Leah Daniels

5 Quick Questions with Ben Hudson: Holiday Edition and Fancy Spiced Rum & Eggnog Recipe

With the holiday season coming up on us, we’ve been sliding into the spirit with some of our favourite artists. And to help get us a little more excited for gifts and friends and family and holiday music, Ben Hudson has joined the fun.

We caught up with Ben for a quick, holiday edition, round of 5 Quick Questions, and found out his favourite childhood Christmas song, who he’d love to duet with, and how he likes his eggnog.

Note: Congratulations to Ben – he’s been named a winner in the Kick It With Kissel contest and will be opening for Brett Kissel in North Bay, Ontario on February 23, 2018.

Check it out!

5 Quick Holiday Questions with Ben Hudson

Q) Did you have a favourite Christmas songs when you were a kid?

Ben) I’m old enough to remember staying up all night listening to the radio just to hear your favourite song again. I barely slept one Christmas Eve waiting for Bob and Doug McKenzie’s version of Twelve Days of Christmas to come on. By far my favourite Christmas song as a kid.

Q) Do you have a favourite Christmas song to play?

Ben) I don’t yet but I am currently working on some good ones for the upcoming ‘Home for the Holidays’ Christmas Concert with Leah Daniels and Beverley Mahood. Christmas Cookies by George Strait is a lot of fun.

Q) If you could partner up with any artist for a collaboration on a Christmas song, who would you choose?

Ben) Lindi Ortega. It would be a Christmas song with a twist for sure.

Q) What is your favourite beverage for a holiday party?

Ben) Spiced rum and eggnog could be the best thing about the holiday season.

Q) If you could only have 1 dessert after Christmas dinner, what would you choose?

Ben) Spiced rum and eggnog.

eggnog photo from thespruce.com

Ben Hudons’s Fancy Spiced Rum & Eggnog

Ingredients:

2 oz Captain Morgan spiced rum
4 oz eggnog
1 pinch fancy nutmeg

Directions:

1. Pour spiced rum into glass.
2. Add eggnog to spiced rum.
3. Stir and sprinkle with fancy nutmeg

A post shared by Ben Hudson (@benhudsonmusic) on

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from thereviewsarein.com and Friends!

This year, to celebrate the holiday season, we asked some of our musician friends to send us pics and videos sharing their best wishes to you!

We would like to thank everyone that helped us out with this project, the artists and their teams, and we would like to thank all of you for enjoying the messages when you’ve seen them on social media.

Now, in case you missed any of them, here are a heap of wishes that we would love to pass on to you!

And from our team at thereviewsarein.com, we would like to wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a safe and awesome New Year!

Dean Brody

Jessica Mitchell

Chad Brownlee

Madeline Merlo

Panicland

Mabel

Leah Daniels

Kansas Stone

The Lovelocks

River Town Saints

The Dead Love

The Hunter Brothers

Leaving Thomas

The Dead South

Andrew Hyatt

The Katherines

Mike Robins of Autumn Hill

Andrew Allen

Shae Dupuy

Alee

5 Quick Questions with Leah Daniels!

We caught up with the 2015 CMAO Rising Star and 2016 Female Artist of the Year winner, Leah Daniels at the Strut Social house during Canadian Country Music Week and had a chance to sit her down for a little chat.

So, without any further ado, we present to you, Uxbridge, ON’s Leah Daniels and 5 quick questions.

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Q1: In the car on a long trip, what album could you listen to on repeat over and over again?

Leah: Queen’s Greatest Hits

We didn’t follow up to see if she head bangs during Bohemian Rhapsody… we’ll have to ask next time we see her.

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

Leah: A Whole New World, Disney’s Aladdin

It took pretty much every piece of restraint in my body not to start singing the song.

Q3: What is your favourite hobby for your downtime?

Leah: Gardening

Leah told us that this summer gardening has become bigger for her, and judging by some of the photos we’ve seen on social media, we believe her.

Q4: What is the #1 thing you need when you go into a writing session?

Leah: A notebook

Being able to write and read everything tangibly on the paper is a big plus for her, and we know exactly what she’s talking about.

Q5: What artist should people be paying attention to and listening to more than they are right now?

Leah: Ben Hudson

We saw Ben earlier this summer at CMT Music Fest, and in London, ON during country music week, and we agree… if you haven’t checked Ben Hudson out yet, now is a good time.

Big thanks to Leah for taking the time to sit down with us, we can’t wait to do it again soon!

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1 year ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Man: Cory Marquardt at the 2015 CNE!

Leah Daniels at the 2014 CNE Northern Comfort Saloon

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

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

2016 Canadian National Exhibition, Northern Comfort Saloon Lineup

Buck Twenty

August 19 – 21
3:00pm – 6:00pm

Eric Ethridge

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

Marshall Dane

August 22 – 24
7:30pm – 11:00pm

Kelly Prescott

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

Tristan Horncastle

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

Ginger St. James

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

The Washboard Union

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

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

1 year ago

CMT Music Fest 2016: Leah Daniels and The Washboard Union on the Maple Leaf Stage!

Saturday at CMT Music Fest was jam packed with music on both stages – including Leah Daniels and The Washboard Union on the Maple Leaf Stage.

We were able to get over and catch both sets – and to put it quite simply, they were awesome!

Leah Daniels

We’ve known Leah for a few years now… we’ve watched her grow on stage, release new music, win CMAO awards (Rising Star, Female Artist of the Year) and grow her fan base all over social media.

Saturday she did exactly what we expected of her – she killed it!

With the boys in the band doing their part, and Leah showing off her incredible pipes, there wasn’t a person in the crowd at the Maple Leaf stage that didn’t get what they were looking for. Hell, Leah even threw a few t-shirts from the stage and that always gets a good cheer.

High fives to Leah, we can’t wait to see her again soon!

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Washboard Union

If you don’t know these 3 dudes yet, you’re missing out. Seriously.

After a set in Prince Edward Island at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival on Friday, The Washboard Union made the long trip to Kitchener and put on a helluva show.

With guitars, banjos, harmonicas, hand claps, and yes, a washboard, the band was on fire from start to finish.

Listen to your local country radio station for Shot Of Glory – they’re playing it. And if they aren’t playing it enough, call them with your request!

