Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge Zac Brown Band fan, so it shouldn’t be a shock that my “New Artist of the Year’ is a tie between two Southern Ground artists: Levi Lowrey (“I Confess I Was a Fool”) and Sonia Leigh (“1978 December”). Though as incredible as I felt both albums were, it’s the personal connection I made with the music this year that really affected me.
During the last days with my father, when the days were spent at the hospital, the nights were spent generally reflecting on what was going on trying to drink myself to sleep. It’s not something I’m particularly proud of – especially when I started with Goose Island Bourbon County stout and ended with Bud Lite Lime (it wasn’t pretty) – but we all mourn in our own ways. Plus it’s not like I was drinking alone, because they were there with me.
I’d stay up until 2am listening to their albums over and over again. It relaxed me and helped keep me calm, and in some way helped take my mind off of what I was ready to admit was coming next. The outpouring of support from friends and family was and has been humbling, but it was Levi Lowrey and Sonia Leigh there with me when I was at my lowest. That’s something I’ll never forget.
Anyway, here are my two favourite songs from the two of them…