When it comes to country music (and nearly everything else), the Lone Star State is in a league of its own. The Texas scene is constantly growing and changing while retaining its unique sound and independent spirit. From dance hall balladeers to honky-tonk hell-raisers, here are 10 rising Texas artists you need to know.
Texas-born Kensie Coppin’s self-titled 2016 EP is a compelling collection of heartbreak, cheating and revenge songs rooted in traditional country music.
What She Sounds Like: The wit of Kacey Musgraves and the soul of Patsy Cline.
Required Listening: “Why You Still Need Me,” a classic country breakup duet with fellow Texas troubadour William Clark Green.
Croy and the Boys
Austin-based Croy and the Boys have spent the last few years tearing up dance floors all over the capital city with their brand of honky tonk. On their 2016 album Hey Come Back, the band infuses various styles of Texas music to create a sound all their own.
What They Sound Like: A rowdy night in a Texas dive bar.
Required Listening: “Coulda Been a Monday,” an irresistible country shuffle designed for spinning a stranger around the dance floor.
Austin native Carson McHone turned heads in the country and folk worlds with her 2015 album Good Luck Man, a mix of delicate Americana and dance hall two-steppers.
What She Sounds Like: a honey-voiced singer-songwriter at home at the Broken Spoke or the Grand Ole Opry
Required Listening: “Maybe They’re Just Really Good Friends,” a country toe-tapper about denial
Mayeux and Broussard
Austin’s Mayeux and Broussard are one of the most exciting and energetic bands in the Lone Star State. With smart lyrics and a party spirit, the band is set to make waves throughout Texas and beyond.
What They Sound Like: gritty, swampy honky tonk that would make Doug Sahm proud.
Required Listening: “Can’t Fall off the Floor,” an ode to the safety of a barroom floor.
Robyn Ludwick’s 2017 album This Tall To Ride is one of the year’s greatest songwriting triumphs. The central Texas-raised smokey-voiced singer tells stories of unforgettable characters and downtrodden spirits with reverence.
What She Sounds Like: Sheryl Crow meets Steve Earle.
Required Listening: “Bars Ain’t Closin’,” a leavin’ song against the backdrop of lonely hotel rooms and endless whiskey.
Kylie Frey may be from Louisiana but the Texas music scene is eager to embrace her as one of its own. The former rodeo queen is currently burning up the Texas charts with her stunning collaboration with Randy Rogers.
What She Sounds Like: 90s neo-traditional country for the modern age.
Required Listening: “Too Bad,” a duet with Randy Rogers about hanging on to lost love.
Kaitlin Butts turned heads with her collaboration with Flatland Cavalry on last year’s “A Life Where We Work Out.” But the Oklahoma native has long been active in the Texas and Red Dirt scene. Fans of the straightforward, honest lyrics of Kacey Musgraves will appreciate this rising star.
What She Sounds Like: A Red Dirt Dolly Parton.
Required Listening: “Bored If I Don’t,” a cheatin’ song with a conscience.
Jesse Raub Jr.
Magnolia, Texas native Jesse Raub Jr. first garnered attention with his 2013 album Blame it on the Music, which included a collaboration with Texas-favorite Cody Johnson. Raub Jr. followed up with 2016’s Sittin’ Here, a rowdy romp through barroom debauchery, romance and redemption.
What He Sounds Like: singalong drinking songs for the rodeo circuit
Required Listening: “She’ll Put the Hurt on You,” a breezy country anthem about a heartache waiting to happen
When you listen to Austin-based singer Kathryn Legendre, it’s clear she grew up on classic country from George Jones to George Strait. Legendre has Texas and country in her blood, paying homage to the legends while remaining true to her own sound.
What She Sounds Like: a Sunday afternoon country gold jukebox.
Required Listening: “Tug River Valley,” a tribute to a vanishing time and place.
La Porte native Jake Worthington first gained attention from country fans when he was named runner-up on season 6 of NBC’s The Voice. The young singer sounds wise beyond his years and is poised to become a leader in traditional Texas country.
What He Sounds Like: an old soul raised on a steady diet of honky-tonk tearjerkers.
Required Listening: “Big Time Lonesome,” a barroom shuffle from his 2017 EP Hell of a Highway.