Florida Georgia Line

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.

1 month ago

Dig Your Roots Tour, Toronto: Florida Georgia Line, Cole Swindell, The Cadillac Three, and Kane Brown

On a beautiful Thursday night in September, thousands of country music fans flocked to Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre to celebrate Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots Tour… and it was a party!

With a full night of country lined up, the music started with Kane Brown. The newcomer, known for his social media to the big stage ascent, brought a full band up with him to make sure the volume filled the amphitheatre. Kane did a great job working the crowd, walking the catwalks, and snapping quick pics with some of the fans standing at the edge of the stage. The Georgia boy used his deep, smooth voice to impress the early audience with tracks including, Wide Open, Thunder In The Rain, Pull It Off, and his first hit, Use To Love You Sober.

Keep an eye and ear out for Kane Brown, you’re going to hear a lot more from him… we’d bet on it.

Kane Brown Molson Amphitheatre

The Cadillac Three popped up next on the night’s list of talent, bringing their guitar edged country music to the stage and turning things up a little bit. There’s no doubting that these three Nashville boys love to have a good time, and relish the opportunity to start a good party – and that’s exactly what they did on Thursday night.

TC3 have their own new music on the market, with Bury Me In My Boots ready and waiting for you to listen… and you should. Just like the record, the live show was a banger, and the gritty trio gave it everything they had. Special mention goes out to R.A. Dickey, who Jaren dedicated Ship Faced to, and thanked for the gift of his Blue Jays hat. These cocky and charming southern boys were everything we wanted them to be live, and we can’t wait to see them again with more time and more songs to play!

The Cadillac Three Set List, Dig Your Roots Toronto 2016

⍟ Party Like You
⍟ Ship Faced
⍟ White Lightning
⍟ Days Of Gold
⍟ The South

The Cadillac Three Molson Amphitheatre

Another Georgia boy hit the stage in the third slot, and he hit it hard. Cole Swindell’s stock has been rising since he burst onto the scene with Chillin’ It in the number 1 spot on the charts. And in the three years since, he hasn’t slowed down. Cole knew his job was to get everyone ready for FGL, and he did everything he could to make it happen. The energy was up, the crowd interaction was on point, and maybe most impressive to me, Swindell was incredibly humble, thanking the Toronto crowd again and again for supporting his music, singing his songs with him, and being there for the show.

The 33 year old has a whole lot of country music in him, and if we’re lucky, he’s going to keep writing it and singing it for us like he did at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Thursday night. If his smile on stage (from the start of his set to the finish) is any indication, I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to be able to stop him!

We’re looking forward to seeing Cole Swindell again soon, you should be there.

Cole Swindell Set List, Dig Your Roots Toronto 2016

⍟ Down Home Boys
⍟ Hope You Get Lonely Tonight
⍟ Hoppin’
⍟ Chillin’ It
⍟ Middle Of A Memory
⍟ Flatliner
⍟ No Can Left Behind
⍟ Let Me See Ya Girl
⍟ You Should Be Here
⍟ Ain’t Worth The Whiskey

Cole Swindell Molson AmphitheatreFlorida Georgia Line Molson Amphitheatre

A lot of things get said about Florida Georgia Line, here are the things we’re saying after Thursday night’s headlining performance…
☞ Talented
☞ Great With The Crowd
☞ Funny
☞ New Gen
☞ Major League

Tyler and BK came down to the stage from their floating platforms to a HUGE pop from the Toronto crowd, and they didn’t stop giving their fans what they wanted until they left the stage after the encore.

From their bro country hits like This Is How We Roll, to covers including Backstreet’s Back (seriously, it was awesome, check the video a little further down in the post), to the slowed down smashes like H.O.L.Y., these two had the crowd in the palm of their hands. They worked the approximately 20,000 country lovers to the limit, with voices singing and screaming until they cracked, and feet dancing until they hurt.

Note: I have never heard the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre get louder than they did during H.O.L.Y. – the roar at the end of the song made it feel like my seat was shaking – and then when the Toronto crowd sang a chorus for Tyler and BK, with only the piano to lead them, it was incredible. Loud, crisp, clear, on time, and everything that we love about the live music experience.

