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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Shotgun Rider
Charlie Stout7/10

Shotgun Rider

Sounds Like: Red Dirt country with a new haircut and leather jacket

For Fans of: Eli Young Band, Josh Abbott Band, Imagine Dragons

Why You Should Pay Attention: Growing up on a steady diet of emo, alt-rock, pop-punk and Texas country, Shotgun Rider claim George Strait and Kings of Leon as their biggest influences. But that unconventional combination doesn't sound so strange to the duo's Anthony Enriquez and Logan Samford. "A lot of it is just the generation we come from," Enriquez says. "We had access to everything. Logan would tell me when they were getting ready for football games they'd be jamming Breaking Benjamin, and then after the game they'd be drinking beers on tailgates on the backroads, listening to country music." Working with a combustible mix of high-flying vocals and textured electric guitars, the West Texas natives have graduated from three-hour cover sets to the celebrated Red Dirt club circuit. Following a handful of self-produced EPs, they're set for the March 30th release of their full-length album debut, Palo Duro, which trends toward the windblown and wide-open sound their home in the Texas panhandle inspires.

They Say: "When we were in high school all we wanted to do was get the hell out of here," says Enriquez. "But now we're living in the city, traveling all the time, and we miss it. You can see for like 30 miles and there's nothing but a windmill here and some cows over there. It's kind of lonely, but it's also peaceful and it keeps you creative, because your head isn't so cluttered. As a writer, I don't feel any boundaries out here because we're so far removed from everything."

Hear for Yourself: "Me and a Memory" sets the tone for Palo Duro, a nostalgic country-rock anthem built on electronic foundations and take-me-home vocals. C.P.

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