Why Maren Morris Hitting Number One Matters, And Why It Shouldn’t

On Friday morning, Maren Morris excitedly announced on her social media channels that I Could Use A Love Song will become her first solo #1 hit on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart. It is a major achievement for the young country singer who has turned heads with her voice, energy, and most importantly talent since she introduced herself to country fans.

It’s a big deal for Maren Morris, it’s exciting for her fans, and it should be. Having the number one song in the country should always be seen as an achievement. However, in the case of Maren Morris, and other female country stars, this achievement and excitement comes far too infrequently and that matters too.

Almost 2 years ago exactly (Jan 19, 2016) Morris released her debut single My Church. The song launched her career, became her first top 10 single on the country airplay charts (reaching #9), and went on to win a Grammy for Solo Country Performance of the Year in 2017. Now, I understand that it takes time for new singles to chart and climb the charts to reach their highest point, including #1. But, if we use the last two years as a sample size of 104 weeks, we can see the ongoing trend, and unfortunate reality, that it really doesn’t matter how long a female country artist waits, or how good her song is, number one probably isn’t coming.

In 2016, four weeks of 52 saw solo a female artist at #1 On the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Both Carrie Underwood (Heartbeat, Church Bells) and Kelsea Ballerini (Dibs, Peter Pan) earned and celebrated those spots, as they should have. In 2017, only two weeks out of 52 saw the same result, with Lauren Alaina (Road Less Travelled) and Carly Pearce (Every Little Thing) each earning one week at #1.

In two full years of country music releases from women, six songs accounted for less than 6% of weeks spent at #1 on radio in the country. That’s not good.

If we want to start splitting hairs and getting generous to make the numbers look better we can add six more songs that were duets featuring female artists. But it should be noted that all of them were released and listed as singles by male artists featuring their female duet partners. With that increase 5.75% turns into 12.5%, and that’s still not good.

Carly PearceEvery Little Thing (Nov. 25, 2017)Kane Brown ft Lauren AlainaWhat Ifs (Oct. 28, 2017)
Lauren AlainaRoad Less Travelled (Apr. 22, 2017)Thomas Rhett ft Maren MorrisCraving You (Jul. 22, 2017)
Kelsea BalleriniPeter Pan (Sept. 24, 2016)Kenny Chesney ft PinkSetting The World On Fire (Nov. 5, 2016)
Carrie UnderwoodChurch Bells (Jul. 30, 2016)Dierks Bentley ft Elle KingDifferent For Girls (Oct. 1, 2016)
Carrie UnderwoodHeartbeat (Mar. 26, 2016)Chris Young with Cassadee PopeThink Of You (Mar. 14, 2016)
Kelsea BalleriniDibs (Mar. 5, 2016)Luke Bryan ft Karen FairchildHome Alone Tonight (Feb. 13/20, 2016)

I’m going to take one minute to try to ensure that none of this is twisted. I believe that male country artists deserve to reach #1 on the charts if they release good music and the achievement is warranted. And there are groups and duos with female members that have topped the charts as well. But, like all requests and attempts to reach equality and/or fairness, this is not about putting down one side to raise the other up. This is about recognizing, and acknowledging that all the pats on the back we’ve given ourselves as fans and industry have not remedied the issues that became widely recognized with Tomato Gate in May of 2015.

And that brings us to something else that happened on Friday. About an hour and a half before Maren Morris tweeted about going number one, Kelleigh Bannen tweeted about a meeting she had where and she was told, “the numbers still say women don’t want to listen to other women”.

To learn that an artist was told this in a business meeting about her career is sad and discouraging. And I acknowledge that as neither an artist, or more importantly, a woman I truly cannot comprehend the full weight and impact of that kind of statement.

But as a man I do feel qualified to say that a three-part response to that tweet talking about how great of an ally you’ve been to female artists in country music is misplaced at best and a “not all men” statement at worst.

I have great respect for the career, accomplishments, philanthropy, and work of Bobby Bones. However, I don’t believe that replying to Kelleigh Bannen’s frustration and displeasure with statements like “All the meetings I’m in while discussing format in macro sense, it’s the opposite.” and “Rome won’t be rebuilt in a day. But some of us started nailing together boards a long time ago” is helpful.

We get it Bobby, you’re a friend to women and support them on your show. But it doesn’t change the systematic flaws that resulted in 5.75% solo female #1 hits in 2016/17, or an even smaller 3.3% since the chart started in October 2012 (9 of 271 weeks).

The list of women who have made great country music in the last two, three, four, five years is incredible. And yet, artists including Miranda Lambert, Cam, Jennifer Nettles, Kacey Musgraves, Reba, and even Taylor Swift (before her genre-shift) haven’t reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Country Airplay charts since its debut on October 20, 2012.

