Country Music Association of Ontario

Moments: Jessica Mitchell, the Feature

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, Jessica Mitchell knows that, she told us that. But in those moments when it seems darkest, inspiration is abundant, and art is made.

One year ago Mitchell’s life presented two bright moments that changed the course of her career, and thrust her into a spotlight that she didn’t expect to find. But do not let yourself believe that she is some sort of overnight success, or that Workin’ On Whiskey was anything less than the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and talent.

But before we relive those two moments, we have to go back to other moments that helped shape Jessica Mitchell’s life, music, and direction.

In all of our lives, no matter what our careers or talents may be, there are moments that change us, open us up, and influence the rest of our lives. Some are obvious, some more subtle. Sometimes you know right away that a moment is going to change your life, and sometimes you look back years later and see the impact that it’s had. For Jessica Mitchell, three moments have helped direct her to where she is today. Two she looks back at fondly, and one would break even the strongest of hearts.

Moment #1

When Jessica was 14 years old, living her teenage years in London, Ontario, she was in a neighbour’s basement with friends. The room was dark, black lights were on, states were altered, the stereo was turned up to maximum volume, and Nine Inch Nail’s Hurt blasted through the speakers. The song, the experience, and the moment opened her up to a whole new musical world. She jokes now that people would be surprised if they could see her playlists and what she listens to. The woman that country music fans have embraced, nominated for Ontario and Canadian Country Music Association awards, listening to music so vastly different than the songs she performs with a guitar or piano. And while the music may not be country, it inspires her, influences her, and helps her create her own songs and sound.

Moment #2

Years later, in Manchester, Tennessee, Mitchell stood in awe as Radiohead, her longtime favourite band, put on what is looked at now as a legendary performance. “It felt like I couldn’t breathe for two hours” she says, describing what it was like to see the band on stage. As a fan, those experiences are universal, but individually, we all take away something different from them. Jessica Mitchell, 11 years ago this June, walked away from that show with an awareness of greatness.

Those two moments would be easy for anyone to look back on and smile. The memories of music washing over us and taking us back to a pure and happy time. The third milestone moment, well it puts us back in the dark.

Moment #3

To accurately describe the pain and loneliness that anyone experiences when they lose a parent is impossible. Any of us that have been unlucky enough to go through it know that it’s a confusing mess of feelings and memories and whatever else may come along with it.

Jessica Mitchell’s experience when she lost her mother to a decade long battle with cancer is her own story to tell, not ours, but what she tells us now is that the experience gave her a feeling of freedom to fully and completely pursue her dreams of a career in music. And while she doesn’t speak of her mother often in her public life, we have seen her invoke her memory when partnering with The Lady Ball in Toronto.

That career, the work that she does, and the life that she lives, wasn’t a choice Mitchell told us. “I didn’t choose this. This got chosen for me.” And while we 100% believe her when she says this, and 100% believe that she believes it, her story isn’t that simple. Some artists stories are those of a non-stop, never ending pursuit of music, but Jessica Mitchell’s isn’t. She tried to quit music, she tried to walk away and leave it all behind to live a normal life. But it didn’t work, that wasn’t her path, and now she’s here, doing what she truly believes she was meant to do.

One year ago Jessica Mitchell stood on stage at the Country Music Association of Ontario awards show in Markham, Ontario and performed Workin’ On Whiskey. She stood on that stage alone, guitar in hand, microphone in front of her, and sang the song with all of the emotion and depth that lives in its lyrics. It was a performance so powerful and, quite honestly, unexpected, that it received a standing ovation from the artists, industry professionals, and fans in the audience. At the time the song hadn’t been recorded, released to radio, or streamed online. That changed quickly.

Soon after the CMAO awards show, Mitchell recorded Workin’ On Whiskey with her label, Open Road Recordings, and released the song to radio. And then June 23, 2016 happened.

In a video that’s been watched over 70,000 times on her Facebook page, was featured by Global News and multiple online outlets, Jessica Mitchell cried tears of happiness, disbelief, gratitude and more as she sat in her car and listened to the radio. On her way to Stratford to open for Kiefer Sutherland, Mitchell was shouted out by Country 104’s Matt Weaver as he introed her new single. Nearly a year removed from the video and the response, we asked Mitchell to look back at the moment and tell us what it felt like and meant to her.

More than anything, Jessica saw that moment as validation for all of the work and time and tears that she had put into that song and her career and life in music leading up to that day. She also took away encouragement, a push to keep moving forward with her music, to create more, and to keep doing the thing that the universe decided she should do.

“Jessica is one of those talents that’s undeniable the first moment you lay ears on her. A genuine blue eyed soul singer well beyond her time. It’s like she’s lived many lifetimes and all that experience pours out of her in her songwriting and singing. She’s a rare gem. Whenever I’m around her I feel the need to pull my socks up as a singer and a writer.”  – Amanda Wilkinson, country singer/songwriter, and friend of Jessica Mitchell

The months that followed the release of that landmark single have been busy for the Ontario songstress. Tours with Kiefer Sutherland, Royal Wood, and Ron Sexsmith have put her on a number of stages across the country, playing for new faces as she travelled. The summer of 2016 also saw her stop at Boots & Hearts, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, Niagara Wine Festival, Manitoulin Country Fest, the Canadian National Exhibition and more stages that introduced her to more country music fans, and showed them all the face and smile and charm that brought them the solemn song they all knew.

We asked Jessica about her 2017 tour with Ron Sexsmith, and she glowed. The combination of being able to share the stage with the accomplished artist night after night (the show ran 11 dates in 13 days), and driving solo through the Rocky Mountains and beautiful scenery that Western Canada provides was something that she sees as priceless. From a purely personal and perspective driven point of view, Jessica Mitchell highly recommended that we, and everyone else, make that drive, alone, at least once in our lives.

She explained the feeling of independence that she felt, even after experiencing enough of life in her adult years to feel independent, as incredible. And she pointed out, in a very wise and Zen master kind of way, that it becomes very easy to see how small you really are when you’re standing next to a 3,000 foot tall mountain.

And while the last year has been the sort of whirlwind experience that can make things as hectic as you can imagine, Jessica tells us that she has found her calm. In the last six months specifically she feels as though she has found her centre, and is better equipped and able to handle everything new that comes her way.

Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016 Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016 Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016

As spring 2017 approached, and nearly a year had passed since Whiskey was released to the world, it was time for Jessica Mitchell to release new music to the masses. And while a full album wasn’t yet ready, there were songs to play. So on May 12, 2017, two new songs, Don’t Love Me, and Tear It Down, were released to the internet of things, and links were shared and play buttons were pressed.

We asked if there were any feelings of pressure as she endeavoured to follow the success and experience of Workin’ On Whiskey, and honestly, were shocked when she said no. However, she did tell us that there were other factors. Chief among them, fear. Fear that the songs wouldn’t have the same reception, or the same emotional connection to listeners and fans. She says that she has that same feeling with every release, and that these two songs weren’t an exception, but followed the rule.

