Andrew Hyatt

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2018 Headliner Announcement: Luke Bryan

If the first artist announcement for the Cavendish Beach Music Festival is any indication, country music fans in Prince Edward Island are going to have a lot of fun July 6-8, 2018!

Tuesday morning the festival announced that Luke Bryan, the man with 19 #1 hits, will take the stage to headline Sunday, July 8 and finish off a weekend of partying and country music.

We’ve seen Luke Bryan on a big stage before, in 2014 and 2017 at Boots & Hearts, and if you haven’t seen him, we can promise that it’s a good time. The energy, fun, and music from the stage turns the whole thing into a big party, and you won’t want this night to end.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Luke Bryan

Related: Luke Bryan at Boots & Hearts 2017

The festival is excited to have made the announcement and to be bringing Bryan to the festival, with Whitecap Entertainment President, Jeff Squires saying, “We’re thrilled to be bringing Luke Bryan to Cavendish. He’s been the #1 requested artist for many years and it’s the perfect year for him to see what our festival is made of, 10 years strong! We’re looking forward to another beautiful weekend full of friends, family and the breathtaking beaches of Cavendish at CBMF 2018!,”.

With past performers including Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, and more, you can trust that Cavendish Beach Music Festival will be adding more big names to their 10th anniversary festival in 2018.

We don’t know who yet, but if you’re looking for some guesses, we’d tell you to look out for…

🎵 Kelsea Ballerini

🎵 Thomas Rhett

🎵 Brothers Osborne

🎵 Andrew Hyatt

🎵 Madeline Merlo

🎵 The Hunter Brothers

Stay tuned for more information when it comes, and get your tickets starting Friday, December 1 – CAVENDISH BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKET LINK!!!

Country Music’s Sexiest Men, 2017

The internet is buzzing with rumours that Blake Shelton will be named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2017.

We aren’t here to tell you that they made the wrong choice, but we are here to put a spotlight on some of the other sexy men in country music.

In the last couple of years we’ve had the chance to see these men perform on stage, and as great as they are with the microphone in their hands, they elicit a whole lot of cheers for their look up there on stage.

Have a look at our list and pics of Blake Shelton and our 10 more sexy country music men, and leave a comment to tell us who you think is tops OR who you think we missed.

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton-Country Thunder 2017 Blake Shelton is one of the biggest stars in the world today. Between his regular appearances at the top of the country music charts and his seat in the spinning chair on The Voice, he’s everywhere. And as the 41 year old Oklahoman adds more salt and pepper to his look, the sexier he seems to get.

Luke Bryan

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Luke Bryan What do we need to say to share the point that Luke Bryan is sexy?! The dude has women pawing at him so much he’s had to make rules about it. When he rotates his hips, it turns into gifs. This Georgia daddy has got to be on every ‘sexy men in country music’ list.

Brett Eldredge

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Brett Eldredge Boots and Hearts 2017 - Brett EldredgeThis rising star is smooth as silk and dapper as hell. Whether he’s on stage with a couple buttons undone, or he’s in a tux on the way to an awards show, he shines. The eyes, the smile, the voice, and the laugh… they add up for Brett Eldredge.

Dallas Smith

Dallas Smith CNE 2015Dallas Smith-Country Thunder 2017This Canadian country music rockstar has it all going for him. Give him some ripped jeans, roll up the sleeves to see the ink, and give him a little stubble of a beard if you’re into that sort of thing. Dallas Smith is legit.

Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016 Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016This country boy has muscles to spare, looking like he could lift a truck if he wanted to. And Dylan Scott‘s eyes – staring right to your soul. Dang it, he’s got Mmm, Mmm, Mmm all wrapped up.

Mark Wystrach

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Midland Boots and Hearts 2017 - MidlandAs the lead man of Midland, Mark Wystrach is turning heads. If you didn’t already know, you could probably also guess that he’s had a career as a model. He’s chiseled and has the look and we could probably forgive him if he had a Drinkin’ Problem.

Chad Brownlee

Chad Brownlee - CNE 2017 Boots and Hearts 2017 - Chad BrownleeAnother good Canadian boy, this hockey player turned country star has it in spades. Chad Brownlee knows how to work the stage, the ladies scream for him every time we see him, and when he sings sweetly, it’s everything you dream about.

Chris Lane

Chris Lane-Trackside_Fest Chris Lane Sugar BeachChris Lane is a 33 year old from North Carolina, sharing a laid back cool that drips with sexy. And with his twin brother Cory on the drums, it’s double trouble when this country boy takes the stage in front of a crowd.

Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016 Sam. Hunt. This quarterback turned country superstar drive women wild, and put tears in their eyes when he proposed to his fiancée. On award show carpets and on stage, Sam Hunt is sexy as hell.

Jake Owen

Jake Owen BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Barefoot Jake has that Florida beach cool sexy going on. Long hair or short, Jake is sexy – and when he pushes that sweaty hair back and does his thing… he nails it!

Andrew Hyatt

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt Andrew Hyatt in the shower - Side Effects Tour - OshawaAndrew Hyatt loves to work with his hands, he’s got a great beard, and this newly minted top 10 charting rising country star from Sudbury is picking up new crushes in every city he visits.

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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

1 month ago

New Music Spotlight: Gord Downie, Meghan Patrick, Foo Fighters, Vanessa Marie Carter, Andrew Hyatt

The chance to listen to and share new music is something that we don’t take for granted and that we love to do. So, here we are, back again with another edition of the New Music Spotlight.