The Dig Your Roots Tour is coming through because the new album with the same name just hit the world last Friday… and even brand new it was awesome to see people getting into songs like May We All, Smooth, and the title track. Because radio success is cool, but when the fans know your music enough to sing along after only being on the market for 6 days, you’re in a pretty great spot as artists.

If you haven’t listened to all 15 tracks on the new album yet, it’s time for you to do that. This isn’t the same record as Here’s To The Good Times or Anything Goes. This isn’t the same music that you’ve heard from Florida Georgia Line in the past. Yes, it’s still got their attitude and stamp all over it, but the tides have started to turn from the pure party pop bro country to more subtle and maybe even grown up feel to it.

Note: Among the 20,000 in the crowd was 2015 National League MVP, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. If you don’t follow baseball, you might not know who he is – but trust me, he’s good. Really good.

Bryce Harper Molson Amphitheatre

The FGL live show is something that you’ve really got to see to grasp. There’s fire and smoke and lights and props and it’s just go go go from minute one. We saw it once before at Boots & Hearts 2015 – but this was a whole other animal. And if you’re a country music lover, Florida Georgia Line fan, or you just want to see some really big production value on stage, we’d recommend grabbing a ticket for the Dig Your Roots stop near you.

It was smash after smash all night from four country acts doing what they love and what they’re best at. And we’d do it all over again tonight if we could!

Florida Georgia Line Set List, Dig Your Roots Toronto 2016

⍟ This Is How We Roll
⍟ It’z Just What We Do
⍟ Round Here
⍟ Anything Goes
⍟ Dig Your Roots
⍟ Confession
⍟ Stay
⍟ Smooth
⍟ Dirt
Writer’s Round with Cole Swindell and Jaren Johnston
– Burnin’ It Down
– Lights Come On
– Sunshine & Whiskey
– Meanwhile Back At Mama’s
– Get Me Some Of That
– Roller Coaster
⍟ H.O.L.Y.
⍟ May We All
⍟ Sundaze ft. Kane Brown
⍟ Get Your Shine On
⍟ Party People
Mixtape Medley
– Ride Wit Me
– Shoulda Been A Cowboy
– Last Resort
– Backstreet’s Back
– This Is How We Do It
– Jump Around
⍟ Cruise

Florida Georgia Line Molson Amphitheatre

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special thanks to our friend @cjtremblay for these next pics from her seat – and for the Backstreet’s Back video you already watched!

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Cole Swindell, Dig Your Roots Tour Toronto 2016

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The Cadillac Three, Dig Your Roots Tour Toronto 2016

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Kane Brown, Dig Your Roots Tour Toronto 2016

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1 year ago

Bury Me In My Boots: The Cadillac Three Album Review & Contest!

When we got asked to give the new record from The Cadillac Three a listen we were told that it was going to be a game changer, a selection of songs that would push these dudes from Nashville into a new spotlight among country music fans and the industry… but we needed to hear it for ourselves.

So we listened. Over and over and over again. It’s likely a conservative estimate to say I’ve listened to the 14 songs on this album a eight times since it’s release. Here’s a secret, I don’t keep listening if I don’t like it.

This isn’t a secret, Bury Me In My Boots is good.

From the start of the record, with the title track, the music pulled me in. It’s fun and easy to tap a toe to, or sing along to, or get lost in, or all three at the same time. And that continues as the tracks continue all the way from 1 to 14. It should also be pointed out that 14 songs is a monster number in a new era that has seen EPs become more and more popular among country artists.

The Cadillac Three On Stage via Twitter

Note: During the recent heat wave in Toronto I have started to appreciate Ship Wrecked more and more every time I hear it. It’s 100% true that I could go for a boat on the water, some Bimmy Juffet on the radio, and certainly a cooler full of cold ones.

This album is also great to sit back and drink to, or dance and drink to. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, we encourage it from guitar driven country music. So high five to The Cadillac Three for delivering on that point with Bury Me In My Boots.

Proposal: A drinking game where you take a shot of whiskey or a drink of beer every time you hear The Cadillac Three reference the two beverages on this record. I didn’t count, so I don’t know how many there are… but in the 47 minutes it takes to listen to all 14 songs, I’m betting you’d feel a buzz. (legal drinking age only!)