To sit and listen to these songs is to take a journey, fall into memories, insecurities, love, loss, heartbreak, and loneliness. But they also serve as a reminder that nobody who feels those things is alone. There are many right there with you. And Mitchell has provided the proof.

Don’t Love Me and Tear It Down also offer hope. Hope that a full album is on the way before the end of 2017 (we are lead to believe it will be). Hope that we’ll continue to hear Jessica’s heart and soul through her music. And hope that people will listen and her music can affect them the way it affects us.

That hope that we’ll continue to hear her heart and soul is as close to a sure thing as you can get. Mitchell knows, and told us that her life will continue to influence her songwriting. And that allowing herself time to live that life is essential to the creative process. To make that happen, balance is key. Balance between work and relaxing. Between home and the road. And between being alone and with a crowd.

Related: Workin’ On Whiskey: Jessica Mitchell at Boots & Hearts 2016!

Related: Dean Brody with Jessica Mitchell at The CNE 2016

She also pointed out that she writes songs for people. She wants her songs to connect and be able to mean something to the people that open themselves to their messages. She does not want to simply write about personal experiences for the sake of getting them out of her system, although she does admit that having this outlet is an important part of her emotion balance and being able to keep moving forward in life with a smile and positivity as often as possible.

Jessica places a premium on her alone time. And gave us half a laugh when she told us how much she loves to just curl up on her couch and watch Netflix while cuddling her cat.

But when she’s not at home, binging House Of Cards, or watching movies, you’ll find Mitchell all over the country, smiling on stage, and showing the love she has for what she does. And one of her favourite things is connecting with her fans. She loves receiving messages through her Facebook page that tell her stories about life and loss and love, and how her songs fit or feel to strangers who have opened themselves up to her.

She also loves meeting fans, and can often be seen giving out hugs and smiles and being caught off guard by compliments and the sincere love for her that pours out of people. We’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it. Jessica Mitchell can be a hard person to give a compliment to.

Jessica Mitchell Jessica Mitchell

We asked if there were any special stories she could share from the road and meeting fans, and two memories came to mind pretty quickly.

1) While on tour with Terri Clark, a woman named Dee came to three meet and greet sessions, bringing with her a bottle of booze as a gift each time. Jessica laughed about it, but was clearly fond of the memory and connection she felt to Dee.

2) She was once given the gift of hand drawn pictures that a young fan had put the time into creating specifically for the purpose of getting them to her. It melted her heart, and we’re willing to bet that it’s a memory that she will carry with her for a long time.

And we can fully imagine that there are more memories and stories like this to come in the future. More heartfelt stories shared through messages and meetings, more drawings from young fans finding their own artistic identities, and more booze, because why not?

Jessica Mitchell is just getting started, the work that she’s done has brought her to where we have all gotten to know her now, and the work that is happening now, and will continue to happen in the future will take her as far as she wants to go. We fully believe that.

You should too.

Jessica Mitchell at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016 Jessica Mitchell at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016 Jessical Mitchell Peller Estate Jessical Mitchell Peller Estate CCMA Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell Green Carpet

5 months ago Views

2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Winner Recap!

On a hot Sunday night in London, the Ontario country music community came together to recognize greatness in the genre over the last 12 months, and it was a party for everyone involved.

The Country Music Association of Ontario awards were handed out at Centennial Hall, with host Jason McCoy (The Road Hammers) keeping the audience entertained and the show moving forward as planned. And as it moved forward it became clear that the 2017 Awards were a coming out party for one small town Ontario singer in particular.

Bowmanville’s Meghan Patrick was the big winner of the evening, taking home trophies for Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Rising Star, and Music Video of the Year. With hits and crowd favourites Bow Chicka Wow Wow, Grace & Grit, Still Loving You, and the new single, Be Country With Me, it should be no real surprise to see Patrick recognized to this degree by her peers and industry professionals. And while she may be living in Nashville right now, we know that Meghan Patrick still holds a soft spot and a lot of love for her Ontario hometown.

Meghan Patrick, via CMAO

Other big winners on the night included Tim Hicks (Male Artist of the Year), whose Live album is definitely worth a listen if you haven’t checked that out yet, Cold Creek County (Group or Duo of the Year), who have a busy summer coming up, James Barker Band (Fans’ Choice), who are on fire right now after their tour with Dean Brody, and River Town Saints (Single of the Year), who have a brand new single, Woke Up Like This, and self titled album available now.

It’s a great thing to see the Ontario country music community come together with their peers and fans for a night like this, and it’s amazing to see the smiles and looks of love in the eyes of the winners, their families, and their devoted fans.

Check out the full list of artist award winners, as well as some of our favourite photos of the 2017 CMAO Award winners live in action over the last few years!

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR

Meghan Patrick

RISING STAR AWARD

(sponsored by Slaight Music)
Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick Peller Estate

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario & International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)
Grace and Grit – Meghan Patrick

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by Long & McQuade)
Bow Chicka Wow Wow – Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick-CMT MusicFest

FANS’ CHOICE

(sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation)
James Barker Band

James Barker Band SiriusXM Fan Stage BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by Havelock Country Jamboree)
Tim Hicks

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by The Remington Group)
Cold Creek County

Cold Creek County CMT Music Fest

SINGLE OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by KICX 106)
Cherry Bomb – River Town Saints

River Town Saints BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016- River Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and Bourbon

ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines)
The Abrams

The Abrams, via CMAO

SONGWRITER (S) OF THE YEAR

(sponsored by SOCAN)
Deric Ruttan, Craig Wiseman – Came Here to Forget, performed by Blake Shelton

RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR

Jason Barry (Dean Brody, Genevieve Fisher, The Western Swing Authority, Tianna Woods)

Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26

5 months ago Views

CMAO 2017 Awards Show and Conference Contest!

The 2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards are coming, and London, ON is going to do a great job hosting.

We know this because we just experienced a hell of a good time with the country music family during Canadian Country Music Week 2016… ask around and people will tell you the same thing.

Now, because we know this weekend is going to be amazing, we want to send you to experience it!

Yup, we want you to go check out the panels at the CMAO R2I (Road to Independence) TuneUp Conference and the CMAO Awards show on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11.

It’s going to be a great time. It’s going to be filled with country music’s brightest stars from Ontario. It’s going to be a weekend that you won’t soon forget. Memorable moments will happen. Selfies will be taken. Stories will be told. And you could be there.

If you haven’t been to the awards show in the past, you should know that it’s going to have some amazing musical performances… Your host, Jason McCoy, is sure to sing you a line or two, and backed by house band, The Western Swing Authority, you will see no fewer than 11 artists live on stage.

