10 Southern Rock Bands to Listen to Now

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

We’re a little music obsessed here at Southern Living (it’s not all layer cakes and window treatments all the time). In tribute to the 60th anniversary of the birth of rock & roll, here are 10 new rock bands—the up & comers, the scrappy next generation—we’re loving these days.

1. Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires
Birmingham, AL and Atlanta, GA
The brazen guitar power of Lynyrd Skynyrd combined with the heartfelt realism of blue collar Southern life à la Bruce Springsteen
SL Playlist: “The Weeds Downtown”

2. Water Liars
Water Valley, MS
Ethereal songs built on storytelling and vivid lyrics with a healthy dose of Southern rock grit. Imagine a jam session with Barry Hannah, A.A. Bondy, and the Drive By Truckers.
SL Playlist: “I Want Blood”

3. Mount Moriah
Chapel Hill, NC and Durham, NC
Rich folk melody with the guitar drive and vocals of a Southern-fried Pretenders
SL Playlist: “Bright Light”

4. The Bear
Florence, AL
Indie rock that’s reminiscent of an early 1950s back porch string band: crinoline and pin curls with the twang of a pedal steel guitar
SL Playlist: “He’s Not Mine”

5. White Denim
Austin, TX
Wide-open roadhouse jams. Belly up to the bar and dig into whiskey-fueled guitar riffs.
SL Playlist: “At Night In Dreams”

6. Wild Cub
Nashville, TN
Like they ripped a page out of a synth pop catalogue and wadded it up then created their own brand of that genre
SL Playlist: “Thunder Clatter”

7. The Weeks
Jackson, MS
Straightforward alt rock that’s youthful, grunge-fueled, and rife with Southern heart
SL Playlist: “Buttons”

8. The Ghost Wolves
Austin, TX
Austin’s answer to the White Stripes, with a bit of rockabilly to boot
SL Playlist: “Shotgun Pistol Grip”

9. Kopecky Family Band
Nashville, TN
Modern take on Fleetwood Mac with layered vocals and a roster of instruments ranging from tambourines and guitars to horns to xylophone to accordion
SL Playlist: “Heartbeat”

10. Amasa Hines
Little Rock, AR
A 7-piece outfit with real soul: soaring vocals and big brass with psychedelic/Afro-beat influences
SL Playlist: “Coltrane”





  1. qwck10th

    Another thumbs-up for Blackberry Smoke. Love SL, btw. 🙂

    September 9, 2015 at 3:57 pm
  2. Chris Cathey

    Blackberry Smoke is amazing. This list is whack for missing them.

    August 9, 2015 at 8:06 am
  3. Kathy Robertson

    Check out Trademark from Mississippi! Give their new album, ‘A New Season’, a listen. Great talent. Original music with one cover on the album. You won’t be disappointed.

    August 2, 2014 at 4:49 pm
  4. Kristi Walker

    I’ll check these out! Don’t forget the Kenneth Brian Band, currently touring with Lucinda Williams. Good stuff!

    July 7, 2014 at 8:54 am
  5. Brian

    If ya’ll aint listening to Blackberry Smoke from Atlanta Ga you’re not living southern!

    July 7, 2014 at 5:57 am
  6. Danilotifosi Tifosi

    Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys, New Orleans.

    July 7, 2014 at 2:11 am
  7. Joe Kerr

    What the Crap!?!?!? Blackberry Smoke from Atlanta Ga

    July 6, 2014 at 11:52 pm
  8. Jennifer dollar

    You guys missed two, The Whiskey Gentry out of Atlanta and Have Gun, will Travel out of Bradenton, FL

    July 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm
  9. Linda Snow

    @Southern_Living come on!! You gotta listen to Nashville’s @AlannaRoyale!!

    July 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm
  10. Jeff Mores

    Where’s Blackberry Smoke on this list. HUGE miss not having them.

    July 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm
  11. Linda Snow

    Come on Southern Living! You totally miss the mark by not including Nashville’s AlannaRoyale!!

    July 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm

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