Jojo Mason

Good Together: James Barker Band, Meghan Patrick, and Jojo Mason Game On Tour, Toronto

Toronto hovered around the freezing mark on Friday, but inside of The Phoenix Concert Theatre, things were hot, sweaty, and fired up as James Barker Band brought the Game On Tour to town with Meghan Patrick and Jojo Mason.

As one of the fastest risers on the Canadian country music scene in the last few years, James Barker Band (JBB) have gone from the small stages in local bars, to the stages of sold out country bars in the city, and now they’ve hit a new level as they sold out The Phoenix – just nine months after they released their first EP at Canadian Music Week 2017.

The Game On Tour is in full swing, and if what we saw in Toronto on Friday night is any indication, there are going to be a lot of satisfied country music fans across the country when it’s finished. All three acts on the bill brought their A game to the stage, playing hits, fan favourites, and peppering in a few fantastic covers that only added to the excitement in the crowd throughout the night.

Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour

Jojo Mason kicked off the night with a tight 25 minutes of music that revved up the Toronto audience and started the temperature rise in the building.

The Saskatchewan native looked right at home at The Phoenix, hitting the stage with his band and bringing the energy that he’s become known for. And as the 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Rising Star nominee rolled through songs like Red Dress, Good Kinda Love, and his current single, Edge Of The Night we could hear the crowd singing along simultaneously warming themselves up and getting the party started.

By the time Jojo wrapped his short set with It’s All Good, it was clear that things were only going to get louder and hotter on the Toronto stop of the Game On Tour. Jojo Mason did his job, and we should all be looking forward to the next time we get to see him on stage.

Related: Jojo Mason, Game On Tour Interview & Feature

More photos below…

Jojo Mason Setlist, Game On Tour, Toronto

🎤 Edge Of The Night 🎤 Red Dress/Chicken Fried 🎤 Good Kinda Love 🎤 Something To Wrap My Heart Around 🎤 No Diggity [Blackstreet] 🎤 It’s All Good

After a brief intermission, Meghan Patrick, the 2017 CCMA Rising Star and Female Artist of the Year awards winner, hit the stage at The Phoenix.

The Bowmanville, ON star came armed with a 10 song set that included songs from her debut album, Grace & Grit, and her January 2018 release, Country Music Made Me Do It. And as she played tracks from each album, the crowd got louder, more involved, and showed her the love that the pseudo-hometown concert had to offer.

Note: Meghan also took the chance to wish a happy birthday to the one and only Dolly Parton before she broke into a rousing rendition of Jolene.

Accompanied by a full band of five dudes on stage, Patrick’s sound was full and tight. Her voice, which has always been a strength, ripped through the speakers and met the voices of the Toronto fans as they sang along with her.

And to see and hear those country music fans sing along to new songs like Country Music Made Me Do It and George Strait with the same love that they use to belt out Grace & Grit and Bow Chicka Wow Wow serves as a confirmation (not that it was needed) that Meghan Patrick truly has become a star, burning bright and hot in Canadian country music.

Related: Meghan Patrick Q&A and Game On Tour Preview 

More photos below…

Meghan Patrick Setlist, Game On Tour, Toronto

🎤 Hardest On My Heart 🎤 Long Way From Waylon 🎤 Country Music Made Me Do It 🎤 George Strait 🎤 The Bad Guy 🎤 Grace & Grit 🎤 Jolene [D. Parton] 🎤 Be Country With Me 🎤 The Buzz 🎤 Bow Chicka Wow Wow

James Barker Band at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour 2018

In August 2015 we saw the James Barker Band on the Boots & Hearts stage as finalists in the Emerging Artist Showcase… in the two and a half years since the boys haven’t slowed down a bit.

The Game On Tour serves as JBB’s first headlining trek across Canada, and with a fist full of Canadian country music chart hits and fan favourites, these boys came ready to play in Toronto.

From the jump, the warmed up (hot and sweaty) Friday night crowd was all in on the JBB set. And from the opening notes of It’s Working, they were loud and engaged. There were cheers and screams and laughs as James, Taylor, Bobby, and Connor played their set, cracking jokes, having fun, and clearly enjoying the chance to play for a sold out Toronto audience.

The band’s set was a well thought out mix of tracks from their 2017 EP, Game On, new songs that we expect to hear on their next record (including the brand new single, Good Together), and covers of Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, John Michael Montgomery, and Hank Williams. The pacing was smooth, the energy in the room never dipped, and it was clear that James Barker Band was in complete control of the crowd on the floor in front of them.

James Barker Band at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour 2018

These boys are serious about their music in that they work hard and have released some excellent songs, but they don’t take themselves so seriously that they can’t remember that this is supposed to be fun. So when they called up volunteers from the crowd to make their cover of Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident) an interactive event, it fit perfectly.

Note: When we talked to James before the tour started we asked about Sold and whether we should expect it in the set. James told us that he wasn’t sure it would be a JBB show without it, and we’re glad that was his answer.

With radio hits like Just Sayin’, Lawn Chair Lazy, and Chills in their set, we were ready for a lot of singing along, and we got it. The country music fans in Toronto weren’t shy about participating in the action, raising their voices to meet James, and making sure that they contributed to the overall sound at The Phoenix.

It all came together to create an amazing atmosphere and a Friday night party in the city.

The Game On Tour wraps in Vancouver on February 10th, but that doesn’t mean that James Barker Band are planning to slow down. Be ready to see a lot more of them soon, and if you have a chance to catch them before the tour is over, do it!

James Barker Band, Game On Tour, Toronto

🎤 It’s Working
🎤 Going Places*
🎤 Just Sayin’
🎤 Good Together
🎤 Throwback
🎤 Hey Good Lookin’ [H. Williams]
🎤 Living The Dream
🎤 I’m Gonna Miss Her [B. Paisley]
🎤 Keep You Happy*
🎤 Sweet Thing [K. Urban]
🎤 Looking At You*
🎤 Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident) [J.M. Montgomery]
🎤 Lawn Chair Lazy
ENCORE
🎤 Rock/Pop Medley
🎤 Chills

*new songs, unrecorded, names may be inaccurate.

James Barker Band Photos, Game On Tour (Toronto)

James Barker Band at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour 2018 James Barker Band's Bobby Martin at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour 2018 James Barker Band at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour 2018 James Barker Band's Bobby Martin at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour 2018 James Barker Band at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour 2018 James Barker Band at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour 2018

Meghan Patrick Photos, Game On Tour (Toronto)

 

Jojo Mason Photos, Game On Tour (Toronto)

Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour

Edge Of The Night: Jojo Mason, Game On Tour Feature

Jojo Mason rolled into Toronto on Friday with the Game On Tour, ready for action and what comes next.

