Never has there been so many different sounds, looks, angles, and fans. The influences come from everywhere – pop, rock, bluegrass, country, R & B, and everything in between.
Thankfully, a guy like Chris Stapleton is FINALLY getting the recognition he deserves. However, there are plenty more artists out there that deserve more ears and eyes on them. I’m talking real music, with real emotion. Talent that doesn’t come a long very often – these 8 artists are the epitome of that.
8. Charlie Worsham
Plain and simple, one of the most insanely talented guys out there. He’s such a unique artist. Where people get annoyed with “all country sounding the same” – Charlie does the exact opposite. He’s old school, and new school. Nobody quite like him.
7. Whiskey Myers
What. A. Band.
Whiskey Myers is one of my favorites, in all of music, and they come to us from Texas – a place that knows a thing or two about country music.
Lyrically, they’re as good as anyone out there. Go listen to “Ballad Of A Southern Man” and “Dogwood” then thank me later.
6. Jon Pardi
Jon has done one thing EVERYONE respects – he’s stuck to his guns. His B-Sides album was some of the best stuff released in 2015, and it almost never saw the light of day.
When you’re talking the epitome of country, a throwback, with modern flair, you’re talking about Jon Pardi.
5. Brandy Clark
Other artists know how special Brandy is, and I hope fans of those artists will soon as well. She’s written hits for everyone from Miranda Lambert to Darius Rucker. Her writing ability is on another level and she can sing too.
4. Justin Moore
Sure, he won ‘New Artist of the Year’ a couple years ago. Problem was that was 6 years after his debut single was released. Justin is one of the most genuine, real deal, country guys out there. He’s toured with some of country’s biggest acts, and headlined himself. I always bring him up as one of country’s best live acts. Is he too traditional in country’s ever-changing landscape? I sure hope not. He’s one of the best we have.
3. Sturgill Simpson
Simply one of the best in ALL of music. It’s horrifying how many mainstream country fans don’t even know who the guy is. He has the type of voice and songwriting that could make him go down as one of the best artists the last 25 years.
I’m begging you to listen to every song Sturgill has ever recorded. You will not be sorry.
2. Will Hoge
Hoge has been out there grinding for years. His music reflects that.
It’s an in-your-face slap of ‘whoa, that’s music.’ We’ve seen Will live a few times, every time being better than the last. He connects with a crowd like few can. “Middle of America” is probably one of my favorite songs in the last ten years. Guy is a pro’s pro. A gifted songwriter and performer, and one of the best shows to see.
1. Kip Moore
You know what I think of Kip – he’s one of my favorite artists. I mean favorite as in that I have ever listened to. The grit, honesty, and emotion in his music does something to me that’s hard to explain. He has a song for every emotion one goes through. Sure, he has #1’s, some awards and millions of followers on social media. I still feel like there are people that don’t get it. They don’t get just how great Kip is, and how much greater he will get.
When it comes to songwriting, and coming at you with sounds and emotion you haven’t heard and felt, Kip is in a league of his own. I still can’t believe he doesn’t get more radio play – frankly it pisses me off, a lot.