Country Hodge Podge

Real country music. No bullshit. 

13 Artists You Need to See at Windy City Smokeout

13 Artists You Need to See at Windy City Smokeout

The Windy City Smokeout is almost here again. I had the pleasure of attending for a day last year, and will be going for a day again this year. For being the third largest city in the country, we know how to bring in the country talent. I don't need to tell you to see the three headliners. You know who they are. Here are 13 other artists you need to see, in no particular order.

 

Randy Rogers Band

Randy Rogers Band has made a name for themselves in Texas and the mainstream with almost all of their albums reaching the top 5 country albums on the country billboard. Though only one of their singles has ever cracked the top 40 on the country charts, they are a powerhouse in Texas with their traditional and red dirt sound.

Performing Friday, July 14

 

Luke Combs

I don't even have to say anything about this guy. Luke Combs is all over the mainstream, with his new album and debut single Hurricane both skyrocketing to number one. His newest single has entered the top 40, and will without a doubt fly up the charts. Luke Combs puts on a great show and is not one to miss.

Performing Sunday, July 16

 

LANCO

This new group caught my eye when I discovered their song American Love Story (now titled Greatest Love Story) on Spotify a little over a year ago. Wisely, they made it their newest single and it has cracked the top 40. With an EP under their belt, hopefully a debut album is on the horizon.

Performing Friday, July 14

 

Brandy Clark

Brandy Clark is one of the greatest songwriters in the genre today. She has the ability to capture every emotion from funny songs like Stripes to heart-wrenching songs like Since You've Gone to Heaven. If you have any respect for this genre, you will take the time to see her.

Performing Sunday, July 16

 

Steve Moakler

On tour with some big players on the radio, Steve Moakler has tirelessly fought his way onto the country music scene. The Pittsburgh native has written songs for Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Reba, and more. Earlier this year, Moakler released his newest album, Steel Town.

Performing Friday, July 14 

 

Midland

Praised for sweeping the mainstream radio with traditional sound, Midland has been critically praised by the mainstream fans and tradionalists alike. If you want to hear some real country music, check this trio out.

Performing Saturday, July 15

 

Stoney LaRue

This Texas native is probably the most under-the-radar artist on this list to anyone who only pays attention to Chicago country radio. Stoney LaRue has sang background vocals for Miranda Lambert, but has stayed primarily in the Red Dirt realm of country music.

Performing Sunday, July 16

 

Ryan Beaver

I had the pleasure of meeting Ryan after his set last year, and he was as genuine as his songs. With a bit of rock influence in his sound, Ryan Beaver has as many heart racing songs as heartfelt songs.

Performing Saturday, July 15

 

The Steel Woods

If you like Skynyrd or Whiskey Myers, you will love this Southern Rock band, whose debut album dropped just earlier this summer. Their album even features a Black Sabbath cover, so that's pretty badass.

Performing Friday, July 14

 

Sunny Sweeney

It's not fair that we get Sunny Sweeney and Brandy Clark on the same day. The two most badass ladies of country music and two of the best writers of country music are gracing Chicago on Sunday. Sunny Sweeney knows how to make me laugh and cry on the same record. Few match her songwriting ability.

Performing Sunday, July 16

 

William Clark Green

Another Texas guy making his way to the Windy City, William Clark Green released his last studio album Ringling Road in 2015, with the happiest and saddest break up songs I've ever heard. Sympathy is great for anyone who is tired of their ex, while Still Think About You and Final This Time will tear your heart into microscopic pieces.

Performing Sunday, July 16

 

Mike Ryan

Another one you have probably never heard of if your focus is Nashville country, Mike Ryan already has more than a few number ones on the Texas charts. Set to release his next album, he has released his newest lead single New Hometown.

Performing Sunday, July 16

 

Muscadine Bloodline

Touring as Luke Combs' openers, you know these two are getting their fair share of time in front of sold out crowds. Exceptionally heartfelt and traditional, these two are worth catching.

Performing Sunday, July 16

Luke Combs Reminds Me Why I'm a Fan

Luke Combs Reminds Me Why I'm a Fan

Try Listening to this Song with Dry Eyes

Try Listening to this Song with Dry Eyes

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