8 Musicians/Bands to look out for in Central Texas

In the middle of the Texas plains, you have Central Texas, more known for the Waco Seige and Chip n' Joanne Gaines. You have a Bustling music scene, Rooted in Texas Country Music, but caught right in between Austin, Dallas, and Houston... Feeding plenty of opportunities to play live music (When there isn't a Global pandemic going on) and not run the risk of over-saturating themselves.

Since I just recently moved to Waco, months before a global pandemic. I have had the opportunity to chat with many of these musicians, Work with some and listen to all of their music. I am really excited to introduce y'all to some of my favorite artists I've worked with and some new musicians I have not met in person.

1. Baxley - Killeen, TX.

Baxley is a band I have never seen play live but I hear a lot of really good things about them and after listening to Baxley's music I completely get it. This super talented artist that extends beyond the limits of a single genre is returning to music after, a possible career-ending Vocal Chord Surgery.

Kirk Baxley returns to music receiving high praise from acts like Asking Alexandria. Even in the middle of a pandemic, Baxley hits the ground running with a brand new single after releasing a full album in 2019 and doesn't look to be slowing down.

Already in working on new music, that Baxley claims is Rockin, 2020 does not appear to be slowing down. I am excited to have learned

about this band and cant wait to see where they go from here.

With music that connects in a real and authentic way, the sky is the limit.

Follow Baxley:

Facebook: @iambaxley

Twitter: @iambaxleymusic

Instagram: @iambaxleymusic


2. Lilly and the Implements - Temple, TX.

Lilly and the implements are one of those bands that just go out and play. THe have a pure love for the art form and no matter what's going on will continue to play music. I think that's what drew me to them after finding some music on youtube and Soundcloud. Lead singer Lilly Milford drives the band with an awesome sound.

What I really admire about this band is their casual and slow cook approach to the music business and when they finally get to where they want to be the juice is going to be so much sweeter. They are a homegrown Texas band that plays some kick-ass rock music.

With the new single, "If I Go Away" available on SoundCloud and a Full-Length album waiting in the wings. 2020 and 2021 is going to be a break out time especially once venues are able to open back up.

Follow Lilly and the Implements:

Facebook: Lilly and the Implements


3. Taylor Branch & The Lonestar Ramblers - Gatesville, TX.

Coming straight out of the Tiny prison town of Gatesville, TX. Taylor Branch & The Lonestar ramblers bring a rocking sound to the country genre. While listening to their music you can tell they put on a high energy show, playing songs that tell stories. This group of childhood friends started playing original music in 2017 and in 2019 they recorded some live music.

This is another band I have not seen play live yet, but I know with shows starting to happen and venues opening back up. It will be only a matter of time before I see them play live, but when you have several people touting about them It's kinda hard to leave them off a list like this.

Now that venues are starting to open back up and show are happening, I cant wait to see what this high energy and Lone Star Beer Fueled Show (Their phrase not mine) look like.

I really hope they record more music soon.

Follow Taylor Branch & The Lonestar Ramblers:

Facebook: @TaylorBranchandTheLoneStarRamblers

Twitter: @TheRamblersTX

Instagram: @TheLonestarramblers


4. Tough on Fridays - Georgetown, TX.

I first found Tough on Friday, through Facebook when I moved to Waco, TX. about a year ago. This grunge trio based out of Georgetown, TX. is moving through 2020 with a brand new Lineup, Full-Length Album, and growing media attention this classic grunge band is poised to make a Jump real soon.

With their upbeat and energetic shows all across Texas and a reputation of consistently putting on enthralling shows. Once touring opens back up it will be exciting to watch the acceleration of this trio, as the move beyond Texas.

A Fantastic way to kill Time is the most recent album released by Tough on Fridays. With a unique release straight out of the era of Vinyl, by releasing A-Side/B-Side Singles to build-up to the release of this album.

All of their hard work and promotion has helped the lead single, "Party Scene" to be eligible for Grammy consideration.

Follow Tough on Fridays:

Facebook: @toughonfridays

Twitter: @toughonfridays

Instagram: @toughonfridays


5. Jonna Mae - Waco, TX.

Jonna Mae is a singer/songwriter from Colorado that now lives in central Texas. She carries with her a family lineage of very talented musicians. Jonna merges Americana, folk, and country to create a very original set, which she has been perfecting since started writing and recording music at the age of 12 in her mother's Colorado studio.

