The Abrams

2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Winner Recap!

On a hot Sunday night in London, the Ontario country music community came together to recognize greatness in the genre over the last 12 months, and it was a party for everyone involved.

The Country Music Association of Ontario awards were handed out at Centennial Hall, with host Jason McCoy (The Road Hammers) keeping the audience entertained and the show moving forward as planned. And as it moved forward it became clear that the 2017 Awards were a coming out party for one small town Ontario singer in particular.

Bowmanville’s Meghan Patrick was the big winner of the evening, taking home trophies for Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Rising Star, and Music Video of the Year. With hits and crowd favourites Bow Chicka Wow Wow, Grace & Grit, Still Loving You, and the new single, Be Country With Me, it should be no real surprise to see Patrick recognized to this degree by her peers and industry professionals. And while she may be living in Nashville right now, we know that Meghan Patrick still holds a soft spot and a lot of love for her Ontario hometown.

Meghan Patrick, via CMAO

Other big winners on the night included Tim Hicks (Male Artist of the Year), whose Live album is definitely worth a listen if you haven’t checked that out yet, Cold Creek County (Group or Duo of the Year), who have a busy summer coming up, James Barker Band (Fans’ Choice), who are on fire right now after their tour with Dean Brody, and River Town Saints (Single of the Year), who have a brand new single, Woke Up Like This, and self titled album available now.

It’s a great thing to see the Ontario country music community come together with their peers and fans for a night like this, and it’s amazing to see the smiles and looks of love in the eyes of the winners, their families, and their devoted fans.

Check out the full list of artist award winners, as well as some of our favourite photos of the 2017 CMAO Award winners live in action over the last few years!


Meghan Patrick


(sponsored by Slaight Music)
Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick Peller Estate


(sponsored by Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario & International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers)
Grace and Grit – Meghan Patrick


(sponsored by Long & McQuade)
Bow Chicka Wow Wow – Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick-CMT MusicFest


(sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation)
James Barker Band

James Barker Band SiriusXM Fan Stage BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016


(sponsored by Havelock Country Jamboree)
Tim Hicks


(sponsored by The Remington Group)
Cold Creek County

Cold Creek County CMT Music Fest


(sponsored by KICX 106)
Cherry Bomb – River Town Saints

River Town Saints BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016- River Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and Bourbon


(sponsored by Skelton Truck Lines)
The Abrams

The Abrams, via CMAO


(sponsored by SOCAN)
Deric Ruttan, Craig Wiseman – Came Here to Forget, performed by Blake Shelton


Jason Barry (Dean Brody, Genevieve Fisher, The Western Swing Authority, Tianna Woods)

Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26

Boots & Hearts 2017 Day-to-Day Lineup Announcement!

We’re closing in on 3 months away from Boots & Hearts 2017 at Burl’s Creek Event Park… and with seven new names added to the lineup this morning, it feels like we’re nearing the full list of performers.

And adding to that is the announcement of the day-to-day lineups for this year’s festival!

Yes, we now know who we’re going to see on which day. And yes, there are more details to come, telling us who will play on the main stage, who will be on the front porch stage, and what time we’ll be seeing everyone… but this is a huge start to the planning process, and amps up the excitement for each day of August 10 through 13.

Let’s start at the start, with the Thursday night Coors Banquet Kick Off Party, and go through the weekend!

And, for each day we’ll key in on a couple of names (headliners not included) that we think you should be ready to watch… and enjoy!


Thursday, August 10 – Coors Banquet Kick Off Party

Doc Walker
Vanessa Marie Carter
and more…

This one is easy… both Doc Walker and Vanessa Marie Carter are going to be awesome. But after seeing 5 acts on stage last year during the kick off party, we’re waiting to see who else gets added here!

Friday, August 11

Keith Urban
Dan + Shay
Frankie Ballard
Kiefer Sutherland
Drake White & The Big Fire
Brooke Eden
Endless Summer
Jessica Mitchell
Andrew Hyatt
Leaving Thomas

Ugh, so this is not as easy… Drake White & The Big Fire are awesome, if you haven’t seen them before, you need to make your way to the stage for them. And if we’re going to pick more, which we have to do, we’re highlighting Jessica Mitchell, Andrew Hyatt, and upstart duo Leaving Thomas.

