A list compiled by Brion McClanahan, Tom Daniel, and Jeff Rogers
Blood in the Water – The Jompson Brothers
Before Chris Stapleton became Grammy Award winner Chris Stapleton, he was a singer/songwriter from Kentucky who wrote several hits for other musicians and kicked around Nashville as a part of other bands, including the bluegrass outfit The Steeldrivers, a nod to his family roots as Kentucky coal miners. He formed the Southern rock band the Jompson Brothers after leaving the Steeldrivers in 2010. They released one album, briefly opened for the Zac Brown Band, and hit the dive bar honkytonk juke joint circuit with minimal commercial success. But all was not lost. Stapleton snuck in a few Jompson Brothers tunes on his most recent albums, and his current bass player was also part of the Jompson Brothers lineup. This song highlights the hard groovy Southern sound they did so well.
Mud – Whiskey Myers
Texas has become the heart of the modern Southern rock sound, and Whisky Myers is at the forefront. Their second album, Mud, has all the elements, from homespun lyrics to a “muddy” musical ambiance. Whiskey Myers are often labeled “country rock,” but that is the modern method of classifying anything as Southern lest it be called “racist.” This song has a reverence for history, place, and people, and is a full expression of Southern distrust of banks and Northern money. “Ain’t no love for a poor dirt farmer, a genuine son of the South,” and “We’re just some good old country folk, tryin’ to weather the storm, but how we gonna pay when the interest rate just got higher than the corn.”
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