10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: September 2017

From a country-folk prodigy with an affinity for Appalachia to a soulful, smooth operator from Louisiana

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Jacob Davis
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Christopher Polk/Getty7/10

Jacob Davis

Sounds Like: A date-night playlist of R&B-infused country, curated by the All-American boy next door

For Fans of: Old Dominion, Gavin DeGraw, early Maroon 5

Why You Should Pay Attention: Davis, originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, is a longtime fan of romantic comedies – How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is a favorite – but the genre isn't just a guilty pleasure. While an undergrad at LSU, the movies acted as an introduction to soul godfathers like James Brown and Stevie Wonder, which added vocal gymnastics to his voice and some R&B into his chronological songwriting. These days it's Davis' wife Whitney who acts as muse, and those songs, three of which were released in late July via Kelsea Ballerini's label home Black River Entertainment, speak to a more mature understanding of love by highlighting the beauty that comes the longer you know someone. No wonder fellow romantics Ballerini, Sam Hunt and Lady Antebellum have all tapped the 31-year-old to open their shows.

He Says: Davis' brother, Jordan Davis, is also a country musician (profiled by Rolling Stone Country in June), and the two, who shared bunk beds as kids, sat down recently to ensure success never comes between them. "It was the best thing we ever could have done," says Jacob Davis, older by two years. "There's a friendly competitiveness that I think drives both of us. But at the end of the day, man, your family's the most important thing out there. You can have all the hits in the world, but if you don't have relationships with people that you love, it don't make a hill of beans. There's not a bigger fan of my brother than me, and vice versa."

Hear for Yourself: In "What I Wanna Be," a longwinded pickup line promises not just passion but pancakes the next morning, which act as a symbol for commitment. Domesticity has never sounded sexier. J. Gugala

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