Photo: Bain Stewart

Your Vote Gives One of These Five Emerging Outlaw Country Bands a Big Break

The Tumbleweed Music Festival in Kansas City is ready to give one emerging outlaw country band a big break. And your vote could help seal the deal.

Fans submitted nearly 100 bands for a chance to play at Tumbleweed alongside artists like Jamey Johnson, Cody Jinks and Whitey Morgan. It looks like five artists really emerged as frontrunners, and we want to give them all a brief spotlight for a chance to win your vote.

So learn a little more about these top five artists below, and then head to vote for your favorite. Voting ends Thursday, June 22 at 11:59 p.m. CST. The Tumbleweed music festival itself takes place July 28 and 29.

Porter Union

Wife and husband duo Porter Union hail from Springfield, Missouri. Their story of writing songs and falling in love is interesting enough, but the music speaks for itself without any fairy tales behind it. In early 2017, they teamed up with Joshua Thompson (Cody Jinks) to record their debut album, which just came out only a few weeks ago.

Sounds Like: Folk country duets delivered to perfection. Cole Porter sounds a bit like Shane Smith mixed with Cody Jinks, while Kendra has just a hint of Emmylou Harris to her.

Key Track: "Don't You Know," a beautiful love song that manages to not be too lovey-dovey.

Dustin James Clark

About halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, you'll run into Dustin James Clark. The long-bearded country singer may be a few states away from Texas, but he'd fit in perfectly in the scene that spawned acts like Kyle Park and Aaron Watson. He released the Land Of The Free EP in 2016, a rambunctious praise of country and countrymen. But Clark also has a few harsh words for the government in the vein of Hank Williams Jr. He also appeared on NBC's The Voice in 2013.

Sounds Like: A Texas country-tinged biker bar delight.

Key Track: "You Don't Have To Be Lonely Anymore," a heartfelt ballad with a strong 90s country tint.

Greg Payne & The Piedmont Boys

Forming in Greenville, South Carolina 10 years ago, Greg Payne & The Piedmont Boys carry that outlaw country swagger that dates bate to Waylon Jennings. Mixing a bit of humor with some of that talk-singing all the kids love (just kidding, think more Conway Twitty than Sam Hunt), the band released Natural Born Rebel last year. With an extended discography and plenty of road experience, Greg Payne & The Piedmont Boys really make their mark on stage.

Sounds Like: Waylon Jennings and Conway Twitty with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor.

Key Track: "Goodbye," a well-rounded tune that captures all of the elements of the band.

Evan Webb

With a smooth-as-butter vocal, Evan Webb delivers heartfelt folk-tinged Americana in an outlaw genre that sometimes relies on grit to mask technical inefficiencies. His debut album Dry Up Or Drown came out in 2016, and since then he's garnered plenty of acclaim for a relatively new act. His stage act is officially Evan Webb and The Rural Route Ramblers, an ode to his mid-South upbringing.

Sounds Like: Honestly, a little bit like Edwin McCain if he'd been an Americana/folk artist.

Key Track: "Dry Up Or Drown," an amazing story of a town flooded in more ways than one.

Folk Soul Revival

If their name doesn't give it away, this five-piece from Bristol, Tenn. finds their sweet spot in the roots rock world, drawing from folk and soul influences. They've opened for acts like Travis Tritt, Jason Isbell and Eric Church to name a few. With acoustic instruments firmly in the focus, the band hones in on roots country while still delivering a bit of those classic rock vibes, too.

Sounds Like: A roots revival band mixed with, oh, let's say The Avett Brothers and John Mellencamp.

Key Track: "Sweet Virginia," a rootsy acoustic ode to love lost (and a state).

So who is it going to be? Head to the Tumbleweed music festival Facebook page to cast your vote!

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