Joshua Murray
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Raging Bull: One Bad Son with Crown Lands and Fallen Heirs at The Phoenix, Toronto

Thursday nights are good for rock and roll, so when One Bad Son showed up at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto with Crown Lands and Fallen Heirs, we knew it was going to be a good night.

The Saskatchewan rock and rollers, with a brand new album, Made In The Name Of Rock N Roll, have been touring and playing for live crowds all over Canada for years – and it’s easy to see that the crowds have grown, the energy has jumped, and they’ve truly come into their own. On Thursday night they proved all of that in Toronto.

The evening started with Toronto’s own, Fallen Heirs. These five dudes hit the stage and were 100% rock and roll from the jump. There was no easing into the night, they plugged in, turned up volume and opened the show with a bang.

The early crowd was behind them, as the band played and stalked the stage. There was no lack of showmanship, lead singer Tim Shaw worked the crowd with the support of Jay, Matt, Ryan, and Philly Dee behind him. As their set wore on it became clear to see why Fallen Heirs has opened for bands like Buckcherry, Scott Weiland (RIP), Age Of Electric, and now One Bad Son.

If you like local rock and roll, look for Fallen Heirs on a bill in Toronto – and if you’re not in the city, look for them on tour – more dates are coming in 2018.

Next on the stage, as the precursor to the main event, Oshawa, ON’s Crown Lands took over and kept the rock and roll party going without missing a beat.

The young rockers have been putting in work, playing shows and earning fans, many of whom were at The Phoenix wearing band merch as they sang and rocked along to songs like Misery and Mountain from their 2017 EP, Rise Over Run. On drums, Cody delivered with force, wowing people in the crowd that knew what to expect, but still wanted to soak it in.

And not to be outdone, Kevin covered every inch of the stage with his guitar. Putting on a show for the crowd, making sure to get everyone involved, and pairing with Cody to pump out as much volume as two dudes can.

We’ve had a few chances to see Crown Lands in the last couple of years – and as one of the most promising young Canadian rock and roll acts we’ve seen recently, we can tell you confidently that we’re sure we are all going to have a lot more chances to see them soon.

When it was time for the stars of the show to take the stage, Toronto was ready. With drinks and hands in the air, the voices got loud to welcome One Bad Son to the stage, and they delivered.

These four dudes, more than a decade into their career, know what they’re doing when they plug in. And from the moment they opened their set with Made In The Name Of Rock N Roll, they were all in.

The more they played, the louder the Toronto crowd got. And the louder the crowd got, the more energy the band shared back with them. It was a wonderful transaction to watch and be a part of.

Note: One of our favourite moments of the One Bad Son set, and night as a whole, came when Shane, Hicks, KD, and Steve paid tribute to Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip by playing a small sample of Wheat Kings at the end of The Promise. Gord’s legacy lives on in his fans, even the rock stars.

One Bad Son proved throughout their set that they are a legit headlining Canadian rock and roll outfit. The sound, set, and execution was tight – giving us exactly what we were hoping to see. And the music, including tracks like Rise Up, Scream For Me, and the band’s first #1 hit, Raging Bull all sounded great and connected with the live audience.

Live rock and roll should be heard and felt. And on Thursday night in Toronto we felt like we had been rocked.

Mission accomplished.

Check out more photos from the One Bad Son show at The Phoenix Concert Theatre!

One Bad Son

Crown Lands

Fallen Heirs

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New Music Spotlight: Serena Ryder, David James, KPT, The Lovelocks, Bülow, and Taylor Swift

We love sharing new music with the world. Across genres, from indie artists and well known stars, new songs have the ability to grab you by the ears and take you away… even if it’s just for three minutes.

Today we’ve got a mix of genres, some artists that you may or may not know, and five songs (and a special bonus, sixth) that we think are definitely worth a listen.

Ready? Let’s do this!

The Music

Artist: Serena Ryder
Hometown: Millbrook, ON
Genre: Pop/Rock
Related Artists: Sarah Harmer, Jann Arden, Chantal Kreviazuk
Single: Ice Age
Notes: With Serena Ryder’s recognizable voice and sound shining throughout the song, Ice Age‘s video shows a withdrawn elderly woman who is reinvigorated when music causes a flood of long-lost memories to return to her. It’s a message of the power of music, and we dig it.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: David James
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Jojo Mason, Dan Davidson, Chad Brownlee
Single: Sun Set On It
Notes: If you want to have a laugh, hit play on this video from David James. Sun Set On It is a whole lot of fun on its own – and this no frills, zero pretension, smile on everyone’s faces, music video is a perfectly put together, good timin’ companion.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: KPT
Hometown: MLPS.
Genre: Dark Electronic
Related Artists: Die Antwoord, Justice, The Orb
Single: Sequel
Notes: The video for Sequel is straight-up cinema. Watch it with your attention on the screen as the music hits and the visuals take over your screen. If you really want it to have its full effect, turn the lights off first.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Soundcloud

Artist: The Lovelocks – Staycation
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Jessica Mitchell, Jess Moskaluke, Meghan Patrick
Single: Staycation
Notes: The Lovelocks are back with something a little different than fans are most used to from the Toronto country duo. Staycation could be a breakthrough radio and mainstream track for Ali and Zoe, and if it is, it will be well earned. Have a listen today and have yourself a little staycation.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Bülow
Hometown: Worldwide
Genre: Pop/Electronic
Related Artists: Blitz//Berlin, ROMES, Ria Mae
Single: Not A Love Song
Notes: If you want new everything… here you go. Bülow, the teenage pop breakthrough, offers a fresh sound, fresh voice, and a sound that’s going to get stuck somewhere in your head. Get ready for it. And more where this came from.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

BONUS

Artist: Taylor Swift
Hometown: Reading, PA
Genre: Pop/Country
Related Artists: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Selena Gomez
Single: New Year’s Day
Notes: New Year’s Day is the 15th and final track on Swift’s new album, reputation, and is the closest to the country Taylor that her early fans remember. The ballad fits perfectly with her very first single, Tim McGraw, and now that it’s been released to country radio, we’ll all have a chance to see how the multi-genre star performs in her original setting.
Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

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Boots & Hearts 2018 Lineup Announcement #1: Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, Thomas Rhett, and more

Boots and Hearts is one of the biggest weekends on our calendar every summer. We’ve been at each of the first six festivals, and are looking forward to lucky number seven in 2018.