This time through we’ve got a poet and rock & roll legend that left us too soon, one of the biggest bands in the world, and three Ontario country artists working their ways to the top.

Enjoy!

Artist: Gord Downie
Hometown: Kingston, ON
Genre: Rock
Related Artists: Sam Roberts, Matt Good, The Tragically Hip
Single: Introduce Yerself
Notes: This is the title track of the new 23 song album from the late, great poet, Gord Downie. We highly recommend listening to this offering, remembering Gord, and remembering everything he stood for. It may be heavy. It may be an emotional journey. But we recommend it.


Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / InstagramSpotify / Apple

Artist: Meghan Patrick
Hometown: Bowmanville, ON
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Jess Moskaluke, Madeline Merlo, Miranda Lambert
Single: Country Music Made Me Do It
Notes: After the success of her debut album, Grace & Grit, Meghan Patrick is back with new music with this single release. Country Music Made Me Do It is a solid follow-up to her previous work. The lyrics paint a country music story from start to finish, and we expect to hear this one a lot on Canadian country radio.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Foo Fighters
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Genre: Rock
Related Artists: Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana
Single: Soldier
Notes: Released as part of a 33 track set in support of Planned Parenthood. The track was a little unexpected after the recent release of the Concrete and Gold album. However, this 5 minute and 11 second track is an excellent surprise and with a worthy cause at the root of its release, we’re all in.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Vanessa Marie Carter
Hometown: Oakville, ON
Genre: Country
Related Artists: The Reklaws, Madeline Merlo, Meghan Patrick
Single: Bless My Heart
Notes: The first time we heard Bless My Heart, Vanessa Marie Carter was singing it on the Boots & Hearts stage this summer. And now, with the single out to radio, and the video live for the world, new folks are going to be able to hear it too. The track is a big step for VMC as she moves into her major label career… be ready, there’s more coming.

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Artist: Andrew Hyatt
Hometown: Sudbury, ON
Genre: Country
Related Artists: Dallas Smith, James Barker Band, Jojo Mason
Single: Do It With You
Notes: Much like the Foo Fighters, this single from Andrew Hyatt is a bit of a surprise. His album, Iron & Ashes is one of our 2017 favourites, and now we have a new track to add to our playlists. Do It With You is a sweet song that’s going to have people looking in their lovers’ eyes and singing along. So listen now and start learning the words.


Andrew Hyatt - Northern Comfort Saloon - CNE 2017

Links: Web / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Spotify / Apple

Side Effects: Dallas Smith and Shawn Austin Pre-Show Interviews, Oshawa

We caught up with Dallas Smith in Oshawa at the Tribute Communities Centre to talk about music, the tour, The Tragically Hip, doing what is right as an artist and more.

It was Friday afternoon, before Dallas hit the stage on the Side Effects Tour later in the evening, that we sat down in the seats of the hockey arena to chat. As Dallas and I sat there dressed in nearly (and coincidently) matching double denim, things felt very Canadian. And as the #1 hit maker, his openers, and crew make their way across the country, it also felt like a fitting place to be.

We opened by asking Dallas how things have been going on the tour so far. And he told us that it has been a fantastic experience from the jump. The first show in Halifax had all of the energy he hoped to see to get things going, and as they’ve tinkered and perfected everything from the lights to the sound, the show is only getting smoother as they go.

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

Dallas Smith’s voice had an attitude of both experience and excitement as we talked about the tour and the show. This isn’t his first rodeo, he knows what he’s getting into and what makes for a good show. But as much as he’s tuned into the technical aspects of the goings on, he’s still excited to get up on that stage every night and sing his heart out for the fans from the front row to the top of the arena. It’s awesome to see that from a dude that’s been doing this gig in one way or another for nearly 20 years now.

Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

When we talked to Dallas in the summer we asked about the next time he’d have some time off, thinking that it would be after the Side Effects Tour wraps… but that’s not quite it.

Dallas has been announced as a performer on the CP Holiday Train in the lead up to Christmas this year, playing stops along the rails between December 2 and 17. Check the tour schedule to see where you can find Dallas, Terri Clark, and Kelly Prescott on their travels.

With those dates added to his schedule, Dallas told us that he’ll have about 10 days off between the end of the tour and his train run – but in the new year he’ll be taking a time out to rest up and take a little (well deserved) break.

Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

Because of the timing of our chance to see Dallas, we talked about Gord Downie and his passing. Smith’s tour was the first to play Kingston after their hometown hero’s death, and he told us that it was heavy. He also told us that he didn’t want to fall into a trap of making a tribute to Gord and The Hip all about him.

Related: In Memoriam: Gord Downie Legacy, Influence, and Top 10

So, Dallas and the band paid tribute in their own way. Before his set, the boys played Grace, Too, said a few words to the crowd, left the stage as a couple more Hip songs played over the speakers, and then everyone came back out to play the regular set in full.

While we had Dallas with us we took the opportunity to play a round of 5 Quick Questions with the Canadian country star. Watch it now!

It’s clear that following his own path and doing what’s important to him personally and artistically is #1 for Dallas Smith. In our interview and later on stage he talked about doing what he needs to do, following his heart, and making the decisions and music that he needs and wants to make.

It’s an attitude that comes with experience, courage, and conviction – three things that Smith has in spades.

It’s also something that he’s trying to pass onto other artists, namely Shawn Austin and Andrew Hyatt, who Dallas is working with and has brought out on the Side Effects Tour with him.

