Eric Ethridge

2016 Canadian National Exhibition: Northern Comfort Saloon Schedule & Set Times

Ever year, as summer winds down and we prepare for fall, we make our way to Exhibition Station and the Canadian National Exhibition… and when we’re there we’re sure to stop in at the Northern Comfort Saloon.

As part of Toronto’s growing country music landscape, the Saloon brings some great emerging talent to the city and gives artists a chance to perform for fans as the walk the aisles of the fair, or sit down to enjoy a cold drink and grab a bite to eat.

Note: There’s lots of room to dance in front of the stage, so if you know how to line dance or two-step, you’re more than welcome to get up on your feet and show everyone what you’ve got!

Cory-Marquardt-CNE-2015 Northen Comfort SaloonIn the past we’ve had a chance to watch and catch up with Leah Daniels, Cory Marquardt, Livy Jeanne, Marshall Dane, and more at the Northern Comfort Saloon stage, and we’re sure that this year’s lineup (including Dane) is going to be ready to continue that tradition.

All Kinds of Crazy: Livy Jeanne live at the 2015 CNE!

This Man: Cory Marquardt at the 2015 CNE!

Leah Daniels at the 2014 CNE Northern Comfort Saloon

The sets are long, which means you’re going to get a mix of originals and covers. You’re going to get a chance to pop in and out as desired. And you’re going to get a chance to see everything that these artists have to offer.

Leave a comment to tell us which day you’re coming to the CNE this summer, and hopefully we’ll see you there!

2016 Canadian National Exhibition, Northern Comfort Saloon Lineup

Buck Twenty

August 19 – 21
3:00pm – 6:00pm

Eric Ethridge

August 19 – 21
7:30pm – 11:00pm
August 22 – 24
3:00pm – 6:00pm

Marshall Dane

August 22 – 24
7:30pm – 11:00pm

Kelly Prescott

August 25 – 27
3:00pm – 6:00pm
August 28 – August 30
7:30pm – 11:00pm

Tristan Horncastle

August 25 – 27
7:30pm – 11:00pm
August 28 – August 30
3:00pm – 6:00pm

Ginger St. James

August 31 – September 2
3:00pm – 6:00pm
September 3 – September 4
7:30pm – 11:00pm

The Washboard Union

August 31 – September 2
7:30pm – 11:00pm
September 3 – 5
3:00pm – 6:00pm (7:00pm on September 5)

Washboard Union CMT Music FestLeah Daniels CNE Northern Comfort SaloonLivy Jeanne CNE 2015 Northern Comfort SaloonCory Marquardt CNE 2015Marshall Dane CNE 2014 1111Cory Marquardt CNE 2015

1 year ago Views

CMT Music Fest 2016: Maple Leaf Stage Day 1 Photo Review

Before the skies opened up and dropped a heap of rain on us at CMT Music Fest 2016 we were able to take in 4 emerging country acts on the Maple Leaf Stage – and they all did their best to impress us with what they had to offer.

And none of them failed.

Eric Ethridge

First on the stage, kicking off the 2-day festival was July’s CMAO Artist of the Month, Eric Ethridge. With great energy and enthusiasm, Ethridge and his full band (all freaking 7 of them) were in a mood to start a party – which was good because they started the set with We’re Gonna Start A Party. And they kept things going with a cover of Boondocks, and originals Between Me And You, and finished things up with I Like You Like I Like Beer.

Also, Eric gets high fives for working in a t-shirt toss, which is always a good way to get an early crowd to remember your name and cheer like they’ll never see another t-shirt again.

CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge-6981CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge-6965CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge Band-7749CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge Band-7722CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge Band-7712CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge Band-7769CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge Band-7757CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge Band-7755CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge Band-7763

Ben Hudson

Ben Hudson was next to hop up and entertain the growing crowd as the afternoon wore on. 6 strong on stage, Hudson and his band were smooth and tight – and with his great voice leading the way it was easy to see why he was nominated for the Country Music Association of Ontario’s Rising Star Award this year.

It’s also worth noting (although we’re sure it has nothing to do with his talent) that Ben has great hair, even if he wore a Toronto Maple Leafs cap over it.

Keep your ears open for more from Ben Hudson, tracks like One Of Those Nights are going to keep him on radio and at festivals like this for a long time to come.

