10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: Spring 2015

From the next (early) Taylor Swift to a hard-rocking, guitar-shredding duo

Drake White
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Jason Davis/Getty Images for BMLG9/10

Drake White

Sounds Like: Chris Stapleton singing "Whiskey River," Bonnie Raitt's secret twin brother

For Fans of: Keith Urban with the Ranch, Cross Canadian Ragweed in their weediest moments, Thomas Rhett's "Crash and Burn"

Why You Should Pay Attention: It hasn't been an easy road for the Alabama-born White — he was dropped from a Mercury Records deal after his first single "The Simple Life," failed to make an impression on radio, and he's been touring for years behind nothing but an EP. That hasn't bothered his fans, though, or Big Machine's Dot Records, which snapped him up. Good move: he's a growling, stomping spitfire, blasting his songs with bluesy energy that's as infectious as his catchy choruses.

He Says: "It's gonna be me, it's gonna be a spark," he hints about his upcoming LP, expected in the fall. "I'm not sure how people held on with me this long, but they did. And I truly believe it's because our live show is second to none. Now the obstacle and the challenge is to convey that on the album. If you're rocking out live and people are loving it, then do that in the studio. Spit, growl, preach and jam."

Hear for Yourself: "It Feels Good" was loosely inspired by the vibe of Pharrell's "Happy" and packs a washboard, sitar, banjo and suitcase kickdrum for that signature swamp stomp. By Marissa R. Moss

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