Darius Rucker

CMC Rocks QLD: Australian Country Festival Announces 2018 Lineup

We’ve been known to have a soft spot for the Australian music industry and the artists they produce. From Keith Urban to The Lazys, and dozens in between, we’re into it. And now we’ve got something we can totally get behind: The CMC Rocks QLD Country Music Festival 2018 lineup.

You’ve got to see this thing to believe it. We’ve seen some of the biggest acts in the world of country music on stages at Boots & Hearts, the Canadian Country Music Association Awards, and at concerts all over… and Australia is getting a heavy dose of some of the best out there.

Note: It’s especially cool to see Dean Brody, High Valley, and Gord Bamford on this lineup. We know that all three of these Canadian country artists will represent us well.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Dean Brody

CMC Rocks QLD is scheduled to take place from Thursday, March 15 to Sunday, March 18 about 50 kilometres outside of Brisbane. The Willowbank, Ipswich festival is going to be big if the lineup is any indication. And really, how can it not be.

American headliners Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker, and Kelsea Ballerini are all super talented. And with a crop of artists including Brett Young, Luke Combs, Brothers Osborne, and more taking the stage along with them… we wish we were headed to Australia in March.

Check out the full lineup below, and if you are in Australia, or you want to make this part of your 2018 spring vacation plans – tickets go on sale Monday, October 9th. Click here to learn more.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Luke Bryan

We love country music festivals. We love this list of artists. We love the idea that country artists from the United States and Canada get to make this trip. And we love that Australian country music fans get to see them alongside their own local favourites!

CMC Rocks QLD, 2018 Artist Lineup

🇺🇸 Luke Bryan
🇺🇸 Darius Rucker
🇺🇸 Kelsea Ballerini
🇺🇸 Dustin Lynch
🇺🇸 Old Dominion
🇺🇸 Dan + Shay
🇺🇸 Randy Houser
🇺🇸 Brett Young
🇺🇸 Brothers Osborne
🇺🇸 Luke Combs
🇺🇸 Russell Dickerson
🇺🇸 Davisson Brothers Band
🇺🇸 Ryan Follese
🇨🇦 Dean Brody
🇨🇦 High Valley
🇨🇦 Gord Bamford
🇳🇿 Jody Direen
🇳🇿 Kaylee Bell
🇦🇺 Busby Marou
🇦🇺 Steve Forde
🇦🇺 Travis Collins
🇦🇺 The Sunny Cowgirls
🇦🇺 Troy Kemp
🇦🇺 Christie Lamb
🇦🇺 Melanie Dyer
🇦🇺 Missy Lancaster
🇦🇺 Baylou
🇦🇺 Mustered Courage
🇦🇺 Viper Creek Band
🇦🇺 Jayne Denham
🇦🇺 Casey Barnes
🇦🇺 Route 33
🇦🇺 Rachael Fahim

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!



1 year ago

Who’s Coming Next Year? 10 Boots & Hearts 2016 Predictions!

It’s been less than a week since we drove away from Burl’s Creek with music playing in our heads and memories of an awesome 4 day weekend still being formed… but we’re already thinking ahead to Boots & Hearts 2016!

We’ve seen the Google searches for Boots & Hearts predictions and have even been asked on Twitter who we think will be on stage next summer, so we’ve done a little thinking, tried to stay as objective as possible, and picked 10 country music acts that we think have a very real and serious chance to be entertaining us August 4 to August 7, 2016.

Note: We haven’t read any other prediction posts so far so that we could make our own picks without being influenced by anyone else.

Here we go…

Little Big Town

Little Big TownWe all know that Little Big Town was scheduled to appear at Boots & Hearts 2015, but with Jimi recovering from vocal surgery, the quartet had to pull out of the gig… and we really did miss having them there.

It wouldn’t surprise us at all to see LBT added to the next year’s lineup… and early. They could even be the 1st headliner announced if Republic Live believes that they can fill that slot in 2016.

Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker Boots and Hearts 2015When Little Big Town announced their canceled dates in 2015 a lot of Boots & Hearts fans were calling for Rucker to fill the spot.

A member of the Grand Ole Opry, a hit maker in country music, and a dude that can bust out 90s favourites from his time with Hootie and the Blowfish, this would be an add that makes a lot of sense and would make a lot of people happy.

