DOWNLOAD: “COLD BEER”
“It’s a good all-American honky-tonk song,” says the country singer and hip-hop artist, 40. “You’ve been working daylight to dark and it’s time to have a little fun, and there is some cold beer and good-looking girls there. It’s the American dream for most country boys.”
• HE KNEW HE HAD A HIT WHEN…
Good pal Jamey Johnson agreed to join him in the recording studio. “Having him sing on something that he didn’t write let me know that this is a cool song,” says Ford.
DOWNLOAD: “KISS ME NOW”
Cowritten with Sarah Buxton and Nashville songwriter Blair Daly, “It’s a flirty song about those times when you have to forgo subtlety because someone isn’t getting the hints,” says Armiger, 18.
• HER INSPIRATION
“I had this friend who I wanted to be more than friends with.” Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. “Sometimes when you have them kiss you now, it doesn’t work out,” she admits.
DOWNLOAD: “CRAZY NOT TO”
The American Idol finalist offers up a soulful song about reluctantly falling in love again. “It’s about somebody who has experienced the pain of love and doesn’t want to go down that path again,” says Gokey, 30. “But they find someone so special, they’d be crazy not to pursue it.”
DOWNLOAD: “BRING ON THE LOVE”
“It’s just a fun summer song about loving your neighbor,” says lead singer Brandon Jane. “It’s a really simple message about loving somebody the way you love yourself.”
• WHO THEY ARE
Brandon, 28, and her sister Leah Crutchfield, 26, grew up singing in church and in a family gospel band in their native Mississippi. They took the first part of their name from L.A.’s Coldwater Canyon (a nod to one of their favorite California bands, the Eagles); Jane is a family name.
• THEIR INSPIRATION
“We wrote every song on our record,” Brandon says of their debut album, due this summer. “Every single song is about our life.”
MORE TRACKS WE LOVE…
Kennon says the song’s message “keeps people who are overwhelmed from feeling alone. It’s all about reaching out.”
“I WANT A MAN”
“I know what I need in a man,” says the singer, “and this song describes what I want. I’m willing him into existence!”
JOSH ABBOTT BAND
“SHE’S LIKE TEXAS”
The song is “about all the qualities that guys like in their girlfriends and wives,” says Abbott.
“BETTER THAN I USED TO BE”
“It’s about my life,” says Kershaw. “I’ve made bad choices; I’m not perfect. But I’m working on it.”
TO DOWNLOAD FREE iTUNES SONGS FROM THESE BUZZWORTHY ARTISTS, GO TO PEOPLE.COM/FREE