Midland Looks Back On Its Breakthrough 2017
Drill down far enough and almost every band has a tiny, hidden catalyst to which it owes its existence. And before Midland had a hotly-anticipated debut album in “On the Rocks,” there was a grandfather clock.
Cameron Duddy, bassist for the breakout country trio — which plays a sold-out show at the Troubadour on Wednesday— tied the knot in 2013 near Jackson Hole, Wyo.
His buddy, lead guitarist Jess Carson, had been on a road trip helping his dad and granddad deliver a grandfather clock and arrived a week ahead of the nuptials. Singer-guitarist Mark Wystrach also arrived early with time on his hands, and while Duddy had previously been in bands with both men, the three had never played together.
Country trio Midland 'went all in' and came out on top with debut album 'On the Rocks'
2017 still technically has a couple months left before the sun sets on the calendar year. Even so, it has been a year to remember for Big Machine trio Midland. Releasing their debut single, “Drinkin’ Problem,” this past winter, the group watched as the song climbed the chart — peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in August.
“They told us in the beginning to be cautiously optimistic because the song was good, but one of a kind as far as in the landscape of songs that are being played on country radio,” Cameron Duddy admitted to Billboard. “We went into it hopeful, but skeptically hopefully. It was something else to see it go up the chart. I remember just hearing the song for the first time on the radio after playing our music for decades. I hope that feeling never goes away. It’s very magical.”
Jasmine Thompson Debuts “Words” Music Video
Music has always been a part of Jasmine Thompson’s life, but the 16-year-old considers the internet to be the true key in transforming her passion from a hobby to her career. After sharing her YouTube covers online, the UK-based musician soon found herself with an online following that quickly skyrocketed into a huge fan base. Soon, she was sharing original songs with her listeners, and by 2015, she had signed with Atlantic Records and had released her first official single into the world. It’s the kind of success story that dreams are made of, and proof that it’s always a good idea to chase down your goals — no matter how big they might seem.
Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves and Midland Announce Tour with a Musical Medley
Hold on to your cowboy hats because your favorite country musicians are all going on tour together!
On Wednesday, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves and Texas trio Midland announced they were all going on tour together — and to celebrate, they made a pit stop by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to perform a medley of some of their biggest hits.
Midland started things off with their debut single “Drinkin’ Problem” before the camera panned to Musgraves, 29, who followed Midland’s lead and performed her debut single too: 2013’s “Merry Go Round.”
Album Spotlight: Midland, ‘On the Rocks’
Sharp songwriting and an absolute dedication to a throwback sound separate Midland‘s On the Rocks album from anything released in 2017, but you already knew that.
The project is everything you’re expecting. Not a fan of either of their first two singles? Maybe stream this 13-song, traditional country project first. The trio expand upon the easy country melodies but never strain to stay in a rhinestoned lane they’ve spent nearly four years paving. If this brand of twang was forced the cracks would show, but if anything, a fan of “Drinkin’ Problem” is only going to find more to love.
How Midland's New Album Polishes Up Their Bar Band Sound
Finding a good dive bar band is a little like finding a good dive bar: There are plenty of imitators out there, but you know the real deal when you find it. Texas trio Midland knows a thing or two about dive bars – in fact, they just might be the biggest bar band in country music right now.
It’s appropriate, then, to meet them at one of Nashville’s best dives, Springwater Supper Club and Lounge. Located on the perimeter of Centennial Park, which houses Nashville’s famed replica of the Parthenon, Springwater bills itself as “Nashville’s oldest dive bar” and serves up cheap brews, greasy food, and plenty of music.
EXCLUSIVE: Midland Premiere Upbeat Breakup Anthem “At Least You Cried”
The beauty of Midland’s debut album On the Rocks is that it could have been made when Gram Parsons formed the Flying Burrito Brothers in the early ’70s, or when Gary Stewart released his 1975 debut album Out of Hand & Brand Newor when George Strait broke out with Strait Country in 1981.
Honky-tonk country music by Midland’s Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy and Mark Wystrach sounds that timeless.
Going into recording On the Rocks their main goal was to make a cohesive collection inspired by the journey that brought them to where they are today.
