Apparently there are a lot of real country fans out there. So many, in fact, that we decided to do another list of ten contemporary artists with that timeless country sound. It’s not all Jason Aldean and songs that sound like Nickelback with an overproduced lap steel solo. For those who like serious, old-school country, here are ten more artists you should be listening to.
10. The Boomswagglers
Rather than honky tonk and outlaw, The Boomswagglers look back to an earlier time in country music; a time of tent revivals, washboards and the Carter Family. From the production to the songwriting, this is how country sounded when your grandfather’s grandfather was listening to it.
9. Pee Wee Moore
Not only does Pee Wee Moore make some seriously traditional honky tonk reminiscent of Ernest Tubb, he also just so happens to tour the country on a motorcycle. That’s how the modern day cowboy does it.
8. The Whiskey Sisters
The Whiskey Sisters have a definite pop and rock sensibility about them, but it’s hard to call them anything but country when you get down to it. This Austin-based six-piece knows how to rock a harmony and write a track that’ll be stuck in your head all week.
7. Jason Boland and the Stragglers
Warm and sparse, Jason Boland is reminiscent of George Strait or Randy Travis. Mournful and melancholy, but not quite sad, it's quiet country for rainy afternoons when your woman is gone and your truck won’t start. Sip some whiskey and pine for a better time.
6. Eric Strickland & The B Sides
Making bad music for bad men, Eric Strickland writes tales of drinking, drugging and cheating. You wouldn’t call them “celebrations” thereof; just honest accounts of hard living worthy of Merle himself.
5. Lindi Ortega
If Hope Sandoval had been a country singer, she might have sounded a lot like Lindi Ortega. There’s something spacey about her, even when she’s singing about something as down-to-earth as “Cigarettes & Truckstops.”
4. .357 String Band
A hootenanny with meth, basically. Somehow these guys are from Milwaukee and not Kentucky, playing the most furious, bluegrass-tinged country you’ve (unfortunately) never heard. Fast, jittery and fun, .357 String Band makes the perfect soundtrack for your next cookout.
3. Dallas Moore
Serious, serious outlaw country. Dallas Moore has a great baritone voice with just a little bit of roughness about it. Spare production captures everything and there’s just enough of it. If this were 1972 he’d be topping the charts. Drink a couple of beers and hope he’s on your local bar's mega Internet jukebox.
2. Joseph Huber
Joseph Huber’s music has a really killer jug band feel about it. It’s guitar, bass, fiddle and banjo. He did seven years with .357 String Band, but their loss is our gain; It’s a little more laidback than their frantic efforts, but that just allows for a little more space to build in.
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1. Jamey Johnson
There’s basically one reason why we made a second list: so that Jamey Johnson could go right at the top of it. Anything short of number one is just not what he deserves. The next time you’re home, pop this on for your dad to show him that true country isn’t anywhere near dead.