TOP 5: BANDS MOST LIKELY TO…


My Twitter and Facebook feeds were all a flutter Monday morning about The Grammys. The Black Keys won 3 Grammys and Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers performed on the show! Not to mention Mumford & Sons being up for Best New Artist. For a day at least, everyone was openly wondering who the next band from whatever our little niche of music is was gonna be.

So that’s this week’s Top 5. Give me your opinion on the 5 artists or bands that have the best shot at moving from this little scene we live and play in up to the bright lights of the Grammys.

Here are mine:

Gaslight Anthem: They’re one of those “love em or hate em” bands but the simple fact is that they have the polish, the hooks and the looks.

The Gaslight Anthem – The 59 Sound

Lucero: They’re almost the anti-Gaslight but what they lack in polish they make up for in substance. These guys have the songs, have put in the work and if the ever growing crowds have proven anything, they have mass appeal too.

Lucero – What Are You Willing To Lose

Glossary: These guys are almost an amalgam of Lucero and Gaslight. Every time I play their new album for someone, I end up burning a copy for them (sorry Glossies, but it’s the truth). If the country still had any real DJ’s outside of community radio these guys would be getting tons of airplay right now.

Glossary – Save Your Money For The Weekend

Whitey Morgan and The 78’s: If country music radio had any balls or if country music radio listeners actually cared about music these dudes would be huge already. The nashville country music scene and fan is dying for something worthwhile and these guys supply it without asking those pop country ears to try to hard.

Whitey Morgan and the 78’s – Bad News

Old Crow Medicine Show: Watching Mumford & Sons and The Avett Brothers actually perform on the Grammy stage while Bob Dylan tried to sing through some snot goober he had lodged mid-throat makes Old Crow the most obvious in this list.

Old Crow Medicine Show – My Good Gal

So. There you go. What are your 5?
Also, anyone else notice how much the singer of Mumford & Sons looked like Tim Tebow in the Grammy performance?

21 thoughts on “TOP 5: BANDS MOST LIKELY TO…”

  1. 1 – i’d agree with gaslight, for sure.
    2 – austin lucas is about to go on willie nelson’s country tour thing, so i think that’s an easy pick.
    3 – i find the new low anthem album kinda boring, but then, i thought the same thing about arcade fires’s latest, so who knows…
    4 – felice brothers just got signed to a new label, are putting out a new record this year, and they gave lucero a bit of competition for an audience at hardly strictly last year.
    5 – and didn’t the decemberists just debut a #1 album on the US charts? i’d say they’re on their way…

  2. most likely to break through? I would like to say Hayes and Todd and DBT and Isbell and Justin, but doubtful. Usually the ones to break through to the grammy’s/NPR are the safe ones without any edge and typically young, so my predictions will be:

    Fleet Foxes – They have a new album coming out I believe so yeah

    Felice Brothers – Also have a new album coming out

    Be Good Tanyas – I don’t know why but can see them catching on with the NPR crowd

    Jessica Lea Mayfield – New album, indie cred, plus good…she could stir up a dust storm

    The Wood Brothers – doubtful, but when it comes to lushly produced bluegrass-esque bands I much prefer them to The Avetts, The Mumfords, and The Cadillac Skies (who I would of put in this place had they not just broken up)

  3. Jason Isbell- He’s got the voice and the songs. While I doubt the Truckers will ever break into the mainstream, I’d put money on Isbell doing it.

    Two Cow Garage- While it may be a little unlikely, songs like “Lydia” seem like they could ride the indie-rock wave into semi-stardom.

    Kathleen Edwards- She’s already threatened several times to break into mainstream country. If she did, she’d kick ass.

    Joe Pug- No sound reason for his inclusion, other than if Dylan did it why couldn’t Pug do it?

  4. I don’t know who Tim Tebow is or what he looks like.

    I’d echo all 5 of your choices with Gaslight being the most likely. There’s tons of bands that i’d wish could achieve this level but i’m going with the ones that are already on the path to possibly get there.

    Justin Townes Earle – He got great songs and the pedigree to get high profile attention.

    Those Darlins’ – They got some traction with that last record. if they put out something as good or better this time around they could start to move up there.

    The Hold Steady – If they can get it together and put out a record in the vein of their first four.

    Frank Turner – He’s selling out some large venues in Europe now and spent most of last year opening for larger act in the US. It’ll be interesting to see what his new record does and how his round of headlining dates are received.

    Drive-By Truckers – I’m no fan of where they’ve gone since Decoration Day but the potential for this level of “success” is still there.

  5. Wait, is this DC Nick? Comeon, you don’t watch ANY college football? Or ANY Pro ball? As much time as you spend in bars? TIM TEBOW!

    If it’s California Nick I take all that back.

  6. If by DC you mean Baltimore then yes 😀 I haven’t watched a whole college football game since the late 90’s. It hold absolutely no interest for me. This year was actually the most football i’ve ever watched. Normally I only watch the super bowl.

  7. I’d like to say Lucero, but it seems like if they haven’t made it by now maybe they won’t?

    Frank Turner seems to have the right mix in my mind.

  8. Id have to say I agree with alot of what Ive seen here, Glossary, Frank Turner (alot), Jason Isbell, The Hold Steady, Two Cow Garage. But how can one forget Langhorne Slim. My goodness he’s such an amazing performer. Lyricly he cannot be ignored his songs cut through you. I believe if Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles wanted to cash in on their label connections they would have by now, and that screams to me they aren’t just looking for fame , that they love what they do.
    My take on the whole thing…. It’s Rick Reubens choice whoever he puts his hands on next will be the next one to break out of the indie scene and light up the grammy’s.

  9. Two cow is one album from leaving the bars.

    Gas light I totally agree with

    snodgrass solo efforts can tug the Americana heart strings with the best.

    Tin horn prayer is just like the avett bros. But with balls

    Joe pug is awesome as well.

  10. I agree with molly h’s choice of Austin, but I don’t think going on Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown is going to instantly put him on the radar. He’s not playing the main stage, but the much smaller Bluebird tent. He’ll play for hundreds every night on tour, but not 10,000 every night. It
    would be cool if that was the case, though. It’s still great exposure for him!

    Cory Brannan did the Throwdown tour last year, btw.

  11. oh shit, just realized what the correct answer to this question is:

    The Civil Wars, they meet all the requirements, and NPR already loves them.

    good call whoever said Those Darlin’s too

  12. Good topic.

    I was thinking about this too especially after Kasey Anderson tweeted that the Avett Bros and Mumford et. al. were the most vanilla of the alt country acts to play with Bobby D. My gut reaction was to say that Todd Snider and Hayes Carll should play with him, but Todd is too much of a pot-smoking hippie for mainstream. He would have made the Grammy’s interesting as hell though.

    (1) Carll has a decent shot at making it, although his music may be a bit too subversive. Hell, he already played Leno and seems to be getting a lot of PR with this new album.

    I would also add (2) Gaslight Anthem since they have already had minor radio hits and a large following.

    And if the Arcade Fire can do it, (3) The Decemberists can’t be far behind.

    Definitely (4) Justin Townes Earle too, if he can stay sober.

    And maybe (5) Neko Case – the Wilco crowd loves her and her albums seem to be getting better and better.

    Agree with AutopsyIV, I love Joe Pug, but he is years away.

  13. I’m not a big fan but I think Gaslight will get there. I think they will eventually sign to a major label or Epitaph.

    Lucero I hope like hell they get to the top and find a label that really gets behind them. They were better on their own than with Universal.

    Trampled By Turtles great songs and just plain jamming on the strings. I think they have the best fiddle player out there.

    Arliss Nancy god damn they kick ass I hope they get real serious and get out on tour. I really want to see these guys live.

    And Cory Branan he’s a great song writer and performer. Anxiously awaiting a new album.

  14. I gotta say I’m not a fan of the Truckers New material but it seems that they are experiencing more success than ever, new fans, reviews, late night spots etc…. I could see them getting nominated at least in the near future.

  15. Well first I would say Ryan Bingham, but oh yea he won an oscar and a grammy, so in that case.

    Lucero- Deserve it.
    Glossary- Best band I’ve heard in a while and even better live. Great talent.
    Chatham County Line-The best of the bluegrass revival bands in my opinion. Catchy songs which is difficult for that type of music.
    Justin Townes Earle-Like was already said he’s got the pedigree just needs to stay clean.
    Josh Small….I know call me crazy, but everybody I know that hears him, loves him. The guys got talent.

  16. Gaslight anthem got that real wide appeal, I can play 59 sound or american slang to anyone and they all really dig them. Justin Townes is on the way too I think. Lucero as much as I would love for it to happen I think they are a bit to tough for Joe average to just listen to on the fm airwaves.

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