Whether you’re looking to improve your live music performance, or just want to insert some new material into your act, you can always learn more about music by looking to other genres or performers.
After a couple decades of being largely marginalized, aside from rare “alt-country” successes like the Drive-By Truckers, country is now making a resurgence. It’s gone global, and even non-country artists like Avicii are finding inspiration in western beats.
So, here’s a few artists to keep an eye on, or to pull inspiration for your own live music performance!
Four Great New Country Acts To Check Out
You might recognize her from her ongoing role in TV’s Pretty Little Liars, but Lucy Hale is aiming to make it big on the country scene. Her debut album, “Road Between,” is currently garnering significant critical attention, with its pop-country mix that harkens back to the pre-political days of The Dixie Chicks.
With the combination of her youthful Disney Channel looks, and significant musical talent, Lucy Hale is one to watch.
You wouldn’t necessarily think of Liverpool as a source for country music. It’s in England, and it’s where psychedelic “beat” music was born. None the less, Nathan Carter started tearing up the indie charts last year with his fifth album, “Where I Wanna Be.” With a soulful voice and a powerful live music performance, he’s showing that country music is becoming truly global.
One generally associates alt-country with guy bands, but Lydia Loveless brings an interesting blend of Neko Case and Patti Smith. Her lyrics aren’t afraid to stray into contemporary topics and -on occasion- salty language. This isn’t your grandparent’s country, but the mix of “singer-songwriter” and country music tropes is infectious, emotional, and involving.
Lake Street Dive
And for something almost-totally different, check out Lake Street Dive. Mixing elements of psychedelia, prog, funk, blues, ska, and country, Lake Street has an amazing presence and a truly unique sound. Even if you don’t want to totally go country, putting country elements into your performances can make a big impact!