Dean Brody

2018 Trackside Music Festival Main Stage Artist Lineup

On Tuesday, Trackside Music Festival announced their full 2018 lineup… and it’s a good one. The two-day festival, scheduled for the Canada Day weekend (June 30 & July 1) is bringing a dozen exciting country music acts to the stage, and it should be one hell of a party.

There is a disclaimer to add that this is the main stage lineup, so there’s still a chance that more artists will be announced for secondary performances, but now we have a clear look at what’s going to make Trackside 2018 special in London, ON.

At two days and 12 artists, Trackside may not be the biggest festival on the circuit, but the combination of Canada Day weekend, a great crowd, and talented and entertaining artists on stage will make this weekend in London a beauty!

Trackside Music Festival 2018 Lineup
London, Ontario

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dierks Bentley

There shouldn’t be much we have to say to get country music fans excited to see Dierks Bentley on stage.

However, we’ll say this…

1) Bentley has new music coming in 2018, so there will be new songs and energy for him to add to his live show.
2) There are more hits and fan favourites in his library than he can fit in a show, which means that some people will leave without hearing their personal favourite Dierks Bentley song, but nobody will leave without hearing a set full of hits.
3) Dierks is a maniac on stage. We’ve seen it, lived it, and loved it.

Dierks Bentley BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Dean Brody

If you wanted to bet on something, you could bet that Dean Brody is going to bring down the house when he hits the main stage at Trackside. This Canadian superstar has songs and stories to share – and he’s great in front of the crowd.

If you’ve seen him before you know it will be good. If you haven’t seen him before, you should.

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

LANCO

These five dudes are big time up and comers in country music, and 2018 could be a HUGE year for them. Trackside fans should be ready for a lot of energy as LANCO continues their quest to gain fans everywhere they go – including their stops with Bentley on the Mountain High Tour.

Emerson Drive

These Canadian stars have been playing stages all over for years, and they haven’t lost a step. Emerson Drive will bring a list of hits and fan favourites that will have the Trackside crowd singing along, dancing, and having a great time!

Emerson Drive BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Eric Ethridge

Ethridge has been putting in work to take his career to the next level. And with an energetic show, radio singles to sing with the crowd, and an effort to win some new fans, we’re sure this one will be fun!

CMT Music Fest - Eric Ethridge Band

Julia Haggarty

This London, ON native will be in a mood to party with her hometown at Trackside! Julia Haggarty brings a powerful voice and a solid selection of songs to the stage with her, and will be a great way to start the weekend.

Trackside Lineup – Sunday, July 1, 2018

Dustin Lynch

We’ve heard a lot of great things about Dustin Lynch live on stage, and we can’t wait to see it. With hits and momentum and fan love, Canada Day is going to close with a bang!

Tim Hicks

He’ll bring the thunder and stronger beer to the party, and we have no doubt that the London crowd will blow up for Tim Hicks. This guy knows how to get everyone involved and fired up, and it’s going to be good!

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

Chase Rice

Chase Rice‘s career is blooming and his star keeps rising… and when he comes to Trackside, it’s going to get loud. Be ready for a good time!

Chase Rice BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Jojo Mason

2017 CCMA Rising Star nominee Jojo Mason is a blast on stage. He’s got hits and fan favourites from Both Sides Of The Bar, he kills some surprise covers, and there’s new music on the way. Good dude, good music, good fun.

Mohawk Racing Pepsi NA Cup Jojo Mason

Midnight Shine

We caught Midnight Shine on the fabled Horseshoe Tavern stage during Canadian Music Week 2017, and have no doubts that they can hit the Trackside stage and entertain the crowd!

Runaway Angel

Cadence, Ann, and Stacey will play Trackside and share tracks from Runaway Angel‘s first and second albums (No End In Sight, Zero) and we know that they’ll facilitate the country music party atmosphere. Enjoy!

Runaway Angel CD Release Boots and Bourbon

CMA Songwriter Series, Toronto: Dean Brody, Jessica Mitchell, Marcus Hummon, and Levi Hummon

On Tuesday night in Toronto, four country music singer/songwriters sat on the stage at The Great Hall to share their stories and songs with an attentive, appreciative audience. It was powerful and peaceful and everything we love about the magic of music.

The CMA Songwriter Series came to Toronto and featured Canadian superstar Dean Brody, emerging star Jessica Mitchell, and a familial duo of writers and performers from Nashville in Marcus Hummon and his son Levi Hummon. These four artists sat, with smoke and lights behind them for ambiance, and offered us everything we could have hoped for. There were jokes and laughter on stage and in the crowd, there were moments of closed eyes and intent listening, and there were tears, because that’s what happens sometimes when the songs and stories and situations come together perfectly in music.

Note: The Country Music Association (CMA) also presented a music and brand forum earlier in the day, offering great research and insight into the country music landscape in terms of audience and consumption and more. And know this, country music is alive and well and strong in Canada, the numbers prove it.

Dean Brody, Jessica Mitchell, Levi Hummon and Marcus Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall

During the Tuesday evening performance, each of the artists on stage took four turns to their songs… with one cover thrown in when Marcus Hummon paid tribute to Canadian rock and roll legend, Neil Young by playing The Needle And The Damage Done.

And while Marcus did throw in a cover, he also shared three amazing and famous country songs that we were privileged to hear. The elder Hummon started with Born To Fly, the 2001 #1 single from Sara Evans, followed that up with Cowboy Take Me Away, the 2000 #1 hit from The Dixie Chicks (co-written with Martie from the country music mega-trio), and after his Neil Young cover, he wrapped by singing a duet of Bless The Broken Road, the 2005 #1 record by Rascal Flatts (first recorded and released by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and then Hummon himself) and winner of the 2006 Grammy for Best Country Song.

Marcus Hummon, Levi Hummon, Jessica Mitchell CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall

Following Marcus in the lineup of singing and sharing was Levi Hummon. The 26 year old singer/songwriter showed his talent, proving that it’s in his blood, and that he’s got the same thing inside of him that his daddy does.

Levi has been named One To Watch by multiple publications, he’s played CMA Songwriter Series shows in the US and abroad (UK, Netherlands, Sweden) and his 2017 single Stupid is nearing 7 million streams on Spotify.