CMT Music Fest - Ben Hudson-7000CMT Music Fest - Ben Hudson-7827CMT Music Fest - Ben Hudson Band-7845CMT Music Fest - Ben Hudson Band-7864CMT Music Fest - Ben Hudson-6999

James Barker Band

Our second to last side stage act of the afternoon/early evening was the James Barker Band – a group of dudes that have impressed us more and more every single time we’ve seen them up on stage in the last year.

As a group, these guys are all talented and tight on stage – busting out originals like I Get You (really could be their next radio single), Just Saying, and their current single, and one of the catchiest summer tracks of the year, Lawn Chair Lazy. And they aren’t afraid to mix it up a little either with their super fun rendition of Eminem’s Lose Yourself mixed with Rage Against The Machine’s Killin’ In The Name Of, and Thomas Rhett’s You Make Me Wanna.

Note: The most precious moment on the side stage came during the James Barker Band set when a courageous young man proposed to his girlfriend – and after she said yes they had their first dance as an engaged couple while the band played for them and the crowd.

CMT Music Fest - James Barker Band-7916CMT Music Fest - James Barker-7901CMT Music Fest - James Barker Band - Tayler Abram-7875CMT Music Fest - James Barker Band-7924CMT Music Fest - James Barker Band - Connor Stephen-7883CMT Music Fest - James Barker Band - Bobby Martin-7884CMT Music Fest - James Barker-7888

Andrew Hyatt

The last act on the Maple Leaf Stage before the rains came down in Kitchener was Andrew Hyatt. We talked to Andrew about his summer when we hooked up with him for a quick chat at the CMAO awards, and he told us he was excited for this set, and it showed.

In a ballcap and jeans, Hyatt played his guitar, led the band, and sang for the fans at the stage, the people in line for beer, and anyone within earshot. His current single MGR (Me and a Girl and a Radio) got toes tapping, heads nodding, and country music listeners singing along – which is always a good sign for an emerging artist.

You’re going to hear more from Andrew Hyatt. Be ready.

CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt-7013CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt-7015CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt Band-7988CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt Band-7997

1 year ago Views

Trackside Music Festival: Day 1 Photo Review

There may have been some weather ups and downs but that didn’t dampen our spirits for the first edition of the Trackside Music Festival.

We pretty much kept to the main stage and watched some of our all time favourites, and some heavy hitters, knock it out of the park.

Check out our photos and stay tuned for Day 2!

Eric Ethridge
Eric Ethridge Trackside Fest 2016 Eric Ethridge Trackside Fest 2016 Eric Ethridge Trackside Fest Eric Ethridge Band Trackside Fest 2016 M Ethridge Trackside Fest 2016 Eric Ethridge Band Trackside Fest 2016 Eric Ethridge Band Trackside Fest 2016 M Ethridge Trackside Fest 2016
 Jason Benoit
Jason Benoit Trackside Fest 2016 Jason Benoit Trackside Fest 2016 Jason Benoit Trackside Fest 2016 Jason Benoit Trackside Fest 2016 Jason Benoit Band Trackside Fest 2016 Jason Benoit Band Trackside Fest 2016 Eric Ethridge Band Trackside Fest 2016 Jason Benoit Band Trackside Fest 2016
Jess Moskaluke
Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke and Brennan Wall Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke and Brennan Wall Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke Band Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke Band Trackside Fest 2016 Jess Moskaluke Band Trackside Fest 2016 Brennan Wall and Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016
Brett Kissel
Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016 Brett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016
Randy HouserRandy Houser Trackside Fest 2016 Randy Houser Trackside Fest 2016 Randy Houser Trackside Fest 2016 Randy Houser Trackside Fest 2016 Randy Houser Trackside Fest 2016 Randy Houser Trackside Fest 2016 Randy Houser Trackside Fest 2016 Randy Houser Trackside Fest 2016Chris Young
Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016 Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016 Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016 Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016 Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016 Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016 Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016

 

1 year ago Views

CMT Music Fest Day-to-Day Schedule and Set Times

Set times are now up for CMT Music Fest and it’s looking like there shouldn’t be too much overlap and that’s good news for all of us.

If you’re looking for more details you can hop on over to the CMT Music Fest page using THIS LINK. They’ve got some great artist profiles up if you’re looking for more details.

