Brad Paisley

Country Thunder: Returning to Calgary for 2017!

With four amazing locations, Country Thunder is back again in 2017 and bigger then ever! With festivals in Florence, AZ, Craven, SK, Twin Lakes, WI and Calgary, AB everyone can have the opportunity to put on their cowboy boots and dance to an amazing lineup all weekend long!

Get ready for a weekend full of incredible entertainers in Calgary, Alberta, August 18-20th!

Country Thunder Lineup,
Calgary 2017!

★ Brad Paisley
★ Thomas Rhett
★ Blake Shelton
★ Randy Houser
★ Dallas Smith
★ Old Dominion
★ Chase Bryant
★ James Barker Band
★ Joe Nichols
★ The Dungarees
★ The Washboard Union
★ The Road Hammers
★ Ryan Hurd
★ Terri Clark
★ High Valley

Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015
Dallas Smith
Dallas Smith Boots and Hearts 2015

I don’t know about you, but I am extremely excited to have male vocalist of the year & song of the year winner Thomas Rhett as one of the headliners! I am very thrilled to see what he has in store for everyone. We’re also lucky to have critically acclaimed singer and songwriter Brad Paisley who has won numerous awards in his career and is constantly taking over the charts. We also can’t forget about the hilarious Blake Shelton… five-time male vocalist of the year, Grammy nominee and one of my favourite judges on this season of The Voice.

Don’t worry we didn’t forget about the other remarkable artists taking over the stages at this years festival! I am looking forward to experiencing the diversity all these artists will bring; from heart filled songs to heart breaks, celebrating the weekend, grabbing a beer with your friends, and growing up in a small town – this festival will have all of your country needs checked off.

Due to the festival being located in the city, there are no camping accommodations, only hotels. But don’t worry!!! Country Thunder has a list of 19 different hotel partners near the festival site that will suit your budget and requirements. Plus, with your festival passes you are welcome to shuttle back and worth for free. Try not to wait to long to purchase tickets to Calgary’s Country Thunder though, as limited tickets are remaining for the full weekend festival.

Grab you’re cowboy hat, wear your best dancing shoes and get ready to experience everything that Country Thunder has to offer!

Thomas RhettThomas Rhett Boots and Hearts 2015High Valley
Old Dominion
Old Dominion Boots and Hearts 2015Chase Bryant
Chase Bryant BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016James Barker Band
James Barker Band SiriusXM Fan Stage BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016The Washboard Union
Washboard Union CMT Music FestThe Road Hammers
The Road Hammers Boots and Hearts 2015

By The Way: Lindsay Ell at Boots & Hearts 2016!

There were a lot of great musicians on stage at Boots & Hearts over the weekend. But you would be hard pressed to find someone shredding and strutting and singing the way that Canada’s own, Lindsay Ell did on the main stage!

Country music fans love to talk about how talented Keith Urban and Brad Paisley are with their guitars. It’s a point of pride for the genre. Well, hear this: If you’re going to talk about those two men because they sing and play guitar at a level above the norm, you need to add Lindsay Ell to your list.

And hear this too: Do not let us catch you saying that Lindsay Ell plays well for a girl. You listen to her play and then you show some damn respect.

The Boots & Hearts crowd braved the hot Sunday sun to find Lindsay on the main stage, and they were rewarded. Because as amazing as her guitar skills are, she equals them with her songwriting and singing – and all of that makes for a really entertaining set, no matter what the weather conditions are!

With a selection of her own songs including, What Does You Good, All Alright, Trippin’ On Love, Shut Me Up, and By The Way and covers like Landslide, Love Yourself, and a Bad Blood/ Thinking Out Loud/ Say What You Need To Say medley, Lindsay had the crowd singing and dancing and waving hands and grooving along.

One of our highlights came when Lindsay covered Chris Stapleton’s Tennessee Whiskey with the help of the very talented Jessica Mitchell who we had talked to just a few minutes earlier.

Lindsay Ell has been killing it in Nashville for the last couple years, playing the Opry and touring with superstars, but we’ve seen her come home for the CCMA and CMAO Awards, and by her own admission, she loves the feeling of coming back across the border into Canada. And on this day, as she played and sang and worked the crowd, she wasn’t the only one happy that she came north to us, even just for the day!

Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Lindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

1 year ago

Crushin’ It: Brad Paisley at Boots & Hearts 2015!

On Friday night a bonafide country music super star took over the Boots and Hearts main stage and put on a show that we’re very, very happy we saw.

Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015-1943Brad Paisley began his headlining set with River Bank before telling the crowd of 30,000+ that it was “great to be back in the land of Tim Hortons” – which drew a nice cheer, but nothing compared to what his songs earned and deserved.

Note: Don’t forget that this guy is a killer guitar player. The talent level there is outrageous and makes me want to pick up a 6 string. Brad was also generous with his guitars at Boots and Hearts, handing an acoustic to a teen boy in the front row, telling him to practice, and that he’d see him up on the stage in 10 years or so. Pretty classy.

Earlier in the day we heard a rumour that Brad was going to have a special guest with him, maybe Carrie Underwood, whose husband Mike Fisher was at the festival… sadly, that wasn’t the case. BUT, we did get to see Justin Moore return to the stage to help Paisley with I’m Still A Guy, and that was fun.

Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015-1938Carrie did show up on the video board to sing her part of Remind Me, so all was not lost.

With 10 albums and 18 #1 hits, and a ton of other fan favourites… there is no shortage of material for the picker to choose from. But he had to pick 20. So he did. And the huge crowd, spread from the front row, to deep in the field, sang and danced and cheered along to each and every one of them.

Here’s the set list. Under that will be some more pictures. Enjoy.