Now, with all of this said about the drinking and the dancing, we need to acknowledge that there are some great stories told in these songs. They aren’t just empty bangers, they’re full of great lyrics that will either put you in a small town teenage memory, or thinking about a relationship or imagining the south the way these native sons see it. And that is where country music has always been graded and evaluated. The stories that are told are the backbone of the genre, and we’re very pleased to see TC3 keep that tradition alive.

We’re also looking forward to seeing The Cadillac Three play these songs live (especially The South, Bury Me In My Boots, Slide, This Accent, and Peace Love & Dixie) – and we will be seeing it in Toronto when the boys come to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre with Florida Georgia Line on September 1.

Other dates we’ve got circled that we know friends will be interested in include…

August 26 at Darien Lake w/ Florida Georgia Line (Darien Center, NY)
August 31 at the London Concert Theatre (London, ON)
September 2 at Lakeview Amphitheatre w/ Florida Georgia Line (Syracuse, NY)

There are a heap more dates in the US with FGL, and a bunch in Europe – CLICK HERE to see all of The Cadillac Three’s scheduled tour dates between now and the end of November 2016!

The Cadillac Three On Stage via Facebook

The bottom line is this: I recommend this record to country music fans looking for a full album to listen to and enjoy from the top to the bottom.

We’re recommending Bury Me In My Boots so much we’re going to give it away so three of you can experience it for yourself!

Use the widget in this post to earn up to 6 entries and you’ll be entered to win. We’ve got 3 CD copies of the album, and 1 vinyl copy to give away, so we’re going to give a grand prize of vinyl & CD to 1 winner, and CD copies to 2 runner-up winners.

Be sure to follow all of the directions in the widget to ensure your entries are properly submitted and counted.

Good luck!

The Cadillac Three, Bury Me In My Boots Tracklist

1. Bury Me In My Boots
2. Slide
3. Drunk Like You
4. Graffiti
5. Buzzin’
6. Party Like You
7. Ship Faced
8. Soundtrack To A Six Pack
9. White Lightning
10. The South ft. Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Mike Eli
11. This Accent
12. Peace Love & Dixie
13. Hot Damn
14. Runnin’ Red Lights

1 year ago

Trackside Music Festival: Day 2 Photo Review

As the weather heated up so did the acts for day 2 at Trackside Music Festival in London, ON!

The day 2 schedule brought Steven Lee Olsen, Nashville’s Chris Lane, The talented Cole Swindell and of course FGL (Florida Georgia Line) to the main stage. FGL turned it up a notch or two as they said “Canada we’re here to keep the party going!” and all 12 thousand plus fans jumped up and were on their feet with their beverages held high.

As a 1st year festival, Trackside has both shown that they know how to throw a party, and that there’s room to grow. We’ll see you all next year!

Steven Lee OlsenSTEVEN LEE OLSEN-Trackside_Fest-1STEVEN LEE OLSEN-Trackside_Fest-2Steven Lee Orson-Trackside_FestSteven Lee Orson-Trackside_Fest

Chris LaneChris Lane-Trackside_FestChris Lane-Trackside_FestChris Lane-Trackside_FestChris Lane-Trackside_FestCHRIS LANE-Trackside_Fest-1CHRIS LANE-Trackside_Fest-3CHRIS LANE-Trackside_Fest-2

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Cole SwindellCole Swindell-Trackside_FestCole Swindell-Trackside_FestCole Swindell-Trackside_FestCole Swindell-Trackside_FestCole Swindell-Trackside_FestCole Swindell-Trackside_FestCOLE SWINDELL-Trackside_Fest-1COLE SWINDELL-Trackside_Fest-2COLE SWINDELL-Trackside_Fest-3COLE SWINDELL-Trackside_Fest-4

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Bonus: The ReklawsThe Recklaws-Trackside_Fest-9The Recklaws-Trackside_Fest-6The Recklaws-Trackside_Fest-1The Recklaws-Trackside_Fest-3

1 year ago

Country Music Needs to Stop Hating on Country Music

Country music needs to stop hating on country music!

Sam Hunt with guitar Wheels Up Tour Toronto June 2015If you’ve ever read the comment section of a Sam Hunt or Florida Georgia Line video, you know what I’m talking about. And if your gut reaction to that sentence is to say, “That’s not real country music”, I really hope you keep reading this post.