Friday, July 8

eric church fb cmtMaple Leaf Stage

Eric Ethridge: 4:30
Ben Hudson: 5:15
James Barker Band: 6:00
Andrew Hyatt: 7:00
Lindi Ortega: 8:00

Main Stage

Kansas Stone: 4:40
Meghan Patrick: 5:35
Brothers Osborne: 6:35
Kip Moore: 7:55
Eric Church: 9:15

Saturday, July 9

Zac Brown Band CMT Music Fest 2016Maple Leaf Stage

Them Dang Rattlers: 3:00
Leah Daniels: 4:00
The Washboard Union: 5:15
Cold Creek County: 6:40

Main Stage

Drake White and The Big Fire: 2:50
Kira Isabella: 4:10
The Road Hammers: 5:30
Tom Cochrane with Red Rider: 6:50
Zac Brown Band: 8:35

A few quicks facts you might want to know:

Where is Bingemans located?
Bingemans, located at
425 Bingemans Centre Drive,
Kitchener, ON
N2B 3X7

What are the festival hours?
Friday, July 8 – 4:00pm until 11:00pm
Saturday, July 9 – 2:00pm until 11:00pm

Is the site wheelchair accessible?

Yes, both the venue and activities are wheelchair accessible.

Is there parking on site?
There is no parking available onsite at Bingemans. There will be a drop-off zone and there is an offsite parking lot with shuttle services check out this link for all the details!

Is there camping?
There is camping for campers who are 19+, check out the camping link for all the details.

Is the event family friendly?
Children are welcome at the festival but must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Note camping is only available for 19+.

The CMT Music Fest has a complete FAQ if we haven’t answered your question yet!

We’re getting very, very excited and can’t wait to see you there!

1 year ago Views

Boots & Hearts + SiriusXM 2016 Emerging Artist Finalists Announced!

It’s become a big part of Boots and Hearts, and The Emerging Artist Showcase, presented by SiriusXM, is now ready for your votes! Boots and Hearts put out the call in March and many talented artists answered. And now, the powers that be have narrowed your choices down to 8 talented acts and they’re all vying for the amazing first place prize.

What’s up for grabs? The winning act will play the main stage on the final day of the festival (opening for Chase Rice), they’ll be awarded a single release from Universal Music Canada, a week in Nashville (including flight, hotel, professional photo shoot, and media training), a Gibson guitar, $500 spending cash, and they’ll get a new custom designed website from Puncture Design.

In random order here are your finalists!

Jess and Tay
Jessie Bower and Taylor Adams make up the Toronto-based duo and they’ve got harmonies on their side.

Kelsi Mayne
Kelsi calls Windsor home and you may have seen her before if you’re an Eric Ethridge fan. The two have covered Home Alone Tonight by Luke Bryan and Karen Fairchild. Kelsi’s cover of Burning House is also right on the money.

Robyn Ottolini
An Uxbridge girl, Robyn lists Kacey Musgraves and Lennon & Maisy as influences. Picking Thomas Rhett’s Die A Happy Man may not have been a predictable choice, but it’s working for us!

Ryan Langdon
Singer/songwriter, Ryan Langdon is from Niagara Falls and his entry song The Morning, is an original.

Jesse Gold
Jesse calls Toronto home and in addition to having a great voice, he’s a pretty great guitar player too!

Shylo Sharity
From Vancouver, Shylo’s been performing since the age of 5 and her submission of Brandi Carlile’s The Story helped win her a spot in the top 8.

Vanessa Marie Carter
Last but certainly not least is Oakville’s Vanessa Marie Carter. We recently saw her perform at The Stampede Ranch and we like her odds.

The competition is open and they’ll need your votes to win the prize of their dreams. Listen to the entries and then VOTE!

VOTE HERE!!!

2 years ago Views

CMW 2016: Boots & Hearts Hot Shots Showcase – Photo Review

On Tuesday, May 3 at The Phoenix, Boots & Hearts brought a country music party to Toronto!

In partnership with KX96 and KX94.7, the Canadian Music Week Hot Shots Showcase featured Blackjack Billy, Meghan Patrick, Eric Ethridge, the James Barker Band, Dani Strong, and Kansas Stone in a 5 hour concert that had the crowd singing, dancing, and stomping along from start to finish.

We were there to shoot the show, and have a ton of photos we want to share with you.