And now we know who to start getting excited for as B&H have announced their first round of performers, including three headliners that will take the main stage and run the show at Burl’s Creek.

We don’t know which night each Florida Georgia Line, Alan Jackson, and Thomas Rhett will take the stage, but we’ll be ready to share that info with y’all when it becomes available.

Now, let’s have a look at the first six names on the Boots and Hearts 2018 artist roster…

Florida Georgia Line

Back again after a Sunday night gig as headliners, Florida Georgia Line, will hit the Boots and Hearts stage in front of tens of thousands of fans who should be in a party mood.

Yes, this is Florida Georgia Line, so there will be a whole bunch of people who complain about their return to the festival… but the truth is that Tyler and BK are headlining stars who know how to command a crowd, have a list of radio hits, and put on a show.

If we’re lucky (fingers crossed) we’ll hear the entire crowd singing along to H.O.L.Y. like we did in Toronto in 2016. It was an amazing live music moment, and we’d love to try to duplicate it at B&H 2018.

Florida Georgia Line Boots and Hearts 2015

Alan Jackson

I’m not entirely sure that I’ve processed this news to its complete extent yet. True story.

Alan Jackson is one of the country music stars that shaped my fandom when I was young. I listened and learned and sang along… and as when he starts singing Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow, Don’t Rock The Jukebox, and Chattahoochee, I’ll be the adult feeling like a kid who’s singing along as loud as I can.

This is huge. Really big. I’m excited.

Thomas Rhett

In our Boots & Hearts 2018 predictions post I included Thomas Rhett as the bonus name… and we nailed it!

Rhett’s Life Changes album will give him an expanded live library, and his showmanship and entertainment value are sure to get the crowd going. We know he loves to dance, and we’re sure we’ll see it on Crash And Burn, and we can’t wait to hear new songs like Smooth Like Summer and Sixteen this August.

We said we wanted to see Thomas Rhett in a headlining role – and here he is.

Thomas Rhett Boots and Hearts 2015

Billy Currington

Currington has 11 US Country Airplay #1 hits, and six other songs that made it into the Top 5 on the country music charts. He’s been making music that’s been hitting country radio since 2003, and we’re finally going to see the Georgia native at Boots and Hearts this year.

We can’t wait to sing along to Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right, People Are Crazy, and the Sam Hunt penned, We Are Tonight. It’s gonna be fun!

Dallas Smith

One of the biggest country music stars in Canada is coming back to Canada’s biggest country music festival… and it’s going to be good.

We’ve seen Dallas Smith headline Thursday night’s kick off party, we’ve seen him main stage as the evening crowd poured in, we’ve seen him play arenas and amphitheatre stages – and this dude rocks every stage.

Related: Side Effects Tour: Dallas Smith, The Cadillac Three and Friends Rock Oshawa

Be ready for the hits, high energy, and the chance to give some Canadian love to Dallas Smith next summer!

Dallas Smith CNE 2015

Brett Young

Here’s another we got right in the prediction post… and man we’re happy about it. Brett Young is an emerging star and he’s got a ton of talent.

He’s going to get up on that stage, and he’s going to kill with songs like Sleep Without You, In Case You Didn’t Know, and Like I Loved You. Be ready for it to get loud and happy and give you goosebumps when the country music loving crowd starts singing along.

Stay tuned for more names to be added to the Boots and Hearts 2018 lineup – and if you’re wondering who else we predicted for next year, check out our 15 Boots & Hearts 2018 Artist Predictions.

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5 Things We Hope To Get From The Spice Girls Reunion!

In 1998 The Spice Girls told us to Stop (thank you very much), and pop music lovers did exactly as they were instructed. And 20 years later, all five of the original Girl Power pop stars from the UK look to be back for a reunion that will make Millennials flash back to their school days.

Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Mel B, Mel C, Victoria Beckham were once five of the biggest stars and celebrities in the world. They had hit singles, toured everywhere to sold out crowds, inspired young girls and women alike, and even made their own feature movie that remains a cult classic. To think about them coming back to the spotlight as a complete group, even if it’s for a limited engagement, is pretty outstanding when it comes to the nostalgia driven ways of entertainment.

We don’t know exactly what to expect from Spice World 2.0, but we now what we’re hoping to get from Baby, Ginger, Scary, Sporty, and Posh in 2018…

Songs

We know this sounds super obvious, but if there’s going to be a Spice Girls reunion, we hope there are new songs to go along with the classic and beloved library from the original run of the group. There’s a new album rumoured as part of the reunion… so we should get what we want here.

If these five women are going to give it a shot, the best thing we can hope for is to have them release new music, and watch it climb the charts.

Sillyness

The Spice Girls knew how to have a good time. Whether they were dancing in the middle of the street, or running around through a mansion making a mess of things and enjoying life, they had fun.

We can only hope that the 2018 version of the Spice Girls has the same silly will to make everyone smile while they do what they do.

Sass

Baby, Ginger, Sporty, Scary, and Posh were sassy women, and we loved it. Part of their super power was being boss, and they nailed it in that role.

We’re hoping to see more hands held up in faces, sarcastic jokes, cocky attitude, and awesomeness as the Spice Girls comes back to us after being too long gone.

Sex Appeal

These five women were sexy in the late 90s, and they’re sexy now. They always rocked what was comfortable to each of them, bringing sexy to their own personalities in the best way.

There was no one sexy look that these five women had to squeeze into, they were allowed to be themselves, and let their sex appeal shine through. We’re hopeful that the more mature and experienced versions of Emma, Geri, Mel B., Mel C, and Victoria do the same in 2018.

