DFW Music News

The Good, the Sad and the Criminal: DFW Musicians Who Made Headlines in 2019

The mug shot for Arlington rapper Tay-K, real name Taymor Travon McIntyre
The mug shot for Arlington rapper Tay-K, real name Taymor Travon McIntyre Tarrant County Sheriffs Office

We all know Dallas is home to some pretty great musicians, but the rest of the country doesn’t always have the good sense to recognize it. But sometimes, word gets out. Here are 10 Dallas artists who made press appearances outside of Dallas: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Paul Cauthen's had quite a year.
Anna Webber
Paul Cauthen
Paul Cauthen has been all over the country this year, and with the release of his new album, Room 41, and his Big Velvet Revue, he’s caught the attention of so many outlets it’s hard to pick. He’s appeared on NPR, Rolling Stone, Texas Monthly, Westword, Billboard and many more. Room 41 is 29 on Rolling Stone’s list of 40 top country and Americana albums this year.

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It's been an eventful year for Charley Crockett.
Lyza Renee
Charley Crockett
It’s been a pretty big year for Charley Crockett, too. After two life-saving heart surgeries, Crockett released his newest album, The Valley, in September. “I needed to have these songs in case I didn’t get through," he told Rolling Stone in July. "I needed them just to tell people my story. To show folks what I’ve been through in life.”

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Joshua Ray Walker made Rolling Stone's end of year country and Americana songs list.
Meredith Lawrence
Joshua Ray Walker
Dallas’ own storytelling songster graced Rolling Stone’s Top 25 Country and Americana hits list. His best-known song, “Canyon,” which just won Best Song at the Dallas Observer Music Awards, is a soaring, brooding reflection on his relationship with his father off his debut album, Wish You Were Here. It made the list at No. 18.

The Vandoliers made Rolling Stone's end of year country songs list.
Cal Quinn
The Vandoliers
Squeaking in just one step ahead of Walker, The Vandoliers’ driving, mariachi-infused “Sixteen Years” scored the 17th spot on the Rolling Stone Country and Americana songs list.

Tay-K

Arlington rapper Tay-K, born Taymor McIntyre, was a complete unknown in the local music scene before he made national headlines for all the wrong reasons: He was sentenced to 55 years in prison for his role in the death of 21-year-old Mansfield resident Ethan Walker.

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Maren Morris made Rolling Stone's end of year Country and Americana song and album list.
Mike Brooks
Maren Morris
The Dallas-born country artist had a big year with the release of a new album and the debut album for her country super-group The Highwomen. Morris’ solo album Girl was No. 15 on Rolling Stone’s list of 40 best country and Americana albums and the Highwomen’s eponymous album made the list’s 4th place. Morris also made Rolling Stone’s top Country and Americana songs list with "Girl," the title track off her new album.

Joe McQueen
The jazz saxophonist born just outside of Dallas in Ponder in 1919, who settled in Salt Lake City, died last week at the age of 100. He was remembered as a tireless musician who favored three-hour shows and was humble, hardworking and kind.

Quaker City Night Hawks
After a performance delay during Paul Cauthen’s Big Velvet Revue, the band’s drummer, Aaron Haynes, yelled abusively at the venue’s sound guy and began shoving people and punching workers who tried to come onstage. He has since apologized for the incident.

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Dallas mourned the loss of Kylie Rae Harris this year.
Brooke Stevens Photography
Kylie Rae Harris
Here’s the one we wish we didn’t have to include on the list. On the way to the Big Barn Dance Music Festival in Taos, New Mexico, Harris caused a car crash that killed her and another driver. Her loss was widely mourned in the Dallas music community and the story was reported across the country.

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Asian da Brat made the VIBE end of year hip-hop songs list.
Mark Crutcher
Asian da Brat (Asian Doll)
Yung Baby Tate’s “Mean Girl,” featuring Asian da Brat (and Queen Key) was named No. 25 on VIBE’s list of “25 Hip-Hop Singles By Bomb Womxn Of 2019.”
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Meredith Lawrence