Thanks to Ray Williams for shooting with us, you can find him on Twitter at @aperfectpixel  and he’ll have more photos from more shows coming up soon on thereviewsarein.com!

Enjoy the shots, and click here to check out our full review of the Boots & Hearts Hot Shots Showcase!

Blackjack Billy

Black Jack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016BlackjackBilly Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjackBilly Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel

Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick The Phoenix full CMW 2016-2196 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick Band The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick Band The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick Band The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016

Eric Ethridge

Eric Ethridge Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5267Eric Ethridge Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2094 Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2086 Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2042 Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2041 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5281 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5286 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5294 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5296 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

Dani Strong

Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

James Barker Band

James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016James Barker Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

Kansas Stone

Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 - Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Kansas Stone Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Kansas Stone Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Kansas Stone Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

 

2 years ago Views

CMW 2016: Boots & Hearts Hot Shots Showcase!

Tuesday night CMW went country at The Phoenix, when Boots & Hearts, KX96, and KX94.7 took over the joint and brought 6 acts up to the stage to take their turns making boots stomp and drinks flow.

The party was a pre-celebration of Boots & Hearts 5th anniversary festival this August, but it was also a showcase event for some up-and-coming talent that was more than ready to do their work in front of a crowd that was hungry for action on a Tuesday night. And before we continue, I know that Tuesday isn’t generally a party kind of night, but from the first note to the last, you’d have had a hard time proving it.

Before the show there were ticket holders ready and waiting and lined up down the lane and onto the sidewalk on Sherbourne. And when the doors opened at 7pm a rush of people came in, looking for their spot to catch the show, checking out the merch at the back, and making their way to the bar for round 1 of the night.

Boots & Hearts Hot Shots CMW Showcase Lineup

★ Kansas Stone
★ Dani Strong
★ James Barker Band
★ Eric Ethridge
★ Meghan Patrick
★ Blackjack Billy

First up was Kansas Stone, a Barrie band ready to make waves with their rock/country vibe and ready to party persona.

The boys were handed a tough task, a cold crowd eager to see the headliners later in the night, but they didn’t back down, and they didn’t disappoint. Matt and Brian gave The Phoenix a taste of what they have to offer with Country In The City, Hand In Mine, Country 101, Drink On, and a sweet little cover of FGL’s ‘Round Here.

With a new album coming in the next few months and an EP coming at the end of May, we’re betting that Kansas Stone is going to be around here a lot more in the very near future.

Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-1744

Dani Strong took the stage with the crowd in a party mood, and she did not let them down. With a full band behind her the room was full of sound, and smiles almost as big as the one of Dani’s own face. The BC born Strong looked genuinely happy to be playing, and it came through in her songs.

We got an upbeat, good timing set that featured some big power moments and notes that reminded me of Sheryl Crow… and we can call that a good thing.

Dani impressed, and we can’t wait for more of that full band party atmosphere when we see her again.

Dani Strong The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5212

Third to hit the stage, and certainly up to the task, was the James Barker Band!

These 5 boys are the reigning winners of the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase and will be back on stage at B&H this August. And while it’s been a few months since we’ve seen them, it doesn’t look like they’ve missed a beat.

Tracks like Livin’ The Dream, Babe Watch, Lawn Chair Lazy (coming to radio soon), and even a medley that included Lose Yourself and Killin’ In The Name Of were perfect for a party, and again, even on a Tuesday, the crowd was ready and willing to play along and party with them. The band is tight, the harmonies are well worked, and these boys aren’t hard to look at… which makes it easy to predict that we’ll see more of them soon.

James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-1981

Eric Ethridge followed the Barker boys, and in a leather jacket that many of the women in the crowd wish he would have just taken off, provided another level of excitement as Tuesday night wore on.

A huge 7 man band took over the stage and filled The Phoenix with sound, and they did it with a ton of energy. Nobody stood still, nobody took a song off, and nobody in the crowd was disappointed. Eric had people dancing and singing and grooving with a set that included Stay A Little Longer, Between Me & You, and The South – and if given the chance we know he would have stayed up there longer and given more.

Next time… we’re sure of it.

Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2042

2nd to last, but maybe most anticipated was Meghan Patrick.

Meghan took the stage to a big pop from the crowd, her full band behind her ready to play, and a smile on her face that told us she was ready for the party.

Check out our full review of Meghan’s set, photos, and her setlist HERE!

