8 Alternative Country Songs That Just Might Restore Your Faith In The Genre

Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:21:08AM
Categories: Musicians
Band of Heathens, an alternative country band from Austin, TexasBy: Courtney Chavanell
I grew up listening to country music. And I used to really enjoy it. I'm not sure though if it's just because I got older, or country music in general has changed so much, but now I hate it, by and large. For almost a solid decade now, I have not been able to listen to any of it. It basically makes my ears hurt.

Recently though, I have been introduced to some alternative country, or alt country as it were. And I gotta say, there is some good 'country' being produced today after all! Country with a brain, and a heart, and not just bubble gum formulaic backwoods, dirt road, drinking songs.

Wanted to share some artists and bands that I think are worth listening to in the country genre, to spread the word that good country music is still being produced. Maybe you are in the same boat as me, disillusioned and all. If so, check these artists out and please share any others that you feel also qualify as worth listening to. I am always on the lookout for good music.

Alt country artists that I think are highly worth your time:

Sturgill Simpson. He has a Waylon Jennings sound, but his music is much more than that. Talented, talented band, every one of them. And a few listens of some of the lyrics from his latest album: 'MetaModern Sounds In Country Music' will make it clear he isn't typical fair. It's excellent stuff, and this album almost single-handedly got me back into trying to find quality country.

Shooter Jennings. Waylon's son. A very interesting guy. Particular of note, I highly recommend the album 'Black Ribbons' w/Heirophant. Stephen King sort of narrates; it's awesome. He also has a few tracks that rail against the current country scene, and put those fake poser country pop stars in their place pretty good. Best example: Outlaw You.

To make this a bit shorter, here's a handful more, with a song a piece so you can get a quick YouTube sample and see if you like:

The Band of Heathens - Jackson Station - www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZfrFXzN4ug
Hayes Carll - KMAG YOYO - www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qy7fPGKCNU
The Lone Bellow - Diners (live version) - www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sQ2yw2NH_Q
Jim White - Chase the Dark Away - www.youtube.com/watch?v=asxZVOaXvMk
Ryan Bingham - Southside of Heaven - www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHnSj9Ls6pU
Father John Misty - I'm Writing a Novel - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga0ksTIagsg
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