2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Show Performers

♫ Aaron Pritchett
♫ Cold Creek County
♫ Deric Ruttan
♫ Genevieve Fisher
♫ James Barker Band
♫ Jason Blaine
♫ The Abrams
♫ Jessica Mitchell
♫ Meghan Patrick
♫ River Town Saints
♫ Tim Hicks

At the bottom of this post there’s a widget that you can use to earn up to 7 entries for your chance to win 1 pair (2) of tickets to the R2I (Road to Independence) TuneUp Conference and 1 pair (2) of tickets to the Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Show!

But before we get to that, let’s have some fun. As members of the CMAO, we’ve already cast our votes for the 2017 awards – and now we want to see who you think should win. We’ve picked out six categories featuring some of our favourite, and your favourite, Ontario country artists. Vote for the artist you think should win, then use the widget and enter for your chance to be a winner!

Good luck!













ENTER! ENTER! ENTER!

Note: This prize does not include travel or accommodations. Please keep that in mind when entering and hoping to win!

6 months ago Views

2016 CMAO Awards Red Carpet & Green Room Photo Review!

The Country Music Association of Ontario Awards were full of super talented, and pretty good looking people… and we have the photos to prove it!

Check out some of the looks from the red carpet first (and leave a comment telling us who you think looked the best) and then have a look at some photos from the green room that Ray was able to snap as award winners and other fine Ontario country artists came through during the show.

Enjoy!

The 2016 CMAO Awards Red Carpet

Jason McCoy
CMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoy Red Carpet-12CMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoy Red Carpet-11

Jason Blaine
CMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine Red Carpet-6

Leah DanielsCMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels Red Carpet-23

Autumn HillCMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill Red Carpet-24CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill Red Carpet-25

Small Town PistolsCMAO Awards 2016 Small Town Pistols Red Carpet-2433

Lindsay EllCMAO Awards 2016 Lindsay Ell Red Carpet-15CMAO Awards 2016 Lindsay Ell Red Carpet-14

Meghan PatrickCMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick Red Carpet-22CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick Red Carpet-21

TebeyCMAO Awards 2016 Tebey Red Carpet-8

River Town SaintsCMAO Awards 2016 River Town Saints Red Carpet-4

Madeline MerloCMAO Awards 2016 Madeline Merlot Red Carpet-13

Ali Raney (The Lovelocks)CMAO Awards 2016 Ali Rainey - The Lovelocks Red Carpet-9

Runaway AngelCMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel Red Carpet-17CMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel Red Carpet-16

Cold Creek CountyCMAO Awards 2016 Cold Creek County Red Carpet-7

Lindsay BroughtonCMAO Awards 2016 Lindsay Broughton Red Carpet-19

Jessica MitchellCMAO Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell Red Carpet-20

Andrew HyattCMAO Awards 2016 Andrew Hyatt Red Carpet-2

Marshall DaneCMAO Awards 2016 Marshall Dane Red Carpet-1

The 2016 CMAO Awards Green Room

Jason BlaineCMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine Winner-26

Leah DanielsCMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels Green Room-34CMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels Green Room-31

TebeyCMAO Awards 2016 Tebey Winner-36

Cold Creek County
CMAO Awards 2016 Cold Creek County Winner-37

Prairie OysterCMAO Awards 2016 Prarie Oyster Winners-2555

KX 94.7 HamiltonCMAO Awards 2016 KX94.7-27

107.3 TillsonburgCMAO Awards 2016 CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg-28

CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick, Kira Isabella, Leah Daniels Green Room-33CMAO Awards 2016 Tebey, Meghan Patrick Green Room-35CMAO Awards 2016 Green Room-32CMAO Awards 2016 Badges-2565

1 year ago Views

CMAO Awards 2016 Wrap and Photo Review!

Markham, ON – On a gorgeous Monday night, country music gathered to celebrate the Ontario artists and industry leaders that are making music so many of us are enjoying all across Canada at the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Awards!

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoyFrom the red carpet to the award show, hosted by Jason McCoy (who was hilarious and engaging from start to finish, which was no surprise), it was a night of celebrations, surprises, amazing performances, and the chance to meet up with some of our favourite people in the country music world.

But most importantly it was a celebration… a chance for everyone to come together and celebrate just how great the country music in Ontario is. We are lucky to have great artists and producers and festivals and fans in this province, and this was a chance to recognize that.

We have a ton of photos from the CMAO awards, and we have the full list of winners for you too. But before that…

During the award pre-show, and throughout the night, we had a chance to talk to some of the artists in attendance, and we want to share some of the things we learned from them…

CMAO Awards 2016 Tebey★ Tebey was really excited to get up on stage and sing his new song, Old School, and thinks that it could turn into a real crowd favourite.

☆ Tebey also has big tour news coming for this fall… but it’s a secret right now, and we weren’t able to talk him into giving us any details. He’s sorry and we’re sorry – but we’re sure it will be exciting!

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine★ Jason Blaine is getting ready for the most exciting summer of his career with festival dates at Boots & Hearts, Pomeroy Guitars and Wagons, Lucknow Music in the Fields, and Smoke & Spurs + he’s playing with Rascal Flatts in Halifax, and more!

☆ Jason is also getting ready to golf with his 3rd annual charity golf classic coming up on June 14 at Pembrooke Golf Club. Click to learn more!

★ Runaway Angel had a great time on their radio tour for the release of their debut album No End In Sight.

CMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel☆ 2 of the 3 angels are all for fun stunt adventures… but 1 isn’t. We won’t tell you who, but if you have a guess we want to hear it!

★ Meghan Patrick has been rocking hard all over the country, and broke a guitar in Edmonton last week… but it will be fixed soon and ready for the summer.

CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick☆ Meghan will be at Boots & Hearts, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, CMT Music Fest, Ottawa Bluesfest, and she’ll be at the Calgary Stampede to open for Lady Antebellum. She’s excited and we’re excited for her.

★ Andrew Hyatt loves to work with his hands, and the wooden 6-pack holders he made last summer gave him a chance to marry his trades background with his 2015 EP, Never Back Down.

CMAO Awards 2016 Andrew Hyatt☆ If you want to hear more from Andrew call your local country station and request Me And A Girl And A Radio!

★ The Lovelocks have a packed summer that will take them to Havelock, Huntsville, Dauphin, Lucknow, and Tilsonburg… and they will also be at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto as part of Jim Cuddy’s Fort McMurray fundraiser on June 27. Click for more info!

CMAO Awards 2016 Ali Rainey The Lovelocks☆ Ali and Zoe are also very happy to have released Time After Time to radio. It’s their 1st cover as a single, and they couldn’t be more pleased with the way it turned out. We saw it live back in March, and if you haven’t heard it yet, you need to go find it.

★ The Reklaws will be MCing at Boots & Hearts this summer… extending the relationship that they’ve built with the festival. AND they’ll be taking the stage, which is always a good time.