Meghan Patrick The Phoenix full CMW 2016-2196

Last, but most certainly not least, came Blackjack Billy.

We’ve talked about bands getting a party started, and keeping a party going, but these boys, when they step on stage, they ARE the party!

Right out of the gate Blackjack Billy brought an energy pop to the crowd that felt perfect after the build up throughout the night. They got a little loud, they got a little crazy, and they gave just as much as they possibly could to the audience.

The crowd sang and danced and drank along with tracks like Slow Dancin’ Under The Sheets, Blood Sweat, And Beer, Working On You, and a crowd favourite that they wrote with Tim Hicks… an unofficial Canadian anthem… Stronger Beer.

If you haven’t seen Blackjack Billy live, no matter what night of the week, you owe it to yourself to keep tabs on when they’re coming to a town near you.

Trust us.

Black Jack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2345Black Jack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2458

Want more photos & videos from the Boots & Hearts Hot Shots CMW Showcase!

2 years ago Views

CMW 2016 Preview: Boots & Hearts Hot Shots Showcase

Canadian Music Week is coming… and it’s one of our favourite times of year in the city. The bars and clubs will be filled with artists and fans, there will be new music to discover, and on May 3rd at The Phoenix, there will be country music, brought to you by Boots & Hearts!

BH5 ThumbYup, to celebrate B&H’s 5th year there’s going to be a party featuring some awesome acts playing country tunes from start to finish.

To reward Boots & Hearts ticket buyers in the Toronto area an RSVP option is available for the show… a nice bonus for fans who know that the 4 day festival in August is already worth the price of admission.

And if you’re not a ticket holder, but you have a CMW wristband, you’re going to want to get to The Phoenix early, because a limited number of spots will be held for the 7pm show.

The lineup features B&H performers and exciting acts that you are going to be hearing a lot more from in the very near future…

2016 Boots & Hearts Hot Shots CMW Showcase Lineup

Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts 2015

Blackjack Billy at Boots & Hearts 2015

Blackjack Billy
Meghan Patrick
Eric Ethridge
James Barker Band
Dani Strong
Kansas Stone

Last year we saw Blackjack Billy kill it at the Coors Banquet Kick Off Party… and this year Meghan Patrick is geared up to do the exact same thing. Meanwhile, the James Barker Band won the SiriusXM Emerging Artist Showcase and Eric Ethridge came in a close second place. Rounding out the field we’ve got Dani Strong and Kansas Stone, 2 Ontario artists that we can’t wait to see up on stage as part of this show.

It’s important to remember that this is a showcase show, which means we probably won’t be seeing hour long sets from these 6 artists… but it also means we’re going to get the best these 6 acts have to give – so you won’t want to miss a single minute of the on stage action.

So whether you’re a Boots & Hearts ticket holder, or a CMW wristband owner, if you love country music, The Phoenix is going to be the place to go on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7pm.

We’ll see you there.

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

BH5 PreParty Toronto

2 years ago Views

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 3

Twice before we’ve shared lists of 10 awesome country covers of pop songs… and now we’re back with a 3rd list to share.

10 More Awesome Country Covers

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 2

This time we’ve got songs from Canadian stars, Nashville hitmakers, emerging talent, a double shot of 1 of the biggest songs in a long time, and 2 tracks from one of our current favourites. Some of these were recorded recently, some are a couple years old, but there’s a strong chance that many of you haven’t heard nearly all of these versions.

Have a listen to the ones you haven’t heard before and leave a comment telling us which country artists have recorded pop/rock covers that you love!

Thomas Rhett: When I Was Your Man

Miley Cyrus: Jolene

Cam: Uptown Funk

Cam: Hello

Cory Marquardt: Sorry

The Band Perry: Fat Bottom Girls

Madeline Merlo: Crazy/Crazy In Love

Eric Ethridge: Honey I’m Good

Kira Isabella: Dark Horse

Chad Brownlee: Thinking Out Loud

Dylan Scott: Thinking Out Loud

2 years ago Views

Bright Lights, Big Country: Jess Moskaluke, Madeline Merlo, The Lovelocks & Friends in Toronto

On a Thursday night, at the start of the Holiday Season, country music fans from across the GTA packed The Phoenix Concert Theatre for a busy night of music from new artists, radio favourites, and free pizza.