Washboard Union CMT Music FestWashboard Union CMT Music FestWashboard Union CMT Music FestWashboard Union CMT Music FestWashboard Union CMT Music FestWashboard Union CMT Music FestWashboard Union CMT Music FestWashboard Union CMT Music Fest

1 year ago

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

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

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

Friday, July 8

eric church fb cmtMaple Leaf Stage

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

Main Stage

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

Saturday, July 9

Zac Brown Band CMT Music Fest 2016Maple Leaf Stage

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

Main Stage

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

A few quicks facts you might want to know:

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

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

Is the site wheelchair accessible?

Yes, both the venue and activities are wheelchair accessible.

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

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

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

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

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

1 year ago

CMT Music Fest 2016 Performer Q&A with The Road Hammers, Kira Isabella & Lindi Ortega!

CMT Music Fest is coming to Kitchener this summer… and it’s going to be HUGE!

For 2 days (July 8 & 9) some of country music’s biggest stars and most talented emerging artists will be taking the stage at Bingemans to entertain thousands of fans ready to have a good time in the July heat. The Friday and Saturday festival is bringing no fewer than 15 artists (more could be coming… we’re watching for that) to play, with Eric Church (Friday) and Zac Brown Band (Saturday) headlining.

The lineup also includes – Kip Moore, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Brothers Osborne, The Road Hammers, Kira Isabella, Cold Creek County, The Washboard Union, Lindi Ortega, Leah Daniels, Drake White and the Big Fire, Meghan Patrick, Andrew Hyatt, and the James Barker Band – so you should know it’s going to be a good time.

And, to get you revved up for the festival we have a Q&A with 3 of the performers right here for you! Check out these 10 answers from Jason McCoy of The Road Hammers, Kira Isabella, and Lindi Ortega.

Enjoy… and stay tuned because we’re got more coming from CMT Music Fest 2016, and you’re going to want to see it. (Trust us)

Q. Tell us a little bit about your first music festival experience, either as a performer or as a fan.

The Roadhammers Boots and Hearts 2015The Road Hammers: Festivals are always great… it’s a gathering of like minded souls both on and off stage, so the community feeling is there… better than that, it’s a family feeling in a way.

Kira Isabella: The first festival experience I ever had was going to see The Tragically Hip at Bluesfest in Ottawa. I was with my parents in the pouring rain and I just remember thinking how rock ’n’ roll, and exciting the whole experience was.

Lindi Ortega: When I was younger I went to this festival called “Another Roadside Attraction”. It was my first time seeing Los Lobos. I loved them so much because the movie “La Bamba” was my favourite and they did a lot of the Richie Valens tunes on the soundtrack. It was so cool for me to hear their original material. I had a great time. I was a kid and loved being at a festival.

Q. What’s your best piece of advice for a first time festival attendee?

Kira Isabella: The advice I’d give a first time festival attendee would be to pace yourself!! It’s a long day/weekend. Not everyone needs alcohol to have a good time of course BUT if you are planning on drinking, be responsible, and make sure you’re careful about mixing alcohol in with the very hot sun!!

Lindi Ortega: Always carry hand sanitizer in case you can’t wash your hands after using the port-o-potties. A small flashlight is great for port-o-potties at night. Wear sunscreen. And buy the artists records and support them if you like what you hear and see live!

The Road Hammers: Soak up every second, and make sure you catch the acts on early in the afternoon… you never know who will be the headliner next year… and you’ll be able to say… “I saw them when they were the opener”! Enjoy the party atmosphere, remember, CMT is the home of Country Music, so, ya’ll is at home at CMT Music Fest… let yer hair down!

Q. What can someone who’s never seen you play before expect from your live performance?

Lindi Ortega The Rivoli Toronto 2013Lindi Ortega: Well, I dance my ass off while singing my heart out and I have a killer band. So there’s that!

The Road Hammers: The Hammers are fun fun fun,… oh, and loud!… we always say, ‘if it weren’t for the fans, our show would just be a rehearsal… they’re the party, we’re the sound track… so let’s have some fun!”

Kira Isabella: I just want people to have as much fun as possible. I’ve been known to get fans on stage dancing, etc.

Q. Do you have any pre-show rituals?

The Road Hammers: We tend to drink a lot of coffee, red bull, that type of thing… Clay does about a thousand sit ups, and we rock out to some ACDC to get pumped… heck, that’s pretty much an average morning for us too!

Kira Isabella: I think the most important pre show ritual I have is my vocal warm up. I do a few exercises and then I just sing through some of my favourite songs (“Like We Never Loved At All” by Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys…) and I make sure I have some quality time to spend hanging with my band talking through the show. We all have a really great energy together and we usually just hang with each other until it’s time to walk to the stage.

Lindi Ortega: I dance in a circle around a fire and sacrifice a… Oh wait never mind, that’s only on the new moon. Nah, I just goof around with my band and get pumped to jump on stage and rock out!

Q. What does being a part of the inaugural CMT Music Fest mean to you?

Kira Isabella CNE 2014 FeatureKira Isabella: Being part of the first inaugural CMT Fest means so much to me. It’s such an honour to be one of the first artists that ever play it. History!

Lindi Ortega: I’m honoured they invited me. I know I’m not your typical country artist and my style veers sometimes into blues, rockabilly and soul. But hey, it’s good to have some variety. Maybe they were thinking the same thing!

The Road Hammers: Like I said, CMT is the Home of Country Music, nobody does it better, so you know it’s all going to be about the fans… and they’re the ones who make it a party! Of all the artists on the Country Music landscape, it’s a big honour that they would invite us to be part of the launch, of what will definitely be an historical weekend!! Epic!

Q. Who/What are you most looking forward to seeing at CMT Music Fest?

Lindi Ortega: Everyone! I’m sure it will be super fun! I know new country has been a lot about the bromance lately, so I think I’ll go find the ladies performing and cheerlead for em side stage!

The Road Hammers: I got to hang with Drake White when we toured Australia with him earlier this year, so I’m looking forward to seeing him again, great guy… also pumped to see Eric Church again, ZBB, Washboard Union, Meghan Patrick, it’s going to be a great music weekend.

Kira Isabella: Other than getting to play my set, Eric Church!! I’ve never seen him live before so you’d better believe I’ll be in the crowd!!