In the last few years we’ve seen the country charts include monster hits tagged as Bro Country, we’ve seen Kid Rock, Don Henley, and Steven Tyler release country records, we’ve lamented the evolution of Taylor Swift from Tim McGraw to Shake It Off, and we’ve also seen Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves celebrated by the country music community for their work.

All of this has happened in country music, and it has very clearly made some “True Country Fans” upset. Because they love Willie and Waylon and Kitty Wells and Loretta Lynn, they hate FGL and vocally attack their popular music as an affront to the genre that they love. They post memes about country music not being dead, just asleep, and waking up with Chris Stapleton. And I get it, people like what they like, and they don’t like what they don’t like. The issue right now is that the conversations don’t stop at “I don’t like this song/album/band”, they continue to “this isn’t country music”.

Our reality in country music in 2015 is that we’re still saddled with an outdated and overly simplified categorization of the genre. And an even more outdated view of what that means.

Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015Brad Paisley’s Country Nation proudly boasts that there are over 2,000 stations playing country music in the United States. That’s an awesome number, but let’s step back for a second and really look at what rock and roll has done in its evolution.

From Elvis and Buddy Holly to U2 and Foo Fighters, rock and roll has changed. In any major North American market you’re bound to find a New Rock station, a Classic Rock station, Alt-Rock, Soft Rock, etc, etc, etc. And in record stores or online we see Pop Rock, Punk Rock, Prog Rock, Southern Rock, Metal, etc, etc, etc. But in country music we have country music.

Let’s call back for a minute to the “It’s not country” thing. Rock and roll fans love to hate Nickelback en masse, but they don’t try to claim that they aren’t a rock band, or that they don’t make rock music. See?

Luke Bryan Boots and Hearts 2014 Saturday NightThe entire genre, from Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr. to Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan sits under one category. One listing. One banner to hold all of the music we like and don’t like.

There is nothing wrong with writing, singing, buying, or loving new country music that is popular on radio and the Billboard charts. And there is nothing wrong with loving roots artists that are holding onto influence from Hall of Famers like Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton.

As media, fans, industry, and artists we need to stop creating bullshit rules and boundaries about what is Real Country Music and saying it’s wrong if a song doesn’t fit your personal description of country music.

We have one country music that all of us need to either embrace regardless of our tastes, or use as an excuse to keep on hating.

None of us have the right to say that a musical genre can’t evolve. That an artist can’t express themselves and explore something new. Or that an audience whose grandparents love Marty Robbins, can’t love Maddie & Tae.

The country music community has always preached a message of inclusivity, and that all are welcome if they love the music.

Well now it’s time to practice what we preach and understand that country music you don’t like, is still country music.

Welcome to 2015. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

2 years ago

2016 CMA Awards Results and Wrap

And the CMA goes to…

If you didn’t get a chance to watch the CMA Awards last night we’re highly recommending you make an effort to watch it. ABC has posted the entire show on YouTube!

Country Music Awards 2015 – Full Show

But even without the surprises of the award winners, this is an awards show that shouldn’t be missed by country music fans anywhere.

There were some amazing collaborations and some spectacular performances. And today everyone is talking about the Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake performance. Watch it now and see why!

Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton Live at the 2015 CMA Awards!

And now, without any further ado, here are your 2015 CMA major award winners. Congrats to everyone, especially the big winners of the evening, Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town!

Luke BryanLuke Bryan Boots and Hearts 2014 Saturday Night

Miranda LambertMiranda Lambert Boots and Hearts

Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton
Traveller, Chris Stapleton

“Girl Crush” – Little Big Town
“Girl Crush” – Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose – Little Big Town
Little Big Town

Florida Georgia LineFlorida Georgia Line Boots and Hearts 2015

“Raise ‘Em Up” – Keith Urban feat. Eric Church

“Girl in a Country Song” – Maddie & Tae

Other performances to not miss are Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and John Mellencamp, Thomas Rhett and Fall Out Boy and of course Reba and Brooks and Dunn!

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were amazing hosts and I’m giving them the Comedy Duo of the Year award. Don’t miss their performances as well as Eric Church, Kelsea Ballerini, Florida Georgia line… did we miss anyone? Kudos to ABC they’re all over the broadcast and have everything you could want to see on their YouTube page.