Note: This post has been entirely focused on the US market, but could be replicated for Canada where the charts are eerily similar in their lack of female representation, and have seen no Canadian women reach the top in that five year period.

Country music fans, artists, and other industry members have long known about the quality and talent that Morris brings to the table. Hell, her album, Hero, reached #1 on the sales chart. But here we are, 43 weeks after I Could Use A Love Song debuted, celebrating it as her first number one single. It has earned and deserves every single one of the spins that it receives at country radio. It is a well written, well sung, and well produced track. And, it has certainly earned that #1 spot on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.

Note: In September 2016 during 5 Quick Questions interviews, Shae Dupuy and Kira Isabella both named Maren Morris as the artist they thought people should be paying more attention to. And in October 2017, three-time Canadian Country Music Association winner for Female Artist of the Year, Jess Moskaluke gave the same answer in her 5 Quick Questions segment. It is no secret that Maren Morris has been, and continues to be, one to watch.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any quick and easy solution for this situation. It seems to me that the only remedy would be the decision of country music radio program directors to play more songs by women more often.

As fans we have the opportunity to use our personal platforms, like social media, to advocate for the female country artists we love. We can request their songs be played by our local country stations, and we can continue to stream, download, and share their music.

Leave a comment here with the name of the female county star and the song you think deserves more radio spins. And if you know the contact information for your local radio station (Email, Phone, Twitter), include that too. Every little bit helps.

I would encourage you to do all of those things while we wait to see a more advanced shift in the country music radio landscape and charts.

In the end, we should celebrate every artist and song that reaches #1 on any chart. But we should be celebrating because of the achievement, not because it hit the 1 in 30 women’s #1 lottery.

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 5

I love country covers of pop songs. It’s proof of the quality and versatility of the song, it’s fun as hell to sing along to, and when it’s live and the crowd is into it – it can be a big highlight on the night.

So, here we are with the fifth edition of 10 more awesome country covers, featuring some of our favourite new covers, and some that we’ve pulled from a few years ago.

This list also includes a country cover of a pop song… by the artist that recorded the pop song. AND, a pop cover of a country song that we love.

So, check ’em out one by one, sing along, and stay tuned for more awesome country covers part 6.

Listen to the tracks, enjoy, and leave a comment telling us which country cover you like best.

10 More Awesome Country Covers

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 2

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 3

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 4

Brett Young – Hallelujah

Thomas Rhett – Cold Water

Kira Isabella – Missing You

Dylan Scott – Closer

Cam – Uptown Funk

Johnson Crook – Listen to the Music

Leaving Thomas – Dance With Somebody

The Lovelocks – Time After Time

Jess Moskaluke – Starships

Miley Cyrus – See You Again

Bonus Pop Cover of a Country Song: Haim – That Don’t Impress Me Much

Bless My Heart: Vanessa Marie Carter at Boots & Hearts 2017

2016 Boots & Hearts, Emerging Artist Showcase winner, Vanessa Marie Carter hit the main stage on Thursday as part of the Coors Banquet Kick Off Party – and reminded thousands of country music fans why she took home that title, and what she brings to a party.

VMC rolled through a 10 song set on the big stage that she first got a taste of last summer, giving fans something to dance, sing, and cheer about. Covers of Shania’s Honey I’m Home, Cam’s Untamed, and Carrie Underwood’s Smoke Break all showed off her voice and brought the fans into sing along and dance break moods. While originals Criminal (a duet written with Chad Brownlee, and performed at B&H 2017 with Al Rowe), Everything Fades, and her upcoming single, Bless My Heart gave evidence to the growth, potential, and talent that Vanessa Marie Carter carries with her right now.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter

Note: One of our favourite moments came when Vanessa Marie covered Sam Hunt’s House Party. It may have taken just a second for everyone to get into it – but that song is a jam, and it was a good time hearing a female lead spin on it!

Related: Vanessa Marie Carter Live at The Ranch!

From start to finish, the sound on stage was tight, with the band pulling their weight and then some. And to see Vanessa Marie working the crowd, walking the catwalk, and looking strong and comfortable on the stage was fantastic. The work that she has put in over the last year to move forward in her career is clearly visible – and it’s paying off.

This is an artist on the rise, one to watch, and a woman that we are sure we’ll see again on the Boots & Hearts stage.