Girl Power

The world has always and will always need strong, smart women – and the Spice Girls can be just that. Yes, they have fun and are silly, but they are also bosses, and making the decision to come back together as a unit is powerful.

We hope they can help to influence and empower a new generation of girls and women the way they did in the 90s. It was an amazing and special thing that we might not give enough credit to now.

Note: There are currently reports online that Victoria Beckham will not be included in the 2018 Spice Girls reunion… but we’re still hoping that we get all give women when things shake out.

 

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reputation: Taylor Swift Album Review

In case you missed it, Taylor Swift dropped a monster 15 track record on Friday, officially beginning the reputation era.

It’s impossible not to know that this album was coming, or that it’s here. T.Swift is a star as bright as we have in music. And whether you wish you were part of her squad or not, you know that she’s got a million eyes and ears on her.

The 27 year old singer shows off her pop life on all 15 songs on reputation. From the songwriting to the production, there’s no country here. And while many fans of her early work will still bitch about the music she makes now, and pine over the music they loved, the Swifties that are still by her side are in on this album. And so am I.

Whether it’s …Ready For It?, End Game (ft. Ed Sheeran and Future), Getaway Car, or King Of My Heart, I find myself jamming along in my chair and confirming that Taylor Swift is a hit maker, and I’m here for it now and already can’t wait to see what she does next.

Note: Congratulations to Taylor on her Country Music Association award win for writing Song Of The Year, Better Man, performed by Little Big Town. Not a bad addition to a big week!

If you’ve been on the internet at all anytime after Friday’s release (especially on Buzzfeed Music) you’ve seen the think pieces and reactions and 98 thoughts people have had listening to reputation.

And because the internet can’t help but love and hate Taylor Swift, there are a lot of hot takes and theories about this record. We haven’t talked to T.Swizzle about the songs here, but there’s a lot of sex and drinking – and while this doesn’t feel like a concept album dedicated to those themes, it’s a pop record that isn’t shying away from either subject, and clearly embraces them.

Taylor also continues to do what she does, writing and singing about her life, the headlines, the behind-the-scenes, and the carefully decided details that she’s willing to share. We know that this is the way it’s always been. We know that it’s going to cause raised eyebrows. And we definitely know that it’s going to cause theories like ‘Dress is about Ed Sheeran’ from fans, because it feels like every story must be a true story.

Note: I’d like to take a quick second to applaud Taylor for putting 15 songs on reputation. We’re so used to shorter EPs now, and even 10 track full albums, that this feels like special bonus of music that we didn’t know we were actually going to get.

As every album I love does, reputation has one song that I can’t stop listening to…

Don’t Blame Me is a killer track and wins the album for me. From the first time I listened through the album, track four slapped me in the face in the best way. From the beats to the vocals, the lyrics, and the moment at the three minute mark where the music’s gone and we hear “Lord save me, my drug is my baby, I’ll be usin’ for the rest of my life” as strong as she’s ever been – damn, it wins!

It’s a huge bummer that reputation is not yet available on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify – however, it’s coming, we’re sure. And reputation is available for purchase, which, we recommend.

Not everyone is going to love this album. That’s the reality of pop music and the polarizing figure that is Taylor Swift. BUT, if you like Taylor, and you’re looking for 15 songs that will contribute 56 minutes to your day’s soundtrack – we recommend you check it out.

Taylor Swift, Reputation Tracklist

1. …Ready For It?
2. End Game (ft. Ed Sheeran & Future)
3. I Did Something Bad
4. Don’t Blame Me
5. Delicate
6. Look What You Made Me Do
7. So It Goes…
8. Gorgeous
9. Getaway Car
10. King Of My Heart
11. Dancing With Our Hands Tied
12. Dress
13. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
14. Call It What You Want
15. New Year’s Day



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Indie Week 2017 Independent Women: Supermarket, presented by M88 Entertainment Group

M88 Entertainment Group LogoPresented by M88 Entertainment Group

Indie Week continued on Thursday night as we hit the Supermarket to see more talented women show Toronto music fans what they’ve got.

The M88 Entertainment Group showcase had a stacked bill which had us stopping in to check out Amanda Jordan, Alessia Cohle, and Alexis Lynn. It was fantastic to see more women on stage, and experiencing their sets.

As a sponsor of Indie Week, and the showcase organizers, M88 continued to show their support for emerging talent. We’ve seen it at events like this before, and we know that artists like Alessia Cohle have greatly benefitted from the branding, development, strategy, and management services that they offer to up and coming artists. They’re tag line is pretty clear, “We focus on the business, so you can focus on the music.”.

Amanda Jordan started the show, working with her guitar player to fill the room with music and start grabbing the attention of the assembled Indie Week crowd.

The Smith Falls, ON native was strong and smooth on stage, with a sweet voice and seemed to be effortless as she displayed all the little nuances that makes a live vocal performance special.

Amanda worked through her set of originals and covers, playing her 2014 single, Lettin’ It Go Tonight, as well as more recently tracks including Driving In The Dark, Unknow You, You Fit Me Better, and Kinda Like A Guy Like You, which Amanda performed for the first time in front of a live crowd.

It was great to hear Amanda’s versions of Miranda Lambert’s heartbreaking Tin Man, as well as Rascal Flatts more upbeat, I Like The Sound Of That. The two covers were a good balance, and rounded out the set well.

We’re not sure what’s coming next for Amanda, but we won’t at all be surprised if we start seeing and hearing more from her in the near future.

Alessia Cohle hit the stage next, bringing a full band and her own mix of originals and covers to the Supermarket crowd for Indie Week.

The Mississauga, On native came prepared to show off her voice, and her ability to perform on stage. Her energy was palpable, and it was easy to see the growth and strength that has come over the last couple of years since we were first introduced to the country singer.