And, while we were at the arena in Oshawa we got to hang out with Shawn Austin for a few minutes in the locker room to talk about this music, career, and how the tour has been for him so far.

Shawn Austin in the locker room with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

The Vancouver native told us that the response to his current single, Paradise Found, has been amazing and more than they expected. To see the track break the top 30 has changed the immediate plans for Austin, but it’s not bumming him out too much.

However, there is new music coming from the emerging artist. A new single is ready to go, and will be hitting the airwaves early in the new year. And there will be an album to follow that up, giving country fans a chance to truly experience what he’s got to offer.

While we had Shawn with us we took the chance to ask him a few quick questions including…

Q: Who is your dream duet partner right now?

Shawn: Jess Moskaluke

Q: Who would you love to play a show with?

Shawn: Brett Eldredge, Brett Young… and Garth Brooks

When we asked about the tour, Shawn told us that the experience of getting up on stage with Dallas every night has been great. And to see how it can all come together at the highest levels has given him new goals and career achievements to strive for.

Note: We saw Shawn take the stage with Dallas Smith to sing A Girl Like You on Friday night, and dude knocked it out of the park.

Be ready to hear more from Shawn Austin in the new year, and check out Paradise Found if you don’t know it already.

Shawn Austin in the locker room - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

Before we finished up our hang out with Dallas in the seats of the arena, we asked him about his experience on the set of Chad Brownlee’s Out Of The Blue music video. He told us that he was happy to be part of the production, and that when Chad and (director) Stephano Barberis asked him to be in it, he was in.

If you’ve seen the video, you know it’s a fun one, and it’s easy to see that Dallas truly does have a great relationship with Chad, as well as Stephano, the godfather of his little girl.

Friday night, after the chairs were set up on wood covering the ice, the fans filed in, the beer started flowing, Lauren Alaina and The Cadillac Three revved up the crowd, and then Dallas Smith finished the job.

Once again Dallas proved that he belongs at the top, and he wowed the crowd from start to finish… just like he did on the dates before he got to Oshawa, and like he’ll do on the rest of the Side Effects Tour.

Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa Dallas Smith in the seats with Joshua Murray - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

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

Friday nights are perfect for live music. So when Dallas Smith, The Cadillac Three, and Lauren Alaina rolled into Oshawa to play at the Tribute Communities Centre, we knew we were set up for a good time.

The Side Effects Tour was already in full flight before it got to town, with shows from Halifax to southern Ontario, so there was no surprise that things were firing on all cylinders in Oshawa. From Lauren Alaina kicking things off, to Dallas blowing the roof off the joint, this was the show fans were expecting – and they loved it.

Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

The crowd filed in early, and those who took their seats were rewarded with the opening set from American Idol alum, Lauren Alaina. The 22 year old Georgia native wasted no time getting into her groove. Alaina showed off the power in her voice and paired it well with the rock and roll vibe that her band pumped out for the crowd.

With just a half dozen songs in her set to share with the Canadian country fans, Lauren made the most of things. Between tracks she was charming as hell, funny, and sweet as she told stories, cracked wise, and looked like she was truly enjoying the opportunity.

The two highlights of the set were Lauren’s performance of her #1 hit (with Kane Brown), What Ifs – and her crowd work during Next Boyfriend.

Lauren Alaina - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

Before she played her 2015 top 40 single, Alaina invited a dude named Ryan up on stage to dance with her, and neither performer was a disappointment. Ryan grooved along with Lauren Alaina as she sang – and when she directed him through the basics of the Whip & Nae Nae – he gave it everything he had. And after a brief giggle fit from the singer (and the crowd), there was a hug and a smile and the set wrapped with Lauren Alaina’s first #1 single, Road Less Travelled.

She’s young, talented, and knows how to perform – we know it’s no secret – but Lauren Alaina’s got it, and we’re sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

Lauren Alaina Setlist, Oshawa 2017

🍑 Georgia Peaches
🍑 Barefoot and Buckwild
🍑 What Ifs
🍑 Next Boyfriend
🍑 Doin’ Fine
🍑 Road Less Travelled

Lauren Alaina - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

Next on the stage, all the way from Nashville, Tennessee (and Kelby’s birthday party in Kingston the night before), The Cadillac Three took over and let it fly.

These boys, with all of the hair, attitude and energy that you could ever hope for, pumped out a full sound that filled the arena and turned Friday night into a full-fledged party. Yes, they play country music. And yes, there’s a slide guitar up there on the stage. But man, The Cadillac Three are as rock and roll as most of the bands you’re going to hear on rock radio – and country fans are totally okay with that!

The Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

The band opened their set with Dang If We Didn’t from their brand new album, Legacy, and didn’t let up until their time was done. In their set we heard Jaren, Kelby, and Neil roll through seven songs that had fans thrusting their beers into the air, singing along at the tops of their lungs, and singing/dancing/grooving along track by track.

Note: As The Cadillac Three ripped up the stage in their set and brought forth their brand of southern rockin’ country music, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would sound like if these boys plugged in and played a little Foo Fighters. Maybe All My Life or The Pretender… I’m just going to hold out hope for that in the future.

If you’ve seen The Cadillac Three play live, you know that they are balls to the wall and pedal to the floor. If you haven’t seen them live, get on it – it’s a show you don’t wanna miss.

The boys brought it when they played Oshawa on Friday night, and if you wonder at all about their passion and appreciation for what they get to do for a living, here’s a quote from Jaren to ease your mind…

“Cheers, beers & hallelujah, we get to do this shit for a livin’!”