Vanessa Marie Carter, Boots & Hearts 2017 Setlist

❤ Flames
❤ Trouble Like You
❤ Honey I’m Home (Shania Twain)
❤ Untamed (Cam)
❤ Everything Fades
❤ Drink You Up
❤ Smoke Break (Carrie Underwood)
❤ House Party (Sam Hunt)
❤ Criminal
❤ Bless My Heart

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter Boots and Hearts 2017 - Vanessa Marie Carter

105 Years Strong: 2017 Calgary Stampede Preview

Words cannot explain how excited I am to be a part of the Calgary Stampede again this year! And if you’ve been following the weather forecast, like myself, you already know it’s going to be a lot better than last year! But don’t worry about the 30+ temperatures the next two weeks, there’s tons of amazing food trucks with cold treats that will keep you cool throughout your stay!

I don’t even know where to start with all the jaw dropping, mouthwatering flavours that the midway has to offer. I am most excited to try the Double Bacon Mac N’ Cheese Dog, Clam Chowder Poutine, Deep Fried Jell-O, Maple Walnut Cotton Candy, Unicorn White Hot Chocolate and The Chili Lime Popcorn Shrimp Perogies! It’s a good thing there’s so much to do at The Stampede because I’m going to have to walk off all the taste testing i’ll be doing.

Since its Canada’s 150th birthday this year The Stampede has added even more musical acts to the powerful lineup! The Coca Cola stage, I believe, will be the biggest crowd pleaser of them all. Over 30 insanely talented bands/solo artists will be taking over the stage through the two weeks.

My top ten acts who I can’t wait to see are…

Ria Mae
Nelly Furtado
Marianas Trench
Alessia Cara
July Talk
Michela Sheedy
Jonathan Roy
Theory of a Deadman
Sabrina Carpenter

All of these performs are so different one another, their style, sound and stage presence, I cannot wait to capture it.

Josh Ramsay Marianas Trench ACCJuly Talk - The Edge Sugar Beach Session

Another stage that I absolutely loved last year was The Nashville North Tent. This tent is full of cold drinks and two stepping until the early morning! Over 40 entertaining acts will keep you dancing the night away, such as; The Dungarees, The Cadillac Three, Endless Summer, Cam, Doc Walker, Jess Moskaluke, The Dead South, Cold Creek County, Tristan Horncastle, Jojo Mason, Chris Buck Band and Meaghan Patrick just to name a few. One act I am particularly excited to see is Cam, I remember hearing her first song on the radio Burning House and automatically falling in love with her soft effortless voice, since then I have become a huge fan! And have you seen her hair? She has to have the most beautiful hair in all of country music.

JoJo Mason BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Meghan Patrick BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

One thing I love so much about the lineup this year is the diverse music varieties. Whether you like rock, pop, alternative, folk, country, soul, acoustic or EDM, there is something for everyone.

I have to say this year after viewing The Saddledome’s lineup I might have screamed like a little girl. After scrolling through the lineup list my heart dropped into my stomach when I saw Usher was coming as one of the main headliners. I couldn’t believe it! I remember forcing my poor father to constantly play his cds in the car when I was younger and now I finally get to see him live and singing every song… sadly dad won’t be joining. I can’t wait to see what Usher brings to the stage, I truly believe he’s going to put on a show that we won’t forget.

A couple of other events I am extremely excited to see this year are the chuckwagon races, bull riding and the incredible Transalta Grandstand show that ends the evening with fireworks lighting up the whole sky! If you enjoy fireworks, you need to make sure this is on your “must do” list because I have never seen such a spectacular light show in my life. I am filled with so much excitement and adrenaline I don’t know if i’ll be able to sleep before the kick off Stampede parade. I encourage those looking for a new experience or wanting a fun adventure to remember forever, to come on down to Calgary and experience these lifetime memories The Stampede has to offer! This city is incredible and I can’t wait to show everyone all the photographs and memories we make this year!

Photo Credit: Chris Bolin/ Calgary Stampede

Joshua’s 10 Most Listened to Albums of 2016!

With 2016 quickly drawing to a close (really, it’s coming faster than I thought) it’s time to start looking back at the year that was.

So, here we are today with the 10 albums that I’ve found myself listening to the most in 2016. Some were released this year and caught my ear instantly. Some were released in 2015 and carried over into this year.

And one was released almost 40 years ago, but still holds up as well as you could ever imagine.

I don’t have these albums ranked by anything other than them being on the list. I don’t have spin or stream numbers, no stats at all, but I can tell what tracks have been played the most, and a little more.

canadian-flag-emojiArkells: Morning Report (2016)

Most played track: A Little Rain (A Song For Pete)

We were lucky to hear much of Morning Report live at WayHome before the album came out. And that early (and awesome exposure) had me hooked. Being able to pop these songs on to play in sequence or on shuffle is a treat, with great hooks, fun beats, and memories attached to one of the most fun live sets of the year.


canadian-flag-emojiMeghan Patrick: Grace & Grit (2016)

Most played track: I Won’t Drink

We’d been waiting for Meghan to release this album for more than 2 years… and I was not disappointed. From top to bottom Grace & Grit delivers. If you want upbeat party and dance country, it’s there with Bow Chicka Wow Wow and Grace & Grit. And if you want slowed down, hit you in the heart tracks you’ll find Still Loving You and Thanks To You. If you still haven’t listened to this album yet, it’s time.