2 years ago

Anything Goes: Florida Georgia Line at Boots & Hearts 2015!

On a Sunday night, after 4 days of country music and beer and dancing and sweat and fried food and new friends and old friends, Florida Georgia Line took over the Boots & Hearts main stage and brought the energy we expected…

Florida Georgia Line Boots and Hearts -3737There was perhaps more anticipation for the start of this set than any other after an unfortunate delay to the the start of it – and maybe the biggest release of energy and cheering and relief when Tyler and Brian started their show with Every Night, a heap of beach balls flying into the crowd, and a whole lot of singing from the 35,000+ in attendance.

We had never seen FGL before, and while we knew it was going to be a party, we didn’t know that we were going to be singing along with all of the radio hits, catching a case of the feels when the boys slowed it down for Dirt, and being really happy and impressed when they invoked our more classic country sensibilities by going to Alabama, Garth Brooks, and Alan Jackson.

Florida Georgia Line Boots and Hearts -3799Without a doubt, these boys like to have a good time. And they want for the people in the crowd to have a good time. Their banter is polished, their energy is infectious, and they aren’t scared to pander in all the right ways – telling the crowd they’d missed Canada with an exclamation of “it’s been too damn long”.

If we had to pick two highlight moments of the Florida Georgia Line set, we’d have to say…

  1. The sound of the crowd singing along to Round Here, the first song that they really got loud and proud to know the song and show the artists what they had to offer.
  2. The end of the show, the boys playing Cruise, and busting out the Nelly remix version – supplying the rap as needed.

Check out the set list from Sunday night, some more pics and stay tuned for more coming soon!Florida Georgia Line Boots and Hearts -3760

Florida Georgia Line Boots & Hearts Set List

🎉 Every Night
🎉 It’z Just What We Do
🎉 Round Here
🎉 Anything Goes
🎉 Get Your Shine On
🎉 Sippin’ On Fire
🎉 Bumpin’ The Night
🎉 Party People
🎉 Dirt
🎉 I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)
🎉 Stay
🎉 This Is How We Roll
🎉 Sundaze
🎉 Mix Tape Medley: Friends In Low Places, Forgot About Dre, Chatahoochie, This Is How We Do It
🎉 Cruise (remix)

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

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2 years ago

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

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

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

The Venue

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

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

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

The Headliners

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

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

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

The Emerging Artist Showcase

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

The answer is… we don’t know.

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

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

The Women on Stage

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

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

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

Little Big Town

Dallas Smith

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

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

The Fans

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

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

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

The Camping

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

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

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

The Late Night Dance Parties

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

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

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

The CanCon

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

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

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

The Thursday Night Kick Off Party

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

Really, it’s true.

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

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

See y’all soon.

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

2 years ago

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 6

The Road HammersFront Porch Stage

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

Friday, August 7

Austin WebbFront Porch Stage

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

Brad PaisleyMain Stage

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

Saturday, August 8

Front Porch Stage

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

Eric ChurchMain Stage

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

Sunday, August 9

Frankie BallardFront Porch Stage

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

Florida Georgia LineMain Stage

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

2 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Countdown and Preview #2

We’ve been over the fact that we’re excited for Boots & Hearts 2015 – and we keep saying that we aren’t alone in that excitement… well today, we prove it!

With the help of some awesome friends we are previewing 6 more B&H artists.
Trish – writer & photographer, you’ve seen her @trishca wordmark on photos here!
Shannon – lady of the internet and lover of country music.
Joscelyn – sports and country music fan, we bond over the Blue Jays and banjos.
Trinity Bradshaw – singer/ songwriter/ 2014 Emerging Artist winner at B&H/ fun friend.

Each of us have taken a crack at 3 of the artists in this post… except Trinity, who we talked into writing about all 6. Have a look at why we’re excited to see these great acts this summer at Burl’s Creek Event Park and leave a comment to tell us why you’re excited!

Here we go…

Florida Georgia Line Anything GoesFlorida Georgia Line

Trinity: These boys work very hard… Deserve every bit of success! Very talented, and brought a new flavour to country music … Probably converted many new country fans as well. Can’t wait to see them perform!

