10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: February 2018

From the blue-collar twang of Pat Reedy to the easygoing country-pop of Brown & Gray

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Pat Reedy
Wilde Company9/10

Pat Reedy

Sounds Like: Gritty AM-country gold spinning on a truck-stop jukebox

For Fans of: Dale Watson, Cody Jinks, Merle Haggard's "Workin' Man Blues"

Why You Should Pay Attention: Pat Reedy knows a few things about an honest day's work. At 36, the self-professed jack-of-all-trades doesn't balance his music dreams with a flexible service-industry gig like many other artists. Instead he prefers construction, sweating and swearing on the high-rises going up all around Nashville. Before that he was an oil-drilling roughneck and a surface miner, among other adventures, and that blue-collar, salt-of-the-earth approach shows up big time in his music. Drawling, a little rough around the edges, and delivered with a booming baritone that could be heard over a bulldozer, Reedy's tunes are simple and sincere throwbacks to the straight-talking country of the 1970s and before. "I like the shit Waylon Jennings rebelled against, and I like the shit he did," Reedy says. On the 12 tracks that make up That's All There Is (out April 6th), Reedy calls it like he sees it, celebrating calloused hands and quitting time in a way that's rare in today's mainstream.

He Says: "The stuff that's out there now is just so plastic. If you listen to the lyrics it's like they're all written by 13-year-old girls, and it seems like there's zero creativity allowed. It's all about buzz words. I mean, I drive an old F-150. I enjoy hunting and fishing and giggin' frogs. I like sweet tea and I love turnip greens, but I don't write about that. And it used to be that country music had a sense of humor about itself. Like David Allan Coe writing about prison, trains and mama – that was funny. But now it's like that's the extent of the intellect that is acceptable."

Hear for Yourself: Dripping with steel guitar, a road-weary rhythm and Reedy's lonesome, low-down vocals, "Bloodshot Heart" is a tribute to doing things the hard way – and paying the price. C.P.

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