Meghan Patrick Grace and Grit Album Art

canadian-flag-emojiThe Bros. Landreth: Let It Lie (Deluxe) (2015)

Most played track: I Am The Fool

You might not know this album – but maybe you do since it’s the 2015 Juno winner for Roots Traditional Album of the Year. The instrumental and lyrical work on the album have drawn me in on many occasions since I first started listening. Put it on when you’re in a mellow mood and let it ride. Trust me.


american-flag-emojiCharles Kelley: The Driver (2016)

Most played track: Leaving Nashville

I was looking forward to this album… and to say that I wasn’t disappointed would be one of the biggest understatements of the year. The only complaint is that there are only 9 tracks on the album. The Driver was a smash hit, but Leaving Nashville is the one that I have played the most. Take a listen and let the story hit you. Then listen to the rest of the record.

Charles Kelley The Driver Album Cover

american-flag-emojiCam: Untamed (2015)

Most played track: Village

Untamed dropped in December 2015 to all kinds of critical and fan praise… and it has stayed hot for an entire year. And while it’s nearly impossible to pick one song to connect to more than any other, Village stands out for me. It’s the one that made me cry at Boots & Hearts 2016, and it’s the one that I could listen to and think on over and over again. If you still only know Cam’s radio hits, you owe it to yourself to listen to Untamed.

Cam Untamed Album Cover

american-flag-emojiFleetwood Mac: Rumours (1977)

Most played track: The Chain

I told you one of these albums was nearly 40 years old! Fleetwood Mac made magic when they made this album. And in 2016 I listened to it on vinyl, on CD, and have it downloaded to my phone via Spotify. Track to track it holds up and is an example of music standing the test of time. Listen to the musicianship, the lyrics, the harmonies, all of it… and enjoy!


canadian-flag-emojiAutumn Hill: Anchor (2015)

Most played track: Mixtape

I love this duo. In fact, if there’s a list of artists I’d like to see live far more often, Autumn Hill is on it. And if they wanted to play this album from front to back, in order or on shuffle, I’d be totally okay with that. I’d also be able to sing along to every track. But the upbeat, nostalgic nature of Mixtape sits at the top of my rotation.


american-flag-emojiRyan Adams: 1989 (2015)

Most played track: Stay

Yes, I love T.Swift’s 1989, I’ve listened and loved it since it came out. But the longer these songs exist in the universe, the more I find myself listening to Adams play and sing them. They are as much reinterpretations as they are covers, and Stay has become a different song in the hands of the indie hero.

Ryan Adams 1989 Cover Art

canadian-flag-emojiBrett Kissel: Pick Me Up (2015)

Most played track: Pick Me Up

Dear Brett, keep this sh*t up. Kissel has been on fire, and the release of this record has been a big part of that. The Albertan hit the nail on the head with tracks like Airwaves and Cool With That… and his duet with Carolyn Dawn Johnson on I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair will live on as one of the most impactful songs in a long time. But Pick Me Up has been played more than any other in my ears. That’s just they way it goes.


american-flag-emojiMaren Morris: Hero (2016)

Most played track: My Church

If you’ve listened to this album you know why I’ve listened to it so much. Maren Morris is at the beginning of what could be a very long, loud career. And to listen to her sing songs like Sugar and I Could Use A Love Song right beside 80s Mercedes and Rich is a privilege as a country music fan. But, for me, since the day it was released, My Church has been a jam and I’ve listened to it more than any of the other 10 tracks.


1 year ago

Steal Your Heart: Jordan McIntosh at Boots & Hearts 2016!

If you’re putting together a list of fan favourites from Boots & Hearts 2016, be sure you add Jordan McIntosh!

Jordan took over the shade covered Front Porch stage on Sunday afternoon and put on the kind of show we’ve come to expect from the 20 year old Canadian…

1) He was welcomed to the stage with a chorus of screams and cheers from both the ladies and the men in the crowd (but the ladies were louder).

2) He brought a ton of energy to his set, which transferred into a crowd that sang and danced as Jordan sang and smiled.

3) He sounded great singing both his own songs and an awesome selection of covers.

In the hot afternoon weather Jordan rolled through a heap of his songs that included Dare You To Try, That Girl (which was awesome to hear because the crowd was so loud singing back to him!), All About The Girl, Steal Your Heart, and Grew Up In A Country Song.