On Tuesday night the younger Hummon played Don’t Waste The Night (with nearly 3.5 million streams of its own), Songs We Sang, Love Heals (his next single, coming soon), and Stupid, the track that is helping him make his name as a young country artist.

Levi Hummon showed the Toronto crowd that he has the songwriting chops, and the voice to carry himself through a career. His range is impressive, he’s crisp and in tune with where country is right now, and it’s clear that he has deep roots in the genre.

This was Levi’s first trip to and show in Toronto… we’re guessing it won’t be his last.

Jessica Mitchell and Levi Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall

Next in line was Jessica Mitchell, the CCMA nominee and one of the best people we know. Mitchell showed off the power, connection, and emotion in her songs over her four turns, and shared some information that is setting up a big 2018 for her.

Earlier in the day it was announced that Jessica Mitchell will be the opening act on Johnny Reid’s upcoming Revival Tour over two months from late February to late April. It’s a massive trip across the country, and a great opportunity.

The second piece of news was equally, if not more, exciting… Jessica told the crowd that her debut album, Heart Of Glass, will be released this spring. And while she told us after the show that she doesn’t have an exact date yet, it was clear that she’s excited to share this collection of songs with the world.

On her first round, Jessica played Bulletproof, a new song that we should expect to hear on the new album. On her second trip through, she played her 2017 single, Tear It Down, and as we quietly sang along we were reminded once again of how powerful she is.

Jessica Mitchell, Levi Hummon, Marcus Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall

When her third turn, Mitchell played the title track to the upcoming record. Heart Of Glass is good, deserving of the lead on the album, and fits perfectly with everything we know about her ability as a songwriter to explore and capture that things that we feel but don’t always know how to say.

And, on Jessica Mitchell’s fourth and last turn we got exactly what we hoped for and were afraid of.

A year and a half ago we first heard Mitchell play Workin’ On Whiskey at the Country Music Association of Ontario awards and were blown away. We’ve watched and listened as her career has taken off since then and have heard Jessica play the song live a bunch. However, that takes absolutely nothing away from the impact the song had on Tuesday night. The room was quiet. You could have heard a pin drop. It was only Jessica Mitchell, her guitar, and a song that will make you cry. It was perfect.

Jessica Mitchell, Levi Hummon, Marcus Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall

On the end of the stage, in jeans, a t-shirt, and a baseball cap, was Dean Brody. The BC born country star who has played for thousands and thousands of fans, has been celebrated with awards from the CCMA and at the Junos, and continues to write and record hits.

Over his four turns on Tuesday night, Brody shared some new music, and played a favourite. He connected with the fans and industry in the Toronto audience, and he did his part to impress upon all of us, how country music works at its heart.

The first time through the rotation, Brody played a new song. And while we don’t know the official title, or when/if it will make it to a record or single, we’ll tentatively call it Moonlight Girl. It was sweet and lovely and the kind of acoustic track that puts a smile on your face.

On this next turn, Dean put a little vacation feeling in the room with another new song. Leaving Mexico (another title we’re unsure of) is a little different for Dean as it tells the tale of leaving Mexico at the end of a trip, rather than the odes to the country that he’s sung about going to before.

Dean Brody CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall

On the third trip, Dean Brody put a feeling of love in the room, playing a song that he wrote after finding a person that has clearly put a smile on his face.

Happily Ever After (our last tentative title, we promise) is the kind of song that couples will latch onto. It is sweet and full of love and will be played on radio and at weddings. Whenever it is released it will become a fan favourite. We’d bet on it.

And then, on Dean Brody’s last turn, and for the last song of the night, he played the song that earned him the Canadian Country Music Association’s Songwriter of the Year award in 2017… Time.

If you’ve heard the song, you know how hard it can hit you. And if you’ve heard Dean Brody sit in a silent room and play it on his guitar, with nothing between you and the song, you know that can stop everything and own you.

Hearing Time on Tuesday night at The Great Hall was the end to a wonderful evening. One that brought laughs, excitement, cheers, and tears to the intimate crowd.

Dean Brody CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall

More Photos from of Dean Brody, Jessica Mitchell, Marcus Hummon, and Levi Hummon at the CMA Songwriter Series, Toronto

Dean Brody CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Jessica Mitchell CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Marcus Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Levi Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Dean Brody CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Dean Brody, Jessica Mitchell and Levi Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Jessica Mitchell and Levi Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Levi Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Marcus Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Dean Brody, Jessica Mitchell, Levi Hummon and Marcus Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Levi and Marcus Hummon CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall Empty Chairs under blue lights - CMA Songwriters Session at Toronto's The Great Hall

Country Thunder Music Festival 2018, Craven Lineup Preview

From Thursday, July 12 to Sunday, July 15, Saskatchewan will be home to some of country music’s biggest stars as the Country Thunder Music Festival rolls into Craven for four days of hits and fan favourites.

So far, Country Thunder Craven has announced 17 acts for the festival, with the promise of more to come on both Friday and Saturday’s lineups. The headliners, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young, and Luke Bryan all bring a bevy of hits to the stage, and have track records of entertaining the heck out of fans. And we have no doubt that they’ll do exactly that when they take their turns this July.

There’s also a ton of 90s nostalgia that’s going to take the stage, with big radio hits and fan favourites that will have the Craven crowd singing along at the top of their lungs.

Related: Calgary Country Thunder Music Festival 2018 Preview!

If you want to be in that crowd, get your tickets now, you don’t want to find out that they’re all gone later… Country Thunder Music Festival 2018 – Craven, Saskatchewan Tickets!

And now, let’s have a look at the lineup!

Country Thunder Music Festival 2018 Lineup
Craven, Saskatchewan

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Big & Rich

One of the biggest duos in country music since the release of Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy – Big & Rich are a helluva choice to kick off a four day country music festival!

Clay Walker

Walker has had a fantastic career, with big hits, songs that have connected with country music fans, and a legacy that lives on in 90s country nostalgia to go along with his five Top 10s in the 2000s. This is a great add to a kick off party.

Williams & Ree

Bruce Williams and Terry Ree are a music and comedy duo that will be served up for the Country Thunder crowd in Craven to help get the weekend started. Be ready to laugh!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Dierks Bentley BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley has gone from stealing the show as a lead-in act, to a bonafide headliner that owns the spotlight. We’ve seen the What Was I Thinkin’ star thrill tens of thousands of fans with his festival show, and have no doubt that he’ll do it again in Craven this summer!

