While many have bemoaned the Pop Country sound, there is little arguing it’s massive success producing acts such as Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt. But signs are suggesting a shift back toward a traditional sound. Here are 5 key indicators signaling the return of twang in Music City:
The Rise of Cody Johnson
The former rodeo circuit grinder started a band with his father and began heavily. Ten years later he has built his brand of Texas Twang to 2 number one Country albums all without the support of a major label.
Much like Cody Johnson, Luke built his brand organically by touring heavily and betting on himself by selling tickets for his shows rather than negotiating a flat fee with the venue. Not only has Luke Combs notched 6 number one songs in a short time but he just sold out the 23,500 capacity Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky in 12 minutes beating out Paul McCartney’s previous record.
The sure example that traditional country is making a resurgence is the rise of Capitol Records recording artist Jon Pardi. Already with several twangy hits under his belt, his latest offering “Heartbreak Medication” includes fiddles, pedal steel and whiskey drinking. It has that unmistakable 90’s Country vibe while still feeling current.
CMA New Artist of the Year Nominations
Possibly one of the biggest signals of change is the CMA New Artist of the Year nominees. The lineup includes Cody Johnson, Midland, Carly Pearce, Morgan Wallen and Ashley McBryde all of which are significantly more Country than any lineup in recent memory. If this award is a symbol or anything, it is what’s to come.
The Growing Popularity of Indie Country
Country Music has long been a Major Label driven genre, but in recent years indie labels and artists are making an impact. Some credit goes to services like Spotify and Apple Music which give equal access to artists. Indie acts such as Cody Johnson, Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers are helping pave the road for newer acts such as Triston Marez, Kolby Cooper, Shelby Lee Lowe and Hannah Dasher.
I recommend following sites like Saving Country Music and Texas Music Pickers to keep your fingers on the pulse of Country Music's resurgence.
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