This month’s edition of 10 new country artists you need to know features honky-tonk troubadour Joshua Hedley, Americana singer-songwriter Jamie Kent, the mesmerizing Courtney Marie Andrews and the classic-country vocalist Shane Owens.
But it’s a pair of trios that perhaps point to country radio’s future. Midland, three Texas-based guys who evoke the cool vibe of Gram Parsons, marry George Strait country with a smooth Seventies and Eighties vibe. Their self-titled debut EP, and lead single “Drinkin’ Problem,” is an instantly accessible listen, custom-made for barroom jukeboxes.
Runaway June, meanwhile, are poised to be heir apparent to the Dixie Chicks. The three women all play and sing, a combination that helped catch the eye of Carrie Underwood, who enlisted the trio to back her up on “Dirty Laundry” at the 50th CMA Awards. Their current single “Lipstick” is a catchy bit of songwriting, with a rollicking freight-train ending.
Singer-guitarist Naomi Cooke says the group prides themselves on their use of fiddle, steel and Dobro, especially in their concerts. Cooke emphasizes the “live”: “Even with our live shows, we don’t have tracks – I think us and maybe William Michael Morgan are the only two artists right now that don’t use tracks live.”
See the full list of new country artists you need to know here.