The Lubbock, TX band burst onto the scene in 2015 with their debut EP Come May, and have since amassed a passionate fan base across the world with their fiddle-heavy, lyric focused music.
Lead singer Cleto Cordero, one of the best frontmen of any band out there, didn’t take long to claim his spot in the upper echelon of the songwriting world, and his understatedly spectacular vocals define the band’s sound.
Flatland Cavalry followed their 2015 EP with, in my opinion, one of the best country albums of the last decade, 2016’s Humble Folks. Following this album release and the steady success of its top hit, the Kaitlin Butts duet “A Life Where We Work Out,” Flatland was well on their way to becoming one of Texas’ top bands.
They have since carried the momentum with their sophomore album Homeland Insecurity in 2019, a number of singles, and continued to back it up with one of the best albums of 2021, Welcome To Country Land. This year, the band has also released the Far Out West Sessions, revisiting several tracks from Welcome To Countryland.
While the band has undergone some personnel changes over the years, the core has remained the same, and as a result, they have steadily improved upon their craft.
Cordero and his college roommate, drummer Jason Albers, have been together since the band’s formation in 2012 along with guitarist Reid Dillon and bassist Jonathan Saenz. Since then, they have picked up fiddle player Wesley Hall, one of the best in the business, and multi-instrumentalist Adam Gallegos, and together, they put on one of the best live shows you can see.
I could continue to go on and on about the band’s background and how great they are, but nothing will do their music justice more so than just listening to it yourself.
So, for anyone who has somehow managed to get this far without taking a deep dive into their music, here are my 15 favorite Flatland Cavalry songs.
15. “Dancin’ Around a Fire” – Welcome To Countryland (2021)
14. “Come Back Down” – Homeland Insecurity (2019)
13. “Gettin’ By” – Welcome To Countryland (2021)
12. “No Ace in the Hole” – Welcome To Countryland (2021)
11. “War With My Mind” (2020)
10. “Living By Moonlight” – Homeland Insecurity (2019)
“But I’ve been livin’ by moonlight Wishin’ on stars We’re in the midnight Hidin’ our scars Sippin’ on poison Breathin’ in fire Slowly killing myself Just to feel alive”
9. “A Cowboy Knows How” – Welcome to Countryland (2021)
8. “Missing You” – Come May EP (2015)
“I heard you finished school And you’re heading back home You found yourself a wealthy man Who plans to make you all his own You know me I’m doing just fine Cigarettes and Adderall been keepin’ me alive”
7. “Sober Heart of Mine” (2019)
6. “Tall City Blues” – Humble Folks (2016)
5. “Sleeping Alone” – Homeland Insecurity (2019)
4. “A Life Where We Work Out” ft. Kaitlin Butts – Humble Folks (2016)
3. “Coyote (Ballad of Roy Johnson)” ft. William Clark Green – Humble Folks (2016)
“No, you won’t hear me comin’ And you won’t see my face Well, I cut that trail a thousand times All without a trace It’s my line of business No, it ain’t no pretty thing My name is Roy Johnson Coyote is my trade”
2. “Stompin’ Grounds” – Humble Folks (2016)
1. “No Shade of Green” – Come May EP (2015)
I may be a little biased toward this one, but I think it is the best song in their catalog.
It definitely doesn’t hurt that the story the song tells took place at a Turnpike Troubadours concert.