Mr. Shooter Jennings has a new single that features some back-up input from some of the largest names in Texas Country. It’s catchy as hell and even better is that it’s proceeds go to the Rebuild Texas Fund.
Wade Bowen has been sharing his love of music by opening up his writing room to us on Wednesdays and this week he chose to debut an acoustic performance of his latest tune. The beauty of these weekly videos is the candid approach he takes when sharing music that he simply enjoys or has pulled influence from. Some of the tunes he selects are not country, which shows the casual viewer just how much of an impact the musical greats can have on a songwriter - not just their favorite country legends. Slotted for his new album in February of 2018, this new single Acuna is Bowen’s glory days tune where he reminisces about his college era trips to Mexico.
Reflecting on late 2016 and all of 2017 here at Pitstop for Country, it’s been a heck of a year for discovering new music. It’s been an eye opening experience for realizing just how much immense talent lies below the FM dial. When I set out to begin this journey, uncovering smaller acts, talking about larger ones, and just music discussions in general were my main focus. So far, that has been the case but I’m still amazed, even now, at the crazy talent that doesn’t receive more discussion. It’s those with day jobs that impress me the most as they are pushing to pursue their dreams, balance a family, and still show up to work on time and provide for their families. I’ve kept close sights on one such artist, someone that has truly gained a big fan out of me and I know that in time others will continue to follow. There is just no way that someone like Doc West can be overlooked much longer and he’s here to prove that with a music video for Watcha Call A Cowboy, his first single off his upcoming EP, Hard Luck Cowboy.
With everything that has been going on in our country, many have lost sight of one simple ideal: People are inherently good. How many times have you watched someone having car trouble in a shopping center parking lot? Maybe you yourself have been in this situation yourself. I personally have helped numerous people especially back in college from helping with a battery jump start to showing someone how to add coolant. Never once did I walk away based on a political view or beliefs in general, and neither should you. Social media has continued to cause a rift because people believe that rants will change other people’s minds. This just in: it just causes a divide. Texas artist Josh Grider hopes to help people remember that all we have is each other in this journey called life.
It should come to no surprise that the blonde bombshell, Sunny Sweeney, released one of the best country music albums of 2017 with, Trophy. Throughout her music career, Sweeney has seen national mainstream radio play with songs like, From a Table Away but has since returned to her roots in the Texas Scene to pursue her own style of country music. She is no stranger to putting personal experiences into her music and held nothing back for one of the most special tracks she has ever released. It’s personal, it’s raw, and it’s a song that will continue to resonate with people who have experienced the struggles of not being able to have a baby. With Bottle By My Bed, Sunny has created a music video that feels so real and you can’t help but feel the pain in her voice as she and her husband are on your screen.
There is nothing like one of your favorite artists releasing new music. The only thing better is when the artist releases an album that pays tribute to their entire career and re-imagines some of their best original songs. Often much to my frustration, there are artists that have some amazing songs, yet they were recorded early on in their careers when the budget wasn’t quite up to their current level. Understandably, the bands are usually not as tight and refined, but as time passes that typically changes. With Casey Donahew that has been exactly the case, and he has delivered a hell of an album with The Wild Ride.
Often, we are focused on the young guns of country music - you know, the next big thing. Sometimes we forget that there are some talented, more seasoned folks out there that fully enjoyed, experienced, and even played alongside the early likes of George Straight and Conway Twitty. Many of these bands are likely going to stay fairly regional because of how competitive the Texas arena is. That does not mean however, that they shouldn’t be talked about, especially when they have some surprisingly good releases. A group of longtime friends have stuck together through all the challenges of nearly three decades of life, and now make up a group called Rumor Town. And despite their latest single being coined The Apology, they should feel anything but sorry for creating some seriously authentic country music.
For nearly a decade, there has been an Atlanta based country band, working their butts off to introduce new fans to their music. Bits of bluegrass and honky tonk blend with powerful female vocals to create an addictive production, something ripe for country radio. You may even note similarities to a band like Lady Antebellum, but realize how much more country is infused here. While listening to Shayne Hollinger’s show on 95.9 The Ranch last week, I heard Follow You by The Whiskey Gentry and was so impressed with their sound that I looked them up immediately. How I didn’t know they exist is beyond me, but I want to ensure that you are in the know on this impressive group.
After Texas country artist, Jarrod Johnson, tipped me off about Steven James and the Jaded quite some time ago, I understood what he meant about them deserving more attention. I remember driving down 495 heading home and pulled their music up and the first song I heard was their big hit, Texas Girls and that’s all I needed. Their blend of sounds is honestly pretty different than what you’ll find in a lot of country music. Some coastal rock mixed with classic rock and roll - sprinkled with some warm guitar twang. And that’s a darn good thing as it has helped Steven and the Jaded work to separate themselves from the run-of-the-mill Texas country band. We best remember those that take chances and create their own sound and Steven and the boys are well on their way with their latest single, Wildflower Lane.
By Doug Palmer
Doug runs IOUMusic on facebook and is an avid supporter of Independent music.
Let me tell you about independent country music's wild card...
The first time I saw Charley Crockett on stage, I had no idea he was going to be there. The opening band was setting up and I recognized the guy who had been in front of me in line at the convenience store earlier, he was the axe man. Next thing I know this wild man walks out on the stage in a 70's nudie suit, grabs the mic, and breaks into an unexpectedly bluesy song while his band plays brass flavored funk. It didn't take more than a couple minutes before everyone in the club was dancing along to this unique blend of country, rock, and Cajun flavored blues. Before Charley and the boys left the stage, I knew I had a new favorite.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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