Sounds Like: The house band at a beer-soaked monster truck rally.
For Fans Of: Molly Hatchet, Dierks Bentley, ZZ Top
Why You Should Pay Attention: Firing twin barrels of hillbilly punk and Southern-rock buckshot, the Cadillac Three are the sort of long-haired, skirt-chasing gang you'd keep far away from your daughter... before cranking up their debut album after she goes to bed. The guys are Nashville natives, too — a rarity in a town that imports its population from across the globe — and wear their Southern pride on their musical sleeves, stomping and slurring their way through songs that celebrate the South’s swampy, skuzzy charm. "My dad played drums for the Grand Ole Opry," says lead singer Jaren Johnston, who writes chart-topping hits for Keith Urban and Tim McGraw during his downtime. "Growing up, I'd go there on Friday and Saturday nights, and I'd see all the different sides of country music. It hooked me. You don't get storytelling like that in other genres."
They Say: "For our first tour, we spent all summer with ZZ Top and Skynyrd, then did some shows with Eric Church and Dierks Bentley. In country music right now, there's a big hole for us to fill, where Eric Church and Skynyrd meet," says Jaren Johnston. "I enjoy the country crowds just as much as the rock crowds. It's a lot of the same people."
Hear for Yourself: "The South," a modern-day "Dixieland Delight," featuring Dierks Bentley, Mike Eli and Florida Georgia Line. By Andrew Leahey