At its best, Little Texas made country music accessible for longtime rock 'n' rollers, helping Travis Tritt, Clint Black and others point new listeners to Nashville. For that reason alone, they represent the '90s evolution of the self-contained country music band, previously represented by Alabama, Restless Heart and other groups marketed as sums of their parts.
With honky tonk chops and a clear working knowledge of pop-oriented rock, co-lead vocalists Brady Seals and Tim Rushlow could belt out everything from a modern line dancing standard to a sappy power ballad. Their supporting cast featured Del Gray (drums) Porter Howell (lead guitar), Dwayne O'Brien (rhythm guitar), and Duane Propes (bass).
The band moved on without Seals and Rushlow, starting with 2007 studio album Missing Years, but it was never quite the same without the main voices behind the group's greatest hits, including these 10 standout tracks.
10. "Peaceful Easy Feeling"
Before exploring how the band incorporated rock elements into radio-friendly country, let's marvel at their ability to recreate one of The Eagles' harmony showpieces for the 1993 tribute album Common Thread.
9. "Cutoff Jeans"
When Little Texas slows things down and embraces its country side, they sound like a Southern gospel quartet. That's the case with this song's chorus -- a weird observation considering the lyric's lusty overtones.
8. "Southern Grace"
Little Texas took hillbilly rock a step further than most, crafting what's got to be the textbook example of a country music power ballad.
7. "Amy's Back in Austin"
In addition to being better than you'd want to admit at sentimental, prom-ready rock songs, Little Texas was adept at bringing a touching country ballad to life.
6. "Life Goes On"
From the chilling a capella opening through each catchy hook, this song presents Little Texas as the country-rock equivalent of the ageless Statler Brothers. Plus, there's something inexplicably happy about this song.
5. "Some Guys Have All the Love"
This cross between a country hit and late '80s Cheap Trick opens 1992 debut album First Time For Everything, confirming that Warner Bros. Records had made a wise investment and, more importantly, that country-rock had caught up with the times.
4. "Country Crazy"
The band acknowledges that redneck rock 'n' rollers find its music accessible with this tale of a hard rock fanatic who saw the neon light and "turned into a honky tonk woman."
3. "Kick A Little"
This is another up-tempo cut that, in a different year, might've fit in better on rock radio. Yet those harmonies make this 1994 title track a shining example of what Little Texas brought to the country charts.
2. "My Love"
These lists normally don't argue with success, and this display of the band's sensitive side became its only No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. If you were raised on this stuff, expect to remember simpler times once the song reaches its familiar chorus.
1. "God Blessed Texas"
Back when an old-fashioned, up-tempo country song could spark a dance craze, crack the Top 5 and nab a Grammy nomination, Little Texas left its biggest cultural mark with this fun tune about the Lone Star State's abundance of attractive women. It's the high point of the band's best album, 1993's Big Time.
Great Little Texas songs we skipped include "What Might Have Been," "I'd Rather Miss You," "You and Forever and Me," "Stop on a Dime," "Your Mama Won't Let Me," "The Call," "Bad For Us," "What Were You Thinkin" and "Down in the Valley."
This story originally ran on May 16, 2018.