Eleven Musicians/Bands That Will Be Household Names by the End of 2012
Musicians from Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico are thriving in 2012. There's your big time stars that have been doing it for years, your sea of talent that are just getting started and those that are ready to break out. We took the liberty of giving you the heads on the 11 that we have our eyes and ears on. Some of these you'll know and some will be a pleasant surprise to you. No matter what, you'll know these names by the end of the year.
Most of these bands I have been able to see down in Austin during SXSW. There was a killer show earlier this week at Peckerhead's with a fair amount of these guys playing. I've also seen these guys scattered around over the last few days. Check out our list of the 11 bands to keep an eye and ear out for.
Some of you might have seen Bri Bagwell on CMT's Next Superstar, some might know her through word of mouth and some of you may not know the name, but she's raising the bar for the ladies in country. "Banned From Santa Fe" has sold waves of copies and there's no slowing down for Bri in the near future.
Curtis Grimes, like Bri above, got a big boost after appearing on a TV show. Curtis appeared on NBC's The Voice and was a quarter finalist. But it's what Curtis has done after the show that is really turning heads in the music world. He might just be the most recognizable name of the list but there's still plenty the music world hasn't heard from Grimes. Expect Curtis to have a big 2012, 2013 and every year there after.
The Damn Quails are the first band that other musicians name as the one to be on the lookout for. Their sound is bigger than both Oklahoma and Texas combined and their music is infectiously brilliant. We've had "Fool's Gold" stuck in our heads for the past couple of months and there's not telling when or if it will stop being stuck in our head. Every song on their album, Down the Hatch, could be a radio hit (unless they sound too Russian).
You really can't say enough good things about Folk Family Revival. They're young and are more talented than most musicians can ever dream of being musically. These guys have been hitting it hard for the past year's time and should continue their momentum all throughout 2012 and beyond.
Jake Kellen's sound is country music that cowboys and college kids both sing along too. The South Plains native has begun to make a name for himself around the Lonestar state and is becoming a fixture on the scene. Don't let this cowboy fool you because he knows how to rock a crowd. Expect big things from Kellen in the near future and the rest of 2012.
There's a familiar sound to the music of John David Kent when you first hear it, but after the initial listen that familiarity wears off and you get an unique and refreshing sound. Kent has made a big impression on a lot of folks in a very short time and he shows no signs of that slowing. You'd think John David was a seasoned vet even though his debut album came out less than a year ago.
The state of Oklahoma continues to deliver great musicians like The Damn Quails, Turnpike Troubadours and their new brightest star in the making, John Fullbright. It's hard to compare Fullbright's songwriting with anyone's today. There's real truth and sincerity to it that hasn't been heard in years. Fullbright's future is bright and chock full of the potential that many would kill for.
It's Texas country with a little bit of pop mixed it. That's the best way to explain the sound of the Rankin Twins. The Rankin Twins really are the full package when it comes to a live show. They're a great sound, mixed with their good looks and their unique way to win over any crow they play for. Like Bri mentioned earlier, the Rankin Twins continue to raise that bar for the standards of female singers in country music. The future is doubly bright for these girls.
Rob Baird has always been known by college students, but now he's getting noticed by just about everybody. While still being a young guy, Baird is quickly maturing in both his personal life and his music life. Though he might be from Memphis, TN, his sound is bigger than Texas. You can expect to see Baird's name as a headliner by the end of 2012.
Ryan Beaver, like Curtis Grimes mentioned before, is already a pretty well known name on the Texas scene. That doesn't mean that there's not more that Beaver is hiding up his sleeve to get more people to know his name. His songwriting is flawless, his sound original and his delivery flawless. It's truly a head scratcher trying to figure out how Beaver isn't already the biggest name in Texas.
The city of Ft. Worth has become a hot bed for fantastic music and leading the way are Thieving Birds. They've opened for just about everybody in the business but soon enough it will be the other way around. With a sound unique to the Ft. Worth area, Thieving Birds blends different genres of music to get a sound that could please any crowd. It's that diversity in music that will take those Thieving Birds a long way.