Category Archives: Top 10

My Top 10 New Favorite Artists of 2010

I’ve always been a fan of country music, but the songs and albums being released lately have been really spectacular.  The veteran performers are cranking out quality hits and decent albums, but it’s the music that is being produced by newcomers that has me really excited.  There are artists and bands trying to recapture the sound of legendary hit makers like Johnny Cash and George Strait.  On the other hand, some novice artists are aiming at striking it rich with a new sound or style.  So, I did some research and compiled a list of new artists that need to be checked out.  Also, take my poll and let me know which of these new hitmakers are likely to be sticking around.

#10
Danny Gokey

Danny was everyone’s favorite from Season 8 of American Idol.  I honestly thought he was going to win and I was shocked when he didn’t make the top two.  But like my brother always says, sometimes it’s better when you don’t actually win.  There is more freedom to create the record you really want to make, and that’s exactly what happened for Danny.  He traveled to Nashville and went country.  His debut album My Best Days features his first single “My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me,” which has been very well received and gets a lot of radio air play.  He got a little help Idol judge Kara Dioguardi who wrote the slow tune “I Believe” and “Get Away” is a great fast and catchy song. 

#9
Emily West

Emily West is the only artist on my list that I have actually met.  It was a few years ago and from what I remember, she is pretty funny.  She has a very humorous side to her.  I actually saw some video online of her in which she does some celebrity impersonations and it was pretty good.  Musically she also doesn’t miss a beat.  She recently was on an episode of Donald Trump’s show Celebrity Apprentice along with Luke Bryan where she performed her new song “Blue Sky.”  The song is very emotional and heartfelt.  Her self-titled album drops on August 10.

#8
Laura Bell Bundy

I can honestly say I didn’t know who Laura was until I saw her perform on this year’s ACM Awards.  My reaction when I saw her was…hmmm that was interesting.  She performed “Giddy On Up” off her debut album Achin’ and Shakin’ and danced around the stage in chaps and a tube top.  Obviously very winded, she breathlessly managed to sing and dance the entire time.  Also, you can tell she is from Broadway because her performance looked very theatrical.  For those of you who didn’t know, she was Elle Woods in the Broadway adaptation of Legally Blonde.  I don’t know how convinced I am yet, in terms of her being a country artist, but the girl definitely can sing. 

#7
The Band Perry

The sibling band consisting of Kimberly, Neil and Reid make up The Band Perry.  Their five song EP features their hit single “Hip To My Heart,” which is all over the radio.  At the end of last month, the second single “If I Die Young” was featured on iTunes as the Free Single of the Week.  Hopefully a full length album will be released in the near future.  Also, no word if they’ll be out on the road this summer.

#6
Jaron and the Long Road to Love

I would consider Jaron Lowenstein very new to country.  He was formally known for recording music with twin brother Evan for their pop duo Evan & Jaron.  But last year he headed to Nashville and made a country album Getting Dressed In The Dark.  He co-penned his first hit “Pray For You” in which he takes aim at an ex.  The clever song names all sorts of unfavorable events that could happen to someone who has wronged him.  It’s a great new song!

#5
Jerrod Niemann

It took three albums until Jerrod got some attention.  His second single off that third album Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury finally got him on the charts.  “Lover, Lover” is slowly climbing the charts and is currently parked at number 21.  A music video was just released and is helping with the climb.  The song “One More Drinkin Song” was the first single and peaked at number 60. 

#4
Chris Young

Chris is the only artist on my list that I have seen at a concert.  I caught him opening for Tim McGraw last summer.  Along with Danny Gokey, Chris rose to fame through a reality competition.  However, Chris won, just on a different show.  Chris was crowned winner of Nashville Star, the same show where Miranda Lambert was discovered, back in 2006.  His second album The Man I Want To Be has been tremendously succesful.  The second sinlge “Gettin You Home (The Black Dress Song)” landed at number 1 and the third single “The Man I Want To Be,” which was just recently released, is sitting at number 2. 

#3
Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin is this generation’s George Strait.  When I heard his first number 1 single “A Little More Country Than That” on the radio, I right away thought it was George.  Their voices are identical.  Only time will tell if he will be as successful long-term.  His self-titled album is perched at number 4 since being released in March.

#2
Steel Magnolia

Steel Magnolia is another result of a reality competition show, this time from the second season of the CMT show, Can You Duet.  The duo consists of real life couple Meghen Linsey and Joshua Scott Jones.  Their self-titled album spawned the hit “Keep On Lovin’ You” which was also included on the soundtrack to the movie Valentine’s Day.  More importantly, the duo was nominated at this year’s ACM Awards for Top New Vocal Duo.  They also made their Grand Ole Opry debut at the end of last year.

#1
Love and Theft

My favorite new band is Love and Theft.  Brian Bandas, Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson make up the trio.  Stephen is actually the muse for Taylor Swift’s hit song “Hey Stephen.”  She actually took the band out on the road with her in 2008.  Their first album World Wide Open was released in August of last year and the band is still riding the wave of their first single “Runaway,” which reached number 10 on the charts.  “Dancing In Circles,” the second single, was recently released and has peaked at number 25.  Some of my other favorite songs on this album are “Slow Down,” “Don’t Wake Me” and “World Wide Open.”  Hopefully the closing of their record label, Lyric Street, won’t set back the release of any more singles.  Catch them out on tour this summer opening for Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum.