In 2018, The Boot introduced the Golden Mic Awards, and in 2019, the reader-voted digital awards series is returning for another year! Recognizing the best in live country and Americana music, The Boot's Golden Mic Awards feature nine categories of staff-selected nominees who rule the stage.

This week (April 22-26), The Boot will reveal 2019's Golden Mic Awards categories ... and then, it will be up to you, our readers, to crown the winners. After each Golden Mic Awards category is revealed, readers will be able to vote for their preferred winner in each category as often as once per hour through 11:59PM ET on May 22. We'll announce the winners on the site the next day, May 23.

Unless your evening on the town includes a stop at the Bluebird Cafe or some other spot known for songwriter showcases, your next county music concert will involve more than the name on the marquee. Everyone from Garth Brooks on down employs a backing band capable of doing your favorite songs justice in a live setting, but these 10 nominees exemplify the weathered veterans and future stars making a living by making superstars sound like a million bucks.

Jason Aldean's high-energy (and high-grossing) live show features drummer Rich Redmond, bassist Tully Kennedy and guitarist Kurt Allison. All three used to play in the band Rushlow, fronted by former Little Texas singer Tim Rushlow.

Garth Brooks has maintained some of the same backing musicians for so long that fiddler Jimmy Mattingly, a 20-plus-year veteran of Brooks' traveling show, still gets called "The Rookie." Meanwhile, Eric Church leads a must-see live show for fans of both country and rock alongside a stacked supporting cast, including backup singer Joanna Cotten, a fantastic vocalist and songwriter with more than enough talent to headline tours.

Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley may be the faces of Florida Georgia Line, but they don't hit the stage alone. They're members of a seven-piece band that helms one of the genre's most consistently lucrative live shows.

While most of these backing bands play second fiddle to a solo star or a duo, Jason Isbell's 400 Unit share equal billing with their leader. In addition, the band serves as an invaluable platform for one of Nashville's best talents, fiddler Amanda Shires.

Ashley McBryde's Deadhorse share several things with their boss: her sense of humor, her mastery of heartfelt country storytelling and the work ethic that's turned an underdog into a star. Kacey Musgraves' expanding palette as a songwriter and performer requires a band willing and able to go from playing a country throwback such as "Biscuits" to the disco-inspired "High Horse" without missing a beat.

Margo Price's Pricetags anchor some of the best club and theater shows in country music. Its members date back to Price's old band, Buffalo Clover, and include her multi-talented husband, Jeremy Ivey.

Country, rock and the blues converge in Chris Stapleton's music, both live and in the studio. Like other solo artists on this list, Stapleton doesn't do it alone, as he's joined by wife Morgane and a formidable cast of bandmates.

Keith Urban didn't stop being a bandleader after his solo career took precedence over the Ranch. The award-winning veteran's supporting cast bring one of the most energetic and fun back catalogs in country music to life on stages across the world.

Which group should be the 2019 Golden Mic Awards' Best Live Backing Band? Cast your vote below!

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