Canadian Country Music Association

Edge Of The Night: Jojo Mason, Game On Tour Feature

Jojo Mason rolled into Toronto on Friday with the Game On Tour, ready for action and what comes next.

We caught up with Jojo before his opening slot on the James Barker Band show to talk about being on the road, his plans for new music, changing the game, and how excited he is to be doing what he does.

Note: Earlier in the day Jojo took over our Instagram account, posting photos and videos from a busy morning of TV appearances, a SiriusXM session, and the chance to meet Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta. Check out his timeline posts at @thereviewsarein.com.

The last time we hung out with Jojo Mason we were in Port Perry, ON in September 2017, and he told us that there were big things coming. He couldn’t share details then… but four months later, it’s all pretty clear. The Saskatchewan native is on tour with James Barker Band and Meghan Patrick for 21 dates, crossing the country from Halifax to Vancouver, playing a 25 minute set in each city, and getting the crowd ready for the rest of the night.

Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour

We asked Jojo about the experience so far (a week in) and he gushed about the chance to get up on stage at sold out shows to share his music. He is loving the chance to play for Canadian country music fans, and they are responding in ways he never expected. Jojo is hearing those excited fans sing back to him at each stop, and it’s wowing him every time. The 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Rising Star nominee told us that the feeling of hearing his own songs being sung back to him is almost indescribable.

Mason also talked to us about learning and growing on this tour. He told us that he is taking every chance he gets to talk to his tour mates about his set, asking for advice, tips, and feedback about what they’re seeing. He knows that JBB and Meghan Patrick have been on big tours before, and he knows there’s a lot for him to soak in. That willingness to put his ego aside to learn and improve fits perfectly with everything we already knew about Jojo Mason… and it is only going to make him a better performer as his career progresses.

Here’s the thing about Jojo Mason – he’s legitimately the best dude. There isn’t anyone we’ve met that has said anything to contradict that opinion. We’ve experienced it ourselves, we’ve heard stories from fans and industry folks, and it’s all true. In fact, when we talked to James Barker the night before the Game On Tour kicked off in Halifax and asked him to describe Jojo in three words… and he said: The Nicest Guy. And here’s another thing – Jojo gives the best hugs. We’ve been saying it forever, and on Friday night it was echoed in his introduction from KX Country’s Mike Fuller and Jerry Archer. The secret’s out!

Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour

In June 2017, Jojo Mason released his debut album, Both Sides Of The Bar, and gave country fans a collection of 10 songs, including singles, It’s All Good, Good Kinda Love, Red Dress, Made For You, Something To Wrap My Heart Around, and his most recent release, Edge Of The Night. The energetic singer has played those songs on every stage possible since then, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t also been working on the music that comes next.

Back in September, Jojo told us that he had started doing some writing for his follow-up project, and on Friday he told us that after a November trip to Nashville for more writing, the demo-ing process has started.

There was an excitement on Mason’s face and in his voice when he talked about what he wants to do with his new music… and for good reason. Jojo Mason wants to pave his own path with his next album. He’s looking to change the game a little bit, and carve out some space for something new.

As a kid, Jojo grew up on country music. And soul. And funk. And now, as an artist and fan of music, he’s looking for a chance to put those influences and passions together. He calls it Country-Soul, and he’s looking to make it happen.

Jojo told us that he’s already started to push producer Dan Swinimer for new sounds on the new songs, including horns. And while we haven’t heard any of the demos, it’s easy to imagine them as fun, full, energetic, and packed with all of the things we get from Jojo now.

Jojo Mason with Joshua Murray at Toronto's The Phoenix in the lobby prior to the Game On Tour

Mason also told us that the next single he releases won’t be from Both Sides Of The Bar, and that it will be a new brand track. He didn’t tell us when it’s coming, but it is on the way.

Before we wrapped our chat and let Jojo Mason get ready for the show, we talked a little more about the tour and how it’s been going so far. Jojo told us (with a big smile) that it’s been a blast. He compared it to hanging out with his friends back home. Getting the chance to be with the James Barker Band boys and Meghan Patrick every day has been a lot of fun (and work). And whether they’re talking about hometowns, their dogs, relationships, life, or having Nerf gun fights (check out Jojo and Meghan’s Instagram stories) it’s all coming together to be a good time.

In fact, Jojo told us that he’s ready for Meghan Patrick (his bus-mate) to take him hunting and fishing.

We’ll all have to wait and see if the two country kids get out in the woods together, and we’ll do our best to be patient as we wait for new music from Jojo… but until then, we’ll be remembering the show he put on at The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto on Friday night.

Jojo came out strong in his opening slot performance, playing a tight 25 minute set with the band, and rolling out the hits and surprises as he made the most of his time.

We could hear the crowd singing along, we could see them dancing, and when Jojo Mason and his boys played a cover of Blackstreet’s No Diggity, complete with a banjo, we were in 90’s hip hop/country music fan heaven.


Jojo Mason is a dude with a lot of career ahead of him. He’s ready to work, ready to learn, and ready to take chances. And, he’s ready to entertain the hell out of anyone that wants to come on out.

If you’re west of Toronto and you like to have a good time listening to live country music, we highly recommend that you get tickets for the Game On Tour stop near you.

Jojo recommends it too. And a nice guy like him wouldn’t steer you wrong.