The Cadillac Three Setlist, Oshawa 2017

 Dang If We Didn’t
⚡ Slide
⚡ Tennessee Mojo
⚡ American Slang
⚡ Party Like You
⚡ White Lightning
⚡ The South

The Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - OshawaThe Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

The main event of the evening, the man with the #1 hits, one of Canada’s biggest stars in country music, Dallas Smith was next and last to hit the stage in Oshawa on Friday night. And the fans were ready for him.

With a stage full of sound, Dallas and his band (three guitars to go along with bass and drums) were ready too. And from the moment they kicked things off with the tour’s title track, Side Effects, it was impossible to deny the energy and excitement in the room.

A few things became very clear as Dallas Smith’s set played out in Oshawa…

1) He works hard for the crowd – and they love him for it. Whether it’s taking selfies with phones that are handed to him from the front rows, or bouncing from one side of the stage to the other to make sure that everyone feels involved, he’s on it. He owns the room.

2) The only reason Dallas Smith isn’t fronting one of the most successful rock and roll bands in Canada is because he chose country. In the middle of the set Dallas played Wasting My Time and Count On Me from the Default library, as well as Something Just Like This from The Chainsmokers/Coldplay and the crowd was all over it. But, as Dallas told the Oshawa crowd before his encore, he chose country because that’s what felt right, that’s who he is as an artist, and the country music community is lucky to have him.

3) His voice – damn! Before the show we had a chance to catch up with Andrew Hyatt, and when Dallas came up in our conversation Andrew correctly pointed out that “he’s got a voice that never quits.”, we’re not sure we could say it any more effectively than that.

4) He’s a big softie. For the second time we saw an on-stage proposal at a Dallas Smith show, and it was just as sweet this time as the last. Dallas helped a super happy and in love dude propose to his (now) fiancée with a sweet surprise that included the man’s son – and then, after the smiles and hugs and her Yes, Dallas stepped to the side and sang Autograph while the happy couple took centre stage and had a dance.

Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

During the set Dallas, while he was entertaining the hell out of Oshawa, Dallas took the chance to invite a couple friends up on stage with him. First we got to see Andrew Hyatt jump out to join Dallas Smith and the band for a duet performance of his first top 10 hit, On Me. We also need to note the cheer Hyatt got when he asked who was hitting The Corral, the local country bar, to party Friday night. From the sound of it, the bar had a heap of customers on the way after the show.

The second emerging artist called out was Shawn Austin, who has a top 30 hit of his own with Paradise Found, and came out to sing a duet version of A Girl Like You. Smith’s fans did a great job supporting both of these young dudes, and both of them sounded great with the Canadian star who invited them to share the stage.

Canadian country music is in great shape these days. There’s a ton of talent. And with dudes like Dallas Smith leading the way on radio and on stage, things are only going to look brighter. And, if Dallas can continue to do what he’s done on Side Effects, his future is only going to continue to look brighter too.

In 2012 when Dallas released his debut country album, Jumped Right In, he may not have known that he’d end up headlining nationwide tours with rowdy fans that would sing along to his songs all night… but that’s what’s happening right now on the Side Effects Tour. It’s what happened in Oshawa on Friday night. And we’re damn sure that it will happen again!

Dallas Smith Setlist, Oshawa 2017

🔥 Side Effects
🔥 Sky Stays This Blue
🔥 Wastin’ Gas
🔥 If It Gets You Where You Wanna Go
🔥 Slow Rollin’
🔥 Sleepin’ Around
🔥 One Little Kiss
🔥 Wasting My Time (Default)
🔥 Count On Me (Default)
🔥 On Me with Andrew Hyatt
🔥 Nothin’ But Summer
🔥 Kids With Cars
🔥 Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay)
🔥 50/50
🔥 A Girl Like You with Shawn Austin
🔥 Autograph
🔥 Jumped Right In
🔥 Lifted
ENCORE
🔥 Somebody Somewhere
🔥 Tippin’ Point
🔥 Cheap Seats


Dallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaDallas Smith - Side Effects Tour - OshawaThe Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - OshawaThe Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - OshawaThe Cadillac Three - Side Effects Tour - OshawaLauren Alaina - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

15 Boots & Hearts 2018 Artist Predictions

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

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

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

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

Boots and Hearts 2018 Headliners

Chris Young

Chris Young Trackside Fest 2016

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

Kenny Chesney

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

Little Big Town

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

Zac Brown Band

CMT Music Fest - Zac Brown Band

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

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

Supporting Talent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maren Morris

A post shared by Maren Morris (@marenmorris) on


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

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

Bonus

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

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

Leave a comment and tell me!

Anthem: Brett Kissel and Friends at the 2017 CNE

As Friday night grew darker and the music played on, Brett Kissel looked out over the CNE crowd and exclaimed, “I think it’s safe to say that country music is alive and well in Toronto!”.

The Alberta native couldn’t have been more correct on a day when 5 Canadian country artists took the stage at the Canadian National Exhibition. On the Northern Comfort Saloon stage both Ty Baynton and Andrew Hyatt played three hour sets for exhibition attendees, and on the legendary bandshell stage, Abby Stewart and Beamer Wigley opened for Brett Kissel himself, the 2016 Canadian Country Music Association Male Artist of the Year and Fans’ Choice Award winner.

Note: Not on stage, but also seen catching the music and enjoying The Ex were Elyse Saunders and Lindsay Broughton, talented country singers in their own rights!

