Taking it back to the ‘90s! To say that singer Cole Swindell knows country music is an understatement. In addition to his own songs, the Georgia native, 32, has written a number of singles for big names like Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett and Scotty McCreery. His second album, You Should Be Here, drops on Friday, May 6. Swindell, who will play Fox’s American Country Countdown Awards on May 1, shared his favorite country tracks from the ‘90s exclusively with Us Weekly.
“Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson: “This is just one of the first songs I remember riding around singing along to with my mom. First album, big hit off of there. Last year at the ACM awards, I got to sing this song with Alan Jackson the night before I won ACM New Artist of the Year. It will always be a special song, it’s just fun!”
“Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain: “I was young when this song came out but I wasn’t too young to not know how hot Shania was! She’s a huge influence on ‘90s country music — you can’t think of ‘90s country music and not think of Shania.”
“Fancy” by Reba McEntire: “It’s a classic country storytellin’ song. A family friend of ours took me to see her five or six times when I was a kid. She was always a favorite of mine. Just one reason Reba’s a bad ass!”
“Don’t Take the Girl” by Tim McGraw: “One of my favorite country songs of all time. Songwriting at its best. I was a Tim McGraw fan since the moment that I heard ‘Indian Outlaw,’ but this song is the one that really made me a lifelong fan.”
“Check Yes or No” by George Strait: “I’ll never forget running around the Albany [Georgia] Mall looking for the album with ‘Check Yes or No’ on it, only to find out it was only a $50 box set that I couldn’t afford. I still play this song in my set from time to time.”
“Meet in the Middle” by Diamond Rio: “First of all, there were so many great bands in the ‘90s and it’s hard to compete with the sound and harmonies of Diamond Rio. Anytime I hear them, it immediately takes me back to my childhood. Besides, how can you not like a song with ‘Georgia pine’ in it?”
“Amazed” by Lonestar: “This was the first song I ever sang karaoke to in Panama City Beach, and people were like ‘What the hell? You can sing?’ That single event and people’s reactions began my journey in the music business. I’d bet it’s still one of the top country wedding songs today.”