Jojo Mason Setlist, Game On Tour, Toronto

Edge Of The Night
Red Dress/Chicken Fried
Good Kinda Love
Something To Wrap My Heart Around
No Diggity
It’s All Good

Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix in the lobby prior to the Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix - Game On Tour Jojo Mason at Toronto's The Phoenix in the lobby prior to the Game On Tour Jojo Mason with Joshua Murray at Toronto's The Phoenix in the lobby prior to the Game On Tour

We Were That Song: Brett Kissel Album Review

Brett Kissel, the 27 year old Juno and Canadian Country Music Association award winner from Flat Lake, Alberta is back with new music on, We Were That Song… and Canadian country fans are here for it.

The 13 track album runs 45 minutes, starting with the title track that fans started hearing earlier this fall, and ending with Burgers And Fries, featuring the legendary Charley Pride. But it’s the ride in between the bookends that makes this album a little different than the Kissel offerings that have come before it.

Songs like Anthem, Guitars And Gasoline, and Nights In The Sun are all familiar, not because they’re derivative, but because they feel like they could already be staples of a Brett Kissel concert. And to that point, these songs will make for a great live show, sliding in with the hits and fan favourites from Started With A Song and Pick Me Up.

If you don’t know the title track and lead single, hit play on We Were That Song now…

During my first couple of listens through We Were That Song, two songs stood out for their differences from what we are used to hearing through the speakers on Brett Kissel tracks.

The first (in order of the tracklist) is Between You And Me which feels like it would work as a single from Thomas Rhett. It’s not that it doesn’t sound like Brett, it does. But if you close your eyes, give it a little imagination and allow yourself to hear the Life Changes singer in there, it fits. Coming in at just a tick under three minutes, Between You And Me is nice work and I expect it to hold up on future listens.

The second, Shootin’ It immediately hit me with a vibe of The Cadillac Three. From the groove to the effect on Brett’s voice, the track sounds like it could be from the Nashville trio’s Legacy album from earlier this year. It’s another short track that will be fun in the live show – and should make for a fun addition to the live shows starting in 2018.

On the more traditional Kissel path, God Made Daughters stands out. After the success of I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair, it makes sense that fans were ready to embrace another slowed down track from the Alberta boy, and he delivered. And as the father of two young daughters, it’s pretty easy to hear the truth and feeling that Brett feels for the track as he sings it.

Brett Kissel - CNE 2017

On the whole, this is an album that Brett Kissel fans, and country music fans, are going to be able to get into. There’s a little something for everyone – and it all fits with what we know and expect from Kissel, with just enough surprises thrown in to keep things interesting.

Hit play on the stream to give We Were That Song a listen, and be ready to hear some of the new songs live when Brett Kissel hits the road next year on part 1 of his nationwide We Were That Song Tour.

Brett Kissel, We Were That Song Tracklist

1. We Were That Song
2. Anthem
3. Guitars And Gasoline
4. Nights In The Sun (feat. Grandpa Bear)
5. Between You And Me
6. That’s How The World Ends
7. Slow Me Down
8. Cecilia
9. Shootin’ It
10. Damn! (feat. Dave Mustaine)
11. Drink, Cuss, or Fish
12. God Made Daughters
13. Burgers And Fries (feat. Charley Pride)

Brett Kissel We Were That Song Album CoverBrett Kissel Trackside Fest 2016

1 month ago

Songs For Georgia: Dan Davidson Album Review

Dan Davidson, he of the ridiculously entertaining music videos, multi-genre experience, a Gold record, and multiple award wins is finally ready to release his debut country album, Songs For Georgia.

We’ve had the chance to meet Dan on a couple of occasions, we’ve seen him play live, and now we’ve had the opportunity to listen through his six song EP (on repeat) – and guess what, it’s a banger!

Davidson is adding two new tracks to previous singles, Say We Did, Barn Burner, 2015’s Unkiss Her, and the Gold certified, Found. And as the album plays, Dan’s fans are going to find themselves singing along to the new songs just as much as they have been to the radio hits they’ve gotten used to over the last 18 months.

Dan Davidson - Rod, Gun and Barbers Parkdale

Note: Don’t miss Dan Davidson when he rolls through your town with Brett Kissel on the We Were That Song tour. Click here to learn more!

To say that the former Tupelo Honey rocker has successfully made the move to country is accurate. It’s clear to see that the fans and industry have accepted him as independant artist, with shows across Canada, award nominations at home in Alberta, and from the Canadian Country Music Association.

Radio play of songs from Songs For Georgia (Found, Barn Burner, and most recently Say We Did) are also proof that country music has embraced Dan Davidson as one of their own. That’s not an easy ticket to punch, but Davidson has put in the work and produced a sound and energy that has connected.

If we have any nitpicking to do about Dan Davidson’s debut offering, it’s that we want more. The six tracks on Songs For Georgia go too quickly, leaving us wanting more songs to sing and tap our toes to. Here’s hoping that there will be a full length follow-up in 2018.

With that said however, we do have a special bonus track from Dan Davidson’s library that we can share with you. Hit play and watch Dan’s performance of Laugh When You Lie, live from Rod, Gun & Barbers in Parkdale, Toronto.

Related: Dan Davidson, Live in Toronto

If I were a betting man (which I kind of am) I’d be willing to wager that this won’t be the last country album from Dan Davidson. And If was told that a whole lot of country fans were hoping I was right, I wouldn’t be surprised by that at all.

