Off the beaten path country music worth giving a spin

Mikaela Finne – “When you lose”
-If I told you this artist was from Nashville and comes from a long line of country artists you’d probably believe me. Instead, she’s from Finland and has been writing music out of Stockholm, Sweden for years now. She writes with a depth and sincerity that once made American country music great. The production value on this track feels like it could have come from 1965 Nashville. It’s glorious. I dig everything from the instrumentation, to the vocal, to the lyrics. This is real country.

Catherine MacLellan – “Come back in”
-I contemplated saving this track for a singer songwriter playlist instead of a country feature. MacLellan is a delightful musician with clean vocal lines and introspective lyrics. Her presentation is peaceful and engaging. That said, if you’re a fan of real country music that has true heart to it you will love MacLellan’s style. We haven’t heard sincere country music like this on the radio in decades. It’s nice to find that people are still making it.

One Way Traffic – “The Kicker”
-You might not believe it at first blush, but this bluegrass band One Way Traffic has the majority of their songs marked “explicit.” Yep, these fellers can be foul mouthed. But you know what else they can do? Pick and grin! The energy of this recording is a real treat with good string work and impressive vocal work. It’s ncie to hear that people are keeping bluegrass alive, even if it’s not what Bill Monroe would want lyrically.

Krummi – “Stories to tell”
-Krummi (“Raven” in English”) is the genuine article. The songwriting feels like it could have come from a dusty street in Austin. Instead, Krummi brings this remarkable western-tinged music from Iceland. The overall style is absolutely fantastic. It’s got some pop folk elements to it, but the energy of the track reminds me of the iconic 60s folk vocal blending mixed with some jazzy Americana elements. It’s truly unique.

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