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Andrew Crawford & Brandi Colt “Gambler and Gypsies”

The biggest egos of Nashville have more often than not pushed good talent out of the business before they’d even had a chance to make their ground in the scene, but it’s a new day in 2023 and it’s a new era dominated by the independent artists of the country music genre.

Andrew Crawford doesn’t want to be a part of some larger movement within his scene, nor is he looking to redefine what it means to be a country singer from the underground; truth be told, his new single with Brandi Colt, “Gambler and Gypsies,” illustrates a passion for the fundamentals of this style of music unparalleled among his generation today. He has a young, fearless spirit to his delivery but every word he sings to us in this track is born of wisdom that comes from seeing things clearly in his life. Crawford comes across as weathered but accessible, optimistic, and clever in his lyricism, which when combined with his fantastic singing ability makes for a must-listen country anthem in “Gambler and Gypsies” you won’t want to miss out on this February.  

Instrumentally, this single is a barebones wonder that doesn’t push the envelope or experiment with a tried and true recipe for success. All of the context for the lyrics is created through the pacing of the strings and both Colt and Crawford’s hesitant manner, which imprints a charismatic, incredibly humanizing tone over every verse.

His voice itself is mixed in front of everything else here to create a concert-like intimacy that is authentic and righteous in the most perfect way possible. A lot of other players would have used a heavier reverb on the string part just to create depth for the backend, but there’s no supersized bassline dynamic in this piece to be accentuated. All of the normal bells and whistles are left on the sidelines in “Gambler and Gypsies,” not because such elements lack value in a country song, but because they’re not in the story Andrew Crawford is telling here. He’s too direct a poet for additional fluff to enter the fold, and that’s reiterated with a resounding exclamation point in his new song. 

Though his rivals have had some credible buzz on both sides of the dial in the past year, I honestly don’t think enough people are talking about the skills Andrew Crawford has as a singer/songwriter. He’s moving forward with his career at one of the more intimidating junctures in the history of all country music, given all of the pressure that comes with being on his end of the industry with a lot of talent under his belt, he doesn’t sound even slightly unsure of himself here.

Country music is becoming one of the fastest-growing styles of pop music in America once more on the strength of its indie pulse, and as long as Crawford keeps his nose to the grindstone I think he’s going to continue to be one of the more promising young players to emerge from his corner of the map.  

Mindy McCall



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