The boss at my college radio station was very fond, perhaps too fond, of repeating his favorite adage: "The more things change, the more things change." I suppose this is true of almost anything these days; old buildings come down in favor of new ones, barriers get broken because we've adapted to new heights of achievement, and practices deemed acceptable in the 50s just have that...ugh...50s feel to them, too musty and too regressive for the 21st century.

You could say the same thing about country music; a format that, while honoring its past more than most genres, continues its search for the "next big thing" to transcend the music of Alan, Shania and Garth to the modern era.

Missoula has plenty of music venues to hold concerts of all styles and fanbases:

  • Kettlehouse Amphitheater
  • Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater
  • The Wilma
  • Adams Center
  • Caras Park

Here are 4 country acts that have never played in Missoula before, but totally should. While you may not know all their names (yet) They all come with traditional country sounds while breathing fresh new life into the old twang.

note: I picked these artists because they'd be more likely to make trips to Missoula for shows. Bigger names like Luke Bryan & Carrie Underwood were left off the list because their asking prices for shows reach into the multi millions of dollars

Chapel Hart

Named for a tiny church in their hometown of Poplarville, Mississippi, this trio of talented singers (two sisters and their cousin) have emerged as Golden Buzzer winners on "America's Got Talent"

Their take on Dolly Parton's classic "Jolene" has vaulted them into the spotlight, and put their debut album "The Girls Are Back In Town" near the top of every streaming platform accessible in the civilized world.

And they are country much so that they will make the Grand Ole Opry debut in September 2022.

Suggested venue: Kettlehouse Amphitheater

Ingrid Andress

She's a fan of tequila and good times, so Ingrid is a great fit in Missoula. During her young country music journey she's already logged a trip to #1 with "More Hearts Than Mine" and she's looking for more as her duet with Sam Hunt "Wishful Drinking" keeps climbing the charts.

Suggested venue: The Wilma 

Ingrid has a small body of work that the casual country fan knows, but that doesn't mean she only has those songs to perform. The intimate confines of the Wilma are perfect for Ingrid's vocal range and approach to an evening country show.

Cory Marks

Name a country singer from Canada (without punching it into the Google machine) and without saying the words "Shania" or "Twain."

Americans are used to not knowing that a surprising number of incredibly talented country acts come from Canada. Cory Marks is one of the latest surprises, hailing from Ontario.

Cory's take on country is a kick-in-the-teeth approach; a modern blend of outlaw country with hard rock sound. He's released two albums and featured Travis Tritt on his latest title track "Outlaws & Outsiders."

Suggested venue: Big Sky Brewing Amphitheater

To get the most out of a Cory Marks experience in Missoula, we'd have to see him outside. He's currently on tour with label mates Five Finger Death Punch and country star Brantley Gilbert.

Reyna Roberts

If this is your first time hearing her name, get used to it. Reyna is the daughter of two Army veterans that raised her in Alabama and California, and she's not shy about showing off her dynamite voice:

She's been featured on Monday Night Football and most recently, she opened for Reba McEntire's 2021 tour through the south and midwest.

Reyna is loud, has a fiery-hot stage presence and an appearance in Missoula fits with our desire to stay country but see the genre grow beyond its current limits.

Suggested venue: Kettlehouse Amphitheater

Top 5 Foods Montana Is Known For

Sure, we've all heard of Rocky Mountain Oysters... but what else is Montana legendary for in the way of great eats? Here's our roundup of the best foods we here in Montana are known for!

More From 94.9 KYSS FM