Now, let’s get to the big info from the night… the award winners. HUGE congratulations goes out to both Jason Blaine and Cold Creek County for taking home 3 trophies each. And we’re also very excited for Leah Daniels who won the 2015 Rising Star Award and is now the 2016 Female Artist of the Year.

CMAO Awards 2016 TebeySINGLE OF THE YEAR (sponsored by KICX 106)
“When the Buzz Wears Off” – Tebey

ALBUM OF THE YEAR (sponsored by hmv Canada)
What Love Is All About – Johnny Reid

SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by SOCAN)
Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – “Country Side” performed by Jason Blaine

CMAO Awards 2016 Leah DanielsFEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Spring Tree Farm)
Leah Daniels

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Havelock Country Jamboree)
Jason Blaine

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by The Remington Group)
Cold Creek County

ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines Ltd.)
The Good Family

CMAO Awards 2016 Cold Creek CountyRISING STAR AWARD (sponsored by Slaight Music)
Cold Creek County

RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by MetalWorks Studios)
Jason Barry – Run Angel Run by Runaway Angel; Now Playing and Sweet Harriet by The Western Swing Authority; Boomerang by Genevieve Fisher; Toes by Scotty James

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason BlaineMUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Kylemore Communities)
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine

FANS’ CHOICE (sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation)
Cold Creek County

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MAJOR MARKET) (sponsored by Canadian Country Spotlight)
CHKX-FM (KX 94.7), Hamilton

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SECONDARY MARKET) (sponsored by Lucknow’s Music in the Fields)
CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg

IMPACT AWARD
Prairie Oyster

Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, it was a great night… but we’re not done!

Check out some of the photos we grabbed of the performances and award presentations at the Flato Markham Theatre!

CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick singing Bow Chicka Wow Wow

CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick singing Bow Chicka Wow Wow

CMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel singing June

CMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel singing June

CMAO Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell

Jessica Mitchell singing Workin’ on Whiskey

CMAO Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell

Jessica Mitchell singing Workin’ on Whiskey

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine

Jason Blaine singing Dance With My Daughter

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine

Jason Blaine singing Dance With My Daughter

CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill

Autumn Hill singing Good Night For Going Nowhere

CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill - Tareya Green

Autumn Hill singing Good Night For Going Nowhere

CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill - Mike Robins

Autumn Hill singing Good Night For Going Nowhere

CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill

Autumn Hill singing Good Night For Going Nowhere

CMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels

Leah Daniels singing Your Kiss Is Killing Me

CMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels

Leah Daniels singing Your Kiss Is Killing Me

CMAO Awards 2016 River Town Saints

River Town Saints singing Cherry Bomb

CMAO Awards 2016 Chris Labelle - River Town Saints

River Town Saints singing Cherry Bomb

CMAO Awards 2016 The Road Hammers & Tim Hicks

Tim Hicks and The Road Hammers singing One Horse Town

CMAO Awards 2016 Clayton Bellamy & Tim Hicks-6951

Tim Hicks and The Road Hammers singing One Horse Town

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoy & Tim Hicks

Tim Hicks and The Road Hammers singing One Horse Town

CMAO Awards 2016 Tim Hicks

Tim Hicks and The Road Hammers singing One Horse Town

CMAO Awards 2016 Lindsay Ell & Patricia Conroy

Lindsay Ell and Patricia Conroy present Male Artist of the Year

CMAO Awards 2016 Marshall Dane & Aaron Pritchett

Marshall Dane and Aaron Pritchett present Female Artist of the Year

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason BlaineCMAO Awards 2016 Clayton Bellamy & Heather BallentineCMAO Awards 2016 Jason BarryCMAO Awards 2016 Prairie OysterCMAO Awards 2016 Cold Creek CountyCMAO Awards 2016 Leah DanielsCMAO Awards 2016 Leah DanielsCMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoy

1 year ago Views

2016 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Preview: Performer Q&A

The Country Music Association of Ontario Awards are coming up quickly (Monday, May 30) and we’re pretty damn excited to see the artists show up, hang out, win some awards, and jump up on stage to perform for the crowd at the Flato Markham Theatre.

To get Ontario country fans ready we caught up with some of the artists that will be performing at the awards show to see who they’re listening to, who they’re looking forward to seeing, what the CMAO means to them… and what they will or won’t be playing on the 30th!

Big thanks and high fives to Tim Hicks, Meghan Patrick, River Town Saints, Mike Robins of Autumn Hill, and Runaway Angel for answering our questions – we can’t wait to see all of you in Markham!

Tim Hicks Performance CMAO Awards 2015-4158Q: How important do you think it is to have the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) here to recognize homegrown excellence in Ontario?

Tim Hicks: So important. There is so much talent in Ontario when it comes to music, and Country music specifically, so having a night to recognize that is a must as far as I’m concerned. I’m really flattered that I can be a part of the CMAO celebration and proud of my home province and all the talent that resides there.

Meghan Patrick: I think it’s a great way to get to know and connect with your fellow Ontario musicians, and an excellent opportunity, especially for new and upcoming artists to be given the chance to perform and get recognition for all their hard work in a “local” setting.

River Town Saints: We think it’s super important. Having the CMAO provides an opportunity for a lot of up and coming artists/singers/song writers/musicians to be recognized in the industry, and to be supported locally. Be keeping it just in Ontario (as opposed to artists from the whole country) it allows for a smaller group to get together and celebrate each others accomplishments.

Autumn Hill: I think it’s absolutely imperative to have the CMAO recognizing homegrown talent, I think traditionally, Ontario is not the first place you think about when you think of Canadian country music. There is so much incredible talent and music coming from here, we need to nurture, promote and recognize all the amazing artists from Ontario. I think the CMAO do a superb job in that and it’s wonderful they are there to offer so much support.

Runaway Angel: We believe it is extremely important to recognize the talent we have here in Ontario and help that talent succeed within its own province and beyond. It’s wonderful that the CMAO plays that role for us.

Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016Q: We’ve been told in the past that award shows are great because the serve as mini reunions, is there anyone you’re especially looking forward to seeing?

Meghan Patrick: Too many to name… We’ve got so many great people coming out of Ontario! I’m excited to see all my old friends and to meet some new ones.

Tim Hicks: Yeah it really is like a reunion! That is the main reason I get excited about nights like the CMAOs, it’s a chance to connect or re-connect with other artists and just talk about our experiences. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone!

RTS: We love all our fellow bands in the infamous 401 club. It’ll be fun to see the girls from Runaway Angel and Leah Daniels again – we haven’t seen them since last summer and we had a great time doing some festivals and fairs together.

Autumn Hill: Awards shows are great for reunions, that’s absolutely true. I love the CMAOs for that its always a great time backstage, seeing friends that you don’t get to see all the time. I am looking forward to seeing, the Small Town Pistols, Jason Blaine, Tebey; really the whole gang. It will be great to see everyone. It’s always a blast.

