When The New York Times cites your “Retro Country Eloquence,” chances are something’s going on. With a pair of Grammy nominations – Best Country Song and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group – on “Drinkin’ Problem,” their debut single, Midland announced their arrival with a strong shot of classic Country served with a Laurel Canyon chaser. People noticed, and the band was invited to tour with Dwight Yoakam, George Strait, Garth Brooks and Little Big Town.
But the band, formed in Dripping Springs, Texas, is more than a one-trick pony. After their critically-acclaimed debut ON THE ROCKS, lead singer/guitarist Mark Wystrach, lead guitarist/vocalist Jess Carson and bassist/vocalist Cameron Duddy return with an even wider array of influences and a more sharply honed sense of who they are. Road dogs, romantics, battered hearts, strong silent types, pickers, drinkers, stoners and cowboys who drift into the night, Vogue recognized their reality of being “equal parts heartthrobs and fashion risk takers.”
Working the contradictions inherent to Country music’s emotional palette, The NY Times observed their breakout “can be read either as hopeless melancholy or as laughing ever so gently in the face of tragedy.” The Los Angeles Times also identified Midland’s yin/yang as “a well-balanced cocktail of vintage Country twang laced with pristine Eagles/CSN-style harmonies,” and Entertainment Weekly recognized their ability to “harmonize like the Eagles and emote like Dwight Yoakam.”
Bona fides like that make anticipation strong, and the ACM Top New Duo or Group winners are ready for Act 2. Working with outliers Mando Sanz and David Garza, as well as Country heavy hitters Liz Rose, Rhett Akins and Bob DiPiero and co-producer/writers Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, they’ve leaned into the kind of classic Country themes that focus on moral weakness, carnal pleasure and the way nothing soothes a rubbed raw reckoning like a jukebox song.