We caught up with Jojo before his opening slot on the James Barker Band show to talk about being on the road, his plans for new music, changing the game, and how excited he is to be doing what he does.

Note: Earlier in the day Jojo took over our Instagram account, posting photos and videos from a busy morning of TV appearances, a SiriusXM session, and the chance to meet Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta. Check out his timeline posts at @thereviewsarein.com.

The last time we hung out with Jojo Mason we were in Port Perry, ON in September 2017, and he told us that there were big things coming. He couldn’t share details then… but four months later, it’s all pretty clear. The Saskatchewan native is on tour with James Barker Band and Meghan Patrick for 21 dates, crossing the country from Halifax to Vancouver, playing a 25 minute set in each city, and getting the crowd ready for the rest of the night.

Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour

We asked Jojo about the experience so far (a week in) and he gushed about the chance to get up on stage at sold out shows to share his music. He is loving the chance to play for Canadian country music fans, and they are responding in ways he never expected. Jojo is hearing those excited fans sing back to him at each stop, and it’s wowing him every time. The 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Rising Star nominee told us that the feeling of hearing his own songs being sung back to him is almost indescribable.

Mason also talked to us about learning and growing on this tour. He told us that he is taking every chance he gets to talk to his tour mates about his set, asking for advice, tips, and feedback about what they’re seeing. He knows that JBB and Meghan Patrick have been on big tours before, and he knows there’s a lot for him to soak in. That willingness to put his ego aside to learn and improve fits perfectly with everything we already knew about Jojo Mason… and it is only going to make him a better performer as his career progresses.

Here’s the thing about Jojo Mason – he’s legitimately the best dude. There isn’t anyone we’ve met that has said anything to contradict that opinion. We’ve experienced it ourselves, we’ve heard stories from fans and industry folks, and it’s all true. In fact, when we talked to James Barker the night before the Game On Tour kicked off in Halifax and asked him to describe Jojo in three words… and he said: The Nicest Guy. And here’s another thing – Jojo gives the best hugs. We’ve been saying it forever, and on Friday night it was echoed in his introduction from KX Country’s Mike Fuller and Jerry Archer. The secret’s out!

Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour

In June 2017, Jojo Mason released his debut album, Both Sides Of The Bar, and gave country fans a collection of 10 songs, including singles, It’s All Good, Good Kinda Love, Red Dress, Made For You, Something To Wrap My Heart Around, and his most recent release, Edge Of The Night. The energetic singer has played those songs on every stage possible since then, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t also been working on the music that comes next.

Back in September, Jojo told us that he had started doing some writing for his follow-up project, and on Friday he told us that after a November trip to Nashville for more writing, the demo-ing process has started.

There was an excitement on Mason’s face and in his voice when he talked about what he wants to do with his new music… and for good reason. Jojo Mason wants to pave his own path with his next album. He’s looking to change the game a little bit, and carve out some space for something new.

As a kid, Jojo grew up on country music. And soul. And funk. And now, as an artist and fan of music, he’s looking for a chance to put those influences and passions together. He calls it Country-Soul, and he’s looking to make it happen.

Jojo told us that he’s already started to push producer Dan Swinimer for new sounds on the new songs, including horns. And while we haven’t heard any of the demos, it’s easy to imagine them as fun, full, energetic, and packed with all of the things we get from Jojo now.

Jojo Mason with Joshua Murray at Toronto's The Phoenix in the lobby prior to the Game On Tour

Mason also told us that the next single he releases won’t be from Both Sides Of The Bar, and that it will be a new brand track. He didn’t tell us when it’s coming, but it is on the way.

Before we wrapped our chat and let Jojo Mason get ready for the show, we talked a little more about the tour and how it’s been going so far. Jojo told us (with a big smile) that it’s been a blast. He compared it to hanging out with his friends back home. Getting the chance to be with the James Barker Band boys and Meghan Patrick every day has been a lot of fun (and work). And whether they’re talking about hometowns, their dogs, relationships, life, or having Nerf gun fights (check out Jojo and Meghan’s Instagram stories) it’s all coming together to be a good time.

In fact, Jojo told us that he’s ready for Meghan Patrick (his bus-mate) to take him hunting and fishing.

We’ll all have to wait and see if the two country kids get out in the woods together, and we’ll do our best to be patient as we wait for new music from Jojo… but until then, we’ll be remembering the show he put on at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto on Friday night.

Jojo came out strong in his opening slot performance, playing a tight 25 minute set with the band, and rolling out the hits and surprises as he made the most of his time.

We could hear the crowd singing along, we could see them dancing, and when Jojo Mason and his boys played a cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity, complete with a banjo, we were in 90’s hip hop/country music fan heaven.


Jojo Mason is a dude with a lot of career ahead of him. He’s ready to work, ready to learn, and ready to take chances. And, he’s ready to entertain the hell out of anyone that wants to come on out.

If you’re west of Toronto and you like to have a good time listening to live country music, we highly recommend that you get tickets for the Game On Tour stop near you.

Jojo recommends it too. And a nice guy like him wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Jojo Mason Setlist, Game On Tour, Toronto

Edge Of The Night
Red Dress/Chicken Fried
Good Kinda Love
Something To Wrap My Heart Around
No Diggity
It’s All Good

Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix in the lobby prior to the Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix in the lobby prior to the Game On Tour Jojo Mason with Joshua Murray at Toronto's The Phoenix in the lobby prior to the Game On Tour

Country Music Made Me Do It: Meghan Patrick Q&A and Game On Tour Preview

Meghan Patrick has a brand new album on shelves, she’s on tour with the James Barker Band, and she’s got a lot of feelings about it.

We had the chance to catch up with Meghan for a Q&A that touches on her sophomore record, Country Music Made Me Do It, the Game On Tour, her latest music video, busking to make money for boots and beer, and more.

Get ready for Meghan Patrick to come to a venue near you on the Game On Tour, and as shes adds more live shows to her 2018 schedule.

Related: Game On Tour Preview, Interview and 5 Quick Questions with James Barker

If you’ve never had the chance to see Meghan live, we highly recommend that you take advantage of any chance you have to do so. It’s a kick ass show that blends energy, hit songs, fan favourites, and everything we love about live music!

We’ve seen photos and reviews of early shows on the Game On Tour, and so far it looks like the Bowmanville, ON native is doing exactly what we know she can. We can’t wait to see the show with Jojo Mason, Meghan Patrick and headliners, James Barker Band when it comes to Toronto on Friday, January 19.

Thanks again to Meghan for taking the time to catch up with us. Check it out now, and listen to Country Music Made Me Do It today.