Jonna is no stranger to Central Texas as her father is from Waco. Even during a pandemic, she has still found a way to play shows where ever possible. 2016 She released her first record in 2016 after relocating to Waco, TX.

Jonna Mae is working really hard and playing shows whenever she is able to and she continues to release live videos on her youtube channel.

Follow Jonna Mae:

Facebook: @jonnamaemusic

Twitter: @jonnamaemusic

Instagram: @jonnamaemusic


6. Dustin Brown - Moody, TX.

A working musician by every definition, Dustin Brown shifts between a solo act and a full band depending on the venue. This central Texas songwriter brings truth and grit to his lyrics, mixed with old values and new age thoughts. His music has helped him travel all across the United States and the world.

Earlier this year, We got a chance to sit down and chat with Dustin, during the filming of our Jam Session Series. He played several songs from his upcoming album that would be released a few months later.

During our conversation, we learned that Dusting split his time working on his music while working in the oil fields of west Texas, but shortly after the release of his album he decided to go back to music full time.

With Dustin going back to music full time, it's only a matter of time before big things happen.

Follow Dustin Brown:

Facebook: @dustbromusico

Twitter: @dustbromusico

Instagram: @dustbromusico


7. Ghost Dance Band - Waco, TX.

Ghost Dance Band is another one f those bands that when I moved to town I saw a lot about them in the various music groups. The first thing I noticed about them is, while they are a Country band, they very much have the ability to just let go and shred. These 5 musicians came together in 2017, that's about all anyone knows about them. These guys from Dallas, that now call Central Texas Home, Came together to write music that helps us Love, Live, and Forgive.

Since 2017, they've released 2 Albums the most recent being "Eerie St." Released in 2020. Which without a doubt is going to bring them much success as shows start to open back up in Late 2020 and into 2021.

Like many of these other entries, I have yet to see them perform live but once the time is right I will be in line to see them play.

Which as of this writing looks like it could be at the Stache Bash 2020, in Evant, TX. on November 14th.

Follow Ghost Dance Band:

Facebook: @GhostDanceBandOfficial

Twitter: @THE_GDBOfficial

Instagram: @GhostDanceBandOfficial


8. Mary-Charlotte Young - Bryan, TX.

Coming Straight out of Bryan, TX., Mary-Charlotte Young was Born in Appalachia, raised in the Deep South, and found her way to Texas. She is coming off of just releasing her first LP as Mary-Charlotte Young, "LA Again" Fusing her Classic Country and Folk Style to create an amazing body of work. Like so many musicians she has been working straight through this pandemic.

While she just released her first LP as Mary-Charlotte Young, she has a full catalog of music under the stage name of MagicGirl.

Mary-Charlotte Young has this amazing tone and grit that brings her lyrics to life creating some amazing images with her songs. She is an authentic Americana artist that is holding close to texas traditions, but she also has what can only be seen as a punk rock edge and probably isn't afraid to tell you off in her music.

Follow Kayla Ray:

Facebook: @marycharlotteyoung

Twitter: @MaryCharlotte_Y

Instagram: @marycharlotteyoung


Special Mention - Kayla Ray - Waco, TX.

I went back and forth if I should put Kayla Ray on this list, because although she is born/raised in Central Texas, but isn't currently based in central texas. Regardless, I felt like Kayla needed to be mentioned in this article. From her cover songs to her originals she is Texas through and through.

Kayla was one of the very first artists I was introduced to as seen as I landed in Waco about a year ago. With shows at a standstill and Livestreaming being all the rage, I have watched Kayla shine every Wednesday night live streams, "Do what we want Wednesdays" on Facebook. Even, through this pandemic, she has been releasing music that sounds amazing!

Kayla's music drips with an authentic southern charm and lyrics that tell a story about what can only be perceived as real-life experiences.

Like all of the artists on this list, I cannot wait to see Kayla Ray play live! Preferably in a local Texas honkey tonk.

Follow Kayla Ray:

Facebook: @kaylaraymusic1

Twitter: @kaylaraymusic

Instagram: @kaylaraymusic


Who are you most excited to see play live as shows start opening back up? Who else should be on this list? Leave your comments below!

Tom Kwiat

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