Several Radio Texas, LIVE! Artists Land in Rolling Stone’s Best Country Albums of 2015
We love it when artists from our scene get the broader spotlight of national attention, which is exactly what happened today, thanks to Rolling Stone Country.
Today the legendary publication released their picks for the Best Country Albums of 2015, making this years list several artist you hear on Radio Texas, LIVE! including: Chris Stapleton, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Will Hoge, Kacey Musgraves, Asleep at the Wheel, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, and Turnpike Troubadours.
36. Turnpike Troubadours, 'Turnpike Troubadours'
Literary detail and kick-ass country rock collide on the dynamic third album from this Oklahoma-spawned quintet. Singer-songwriter-guitarist Evan Felker has the soul of a poet but the plain-spoken gifts of a man who has seen his share of heartache and hard times. Whether channeling his inner Paul Simon on the tender prairie folk of "A Little Song" or cranking it up to 11 with a fiery Neil Young-style fervor on "Down Here" (where the view from the bottom never looked so good) the Troubadours are never less than sure-footed. The album's masterpiece, "Long Drive Home," simultaneously details the dissolution of a relationship and the striving for success, bringing Felker's way with a story and the band's way with a song to a stunning apex. "They all want to be Hank Williams," he sings. "They don't want to have to die." S.R.
33. Jason Boland & The Stragglers, 'Squelch'
"I guess it's alright to be an asshole," sings Jason Boland on the track of the same name, "if you're good." It's two minutes of explosive rockabilly honky-rock in pure baritone, delivered with the energy of a group of high-schoolers fixin' to win the battle of the bands. This isn't the first rodeo for Boland, who has been releasing albums since 1999 – but it might be the first time his breed of classic (not retro) country has found such a timely niche, fitting next to Kacey Musgraves' dreamy weedscape and Sturgill Simpson's trippy turtles. Boland has a fiercely devoted fanbase, but Squelch is less of an album for them than one to fire up a bigger audience, with messages layered beneath the tried and true scorchers. "Fat and Merry" is a cutting swipe at an America where butts are as big as bank accounts, and "Asshole" targets those who use genius as a carte blanche towards jerkdom. M.M.
7. Wade Bowen & Randy Rogers, 'Hold My Beer, Vol. 1'
Texas mainstays Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers just might be country music's Run the Jewels, amplifying one another's strengths for some of the best work of their careers. Battle-scarred and exiled from the major labels without a hit single between them, the longtime pals cooked up a collection of tunes steeped in their home state's Red Dirt fiddle-and-steel aesthetic, but still catchy enough to satisfy fickle ears. What's immediately striking is how fun and playful the whole thing is – whether they're drinking off a hangover to the outlaw boogie of "It's Been a Great Afternoon" or talking shit about Nashville's A&R practices in the swingin' "Standards." But repeat listens reveal the refinement of their songwriting in more serious numbers like "El Dorado," an emotionally heavy tale of a weary cowboy coming to terms with his decisions and the fact that fortunes probably don't await – poignant from a couple of guys who seemed destined for life on the club and dance hall circuit. J.F.