Brad Paisley Boots & Hearts Set List

 River Bank
 Moonshine in the Trunk
 This is Country Music
 I’m Still a Guy
 Everything to Me
 American Saturday Night
 I Thought I Loved You Then
 Beat This Summer
 Perfect Storm
 Old Alabama
 Waitin’ on a Woman
 Remind Me (w/ Carrie Underwood on video screen)
 Southern Comfort Zone
 I’m Gonna Miss Her
 Mud on the Tires
 Crushin’ It

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015-1933Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015-2010Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015-1950Brad Paisley Boots and HeartsBrad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015-1952Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015-2056Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015-2029

2 years ago

10 Reasons We’re Excited for Boots & Hearts 2015!

Boots & Hearts starts Thursday afternoon with the Coors Banquet Kick Off Party… and while some of the hardcore fans/campers/partiers are already in the gates – the majority of us will make our way up in time for The Reklaws at 5pm.

To get us all ready at the last minute (in case you aren’t already pumped right up) we’ve got a list of 10 reasons we’re excited for this year’s festival!

The Venue

Boots and Hearts Burls Creek SunsetWe’ve already had the luxury of touring around the Burl’s Creek park during WayHome, and it’s pretty awesome. We know there will be some changes made to the grounds from 1 festival to the other, but if the Main Stage and the Front Porch stage are where we think they will be, it’s going to be just fine.

There’s also a ton of room for bars, porta-potties, food trucks, water refill stations, lounging in the sun or the shade, and dancing to the music.

We can’t wait to get inside and check it out again.

The Headliners

Eric Church 2015Brad Paisley, Eric Church, and Florida Georgia Line are big names who play big stages in front of big crowds – and Boots & Hearts will give all three of them that opportunity.

All 3 acts also have impressive libraries of music that the fans will be to sing and shout along to throughout the sets, and that always makes for a good time.

We’re guessing that Eric Church’s set will inspire the more whisky to be consumed and the most smoke clouds to rise – and Florida Georgia Line will give us the most pop from the young crowd, particularly the ladies when they take the stage and start playing their brand of good-time party country music.

The Emerging Artist Showcase

BnH emerging artist showcaseIn Year 1 Tebey won the contest (and Tim Hicks finished 2nd), in Year 2 The Reklaws took home the grand prize, and in Year 3 our pal Trinity Bradshaw claimed the title… so who will win this year?

The answer is… we don’t know.

Here are the contenders: James Barker Band, Eric Ethridge, Leanne Pearson, Johnson Crook, Tenille Arts, Birds of Bellwoods, Ray Gibson, and Travis Wood.

Good luck to all of the finalists, winning this thing can go a long way to kicking off a career!

The Women on Stage

When this year’s lineup was announced we were impressed and excited at the number of female acts that were included. Last year’s number was really low, but now we’re back!

Kira-Isabella-Band-2014-CNEThe Reklaws, Jess Moskaluke, The Stellas, Lennon & Maisy, Maddie & Tae, Small Town Pistols, The Lovelocks, MacKenzie Porter, Kira Isabella, Leah Daniels, Trinity Bradshaw… and more awesome and talented women will being singing songs for us from Thursday to Sunday and we can’t wait to hear them.

The women of country music deserve every play and stream and download they get – so pay attention this weekend and find a new favourite.

Little Big Town

Dallas Smith

Boots and Hearts Dallas SmithYes, we were very excited to see Little Big Town before the announcement was made that they wouldn’t be able to play the show…

BUT, we are very excited for Dallas Smith to take that slot opening for Eric Church on Saturday. Not only because Lifted is an amazing album and the show is going to get people ready for the headliner, also because Dallas is a good dude and deserves the chance to give us some Canadian content in a prime spot.

The Fans

Boots and Hearts FansThis festival is special for 2 big reasons – the talent on stage and the fans in the crowd.

Every year more people show up and sing and dance and drink and camp and have a great time. And we’re looking forward to 2015 being no different.

Yes, you’ll see people that are too drunk to function, and yes, someone will pass out and look silly… and maybe a couple dudes will try to start a fight, but with an expected 35,000 in attendance we’re expecting the same good ‘ole country fans to show up and be awesome.

The Camping

Boots and Hearts Burls Creek Camping WayHomeSpeaking of the fans, a lot of them will be camping. And while we won’t be among them, we’re looking forward to the stories from those of you who are.

As of Wednesday afternoon it seems a whole whack of people have set up camp and cracked open drinks… so the party is already starting.

Just be safe in there. Be smart. Have fun.

The Late Night Dance Parties

BnH Late Night Dance PartiesAll 4 nights of the festival will feature a late night dance party at the Front Porch Stage. The music starts at 11 with sure highlights coming from Thursday’s White Out party and Sunday’s Foam Party.

We can’t wait to see the action and everyone’s Instagram pictures after!

Seriously, tag us or tweet at us or something with your pics. We’re sure they’re going to be awesome!

The CanCon

The Road Hammer @trishcaAs we’ve said, this lineup and stacked – and a lot of the talent in 2015 is Canadian. We LOVE that, and we’re proud of it.

We’re also excited because acts like The Road Hammers, Chad Brownlee, Small Town Pistols, Emerson Drive, Wes Mack, Leah Daniels, Kira Isabella, The Stellas, and High Valley all put on a great show, and we’ll be there to see them to their thing.

Shout out to Emerson Drive btw. The boys stepped up at the last minute to fill the vacant spot that was created when Dallas Smith slid over to cover for Little Big Town. Well done boys, it was the good Canadian thing to do.

The Thursday Night Kick Off Party

BnH kick off partyThe party starts Thursday night thanks to Coors Banquet! 5 acts, 6 hours of country music, and a whole lot of fun are coming – and we can’t wait.