Saturday, August 12

Brantley Gilbert
Eli Young Band
Chad Brownlee
Tucker Beathard
Aubrie Sellers
Lindi Ortega
JJ Shiplett
The Abrams
Jesse Gold
Nice Horse

We all know how great Chad Brownlee is, so let’s skip him and move to JJ Shiplett and The Abrams. We’re looking forward to both of these sets, and can’t wait for more country music fans to hear their music.

Sunday, August 13

Luke Bryan
Brett Eldridge
Jess Moskaluke
Cold Creek County
Delta Rae
Dani Strong
Kelly Prescott
Colt Walker

Last day, and it’s still not easy. If you haven’t seen Alee yet, go listen to her brand new record and then get ready to see her on stage… and you are not going to want to miss Midland. Those Texas boys are good, and funny, and we’re willing to bet that they’re going to kill it on the big stage.

So there you go… this is who we’ll see each day at Boots & Hearts 2017. Now, get ready to be even more excited every day as we get closer.

And stay tuned for contests, interviews, previews and more!

Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2015Jessica Mitchell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-Vanessa Marie Carter The RanchChad Brownlee Boots and Hearts 2015CMT Music Fest - Andrew HyattDani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016


Boots & Hearts 2017 Lineup Announcement: Chad Brownlee, Jess Moskaluke, Eli Young Band, and more!

Boots & Hearts is back with a big announcement today… with 20 new names added to the 2017 festival lineup.

Some of these artists we’ve seen a bunch, some we’ve never seen at all, and that makes us pretty freakin’ excited for August 10-13, 2017.

Get yourself ready, this is getting big.

Today’s Announcement Includes…

Chad Brownlee
We are happy campers to see this Canadian headliner added to the Boots & Hearts lineup. Chad isn’t new to the festival, but he has new music to share since the last time he hit the B&H stage.

We can’t wait to see Chad up there, with the entire crowd singing along to his radio hits!

Chad Brownlee Boots and Hearts 2015

Eli Young Band
If you were looking for a name you knew, this should be it! The Eli Young Band are sure to bring a bunch of energy, talent, and smooth sounding songs to the Boots & Hearts stage when they play their set.

We don’t know which day we’ll see them, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s gonna be good.

Frankie Ballard
Frankie’s back! Mr. Ballard played Boots & Hearts in 2015, and now he’s coming back to do it again. We expect the crowd to be bigger and louder, and we expect that Frankie Ballard will be ready for it.

Get ready to sing loud when he plays Cigarette and Sunshine & Whiskey.


Jess Moskaluke
YES! Ms. Moskaluke is still the top of the heap when it comes to Canadian women in country music. Her third consecutive CCMA win for Female Artist of the Year should tell you that.

Jess has been on the small stage twice in her Boots & Hearts career – the last time playing the kick-off party. This year we’re expecting to see her on the main stage, playing for some very excited country music fans.

Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016

Kiefer Sutherland
Yes, that Kiefer Sutherland. If you haven’t listened to Kiefer’s 2016 album, Down In A Hole, give it a listen now (click here to listen on Spotify) and get ready for his stage performance.

This isn’t the first Hollywood star to play the festival… year 1 attendees will remember Kevin Costner getting it done.

Kiefer Sutherland Band at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016

Tucker Beathard
We saw Tucker last year at a small showcase in Toronto… and after seeing him sit with his guitar and sing, we can’t wait to see the full show when he’s plugged in with the band.

His star is rising, you’ve probably heard Rock On, and you should go listen to Momma and Jesus to get yourself ready.

Tucker Beathard - The Rivoli

Drake White and the Big Fire
We saw Drake White last summer… and the dude is a lot of fun on stage. He sounds great and he brings a love for doing what he does when he’s up there. And he’s got a great hat.

This will be a sing and drink and dance along set.

CMT Music Fest - Drake White & The Big Fire


Brooke Eden
This Florida powerhouse has been on a ton of “ones to watch” lists in the last 2 years, and now we’re going to get to hear in person why she’s landed on all of them.

Boots & Hearts is bringing girl power to the stage. And we’re into it.

Cold Creek County
Canadian country fans already know these boys… but if you haven’t seen them yet, this is a great opportunity. They bring as much energy as anyone in the game when they step on stage. And they fill the stage with dudes and sound when they get to playing.

Be ready, this one is going to get loud.

