One thing I have learned is that Texas Country is its own thing. It has a traditional, devil-may-care attitude and many of our favorite artists (i.e., Willie Nelson, George Jones, George Strait, and Miranda Lambert, to name a few) come from the independent Lone Star state.
When I get pitched artists from Texas, I pay attention. They may or may not be playing the local dives in Nashville, but they are nearly always good. Donice Morace is no exception.
From his chiseled good looks and easy-going personality to his traditional-sounding music, Morace takes you back to another era when country music was defined by vocal stylists who you could immediately identify.
Morace got his first guitar when he was six years old. In high school, he sang in the school choir, but it was when he saw George Strait in concert for the first time, that his life truly changed.
And even though they were in Beaumont, Texas, the audience heard Strait say, “It sure is good to be in Corpus Christi, Texas.”
Morace related, “To me, he was having so much fun…he really didn’t know where he was at the time, and I wanted a job just like that.”
While in college at Texas A&M, it became clear to him that music would be his life’s calling. The Vidor, Texas, native found inspiration from the music of Keith Whitley, George Jones, and Conway Twitty.
And while those country traditionalists helped to shape his own sound, it was two local country music heroes, Tracy Byrd and Mark Chesnutt, who gave Morace a good blueprint when it came time to take his career to the next level.
“I learned so much from watching how they had handled their careers. It was like Honky Tonk 101. I wanted to be like them, but also bring my own fresh high energy approach to it,” Morace explained.
He was in several different bands in college, notably Boomtown and then later Twangsters Union. It's where he cut his teeth performing and figuring things out while opening for bigger acts.
After his college years, he moved to Atlanta where he sang five nights a week at Cowboy’s Dance Hall. This opportunity allowed Morace to open for national acts such as Lonestar and Kenny Chesney, along with one of his heroes, Merle Haggard.
But his biggest break came when long-time pal, Cody Johnson, (who currently has the smash hit, “’ Til You Can’t”) introduced him to his producer, Trent Willmon. He would often go into the studio right after Johnson where “there were always some hand-me-down songs that I was lucky to get that Cody couldn't fit on his album.”
In 2017, Morace released his debut self-titled album which featured songs like the harmonica-wailing “Good Hurt Comin’ On,” and the fiddle-soaked “WD-40 and Duct Tape.”
He released Long Live the Cowboy in 2019, which “unashamedly put the cowboy back in country music.” The album featured the hit “Through the Jukebox.”
In 2022, his song “One Drink In” peaked at 15 on Texas radio.
On April 14, 2023, Morace released his newest record, This Life I Love which he describes as “a fresher take on traditional country music.”
The Texas crooner explained, “It's always fun to find a way to grow and still be true to yourself. We wanted to make a record that not only had radio appeal but could be played in any honkytonk. That's what's important to me.”
He has already released, “Goin, Goin” from the record and it was in the top 30 on Texas County Radio charts.
The country crooner has also released the single “Wait Til I’m Gone.” He said of the song, “This one is a slowed down one to hit you right in the emotions.”
Donice Morace is proud to be from Texas and their outstanding music scene.
He acknowledged, “Being part of the Texas country scene is such a privilege. The community is so tight-knit, and we all genuinely love the music and shows. It’s something I’m so proud to be a part of and having my roots in Texas is so special.”
With the plethora of talented Texas singer/songwriters that have come before him, I am sure that as long as he stays true to himself, Donice Morace’s name will soon be mentioned alongside his musical heroes.
You can follow Donice Morace on his website, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and all streaming platforms.
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Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blog, Bethany Writes, Instagram, and Twitter.
This Life I Love Track Listing:
1. Goin’ Goin’ (3:19)
2. Like This (3:16)
3. This Life I Love (4:08)
4. One Drink In (3:00)
5. Wait Til I’m Gone (3:22)
6. What I’m Tonkin’ (3:21
7. Guitars Get Girls (3:13)
8. Keep The Sad People Happy (3:45)