Really, it’s true.

2013 and 2014 both gave us awesome kick off parties with acts like Brett Kissel, Dallas Smith, Tim Hicks, and Emerson Drive – and this year shouldn’t be any different.

Be ready for The Reklaws, Jess Moskaluke, Old Dominion, Blackjack Billy, and The Road Hammers to put on the biggest Thursday night at Boots & Hearts yet.

See y’all soon.

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

2 years ago

2015 Boots & Hearts Day-to-Day Schedule and Set Times

Alright country music fans, if you’re going to Boots & Hearts you can start planning out your weekend.

The day-to-day lineups have been announced, and now on the Boots & Hearts website we’ve found the daily schedules and stage assignments for each and every act on the weekend bill. Have a look and let us know who you’re most excited for, and what scheduling conflicts are giving you the most trouble!

Note: There could be changes here and even new acts added in, nothing is really written in stone except for maybe the last 3 acts on the Main Stage each day. And as always, weather can be a factor.

Thursday, August 6

The Road HammersFront Porch Stage

The Reklaws: 5:00 – 5:45pm
Jess Moskaluke: 6:00 – 6:45pm
Old Dominion: 7:00 – 7:45pm
Blackjack Billy: 8:00 – 9:00pm
The Road Hammers: 9:30 – 11:00pm

Friday, August 7

Austin WebbFront Porch Stage

Open Sky: 11:00 – 11:30am
Abby Stewart: 11:45am – 12:15pm
Kate Suhr: 12:30 – 1:15pm
Kaitlin Kozell: 1:30 – 2:15pm
Ty Baynton: 2:30 – 3:15pm
Jesse Labelle: 3:30 – 4:15pm
Dylan Scott: 4:30 – 5:30pm
Austin Webb: 6:00 – 7:00pm

Brad PaisleyMain Stage

The Lovelocks: 1:15 – 2:00pm
Small Town Pistols: 2:30 – 3:30pm
Maddie & Tae: 4:00 – 5:00pm
High Valley: 5:30 – 6:30pm
Justin Moore: 7:15 – 8:30pm
Brad Paisley: 9:00 – 11:00pm

Saturday, August 8

Front Porch Stage

MacArthur Clark: 4:30 – 5:30pm
David Nail: 6:00 – 7:00pm

Eric ChurchMain Stage

Jesse Labelle: 1:00 – 2:00pm
MacKenzie Porter: 2:30 – 3:30pm
The Stellas (with Lennon & Maisy): 4:00 – 5:00pm
Chad Brownlee: 5:30 – 6:00pm
Little Big Town: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Eric Church: 9:00 – 11:00pm

Sunday, August 9

Frankie BallardFront Porch Stage

Them Dang Rattlers: 12:45 – 1:15pm
Genevieve Fisher: 1:30 – 2:00pm
Leah Daniels: 2:15 – 3:00pm
Melissa Payne: 3:15 – 4:00pm
Canaan Smith: 4:15 – 5:15pm
Frankie Ballard: 5:45 – 6:45pm

Florida Georgia LineMain Stage

Trinity Bradshaw: 1:00 – 1:45pm
Wes Mack: 2:15 – 3:15pm
Kira Isabella: 3:45 – 4:45pm
Dallas Smith: 5:15 – 6:15pm
Thomas Rhett: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Florida Georgia Line: 9:15 – 11:00pm

3 years ago

5 New Country Acts We’re Excited to See at Boots & Hearts 2015

Boots & Hearts is coming. We’ve been over that. Single Day VIP passes are available. Daily schedules have been released. Excitement is growing.

We all know who the headliners are, and we love them. Just like you, we can’t wait to see Brad Paisley, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Dallas Smith, Jess Moskaluke, Kira Isabella, etc, etc, etc… but there are other acts, new acts, that we can’t wait to see up on stage as well.

So let’s break down 5 of the acts that aren’t headliners yet – but are on their way.

Leah Daniels

Leah Daniels CMAO 2015Fresh off her Rising Star win at the Country Music Association of Ontario Awards, Leah Daniels is getting ready for a huge push!

With Go Back going Top 20, Dream Without You climbing the charts right now, and a stage show that continues to get better and better. We can’t wait to see what the Uxbridge girl brings to the Boots & Hearts stage. You can be sure you’re going to see a big smile, a big voice, and a boat load of enthusiasm.

Be ready to hear some new music, maybe some great covers – but most of all, be ready to see an artist that you’re going to hear a lot more of in the next few years!

Maddie & Tae

Maddie and Tae Start Here Album CoverIn 2014 these girls took the country music world by storm with Girl In A Country Song. And now we’re only 2 and a half months away from the release of their debut full length album, Start Here, and that’s exciting for fans and for Maddie & Tae.

Fly has been a strong 2nd single for the duo and we can’t wait to hear those 2 songs as well as like Your Side Of Town, Sierra, and maybe a few new ones that we haven’t heard yet. Boots & Hearts is going to feel like an unofficial Canadian album release party – just 3 weeks early. We’re ready for that!

Old Dominion

Old DominionWith Break Up With Him all over the place right now it’s hard to believe that there are many country fans that aren’t familiar with Old Dominion. And if you don’t know that song yet, maybe you remember Shut Me Up from just a little while ago.

The songs that these boys sing lead us to believe that we’re going to get a fun set. The harmonies are tight, the potential for some loud guitar action is there – and with a few thousand of their closest Canadian friends in the audience we have a feeling that they’re going to be excited.

Shut me up by showing up/ With strawberry stuff on your lips you know I like so much/ Just a little kiss will do the trick/ Give me something else to do with my lips…

Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott Lay It On MeWe’ve said a lot about Dylan Scott already (Boots & Hearts Preview: Dylan Scott Q&A and 7 Reasons to Fall in Love with Dylan Scott). We’re fans and we’re ready for more.

