Dallas Smith

Boots & Hearts 2018 Lineup Announcement #1: Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Thomas Rhett, and more

Boots and Hearts is one of the biggest weekends on our calendar every summer. We’ve been at each of the first six festivals, and are looking forward to lucky number seven in 2018.

And now we know who to start getting excited for as B&H have announced their first round of performers, including three headliners that will take the main stage and run the show at Burl’s Creek.

We don’t know which night each Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, and Thomas Rhett will take the stage, but we’ll be ready to share that info with y’all when it becomes available.

Now, let’s have a look at the first six names on the Boots and Hearts 2018 artist roster…

Florida Georgia Line

Back again after a Sunday night gig as headliners, Florida Georgia Line, will hit the Boots and Hearts stage in front of tens of thousands of fans who should be in a party mood.

Yes, this is Florida Georgia Line, so there will be a whole bunch of people who complain about their return to the festival… but the truth is that Tyler and BK are headlining stars who know how to command a crowd, have a list of radio hits, and put on a show.

If we’re lucky (fingers crossed) we’ll hear the entire crowd singing along to H.O.L.Y. like we did in Toronto in 2016. It was an amazing live music moment, and we’d love to try to duplicate it at B&H 2018.

Florida Georgia Line Boots and Hearts 2015

Alan Jackson

I’m not entirely sure that I’ve processed this news to its complete extent yet. True story.

Alan Jackson is one of the country music stars that shaped my fandom when I was young. I listened and learned and sang along… and as when he starts singing Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow, Don’t Rock The Jukebox, and Chattahoochee, I’ll be the adult feeling like a kid who’s singing along as loud as I can.

This is huge. Really big. I’m excited.

Thomas Rhett

In our Boots & Hearts 2018 predictions post I included Thomas Rhett as the bonus name… and we nailed it!

Rhett’s Life Changes album will give him an expanded live library, and his showmanship and entertainment value are sure to get the crowd going. We know he loves to dance, and we’re sure we’ll see it on Crash And Burn, and we can’t wait to hear new songs like Smooth Like Summer and Sixteen this August.

We said we wanted to see Thomas Rhett in a headlining role – and here he is.

Thomas Rhett Boots and Hearts 2015

Billy Currington

Currington has 11 US Country Airplay #1 hits, and six other songs that made it into the Top 5 on the country music charts. He’s been making music that’s been hitting country radio since 2003, and we’re finally going to see the Georgia native at Boots and Hearts this year.

We can’t wait to sing along to Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right, People Are Crazy, and the Sam Hunt penned, We Are Tonight. It’s gonna be fun!

Dallas Smith

One of the biggest country music stars in Canada is coming back to Canada’s biggest country music festival… and it’s going to be good.

We’ve seen Dallas Smith headline Thursday night’s kick off party, we’ve seen him main stage as the evening crowd poured in, we’ve seen him play arenas and amphitheatre stages – and this dude rocks every stage.

Related: Side Effects Tour: Dallas Smith, The Cadillac Three and Friends Rock Oshawa

Be ready for the hits, high energy, and the chance to give some Canadian love to Dallas Smith next summer!

Dallas Smith CNE 2015

Brett Young

Here’s another we got right in the prediction post… and man we’re happy about it. Brett Young is an emerging star and he’s got a ton of talent.

He’s going to get up on that stage, and he’s going to kill with songs like Sleep Without You, In Case You Didn’t Know, and Like I Loved You. Be ready for it to get loud and happy and give you goosebumps when the country music loving crowd starts singing along.

Stay tuned for more names to be added to the Boots and Hearts 2018 lineup – and if you’re wondering who else we predicted for next year, check out our 15 Boots & Hearts 2018 Artist Predictions.

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Country Music’s Sexiest Men, 2017

The internet is buzzing with rumours that Blake Shelton will be named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2017.

We aren’t here to tell you that they made the wrong choice, but we are here to put a spotlight on some of the other sexy men in country music.

In the last couple of years we’ve had the chance to see these men perform on stage, and as great as they are with the microphone in their hands, they elicit a whole lot of cheers for their look up there on stage.

Have a look at our list and pics of Blake Shelton and our 10 more sexy country music men, and leave a comment to tell us who you think is tops OR who you think we missed.

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton-Country Thunder 2017 Blake Shelton is one of the biggest stars in the world today. Between his regular appearances at the top of the country music charts and his seat in the spinning chair on The Voice, he’s everywhere. And as the 41 year old Oklahoman adds more salt and pepper to his look, the sexier he seems to get.

Luke Bryan

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Luke Bryan What do we need to say to share the point that Luke Bryan is sexy?! The dude has women pawing at him so much he’s had to make rules about it. When he rotates his hips, it turns into gifs. This Georgia daddy has got to be on every ‘sexy men in country music’ list.

Brett Eldredge

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Brett Eldredge Boots and Hearts 2017 - Brett EldredgeThis rising star is smooth as silk and dapper as hell. Whether he’s on stage with a couple buttons undone, or he’s in a tux on the way to an awards show, he shines. The eyes, the smile, the voice, and the laugh… they add up for Brett Eldredge.

Dallas Smith

Dallas Smith CNE 2015Dallas Smith-Country Thunder 2017This Canadian country music rockstar has it all going for him. Give him some ripped jeans, roll up the sleeves to see the ink, and give him a little stubble of a beard if you’re into that sort of thing. Dallas Smith is legit.

Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016 Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016This country boy has muscles to spare, looking like he could lift a truck if he wanted to. And Dylan Scott‘s eyes – staring right to your soul. Dang it, he’s got Mmm, Mmm, Mmm all wrapped up.

Mark Wystrach

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Midland Boots and Hearts 2017 - MidlandAs the lead man of Midland, Mark Wystrach is turning heads. If you didn’t already know, you could probably also guess that he’s had a career as a model. He’s chiseled and has the look and we could probably forgive him if he had a Drinkin’ Problem.

Chad Brownlee

Chad Brownlee - CNE 2017 Boots and Hearts 2017 - Chad BrownleeAnother good Canadian boy, this hockey player turned country star has it in spades. Chad Brownlee knows how to work the stage, the ladies scream for him every time we see him, and when he sings sweetly, it’s everything you dream about.

Chris Lane

Chris Lane-Trackside_Fest Chris Lane Sugar BeachChris Lane is a 33 year old from North Carolina, sharing a laid back cool that drips with sexy. And with his twin brother Cory on the drums, it’s double trouble when this country boy takes the stage in front of a crowd.

Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016 Sam. Hunt. This quarterback turned country superstar drive women wild, and put tears in their eyes when he proposed to his fiancée. On award show carpets and on stage, Sam Hunt is sexy as hell.

Jake Owen

Jake Owen BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Barefoot Jake has that Florida beach cool sexy going on. Long hair or short, Jake is sexy – and when he pushes that sweaty hair back and does his thing… he nails it!

Andrew Hyatt

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt Andrew Hyatt in the shower - Side Effects Tour - OshawaAndrew Hyatt loves to work with his hands, he’s got a great beard, and this newly minted top 10 charting rising country star from Sudbury is picking up new crushes in every city he visits.

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Goals: Andrew Hyatt, the Feature, presented by New Country Spirit

Presented by New Country Spirit

Andrew Hyatt is goal oriented, he told us so. Whether those goals are releasing an EP and full length album, getting his songs on the radio, or even just getting good enough at music to open for a local band, he’s willing to work to achieve them.

Hyatt told us that the last one mentioned there is the one that kind of got him started. He knew he wanted to give music a try, and so he set a goal of being good enough on his guitar and on the microphone to open for Parry Sound band, Red Umbrella. And now, as 2017 comes to a close, Andrew Hyatt has well surpassed that original goal.

We’ve had the chance to catch up with the Sudbury native a few times over the last couple of years, most recently in Oshawa on a Friday afternoon before he took the stage with Dallas Smith to sing a duet of his first Top 10 hit single, On Me. And as we’ve become more familiar with Andrew (and kept tabs on him through his social media accounts), we’ve known him to be a dude that likes cold beer, good whiskey, and isn’t afraid to take or make a joke.

In fact, before we sat down to talk to Andrew in Oshawa, he was 100% game when we suggested standing in the visitor’s locker room showers at Tribute Communities Centre for a photo op. Hell, he even turned on the water behind him before he posed for his shots.

Andrew Hyatt in the shower - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

While Andrew is dedicated to setting and achieving his goals, there’s a certain amount of opportunity and perseverance that comes with launching a career in music, including Hyatt’s.

When we asked him what moment made him want to go all-in on the idea of music as a career, he told us about a chance he got in 2012 to open for Dean Brody at a sold out show in Sudbury. He had been playing local shows and open mics, and the right person saw him and asked if he and his band would be interested in opening for Brody (who was touring his latest release at the time, Dirt). Hyatt said yes, and the band plugged in to play for a sold out crowd. And that was the moment that he knew what he wanted to do.

He told us that there was video available online somewhere from that show… so we went looking for it! Watch Andrew Hyatt and his band on stage in front of his hometown Sudbury crowd, as Dean Brody’s opener on September 15, 2012 at the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre.

The idea that it would all be fast and easy after that show was quickly, and repeatedly nixed for Hyatt. He told us that he moved to Toronto three times to try to make music for a living, finally getting a foothold on the third attempt. He also told us that he put in his share of time in shitty apartments, with sketchy roommates that he didn’t trust. He also worked any and every job he could find – quitting to play a show if he couldn’t get the time off, and then finding another job when he needed to pay the rent.

It would be enough to make anyone wonder if they were doing the right thing. But Andrew Hyatt had goals.

On January 1, 2014, Andrew Hyatt released Love Drunk, his first track that country fans could find and buy from iTunes. And while that might have been one goal, it wasn’t enough.

Note: Texas, an earlier song from Hyatt, was released in 2012 on the Up & Coming Hitmakers, Round 1: East album – which can still be found iTunes.

Hyatt continued to write and work after the release of Love Drunk, and in 2015 he released Livin’ The Dream as a single, and followed it up with his EP, Never Back Down. The EP was a collection of six songs that achieved another goal, and afforded him the chance to release his first official lyric video.

He kept working, doing everything he could to get his music on the radio and out to the world. And when it was time for MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) to be released to radio, Hyatt put together some handmade six pack beer can holders in his shop to send out to stations.

As many artists do when they’re starting out, Andrew Hyatt followed up the release of his EP by playing as many shows on as many nights in as many towns as he could. A look back through his dates on bandsintown.com shows him on stages across Ontario and as far as Calgary in 2015.

And he hasn’t slowed down since.

In May 2017 we did a Q&A with Andrew and asked him about playing live. Here are two questions and answers from that interview…

Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a stripped down set?

A. I love being able to tell the stories and let people in a little more on the intimacy of the songs.

Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a set with the full band?

A. The energy of standing in stage with some of your best friends is amazing. Before shows, no matter how tired we are we always remind each other that at 65 (if we make it) we will be wishing for it!

Note: In that same interview, Hyatt gave one of my favourite answers of all-time when he told us that he’d choose to be in an Alan Jackson cover band… so he could “grow a duster and water ski in jeans!”.

While we had Andrew with us in the locker room in Oshawa, we got him to play a quick round of 5 Quick Questions with us. Find out where Andrew’s going for a late night snack, his favourite Shania jam, who he thinks you should be listening to, and more…

On May 12, 2017, Andrew Hyatt released his debut full-length album, Iron & Ashes, crossing another goal off of his always evolving list.

The 12 track record quickly gained traction with some love from CMT and two One Shot videos for She Ain’t You and We Only Kiss On Sundays. Pairing those views with the pre-release hype that Andrew helped create with Canadian Music Week shows at The Phoenix and Boots & Bourbon Saloon in Toronto, and the pre-album single releases of MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio), That’s How I’m Livin’, and She Ain’t You, Hyatt found himself with an album that fans were excited for, and ready to dive into right away.

We asked about the songs and if there was a theme for Iron & Ashes and he told us that he had been going through a lot of personal changes in his life, and that he really needed to write it all down.

He also told us that there’s a quote from Tolstoy, “truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”, that helped set him in the direction of writing the record and explains how refining life can be uncomfortable but worth it.

Fast forward a couple months to the summer of 2017, and the release of On Me to country radio. The single quickly became Hyatt’s highest charting release, climbing into the Top 30, the Top 20, and then this September the track moved into the Top 10, crossing another goal off of every country singers list.

When we talked to Andrew in August 2017 at Boots & Hearts we asked him about hitting the Top 20 with the single. He told us that his first calls after he got the news were to the band. And to celebrate, he cracked a bottle of Crown Royal special reserve that he had been saving for this specific special occasion.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt

We aren’t sure what Andrew did to celebrate moving into the Top 10 for the first time, but we’re hoping there was another bottle involved.

