make it to where I was. She came close, but never made it. After a few minutes, she turned to walk away. It was then that in that moment I decided to call out “up here”, I said.

She climbed up and we started talking. First about the party that was taking place at the house. Then the people who were there. How we both were experiencing some of the same things. For me, it was a feeling of disconnect. That I was a misfit who didn’t belong. Unloved. For her, it was a feeling of trying to belong, even though she wasn’t being respected. People were spreading rumors, like teenagers do. But at that moment, I was starting to feel like I wasn’t alone.

That maybe, just maybe, this was just a passing phase and that things could get better. Still, I wasn’t sure.

As we sat and talked, I started to open up. I talked about the thoughts I had been having for weeks. She saw my arms. She was pretty shocked at the site. She asked me to remove a bandage, where she saw cut marks, many of which were somewhat deep. At that moment, she grasped the seriousness of the situation and whether or not she knew it at the time, she made a decision to help me.

At first, I thought she was upset. Angry at me for even thinking about suicide. For cutting myself. But then she started to tell me the things that I needed to hear. The things that I had been hoping to hear for a long time. That I was loved. That I was respected. That I needed to be there to be a part of everyone’s lives. That I had a lot to live for. That someday, I was going to get away from this town.

For the first time in weeks, I was thinking about living. I was thinking about getting help for my depression. Getting thoughts for my thoughts of suicide. I was thinking about getting better and living.

In that moment, my life had been saved. I wasn’t going to go home and take my own life. I was going to take my life into my own hands and do something with it. I was going to defeat the demons that I was battling…and I did.

From that moment on, I vowed that things would be different. We went back into the party and I re-engaged. For the rest of the night, this girl did not leave my side. We continued to talk. We laughed. We drank. We talked about how good things were. The cloud of sadness seemed to have lifted. But would it last? I hoped that it would.

Before I finish, I want to say one thing.

For 21 years, this story has been kept close to the vest. In fact, the girl who saved my life…has no idea that she did it. She knows that I was suicidal, however, she has no idea that I planned to do it that night, if not for her stepping in and stopping it with her words, her compassion and her understanding. To this day, we are Facebook friends, and we don’t talk as often as we should, but it may be time to finally tell her. To thank her. To let her know that without knowing it, she saved me and I’m still here today.

The rest of that summer was different. I cut ties with a few “friends” who I didn’t need in my life. I started a workout program to cut the weight that I felt was keeping my self esteem low. It took more than two years, but I finally got myself into shape and that helped. I also started talking to a psychiatrist who got me mentally fit to avoid falling back into a deep depression.

When the next school year began, I started hanging out more on campus with new friends who I am still friends with today. I branched out and joined activities and eventually, became the person that I always wanted to be. Looking back on the dark days, I couldn’t believe I had gotten to where I wanted to be in such a short time.

The point of this post is not shock value. I’m sorry for all of you who have been kept in the dark for so long. I’m sorry that I never told any of you this as it was happening, or even in the years following. I should have. But part of me was embarrassed, and part of me was ashamed.

The point of this post is that ANYONE could be hurting. We all have issues that can lead us into depression. But, there is help. Talk to someone.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue to say it…I’m always available if anyone needs to talk. Day or night. I WILL make time. As I see bullying in schools, in the workplace and online, I hate it. I know that it is one root cause of a lot of people’s depression which can, in turn, turn to suicide. But, it doesn’t have to.

Keep an eye on your friends and family. Your children. Your parents. Depression knows no age limit. There are plenty of phone numbers you can call to talk:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1‑800‑273‑TALK (8255)

Trans Lifeline: US (877) 565-8860

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−7233

Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

We only have one life to live…and we’re all in this together.

Thanks for reading!