If you’re one of those country fans who thinks there’s too much pop and R&B influence in today’s country music, then you’re going to love Midland. The Texas-based trio just released their debut album, “On the Rocks,” featuring their stone-cold country top 10 hit, “Drinkin’ Problem.”
This is the kind of country music we haven’t heard on the country airwaves in some time, and it’s clear Midland’s band members have done more than just pay lip service to country’s icons of the past. They’ve actually grown up listening to artists like Charlie Rich, Ronnie Milsap and George Strait.
One big influence on the band is ’70s country star Gary Stewart, who passed away in 2003. That’s not a name you hear thrown about all the time, but Midland guitarist Jess Carson tells Rare Country that Gary’s music is hard to find but worth digging through the crates for at a record store.
Jess explains, “He probably put out 10 albums, and what’s available now, if you want to listen to Gary Stewart, is probably just his greatest hits. Not one of his studio albums is available. So, if you want to find it, you’ve got to go find it on vinyl. There’s so many great songs that never made it to iTunes or Spotify or anything like that.”
Though you can hear “On the Rocks” on any digital platform available today, there is a timeless quality to this music that takes you back to those classic country sounds. It’s evident on Midland’s brand-new single, “Make a Little,” which incorporates references to Alabama’s country classic, “Dixieland Delight,” as well as the uptempo sound of Brooks & Dunn’s rocking hits from the early ’90s.
Lead singer Mark Wystrach says they’re proud to weave country music’s rich history into their own modern sound.
“That’s definitely a huge part of our influence,” Mark says. “You listen to it now, and it stands the test of time.”
Midland has big plans for 2018 as they join Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves for “The Breakers Tour” starting February 8 in Oklahoma City.