Jump forward again with us to fall 2017 and Hyatt’s guest spot on Dallas Smith’s Side Effects Tours. This is part of the news Andrew Hyatt told us that he couldn’t share in August… the other part being that Dallas Smith (the four time #1 hit maker) has become his manager. It’s a big step for the Sudbury native, having someone that knows the ropes, the ins and outs, and has made his own climb to the top, on his side.

We asked Smith about working with Andrew while we were in Oshawa at the Side Effects Tour stop, and the Sky Stays This Blue star told us that he was excited to be working with the emerging star. He also tipped us off to new music being on the way…

And then, on October 27, 2017, Andrew Hyatt dropped a brand new single. Do It With You isn’t from the album, it isn’t a song we’ve heard Hyatt play live, and it isn’t something we knew was coming so soon.

But, Andrew did tell us that new music was coming, and that it was giving him a chance to continue to grow as an artist and find out who he is. And in listening to Do It With You, we can hear the new perspective and story. This isn’t a post-breakup song, this one’s for the girls.

He also told us that there’s a trip to Nashville coming soon so he can get some more writing done, which will mean even more new music again in the future.

Andrew Hyatt - Northern Comfort Saloon - CNE 2017

Andrew Hyatt told us that things have felt like they’re snowballing in the last few months. He’s gaining momentum, things keep moving forward and getting bigger. And that’s a good thing.

He also acknowledged that it’s been a lot of hard work since we first talked to him about MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) at those CMAOs in Markham. And that it’s been a long ride… and a good experience.

We don’t know exactly what’s coming next for Hyatt, his career is still in a fast moving, ready for action mode. But we do know this…

Andrew Hyatt will continue to set goals, because that’s what he does. And if he continues to put the work in, and pairs it with his talent, dedication, and the opportunities that continue to come his way, he’ll be crossing more goals off of his list – and often.


Andrew Hyatt in the locker room - Side Effects Tour - OshawaAndrew Hyatt in the shower - Side Effects Tour - OshawaAndrew Hyatt with Joshua Murray in the locker room - Side Effects Tour - OshawaBoots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew HyattBoots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew HyattCMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

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Dang If We Didn’t: The Cadillac Three Take Toronto

Call it Country Fuzz, call it Southern Country Rock, call it whatever you want, the bottom line is that The Cadillac Three are loud, tight, and they’re on a roll.

With the recent release of their latest album, Legacy, these Nashville boys have doubled down on the connection to their fans, their catalogue of songs, and the dedication with which they go about their business.

We had the chance to see The Cadillac Three open for Dallas Smith on the Side Effects Tour in Oshawa, ON – and then got to catch up with Jaren, Kelby, and Neil in Toronto at Boots & Bourbon Saloon before they played an intimate show for some very dedicated and enthusiastic fans on a Thursday night in the city.

We’ll get to the live performance stuff in a minute… but while we had the guys in the booth at the bar, we took the chance to ask them about the music, memories, covers, and we even got a new answer to a question we’ve asked many times before.

One question we asked, for no reason other than curiosity, was this – Cold Beer of Good Whiskey? The response, overwhelmingly, from the entire band, was both. We even got reminded that we have two hands.

The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon

When we asked about the response to Legacy so far, all three members of the band told us that things have been great so far. They’ve heard good things from fans and the industry. And while they did the same worrying that many artists do when it’s time to release new music (will anyone like it, is it any good, are there any hits, etc.), the guys told us that this is the record that they really wanted to make. They believe in it, and they like it, and that’s a big win. As an added bonus, at shows like the Canadian dates they’ve played on this run with Dallas Smith, they’ve been able to see the crowd singing along to the new tracks just like they do on their earlier favourites. That singing along brings us to that new answer to an old question.

We’ve asked a lot of artist to try to explain what’s it’s like to hear the crowd sing along to your songs… and we’ve had a lot of artists have a hard time answering. However, The Cadillac Three were ready, and told us almost immediately that it makes them feel like they must be doing something right. And whether it’s because everyone digs a song, or is drunk and can’t help themselves, it doesn’t matter, it’s still cool to hear.

While we were on the topic of fans and reactions, we asked what it was like for three guys from Tennessee to have fans all over the world, and to know that they can travel thousands of miles away, or even cross an ocean to the UK, and have a crowd excited to see them. With genuine affection in their voices, TC3 told us that they never expected the kind of love that they now get in England and Germany… but they hoped for it. And just like in the States years ago, it started in small clubs in London, and has grown to headlining tours now. In fact, The Cadillac Three are getting set to start a run of 16 dates in 20 days in Europe, with stops in the UK and Germany, as well as Ireland, France, and the Netherlands.

The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon

Note: Brothers Osborne are making the trip over to play with The Cadillac Three on some of those dates… which is going to make for an awesome show.

We asked Jaren real quick about being a new dad on the road, and while he did admit that it’s hard, he told us that me makes a lot of calls and facetime chats with both his wife and their baby boy to stay connected and make it work. He had actually just gotten off the phone with them a few minutes before we sat down. More than anything, it was freaking adorable to see his face light up when talking about his little dude at home.

When The Cadillac Three hit the stage in Oshawa on the Side Effects Tour we watched as everyone in the floor seats stood up and got into the party. And even on the big stage, the band seemed to be able to find a way to connect with the crowd in the arena, which made for a great atmosphere. Then, on Thursday night when we saw them climb up on the small stage in Toronto, with fans pressed right up against the edge and only a small chicken wire fence separating Jaren from the front row, they connected immediately and held onto it from the first note of Cadillacin’ to the very end of The South.

There is no denying that these boys have earned their space on big stages in big rooms, and to have their names at the top of the marquee on tours across Europe and at home. BUT, with all that said, I would choose to see them play a long, loud, sweaty set of their country fuzz in a small club 10 times out of 10. It was awesome. It won’t happen much in the future the way this band’s following and brand are growing, and we were fortunate to be there to see it.

There were boots stompin’, hands clappin’, drinks spillin’, and a whole lot of good timin’ going on in Toronto while The Cadillac Three rolled through their 10 song set. The beat from Neil’s drums thumped in the room, and the sweet combination of Jaren’s electric and Kelby’s lap steel guitars roared and rattled from start to finish. It was everything we’ve come to expect from TC3 live, and from the reactions of the fans in the bar and the looks on their faces, nobody went home disappointed on Thursday night.