Aubrie Sellers
They call her a Texas/Nashville hybrid… and we can get behind that. Sellers will be making her Boots & Hearts debut – which means a whole lot of fans to grab. And we’re sure she’ll be up to it.

Get ready for this 20something to show you what she’s got.

Lindi Ortega
Lindi Ortega is an underrated add to this list. With all kinds of critical acclaim, and fans who absolutely love her, Ortega is going to be great at Boots & Hearts.

Her signature sound and style are going to present some awesome “wow” moments for new fans this summer.

Endless Summer
Clint and Bob Moffat may never have been names that country fans thought they’d see on a festival lineup… but here they are. Endless Summer has been putting in work to show their country chops and build their fanbase. And, they’re super nice guys who can truly play and sing.

The boys announced online that they will be handling some hosting duties on the weekend as well – so be ready to see them on stage more than once.

CCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House Endless Summer

They hype is legit when it comes to Midland. You may have seen other country artists talking about how much they’re into what these guys are bringing… and if you haven’t, we can tell you that we trust their judgement.

We don’t know where these new comers will land on the schedule, but we’ll be there to listen.

JJ Shiplett
We had a feeling that JJ would be making the trip to Boots & Hearts this summer to share the new music from Something To Believe In, and we’re very happy that he’s going to have that chance.

Be ready for a sing along and grab a beer, this is gonna be good.

The Abrams
The Abrams have been rising stars for the last little while… and their single, Champion, has been heard by a lot of people. The boys opened for Brett Kissel on the Ice, Snow & 30 Below tour – and got a shout out to us from Brett during Canadian Country Music Week 2016.

We’re expecting some energy with this one – to go along with a great sound.

Jessica Mitchell
Thank Goodness! We love this talented young woman, and the small taste of her that Boots & Hearts fans got on the SiriusXM stage just wasn’t enough. If you only know Workin’ On Whiskey, please go listen to her EP (click here to listen on Spotify) and get ready.

Prepare for jokes, songs, and feelings when Jessica Mitchell gets on stage at B&H.

Jessica Mitchell at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016

Dani Strong
Dani is a hard working, talented country artist – and we’re happy that she’s going to get this chance to play at Boots & Hearts. We’ve had the chance to see her play on a couple of stages over the last 2 years, and we’re sure she’ll bring the same love to the stage this summer.

Be ready for a good time, it’s gonna happen.

Kelly Prescott
Kelly is on the rise. Featured as December 2016’s CMAO artist of the month, she’s been working hard, playing hard, and showing a whole lot of people that she’s got what it takes to play with the big kids.

We’re looking for energy, great songs, and Kelly Prescott working hard again to show new listeners that she’s one to watch.

Andrew Hyatt
We like Andrew a lot. Can’t lie. He’s a good dude who plays good music, builds all kinds of woodshop projects when he’s got the time – and sent us a hilarious Christmas wish to share last year.

You might not think you know Andrew Hyatt, but be ready to sing along to MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) when he plays it loud.

CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

Jesse Gold
Another up and comer, Jesse will be looking to show the country fans at Boots & Hearts that he belongs and that they should be listening. And we think he will. Be ready for all kinds of effort and passion for the music when he’s playing.

You won’t be disappointed.

and more…

Stay tuned for more from Boots & Hearts 2017 – we can’t wait to hear what the next news is going to be… but we know we’re going to have contests, fun info, and more to share.

Kick It With Kissel: Ontario Openers Announced on Brett Kissel’s Ice, Snow & 30 Below Tour!

Brett Kissel is gearing up for a Winter 2017 tour that will take him to 19 cities, in five provinces, in 24 days… and it’s going to be awesome.

The Ice, Snow & 30 Below Tour promises to be a good time for any and all fans of Kissel, the 2016 CCMA Fans’ Choice, Male Artist, and Interactive Artist of the year. Having had the chance to see Brett on stage a few times in the past, we can tell you that from start to finish there will be energy, solid musicianship, fun, and Brett bringing it all together at the microphone.

This week Brett Kissel announced the Ontario winners of his #KickItWithKissel contest, determining the opening acts for his dates from Sault Ste. Marie on January 12 to Ottawa on January 23.

We would like to pass on our congratulations to all of the winning artists, some of whom we know, and can’t wait to hear stories from the shows.

Check out the full list of winners, cities, venues, and dates of the Ice, Snow & 30 Below Tour – and then get tickets for the show near you!

