Best Country Artist

Knut Bell

Few songwriters alive today work as hard as Knut Bell, who regularly clocks four-hour marathon shows at honky-tonks all the way from Conway, Wash., to Austin, Texas, where he recently delivered 200 cases of Rainier in exchange for 200 of Lone Star as part of the Great American Beer Swap organized by alt-country social club Horses Cut Shop. Hand-in-hand with his rock-solid work ethic is the rumbling, Waylonesque baritone that barrels from his broad frame, nailing covers from the "outlaw" catalog alongside his own self-penned tunes—songs accompanied by country legends like Merle Haggard's guitarist Redd Volkaert and Johnny Cash's piano man Earl Poole Ball on his latest album, Wicked, Ornery, Mean, and Nasty. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT knutbell.com

 
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