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New faces

Mike Sudhalter  |  January 16, 2008

Every year, Country Weekly does a preview of the new artists that are debuting the upcoming year.

Some of them had made a brief splash on radio while others are complete unknowns.

For 2008, they've listed 12 artists/groups under 'Who's Hot '08'. I've decided to check out their web sites and find out more about these newbies.

Lady Antebellum

Kind of a soulful, southern rock sound with nice harmonies. Their first single is "Love Don't Live Here". Plus, one of the members is Hillary Scott, Linda Davis' daughter. She's definitely got her mom's eyes. Sometimes, Scott sings lead vocals and others, it's Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. Harmonies especially sound great on "Love's Looking Good On You."

Phil Stacey

I don't watch American Idol, but Stacey was last season's "country" contestant. The only song he has out now is "If You Didn't Love Me." Stacey is very much pop-country, and his sound doesn't appeal to me. But I'm just basing that off one song.

Crystal Shawanda

Shawanda is also pop-country, but the Ontario native has such a powerful voice that I still enjoy it. Canada's been pretty good to country music. Shawanda won't reverse that trend.

David Nail

Nail's myspace page features just one song, an acoustic version of "Turning Home." It's a nice sentimental ballad about a hometown. Nail joins Trent Tomlinson and the late Porter Wagoner as country singers from southern Missouri. Keep it comin'

Road Hammers

Did I mention my Road Hammers story? At CMA Music Festival, I was standing around and some promotions people were throwing Road Hammer CDs out to the public. I made a one-handed grab, and it's been happy truckin' ever since. Hopefully, these guys will catch on in the U.S. Check out their cover of Jerry Reed's "East Bound and Down."

James Otto

Otto, a longtime member of the Muzik Mafia, hasn't hit the big time yet. But a hit single would give him something fellow MM member Gretchen Wilson hasn't had in a while. "I Just Got Started Lovin' You" is a nice, catchy song that may catch on with country radio. "Where Angels Hang Around" is a pretty cool song, too. I think I might actually like Otto, even though I'm not a big fan of the MM. And if he went by Jim Otto, people might confuse him with the Oakland Raiders Hall of Famer.

Jeremy McComb

I've already heard an advance copy of McComb's CD, and I enjoyed it very much. "This Town Needs A Bar" could certainly be about the place where I live, and "Wagon Wheel" reminds me of a lot of those old country, truckin' songs. And I like the fact that he's from Eastern Washington, because I lived there for eight months.

Carter's Chord

What a great name for a band. It almost seems like they're paying tribute to country's past while having a fresh, yet traditional sound. "Young Love" is a great song and "Million Lights" is a sweet tune about Nashville.

Julianne Hough

People who watch "Dancing With the Stars" know Hough, a pretty blonde from Utah. Oh, and she can sing country music, too. "Will You Dance With Me?" is her single, and it's a great one. And who, do tell, would say no the aforementioned question.

Star De Azlan

Don't let her contemporary wardrobe fool you, De Azlan is a country singer who sounds like Patsy Cline with her single "She's Pretty." I hope future songs are just as country because Nashville sure needs it.

Emma Mae Jacob

Following in the path of teen country stars like LeAnn Rimes and Taylor Swift, Jacob brings a very contemporary sound.

Justin Moore

Couldn't find any info. on Moore anywhere on the web. But the fact that he's one of the few newcomers wearing a cowboy hat and that he's from Poyen, Ark. means that he probably leans traditional.

:: Posted at 3:00 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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