Runaway Angel: We love seeing the emerging artists that keep coming back, and improving every year. It really does feel like a family, and it’s amazing to see that everyone genuinely supports each other.

River-Town-Saints-CMW-18Q: Is there anyone whose performance you’re especially looking forward to?

RTS: Tim Hicks is always a blast live, so are the Road Hammers. Having them together seems like it should be pretty wild.

Tim Hicks: I always like watching the up-and-comers perform. It’s a bit like looking into the future of Canadian Country Music.

Meghan Patrick: Super stoked to see Jason McCoy and The Road Hammers collaborate with Tim Hicks. A few of my favorite guys! And always love hearing my girl Jessica Mitchell sing.

Autumn Hill: I am a huge Jason McCoy fan, of course of his music but also as the host of the show. I think him hosting, really brings the show to another level, he is so on, and always hilarious. So of course, I can’t wait to see The Road Hammers. I’m also really excited to see Meghan Patrick, I’m loving her new album and she is going to rock it.

Runaway Angel: Honestly it’s impossible for us to choose. There is so much new talent slated to play this year, and we’re just excited to see the high quality performances we know everyone will bring.

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Q: We know it’s a little bit of a long shot, but will you tell us what song you’re playing at the show?

Autumn Hill: Well I can tell you that it’s a song I’m super excited about, it also might happen to be our brand new single. It’s one of my absolute favourites to play and I can’t wait. It’s about a great night, which the CMAO’s always are.

Tim Hicks: Not a chance. Good try though 😉

Meghan Patrick: Hmm… I might have to “bow” out of this question and keep it a surprise.

RTS: We haven’t decided yet. Might just wing it.

Runaway Angel: Of course! We’ll be playing our newest single June! Can’t wait to share it.

Runaway Angel Runaway Angel CD Release Boots and BourbonQ: If we snagged your phone right now, what three artists would we find at the top of your playlist?

Runaway Angel: Cadence: James Bay, Jessica Mitchell, Justin Bieber
Ann: Just love listening to the radio, it’s impossible for me to choose.
Stacey: Dixie Chicks, Meghan Patrick & Lindi Ortega

Tim Hicks: Right now I’m listening to a lot of Chris Stapleton, Merle, and Led Zeppelin. I tend to reach backward when I’m looking for new stuff to listen to. I like to understand where everyone came from musically, so I tend to lean towards classic in both Rock and Country. That being said, I had to see what all the hype was about with “Traveller” and let me say I totally get it.

Meghan Patrick: John & Jacob, Sturgill Simpson and Colter Wall

RTS: Chris Labelle: Kira Isabella, Leah Daniels, Petric
Jordan: Dean Brody, Thousand Foot Krutch, The Cult
Dan: Red, Killswitch Engage, Paper Tongues
Chris McComb: Maren Morris, Katy Perry, The 1975
Jeremy: The 1975, Brothers Osborne, Kim Mitchell

Autumn Hill: Keith Urban, Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton, I am a huge fan of these artists. I love listening to whole albums and really taking them in. I am loving Ripcord, Keith’s brand new album, it’s so different and just really cool.

Tim Hicks Smoke 2014 CNEMeghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelRiver Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and BourbonAutumn Hill -8822Runaway Angel Runaway Angel CD Release Boots and Bourbon

1 year ago Views

2016 CMAO Performer Announcement & Contest!

Exciting news for Ontario country music fans dropped this morning when the County Music Association of Ontario announced the live performers at this year’s awards show.

Earlier in April we found out who’s been nominated for the awards, with Tebey, Jason Blaine, and Leah Daniels leading the way… and on May 30 in Markham, we’ll find out who the winners are in all 14 categories, and get to see live performances from some of our favourite starts, and artists in the middle of breaking out right now.

Let’s get to that now actually. The performers for the CMAO Awards at the Flato Markham Theatre are all good choices that will make for a really entertaining show… we can’t wait!

2016 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Show Performers

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
Genevieve Fisher
Jason Blaine
Jessica Mitchell
Leah Daniels
Meghan Patrick
River Town Saints
Runaway Angel
Tebey
Tianna Woods
The Western Swing Authority

PLUS, Jason McCoy (with The Road Hammers) will team up with Tim Hicks for a special live collaboration!

As country music fans, it’s awesome to see a list of talent like this and know that all of these artists are from Ontario. For years Canadian country was thought to be from other places, but now we’re seeing the recognition of our homegrown talent, and we’re happy to celebrate that, and all of the Canadian talent that is making a mark with fans.

Now, because we love you guys… we welcome all Ontario country music fans to enter for your chance to win 2 tickets to both the Country Music Association of Ontario Award Show and the CMAO R2I Spring Tune-Up Conference in Markham (May 28 & 29). Follow the instructions in the widget to enter…

AWARDS-buytickets-final

Click to purchase!

CONFERENCE-buytickets2

Click to purchase!

Performer-LEAHDANIELSPerformer-JASONBLAINE

2 years ago Views

2016 Country Music Association of Ontario Award Nominees!

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Over the last few years it’s been clear to see that Ontario is becoming a country music hotbed. Artists like Tim Hicks, Tebey, Small Town Pistols, Autumn Hill, and Kira Isabella have lit up country radio + stages all over the province, and across Canada… and it’s been awesome to watch.

2016 looks like it’s going to be another big year, and today we’re happy to help announce the Country Music Association of Ontario award nominees. All of the CMAO Awards categories are packed with talent, which makes things both exciting and difficult.

As voting members of the CMAO we won’t be sharing any predictions or votes in this post, but we can tell you that these categories are so hard to choose winners in that we have not agreed on more than a couple of our choices. Really, it’s not easy!

Tebey Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3930

Tebey at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

The CMAO Awards will be handed out on Monday, May 30 at the Flato Markham Theatre… and you could be there. Very soon we will welcome all Ontario country music fans to enter for your chance to win 2 tickets to both the Country Music Association of Ontario Award Show and the CMAO R2I Spring Tune-Up Conference in Markham (May 28 & 29). Plus you should stay tuned to our Twitter over the next few weeks because we’ll have more prizes to give away as well!

Now, the big news… if you’re ready!

