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10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: Summer 2015

From a timeless Los Angeles troubadour to a bohemian pop-country chanteuse

Sam Outlaw Annie Bosko

Mark Davis/Beth Gwinn/Getty Images

A Los Angeles cowboy influenced as much by mariachi as Merle, a New Orleans band whose primary mission is to make fans dance and a bohemian vocalist with a crooked halo and pop lilt make up this warm-weather season's list. It's such diversity that helps define both the country and Americana genres, affording fans a listening opportunity unlike any other. With that in mind, here are the 10 acts you have to hear right now. 


Bill Orner


Sounds Like: Old Crow Medicine Show at their most jammy, the Grateful Dead at their most country     

For Fans of: Old Crow, the Avett Brothers, high-energy newgrass

Why You Should Pay Attention: This summer, the Northeastern Pennsylvania six-piece will share stages with Gregg Allman (they've played every installment of the Allman Brothers' Peach Fest), Willie Nelson, Counting Crows and Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt — a mix as eclectic as Cabinet's own string-based sound. Their latest album, Celebration, lives up to its name, a propulsive ritual of a record that shows off the 10-year chemistry between pickin' cousins Pappy Biondo and J.P. Biondo, drummer Jami Novak, fiddler Todd Kopec, bassist Dylan Skursky and guitar player Mickey Coviello. Landing on bluegrass as the group's structure was merely an accident says Pappy Biondo. "The instruments themselves drove us to where we are today. J.P. didn't know what a mandolin was, and I had no idea what a banjo was. He had one sitting at his house and I picked it up, but I hadn't listened to a lick of bluegrass," he says. "We really had no idea what bluegrass was, and to a degree, we still don't. That's the beauty of it."

They Say: "We're kind of chameleons and what our fans like most about us is how we weave in and out of genres. Some of my favorite bands have done that, Beck in particular," says Biondo. "J.P. and I got our acoustic kicks on this last record, and maybe Todd will do something experimental with the next one. There's no leader to the group. We just see where it goes."

Hear for Yourself: The unstoppable groove of "Celebration" is a how-to guide for lovin' — and hurtin'. Joseph Hudak