As the bandshell stage began with Abby Stewart and Beamer Wigley, the crowd began to build. The two teenage country singers and songwriters played a selection of original songs and covers of popular duets including Keith Urban/Miranda Lambert’s We Were Us, Chris Young/Cassadee Pope’s Think Of You, and Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson’s Don’t You Wanna Stay. Both of the up-and-comers showed the kind of stage presence that will carry them into the future of their careers, and their talent (which continues to grow) is apparent now to anyone who sees and hears them.

Keep your eyes open for more from Abby Stewart and Beamer Wigley on the Canadian country music scene.

During a break in the bandshell action we jumped over to the Saloon to see Andrew Hyatt on stage, and the Nickel City native didn’t disappoint. As we know him to do, Hyatt put on a show that featured covers like Keith Urban’s Cop Car, his own fan favourites including, MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) and She Ain’t You, plus his first radio Top 20 single, On Me.

When the time came for the main event on the bandshell stage, Toronto was ready.

Brett Kissel and his band hit the stage hard, opening the set with Started With A Song and continuing with a string of hits, covers, and new songs that stretched into the night and kept summer alive as the Labour Day long weekend started.

As cheers rang out, Kissel and his dudes gave their last show of the summer everything they had. Their enthusiasm and energy were likely boosted (very reasonably) by the pre-show presentation of gold records for Started With A Song and Pick Me Up – his first two golds – but not his last.

It’s obvious to say that Brett Kissel is one of Canadian country music’s biggest stars, but what has become clear to us is that he keeps getting better and better as the songs, albums, shows, and years accumulate in his career. The differences are small, but visible. The showmanship, the engagement, the comfort levels, the willingness to take a chance, the heart on his sleeve, the passion for the show – they have all increased since we first saw him in 2014, and when he played the CNE bandshell stage two years ago in 2015.

Related: Brett Kissel at the 2015 CNE!

One of our favourite moments in the set came when Brett introduced Take It Easy by his favourite band, The Eagles. He told the crowd that it was his band’s favourite song to play by the legendary rockers, and that they’d like to play it in tribute of Glenn Frey, who passed away in 2016. Kissel also sent the song out to his dad who is currently in hospital, but we hope will be home very soon. It was emotional and sweet, and everything we love about moments that come from live music experiences.

Note: We would like to send our best wishes to Brett, his family, and his dad. If you would like to pass on your positive vibes, click here and send him a tweet.

Another of our favourite moments came earlier in the show when a five year old named Reggie and his dad came up on stage to meet Brett. Reggie was a little shy on stage, but his fandom was rewarded with a signed guitar from the singer, and his name being chanted loudly by the Toronto crowd. It was a special moment, and one we hope he repeats as often as possible.

This Canadian kid, the dude nominated for five Canadian Country Music Association awards (Male Artist, Single, Video, Songwriter, and Interactive Artist of the Year ) in 2017, and performing on the award show Sunday, September 8 on the CBC, is the real deal. He’s legit. He’s a star. And we’re happy that we’ve seen him along the way.

Friday night in Toronto, Brett Kissel and his band finished their summer with a bang. They were loud, they were happy, they were strong, and they made everyone in the crowd hope that they’ll be back again soon.

Brett Kissel Setlist, CNE 2017

🇨🇦 Started With A Song
🇨🇦 Something You Just Don’t Forget
🇨🇦 She’s Desire
🇨🇦 Canadian Kid
🇨🇦 Tough People Do
🇨🇦 Anthem
🇨🇦 Pick Me Up
🇨🇦 Cool With That
🇨🇦 Take It Easy (The Eagles)
🇨🇦 We Were That Song
🇨🇦 I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair
🇨🇦 Airwaves
🇨🇦 Ordinary Day (Great Big Sea)
🇨🇦 Callin’ Baton Rouge (Garth Brooks)
🇨🇦 Raise Your Glass/Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard)
🇨🇦 Thank God I’m A Country Boy (John Denver)/Honey, I’m Good (Andy Grammer)/Mountain Music (Alabama)
Encore:
🇨🇦 3,2,1

Brett Kissel at the 2017 CNE

Andrew Hyatt at the 2017 CNE

Abby Stewart and Beamer Wigley at the 2017 CNE

Deal With It: Alee at Boots & Hearts 2017

After a little hop and a couple deep breaths, Alee took to the Boots & Hearts 2017 main stage to kick off the Sunday music… and she killed it.

With an energetic and strong set, the 2-time Alberta Country Music Association Award winner for Female Artist of the Year proved that she’s earned her nomination for the 2017 Female Artist of the Year award from the Canadian Country Music Association. And while her set may have only been six songs long in the Sunday sun, there was dancing and singing and cheering along to songs including; Bad Habit, Deal With It, and Moonshine, in the field at Oro-Medonte.

Later in the afternoon we caught up with the Edmonton native to talk about the summer, what’s next, her CCMA nomination, and even got a tip for everyone going to Saskatoon for Canadian Country Music Week.

She told us that the summer has been great, with shows at Big Valley Jamboree, Boots & Hearts and more already, and Lucknow Music in the Fields still to come. And that she’s been learning to squeeze in writing time every chance she gets so she’s ready to go when it’s time to start laying down tracks for her next album.

We asked her about the feeling of getting on the big stages, and she said that it’s exciting. And through her smile and energy on the Sunday stage, we could see that excitement. Alee also told us that the band all looked at each other and had a little moment to appreciate that this may be the best that their music has ever sounded.