Meghan Patrick Q&A

Q) How does it feel to have Country Music Made Me Do It as a follow-up to Grace & Grit ready to share with the world?

Meghan) As with Grace & Grit, it’s a mixture of excitement, anticipation and anxiety haha. I’m really proud of this record, as I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a writer and artist, and I just hope my fans love it as much as I do.

Related: Country Music Made Me Do It, Meghan Patrick Album Review

Q) Going into the writing and recording of Country Music Made Me Do It, did you find yourself making an intentional effort to try new things, explore new ideas, etc.?

Meghan) Definitely. But I also wanted to be cognizant of what my fans responded to on the last record, so that I could give them more of what they love. It was extremely important to me to be really honest and real on this record… both in the way I deliver my music sonically and in my lyrics. I think it’s something my fans expect of me and love about me, and as an artist and writer, it’s the most fulfilling (and only way in my opinion) to make music.

Meghan Patrick BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Q) Was there anyone new that you got to work with on this record that you were really looking forward to, either on the writing side or production?

Meghan) When I met Jeremy Stover (my producer) that was a huge part of how this record came to be. It started with us writing together, and lead to him setting me up with some of his writers at Red Creative such as Kelly Archer and Adam Hambrick. There are so many talented songwriters in Nashville, but it’s all about finding the ones you have chemistry with and Stover and I definitely hit it off when it came my music and the vision we both had for it. I loved that he was as passionate about making this record as I was and he really brought out the best in me throughout the whole process. Kelly was a big part of this record too, she co-wrote nearly half the record with me, including Feel Me Gone which is the only song on the record I didn’t write. Every writer I worked with on this record brought something amazing to the project and helped me further find out who I am as an artist and a writer and I have so much love and respect for them all!

Q) The reaction to Country Music Made Me Do It has been positive so far, including for the video. What was it like to have the streets of Nashville act as your set when you think back to first getting to town and walking them as a visitor and new-comer?

Meghan) It was a pretty incredible full-circle moment for me shooting that video on Broadway. The first time I came to Nashville was about 8 years ago… I was broke and trying to make it, and I had paid a lot of my bills through gigs and busking. We were heading to Bonnaroo and I could barely afford the trip to begin with, but when we got down to Broadway I saw this pair of cowboy boots that I loved. So I stood on the corner and busked for a few hours till I made enough money to buy the boots and a few beers (which is basically what I still spend all my money on haha). To go from that moment where I had no money, no record deal, nothing… to having Broadway shut down to shoot my video was huge, it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

Q) We remember shows and albums from The Stone Sparrows, how important do you feel those years and experiences have been to you as you’ve built your solo career?

Meghan) Every single thing I’ve done, and every band I’ve played in has had an influence on who I’ve become as an artist today, as well as influencing my writing. I am so grateful to have worked with so many great musicians over the years and I’ve learned something and been inspired by every one of them.

Q) You’re not the new kid in town anymore after the success of Grace & Grit, the CCMA Award, etc., has that changed the way you approach making new music or putting on a show?

Meghan) I wouldn’t say it’s changed me, if anything I just feel more pressure sometimes as if there are more expectations of me now. But regardless I am always trying to top myself… write better songs, put on a better show, and connect with my fans. To have the recognition I received this year at CCMA’s and CMAO’s just gives me the boost I need on the hard days to keep pushing, and know I’m doing something right.

Q) The Game On tour is ready to go, what are you feeling as you get ready to cross the country and play some of these new songs for country fans?

Meghan) I am so excited. A little anxious, because of course I’m curious as to how my fans will respond to the new music… but I’m very proud of this record and I’m excited to finally play some new tunes!

Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016

Q) In 50 words or so, can you share some thoughts about what Country Music Made Me Do It means to you as a collection of songs at this point in your life?

Meghan) For me this record represented a few things. It represented some more freedom, but also higher expectations. As I said before, I want every record I put out to be better than the last. I want to keep trying new things and growing while remaining the Meghan that my fans love.

As with my last record, it’s a collection of stories… my hurt, my happy, and everything in between. I hope it serves as further insight into who I am, because it’s really important to me to be approachable and relatable to my listeners… I hope they love this new music as much as I do!

Game On: James Barker Band Tour Preview, Interview and 5 Quick Questions

The James Barker Band has put four singles in the Top 10 on Canadian country radio, including Chills, which hit #1 in June 2017. And now, with a fanbase that continues to grow from coast to coast, JBB are hitting the road on their first Canada wide headlining tour.

The Game On Tour (named for the debut EP from the band) will see James Barker Band put on 21 shows, starting in Halifax, NS on January 11 and ending in Vancouver, BC on February 10. Joining the boys on the road will be 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year, Meghan Patrick and 2017 CCMA Rising Star nominee, Jojo Mason.

The reaction and excitement for the tour can be seen daily on social media, as fans and the artists post about the upcoming shows. It has been fantastic to see the reactions, and it’s certainly exciting for James Barker, Taylor Abram, Connor Stephen, and Bobby Martin as they get ready to get things started.

We caught up with James on the phone the day before the first tour date in Halifax to talk about their live show, how they’re feeling, their supporting acts, and more. And when we asked for three words to describe how they’re feeling as they prepare to start the tour, Barker gave us: All Fired Up!

As we talked about the tour we also got James to give us three words to describe tour mates Meghan Patrick: Ass-Kickin’ Country Girl and Jojo Mason: The Nicest Guy. (James made it clear that this was not easy, and we did grant him an exemption on the hyphenated ass-kickin’ for Meghan)

Headlining a cross country tour is a big step for any band, and we talked to James about that step up from headlining a venue like Boots & Bourbon in Toronto to The Phoenix Concert Theatre, in the middle of their own tour. He told us that it’s kind of crazy to look back even to last April when they played their album release show to now. James also said that it’s wild to be able to look back at his calendar from year to year and see the progression in venues and shows that the band has played. From small bars in small towns, to opening on tour with Dean Brody, to having their own name at the top of the ticket, he can track it.

We asked about looking back on that progression and reflecting on it, and James said that the holidays have always been a time when he finds himself looking back on the year and taking it all in. And while 2017 was a big one, we’re sure 2018 will bring even more to look back on when it’s over.

James Barker Band-Country Thunder 2017

While we had James on the phone we got him to play a quick round of 5 Quick Questions… here we go!

5 Quick Questions with James Barker Band

Q1) What was the first song you played as a band?

James) Drift Away

Q2) What was the first album you bought?

James) Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin

James told us that he was given Led Zeppelin IV as a gift, which put him on the path to buying the debut album on his own.

Q3) Do you have a dream duet/collaboration partner?

James) Eric Church

He’s The Chief, we’ve seen him live, listened to the records, and can’t argue with this choice!

