The 15 Best Songs From the Past 15 Years of Texas Country/Red Dirt/Whatever It's Called

Categories: Best Of

10. "Nashville Blues" - Cory Morrow
Morrow's plight of fightin' the man for what he saw as musical equality lives on despite the success of many Texans on the national stage in recent years.- Brad Beheler

09. "17" - Cross Canadian Ragweed
Perhaps the first song that showcased Ragweed's ability to clean up their act and produce a wonderfully written, pristine gem that appealed to our belief that we'll never actually become respected adults in the town we grew up in. - Kelly Dearmore

08. "Things Are Fixin' To Get Real Good" - Deryl Dodd
It's a personal song that's also a really pleasant one to listen to. - George Dunham

07. "God Bless This Town" - Wade Bowen
Another song that mines its material from the wealth of small-town gossip and the people that perpetuate such whisperings. For a state with as many large cities as Texas, it's the not-so-sleepy burgs with flapping tongues that provide the best song material. - Kelly Dearmore

06. "Biloxi" - Jack Ingram
You can tell this song is so personal to Jack. People respond to its candid nature. I love it. - Matt Hillyer

05. "My Hometown" - Charlie Robsion
Robison is pure Texan. In this song, he evokes small towns, Friday night football, college revelry, roughnecking and name-checks the largest cities in a candid, believable way. - Brad Behler

04. "Down the Road Tonight" - Hayes Carll
I loved Hayes from the first time I heard him. I love his sense of humor. - Matt Hillyer

03. "Carry On" - Pat Green
This was one of the first songs I can truly remember loving from the moment I heard it. And it still does my heart good to sing along at the top of my lungs! - Katie Key

02. "Tonight's Not the Night" - Randy Rogers Band
Not only the song that truly started Rogers' ascent into the vanguard of the scene, but this song features a chorus with wordplay that's so natural, it's not really wordplay. A simple yet profound sentiment that anyone can relate to, set to a fiddle-driven, true blue country song. - Kelly Dearmore

01. "Feeling Good Again" - Robert Earl Keen
Keen is a sage writer who describes life in Texas with such vivid detail that he makes you feel like you've visited places a thousand times even when you've never been there. Anyone that hears this song is immediately transported to Bandera on a cold winter night while some old friends reconvene at a tiny bar.- Brad Beheler

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35 comments
hoopjunkie1999
hoopjunkie1999

only true Classic texas station is www.kbec.com, drop Kenr@kbec.com an artist and song and it will be on the air in 24 hours .........

Brian Manning
Brian Manning

Notable acts that are missing from the list: Micky and the Motorcars, Todd Snider, Chris Knight, Lost Immigrants and Band of Heathens.

Yman55
Yman55

No doubt an over sight...Walt Wilkins, with or without the Mystqiueros!!!

Marc
Marc

Any list that fails to include Garland native Gary Nicholson is incomplete, and reflects a general lack of knowledge of Texas music and those who compose it. Many of the popular songs one hears other artists perform are Nicholson compositions - from rock to blues, to jazz to country to bluegrass - you name it. Over 500 of his songs have been recorded by a who's who of artists including B.B. King, The Nevell Brothers, Lee Roy Parnell, Delbert McClinton, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bare, Tracey Nelson, Pam Tillis, Mickey Gilley, Don Williams and hundreds of other artists. If you are not aware of Gary and his music, then you are missing an essential part of Texas musicology and a true treasure of the Lone Star State.

TX Music Jim
TX Music Jim

While sadly there has been a lot of stuff over the last few years coming out of the Texas/Red Dirt Scene that is sub par for sure. There is quality stuff out there Goodbye Normal Street from the Turnpike Troubadors is one example of many of quality songwriting and muscianship. Good news is Houston Marchman has a new project in the works, Chris Wall has a new project in the pipline for the first time in many years and Brian Burns also has a new album in the works. So from newer bands to the old pro's for all the crap out there, Colt Ford quite possibly being the worst example of sadly many others; There is quality coming from both sides of the red river.. 

TX Music Jim
TX Music Jim

Kergo, I will concede your point that yep Gruene Hall would still be standing and we would still have a Texas/Red Dirt Music Scene if there had never been a Pat Green.  However, I wonder would it have grown as big as it did as fast as it did? Who knows. I echo others sentiments regarding a Great Divide/ Mike McClure song being left off. Mikes writing is stellar.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith

Never? Well never is kinda either a strong or dumbass word. You choose .

Brad Smith
Brad Smith

The gate as you so well put it was opened along time ago. Its that he just happened to be around when you finally pulled your head out of the sand.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith

BS. his worst suck just a little bit less than his best.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith

You gotta throw Amos Staggs in. Alverson sure does alot of Amos' songs

TX Music Jim
TX Music Jim

Amos Staggs is a heckuv a writer and lots of folks have recorded his fine work. He's not known as a preformer like Alverson is though. Yes he performs but Alverson will give you one of the finest pure Texas honky tonk shows you will ever see.

