Chris Stapleton

10 Awesome Country Covers: Tom Petty Edition

It’s a well documented and quoted fact that the late Tom Petty had some issues with modern country music – but there is no denying the love that modern country artists have for him and the impact he made on them. If you need proof, have a listen to this list of Tom Petty country covers.

Solo stars, groups, men, women, legends and upstarts are all here. Every one of them inspired by the songs that Petty wrote, sang, and gave to the world.

There are more out there, with varying video quality, and some songs, like Free Fallin’, just have too many versions to fall in love with.

If you know of a country cover of a Tom Petty song that you think we should hear, please leave a comment with a link.

And if you have a favourite from this list, let us know which it is.

Rest in peace Mr. Petty. Thank you for the music.

George Strait – You Wreck Me

Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around

Charles Kelley – Southern Accents

Chris Stapleton – You Don’t Know How It Feels

Sugarland – American Girl

Marty Stuart – Runnin’ Down A Dream

Dierks Bentley & Mat Kearney – Learning To Fly

The Wailin’ Jennys – Wildflowers

Johnny Cash – I Won’t Back Down

Linda Ronstadt – The Waiting

2 weeks ago No Comments Views

Kill Your Love: Jess Mosklaluke at Boots & Hearts 2017

In the late afternoon sun, on the Boots & Hearts Front Porch Stage, Jess Moskaluke wowed the crowd with her voice, hits, and new music. The 2014, 2015, and 2016 Canadian Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year was on fire from the jump.

The Saskatchewan star had a pumped up crowd at the stage in the trees, and she didn’t let them down, as she kept the energy high and the good vibes flowing. It was a love fest from Drive Me Away all the way to Cheap Wine And Cigarettes, with sing alongs, dancing, and a whole lot of appreciation for the Canadian singer.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke

One of our favourite cheers of the set came when Moskaluke announced that she’ll have a new album in November of this year – which means fans will have new songs to learn and sing along to the next time they see her up on stage. One of those new songs, Kill Your Love, is already becoming a fan favourite on country radio and during the live show, and another, Save Some Of That Whiskey, has been tapped as the next radio single from the upcoming album.

Note: Jess Moskaluke pulled double duty on Sunday, stopping in to perform on the SiriusXM popup stage in the VIP. And the hundred or so lucky fans that got to see the performance got a stripped down sound that shows off her chops in a different, but just as amazing way as she did on the Front Porch stage. We were lucky to be there, it was awesome.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke

If you’ve seen a live Jess Moskaluke show before, you know a few things…

1) There are going to be some covers. And at Boots & Hearts we got to hear Chris Stapleton’s Parachute, Maren Morris’ 80’s Mercedes, Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You, and TLC’s 90s classic, No Scrubs.

2) There are strong and awesome bromances on stage. Check the pics below for a little proof.

3) Jess Moskaluke continues to get better. Show after show and year after year, this is a performer who grows and gets stronger. It’s pretty awesome to see.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke

So, get yourself ready for new Jess Moskaluke music soon. Stay tuned to see if she will win her fourth consecutive CCMA Award for Female Artist of the Year at the 2017 awards show on September 10 in Saskatoon. And keep singing along when you hear her hits on the radio!

Jess Moskaluke, Boots & Hearts 2017 Setlist

Drive Me Away
Night We Won’t Forget
Used
Good Lovin’
Kiss Me Quiet
Good For You
Kill Your Love
Camouflage
Right When Ya Left
Parachute (Chris Stapleton)
80s Mercedes (Maren Morris)
Shape Of You (Ed Sheeran)
No Scrubs (TLC)
Save Some Of That Whiskey
Take Me Home
Elevator
Cheap Wine And Cigarettes

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke - Brennan Wall Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke - Rich da Silva Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess MoskalukeBoots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke and Brennan Wall Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke - Brennan Wall Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke - Brennan Wall Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jess Moskaluke

2 months ago Views

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 4

Three times before we’ve shared a list of country covers of songs from the world of pop and rock… and now we’re back with a fourth list to share with y’all.

This list has some of our favourite artists on it, singing some awesome songs. And if you haven’t heard them yet, you owe it to yourself to listen.

AND, if you don’t consider yourself to be a fan of country music because of the way it sounds, let this be an introduction for you!

