Not too long ago our friend Natalie Rhea wrote about her top five most underrated artists in Texas music. You should check it out. It's a great list.
And when you're talking Texas bands/artists that deserve to be household names, you're kind of toeing the same line. You might even see a couple of repeats.
But the point of this is to essentially question the nature of the mainstream, because these artists and/or bands deserve all the spotlight. All the $$$. All the bullsh.... awards, etc.
The thing is, most of these folks probably don't want that. But the entire point of what we do here is spread the gospel of great Texas music, and we want as many people as possible to hear their music.
These are the top five bands/artists (in my opinion, of course) that deserve to be that band or artist, the one everyone talks about. The ones that sell out shows in minutes. And even if it's not the life these guys want (something that should be admired), these are the top five that should have their names shouted from every red dirt hill, mountain and beyond.
No. 1 is no contest here. Fact: Gary Clark Jr. is the best up-and-coming guitar player in the world. He owned Austin for years, but now he's finally starting to make his way into the spotlight.
He's shared the stage with The Rolling Stones, performed on The Grammy's, plays a ton of festivals and just played a tour with Kings of Leon. But until this guy is headlining tours and filling arenas by himself, he's still too unknown and under appreciated.
I saw Gary Clark Jr. play at House of Blues in Dallas last November, and it was like going to church. Roots, rock, blues, soul ... he's got every musical flavor in his music. You're in total awe every song. And then he plays "When My Train Pulls In" and you're hooked for life.
Get familiar by listening to ... "When My Train Pulls In," "Bright Lights," and "Numb."
Uncle Lucius topped Natalie's list of most underrated a few months ago, and rightfully so.
If you're not familiar with Uncle Lucius, it's time to do something with your life. Kevin Galloway has the best voice in Texas music ... period.
The songwriting alone is enough to put Uncle Lucius in some sort of Hall of Fame somewhere, but there are so many elements to this band that work together so well, it's ridiculous.
There's nothing more rewarding personally than seeing Uncle Lucius in a small venue -- that's where they're at their best. But under appreciated? You bet your ass.
Get familiar by listening to ... "Liquor Store," "San Bernandino," "Keep the Wolves Away," "Pocket Full of Misery" and "Ain't It the Same."
Is there a band more FUN in Texas than The Dirty River Boys? You'd have a hard time convincing me.
These guys give it all they've got at every show, and they have a helluva good time in the process. But more than that, the music is great. Like, really really great.
Their mold of country meets outlaw country meets rock meets folk meets America just ... works.
Get familiar by listening to ... "Dried Up," "Union Painter," "Raise Some Hell," "Desert Wind" and "Riverbed Wildflowers."
There's a lot of talk going around about there not being much "up and coming" good Texas country. Well, William Clark Green dispels that myth pretty quickly.
The growth and transition he made just from his first album (which was great) to his second was incredible. He had arguably the best Texas country song of 2013 with "She Likes The Beatles."
His crowds are growing big time, and you're only going to see them get bigger. But even then, it still won't be enough.
Get familiar by listening to ... "Rose Queen," "She Likes The Beatles," "Let's Go," "Dead or in Jail," and "Caroline."
And the winner for being the most unique, badass artist in Texas goes to ... Lincoln Durham.
Also a repeat from Natalie's list, but she's on point. Lincoln has IT. And he does it all by himself. He's a one-man band with a cigar box guitar, step drum, a suitcase and whatever else he can conjure up to produce some amazing tunes.
His new album, "Exodus of the Deemed Unrighteous," was produced by Ray Wylie Hubbard and it's a record full of songs you'd never imagine as normal "hits," but they're so good they'll hit you in the face.
Now go listen to "Sinner" and get back to me.
Get familiar by listening to ... "Ballad of a Prodigal Son," "Clementine," "Sinner," "Annie Departee," and "Rise in the River."