Alessia played a selection of songs from her 2016 album, Talk To Me, as well as her brand new EP, Wanderlust, which was released on November 3.

Songs like the two title tracks, along with How Bad, Two Steps Ahead, and More all helped to show off the sound and vibe that Cohle is cultivating in her young career, and they offer a look into where she may be headed in the future.

Her choices of covers on the evening were a lot of fun too. With Kelsea Ballerini’s Love Me Like You Mean It, Lady Antebellum’s You Look Good, Elle King’s Ex’s And Oh’s, Carrie Underwood’s Smoke Break, Dusty Springfield’s Son Of A Preacher Man, and Maren Morris’s My Church all hitting their mark and encouraging the Thursday night audience to sing along.

Look for Alessia to hit a lot of stages in the next few months to play her new material, and then be ready for what comes next after that.

Alexis Lynn, all the way from Vancouver, BC was our last Indie Week act of the evening. The teenaged singer/songwriter brought her pop/R&B vibe to the stage and showed off what she’s got in a strong way.

Already tabbed as a top 20 under 20 talent in the 2016 CBC Searchlight Contest, the 18 year old showed all of the confidence you’d ever hope to see from a teenager on stage. And while she admitted that she’s most comfortable on the keys, she stripped it down to play her own acoustic guitar and didn’t miss a beat.

Alexis Lynn told the Toronto crowd that she’s working towards an EP release sometime soon, and to be honest, it won’t be soon enough. The power and smoothness in her voice was attention grabbing, and when she announced that she was going to play a cover by one of her favourites, nobody should have been surprised when she started singing Alicia Keys’ Fallin’.

Original songs like Same Girl, That Kiss, Even Friends, and I Love You I Do, all worked to show off what she’s got ready to share with the musical world. And her closing number, Promises, did an excellent job of wrapping things up in style.

Alexis Lynn, along with her guitar/keys/beats player Caesar, brought a groove that people danced and bobbed and rocked to from start to finish.

She’s one to watch.

Check out some more photos from Thursday night at Indie Week, and stay tuned for more live music coverage!

Amanda Jordan

Alessia Cohle

Alexis Lynn

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Liar: Shae Dupuy Single Release Q&A and Contest

Hot on the heels of her Indie Week 2017 performance at The Dakota Tavern in Toronto, Shae Dupuy has a new single ready for the world.

Fans may feel familiar with Liar, but Shae is excited to release the version of the song that she’s been envisioning since it was written. As a bonus track on her 2016 EP, Brave, the acoustic version of Liar connected with fans and became her most streamed song on Spotify – and now she’s hoping to connect with them again.

We caught up with Shae for a quick Q&A – that we used to ask about the single… and what’s next. Thanks to her for playing along, check it out!

We’ve also teamed up with Shae Dupuy for a contest. Use the widget below to earn up to 8 entries for your chance to be the winner of a Shae Dupuy prize pack. Good luck!

AND, right below the last question we’ve got Liar lined up and ready for you. Just hit play!

Q: What made you want to go back to this song to record and release it again?

SD: Liar was one of my favourite songs off the last project but we never released it to radio or as a single, because it was just meant to be an acoustic bonus track off of the EP. The response we received was more than we expected and I knew then that I had to re-record this song. After the year I’ve had, now just feels like the perfect time for it.

Q: Does it still feel like the same story and bring the same feelings, or has it evolved?

SD: I think the emotions and sentiment is still there but I do feel like the song has grown with this new version.

Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern

Q: What feelings do you have when you release new music?

SD: It’s always a lot of nerves mixed with excitement. I put a lot of time, effort and myself into my songs, so putting them out into the world is always a bit scary.

Q: Is there anything you can share about new music coming for fans?

SD: There’s a lot of new music being written and recorded, but it won’t be released for a little while. So, if fans wanna hear the new stuff they’ll have to come on out to see some shows! Keep any eye on my socials for all upcoming shows!

Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern

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Country Sorta Way: Danielle Bourjeaurd at Indie Week 2017, presented by M88 Entertainment Group

M88 Entertainment Group LogoPresented by M88 Entertainment Group

Danielle Bourjeaurd came to Toronto for Indie Week 2017, hitting The Dakota Tavern for a set with her band on Wednesday night. But before she climbed up with her boys to play, we had the chance to hang out with Country Sorta Way singer/songwriter for a little acoustic performance and more.

She may be country girl, but Danielle was ready to sing on a chilly night in the city as we found a light in the alley beside the venue. And as you’ll see when you press play, her voice carried into the evening in a fantastic live rendition of What Difference Does She Make.

On stage Wednesday night, Danielle was revved up and ready to go. With the support of her band, her songs rang out and connected with the mid-week crowd at The Dakota Tavern.

With songs like Lakeside, What Difference Does She Make, and Happy Hour from her EP, Country Sorta Way, Danielle showed Toronto that she has the chops to hang with anyone in the genre we’re seeing right now.

But, as impressive as she was singing the songs that put a smile on her face from start to finish, we were further blown away when she slowed it down to sing an emotional tribute to her father with, This Guitar. She told the crowd that it was going to be a hard one, and as she sang we saw her look to the sky a couple of times. And whether it was for strength, or with thanks, it was the kind of thing that reminds us exactly how powerful music can be.

Danielle also shared some of her Nashville learned southern hospitality, leading the crowd in a toast during her set. It was a show of charm, but not the only one of the evening. Throughout the set she showed the crowd as much love as they showed her as we watched people singing along with her songs.

One of our other favourite performances of the night from Danielle was Bigger Glass. As suckers for a ‘getting over you’ song, this one is a winner. And both the live solo performance and the album version with Drew Smith are a great listen.

Note: We aren’t the only ones who thought Danielle had a great show. It was later announced by Indie Week that she was the winner of the Wednesday night showcase, and will be playing Saturday night at the Cameron House. Congratulations to Danielle!

This was our first chance to see Danielle Bourjeaurd live on stage. If we’re lucky, it won’t be our last. And if you’re looking for new music, and a new artist to add to your list of indie favourites, we suggest you look up this singer/songwriter soon.