Songs For Georgia drops on Friday, so be ready to hit up iTunes, and subscribe to Dan Davidson on Spotify now to make sure you’re ready for it. We’d recommend that you do those things. You’re not going to be disappointed.

Dan Davidson, Songs For Georgia Tracklist

1. No Last Call
2. Found
3. Say We Did
4. Barn Burner
5. Unkiss Her
6. Cigarettes

Brett Kissel, We Were That Song Tour Announcement, Part 1

The Canadian Country Music Association’s 2017 Male Artist of the Year, Brett Kissel is hitting the road in 2018 on the We Were That Song tour!

The Flat Lake, Alberta native will visit five provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario) on the tour, with 38 concerts scheduled over January, February and March. It’s a monster schedule that will put the hit maker in cities big and small, offering thousands of country music fans the chance to see one of Canada’s biggest country stars.

With Dan Davidson joining Kissel in 25 cities on the tour, and the chance that we’ll see more names added before the tour dates kick-off in Calgary on January 13, 2018, this tour promises to be all kinds of entertaining, with energy that will turn Canadian winter nights into a party!

Dan Davidson - Rod, Gun and Barbers Parkdale

We’ve had the chance to see Brett on stage in the past, and we can promise you that he delivers. With a ton of talent from his band, a selection of songs that will have everyone singing along and dancing in the crowd, and an amazing willingness to make sure that every person is having a good time, Brett Kissel is a performer that you want to see.

Tickets for the We Were That Song Tour go on sale starting Friday, October 6, 2017 – and you can learn more about the tour, dates and times at tour.brettkissel.com

Brett Kissel - CNE 2017

Brett Kissel, We Were That Song Tour Dates

January 13 – Calgary, AB – Deerfoot Casino*
January 15 – Medicine Hat, AB – Esplanade Theatre*
January 17 – Lloydminster, AB – Vic Juba Community Theatre*
January 18 – Lloydminster, AB – Vic Juba Community Theatre*
January 19 – Red Deer, AB Sheraton Special Events Centre*
January 23 – Swift Current, SK – Living Sky Casino*
January 24 – Regina, SK – Conexus Arts Centre*
January 25 – North Battleford, SK – Gold Eagle Casino*
January 26 – Saskatoon, SK – Dakota Dunes Casino*
January 27 – Prince Albert, SK – E A Rawlinson Centre For The Arts*
January 28 – Melfort, SK – KVC CJVR Performing Arts Theatre*
January 31 – Yorkton, SK – Painted Hand Casino
February 1 – Winnipeg, MB – Club Regent Event Centre*
February 2 – Thunder Bay, ON – Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
February 10 – London, ON – London Music Hall*
February 11 – Windsor, ON – Chrysler Theatre*
February 13 – Lindsay, ON – Academy Theatre*
February 14 – Ottawa, ON – TBD
February 15 – Belleville, ON – Empire Theatre*
February 17 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall*
February 19 – Peterborough, ON – Showplace Performance Centre*
February 20 – Brantford, ON – Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts*
February 22 – Barrie, ON – Georgian Theatre
February 23 – North Bay, ON – Capitol Centre
February 24 – Sudbury, ON – Fraser Auditorium
February 25 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON – The Machine Shop
March 1 – Calgary, AB – TBD
March 4 – Edmonton, AB – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium*
March 7 – Fort St. John, BC – The Lido Theatre*
March 8 – Fort St. John, BC – The Lido Theatre*
March 9 – Valleyview, AB – Greenview Regional Multiplex*
March 10 – Dawson Creek, BC – Unchagah Hall*
March 12 – Vernon, BC – Vernon Performing Arts Centre
March 13 – Cranbrook, BC – Key City Theatre
March 16 – Penticton, BC – Trade and Convention Centre
March 17 – Chilliwack, BC – Chilliwack Cultural Centre
March 18 – Campbell River, BC – Tidemark Theatre
March 19 – Nanaimo, BC – Port Theatre*
March 20 – Sidney, BC – Mary Winspear Centre*
March 21 – Sidney, BC – Mary Winspear Centre*
March 22 – Sidney, BC – Mary Winspear Centre*
March 23 – Vancouver, BC – The Vogue Theatre*
March 24 – Vancouver, BC – The Vogue Theatre*

* with Dan Davidson

Calgary Stampede 2017: Jess Moskaluke Photo Review

Jess Moskaluke is a Canadian country superstar. With three consecutive Female Artist of the Year wins at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, she’s proved it. And on Tuesday, July 11, she hit the Nashville North Stage at the Calgary Stampede to show it in person.

I remember seeing her years ago in a small theatre in Ottawa, Ontario – and seeing how much she’s grown and achieved since then is insane!

Jess Moskaluke at the 2017 Calgary Stampede

Have Your Say: 2017 Canadian Country Music Association Awards Nominees!

The Canadian Country Music Association has announced the full list of 2017 CCMA Awards nominees… and it’s an impressive list of Canadian country talent!

We are lucky and privileged to have covered, met, and seen these artists put on amazing lives shows, record fantastic music, and grow into their careers.

But now, because we know you have an opinion, we want to know who you think should win at the 2017 CCMA Awards in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Sunday, September 10th. Use the polls to vote and support your favourite artists, and use the link at the bottom of the list to cast your official vote for the Fans’ Choice Award!