Note: We spotted Alee’s label mate, occasional writing partner, and fellow Boots & Hearts 2017 performer, Andrew Hyatt up in the wings watching the set and jamming along.

We landed on her CCMA nomination more than once while we were hanging out, and learned that this feels pretty great for a few reasons.

1) The obvious one, to be regarded as one of the top 5 female country artists in Canada is special. She mentioned that being in the top 10 is special itself, but to make the final ballot is something else.

2) She found out about the nomination while she was south, just outside of Nashville, and the first person she wanted to call was her grandmother, who lives in the Saskatoon area and will be coming to the awards with her.

3) Alee suggests that first-time visitors to Saskatoon take a trip down to the river for some hangout time.

We asked Alee what’s coming next, and she told us that she hopes to set some time aside for songwriting this fall. And she added that she’d love to take a trip to really get away and get in a writing space. She has a few ideas of where she’d like to go, but nothing is concrete yet. We can tell you this though, she’s got good ideas.

Note: We’ve also learned that Alee is a big fan of chicken wings. We don’t know her favourite flavour yet, but we’ll find out!

With her debut label album, Bad Habit, becoming a hit with country music fans, and her CCMA nomination putting her name in a brighter spotlight, Alee is poised to make some noise on the Canadian country music scene.

Deal with it.

Alee, Boots & Hearts 2017 Setlist

Turn This Night On
Deal With It
When I Do
Don’t Wait
Bad Habit
Moonshine

Boots-and-Hearts-2017-Alee-Interview-1Boots-and-Hearts-2017-Alee-Interview-2

On Me: Andrew Hyatt at Boots & Hearts 2017

Rain was falling on the Friday afternoon crowd at Boots & Hearts 2017… and then it cleared and the sun came out as Andrew Hyatt and his band, The Good Intentions, took over the Front Porch stage and played their hearts out.

We caught up with Andrew after his set, and we talked about the crowd that came in to watch him play. It was a great assembly of music fans, and they were there for a good time, which always helps things. And while Andrew does love greasy, sweaty club shows – he told us that being in front of the Boots & Hearts crowd and watching them engage with the music and the band was fantastic. He told us that looking out and seeing people singing his songs back to him, the singles and the deep cuts that made the record (Iron & Ashes) because he loves them, was special because it means they’ve listened to the record that he worked so hard on.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt

Related: Andrew Hyatt, Iron & Ashes Album Review and Q&A

On stage the boys, lead by Andrew, gave it everything they have. The sound was full, with every guitar part and bass line doing its job to create a live music experience for tracks like She Ain’t You, Most Of Me, and his very first Top 20 song at country radio, On Me. The transitions from uptempo tracks to slowed down songs was seamless and well received by the crowd, with everyone willing to follow wherever they were taken.

I asked Hyatt about landing in the Top 20 with On Me, and he told me that it’s a sweet feeling. His first calls he says were to the band to share the good news. And to celebrate, he cracked a bottle of Crown Royal special reserve that he had been saving for this specific occasion.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt

Andrew Hyatt isn’t slowing down any time soon. With the CNE booked, and showcases and performances coming up at Canadian Country Music Week and the CCMA celebrations in September, there’s still lots to prep for and look forward to.

AND, there’s big fall 2017 news that he would love to tell you about, and that we would love to tell you that we know – but we’re all going to have to stay tuned for that.

Andrew Hyatt, Boots & Hearts 2017 Setlist

🥃 That’s How I’m Livin’
🥃 Most Of Me
🥃 Girl I Do
🥃 MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio)
🥃 We Only Kiss On Sundays
🥃 She Ain’t You
🥃 On Me

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew HyattBoots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew HyattBoots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt

Boots & Hearts Preview: Andrew Hyatt & Alee Q&A

Boots & Hearts is coming, and it’s easy to tell you it’s one of our favourite weekends of the summer. It’s also easy to tell you that we’re excited to see Alee and Andrew Hyatt hit the stage to sing their songs.

These two Wax Records artists are coming to B&H to show the country music crowd what they have to offer… and if you haven’t seen them before, you’re in for a treat. And, if you have seen them, you know why you want to be there at the front of the stage to see each of their sets.

To get us all ready, we hooked up with Alee and Andrew for a little pre-festival Q&A action. We’d like to thank them both for their honesty, humour and use of emojis.

Q: What three words would you use to describe the feeling of getting up on a big stage in front of a bunch of rowdy country music fans?

Alee: Adrenaline-rush
Exhilarating
Wing-ding

Andrew: Hot and Heavy 🙂

Q: Which act are you most excited to see at Boots & Hearts this year?

Alee: Been a huge Eli Young Band since I was in junior high… so excited to finally see them live!!… but I mean, also, Brett Eldredge… 😍

Andrew: Keith Urban is definitely always a great show. Definitely looking forward to seeing as many of the acts as possible!

 

Q: How has the reception of your new music been with crowds so far in 2017?

Alee: Honestly, could not ask for more love from the fans! It has been pretty amazing to see social media posts with lyrics, or little messages about what certain songs mean to them… and it’s always magical to see them singing along at shows! I’m pretty blessed!

Andrew: It’s been amazing to see such a positive response to the current single and the record! It’s what drives me to keep going!

Q: Which Andrew Hyatt song is your favourite?

Alee: For starters – every Andrew Hyatt tune is a jam. I just tend to jam extra-hard when Goodbye Gone comes on.
Q:  Which Alee song is your favourite?

