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…
The James Barker Band
Cold Creek County
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!