Singer Ryan Culwell Returns To The High Plains, After Finding Success In Nashville And Beyond

Aug 27, 2018

Ryan Culwell and Megan McCormick perform Culwell's song "Amarillo," at Teckla House on Sunday night.
Credit Jonathan Baker

On Sunday night, a group of music lovers gathered in the backyard of a house on Teckla Street in Amarillo, to hear the songs of a Panhandle musician who has gained a national reputation in recent years.

Ryan Culwell’s new record, The Last American, dropped this week, and The Washington Post promptly declared that the album “captures an American moment’s essence.”

The singer, whose talent Rolling Stone has compared to Bruce Springsteen’s, hails from Perryton, Texas, and attended West Texas A&M University for a time. He now lives in Nashville.

The Last American is a heartfelt and incisive follow-up to his debut, Flatlands, a Biblically epic depiction of the Texas Panhandle in song. Rolling Stone called that album “the embodiment of a dogeared land whose residents sport resilience and battle scars in equal doses.”

Culwell’s opening act Sunday was Hayden Pedigo, a young musician who has himself seen his share of press recently, due to an improbable run for the Amarillo City Council’s Place 2 seat. Texas Monthly has written that Pedigo “is making the most innovative, audacious music in the country.”

Culwell appeared on the backyard stage at Teckla House, a new Amarillo venue that has hosted a number of interesting acts in recent weeks. For example, last Tuesday’s backyard show featured Che Apalache, a bluegrass band from Argentina.

You can hear Ryan Culwell, Hayden Pedigo, Che Apalache, and many other adventurous and groundbreaking artists every weekday morning on High Plains Morning, hosted by Jenny Inzerillo.