Have fun – and congratulations to all of the nominees in 2017, you should all be proud of your accomplishments, we can’t wait to hear what you’ve got coming for us next.

Click Here to submit your official vote for the Fans’ Choice Award!

And Click Here to see the full list of nominees in all 2017 Canadian Country Music Association categories! 

Moments: Jessica Mitchell, the Feature

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, Jessica Mitchell knows that, she told us that. But in those moments when it seems darkest, inspiration is abundant, and art is made.

One year ago Mitchell’s life presented two bright moments that changed the course of her career, and thrust her into a spotlight that she didn’t expect to find. But do not let yourself believe that she is some sort of overnight success, or that Workin’ On Whiskey was anything less than the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and talent.

But before we relive those two moments, we have to go back to other moments that helped shape Jessica Mitchell’s life, music, and direction.

In all of our lives, no matter what our careers or talents may be, there are moments that change us, open us up, and influence the rest of our lives. Some are obvious, some more subtle. Sometimes you know right away that a moment is going to change your life, and sometimes you look back years later and see the impact that it’s had. For Jessica Mitchell, three moments have helped direct her to where she is today. Two she looks back at fondly, and one would break even the strongest of hearts.

Moment #1

When Jessica was 14 years old, living her teenage years in London, Ontario, she was in a neighbour’s basement with friends. The room was dark, black lights were on, states were altered, the stereo was turned up to maximum volume, and Nine Inch Nail’s Hurt blasted through the speakers. The song, the experience, and the moment opened her up to a whole new musical world. She jokes now that people would be surprised if they could see her playlists and what she listens to. The woman that country music fans have embraced, nominated for Ontario and Canadian Country Music Association awards, listening to music so vastly different than the songs she performs with a guitar or piano. And while the music may not be country, it inspires her, influences her, and helps her create her own songs and sound.

Moment #2

Years later, in Manchester, Tennessee, Mitchell stood in awe as Radiohead, her longtime favourite band, put on what is looked at now as a legendary performance. “It felt like I couldn’t breathe for two hours” she says, describing what it was like to see the band on stage. As a fan, those experiences are universal, but individually, we all take away something different from them. Jessica Mitchell, 11 years ago this June, walked away from that show with an awareness of greatness.

Those two moments would be easy for anyone to look back on and smile. The memories of music washing over us and taking us back to a pure and happy time. The third milestone moment, well it puts us back in the dark.

Moment #3

To accurately describe the pain and loneliness that anyone experiences when they lose a parent is impossible. Any of us that have been unlucky enough to go through it know that it’s a confusing mess of feelings and memories and whatever else may come along with it.

Jessica Mitchell’s experience when she lost her mother to a decade long battle with cancer is her own story to tell, not ours, but what she tells us now is that the experience gave her a feeling of freedom to fully and completely pursue her dreams of a career in music. And while she doesn’t speak of her mother often in her public life, we have seen her invoke her memory when partnering with The Lady Ball in Toronto.

That career, the work that she does, and the life that she lives, wasn’t a choice Mitchell told us. “I didn’t choose this. This got chosen for me.” And while we 100% believe her when she says this, and 100% believe that she believes it, her story isn’t that simple. Some artists stories are those of a non-stop, never ending pursuit of music, but Jessica Mitchell’s isn’t. She tried to quit music, she tried to walk away and leave it all behind to live a normal life. But it didn’t work, that wasn’t her path, and now she’s here, doing what she truly believes she was meant to do.

One year ago Jessica Mitchell stood on stage at the Country Music Association of Ontario awards show in Markham, Ontario and performed Workin’ On Whiskey. She stood on that stage alone, guitar in hand, microphone in front of her, and sang the song with all of the emotion and depth that lives in its lyrics. It was a performance so powerful and, quite honestly, unexpected, that it received a standing ovation from the artists, industry professionals, and fans in the audience. At the time the song hadn’t been recorded, released to radio, or streamed online. That changed quickly.

Soon after the CMAO awards show, Mitchell recorded Workin’ On Whiskey with her label, Open Road Recordings, and released the song to radio. And then June 23, 2016 happened.

In a video that’s been watched over 70,000 times on her Facebook page, was featured by Global News and multiple online outlets, Jessica Mitchell cried tears of happiness, disbelief, gratitude and more as she sat in her car and listened to the radio. On her way to Stratford to open for Kiefer Sutherland, Mitchell was shouted out by Country 104’s Matt Weaver as he introed her new single. Nearly a year removed from the video and the response, we asked Mitchell to look back at the moment and tell us what it felt like and meant to her.

More than anything, Jessica saw that moment as validation for all of the work and time and tears that she had put into that song and her career and life in music leading up to that day. She also took away encouragement, a push to keep moving forward with her music, to create more, and to keep doing the thing that the universe decided she should do.

“Jessica is one of those talents that’s undeniable the first moment you lay ears on her. A genuine blue eyed soul singer well beyond her time. It’s like she’s lived many lifetimes and all that experience pours out of her in her songwriting and singing. She’s a rare gem. Whenever I’m around her I feel the need to pull my socks up as a singer and a writer.”  – Amanda Wilkinson, country singer/songwriter, and friend of Jessica Mitchell

The months that followed the release of that landmark single have been busy for the Ontario songstress. Tours with Kiefer Sutherland, Royal Wood, and Ron Sexsmith have put her on a number of stages across the country, playing for new faces as she travelled. The summer of 2016 also saw her stop at Boots & Hearts, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, Niagara Wine Festival, Manitoulin Country Fest, the Canadian National Exhibition and more stages that introduced her to more country music fans, and showed them all the face and smile and charm that brought them the solemn song they all knew.

