Artists to Watch 2019
Charles Wesley Godwin/Courtesy of artist

Wide Open Country's Artists to Watch in 2019: Charles Wesley Godwin, Tenille Townes and More

From rising Americana stars to honky tonk troubadours, there's no shortage of new artists set to make their mark in 2019. Below, read Wide Open Country's list of the top new artists to watch in 2019.

Lauren Morrow

Formerly of the long-running Americana rock band The Whiskey Gentry, Lauren Morrow released her self-titled solo EP in October of 2018. Running the gamut from a family tree fable to a good old fashioned murder ballad, Morrow's first solo release positions the Georgia native as one of the most exciting voices and songwriters to come along in a while.

Must-listen: "Mess Around," a brazen warning to a backstabbing frenemy that serves as a more subtle but no less pointed "Fist City" for a new generation.


British singer-songwriter Yola turned heads in the U.S. with her 2016 EP Orphan Offering, including that of The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who produced her forthcoming album Walk Through Fire (out on Feb. 22). Written and recorded at Auerbach's Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound, the album showcases Yola's mesmerizing vocals and keen-eyed lyrics.

Must-listen: "Ride Out in the Country," a breezy, comforting tune that would sound at home on '70s AM radio.

Tenille Townes

Canadian-born Tenille Townes entered the country scene with her acoustic Living Room Worktapes, a stunning four-song 2018  EP. Since then, she's been named one of CMT's Next Women of Country, released her first single and hit the road with Dierks Bentley on the Burning Man Tour. Now Townes is gearing up to release her highly anticipated debut full-length album.

Must-listen: "Somebody's Daughter," a sonic blast of crunchy guitars and pop-infused perfection with a gut-punch of a story at the center.

Joshua Ray Walker

One of the most exciting voices to come out of Texas this year, Dallas-born singer-songwriter Joshua Ray Walker follows in the footsteps of Lone Star State greats like Rodney Crowell and Guy Clark with his new album Wish You Were Here. Country purists, look no further than Walker.

Must-listen: "Canyon," a spellbinding, steel-laden tune that finds Walker searching for solace in the treacherous waters of a music career while dealing with familial expectations.

Rachel Wammack

One of CMT's Next Women of Country, Rachel Wammack released her self-titled EP last year. The four-song collection puts Wammack's Muscle Shoals-born vocal talent and sharp lyricism on full display.

Must-listen: "Damage," an examination of the pain love has wrought with a touch of the James Taylor via George Jones classic "Bartender's Blues."

Charles Wesley Godwin

West Virginia-based singer-songwriter Charles Wesley Godwin tells the real stories of his homeland of Appalachia on his forthcoming album Seneca (out on Feb. 15). With a voice and pen as mighty and enthralling as the Blue Ridge Mountains, Godwin is one to watch.

Must-listen: "Coal Country," a gorgeous, powerful song that traces the history of West Virginia's coal industry.

Molly Tuttle

Molly Tuttle is already well-known among Bluegrass fans. The singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso took home the award for Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2018 Americana Honors & Awards ceremony and she was named the International Bluegrass Music Association's Guitar Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018. You can hear Tuttle's mind-blowing guitar skills and incredible songwriting on her forthcoming album When You're Ready (out on April 5).

Must-listen: "Take the Journey," a call to action for dreamers featuring Tuttle's signature white-hot guitar licks.

Dillon Carmichael

For Dillon Carmichael, country music really is a family tradition. His uncles are Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery-Gentry and '90s country mainstay John Michael Montgomery. But Carmichael proved he's blazing his own trail with his Dave Cobb-produced 2018 debut album Hell on an Angel. The Kentucky native is doing his part to revive the late '80s and early '90s neo-traditonal country sound while still sounding entirely original.

Must-listen: "Dancing Away With My Heart," a swooning country love song that will surely make its way onto more than a few wedding playlists.

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