The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon

Big thanks to Jaren, Kelby and Neil for hanging out with us at Boots & Bourbon Saloon before the show, and an extra high five to Kelby for stopping over to talk a little NFL football before the boys hit the road. We won’t get into too many details, but we definitely talked about the Music City Miracle – 1999, Bills vs Titans in the AFC Wild Card playoff game. He remembers it fondly, sorry Bills fans.

The Cadillac Three Setlist, October 26, 2017 – Toronto

✰ Cadillacin’
✰ Slide
✰ Tennessee Mojo
✰ Take Me To The Bottom
✰ American Slang
✰ Hank & Jesus
✰ Tennessee
✰ Dang If We Didn’t
✰ White Lightning
✰ The South

The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon
Mike Fuller KX94.7 - The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon

Mike Fuller, KX94.7

Jerry Archer KX96 - The Cadillac Three at Boots and Bourbon

Jerry Archer, KX96

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Side Effects: Dallas Smith and Shawn Austin Pre-Show Interviews, Oshawa

We caught up with Dallas Smith in Oshawa at the Tribute Communities Centre to talk about music, the tour, The Tragically Hip, doing what is right as an artist and more.

It was Friday afternoon, before Dallas hit the stage on the Side Effects Tour later in the evening, that we sat down in the seats of the hockey arena to chat. As Dallas and I sat there dressed in nearly (and coincidently) matching double denim, things felt very Canadian. And as the #1 hit maker, his openers, and crew make their way across the country, it also felt like a fitting place to be.

We opened by asking Dallas how things have been going on the tour so far. And he told us that it has been a fantastic experience from the jump. The first show in Halifax had all of the energy he hoped to see to get things going, and as they’ve tinkered and perfected everything from the lights to the sound, the show is only getting smoother as they go.

Related: Dallas Smith, The Cadillac Three and Friends Rock Oshawa

Dallas Smith’s voice had an attitude of both experience and excitement as we talked about the tour and the show. This isn’t his first rodeo, he knows what he’s getting into and what makes for a good show. But as much as he’s tuned into the technical aspects of the goings on, he’s still excited to get up on that stage every night and sing his heart out for the fans from the front row to the top of the arena. It’s awesome to see that from a dude that’s been doing this gig in one way or another for nearly 20 years now.

Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

When we talked to Dallas in the summer we asked about the next time he’d have some time off, thinking that it would be after the Side Effects Tour wraps… but that’s not quite it.

Dallas has been announced as a performer on the CP Holiday Train in the lead up to Christmas this year, playing stops along the rails between December 2 and 17. Check the tour schedule to see where you can find Dallas, Terri Clark, and Kelly Prescott on their travels.

With those dates added to his schedule, Dallas told us that he’ll have about 10 days off between the end of the tour and his train run – but in the new year he’ll be taking a time out to rest up and take a little (well deserved) break.

Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

Because of the timing of our chance to see Dallas, we talked about Gord Downie and his passing. Smith’s tour was the first to play Kingston after their hometown hero’s death, and he told us that it was heavy. He also told us that he didn’t want to fall into a trap of making a tribute to Gord and The Hip all about him.

Related: In Memoriam: Gord Downie Legacy, Influence, and Top 10

So, Dallas and the band paid tribute in their own way. Before his set, the boys played Grace, Too, said a few words to the crowd, left the stage as a couple more Hip songs played over the speakers, and then everyone came back out to play the regular set in full.

While we had Dallas with us we took the opportunity to play a round of 5 Quick Questions with the Canadian country star. Watch it now!

It’s clear that following his own path and doing what’s important to him personally and artistically is #1 for Dallas Smith. In our interview and later on stage he talked about doing what he needs to do, following his heart, and making the decisions and music that he needs and wants to make.

It’s an attitude that comes with experience, courage, and conviction – three things that Smith has in spades.

It’s also something that he’s trying to pass onto other artists, namely Shawn Austin and Andrew Hyatt, who Dallas is working with and has brought out on the Side Effects Tour with him.

And, while we were at the arena in Oshawa we got to hang out with Shawn Austin for a few minutes in the locker room to talk about this music, career, and how the tour has been for him so far.

Shawn Austin in the locker room with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

The Vancouver native told us that the response to his current single, Paradise Found, has been amazing and more than they expected. To see the track break the top 30 has changed the immediate plans for Austin, but it’s not bumming him out too much.

However, there is new music coming from the emerging artist. A new single is ready to go, and will be hitting the airwaves early in the new year. And there will be an album to follow that up, giving country fans a chance to truly experience what he’s got to offer.

While we had Shawn with us we took the chance to ask him a few quick questions including…

Q: Who is your dream duet partner right now?

Shawn: Jess Moskaluke

Q: Who would you love to play a show with?

Shawn: Brett Eldredge, Brett Young… and Garth Brooks

When we asked about the tour, Shawn told us that the experience of getting up on stage with Dallas every night has been great. And to see how it can all come together at the highest levels has given him new goals and career achievements to strive for.

Note: We saw Shawn take the stage with Dallas Smith to sing A Girl Like You on Friday night, and dude knocked it out of the park.

Be ready to hear more from Shawn Austin in the new year, and check out Paradise Found if you don’t know it already.

Shawn Austin in the locker room - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

Before we finished up our hang out with Dallas in the seats of the arena, we asked him about his experience on the set of Chad Brownlee’s Out Of The Blue music video. He told us that he was happy to be part of the production, and that when Chad and (director) Stephano Barberis asked him to be in it, he was in.

If you’ve seen the video, you know it’s a fun one, and it’s easy to see that Dallas truly does have a great relationship with Chad, as well as Stephano, the godfather of his little girl.

Friday night, after the chairs were set up on wood covering the ice, the fans filed in, the beer started flowing, Lauren Alaina and The Cadillac Three revved up the crowd, and then Dallas Smith finished the job.

Once again Dallas proved that he belongs at the top, and he wowed the crowd from start to finish… just like he did on the dates before he got to Oshawa, and like he’ll do on the rest of the Side Effects Tour.

Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

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Side Effects Tour: Dallas Smith, The Cadillac Three and Friends Rock Oshawa

Friday nights are perfect for live music. So when Dallas Smith, The Cadillac Three, and Lauren Alaina rolled into Oshawa to play at the Tribute Communities Centre, we knew we were set up for a good time.

The Side Effects Tour was already in full flight before it got to town, with shows from Halifax to southern Ontario, so there was no surprise that things were firing on all cylinders in Oshawa. From Lauren Alaina kicking things off, to Dallas blowing the roof off the joint, this was the show fans were expecting – and they loved it.

Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

The crowd filed in early, and those who took their seats were rewarded with the opening set from American Idol alum, Lauren Alaina. The 22 year old Georgia native wasted no time getting into her groove. Alaina showed off the power in her voice and paired it well with the rock and roll vibe that her band pumped out for the crowd.

With just a half dozen songs in her set to share with the Canadian country fans, Lauren made the most of things. Between tracks she was charming as hell, funny, and sweet as she told stories, cracked wise, and looked like she was truly enjoying the opportunity.

The two highlights of the set were Lauren’s performance of her #1 hit (with Kane Brown), What Ifs – and her crowd work during Next Boyfriend.

Lauren Alaina - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

Before she played her 2015 top 40 single, Alaina invited a dude named Ryan up on stage to dance with her, and neither performer was a disappointment. Ryan grooved along with Lauren Alaina as she sang – and when she directed him through the basics of the Whip & Nae Nae – he gave it everything he had. And after a brief giggle fit from the singer (and the crowd), there was a hug and a smile and the set wrapped with Lauren Alaina’s first #1 single, Road Less Travelled.

She’s young, talented, and knows how to perform – we know it’s no secret – but Lauren Alaina’s got it, and we’re sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

Lauren Alaina Setlist, Oshawa 2017

🍑 Georgia Peaches
🍑 Barefoot and Buckwild
🍑 What Ifs
🍑 Next Boyfriend
🍑 Doin’ Fine
🍑 Road Less Travelled

Lauren Alaina - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

Next on the stage, all the way from Nashville, Tennessee (and Kelby’s birthday party in Kingston the night before), The Cadillac Three took over and let it fly.

These boys, with all of the hair, attitude and energy that you could ever hope for, pumped out a full sound that filled the arena and turned Friday night into a full-fledged party. Yes, they play country music. And yes, there’s a slide guitar up there on the stage. But man, The Cadillac Three are as rock and roll as most of the bands you’re going to hear on rock radio – and country fans are totally okay with that!

The Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

The band opened their set with Dang If We Didn’t from their brand new album, Legacy, and didn’t let up until their time was done. In their set we heard Jaren, Kelby, and Neil roll through seven songs that had fans thrusting their beers into the air, singing along at the tops of their lungs, and singing/dancing/grooving along track by track.

Note: As The Cadillac Three ripped up the stage in their set and brought forth their brand of southern rockin’ country music, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would sound like if these boys plugged in and played a little Foo Fighters. Maybe All My Life or The Pretender… I’m just going to hold out hope for that in the future.

If you’ve seen The Cadillac Three play live, you know that they are balls to the wall and pedal to the floor. If you haven’t seen them live, get on it – it’s a show you don’t wanna miss.

The boys brought it when they played Oshawa on Friday night, and if you wonder at all about their passion and appreciation for what they get to do for a living, here’s a quote from Jaren to ease your mind…

“Cheers, beers & hallelujah, we get to do this shit for a livin’!”

The Cadillac Three Setlist, Oshawa 2017

 Dang If We Didn’t
⚡ Slide
⚡ Tennessee Mojo
⚡ American Slang
⚡ Party Like You
⚡ White Lightning
⚡ The South

The Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - OshawaThe Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

The main event of the evening, the man with the #1 hits, one of Canada’s biggest stars in country music, Dallas Smith was next and last to hit the stage in Oshawa on Friday night. And the fans were ready for him.

With a stage full of sound, Dallas and his band (three guitars to go along with bass and drums) were ready too. And from the moment they kicked things off with the tour’s title track, Side Effects, it was impossible to deny the energy and excitement in the room.

A few things became very clear as Dallas Smith’s set played out in Oshawa…

1) He works hard for the crowd – and they love him for it. Whether it’s taking selfies with phones that are handed to him from the front rows, or bouncing from one side of the stage to the other to make sure that everyone feels involved, he’s on it. He owns the room.

2) The only reason Dallas Smith isn’t fronting one of the most successful rock and roll bands in Canada is because he chose country. In the middle of the set Dallas played Wasting My Time and Count On Me from the Default library, as well as Something Just Like This from The Chainsmokers/Coldplay and the crowd was all over it. But, as Dallas told the Oshawa crowd before his encore, he chose country because that’s what felt right, that’s who he is as an artist, and the country music community is lucky to have him.

3) His voice – damn! Before the show we had a chance to catch up with Andrew Hyatt, and when Dallas came up in our conversation Andrew correctly pointed out that “he’s got a voice that never quits.”, we’re not sure we could say it any more effectively than that.

4) He’s a big softie. For the second time we saw an on-stage proposal at a Dallas Smith show, and it was just as sweet this time as the last. Dallas helped a super happy and in love dude propose to his (now) fiancée with a sweet surprise that included the man’s son – and then, after the smiles and hugs and her Yes, Dallas stepped to the side and sang Autograph while the happy couple took centre stage and had a dance.

Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

During the set Dallas, while he was entertaining the hell out of Oshawa, Dallas took the chance to invite a couple friends up on stage with him. First we got to see Andrew Hyatt jump out to join Dallas Smith and the band for a duet performance of his first top 10 hit, On Me. We also need to note the cheer Hyatt got when he asked who was hitting The Corral, the local country bar, to party Friday night. From the sound of it, the bar had a heap of customers on the way after the show.

The second emerging artist called out was Shawn Austin, who has a top 30 hit of his own with Paradise Found, and came out to sing a duet version of A Girl Like You. Smith’s fans did a great job supporting both of these young dudes, and both of them sounded great with the Canadian star who invited them to share the stage.

Canadian country music is in great shape these days. There’s a ton of talent. And with dudes like Dallas Smith leading the way on radio and on stage, things are only going to look brighter. And, if Dallas can continue to do what he’s done on Side Effects, his future is only going to continue to look brighter too.

In 2012 when Dallas released his debut country album, Jumped Right In, he may not have known that he’d end up headlining nationwide tours with rowdy fans that would sing along to his songs all night… but that’s what’s happening right now on the Side Effects Tour. It’s what happened in Oshawa on Friday night. And we’re damn sure that it will happen again!

