Emerging Artist Showcase

2017 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artists Showcase Preview

Over the years we’ve seen some amazing acts come through the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase. Artists that have become household names like Tebey, Tim Hicks and The James Barker Band as well as some of our favourites including Johnson Crook, Birds of Bellwoods, Runaway Angel, The Reklaws, Trinity Bradshaw, Jesse Gold and last year’s winner, Vanessa Marie Carter.

This year’s crop of emerging artists are super talented and we’re sure this is going to be a close one! We’re pleased to introduce you to the Boots and Hearts 2017 Emerging Artists.

Amanda Sadler – Cross My Heart

This Kingston based singer songwriter has already been making waves in Canadian country music and performed at the CCMA Country Music Week “Diamonds in the Rough” Showcase. Amanda is classically trained in both piano and vocals and has been performing since the age of five. She’s recently returned from a writing stint in Nashville where she was working on new music with Patricia Conroy and Dave”Dwave” Thomson.

Jade Eagleson – I Don’t Drink

Jade Eagleson, if that isn’t the best country music name I’ve heard this year, I don’t know what is? But Jade will need more than a great name to win this year’s Emerging Artist Showcase. He comes armed with plenty of experience, the 23-year-old has been playing since he was 13, he’s recorded in Nashville and the singer songwriter has enough support to have won himself a spot in this competition!

Jason Kirkness – Whiskey Kiss

Jason isn’t new to us, we’ve been following his career for some time now. This small town, Manitoba born singer songwriter, released a new album, A Beautiful Disaster in May and the single Whiskey Kiss has a classic country sound that makes you want to sing along. With stage smarts that come from opening up for Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, The Roadhammers, George Canyon, Jake Owen, and Kip Moore, we’re thinking Jason might have a slight advantage in this race.

Kalsey Kulyk – More Time

Kalsey describes her style as country with a little pop and rock thrown in for good measure and that sounds great to us. She was born in the small town of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan and with the support of her family, she’s been performing since the young age of 4 in talent and on tv shows. Kalsey lists her early influences as Shania Twain, Allison Krause, The Dixie Chicks and we love her crystal clear voice and relatable lyrics.

Kentucky Rails – Wallet

Kentucky Rails are a five-piece band that have “the look” and their entry song is fun and energetic. Wallet is their first single and we’re looking forward to seeing these boys perform live. Kentucky Rails are Justin deGraaf on bass and vocals,  Ryan Pellicciotta on guitar and vocals,  Zach McCabe on guitar and lead vocals, Dave Kirby on guitar and Matt Soliveri on drums.

“KR symbolizes the struggle to win. When you’re on the rails in the Derby, the odds are stacked against you. But we all love an underdog story… Right?”

Marco Sylver – Summer Life

Marco Sylver’s entry is also his current single. Summer Life highlights all the good things about summer including top down days, friends, no worries and fun. With a bluegrass background, Marco has been working hard to make a name for himself in Canadian country music. A current resident of Calgary he’s had the opportunity to open for Travis Tritt and the Charlie Daniels Band and we’re sure he’ll be bringing his A game to the Boots and Hearts Stage.

Josh Ross – Don’t Ever Let Go

Burlington singer songwriter Josh Ross started performing at a very young age and added songwriting to his repertoire in high school. He lists Dallas Smith, Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldridge, Florida Georgia Line, Tim Hicks, Jason Aldean as influences and we feel like we can hear a little bit of each of them when Josh sings. He’s young, talented and not too hard to look at, we’ll be looking to see how he connects with the crowd and the judges.

The Redhill Valleys – Either Or

The Redhill Valleys are Danielle Beaudin on guitar and vocals, Tim Allard on drums, guitar and vocals and Chelsea McWilliams on bass and vocals. The three-piece out of Hamilton have a folk feeling with amazing harmonies. Their video is warm and beautiful. We’re looking forward to seeing them live.