Q. What has been your most memorable festival experience?

The Road Hammers Press Photo 2016The Road Hammers: There are too many to count, it’s been awesome. Most recently though, I’d say looking out into a sea of 30K people at CMC Rocks the Queensland in Australia and seeing people holding up Canadian flags and Road Hammer signs… unbelievable!

Kira Isabella: The most memorable festival experience I ever had was at Cavendish in 2014, the year of Hurricane Arthur. Unfortunately, they canceled the festival but all of the artists still wanted to play so we had an impromptu show at a local bar in town called Fishbones! So many people still came out to the show even though it was pouring rain and the power was going on and off etc..

I ended up getting to play the real festival the next summer… but I’ll never forget the spirit of the people out there in P.E.I during that crazy storm!

Lindi Ortega: One time I had lunch with singer Jenny Lewis and actress Kirsten Dunst at a festival in Sweden.

Q. Do you have any advice for someone who might be playing a festival for the first time?

Kira Isabella: I would tell someone who is playing a festival for the first time to just make sure they do whatever they need to do to be prepared… their rehearsals, pre show rituals, etc. But at the end of the day just be yourself and have fun. Country fans are all very genuine themselves and that’s what they want to see up there on stage.

Lindi Ortega: Have fun!!!!!

The Road Hammers: Don’t be nervous, the truth is, ain’t nobody can be ‘YOU’ so be the best you possible, and enjoy every second of it… there’s a reason they asked you to play there so play loud and be proud!

Q. Does your set list change in a festival setting?

Lindi Ortega Press Photo 2016 credit Julie MoeLindi Ortega: Depends how long the set is! If we only have a short set then we usually play more of the upbeat tunes cause we love when people dance and have a good ol’ time!

The Road Hammers: Sometimes we actually throw in songs on the fly if the spirit moves us… or if someone shouts out a song we hadn’t planned on we’ll just count it out and let ‘er rip. I think the true magic happens on the big stage when you treat it like it could be in your living room… just be yourself and have fun!

Kira Isabella: My set list doesn’t really change much in a festival setting. I think what changes is the amount of energy you’re using. I always feel like I’ve left my heart on the stage by the end of the show, but on a bigger festival stage, you’re definitely more out of breath.

Q. Name three artists that would play “your” music festival if you could book anyone in the world?

Kira Isabella Press Photo 2016Kira Isabella:
Jason Aldean
Eric Church
Miranda Lambert

Lindi Ortega: Willie Nelson, Corb Lund, and Daniel Romano!

The Road Hammers: Heck, you kidding me, they’re all at CMT Music Fest!

Click here to get your CMT Music Fest 2016 tickets… now!

CMT Music Fest 2016

2 years ago

2016 CMAO Awards Red Carpet & Green Room Photo Review!

The Country Music Association of Ontario Awards were full of super talented, and pretty good looking people… and we have the photos to prove it!

Check out some of the looks from the red carpet first (and leave a comment telling us who you think looked the best) and then have a look at some photos from the green room that Ray was able to snap as award winners and other fine Ontario country artists came through during the show.

Enjoy!

The 2016 CMAO Awards Red Carpet

Jason McCoy
CMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoy Red Carpet-12CMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoy Red Carpet-11

Jason Blaine
CMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine Red Carpet-6

Leah DanielsCMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels Red Carpet-23

Autumn HillCMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill Red Carpet-24CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill Red Carpet-25

Small Town PistolsCMAO Awards 2016 Small Town Pistols Red Carpet-2433

Lindsay EllCMAO Awards 2016 Lindsay Ell Red Carpet-15CMAO Awards 2016 Lindsay Ell Red Carpet-14

Meghan PatrickCMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick Red Carpet-22CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick Red Carpet-21

TebeyCMAO Awards 2016 Tebey Red Carpet-8

River Town SaintsCMAO Awards 2016 River Town Saints Red Carpet-4

Madeline MerloCMAO Awards 2016 Madeline Merlot Red Carpet-13

Ali Raney (The Lovelocks)CMAO Awards 2016 Ali Rainey - The Lovelocks Red Carpet-9

Runaway AngelCMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel Red Carpet-17CMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel Red Carpet-16

Cold Creek CountyCMAO Awards 2016 Cold Creek County Red Carpet-7

Lindsay BroughtonCMAO Awards 2016 Lindsay Broughton Red Carpet-19

Jessica MitchellCMAO Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell Red Carpet-20

Andrew HyattCMAO Awards 2016 Andrew Hyatt Red Carpet-2

Marshall DaneCMAO Awards 2016 Marshall Dane Red Carpet-1

The 2016 CMAO Awards Green Room

Jason BlaineCMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine Winner-26

Leah DanielsCMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels Green Room-34CMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels Green Room-31

TebeyCMAO Awards 2016 Tebey Winner-36

Cold Creek County
CMAO Awards 2016 Cold Creek County Winner-37

Prairie OysterCMAO Awards 2016 Prarie Oyster Winners-2555

KX 94.7 HamiltonCMAO Awards 2016 KX94.7-27

107.3 TillsonburgCMAO Awards 2016 CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg-28

CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick, Kira Isabella, Leah Daniels Green Room-33CMAO Awards 2016 Tebey, Meghan Patrick Green Room-35CMAO Awards 2016 Green Room-32CMAO Awards 2016 Badges-2565

2 years ago

CMAO Awards 2016 Wrap and Photo Review!

Markham, ON – On a gorgeous Monday night, country music gathered to celebrate the Ontario artists and industry leaders that are making music so many of us are enjoying all across Canada at the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) Awards!

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoyFrom the red carpet to the award show, hosted by Jason McCoy (who was hilarious and engaging from start to finish, which was no surprise), it was a night of celebrations, surprises, amazing performances, and the chance to meet up with some of our favourite people in the country music world.

But most importantly it was a celebration… a chance for everyone to come together and celebrate just how great the country music in Ontario is. We are lucky to have great artists and producers and festivals and fans in this province, and this was a chance to recognize that.

We have a ton of photos from the CMAO awards, and we have the full list of winners for you too. But before that…

During the award pre-show, and throughout the night, we had a chance to talk to some of the artists in attendance, and we want to share some of the things we learned from them…

CMAO Awards 2016 Tebey★ Tebey was really excited to get up on stage and sing his new song, Old School, and thinks that it could turn into a real crowd favourite.

