Their version of Classic Country goes down as smooth as a glass of Bourbon. The good stuff.
We are trying really hard NOT to like this Dripping Springs, Texas band. With their Nudie style outfits and Cosmic Cowboy embracing 70’s Glen Campbell vibe that takes us back in a Honky Tonk time machine, it is almost as if they are trying too hard to be cool. But heck, we don’t care anymore. It is official, we dig this band!
Jason Hawk Harris – Love & the Dark
Another stellar artist from Blood Shot records. He sounds a bit like Jason Isbell, carries with him a Lyle Lovett swagger, and composes a song with the best of them. I will stand on Steve Earle’s coffee table and call out Love & the Dark as one of the best Americana records of 2019.
Tanya Tucker – While I’m Living
Somewhat unbelievably, this is Tanya Tucker’s first set of original songs in 17 years. With production help from Brandi Carlisle and Shooter Jennings on tunes like “Bring My Flowers Now,” a song where Tanya sounds a bit like Lucinda, and “The Wheels of Laredo” that give us all hope that we might be seeing a Johnny Cash/Rick Rubin type career resurrection right before our very ears.
Vince Gill – Okie
When Vince Gill settles into his vocal pocket on a song like he does here over an entire album, the results can be glorious. Stepping out from his Eagles gig, the Oklahoma roots are showing on just about all of these 12 stellar tunes. Highlights abound, but “A World Without Haggard” and “Nothin’ Like A Guy Clark Song” stand above the rest. This Okie has still got it!
Sheer Mag – A Distant Call
From the opening salvo of “Steel Sharpens Steel,” the first song out of the chute here, you are hit between the ears with a Rock and Roll steamroller of a singer that roars like the devil spawn of Suzi Quatro and Joan Jett fronting Thin Lizzy. And yes, this much awaited album is as much of a brilliant guilty pleasure as you would think it would be.
Midland – Let It Roll
The agony of having to wait for the full album after the release of several ear enticing singles is finally over. Think Glen Campbell Rhinestone Cowboy era Country Style with this band of stellar musicians out of Dripping Springs Texas. We have tried very hard not to like this band and are failing miserably.
Yola – Shady Grove
The latest video from Yola’s debut record, Walk Through Fire.” A top 20 record for sure.
Starcrawler – Bet My Brains
Starcrawler, one of our favorite over the edge Rock Chick bands are back witba new single and video.
Trigger Hippy – Don’t Wanna Bring You Down
In 2014 Trigger Hippy, a supergroup consisting of Nashville session musicians released a self-titled album that was one of the best of the year. Here they pop up out of nowhere with a scorching new single.
Midland – Cheatin’ Songs
Normally, we would cry fowl on a band that travels the 80’s Country landscape, but for Midland all bets are off. We are all in. Here is their latest Garth Meets George gem.
The Allman Betts Band – Shinin’
Formed by the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts the Southern Rock torch has Ben duly passed. Close your eyes and you will think it is 1975 all over again.
Demob Happy – Autoportrait
This Psych Rock trio turns up the burners on this one to deliver the headbanger of the week.
Moon City Masters – The Price You Pay
A strong 70’s filter on this one picture Blind Faith jamming on stage with The Allman Brothers and you will pretty much get the idea.
Goodbye June – Universal Mega Love
These guys already have the chops to Greta Van Fleet and Rival Sons. A Rock band on the rise look for their new record Community Inn to come out in October.
Elles Bailey – Deeper
A vibrant Blues/Soul singer Elles Bailey could be the younger sister of Beth Hart.
Fresh out of Dripping Springs Texas, not Nashville, the band Midland throws down Urban Cowboy vintage country with a new soul. Their first single, “Mr. Lonely” has been released ahead of their upcomming release.
With Chris Stapleton between albums and Jamey Johnson continuing to put out material at a snails pace it is up to a new crop of country crooners to catch our ear. Here are five artists that are keeping the Honky Tonk alive.
Midland – Drinking Problem
Straight-Up George Strait vibing is this band from Dripping Springs Texas. They look the part and dress the part. The band name comes from a Dwight Yoakam song, the suits come right out of Porter Waggoner’s closet.
Dawn Landes – Traveling Songs
With the songwriting chops of Lucinda Williams and singing voice somewhere in the Emmylou Harris range, her new record, Meet Me at the River, Just might be the Country record of the year. It doesn’t hurt that the record was produced by the legendary Fred Foster, the producer responsible for hits from Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton.
Courtney Marie Andrews – Kindness of Strangers
In 2017 Courtney Marie Andrews released the highly excellent Honest Life to critical acclaim. This year, she has followed up in fine fashion with May Your Kindness Remain. The voice floats in the like early Linda Ronstadt or a present day First Aid Kit. The entire record is great but pay special attention to thus song as well as “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo”.
Tennessee Jet – Buenas Noches From A Lonely Room
Tennessee Jet is cutting his teeth opening for the big boys of the Outlaw Country revival going fret to fret with Cody Jinks and Whitey Morgan in venues across the country. Never straying too far from his Dwight Yoakam inspired roots, Mr. Jett is an artist on the rise.
Joshua Hedley – Weird Thought Thinker
His new record, Mr. Jukebox, should go to to toe with Dawn Landes for Country record of the year, for our ears anyway. Joshua Hedley could easily have been a Texas Playboy. Here is the latest single from the album.