23 Modern Traditionalists That Prove Real Country Is Alive and Well
The death of traditional country music may have been overstated. These 23 modern country singers are proving there is still allegiance to a less pop-friendly brand of twang. This group of stars and newcomers also prove fans may need to go looking for it.
Only a handful of these contemporary country music traditionalists — or neo-traditionalists as some have labeled them — have found success on country radio, but streaming sites and satellite radio have been kind to artists like Sturgill Simpson. His Grammy win and performance shows that despite a lack of airplay, great music can still win. Commercial and critical success as a country traditionalist is tough for any singer, but it's not impossible.
A long list of women is featured here as well. Kacey Musgraves, Margo Price and Brandy Clark are just three that recall country legends of the past while adding a 21st century twist. Ashley McBryde and Ashley Monroe are two more who's recent albums came with no filler and little filter. Few will call their music anything but real country music.
Cody Johnson, Luke Combs, Dillon Carmichael and Chris Stapelton are a few of the men being celebrated, not for sounding like the men who influenced them but for carrying on the great traditions of country music. Steel guitar, fiddle and beer-soaked waltzes about the girl that got away — they're all welcome on the list below.
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Still think "real" country music is dead? We'd argue that you're just not trying hard enough to find it. These 23 artists give hope for the future of country music, with or without help from radio stations nationwide.
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