Chris Janson

This dude is talented and looks like he’s a good time waiting to happen. We haven’t seen Chris Janson live yet, but we are looking forward to the day when we can sing along to Buy Me A Boat!

LANCO

These five dudes are up and comers in the world of country music, and 2018 could be a HUGE year for them. Country Thunder fans should be ready for a lot of energy as LANCO continues their quest to gain fans everywhere they go.

Hunter Brothers

It’s about a three and a half hour drive from Shaunavon to Craven, which makes the Hunter Brothers defacto hometown boys for the weekend. And when these five brothers (and their unbelievable harmonies) take the stage, Saskatchewan should get right into it!

More…

We don’t know who more is going to be… but it will only add to an already good day in Craven!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Chris Young

Chris Young has graduated to headliner status as he continues to pump out hits to country radio. And Craven will get the chance to enjoy the show as the Murfreesboro, Tennessee native takes the Country Thunder stage.

Dean Brody

Canadian country music will be well represented on Saturday night at Country Thunder when Dean Brody takes the stage to Bring Down The House. We’ve seen Dean a bunch of times, and every one of them is a great show. Be ready for that!

Tracy Lawrence

Lawrence had 7 #1 hits between 1991 and 1996, that’s a hell of a run, and when he added Find Out Who Your Friends Are in 2006, a lot of younger country fans discovered those hits. Now, in 2018, Tracy Lawrence is headed to Saskatchewan to play for the Craven crowd, and we’re sure it’s going to be a fun.

Lindsay Ell

Lindsay Ell keeps earning new fans every time she and her guitar take the stage. Her 2017 album, The Project, was well received and fans should be ready for Waiting On You, Criminal, and more this summer.

More…

There are more names coming to Saturday at Country Thunder in Craven… and we don’t know who they are, but it means a bigger and better party!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan

What can we say about Luke Bryan? He’s one of the biggest music stars in the world of any genre, we’ve seen him live and he lights up the crowd with hits and energy, and when the set is over your voice will be mostly gone from singing and cheering. Be ready, it’s gonna be good!

Midland

One of the biggest breakout acts in 2017, Midland are turning into big stars and they put on a great show. Get ready for harmonies, humour, and a throwback vibe to the 90s country that we all loved when these Texas boys hit the stage.

Jess Moskaluke

It’s about two and a half hours on the highway from Jess Moskaluke’s hometown of Langenburg to Craven, which should make her the guest of honour on Sunday at Country Thunder. Be ready for the hits, new music from Past The Past, and a lot of energy and fun from one of Canada’s biggest stars in country music.

Roots & Boots

Sammy Kershaw

With 11 top ten hits in the 90s, Sammy Kershaw is all of the nostalgia that country music radio lovers should be waiting for. If you can’t get up and excited to sing along to Queen Of My Double Wide Trailer and She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful, we don’t know what to tell you.

Aaron Tippin

Tippin is another star from the 90s that country fans should be happy to see. With seven Top 10s, including Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With The Radio and That’s As Close As I’ll Get To Loving You going all the way to #1, there will be sing along opportunities throughout this set!

Collin Raye

Collin Raye had 18 Top 5 hits between 1991 and 2000, putting himself on country radio all the damn time, with good reason. And Country Thunder fans are going to have a great time singing along to some of the biggest songs of the 90s when he’s on stage.

1 month ago

Country Thunder Music Festival 2018 Preview

With four incredible locations, Country Thunder will be back yet again in 2018, and it will be bigger than ever!

With festivals in Florence, Arizona, Craven, Saskatchewan, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, and Calgary, Alberta everyone can have the opportunity to put on their cowboy boots, grab a cold one and dance to an amazing lineup all weekend long!

Get ready for some of the biggest names in country music taking over my city, Calgary, during the weekend of August 17th-19th. I thought the lineup last year was incredible but wait for 2018. The summer of 2017 featured Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, Dallas Smith, and Randy Houser to name a few! Country Thunder’s new 2018 lineup is filled with the most successful and chart topping artists yet; Eric Church, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley, Dean Brody, Midland, Madeline Merlo, Hunter Brothers, Lindsay Ell, Bryan White and Jess Moskaluke and more!

Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26

One of the artists I am most excited to see is Eric Church! I’ve been really lucky to see him a couple of times, and I must say he’s one of the only artists who gives me goosebumps every time he sings. One of the most memorable moments at Eric’s shows is when he strips it down to a solo acoustic performance; I truly believe this is the kind of live music experience we all crave. His acoustic performances are definitely something for the books! I highly recommend getting your tickets as soon as possible, as Eric will be closing off Country Thunder the finale night.

Another artist I cannot wait to see is recently announced CRS 2018 Artist Humanitarian Award winner Dierks Bentley. Sadly I have never seen Dierks perform, but I have only ever heard wonderful things. I’m a huge fan of Dierks, one of the biggest reasons why I adore his music so much is because of the stories behind his writing. Musically what he always tries to do is create records that reflect who he is, snapshots of his life at the time. I can’t wait to sing along to some of his most popular songs; Somewhere On A Beach, Black, What The Hell Did I Say, and Different For Girls.

Dierks Bentley BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

‘m looking forward to experiencing the diversity all these artists will bring; from heart filled songs to heart breaks, celebrating the weekend, living and learning, being outdoors with your friends and growing up in a small town, this festival will have all your country needs checked off.

Because the festival is located in the city, there are no camping accommodations, only hotels. But don’t worry!!! Country Thunder has a list of 19 different hotel partners near the festival site that will suit your budget and requirements. Plus, with your festival passes you are welcome to shuttle back and forth for free. Try not to wait too long to purchase tickets to Calgary’s Country Thunder though, as limited tickets are remaining for the full weekend festival.

So grab your sunscreen, cowboy hat, wear your best dancing shoes and get ready to experience everything that Country Thunder has to offer in 2018!

Boots and Hearts 2017 - MidlandJess Moskaluke-Calgary-StampedeMadeline Merlo - Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonLindsay Ell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Goals: Andrew Hyatt, the Feature Presented by New Country Spirit

Presented by New Country Spirit

Andrew Hyatt is goal oriented, he told us so. Whether those goals are releasing an EP and full length album, getting his songs on the radio, or even just getting good enough at music to open for a local band, he’s willing to work to achieve them.