The Bright Lights, Big Country show (hosted by KX96, KX94.7 & Pizza Nova) brought 7 artists to the stage, including 2015 CCMA Rising Star, Madeline Merlo and 2014 & 2015 CCMA Female Artist of the Year, Jess Moskaluke – and from 8 to 11:30 the place was in a constant state of happy as fans sang and clapped and danced along to the songs coming from the speakers.

Note: We sat down with Madeline Merlo pre-show to talk about 2015 highlights, plans for 2016, Christmas, whiskey, and more. Check it out HERE!

Eric Ethridge Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixThe Bright Lights, Big Country show did a great job of keeping the action hot on stage by bringing up 3 emerging artists for showcase opportunities. Eric Ethridge, Dani Strong, and Sykamore all hopped up to sing one song each for the crowd, and none of them disappointed.

Keep any eye on Eric Ethridge in 2016, this dude has got the sound and energy and look to end up on more stages and more venues, and in front of more people as he continues to make a name for himself. And here’s a little shoutout to Travis Wood and Gavin Slate for writing the song that Eric sang on Thursday night, Lips Don’t Lie. Keep an ear out for that one.

The night of country was kicked actually kicked off with a little acoustic fun from another rising star, Jesse Labelle.

Labelle came out to greet the crowd, guitar in hand, and did a great job of warming up the crowd. Why Wouldn’t We and Heartbreak Coverup for feet moving and smiles on faces… and then the big pop came when Jesse invited an old friend up on stage to turn up the heat.

Mike Robins (one half of Autumn Hill, who had a HUGE 2015) added his voice and guitar and screaming fans to the mix, and together with Labelle, belted out Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ and Keith Urban’s Somebody Like You. It was a treat for the fans, and it certainly looked like the boys enjoyed it too.

After Mike left, Jesse finished things off with Some Kind Of Good. A pretty apt description of his set.

Also with a full band set, playing a hometown show, and doing a great job of it, were The Lovelocks.

Ali and Zoe have been hard at work making new music, playing shows all over the place, and sending out Christmas cards to supporters over the last little while, so it was extra nice to get a hello and hug backstage before the show… but the real treat, as always, came when they took the stage.

With a nice selection of songs we’ve heard the girls sing before, including I Do Not, Dance, and Born To Love PLUS a cover of Joni Mitchell’s River, we got songs we could sing along to and a little taste of Christmas.

We can’t wait for the new music coming from The Lovelocks in 2016, and for more live shows to enjoy.

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixNext in the feature spotlight was 2015 CCMA Rising Star, and overall sweetheart, Madeline Merlo.

Madeline took the stage with her band and got a nice pop from the country fans in attendance, which must have made an impact because it didn’t take long for her to look out and say, “Wow, there’s a lot of people here!”.

Madeline mixed her songs with a little cover action to put on a fun little set at The Phoenix. Originals including I’m Alive, Sinking Like A Stone, and Honey Jack, paired well with a taste of Etta James’ I’d Rather Go Blind and a funky mash-up of Miley’s We Can’t Stop and Sam Hunt’s House Party.

There are bigger stages coming for Madeline, and a new record in spring 2016 is going to give her more fuel for the fire, and the crowd more to sing along to.

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixLast, but 100% certainly not least, was the Bright Lights, Big Country headliner, back-to-back CCMA Female Artist of the Year, Gold Certified, sweetheart of a person, Jess Moskaluke!

It was easy to see that this was what the crowd had been waiting for when the noise level and energy in the room found new heights as Jess grabbed her microphone. And she didn’t waste any time getting in gear and rewarding them for waiting for her turn.

We’ve seen Jess a few times, on stage and off, over the last couple years, and we can tell you that she is getting better and better and better each and every time. The power in her voice rings through the speakers and right to your music loving ears, her energy reflects that of the crowd, giving it back and not just taking what she’s being given, and she looks happy to be doing what she’s doing.

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixThursday night was Jess Moskaluke’s first headlining show in Toronto, and much of the MDM Recordings family was there to see it. It was a celebration of success and love for a woman who is leading the way for a new generation of female singers in Canadian country. It’s pretty safe to say that they’re all pretty proud of her – and it won’t be the last time she anchors a concert in the GTA.