James Barker Band SiriusXM Fan Stage BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Q4) What city or venue is at the top of the James Barker Band goal/wish list?

James) Madison Square Garden

It is THE arena. End of story.

Q5) Is there an artist you think people should be paying more attention to?

James) Corb Lund

James said he has always been a fan of Lund’s songwriting, and things other people should be in on the Alberta native.

The Game On Tour is possible because of the success that James Barker Band have had on Canadian country radio, and the fanbase they’ve cultivated, but they’re still just getting started.

The band recently spent time travelling throughout the United States, visiting radio stations and playing their songs for a new audience south of the border, with the intention of proving that they’re more than just a Canadian favourite.

We asked James about going to the U.S. and he told us that for about 12 weeks in a row they flew down to American markets and hit radio stations all over, promoting the band, introducing new listeners to Chills. There were a lot of flights, from city to city, and back to Canada to play shows and festivals on weekends, but the song is starting to gain traction, and the band is starting to get noticed.

It was cool to hear James talk about the positive reception the band and the song have received in America. He acknowledged that they didn’t know what to expect, or how it would go. But from the jump things have been good and the band couldn’t be happier about it.

James Barker Band SiriusXM Fan Stage BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

JBB has more plans for the U.S. too, and while James couldn’t give us any specific details, he did tell us that JBB will be in Nashville in early February for CRS (Country Radio Seminar) 2018, and are hoping to get on the extended summer festival season circuit south of the border, and as we get to fall and winter 2018, the band hopes to be on a tour in America.

Before we got off the phone, we asked James about what’s coming next in the form of new music… and we heard exactly what we were hoping we would.

1) James has been writing constantly, working on songs that he hopes will turn into the next James Barker Band record.

2) A brand new single is coming on January 19, 2018. Tour crowds will have a chance to hear Good Together live, and country fans everywhere will be able to hear it starting next Friday!

The very last thing we talked about before we were done, was the live show and what fans can expect on the Game On Tour.

James told us that it’s going to be the full James Barker Band experience. The boys like to keep things loose and fun, and they are looking to do that on every date from Halifax to Vancouver. And when I asked if we’ll hear Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident), he laughed and told us that he wasn’t sure it would be a full JBB show if we didn’t.

We’re looking forward to catching up with the boys in Toronto at The Phoenix to celebrate the tour, the release of Good Together, and the continued success of four dudes from small town Ontario.

James Barker Band, Game On Tour Dates

January 11, 2018 – Halifax, NS
January 12, 2018 – Moncton, NB
January 13, 2018 – Charlesbourg, QC
January 14, 2018 – Montreal, QC
January 16, 2018 – Kingston, ON
January 17, 2018 – Ottawa, ON
January 18, 2018 – Kitchener, ON
January 19, 2018 – Toronto, ON
January 20, 2018 – Guelph, ON
January 22, 2018 – London, ON
January 23, 2018 – Sudbury, ON
January 24, 2018 – Sault Ste Marie, ON
January 26, 2018 – Winnipeg, MB
January 27, 2018 – Brandon, MB
January 28, 2018 – Saskatoon, SK
January 29, 2018 – Red Deer, AB
February 1, 2018 – Edmonton, AB
February 2, 2018 – Calgary, AB
February 3, 2018 – Lethbridge, AB
February 10, 2018 – Vancouver, BC

Looking for tickets? Click Here!

Out Of The Blue: Chad Brownlee Video Release

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

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

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

Related: Chad Brownlee at Boots & Hearts 2017

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

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

15 Boots & Hearts 2018 Artist Predictions

With the dates for Boots & Hearts 2018 released and our recovery from the 2017 festival complete, it’s time to look at our predictions for BH7 next August.

As always, the names listed below have been picked because we fully believe there is a chance that they could play the festival. Yes, we’d love to see Garth and Reba, but the odds are very, very, very long on that happening. So, we’ve put together this list of 15 country artists that we’re predicting for Boots & Hearts 2018.

When you’re done reading, please leave a comment telling us who you think we got right, and who you think will be at Burl’s Creek next summer.

Note: All artist names have been listed in alphabetical order… not in order of preference or how certain we are with the prediction.

Boots and Hearts 2018 Headliners

Chris Young

Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016

The newest invitee of the Grand Ole Opry is on quite a run. With 5 studio albums (plus a Christmas record) on his resume, there’s no shortage of material for Young to bust out in a 90 minute headlining set. And with songs that are guaranteed to get people singing along at the top of their lungs… this would work.

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney may be the biggest gamble here. The four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year winner has a reputation for putting on a great show, and with 14 studio albums worth of material, we know that he could have 40,000+ country music fans singing along from start to finish.

Little Big Town

Little Big Town was on the original schedule for Boots & Hearts 2015, but had to cancel due to medical issues. We’ve been hoping and waiting ever since for them to be added back to the list. In these last couple of years the quartet has elevated themselves to legitimate headlining status, and we truly hope that the Canadian fans that love B&H get to see them sing.

Zac Brown Band

CMT Music Fest - Zac Brown Band

We’ve seen the Zac Brown Band headline for at CMT Music Fest in 2016… and we’d gladly do it all over again at Boots & Hearts 2018. With a long list of hits and fan favourites, and a reputation for playing amazing covers of songs people love, ZBB could headline any night of the festival.

We’re good with all four of these options. None of them have played Boots & Hearts in the first six years of the festival, making them exciting options for year seven, and all of them come with hits, fan favourites, and star power.

Supporting Talent

Andrew Hyatt
Andrew Hyatt - Northern Comfort Saloon - CNE 2017With his first Top 20 single on the books, upcoming tour dates with Dallas Smith that will earn him new attention and fans, and the kind of energy that delivers a great show – Andrew Hyatt should make his main stage debut at Boots & Hearts 2018.

Brett Kissel
Brett Kissel - CNE 2017We’ve been waiting for a Canadian opener since Boots & Hearts year 1, and while Brett may be at the top of our list to nab that spot – we’re look at him as the direct support for someone like Zac Brown or Little Big Town on Saturday or Sunday night

Brett Young
Brett Young’s star is rising fast! We saw him this summer on tour with Lady Antebellum, and this dude has what it takes to entertain a crowd. Look for him late in the afternoon as party heats up.

Carly Pearce
Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017Pearce is another rising star in American country. Her debut album drops this fall, and with success already coming to her with her first single, Every Little Thing, we’d be surprised not to see her bring the Big Machine bus to Boots & Hearts 2018.

Dan Davidson
Dan Davidson - Rod, Gun and Barbers ParkdaleLikeable, talented, and always ready to play music, Dan Davidson is a great bet to come east to Ontario and play for the Boots & Hearts crowd. Fans already dig Found and Barn Burner, and by next summer we’re guessing they’ll be ready to sing along to even more.