2016 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Nominees

Single of the Year

“Blame” – Autumn Hill
“Bring Your Own Sunshine” – Tianna Woods
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine
“Go Back” – Leah Daniels
“My Someday” – Runaway Angel
“Our Town” – Cold Creek County
“When the Buzz Wears Off” – Tebey

Album of the Year

5:01+ – Tim Hicks
Anchor – Autumn Hill
Pistology – Small Town Pistols
Tianna Woods – Tianna Woods
What It Feels Like – Leah Daniels
What Love Is All About – Johnny Reid

Songwriter(s) of the Year

Deric Ruttan, Jonathan Singleton – “Don’t It Feel Good” performed by Deric Ruttan
Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – “Country Side” performed by Jason Blaine
Leah Daniels, Beverley Mahood, Patricia Conroy – “Dream Without You” performed by Leah Daniels
Shane Guse, Larry Wayne Clark – “Sweet Harriet” performed by The Western Swing Authority
Stacey Zegers, Cadence Grace, Ann Chaplin, Dave Thomson – “My Someday” performed by Runaway Angel
Tebey – “When The Buzz Wears Off” performed by Tebey

Female Artist of the Year

Genevieve Fisher
Jessica Mitchell
Kira Isabella
Leah Daniels
Lindsay Broughton
Tianna Woods

Male Artist of the Year

Deric Ruttan
Jason Blaine
Johnny Reid
Marshall Dane
Tebey
Tim Hicks

Group or Duo of the Year

Autumn Hill
Blackwell
Cold Creek County
Runaway Angel
Small Town Pistols
The Western Swing Authority

Roots Artist or Group of the Year

Heather Ballentine
Lindi Ortega
The Good Family
The Lovelocks
The Western Swing Authority
Whitney Rose

Rising Star Award

Ben Hudson
Brooklyn Roebuck
Cold Creek County
Cory Marquardt
Heather Ballentine
Jessica Mitchell

Music Video of the Year

“A Picture of You” – Johnny Reid
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine
“My Someday” – Runaway Angel
“Old Piano” – Leah Daniels
“One Horse Town” – The Road Hammers Feat. Tim Hicks
“When The Buzz Wears Off” – Tebey

Record Producer(s) of the Year

Dave “Dwave” Thomson – Old Piano by Leah Daniels
Jason Barry – Run Angel Run by Runaway Angel; Now Playing and Sweet Harriet by The Western Swing Authority; Boomerang by Genevieve Fisher; Toes by Scotty James
Jason Blaine & Deric Ruttan – Country Side by Jason Blaine
Rick Hutt – Bring Your Own Sunshine by Tianna Woods
Scott Cooke – Our Town by Cold Creek County
Tebey & Danick Dupelle – When The Buzz Wears Off/Jealous Of The Sun by Tebey

Radio Station of the Year – Major Market

CHCQ-FM (Cool 100.1 FM), Belleville
CHKX-FM (KX 94.7), Hamilton
CICX-FM (KICX 106), Orillia
CJKX-FM 95.9 (KX 96), Oshawa
CKBY-FM (Country 101.1), Ottawa
CKDK-FM 103.9 (Country 104), Woodstock
CKKL-FM (New Country 94), Ottawa

Radio Station of the Year – Secondary Market

CFCO-FM 92.9 (Country 929), Chatham
CFRM-FM (Country 103), Little Current
CHVR-FM 96.7 (Star 96FM), Pembroke
CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg
CJQM-FM 104 (Country 104.3), Sault Ste Marie
CKYC-FM 93.7 (Country 93), Owen Sound

Fans’ Choice Award

Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
Jason Blaine
Steven Lee Olsen
Tebey
Tim Hicks

Congratulations to all of the nominees – including Jason Blaine, Leah Daniels and Tebey, who lead the way with five nominations apiece!

CMAO Album of the Year 2016CMAO Female Artist of the YearCMAO Male Artist of the Year 2016CMAO 2016 Group or Duo of the Year

jason-blaine-red-carpet-cmao-awards-2015-3602

Jason Blaine

Tim Hicks Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3663

Tim Hicks

Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel

The Lovelocks CMAO Awards 2015-3907

The Lovelocks

Tebey Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3777

Tebey

Leah Daniels at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Leah Daniels

Lindsay Broughton at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Lindsay Broughton

Deric Ruttan Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3787

Deric Ruttan

Small Town Pistols Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3692

Small Town Pistols

2 years ago Views

Small Town Pistols – Pistology CD Release at The Gibson Guitar Lounge

The Gibson Guitar Lounge was dark and cool for the CD release launch of the Small Town Pistols “Pistology”. The small audience of under 100 were a mix of fans who’d won their way in, family, friends, and a small contingent of media. There were introductions, the band started to play, and then Amanda and Tyler joined them. The crowd was full of excitement and anticipation after having this event rescheduled twice.

If you hadn’t heard, Amanda has been dealing with some pretty nasty laryngitis. Now, after some steroid treatment she’s almost 100% recovered, and her voice sounded perfect to us, with maybe a slightly sexy undertone. They opened with “Jester in a Crown” and played a much longer set than I was expecting. Check out the pic of the set list at the bottom of the post.

Highlights for us? “I Only Smoke When I Drink”, “Can’t Wait to Meet You” and the last song of the encore, Weezer’s “Say It Isn’t So”. So good!

Still on the fence?

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Pistology yet, take a minute to read our album review HERE, and if you just really love the Small Town Pistols and want to check out some more love from us to them – check out the Q&A we did with Amanda and Tyler back in April.

We can’t wait to see Small Town Pistols up on stage at Boots & Hearts this summer!Small Town Pistols Pistology The Gibson Guitar Lounge

Small Town Pistols Pistology The Gibson Guitar Lounge

Small Town Pistols Pistology The Gibson Guitar Lounge

Small Town Pistols Pistology The Gibson Guitar Lounge

Small Town Pistols Pistology The Gibson Guitar Lounge

Tyler Wilkinson Small Town Pistols Pistology The Gibson Guitar Lounge

Small Town Pistols Pistology The Gibson Guitar Lounge

Small Town Pistols Pistology The Gibson Guitar Lounge

Small Town Pistols Pistology Release Party Set List Toronto

2 years ago Views

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!

2 years ago Views

Pistology: Small Town Pistols Album Review

Small Town Pistols Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3686Fresh off 3 wins at the Country Music Association of Ontario Awards it would be easy to say that Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson are hotter than a two dollar pistol…

With I Only Smoke When I Drink becoming a favourite with fans and the country music community (wins for Single of the Year, Video of the Year, and Songwriters of the Year at the CMAOs did a good job of proving that) and a 2014 CCMA Award for Group or Duo of the Year, there has been some healthy anticipation for the new album from the Small Town Pistols.

And now the wait is finally over! On May 26th the world was introduced to Pistology, the duo’s 2nd full length album since coming back together to make country music.

I Only Smoke When I Drink felt like an outlier when we first heard it. Something different than what we heard with Colour Blind, or Amanda and Tyler’s work as The Wilkinsons. But that’s not the case. This is the not an exception, it’s the new rule. Pistology introduces us to a new sound from the duo. New songs that tell stories, feature both of the artists’ voices, and feel like they’re the result of a new creative freedom and confidence from a pair of singers and songwriters who have been doing this for more than half their lives.

The 2nd single from Pistology, Can’t Wait To Meet You, is currently climbing the Canadian Country Charts, and the video is making the rounds online and on CMT. Watch it at the bottom of this post if you haven’t seen it yet.

