With all the chest-thumping going on in Nashville today, where bluster and swagger have replaced heart and soul, you half expect some of country music's male stars to be sporting bruises. Which is what makes Midland, a trio of friends based in Dripping Springs, Texas, so undeniably refreshing. Made up of singer Mark Wystrach, lead guitarist Jess Carson and bass player Cameron Duddy, Midland is the embodiment of Seventies California country, all smooth Eagles harmonies and heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics. Their songs are intoxicating country sung with the twang of George Strait. And it's impossible to resist. Midland — the guys took their name from a Dwight Yoakam song — excel in setting a mood, transporting the listener to another place and time. This is music made for wide-open skies, endless deserts and wondering where the road is going to take you next.