Best Country Band

The Hot Seats

Readers' Pick

A champion of country music that came before country music, the former Special Ed & the Shortbus has changed more than their moniker. Tighter and more focused, the group prides itself on playing traditional music, with oddball chord progressions and lyrics taking a back seat. It can now land gigs at more family-oriented places, multi-instrumentalist Josh Bearman says. “They’re less appalled by us now — at least until they hear us.”

Second Place: Velvet Marias

Third Place (Tie): Little Creek / Andy Vaughan and the Driveline

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