❄️ Jan 12, 2017 – Sault Ste Marie, ON
Kiwanis Community Theatre Centre
w/ Kansas Stone

❄️ Jan 13, 2017 – Sudbury, ON
Fraser Auditorium
w/ Cory Marquardt

❄️ Jan 14, 2017 – Hamilton, ON
Dofasco Centre for the Arts
w/ The Abrams & Ashlynne Vince

❄️ Jan 16, 2017 – Brampton, ON
Rose Theatre
w/ Kris Barclay & Sacha Visagie

❄️ Jan 17, 2017 – Windsor, ON
Chrysler Theatre
w/ Buck Twenty

❄️ Jan 18, 2017 – Guelph, ON
River Run Centre
w/ Ben Hudson & Alessia Cohle

❄️ Jan 20, 2017 – Barrie, ON
Georgian Theatre
w/ Marshall Dane & The Small Town Girls

❄️ Jan 21, 2017 – Belleville ON
Empire Theatre
w/ Runaway Angel

❄️ Jan 22, 2017 – Toronto, ON
Danforth Music Hall
w/ The Abrams

❄️ Jan 23, 2017 – Ottawa, ON
Algonquin Commons Theatre
w/ Abby Stewart with special guest Beamer Wigley

❄️ Jan 24, 2017 – Sherbrooke, QC
Centennial Theatre
w/ TBD

❄️ Jan 26, 2017 – Liverpool, NS
Astor Theatre
w/ TBD

❄️ Jan 27, 2017 – Windsor, NS
Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre
w/ TBD

❄️ Jan 28, 2017 – New Glasgow, NS
Glasgow Square Theatre
w/ TBD

❄️ Jan 29, 2017 – Port Hawkesbury, NS
Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre
w/ TBD

❄️ Feb 01, 2017 – Moncton, NB
Capitol Theatre
w/ TBD

❄️ Feb 02, 2017 – Fredericton, NB
Fredericton Playhouse
w/ TBD

❄️ Feb 03, 2017 – Summerside, PE
Harbourfront Theatre
w/ TBD

❄️ Feb 04, 2017 – Georgetown, PE
Kings Playhouse
w/ TBD

Kansas StoneCMT Music Fest - Kansas Stone

Cory MarquardtCory Marquardt CNE 2015

Runaway AngelCMAO Awards 2016 Runaway Angel

Ben HudsonCMT Music Fest - Ben Hudson Band

Marshall Dane


1 year ago

5 Quick Questions with Brett Kissel!

You all know Brett Kissel… Juno and Canadian Country Music Association award winner, good Canadian boy, husband, dad, cowboy hat wearer, Roots model, etc. – you know all that, but today we’ve got some new things for you to learn about the Pick Me Up singer.

We caught up with Brett during Canadian Country Music Week and asked him 5 questions we’ve never asked him before – plus a bonus question for all you hockey fans.

Ready? Let’s go!

ccma-2016-brett-kissel-and-josh-1498Q1: What album can you put on in the car and listen to on repeat like 3 or 4 times without needing to swap it out?

Brett: The Eagles, Greatest Hits

We agreed with this one, and then started listing songs and I think we all started wishing we were listening to The Eagles right then.)

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

Brett: Clearly Canadian by George Fox

We never would have guessed this one in a thousand tries, but LOVE that it’s so Canadian and so Brett Kissel.

Q3: What is your #1 hobby when you’re not working on or playing music?

Brett: Golf… he says he’s bad, but loves to play. We told him that his swing looks good in the still photos we’ve seen.

Q4: What is the one thing you need, need, need to have when you start a writing session?

Brett: My guitar

Brett told us that he’s written without the guitar before, but it’s just not the same, and he doesn’t really like it.

Q5: What artist should we be listening to right now that we might now be?

Brett: The Abrams, and their new song Champion.

We’ve known about The Abrams for a while now, and it’s pretty cool to hear Brett shout them out.

BONUS: Give us a prediction for the 2016-17 NHL season.

Brett: First, the Edmonton Oilers will get into the playoffs, just squeaking in. (no surprise to hear Brett say that). Second, Connor McDavid will finish the season with 100 or more points (that’s a strong prediction, I was a little wowed.)

Big thanks to Brett for playing along, we can’t wait for new music and the chance to see him play live again soon!


1 year ago
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