While we had Danielle with us before the show, we sat with her for a round of 5 Quick Questions… check it out along with some more photos from the evening!

Q1) If you could put one album on in the car on a long drive, and let it play on repeat without skipping songs, which album would you choose?

DB) Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette

That’s a good choice. Go put it on and don’t even try to pretend that you don’t want to sing along!

Q2) What is your favourite Shania jam?

DB) Any Man Of Mine… or Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under

We forgive her for choosing two songs… that’s a hard question.

Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Danielle Bourjeaurd at The Dakota Tavern

Q3) What is your favourite late night fast food joint?

DB) McDonald’s.

We asked about her go to order, and she told us it’s cheeseburger happy meal, with a strawberry milkshake. Nice!

Q4) What is the one thing you always have to have in a writing session?

DB) My phone

Danielle told us that she uses her phone for notes, to brainstorm, and to help her write.

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

DB) Ian Janes

She raved about his voice and talent, and because she thinks he’s that good, he sang on her album.

Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Danielle Bourjeaurd in the alley behind The Dakota Tavern

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Indie Week 2017 Women of Country Music: The Dakota Tavern, presented by M88 Entertainment Group

M88 Entertainment Group LogoPresented by M88 Entertainment Group

Wednesday night was good for country music at Indie Week 2017 in Toronto with some very talented women taking the stage at the Dakota Tavern.

The energy in the room was fantastic from the start, with a great crowd coming in early, and support for the Indie Week artists on full display. In one of our favourite rooms in the city, we got to experience some fantastic live country music from Shae Dupuy, Julia Haggarty, and Dani Strong – that’s a pretty great way to spend a Wednesday night.

Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern

The mid-week entertainment started with Shae Dupuy on stage, bringing a full band and a full sound with her.

With a set that included Tin Man, Drink About It, a cover of Little Big Town’s Boondocks, a brand new song called Top Shelf Whiskey, and her upcoming single, Liar, Shae showed the Indie Week crowd what she brings to the party.

The energy and enthusiasm from Shae and her band filled the room and did an excellent job of getting things started, which isn’t always easy. But it was clear that the country singer was ready and comfortable on the Dakota Tavern stage.

Stay tuned for more from Shae Dupuy, it sounds like exciting things are coming from her very soon. We’re ready.

Julia Haggarty was next to take the Dakota Tavern stage, giving us our first chance to see the London, Ontario native perform live.

The singer/songwriter did her thing in a strong way on Wednesday, and with the band keeping pace, she put in work. In the live setting Julia showed that she’s got a lot to offer to music fans, starting with a powerful voice that can go for miles.

On songs including Him, Skydive, I Can’t Stand Still, and a track she co-wrote with Jessica Mitchell – Alone In Love, she shared herself with the Indie Week crowd, and they responded with praise and applause.

Julia Haggarty’s set ended with a stripped down version of her song, Anybody Like You, and the opportunity to hear it all scaled back was a great way to finish her time on stage.

Dani Strong followed with her band, doing everything we know she can when she gets up in front of a crowd.

Dani is one of the hardest working indie artists we know, and she has fun doing it. Through laughs, jokes, and sweet stories, she played a set that included Fallout, Mountains, Mrs. Jones, Where The Heck Is Dixieland, Wild One, and more.

We had the chance to see Dani recently at the Rivoli with Johnson Crook, and heard her play Healing, a song she wrote about mental illness, with thoughts of people she knows and cares about in mind. Having that song as well as, my personal favourite, What You Need, in the set was wonderful, and did all of the things that we know music can do when it comes to feelings and depth.

The Indie Week showcase at the Dakota Tavern was further proof that there’s a whole lot of female talent in country music, right here, and ready to play. We hope we get the chance to see all of these women again soon, and to hear new songs and stories.

Check out more photos from Wednesday night, and stay tuned for more Indie Week coverage!

Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern Indie Week 2017 - Wednesday - Shae Dupuy at The Dakota Tavern

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Indie Week 2017 Launch Party: The Hideout, presented by M88 Entertainment Group

Presented by M88 Entertainment Group

Indie Week 2017 has kicked off in Toronto, and it’s going to be a big one.

With nearly 30 venues across the city ready to host live music between November 7 and 12, Indie Week will put fans up close and personal with emerging talent that can’t wait to get out and show everyone what they’ve got.

We started our Indie Week adventure at The Hideout (423 College St.) for the official launch party and enjoyed a couple beverages (thanks Hop City Brewery and Jack Daniels) while the music flowed through the speakers and into the busy crowd.

With an extended 4am last call this week, music will be ringing out late into the night, which means everyone will have a lot of chances to soak it in and enjoy. We highly recommend checking out the Indie Week schedule to find a show or three – CLICK HERE to get started.

Tuesday night at The Hideout we caught four acts, Poor Nameless Boy, Pat Robitaille, Scalene, and The Empty Page on stage, and all four were ready for action.

Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Poor Nameless Boy

Poor Nameless Boy started the show with his singer/songwriter style flowing strong. Both solo with his acoustic guitar, and accompanied by an electric guitar and violin, Joel Henderson worked through his set and started his week strong.

Songs like Second Floor Balcony and I’m Not Going Anywhere showcased his indie folk vibe, and gave us a little JJ Shiplett feeling as he sang and played. And when Poor Nameless Boy exclaimed, “if you like a good country jam, here ya go” before he closed his set with 30 Photographs, we took notice and took it in.

Toronto is a long way from Regina, but we’re glad he made the trip and started Indie Week off right.

Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Pat Robitaille

Pat Robitaille was next on the stage, going solo and playing for the growing Tuesday night crowd.

With loops and pedals, Robitaille got to work with an eclectic set that included the first reggae song of his career, The Weed Song, and covers of Daniel Caesar and Radiohead.