Listen To New Midland Song “Nothin’ New Under The Neon”
Texas trio Midland is one of the more interesting new country acts to emerge in recent memory, blending retro Bakersfield influences with modern sensibilities to craft clever, catchy songs that sound little like anything else out right now. The band will release its debut album On The Rocks on September 22, the lead-up to which produced a number one song in first single “Drinkin’ Problem.”
Ahead of the album’s release, Midland has shared a new On The Rocks cut, “Nothin’ New Under The Neon.” The laid-back tune celebrates the venerable dive bar, as well as all the stories housed within the smoke-stained walls. The trio co-wrote the wistful track with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.
Corey Harper Proves He's 'No Good Alone' in New Video: Premiere
Los Angeles pop-rock troubadour Corey Harper gained considerable traction with last year’s On the Run EP, scoring major festival appearances and a highly coveted Instagram endorsement from Justin Bieber. Today (Sept. 21), Billboard is premiering “No Good Alone,” a sunny, retrofitted pop-rock nugget that celebrates the simple pleasure of spending a lazy day with the person you love.
Harper, a professed classic rock and soul disciple, lays down tasteful John Mayer-esque licks over a relaxed backbeat, creating plenty of space for his smoky, understated vocals. The video shows him whiling away a gorgeous day inside his Venice Beach house with actress Daniele Ifrah.
SONG OF THE DAY: 'No Good Alone' by Corey Harper
A couple weeks ago, Portland singer-songwriter Corey Harper released his new single, “No Good Alone,” and the catchy tune is an instant classic. With Harper on guitar and vocals, Marshall Vore on drums, Patrick Taylor on bass, and James Wolf on guitar, the track draws inspiration from all over the place, most notably from artists like John Mayer. On this new single, you can really hear the way Harper blends various genres and inspirations to create timeless pop jams, taking elements of folk, blues, 60s/70s rock and soul, and newer inspirations like John Mayer and Ben Howard.
Growing up with a passion for playing guitar and his parents’ taste for 60s and 70s music, Corey Harper is a singer-songwriter who tries to avoid the restraints of genre. Since moving to L.A. at the age of 20, Harper has started to make a name for himself in the Los Angeles music scene, has opened for Justin Bieber shows, and has upcoming plans to open for select Niall Horan shows.
On the Charts: Midland's 'Drinkin' Problem' Goes Number One
Country trio Midland have their first Number One song. The group, made up of singer Mark Wystrach, guitarist Jess Carson and bassist Cameron Duddy, top the Mediabase Country Airplay chart this week with their debut single, “Drinkin’ Problem.”
Written by the band with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, “Drinkin’ Problem” evokes the smooth sound of country music in the late Seventies and early Eighties. The song first appeared on Midland’s EP, released last fall, and, along with the other tracks off the EP, will also appear on their upcoming debut album, On the Rocks. Due September 22nd, the LP includes 13 songs, all written or co-written by Wystrach, Carson and Duddy.
No 'Problem': Midland Hits No. 1 on Billboard Emerging Artists Chart
Midland is the top emerging act in the U.S., as the country trio climbs 2-1 on Billboard‘s Emerging Artists chart (dated Sept. 9), powered by the group’s breakthrough single “Drinkin’ Problem,” which reaches new peaks on Hot Country Songs (No. 4) and the Billboard Hot 100 (No. 45).
The Emerging Artists chart (which launched with the list dated Sept. 2) uses the same formula as the all-encompassing Billboard Artist 100, which measures artist activity across multiple Billboard char
Airplay contributes the majority of Midland’s Emerging Artists points (50 percent), followed by digital song sales (31 percent).
MIDLAND DRINKS UP A #1
Midland join Spotify’s John Marks for a raucous photo op after opening for Kenny Chesney at Gillette Stadium. Later, the band won a bunch of stock after a few hands of Texas Hold ‘Em.
We’ve been telling you for a while about how good Big Machine’s Midland is (“bourbon-on-the-rocks good,” goes our first rave), and now we get to say we told you so once again: The band’s smooth-as-hell “Drinkin’ Problem” has hit #1 on the Mediabase Country radio chart.
It just goes to show that the Country mainstream is more than ready to embrace a project that colors outside the lines.
The band’s full-length, On the Rocks, hits 9/22; you can check out their Kimmelperformance on Tuesday night (8/29).