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

Dylan Scott: Love Yourself

Dolly Parton: Shine

Tebey ft. Emerson Drive: Wake Me Up

Lennon and Maisy: Ho Hey

The Washboard Union & Meghan Patrick: Seven Bridges Road

Jessica Mitchell: Chandalier

Charles Kelley: Set Fire To The Rain

Chris Stapleton: Nothing Compares To You

Sturgill Simpson: In Bloom

Jennifer Nettles: Glory Days

9 months ago Views

thereviewsarein.com Playlist: Joshua’s Karaoke Classics!

In 2017 we have a goal of sharing some awesome playlists with you. Playlists curated by artists and friends from the music industry, and for festivals, and just because we believe in the power and importance of sharing music. So to get us started we have a playlist from Joshua…

If you know Josh, you know he loves karaoke. So here we are with some of his personal karaoke classics. You will get some country and some rock and roll. You will get some old and some new. But more importantly, you’ll get 20 songs that he’s sung live, in front of a crowd, with a microphone in one hand and maybe a drink in the other.

1. The Weight – The Band
2. Rain Down On Me – Blue Rodeo
3. Mr. Brightside – The Killers
4. What Was I Thinkin’ – Dierks Bentley
5. Brian Wilson – Barenaked Ladies
6. Take Your Time – Sam Hunt
7. Everlong – Foo Fighters
8. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
9. Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
10. You And I – Lady Gaga
11. Whiskey Girl – Toby Keith
12. Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
13. Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band
14. No Sugar Tonight – The Guess Who
15. If You Could Only See – Tonic
16. Boys ‘Round Here – Blake Shelton ft. The Pistol Annies & Friends
17. Somebody Like You – Keith Urban
18. I’m The Only One – Melissa Ethridge
19. Get Me Some Of That – Thomas Rhett
20. Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler

And because we know Joshua isn’t the only one out there that likes to kick it at karaoke, we want you to leave a comment with your favourite karaoke jams. There just might a prize up for grabs!

Joshua at Karaoke in Ottawa, July 2007.

Joshua’s birthday karaoke in Toronto, February 2014.

10 months ago Views

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.

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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.

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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.

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11 months ago Views

Please Welcome to the Stage… Boots & Hearts 2017 Predictions!

We’re just under 9 months away from Boots & Hearts 2017 at Burl’s Creek in Oro, ON – but it really doesn’t feel like that long at all!

In fact, we’ve already been thinking about B&H a lot, and while we can’t give you many details yet, we can tell you that we’re going to have some very, very exciting things coming up between now and festival season next year.

But for now we want to talk about the potential lineup for the 6th annual country music extravaganza… we don’t have any info that you don’t have. We haven’t talked to the Republic Live team for any tips or rumours. But I have come up with a list of 10 country artists that I think have a legit chance to play at Boots & Hearts next August.

This isn’t an old fashioned wish list, which is why you won’t see names like Garth Brooks, Shania, Reba, or Brooks & Dunn… although it would be really cool if any of those artists headlined. This list is made up of talent that we’ve either seen in the past and believe are a good fit for a return next year, or that we haven’t seen yet, and have a good reason to play such a sweet gig.

This wasn’t an easy list of 10 to make, which is why there are a few names at the bottom that could also be at B&H in 2017. And, I want you list too, so leave a comment!

In no particular order, here we go…

Doc Walker

With the release of Echo Road (their greatest hits record) and an upcoming album of new music in March 2017, Doc Walker are the perfect fit for B&H 2017. Whether they play the main stage, or the front porch, there’s no doubt that their collection of hits, and whatever new tunes they release will make for an entertaining set.

Bobby Wills

When The Lights Go Down Toronto Bobby Wills-8043CCMA nominations, top 10 singles, hot videos, and a growing legion of fans all point to Bobby Wills making his Boots & Hearts debut in 2017.

We’ve seen Bobby play some stages over the last few years, and we know that he has what it takes to pull a crowd in, have them singing along, and enjoying the party.

Little Big Town

In 2015 LBT had to pull out of the Boots & Hearts lineup… and we’re still waiting for them to come back and give us a show that we’ll be talking about long after they leave the stage.

We’ve seen them before and we can’t wait to see them again. Hopefully up on the main stage in front of 40,000 people.

Maren Morris

maren-morris-hero-albumMorris is on top of the world with the recognition that’s coming from singles like 80’s Mercedes and My Church. And if you haven’t heard the rest of Hero, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

We haven’t seen Morris live, but I have a feeling that a few thousand of our best friends singing along to My Church could be a highlight of the weekend.