Dallas Smith Setlist, Oshawa 2017

🔥 Side Effects
🔥 Sky Stays This Blue
🔥 Wastin’ Gas
🔥 If It Gets You Where You Wanna Go
🔥 Slow Rollin’
🔥 Sleepin’ Around
🔥 One Little Kiss
🔥 Wasting My Time (Default)
🔥 Count On Me (Default)
🔥 On Me with Andrew Hyatt
🔥 Nothin’ But Summer
🔥 Kids With Cars
🔥 Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay)
🔥 50/50
🔥 A Girl Like You with Shawn Austin
🔥 Autograph
🔥 Jumped Right In
🔥 Lifted
ENCORE
🔥 Somebody Somewhere
🔥 Tippin’ Point
🔥 Cheap Seats


Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaThe Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - OshawaThe Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - OshawaThe Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - OshawaLauren Alaina - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

4 weeks ago 3 Comments Views

Out Of The Blue: Chad Brownlee Video Release

Chad Brownlee is back on screen in the brand new music video for Out Of The Blue.

The Stephano Barberis directed clip co-stars Dallas Smith, JoJo Mason, and the boys from Washboard Union, making the video a powerhouse combination of Canadian country music talent.

It’s also ridiculous, funny, over-the-top, smokey, sexy, and worthy of repeat watches!

Related: Chad Brownlee at Boots & Hearts 2017

On the heels of similarly cinematic music videos for Might As Well Be Me, I Hate You For It, and Somethin’ We Shouldn’t Do – there’s a pattern to be found, and it’s becoming easy to say that Chad Brownlee is a video star.

Now… check out some gifs of our favourite moments, and vote and leave a comment telling us which of Chad Brownlee’s co-stars you think was best in Out Of The Blue!

1 month ago Views

Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, Carly Pearce and Special Guests Take Over Toronto

On a summer Thursday night down by the lake, Toronto embraced Canadian country music at the biggest homegrown show in our memory. Dean Brody & Tim Hicks put their Canadian names on the tickets, with U.S. rising star Carly Pearce as their opener, and special guests promised – and everyone, from the start to the finish – delivered a night that thousands of fans are glad they were a part of.

Before the show on the big stage got started, Leah Daniels hit the River Bar for a pre-show set as the gates opened. We talked to Leah for a minute and she told us that there are some exciting things coming soon. So stay tuned for more news from the Canadian country singer.

The Budweiser Stage show started with Kentucky native, former Dollywood performer, and Top 20 charting, Carly Pearce. The Big Machine artist, preparing to drop her debut full length album this fall (October 13, 2017) made her first Canadian performance count, wowing the crowd from start to finish.

With songs including her single, (and the title track to her upcoming album) Every Little Thing, and songs that we’ll hear on the new record including, Careless, Doin’ It Right, and If My Name Was Whiskey, Pearce showed that she’s ready for that release.

The tracks offered an opportunity for Carly to showcase her voice, and it’s impressive. The notes, inflection, and emotion that she’s able to share through the words in her songs are strong, and those qualities are exactly why there’s hype from outlets like Rolling Stone for her young career.

Be ready to hear a lot more about Carly Pearce here and everywhere.

Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017

After Carly Pearce finished her Canadian debut, the true north country show started with Tim Hicks and his band hitting the Budweiser Stage… hard. The moment Hicks and the boys hit the stage, it got loud. The Toronto country fans love this dude, accepting him as one of their own over the last few years as he’s put out hit after hit.

Hicks made a point of telling everyone in the crowd how special this show was to him. Making the journey in his career from fronting the house band at Grace O’Malley’s to playing the amphitheatre by the lake is big for him, as it would be for anybody.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

Note: Many thanks to Tim for hanging out with us for a little chat and catch up session before the show. It’s always a good time.

Hicks also made an announcement at the end of the set, just before playing his last song, that the track, Forever Rebels, will be released as his next radio single. And, having listened to the track, and having seen the reaction of the fans to it, we’re pretty comfortable telling you that we think Tim Hicks has another Canadian Top 10 on his hands.

We should also tell you this… Tim Hicks had the second loudest singalong we’ve ever heard at the Budweiser Stage. When Stronger Beer was being belted out by thousands of voices we could feel it just as much as we could hear it. It was special. It truly was. And the only time we’ve heard it louder was when Florida Georgia Line stripped it down to perform H.O.L.Y in 2016.

Even though it’s only a 15 minute drive, Tim Hicks has come a long way from playing covers in downtown Toronto. And every stop along the way has been a hell raisin’ good time.

Tim Hicks Setlist Budweiser Stage, Toronto

🍻 Shake These Walls
🍻 Burn
🍻 Hell Raisin’ Good Time
🍻 Slide Over
🍻 She Don’t Drink Whiskey
🍻 I Got A Feelin’
🍻 Stompin’ Ground
🍻 Get By
🍻 Stronger Beer
🍻 Forever Rebels

Dean Brody headlined the Thursday night concert in every sense of the word. With a boatload of energy, and more special guests than we could have predicted, the B.C. native took over the Toronto stage and showed everyone what he’s got.

It was immediately clear, from the moment he walked on stage and started playing Bush Party with the band, that the crowd was in love with him. They were loud, attentive, out of their seats, singing and dancing at every opportunity. And that was before the surprises started popping out onto the stage.

Note: Dean told the crowd that he’s a Toronto resident now, so if you see him walking around reenacting the Mountain Man video, say hi.

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

Six songs into the show the first special guest came out to play – and Toronto got loud for Dallas Smith as he partnered with Brody on Undone, and then borrowed the band to play Somebody Somewhere. Then, just a new moments later, Madeline Merlo (fresh off the bandshell stage at the Canadian National Exhibition) came out to sing Lindi Ortega’s part on Bounty. Next, after Dean pulled on our heartstrings with acoustic versions of Time and Brothers, his duet partner, Shevy Price, came out to hammer home a high energy performance of Beautiful Freakshow.

And just when we thought that had to be it, Alan Doyle, a repeat partner in Dean Brody’s career, came out on stage to collaborate on both Soggy Bottom Summer and It’s Friday, before borrowing the Brodeo for Great Big Sea’s classic, Ordinary Day.

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

It was highlight after highlight. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the special guests were the only high spots. Dean Brody worked the stage, commanded the crowd, danced, smiled, and rolled through his biggest hits for the Toronto crowd. He headlined the hell out of that concert, proving that he was more than ready for that big city spotlight on the Budweiser Stage.

Dean Brody is a stud and a homegrown star. And he showed that Canadian talent can not only compete, but can put thousands of butts in seats, get them back out of those seats to sing and dance, and headline shows for country music fans.