Before we get to the set list we have to tell you the little secret Jess told us all… the new single, coming in the not too distant future, will be Elevator, which is an awesome choice from the Kiss Me Quiet EP. AND to close out the show, during the encore of Cheap Wine & Cigarettes, Ms. Moskaluke got an assist from labelmate and crowd favourite, Chad Brownlee. It was a great way to end a great night of country music in Toronto.

Jess Moskaule Bright Lights, Big Country Set List

♫ Night We Won’t Forget
♫ Used
♫ Kiss Me Quiet
♫ Good For You
♫ Good Lovin’
♫ Light Up The Night
♫ If You’re Not In it For Love
♫ When He’s Drunk
♫ Strong As It’s Ever Been
♫ Leave The Night On
♫ Lightning Bolt
♫ Take Me Home
♫ Elevator
♫ Alone
♫ Cheap Wine & Cigarettes

More Photos from Bright Lights, Big Country

Dani Strong

Dani Strong Biright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Eric Ethridge

Eric Ethridge Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Madeline Merlo

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMadeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Jess Moskaluke

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixJess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

2 years ago Views

Bright Lights, Big Country: Jess Moskaluke in Toronto [Q&A]

It’s been wild to watch the ride that Jess Moskaluke has been on since we first chatted with her in March 2014 in a Boots & Hearts preview post.

Since then she’s been up on the B&H stage twice, she’s been named the Canadian Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year twice (2014, 2015), she’s gone Gold (Cheap Wine & Cigarettes), she’s recorded a duet with modern Canadian country legend Paul Brandt, and she’s shown no signs of slowing down!

Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2015As Jess prepares for the Bright Lights, Big Country stop at The Phoenix in Toronto on December 10, she took a few minutes to answer our current burning questions… which should hold us over until the next time we chat.

Thanks to Jess for taking the time. AND if you still don’t have tickets to this show (which also features The Lovelocks, Madeline Merlo, Dani Strong, and Eric Ethridge) you can get them here – OR enter for your chance to win 1 of 10 pairs of tickets that include a VIP pre-show experience with Jess at The Phoenix!

It’s going to be a fun night, and if we’re lucky we’ll hear some of our favourite Christmas songs!

Q. The Light Up The Night album really put you on the map in Canadian country – and now the Kiss Me Quiet EP is here as a follow up. Do you feel like you’re capturing that momentum from fans with the release?

A. For me it’s just about the fans deserving some new music. It was getting to be that time, and we had the right songs together, so the timing was right to release a new album.

Q. We really dig the acoustic versions of Kiss Me Quiet and Lightning Bolt, is there something special that you like about playing and recording acoustic?

A. Thank you! It takes me back to my “cover days” a little bit. I love taking a song, and stripping it down to the core. I think it helps you to focus on the lyrics and the story of the song.

Jess Moskaluke Dec 10 TorontoQ. The Bright Lights, Big Country show is bringing you to Toronto just before the holidays. Is this your last big night on stage before Christmas back home with friends and family?

A. It’s not the last night on stage before Christmas for me! I’ve got a couple more after that before I head home to be with my family. But I’m really looking forward to the show!

Note: Last week we talked to the boys from The Dead South who will be playing with Jess at the McMorris & McMorris Fundraising Gala in Regina on December 22. That’s going to be a fun night.

Q. Before this show you hit the stage on the Road Trip Tour with Paul Brandt and Dean Brody, how much fun was that experience, including getting to sing I’m An Open Road with Paul?

A. It was a blast! It certainly was an experience for the books.

Q. Every time a new video comes out for a single it looks like you’ve had more fun than the last one. How was the Kiss Me Quiet video process for you, and are you happy with how it turned out? (we’ll have the video in the post)

Jess MoskalukeA. I’m so happy with the way it turned out. The process was amazing. Video shoots are fun, but they’re always gruelling to get the best shot, and of course, this video was no excuse to the rule. I was climbing mountains in heels and a ball gown, falling into glacier water, taking helicopter rides… Lots of things I never thought I would have to do, haha!

Q. The last time we hung out was at Boots & Hearts this summer, and next year you’re going to be at the Havelock Country Jamboree. Are you excited to have another big Ontario country festival on the schedule?

A. I certainly am!

Q. Last one, what’s on your Wish List this Christmas?

A. Just lots of time spent with my family and friends at home. That’s all I really want!

2 years ago Views

Who’s Coming Next Year? 10 Boots & Hearts 2016 Predictions!

