Artist to Watch: Greg Bates, The Neotraditionalist

If you listen to any country radio station, it’s nearly impossible to hear anything that resembles the genre’s foundation. The reason for that is it’s becoming more difficult to find a song that includes the exquisite twang of a fiddle or the heart wrenching cry of a steel guitar on country radio. Thankfully there are a handful of artists who are are trying to keep those sounds alive including legends like George Strait and Alan Jackson as well as young artists like Easton Corbin and Chris Young. Now there’s a new guy in town who has the potential to become a country superstar and his name is Greg Bates.

Name: Greg Bates

Current Single: “Did it for the Girl”

Nashville Rarity: Greg hails from Nashville, something most of today’s country artists can’t say

‘WWSD?’: When running into challenges while writing a song Greg often finds solutions in four letters: ‘WWSD?’ It’s no surprise that the acronym stands for “what would Strait do?”

The recently released EP from Nashville native Greg Bates is overloaded with plenty of those missing country sounds. Each song remains true to the singer’s traditional roots while staying just mainstream enough to be able to be played in between songs by Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift on country radio. The five songs present on the EP include three cleverly written uptempo ditties with a couple poignant ballads thrown in between.

Those ballads include the emotional “Brothers” and the romantic “Lost in Caroline.” “Brothers” is a stunning ode to the relationship one has with their sibling. With the sharing of memories like choosing the new baby boy’s name and walking the little brother to school on his very first day, the song easily tugs on the heart strings of those who have that male sibling who you love, and sometimes hate. The exquisite production includes a fantastic opening guitar introduction as well as a slight orchestra accompaniment towards the song’s end. Personally this is one of my favorite songs since it does remind me of the relationship with my brother. Meanwhile “Lost in Caroline” is a rather fiddle-clad, sultry song that finds the narrator in a Colorado cabin with current flame, Caroline. Though snow has shut down roads, it doesn’t seem to phase the narrator as he feels right where he’s supposed to be with the girl. The song includes my favorite production of the five songs as it includes a stunningly beautiful fiddle melody throughout the entire song. Throw in the brilliant rhythm of an acoustic guitar and you’ve got yourself one heck of a country production.

The three fast tempo songs are no doubt the project’s highlights. The opener, “Go Time,” serves as the perfect way to kick off the five song set. The song’s rapid production includes some impressive guitar slaying at its forefront while steel guitar can be heard throughout the entire 2 minutes and 14 seconds. The singer’s vocal performance includes some impressive articulation skills as he diligently delivers the tongue twisting lyrics to perfection (something I still have yet to do after countless listens). Meanwhile “Fill in the Blank” shows the singer’s witty side as he presents a rather suggestive theme in a round-about-way. The singer coyly delivers the following chorus to his main squeeze during a weekend away: “we could in the water…in the truck…on a blanket til the sun comes up…with each other on the riverbank…I’ll leave it up to you baby fill in the blank.” It’s pretty clear what the singer is suggesting they do although he admits that the “options are endless.” Current single “Did it for the Girl” closes out the EP with its flirtatious subject matter and seductive production that will cause females across the nation wishing they were the girl with the Corona dancing in the sunset.

All five songs exhibit the singer’s fantastic traditional vocal styling that resembles that of hit makers Strait and Easton Corbin. Much like those artists, Greg has mastered the ability to show off multiple sides of his artistic personality. From the charming and flirtatious to the emotional and soulful, the singer can pretty much sing anything. Though on this project the vocal performances shine through, it’s his excellent songwriting that shines even brighter. Often being found at songwriters’ rounds at an early age, Greg would go on to become a songwriter first and foremost. That’s why it’s no surprise that he co-wrote all five songs on the project which brilliantly display his diverse writing style.

There’s really not much more I can say about this talented newcomer. He has one of the best traditional voices in today’s country music and rather than using that voice to deliver poppy material, he’s sticking to the genre’s traditional roots much like his influences Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakam. I am extremely excited to hear more from Greg Bates and hopefully that will be in the not-so-distant-future.

You can download the five song EP on iTunes now. This week ONLY you can get the debut single, “Did it for the Girl,” absolutely free! Just click here!

You can learn more about Greg by visiting some of the websites below:

Official Website:

Republic Nashville Profile:

Twitter: @gregcbates <—he’s great at tweeting fans!

Facebook: Greg Bates Facebook

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