We’re glad we were there to see it. And we can’t wait to see Dean, and a whole crop of Canadian artists follow in those footsteps.

Dean Brody and Special Guests Setlist, Toronto

🍻 Bush Party
🍻 Dirt Road Scholar
🍻 Upside Down
🍻 People Know You By Your First Name
🍻 Roll That Barrel Out
🍻 Monterey
🍻 Undone (with Dallas Smith)
🍻 Somebody Somewhere (Dallas Smith)
🍻 Love Would Be Enough
🍻 Bounty (with Madeline Merlo)
🍻 Time
🍻 Brothers
🍻 Beautiful Freakshow (with Shevy Price)
🍻 Soggy Bottom Summer (with Alan Doyle)
🍻 It’s Friday (with Alan Doyle)
🍻 Ordinary Day (Alan Doyle)
🍻 Canadian Girls
Encore:
🍻 Mountain Man
🍻 Bring Down The House

More Photos of Dean Brody at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017More Photos of Tim Hicks at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Graham Mallany - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Geoff Torrn - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Chris Altmann - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Rob Wells - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks Band - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

More Photos of Carly Pearce at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce Band - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017 Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017

3 months ago Views

Side Effects: Dallas Smith Backstage Interview, Toronto

Before he surprised the crowd at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto as a special guest of Dean Brody, Dallas Smith hung out with us to talk about his upcoming tour, what it feels like to go #1, and more.

The first time we saw Dallas Smith playing live country music was at Boots & Hearts in 2012. It was year one of the festival, Smith was still new to the country genre, and he played in the middle of the sunny afternoon to country music fans who sang along to covers and listened to him play songs from his first album, Jumped Right In. We asked him about that day, and the journey since then to playing bigger stages for bigger crowds.

Dallas remembers the afternoon show, and then jumped ahead to talk about the 2014 Thursday night kick off party at the same festival. Smith headlined that night, to a monster crowd on the front porch stage, and he remembers that feeling. We were there, and we remember that night too. He was on fire, running all over the stage and showing the country music fans that he belonged on the list of rising stars in the genre. He jumped again to put a highlight on his 2015 visit to Boots & Hearts when he played the lead in to Eric Church on the Saturday night main stage. We could see in his face that he remembers that night with a special feeling. He told us that he took a bunch of video of the crowd because it was such a significant moment in his live performance career.

Dallas Smith Boots and Hearts 2015

Staying on the live show topic, we talked about Dallas Smith’s recently announced, Side Effects Tour that will see him play 27 dates between October 12 and November 18. He told us that the tour has been in the works for months, and that it was exciting to be able to make the announcement this week. It’s also exciting, he said, to be hitting the road with the likes of The Cadillac Three, Lauren Alaina, Michael Ray, and for one night, the James Barker Band. Here’s our recommendation, if the Side Effects Tour is coming to a city anywhere near you, get tickets and be there.

A common thread throughout our chat were the feelings that have come at different moments in Dallas Smith’s career. With Sky Stays This Blue recently becoming his fourth #1 single, we asked about the feelings that have some with those milestones. Dallas told us that they all felt special of course, but the first one, Wastin’ Gas was something he’d never felt before. And when it stayed at the top for a second week, that was truly a feeling to remember. We asked who got the first call after he found out about his number one status, and while he couldn’t remember exactly, he’s sure it was either his dad or his wife… and both of those options sound good to us.

Dallas Smith also told us there’s one feeling that never changes and never goes away; the feeling that comes when thousands of people in the crowd take over and sing his songs back to him. We’ve seen and heard it, and we told him that we watch for the reactions from artists when it happens, and he confirmed for us that it’s all legit. The smiles and expressions he, and other singers, give when a choir of country fans starts singing are 100% real, and it never gets old.

Dallas Smith CNE 2015

Before our time was up, we asked Smith about the music video for Sky Stays This Blue and how special it was to be able to include his daughter, Vayda. Dallas told us that he’d had the idea to include her in a video to capture her at a young age and create a memory that they can both hold onto in the future. He said that the song fit perfectly with that idea, and that with a scaled down version of director Stephano Barberis’ original idea, a small crew was able to capture the feeling and vibe that Smith had hoped for from the very beginning.

During Dean Brody’s set on Thursday night at the Budweiser Stage, Dallas Smith was introduced to a thunderous round of cheers and applause. The crowd, already pumped up from Carly Pearce, Tim Hicks, and the start of Dean Brody’s set went wild when the B.C. native came out in a Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays jersey. And when he teamed up with Dean for a duet of Brody’s 2009 single, Undone, and then borrowed the band to play Somebody Somewhere, it stayed loud. Really loud.

Smith was ready for that moment, excited, he told us it was the first time he’d be coming out as a surprise guest. We saw it all, and we can tell you this, it worked, he just jumped right in.

3 months ago Views

Country Thunder Calgary 2017: Dallas Smith Photo Review

One act that blew us out of our seats at Country Thunder was the very talented Dallas Smith. Every time I’ve seen him he gets better and better and he never fails to entertain. What I really love about Dallas is how intimate he is with the crowd and how much he interacts with them throughout the show. Whether you’re up close or at the back of festival he makes you feel like you had front row seats.

Check out the pics of Dallas Smith at Country Thunder Calgary and see him live on the Side Effects Tour when you get the chance!

3 months ago Views

Laugh When You Lie: Dan Davidson, Live in Toronto

Dan Davidson may be becoming known for his wacky videos, but country radio and country music fans know that he’s the real deal, And he’s just getting started.

We met up with the former Tupelo Honey rocker at Parkdale’s Rod, Gun & Barbers during a stop in Toronto to talk about his music, DIY videos, dad life and more.

As Davidson’s current single Say We Did rolls through country radio, CMT, and streaming services across the country (and beyond) the singer/songwriter continues to put in work on new music and his live show.

We asked about an album and Dan told us that he’s be perfectly happy to be a singles guy. Writing, recording, releasing and playing a new song and then moving onto the next one… but he also understands the importance of an album, and told us that there will be an EP release this fall after the CCMA awards in Saskatoon.

With two nominations (Rising Star Award, Songwriter of the Year + Video Director of the Year: Travis Nesbitt for Davidson’s Found) at this year’s awards, Dan Davidson is quickly making sure his name has been added in the up and coming crop of country music talent in Canada. And with bangers like Found and Barn Burner leading the way, he is definitely making it easy to put his name in that group.

