Best Jukebox Heroes: Midland
It's fashionable to hate on Midland: They're inauthentic, the Monkees of country music, yadda yadda. But their Saturday late-afternoon set at This Tent called bullshit on such claims, with the trio proving to be both versatile musicians and confident entertainers. Along with "Drinkin' Problem" and new single "Burn Out" from their debut On the Rocks, the band delivered a jukebox's worth of cover songs. Frontman Mark Wystrach led a spontaneous crowd singalong on Alabama's "Dixieland Delight"; ZZ Top's "La Grange" nodded to the group's Texas homebase; and Springsteen's "Tougher Than the Rest," strengthened by guitarist Jess Carson's nuanced licks, was a pleasant surprise. The capper, though, was when bassist Cameron Duddy climbed behind the drum kit to flail away and sing Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" with an assist from photographer Danny Clinch on harmonica. Afterward, the band hightailed it back to Nashville to do it all over again at CMA Fest. J.H.