We know that Dylan’s set is going to include Lay It On Me, Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, as well as covers of Keith Whitley’s When You Say Nothing At All and maybe even Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud since it was so huge on Facebook, YouTube and iTunes.

It is also pretty safe to say that Dylan Scott is going to bring a ton of Southern Boy Charm with him when he comes to Burl’s Creek. And we can’t wait.

Lennon & Maisy

Lennon and MaisyWe really have no idea what we’re going to get from Lennon & Maisy and Boots & Hearts. They could have their own set. They could pop up on stage with their mom and dad (The Stellas). But either way I’m guessing that we’re going to see them on the main stage. There’s too much recognition thanks to ABC’s Nashville.

If we do see the girls take the stage on their own we’re hoping that we get to see covers like Ho Hey, Boom Clap and maybe even Call Your Girlfriend. And with the release of the girls’ new book, we’re expecting to hear In The Waves as well. Oh, and if we don’t hear A Life That’s Good, we’ll be sad.

No matter what happens we know that the crowd is going to pop for Lennon & Maisy, and we can’t wait to see their faces and hear their voices when that happens!

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

3 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Day-to-Day Lineup!

Here we are…

With 2 months + a day until country music fans descend upon Burl’s Creek, the team at Boots & Hearts has gifted us with the day-to-day lineup cards! We knew that this was going to be a stacked festival. The names that kept getting announced have had country fans excited since day 1 when Florida Georgia Line was announced on Breakfast Television.

And now we know who is playing which day from Thursday all the way through Sunday!

Previous experience may lead us to believe that the names at the top will be performing at the end of the night, and the names at the bottom in the small print will be performing on side stages in the early afternoon sunshine… but we don’t know for sure just yet.

Here’s what we do know…


Boots and Hearts Coors Banquet Kick Off Party 2015

The Road Hammers
Jess Moskaluke
Blackjack Billy
Old Dominion
The Reklaws


Boots and Hearts Friday Lineup 2015

Brad Paisley
Justin Moore
High Valley
Maddie & Tae
Dylan Scott
Small Town Pistols
Austin Webb
Ty Baynton
Kaitlin Kozell
Genevieve Fisher
Jesse Labelle
Abby Stewart
Open Sky


Boots and Hearts Saturday Lineup 2015

Eric Church
Little Big Town
Chad Brownlee
David Nail
The Stellas
Lennon & Maisy
Mackenzie Porter
Melissa Payne
Jesse Labelle


Boots and Hearts Sunday Lineup 2015

Florida Georgia Line
Thomas Rhett
Frankie Ballard
Dallas Smith
Cannan Smith
Kira Isabella
Wes Mack
Trinity Bradshaw
The Lovelocks
Leah Daniels
Them Dang Rattlers
Kate Suhr


This festival is stacked from top to bottom, just like it is every year!

Click Here to read more Boots & Hearts posts and interviews – and stay tuned because we’ve got more posts, more previews, more information – and more coverage from Oro-Medonte coming up!

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

3 years ago

5 Reasons We’re Excited to See Brad Paisley at Boots & Hearts 2015

Whether he’s hosting the CMAs with Carrie Underwood, recording awesome duets with Keith Urban, or making ridiculously fun music videos, Brad Paisley is consistently entertaining his fans.

And we have 0 reasons to believe that things will be any different when he takes the stage at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds. In fact, we’re so sure it’s going to be entertaining that we’ve put together our top 5 reasons we’re excited to see Brad Paisley at Boots & Hearts 2015.

Check ’em out…

The Hits

Brad-Paisley-Hits-Alive-Official-Album-CoverWith 18 #1 singles in his back pocket, you know that Brad Paisley is going to be able to play a ton of songs that everyone in the Boots & Hearts crowd knows and loves. He can have some fun with Mud On The Tires, Online, and I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin’ Song) or he can slow it down with He Didn’t Have To Be, She’s Everything, and We Danced.

Oh, and by the way – songs like Alcohol, Crushin’ It, Little Moments, and This Is Country Music didn’t go #1 – but we still hope we’ll hear them all anyway!

The Crowd

Boots and Hearts CrowdOn an August night, after a day of drinking and music and fun with friends, the crowd is going to be ready to push the party just a little harder when Paisley takes the stage to headline on the main stage.

If previous years have been any indication, the Boots & Hearts 2015 crowd will be ready to sing along, cheer with everything they’ve got, and make Brad Paisley feel like he truly is the King of Gettin’ Unwound!

The Stage Show

Brad Paisley Stage ShowI’ve seen Brad Paisley before… almost 10 years – and I know that this dude and his band like to have a good time. The arena show featured huge video screens and a ton of interaction with the crowd.

And I would be willing to bet that we’re going to be some beach ball action from the stage as Paisley plays some of his more drinking friendly hits during his set.

The Guitar Playing

Brad Paisley GuitarIt’s easy to overlook Brad Paisley’s guitar playing when you only hear him on the radio. But if you’ve seen him live, or even watched him play at an award show, you know that he’s a hell of a player.

There will be multiple guitar solos in the set, and each one will be the kind of thing that makes you stare at him or a screen so you can watch his hands work. And then, when the band comes back in, you’ll cheer because what you’ve just seen was awesome!

The Party

Brad Paisley PartyWe all know that Boots & Hearts is a party. That’s part of what we all love about it. And when Brad Paisley takes the main stage to close the show on Friday, August 7th – the people are going to be ready to welcome him and party through what we hope is a really long set.

We can’t wait for thousands of people to pack into the Burl’s Creek Event Grounds this summer for 4 days of awesome country music. And we know you’re excited too.