Andrew: Hard to pick! I love Bad Habit! Such a great hook!
Related: Iron & Ashes: Andrew Hyatt Album Review and Q&A

Q: Can you tell us something about you that we wouldn’t find in a Google search?

Alee: I used to play saxophone in a jazz band.

Andrew: I’m on Bumble haha

Q: If we got a look at your playlist right now, who would the top 3 artists be?

Alee: Rihanna, Rascal Flatts, and Thomas Rhett

Andrew: Jason Isbell, Donovan Woods, and Needtobreathe

CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

 

Q: What is your number #1 festival tip for the fans?

Alee: Check out as many artists you don’t know as possible! Never know when you’ll find a new fave!

Andrew: Hydrate, and for the love of God shower at least once! 😂

Catch both of these homegrown Canadian talents at Boots & Hearts 2017… and if you don’t have tickets yet, what are you waiting for? Click Here! 

Cowboy Up: Budweiser County Fair is Coming to Toronto

For the last few years we’ve been talking about Toronto’s emergence as a country music hot spot. And now, the city is getting their own country music festival when the Budweiser County Fair comes to 525 King Street West, July 14 and 15, 2017.

The County Fair is offering a full experience, including:

Carnival Games And Prizes
Succulent BBQ Eats From 6 Of Toronto’s Hottest Chefs
The County Fair Mechanical Bull Championships
Carnival Food Classics
Drink Samplings
Tomorrow’s Stars Of Country Music
Line Dancing Lessons And Coyote Ugly Dancers

Don’t have your tickets for the fair yet? Stop wasting time and get them now: Budweiser County Fair Tickets!

2017 Budweiser County Fair Lineup and Schedule

Friday, July 14th

6:00pm – Jade Eagleson
7:00pm – Vanessa Marie Carter

Vanessa Marie Carter The Ranch

8:30pm – Johnson Crook

Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern

10:00pm – Andrew Hyatt

CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

Saturday, July 15th

2:00pm – MacArthur Clark
3:30pm – Kaitlin Kozell

Kaitlin Kozell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

5:00pm – Natasha Zimbaro
6:30pm – Jesse Gold
8:30pm – The Reklaws

The Reklaws Boots and Hearts 2015

10:00pm – Emily Reid

via YouTube

Do you remember that line about Succulent BBQ Eats From 6 Of Toronto’s Hottest Chefs? Well, it’s legit.

Via thecountyfair.ca, The Budweiser County Fair has rounded up 6 of the city’s well renowned chefs to showcase their unique style in a fire fuelled BBQ experience. Satisfy your cravings and indulge in some succulent BBQ eats and local fare. From heat to sweet, this is one tasty experience you don’t want to miss out on!

Steve Gonzalez
Executive Chef, Baro Restaurant
Kevin Castonguay
Executive Chef & Founder, Provisions
Elisa Corrigan
Executive Chef & Owner, The Green Wood Restaurant
Matt Blondin
Chef & Owner, OMAW Restaurant
Stephen Payne
Executive Chef & Owner, Kung Fu Dawg
Nate Middleton
Executive Chef, Home of the Brave

We don’t know exactly what’s going to be on the menu(s), but given the pedigree of the chefs coming to party… we’re damn sure that things are going to get tasty!

Note: Please remember to grab a napkin, good BBQ gets messy, and this should be good.

All in all, this 2-day country party in the heart of downtown looks like it’s going to be a blast. From the afterwork excitement of Friday night, to the all-day festivities of Saturday, there will be feet stompin’, drinks pourin’, and good country singin’.

Check out the promo video, get your plaid and boots ready, and we’ll see you at the Budweiser County Fair in downtown Toronto!

2017 Canadian National Exhibition Northern Comfort Saloon Lineup and Schedule

If you like cold drink and hot country music, the Northern Comfort Saloon at the Canadian National Exhibition should be on your to do list this summer!

We’ve been checking out the Northern Comfort Saloon since year one in 2014, and every year there’s a pretty fantastic selection of country music to sing, drink, and dance to. In fact, just last year The Washboard Union took their turn for six days, and then won Rising Star and Roots Artist of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Country Music Awards… so ya, these are talented artists.

The 2017 lineup has some of our favourite up-and-coming artists, including Northern Comfort Saloon returnees, Cory Marquardt, Kelly Prescott, and Buck Twenty – and artists with new releases in 2017 including Johnson Crook and Andrew Hyatt.

We’ve put together the full schedule with dates and times, so you know which days to come see some of your emerging country music favourites on stage, playing originals, covers, and having a party.

Mark your calendar, and then use the poll and/or leave a comment to tell us who you’re most excited to see at this year’s CNE country bar stage!

2017 Canadian National Exhibition Northern Comfort Saloon Lineup and Schedule

Buck Twenty

Aug 18, 19, 20 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Related: CMAO Artist of the Month – Buck Twenty

Blue Radio

August 18, 20 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Ultimate Urban

August 19 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Johnson Crook

August 21, 22, 23 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Related: Call Me Home – Johnson Crook EP Release Party

Marshall Dane

August 21, 22, 23 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
August 28, 29 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Cory Marquardt

August 24, 25, 26 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Cory Marquardt CNE 2015

Jerry Serada

August 24, 25, 26, 27 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Kelly Prescott

August 27, 28, 29 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Related: CMAO Artist of the Month – Kelly Prescott

Elyse Saunders

August 30, 31 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Andrew Hyatt

August 30, September 1 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Related: Iron & Ashes Album Review – Andrew Hyatt

CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

Ty Baynton

September 1, 2, 3 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Chris Buck Band

September 2, 3 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
September 4 – 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Related: 5 Quick Questions with Chris Buck Band

On Me: Andrew Hyatt Video Release

Hot on the heels of his Iron & Ashes album release, the critical and fan acclaim for the heartbreaking track, She Ain’t You, and two successful sets during Canadian Music Week, Andrew Hyatt has a brand new song for you to hear, and a video for you to watch.

