Downtown Hoedown artist A Thousand Horses may be country newcomers, but the bandmates are in celebration mode this week, because their debut single, “Smoke,” made it all the way to No. 1.

Turns out, it’s also a milestone: “Smoke” is the first debut single by a new country group to top the Billboard Country Airplay chart in this decade (the last to do it was Zac Brown Band with their debut single “Chicken Fried” in 2008).

“Smoke” is also just the first taste of what’s to come on Southernality, the group’s debut album. Produced by Dave Cobb (Chris StapletonJason IsbellSturgill Simpson), the album drops June 9.

Related: Interview: Chris Stapleton Embraces the Uncomfortable on Debut Album ‘Traveller’

As the bandmembers explain, the success they’ve had with “Smoke” proves there is still a place for Southern rock on country radio.

“Bands like Lyrnyd Skynryd and the Allman Brothers, they probably would have been considered country music in some ways,” guitarist Zach Brown tells

You can see A Thousand Horses perform this Friday, June 5, at the 2015 Downtown Hoedown at West Riverfront Park in Detroit.

Read more of this article and what A Thousand Horses think of going No. 1 at country on


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