For more than a decade, the Windsor, ON native has been putting in work on his music, and as an indie artist, a spot on stage at the Indie Week 2017 launch party was a perfect fit.

Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Scalene

Scalene, a five piece Brazilian rock and roll outfit were the third act of the evening… and they took things to a whole new level.

With ringing guitar work, a tight sound, and energy that transferred freely to the crowd on the floor in front of them, Scalene owned the room in Toronto. And we’re willing to be they’ll do it again throughout the week at their upcoming shows (Wednesday @ Coalition, Thursday @ The Mod Club, Saturday @ The Garrison).

Scalene also proved that rock and roll is a universal language as they sang in Portuguese and the Toronto crowd didn’t blink, they just rocked right along with the band. Music is for all of us – and we’re glad these guys made the long flight in to play Indie Week in Toronto.

Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - The Empty Page

All the way from Manchester, UK – The Empty Page kept the party going at The Hideout.

Winners of Indie Week UK 2017, The Empty Page are in Toronto with four shows this week, looking to share their brand of Alternative Fuzz with Canadian music fans.

On Tuesday night, the trio plugged in and went at it, proving that they belong. The band has only been together since 2015, but you’d never know it. They were tight, on time, in rhythm, and ready to rock from their opening notes.

You’ve got three more chances to catch The Empty Page at Indie Week 2017 – Thursday @ Baby G, Friday @ The Paddock Tavern, and Saturday @ Cherry Cola’s. Don’t miss ’em.

There’s more music and Indie Week coverage coming. For now, check out more pics from Tuesday night at The Hideout, and get ready for great music.

Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Poor Nameless Boy Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Poor Nameless Boy Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Pat Robitaille Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Pat Robitaille Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Scalene Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Scalene Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Scalene Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Scalene Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Scalene Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - The Empty Page Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - The Empty Page Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - The Empty Page Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - The Empty Page Indie Week 2017 - Tuesday - Empty Stage at The Hideout

 

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Goals: Andrew Hyatt, the Feature, presented by New Country Spirit

Presented by New Country Spirit

Andrew Hyatt is goal oriented, he told us so. Whether those goals are releasing an EP and full length album, getting his songs on the radio, or even just getting good enough at music to open for a local band, he’s willing to work to achieve them.

Hyatt told us that the last one mentioned there is the one that kind of got him started. He knew he wanted to give music a try, and so he set a goal of being good enough on his guitar and on the microphone to open for Parry Sound band, Red Umbrella. And now, as 2017 comes to a close, Andrew Hyatt has well surpassed that original goal.

We’ve had the chance to catch up with the Sudbury native a few times over the last couple of years, most recently in Oshawa on a Friday afternoon before he took the stage with Dallas Smith to sing a duet of his first Top 10 hit single, On Me. And as we’ve become more familiar with Andrew (and kept tabs on him through his social media accounts), we’ve known him to be a dude that likes cold beer, good whiskey, and isn’t afraid to take or make a joke.

In fact, before we sat down to talk to Andrew in Oshawa, he was 100% game when we suggested standing in the visitor’s locker room showers at Tribute Communities Centre for a photo op. Hell, he even turned on the water behind him before he posed for his shots.

Andrew Hyatt in the shower - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

While Andrew is dedicated to setting and achieving his goals, there’s a certain amount of opportunity and perseverance that comes with launching a career in music, including Hyatt’s.

When we asked him what moment made him want to go all-in on the idea of music as a career, he told us about a chance he got in 2012 to open for Dean Brody at a sold out show in Sudbury. He had been playing local shows and open mics, and the right person saw him and asked if he and his band would be interested in opening for Brody (who was touring his latest release at the time, Dirt). Hyatt said yes, and the band plugged in to play for a sold out crowd. And that was the moment that he knew what he wanted to do.

He told us that there was video available online somewhere from that show… so we went looking for it! Watch Andrew Hyatt and his band on stage in front of his hometown Sudbury crowd, as Dean Brody’s opener on September 15, 2012 at the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre.

The idea that it would all be fast and easy after that show was quickly, and repeatedly nixed for Hyatt. He told us that he moved to Toronto three times to try to make music for a living, finally getting a foothold on the third attempt. He also told us that he put in his share of time in shitty apartments, with sketchy roommates that he didn’t trust. He also worked any and every job he could find – quitting to play a show if he couldn’t get the time off, and then finding another job when he needed to pay the rent.

It would be enough to make anyone wonder if they were doing the right thing. But Andrew Hyatt had goals.

On January 1, 2014, Andrew Hyatt released Love Drunk, his first track that country fans could find and buy from iTunes. And while that might have been one goal, it wasn’t enough.

Note: Texas, an earlier song from Hyatt, was released in 2012 on the Up & Coming Hitmakers, Round 1: East album – which can still be found iTunes.

Hyatt continued to write and work after the release of Love Drunk, and in 2015 he released Livin’ The Dream as a single, and followed it up with his EP, Never Back Down. The EP was a collection of six songs that achieved another goal, and afforded him the chance to release his first official lyric video.

He kept working, doing everything he could to get his music on the radio and out to the world. And when it was time for MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) to be released to radio, Hyatt put together some handmade six pack beer can holders in his shop to send out to stations.

As many artists do when they’re starting out, Andrew Hyatt followed up the release of his EP by playing as many shows on as many nights in as many towns as he could. A look back through his dates on bandsintown.com shows him on stages across Ontario and as far as Calgary in 2015.

And he hasn’t slowed down since.

In May 2017 we did a Q&A with Andrew and asked him about playing live. Here are two questions and answers from that interview…

Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a stripped down set?

A. I love being able to tell the stories and let people in a little more on the intimacy of the songs.

Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a set with the full band?

A. The energy of standing in stage with some of your best friends is amazing. Before shows, no matter how tired we are we always remind each other that at 65 (if we make it) we will be wishing for it!

Note: In that same interview, Hyatt gave one of my favourite answers of all-time when he told us that he’d choose to be in an Alan Jackson cover band… so he could “grow a duster and water ski in jeans!”.

