Thursday, December 23, 2010
North Texas’ top five artists of 2010
Plus two bands to keep an eye out for in 2011.
This list speaks for itself. If you want to celebrate 2010 with the most interesting, successful, and inspiring artists, here's your quick-and-dirty list:
5. Boxcar Bandits: This “skungrass” band is a revolving door of talented Denton musicians who hone their craft every Monday night at Dan’s Silver Leaf. These “local drinkers with picking problems” have the ability to get feet stomping and hands clapping; often concertgoers breakout in square dancing at each show. Boxcar Bandits' down home, roots music – which features an upright bass, mandolin, tenor banjo, harmonica, guitar, dobro, accordion, and a washboard – is perfect when you just want to kick back with a jug of moonshine or get up and hoedown with your friends. The band is currently working on their second album, Far Mountain Gravy, which should be released in 2011.
4. John Pedigo: A southern boy with incredible banjo and guitar picking skills – as well as an unmistakably charming Texas twang – John Pedigo is a maverick in the Dallas music scene. He has performed with the now-defunct Slick 57s and plays double duty with alt-country rockers Boys Named Sue and is one-half of the indie folk duo The O’s. A multi-instrumentalist, music runs through his veins. His witty redneck sense of humor comes out whether he is onstage or off.
3. Sarah Jaffe: You saw this one coming. All in one year, Jaffe has released her first full-length album, made her first music video for the single, “Clementine,” and has toured all over the country. She is one of the best folk singers around, and everyone has realized it. Her emotional lyrics and flat-out talent is contagious. We can’t wait to hear the next album from this flourishing artist.
2. Ryan Thomas Becker, half of the band RTB2: There is simply no one better at his craft in DFW than Ryan Thomas Becker. He is one of the ultimate guitarists in North Texas right now. Combine that with a knack for song writing and the perfect complement on drums in Grady Don Sandlin, and you get the greatness that is RTB2. Becker plays everywhere, and he's been spreading his sound all over DFW with much fanfare.
1. Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights: This scream-in-your-face Southern rock band comes from Dallas but has already outgrown the area. In the past year, JT&TNL has played for big timers like AC/DC, ZZ Top, Kid Rock, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their premiere album, Pardon Me (recorded live and released by F-Stop Music, a branch of Atlantic Records), came out in April and has received rave reviews.
Bands to look out for in 2011:
People on Vacation: This two-man band’s pairing of Bowling For Soup’s front man Jaret Reddick and Smile Smile’s Ryan Hamilton is a strange combination for sure. Two musical genres collide as Hamilton mixes his indie influences with Reddick’s pop/punk background. Not a lot is known about the band as People on Vacation haven’t even played a live show yet, but the buzz around them is building as they gear up for their first show on January 29 at the House of Blues, a performance at SXSW, and an international tour in England in April. That's a lot for a brand-new band.
North of Autumn: If any band in Dallas has the “it” factor, it has got to be North of Autumn. They have those catchy hooks that are hard to get out of your head – and believe us, you want those songs to stay there. Their mix of blues, rock, country, and soul, along with lead singer Cully Woods’ unforgettable voice, has just what it takes to make the band go far. They have already opened for Fuel and Bret Michaels at the American Airlines Center, as well as performed on Good Morning Texas – and they don’t even have a full-length album out yet! Their debut record, Confluence, is due out sometime in 2011 and we can’t wait to take a listen.
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- Neil Young returns to the Meyerson in April