Midland Premieres New Single 'Make a Little': Exclusive
Breaking a new artist inside the country format – or any musical genre, for that matter – these days is a tough task. But Scott Borchetta and his team at Big Machine have once again developed a winning formula with the success of Midland. The label launched the Texas-based trio late last year, and week-by-week, they have become one of the biggest success stories in Nashville this year. Their debut single, the melodious throwback “Drinkin’ Problem,” continues to perform well, currently sitting at No. 6 on Hot Country Songs. Today (Aug. 24), we’re giving fans a sneak peek at the group’s second single, “Make A Little,” which will go on sale this Friday (Aug. 25). On The Rocks will be released Sept. 22.
Hear Midland's Feel-Good New Song 'Make a Little'
Last week, Midland shared details for their long awaited debut LP On the Rocks, due out September 22nd. On Friday, the Dripping Springs, Texas, trio shared one of the new tracks, the upbeat shuffle “Make a Little.”
Written by Midland’s Jess Carson, Cameron Duddy and Mark Wystrach with longtime champions Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, the tune features the trio bending their three-part harmonies over cracking snare and soaring pedal steel. “It’s a hard-living, tail-kicking / Trip that we’re all on, but I’m betting / We can find a little sunshine in the night,” they sing, offering a message of hard-won optimism.
See Midland's Smooth 'Drinkin' Problem' on 'Kimmel'
With their debut LP, On the Rocks, due to drop in a little over a month, Texas trio Midland stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday night to play their hit single “Drinkin’ Problem,” along with “Check Cashin’ Country.” Decked out in their best Urban Cowboy finery, it was their debut performance on late-night television.
Led by lead vocalist Mark Wystrach, the band’s silky smooth three-part harmonies and old-school country revue vibe make “Drinkin’ Problem” go down awfully smooth. “People say I got a drinkin’ problem, but I got no problem drinkin’ at all,” Wystrach quips on the chorus, his smoky George Strait croon sounding as reassuring as could be. With generous pedal steel to help wash the pain away, it’s no wonder the group’s debut album will be named On the Rocks.
XYLØ Goes for a Surprise Twist Ending in 'Alive' Video: Exclusive Premiere
XYLO figured they would pull a surprise ending to the new video for “Alive,” and it’s a keeper. “We initially had concerns the ending was going to come across as too sad and dark for how upbeat the song was,” says Paige Duddy, who comprises one-half of the brother-sister duo with Chase. “It ended up turning out the opposite.”
The Los Angeles band burst into mainstream consciousness with 2015’s “America,” the title track of an EP released the following year that’s accrued 2.44 million listens on SoundCloud. Since then, they’ve had a strong rise, guesting on The Chainsmokers‘ “Setting Fires,” which peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, and the inclusion of “America,” which was featured in a campaign video for Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s PacSun clothing line in 2014.
Country Trio Midland Offer New Album Details, Reveal Release Date: Video Interview
Three-piece country crooners Midlandare gaining speed on radio airwaves lately, currently sitting at No. 14 on the Country Airplay chart (dated July 1) with their hit “Drinkin’ Problem.” But the Big Machine Label Group act is ready to be more than a one-hit wonder, announcing Friday (June 23) that their debut album is set to be released Sept. 22.
While Billboard was down in Nashville for this year’s CMA Fest, we got a chance to catch up with the Midland guys to chat about how they got their start as a trio and what fans can expect from the not-yet-titled album.
VEVO Meets: Jasmine Thompson
Meet Jasmine Thompson on VEVO and learn how she got her start on YouTube, the inspiration behind her Wonderland EP, and what show she watched an entire season of in 4 days!
INTERVIEW: Jasmine Thompson On 'Wonderland' Song Meanings
Allow us to introduce you to an artist you absolutely need keep your ear out for: Jasmine Thompson. When you hear Jasmine sing, it’s hard to believe that she’s only 16 years old! And this ain’t her first rodeo either — she’s been writing and recording music over the last four years. But recently, Jasmine released her 8-track EP called Wonderland, and it is a MUST-listen.
PREMIERE: "ALIVE" BY XYLØ
In just two short years, electronic pop duo XYLØ has made significant strides, gaining millions of streams from their first EP America, their latest singles “Get Closer” and “I Still Wait For You”, and their feature on the Chainsmokers’ “Setting Fires”. Now, the vibrant duo is back with their latest, upbeat track: “Alive”. The track has all the elements that make it the perfect summer jam. Its electronic vibe also gives it a fresh, dance-y dimension that’ll make you want to move.