Kelsea Ballerini

Love Me Like You Mean It, Dibs, and Peter Pan have been a strong start to Ballerini’s career. And after her performance at the 2016 Canadian Country Music Awards (where Boots & Hearts won for Country Festival, Fair or Exhibition of the Year) we know that a Canuck crowd can get behind she when she sings.

With another single sure to come soon, there’s no doubting Kelsi’s talent or popularity, or that she belongs at B&H 2017.

James Barker Band

James Barker Band SiriusXM Fan Stage BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016After winning the Emerging Artist Showcase in 2015 and performing on the main stage in 2016 the James Barker Band has certainly earned the love of the B&H crowd. And with the success of Lawn Chair Lazy and the release of Just Sayin’ – plus an EP coming in the (we hope) near future, we know that country fans are ready to cheer and sing and dance with James, Taylor, Bobby and Connor again at Boots & Hearts 2017!

Chris Stapleton

I know from talking to executive members of the Republic Live team that Chris Stapleton is just as adored internally as he is by the rest of the world. And after the success of Traveller, it’s impossible to think that the Boots & Hearts crowd wouldn’t go wild for the country crooner.

Stapleton played the main stage in 2014 – and he’d be welcome to do it again in 2017 we’re sure!

Brett Kissel

Brett Kissel CNE 2015Also a 2014 B&H alum, Kissel played the Coors Banquet Kick Off Party on the front porch stage… but he’s never been on the main stage.

In 2017, after winning the Fans’ Choice, Male Artist, and Interactive Artist of the Year awards at the CCMA’s this year, we know that thousands (tens of thousands) of Canadian country fans would be okay with the chance to sing along to Started With A Song, Airwaves, Come Pick Me Up, and 3, 2, 1. Bring it on Brett!

Runaway Angel

The first time we saw Runaway Angel they were on the Boots & Hearts stage in the Emerging Artist Showcase. And now, after having seen them grow and become more and more entertaining – we’re ready to see them back on the B&H stage.

Take a listen to No End In Sight (the debut album from Runaway Angel), close your eyes and imagine the songs coming from the stage.

Jessica Mitchell

Jessica Mitchell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-Jessica Mitchell stole a lot of hearts in the last year… mine included. Workin’ On Whiskey is the kind of song that gets stuck in your soul. And songs like That Record Saved My Life and Grown Up Things prove that she’s not just a one trick pony.

After opening for Kiefer Sutherland on his 2016 tour, playing a short set of her own on the Sirius XM stage at #BH5, and taking the stage as a special guest with Lindsay Ell, we know that Jessica is ready for an full sized audience of her own at Boots & Hearts in 2017.

BONUS: Keith Urban

keith-urban-ripcord-albumIf you’ve ever seen Urban live, you know he’s killer with a big crowd. And if you haven’t seen Keith Urban live, he should be on your bucket list!

Coming into the sixth year of the festival, it makes sense to try and lock up this guitar wizard for a headlining slot. If you’ve been at any other Boots & Hearts festival over the years you can expect the exact same kind of pandemonium for this set. Plus, there’s Ripcord (March 2016) to sing along to!

Also on my list, but just outside the top 10…

Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, Dallas Smith, Shae Dupuy, Terri Clark, Endless Summer, and Johnson Crook.

Who do you think we’ll see at Boots & Hearts 2017? Leave a comment telling us and we might just have some swag to send our favourite answers!

 


via GIPHY

12 months ago Views

Not Enough Whiskey: Kiefer Sutherland Goes Country!

It’s a story we’ve heard before… Actor loves music and decides to give it a go. Some have made it work, some haven’t.

The latest to make the move is Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, and he’s getting set to release his debut album in the country music world, and has started with the single, Not Enough Whiskey.

Kiefer Sutherland The Cowboy WayI’ll be honest, when I first saw that Sutherland had released the track and had the album, Down In A Hole, coming I immediately thought of Young Guns, Young Guns II, and The Cowboy Way, and I had myself a little laugh. But then I listened to the track.