Brett Kissel

Brett Kissel on Stage at Boots and Hearts 2014After playing the Coors Banquet Kick Off Party in 2014, Brett Kissel could be poised to take the main stage at Boots & Hearts 2016.

We know that Brett puts on a great show, gets the crowd fired up, and has the songs it takes to fill an hour plus on stage. Don’t be surprised if we see Flat Lake, Alberta’s most famous son in Oro-Medonte next summer.

Brett Eldredge

Brett EldredgeEldredge is a rising star in country music. With some bonafide hits already to his name, we know that fans would be able to sing along to the set.

It should also be noted that Brett will be going on tour with 2015 performer Thomas Rhett, and if they talk about the idea and Republic Live makes the ask we have to think that young Mr. Rhett would have nice things to say about his time here.

Jess Moskaluke

Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2015We know that Jess has played Boots & Hearts in both 2014 and 2015, but she hasn’t yet had a turn on the main stage.

Nominated for 3 CCMA’s in September (Female Artist of the Year, Single of the Year “Cheap Wine and Cigarettes”, Album of the Year “Light Up the Night”) and with a new EP, Kiss Me Quiet, being released later that month, it might finally be time for Jess Moskaluke to come back and take her turn on the big stage in 2016.

Jake Owen

Jake OwenThis guy is pretty much the embodiment of summer, so as August rolls around and Boots & Hearts hits in 2016, it makes sense to see Jake Owen up on stage.

Whether he keeps his hair short or grows it back out, the ladies will still love him, and the crowd will be ready to sing along to his 13 Top 10 hits (and maybe more by then). Be ready for a barefoot blue jean night.

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey MusgravesMusgraves is a fan favourite, a Top 40 staple, and should still be touring 2015’s Pagaent Material when next summer rolls around.

We think Musgraves would be a great addition to either the Front Porch or the Main Stage, and don’t think it would be a stretch to have her come up to play Boots & Hearts.

Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick at Liuna Station Gibson at the Junos 2015Meghan wouldn’t be new to the Boots & Hearts stage, we saw her with The Stone Sparrows in 2013 – but now the singer/songwriter is on her own, having signed a new record deal with Warner Music Canada earlier this summer.

We know Meghan has been writing and working hard over the last few months, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see her on the Boots & Hearts Front Porch stage in 2016.

Johnson Crook

Johnson-Crook-outside-1111Contestants in the 2015 Emerging Artist Showcase, Johnson Crook finished just outside the top 2 spots that made it to the main stage… but we’ve heard that they were very well received by the judges panel, and being based out of Toronto doesn’t hurt their chances of being asked back.

Eric Ethridge

Eric EthridgeEthridge did a great job in the Emerging Artist Showcase, finishing 2nd to the James Barker Band – but with a polished sound, tight band, and great look, we expect that they will continue to push on with their young career in country music by putting on a show at Boots & Hearts 2016.

What do you think of our picks? Are we way off, do they make sense?

And who do you think we’ll see next year at Boots & Hearts 2016?

2 years ago

Who Will Replace Little Big Town at Boots & Hearts 2015

Update: We have an answer…

The Boots & Hearts schedule now shows Dallas Smith moving out of his original time slot on Sunday and into the empty slot on Saturday opening for Eric Church. Emerson Drive will now be joining the B&H lineup, taking over in Smith’s Sunday spot.

Got it? Good!


Sadly, Little Big Town has announced that they will be cancelling all of their shows for the first 3 weeks of August as Jimmy recovers from his vocal condition by doctors orders.

That means that as of right now (or whenever the announcement is made public by Boots and Hearts) there is an empty time slot of 7:00pm to 8:30pm on Saturday night. And that means we need to figure out who could replace the Girl Crush singers on the main stage before Eric Church headlines the night.

We’ve brainstormed a few options… let us know what you think.

Little Big Town Replacement Option 1: Chad Brownlee

When-The-Lights-Go-Down-Toronto-Chad-8368Chad Brownlee is currently scheduled to play before the Little Big Town slot. So why not just bump the Canadian country star up to 7pm?

It would mean adding a half hour to the 1 hour set that Brownlee has been planning, but we’re confident that he can take tracks from his 3 albums + maybe a cover of Thinking Out Loud to fill that time and keep the fans happy. We just saw him in the spring on the When The Light Go Down tour, and he was excellent!

