2018 will not disappoint when it comes to emerging country music artists. With new, authentic sound pouring out of Nashville like a war cry, this year will bring several names who will be on the scene for good. Below are Lula’s top five new artists to watch in 2018. Finishing the list is Ashley McBryde, our Lula favorite pick for 2018 emerging artist. Put your boots on, crank up the volume, and enjoy!
Label: Curb Records
Debut album: Get Drunk and Cry
Ruthie Collins, a farm girl from Fredonia, NY, stays true to her country roots on her debut album, Get Drunk and Cry. Educated at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Collins recently signed with Curb Records in Nashville. Whether she’s crooning about love or penning a heartfelt letter to Dolly Parton on the trials and tribulations of being an artist, Collins delivers an authentic, down home sound and can break hearts like Loretta, June, and Patsy. Though her debut album is listed as Get Drunk and Cry, there are some hidden gems among her singles and older albums.
Favorite Songs: Dear Dolly, Vintage, Heartstrong
Label: BBR Music
Debut Album: Jimmie Allen
Jimmie Allen has already had a varied career in country music, having completed an armed forces entertainment tour of Japan, Toby Keith’s Interstates & Tailgates tour, appearing in a diet coke ad with Taylor Swift, and performing often at the Bluebird Cafe. Allen has had his ups and downs in Nashville, living in his car and working multiple jobs at one point to survive. Through it all, Allen refused to listen to agents and executives and stayed true to the sound he wanted to share with the world. His self-titled EP is full of modern country tunes meant to inspire love and success- things Allen is surely on his way to in 2018. Allen is now signed with BBR Music, the same label that reps Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, Joe Nichols, Lindsay Ell, Trace Adkins, and more.
Favorite songs: Blue Bean Baby, Back of your mind
Label: Black River Entertainment
Debut Album: Not released
Abby Anderson caught her first big break while still in high school when she performed her arrangement of Let Freedom Ring (My Country Tis of Thee) and Glenn Beck caught wind of her. Beck had Anderson perform the song on his show and she immediately gained national attention. Anderson now lives in Nashville and is working on her first full-length album with producer Jason Deere. Anderson is part of CMT’s Next Women of Country class of 2018.
Favorite songs: This Feeling
Label: Red Creative Group
Debut Album: Wheels or Wings
Adam Hambrick’s musical career was steeped in the church. The son of a Baptist pastor from Arkansas, Hambrick was discovered on a local television show. He often finds inspiration from country and bluegrass standards, mixed with pop hits from the last three decades, to create his modern pop country sound. Hambrick has already seen success as a songwriter; artists Miranda Lambert, Justin Moore, Dan + Shay and more have recorded his hits. The performance side of his career is taking off and he is definitely one to keep all eyes on.
Favorite songs: How Many Miles, Til the Lonely Runs Out
Label: Warner Music
Debut Album: A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega
Ashley McBryde has been working on her music since she was three years old and picked up her father’s guitar. At seventeen years old, she wrote her first song. Now signed with Warner Music in Nashville, McBryde is living out a dream. The rich substance and musical integrity of McBryde’s songs are a rare find; with a country blues sound reminiscent of Wynonna Judd, she’ll hold her own in Nashville for years to come. Each song tells a complete and meaningful story- something we don’t always come across in the songwriting days of red lipstick and bad tinder dates. McBryde might just be the Lula 1892 favorite pick for new artists to watch in 2018.
Favorite songs: Bible and a .44, What if we Don’t, Girl Goin’ Nowhere, Tired of Being Happy