I am now on a mission. I aim to learn what the music of The Deslondes, Turnpike Troubadours, Mike and the Moonpies, and Jason Boland & the Stragglers sounds like. Shall I go on?


Daniel Romano, Lindi Ortega, Andrew Combs, and James McMurtry.

And there are more.

Here's my point. These are artists whose names I have never heard before and yet they are among the artists whose 2015 albums are among the 40 best of the year according to
Rolling Stone Magazine.

Now, some of you might be saying, "Oh, those liberal hippies, what do they know?"

You miiiiight.

But that legendary publication's list also includes titles by Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini, and the Zac Brown Band.

You know, MAINstream performers.

In 2015, Rolling Stone was an equal opportunity enjoyer. Their critics were at once dazzled by the unknown AND the ultra-known.

They were diggin' on John Moreland like they were diggin' on Tyler Farr.

And there was plenty of old school to go around, too, with George Strait, John Anderson, and Willie & Merle making the cut.

So with all this eclecticism in taste, I have to now take the entire thing seriously and go check out all this music that I've never before experienced.

Yeah, it's a rough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Oh, and by the way, if you aren't familiar with the artist who sits at #1 on their countdown, try to get familiar.