It’s a classic country tune about, broken hearts and booze – a woman gone (long gone), a man broken – a tale as old as time. And it sounds like classic country too. You can hear and appreciate the guitar work, you can follow the story, you can listen to the one voice croon it’s way though 3 minutes and 53 seconds of song.

photo by Beth Elliott

photo by Beth Elliott

I can’t and won’t guarantee that Not Enough Whiskey is going to be a radio hit… it’s on the same plane as Chris Stapleton’s Tennessee Whiskey (not at the same level, but in the same ballpark) which needed a big push from industry and award season to get to where it is on country radio. But, maybe the name recognition Sutherland brings to the table will get him some spins… and it should definitely get him some downloads.

It might also sell him some concert tickets, which would be good because Kiefer Sutherland has 26 tour dates lined up in a 45 day stretch between April 14th in Milwaukee and in Amagansett, NY. Tickets are available for most dates, check the website for dates and details.

And while there are no Canadian dates scheduled in that run, we do expect that Kiefer and his guitar will make a trip north of the border sometime in 2016.

If you’re a fan of Americana/country music, or if you’re a fan of Kiefer Sutherland, you should take the 4 minutes out of your day to check out the video (1st released by Rolling Stone Country) for Not Enough Whiskey… and then if you like it, you should get ready for the release (no date yet) of Down In A Hole!

Enjoy!

Be Awesome!

Kiefer Sutherland Music Beth Elliott 2

photo by Beth Elliott

2 years ago Views

Tougher Than Love: Bobby Wills EP Review and Q&A

Bobby Wills is back!

Not that he ever left really, but every time an artist releases new music it feels like we’re getting them back after they’ve gone away for a little while.

Bobby Wills When The Lights Go Down Toronto-8020For the Calgary country singer it’s been nearly 2 years since his last album, Crazy Enough was released to the world, and now the follow-up EP, Tougher Than Love, is ready to come to fans and stick some songs in people’s heads.

The 6 track set of songs is a great showing of what Bobby offers to country music, a mix of uptempo tracks that you can sing along and stomp your feet and clap your hands to… and some slowed down moments that will drag you deep into a story and put your feelings at risk of being twisted in a knot.

Across all of the songs it’s easy to see that Bobby Wills is still in love with what he does. His voice is true, not trying to be something that he isn’t or hasn’t shown us that he can be in the past – but not sitting back on his past successes either.

Do you follow?

Lead single Won’t You Be Mine is already a Top 10 hit in Canada, and there’s a strong chance that 2 or more other songs on the EP make that kind of statement on the charts.

Bobby Wills Tougher Than Love Track List

1. 30,000 Feet
2. Down By The River
3. Won’t You Be Mine
4. Tougher Than Love
5. If It Ain’t Broke
6. You Lost Me There

If we’re playing a guessing game for the next single to come from Tougher Than Love we’re stuck between the choice of the title track and 30,000 Feet. Both songs are top quality, but are very different. If you’re holding our feet to the fire, we’d pick Tougher Than Love… and we’d be okay with that.

In the middle of all the work he’s been doing to promote the new EP, and being a dad and a Calgary Flames fan, Bobby took a few minutes to play along in a brand new Q&A about the new EP, the fan response to Won’t You Be Mine, and more for us. Check it out!

Q. A year ago you were crossing Canada on the When The Lights Go Down Tour (with Chad Brownlee and Jess Moskaluke), and this year you get to release new music to country fans, how busy has that year in between been for you?

A. It’s been a whirlwind! 2015 was an incredible year, and 2016, with the release of my new album Tougher Than Love, promises to be even crazier!!

Q. How happy are you with the 6 tracks that you’re releasing with Tougher Than Love?

A. I am very excited to share these songs with my fans! With each new project I like to mix it up a bit, integrating my sound with a little something new. On this album we experimented with various sounds and incorporated varied instrumentation; it was an incredible experience to create and record this album!

Bobby Wills Tougher Than Love EP ArtQ. The album art for the EP is different than a lot of what we see these days (you face isn’t on the cover!), and we dig it (not that we don’t love your face)… were you in on the design?

A. Geoffrey Hanson designed the album. He is an incredible talent!! He’s done work for Kings Of Leon, Robert Plant and Ryan Bingham (just to name a few). Honestly, I can’t claim any credit for design, the only instruction was to do something different than what we normally see. He crushed it!!

Q. Won’t You Be Mine is already a fan favourite, and people haven’t even heard the rest of the music yet… how great is to get that response to kick off a project?

A. It’s very cool! We performed it for the first time last summer during festival season. We were pretty confident it was going to work based on the fan reaction, it was wild!