A Baeble NEXT Session With Jasmine Thompson
Jasmine recently found herself stateside in support of her recent Wonderland EP. The Atlantic Records release dropped earlier this year and features some high-profile writers and producers. Most importantly, it features Thompson’s signature sound, her restrained yet powerful voice accompanied by her tenderly played piano. We were lucky enough to meet up with Jasmine at Atlantic Studios, where we captured a live performance and spoke to her personally. In the interview, she discusses the power of YouTube, the joy of being discovered, and the perks of working for a major label.
Jasmine Thompson x Unclear Magazine
Jasmine Thompson, an extraordinary 16-year old singer-songwriter from England, has a clear basis for her musical endeavors: “Everything I make is for my fans.” Though she may be young, Thompson is considerably mature for her age, and she constantly ponders of life’s workings. With over one billion total streams and nearly six million monthly Spotify listeners worldwide, the Atlantic-signed pop artist has released four extended plays and two-full length albums, with her latest being Wonderland (2017). Thompson recently embarked on a European tour to support her latest EP, with a special show at Webster Hall in New York on May 23rd. Unclear Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Thompson and discuss Wonderland and her musical journey.
Jasmine Thompson X Local Wolves
Powerhouse singer-songwriter, Jasmine Thompson has become a budding sensation over the last few years, and for good reason. She has soared from computers screens to the international stage, working with artists like Meghan Trainor and releasing content that has amassed hits by the millions. The London-based artist has been featured on Felix Jaehn’s “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” and Robin Schulz’s “Sun Goes Down”, which have each racked up hundreds of millions of streams online as well as gold and platinum certifications worldwide. Her dynamic vocals and soulful flair transcend the boundaries of genre with ease, and it comes as no surprise when her roots stem from the diverse city life of London. “I think that growing up in London helped me experience a lot of different things. It’s a multicultural place, which means that there is so much music and hybrids of different cultures and influences.”
CMT Awards 2017:10 Best and Worst Moments
Leave it to newcomers Midland to dress to the nines, thanks to the amazing needlework of Jenny Lewis and Nikki Lane’s go-to chain-stitch masters Ft. Lonesome. Onstage, the trio conjured up Wagoner and Gram Parsons while performing “Drinkin’ Problem” and doubling down on the twang. Way to make an entrance, boys. M.M.
CMA Music Festival 2017: 26 Best Things We Saw
While Luke Bryan was wrapping up Night One of CMA Fest on the massive football-stadium stage across the river, smooth-country trio Midland sweated it out in a jammed honky-tonk on Lower Broadway. All of them sporting 10-gallons and Western shirts, the band re-created a Texas dancehall in the Whiskey Bent Saloon, harmonizing on Strait-evoking tunes like “Check Cashin’ Country” and “Electric Rodeo.” During new single “Drinkin’ Problem,” cell phones in the air were as ubiquitous as hoisted beers, suggesting Midland just might have a 100 proof hit on their hands. J.H.
How Country Trio Midland Are Bridging the Country-Pop Divide
There’s chaos over the phone, with Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson and Cameron Duddy of Texas country trio Midland trying to sort out its position between members.
“Give us one second,” Wystrach, the group’s 37-year-old lead singer, says. “We’re trying to figure out the – ” and the phone breaks up again.
The band flew into Nashville two hours ago, and now they’re crammed into a vehicle on I-65 South, an hour from Huntsville, Alabama, where they’re booked for a promotional radio visit. It’s no accident their song “Drinkin’ Problem,” a whiskey-soaked slow dance filled with three-part harmony…
[PREMIERE] JASMINE THOMPSON’S “WONDERLAND” OF WASTED YOUTH
“Wasted youth in wonderland.” That’s the verse that carries the tone of Jasmine Thompson’s latest single.
A dark and eclectic melody plays under her eerie vocals as she sings about wasting your teen years away. The 16-year-old British singer is well beyond her years and feels that today’s youth is being wasted, with kids being forced to sit behind desks at school rather than being able to go out and live, love and create freely.