And then there were the covers… I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Story Of My Life (which you can find on Steal Your Heart ft. George Canyon), I Want Crazy, Stressed Out, and our personal favourite, Burning House.

Jordan also got a big cheer from the crowd when he stopped to take a photo with the assembled country music fans in the crowd. It was a cute moment that everyone got into, and Jordan shared online, just like he promised he would.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Jordan at Boots & Hearts, and we’re pretty sure it won’t be the last either. And if we have a chance to see him again sooner than his return to Burl’s Creek, you can be sure we’re going to take it.

You should too!

Jordan McIntosh BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jordan McIntosh BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jordan McIntosh BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jordan McIntosh BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jordan McIntosh BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jordan McIntosh BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jordan McIntosh BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jordan McIntosh BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

1 year ago

Mayday: Cam at Boots & Hearts 2016!

Some artists steal your heart right away. From the minute they hit radio and you hear them there’s a love affair blooming. Cam has been that artist for me since she released My Mistake, and then Burning House which captured the hearts of so many more country music fans…

On Friday evening at Boots & Hearts, Cam hit the front porch stage and held the crowd in the palm of her hand as she weaved through the hits everyone knows and the deeper cuts from her debut album Untamed. As the set started a smallish crowd was gathered andCam-BH5-3 Cam-BH5-1 Cam-BH5-2excited, and as it continued the people came and crowded in and cheered and danced and waved their hands and sang. Boy did they sing.

Related – Untamed: Cam Album Review

It was AWESOME to see and hear the Canadian fans singing Cam’s songs with her and back at her. Yes, we expected to hear everyone sing Mayday and Burning House – but to see everyone sing Untamed and Half Broke Heart and Runaway Train showed just how into her these fans were, and how excited they were to have her on a stage singing for them.


There a bunch of notes from the set that I wanted to share, so many in fact that I’m just gonna lay them all out now…

‣ Cam’s smile is matched only by her voice when she’s up on stage. There is such joy and infectious energy in her just waiting to spread to everyone watching.
‣ Personally I need to thank Cam for using Josh when introing Go Get ‘Em Cam.
‣ Early in the show, after seeing the Canadian fans singing her songs Cam exclaimed, “Man, a bunch of you know the words. How fucking cool…”
‣ A little later in the show she reminded everyone to “tell the haters to go fuck themselves” as she introed I Want It All.
‣ Cam gave me my first goosebumps of the festival when she sang Mayday
‣ And she made me cry (like ugly cry) when she sang Village.
‣ Anders can really wail on guitar, and he can pick it on the banjo – it’s impressive.
‣ There was a big cheer when Cam announced that she was ¼ Canadian, and that her grandmother was born in Saskatchewan.
‣ I would like to make an early prediction that we’ll see Cam headlining on the main stage at Boots & Hearts in 2018.

Cam-3406Throughout the set Cam danced and kicked her bare feet on the stage. She laughed and played with the crowd. Hell, she even wore a helmet with huge moose antlers on it after she saw it in the crowd and asked for it to be passed up to her on stage.

It is no secret that I’m a big fan of Cam, but what we learned today at Boots & Hearts is that I’m not alone. Not even close. And the more music she makes, and the more smiles she shares, the more fans she’s going to earn and deserve.

Cam was a highlight of day 2 at #BH5, and when all is said and done we’re sure we’ll be looking at her as a highlight of the entire festival weekend.

Check out the set list and more pics!

Cam Set List, Boots & Hearts 2016

✭ Untamed
✭ Half Broke Heart
✭ Runaway Train
✭ Mayday
✭ Country Ain’t Never Been Pretty
✭ Go Get ‘Em Cam
✭ Cold In California
✭ Village
✭ I Want It All
✭ 16 Tonnes
✭ Better Tough Love Than No Love At All
✭ Fireball Whiskey
✭ Burning House
✭ My Mistake


1 year ago

Top 5 Boots & Hearts 2016 Karaoke Songs!

It’s no secret that I love to sing karaoke with my friends and whatever strangers show up at the bar. It’s also no secret that I have a soft spot for country music karaoke… I’ve sung a lot of it over the years. So, I thought I’d share my pics for the Top 5 karaoke songs by Boots & Hearts 2016 artists.

Ready? Let’s go!

Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying

I’ve sung a lot of Tim McGraw at karaoke over the last 15 years or so… but this really wasn’t a difficult choice to make. Live Like You Were Dying is a huge song full of emotion – and if you can hold that note at the end of the song (you know the one) then you can go back to your chair and your beer feeling like you’ve done it some justice!