Dustin Lynch
A cowboy hat, jeans, and t-shirt looks good on the Boots & Hearts stage, we’ve seen it before. And if Dustin Lynch shows up in that outfit and plays his hits (the dude’s top 10 Spotify tracks have more than 200,000,000 plays) we know the Canadian country fans would be seein’ red.

Jojo Mason
JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016The first time Jojo Mason played Boots & Hearts the crowd chanted his name and made it a day he’ll never forget. Now, fans have had a chance to learn more about Jojo with his debut album, Both Sides Of The Bar, and his CCMA nomination for 2017 Rising Star. If Jojo were to come back with his energy and those songs, it’d be all good.

Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini has been number 1 with Dibs, Peter Pan, and Love Me Like You Mean It, and fans are in love with her voice and her style. We’ve seen her live, and the chance to see it again at Boots & Hearts with some of the biggest names in country music makes perfect sense to us.

Madeline Merlo
Madeline Merlo - Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMadeline Merlo rocks a summer vibe like almost nobody we’ve ever known, so seeing her back on the Boots & Hearts stage on a sunny summer afternoon seems like a perfect fit. Whether she plays the main stage, or a late slot on the front porch, we know a crowd of Canadian country fans would be there to sing along with the B.C. native.

Maren Morris

A post shared by Maren Morris (@marenmorris) on


Maren Morris is quickly becoming one of the young queens of country music. Her debut album, Hero, is filled with jams from front to back, and her duet with Thomas Rhett on Craving You earned her two CMA nominations (Vocal Event and Music Video of the Year) to go along with her Female Vocalist of the Year nomination. Let’s see her on the big stage!

The Reklaws
Budweiser County Fair The ReklawsThese Boots & Hearts vets are due back to the country’s biggest summer festival after releasing a banger with Hometown Kids, and the promise of more new music on the way. Be ready to see them back at their old stomping grounds.

Bonus

Thomas Rhett
Thomas Rhett Boots and Hearts 2015With main stage talent and charisma, Thomas Rhett could headline Friday night, or be the perfect lead in to Kenny Chesney or Little Big Town. I’d lean towards headlining option, only because we’ve already seen him in the direct support spot at Boots & Hearts already. Also, if you haven’t heard it yet, go listen to Thomas Rhett’s brand new album, Life Changes!

Who do you think I got right? Who do you think I got wrong? Who do you think I missed?

Leave a comment and tell me!

That’s My Jam: Jojo Mason at the 2017 Port Perry Fair

A couple hundred small town country music fans got the best deal of the Labour Day long weekend when they paid $12 to hang out at the Port Perry Fair, and got a Jojo Mason concert as the cherry on top.

The Canadian Country Music Association 2017 Rising Star Award nominee hit the stage after Jesse Slack warmed up the crowd, and the demolition derby was complete out on the fairgrounds. It was the same small town fall fair experience that generations have embraced and passed down to their children… but this time there was a special little something for the Port Perry fair goers.

Earlier in the afternoon, before the demolition derby and live music action, we had the chance to catch up with Jojo. It had been almost a full year since we last got to chat with the It’s All Good singer at Canadian Country Music Week 2016… and we’re hoping it won’t be that long again. We talked about his CCMA nomination, and what it’s going to feel like when they call his name and flash his face up on the screen. Jojo admitted that he’s not sure how he’ll react, but he’s excited for the weekend.

Related: 5 Quick Questions with Jojo Mason

We also asked about his summer, and Mason told us about his busy June and July, with shows all over the place, for crowds that showed him all the love he could have hoped for. And while August slowed down, there was still work to do, including new songwriting.

Related: Kira Isabella and JoJo Mason at Mohawk Racetrack

During his set, Jojo Mason was fun, funny, and engaging with the crowd. He made them smile and laugh, and he made them sing and dance. His stage presence was the same at the small town fall fair that it would have been in an arena or theatre. And along with his band, the sound on stage was strong and smooth from start to finish.

Peterborough’s Jesse Slack was also strong as the show’s opener. His selection of covers and originals were an excellent start to the live music. The crowd filed into their seats and the standing and sitting areas to the sides. And before the set was over Jesse had done his job, warming things up and making sure that the country music fans at the fair would be looking for him again in the future.

Note: During our hang, we talked CFL football with Jojo for a few minutes, and his love for the Saskatchewan Roughriders is clear. So, if you ever see your dude out and about in a watermelon helmet or green face paint, don’t be alarmed, he’s just in Green Rider mode.

From Red Dress to It’s All Good, Jojo Mason put on an honest to goodness headlining show in Port Perry, Ontario. His 15 song set was revved up and it was slowed down. There were intimate moments when Jojo shared parts of his story, and there were laugh out loud moments when he egged on one super enthusiastic member of the crowd who just wanted to dance. And whether he walks away with a trophy from the 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Awards in Saskatoon or not, Jojo Mason is a rising star. You can be sure of that.

Related: Both Sides of the Bar, Jojo Mason Album Review

As Jojo’s set ended and he walked off the stage while the band played their outro, a group of three teenagers ran over to the small fence that separated Mason from the crowd. And in a moment that once again showed how good of a dude he is, Jojo leaned over the fence, gave hugs to all three, and then promised to meet them again over at the merch tent in a few minutes. It was an awesome end to the rising star’s stop in small town Ontario.

Jojo Mason Setlist, Port Perry Fair 2017

🎡 Red Dress
🎡 Wagon Wheel
🎡 Edge Of The Night
🎡 Sweet Love
🎡 That’s My Jam/ No Diggity
🎡 Something To Wrap My Heart Around
🎡 I’m Yours
🎡 Endless Summer/ One Love
🎡 I Was Made For You
🎡 Free Fallin’
🎡 That’s Gonna Get You Kissed
🎡 Good Kinda Love
🎡 Under The Rainbow
🎡 Chicken Fried
🎡 It’s All Good

Jojo Mason at the 2017 Port Perry Fair

Jesse Slack at the 2017 Port Perry Fair

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

105 Years Strong: 2017 Calgary Stampede Preview

Words cannot explain how excited I am to be a part of the Calgary Stampede again this year! And if you’ve been following the weather forecast, like myself, you already know it’s going to be a lot better than last year! But don’t worry about the 30+ temperatures the next two weeks, there’s tons of amazing food trucks with cold treats that will keep you cool throughout your stay!

