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10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: May 2017

From a country-soul chanteuse to a hard-stomping band of Southern rockers

An Arkansas singer-songwriter with Eric Church’s seal of approval; a Southern-rock band led by a ferocious guitarist; and a country-soul vocalist with charm to burn and the steady hand of Shane McAnally guiding her latest EP. These are the 10 new country and Americana artists you need to hear right now. 

Country Artist to Listen to May 2017

Amarylis Lockhart

Stephanie Quayle

Sounds Like: A child of country radio equally fluent in nostalgic Dolly Parton and airwave-friendly guitar pop

For Fans of: Faith Hill, Cassadee Pope, Lauren Alaina

Why You Should Pay Attention: Quayle made a splash last year when she released “Drinking With Dolly,” a wistful number about hanging out with country music royalty in the good ol’ days. “Imagine sitting around a table with Tammy, Loretta, Dolly and Patsy,” Quayle says. “Can you even picture it? What would have been said? I’d probably just sit there and take notes.” The numbers suggest that plenty of listeners share Quayle’s curiosity – “Drinking With Dolly” has accumulated nearly half a million streams on Spotify. Quayle grew up on a bison farm in Montana, where country music was a constant presence thanks to an AM radio in the barn. She started playing piano at age four, bought a guitar at age 15, and stepped onto a stage fronting a band the next year, at which point she decided “this was where I was meant to be.” After a short detour in Los Angeles, Quayle moved to Nashville, where she eventually signed with an indie to release “Drinking With Dolly.” New song “Winnebago” is beginning to make tracks at country radio.

She Says: “Drinking With Dolly” earned Quayle a nod from Parton herself. “She typed me a letter on her pink paper – how much she appreciated the song and how one day she hopes we put on our rhinestones and kick up our heels,” Quayle remembers. “With ‘Winnebago,’ I love that it’s roll your windows down and sing along. If that song doesn’t make you smile, then I don’t know what will.”

Hear for Yourself: “Winnebago” aims to conquer the youth vote with a viciously contemporary sound, all bouncy guitars and sternum-shaking bass. E.L.