I’ve been extremely fortunate this past year to not only see an endless supply of amazing music, but also the privilege to chat with many artists away from the stage, learning about the humility of their work, what inspires them and what they feel like music has taught them that they (along with everyone else) can take into their daily lives.
That being said, I’ll foray into my song of the year for 2016, and it’s from none other than Lexington’s Justin Wells. The former front man of Fifth on the Floor released his solo debut record Dawn in the Distance in August, and since its release the record has garnered widespread acclaim, popping up on countless album of the year lists and even recently winning song of the year from Saving Country Music for the track “The Dogs”.
However, my song of the year from the record is one that hasn’t gotten as much of the limelight. My song of the year, “The Highway Less Taken”, speaks about Wells’ split from Fifth on the Floor and how he weighed a future in music versus pursuing a normal job. The song features extremely heartfelt lyrics blended with the soulful background vocals of Joslyn Hampton of Joslyn & The Sweet Compression combined with a twangy steel pedal (my favorite instrument next to the mandolin) of J. Tom Hnatow (Vandaveer, Horse Feathers, etc.) for a composition of musical mastery that I could listen to over and over.
Back in August, I had the pleasure of chatting with Wells about the record. You can read that article by following the link below, which includes more insight into my song of the year and the album as a whole.
Let us know in the comments what your favorite new songs of 2016 are, and be sure to check out Big Blue Tunes’ sweet 16 of top albums from Kentucky artists in 2016, which includes Wells’ “Dawn in the Distance”.