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ELTON ON FOR GRAMMY TRIBUTE. WHAT ABOUT THE BIG SHOW?
Wonderers are wondering. (12/15a)
G-EAZY, EM LAND
Damn. (12/15a)
LUIS FONSI ON "DESPACITO" DOMINATION
The Grammy nominee discusses his worldwide smash. (12/15a)
RAPINO TO RE-UP
His vision is 2022. (12/15a)
MORE GRAMMY SECRETS
The biz talks committee.
NOT PIZZA AGAIN!
Seriously, can we order something else?
A BIG FAT DEAL
With a gigantic check. Soon.
WE'RE ON TWITTER
You follow?
Critics' Choice
A NEW OBSESSION: MIDLAND
11/4/16

by Simon Glickman

Big Machine’s Midland finds a remarkably sweet spot where classic country, southern rock and “yacht rock” converge—authentic, richly melodic and breezy. The Texas band’s freshly released EP is among the most promising new releases in some time, thanks to smart, soulful songwriting, gorgeous harmonies and terrific musicianship. “Check-Cashin’ Country” is a declaration of purpose from a working band—“if you don’t two-step, we don’t eat”—though they may have to adjust that lyric about not having a song on the radio pretty soon.

The tune, like all five tracks on the set, just feels good, like bourbon-on-the-rocks good.  The Midland boys (who are co-managed by Jason Owen's Sandbox and Matt Graham of  L.A.-based BRND Management) have distilled a hybrid of Merle and Waylon, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles and .38 Special that twangs, rocks and glides with assurance. Other standouts include the weary, winsome “This Old Heart” (“this old heart needs a break”), sweet 'n' sad "Burn Out" and the gorgeous AM throwback “Drinkin’ Problem.” I’ve had it on repeat since it came out, and I want more. For an intro to the band, check out the clip below.