While we had Andrew with us in the locker room in Oshawa, we got him to play a quick round of 5 Quick Questions with us. Find out where Andrew’s going for a late night snack, his favourite Shania jam, who he thinks you should be listening to, and more…

On May 12, 2017, Andrew Hyatt released his debut full-length album, Iron & Ashes, crossing another goal off of his always evolving list.

The 12 track record quickly gained traction with some love from CMT and two One Shot videos for She Ain’t You and We Only Kiss On Sundays. Pairing those views with the pre-release hype that Andrew helped create with Canadian Music Week shows at The Phoenix and Boots & Bourbon Saloon in Toronto, and the pre-album single releases of MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio), That’s How I’m Livin’, and She Ain’t You, Hyatt found himself with an album that fans were excited for, and ready to dive into right away.

We asked about the songs and if there was a theme for Iron & Ashes and he told us that he had been going through a lot of personal changes in his life, and that he really needed to write it all down.

He also told us that there’s a quote from Tolstoy, “truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”, that helped set him in the direction of writing the record and explains how refining life can be uncomfortable but worth it.

Fast forward a couple months to the summer of 2017, and the release of On Me to country radio. The single quickly became Hyatt’s highest charting release, climbing into the Top 30, the Top 20, and then this September the track moved into the Top 10, crossing another goal off of every country singers list.

When we talked to Andrew in August 2017 at Boots & Hearts we asked him about hitting the Top 20 with the single. He told us that his first calls after he got the news were to the band. And to celebrate, he cracked a bottle of Crown Royal special reserve that he had been saving for this specific special occasion.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt

We aren’t sure what Andrew did to celebrate moving into the Top 10 for the first time, but we’re hoping there was another bottle involved.

Jump forward again with us to fall 2017 and Hyatt’s guest spot on Dallas Smith’s Side Effects Tours. This is part of the news Andrew Hyatt told us that he couldn’t share in August… the other part being that Dallas Smith (the four time #1 hit maker) has become his manager. It’s a big step for the Sudbury native, having someone that knows the ropes, the ins and outs, and has made his own climb to the top, on his side.

We asked Smith about working with Andrew while we were in Oshawa at the Side Effects Tour stop, and the Sky Stays This Blue star told us that he was excited to be working with the emerging star. He also tipped us off to new music being on the way…

And then, on October 27, 2017, Andrew Hyatt dropped a brand new single. Do It With You isn’t from the album, it isn’t a song we’ve heard Hyatt play live, and it isn’t something we knew was coming so soon.

But, Andrew did tell us that new music was coming, and that it was giving him a chance to continue to grow as an artist and find out who he is. And in listening to Do It With You, we can hear the new perspective and story. This isn’t a post-breakup song, this one’s for the girls.

He also told us that there’s a trip to Nashville coming soon so he can get some more writing done, which will mean even more new music again in the future.

Andrew Hyatt - Northern Comfort Saloon - CNE 2017

Andrew Hyatt told us that things have felt like they’re snowballing in the last few months. He’s gaining momentum, things keep moving forward and getting bigger. And that’s a good thing.

He also acknowledged that it’s been a lot of hard work since we first talked to him about MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) at those CMAOs in Markham. And that it’s been a long ride… and a good experience.

We don’t know exactly what’s coming next for Hyatt, his career is still in a fast moving, ready for action mode. But we do know this…

Andrew Hyatt will continue to set goals, because that’s what he does. And if he continues to put the work in, and pairs it with his talent, dedication, and the opportunities that continue to come his way, he’ll be crossing more goals off of his list – and often.


Andrew Hyatt in the locker room - Side Effects Tour - OshawaAndrew Hyatt in the shower - Side Effects Tour - OshawaAndrew Hyatt with Joshua Murray in the locker room - Side Effects Tour - OshawaBoots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew HyattBoots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew HyattCMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

2 weeks ago 1 Comment Views

National Country Girls Day: Dean Brody Contest and Q&A

Dean Brody is used to looking out into the crowd and seeing country girls. And now, with the release of his newest single, 8th Day, he’s celebrating those women, and giving them a day of their own.

In fact, Wednesday, November 8, 2017 will be all theirs as Dean presents National Country Girls Day in Canada – and to celebrate, we’re teaming up with the Beautiful Freakshow singer to give away a special prize!

Dean and his team have given us a signed poster that we’re going to give away to a fan who plays along. Here’s what you have to do…

1) On Wednesday, November 8, 2017 post a photo or story celebrating National Country Girls Day on social media.

2) Use the hashtag #NationalCountryGirlsDay to make sure that everyone can find it.

3) Tag Dean Brody (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram) AND tag thereviewsarein (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram) so we can see your posts and you have a chance to win!

It’s really easy. If you’re a country girl – or you love country music and you’re a girl, post a picture that shows it off and add #NationalCountryGirlsDay in the caption. And if you’re a boy who loves a country girl, or girls that love country music, post a pic or tell a story and add #NationalCountryGirlsDay in the caption.

Someone that posts something awesome is going to win an awesome signed poster from Dean Brody for participating – and we can’t wait for it!

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

To celebrate the release of 8th Day we also asked Dean a couple questions about the song, and country girls…

Thanks to Dean for playing along with us. Check it out.

Q: What inspired this song while you were working on Beautiful Freakshow?

Dean: I’ve seen the saying before in a slightly different way: “on the eighth day God made a farmer.” So we thought (with co-writer/producer Matt Rovey) it would be cool to do a take on that saying and make a song about country girls, because, they are definitely a unique and awesome part of creation themselves.

Q: Every show you play you get to look out over the crowd and see these country girls singing along to your songs. Is this song a gift back to them from you?

Dean: If they accept it, yes!

Q: Do you have any advice for boys who fall in love with country girls?

Dean: Listen to them. You’ll probably learn something. And be thankful you have someone who appreciates the things in life that you do.

Q: If God made country girls on the 8th day, what do you think he made on the 9th?

