There has without a doubt been some buzz generated when a young man by the name of Dillon Carmichael released a tune called Old Songs Like That. Without looking, you’ll perk up when you hear his booming vocals, trying to place just where you heard them before. Nephew to Eddie (1/2 of Montgomery Gentry) and John Michael Montgomery, Carmichael inherited and has honed an incredible voice that will make the gods of country music gleam with approval. Pair that with songs that are pulled straight from the heart, we could just be looking at one of the next big things in country music.
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?
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.
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.
By diving head first into my music sharing hobby, I have expanded my music library like I never would have dreamed. It’s challenged me to always look for new artists and appreciate the different styles that are not heard on mainstream radio. Sometimes the artists can have such a different style that it might be shocking to your musical processing system. You aren’t “ready” for their sound yet. But it’s normal to me to experience that. Sometimes I bookmark an artist and revisit them at a later date – often discovering that I enjoy their music very much. Here are 10 artists that I came across in 2017 that I would encourage you to explore yourself and expand your music library.
While so many people focus on the latest hot tune or never look past the albums, how the heck could I not spend some time with some of my favorite EP’s of 2017? EP’s for those that don’t know, typically are a 3-5 or so song “mini album.” In the Texas and independent realm, they are a common release due to the budget involved with recording, mastering, and marketing music. By no means does an EP need to be a poorly sounding release and quite honestly – it never should be. I took notice of five that stood out to me in a big way.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!