If you’re anything like me then you enjoy expanding your country music taste. Today, I am excited to share with you so very new country artists and songs that I have found clicking through YouTube. For anyone curious about how I make my picks, I head over to trusty YouTube and let it guide me, clicking on artists I haven’t heard of and picking the songs that are a combination of traditional sound and modern innovation. Make sure to let us know which one is your favorite then go show your support on social media!
Our first newer country artist we want to highlight is Maddie Poppe, now before you come after me, you can’t deny she has GREAT sound. For those of you who might be unfamiliar, Maddie is an American Idol winner and has slowly been shaping where her place is in the music industry. While I wouldn’t call her music completely “country”, I would definitely say that she throws off more Flatland Cavalry vibes. Also, can you imagine a mash up of those two? It would be gold! My personal favorite of hers is below, it is an older song but she did just recently come out with a new one so make sure to check her out!
Okay, next in my YouTube findings, I came across Nate Barnes. The first things that I truly enjoyed about this artist right off the bat is he has that “traditional” sound. Coming from a working family, Nate grew up with music in his heart but it wasn’t until he was 21 that he got his big break, or a chance meeting as he likes to refer it to. Below is his take on country music and what it means to him.
“I fell in love right then with country music. I think I really ‘heard’ it for the first time,” says Barnes. “Country music teaches you about life – about how to live, about how to be and about how to treat people. It made me feel things that I didn’t want to feel and that shifted my whole deal. It changed how I lived, how I thought and my whole perspective on life.”
For all of you Maddie and Tae lover’s, these gals are going to be your new favorite. I’m happy to introduce you to this sister duo from Indiana. Originally from Sulpher Springs, IN, the Walker sisters fostered their love of music with frequent trips to Nashville, busking on lower Broadway. They relocated to Nashville fulltime four years ago to fully pursue their musical destiny. With Ivy masterfully maneuvering an outstanding range as lead vocals, her younger counterpart Sophie harmonizes beautifully and keeps the rhythm playing drums. Walker County can tout itself a full family affair as the duo’s father, Billy Walker, plays lead guitar for the band. Walker County extends their roots into traditional country, intertwining their soulfulness with southern rock flair. The duo have shared the stage with country greats like Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn and Martina McBride as well as breakout acts like Old Dominion and Eli Young Band. Walker County has been turning heads since they first stepped on stage. Now signed to Warner Music Nashville, sisters Ivy and Sophie are ready to take the world by storm.
Sean Stemaly was born in Western Kentucky and raised in the river-bottom fields of Southern Indiana, a hard-worker whose Country music comes straight from the only life he knows. Stemaly taught himself to sing over endless days in the cab of a Case IH 9370 tractor, planting the seeds of stardom to the sound of icons like Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, Alan Jackson and Jason Aldean. Now signed to Big Loud Records, the 26-year-old diesel wrenching, heavy-equipment operating talent has tallied over 64 MILLION on-demand streams, infusing modern Country with youthful, salt-of-the-earth swagger and rocked up heartland soul – a sound that’s both fresh and based in timeless traditions. He’s penned countless songs in Music City’s vibrant collaborative scene – including on-fire release “Come Back To Bed,” whose top-viewed music video has already tallied over 6.6 MILLION views – and is currently working on his debut studio recordings with superstar producer Joey Moi. The 2021 Pandora Country Artist to Watch has already hit the road with Riley Green, HARDY, LANCO, and Chris Lane among others, and his story is only just beginning to grow.
The last artist on our list for this week is Heath Sanders, who caught my ear right away with his patriotic tune, “Common Ground”. Much like some of these other artists, he has a great sound that is a mix between traditional and modern country. I would say Heath leans much more towards traditional country with this song, but you can learn more in his bio below.
Heath Sanders is an Arkansas natural gas-worker-turned-songwriter whose realness informs the music he crafts. It all started after Heath posted on Facebook his cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Either Way” in early 2018. The video filmed in his living room would quickly transform his life as millions watched and re-shared, making Heath an overnight viral sensation among the working class communities in the Midwest and Rust Belt. Drawing upon a lifetime of early mornings and long days, Heath emerges as the new voice of folks who identify with hard work and have the sore backs and tired feet to show for it. Despite the rich culture in the Ozark Mountains few where he grew up ever thought of music as a livelihood, yet his COMMON GROUND collection (The Valory Music Co.), available now, is full of material that ranges from sensual ballads to who-I-am statements and reminders of the unifying characteristics we all have.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s CLN Music Monday segment. If you have recommendations or have an artist you’d like to share with us please feel free to reach out to the email in my bio. Thanks and happy Monday!
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