If there’s an artist you want to see a top 5 reasons post about, or if you want to add reasons to this post – leave a comment for us!

Work hard. Play harder. Be awesome!

3 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Preview: Them Dang Rattlers [Interview]

Them Dang Rattlers ProfileBoots and Hearts 2015 is still a few months away, but we know that the fans are getting excited – because we’re excited.

So, here we are with another artist preview to get everyone ready to party at Burl’s Creek Event Park, August 6 – 9.

Meet Them Dang Rattlers, a 6 piece country music outfit from London, ON who are getting ready to make their B&H debut this summer. These boys like to play, drink, sing, entertain, and generally just have a good time. We are sure that they’re going to put on a fun set when they take the stage this summer with a set of original tunes and perhaps a cover or 2 as well.

Don’t know Them Dang Rattlers yet? Check out the Q&A and start counting down to August.

Q. We don’t really know London, ON as a country music hotbed… are we missing out on something, or did you guys just decide that this is what you were going to do and made it happen?

Them Dang Rattlers BannerA. London is not so much a hotbed for country acts, but there is a huge fan base for country in and around the city. Bud Gardens and London Music Hall bring in huge country artists all the time, there’s 2 country radio stations here, and the surrounding area has proven to be one of Canada’s most enthusiastic groups of country fans. All of us are proud Londoners now, and this is what we like to do, so here we are writing country tunes in London, ON!

Q. Give us some background insight… who are the artists that influence you as a band in country, rock, or any other genre?

A. We all grew up in small towns with our parents listening to country and classic rock, so it’s kinda been infused into our lives from as far ago as we can remember.

Q. Your bio says to watch out because you’ll get a knuckle sandwich or a kiss on the cheek! Who in the band is more likely to load up with a fist, and who’s leaning in for a kiss?

Them Dang Rattlers SelfieA. Haha well that’s a great question, especially if any babes are cautious about who to approach.
Barry – Kiss.
Ryan – He’ll flip ya the bird.
Nick – Open faced Knuckle sandy.
Blair – Just give him a beer and he’s fine.
Josh – Kiss.
Steve – Who’s Steve?

Q. Boots and Hearts has grown into a huge festival with more than 30,000 country music fans on site last year. How are you preparing yourselves for that kind of crowd that’s in full party mode for 3 days straight?

A. Well, some of us used to play in metal bands and frequent the festivals all the time, so we know what’s up. It’s been a while though, so we hope we can still fit into our party pants!

Q. Let’s say we’re able to meet up with you guys at the bar after a show. And let’s say that we’re buying the drinks, who’s ordering what?

A. This that and a couple beers. OR EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.

Them Dang Rattlers Boots and Hearts 2015Q. Dream Time: If you were able to book a tour with any acts you wanted, what 2 or 3 other names would be see on the tickets?

A. Ohhh let’s say Eric Church, Brad Paisley, and The Cadillac Three.

Q. Last one, in 50 words or less, what can we expect from Them Dang Rattlers when you take the stage at Boots and Hearts this August?

A. We’re a group of friends, we have fun, we drink together, eat together, sleep together – and that cohesiveness comes through on stage. We have a blast up there and try our best to let everyone know that when we play live. Come check out our set and have a good time with us!

Thanks to the boys for playing along, it sounds like we might have to buy a round soon!

Find Them Dang Rattlers at these fine locations online…
Facebook: Them Dang Rattlers
Twitter: @tdrattlers
nstagram: @themdangrattlers

3 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Preview: Little Big Town

Little Big Town SelfieIt’s been 10 years since my first introduction to Little Big Town with the release of their second album, The Road To Here, and the four Top 20 singles (Boondocks, Bring It On Home, Good As Gone, A Little More You) that were all over country radio while I was living in Ottawa.

Since then I’ve been watching and listening as the band has released 4 more albums (A Place to Land, The Reason Why, Tornado, Pain Killer), won 2 Country Music Association Awards for Vocal Group of the Year, and a Grammy for Best Country Group/Duo Performance (2013, Pontoon). It’s been awesome, and fun to be a fan. And at the same time it’s felt like a little bit of an insider’s view. Acts like Lady Antebellum and Sugarland have spent time dominating the non-solo country landscape which often placed Little Big Town in the backseat, still putting out great music with amazing harmonies, but not garnering the attention and accolades that they may have otherwise received.

Little Big Town3 years ago I wrote a piece about LBT’s YouTube series, Scattered, Smothered and Covered because they were absolutely killing it with their cover versions of popular songs from the world of pop and rock and country. If you haven’t heard their version of Moves Like Jagger, Rolling In The Deep, or Born This Way… you’re missing out. But my favourite cover came long before that when the band took on Life In A Northern Town with Sugarland and Jake Owens. It still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. The combination of 7 voices on this one song is fantastic.

Fast forward 2 years from there and I got to see Little Big Town up on stage for the first time when they opened for Keith Urban in Toronto on the Light The Fuse tour. It was amazing. I was arguably more excited for LBT than I was Mr. Urban, and they did not disappoint for a single minute of their set. The harmonies, the energy, the hair (seriously, Kimberly Schlapman’s hair is outrageous and fantastic), everything about their performance was A+. And then just a few months later my mom caught them up on stage at The Grand Ole Opry and I was admittedly jealous. I mean, it’s the Opry, country music mecca, and I hear it was great.

That brings us to now – finally, after 3 years of wishing and 2 years of predicting, Little Big Town are coming to Boots and Hearts in 2015 at Burl’s Creek Event Park!

And while they won’t be a “headliner” in the sense that they won’t go on last (Brad Paisley, Eric Church & Florida Georgia Line will get those honours) they will be a lead in, our guess is for Paisley, and have a chance to steal the show the way Dierks Bentley did in 2013.