I don’t even know where to start with all the jaw dropping, mouthwatering flavours that the midway has to offer. I am most excited to try the Double Bacon Mac N’ Cheese Dog, Clam Chowder Poutine, Deep Fried Jell-O, Maple Walnut Cotton Candy, Unicorn White Hot Chocolate and The Chili Lime Popcorn Shrimp Perogies! It’s a good thing there’s so much to do at The Stampede because I’m going to have to walk off all the taste testing i’ll be doing.

Since its Canada’s 150th birthday this year The Stampede has added even more musical acts to the powerful lineup! The Coca Cola stage, I believe, will be the biggest crowd pleaser of them all. Over 30 insanely talented bands/solo artists will be taking over the stage through the two weeks.

My top ten acts who I can’t wait to see are…

Ria Mae
Nelly Furtado
Marianas Trench
Alessia Cara
July Talk
Michela Sheedy
Jonathan Roy
USS
Theory of a Deadman
Sabrina Carpenter

All of these performs are so different one another, their style, sound and stage presence, I cannot wait to capture it.

Josh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCJuly Talk - The Edge Sugar Beach Session

Another stage that I absolutely loved last year was The Nashville North Tent. This tent is full of cold drinks and two stepping until the early morning! Over 40 entertaining acts will keep you dancing the night away, such as; The Dungarees, The Cadillac Three, Endless Summer, Cam, Doc Walker, Jess Moskaluke, The Dead South, Cold Creek County, Tristan Horncastle, Jojo Mason, Chris Buck Band and Meaghan Patrick just to name a few. One act I am particularly excited to see is Cam, I remember hearing her first song on the radio Burning House and automatically falling in love with her soft effortless voice, since then I have become a huge fan! And have you seen her hair? She has to have the most beautiful hair in all of country music.

JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Meghan Patrick BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

One thing I love so much about the lineup this year is the diverse music varieties. Whether you like rock, pop, alternative, folk, country, soul, acoustic or EDM, there is something for everyone.

I have to say this year after viewing The Saddledome’s lineup I might have screamed like a little girl. After scrolling through the lineup list my heart dropped into my stomach when I saw Usher was coming as one of the main headliners. I couldn’t believe it! I remember forcing my poor father to constantly play his cds in the car when I was younger and now I finally get to see him live and singing every song… sadly dad won’t be joining. I can’t wait to see what Usher brings to the stage, I truly believe he’s going to put on a show that we won’t forget.

A couple of other events I am extremely excited to see this year are the chuckwagon races, bull riding and the incredible Transalta Grandstand show that ends the evening with fireworks lighting up the whole sky! If you enjoy fireworks, you need to make sure this is on your “must do” list because I have never seen such a spectacular light show in my life. I am filled with so much excitement and adrenaline I don’t know if i’ll be able to sleep before the kick off Stampede parade. I encourage those looking for a new experience or wanting a fun adventure to remember forever, to come on down to Calgary and experience these lifetime memories The Stampede has to offer! This city is incredible and I can’t wait to show everyone all the photographs and memories we make this year!

Photo Credit: Chris Bolin/ Calgary Stampede

Kira Isabella and JoJo Mason at Mohawk Racetrack

On Saturday, June 17th I had the pleasure of attending 34th running of the North America Cup at Mohawk Racetrack. It wasn’t the horses and drivers that brought me there but the live entertainment.

Woodbine Entertainment put on an amazing event with prizes including the best seats in the house, a $1000 prize, fun NA Cup swag, great food and drinks, and more. With a $1,000,000 prize up for grabs in the big race, we had the cream of the crop of horses and drivers. Topping this off, a sweet country music show starring JoJo Mason and Kira Isabella.

What started out as a bit of a crap shoot weather-wise, turned into an amazing time complete with warm temperatures and no rain. There were lots of people in attendance and they were ready for exciting races and the great entertainment and they got both!

Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Kira Isabella

Kira Isabella took to the stage just after 5:00 pm and she very quickly let us know she’d dressed for rain and maybe, just maybe, a black jumpsuit wasn’t the best choice for the 30-degree temperatures. She looked awesome and she sang and danced enthusiastically throughout her set. Kira played through her hits, including Quarterback, I’m So Getting Over You, and Shake It If Ya Got It. She did a great cover medley which included Hotline Bling, Shape of You and Jackson and then she played us a brand new song, I Don’t Wanna Know. It’s a great ballad and I’m hoping you get to hear it on the radio soon.

She won over the crowd and finished up her set by introducing her band and while her guitar player sang, she disappeared off stage and came back waving a Canadian Flag. Who doesn’t love a little Canadian pride? The set ended and the substantial crowd slowly wandered back to watch Kira sing the American and Canadian anthems before the racing began.

JoJo Mason was up at 7:00 pm and while we waited for him to get started, Kira wandered back over to the merch tent hang out and chat with fans. She chatted, took photos with fans and even signed an Unfollow Delete I’m Done tank top for a fan.
Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Kira Isabella

JoJo Mason had the tough job of getting the crowd to leave the track and come listen to him sing. He arrived on stage with his signature JoJo smile and as he sung, the crowd started towards the stage. With his smooth voice and amazing audience engagement, he played a handful of songs and then let the crowd know he’d be back in a bit. JoJo sang throughout the evening, doing a couple of songs and then letting the racegoers head back to place their bets and watch their horses and drivers race past the finish line.
Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo Mason

I’m not sure how he did it, but JoJo kept his cool, in spite of the very warm evening. The crowd got to hear Made for You,  Good Kind of Love, Red Dress and his brand new single Something to Wrap My Heart Around. He threw in some covers including Wagon Wheel and he may have dropped in a little of Bob Marley’s One Love into one of his songs.

It’s always about the fans with JoJo and he made sure to take the time to talk to everyone who wanted to talk and take photos with everyone who wanted them including these two sweet girls who were thrilled.

This was the first outdoor show of the season for both of these performers and they’re both happy to be back out, playing for the people of Canada. Kira’s currently got a duet with the Chris Buck Band, That’s When You Know, out on radio and JoJo released a brand new, full-length album on May 24th. It’s entitled Both Sides of the Bar and you can read our review right here!
Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo MasonMORE PHOTOS OF KIRA ISABELLA

Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Kira Isabella Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Kira Isabella Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Kira Isabella Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Kira Isabella Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Kira IsabellaMohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Kira Isabella MORE PHOTOS OF JOJO MASONMohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo Mason Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo Mason Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo Mason Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo Mason Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo Mason Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo Mason Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo MasonPHOTOS OF THE PEOPLE
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Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup The People

PHOTOS FROM THE PADDOCK AND THE TRACK
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And what would race day be without these guys?

Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Trumpet Fanfare

 

Both Sides Of The Bar: Jojo Mason Album Review

Jojo Mason exudes the kind of energy that most of us wish we could summon on demand… and that all of us would benefit from having around us all the time.