Dan Davidson - Rod, Gun and Barbers Parkdale

We would have been foolish not to ask Davidson about the video for Say We Did. The fan favourite features a DIY construction of the Starship Enterprise’s bridge in Dan’s garage… with costumes to complete the look. He told us that the build took about two days, and was a lot of fun. Added to his previous videos, the reputation as a dude who has fun with this part of the process is becoming more solidified – and he’s happy to be that guy, and not just another dude standing in a field or on a river bank to shoot a country video.

He also told us that his indie status allows him to come up with these kinda ridiculous ideas without worrying about anyone telling him that he can’t. And he loves that freedom.

When he’s not on the road, Dan Davidson is probably at home having tea parties or playing in the sprinkler with his little girls. It’s easy to tell when you talk to him that dad time is important to him and he truly loves it. And while he’s not sure his girls understand what dad does (it all seems like a lot of playing dress up and singing songs with his friends), we’re sure they’ll figure it out sooner than later.

As we hung out by the pool table at the back of Rod, Gun & Barbers, we hit the subject of the Canadian Country Music scene and Dan echoed what we hear so often, that it’s a good place to be. He told us about the supportive feel that flows from artist to artist. And he shouted out artists like Brett Kissel, Dallas Smith, and Chad Brownlee who he’s toured with and given him their time along the way.

Dan Davidson - Rod, Gun and Barbers Parkdale

We also talked about the country music fans, and how cool it’s been for him to see them cheering and singing along when he takes the stage all over Canada. We saw it in person this spring at Boots & Bourbon during Canadian Music Week, and the assembled mass of music lovers that night certainly got into it. They sang along, danced and whooped it up – showing Davidson that his tracks had travelled from the west to Ontario, and were working.

He told us about not being sure if anyone would know who he was while on tour with Chase Rice… and then being blown away by the fans in London as they popped for him and his songs. And with more music coming for those country fans, we’re betting that those reactions are going to continue – and his surprise at them should fade.

Dan Davidson - Rod, Gun and Barbers Parkdale

While we had Dan Davidson for photos and hangs, he pulled out his guitar and played a sad one for us… with haircuts in the background and Parkdale’s Queen Street West in the far background, we were pulled in.

Plugged in on stage, or on a stool next to a pool table, Dan Davidson is one to watch.

Stay tuned for new music, show announcements and more from Dan… it’s coming soon.

And press play now for a special live performance of Laugh When You Lie, recorded at Rod, Gun & Barbers on Queen Street West in Parkdale, Toronto.

Dan Davidson - Rod, Gun and Barbers Parkdale Dan Davidson - Rod, Gun and Barbers Parkdale

4 months ago Views

Have Your Say: 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Awards Nominees!

The Canadian Country Music Association has announced the full list of 2017 CCMA Awards nominees… and it’s an impressive list of Canadian country talent!

We are lucky and privileged to have covered, met, and seen these artists put on amazing lives shows, record fantastic music, and grow into their careers.

But now, because we know you have an opinion, we want to know who you think should win at the 2017 CCMA Awards in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Sunday, September 10th. Use the polls to vote and support your favourite artists, and use the link at the bottom of the list to cast your official vote for the Fans’ Choice Award!

Have fun – and congratulations to all of the nominees in 2017, you should all be proud of your accomplishments, we can’t wait to hear what you’ve got coming for us next.

Click Here to submit your official vote for the Fans’ Choice Award!

And Click Here to see the full list of nominees in all 2017 Canadian Country Music Association categories! 

4 months ago Views

Sky Stays This Blue: Dallas Smith Video Release

Dallas Smith has found the perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day with the release of his new video for Sky Stays This Blue. The video shares his life at home with his 3-year-old daughter Vayda and gives us a glimpse into some cherished, love filled moments.

This video means everything to me,” shares Smith. “Vayda is going to have this memory for the rest of her life as a reminder of how much she’s loved and I will cherish the moments we captured forever.”

Hit play now and watch Smith’s new video for Sky Stays This Blue.

Dallas Smith is riding a wave of success, in April he hit #1 at Canadian Country Radio for the third time, and his 2016 release, Side Effects became his second consecutive chart-topping album. Dallas also holds the record for being the 1st Canadian male Country artist* to have three #1 songs and he’s the ONLY Canadian male Country artist to have two consecutive #1 singles. He’s the first Canadian Country artist to have back to back #1 singles since Shania Twain in 1997/1998.

We’ve been fans since the release of his first country album, Jumped Right In and we’re thrilled about his success.

Smith is currently planning a cross-Canada tour for 2017 but in the meantime, he’s got some dates already set. For current tour dates check out dallassmithmusic.com.

Dallas Smith Boots and Hearts 2015

Dallas Smith Boots and Hearts 2015

Dallas Smith CNE 2015

Dallas Smith at his record-breaking CNE 2015 performance

Dallas Smith CNE 2015

Dallas Smith at his record-breaking CNE 2015 performance

Dallas Smith – Boots and Hearts 2014 performance

Dallas Smith – Boots and Hearts 2014 performance

*in the BDS era (post-1995)

5 months ago Views

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

7 months ago Views

5 Quick Questions with Beamer Wigley

Back in September 2016 we had the chance to catch up with teenage up-and-comer, Beamer Wigley during Canadian Country Music Week – and we took the chance to get him to answer our 5 quick questions.

Check ’em out and keep an eye open for Beamer, he’s coming hard!

Q1: If you’re in the car on a long drive, what CD can you put on repeat and let play for hours?

Beamer: Dallas Smith, Side Effects

We can’t argue with that answer. Dallas made a killer album that’s a whole lot of fun to listen to and sing along with.

Q2: What is the first song you remember knowing all the words to?

Beamer: Dixieland Delight, by Alabama

Are we impressed? Yes. Are we surprised? Not really, Beamer knows his country music. That was easy to see in the first couple minutes of hanging out with him.

Q3: What is your favourite hobby for the downtime you’re not using to work on music?

Beamer: Acting

We haven’t seen Beamer perform Shakespeare yet, but he looks good playing his role in the Boombox music video.

Q4: What do you NEED to have with you when you walk into a writing session?

Beamer: Snacks!

Beamer told us that chocolate is key, but snacks in general have to be present if there’s going to be any writing done at a session!

Q5: Can you give us a prediction for the 2016-17 NHL season?

Beamer: The Vancouver Canucks will win the Stanley Cup

We’re not sure we can support that statement… but we appreciate Beamer’s love for his team.

10 months ago Views
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