Lead singer Mark Wystrach in 2018.
|Origin||Dripping Springs, Texas, U.S.|
Midland is an American country music group formed in 2016 in Dripping Springs, Texas. It consists of Mark Wystrach (lead vocals), Jess Carson (electric guitar, background vocals), and Cameron Duddy (bass guitar, background vocals). In addition to their roles in the band, Wystrach is an actor and model, and Duddy is a music video director. Through Big Machine Records, the band has released a self-titled EP and a two studio albums, On the Rocks, and Let It Roll which has accounted for four charted singles on the Billboard country music charts: "Drinkin' Problem", "Make a Little", "Burn Out", and "Mr. Lonely". Midland's musical styles and images are defined by neotraditional country and country rock influences.
Named after the Dwight Yoakam song "Fair to Midland", the band was founded in Dripping Springs, Texas. The trio met separately around Los Angeles, where Carson and Duddy had formed an earlier band. After Carson left L.A., Duddy and Wystrach met and also decided to form a band. The men regrouped in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for Duddy’s wedding in August 2013, with both Wystrach and Carson acting as his groomsmen. As Duddy recalls the story, Carson and Wystrach arrived in Jackson Hole for the wedding a week early. After playing songs together in the front porch of Carson’s cabin and at the dinner rehearsal, they decided to form the band. After Duddy's honeymoon, the trio went to Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX; as stated by Wystrach, "When we went to the Sonic Ranch, we became a band. We walked away believing in what had happened". The band later decided to move and be based in Texas.
Cameron Duddy started playing music after a difficult situation in his family; he found music helped to lessen the tension, saying, "Sometimes you don’t get to talk about all the things that you maybe want to talk about, and the icebreaker started to be music." He got his first guitar, an Epiphone, from his father, which he says "helped me find my identity." Duddy worked as a music video director, and won an MTV Video Music Award for directing the video for "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars. Jess Carson grew up on a farm in Oregon, where country music was the main genre. His sister and his father were musicians, and years later, he started to play guitar. Around twenty years old, he would play songs from rock bands such as Nirvana. Lead singer Mark Wystrach grew up surrounded by music, as his parents were music fans of live music. His father was an immigrant living in Los Angeles, and listened to R&B and rock music. His mother grew up on a ranch near Tucson, Arizona. Before the band's foundation, Wystrach was an actor and underwear model.
Midland's first song to be released was "Fourteen Gears", around 2015. It was the song that, according to Duddy, "was another one of the early moments that defined and solidified the creation of this band".
2016–present: Midland EP, On the Rocks, and Let It Roll
On March 9, 2016, the trio signed to Big Machine Records and released the Midland EP. It features the debut single "Drinkin' Problem", which has charted on Billboard's Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay. The band wrote the song with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, the former of whom also produced it. Duddy directed the song's music video. Their debut album On the Rocks was released in September 22, 2017, produced by Dann Huff, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne, with "Make a Little" as its second single. "Burn Out" was the third single, released in late 2018.
In 2017, Midland was signed as an opening act for Tim McGraw's and Faith Hill's tours. The band received two nominations at the 2018 Grammy Awards: Grammy Award for Best Country Song and Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance, both for "Drinkin’ Problem".
Midland released the single "Mr. Lonely" in February 2019, as the leadoff single to a second album. The album, Let It Roll, was released on August 23, 2019. The band began a tour of the same name in June in support of the album.
Style and influences
Rolling Stone said that "the Texas-based band blend their voices to produce country music that recalls a mix of George Strait, Urban Cowboy and Seventies yacht rock." Billboard describes the band's sound as "a definite George Strait '80s New Traditionalist feel to it, combined with the rich California harmonies that made The Eagles legendary." The band is also known as its dressing style such as performing in suits made by Ft. Lonesome chain stitchers similar to the original Nudie Suits. Vogue called Midland "equal parts heartthrobs and fashion risk takers."
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
|On the Rocks||2||20||—||45||—||
|Let It Roll||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions||Sales|
||On the Rocks|
|"Make a Little"||—[A]||23||15||—||12|
|2019||"Mr. Lonely"||—||31||25||—||42||Let It Roll|
|2017||"Drinkin' Problem"||Cameron Duddy|
|"Make a Little"|
|2018||"Burn Out"||TK McKamy|
|"Burn Out" (live)||Roger Pistole|
|2019||"Mr. Lonely"||Jim Shea|
|2019||"Boot Scootin' Boogie"||Brooks & Dunn||Reboot|
Awards and nominations
|2017||CMT Music Awards||Group Video of the Year||"Drinkin’ Problem"||Nominated|||
|2018||Grammy Awards||Best Country Duo/Group Performance||Nominated|||
|2018||Best Country Song||Nominated|||
|2018||ACM Awards||New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year||Midland||Won|||
|Vocal Group of the Year||Midland||Nominated|
|Single Record of the Year||"Drinkin' Problem"||Nominated|
|2019||CMT Music Awards||Group Video of the Year||"Burn Out"||Nominated|||
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