They combine influences, styles and genres to create a unique musical sound that appeals to their fans.
Flatt & Scruggs popularized bluegrass music, bringing it out of the Opry and into the mainstream. Their virtuoso banjo playing and lonesome vocals brought the country genre to new audiences.
The GRAMMY award-winning group Lady Antebellum is a three-piece country band formed in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2006. Originally consisting of singers Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, the trio was later joined by multi-instrumentalist Dave Haywood. Together the group has sold more than 10 million albums in the shotgun wedding nyc United States, and is known for songs like Need You Now and Own The Night.
The group’s name came from a combination of the architectural style antebellum (literally, “before the war”) and the term for female servants who worked on those large plantation homes in the South. The members grew up in Franklin, Tennessee, where there are many historic antebellum buildings.
The band’s first album was released in 2007, and they made their debut as guest vocalists on Jim Brickman’s 2007 single Never Alone. Their self-titled debut was a hit, and it established the band as a lasting country group.
Brooks & Dunn
It’s hard to imagine country music without the duo of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn. Together, they’ve sold 30 million albums, won two GRAMMY awards and dozens of CMA and ACM honors, and helped launch the power-country era with their rock-inflected sound.
Both men had charted solo singles in the 1980s, but were pursuing separate careers when they met in 1990 at a luncheon. Producer Tim DuBois asked them to try working together and their debut, Brand New Man (Arista; 1991), became an out-of-the-box smash. Singles like “My Next Broken Heart,” “Neon Moon,” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” helped kick-start the line-dancing fad in country bars nationwide.
The duo’s hard-country approach to the music helped set a standard for later artists, including Kacey Musgraves, Luke Combs, and Ashley McBryde. In 2019, the pair released a new album, Reboot, which revisited some of their best hits alongside contemporary country stars. They’re currently on the Reboot Tour, which runs through 2021.
The country music supergroup The Highwaymen comprised Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Although all four men had a distinct sense of individuality and a strong musical outlook, their personalities and styles blended well to form one cohesive group.
The quartet came together in 1984, when Cash wrangled Jennings, Nelson and Kristofferson to join him in Switzerland while filming a television special. They spent their spare time jamming and decided to keep the band going when they returned home.
It was Marty Stuart who suggested the group use Jimmy Webb’s “Highwayman” as both their name and title track for their first album. The song, which depicts a soul’s various embodiments as a highwayman, sailor, dam builder and starship pilot, became their biggest hit.
The Highwaymen’s success inspired other groups such as the Traveling Wilburys, which included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. In 2016, a three-CD live set, titled Highwaymen Live: American Outlaws, was released by Sony Legacy. The same year, an American Masters documentary titled The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End was broadcast on PBS.
Country musicians often stray from the traditional roots of their genre. They may incorporate rock music or mix other styles into their musical sound. This blend of influences helps them to attract more fans and appeal to a wider audience.
The songs on this debut from Country Westerns coast between good-natured rowdiness, road-dog grit and ascetic wisdom. The band’s crackling solos emerge as a complement to their restless chugging. Plunkett weighs getting “caught losing on a lousy day” against the obligation to keep picking himself up again on “Falling Apart (Right Now),” a taut shuffle full of bright Bakersfield twang.
Country Westerns have the potential to revitalize a genre that is arguably in decline. Their world-weariness mixes with rambunctious twang to create a bar band for an era that desperately needs both bars and bands. The result is an album that feels ragged in all the right places.
Lonestar is an American country band that has been in business since 1992. Originally named Texassee, the group has had many lineup changes over the years. Currently, the members of Lonestar are Richie McDonald, Dean Sams, Michael Britt, and Keech Rainwater. The band was formed in Nashville, Tennessee.
With a strong fan base, the group has made several TV appearances over the years. In addition to being a popular live act, the group has also recorded numerous albums.
In June of 1997, the band released its second album for BNA Records, called Crazy Nights. This record contained standard romantic ballads, but the band also pushed the boundaries by addressing broader topics like the shifting economic geography of middle America in the song “Everything’s Changed.” The band’s second single, “Come Cryin’ To Me,” was a number one hit. McDonald left the band after this release to record solo material, but the band continued on without him until Cody Collins replaced him in 2011. The band continues to tour and record new music.
Big & Rich
Big & Rich turned Nashville’s country mold on its head at the turn of the millennium. Armed with a confidence often mistaken for arrogance and skills not easily overshadowed, the explosive showmen shocked us with their raunch-ified, rock-heavy country hits.
The duo first started collaborating as members of the Muzik Mafia, appearing as a regular performing group in Nashville clubs. But the pair’s true calling was writing songs for other artists. They soon became a force as writers and producers, turning Gretchen Wilson into a star, assisting in John Anderson’s comeback and supporting novelties like country-rapper Cowboy Troy.
Their first album, Horse of a Different Color, set the stage for their success. After that, they continued to break ground with their music, combining arena rock riffs and hip-hop attitude in larger-than-life songs. They churned out Top 40 country anthems, such as the number 11 “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)”, and heartbroken ballads like the number 12 “Look at You”. In 2017, they returned with an independent LP called Did It for the Party, led by the song California.