“You get to a point when you’re in school, you kind of feel like you’re wasting your youth,” Jasmine told Galore. “Youth can be a negative and positive word, but I feel like it’s so positive. Youth is where you’re free and you have no limitations and you have all of this time on your hands. So the fact that we feel like we’re just stuck doing nothing and we feel like we’ve got all of this creativity inside of us.”
Top 10 Country Songs of 2017 (So Far)
The best country songs of 2017 get played so often, the album art starts to singe itself into the screen on your phone like Silly Putty. These ten songs include established hitmakers, country newcomers, a RISER and a debut single at No. 1 (so far).
Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town seem to park themselves on Top Country Songs lists each year, and 2017 is no different. Each has a spot on this first edition of our Top 10 list, with Urban’s duet with Carrie Underwood trending upward to No. 1. It’s going to be difficult to top the best-selling song of the year so far, however. Sam Hunt‘s “Body Like a Back Road” is already crossing over to pop radio, making it a no-doubter to remain one of the best picks come December.
GETTING BELOW THE ROOT OF MYSTIC BARRIERS: A CONVERSATION WITH XYLØ
As siblings, Paige and Chase Duddy utilize their connection and generate some of the most uniform sounds that Los Angeles itself has contributed to the world of music. From what began as the band releasing songs solely on SoundCloud to them embarking on tours across the country, one can conclude that their rapid growth is due to not only overwhelming support from friends and fans, but also undying dedication and hard work.
20 Social Media Stars Who Have Cracked the Billboard Charts
Does a more haunting version of Macy Gray’s “I Try” than Jasmine Thompson’s riff on the single exist? The London singer-songwriter rose to fame by featuring her serene, smoky voice on YouTube covers, and while her cover of Passenger’s “Let Her Go” cracked the Rock Digital Song Sales tally, remixes with Felix Jaehn on “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)” and Robin Schulz on “Sun Goes Down” each made the Top 40 of the Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
5 Things to Know About XYLØ, the Vocals Behind The Chainsmokers’ ‘Setting Fires’
XYLØ’s indie-pop beats are sure to spark your fire.
Chase and Paige Duddy, who just rounded up a nationwide tour with The Naked and Famous and produced the vocals for the Chainsmokers‘ hit “Setting Fires,” became an internet sensation before they even had one single track.
Here are five things you need to know about the brother-sister duo:
1. They set the bar high in the Chainsmokers track “Setting Fires.”
There isn’t a song The Chainsmokers release that doesn’t instantly turn into a hit, and Chase says XYLØ feels “really lucky” to have landed the vocals for “Setting Fires,” a track off the DJ duo’s five-track EP, Collage.
Midland Make a Grand Escape in Retro ‘Drinkin’ Problem’ Music Video
The storyline adds a touch of excitement to the mid-tempo jam, which focuses on alcohol mending the broken heart: “People say I got a drinking problem / But I got no problem drinking it off / They keep on talking, drawing conclusions / They call it a problem, I call it a solution.”
Midland bass player Cameron Duddy directed the retro music video. In an interview with Sounds Like Nashville, lead singer Mark Wystrach seems proud of the band’s final product.
Midland Gets Soulful in Acoustic Rendition of ‘Check Cashin’ Country’
Grabbing a couple guitars for a pit stop on what they called a National Lampoon-style car ride through multiple states and over dangerous cliffs, the guys busted out their harmonizing vocal chops to show fans that a little road fatigue doesn’t stop the talent from overflowing in this exclusive video premiere of “Check Cashin’ Country.” The song itself embodies the trio’s spirit throughout their time together and that connection seems to be ever-present throughout their smooth and laidback style in the clip.
See Smooth-Country Trio Midland Harmonize on 'Drinkin' Problem'
New country trio Midland’s self-titled debut EP is a must-hear. Over five songs, the Texas-based outfit of Mark Wystrach, Cameron Duddy and Jess Carson, blend their voices to produce country music that recalls a mix of George Strait, Urban Cowboy and Seventies yacht rock. If ever there were a country band that Michael McDonald should sit in with, it’s these guys.
MIDLAND MOVES UP
Following Midland’s performance at the Apple Music House on Friday at SXSW, the BMLG-repped Texas trio’s debut single, “Drinkin Problem,” soared to #14 on the iTunes country chart, where it holds at press time.