Brad Smith
Brad Smith

Really ??? The best songs in 15 years. GTFO...For knowing alot your panelists don't have a clue. Farce and Failure Big Time.

Jbgilmer
Jbgilmer

Shut up, crank the knob on whatever YOU like, and just have fun people...THAT is what TX/Red Dirt is all about. The individual artists and songs reflected here are but a drop in the bucket. This movement or whatever you wanna call it has provided the very best original music since Cobain offed himself.....Quicherbitchin and moaning before these artists decide it's not worth the effort...

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

yeeee haaaawww!.....now Imma jump my motor "sicle" across the Red River, peel out, and rock out in downtown Colbert (hard by HW69/75-east of the bridge). 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

That's like saying that modern pop/rock wouldn't happen without The Beatles....it still would have happened. Not to compare the great Beatles to a freakin' spare like PG.  It was the vehicle (KHYI) that got the ball rolling in this area; until then, it was the beautiful old country, and a bunch of new crap. Then other station started playing regional/local stuff-and voile!  

nick
nick

Kevin Fowler should have been part of the top 15. If it wasn't for Kevin and Pat Green and a few others there may have never been Texas Country.

Kergo 1 spaceship
Kergo 1 spaceship

Look dude, they love that shite......and they are convinced that PG is GREAT country.  In other news, Creed is GREAT rock. AND Daughtry is good. 

Kergo 1 spaceship
Kergo 1 spaceship

The Flatlanders "Now and Again", released in 2002.  ps-Pat Green belongs on a general songwriters list, but he is as country as James Taylor; seems to me that you folks have been duped!?

White Lightnin'
White Lightnin'

Putting "Carry On" in a list with "Choctaw Bingo" is sacrilege. But then, 75% of the whole Red Dirt thing is sacrilege.

TX Music Jim
TX Music Jim

Yeah the 15 year thing was very limiting without Jery Jeff, Willie, Waylon, Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Gary P. Nunn and of course Townes Vand Zandt we would not have had Steve Earle or Rodney Crowell which led to Robert Earl Keen which brought us into the Pat Greens and Jack Ingrams of the world which for better or worse gave us a scene that is still very much alive and viable as a genere of music.I would love to have had some Creager on the list and some Max Stalling etc. I say we need a new list of the top 50 Texas/Red Dirt Songs from the 70's through today. 

Ronald Crosby
Ronald Crosby

Cool list.  Many of you complaining about certain songs being left out keep missing the part about it being last 15 years only.  Flatlanders, Guy Clark etc? Greatness, but not last 15 years. Hating on Pat Green is so 2002.  Get over it.  Biggest surprises to me were Deryl Dodd (really???), wrong Bingham song ("Southside of Heaven" or "Bread and Water"), and the lack of a Fowler/Creager/Watson song to round out the honkytonk side.  Maybe they should do a The Next 15 only with artists who weren't on this list.

Kergo 1 spaceship
Kergo 1 spaceship

and what of the LEGENDARY Flatlanders?   HMMM? "South Wind of Summer" is pure high lonesome greatness! ps-probably too country for ya'll. 

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Methinks the same crowd that thinks Pat Green's music is good, ALSO thinks that Kenny Chesney's music good.....just sayin'. Best frat rocker, yup!

Brad Smith
Brad Smith

Yeah I agree Kergo and that Toby Keith feller, can take his red cup song, and shove it up his ass with everyone else, who love it, piled in. I get naucous knowing a smiling dumbass Texan is singing his butt off to it, and way too loud I might add. 

elegant wino
elegant wino

Band of Heathens, my goodness these guys are clearly among the best from Texas in the last 10 years. 

White Lightnin'
White Lightnin'

Katie "Miss Exclamation Point!!!" Key wouldn't know real music if she heard it. Having anyone associated with Best in Texas as part of your panel is like inviting an idiot to a Mensa convention. Way to misspell barometer too. Nice touch. ("the weekly Texas Music Chart, the baraomter")

DJ
DJ

I'm sure Deryl is crushed Chad. But as he says, "I don't give a damn about that now 'cause some people like the way I sound".

Okienole3
Okienole3

Any list that doesn't include a song penned by the great Mac McClure is lacking.

Jen
Jen

Well said. Breazy1118, I wish everyone were like you!

Kelly Dearmore
Kelly Dearmore

Didnt say he did. His version is the popular one, however, and I'm guessing you know that.

Kelly Dearmore
Kelly Dearmore

Oh, and this list is specific to a mini-sub-genre. So, you're argument about good music crossing lines, while true, isn't terribly relevant. You wouldn't put Hank Sr. in a list of greatest hardocre bands next to husker Du. Again, it IS apples and oranges in terms of this list and its framework.

Kelly Dearmore
Kelly Dearmore

Darryl. You brought up Neil Young. Check the comments.

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