We asked Jessica about her 2017 tour with Ron Sexsmith, and she glowed. The combination of being able to share the stage with the accomplished artist night after night (the show ran 11 dates in 13 days), and driving solo through the Rocky Mountains and beautiful scenery that Western Canada provides was something that she sees as priceless. From a purely personal and perspective driven point of view, Jessica Mitchell highly recommended that we, and everyone else, make that drive, alone, at least once in our lives.

She explained the feeling of independence that she felt, even after experiencing enough of life in her adult years to feel independent, as incredible. And she pointed out, in a very wise and Zen master kind of way, that it becomes very easy to see how small you really are when you’re standing next to a 3,000 foot tall mountain.

And while the last year has been the sort of whirlwind experience that can make things as hectic as you can imagine, Jessica tells us that she has found her calm. In the last six months specifically she feels as though she has found her centre, and is better equipped and able to handle everything new that comes her way.

Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016 Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016 Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016

As spring 2017 approached, and nearly a year had passed since Whiskey was released to the world, it was time for Jessica Mitchell to release new music to the masses. And while a full album wasn’t yet ready, there were songs to play. So on May 12, 2017, two new songs, Don’t Love Me, and Tear It Down, were released to the internet of things, and links were shared and play buttons were pressed.

We asked if there were any feelings of pressure as she endeavoured to follow the success and experience of Workin’ On Whiskey, and honestly, were shocked when she said no. However, she did tell us that there were other factors. Chief among them, fear. Fear that the songs wouldn’t have the same reception, or the same emotional connection to listeners and fans. She says that she has that same feeling with every release, and that these two songs weren’t an exception, but followed the rule.

To sit and listen to these songs is to take a journey, fall into memories, insecurities, love, loss, heartbreak, and loneliness. But they also serve as a reminder that nobody who feels those things is alone. There are many right there with you. And Mitchell has provided the proof.

Don’t Love Me and Tear It Down also offer hope. Hope that a full album is on the way before the end of 2017 (we are lead to believe it will be). Hope that we’ll continue to hear Jessica’s heart and soul through her music. And hope that people will listen and her music can affect them the way it affects us.

That hope that we’ll continue to hear her heart and soul is as close to a sure thing as you can get. Mitchell knows, and told us that her life will continue to influence her songwriting. And that allowing herself time to live that life is essential to the creative process. To make that happen, balance is key. Balance between work and relaxing. Between home and the road. And between being alone and with a crowd.

Related: Workin’ On Whiskey: Jessica Mitchell at Boots & Hearts 2016!

Related: Dean Brody with Jessica Mitchell at The CNE 2016

She also pointed out that she writes songs for people. She wants her songs to connect and be able to mean something to the people that open themselves to their messages. She does not want to simply write about personal experiences for the sake of getting them out of her system, although she does admit that having this outlet is an important part of her emotion balance and being able to keep moving forward in life with a smile and positivity as often as possible.

Jessica places a premium on her alone time. And gave us half a laugh when she told us how much she loves to just curl up on her couch and watch Netflix while cuddling her cat.

But when she’s not at home, binging House Of Cards, or watching movies, you’ll find Mitchell all over the country, smiling on stage, and showing the love she has for what she does. And one of her favourite things is connecting with her fans. She loves receiving messages through her Facebook page that tell her stories about life and loss and love, and how her songs fit or feel to strangers who have opened themselves up to her.

She also loves meeting fans, and can often be seen giving out hugs and smiles and being caught off guard by compliments and the sincere love for her that pours out of people. We’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it. Jessica Mitchell can be a hard person to give a compliment to.

Jessica Mitchell Jessica Mitchell

We asked if there were any special stories she could share from the road and meeting fans, and two memories came to mind pretty quickly.

1) While on tour with Terri Clark, a woman named Dee came to three meet and greet sessions, bringing with her a bottle of booze as a gift each time. Jessica laughed about it, but was clearly fond of the memory and connection she felt to Dee.

2) She was once given the gift of hand drawn pictures that a young fan had put the time into creating specifically for the purpose of getting them to her. It melted her heart, and we’re willing to bet that it’s a memory that she will carry with her for a long time.

And we can fully imagine that there are more memories and stories like this to come in the future. More heartfelt stories shared through messages and meetings, more drawings from young fans finding their own artistic identities, and more booze, because why not?

Jessica Mitchell is just getting started, the work that she’s done has brought her to where we have all gotten to know her now, and the work that is happening now, and will continue to happen in the future will take her as far as she wants to go. We fully believe that.

You should too.

Jessica Mitchell at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016 Jessica Mitchell at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016 Jessical Mitchell Peller Estate Jessical Mitchell Peller Estate CCMA Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell Green Carpet

Paul Brandt: Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Top 10

After more than 20 years, 10 studio albums (including 2 holiday albums), one live record, 13 top 10 singles, six number 1 hits, eight Juno Awards, and 13 Canadian Country Music Awards… Paul Brandt will take his rightful place in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame!

From his very first single, My Heart Has A History, Canadian country music fans have loved Paul Brandt and the depth and richness that his voice has been bringing to our speakers since 1996. We’ve sung along, danced slow, cried, and swelled with Canadian patriotism as the Airdrie, Alberta moved through his career with quiet dignity, grace, and charity.