This is BMLG’s fastest-climbing debut single since the Scott Borchetta-led company’s inception in 2005. And it’s been one of the Most Added songs at Country radio for the past four weeks, with more than 100 stations currently spinning it.
Meet Midland: Five Things to Know About the Texas Country Trio
There’s a new trio ready to take the country world by storm.
Midland’s Cameron Duddy, Jess Carson and Mark Wystrach released their debut EPlast fall, introducing the world to their Texas sound.
The group was recently named one of Entertainment Weekly’s “Artists Who Will Rule 2017,” and are now starring in a photo shoot for Man of Metropolis magazine.
“All of our music is an amalgamation of our musical influences,” Duddy tells the magazine. “Throw in some rock n roll, some soul, and a heavy dose of country music and your got yourself a Midland stew.”
PEOPLE has a first look at the Man of Metropolis images, and everything else you need to know about Midland as the video for their first single, “Drinkin’ Problem,” debuts.
15 Songs You Need In Your Life This Week
… 7. There’s nothing more country than being drunk and also lonesome: Midland‘s “Drinkin’ Problem” is a fun and soothing update on a timeless theme.
8. “Matrimoney,” a high-pitched song about being in love with money, comes from Swag Hollywood and Richie Souf‘s just-dropped mixtape, which goes.
9. Chance The Rapper, with Jeremih by his side, hopped on his lil’ brother Taylor Bennett‘s dreamy R&B track “Grown Up Fairy Tales.”…
XYLØ X COMPOSURE
Chase and Paige Duddy are brother-sister electronic pop duo XYLØ — new on the scene and here to stay. With early hits like “America,” “Fool’s Paradise,” and the collaboration with The Chainsmokers, “Setting Fires,” XYLØ is a name you’ll be hearing a lot. The only question is: Are you ready?
Composure Magazine: You’re brother and sister, 10 years apart. That lends itself to an interesting dynamic even before bringing in the artistic partnership. What was it like growing up together?
Paige Duddy: Well, growing up, since we’re 10 years apart, we didn’t really hang out that much. So for a while we didn’t really know each other that well, not for any other reason besides that we were living different lives.
DJ Vice's 'Steady 1234,' Feat. Jasmine Thompson & Skizzy Mars, Is Latest #NextWave Winner on Musical.ly
Hoping to expose its 160 million users to new and emerging artists, the lip-syncing app Musical.ly launched the #NextWave program and created a special folder that contains 15 buzzy new songs. Following the success of #NextWaveOctober winner Anne-Marie, the #NextWaveNovember winner is DJ Vice‘s “Steady 1234,” featuring Jasmine Thompson and Skizzy Mars.
In November, there were a staggering 1.3 million videos created to the 15 #NextWave songs and 261 million views on those videos.
“The power of the internet is amazing,” the DJ/producer told Billboard. “I randomly came across this sample on Musical.ly and knew instantly I had to do something big with it.
Watch Corey Harper's Wanderlust-Inducing 'Beneath' Video: Exclusive Premiere
Folk-rocker Corey Harper has already gained acclaim from both fans and media alike, all without having released his debut EP. Said EP, On the Run, will arrive this fall but until then, Harper has already graced listeners with a handful of tracks that showcase soothing instrumentation and his deep yet crisp vocals — a pairing that works well to deliver a warm and inviting sound.
On Wednesday (Oct. 12), Harper is sharing his latest track, the rollicking “Beneath,” along with its music video exclusively on Billboard. “‘Beneath’ came alive sonically from a riff I had heard on a song called ‘Broken’ by Jake Bugg,” Harper tells Billboard. “I went to the guitar to try and get something with a similar feel, and started singing lyrics mindlessly, finding melodies that fit the story I was searching for.”
A NEW OBSESSION: MIDLAND
Big Machine’s Midland finds a remarkably sweet spot where classic country, southern rock and “yacht rock” converge—authentic, richly melodic and breezy. The Texas band’s freshly released EP is among the most promising new releases in some time, thanks to smart, soulful songwriting, gorgeous harmonies and terrific musicianship. “Check-Cashin’ Country” is a declaration of purpose from a working band—“if you don’t two-step, we don’t eat”—though they may have to adjust that lyric about not having a song on the radio pretty soon.