Blake Shelton – Playboys Of The Southwestern World

There are some great Blake Shelton songs out there to sing, but this one has a special place in my heart. One of my best friend in Ottawa and I used to take turns singing this song and dedicating it to each other. I won’t tell you why, but it always made us smile. If you know it, sing along!

Dierks Bentley – What Was I Thinkin’

Yes, this song came out 2003… but it’s still my go to Dierks song when I’m in the mood. There’s just something about the energy and story and a little white tank top that makes me want to hold a beer in one hand and the microphone in the other. Also, on some level we can all relate to what Dierks is going through in this song!

Sam Hunt – Take Your Time

It’s new, and it’s not traditional, and I love it. When I first sang Take Your Time at karaoke there were only 3 people in the bar that knew the song… including me. But now that Sam has a little more love outside of the country radio community there are more and more heads nodding and people singing along to the parts they know!

Cam – Burning House

Now, I need to admit that I haven’t sung this at karaoke yet, but I really really really want to. Burning House is a huge song that drips with emotion and I sing it in the shower all the time. Now I just need to find the right mood and the right crowd to bust it out when my turn comes up at my local karaoke show!

Bonus: Diamond Rio – Meet In The Middle

I am so excited for Diamond Rio to come to Boots & Hearts 2016 that I couldn’t help but find a way to include them in this post. I grew up listening to Meet In The Middle on Country 105 in Peterborough, and I have taken a turn to sing it at karaoke before. It’s a sweet song and it’s a modern classic as far as I’m concerned!

Now I want to know what your go to country karaoke songs are – leave a comment here or on Facebook to tell me – and maybe I’ll try them too!

2 years ago

2016 Boots & Hearts Day-to-Day Schedule and Set Times

We know you’ve been counting the days, and we’ve been doing our best to keep you updated on all things Boots & Hearts. Well, this morning they released their daily schedules and we’ve got them for you!

Click here to see the full schedule and use the “Create A Lineup” feature to pick your artists. And when the app is updated, it’ll automatically transfer to your phone!

Once you’ve had a look let us know who you’re most excited to see, and if you have any scheduling conflicts.

Thursday, August 4

Jake Owen American LoveFront Porch Stage

Johnson Crook: 5:00 – 5:45
Meghan Patrick: 6:00 – 6:30
Tebey: 6:45 – 7:45pm
Emerson Drive: 8:00 – 9:00pm
Jake Owen: 9:30 – 11:00pm
Late Night Dance Party: 11:00 – 2:00am


Friday, August 5

Cam UntamedFront Porch Stage

Brea Lawrenson: 12:00 – 12:45pm
Lindsay Broughton: 1:00 – 1:45pm
David James: 2:00 – 3:00pm
The Dungarees: 3:30 – 4:30pm
Chase Bryant: 4:45 – 5:30pm
Cam: 6:00 – 7:00pm
Monster Energy Late Night Dance Party: 11:00 – 2:00am

Dierks Bentley Black Main Stage

Cory Marquardt: 1:15 – 2:00pm
The Reklaws: 2:30 – 3:30pm
Autumn Hill: 4:00 – 5:00pm
Tim Hicks: 5:30 – 6:30pm
Sam Hunt: 7:15 – 8:30pm
Dierks Bentley: 9:00 – 11:00pm


Saturday, August 6

Aarons+finger+moustache-b&w-1Front Porch Stage

Sirius XM Emerging Artist Showcase 12:00 – 3:00pm
Wrangler’s Miss Boots & Hearts 3:15 – 4:15pm
Raquel Cole: 4:30 – 5:30pm
Aaron Pritchett: 6:00 – 7:00pm
Somersby’s Late Night Dance Party: 11:00 – 2:00am

Blake Shelton If I'm HonestMain Stage

Macarthur Clark: 1:00 – 2:00pm
JoJo Mason: 2:30 – 3:30pm
Madeline Merlot: 4:00 – 5:00pm
Alan Doyle & the Beautiful Gypsies: 5:30 – 6:00pm
Dean Brody: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Blake Shelton: 9:00 – 11:00pm

Sunday, August 7

Diamond Rio cover170x170Front Porch Stage

Katilin Kozell: 12:45 – 1:45pm
Jordan McIntosh: 2:00 – 3:00pm
River Town Saints: 3:15 – 4:00pm
Dylan Scott: 4:15 – 5:15pm
Diamond Rio: 5:45 – 6:45pm
Late Night Dance Party: 11:00 – 2:00am

Tim McGrawMain Stage

James Barker Band: 1:00 – 1:45pm
Jason Benoit: 2:15 – 3:15pm
Lindsay Ell: 3:45 – 4:45pm
Jason Blaine: 5:15 – 6:15pm
Chase Rice: 7:00 – 8:30pm
Tim McGraw: 9:00 – 11:00pm

2 years ago

Boots and Hearts 2016 Playlist

We’ve put together our Boots and Hearts 2016 Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.