Q. There’s a lot of great new music on the country scene right now, is there anyone that you’re listening to and loving?

A. The diversity that is country music right now is so great! I am listening to the new Lovelocks record a ton these days, along with Chris Stapleton. The Maren Morris record is killer as well.

Q. In 50 words or so, can you tell us what you hope country fans take away from Tougher Than Love?

A. The making of this album was fun, with a capital F, and I hope my fans enjoy it just as much! Mixing a little something for everyone, for me this album is a happiness-fuelled musical experience, exploring classic country sound with a modern edge. The tracks resonate with me, not only as an artist, but as a music lover as well. This album is about simply enjoying the music and sharing that joy with my amazing fans!

Bobby Wills When The Lights Go Down Toronto-8068

2 years ago Views

2015 Breakout Country Artists of the Year!

2015 was a fun year for country music.

Established radio stars kept pumping out the hits with Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, and Sam Hunt owning the #1 spot on the Billboard’s 2015 Hot Country Chart most of the year, plus Eric Church, Zac Brown Band, and Carrie Underwood all releasing new albums that fans loved – but they weren’t the only ones being noticed out of Nashville… or Canada.

This year I’ve got 4 acts to name in my country breakout artists of the year, and it was NOT easy to pick them.

Note: As recently as October I had no idea who was going to be on this list. I talked with some friends who love country and between us there was no real consensus pick… and then the last 3 months of the year happened.

Let’s start in Canada where I have a tie marked down as the Canadian Country Music Breakout Artists of the year…

Cold Creek County

Cold Creek County CNE 2015The boys of Cold Creek County found the Top 20 twice in the year, and their debut single, Our Town went as high as number 7 and really introduced the group to country music fans in Canada.

We had a chance to see the boys twice in the year, first at Ajax Downs’ Steak Stock in July, and again when they opened for Dallas Smith at the CNE in September. Both times they put on a hell of a set and truly showed that they are ready to be part of the new wave of Canadian country music talent coming through the ranks.

Congrats to Cold Creek County on their big year, we won’t be surprised if 2016 is just as impressive and successful.

Madeline Merlo

Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixMiss Madeline Merlo had an impressive year of her own with a successful summer single in Honey Jack, and the Canadian Country Music Association Award for Rising Star of the Year.

We got to sit down with the BC born songstress in December and then watched her hop up on stage to open for 2014 Canadian breakout artist, Jess Moskaluke.

Madeline held her own that night, and is super ready to drop her album in the spring of 2016 so more country fans can hear what she has to share. 2015 seems to be just the start of what Madeline Merlo has coming in country… stick around to see what’s coming.

And in the United States, making waves in Country in 2015 we have 2 winners. 1 male and 1 female… each putting themselves on the map this year, and each deserving of being named as top breakout artists.

Chris Stapleton

via facebook

via facebook

Already known by many as Nashville’s favourite singer, Chris Stapleton really broke out in 2015 when he cleaned up at the Country Music Association Awards in November.

After performing with Justin Timberlake in the best live TV performance of the year, Stapleton cemented his night with wins for New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Album of the Year.

He’s a super talented, humble, hard working man, who has more success coming to him, and as breakout artist of the year, he’s nearly beyond compare.

If you still haven’t listened to Traveller yet, you’re missing out – it took a lot of year for him to get here, but Chris Stapleton has arrived, and it was worth the wait.

Cam

via Facebook

via Facebook

What a year it was for the lady who loves yellow!

Cam scored a monster hit with Burning House, and her year only got bigger from there. The December 11 release of her full length album, Untamed, came late in the year, but not too late to be celebrated by many as one of the top albums of 2015.

2015 was a breakout year for Cam, and as she leads in to 2016, things are looking bright and bold for the singer. We know we’re not alone in anticipating her appearance at Boots & Hearts in August!

Congrats to Cam on a big 2015!

Honourable mention needs to go out to Cory Marquardt, Livy Jeanne, Kelsea Ballerini, Jason Benoit, River Town Saints, Old Dominion, Dylan Scott, Mickey Guyton, A Thousand Horses and more…

We can’t wait to see who breaks out from the pack in 2016!

2 years ago Views

Country Music Needs to Stop Hating on Country Music

Country music needs to stop hating on country music!

