Amy Trail Goes West

For a long time, I've considered Kerry Grombacher the only western - as opposed to "country" - artist in New Orleans. It's a limited genre, one almost defined by Ian Tyson and songs about people whose lives are shaped by a place where there are miles between houses and the horizon is epic.

Jim McCormick is a Songwriting Machine

Earlier this summer, New Orleanian Jim McCormick co-wrote his first number one on Billboard's country charts - Brantley Gilbert's "You Don't Know Her Like I Do." When we talked, he said he had another song, "Take a Little Ride," that he co-wrote with Dylan Altman and Rodney Clawson for Jason Aldean. It had reached number one on iTunes' all-genre chart in late July, and now it is McCormick's second number one hit on the country charts after going almost a decade without one.