Texas is the greatest nation in America. Due to this well known and widely agreed upon fact, naturally, everything we do is the greatest. This is true when it comes to our state's economy, our amazing Blue Bell ice cream, our accents, our diverse landscapes, and the primary topic of this article: our music.
Thanks to my awesome parents, amid all of the Christian music, I've also grown up with 92.1 almost always playing in the background of my life and have spent a lot of time at Gruene Hall. Between these two things and my annoyance with trashy Nashville country, I've come to really appreciate the specific sounds and talents that can be heard from Texas Country/Red Dirt music.
Texas Country, also referred to as Red Dirt Country, is a very popular and fast growing subgenre of Country Music. This style of music is known for the crossing of the styles of traditional country and outlaw country. The lyrics are known for being straightforward, the concerts are lively, and the fan base is extremely loyal.
Artists and listeners identifying with Texas Country are typically anti-Nashville. This is because Nashville country is steadily going south. By this I don't mean that its "Gone Country" and is returning to its Southern beginnings. Quite the opposite is true. Nashville Country is rapidly veering away from its roots and into the sea of modern pop. Nashville song topics have gone from things like growing up & life's problems, Jesus, and wanting to make your childhood/highschool sweetheart your wife for life to things like buying boats & yeti coolers, objectifying women in daisy dukes, falling in love in the back of a cop car, and having fratty house parties. For me at least, those aren't really things I hear and think that 'Wow, this is a really well written, heart felt song'.
When I listen to lyrics, I want to feel something. When I just play something cause it sounds fun, I want to feel energized. Texas Country does both. It's artists have true songwriting abilities, and they aren't targeting their efforts towards simply making the top of the music charts, though that usually ends up being an achievement. It's lyrics represent real life, they are deep, witty, emotional and fun.They talk about things like prayer, appreciating life's simple things, dealing with peoples talk, having pride in our southern ways, cute marriage proposals , Texas, remembering not to take our life for granted, Lane Frost , road tripping , learning from our mistakes, proving our haters wrong, real country girls , how the "what if"s lead us to breakthroughs, evil ex's/rough breakups , the preference differences between men and women , and finding love where you least expect it .
Talented bands/artists in this music style include Aaron Watson, Asleep At The Wheel, Charlie Robison, Cody Johnson, Corry Morrow, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Cody Canada & The Departed, Eli Young Band, Gary P. Nunn, Granger Smith/Earl Dibbles Jr, Hayes Carll, Jack Ingram, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jon Wolfe, Josh Abbot Band, Kevin Fowler, Kyle Park, Lyle Lovett, Micky & The Motorcars, Pat Green, Randy Rodgers Band, Reckless Kelly, Robert Earl Keen, Sam Outlaw, Steve Earl, Stoney LaRue, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen, Walt Wilkins, Whiskey Myers, William Clark Green, Willie Nelson, and Zane Williams.
If you're interested in this hipster genre of indie country music, give any of the above artists a listen on Pandora or Spotify, or if you happen to reside in Central Texas, tune into KNBT 92.1 New Braunfels for the best mix of Texas Country, Americana, and local talent in need of our listening support!