Sam Hunt with guitar Wheels Up Tour Toronto June 2015If you’ve ever read the comment section of a Sam Hunt or Florida Georgia Line video, you know what I’m talking about. And if your gut reaction to that sentence is to say, “That’s not real country music”, I really hope you keep reading this post.

In the last few years we’ve seen the country charts include monster hits tagged as Bro Country, we’ve seen Kid Rock, Don Henley, and Steven Tyler release country records, we’ve lamented the evolution of Taylor Swift from Tim McGraw to Shake It Off, and we’ve also seen Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves celebrated by the country music community for their work.

All of this has happened in country music, and it has very clearly made some “True Country Fans” upset. Because they love Willie and Waylon and Kitty Wells and Loretta Lynn, they hate FGL and vocally attack their popular music as an affront to the genre that they love. They post memes about country music not being dead, just asleep, and waking up with Chris Stapleton. And I get it, people like what they like, and they don’t like what they don’t like. The issue right now is that the conversations don’t stop at “I don’t like this song/album/band”, they continue to “this isn’t country music”.

Our reality in country music in 2015 is that we’re still saddled with an outdated and overly simplified categorization of the genre. And an even more outdated view of what that means.

Brad Paisley Boots and Hearts 2015Brad Paisley’s Country Nation proudly boasts that there are over 2,000 stations playing country music in the United States. That’s an awesome number, but let’s step back for a second and really look at what rock and roll has done in its evolution.

From Elvis and Buddy Holly to U2 and Foo Fighters, rock and roll has changed. In any major North American market you’re bound to find a New Rock station, a Classic Rock station, Alt-Rock, Soft Rock, etc, etc, etc. And in record stores or online we see Pop Rock, Punk Rock, Prog Rock, Southern Rock, Metal, etc, etc, etc. But in country music we have country music.

Let’s call back for a minute to the “It’s not country” thing. Rock and roll fans love to hate Nickelback en masse, but they don’t try to claim that they aren’t a rock band, or that they don’t make rock music. See?

Luke Bryan Boots and Hearts 2014 Saturday NightThe entire genre, from Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr. to Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan sits under one category. One listing. One banner to hold all of the music we like and don’t like.

There is nothing wrong with writing, singing, buying, or loving new country music that is popular on radio and the Billboard charts. And there is nothing wrong with loving roots artists that are holding onto influence from Hall of Famers like Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton.

As media, fans, industry, and artists we need to stop creating bullshit rules and boundaries about what is Real Country Music and saying it’s wrong if a song doesn’t fit your personal description of country music.

We have one country music that all of us need to either embrace regardless of our tastes, or use as an excuse to keep on hating.

None of us have the right to say that a musical genre can’t evolve. That an artist can’t express themselves and explore something new. Or that an audience whose grandparents love Marty Robbins, can’t love Maddie & Tae.

The country music community has always preached a message of inclusivity, and that all are welcome if they love the music.

Well now it’s time to practice what we preach and understand that country music you don’t like, is still country music.

Welcome to 2015. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

2 years ago Views

2016 CMA Awards Results and Wrap

And the CMA goes to…

If you didn’t get a chance to watch the CMA Awards last night we’re highly recommending you make an effort to watch it. ABC has posted the entire show on YouTube!

Country Music Awards 2015 – Full Show

But even without the surprises of the award winners, this is an awards show that shouldn’t be missed by country music fans anywhere.

There were some amazing collaborations and some spectacular performances. And today everyone is talking about the Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake performance. Watch it now and see why!

Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton Live at the 2015 CMA Awards!

And now, without any further ado, here are your 2015 CMA major award winners. Congrats to everyone, especially the big winners of the evening, Chris Stapleton and Little Big Town!

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Luke BryanLuke Bryan Boots and Hearts 2014 Saturday Night

FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Miranda LambertMiranda Lambert Boots and Hearts

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Chris Stapleton
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Chris Stapleton
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Traveller, Chris Stapleton

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
“Girl Crush” – Little Big Town
SONG OF THE YEAR (AWARDED TO SONGWRITERS)
“Girl Crush” – Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose – Little Big Town
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Little Big Town

VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
Florida Georgia LineFlorida Georgia Line Boots and Hearts 2015

MUSICAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
“Raise ‘Em Up” – Keith Urban feat. Eric Church

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
“Girl in a Country Song” – Maddie & Tae

Other performances to not miss are Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and John Mellencamp, Thomas Rhett and Fall Out Boy and of course Reba and Brooks and Dunn!

