This newcomer put Delaware on the map, country music-wise
40. Vermont If the Green Mountain State is known for something more than Phish jams and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, I'd like to know about it. I understand that the Vermont State Fair has some good country music concerts, but Wayne Warner is the only artist I'd ever heard of coming out of Vermont. And he never did anything on the charts. There may be a honky-tonk side of Vermont that I don't know exists. If so, please let me know about it.
39.Minnesota Vermont has an excuse. It's such a sparsely populated state. What about Minnesota - one of the largest states in the Midwest. Sure, there are probably lots of country listeners. But when's the last time an artist emerged from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. I guess we'll have to keep fishing for talent there.
38. Maryland I attended a great country music festival in Baltimore 10 years - "Country On The Hill" - but I'd never heard of an artist coming from that state. Except for Neal Coty, who has developed into more of a songwriter than a performer. For the population it has and the relatively rural areas within its borders, I'm surprised we haven't had more country artists from Maryland.
37. Rhode Island Rhode Island is so small that it should get a pass for not producing many country stars. It would be a stretch to call Billy Gilman a star, but at least this Rhode Island native/child prodigy appeared on the country music charts about a decade ago. Washington County is the Capital of Country Music in Rhode Island with a county fair each year that attracts several mid-level stars over the span of about a week. And I remember listening to Cat Country - the only radio station to send me a birthday card - to this day.
36. Iowa Iowa is a big surprise. The only artist I've heard of emerging out of there is Shannon Brown, and she never had much success. The state should be growing country music artists like it does wheat. Like Minnesota, I have no doubt that country is popular in Iowa. The state also has a lot of concerts. Perhaps the state should focus more on twin fiddles instead of straw polls and early-season political debates.
35. South Dakota South Dakota has the backdrop for country in its eastern half and western in its western half. I used to listen to an independent artist from that state - Dustin Evans. Perhaps they have a good local country music scene there. I wouldn't be surprised. I've only visited the state twice, but I haven't heard about any artists other than the underrated Evans, calling it home.
34. Oregon Oregon has a big country music festival every year, and I had hoped to attend it when I still lived in California. Artist-wise, they've produced the underrated Jerry Kilgore and American Idol contender Kristy Lee Cook. Despite its rainy and busy I-5 corridor, there are a lot of wide open spaces and country stations in Oregon.
33. North Dakota Country legend Lynn Anderson was born in the state, and so was Dawn Sears. If traditional country were more popular, we'd probably see more artists hit the charts from this wide open, sparsely populated state.
32. Delaware I attended college in Delaware for a year and a half, and they had some great country stations, but no country bars. They had some good country stations, and I remember hearing Brad Paisley on the radio for the first time - "Who Needs Pictures" - in 1999 when I lived in the dorms at the University of Delaware. Chuck Wicks is from Southern Delaware (or as those who live north of the bridge call it, Slower Lower Delaware). And while I'm not a huge fan of his music, he has a chance to make a big impact in the genre. And that would be a big boost for a small state.
31. Colorado If the late John Denver is your style of country, then the Rocky Mountain State is your perfect backdrop for country. The state is known for skiing, tourism and hiking, but they have what I've heard is one of the top country music nightclubs in the country ("The Grizzly Rose") and some quality radio stations that play some Texas/Red Dirt Music. Another plus for Colorado is the Red Dirt Music festival that takes places each year in Steamboat Springs.