Midland is hard at work on their sophomore album, the follow-up to their freshman On the Rocks record, released in 2017. The trio, made up of Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson and Cameron Duddy, is spreading their wings on their next set of tunes, citing Chris Stapleton as one of their biggest influences for the new project.
"I think what we're tapping into with a lot of the bro country or the more pop country is that, what happened with Chris Stapleton, people couldn't quite put their finger on it," Wystrach explained. "But Chris Stapleton's tapping into the blues and into soul, and it's really in that performance where you hear that coming through. And that's a big influence for us, is on the soul and on the blues side."
"There's an authenticity to all those lyrics and the way that we sing and the way that we present it," he added, "and it is different from a lot of that stuff, I guess."
Midland is nominated for three CMA Awards for New Artist of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year for "Drinkin' Problem." It's just part of the validation for the threesome that their hard work is beginning to pay off.
"It's everything that you think it would be," Wystrach said of their successes. "We [were] playing small places, we're playing out all across Texas, places sometimes we've never been before, usually people that have absolutely no clue who we are, so you're coming in with people that are probably a little bit cynical. And also we're doing six, seven, eight hours, nine hours in Cam's F-250 with all of our equipment in the back without a U-Haul trailer."
"When we started off," he continued, "I mean, I'm talking about hauling off to play shows in Midland, in Marfa, in West Texas, praying that it doesn't rain because we didn't have the money to even rent a U-Haul. There's a camaraderie when you're crammin' five, six guys in a truck. And I think that's been a huge part of what's been preparing us. And it's the humility, but it's also the ability to get along. And when you have nothing and you're literally starting from the bottom and you're having the time of your life, then I think you know you're doing the right thing."
Midland recently announced they are extending their Electric Rodeo Tour into 2019. Find dates at MidlandOfficial.com.
The 2018 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Roger Kisby