Day 2 of my 7 days of 5 things to ponder, research, discover. Today’s focus is music. As a point of reference, most of my listening is from the genres of Red Dirt/Texas Country, Americana, Roots Rock/Country. Here are my top 5 artists you should know:
- Cody Johnson – Cody burst on to the Texas scene a few years ago. He is from the “cowboy” lineage of Texas music – of which George Strait is the King. Cody has had a number of amazing accomplishments for being an independent artist: selling out the Houston National Finals Rodeo, the first independent country artist to achieve a million listens on Spotify and one of the first independent country artists to sign a distribution deal with a Nashville label (which means he maintains creative control. Cody has a new album called “Ain’t Nothin’ To It” coming out in early 2019. He’s released four songs off the album including “Monday Morning Merle”.
- Ryan Bingham – Probably the most commercially successful artist on this list, Ryan continues to craft beautifully written and produced music while also continuing his burgeoning Hollywood career. Coming from the “rock” lineage of Texas country, Ryan’s trademark raspy voice and heart-wrenching lyrics have a timeless, genre-less feel to them. He also has a new album coming out in 2019 – with “Wolves” being the first release off it.
- Lauren Morrow – The only artist not from Texas on this list, Lauren Marrow is part of a group of rising female country artists (check out Margo Price, Sarah Shook and Jamie Lin Wilson) finally getting some well deserved attention. A haunting, traditional voice that is reminiscent of Dolly and EmmyLou Harris, Lauren released her first album in October 2018. “Viki Lynn” is my favorite song off this album; reminding me of storytelling country from the 70s and 80s.
- Jamestown Revival – I’m a sucker for harmonies and music that makes you feel and think. Hailing from the “Folk” lineage of Texas music, Jamestown Revival has a sound similar to the Avett Brothers or The Wild Feathers. Their new single off their soon-to-be-released new album is called “Goodnight Hollywood” and is a great showcase of everything that makes Jamestown Revival unique and fresh.
- Vandoliers – Hailing from the DFW area, Vandoliers is best described as “punk country” – ska with a fiddle! I’ve not yet seen these guys live, but they apparently put on a legendary show – which you can draw from their frenetic album sound. “Troublemaker” is their first release off their upcoming new album.
For those of you that follow the Texas scene, a number of new projects coming out from the likes of Randy Rogers Band, Koe Wetzel, Dalton Domino, Hayes Carll, Aaron Watson, Flatland Cavalry to name a few.
For my full Spotify “Texas Music Sampler”, go here.
What are y’all listening to?