Following comebacks from Garth Brooks and Shania Twain; two of pop-country’s biggest stars of the 1990s, we got to thinking about other veteran acts we would love to see return to form. Whether they were pivotal figures of the neo-traditionalist movement or collected only a few major hits, One Country takes a look at the five acts who are long-overdue to release new music and take over the world (again). Some might not have ever reached the prestigious legend class, but when revisiting some of the late-1990s and early-2000s, we couldn’t help but dig up a few lesser names for consideration.
5 Veteran Acts That Need To Make A Comeback:
1. Patty Loveless
Coming right before the Class of ’89, she was the leading female of that movement, bringing country music back to center. Her style was grounded in honky-tonk and rock but with enough contemporary polish to endear her to country radio, igniting a string of big hits such as “I Try to Think About Elvis,” “Chains,” “Timber, I’m Falling in Love” and “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye.” Her last studio record was 2009’s Mountain Soul II, so it’s about time she made a comeback (even though she is rumored to be retired from music).
2. Randy Travis
Travis helped usher in the Class of ’89–and his voice is one of the greatest of all time. That deep, rich baritone on such classics as “Forever and Ever, Amen” and “Three Wooden Crosses” could send chills across your skin. He released back-to-back Influence: The Man I Am collections in 2013-2014 but his last proper studio album was 2008’s Around the Bend. Following his stroke, he has made a valiant health comeback, so maybe new music is on the horizon? Fingers crossed.
3. The Judds
Ok, this will never happen in a million years, but one can dream, yeah? Their mix of soul and country made Wynonna and Naomi household names in the ’80s. Their catalog, quite overlooked far too often, features uptempo rompers like “Girls Night Out” and syrupy ballads such as “Love Can Build a Bridge.” They’ve conquered every kind of style, and who better to topple the Florida Georgia Line hip-hop/country throne than two queens? Let’s make this happen somehow!
A product of Shania-era pop-country, the harmonious trio might not be the first to come to mind, but their hits were straight-up infectious. “Little Good-Byes,” “I Will…But” and “This Woman Needs” are low-key some of the best songs in modern country, entrenched in very real heartache, anger and pain. They haven’t released an album since 2006’s Fortuneteller’s Melody, but 2018 sounds like the perfect time to roar back.
5. Billy Gilman
Ok. Yes. He technically made a comeback when he placed high on last season’s The VoiceThe Voice–but when is that album coming? His last record was his 2006 self-titled release, so…time is ticking there, Billy. He might never get to shake the success of “One Voice,” and rightfully so, but his voice has grown fuller and even more powerful with age. We bet he could make some great traditional-leaning music, falling in line with Midland, Jon Pardi and William Michael Morgan.