With over thirty artists on the #BH5 lineup (we’ve included the emerging artists who were on Spotify), we’ve got you covered for just over six hours!

There are a couple of artists who, are not on Spotify, we’ve listed them separately and we’re sure you’re going to like them, so make sure you scroll through the post.

*EDIT* Johnson Crook’s first single, Minnedosa  is now up on Spotify. We’ve updated our playlist to include it!

If you haven’t got your tickets yet, here’s the link and we’ll see you there!

Did we miss your favourite track? Let us know and we’ll add it!

2 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2016 Daily Lineup Announcement!

They’re Here!!!

After months of waiting, weeks of speculation, and more patience than we generally have, the Boots & Hearts 2016 daily lineups have been announced.

We don’t have stage assignments or set times yet, but we promise we will share them with you as soon as we do.

For now we can start planning our must-sees for each day of B&H year 5… and dreaming about the set lists we hope we’ll hear.

Get ready, August is coming!

Boots and Hearts 2016 Thursday Kickoff PartyThursday, August 4, 2016

★ Jake Owen
★ Emerson Drive
★ Tebey
★ Meghan Patrick
★ Johnson Crook

Remember, this is a short day, 1 stage event for the Coors Banquet Kick Off Party, so don’t be concerned about the shorter list of artists here.

Jake Owen is a great name to headline this party, he’s a summer lovin’, beachin’, bare footin’, good time waiting to happen – and with support from 4 Canadian acts we really dig, it’s shaping up to be a good night!

Boots and Hearts 2016 Friday LineupFriday, August 5, 2016

★ Dierks Bentley
★ Sam Hunt
★ Cam
★ Tim Hicks
★ Chase Bryant
★ Autumn Hill
★ The Dungarees
★ The Reklaws
★ David James
★ Cory Marquardt
★ Lindsay Broughton
★ Brea Lawrenson

Man, what a way to spend a Friday in August!

Bentley showed us how awesome he was on the main stage in Bowmanville, Sam Hunt was been on fire since he played in 2014, and Cam is one the most anticipated sets of the weekend for sure. Plus, we LOVE the Canadian acts getting some time and know that Tim Hicks, Autumn Hill, The Reklaws, David James, Cory Marquardt, Lindsay Broughton, and Brea Lawrenson will make us all proud!

Boots and Hearts 2016 Saturday LineupSaturday, August 6, 2016

★ Blake Shelton
★ Dean Brody
★ Aaron Pritchett
★ Alan Doyle & The Gypsies
★ Raquel Cole
★ Madeline Merlo
★ Jojo Mason
★ Macarthur Clark
★ SiriusXM Emerging Artist Showcase

Blake! What more do you need?

But really, with Dean Brody as support, clearly a list of artists that aren’t to be messed with, this is going to be a really fun day of country music.

And don’t sleep in because the Emerging Artist Showcase is a perfect place to scout new talent. Just look at Tim Hicks, Tebey, Wes Mack, Runaway Angel, Trinity Bradshaw, Johnson Crook, Eric Ethridge, and the James Barker Band as some of the examples we’ve seen in the last few years!

Boots and Hearts 2016 Sunday LineupSunday, August 7, 2016

★ Tim McGraw
★ Chase Rice
★ Diamond Rio
★ Jason Blaine
★ Dylan Scott
★ Lindsay Ell
★ River Town Saints
★ Jason Benoit
★ Jordan McIntosh
★ James Barker Band
★ Kaitlin Kozell

It’s the last day of the festival, but don’t be sad. Sunday is going to rock!

Tim McGraw returns after his year 1 headlining performance at Boots & Hearts, and it’s a set we will not miss. Add Chase Rice, Diamond Rio (bucket list!), Dylan Scott (emerging star), and even more awesome Canadian talent with Jason Blaine, Lindsay Ell, River Town Saints, Jason Benoit, Jordan McIntosh, James Barker Band, and Kaitlin Kozell and we promise you will wish this festival had a Monday night because you won’t want the music to stop!

Blake Shelton Boots and Hearts 2014dierks-bentley-at-boots-and-hearts-2013Sam Hunt Wheels Up Tour Toronto 2015Tim Hicks -7769Dean Brody-7163Madeline Merlo Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMeghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBSOMF Tebey Sound of Music Festival-6491River Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and BourbonJohnson Crook The Horseshoe 2016Dylan Scott Boots and Hearts 2015 2jason-blaine-at-boots-and-hearts-2013jordan-mcintosh-boots-and-hearts-2014-wm-0994

2 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2016 Ticket and Camping Giveaway!

