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.
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.
This is a Guest Post by Doug Palmer
Until Late July, I had never heard of David Gideon. I had been digging around the internet for great new talent, and this particular week I had been striking out hard, I just couldn’t find anyone new who really pulled me in on first listen. That all changed when I heard the crying steel guitar of David’s song “Red Boots”; A quick listen to the rest of the EP reinforced what I had suspected, I had found my favorite independent country find of 2017.
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.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!