There are gateway country acts and then there are others that take you places. You don't drink from red red red red red cups while listening. But you might have some rye on the rocks in a nice glass.
  1. Jason Isbell
    This guy is one of the best song writers I've been into in a very long time and @samboyd posted an epic list a while back with a selection of proof. FAVORITE JASON ISBELL LYRICS. This is my favorite:
  2. Strugill Simpson
    With a sound out of the 1950 and drug fueled lyrics that could easily find their way into gangster rap, Strugill is a badass. But his cover of this 1980s classic shows his range.
  3. Pat Green
    One of the most mainstream of my additions but you got to love a guy who lives and breathes Texas so much that he plays a show in New York City every Texas Independence Day to a sold out crowd of "ex-pats." He does duets with Willie, covers Lyle and makes some beautiful music of his own. Threadbare Gypsy Soul and Galleywinter are two of the most beautiful songs but Southbound 35 is my go to when in Texas.
  4. Robert Earl Keen
    I love this guy. He's been around making strong country music for 30 years. His music is just good with a touch of badassery.
  5. Kacey Musgraves
    I find her commercial success to be hopeful for the future of non-bro country. It's poppy with a very hard edge.
  6. Turnpike Troubadours
    They call Tulsa home and I have to go there at least once a year so we have a lot in common. Their music is catchy, a little different and perfect for jamming out while cooking, cleaning or driving. All around great music. But they don't miss an opportunity to tell a story.
  7. Ryan Bingham
    His theme song for The Bridge on FX was so dark and everything I like in music. Then Spotify told me I'd like the rest of his music and it was right. It is catapulted beyond the twang and chord progressions by his voice.
  8. Brandi Carlile.
    Suggested by @Lynnie
  9. Reckless Kelly
    Austin staples who just love music and Texas. A little heavier on the country side but you can't help but bounce along.
    Suggested by @sam
  10. Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats
    0494b017 7ecb 4809 9fee f33e9fb0a260
    This isn't country-but has a bluesy, honky-tonk, gritty feel that you might like if you're a Sturgill fan.
    Suggested by @alligeeshow