Country Music Rising Stars: 3 Cowboys to Watch

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The world of country music is a crowded, complicated place. There are more “sounds” that are considered country than ever before, from Keith Urban pop to Chris Stapleton blues. Established super stars such as Luke Bryan still have a strangle hold on country radio while new artists come and go like the wind. An up and coming musician can rocket to the top of the charts with one hit, and then seemingly disappear with the next for no apparent reason. In short, the world of country music today is about as chaotic and messy as the lap last of a NASCAR race at Talladega, it’s hard to know what’s going to happen. However, as crazy and unpredictable as country music can be, I am here to share with y’all today my thoughts on three rising artists that I believe have the ability to not only survive in today’s country music, but thrive. Not only that, but these three artists are fighting the good fight, putting out songs that are undeniably country that could potentially impact the whole genre for the better. However, I’d be amiss not mention the fact that there are hundreds of wonderful country music singers out there that I will not mention in this article. This article is only meant to spotlight three artists that are putting out some fantastic tunes, and is by no means a definitive list. Now, without further ado, let’s start talking some country music.

  • Mo Pitney
    • This young 25-year-old out of Rockford, Illinois is on a pure and simple mission: to spread good old fashioned country music across the good ole USA. Pitney is as genuine with his music as country stars come, drawing on his small town upbringing, his love of family, faith, and the great outdoors for inspiration in his songs. For Pitney, music was a family affair from the very beginning, and he credits skills learned from his father as the building blocks for his musical career. Also, unlike many young artists today, Pitney isn’t interested in building an image around a brand that was drawn up in a Nashville boardroom. No, Pitney’s approach to reach listeners is much simpler: tell the truth! Every song off his debut album is simple country gold without any fancy bells or whistles, and listeners can hear just how authentic each song is in Pitney’s delivery. Pitney covers everything from the relationship between a man and his dog, to reuniting with an old flame in a grocery store while singing Clean Up On Aisle 5. Pitney has a unique ability to make old country themes sound new again, and it’s a testament to just how strong his music really is. With one album already released and an appearance on the Grand Old Opry stage to his credit, the future looks bright for one of country music’s good guys.
  • William Michael Morgan
    • Another young gun, William Michael Morgan is a 24-year-old cowboy hat wearing good old boy from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Morgan burst onto the country music scene in 2015 from seemingly out of nowhere with the release of the simple yet romantic country song, I Met A Girl. The tune climbed to #2 on the Billboard Country Airplay charts, an almost unheard of achievement for an artist’s debut song. However, there is good reason for the young artist’s hot start. Just like Mo Pitney, Morgan’s biggest asset is the undeniable purity and simplicity of his music. There is no trace of pop or rap influence in any of Morgan’s songs, just simple cords, steel guitar, and a healthy dose of fiddle all centered around relatable life themes. Morgan sings each of his songs with an undeniable charm and polish, and comes off as one of the most traditional sounding young artists in recent memories. If listeners were to play the track Missing off of Morgan’s debut album Vinyl, they’d be forgiven for mistaking the tune as a song from the 1990s, when George Strait and Garth Brooks still reigned supreme over country music. The stuff Morgan is putting out is that good folks. Back Seat Driver, I Met a Girl, Vinyl, the list of excellent country songs from Morgan’s still young career is truly impressive.
  • Jon Pardi
    • By far the most well-known on this list, the 32-year-old Dixon, California native has been lighting up the country radio charts as of late. The winner of the Academy of Country Music’s (ACMs) 2017 New Male Vocalist of the year, life has without a doubt been going well for Jon Pardi lately. However, the road to stardom for Pardi has been far from easy, and he credits his success to a never quit attitude. Pardi grew up the son of construction worker, and fell in love with music at an early age, writing his songs at 12 years old. After arriving in Nashville at the age of 19, Pardi spent time working as a lifeguard and working various other odd jobs while trying to break into the music industry. Eventually, Pardi broke into Nashville songwriting community, using the life lessons he learned from a blue collar upbringing to write real, authentic country music. But like many song writers, Pardi wanted more, and sought to build a career as a performer rather than strictly a song writer. In 2012, Pardi finally got his shot, and released the tune Missing You Crazy as his first radio single. Since then, Pardi’s been off to races, releasing hit song after hit song while forging his own path in country music.
      • Three Best Songs: Head Over Boots, Borrowed Time, She Ain’t in It (Listen here, learn more about Pardi )
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