If you’ve ever heard the stories of Paul’s spirit and generosity, you know that this is a man who is a true role model. He is grounded, and giving, working with various charities dedicated to sick children, and it shouldn’t be forgotten or overlooked that Paul Brandt worked as a pediatric nurse at Alberta Children’s Hospital before we all knew him on the radio.

Paul Brandt at Boots & Hearts, 2014

Take a step back to look back at those numbers in the first paragraph. When you think about Paul Brand and your favourite songs, there’s a strong chance that one or more of Small Towns And Big Dreams, When You Call My Name or I’m Gonna Fly are on the list. BUT, not a single one those songs from the live, Small Towns & Big Dreams album charted. In fact, Canadian Man was the only track to hit the charts from the album.

That’s how good Paul Brandt’s career has been. Some of your very favourite songs in his catalogue never, ever, charted.

Now, let’s jump back to the present and the announcement of Brandt’s Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame induction. I dare you to find anyone in the Canadian country music industry that doesn’t agree with this decision. I dare you to find anyone in the industry that believes Paul Brandt has more to prove before he receives this honour. And I dare you to find anyone that thinks that at 45 years old, Paul Brandt will be too young for this recognition given the amazing accomplishments of his career.

And now, to celebrate this wonderful and well deserved achievement, we have sifted and sorted through the Paul Brandt catalogue to share our Top 10 tracks from 1996 to 2017.

However, with more than 40 singles, we know there’s a strong chance we have missed some of your favourite Paul Brandt songs. Please leave a comment telling us which songs we’ve missed so we can go back and listen to them and love them like you do!

Enjoy!

Paul Brandt Top 10

My Heart Has A History

I Do

I Meant To Do That

That’s The Truth

Convoy

Alberta Bound

Canadian Man

I’m An Open Road ft. Jess Moskaluke

Small Towns And Big Dreams

Get A Bed

Bonus: When You Call My Name

5 Quick Questions with Ben Hudson!

Uxbridge’s Ben Hudson was a busy dude during Canadian Country Music Week in London, ON this September… but we were able to snag him for a few minutes on a sunny afternoon to sit down and play along with a little 5 quick questions action.

We also got to catch Ben in the summer at CMT Music Fest, and can tell you that this guy is one to watch in Canadian country. Keep your eye out for the super tall guy making good music.

Q1: If you’re in the car on a long drive between shows, what is the one album you can listen to on repeat?

Ben: Chris Stapleton, Traveller

How do you argue with that? Stapleton killed it with that album and has been reaping the rewards ever since. Good choice by Ben.

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

Ben: I Saw The Light, by Hank Williams

Unexpected, but awesome. This classic hit from 1948 is a big song from a kid to learn, but if you’re going to grow up to be a country singer Hank Sr. is a good place to start.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-ben-hudson-1804

Q3: When you’re not working on new music what is your go to hobby?

Ben: Drawing and creating art.

Ben told us that he loves to stay in a creative state, even when music isn’t the focus. And that he’s had some of his works featured in gallery shows… which is pretty awesome.

Q4: What is the number one thing you need to have when you walk into a songwriting session?

Ben: Beer

It’s hard to argue with this answer… beer and country music go hand-in-hand!

Q5: Can you give us a prediction for the 2016-17 NHL season?

Ben: The Leafs will show that they area team on the rise.

Ben gave us this answer before the season started… and as they reach the 1/4 mark of the season they are showing flashes of it. So far.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-ben-hudson-1790

Bonus: What artist do you think people should be paying more attention to than they may be right now?

Ben: Sturgill Simpson

Simpson’s name has been making the rounds in country music circles in the last few months, but there are still a lot of people that haven’t listened to his music. Ben’s right, they should.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-ben-hudson-1799ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-ben-hudson-1798

1 year ago

5 Quick Questions with Sykamore!

While we were in London, ON for Canadian Country Music Week we had the chance to catch up with Carseland/Calgary, Alberta’s Sykamore to learn a little more about her with 5 quick questions.

Sykamore also volunteered to answer a bonus question – which we love – so check that out, find her single, Houseboat, on Spotify, and stay tuned for more from this emerging Canadian country star.

Q1: If you’re headed out on a long drive and you can only listen to 1 album on repeat, which album are you choosing?

Sykamore: Maren Morris, Hero

100% yes. People know who Maren Morris is because everyone has heard My Church and 80’s Mercedes… but people, you really need to listen to the rest of this album.

Q2: Think back for us, what is the 1st song you remember knowing all of the words to?

Sykamore: Achy Breaky Heart, by Billy Ray Cyrus.

Are we surprised? No. Are we proud of Sykamore for admitting it? Yes. This song took the world by storm… and I still know all the words to it too.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-sykamore-1673

Q3: When you aren’t working on music, what is your favourite thing to do?

Sykamore: Find great food.

Whether she’s making her own or finding new restaurants, Sykamore told us that food is a major driving force for her. Particularly good Mexican food, which she can’t seem to get enough of.

Q4: What is the most important thing for you to have when you walk into a songwriting session?

Sykamore: A notebook.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… notebooks are the best. And it seems that we’re not the only ones that feel that way!

Q5: Can you give us a prediction for the 2016-17 NHL season?

Sykamore: The Calgary Flames will make the playoffs.