☆ Tebey also has big tour news coming for this fall… but it’s a secret right now, and we weren’t able to talk him into giving us any details. He’s sorry and we’re sorry – but we’re sure it will be exciting!

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine★ Jason Blaine is getting ready for the most exciting summer of his career with festival dates at Boots & Hearts, Pomeroy Guitars and Wagons, Lucknow Music in the Fields, and Smoke & Spurs + he’s playing with Rascal Flatts in Halifax, and more!

☆ Jason is also getting ready to golf with his 3rd annual charity golf classic coming up on June 14 at Pembrooke Golf Club. Click to learn more!

★ Runaway Angel had a great time on their radio tour for the release of their debut album No End In Sight.

CMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel☆ 2 of the 3 angels are all for fun stunt adventures… but 1 isn’t. We won’t tell you who, but if you have a guess we want to hear it!

★ Meghan Patrick has been rocking hard all over the country, and broke a guitar in Edmonton last week… but it will be fixed soon and ready for the summer.

CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick☆ Meghan will be at Boots & Hearts, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, CMT Music Fest, Ottawa Bluesfest, and she’ll be at the Calgary Stampede to open for Lady Antebellum. She’s excited and we’re excited for her.

★ Andrew Hyatt loves to work with his hands, and the wooden 6-pack holders he made last summer gave him a chance to marry his trades background with his 2015 EP, Never Back Down.

CMAO Awards 2016 Andrew Hyatt☆ If you want to hear more from Andrew call your local country station and request Me And A Girl And A Radio!

★ The Lovelocks have a packed summer that will take them to Havelock, Huntsville, Dauphin, Lucknow, and Tilsonburg… and they will also be at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto as part of Jim Cuddy’s Fort McMurray fundraiser on June 27. Click for more info!

CMAO Awards 2016 Ali Rainey The Lovelocks☆ Ali and Zoe are also very happy to have released Time After Time to radio. It’s their 1st cover as a single, and they couldn’t be more pleased with the way it turned out. We saw it live back in March, and if you haven’t heard it yet, you need to go find it.

★ The Reklaws will be MCing at Boots & Hearts this summer… extending the relationship that they’ve built with the festival. AND they’ll be taking the stage, which is always a good time.

Now, let’s get to the big info from the night… the award winners. HUGE congratulations goes out to both Jason Blaine and Cold Creek County for taking home 3 trophies each. And we’re also very excited for Leah Daniels who won the 2015 Rising Star Award and is now the 2016 Female Artist of the Year.

CMAO Awards 2016 TebeySINGLE OF THE YEAR (sponsored by KICX 106)
“When the Buzz Wears Off” – Tebey

ALBUM OF THE YEAR (sponsored by hmv Canada)
What Love Is All About – Johnny Reid

SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by SOCAN)
Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – “Country Side” performed by Jason Blaine

CMAO Awards 2016 Leah DanielsFEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Spring Tree Farm)
Leah Daniels

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Havelock Country Jamboree)
Jason Blaine

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by The Remington Group)
Cold Creek County

ROOTS ARTIST OR GROUP OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines Ltd.)
The Good Family

CMAO Awards 2016 Cold Creek CountyRISING STAR AWARD (sponsored by Slaight Music)
Cold Creek County

RECORD PRODUCER(S) OF THE YEAR (sponsored by MetalWorks Studios)
Jason Barry – Run Angel Run by Runaway Angel; Now Playing and Sweet Harriet by The Western Swing Authority; Boomerang by Genevieve Fisher; Toes by Scotty James

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason BlaineMUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR (sponsored by Kylemore Communities)
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine

FANS’ CHOICE (sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation)
Cold Creek County

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (MAJOR MARKET) (sponsored by Canadian Country Spotlight)
CHKX-FM (KX 94.7), Hamilton

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR (SECONDARY MARKET) (sponsored by Lucknow’s Music in the Fields)
CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg

IMPACT AWARD
Prairie Oyster

Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees, it was a great night… but we’re not done!

Check out some of the photos we grabbed of the performances and award presentations at the Flato Markham Theatre!

CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick singing Bow Chicka Wow Wow

CMAO Awards 2016 Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick singing Bow Chicka Wow Wow

CMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel singing June

CMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel singing June

CMAO Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell

Jessica Mitchell singing Workin’ on Whiskey

CMAO Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell

Jessica Mitchell singing Workin’ on Whiskey

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine

Jason Blaine singing Dance With My Daughter

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason Blaine

Jason Blaine singing Dance With My Daughter

CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill

Autumn Hill singing Good Night For Going Nowhere

CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill - Tareya Green

Autumn Hill singing Good Night For Going Nowhere

CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill - Mike Robins

Autumn Hill singing Good Night For Going Nowhere

CMAO Awards 2016 Autumn Hill

Autumn Hill singing Good Night For Going Nowhere

CMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels

Leah Daniels singing Your Kiss Is Killing Me

CMAO Awards 2016 Leah Daniels

Leah Daniels singing Your Kiss Is Killing Me

CMAO Awards 2016 River Town Saints

River Town Saints singing Cherry Bomb

CMAO Awards 2016 Chris Labelle - River Town Saints

River Town Saints singing Cherry Bomb

CMAO Awards 2016 The Road Hammers & Tim Hicks

Tim Hicks and The Road Hammers singing One Horse Town

CMAO Awards 2016 Clayton Bellamy & Tim Hicks-6951

Tim Hicks and The Road Hammers singing One Horse Town

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoy & Tim Hicks

Tim Hicks and The Road Hammers singing One Horse Town

CMAO Awards 2016 Tim Hicks

Tim Hicks and The Road Hammers singing One Horse Town

CMAO Awards 2016 Lindsay Ell & Patricia Conroy

Lindsay Ell and Patricia Conroy present Male Artist of the Year

CMAO Awards 2016 Marshall Dane & Aaron Pritchett

Marshall Dane and Aaron Pritchett present Female Artist of the Year

CMAO Awards 2016 Jason BlaineCMAO Awards 2016 Clayton Bellamy & Heather BallentineCMAO Awards 2016 Jason BarryCMAO Awards 2016 Prairie OysterCMAO Awards 2016 Cold Creek CountyCMAO Awards 2016 Leah DanielsCMAO Awards 2016 Leah DanielsCMAO Awards 2016 Jason McCoy

2 years ago

2016 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Preview: Performer Q&A

The Country Music Association of Ontario Awards are coming up quickly (Monday, May 30) and we’re pretty damn excited to see the artists show up, hang out, win some awards, and jump up on stage to perform for the crowd at the Flato Markham Theatre.