It’s been less than a week since we drove away from Burl’s Creek with music playing in our heads and memories of an awesome 4 day weekend still being formed… but we’re already thinking ahead to Boots & Hearts 2016!

We’ve seen the Google searches for Boots & Hearts predictions and have even been asked on Twitter who we think will be on stage next summer, so we’ve done a little thinking, tried to stay as objective as possible, and picked 10 country music acts that we think have a very real and serious chance to be entertaining us August 4 to August 7, 2016.

Note: We haven’t read any other prediction posts so far so that we could make our own picks without being influenced by anyone else.

Here we go…

Little Big Town

Little Big TownWe all know that Little Big Town was scheduled to appear at Boots & Hearts 2015, but with Jimi recovering from vocal surgery, the quartet had to pull out of the gig… and we really did miss having them there.

It wouldn’t surprise us at all to see LBT added to the next year’s lineup… and early. They could even be the 1st headliner announced if Republic Live believes that they can fill that slot in 2016.

Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker Boots and Hearts 2015When Little Big Town announced their canceled dates in 2015 a lot of Boots & Hearts fans were calling for Rucker to fill the spot.

A member of the Grand Ole Opry, a hit maker in country music, and a dude that can bust out 90s favourites from his time with Hootie and the Blowfish, this would be an add that makes a lot of sense and would make a lot of people happy.

Brett Kissel

Brett Kissel on Stage at Boots and Hearts 2014After playing the Coors Banquet Kick Off Party in 2014, Brett Kissel could be poised to take the main stage at Boots & Hearts 2016.

We know that Brett puts on a great show, gets the crowd fired up, and has the songs it takes to fill an hour plus on stage. Don’t be surprised if we see Flat Lake, Alberta’s most famous son in Oro-Medonte next summer.

Brett Eldredge

Brett EldredgeEldredge is a rising star in country music. With some bonafide hits already to his name, we know that fans would be able to sing along to the set.

It should also be noted that Brett will be going on tour with 2015 performer Thomas Rhett, and if they talk about the idea and Republic Live makes the ask we have to think that young Mr. Rhett would have nice things to say about his time here.

Jess Moskaluke

Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2015We know that Jess has played Boots & Hearts in both 2014 and 2015, but she hasn’t yet had a turn on the main stage.

Nominated for 3 CCMA’s in September (Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes”, Album of the Year “Light Up the Night”) and with a new EP, Kiss Me Quiet, being released later that month, it might finally be time for Jess Moskaluke to come back and take her turn on the big stage in 2016.

Jake Owen

Jake OwenThis guy is pretty much the embodiment of summer, so as August rolls around and Boots & Hearts hits in 2016, it makes sense to see Jake Owen up on stage.

Whether he keeps his hair short or grows it back out, the ladies will still love him, and the crowd will be ready to sing along to his 13 Top 10 hits (and maybe more by then). Be ready for a barefoot blue jean night.

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey MusgravesMusgraves is a fan favourite, a Top 40 staple, and should still be touring 2015’s Pagaent Material when next summer rolls around.

We think Musgraves would be a great addition to either the Front Porch or the Main Stage, and don’t think it would be a stretch to have her come up to play Boots & Hearts.

Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick at Liuna Station Gibson at the Junos 2015Meghan wouldn’t be new to the Boots & Hearts stage, we saw her with The Stone Sparrows in 2013 – but now the singer/songwriter is on her own, having signed a new record deal with Warner Music Canada earlier this summer.

We know Meghan has been writing and working hard over the last few months, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see her on the Boots & Hearts Front Porch stage in 2016.

Johnson Crook

Johnson-Crook-outside-1111Contestants in the 2015 Emerging Artist Showcase, Johnson Crook finished just outside the top 2 spots that made it to the main stage… but we’ve heard that they were very well received by the judges panel, and being based out of Toronto doesn’t hurt their chances of being asked back.

Eric Ethridge

Eric EthridgeEthridge did a great job in the Emerging Artist Showcase, finishing 2nd to the James Barker Band – but with a polished sound, tight band, and great look, we expect that they will continue to push on with their young career in country music by putting on a show at Boots & Hearts 2016.

What do you think of our picks? Are we way off, do they make sense?

And who do you think we’ll see next year at Boots & Hearts 2016?

2 years ago Views
Scroll to top