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10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: September 2018

From the breakout country-pop of Abby Anderson to the melting-pot sounds of Filmore

Abby Anderson, Filmore

Abby Anderson and Filmore are among the 10 new country and Americana artists you need to hear this month.

A progressive performer who draws comparisons to Sam Hunt, an empowering songwriter following in Kelsea Ballerini’s footsteps, and a vibey band of rockers making music fit for muscle-car stereos help make up our list of the must-hear country and Americana artists this month.

Tenille Arts

Courtesy of Campbell Entertainment Group

Tenille Arts

Sounds Like: An edgy, Fearless-era Taylor Swift with crystalline vocals; ideal for hopeless romantics who are fire signs

For Fans of: Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood

Why You Should Pay Attention: Despite releasing music independently since 2016, Saskatchewan native Tenille Arts didn’t get her big break until she performed on The Bachelor in 2017. During the viewing party for the show, the head of Reviver Records came to see Arts play. Soon enough, the 24-year-old country newcomer landed a record deal. Although her debut album Rebel Child was released by 19th and Grand Records in 2017, a deluxe edition of the LP came out earlier this year via Reviver. Arts’ talent led her to an opening slot for Reba McEntire at select shows, and she’s in the midst of preparing for her first big tour with fellow Canadian country singer Dean Brody.

She Says: Performing on The Bachelor was a game-changer for Arts. “My manager said, ‘Send me your best love song. I think there’s going to be a big opportunity for you.’ [So] I sent him this song I had written called ‘Moment of Weakness’ and we recorded it really quickly and sent it into the show. They loved it and wanted me to be on an episode. I did that almost a year ago — in Ari’s season. Now we just found out I’m going to be on the show for Colton’s season of The Bachelor.”

Hear for Yourself: “I Hate This” addresses the helplessness that comes with any broken relationship, with Arts’ voice drifting and lilting over a Dobro riff. I.K.

Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Courtesy of Missing Piece Group

Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

Sounds Like: A reverent take on foundational country-blues boosted by gospel energy and scrappy Heartland edge

For Fans of: North Mississippi Allstars, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus

Why You Should Pay Attention: As a teenager, Josh Peyton became a hardcore fan of early country-blues, and his interest has never waned. Fronting Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, the rural Indiana native blends the primitive finger-picking of early Delta pioneers like Charley Patton with the hypnotic slide riffs of the Hill Country style to craft his own raucous, uplifting sound. Despite the name, the Big Damn Band is actually a stripped-down trio, with Peyton joined by his wife Breezy on washboard and drummer Max Senteney on a minimalist kit. The power comes from Peyton’s deep, preacher-like vocals and aggressive fretwork on a range of vintage guitars. With rowdy, collective energy, the group has found favor beyond the blues world, earning slots at Bonnaroo and on the Warped Tour.

What They Say: “Ever since I was a kid, when I first heard rural blues, and what guys like Charley Patton and Mississippi John Hurt were doing, I’ve been obsessed with it,” says Peyton. “My whole mission throughout my career has been to take this stuff and try to create new things, while still making it sound timeless. I’m always trying to push the boundaries. This music is communal, so at the end of the day, the idea is to put on a show and entertain people.”

Hear for Yourself: “Poor Until Payday,” the title track of the band’s upcoming LP (out October 5th), is a full-throated, foot-stomping anthem about the rewards that come from following your bliss before your bank account. J.F.