To get Ontario country fans ready we caught up with some of the artists that will be performing at the awards show to see who they’re listening to, who they’re looking forward to seeing, what the CMAO means to them… and what they will or won’t be playing on the 30th!

Big thanks and high fives to Tim Hicks, Meghan Patrick, River Town Saints, Mike Robins of Autumn Hill, and Runaway Angel for answering our questions – we can’t wait to see all of you in Markham!

Tim Hicks Performance CMAO Awards 2015-4158Q: How important do you think it is to have the Country Music Association of Ontario (CMAO) here to recognize homegrown excellence in Ontario?

Tim Hicks: So important. There is so much talent in Ontario when it comes to music, and Country music specifically, so having a night to recognize that is a must as far as I’m concerned. I’m really flattered that I can be a part of the CMAO celebration and proud of my home province and all the talent that resides there.

Meghan Patrick: I think it’s a great way to get to know and connect with your fellow Ontario musicians, and an excellent opportunity, especially for new and upcoming artists to be given the chance to perform and get recognition for all their hard work in a “local” setting.

River Town Saints: We think it’s super important. Having the CMAO provides an opportunity for a lot of up and coming artists/singers/song writers/musicians to be recognized in the industry, and to be supported locally. Be keeping it just in Ontario (as opposed to artists from the whole country) it allows for a smaller group to get together and celebrate each others accomplishments.

Autumn Hill: I think it’s absolutely imperative to have the CMAO recognizing homegrown talent, I think traditionally, Ontario is not the first place you think about when you think of Canadian country music. There is so much incredible talent and music coming from here, we need to nurture, promote and recognize all the amazing artists from Ontario. I think the CMAO do a superb job in that and it’s wonderful they are there to offer so much support.

Runaway Angel: We believe it is extremely important to recognize the talent we have here in Ontario and help that talent succeed within its own province and beyond. It’s wonderful that the CMAO plays that role for us.

Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016Q: We’ve been told in the past that award shows are great because the serve as mini reunions, is there anyone you’re especially looking forward to seeing?

Meghan Patrick: Too many to name… We’ve got so many great people coming out of Ontario! I’m excited to see all my old friends and to meet some new ones.

Tim Hicks: Yeah it really is like a reunion! That is the main reason I get excited about nights like the CMAOs, it’s a chance to connect or re-connect with other artists and just talk about our experiences. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone!

RTS: We love all our fellow bands in the infamous 401 club. It’ll be fun to see the girls from Runaway Angel and Leah Daniels again – we haven’t seen them since last summer and we had a great time doing some festivals and fairs together.

Autumn Hill: Awards shows are great for reunions, that’s absolutely true. I love the CMAOs for that its always a great time backstage, seeing friends that you don’t get to see all the time. I am looking forward to seeing, the Small Town Pistols, Jason Blaine, Tebey; really the whole gang. It will be great to see everyone. It’s always a blast.

Runaway Angel: We love seeing the emerging artists that keep coming back, and improving every year. It really does feel like a family, and it’s amazing to see that everyone genuinely supports each other.

River-Town-Saints-CMW-18Q: Is there anyone whose performance you’re especially looking forward to?

RTS: Tim Hicks is always a blast live, so are the Road Hammers. Having them together seems like it should be pretty wild.

Tim Hicks: I always like watching the up-and-comers perform. It’s a bit like looking into the future of Canadian Country Music.

Meghan Patrick: Super stoked to see Jason McCoy and The Road Hammers collaborate with Tim Hicks. A few of my favorite guys! And always love hearing my girl Jessica Mitchell sing.

Autumn Hill: I am a huge Jason McCoy fan, of course of his music but also as the host of the show. I think him hosting, really brings the show to another level, he is so on, and always hilarious. So of course, I can’t wait to see The Road Hammers. I’m also really excited to see Meghan Patrick, I’m loving her new album and she is going to rock it.

Runaway Angel: Honestly it’s impossible for us to choose. There is so much new talent slated to play this year, and we’re just excited to see the high quality performances we know everyone will bring.

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Q: We know it’s a little bit of a long shot, but will you tell us what song you’re playing at the show?

Autumn Hill: Well I can tell you that it’s a song I’m super excited about, it also might happen to be our brand new single. It’s one of my absolute favourites to play and I can’t wait. It’s about a great night, which the CMAO’s always are.

Tim Hicks: Not a chance. Good try though 😉

Meghan Patrick: Hmm… I might have to “bow” out of this question and keep it a surprise.

RTS: We haven’t decided yet. Might just wing it.

Runaway Angel: Of course! We’ll be playing our newest single June! Can’t wait to share it.

Runaway Angel Runaway Angel CD Release Boots and BourbonQ: If we snagged your phone right now, what three artists would we find at the top of your playlist?

Runaway Angel: Cadence: James Bay, Jessica Mitchell, Justin Bieber
Ann: Just love listening to the radio, it’s impossible for me to choose.
Stacey: Dixie Chicks, Meghan Patrick & Lindi Ortega

Tim Hicks: Right now I’m listening to a lot of Chris Stapleton, Merle, and Led Zeppelin. I tend to reach backward when I’m looking for new stuff to listen to. I like to understand where everyone came from musically, so I tend to lean towards classic in both Rock and Country. That being said, I had to see what all the hype was about with “Traveller” and let me say I totally get it.

Meghan Patrick: John & Jacob, Sturgill Simpson and Colter Wall

RTS: Chris Labelle: Kira Isabella, Leah Daniels, Petric
Jordan: Dean Brody, Thousand Foot Krutch, The Cult
Dan: Red, Killswitch Engage, Paper Tongues
Chris McComb: Maren Morris, Katy Perry, The 1975
Jeremy: The 1975, Brothers Osborne, Kim Mitchell

Autumn Hill: Keith Urban, Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton, I am a huge fan of these artists. I love listening to whole albums and really taking them in. I am loving Ripcord, Keith’s brand new album, it’s so different and just really cool.

