At Country Fancast we are always keeping our ears to the ground to listen for the biggest trends in country music. We know you love all your country music favorites, but for some of them their success and fame has been recent.
There will always be fantastic new country singers and bands waiting right behind your favorites for their shot and we have compiled a list of the top 10 country music acts that are next in line for fame!
Check them out below and make sure to follow them on social media so you can be their first biggest fans!
Originally formed in Dripping Springs, Texas, Lead vocalist Mark Wystrach fronts Midland’s rich sound, rounded out by lead guitarist Jess Carson and bass player Cameron Duddy. Rooted in tradition both in sound and style, the band initially garnered attention playing clubs in the Texas region. Their self-titled debut EP features five tracks, boasting songwriting credits from each member. Midland intentionally nods to the wild west with Country music that is reminiscent of the 1970s and 80s with a modern day twist. They are currently in the studio with Shane McAnally (Sam Hunt, Reba McEntire, Kacey Musgraves) working on their full length release for Big Machine Records.
2. Jo Smith
Jo Smith was formerly a major label country artist, going by the name “Joanna Smith,” and has now returned to the scene with a new EP Introducing Jo Smith with Jesse Frasure.
“I grew up in South Georgia listening to my dad’s country and Motown records, and it was so important to me to blend those influences on my new EP,” she says. “My single ‘Old School Groove’ sets the tone perfectly of who I am as an artist, and I’m so proud the world is getting to hear it.”
3. The Vandoliers
An alt-country band with punk roots, Vandoliers formed in 2015, bringing together a group of Dallas-Fort Worth musicians led by frontman Joshua Fleming.
Fiercely proud of their roots, Vandoliers put their own spin on the Texas country tradition with 2016’s Ameri-Kinda, a debut album that mixed honky-tonk twang with hard-edged, rock & roll stomp. The band’s follow-up release, The Native, doubles down on Vandoliers’ modern approach to traditional influences.
4. Shotgun Rider
In their short time as a country duo, lead singer Logan Samford and main songwriter Anthony Enriquez have driven their sound from the Panhandle through the avenues of the regional Texas music scene. The name Shotgun Rider is now an homage to advice given in a late night conversation with one of the guy’s fathers. A metaphor for ‘Enjoying the journey’, Shotgun Rider is a submissive realization of knowing faith in God will always be in the ‘driver’s seat’, and all you can ultimately do in life is work hard and ‘ride along’.
5. Ryan Hurd
Ryan Hurd has written songs that have been recorded by Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Maren Morris, Tim McGraw, FGL, among many others. In 2015, he celebrated his first No. 1 single as a songwriter with the GRAMMY & CMA-nominated duet “Lonely Tonight,” recorded by Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe.
Now, the Kalamazoo, MI native is lending his own voice to the songs on his forthcoming debut album on Sony Music Nashville, which is garnering praise for its unique style and youthful, adventurous take on life. “We Do Us,” the first song released on Spotify, received over 2 million streams in just three weeks.
6. Shane Smith and The Saints
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Shane Smith and the Saints unleash a spirited, four-part harmony sound at every show that music fans can’t quite put their finger on, yet have no trouble putting their hands together for.
Hints of folk, rock, country and Americana all shine through an aggressive, rootsy fiddle beat stew that’s connecting with students, hipsters, bikers, roughnecks and songwriter buffs at every stop.
Although Springsteen long ago cornered the market on gritty, high-energy live performances, the band takes a back seat to no one in grinding out great live shows at legendary venues across the Southwest and beyond.
7. Sam Riggs
Nothing seems to inspire the masses quite as well as the story about the underdog with the larger-than-life dream that finds the path of opportunity and emerges triumphant against the odds. Sam Riggs has just such a story, and in his version, it was his move from his native Florida to Austin, Texas that was the dream. It was his innate ability for songwriting and his passion for performance that provided the opportunity.
Riggs’ first album “Outrun The Sun” brought him up directly into high music society with stellar national reviews, hit singles, hit music videos, national television music placement, elite invitations to perform at renown events, sold out crowds, 2.2 million total streams on Spotify, 600,000 plus views on YouTube, over 30,000 followers on his social media pages, and, most recently, a spotlight feature in Rolling Stone Country. An impressive story? Most definitely, yet Sam Riggs has only just begun.
8. Shane Owens
The music business has knocked Shane Owens down, but this tough country boy is back on his feet with a triumphant debut album.
The staunch country traditionalist has survived career setbacks that would have defeated most performers. Instead, he has recorded a group of songs that will make him the most applauded newcomer of the year.
“I think of myself as a crusader for traditional country music,” says the Alabama stylist with the burnished baritone. “A lot of the music that’s on the radio now is not traditional country. They’ve kinda gotten away from that. I’m country, and there ain’t no other way I can be. That’s just what I am and I think the traditional style is coming back around. At some point in time, this younger generation is going to start catching on. You can already see that they are. I see it at my shows.”
9. Stephanie Quayle
Stephanie Quayle captures the heart of storytelling as she offers the genre a fresh sound, relatable storylines and an invigorating presence that is unmatched in today’s musical spectrum. Harnessing her signature passion and pairing it with an authentic artistry, fans can expect to hear and feel exactly what they didn’t know they were missing.
“This music has changed me and I have found what I believe to be my place in country music. I have never been more comfortable in my voice and skin as I am today.”
10. Kelsey Waldon
“I’ve always said that, if George Jones sang on a disco song, I think it’d still be country,” Kelsey Waldon muses. “If it’s a part of who you are, it’s a part of who you are.” And country music is very much a part of who she is, a part of who she’s always been. The Kentucky singer/songwriter hails from Monkey’s Eyebrow, in rural Ballard County where her family put down roots several generations ago, metaphorically and otherwise. “Farming and planting tobacco were some of the first jobs I had growing up,” she recounts.
Even so, Waldon’s musical tastes reach well beyond those borders, as evidenced on her new release, I’ve Got a Way. From classic crooners like Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn, to bluegrass greats like Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs, to iconic songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, she wears her influences on her sleeve… and proudly so.
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