But, if we move Chad Brownlee up to 7pm, we have to replace him from 5:30pm to 6:30pm… why not Tebey? There are no shows currently showing on his website and we know he puts on a great show. So we say get him in there and let him show the Boots & Hearts crowd why he won the 2012 Emerging Artist Showcase.

Little Big Town Replacement Option 2: Another BIG Name

If you’re itching for another big name to fill the LBT slot and leave Chad Brownlee where he is, we’ve got some options that we think could work based on availability, and awesomeness…

Darius Rucker Boots and Hearts 2015Darius Rucker: We’ve seen Rucker’s name online already as a replacement that people want to see. And we’d agree. The former Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer is on our list of artists we need to see. He’s a member of the Opry and if the Republic Live team can get him – we’ll be happy!

Kacey Musgraves: One of the hottest names in the genre right now, Musgraves is cool, talented, and pushing her Pageant Material album. We can only imagine the volume of the crowd singing along to Biscuits and Gravy, Merry Go ‘Round, and Follow Your Arrow as the evening fades and night begins.

Terri Clark Boots and Hearts 2015Terri Clark: Canadian country legend, member of the Grand Ole Opry, hit maker, crowd pleaser, all around awesome entertainer – why wouldn’t we want to see Terri Clark. With a HUGE career and a list of hits longer than your arm, Clark can own a Canadian crowd. We saw her years ago opening for Brad Paisley in Ottawa, and it was damn near a double headlining show with the pop that she got from the audience. We say yes, bring on live versions of Boy Meets Girl, The World Needs A Drink, Emotional Girl, Dirty Girl, No Fear, etc.

Brantley Girlbert Boots and HeartsBrantley Gilbert: The tattooed singer always looks like he’s having a good time, and more than anything that’s what we need to be looking for here. With the requisite hits (Country Must Be Country Wide, You Don’t Know Her Like I Do, Bottoms Up, One Hell Of An Amen) and a big attitude, he’d be a great fit leading into Eric Church!

Jennifer Nettles: We included Nettles in our 2015 predictions, but she didn’t make it to the schedule. But now she’s got Sugar to share with the world plus That Girl, Me Without You, Who Says You Can’t Go Home – and the entire Sugarland library. In fact, we’d love to see Sugarland play as a duo, but Kristian Bush has a show in Illinois on Friday night, so we’re not as hopeful about that.

Little Big Town Replacement Option 3: Eric Church

Eric Church 2015Right now Eric Church is scheduled to play from 9pm to 11pm… but what if he played longer? What if he took a page out of Neil Young’s WayHome playlist and put on a 3 hour show for the Boots & Hearts crowd?

3 hours is a long time, so we’re probably asking for too much there. But there is a way this could work. If Church comes on at 8:30pm and plays until 11pm we’ve got that covered – and if Chad Brownlee comes on from 6pm to 7:30 instead of 5:30pm to 6:30pm, we’re in better shape. A hour between sets isn’t awful, people could deal with it.

The only thing we don’t like about that plan is that it doesn’t replace Little Big Town…

Now we want to know, who do you want to see replace Little Big Town at Boots and Hearts 2015? Tell us in a comment – we’ll see you there!

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome!

2 years ago

10 More Awesome Country Covers Of Pop Songs

Yesterday the folks over at Buzzfeed posted a list of 17 Awesome Country Covers of Pop Songs. It’s a solid list. I can’t argue with it. I know 12 of the 17 covers and have enjoyed them to varying degrees on the YouTubes and such.

BuzzFeed 17 Awesome Covers of Country SongsBut, there are a lot more awesome country covers out there that Buzzfeed missed.

And because I love country music and I have a soft spot for pop – I’m going to share 10 more awesome country covers of pop songs today!

1. “Born This Way” – Little Big Town

2. “Home” – Blake Shelton

3. “Fast Car” – The Wilkinsons

4. “How To Save A Life” – Jess Moskaluke

5. “You & I” – Miranda Lambert

6. “Free Fallin” – Keith Urban

7. “Sweet Baby James” – The Lovelocks

8. “Wagon Wheel” – Darius Rucker

9. “Night Moves” – Garth Brooks

10. “Life In A Northern Town” – Sugarland ft. Little Big Town & Jake Owen

This one is my favourite. It gives me chills. I love it.

Thank you and goodnight.

4 years ago
Scroll to top