Tim Hicks Smoke 2014 CNEMeghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelRiver Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and BourbonAutumn Hill -8822Runaway Angel Runaway Angel CD Release Boots and Bourbon

2 years ago

2016 CMAO Performer Announcement & Contest!

Exciting news for Ontario country music fans dropped this morning when the County Music Association of Ontario announced the live performers at this year’s awards show.

Earlier in April we found out who’s been nominated for the awards, with Tebey, Jason Blaine, and Leah Daniels leading the way… and on May 30 in Markham, we’ll find out who the winners are in all 14 categories, and get to see live performances from some of our favourite starts, and artists in the middle of breaking out right now.

Let’s get to that now actually. The performers for the CMAO Awards at the Flato Markham Theatre are all good choices that will make for a really entertaining show… we can’t wait!

2016 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Show Performers

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
Genevieve Fisher
Jason Blaine
Jessica Mitchell
Leah Daniels
Meghan Patrick
River Town Saints
Runaway Angel
Tebey
Tianna Woods
The Western Swing Authority

PLUS, Jason McCoy (with The Road Hammers) will team up with Tim Hicks for a special live collaboration!

As country music fans, it’s awesome to see a list of talent like this and know that all of these artists are from Ontario. For years Canadian country was thought to be from other places, but now we’re seeing the recognition of our homegrown talent, and we’re happy to celebrate that, and all of the Canadian talent that is making a mark with fans.

Now, because we love you guys… we welcome all Ontario country music fans to enter for your chance to win 2 tickets to both the Country Music Association of Ontario Award Show and the CMAO R2I Spring Tune-Up Conference in Markham (May 28 & 29). Follow the instructions in the widget to enter…

AWARDS-buytickets-final

Click to purchase!

CONFERENCE-buytickets2

Click to purchase!

Performer-LEAHDANIELSPerformer-JASONBLAINE

2 years ago

2016 Country Music Association of Ontario Award Nominees!

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Autumn Hill at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Over the last few years it’s been clear to see that Ontario is becoming a country music hotbed. Artists like Tim Hicks, Tebey, Small Town Pistols, Autumn Hill, and Kira Isabella have lit up country radio + stages all over the province, and across Canada… and it’s been awesome to watch.

2016 looks like it’s going to be another big year, and today we’re happy to help announce the Country Music Association of Ontario award nominees. All of the CMAO Awards categories are packed with talent, which makes things both exciting and difficult.

As voting members of the CMAO we won’t be sharing any predictions or votes in this post, but we can tell you that these categories are so hard to choose winners in that we have not agreed on more than a couple of our choices. Really, it’s not easy!

Tebey Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3930

Tebey at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

The CMAO Awards will be handed out on Monday, May 30 at the Flato Markham Theatre… and you could be there. Very soon we will welcome all Ontario country music fans to enter for your chance to win 2 tickets to both the Country Music Association of Ontario Award Show and the CMAO R2I Spring Tune-Up Conference in Markham (May 28 & 29). Plus you should stay tuned to our Twitter over the next few weeks because we’ll have more prizes to give away as well!

Now, the big news… if you’re ready!

2016 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Nominees

Single of the Year

“Blame” – Autumn Hill
“Bring Your Own Sunshine” – Tianna Woods
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine
“Go Back” – Leah Daniels
“My Someday” – Runaway Angel
“Our Town” – Cold Creek County
“When the Buzz Wears Off” – Tebey

Album of the Year

5:01+ – Tim Hicks
Anchor – Autumn Hill
Pistology – Small Town Pistols
Tianna Woods – Tianna Woods
What It Feels Like – Leah Daniels
What Love Is All About – Johnny Reid

Songwriter(s) of the Year

Deric Ruttan, Jonathan Singleton – “Don’t It Feel Good” performed by Deric Ruttan
Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan – “Country Side” performed by Jason Blaine
Leah Daniels, Beverley Mahood, Patricia Conroy – “Dream Without You” performed by Leah Daniels
Shane Guse, Larry Wayne Clark – “Sweet Harriet” performed by The Western Swing Authority
Stacey Zegers, Cadence Grace, Ann Chaplin, Dave Thomson – “My Someday” performed by Runaway Angel
Tebey – “When The Buzz Wears Off” performed by Tebey

Female Artist of the Year

Genevieve Fisher
Jessica Mitchell
Kira Isabella
Leah Daniels
Lindsay Broughton
Tianna Woods

Male Artist of the Year

Deric Ruttan
Jason Blaine
Johnny Reid
Marshall Dane
Tebey
Tim Hicks

Group or Duo of the Year

Autumn Hill
Blackwell
Cold Creek County
Runaway Angel
Small Town Pistols
The Western Swing Authority

Roots Artist or Group of the Year

Heather Ballentine
Lindi Ortega
The Good Family
The Lovelocks
The Western Swing Authority
Whitney Rose

Rising Star Award

Ben Hudson
Brooklyn Roebuck
Cold Creek County
Cory Marquardt
Heather Ballentine
Jessica Mitchell

Music Video of the Year

“A Picture of You” – Johnny Reid
“Country Side” – Jason Blaine
“My Someday” – Runaway Angel
“Old Piano” – Leah Daniels
“One Horse Town” – The Road Hammers Feat. Tim Hicks
“When The Buzz Wears Off” – Tebey

Record Producer(s) of the Year

Dave “Dwave” Thomson – Old Piano by Leah Daniels
Jason Barry – Run Angel Run by Runaway Angel; Now Playing and Sweet Harriet by The Western Swing Authority; Boomerang by Genevieve Fisher; Toes by Scotty James
Jason Blaine & Deric Ruttan – Country Side by Jason Blaine
Rick Hutt – Bring Your Own Sunshine by Tianna Woods
Scott Cooke – Our Town by Cold Creek County
Tebey & Danick Dupelle – When The Buzz Wears Off/Jealous Of The Sun by Tebey

Radio Station of the Year – Major Market

CHCQ-FM (Cool 100.1 FM), Belleville
CHKX-FM (KX 94.7), Hamilton
CICX-FM (KICX 106), Orillia
CJKX-FM 95.9 (KX 96), Oshawa
CKBY-FM (Country 101.1), Ottawa
CKDK-FM 103.9 (Country 104), Woodstock
CKKL-FM (New Country 94), Ottawa

Radio Station of the Year – Secondary Market

CFCO-FM 92.9 (Country 929), Chatham
CFRM-FM (Country 103), Little Current
CHVR-FM 96.7 (Star 96FM), Pembroke
CJDL-FM (Country 107.3), Tillsonburg
CJQM-FM 104 (Country 104.3), Sault Ste Marie
CKYC-FM 93.7 (Country 93), Owen Sound

Fans’ Choice Award

Autumn Hill
Cold Creek County
Jason Blaine
Steven Lee Olsen
Tebey
Tim Hicks

Congratulations to all of the nominees – including Jason Blaine, Leah Daniels and Tebey, who lead the way with five nominations apiece!