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood were amazing hosts and I’m giving them the Comedy Duo of the Year award. Don’t miss their performances as well as Eric Church, Kelsea Ballerini, Florida Georgia line… did we miss anyone? Kudos to ABC they’re all over the broadcast and have everything you could want to see on their YouTube page.

2 years ago Views

Festival Announcement: WayHome by Republic Live!

WayHome Festical Announcement Gladstone Bar TorontoAt the end of December we found out that Republic Live (Boots & Hearts) and AC Entertainment president Ashley Capps (Bonnaroo) were coming together to host a music and arts festival in the GTA.

The dates were set – July 24-26, 2015.
The venue was locked down – Burl’s Creek Event Park.
But that’s all we knew.

Until now…

It’s official that the new festival will be called WayHome and the inaugural lineup will include:
Headliners: Sam Smith, Kendrick Lamar, Alt-J, Modest Mouse and Hozier

Plus: Bassnectar, The Decemberists, Passion Pit, St. Vincent, Girl Talk, Vance Joy, Future Islands, The Sheepdogs, Odesza, The Gaslight Anthem, Walk The Moon, Run The Jewels, Kaytranada, Hey Rosetta!, G-Eazy, Sylvan Esso, Danny Brown, Cold War Kids, The Rural Alberta Advantage, Big K.R.I.T, July Talk, Fucked Up, Timber Timbre, Thousand Foot Krutch, METZ, Alvvays, Yukon Blonde, Courtney Barnett, Sloan, Delta Spirit, Broods, How to Dress Well, SZA, Viet Cong, Com Truise, Bear Mountain, Evening Hymns, Lowell, The Highest Order, Dear Rouge, Chris Stapleton, For Esme, and Saxsyndrum

Way Home partners already include Etsy and Sirius XM as well as beverage providers Molson Canadian and Somersby. We suspect that more will be added as we get closer to the event this summer.

Tickets for Way Home 2015 will go on sale online Monday, February 16th and will start at $209.99. WAY HOME TICKETS!

HOWEVER!!! For 1 Day Only – Thursday, February 12th you will be able to buy tickets for $189.99 at these locations…

Casbah Bar: 18 Huron Street, Collingwood, ON, 5pm – 2am Doogies: 37 Wyndham Street North, Guelph, ON ,7 pm – 2 am Blueprint Clothing: 246 Princess Street, Kingston, ON, 10am – 6pm Howey Bros: 57A Whitewood Avenue, New Liskeard, ON, 10 am – 6 pm Kahuna Surf Shop: 175 Missisaga Street East, Orillia, ON, 10 am – 6 pm Top of the World Clothing: 158 Rideau, Ottawa, ON, 10am – 9pm Flavour Fashion: 383 George Street North, Peterborough, ON, 10am – 6pm Got Style: 62 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON, 11am – 8pm Heel Boy: 773 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, 10 am -9 pm Northern Standard Trading Post: 1662 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, 12pm – 7pm Tiger of Sweden: 56 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, ON, 11am – 8pm Loop: 13 King Street North, Waterloo, ON, 11am – 8pm MORE INFO TO COME… STAY TUNED! WayHome Festival OrganizersWayHome Festival Shannon McNevan Republic LiveWayHome Festival 2015 Announcement Sam SmithWayHome Festival 2015 Announcement The Sheepdogs


Where Is Burl’s Creek Event Park?! Burls Creek Event Park Map

3 years ago Views

Crash My Party: Luke Bryan at Boots & Hearts 2014

For nearly 2 full hours Saturday night Luke Bryan held court in Bowmanville at Boots & Hearts 2014.

And believe me when I tell you this, he owned that crowd and set fire to the night.

With a burst of pyro the set started and Luke Bryan and his band opened with That’s My Kind Of Night. The pop from the audience was amazing. They waited all day for that moment – and after the rain that came down Friday – it was about as perfect as it could get.

The set continued, with 30,000+ voices singing along to every damn word of every song. It was an amazing atmosphere to be in the middle of. Whether it was Rain Is A Good Thing or something slower like Roller Coaster, there was an all-in feeling.

Luke Bryan Guitar Tall Boots and Hearts 2014Note: In the 3 years that I’ve been at Boots & Hearts there has NEVER been a crowd as large or excited for an act as this crowd was for Luke Bryan. Blake Shelton has his work cut out for himself on Sunday.