Little Big Town Girl CrushWith a growing fanbase, a running total of 12 Top 40 singles, including 5 that went Top 10 – and Girl Crush on the way to doing the same – Little Big Town has all the material they need to put on a show that the fans won’t soon forget. The sun will be setting as they’re up on stage… but before it has a chance we’re predicting that they open their set with Day Drinking before the darkness sets in.

If you’re still not in on Little Big Town, what are you waiting for? These 4 talented musicians are…
• Putting out great music
• Entertaining as all get out
• The reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year
• One of my favs

See y’all at Boots & Hearts – I’ll be right up front when Little Big Town takes the stage.

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

Little Big Town Feature

3 years ago

Boots & Heart 2015 Ticket Giveaway!

Congratulations to our winner of 2 General Admission Passes to Boots & Hearts 2015, Macy Groulx!

Hey friends, guess what?!

The awesome team at Republic Live has hooked us up with a Pair of General Admission Passes for Boots & Hearts 2015 – and we’re going to give them away to one of you!

Boots and Hearts 2015 HeadlinersThese passes are currently on sale for $269.99 plus fees and taxes (for 4 days of entertainment) but 1 lucky winner is going to check out Eric Church, Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Maddie & Tae, etc., etc., etc. on the house.

Now, it is important for me to tell you that these passes do not include camping or any other accommodations, they do not include travel to or from the venue at Burl’s Creek Event Park, and they don’t include food or drinks or merch and other such things. But they will get you into the park each and every day – and if you want to buy a camping pass, you can. And if you want to buy food and drinks and t-shirts and hats, you can do that too!

The total value of this prize, including taxes and fees is approximately $660… so ya.

Boots and Hearts 2015 LineUpIf you want to check out the big names listed above as well as Dallas SmithThe Stellas, The Lovelocks, Leah Daniels, Trinity Bradshaw, Lennon & Maisy, and more – just use the widget in this post and enter up to 5 times for your chance to be the big winner.

It’s easy. Really. Leave a comment on the blog here, that’s an entry. Follow Boots & Hearts on Twitter, that’s an entry. Follow me on Twitter, that’s an entry. Check out The Reviews Are In on Facebook, that’s an entry. Tweet out this post using the widget, that’s an entry. 5. 5 chances for you to win.

The winner will be contacted by email after the contest closes Friday, February 6, 2015 at 8pm eastern standard time.

Oh, and to be fair, my family will not be eligible to win. Sorry y’all, I love you, and you can still get your friends to enter and take you if they win!

Note: Before you hit submit on your entries you must click the highlighted text in the box to send your tweets/follow on Twitter. 

Remember, share this with your friends and family because if they win, you’ll be able to remind them that they owe you!

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome. Good Luck!

And if you’re looking to buy tickets or camping for Boots & Hearts 2015, CLICK HERE!

3 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Countdown and Preview #1

Boots and Hearts is 6 months away, but we’re already excited it. And we know we aren’t the only ones.

Since the beginning we’ve been talking about who might be performing and now that we have a list of 31 acts, it’s time to start talking about them. And to help us out with that is an artist that was part of the major Round 3 announcement made last week… Ms. Trinity Bradshaw.

Trinity Bradshaw Boots and Hearts 2015Here’s what we’re going to do: I have a list with 6 of the artists who will be playing Boots and Hearts this August, and Trinity and I are both going to give our thoughts as to why we’re excited to see them included and looking forward to seeing them up on stage.

We hope you like it because we’re hoping to do more of this between now and August.

But before we get to it, I have one question I need to ask Trinity….

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you to be part of the Boots and Hearts 2015 lineup?

Trinity: Holy moly! I am beyond stoked. Actually, stoked don’t even describe it … There’s no words. This is an amazing experience, and I am very grateful for that.

Eric Church: Boots and Hearts 2015Eric Church

Josh: Eric Church is one of the biggest names in country music right now, and The Outsiders album is a huge reason for that. I can’t wait to see him in his sunglasses up on the Boots and Hearts stage. And like I’ve said more than once since he was announced, don’t be surprised if there are a few clouds of smoke in the crowd when he starts his set.

Trinity: One of my favs! His voice is so different and captivating. Not to mention, those sunglasses are just too damn sexy. What’s not to love!

Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015Brad Paisley

Josh: I’ve seen Brad once before, about 7 years ago in Ottawa, and I can tell you that he puts on a great show. I can’t wait to see him again with an expanded set list that includes all of the new music since then. Be prepared for some beach balls in the crowd.

Trinity: Been a fan for a long time! He’s a vet in the country music world, and still rockin it!

Little Big Town Boots and Hearts 2015Little Big Town

Josh: I love this band. I feel fortunate to have seen them open for Keith Urban in 2014 and super fortunate to have a chance to see them again in 2015. These 4 entertainers are headliners in my mind, and I’m betting they open for Paisley.

note: I also really hope they take 4 minutes and cover Fleetwood Mac in their set.

Trinity: Fun, fun, and more fun! I hope to be doin a lil day drinkin’ myself 🙂
Love this group.

Kira Isabella Boots and Hearts 2015Kira Isabella

Josh: Kira is a sweetheart with a huge voice. We had a chance to ask her some questions a couple months ago, and when we asked her about Boots and Hearts she played the “we’ll have to wait and see” card… well now we know and I’m sure the crowd will love her.

Trinity: Canada’s lil sweetheart. She’s so adorable, and very talented! A young girl but damn hard working. Can’t wait!