Joscelyn: Am I allowed to say that I’m mostly looking forward to seeing Florida Georgia Line again, because of BK’s face? I was completely smitten with this duo when I was introduced to their first studio album ‘Here’s To The Good Times’, but I didn’t take to their sophomore album ‘Anything Goes’ quite as strongly. Regardless, their energy on stage is contagious, and watching their bromance during a performance is hilarious! They make me shake my “sugar shaker”, if you know what I mean.

Shannon: Florida Georgia Line are the band you make your friends listen to when they say, “I like ALL music, except country.” Because it’s virtually impossible to listen to Cruise or This is How We Roll without having a damn good time. The bad boys of country, I can’t wait to see them let loose on the Boots & Hearts stage. Light it up boys!

High Valley County LineHigh Valley

Trinity: Love these guys! They were so so nice to me when we were backstage before my first ever main stage debut (I like to call it that), I was very nervous, but Brad’s perfect smile distracted me. Kidding, but great smile! So much fun to watch live!

Joscelyn: CANADIANS! Maybe it’s just me, but I feel a sense of patriotic pride when I hear these guys perform. Returning to Boots and Hearts for their fourth year in a row, I’ll be curious to see if their on-stage chemistry has changed even more, going into their second summer without Bryan being a part of the group. I’m most looking forward to hearing ‘She’s with Me’ and ‘Rescue You’ from their latest album ‘County Line’ — two songs that transform me into girly mush. Guys, take note of the lyrics, and feel free to use them on your sweetie. You can thank me later.

Josh: After watching Brad and Curtis host Boots & Hearts last summer I had a feeling that we’d see them back on stage in 2015. And then when County Line came out in October, I knew it was going to happen. These guys are a lot of fun when they sing and have a great relationship with the crowd. I’m excited to see them play songs from the new record when they get up there for us.

Thomas Rhett It Goes Like ThisThomas Rhett

Trinity: Haha I think he’s adorable. I mean like, handsome adorable. Love his music, and his voice. He makes me smile.

Joscelyn: Hands down, Thomas Rhett is one of my favourite artists to watch live; he actively engages his audience, takes the time to interact with the crowd, listens to shouted responses, and does some of the slickest skinny-jean-wearing, country-boy dancing I’ve ever seen. With five singles now released off of his 2013 album ‘It Goes Like This’, I’m dying to know… when is he releasing Album #2?! It’s time to take advantage of the traction he gained winning the ACM ‘New Artist of the Year’ award, as voted by the fans — a totally deserving title, by the way.

Trish: Thomas Rhett is no slouch. His dad is well known singer-songwriter Rhett Akins and Thomas is an amazing singer-songwriter in his own right. I was lucky enough to see him close up at Toronto’s Rock’n’ Horse Saloon while he was here on tour with Miranda Lambert. He’s a charmer, has a great voice and that man can move! Make sure you put Thomas on your list.

Chad Brownlee The FightersChad Brownlee

Trinity: I really dig his music! Haven’t met him yet, although I hope to maybe bump into him this year – who knows. Love his voice… Haven’t caught him live yet, so I sure hope to this year!!

Trish: My first year covering Boots and Hearts Chad Brownlee played the main stage on the Saturday. The crowd was very responsive and I’ll admit, he turned my head. But, a pretty face will only take you so far in the music world. Chad backs up his good looks with some pretty great guitar skills and a wonderful tone. Honestly, I’m surprised the world isn’t kicking down his door. Tall, handsome, talented, I’m a fan of the baseball cap, his voice and the tattoos. Chad can sing for me anytime.

Shannon: A Canadian hockey player who sings country? He’s every small town girl’s dream, including mine. But aside from the fact that Chad is charming, sexy and probably super polite (yay Canada) he’s got a great voice and an incredibly unique sound. A little slower than most modern country Fallin Over You and When The Lights Go Down are sure to have the Boots & Hearts crowd swaying and singing along as the sun sets over the grounds.

Small Town Pistols CCMA AwardsSmall Town Pistols

Trinity: Back In the day … I was a huge huge fan of the Wilkinsons … I mean, who wasn’t! I would love to see Amanda and Tyler perform.

