With the end of 2017 rapidly approaching, it will soon be time to turn the discussion to the rear-view mirror and take a look back at all this year had to offer. However, some artists have still grabbed my attention and being the top dog here at Pitstop for Country, I can certainly make room as I so choose. Mr. Nate Coon (the drummer for Aaron Watson and performer on many studio recordings) shared a song a few weeks back that is a real ear catcher. It’s light, nothing particularly heavy, but it’s a fun, high energy track that had me singing along right away. The Cody Wayne Band’s Addicted is sure to be a song that brings some new fans on board to this high octane group.
Cody Johnson, Mo Pitney and William Michael Morgan work to Bridge the Nashville and Texas Country Gap
- Something that is intended to reconcile or form a connection between two things.
It’s something that is much needed in the Texas and Nashville worlds of country music if both are intend to civilly co-exist. Many of us are guilty of the occasional bashing towards Nashville and their sub-par offerings to the mainstream arena, but Nashville is home to some serious talent - not just Texas. While the latter has seen a massive boom in recent years and increased exposure, much of the artists garnered their inspiration from the same idols. It’s the recognition of those similarities that I believe brought Cody Johnson, Mo Pitney and William Michael Morgan together for their acoustic verse swap of Merle Haggard’s, Okie from Muskogee.
Don’t worry folks, I did the dirty work for you. I have been dying to see just how well the Texas and Independent artists stack up against the mainstream Top 40 with Spotify Followers. Sure, it doesn’t tell the whole story, but let’s face it. Spotify is here to stay and it is an incredible way to find new music. Let’s see what the numbers look like.
Tis the Season! It’s that time of year where everyone get bombarded with Christmas songs and I figured I would join the fray. I wanted to put together a list of some Christmas songs, old and new by mostly Texas artists with some favorite mainstream artists thrown into the mix. Take a look at some of the highlights before you fire up Pitstop4Country’s Soundtrack to Christmas!
Phoenix, Arizona born Tommy Ash is one of the women that continues to impress the hell out of me with her stark country vocals. It’s her defiant non-conformity attitude that has allowed her to continue her rise in recognition and respect among some of the top names in true country music. Instead of following the pack in Nashville, she took a hard left and is determined to keep the old fashioned twang alive. Earlier this summer she released a series of live session videos that show off her stage presence and some highly anticipated new material.
Much like Nashville, there seems to be a disconnect with female talent in the Texas scene. Before people starting starting raising hell, no, I am not saying there is no good female talent. There is an immense level of talent in Texas that have made their presence known. Hell I cover many of them. However, the men tend to dominate in the following size and the larger venues. Artists like Sunny Sweeney and Bri Bagwell have positioned themselves as some of the larger ones in my mind. But there needs to be more that are given a chance on a larger stage. The talent is there, but where is the support? I’m not exactly sure what causes it, but there is an artist that I have been so hooked on recently after seeing a post by JR of The Red Dirt Rebel. Kenna Danielle. This girls got it and I think she’s going to make some serious noise in Texas these next few years.
Ah yes. There’s nothing like those artists that work so hard to keep the throwback sounds of country music alive and well. The crying of the fiddle and pedal steel going back and forth in perfect harmony. And what’s that you say? No mention of tailgates and tan lines? Nope. Just some bona fide country gold and honky tonk. Jeremy Steding put Aaron McDonnell on my radar earlier this year and I have really enjoyed McDonnell’s music ever since. He possess a keen ear for pulling all of the classic elements together into a neatly wrapped package without the slightest feeling of being dated. Luckily for us, he released a new album titled, Lucky Me a few weeks back.
In my opinion, collaboration albums tend to be a thrown together jumble, but sometimes they come together so perfectly, such as Deryl Dodd’s outstanding, Long Hard Ride. I have been holding albums to the standard that Dodd set earlier this year when he blew my socks off. A throw back favorite artist of mine is Tracy Lawrence and I was cautiously interested when I saw he had a new collaboration album, Good Ole Days. When I saw all of the mainstream names I flinched, afraid to even give it a whirl. Afterall, many of them who once released solid country music have resorted to egging the very genre that gave their start and initial fame.
Most kids dream of getting behind the wheel of an iconic piece of American Muscle. Ok, maybe not most. Some are still swept up in the Fast and Furious lifestyle with fart cans, big wings and cambered tires, but you get the picture. There’s just something about a high performance V8 snarling under the hood that attracts many, including myself. The dreams of the open road and living the bachelor life runs strong for quite a few years. A few women come in the picture and then one comes along that changes it all.
Hang around long enough in music, and you’ll begin to learn about not just artists, but the musicians themselves. The people that may not be right out in the spotlight to the same level as a singer, but still every bit as important. With many upcoming artists, it’s in their best interest to have a professional band backing them for their studio recordings. In much of the Texas musical world, acoustic shows are the norm for these smaller acts and in time, they hope to be backed by a top notch band. So what about in the meantime? Record the best album you can afford with the best people. I’m a big supporter of guys like Doc West and Hunter Hutchinson, and kept noticing that Nate Coon, the drummer for Aaron Watson, has been playing on so many Texas albums. It continued to peak my interest and I had to learn more about him. Let’s dive right in.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!