Dallas Smith Boots and Hearts 2015Dallas Smith

Josh: Dallas came up a couple times when we first met and talked to Trinity last summer, so I had to put him on this list. Boots and Hearts 2015 will be my 4th time seeing Mr. Smith up on stage, and I’m sure it will be the best show yet.

Trinity: Handsome, tattoo’s, rockers voice,… And the list goes on… I’ve been a fan of his for years. I love rock and I love country- he provides a lil bit of both. I will tour with him one day … I hope!!

Maddie and Tae Boots and Hearts 2015Maddie & Tae

Josh: These 2 teenagers took over country radio, streams and downloads in 2014 and they’ve got new music coming in 2015. I expect a fun show with lots of energy and smiles.

Trinity: Beautiful and taking on the world by storm. Loved their first single and can’t wait to hear more … Live!!

Thanks again to Trinity for playing along – I can tell you all right now that we’re both excited about breaking down more of the 2015 Boots and Hearts lineup between now and August!

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

If you still need to buy your Boots and Hearts 2015 tickets, get them RIGHT HERE!

3 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Lineup Announcement Round 3 Review

Boots and Hearts 2015 HeadlinersBoots & Hearts delivered on their promise of a “big announcement” when they released a new list of 23 acts that will be part of the B&H 2015 lineup this August at Burl’s Creek Event Park outside of Barrie.

The new names bring the total lineup to 31 acts that will take the stage August 6-9, 2015 and we can’t wait to see each and every one of them take their turn in front of the crowd.

Before we break some of those new additions down for you, here’s a reminder of the artists previously announced for Boots & Hearts…

Florida Georgia Line – Eric Church – Brad Paisley – Little Big Town
High Valley – Justin Moore – Dallas Smith – Chad Brownlee

Now, let’s have a look at the 23 acts announced on Wednesday to the list…

Thomas Rhett – Frankie Ballard – David Nail – Maddie & Tae – Canaan Smith
Kira Isabella – The Stellas
with Lennon and Maisy – Mackenzie Porter – Dylan Scott Small Town Pistols – Wes Mack – Trinity Bradshaw – The Lovelocks – Leah Daniels
Ty Baynton – Kaitlin Kozell – Them Dang Rattlers – Genevieve Fisher – Melissa Payne Jesse Labelle – Kate Suhr – Abby Stewart

To have a little fun with these new names we’re going to break out some categories that most of these acts fit into for us without even really thinking about it all to hard. Some acts will appear in more than one category… and that’s totally okay by us!

Acts we’ve seen before and can’t wait to see again at Boots & Hearts 2015!

Thomas Rhett Boots and Hearts 2015Thomas Rhett We saw Thomas play a small, intimate set at the Rock ‘N’ Horse in Toronto to help push his It Goes Like This album. He was a whole lot of fun in that small setting, but we have no doubt that his energy and charm are going to translate to a bigger stage and much bigger audience this summer.
Kira Isabella Kira is one of Canadian countries premier artists, as well as a super sweet person. She’s been up on the Boots & Hearts stage before, and with her new music ready to roll, this should be a great set.
Mackenzie Porter Ms. Porter has been making a name for herself in music and on TV with the success of Misfit Parade on country radio and her stint as Naomi Bohannon on AMC’s Hell on Wheels. She’s a hell of a fiddle player with a voice to match.
Trinity Bradshaw Boots and Hearts 2015Trinity Bradshaw It’s no secret that Trinity is one of our favs and as the winner of 2014’s SiriusXM Emerging Artist Showcase, she won the right to a spot on the main stage in 2015. After opening for Shania Twain late last summer we know she’s ready for this.
Leah Daniels Another great add for the festival, Leah is an Ontario girl with a ton of talent and a great smile to go with it. Trish caught up with her at the 2014 CNE in Toronto and now she’s taking a step up.
Ty Baynton – Ty was the runner up in the SiriusXM contest at 2014’s festival and he put on a helluva show when he got the chance. We aren’t at all surprised to see his name on this list with a chance to do it again.

Female Performers at Boots & Hearts 2015!

Country radio and festivals like B&H have been under criticism for the last couple years for the lack of female presence in the genre. But with this new list of acts for the 2015 festival Boots & Hearts have made a clear statement that women are back!

Maddie & Tae – Kira Isabella – Lennon and Maisy – Mackenzie Porter
Trinity Bradshaw – The Lovelocks – Leah Daniels – Kaitlin Kozell
Genevieve Fisher – Melissa Payne – Kate Suhr – Abby Stewart

We are impressed and happy to see 12 female acts (solo and duos) on this list of 31 performers. Add in Little Big Town, Small Town Pistols, The Stellas, who all have female voices in the band and we’re at nearly 50% – exactly where we should be!

Canadian Content at Boots & Hearts 2015!

Republic Live is a Canadian company and have always done a great job of putting Canadian talent on stage. From Terri Clark and Paul Brandt in year 1 – to this talented list in year 4, we have no complaints!

Kira Isabella – The Stellas – Lennon and Maisy – Mackenzie Porter – Wes Mack
Small Town Pistols – Trinity Bradshaw – The Lovelocks – Leah Daniels – Ty Baynton
Kaitlin Kozell – Them Dang Rattlers – Genevieve Fisher – Melissa Payne
Jesse Labelle – Kate Suhr – Abby Stewart

Add Dallas Smith, Chad Brownlee and High Valley to those names and you have 20 Canadian Acts set to take the stage at Boots & Hearts this summer!

Acts we haven’t seen yet, and totally want to at Boots & Hearts 2015!