Related: Iron & Ashes: Andrew Hyatt Album Review and Q&A

Hit play now and watch Hyatt’s new video for On Me. The video features scenes from the capital of country music, Nashville, the studio during recording, the stage of The Phoenix concert theatre during his soundcheck and show opening for Drake White & The Big Fire during CMW 2017, and more.

Related: CMW 2017: Livin’ The Dream with Drake White, Alee, Andrew Hyatt and Friends

And if you haven’t yet seen them, check out these CMT One Shot videos for She Ain’t You and We Only Kiss On Sundays.

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more from the pride of the Nickel City, Andrew Hyatt.

 

Iron & Ashes: Andrew Hyatt Album Review and Q&A

Sometimes it’s hard not to write about artists and albums without using tired adjectives and metaphors. Sometimes it’s easy to just lean on previously printed sentiment and move on. But sometimes it isn’t easy, sometimes there’s more to the story, and more to the music.

It really feels like this is one of those times.

Andrew Hyatt isn’t new to the country music scene in Ontario or Canada. Country fans know him from his radio singles, That’s How I’m Living, MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio), and his most recent release, the CMT featured, She Ain’t You. Those who have listened know that Andrew is the real deal, that he’s got the voice to back up the songs and the songs to connect with listeners. And those who have seen him on stage know that he’s not a studio creation.

And now, with the release of his debut full-length album, Iron & Ashes, Andrew Hyatt seems ready to show more people, open more eyes, and put himself in a brighter spotlight.

The disc (or download, or stream) offers 12 tracks, moving smoothly from top to bottom, and telling stories that are all too relatable. Hyatt isn’t just singing about girls and beer and pickup trucks. He’s not just selling promises of good times and sunshine. He’s telling stories that feel real. These are songs that will allow you to close your eyes and either remember a time in your life, or create a movie in your head of what this thing might look like. This album is complete, not just because it features 12 tracks and not four, but because it completes a journey, it takes its time with you, and it gives you everything it’s got. Yes, it would be awesome if there were another six songs tacked on the end, but nobody is going to feel cheated when the acoustic cut of She Ain’t You finishes playing.

We’ve had the chance recently to talk to, and about, Andrew more than once. We saw him live twice during Canadian Music Week, where he poured it all out, sweating and singing and slaying on stage – and we gladly told stories about those sets. We also had the opportunity to help feature Andrew Hyatt as the Country Music Association of Ontario’s Artist of the Month for May 2017. Telling a little bit more about where he’s from, the work he’s put in, and how far we think he can go.

But this post isn’t about that. It’s about telling you that Andrew Hyatt has a collection of songs on Iron & Ashes that deserve to be heard, played, replayed, sung along to, and listened to in silence. There’s no wrong way to consume this record. It isn’t one dimensional. Like we said, it connects.

Iron & Ashes Tracklist

1. That’s How I’m Living
2. MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio)
3. She Ain’t You – Band Version
4. Girl I Do
5. Can’t Win ‘Em All
6. Goodbye Gone
7. Running On Empty
8. We Only Kiss On Sundays
9. Most Of Me
10. On Me
11. Laid Back Easy
12. She Ain’t You

We don’t grade albums, we don’t give out stars, we don’t put our thumbs up or down – but we do recommend music that we like, and that we think you’ll like.

This is that music. It passes our subjective tests, and we believe that it’s worthy of your time and attention.

We also think that Andrew Hyatt is a star in the making, a name that you’re going to get used to hearing, and a good dude on top of that.

We had the chance to catch up with Mr. Hyatt to ask him about the album, playing live, and cover bands – and while we didn’t ask him to rank himself as a social thinker, deep drinker, good time chaser or, good love maker, we may have to the next time we catch him.

Thanks to Andrew for his time and his answers. Check out the Q&A now, and hit play on the stream to listen to Iron & Ashes.

Trust us.

Q. If you could use 1 word to describe the feeling of Iron & Ashes
coming out, what would it be?

AH. Thankful

Q. Did you have a goal or theme in mind when you were writing the songs
for the album?

AH. I had been going through a lot of changes in my personal life and I really needed to write it down.

There was a quote by Leo Tolstoy that says: “truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”

That sort of set me in the direction of writing the record and how refining life can be uncomfortable but worth it.

Q. She Ain’t You grabbed a lot of people’s attention. What do you think
it is about that song that connects with people?

AH. Honestly it’s relatable. I got really vulnerable and honest on that song.. people connect because they’ve all lived it.

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

AH. 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?

AH. 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 !

Q. If you were going to front a cover band, who would you be covering?

AH. I’d be in an Alan Jackson cover band just so I could grow a duster and water ski in jeans!

Note: If you don’t know what Andrew’s talking about, click this link -> https://youtu.be/JW5UEW2kYvc

Q. In 25 words or less, describe what Iron & Ashes is to you as an album?

AH. Most of this record I was given the opportunity to just make music and put it out… it’s scary but I’m proud of the end result.

And proud he should be.

Listen to Andrew Hyatt’s Iron & Ashes now…

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