Trish: You may know Amanda and Tyler Wilkinson from The Wilkinsons. They played with their dad Steve from 1997 until 2009. Amanda and Tyler released their debut album in 2013 and by 2014 they’d taken home the CCMA Group or Duo of the year award. Amanda’s deep rich voice is riveting and when they sing together, wow.

Josh: I have loved Tyler and Amanda since they were singing with their dad as The Wilkinsons. And I’ve been waiting somewhat patiently to see them at Boots & Hearts since 2012. In fact, I’ve predicted them more than once. I really hope we get to hear songs like Colour Blind and Blame It On The Radio as well as covers like Fast Car and old tunes like 26 Cents, Jimmy’s Got A Girlfriend and Fly.

Dylan Scott Lay It On MeDylan Scott

Trinity: I admire songwriters … And he’s a great one! Moved to Nashville, and made it! Love his new single and can’t wait to hear more 🙂

Shannon: If you don’t fall in love with Dylan the first time you hear his smooth as silk, rough as whiskey voice pouring through your headphones, then I’m sorry but I don’t quite understand you as a person. Whether he’s tackling tunes made famous by Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran or treating you to his original work this young man is old-school country fabulous. The first time I heard Making This Boy Go Crazy I was about 90% sure that he was somehow related to Chris Young and Josh Turner, of course he isn’t…. sadly, because what a trio that would be!? If Dylan has half the charisma on stage that he does on camera I’m sure that he’ll be one of the best performances at Boots & Hearts this year.

Josh: Since I first looked into getting Dylan to do a Q&A with us I’ve been hooked. His voice is exactly what I wish I sounded like when I sing. I love this covers of Thinking Out Loud and When I Was Your Man, and this young man is absolutely killing it with his own tracks Making This Boy Go Crazy and Lay It On Me. In his Q&A Dylan promised a lot of smiles, a lot of energy and a lot of fun when he takes the stage at Boots & Hearts. I can’t wait to see it.

Alright kids, that’s all for today. Leave us a comment telling us who you’re excited for at Boots & Hearts 2015. And in case you missed it, check out the 1st preview we did with Trinity where we looked at Eric Church, Brad Paisley, Little Big Town, Kira Isabella, Dallas Smith and Maddie & Tae. 

3 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Preview: Little Big Town

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

Little Big Town Feature

3 years ago

Boots & Heart 2015 Ticket Giveaway!

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

Hey friends, guess what?!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 Lineup Announcement Round 3 Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Female Performers at Boots & Hearts 2015!

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

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

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

Canadian Content at Boots & Hearts 2015!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

3 years ago

Shake It If Ya Got It – Kira Isabella Interview Feature

Kira Isabella 2014 CNE HeaderKira Isabella has been singing and performing since she was a little girl. And now, all grown up, at the age of 21, she’s feeling more in control of her career, and her music than ever before.

Isabella’s 2nd album, Caffeine & Big Dreams was released in mid-October and has already produced two Top 10 hits with Quarterback and Gone Enough making their way up the charts. The entire album is a fantastic listen and we wouldn’t be surprised to see songs like Shake It If Ya Got It and Make A Sinner Out Of Me make their way into the Top 10 or higher as well.

Kira Isabella and Josh at The Rockn Horse-3147We were lucky enough to see Kira twice this year, 1st at the CNE opening for Gord Bamford and again at the Rock ‘n’ Horse Saloon to celebrate the release of Caffeine & Big Dreams. Both times, in very different atmospheres, she was able to come off as personable, charming and engaged with the audience. She knows what she’s doing up on stage and it’s that talent that is going to carry her further and deeper into her career as a country musician in Canada and the United States.

Kira is also a sweetheart who once bailed me out of a jam when I blanked on a 3rd Dolly Parton song in a trivia contest at Rock ‘n’ Horse. Her help got me through and saved me some major embarrassment! So thank you (again) to her for that.

After the launch of the new album we reached out to Kira to ask a few questions about Caffeine & Big Dreams, the state of country music and what’s on her playlist. Check it out…

Q. The new album Caffeine & Big Dreams (love the title btw) has been a great release so far, and Gone Enough is getting a lot of love from radio and fans. Do you have any goals or expectations with this record?

