Chris Canterbury Stays Traditional with 'Refinery Town'

If country is changing and people want pop influences in the music, then why are artists still starving to make traditional music? Why wouldn't an artist just open a thesaurus and write that generic party song that is guaranteed to have the ladies dancing on a tailgate? Why do they write from the heart if this isn't what's in the heart of every other person who listens to the radio?

Because the argument that the future of country music is what's on the radio is horse shit. Chris Stapleton has two albums in the top 3 on the country billboard. He has never had a number one hit. Jason Isbell's newest album went number one on the country, rock, folk, AND independent charts and number 4 overall. Real country music and Americana is what the people want to hear. The bro country fatigue is prevalent and people want to feel genuine emotion from their music.

That's why artists like Chris Canterbury exist. After moving to Nashville in 2013, the Louisiana native could have replaced the steel guitar for a DJ and heartbreak songs for party anthems. Instead, he stuck to his guns and recorded one of the best albums of 2017. Refinery Town is so country it hurts, and you can feel the pain where it's meant to be felt.

Canterbury has shared the stage with Guy Clark, Steve Earle, and Chris Knight. The album has the track Black Jesus, also featured on Jason Eady's self titled album released earlier this year. If you're itching to sell out and make it big, you'd probably be better off covering Brantley Gilbert or Luke Bryan, not someone as genuinely country as Eady. Canterbury even has a song the revolves around Mad Dog 20/20, no one's favorite type of alcohol. It takes skill to make that sound good.

Chris Canterbury is an artist that should be on everyone's radar, because once the radio gets its heads out of its ass, I think Canterbury could be gracing the radio waves country-wide.

Favorite track: Back to You

Everyone knows my favorite songs are the slower ones. It takes a lot to open up to someone, so when an artist does it then decides to record it for everyone to hear, you can't help but respect it. In an album this good, it was very difficult to choose a favorite, but this song stuck out to me the most. Back to You tells the story of a man out on the road who will do nothing to find his way back to the one he loves.

9/10

Second Opinion
by Kevin Hodge

It’s becoming increasing hard to find new artists who have that pure country sound that I love so much. This is why listening through Chris Canterbury’s Refinery Town was so exciting for me. I had not listened to his stuff prior to this release, but after giving it a listen I’m proud to become a new fan of his. From the start with the title track Refinery Town, you can tell the album is going to have a classic country feel from the perspective of a man who lived in a dying town, left behind by the world as industrial jobs began to dwindle. The strongest offering on the album in my opinion is Back to You, a ballad of sorts in which he sings about being miles from home, thinking of how to get back to his home and those he left. Quality music from start to finish – if you are like me and had not heard of Chris before, do yourself a favor and check this one out.

9/10

Refinery Town is now available