CMAO Album of the Year 2016CMAO Female Artist of the YearCMAO Male Artist of the Year 2016CMAO 2016 Group or Duo of the Year

jason-blaine-red-carpet-cmao-awards-2015-3602

Jason Blaine

Tim Hicks Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3663

Tim Hicks

Runaway Angel

Runaway Angel

The Lovelocks CMAO Awards 2015-3907

The Lovelocks

Tebey Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3777

Tebey

Leah Daniels at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Leah Daniels

Lindsay Broughton at the 2015 CMAO Awards.

Lindsay Broughton

Deric Ruttan Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3787

Deric Ruttan

Small Town Pistols Red Carpet CMAO Awards 2015-3692

Small Town Pistols

2 years ago

CMT Music Fest Artist Announcement #2

CMT Fest Kip MooreAn already impressive year 1 lineup at CMT Music Fest just got bigger with the addition of Kip Moore, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Drake White and the Big Fire and Brothers Osborne to the July 8 & 9 festival.

With major headliners already in place, these additions do a great job of bringing more music to the weekend from acts that have fans happy, happy to have the chance to see them!

Related: Are Y’all Ready? CMT Music Fest 2016 Announced!

We’re already pumped for this one, we have been since February 1st when the festival was announced. And while some people may think that there are too many festivals, or that things are getting out of hand – we say this…

If you want to put on a festival with awesome music, we’ll be excited about it – and we hope you’re successful and do it again next year. Bonne chance!

Let’s take a look at the full list of CMT Music Fest performers… so far.

✩ Eric Church
✩ Zac Brown Band
✩ Kip Moore
✩ Tom Cochrane with Red Rider
✩ Brothers Osborne
✩ The Road Hammers
✩ Kira Isabella
✩ Cold Creek County
✩ The Washboard Union
✩ Lindi Ortega
✩ Leah Daniels
✩ Drake White and the Big Fire
✩ Meghan Patrick
✩ Andrew Hyatt

That’s 14 acts ready to take the stage at Bingemans in Kitchener, Ontario.

14 acts ready to give you everything they’ve got.

14 acts that we can’t wait to see in the hot summer sun.

And 14 acts that you can see too – just get yourself a ticket and meet us there! 

In all seriousness, we’re pretty pumped about this one. Add it to a busy, busy summer of music coming our way, and it would be easy to say that things are going to be pretty awesome for country music fans, and music fans of all genres in the summer of 2016.
Stay tuned for more… we have a feeling CMT Music Fest might have something else coming.

Be Awesome!

Bingemans Kitchener Ontario Map

2 years ago

Are Y’all Ready? CMT Music Fest 2016 Announced!

Well, well, well… it looks like there’s a new player on the Ontario country music festival scene in 2016, and it’s none other than CMT.

So many of us have spent hours and hours and hours watching CMT for country music videos – and now that same team will be bringing live music to Bingemans grounds in Kitchener, Ontario. And they are bringing out some big guns to play July 8 and 9, 2016!

Here are the first 10 acts announced… with a promise from cmtmusicfest.ca that more names are coming and that we won’t be disappointed!

CMT Music Fest 2016 Artists!

Eric Church

Mr. Misunderstood himself has been tapped to headline CMT Music Fest, and it’s a great choice. We saw Church last summer at Boots & Hearts and he absolutely killed it. Ask around, many of the 40,000 in attendance will tell you that he was their highlight of the weekend.

Eric Church Boots and Hearts 2015

Zac Brown Band

One of Nashville’s biggest acts (and still one we haven’t seen live) Zac Brown and his boys look like a ton of fun when they play live. Have a look through YouTube and you’ll find awesome performances, including covers of Metallica and Rage Against The Machine.

Zac Brown Band CMT Music Fest 2016

Andrew Hyatt

From the Nickel mines in Sudbury to country music stages across Canada, Hyatt’s story is pure country music at its best. CMT Music Fest 2016 is going to be an awesome chance for Andrew to show fans what he’s got and why he belongs with the rest of the names on this list!

BSOMF Andrew Hyatt Burlington Sound of Music Festival

Cold Creek County

We just shouted them out in our Country Music Youth Movement post, and they’re another solid choice for Music Fest 2016. We’ve saw them live twice in 2015, and they’re poised to have a great year coming up…

Cold Creek County CNE 2015

Kira Isabella

Another young star in Canadian country music, Isabella has grown as a performer every time we’ve seen her over the last few years… and if that pattern holds (which we think it will) the fans in Kitchener are going to love her set.

Kira Isabella 2014 CNE Header

Leah Daniels

Yet another name from our Youth Movement piece, Leah continues to work hard and impress every time we see her. We just had a short conversation with Ms. Daniels last week and we won’t spoil any surprises – but we can tell you that a new single and video are coming soon, and you’re gonna love them.

Steak Stock 2015 Leah Daniels Go Back

Lindi Ortega

Lindi is blowing up south of the border, and her rootsy style of country music is going to be a great add to the acts on this bill. With fans like Willie Nelson in her corner, Lindi is only going to get more and more popular very soon!

Lindi Ortega, The Rivoli Toronto

Meghan Patrick

One of our fav Ontario locals, Meghan Patrick is “this close” to blowing you all away. Her debut single and album are on the way in spring 2016, and after seeing her with her old band, solo acoustic, and killing it at her CMW 2015 showcase, we firmly believe that a star will be born. Be ready for it!

Meghan Patrick Guitar

The Road Hammers

What is there to say about these guys? The Road Hammers are fixtures in the Canadian country music community, and having them at a 1st year festival is a fantastic idea. The showmanship, musicianship, and love for their fans that these 3 dudes exhibit is top notch. Plus, Jason, Clay, and Chris are solid people.