And there may be no better representation of that energy, and the love that pours out of this dude, than his brand new album, Both Sides Of The Bar.

Note: Jojo Mason also gives really good hugs. And they also do a great job of showing his energy and love for life.

Both Sides Of The Bar is the debut full-length album from the Regina, Saskatchewan born hockey player turned country musician. And with 10 tracks playing from start to finish, it’s a solid collection of songs that will allow for the appreciation of both a few drinks and a good time, and (as we’ve heard some people are choosing) a special dance on a wedding day.

I’ve had the chance to sit and gladly listen to Both Sides Of The Bar (on repeat) over the last few days, and I’ll confess, I probably could have written this post with fewer listens… but this record is a lot of fun, and it’s exciting to think about the results that Jojo Mason is going to experience from the fans, industry, and live audiences when these songs are pumping through the speakers.

Related: 5 Quick Questions with Jojo Mason

Some of the tracks on the album will be familiar to Mason’s fans and country radio listeners. 2015 and 2016 singles, It’s All Good, Good Kinda Love, Red Dress, and Made For You lead the charge, and fit perfectly with the new tracks presented to fans, included the newest single, and lovey-dovey jam, Something To Wrap My Heart Around.

This album truly is a pleasure to listen to. The 10 songs clock in at about 33 minutes or so, and it flies by. And like I mentioned before, it’s an easy album to start again and enjoy on a repeat listen.

Jojo Mason’s voice continues to grow, and with an attitude and live presence that is already worth the price of admission, this album, and whatever comes next for the country singer will only serve to push him higher. And that’s good news for all of us, because it will mean more Jojo Mason songs.

Related: Boots & Hearts 2016 Photo Review: Jojo Mason

Now, I don’t usually pick out favourite songs on albums when I’m doing reviews, but I would be flat out lying if I said I didn’t sing along to Made For You every time it comes through my headphones or speakers, and the title track, Both Sides Of The Bar is hitting me in the feels with every spin as well. Take that info and use it however you’d like!

Both Sides Of The Bar Tracklist

1. Good Kinda Love
2. Edge Of The Night
3. Something To Wrap My Heart Around
4. Red Dress
5. Under The Rainbow
6. That’s My Jam
7. Another Now
8. Made For You
9. It’s All Good
10. Both Sides Of The Bar

Shake These Walls/Hearts On Fire Tour Q&A: Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks

If you’re a Canadian country music fan, you’re probably already aware that Chad Brownlee and Tim Hicks are hitting the road together in 2017 for co-headlining dates and a Hearts On Fire/Shake These Walls combo tour.

But what you might not know if how funny Chad and Tim are when they get in the same room together… or what toy Chad would wish for this Christmas, or Tim’s favourite classic Christmas carol to sing.

So to give you a little more insight into 2 of Canadian country’s biggest stars, we got the boys to ask each other a few questions so we could share them with you!

But before we get to that, let’s look at just how impressive these tour dates are going to be…

We’ve had the chance to see both Tim Hicks and Chad Brownlee on a few stages over the last few years, and if you’ve seen 1 or both of them as well, you know a few things.

1) They both like to play loud. This isn’t soft, slow country music all the time. Although some of that lives in their full sets. This is good timing, boot stomping, beer drinking music and it’s a lot of fun.

2) They both have hits to play for the crowd. In the last few years Tim and Chad have both released some awesome songs that have resonated with audiences. And if you’ve never had a chance to sing along live to Stronger Beer, When The Lights Go Down, Stompin’ Ground, or Hearts On Fire – you need to take that chance and enjoy it!

3) Chad and Tim are both solid dudes. Good guys that we have been privileged to meet and hangout with even a little bit. That’s always a nice bonus!

Now… dates and cities. Check them out and if you can see Tim or Chad, or if you’re lucky, both of them together, we highly suggest looking into tickets!

Jan. 6, 2017 – Kelowna, BC – Tim Hicks & Chad Brownlee w/ Jojo Mason
Jan. 7, 2017 – Vancouver, BC – Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks w/ Jojo Mason
Jan. 8, 2017 – Vancouver, BC – Tim Hicks & Chad Brownlee w/ Jojo Mason
Jan. 11, 2017 – Fort McMurray, AB – Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks w/ Dan Davidson
Jan. 12, 2017 – Saskatoon, SK – Tim Hicks & Chad Brownlee w/ Tenille Arts
Jan. 13, 2017 – Calgary, AB – Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks w/ Dan Davidson
Jan. 14, 2017 – Edmonton, AB – Tim Hicks & Chad Brownlee w/ Dan Davidson
Jan. 16, 2017 – Winnipeg, MB – Chad Brownlee & Tim Hicks
Jan. 17, 2017 – Thunder Bay, ON – Chad Brownlee
Jan. 19, 2017 – Regina, SK – Chad Brownlee
Jan. 19, 2017 – Hamilton, ON – Tim Hicks w/ Jason Blaine and River Town Saints
Jan. 20, 2017 – Oshawa, ON – Tim Hicks w/ Jason Blaine and River Town Saints
Jan. 21, 2017 – London, ON – Tim Hicks w/ Jason Blaine and River Town Saints
Jan. 22, 2017 – Sudbury, ON – Tim Hicks w/ Jason Blaine and River Town Saints
Jan. 26, 2017 – Montreal, QC – Tim Hicks w/ James Barker Band
Jan. 27, 2017 – Moncton, NB – Tim Hicks w/ James Barker Band
Jan. 28, 2017 – Halifax, NS – Tim Hicks w/ James Barker Band

And now… please enjoy this little Q&A session with Chad Brownlee and Tim Hicks!

1 year ago

5 Quick Questions with Jojo Mason!

Back in September we had a chance to sit down with emerging country star Jojo Mason for a little hangout during Canadian Country Music Week in London, ON. And since we had him sitting still (mostly) for a few minutes, we decided to rope Jojo into playing along for a little 5 quick questions action.

Jojo is one of the coolest and most genuine dudes you’ll ever meet. His smile and laugh are contagious, and there is nobody more thankful for what’s happening in his life. Pure energy. That’s what this guy brings.

So, when you get the chance to see him on stage, take it. And now, enjoy 5 quick questions (and some photos from our hangs and his live show) with Jojo Mason…

Q1: What is the 1 album you can put on repeat on a long drive and not need to swap it out?

Jojo: Dallas Smith, Side Effects

It’s a new record, but it’s really good, so we’re not surprised to hear Jojo give this answer. In fact, we’d love to sit with him and sing along to One Little Kiss.

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Q2: What is the first song you can remember knowing all of the words to so you could sing along?

Jojo: I Wish, by R. Kelly.

This is pretty freaking impressive. Any youngster that can both follow along and learn the words to something that bounces back and forth as much as I Wish is on the right track to becoming a singer.