Hyatt told us that the last one mentioned there is the one that kind of got him started. He knew he wanted to give music a try, and so he set a goal of being good enough on his guitar and on the microphone to open for Parry Sound band, Red Umbrella. And now, as 2017 comes to a close, Andrew Hyatt has well surpassed that original goal.

We’ve had the chance to catch up with the Sudbury native a few times over the last couple of years, most recently in Oshawa on a Friday afternoon before he took the stage with Dallas Smith to sing a duet of his first Top 10 hit single, On Me. And as we’ve become more familiar with Andrew (and kept tabs on him through his social media accounts), we’ve known him to be a dude that likes cold beer, good whiskey, and isn’t afraid to take or make a joke.

In fact, before we sat down to talk to Andrew in Oshawa, he was 100% game when we suggested standing in the visitor’s locker room showers at Tribute Communities Centre for a photo op. Hell, he even turned on the water behind him before he posed for his shots.

Andrew Hyatt in the shower - Side Effects Tour - Oshawa

While Andrew is dedicated to setting and achieving his goals, there’s a certain amount of opportunity and perseverance that comes with launching a career in music, including Hyatt’s.

When we asked him what moment made him want to go all-in on the idea of music as a career, he told us about a chance he got in 2012 to open for Dean Brody at a sold out show in Sudbury. He had been playing local shows and open mics, and the right person saw him and asked if he and his band would be interested in opening for Brody (who was touring his latest release at the time, Dirt). Hyatt said yes, and the band plugged in to play for a sold out crowd. And that was the moment that he knew what he wanted to do.

He told us that there was video available online somewhere from that show… so we went looking for it! Watch Andrew Hyatt and his band on stage in front of his hometown Sudbury crowd, as Dean Brody’s opener on September 15, 2012 at the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre.

The idea that it would all be fast and easy after that show was quickly, and repeatedly nixed for Hyatt. He told us that he moved to Toronto three times to try to make music for a living, finally getting a foothold on the third attempt. He also told us that he put in his share of time in shitty apartments, with sketchy roommates that he didn’t trust. He also worked any and every job he could find – quitting to play a show if he couldn’t get the time off, and then finding another job when he needed to pay the rent.

It would be enough to make anyone wonder if they were doing the right thing. But Andrew Hyatt had goals.

On January 1, 2014, Andrew Hyatt released Love Drunk, his first track that country fans could find and buy from iTunes. And while that might have been one goal, it wasn’t enough.

Note: Texas, an earlier song from Hyatt, was released in 2012 on the Up & Coming Hitmakers, Round 1: East album – which can still be found iTunes.

Hyatt continued to write and work after the release of Love Drunk, and in 2015 he released Livin’ The Dream as a single, and followed it up with his EP, Never Back Down. The EP was a collection of six songs that achieved another goal, and afforded him the chance to release his first official lyric video.

He kept working, doing everything he could to get his music on the radio and out to the world. And when it was time for MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) to be released to radio, Hyatt put together some handmade six pack beer can holders in his shop to send out to stations.

As many artists do when they’re starting out, Andrew Hyatt followed up the release of his EP by playing as many shows on as many nights in as many towns as he could. A look back through his dates on bandsintown.com shows him on stages across Ontario and as far as Calgary in 2015.

And he hasn’t slowed down since.

In May 2017 we did a Q&A with Andrew and asked him about playing live. Here are two questions and answers from that interview…

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

A. I love being able to tell the stories and let people in a little more on the intimacy of the songs.

Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a set with the full band?

A. The energy of standing in stage with some of your best friends is amazing. Before shows, no matter how tired we are we always remind each other that at 65 (if we make it) we will be wishing for it!

Note: In that same interview, Hyatt gave one of my favourite answers of all-time when he told us that he’d choose to be in an Alan Jackson cover band… so he could “grow a duster and water ski in jeans!”.

While we had Andrew with us in the locker room in Oshawa, we got him to play a quick round of 5 Quick Questions with us. Find out where Andrew’s going for a late night snack, his favourite Shania jam, who he thinks you should be listening to, and more…

On May 12, 2017, Andrew Hyatt released his debut full-length album, Iron & Ashes, crossing another goal off of his always evolving list.

The 12 track record quickly gained traction with some love from CMT and two One Shot videos for She Ain’t You and We Only Kiss On Sundays. Pairing those views with the pre-release hype that Andrew helped create with Canadian Music Week shows at The Phoenix and Boots & Bourbon Saloon in Toronto, and the pre-album single releases of MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio), That’s How I’m Livin’, and She Ain’t You, Hyatt found himself with an album that fans were excited for, and ready to dive into right away.

We asked about the songs and if there was a theme for Iron & Ashes and he told us that he had been going through a lot of personal changes in his life, and that he really needed to write it all down.

He also told us that there’s a quote from Tolstoy, “truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”, that helped set him in the direction of writing the record and explains how refining life can be uncomfortable but worth it.

Fast forward a couple months to the summer of 2017, and the release of On Me to country radio. The single quickly became Hyatt’s highest charting release, climbing into the Top 30, the Top 20, and then this September the track moved into the Top 10, crossing another goal off of every country singers list.

When we talked to Andrew in August 2017 at Boots & Hearts we asked him about hitting the Top 20 with the single. He told us that his first calls after he got the news were to the band. And to celebrate, he cracked a bottle of Crown Royal special reserve that he had been saving for this specific special occasion.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt

We aren’t sure what Andrew did to celebrate moving into the Top 10 for the first time, but we’re hoping there was another bottle involved.

Jump forward again with us to fall 2017 and Hyatt’s guest spot on Dallas Smith’s Side Effects Tours. This is part of the news Andrew Hyatt told us that he couldn’t share in August… the other part being that Dallas Smith (the four time #1 hit maker) has become his manager. It’s a big step for the Sudbury native, having someone that knows the ropes, the ins and outs, and has made his own climb to the top, on his side.