Maddie and Tae Boots and Hearts 2015Maddie & Tae – These girls lit the world on fire in 2014 with Girl in a Country Song and they’re making waves with Fly to start 2015!
Small Town Pistols – We’ve been listening to Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson sing since they were The Wilkinsons, and now (after 2 years of predicting incorrectly) they are finally coming to sing in front of us, in person!
Wes Mack – This young man is on fire, currently hitting radio stations like crazy pushing Before You Drive Me Crazy and has found success as it’s become the most added song in Country Radio this week. Plus, we hear he puts on a fun show.
Lennon and Maisy Boots and Hearts 2015Lennon & Maisy – These 2 are adorable, talented, Canadian and super awesome. If you’ve seen them on YouTube or ABC’s Nashville you know what I mean. I can’t wait to see them up on stage with The Stellas who just happen to be Lennon and Maisy’s parents.
David Nail – Whatever She’s Got is the kind of song that makes us want to sing along every single time. We can’t wait to hear it live with thousands of other voices singing along too!
Canaan Smith – Smith stormed out of the gate with Love You Like that, and just like Nail, we can’t wait to see him up on stage so we can sing along!

So there you go. We’ve got 31 acts lined up for Boots & Hearts 2015… and while that could be everyone, we wouldn’t be surprised if there are more surprise announcements!

Stay tuned for features coming up with The Lovelocks as well as more B&H performers AND Boots & Hearts preview posts that will include Trinity Bradshaw and her thoughts on some of the 2015 artists.

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

3 years ago

Take Me To Church – Country Music Plays Hard, Prays Hard

New Hope United Church, Port Hope, Ontario at WelcomeLong before the advent of Bro Country, the genre was one of a Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard mentality. And in the last 20 or so years, through all the changes that country music has seen, that has remained true.

I may not be the most observant Christian, but I did grow up in the church and have crafted my own beliefs and relationship with God thanks to the direction of my mom, the soon to be United Church of Canada Reverend. My mom is also the reason I have country music in my life, and now, almost 33 years into my life I’ve really started to see the strength in the connection between those 2 worlds.

So, today I’m not ranking songs, telling you how great anything is, or even telling you that you have to go and listen to anything. I’m just here to share 10 songs (and a couple bonus tracks) that shine a light on the Pray Hard part of country music.

Think I missed a song on my list? Leave a comment and share a YouTube link so I can check it out.

Alabama: Angels Among Us

Brad Paisley ft. Dolly Parton: When I Get Where I’m Going

Brooks and Dunn: Believe

Carrie Underwood: Something In The Water

bonus: Jesus Take The Wheel

Faith Hill: There Will Come A Day

Garth Brooks: The River

bonus: Unanswered Prayers

Josh Turner: Long Black Train

Randy Travis: Three Wooden Crosses

Thomas Rhett: Beer With Jesus

bonus: Real Men Love Jesus

Vince Gill: Go Rest High On That Mountain

3 years ago

Movember Journal 2014: Day 8 – Cowboy Up!

Cowboy MovemberIt’s been a big week for country music news in this neck of the woods – and it’s also been a big week for my face. My bare cheeks have been subject to the cold winds for the first time in a year and my moustache has been doing its best to sprout for Movember.

So today, on morning 8 of Movember 2014, I’ve got a journal entry that pays tribute to some country music cowboys.

#MoChaKaTO Update! 
Super excited to tell you that we have prizes for the Movember Challenge Karaoke Toronto raffle coming in from Huely Socks, Woodbine Racetrack, eOne Entertainment Canada and more! Keep up to date on the #MoChaKaTO happenings and RSVP for the event here: Movember Challenge Karaoke Toronto – the 5-time, 5-time, 5-time, 5-time, 5-time edition!

Okay, let’s look at some ‘staches!

Alan Jackson MovemberAlan Jackson
Alan Jackson’s golden moustache has been part of country music for more than 2 decades and is revered wherever steel guitars are played. Look at it sitting there perfectly on his upper lip, shielded by the brim of his white hat and looking magnificent!

Mr. Jackson, you sure do know how to grow a Mo.

Kix Brooks MovemberKix Brooks
Formally of Brooks and Dunn, and now award winning radio host, Kix Brooks’ moustache has been thrilling fans for a long time. Whether his microphone is on stage or in studio, he’s a voice that country music fans know and love – and a moustache that is perfectly recognizable under that sweet black hat.

Usually the bad guys wear black hats, and this is one bad ass moustache – but we’re pretty sure Kix Brooks is a good Mo Bro!

Tim McGraw MovemberTim McGraw 
We had to go back to the mid-90s to find this moustachioed photo of a young Tim McGraw… but it was worth it. Look at that ‘stache creeping down the sides of Tim’s mouth like a wild vine. He may not have kept it, but remember this – he had that moustache when he landed Faith Hill!

Tim, if you’re reading this, bring back the ‘stache!

Brad Paisley MovemberBrad Paisley
Now it’s clear to see that this Brad Paisley moustache is a fake. In fact, Paisley is doing his Ron Burgandy in this pic… but we don’t care. Look at that dark hair residing under that white hat, it’s glorious. Hopefully Brad has seen how great he looks and has decided that it’s time to ditch the goatee and go with the ‘Mo.

Good luck in your moustache growing efforts Mr. Paisley. Can’t wait to see you at Boots & Hearts 2015!

Joshua Cowboy Movember Day 8 2014Joshua Murray
Okay, so I’m no cowboy country singer… but I sure would like to be. And for the 6th year in a row I’m growing in my moustache to raise some money for Movember Canada. 8 days in I’m pretty happy with how my ‘mo is growing and I’m optimistic that by the end of next week I’ll have a real moustache to show off to the world.

If you would like to donate to my face and help change the face of men’s health, visit my Mo Space page at and give whatever you can. Every dollar is appreciated and helps a good cause.

Thanks to everyone who is supporting Mo Bros and Mo Sistas around the world!

Be awesome!

3 years ago
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