Best of luck to all of the entrants, we’ll see you at Boots!

2016 Boots & Hearts Preview: Emerging Artists Q&A

Boots & Hearts has picked its finalists for the Emerging Artist Competition, but they still need your help! When you’re done reading and watching, come back and vote here!

To help you with the decision making, we did a Q&A with the finalists to help you get to know them a little better. We asked them about who they’re listening to, what they were doing when they heard they’d made the finals, what we can expect from them, and more.

Thanks to Vanessa Marie Carter, Jess and Tay, Ryan Langdon, Shylo Sharity, Kelsi MayneRobyn Ottolini, and Jesse Gold for playing along, and we can’t wait to meet you!

Vanessa Marie CarterQ. How did you find out about the contest?

Vanessa Marie Carter: I heard about the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist contest a few years ago. The Canadian Country music scene is a really tight community, especially within Ontario. With Boots & Hearts being the king of Canadian Country festivals, it’s a hard one not to hear about! I’m so happy that I have the chance to be there this summer.

Jess and Tay: We found out about the Emerging Artist Showcase through Twitter and we knew we had to enter.

Ryan Langdon:
 I’ve heard about the contest for the past couple of years now. Something came up online and I decided to enter.

Shylo Sharity: I was told I should enter by a friend.

Kelsi Mayne: I found out about B&H 3 years ago when I moved to Toronto and had a huge billboard right outside my window with Miranda Lambert (my idol) on it. Naturally, I looked into it which lead me to learn about the Emerging Artist Showcase. It’s been a dream of mine ever since!

Robyn Ottolini: I watched it last year at Boots and Hearts!

Jesse Gold: An incredible band and dear friends of mine, Birds Of Bellwoods, were one of the emerging artist bands in 2015. After watching them kill it and have an amazing time I decided I had to apply for 2016!

. Tell us what you were doing when you received the news you’d been chosen?

Vanessa Marie Carter: I was at work when I received the news that I’d been chosen for the showcase! I read and re-read the e-mail about three times to make sure I hadn’t mistaken something. As an up and coming artist, that really was THE best news to receive.

Jess and TayJess and Tay: We had just woken up and Jess was heading to an exam when I (Tay) was just about to go back to sleep when I heard the email notification. I saw “Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase” as the description and immediately showed Jess and we were ecstatic to find out that we had been chosen.

Ryan Langdon: I was actually at the gym working out when I found out the news.

Shylo Sharity: I was at home when I received an email informing me I was one of the finalists. It is hard to describe how I felt but let me try. Elated, amazed, joyous, and incredibly happy!

Kelsi Mayne: I was in the middle of the Apple store getting help when I hopped on their wifi and saw an email titled “Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist TOP 8 FINALIST”. I had to read it three times over until I truly believed they were speaking about me. Then I did my best not to scream and bear hug the Apple genius next to me!

Robyn Ottolini: I was just lying in bed checking my emails when it popped up and I just started shaking I couldn’t believe it!!

Jesse Gold: I was actually in the middle of recording and I had forgotten to turn my phone on silent. In the middle of a perfect take, my phone made that little email “ding” sound. I screamed some profanities and then checked my phone to find that it was the incredible news from Boots & Hearts. I was not upset about the ruined take!

Q. If you were creating a playlist, what are the top three tunes?
Ryan Langdon

Vanessa Marie Carter: This is such a difficult question!! Currently, my top 3 recently played are T-Shirt by Thomas Rhett, Mind Reader by Dustin Lynch and Fire Away by Chris Stapleton.

