I’m always fascinated with the perseverance that musical artists possess. It’s gets them through the early days when they are playing to next to no one. Some out there in the audience may perk up when they hear a cover they really like, but many of the original songs go unnoticed. The crucial time in chasing one’s dream is the empty room. No audience, little fame, and still having to give it your all. It’s a true test to one’s commitment to their chosen path. It’s also for the love of your craft more than anything else. Staying hungry for your dream and Jade Marie Patek tells us her story with Drive.
2017 brought a lot of positive change for Scotty McCreery. After having his record deal fall through, he found himself an independent artist and nearly starting from ground zero. While his original music tended to lean towards the country-pop side of things, fans and listeners could always tell that there was something more under the hood. McCreery’s voice is just so damn good and he just needs to be paired with the right songs to make the magic happen. Could 2018 be the year that it all comes together?
It’s been an exiting time for Aaron Copeland in the past year. He’s made a big step by releasing his self-titled EP back in June of 2017 and has continued to march forward with the band. Having made Pitstop for Country’s “Favorite New Artist Finds of 2017,” Copeland (AC) is certainly a talent to make note of. It’s an impressive time in the Texas realm of country music due to the large number of young artists that have worked to put their own style of country together – yet understand that many folks want to still hear the flavor the old “five-piece band.” For AC’s single, Rain, he put together a music video that goes right along with this great sounding love song.
With the holidays behind us, it’s time to start looking forward to some of the notable country music releases for 2018. This list contains just some of the ones I am excited for. Check them out below and let me know of any that you are patiently awaiting!
Jon Stork is yet another one of the young-gun class of Texas country artists that is continuing to gain traction and working to show his personality on social media. As this digital age pushes ahead at ever-increasing rates, it’s the personality that largely creates the brand. The artist can no longer rely on the album and single sales to fund their career. It’s their partnerships with companies and other brands that help to keep things creative, fresh and moving ahead. So, it never hurts when you partner up with someone like Leroy Gibbons to create our first highlighted track of 2018, the twangy rodeo tune, Rodeo Blues.
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.
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.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!