The world of country music is getting very interesting, to say the least. There are the big shots in Nashville that buy into the corporate side of the genre just so they can get some radio play. Even if the majority of country radio is full of posers that don't care about the roots of country music, there are still artists doing the genre justice.
The sad thing is that most of these artists do not get the radio play or recognition in which they deserve. That is why I am taking some time to list my personal favorite top 15 artists that should be blowing up the radio charts. Some of these artists are on their way to have a breakthrough, but some of them are not anywhere close. In any case, these artists should be huge!
1. Dillon Carmichael
Hometown: Burgin, Kentucky
Dillon Carmichael has been making strides within the country music scene. With his baritone voice that is easy on the ears and traditional musical sound; Carmichael is sure to please fans of country music from old to young.
2. Randall King
Hometown: Hereford, Texas
I have been a huge advocate for Randall King ever since I discovered him on YouTube. I got to attend one of his concerts last June, which only made me a bigger fan.
With a George Strait sound in his voice and a rowdy, lonesome attitude in his music; King calls back to the outlaws the precedes him.
3. Charlie Marie
Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island
Charlie Marie is one of my most recent discoveries. I came across her newly released full-length album debut the other day while scrolling through new music on the internet. Boy, am I sure glad I found this woman.
When she was 10 years old, Marie was compared to the likes of Patsy Cline. Even in your adulthood, this comparison is pretty accurate. She has a classic country sound to her with a modern twist.
4. Jarrod Morris
Hometown: Largo, Florida
Jarrod Morris shines bright in his songwriting. He has a gift to create music that is relatable and honest. The rawness in his voice adds to the gritty songwriting in his music. If this guy never makes it big, there is something wrong with the country music business.
5. Seth Ward
Seth Ward is another country artist that writes from the heart. The self-titled debut album was released in April of 2020, so he still has a ways to go. But with his clean vocals and catchy songwriting, Ward needs to be listened to.
6. Joey Greer
Hometown: Orange, Texas
Joey Greer has played in every East Texas bar there is available to get his name recognized. He has created a valued fan based in the Texas region that supports his music. If his live shows are as lively as his music is, he is a force to be reckoned with.
7. Clay Hollis
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
I put off listening to Clay Hollis's single, "Here I Go Again" because I mistakenly took it for the classic Whitesnake song. However, I began a huge fan when I finally gave it a listen. Hollis has a throwback 90's country sound to him that I cannot get enough of. He has been around for a few years now and seems to be tracking momentum so hopefully, he keeps climbing that ladder.
8. Josh Meloy
Hometown: Stillwater, Oklahoma
Josh Meloy is a native of Oklahoma and is from my neck of the woods so obviously I am a big fan. Although I have never seen Meloy play live, I love his music. His voice is raw and rough that matches perfectly with his stripped-back acoustic sound. His songwriting ties it all together with storytelling about life and loss. This guy does not have the sound that radio prefers, but he deserves to have his music heard by every country fan.
9. Triston Marez
Hometown: Houston, Texas
I discovered Triston Marez on social media because he is good friends with Randall King. King posted a picture of the two of them together. I looked him up. And I was hooked immediately.
Marez comes from a musical family from Oklahoma and has prominent roots in bluegrass. Incorporating fiddle and steel anywhere he can, Marez has a sound that would make Hank Williams proud.
10. Logan Samford
There is not much to be found about this young country star on the internet, but his sound is much like the others on this list. There is a consistency to be found among all of these artists. They bring the old-school sound of country music back.
Logan Samford thrives in his loud, rowdy sound and vocals that can fly through the roof. Don't judge a book by its cover because this artist will shock you to your core.
11. Zach Bryan
Hometown: Oologah, Oklahoma
Another Oklahoma native, Zach Bryan is killing it on YouTube. What can be said that is not already said about Bryan. If you don't know this artist yet, check him out. He is an artist that you'll either love his style or hate. Bryan relies on his songwriting to shine while stripping back on the acoustics. Bryan's videos can be found on YouTube that usually features him, a guitar, and the outdoors. There is something relatable and appealing about Bryan's style that I cannot get enough of.
12. Drew Parker
Hometown: Stewart, Georgia
Drew Parker reminds me a lot of Cody Johnson in that he has a huge belting voice. Although he is receiving a lot of recognition with his hit single, "While You're Gone", Parker is still true to the roots of country music. Check out the newly released music video for the single which also showcases Parker's sense of humor.
13. Ryan Lindsay
Hometown: Wainwright, Alberta
Ryan Lindsay is a Canadian country singer. Until recently, I did not know that country music is popular in Canada, but apparently, they have a pretty big fan base that lives up there.
Lindsay is inspired by 90's country music and this can be found in his style and upbeat accompanying instruments. His EP, "The Ride" was the album of the year at the 2020 Country Music Alberta Awards. So, he has gained some popularity in Canada. Here'es to hoping that his fame flows a little bit south.
14. Donice Morace
Donice Morace is driven to bring back the traditional sound of country music in an era "that focuses more on ball caps and drum loops than cowboy hats and steel guitars." This drive is apparent in his music as he has a traditional country sound that is so far from what you will hear on country radio. Here's to bringing back cowboy hats and steel guitars and moving away from ball caps and drum loops. We salute you, Mr. Morace.
15. Hunter Hathcoat
Hometown: Ellington, Missouri
To date, Hunter Hathcoat has released two EP's and plays all over the Midwest. Hathcoat has found a sound that is prominent within the Red Dirt subgenre of country music. He has played alongside the likes of Randall King and William Clark Green. By listening to his music, one would think that he has already found success. He has a seasoned sound to him as if he has been doing this for his whole life. Yet another artist that does not receive the recognition he deserves and needs to be blared through the radio.