The country music that came from DFW in 2012 was perhaps even more of a mixed bag than 2011. Last year, many newcomers were featured on our list of the Ten Best Local Country Songs, but this year, the vets held their ground with authority. From stone-cold, sawdust-kicking AM gold to electric Americana, North Texas continues to be one of the great exporters to the rest of the state and beyond.
"Mercy Killing," J. Charles & the Trainrobbers Upon the fall release of Upon Leaving, this act became more than a great bar band. "Mercy Killing" is one of a couple of songs on this list that weave a tale from both the male and female perspective, with the vocals to match. While not a slow song, it may be the most somber local country song of the year.
"The Night Before the War," Ronnie Fauss
"Cold Hands," Somebody's Darling Whether the band that won this year's DOMA for Best Country Act is really country or not is certainly up for greater debate after their kick-ass sophomore album, Jank City Shakedown. Kicking off with this groove-heavy tune, the album never lets off the pedal.
"Honest Lie," Big Gus & Swampadelic
"Amphetamine," Grant Jones & the Pistol Grip Lassos
"How Bad," Jerrod Medulla Medulla celebrated his first DOMA nomination this year, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been making great country albums for years now. The steamiest tune on this list, Medulla's pleasingly gruff vocals team up with the hotter-than-sin Lindi Ortega for a smoldering duet.
"Hard Work Just Ain't Working Anymore," Eleven Hundred Springs A year-end list such as this has to feature a tune from Matt Hillyer and crew. This year's Midway was yet another jewel in the crown of the metroplex honky-tonk kings.
"Whiskey & Pills," Andrew Delaney & the Horse You Rode In On
"Next to You," Charla Corn The songstress who is also an on-air personality on 95.9 the Ranch in Ft. Worth can write a stone-cold country tune. On this ballad, which bounced around a bit last year but was officially released on her Big Shirt EP this year, Corn sings of cold hotel rooms in Dallas, whiskey, tip jars and waking up hungover.
"Kings of Juarez," Robby White & the Tejas Gringos White's Small Town Outlaw was one of early 2012's best country albums. For White to include quality tunes that were written and co-written with top-notch writers was a great move and resulted in his best album to date. This Michael Ethan Messick-penned tune is an "outlaw song" without having to tell everyone how "outlaw" it is.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.