Q3: When you aren’t working on music, what is your favourite thing to do?

Jojo: Playing pickup hockey.

Like the good Canadian boy that he is, Jojo likes to strap on the skates and play. Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

Q4: When you’re going into a songwriting session, what is the #1 thing you need to have?

Jojo: Comfy clothes.

Jojo made a pretty strong case for needing comfy clothes when he’s getting ready to write. It makes sense that you can’t concentrate and let the creativity flow if your jeans are too tight!

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Q5: What artists do you think we should be paying more attention to than we are right now?

Jojo: Sykamore and Lanie McAuley

Jojo even gave us tracks to listen to… He’s Mine from Sykamore and Pour Me One More from McAuley. Give them a listen, he’s not wrong.

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1 year ago

CCMA 2016: Jack Daniels Kick Off Party w/ Tim Hicks, Aaron Pritchett, Cold Creek County, Jojo Mason, Meghan Patrick, Petric, James Barker Band & Amy Nelson

We’re live in London, Ontario for the CCMA Country Music Week – and while the big awards won’t be handed out until Sunday night, the festivities have already started with a bang!

Thursday night we hit up the Jack Daniels Kick Off Party and caught 8 Canadian country acts up on stage with an awesome crowd of fans on the street cheering them on and singing along… and drinking. It was exactly what we thought it was going to be, in all the best ways.

The CCMA Kick Off Party gave us…

Amy Nelson
The James Barker Band
Petric
Meghan Patrick
Jojo Mason
Cold Creek County
Aaron Pritchett
Tim Hicks

All of those acts. All on one stage. All in one night.

Amy Nelson kicked off the official party with a full band behind her, and she was ready to go. As the early crowd started to fill the closed down street, Nelson dished out a heap of energy as she sang, giving everyone a taste of the talent that won her the CCMA 2016 Spotlight Performance Contest.

Be sure to check the Regina native out on her social media channels, and stay tuned because it looks like new music is coming soon!

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Next on stage, and familiar to our eyes and ears, was the James Barker Band from Woodville, Ontario. If you’ve listened to country radio at all this summer, you’ve heard these boys… Lawn Chair Lazy climbed all the way to #3, not a bad result for a debut single.

We’ve had the chance to see the James Barker Band play a few times now in the last couple years, and Thursday night’s set at the CCMA street party was more of what people have come to now and love from the guys. They were fun and energetic and sounded great (all things on our checklist) and they even gave us a listen to what could be their next single… Just Sayin’. Keep your ears open for it on country radio in the near future.

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Two of our favourite Manitoba boys were next to take the stage, and they kept the good times rollin’. Petric are one of those acts that we wish we saw a little more often, because it’s never a bad time for us. And it was pretty cool to see them in front of the London, ON fans that may not have seen them before.

Tom and Jason did a great job getting the sing along voices going as more people came into the party, and when they added an acoustic version of I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing to a set that included Here Goes Everything, It Girl, and All She Wrote, we got the loudest street party choir we’d heard so far in the night. Here’s hoping we all get to see more of Petric again soon.

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In quick order we got the next act up on stage… and to nobody’s surprise Meghan Patrick hopped right up, showed everyone what’s she’s got in her bag of tricks, and put everybody in the mood for more volume, more drinking, and more country music.

The cheers had started to get louder as more people filled in to kick off the CCMA’s with a party – and when Meghan played her cover of Jolene and her breakout radio hit, Bow Chicka Wow Wow, they got pretty damn loud for her. And we loved it!

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Next we got to see maybe the most enthusiastic and excited dude in Canadian country music. If you don’t know Jojo Mason yet, you’re missing out. This guy has more energy than we know what to do with, and he’s kind and happy and just bubbles over with joy on stage. And on Thursday night he showed us again that he’s able to transfer those good time feelings onto the crowd, who were having a great time.

There was singing and dancing in the street for Red Dress, Good Kinda Love, It’s All Good, and an awesome cover of Tom Petty’s classic, Free Fallin’ – Jojo did what he does – got ‘em all going. And we’re sure he’ll do it again next time we see him!

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After Jojo we got blast of excitement when Cold Creek County took their turn and filled the stage with bodies and instruments and sound and songs. It always seems to be a party when you put these guys up, and that makes sense, because they’re a full guest list all to themselves… but they graciously shared the festivitities with the even louder crowd getting later into Thursday night.

It was a quick set (they all were) but long enough to get everyone revved up even higher with Our Town, Til The Wheels Come Off, Beer Weather, and Flo Rida’s Welcome To My House. Big ups to the guys for packing a big punch in their short time. Everyone was all in!

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CCC hopped off stage and it wasn’t long before Aaron Pritchett got on, and things got louder again!

The Canadian country music vet has been pumping out radio tunes for a long time now, so Thursday night he gave us 2 we’ve known for years, and 2 that country radio has done a great job of supporting lately. It was awesome to see and hear people get into Out Of The Blue and Dirt Road In ‘Em, and it was even cooler to slip into memory mode and hear the singing along to Big Wheel and Hold My Beer! Nailed it!

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Tim Hicks wrapped the show, and was the one everyone was waiting for. The St. Catherine’s boy knows how to amp up a show, knows how to work a crowd, and knows that Canadian country music fans are in on what he’s doing!

Hicks’ new album, Shake These Walls dropped Friday morning, and he was ready to share some of that new music in his set. The fans got to hear the title track along with Stompin’ Ground, Slow Burn, and Let’s Just Drink from the record PLUS fan favourites Get By and Stronger Beer. And for all we’ve talked about the crowd being loud, it was never louder than when Tim Hicks invited the crowd to sing Stronger Beer with him!

Final verdict: Great party and great way to kick off Canadian Country Music Week in London, ON!

Stay tuned for more!

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1 year ago

Boots & Hearts 2016 Photo Review: Jojo Mason

We’ve always loved Boots & Hearts for the way they book and push young, emerging country artists. It’s awesome to see, and you can see the progression in careers as the 5 years have passed.

This year one of those artists getting his chance to shine on the main stage was Jojo Mason… and boy did he shine!

The sun soaked Saturday afternoon crowd was half sitting and half standing when the set started, but by the time Jojo was finished that standing percentage was far higher than 50%.

Jojo Mason had the crowd into the set big time with his own recognizable singles, Red Dress, Good Kinda Love, and It’s All Good – and throwing in covers like Chicken Fried and Wagon Wheel endeared him to the assembled country music lovers as well.

One of the biggest highlights for Jojo (as he shared online) was the crowd chanting his name over and over again. It was awesome. Check it out and then keep scrolling to see our pics!

JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

1 year ago
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