We asked this question in September before the season started… and as of now the Flames are on the outside looking in with a lot of hockey left to be played. Let’s see how this goes.

Bonus: What artist do you think people should be paying more attention to than they might be right now?

Sykamore: MacKenzie Porter

We really like this answer. We’ve been in on MacKenzie since we first saw her at Boots & Hearts in 2013 (and did our 1st Q&A with her). And now there’s new music coming that we keep hearing is amazing… and we can’t wait!

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-sykamore-1669ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-sykamore-1660

1 year ago

5 Quick Questions with Jason Benoit!

We caught up with Newfoundland’s Jason Benoit during Canadian Country Music Week in London, ON and had the chance to sit down with the All Wanna Party singer to play through 5 quick questions.

Jason has been putting in work on the country music scene, and we know there’s a lot more coming to add to what we’ve seen and heard in the last couple of years. And we’re looking forward to all of it.

Learn a little more about Jason Benoit and check out photos from our sit down and from his performance at Boots & Hearts 2016.

Q1: If you were on a long drive and could only listen to 1 album on repeat, what would you choose?

Jason: The Eagles, Greatest Hits

I love The Eagles, and am currently hunting for old vinyl to add to our collection – so I have no argument with Jason wanting to sing along to songs like Take It Easy, Lyin’ Eyes, and Take It To The Limit on a long drive.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-jason-benoit-1567

Q2: What is the first song you remember knowing all of the words to so you could sing along?

Jason: Chattahoochee, by Alan Jackson

This is a solid answer. It’s fast, fun, and about as classic as 90s country gets. Grab your ripped jeans and water skis!

Q3: When you’re not working on music, what is your favourite down-time hobby?

Jason: Carpentry and working with reclaimed wood.

Jason is a hands on kinda guy, so when he has the time he likes to dig into a project at home and make something. I wonder if I should tell him that I need some pieces for the condo?

Jason Benoit BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Q4: What is the most important thing for you to have when you walk into a songwriting session?

Jason: A guitar.

Makes sense to us. I mean, if you’re going to write a country song and it’s going to be guitar driven, you’d be in good shape to start there.

Q5: Which artist do you think we should be paying more attention to right now than we probably are?

Jason: Chris Thile.

Thile is a hell of a musician, and Jason is right, we probably don’t pay enough attention to him. Check him out on the mandolin with Nickel Creek, and as the new host of U.S. radio program, A Prairie Home Companion.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-jason-benoit-1562Jason Benoit BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jason Benoit BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Jason Benoit BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-jason-benoit-1556

1 year ago

5 Quick Questions with Jojo Mason!

Back in September we had a chance to sit down with emerging country star Jojo Mason for a little hangout during Canadian Country Music Week in London, ON. And since we had him sitting still (mostly) for a few minutes, we decided to rope Jojo into playing along for a little 5 quick questions action.

Jojo is one of the coolest and most genuine dudes you’ll ever meet. His smile and laugh are contagious, and there is nobody more thankful for what’s happening in his life. Pure energy. That’s what this guy brings.

So, when you get the chance to see him on stage, take it. And now, enjoy 5 quick questions (and some photos from our hangs and his live show) with Jojo Mason…

Q1: What is the 1 album you can put on repeat on a long drive and not need to swap it out?

Jojo: Dallas Smith, Side Effects

It’s a new record, but it’s really good, so we’re not surprised to hear Jojo give this answer. In fact, we’d love to sit with him and sing along to One Little Kiss.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-jojo-mason

Q2: What is the first song you can remember knowing all of the words to so you could sing along?

Jojo: I Wish, by R. Kelly.

This is pretty freaking impressive. Any youngster that can both follow along and learn the words to something that bounces back and forth as much as I Wish is on the right track to becoming a singer.

Q3: When you aren’t working on music, what is your favourite thing to do?

Jojo: Playing pickup hockey.

Like the good Canadian boy that he is, Jojo likes to strap on the skates and play. Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

Q4: When you’re going into a songwriting session, what is the #1 thing you need to have?

Jojo: Comfy clothes.

Jojo made a pretty strong case for needing comfy clothes when he’s getting ready to write. It makes sense that you can’t concentrate and let the creativity flow if your jeans are too tight!

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-jojo-mason-1936

Q5: What artists do you think we should be paying more attention to than we are right now?

Jojo: Sykamore and Lanie McAuley

Jojo even gave us tracks to listen to… He’s Mine from Sykamore and Pour Me One More from McAuley. Give them a listen, he’s not wrong.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-jojo-mason-1919ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-jojo-mason-1952ccma-2016-jojo-mason-0327ccma-2016-jojo-mason-0289

1 year ago

5 Quick Questions with Trinity Bradshaw!

We had the chance to sit down with our pal, the crazy talented, Trinity Bradshaw while we were hanging out in London, ON for Canadian Country Music Week 2016. And since we were in the catching up kind of mood, we talked Trinity into playing along for 5 quick questions.

Check out Trinity on Facebook, she’s going Live more and more often these days with sneak peeks at new tunes and old favourites – and stay tuned for more from her coming soon.

Now, 5 Quick Questions with Trinity Bradshaw…

Q1: If you’re on a long road trip, what is the album that you can put on and listen to on repeat over and over again?

Trinity: Dixie Chicks, Greatest Hits… with a side of Brooks and Dunn.