We asked Smith about working with Andrew while we were in Oshawa at the Side Effects Tour stop, and the Sky Stays This Blue star told us that he was excited to be working with the emerging star. He also tipped us off to new music being on the way…

And then, on October 27, 2017, Andrew Hyatt dropped a brand new single. Do It With You isn’t from the album, it isn’t a song we’ve heard Hyatt play live, and it isn’t something we knew was coming so soon.

But, Andrew did tell us that new music was coming, and that it was giving him a chance to continue to grow as an artist and find out who he is. And in listening to Do It With You, we can hear the new perspective and story. This isn’t a post-breakup song, this one’s for the girls.

He also told us that there’s a trip to Nashville coming soon so he can get some more writing done, which will mean even more new music again in the future.

Andrew Hyatt - Northern Comfort Saloon - CNE 2017

Andrew Hyatt told us that things have felt like they’re snowballing in the last few months. He’s gaining momentum, things keep moving forward and getting bigger. And that’s a good thing.

He also acknowledged that it’s been a lot of hard work since we first talked to him about MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) at those CMAOs in Markham. And that it’s been a long ride… and a good experience.

We don’t know exactly what’s coming next for Hyatt, his career is still in a fast moving, ready for action mode. But we do know this…

Andrew Hyatt will continue to set goals, because that’s what he does. And if he continues to put the work in, and pairs it with his talent, dedication, and the opportunities that continue to come his way, he’ll be crossing more goals off of his list – and often.


Andrew Hyatt in the locker room - Side Effects Tour - OshawaAndrew Hyatt in the shower - Side Effects Tour - OshawaAndrew Hyatt with Joshua Murray in the locker room - Side Effects Tour - OshawaBoots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew HyattBoots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew HyattCMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

National Country Girls Day: Dean Brody Contest and Q&A

Dean Brody is used to looking out into the crowd and seeing country girls. And now, with the release of his newest single, 8th Day, he’s celebrating those women, and giving them a day of their own.

In fact, Wednesday, November 8, 2017 will be all theirs as Dean presents National Country Girls Day in Canada – and to celebrate, we’re teaming up with the Beautiful Freakshow singer to give away a special prize!

Dean and his team have given us a signed poster that we’re going to give away to a fan who plays along. Here’s what you have to do…

1) On Wednesday, November 8, 2017 post a photo or story celebrating National Country Girls Day on social media.

2) Use the hashtag #NationalCountryGirlsDay to make sure that everyone can find it.

3) Tag Dean Brody (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram) AND tag thereviewsarein (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram) so we can see your posts and you have a chance to win!

It’s really easy. If you’re a country girl – or you love country music and you’re a girl, post a picture that shows it off and add #NationalCountryGirlsDay in the caption. And if you’re a boy who loves a country girl, or girls that love country music, post a pic or tell a story and add #NationalCountryGirlsDay in the caption.

Someone that posts something awesome is going to win an awesome signed poster from Dean Brody for participating – and we can’t wait for it!

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

To celebrate the release of 8th Day we also asked Dean a couple questions about the song, and country girls…

Thanks to Dean for playing along with us. Check it out.

Q: What inspired this song while you were working on Beautiful Freakshow?

Dean: I’ve seen the saying before in a slightly different way: “on the eighth day God made a farmer.” So we thought (with co-writer/producer Matt Rovey) it would be cool to do a take on that saying and make a song about country girls, because, they are definitely a unique and awesome part of creation themselves.

Q: Every show you play you get to look out over the crowd and see these country girls singing along to your songs. Is this song a gift back to them from you?

Dean: If they accept it, yes!

Q: Do you have any advice for boys who fall in love with country girls?

Dean: Listen to them. You’ll probably learn something. And be thankful you have someone who appreciates the things in life that you do.

Q: If God made country girls on the 8th day, what do you think he made on the 9th?

Dean: He was exhausted so he went fishing and rested. Again. They took a lot of work. Ask any country girl’s father. But they were worth it!

Remember to keep an eye on the #NationalCountryGirlDay hashtag on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 – this is going to be fun! Good luck!


Boots and Hearts 2017 - Dean BrodyDean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017Dean Brody - CNE Bandshell 2016

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

Forever Rebels: Tim Hicks Backstage Interview, Toronto

From the small stage of a downtown Toronto bar to making dreams come true in front of thousands of country music fans on the Budweiser Stage, Tim Hicks has been on a hell of a ride.

Canadian country music fans know Tim Hicks as the singer of top 10 hits, fan anthems, and major tour appearances with some of the genre’s biggest names. But before all of that success, Hicks fronted the house band at Grace O’Malley’s, singing covers of country favourites and drunken rock and roll standards like Pour Some Sugar On Me.

We caught up with Tim Hicks backstage before his Budweiser Stage show with fellow Canadian star Dean Brody to talk about the highlights, family, his live record, CCMA weekend and more.

It was clear that Tim was excited for the amphitheatre show. Even if he hadn’t told us about the excitement specifically (he did), it was plastered all over his face. He called it a bucket list event, a highlight that he’ll not only look back on as a big moment, but that he could appreciate as it was happening.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

That feeling of excitement flows over into everything that is happening in Tim Hicks’ career. He’s still very happy to be writing, recording and performing his music. But as much as he enjoys making a living doing what he loves, he fully admits that it isn’t always easy. “It doesn’t come with a manual”, he told us when we talked about the process of creating music, being on the road and juggling that with his responsibilities as a husband and a father. He told us that when he’s home he makes a conscious effort to put his phone away and just be dad. Whether that means colouring, crafts, puzzles or playing outside, that time is important to him and his young family.

While there may not be a manual, there has been help along the way. In 2014, at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto we talked to Tim and he told us that Dierks Bentley had become an amazing resource of advice and information as they prepared for their tour dates together. And as the years add up in his own career, Hicks feels like he’s ready to start sharing his insights and advice to the next wave of Canadian artists coming through the pipeline.

