While we understand that at this stage in country music, there are different kinds of red dirt country artists, especially depending on where you live. If you live in Texas, I’m envious because your red dirt scene out there is way better than it is here in Phoenix, Arizona. So go easy on me! Below is what I feel like is a solid mix of red dirt country music artists and bands that deserve a listen if you are new to the red dirt country music scene. If you live in Texas and have someone we should be listening to, send them our way, we might just do a “Texas Red Dirt” article!
Jason Boland & the Stragglers
United in 1998, Jason Boland and the Stragglers paved the way for red dirt music and continue to leave their mark on the industry with their music and shows. Based in Texas, this band is no stranger to honky tonks and dance halls, but their music can be appreciated no matter where you live. They are currently on tour for their 20th Anniversary of their “Pearl Snaps” Album, first released in 1999. My favorite song by them? “Somewhere Down in Texas” off their Pearl Snaps album. Enjoy!
William Clark Green
Another Texas based red dirt artist is William Clark Green. Green’s interest in a musical career started in college and he actually ended up releasing his first album while attending Texas Tech in Lubbock in 2008. His second album, “Misunderstood”, launched two short years later in 2010. His breakthrough album though was his third, “Rose Queen”, which was recorded in Nashville. Overall, Green has come out with several different albums, all giving tribute back to Texas in some way or another. My personal favorite by WCG? “She Likes the Beatles”. Give it a listen below!
Following the trend for the previous two artists/bands, Cory Morrow is another Texas-based artist that helped shaped what red dirt music is today. His last album, “Whiskey and Pride” was released in 2018 and is being called a true reflection of Morrow’s journey through life and music. One thing that sets Cory apart from others is his raw transparency about who he as a person and an artist. One of my favorite songs by Cory is, “Let’s Take This Outside” off his “Whiskey and Pride” album.
While more on the bluegrass/folk side of country music, Tyler Childers is still an artist you should add to your playlist. Our first artist on the list that isn’t from Texas, Childers grew up in Kentucky with a wide range of musical influences. At just 13, he started writing songs but turned towards Bluegrass when his grandfather died when he was 15. In his early years, he played weekend gigs, released an independent album, but it wasn’t until 2017 with his album, “Purgatory” that he gained international attention. He just released his newest album, “Long Violent History”, which is a collection of,
instrumental pieces intended to create a sonic soundscape for the listener to set the tone to reflect on the last track. 100% of net proceeds from Long Violent History go to support the Hickman Holler Appalachian Relief Fund.
My personal favorite Childers song? “Universal Sound” from his album, “Purgatory”. Check it out below!
Parker McCollum is one of my personal favorite artists because his music is relatable and if you’ve done any reading on him, then you know what goes into the making of each of his songs. Much like Cory Morrow, Parker is pretty open about his song writing process and what has helped shape him and his music. Based out of Austin, Texas, Parker made his break in 2013 after releasing “The Limestone Kid”. Since then, he released two other albums, “Probably Wrong” and his newest, “Hollywood Gold”. The song that hooked me on to his music was “Hell of a Year”. Give it a listen below!
I honestly can’t remember how I came upon Flatland, but once I did, I couldn’t get them out of my head and I have since been pretty obsessed with their music to say the least. Flatland Cavalry is the perfect combination of phenomenal vocals and instrumentals, I think it’s safe to say they have a style all their own and that is what did it for me. They’ve released two albums, “Humble Folks” and “Homeland Insecurity”. As younger members of the music scene, they describe their latest album like this,
Homeland Insecurity finds Flatland exploring the anxieties, unsureness, growth, resilience, falters, fear, maturation, and eventual lessons learned as you grow older.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but one thing I love about country music is that artists have their own way of sharing their stories and Flatland Cavalry does it in a really special way. My personal favorite song is “A Life Where we Work Out”, give it a listen below!
Shane Smith & the Saints
The last favorite on our list for today is Shane Smith and the Saints. I found these guys when they opened for Randy Rodgers here in Phoenix and the thing I love the most is that they sound just as good live as they do recorded. That was several years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Once you hear their sound, you won’t soon forget it. They’ve put out three albums, their latest being “Hail Mary” which came out in June of 2019. I can’t put a certain style on these guys so you will just have to check them out for yourself and let me know what you think below! My favorite song is below.
I hope you enjoyed this article on some of my favorite red dirt country artists and bands. I would like to note, that I started enjoying this music with artists like Cody Johnson, Casey Donahew, and Randy Rodgers Band. Those artists still deserve credit but I wanted to highlight artists today that are less main stream, so let me know how I did!
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