Like a hunter perched in the tree stand, I watch a lot of interactions on social media, quietly seeing that has transpired in the music world. Not looking to stir the pot much, I tend to keep it positive. I’m not a fan of bro-country, but I try to not go down the bashing road because as one of my friends says, I’m just not looking for that sort of audience. As independent artists gain rise in this digital music landscape, their music is now right in the hands of anyone who can think for themselves and seek out “the good stuff.” This means festivals and larger shows must take notice to stay relevant. So, what happens when your fan base hates bro country and you are invited to play with some of these artists?
One of the most interesting occurrences in music, is when artists perform another’s song. A song is an incredibly special piece of a songwriter’s life, because it’s personal and filled with some of the most intimate details of one’s mind. While there are exceptions to this – such as the blatant BS that is often pedaled on mainstream radio, a song can have such an impact on both the writer and listener. So, when another artist takes that very song and performs it themselves, it’s amazing to see what happens.
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!
Well friends, it’s that time of year when everyone and their grandma pulls out their notebooks and looks back down memory lane. It’s been a year of success in much of the independent country world as we have witnessed more of the mainstream look towards our favorite talents more closely. The noise has become louder from the Texas and Red Dirt scene as well as in the traditional side Nashville. With that, and in no particular order might I add, I give you my favorite albums of 2017.
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.
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.
A while back, I had posted on Facebook about stumbling across country artist, Jason James, while listening to a Pitstop for Country favorite, Dustin Sonnier. Just one of the many examples of why I see the value of Spotify, this find came courtesy of “Related Artists” - a tactic I have used to expand my library 10 fold. After taking to Facebook to share Jason James and tagging Sonnier in the process, I was sent a list of artists to check out. Sonnier took a moment to share some of his fellow Louisianian and Texas area friends that are certainly worthy of a share. Well let’s get into it, shall we?
Rapidly closing in on a year of Pitstop for Country’s existence, I’ve been recalling some of the artists that stood out to me the most. I always forget just how invested I am from so far away when talking to some local New England Texas country fans. Sure, they know the Cody Johnsons, Aaron Watsons, Casey Donahews and Josh Abbotts, but when it comes to smaller artists, many have no idea. I take that for granted because I enjoy so many of these up and comers, and seeing them work to create a fan base from next to nothing is incredible. It’s exactly what I am trying to do, so there is a lot of relate to. Texas has been home to some very talented female artists, and Kensie Coppin is one that you should be keeping tabs on.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how quickly our world has changed. Technology in my short life alone, has changed how we communicate, buy goods, get jobs, and view our world. It’s created platforms for people like me to share their thoughts to the world and just a few short years ago, it would have been difficult without social media. What I have observed and am very aware of, is the changing landscape with music and journalism. With Rolling Stone for sale and other publications fading away, it is a reminder that we as consumers have changed how we find and seek opinions about new music.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!