Jess and Tay:
1) House Party – Sam Hunt
2) I Know What You Did Last Summer – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
3) Redneck Woman – Gretchen Wilson

Ryan Langdon:
1) Chris Young – The Man I Want To Be
2) George Strait – Troubadour
3) Prince – I Would Die For You

Shylo SharityShylo Sharity:
Chris Stapelton – Tennessee Whiskey
Kacey Musgraves – Biscuits
Lana Del Rey – National Anthem

Kelsi Mayne: My top 3 favourite songs at the moment are: Blame it On Me- Chris Stapleton, Drink You Away- Justin Timberlake, and Die a Happy Man- Thomas Rhett

Robyn Ottolini: Beer Can in a Truck Bed- Old Dominion, Rich- Maren Morris and What the Hell Did I Say?- Dierks Bentley

Jesse Gold: I create playlists for different moods. But for a summer sun, country lovin’, good ol’ time, playlist… these would be the three top songs on it now:

Waves – Miguel feat. Kacey Musgraves
I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes
Traveller – Chris Stapleton

Q. Who are you most excited to see at Boots and Hearts?
kelsi mayne

Vanessa Marie Carter: Cam and Chase Rice are two I haven’t seen before who I’m really looking forward to watching! Along with all of the headliners, I have so many friends who are playing the festival as well who I can’t wait to see. It’s going to be an awesome three days!

Jess and Tay: We are super excited to see everyone performing at Boots and Hearts this year, but we’d have to say that we are most excited to see Sam Hunt play because it will be the first time either of us is seeing him perform live.

Ryan Langdon: I’m really excited to see Tim McGraw. He’s a legend. One of my biggest influences in Country Music.

Shylo Sharity: I’m most excited to see Blake Shelton and Jake Owen!

Kelsi Mayne: This question is impossible… Obviously Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw (I would die to have them mentor me), Cam- because I covered her song “Burning House” and used it in my audition tape, Sam Hunt- because he is such a unique innovator; But also my friends River Town Saints, and other amazing Canadian talent!

Robyn Ottolini: OMG, Sam Hunt and Cam. <3

Jesse Gold: I am most excited to see Blake. His new record is fiiiiire.

Q. In 50 words or less, can you tell us and the fans what we can expect to see when you hit the Front Porch Stage at Boots & Hearts?
Robyn Ottolini

Vanessa Marie Carter: The most common compliment I hear from fans while I’m on stage is that it looks like I’m having a lot of fun. I hope that everyone who catches my set is ready to let loose and have a good time with us. Performing is something that I love and I won’t be taking this opportunity for granted! I invite everyone who’s there watching to come over and meet me after; I have so many friends that I’ve made at festivals and shows and I’d love to make a lot more. I can’t wait to see you all and party with you at Boots & Hearts this summer!

Jess and Tay: Everyone can expect to see a super energetic and lively performance. We just want to go up there, give it our best shot, and have as much fun as possible doing what we love. We’re extremely excited to be able to play at the festival this year, it’s a dream come true for the both of us, and we’re so excited to share this memory together and with all of you! Thank you to thereviewsarein for taking their time to get to know us and to everyone at Boots and Hearts and Sirius XM for this amazing opportunity!

Ryan Langdon: What they can expect is high energy, smooth vocals and somebody who is having a great time doing it. On stage, I provide new and old school concepts of Country Music, mixed with originality. Some comparisons I have received is being the “Ed Sheeran of Country Music”.

Shylo Sharity: You will see a very energetic entertainer performing classic, new country, revamped rock and roll to my own country style and some of my own originals.

Kelsi Mayne: FIRE. *Drop mic here* 😉

Robyn Ottolini: You can expect a small town girl having way too much playing her favourite tunes and straight up having a good time.

Jesse GoldJesse Gold: Performing is my all time favourite thing to do. There is nowhere I feel more comfortable than on a stage. I can’t wait to show Boots & Hearts the energy that my band and I will bring. We have some special moments planned, maybe a surprise cover, and a seriously killer band. It’s going to be absolutely wicked. Get ready!!

Competitors Entries

Competitors Boots & Hearts Trailers

(We’ll be updating as they become available)

2 years ago

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

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

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

The Venue

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

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

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

The Headliners

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

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

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

The Emerging Artist Showcase

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

The answer is… we don’t know.