This is a strong album full of songs that will play well live as well as in a playlist.

Pistology Track List

Small Town Pistols Pistology Album Cover

  1. Jester In A Crown
  2. My Family
  3. Ghost
  4. Can’t Wait To Meet You
  5. Be Your Own Song
  6. Slow Down
  7. Weather The Storm
  8. I Only Smoke When I Drink
  9. Glass Heart
  10. I’ll Remember
  11. The Other Man (feat. Brett Kissel)

Since we’re sometimes in the business of making predictions and guesses about things, I’m going to go ahead and pick Be Your Own Song and The Other Man as potential 3rd and 4th singles from Pistology.

It’s not that all 11 tracks aren’t strong, we already said they are (and we believe it), but sometimes you have to get picky. And my gut tells me that the over/under for singles from this record should be set as 5. And if you twisted my arm and made me pick the 5th single, I’d pick My Family.

Right or wrong though, we’re excited to hear a bunch of these songs live at Boots & Hearts this summer when Amanda and Tyler bring their talent to the stage in Burl’s Creek. We’ve been waiting since year 1 to see Small Town Pistols in the lineup, and you can bet that we’re not going to miss it.

The Takeaway

Small Town Pistols Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3889Pistology sounds like the continuation of growth in Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson. They’ve come a long way from 26 Cents and Jimmy’s Got A Girlfriend – and while we hope they still love those songs as much as we do – this is the new normal. This is the Small Town Pistols sound right now. And they haven’t missed a beat.

Good on ’em. We’re in.

Grab Pistology on iTunes today – and check them out all over the internet at these fine locations…

Website: www.smalltownpistols.ca
Facebook: SmallTownPistols
Twitter: SmTownPistols
Instagram: SmallTownPistols
YouTube: SmallTownPistols

Small Town Pistols – Can’t Wait To Meet You

2 years ago Views

2015 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Recap

On Monday night in Markham, the brightest talent in Ontario country music gathered to celebrate the industry and the achievements of 2014.

Jason McCoy Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3739With 12 awards, and as many performances, the Flato Markham Theatre certainly was the place to be. As first time attendees and first time voters, both Trish and I were ready to celebrate with all of the friends we’ve made in the industry over the last few years – and we’re both happy to report that it was as awesome as we’d hoped.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and the winners. And high fives to all of the performers, there was a whole lot of talent on display Monday night. Also, we need to send a high five to Jason McCoy who handled hosting and performing duties – and he nailed it!

Thanks to Trish we have photos of award winners, performers, nominees and other awesome talent at the 2015 CMAOs. Have a look!

2015 CMAO Award Winners!

In the order they were handed out, here are the CMAO award winners.

Group or Duo of the Year

sponsored by The Remington Group

The Western Swing AuthorityWestern Swing Authority Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3644

Rising Star Award

sponsored by Slaight Music

Leah DanielsLeah Daniels Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3749

Jason BarryRecord Producer of the Year

sponsored by Metal Works Studios

Jason Barry

KX-947 CMAO WinnerRadio Station of the Year (Major Market)

sponsored by Canadian Country Spotlight

KX 94.7 – Hamilton

Country-1073 CMAO WinnerRadio Station of the Year (Secondary Market)

sponsored by Lucknow Music in the Fields

Country 107.3 – Tillsonburg

Music Video of the Year

sponsored by CMT

Small Town Pistols: I Only Smoke When I DrinkSmall Town Pistols Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3692

Roots Artist or Group of the Year

sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines Ltd.

Western Swing AuthorityWestern Swing Win CMAO Awards 2015-3873

Songwriters of the Year

sponsored by SOCAN

Alyssa Bonagura/Patricia Conroy/Amanda Wilkinson/Tyler Wilkinson – I Only Smoke When I DrinkSongwriter of the year Patricia Conry and Small Town Pistols CMAO Awards 2015-4010

Female Artist of the Year

sponsored by Spring Tree Farm Garden Centre

Michelle WrightMichelle Wright CMAO Awards 2015-4066

Male Artist of the Year

sponsored by ticketbreak

Tim HicksTim Hicks Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3663

Single of the Year

sponsored by Boots and Hearts

Small Town Pistols – I Only Smoke When I DrinkSmall Town Pistols Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3877

Album of the Year

sponsored by hmv

Tim Hicks – 5:01Tim Hicks Win CMAO Awards 2015-4086

2015 CMAO Award Performers!

High fives to all of the CMAO Awards performers. There were no misses, only hits – and it was awesome to see such a great  selection of talent from Ontario taking the stage. This isn’t a complete list, but here are some of our fav snaps from the stage Monday night.

Leah Daniels

Leah Daniels Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3943Leah Daniels Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3952

Autumn Hill

Autumn Hill CMAO Awards 2015-4033Tareya Green Autumn Hill CMAO Awards 2015-4035

Russell deCarle Trio

Russell DeCarle Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3966

Jason Blaine

Jason Blaine Performance CMAO Awards 2015-4091

Deric Ruttan

Deric Ruttan Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3977

Small Town Pistols

Small Town Pistols Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3877Small Town Pistols Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3889

Tebey

Tebey Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3930

Tim Hicks

Tim Hicks Performance CMAO Awards 2015-4188Tim Hicks Performance CMAO Awards 2015-4158

Jason McCoy

Jason McCoy Performance CMAO Awards 2015-4231Jason McCoy CMAO Awards 2015-4255

2015 CMAO Award Favs!

And while not everyone was a winner or performer, they looked great and we love them. Here are some more pics of the great talent we have in Ontario!

Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3668

Lindsay Broughton

Lindsay Broughton Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3614

Tebey

Tebey Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3777

Victoria Banks, Leah Daniels, Beverley Mahood, Giselle

Victoria Banks Leah Daniels Beverley Mahood Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3717

Deric Ruttan

Deric Ruttan Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3787

Riki Knox

Rikki Knox Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3762

The Lovelocks

The Lovelocks CMAO Awards 2015-3907

Patricia Conroy

untitled-3549

and… Joshua

josh cmao-3567

2 years ago Views

CONTEST: CMAO 2015 Spring Tune-Up Conference & Swag!

Congrats to our CMAO Conference and Prize Pack winner, Liz Morgan!

Thanks to our friends at the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) we have a great prize pack to give away!!!

THE PRIZE!

HmvLogo-HiRes-Prcs-Pink 2

  • 1 Country Music CD prize pack including CDs from Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan, The Road Hammers, and Tim Hicks!
  • 2 delegate passes to the CMAO conference (May 24 & 25) at the Delta Hotel Markham
  • HMV $20 gift card

prize pack does not include travel, accommodations, or tickets to the CMAO Awards show, sorry guys. 

Total value of the prize pack is over $300 and we can’t wait to give it to someone!