Dean: He was exhausted so he went fishing and rested. Again. They took a lot of work. Ask any country girl’s father. But they were worth it!

Remember to keep an eye on the #NationalCountryGirlDay hashtag on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 – this is going to be fun! Good luck!


Boots and Hearts 2017 - Dean BrodyDean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017Dean Brody - CNE Bandshell 2016

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Past The Past: Jess Moskaluke Live at Toronto’s YouTube Space

Jess Moskaluke wanted to do something different to celebrate and promote the release of her brand new album, Past The Past. So, the Juno and Canadian Country Music Association award winner came to Toronto, teamed up with YouTube, and live streamed an acoustic release party for the world to see.

It was a full circle type of project for the Saskatchewan native who started her career and fanbase on YouTube more than six years ago.

We’ve had the chance to talk to Jess about YouTube and the internet about how important it has been and continues to be for her career, and she acknowledges, accepts, and embraces it. As she’s told us, she doesn’t know any other way really, this is how it works for her.

On Friday night in Toronto, fans gathered around as Moskaluke and her band played songs from the new album, and some fan favourites. Some of those fans were contest winners that we were happy to send to the event – thanks to Jess’s team for helping us make that happen.

We also want to shout out Paul McGuire, who we all love, for doing a great job hosting the live stream at the Toronto YouTube space. Yes, we all miss seeing Paul on CMT Canada… but if you love country music, keep your eyes open, because he’s still going to be around and you’ll have lots of chances to see him. Stay tuned.

If you haven’t taken the chance to listen to Past The Past yet, we highly recommend that you do. And, when Jess announces tour dates and live shows in 2018 (they’re coming, we’ll tell you when we know more), we suggest that you get a ticket to see her perform.

Now, check out the recording of the live stream YouTube video, some more photos from the evening, and listen to the full album. Enjoy!

If you want to listen to the live acoustic performances of Jess singing… you can jump from song to song at times listed here.

Jess Moskaluke, Past The Past Album Release Setlist, YouTube Live Toronto

📹 Drive Me Away (14:25)
📹 Kiss Me Quiet (18:10)
📹 Kill Your Love(28:45)
📹 Camouflage (32:55)
📹 Right When Ya Left (44:55)
📹 Save Some Of That Whiskey (49:00)
📹 Take Me Home (58:08)
📹 Past The Past (1:02:45)
📹 Cheap Wine And Cigarettes (1:15:50)

And if you want to sit back and enjoy the music, the stories, some laughs and more – start the show, and enjoy!

Jess Moskaluke at YouTube in Toronto

2 weeks ago 1 Comment Views

Music’s Best Moustaches, presented by the Moustache Growers Union Local 416647

Presented by the Moustache Growers Union Local 416647

We have always been big fans and big supporters of Movember!

This year, thereviewsarein is participating to help raise awareness and funds to support men’s health initiatives as part of the Moustache Growers Union Local 416647… and we’re excited for the rest of the month.

To help celebrate, we’ve got some fun content coming that we’ll share with you all soon. But for today, we’re reaching into the internet archives to shout out 10 amazing moustaches from the world of music.

Many of these mustachioed men are no longer with us – but we remember them, their music, and their facial hair fondly.

We haven’t put them in order, because they’re too good to rank. But we welcome you to leave a comment telling us which moustache you like best!

Jimi Hendrix

The Beatles

Lemmy

Freddie Mercury

Lionel Richie

Jesse Hughes

Alan Jackson

George Michael

Prince

Kix Brooks

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Texoma Shore: Blake Shelton Album Review

Blake Shelton is right on schedule with the release of 11 new songs on his new album, Texoma Shore. It’s a collection of very Blake tracks, that country music fans have been waiting for.

We aren’t kidding about Shelton being right on schedule. If you look at the releases of his last 6 albums, you can look at approximately a year and a half between records. And here we are in November 2017 with the follow-up to the May 2016 release of If I’m Honest.

The new album comes in at just under 40 minutes of music, and while we do wish that number was a little higher, it’s hard to complain about an 11 song album in an era of EPs.

Blake Shelton’s signature mix of sweet and smart-ass is available throughout the album. His fans love it. It fits the big Oklahoman’s personality, and since we’ve gotten used to both sides of him and his music over the last 15+ years, it’s both expected and reassuring to hear it done and done well on Texoma Shore.

The lead single, I’ll Name The Dogs, was released on September 8, giving it a two month lead into the record, and Canadian country fans got a treat when Blake performed the track on the CBC broadcast of the Canadian Country Music Association Awards on Sunday, September 10.

We don’t know what the radio single plan is coming up for Shelton from this album, but if the early release of Turnin’ Me On and I Lived It are teases that they’re headed in one of those two directions, I’d be okay with that.

Note: The first time I listened to Turnin’ Me On I had a real Eagles feel hittin’ me. And that’s not a bad thing. Who knows, maybe I just have a craving for the Eagles, but I think there’s something there.

We’re a little disappointed that Blake Shelton’s Country Music Freaks Tour isn’t going to be bringing Brett Eldredge, Carly Pearce, and Trace Adkins north of the border to play these new songs… but here’s hoping it’s not too long before the five time winning coach of The Voice brings his stage show back to Canada.

For now, all fans can kick back, pour a beverage of their choice and hit play on Texoma Shore. From I’ll Name The Dogs off the top to I Lived It at the end of the tracklist, Shelton and his team at Warner have put together another collection on songs that fit him well, will work for country fans, and will make for some fun additions to the live show.

Leave a comment to tell us which song from Texoma Shore is your favourite!

Blake Shelton, Texoma Shore Tracklist

1. I’ll Name The Dogs
2. At The House
3. Beside You Babe
4. Why Me
5. Money
6. Turnin’ Me On
7. The Wave
8. Got The T-Shirt
9. Hangover Due
10. When The Wine Wears Off
11. I Lived It

Blake Shelton-Country Thunder 2017

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