It’s Back!!!

Boots & Hearts is coming back for its 5th year or country music and partying… and we couldn’t be any more excited.

Blake Shelton Boots and Hearts 2014We want you to be excited too. Excited to see Tim McGraw and Blake Shelton and Sam Hunt and Jake Owen and Cam and all of the performers scheduled to hit the stage… every year this festival gets bigger and better. It’s the truth… even if we get a little rain now and then.

If you’ve been to B&H in any of the first 4 years you know how great these 4 days are going to be. And if you haven’t been, you’ve been missing out.

And this year, as we gear up for BH5 we want to help 1 of you have the time of your life!!!



We’re giving away 4 General Admission Passes + 1 Camping Site for your group!

Right now that’s a value of more than $1150, not a bad prize to get your hands on. All you have to do is use the widget to earn up to 6 entries (follow the instructions) and it could be you gathering up your friends to enjoy 3 days and 4 nights of awesome country music and party at Burl’s Creek from August 4 to 7, 2016!

So enter now, and share with your friends, because if they win, they’re going to need take you as a reward!

Note: Pay attention when you’re entering. To earn an entry for a comment you must enter your comment in the section below as well as checking off the box and entering your name. To follow on Twitter or send a tweet you must follow the instructions and confirm through the widget.

Good luck!

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!


2 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2016 Preview: International Women’s Day Top 5

As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2016, we also look ahead to August and how excited we are to see some very talent women take the stage at Boots & Hearts!

We are lucky in country music to have so many awesome, talented, strong women making music that we can listen to live, online, and on country radio – and today we’re going to give 5 of those women a little love in another Top 5 preview.

Be ready for more Boots & Hearts previews coming… and a brand new contest that will send some country fans to the festival + camping!

Enjoy the music, and remember to tell all of the awesome women in your life how great they truly are, and how much you appreciate them!

In alphabetical order…

Autumn Hill – Blame

Cam – Burning House

Lindsay Broughton – Take Me There

Lindsay Ell – By The Way

Madeline Merlo – What You Wanna Do About It

2 years ago February 2016 Playlist!

A new month is here… and we’re ready to fall in love with new music. And If you’re looking for some new tracks to learn and love in February, we’re here to help.

Check out our February 2016 playlist for some emerging talent, huge stars, and personal favourites.

If there are songs you think we should be adding to our playlist, because you LOVE them already – please leave a comment and let us know.

Check back in March to see what’s got our ears perked up then! February 2016 Playlist!

Maren Morris: 80s Mercedes

Jess Moskaluke: Take Me Home

When The Lights Go Down Toronto Jess-8076

The Katherines: Primitive

Autumn Hill: Mixtape

Autumn Hill

The Dirty Nil: Zombie EyedThe Dirty Nil Canadian Music Week 2014

Cam: Village

River Town Saints: A Little Bit Goes A Long Way

River Town Saints

Alive Through Memories: Keep Me Alive

Old Dominion: Snapback

Old Dominion Boots and Hearts 2015

Kelsea Ballerini: Peter Pan

Madeline Merlo: Whatcha Wanna Do About It

Justin Moore: You Look Like I Need A Drink

Justin Moore Boots and Hearts 2015

Mieke: Move On

Runaway Angel: Around The Bend

Dylan Scott: Crazy Over Me

Dylan Scott Boots and Hearts 2015 2

Tim McGraw: Humble And Kind

Keith Urban: Break On Me

Ian Thornley: Feel

Ian Fletcher Thornley at The Mod Club

Sia: Cheap Thrills

Weezer: King of the World

Weezer Riot Fest 2015


2 years ago

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 3

Twice before we’ve shared lists of 10 awesome country covers of pop songs… and now we’re back with a 3rd list to share.

10 More Awesome Country Covers

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 2

This time we’ve got songs from Canadian stars, Nashville hitmakers, emerging talent, a double shot of 1 of the biggest songs in a long time, and 2 tracks from one of our current favourites. Some of these were recorded recently, some are a couple years old, but there’s a strong chance that many of you haven’t heard nearly all of these versions.

Have a listen to the ones you haven’t heard before and leave a comment telling us which country artists have recorded pop/rock covers that you love!

Thomas Rhett: When I Was Your Man

Miley Cyrus: Jolene

Cam: Uptown Funk

Cam: Hello

Cory Marquardt: Sorry

The Band Perry: Fat Bottom Girls

Madeline Merlo: Crazy/Crazy In Love

Eric Ethridge: Honey I’m Good

Kira Isabella: Dark Horse

Chad Brownlee: Thinking Out Loud

Dylan Scott: Thinking Out Loud

2 years ago
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