Note: As we talked on a balcony backstage, a group of Tim Hicks fans lined up for their meet and greet with him below us. When they saw him, they called his name, waving and trying to get his attention. We stopped for a second as he turned and smiled and waved at them. And when he turned back around he looked at us with a look of awe and told us that he was a little speechless. It was real and endearing and one of the small moments that still hasn’t gotten old for the homegrown star.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

While we had Tim we asked him about his live record, Tim Hicks Live, that dropped in May. Hicks told is that the 6 song release was a happy accident. He had been recording his shows live from the board and listening back to them to see where things could get tighter, better, and more exciting at the next stop – and then it happened. When Tim listened back to the Sudbury show he loved it. The sound was strong, his vocals were on point, and it got the wheels turning. After sharing it with his label, the tracks were sent to Nashville for a little cleanup and mastering, and from there all that was left as the release. Hicks told us that he’s especially proud of the fact that his vocals weren’t tuned or touched in the production of the record. And he also told us that he’d love to see more Canadian country artists follow his lead with their own live releases. He didn’t go so far as to challenge anyone by name, but as a fan himself, we’re sure there are some live releases he’d love to hear.

We also talked to Tim about the upcoming CCMA awards and weekend in Saskatoon. He told us what so many other artists have, that he’s looking forward to seeing all of the industry friends that he so rarely gets to hangout with. Tour stops like the Toronto show offer quick chances to say hi to local radio hosts and fellow artists, but Canadian Country Music Week will offer the chance for some real catch up time, and maybe a drink or two. Tim is also up for two awards on Sunday, September 10 – Male Artist and Interactive Artist of the Year – and taking home either of those trophies would most certainly be another highlight to add to Tim Hicks’ growing list.

On stage in Toronto, Tim Hicks and his band let it all hang out. With fire shooting into the sky, guitars ringing, and the fans singing along, it was a special night for the folks in the back row all the way to the man standing at the microphone. And don’t for a second think that he’ll forget it.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017 Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, Carly Pearce and Special Guests Take Over Toronto

On a summer Thursday night down by the lake, Toronto embraced Canadian country music at the biggest homegrown show in our memory. Dean Brody & Tim Hicks put their Canadian names on the tickets, with U.S. rising star Carly Pearce as their opener, and special guests promised – and everyone, from the start to the finish – delivered a night that thousands of fans are glad they were a part of.

Before the show on the big stage got started, Leah Daniels hit the River Bar for a pre-show set as the gates opened. We talked to Leah for a minute and she told us that there are some exciting things coming soon. So stay tuned for more news from the Canadian country singer.

The Budweiser Stage show started with Kentucky native, former Dollywood performer, and Top 20 charting, Carly Pearce. The Big Machine artist, preparing to drop her debut full length album this fall (October 13, 2017) made her first Canadian performance count, wowing the crowd from start to finish.

With songs including her single, (and the title track to her upcoming album) Every Little Thing, and songs that we’ll hear on the new record including, Careless, Doin’ It Right, and If My Name Was Whiskey, Pearce showed that she’s ready for that release.

The tracks offered an opportunity for Carly to showcase her voice, and it’s impressive. The notes, inflection, and emotion that she’s able to share through the words in her songs are strong, and those qualities are exactly why there’s hype from outlets like Rolling Stone for her young career.

Be ready to hear a lot more about Carly Pearce here and everywhere.

Carly Pearce - Budweiser Stage 2017

After Carly Pearce finished her Canadian debut, the true north country show started with Tim Hicks and his band hitting the Budweiser Stage… hard. The moment Hicks and the boys hit the stage, it got loud. The Toronto country fans love this dude, accepting him as one of their own over the last few years as he’s put out hit after hit.

Hicks made a point of telling everyone in the crowd how special this show was to him. Making the journey in his career from fronting the house band at Grace O’Malley’s to playing the amphitheatre by the lake is big for him, as it would be for anybody.

Tim Hicks - Budweiser Stage 2017

Note: Many thanks to Tim for hanging out with us for a little chat and catch up session before the show. It’s always a good time.

Hicks also made an announcement at the end of the set, just before playing his last song, that the track, Forever Rebels, will be released as his next radio single. And, having listened to the track, and having seen the reaction of the fans to it, we’re pretty comfortable telling you that we think Tim Hicks has another Canadian Top 10 on his hands.

We should also tell you this… Tim Hicks had the second loudest singalong we’ve ever heard at the Budweiser Stage. When Stronger Beer was being belted out by thousands of voices we could feel it just as much as we could hear it. It was special. It truly was. And the only time we’ve heard it louder was when Florida Georgia Line stripped it down to perform H.O.L.Y in 2016.

Even though it’s only a 15 minute drive, Tim Hicks has come a long way from playing covers in downtown Toronto. And every stop along the way has been a hell raisin’ good time.

Tim Hicks Setlist Budweiser Stage, Toronto

🍻 Shake These Walls
🍻 Burn
🍻 Hell Raisin’ Good Time
🍻 Slide Over
🍻 She Don’t Drink Whiskey
🍻 I Got A Feelin’
🍻 Stompin’ Ground
🍻 Get By
🍻 Stronger Beer
🍻 Forever Rebels

Dean Brody headlined the Thursday night concert in every sense of the word. With a boatload of energy, and more special guests than we could have predicted, the B.C. native took over the Toronto stage and showed everyone what he’s got.

It was immediately clear, from the moment he walked on stage and started playing Bush Party with the band, that the crowd was in love with him. They were loud, attentive, out of their seats, singing and dancing at every opportunity. And that was before the surprises started popping out onto the stage.

Note: Dean told the crowd that he’s a Toronto resident now, so if you see him walking around reenacting the Mountain Man video, say hi.

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

Six songs into the show the first special guest came out to play – and Toronto got loud for Dallas Smith as he partnered with Brody on Undone, and then borrowed the band to play Somebody Somewhere. Then, just a new moments later, Madeline Merlo (fresh off the bandshell stage at the Canadian National Exhibition) came out to sing Lindi Ortega’s part on Bounty. Next, after Dean pulled on our heartstrings with acoustic versions of Time and Brothers, his duet partner, Shevy Price, came out to hammer home a high energy performance of Beautiful Freakshow.

And just when we thought that had to be it, Alan Doyle, a repeat partner in Dean Brody’s career, came out on stage to collaborate on both Soggy Bottom Summer and It’s Friday, before borrowing the Brodeo for Great Big Sea’s classic, Ordinary Day.

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017

It was highlight after highlight. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the special guests were the only high spots. Dean Brody worked the stage, commanded the crowd, danced, smiled, and rolled through his biggest hits for the Toronto crowd. He headlined the hell out of that concert, proving that he was more than ready for that big city spotlight on the Budweiser Stage.