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

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

The Women on Stage

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

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

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

Little Big Town

Dallas Smith

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

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

The Fans

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

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

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

The Camping

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

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

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

The Late Night Dance Parties

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

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

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

The CanCon

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

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

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

The Thursday Night Kick Off Party

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

Really, it’s true.

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

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

See y’all soon.

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

2 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Emerging Artist Showcase Preview: Birds of Bellwoods

I caught up with Birds of Bellwoods last week prior to their NXNE show at The Cameron House. We talked about the Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase, what’s coming up for the band, influences and lots more.

Birds of Bellwoods: First cool thing to talk about is the opportunities and the things we have coming up. So, we’ve got NXNE tonight and then we’re playing The Great Heart Festival. Which is an awesome festival. It’s in Trinity Bellwoods, it’s an acoustic festival and it’s on June 21st.

After that we’re taking a little bit of time and we’re coming to Boots and Hearts, which we’re really excited about. It’s not normally an audience we get to communicate with. We’re very excited and a little terrified to see how we’ll be received. We’re not traditional country or even modern country.The Birds of Bellwoods Cameron House NXNETC: Have you heard any of the other emerging artists?

Birds of Bellwoods: We have, and we seem to be a little bit of a red herring, maybe that’ll work in our favour. We hope it will. We’re hoping if we play good, honest music that people will enjoy it.

TC: What’s the exciting news?

Birds of Bellwoods: The really exciting thing we have coming up is… we recently got offered a spot at TURF, which is the Toronto Urban Roots Festival. We’ll be playing with some of our favourite bands like Shakey Graves and Punch Brothers. We’re actually on the same day as Punch Brothers. And Pixies, which is 14 year old Adrian’s dream.

We’ll be doing our EP release as part of a TURF Showcase and that’s going to be happening on August 13th at Lee’s Palace. We’ll be bringing along a drummer and a violinist, which promises to fill out the sound. The night after that, we’re doing Gladstone Hotel with Groenland. And so that’s cool and then Jasper Folk Music Festival is coming up in September. So there’s a lot of cool stuff coming up and our EP The Fifth, which is our first studio EP, we’re dropping that in August.

TC:  I wanted to ask about the song you choose to enter the Boots and Hearts Showcase. Why that one?Birds of Bellwoods Boots and Hearts Intro Video

Birds of Bellwoods: I guess we felt that was the most country friendly song we had. Easily accessible, and a pretty good representation of our sound at the same time. We also love it as a song. It’s a very earnest song. It’s a truthful song. It’s based in a story that’s very dear to me and I think these guys all have there own understanding and interpretation of it. I felt like it was something that people can relate to. I think everyone’s been there at one time or another. And when it comes down to it, it was also the very first song we co-wrote as a band.

We shot a live session video for it that we’re pretty happy with. It was with a company called Felideye Pictures, by videographer, Julien Peter. He’s a good friend of ours and we got together one day in Kintaro’s backyard. We set up the mic, we set up a couple cameras and went for it. The best part is, that was actually a test shoot for a shoot that we were planning to do in the future, and then that shoot sort of crumbled in our hands. The card he was recording on was corrupted. That was just a practice run and it ended up being it.

The song itself, if it helps at all, is called “No Less Than All” and it’s about letting go of a previous relationship. It’s about the passage of time and taking responsibility. And I think, what we’re all left wondering, once we’ve made our peace with this situations is, that it’s remembered, and that it wasn’t just beautiful for us. That there was still something special, even if it did have to end.

TC: What made you enter the contest?

Birds of Bellwoods: I’ve known about Boots and Hearts for a while. I’ve listened to country music for a while, more the pick up truck kinda music. I think it’s a very honest kind of music. I’ve known about Boots and Hearts and I’ve thought it was a great festival. We saw the opportunity come up and we thought, why not? Worst case scenario nothing. It seems like the most engaged and excitable audience. It sold out in three days!