The Road Hammers Boots and Hearts 2015

The Washboard Union

Former winners of the British Columbia Country Music Association Roots Artist of the Year award, these 3 dudes put in work when it comes to their craft – and they have a lot of fun at the same time. It’s a combination of dedication and passion that has them on this list of 10 country acts for CMT Music Fest 2016!

David Robertson The Washboard Union

Tickets for CMT Music Fest 2016 go on sale thus Friday, February 5 at 10am EST… just click this link, bookmark it, or keep it open, or whatever you’ve gotta do, and be ready -> http://cmtmusicfest.com/tickets/

Bingemans in Kitchener, Ontario

Bingemans Kitchener Ontario Map

2 years ago

Welcome to the Country Music Youth Movement

Music, like all things in life, goes through phases. We embrace the things and people we love and hold onto them for years at a time, sometimes overlooking what and who comes next because of our tunnel vision. But right now we are knee deep in a country music youth movement that is turning over the landscape and offering up new music to the masses.

And for anyone still holding onto that tunnel vision of the music and musicians they’ve been in love with… it’s time to start looking around at what’s on the horizon.

In Canada alone we could book an entire emerging artists festival with the talent that is piling up with major labels and on the indie circuit. Their songs are earning radio play, streaming at great numbers, and climbing download charts right beside heavyweights that we know and love.

The Roadhammers Boots and Hearts 2015Note: I don’t at all mean for this post to say that we don’t love the music and musicians that have paid their dues and paved the way for this new wave. Artists like Paul Brandt, Terri Clark, Jason McCoy, Michelle Wright, Patricia Conroy, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Charlie Major are the reason we love Canadian country music in the first place – and that won’t ever change.

We’ve done the fantasy booking thing before, so we’re not going to do that right now. But we do want to share some of the names that are shaking up the country music world in this country. And we’ll give some love to the artists from the US that are doing the same thing.

We also want to know who you’re loving on the up and coming side of things… because sharing is caring, and one of the best ways to find new music is to be told about it by other people who have discovered it. So leave us a comment, give us a link, tell us what young country artists you’re loving right now.

Brett Kissel in the crowd Boots and Hearts 2014

Brett Kissel

Across the country, names like Brett Kissel, Jess Moskaluke, Kira Isabella, Madeline Merlo, and Autumn Hill are already becoming well known. Their hit songs, big tours, and great talent have pushed them into the conversation with stars like Dean Brody, Small Town Pistols, Chad Brownlee, Dallas Smith, and High Valley – and they deserve to be there. But… that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Some of you will also know names like Cold Creek County, River Town Saints, Wes Mack, Leah Daniels, Lindsay Broughton, Jordan McIntosh, Livy Jeanne – they’ve popped up on your playlists, on the radio, and on tour with some of the biggest names in the business. Hell, when Wes Mack opened for Shania Twain in 2015 he took a GIANT step forward in his career, but it’s because his album, Edge Of The Storm, that he remains in the minds of fans who saw those shows.

What’s even more awesome is that we’re a full dozen names into this list of emerging Canadian talent in country music and we are nowhere near done shouting out the singers and songwriters that we came up with in a 10 minute brainstorm.

The Reklaws Boots and Hearts 2015

The Reklaws

Raise your hand if you’re familiar with any of these names… Runaway Angel, Meghan Patrick, Lisa Nicole, Trinity Bradshaw, Cory Marquardt, Twin Kennedy, Jason Benoit, Abby Stewart, Petric, The Reklaws, Johnson Crook, Leanne Pearson, Robyn & Ryleigh, Tenille, Whitney Rose, The Lovelocks, Lindsay Ell, One More Girl, Yoan, Kaitlin Kozell, Eric Ethridge, James Barker Band, Dani Strong – 23 more country young country acts that are making their way in the business.

This whole group plays rib fests, fairs, small festivals, big festivals (shout out to Boots & Hearts for doing an amazing job of including emerging Canadian talent) and bars from coast to coast. They work hard, they write and play and sing and perform whenever and wherever they get the chance, and each and every time they do, they’re earning new fans.

Note: Nobody asked us to write this post. We weren’t approached by an artist or label or PR team to get someone included. Every artist on this list is here because they’ve impressed us with their work and talent. They deserve every success that they’ve earned so far, and everything that they receive in the future.

Dylan Scott Boots and Hearts 2015 2

Dylan Scott

Now, go ahead and add these names to the young artists that are tearing up country music south of the border, and we really are seeing the future – and the present of the genre we love. Artists like Maddie & Tae, Kelsea Ballerini, Cam, Dylan Scott, Kane Brown, Maren Morris, etc. etc. etc., are blowing up YouTube and Facebook with their videos, they’re climbing the Billboard charts, and they’re creating their own space among superstars like Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church.

I know that there are a lot of names in this post… 58 if I’ve counted correctly, but they all deserve to be here. They’re either the big names that we’ve loved for years, or the new crop of country that has a chance to be here for a long time.

And as much as we love supporting new music, and the artists that make it, the coolest thing about all of it is this… a year from now, at the start of 2017, there are going to be even more names that have come out of the woodwork and announced that they deserve to be on a list like this.

We love it.

Country music is alive and well.

And Canada is a big part of that. So turn up the speakers, dance in the kitchen, and sing along, because it’s a great time to fall in love with some new artists on the scene.

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Jess Moskaluke

Kira Isabella 2014 CNE Header

Kira Isabella

Madeline Merlo Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

Madeline Merlo

Autumn Hill

Autumn Hill

Cold Creek County CNE 2015

Cold Creek County

Wes Mack Boots and Hearts 2015

Wes Mack

Livy Jeanne CNE 2015 Northern Comfort Saloon

Livy Jeanne

Leah Daniels Performance CMAO Awards 2015-3952

Leah Daniels

Lindsay Broughton at Liuna Station Gibson at the Junos 2015

Lindsay Broughton

Cory Marquardt CNE 2015

Cory Marquardt

jordan-mcintosh-boots-and-hearts-2014-wm-0994

Jordan McIntosh

Trinity Bradshaw Boots and Hearts

Trinity Bradshaw

2 years ago
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