A. Thank you! The only thing I hope and wish for is that people make a connection with my music.

Kira Isabella at The Rockn Horse full shot-3106Q. If we were able to get a look at your iTunes right now, what 3 artists would we find on your most played list?

A. Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line & The 1975.

Q. The Bro Country movement has been popular and received a lot of press in Canada and the US. But it seems like Canadian country has been able to stay more balanced, with more female artists on the radio in regular rotation. Do you think the Canadian country industry is ahead of the curve as Bro Country calms down?

A. I keep saying, I think there is always room for both sides in country music. Canada is more into story songs right now, and the states are all about bro country but I think it will always go back and forth.

Q. You played Boots & Hearts in 2012 & 2013, have you talked to the Republic Live team about coming back in 2015 to tour Caffeine & Big Dreams and put on a show on the main stage?

A. This is the time of year when we find out what the summer will look like, so we’ll be finding out soon!

Kira Isabella Band 2014 CNEQ. If you could record a duet with a male Canadian artist for your next record, who would you choose?

A. I’d love to write something with Brett Kissel or Dallas Smith!

Q. In 50 words or less, tell fans who haven’t picked up Caffeine & Big Dreams yet why they’re going to love it when they do!

A. I wanted Caffeine and Big Dreams to be relatable to everyone. I feel like there is a track on this record if you want to have a good time and party, if you’re going through a hard time and need some sympathy or if you just love a good story in a country song. It’s very honest, it’s a big part of me & I hope you enjoy it.

Big thanks to Ms. Isabella for taking the time to answer our questions – and another thank you because Kira is going to be part of our Holiday Special coming up in just a couple weeks, so look out for that!

If you haven’t picked up Caffeine & Big Dreams yet, do it now on iTunes: Kira Isabella – Caffeine & Big Dreams!

Kira Isabella 2014 CNE Bandshell


3 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2015 CMA Award Announcement – Brad Paisley and Eric Church

Well this is exciting news!

True to their word, the good people from Republic Live and Boots & Hearts have made their CMA Award night announcement – and it’s a big one!

Brad Paisley and Eric Church have been added as headliners to the 2015 line-up, joining previously announced headliners Florida Georgia Line.

So, let’s take a look at the acts that we have so far and what we might expect from them.

Florida Georgia Line

The biggest bros in country music will no doubt put on a high energy show that gets the ladies dancing, the dudes fist pumping and the beer flowing.

The release of ‘Dirt’ leads me to wonder whether or not we’re going to see a little more slow down in their set than some people anticipate. I’m looking forward to a balanced set that brings the heat and has people cheering for an encore and screaming when the fireworks go off when they’re done.

Brad Paisley 

I saw Paisley on stage in Ottawa (Kanata) a few years ago and this guy puts on a helluva show. The guitar action is something special to see and there were beach balls and video screens and all kinds of fun.

My gut tells me that a Brad Paisley festival show with a general admission crowd is going to be a whole lot more fun than that arena show was. And I think that the people at the festival are going to love it too. I don’t know which night we’ll see the 3 time Grammy winner, but I’m excited to see him any night between August 6 and 9.

Eric Church

Eric Church is one of the “new outlaws” in country music. He’s a little bit of a throwback and I like it. And I’m not alone. Church has been putting hits on the radio and garnering critical acclaim for his records along the way.

Along with the music is the image and the crowd. Country music fans (and Boots & Hearts attendees) are known for drinking beer… but when Eric Church takes the stage we should all be prepared for a few clouds of smoke to fill the air. And I’m not talking about cigarettes – I’m talking about marijuana. It’s going to happen.

Trinity Bradshaw Boots and Hearts 2014Trinity Bradshaw

As the winner of the Boots & Hearts 2014 Sirius XM Emerging Artist Showcase, Trinity will be back on the B&H stage in 2015. We had a lot of fun watching Trinity on stage this year and know that her set is going to combine her east coast manners with her Calgary country… and she’s going to make a bunch of new fans.

We’re also excited to see what new material Ms. Bradshaw brings to Burl’s Creek after her time in Nashville this fall.

Stay tuned for more information about Boots & Hearts as it becomes available… and if you still haven’t bought your tickets you really should CLICK HERE and do that now!

Work hard. Play harder. Be awesome.

3 years ago
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