Bryan also showed that he’s charming and endeared himself to all of the locals when he started telling stories about being out fishing for smallmouth bass on Rice Lake. He also made a comment about the deer situation in Ontario – make no doubt about it, Luke Bryan is a hunting, fishing country boy.

After the first half dozen songs or so Lee Brice came onto the stage to sing with the headliner, and together they covered Crazy Girl (which Brice wrote and the Eli Young Band recorded) and the crowd ate it up and gladly sang along as loud as they could when prompted. And before Brice left the stage the 2 treated the Canadian crowd to an abbreviated version of our 2nd national anthem, Bryan Adams’ Summer of 69.

While the piano was still out on the stage Luke sang Shut It Down, covered Alabama’s Mountain Music, and belted out #1 single Do I. I will confess that I love the sound of a piano, and on a song like Do I, it is the perfect way to hear it live. Well done sir.

Luke Bryan and the Crowd Boots and Hearts 2014The next surprise came when Chris Stapleton (hailed all day long by other performers as the best singer in the world) popped out on stage to sing Drink A Beer as a duet. It was an emotional moment, with the crowd singing along to a song that is heartbreaking in the story it tells – and as true to the country genre as anything else you’ll find. Big ups to Chris for writing such a beautiful song.

For the rest of the set it was all Luke, and not a single person (especially the ladies) were upset about that at all. More hits rang out to the crowd including 2 of my favourites, Drunk On You and Play It Again… and then, as it has to, the end came with a long, awesome, fun and rowdy rendition of another HUGE hit Country Girl Shake It For Me.

Saturday morning when we drove into Boots & Hearts I knew that I was a Luke Bryan fan. What I didn’t know is that he could make me a bigger fan. But by putting on the kind of show he did, by charming and joking with the crowd, by letting them sing along and turning 2 hours at the end of a long day into a party – he did just that.

Go find someone else who was at Boots & Hearts 2014 on Saturday night and ask them what they thought. I bet you’ll hear the same thing.

Check out MORE pics of Luke Bryan from Boots & Hearts 2014 on Trish’s blog right HERE!

Luke Bryan on stage at Boots and Hearts 2014Luke Bryan Guitar Boots and Hearts 2014
Luke Bryan Boots and Hearts 2014 GuitarLuke Bryan Boots and Hearts 2014 DancingLuke Bryan Fans Boots and Hearts 2014
Luke Bryan Crowd Boots and Hearts 2014
Luke Bryan Boots and Hearts 2014 Set List

3 years ago Views

Boots & Heart 2014 Line Up Announcement, March 3

Boots and Hearts 2014 Website BannerBoots & Hearts took to their social media channels last week and told everyone to be ready for a big announcement. And so we waited.

And then this morning it came.

11 new names were added to the 2014 Boots & Hearts lineup which brings us to a total of 20 acts + The Reklaws who won the 2013  Sirius XM Emerging Artist contest.

2013’s lineup had 33 artists listed, which means that we will probably get 1 more major announcement before the final list of names is available for July 31 to August 3 in Bowmanville, ON.

Here are today’s 11 new additions in alphabetical order:

Boot and Hearts Field Logo⋆ Chris Stapleton
⋆ Dan + Shay
⋆ Danielle Bradbery*
⋆ David Lee Murphy
⋆ Deric Ruttan*
⋆ Jess Moskaluke
⋆ Jordan McIntosh
⋆ Paul Brandt
⋆ Sam Hunt
⋆ Sawyer Brown
⋆ Tyler Farr

*2 more correct predictions from earlier this year!

The announcement was made with this video, introducing all of the acts, 1 at a time, along with the 9 previously announced acts… again in alphabetical order:

⋆Blake Shelton
Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton Boots & Hearts 2014⋆Gord Bamford
⋆Hunter Hayes
⋆Lee Brice
⋆Luke Bryan
⋆Neal McCoy
⋆The Road Hammers
⋆Tim Hicks
⋆Toby Keith

Have a look.

We’re still 5 months away from congregating out in the sticks to listen to country music for 4 days, but the excitement was started.

Stay tuned for pre-festival features on artists we’ll be seeing and other country acts that we could be seeing on the Boots & Hearts stages.

Work Hard, Play Harder, Be Awesome.

Boots and Hearts Lineup Announcement March 3, 2014

Boots and Hearts Lineup Announcement March 3, 2014

4 years ago Views
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