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SONGS OF THE YEAR - Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Cracker Barrel is now offering an exclusive album with songs that won awards at either the Grammy's, the Country Music Association (CMA's) or the Academy of Country Music (ACM's) through the years.  Some of today's best artists are featured singing those hits from the past.  From Willie Nelson to Jo Dee Messina to the new duo, The Wreckers, this compilation album is a special album for all country music fans.

Willie Nelson and Jack Ingram team up and start this album off with the Roger Miller hit "Dang Me."  "Dang Me" won the Grammy for Best Country Song in 1964.  I like the fact that Willie Nelson and Jack Ingram came together for this song... It's an intriguing version and one of the favorites from the compilation.
The Wreckers sang the CMA 1997 Song of the Year - Strawberry Wine - which was originally a hit for Deana Carter.  Their version sounds like something you would hear from them out on radio now.  They stick with what they know (the acoustic/pop flare with country) and this is how their fans know them.

Trace Adkins performs the CMA Song of the Year from 1970 - "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down."  Kris Kristofferson originally performed the song and also wrote it.  The CMA Song of the Year for 1975 "Back Home Again" by John Denver is now performed on this compilation by Trisha Yearwood.  Dierks Bentley and George Jones came together to sing Alan Jackson and George Strait's CMA Song of the year (2001) with "Murder On Music Row."

Vince Gill has a few "hits" that others had a chance to remake for this project.  Jo Dee Messina sings "When I Call Your Name" which was the CMA Song of the Year in 1991.  Jamie O'Neal and Michael McDonald come together for "I Still Believe In You" which dominated the song category at the awards in 1992 and 1993.  (Grammy - Best Country Song 1992, ACM Song of the Year - 1992, CMA Song of the Year - 1993.)  "I Still Believe In You" is one of my favorite Vince Gill songs of all time and O'Neal and McDonald really capture all of the emotion in this song.  Deana Carter and Heart also perform a Vince Gill hit - "Go Rest High On That Mountain" which won the Grammy for Best Country Song in 1995 and also the CMA Song of the year award in 1996. 

Lonestar performs the Steve Goodman hit "City of New Orleans" (Best Country Song 1984).  Randy Travis contributed his vocals on "Chiseled In Stone" which won the CMA Song of the Year awards in 1989 by Vern Gosdin.  I've been noticing the name - JYPSI for awhile, but until now I hadn't heard any music from them.  They seem to be original - a bit different than the ordinary so it'll be interesting to see how they do in country music.  Jypsi sings the Ronnie Milsap hit "Stranger In My House" - Grammy for Best Country Song 1983.  Blake Shelton's version of "The Gambler" is another highlight.  Kenny Rogers made this song a hit back in 1978 with a Grammy (Song of the Year) and in 1979 with the CMA Song of the Year.

I think it's a wonderful idea bringing together so many great country music artists and having them perform classic and recent award winning hits from other artists.  The Cracker Barrel "Songs of the Year" CD is something different for the country fans and it's great having country music and Cracker Barrel come together for this project. - Janelle Landauer

For more information on Cracker Barrel and the "Songs of the Year" CD - click here
Added: October 25, 2006
Dang Me - Willie Nelson & Jack Ingram
Strawberry Wine - The Wreckers
Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down - Trace Adkins
Back Home Again - Trisha Yearwood
Murder On Music Row - Dierks Bentley & George Jones
When I Call Your Name - Jo Dee Messina
City of New Orleans - Lonestar
Chiseled In Stone - Randy Travis
Stranger In My House - Jypsi
I Still Believe In You - Jamie O'Neal & Michael McDonald
The Gambler - Blake Shelton
Go Rest High On That Mountain - Deana Carter & Heart