For us being picked was a huge surprise and a great honour and we’ll keep doing what we need to do regardless of what happens, and if it helps us, great.

The Birds of Bellwoods Cameron House NXNE

TC: What are you listening to?

Birds of Bellwoods: We just went to Bonnaroo so we listen to all the bands. We saw a lot of bluegrass music down there. Punch Brothers were great. Béla Fleck, Shakey Graves, and My Morning Jacket. A lot of our influences aren’t from a country vein, they’re from everywhere and it’s the instrumentation that gives us the folky country sound. A lot of my early influences are more in the realm of Old Crow Medicine Show and more of the Appalachian blue grass kinda sound. Dave Rawlings, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, CSNY. I can’t stop listening to Yukon Blonde‘s new album. It came out on Tuesday. It’s amazing. Shakey Graves, Lady Lamb, she’s sort of grunge rock but she sometimes plays a banjo.

We’re all really intent on supporting the musicians we’re coming up with. Toronto is just filled with the most amazing musicians and we’re very lucky to part of such a rapidly growing community of talent. There’s a band called UKAE that we’ve played with a few times, Ivory Hours is another. A friend of ours, Scott Helman is doing very well. I think he’s nominated for an MMVA this year.

One of the best parts about living downtown is that you just walk down the street and find hundreds of great bands. You can find a jazz band and throw a rock and hit a metal band.The Birds of Bellwoods Cameron House NXNE outside-6027TC: Last question, tell me something we couldn’t find out about you on the internet.

Birds of Bellwoods: We have a mascot named Frank. Nope they could find that on the internet. We’re debuting a song tonight that no one’s heard before that is technically called Head Long but it’s really called Fish Hunt. We conjured Chris with a Ouija board. He’s from the other side.

He might be joking… or not.

Birds of Bellwoods is Stevie Joffe (Mandolin/Lead Vocals), Adrian Morningstar (Guitar/Vocals), Chris Blades (Banjo/Vocals), and Kintaro Akiyama (Upright Bass/Vocals) and you can find them all over the internet.

Web: birdsofbellwoods.com
Twitter: @BirdsBellwoods
Facebook: Birds of Bellwoods
Bandcamp: BirdsofBellwoods
Soundcloud: BirdsofBellwoods

Birds of Bellwoods Cameron House NXNE 2015


3 years ago

Enter Now: Boots & Hearts 2015 Emerging Artist Showcase

The Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase is back for 2015!

Tebey and Tim Hicks Emerging Artist ShowcasePresented once again by SiriusXM, the Emerging Artist Showcase has helped to launch the careers of Tebey and Tim Hicks (2012), The Recklaws (2013), Runaway Angel, Ty Baynton, Trinity Bradshaw (2014) and more!

If you’re interested in taking a chance at stardom, the process starts with the applications – and that means that country artists, ages 12 and over, can submit their video to bootsandhearts.com/showcase for their chance to compete at Burl’s Creek Event Park this summer.

After all of the videos have been submitted (end date: April 1. 11:59pm EST) 8 finalists will be picked by the judges to come to Boots & Hearts 2015 and compete live for their chance to win… and believe me, you want to win.

Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase 2015 Grand PrizeGrand Prize!
The winner of the 2015 Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase will have a chance to…
1. Play the main stage before Thomas Rhett hops on to play his set (there will be a big crowd there watching)
2. Have a single released by Universal Music Canada,
3. Go on a week long trip to Nashville that includes flight, hotel, expenses, $500 spending money, professional photoshoot, media training and a brand spanking new Gibson guitar.

This is going to be a great opportunity for 8 new country acts and for 1 of them, it could change their life!

Learn more by watching the video and visit bootsandhearts.com/showcase for all the info you could hope for, and to enter!

If you’re a country artist looking for a chance, we wish you luck. And if you know someone that you think should be competing in the Emerging Artist Showcase, send them this link and your encouragement!

3 years ago
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