The tune, like all five tracks on the set, just feels good, like bourbon-on-the-rocks good. The Midland boys (who are co-managed by Jason Owen’s Sandbox and Matt Graham of L.A.-based BRND Management) have distilled a hybrid of Merle and Waylon, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles…
Hear Corey Harper Evoke John Mayer on Radiant 'California Sun'
He has the blonde, fresh-scrubbed looks of a young West Coast surfer, but Portland, Oregon, musician Corey Harper’s radiant “California Sun” takes its musical cues from soul-baring sand and grit rather than crashing waves. With vocals that suggest Harper as John Mayer’s breezier fraternal twin, his tunes are a mix of Seventies country-rock touched by Mississippi blues. The 21-year-old’s “California Sun,” from his upcoming debut EP, is highlighted by a melodic chorus that finds the singer-songwriter dealing with the emotional fallout of a break-up, but resolute as to why he’s remaining rather Zen-like about the whole situation.
“I’m not going anywhere fast ’cause you always come right back,” he sings. “You remind me of the California sun. I don’t feel you as much when I get drunk.”
Born in Missouri, Harper picked up guitar at a very early age, having come across a Fender Stratocaster at his uncle’s house in Kansas City. With help from his uncle and father, he learned simple chords and honed his skills by watching videos of guitar greats Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, copying what he was hearing them play.
Meet Midland, a Country Trio to Watch From Taylor Swift's Record Label: Exclusive Video
Billboard is excited to bring you an exclusive video sneak peek at a new trio that’s sure to be one of the acts to watch in 2017 — Midland. Comprised of Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson, and Cameron Duddy, the trio — signed to Big Machine, home to Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts — has a definite George Strait ’80s New Traditionalist feel to it, combined with the rich California harmonies that made The Eagles legendary.
Hailing from Hays County (Dripping Springs), Texas, the band — who takes their name from the Dwight Yoakam song “Fair To Midland” — actually came together in a different state. Duddy was about to tie the knot in Jackson Hole, WY, and Wystrach and Carson rolled into town a week early. The guys began playing around musically on the front porch of Carson’s cabin, and things stuck.
Singer Cody Simpson and Radio Disney host Alli Simpson made headlines in Rio de Janeiro on Friday with a brother-sister moment that was nothing short of gold. The Australian siblings invited fans to watch them run with the Olympic Flame in Rio’s Ipanema Beach on the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay.
“It’s one of those things that falls so far outside of anything that you could ever imagine yourself being presented with… an opportunity like that is really one of those once in a lifetime opportunities,” Cody said.
10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: November 2016
Sounds Like: Cleverly blending Seventies California country with Eighties crossover vocal groups, Midland are a Friday-night back-porch guitar pull where everyone knows the songs and isn’t afraid to sing along
For Fans of: George Strait, Eagles, Glen Campbell, honky-tonk karaoke
Why You Should Pay Attention: Three words: Solid. Country. Gold. The chemistry between bassist Cameron Duddy, lead singer Mark Wystrach and guitarist Jess Carson is undeniable – both to fans who discover them and to the members themselves, who jammed for the first time at Duddy’s wedding. Named after Dwight Yoakam’s song “Fair to Midland,” the band captures harmony-rich, California country on their new self-titled EP for Big Machine Records. The trio recently finished up a run of shows opening for two of their heroes, Yoakam and Willie Nelson, and will hit the road with labelmate Aaron Lewis in January.
Listen to The Chainsmokers' New Single 'Setting Fires' From 'Collage' EP
The Chainsmokers still burn up the charts, and today (Nov. 4), the duo turns up the heat.
“Setting Fires” is the latest single from the duo’s newly released five-track Collage EP. It’s a slow-burning sensual beat with exotic undertones. XYLØ provides the slinky, breathy vocals. “Setting Fires” follows preceding Collage hits “Closer” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” and by the sound of this chorus, it’s probably destined to for serious commercial heights.
Thomas Jack Turns Up the Funk on New Single 'Rise Up'
Take a trip through time to the swingin’ ’60s with Thomas Jack and Jasmine Thompson. The tropical house king gets groovy on “Rise Up” while Thompson vocals hang in the air like purple smoke. This summer song will have you breakin’ out the paisley long sleeves and bright pastel miniskirts. Expect to hear this one at Jack’s Billboard Hot 100 Festperformance.
“Rise Up” is available now on Spotify and iTunes.