It’s not hard to imagine Trinity singing along to Dixie Chicks for hours on end, we believe it.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-trinity-bradshaw-1883

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

Trinity: Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus

I owned the Some Gave All album on cassette and remember singing along to Billy Ray. So no judgement here!

Q3: What is your favourite thing to do when you aren’t working on new music?

Trinity: Having dog time!

Trinity’s dog Miley is adorable, which you’ll know if you check her out on Facebook, and it certainly looks like they enjoy their time together.

Q4: What do you need to have with you when you walk into a songwriting session?

Trinity: Her laptop and/or phone

Makes sense to us. Phones and laptops for writing and recording and taking notes… as long as you don’t get distracted!

Q5: What artist do you think people should be listening to more?

Trinity: Jessica Mitchell

No argument. None. At all. We love Jessica, and if you aren’t listening to her yet, take Trinity Bradshaw’s advice and start now!

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-trinity-bradshaw-1869ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-trinity-bradshaw-1878ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-trinity-bradshaw-1880ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-trinity-bradshaw-1865

1 year ago

5 Quick Questions with JJ Shiplett!

Back in September we had the chance to sit down with JJ Shiplett during Canadian Country Music Week – and we roped the talented redhead into answering our 5 quick questions.

If you don’t know JJ, you’re missing out. This Canadian is working hard and making people take notice with his sound, and with his debut full-length album coming soon… there are going to be a whole lot more people on board soon!

Now, without further ado, check out 5 Quick Questions with JJ Shiplett – and then listen to his EP, The EP!

Q1: If you’re on the road for a long drive between cities, and can only put 1 album on to listen to on repeat, which album are you choosing?

JJ: Tom Petty, Anthology: Through The Years.

Yes, we know it’s a double album. And no, we didn’t ask JJ to pick a disc… and that’s mostly because we were too busy agreeing with him that Petty is great for singing along, or sitting quietly and getting lost in the music and the road.

CCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House JJ Shiplett

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

JJ: The American National Anthem.

JJ told us a story about watching sports when he was a kid, and if you’re watching sports, you’re hearing the anthem – and that is how JJ Shiplett learned the Star Spangled Banner before any other song.

Q3: What is your favourite thing when you’re not working on music?

JJ: Hanging out with friends and a fire – any time of the day.

Having grown up with a fire pit in the back yard, I 100% agree with JJ on this one!

Q4: What is the 1 thing you need for a songwriting session?

JJ: A willingness to cooperate and work with other people.

After apologizing that he hadn’t named a tangible “thing”, JJ explained that the whole process and session can be a real waste of time if he doesn’t come in ready to listen to other people’s ideas – and if other people don’t come in ready to listen to his. Makes sense to us.

CCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House JJ ShiplettQ5: Can you give us a prediction for the NHL season?

JJ: 1) The Maple Leafs will be better, but won’t be in the playoffs. 2) The Flames D will be better, and they will be back in the playoffs.

These are going to play themselves out of course, but they don’t sound crazy.

Bonus: What artist do you think people should be paying more attention to right now?

JJ: Sturgill Simpson

A lot more people know Sturgill Simpson’s name now than they did even just a few months ago – but if you don’t know his music, we agree with JJ, you should take a listen!

Now, hit play and check out some more pics of JJ from the our hangout, the CCMA Awards show and The Dakota Tavern in Toronto circa CMW 2016.


CCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House JJ ShiplettCCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House JJ Shiplettccma-2016-award-show-lindi-ortega-and-jj-shiplett-3546ccma-2016-award-show-johnny-reid-lindsay-ell-lindi-ortega-and-jj-shiplett-3583JJ Shiplett The Dakota Tavern CMW 2016JJ Shiplett The Dakota Tavern CMW 2016

1 year ago

5 Quick Questions with Endless Summer!

While we were in London, ON for Canadian Country Music Week we had the chance to sit down with Bob and Clint Moffatt of Endless Summer in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle of events and parties.

The boys have been busy lately, hitting the road with Tebey on his First Come First Served Tour – but before you go see them, we’ve got 5 quick questions with the boys to get you ready!

Here we go!

Q1: If you’re in the car on a long road trip, what is the 1 album you can listen to on repeat without changing discs?

Clint: George Strait, 50 Number Ones
Bob: Tom Petty (anything)

The boys may not have picked the same album, but they sure picked good ones. We wouldn’t mind hitching a ride and singing along for a few miles.

CCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House Endless Summer

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

Clint: Fast As You by Dwight Yoakam
Bob: Copperhead Road by Steve Earle

We all heard Bob and Clint sing with their brothers when they were younger, but we never heard them sing these songs. Now we wish he had.

Q3: What is your number 1 hobby when you aren’t working on Endless Summer music?

Both: Video games… specifically NHL online.

We didn’t ask for screen names, but if you’re playing NHL online this season, there’s a chance you could be playing one of the boys. Don’t be afraid to talk a little trash with ‘em.

Q4: When you head into a songwriting session, what is the most important thing to have with you?

Both: Coffee

Good answer. Coffee is always a good answer. #xocoffee

Q5: Can you give us a prediction for the NHL season?

Both: The Calgary Flames will have a better year – and Johnny Gaudreau will lead the league in scoring.

We’re willing to agree on 1 of those statements, but not both. But time will tell!

CCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House Endless SummerCCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House Endless SummerCCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House Endless SummerCCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House Endless Summer

1 year ago
Scroll to top