Dean Brody is a stud and a homegrown star. And he showed that Canadian talent can not only compete, but can put thousands of butts in seats, get them back out of those seats to sing and dance, and headline shows for country music fans.

We’re glad we were there to see it. And we can’t wait to see Dean, and a whole crop of Canadian artists follow in those footsteps.

Dean Brody and Special Guests Setlist, Toronto

🍻 Bush Party
🍻 Dirt Road Scholar
🍻 Upside Down
🍻 People Know You By Your First Name
🍻 Roll That Barrel Out
🍻 Monterey
🍻 Undone (with Dallas Smith)
🍻 Somebody Somewhere (Dallas Smith)
🍻 Love Would Be Enough
🍻 Bounty (with Madeline Merlo)
🍻 Time
🍻 Brothers
🍻 Beautiful Freakshow (with Shevy Price)
🍻 Soggy Bottom Summer (with Alan Doyle)
🍻 It’s Friday (with Alan Doyle)
🍻 Ordinary Day (Alan Doyle)
🍻 Canadian Girls
Encore:
🍻 Mountain Man
🍻 Bring Down The House

More Photos of Dean Brody at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017 Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017Dean Brody - Budweiser Stage 2017More Photos of Tim Hicks at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

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More Photos of Carly Pearce at Budweiser Stage, Toronto

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Side Effects: Dallas Smith Backstage Interview, Toronto

Before he surprised the crowd at the Budweiser Stage in Toronto as a special guest of Dean Brody, Dallas Smith hung out with us to talk about his upcoming tour, what it feels like to go #1, and more.

The first time we saw Dallas Smith playing live country music was at Boots & Hearts in 2012. It was year one of the festival, Smith was still new to the country genre, and he played in the middle of the sunny afternoon to country music fans who sang along to covers and listened to him play songs from his first album, Jumped Right In. We asked him about that day, and the journey since then to playing bigger stages for bigger crowds.

Dallas remembers the afternoon show, and then jumped ahead to talk about the 2014 Thursday night kick off party at the same festival. Smith headlined that night, to a monster crowd on the front porch stage, and he remembers that feeling. We were there, and we remember that night too. He was on fire, running all over the stage and showing the country music fans that he belonged on the list of rising stars in the genre. He jumped again to put a highlight on his 2015 visit to Boots & Hearts when he played the lead in to Eric Church on the Saturday night main stage. We could see in his face that he remembers that night with a special feeling. He told us that he took a bunch of video of the crowd because it was such a significant moment in his live performance career.

Dallas Smith Boots and Hearts 2015

Staying on the live show topic, we talked about Dallas Smith’s recently announced, Side Effects Tour that will see him play 27 dates between October 12 and November 18. He told us that the tour has been in the works for months, and that it was exciting to be able to make the announcement this week. It’s also exciting, he said, to be hitting the road with the likes of The Cadillac Three, Lauren Alaina, Michael Ray, and for one night, the James Barker Band. Here’s our recommendation, if the Side Effects Tour is coming to a city anywhere near you, get tickets and be there.

A common thread throughout our chat were the feelings that have come at different moments in Dallas Smith’s career. With Sky Stays This Blue recently becoming his fourth #1 single, we asked about the feelings that have some with those milestones. Dallas told us that they all felt special of course, but the first one, Wastin’ Gas was something he’d never felt before. And when it stayed at the top for a second week, that was truly a feeling to remember. We asked who got the first call after he found out about his number one status, and while he couldn’t remember exactly, he’s sure it was either his dad or his wife… and both of those options sound good to us.

Dallas Smith also told us there’s one feeling that never changes and never goes away; the feeling that comes when thousands of people in the crowd take over and sing his songs back to him. We’ve seen and heard it, and we told him that we watch for the reactions from artists when it happens, and he confirmed for us that it’s all legit. The smiles and expressions he, and other singers, give when a choir of country fans starts singing are 100% real, and it never gets old.

Dallas Smith CNE 2015

Before our time was up, we asked Smith about the music video for Sky Stays This Blue and how special it was to be able to include his daughter, Vayda. Dallas told us that he’d had the idea to include her in a video to capture her at a young age and create a memory that they can both hold onto in the future. He said that the song fit perfectly with that idea, and that with a scaled down version of director Stephano Barberis’ original idea, a small crew was able to capture the feeling and vibe that Smith had hoped for from the very beginning.

During Dean Brody’s set on Thursday night at the Budweiser Stage, Dallas Smith was introduced to a thunderous round of cheers and applause. The crowd, already pumped up from Carly Pearce, Tim Hicks, and the start of Dean Brody’s set went wild when the B.C. native came out in a Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays jersey. And when he teamed up with Dean for a duet of Brody’s 2009 single, Undone, and then borrowed the band to play Somebody Somewhere, it stayed loud. Really loud.

Smith was ready for that moment, excited, he told us it was the first time he’d be coming out as a surprise guest. We saw it all, and we can tell you this, it worked, he just jumped right in.

Til The Goin’ Gets Gone: Lindi Ortega at Boots & Hearts 2017

Lindi Ortega is as original a talent as their is on the 2017 country music landscape. With a sound that is revered by fans and critics alike, she popped up on the Boots & Hearts 2017 Front Porch Stage and showed everyone why she’s making waves in music.

Singing songs like Run Amuck, Angels, I Ain’t The Girl, and Demons Don’t Get Me Down, Ortega showed the Saturday afternoon crowd why she’s a Rolling Stone favourite, and why her 2017 EP, Til The Goin’ Gets Gone has received praise and love from listeners.

Note: Mainstream country fans in Canada may know Lindi Ortega’s name from her work with Dean Brody on the 2013 #1 hit, Bounty. But if you haven’t listened to her solo work, we highly recommend it.
Boots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi Ortega

And it’s not just music fans that believe in Lindi. JJ Shiplett told us before and during the festival that he was excited to see her set, adding, “She’s the best singer in Canada right now. Her voice has the warmth of Emmylou Harris and the attitude of Dolly Parton.”. That’s pretty high praise.

Lindi was fun, energetic, charming, and sweet on stage as she and the band rolled through their set. And we can tell you right now, when we get the chance to see her again, we’re going to jump on it!

