Sounds Like: Old school, sad-bastard outlaw country for a new generation of excited country fans
For Fans Of: Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Sturgill Simpson, Nikki Lane
Why You Should Pay Attention: Whether it's a reaction to the bro-country boom of the day, or merely as a family growing from a seed planted in more artistically creative soil, right now there's vital movement of fresh-faced new traditionalists the likes of Hayes Carll, Caitlin Rose, Sturgill Simpson, Jonny Fritz and others bringing classic country sounds to the modern world. Joining such ranks is Cale Tyson: A precocious 23-year-old Red Dirt balladeer who, almost by osmosis, learned the craft of crooning yearning weepers fit for slow dances at lonely roadhouses in his native Fort Worth, Texas, during his late teens, and has spent the last four years cutting his teeth among fierce competition in Nashville clubs.
He Says: "I gravitate towards sad songs," Tyson says. "I'm not really a sad guy. I'd say I'm more self-deprecating in, I consider, a comedic way, just because you have to laugh at yourself now and then. Nobody really has their shit together, and you kind of have to be able to say: ‘Yeah, I don't have my shit together, but I’m working on it.'
"There’s a huge throwback revival going on," he continues. "We're obviously not playing what's on the radio, it's clear. If we wanted to play what's on the radio, then we'd do that. But we're inspired by other things and write a certain way, and if that becomes cool then that's awesome. We're not trying to copy what's already been done, but we're drawing influence from it and trying to make it creative in a modern way."
Hear for Yourself: "Old Time Blues," from Tyson’s 2013 EP High On Lonesome —Adam Gold