You already know that the music on those discs is awesome, and a great reason to enter, and $20 to spend at HMV is a nice little cherry on top – but what about the conference?

The 2015 Spring Tune-Up Conference is going to be awesome! Have a look at some of things you’ll be able to check out…

THE CONFERENCE!

TimHicks_501Day 1 – Sunday, May 24th

– Sharp Thoughts From A Sharp Mind: In Conversation With Derrick Ross

– Show Us The Money! The Dollars And Sense Of Funding // Moderator: Beverly Mahood

– Are We Engaged Yet? Getting More Bang With Your Marketing Buck

– Rhyme And Publishment: Getting Your Music To Sync

– The ‘New Faces, Going Places’ Industry Showcases  // Hosted By: Michelle Wright

Day 2 – Monday, May 25th

Jason Blaineeverything i love CD COVER– ‘A‘ ‘G‘ood ‘M‘orning To You! Have Your Say In The CMAO // AGM Breakfast

– The Write Stuff – SOCAN Songwriters Super Session // featuring: Deric Ruttan, Victoria Banks & more!

– The Formula Reformed: Artists Share Their Personal Recipes For Success // Featuring: Jess Moskaluke & Chad Brownlee

Full details, including times and industry speakers confirmed for each R2I panel, can be seen on the CMAO website.

Deric Ruttan Take The Week OffJust look at that list of sessions that you could be part of. Names like Beverly Mahood, Michelle Wright, Victoria Banks, Jess Moskaluke and Chad Brownlee pretty much tell you that these 2 days are going to be packed full of fun and some really smart country music industry people sharing their thoughts and experiences.

PLUS, Deric Ruttan in a songwriters session?! Dude just wrote Mine Would Be You and Blake Shelton took it all the way to the top!

If you love country music, if you’re trying to make a life out of country music, or if you just want to learn more about the music industry from people who truly do know what they’re doing – the CMAO Conference really should be on your list of things to do.

TheRoadHammers_WheelsSo, enter the contest using the widget below (make sure to follow the instructions on the entries) and tell your friends to enter too – because if they win they’re going to need someone to bring with them!

Remember that this takes place in Markham, Ontario on May 24th and 25th. So if you live too far away to attend, pass the link on to your country loving friends who are a little closer.

We promise more contests are coming for everyone!

ENTER THE CONTEST!

3 years ago Views

CMW 2015 Country Friday ft. Kira Isabella

Friday night we went full country at Canadian Music Week.

Starting at Boots & Bourbon on Queen St. E, and finishing the night at the Cadillac Lounge on Queen St. W, we got to check out three acts as they each put on their set to show CMW fans exactly what they had to offer.

As country music fans, this was a fun night. As music fans in general, it was great to see 3 acts all put on a show they can be proud of.

CMW Friday Country Lineup

Ashley Robertson
River Town Saints
Kira Isabella

Here we go…
Ashley Robertson CMW 2015

Ashley Robertson

Making the trip all the way from Winnipeg to play CMW, Ashley made the most of her 2am set at the Cadillac be mixing her original songs with a couple covers, and entertaining the music fans with the stamina to enjoy her.

Ashley brings a true country voice to her music. Twangy without being cartoonish, classic without drawing an immediate comparison or looking like a copy of a country music legend. Added to her full 5 piece band (2 guitars, bass, fiddle, drums) her voice fills her songs. It was also strong enough to carry the load when songs were broken down to their roots.

With original songs like Woman in the White Dress (the title track from her 2nd album, released in 2008) and How Are You My Love (which can be found on the “We Canada Walk” album) Robertson shows that she has chops. She can craft a song as well as sing it.

And when she decided to turn to covers, she picked good ones. Little Big Town’s Girl Crush was a prime example of her voice carrying a stripped down song, and her set closing version of The Guess Who’s American Woman was a fun way to close out a late night set of music.

Stay tuned, we’re pretty sure Ashley Robertson’s going to be around for a while.

note: It was great to see Cadence and Ann from Runaway Angel in the crowd even as the 2am set was going on. These girls are proud to be part of the country music community in Canada, and it’s encouraging to see emerging artists supporting each other.

River Town Saints 2015 CMW Boots and Bourbon

River Town Saints

These 5 country rockers from Ottawa made the drive down on Friday to play the Boots & Bourbon stage and show Toronto what they’ve got.

They didn’t screw it up.

With great harmonies they make party songs sound more complete than your average rock song. And when the boys stripped it down to an acoustic offering, those same harmonies became even clearer, and stronger.

The pop from the crowd was impressive. Perhaps a testament to the country music fans in Toronto (don’t underestimate our country girls in the city) but more likely because the River Town Saints put on a really fun show on a Friday night.

Their mix of original songs (keep an ear open for Cherry Bomb over the next few months, the boys have a strong lead single with this one) and covers (Eric Church’s Drink In My Hand was a lot of fun) allowed the band to control the crowd and have a good time. Also we need to give a high five for their medley that included…

  • Dust On The Bottle – David Lee Murphy
  • Sun Daze – Florida Georgia Line
  • The Lazy Song – Bruno Mars
  • Get Back – Ludacris
  • Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  • Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard

River Town Saints are ready for their break. The sound is right, the live show is fun, they’re TV ready, and they’ve got a busy summer coming up. Keep an eye out for them at a fair or festival near you.

Kira Isabella CMW 2015 Boots and Bourbon Bar

Kira Isabella

And now… the main event.

Kira has been referred to as Canada’s country music sweetheart, and she certainly showed why on Friday night at Boots & Bourbon. Between her waves and blown kisses to the crowd, she put on a great set that showed off the huge voice that comes from the little Ottawa girl.

The packed house was ready for Kira even before she took the stage, cheering the second her band came on, and immediately falling in love with the live show. Kira’s audience control and performances continue to improve every time we see her, and last night was no exception. Bringing the crowd up with songs like Real Good Radio (a personal favourite) and back down with Quarterback (her biggest hit to date and Spin Magazine’s top country song of 2014) was impressive to see. From hands in the air, to couples slow dancing, and back to a party again with the next song, this audience was hers.

Kira also gave the crowd a little medley action, breaking into a 5 song combo that included…

  • Counting Stars – One Republic
  • Jackson – Johnny Cash and June Carter
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  • Fishin’ In The Dark – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
  • Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton

Already in the upper echelon of Canada’s country music community, Kira Isabella looks like she’s going to be around for a very long time, and if she continues to grow the way she has over the last 4 years, we’ll be very okay with that.

Ashley Robertson Cadillac Lounge CMW 2015River Town Saints Boots and Bourbon CMW 2015River Town Saints CMW 2015Kira CMW 2015 Boots and BourbonKira Isabella Boots and Bourbon CMW 2015

3 years ago Views

2015 The Country Music Association Of Ontario Awards

We can’t wait for the 2015 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards. As voting members of the CMAO for the 1st time this year it’s going to be extra special.

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