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi OrtegaBoots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi OrtegaBoots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi Ortega Band Boots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi Ortega Band Boots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi Ortega BandBoots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi Ortega Boots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi OrtegaBoots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi OrtegaBoots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi Ortega Boots and Hearts 2017 - Lindi Ortega

Hillbilly Jewels: Kelly Prescott at Boots & Hearts 2017

Kelly Prescott took a break from her run on the CP Canada 150 Train with Dean Brody to hit the Front Porch Stage at Boots & Hearts 2017 to give the assembled country music fans a little taste of what she brings to the table.

The Ottawa Valley native and her band gave it all they had in the Sunday afternoon sun, playing songs from Prescott’s Hillbilly Jewels EP and then some. From start to finish, the sound was great, Kelly was her regular funny and charming self on stage, and the fans at the Front Porch were able to groove along with her while she played and sang.

Kelly Prescott Boots and Hearts 2017

There’s a truth and cleverness that mixes so well in Kelly Prescott’s voice and music. She can take you from a serious story that bleeds country, to a silly ditty like Heels Over Head (bound to become a live show fan favourite) in an instant.

If you don’t know Kelly Prescott and songs like Hillbilly Jewels, Coming Home To You, Grin And Wear It, and Losing My Hometown, you owe it to yourself to hit play on her EP here and give it a go.

And then go see Kelly Prescott live the next time you get the chance!


Kelly Prescott Boots and Hearts 2017Kelly Prescott Boots and Hearts 2017Kelly Prescott Boots and Hearts 2017Kelly Prescott Boots and Hearts 2017Kelly Prescott Boots and Hearts 2017Kelly Prescott Boots and Hearts 2017

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! 

Beautiful Freakshow Tour Review: Dean Brody, Madeline Merlo & James Barker Band

Four and half years ago I photographed my first ever Dean Brody concert, actually it was the first concert I photographed professionally on my own! I still remember how scared I was, tried to avoid eye contact at all times and kept my distance from Dean and everyone on his team. Looking back I don’t know why I was so nervous, Dean made me so comfortable by encouraging me and cracking jokes! Dean has to be one of most humble, kind and down to earth artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. And I’m so honoured this was my 6th concert that I had the pleasure of photographing him.

When I got approved to photograph Dean’s Beautiful Freak Show Tour in Edmonton I couldn’t have been more excited. Over the past four and a half years I have seen Dean grow so much, from his confidence on stage, his energy and performances becoming bigger and better every time. I was even more ecstatic seeing the artists who were joining The Beautiful Freak Show Tour; James Barker Band and Madeline Merlo. This was my first time seeing these two groups perform and I have to say if you have never seen James Barker Band perform or Madeline Merlo you need to check their tour dates.

Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26

What makes this tour so special/unique is the differences between all three acts! First up was the Canadian Country group who won the 2015 emerging artist showcase at Boots and Hearts Music Festival, The James Barker Band. Looking out into the crowd I saw so many young kids with their parents, I couldn’t help but smile seeing them all screaming and dancing to the lyrics of their most popular songs; Lawn Chair Lazy, Just Sayin’ and Chills. These guys sure know how to entertain, and their music makes you want to grab a lawn chair, grab a cold one, turn on the bbq and enjoy the summer with your friends. I cannot wait to see these guys grow and take on bigger stages!

Related -> Boots & Hearts 2016 Photo Review: James Barker Band

(more photos below)
James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton

Madeline Merlo brought a whole different look to the stage for The Beautiful Freak Show Tour. Covered with flamingos, neon lights, pink laces and palm trees to showcase her new song Motel Flamingo. If you’re looking for a fun summer song to get you moving, this one you need to grab on ITunes now! I completely loved her 2016 album Free Soul featuring two of my favorite songs from her; Honey Jack and War Paint, but I can tell you her new song has made me super excited for her new music.

This Canadian beauty took over the stage looking absolutely gorgeous in her palm tree bandana. Madeline’s soft voice had a little bit of an edgy side that I’ve never heard before; she really knows how to connect with you with the emotions in her voice, and I have to say that’s what makes her stand out so much in this industry.

Related -> Boots & Hearts 2016 Photo Review: Madeline Merlo!

(more photos below)
Madeline Merlo - Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMadeline Merlo - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton

I don’t even know where to start with this 2012 CCMA Album of year and Juno nominee Dean Brody. He has had such an incredible career, constantly merging on the charts and taking over the radio. Dean’s Beautiful Freak Show Tour had to be the most energetic and memorable show I have seen yet. I was very caught off guard when Dean got on stage, usually you see him in a t-shirt and jeans but this time I wasn’t sure If he forgot to check his outfit before getting on the stage ha. Within two songs passing Dean told the crowd “It was getting hot in here”… and with a couple hip shakes Dean broke down into a little Magic Mike performance for everyone ripping his cameo pants off, which the ladies loved!!! But don’t worry! Dean stripped right down to faded blue jeans and continued to steal our hearts at Northlands Coliseum.

I can’t wait to see more of this tour, it’s sad to know all three acts will be leaving Alberta soon but I’m positive they will be back soon. James Barker Band, Madeline Merlo and Dean Brody certainly left their mark that’s for sure.

Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26 Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26 Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26 Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26Shane Guse - Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonMay26

More Photos of Madeline Merlo!

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More Photos of James Barker Band!

James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton James Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-EdmontonJames Barker Band - Dean Brody Tour-Edmonton

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from thereviewsarein.com and Friends!

This year, to celebrate the holiday season, we asked some of our musician friends to send us pics and videos sharing their best wishes to you!

We would like to thank everyone that helped us out with this project, the artists and their teams, and we would like to thank all of you for enjoying the messages when you’ve seen them on social media.

Now, in case you missed any of them, here are a heap of wishes that we would love to pass on to you!

And from our team at thereviewsarein.com, we would like to wish you Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a safe and awesome New Year!

Dean Brody

Jessica Mitchell

Chad Brownlee

Madeline Merlo

Panicland

Mabel

Leah Daniels

Kansas Stone

The Lovelocks

River Town Saints

The Dead Love

The Hunter Brothers

Leaving Thomas

The Dead South

Andrew Hyatt

The Katherines

Mike Robins of Autumn Hill

Andrew Allen

Shae Dupuy

Alee

1 year ago
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