Dierks Bentley

Restoration: Reimagining The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin Album Review

A heavyweight cast of country music stars take on the works of Elton John and Bernie Taupin on Restoration. And the resulting 13 tracks are a worthy ode to the legendary duo through the lens of the country genre.

From the smooth chart-topping harmonies of Little Big Town flowing through the words of Rocket Man to start the album, to Willie Nelson’s unique musical fingerprints being put all over Border Song at the end, this is an album that celebrates Elton John’s hits for their legacy and shows off their surprising versatility.

Note: At first glance, it felt like a huge miss not having Tiny Dancer on this album. But then I remembered Tim McGraw’s 2002 version of the 1972 classic.

My first listen of Restoration was an interesting exercise in wanting to sing along to all of these timeless hits, and wanting to shut up and listen to the updated takes on them. In the end, I came to some sort of compromise, singing along to choruses the second or third time through.

There’s a lot to enjoy and be impressed with in this collection of covers. Maren Morris and Kacey Musgraves both show the vocal skills that are making them rising stars in country music on Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters and Roy Rogers respectively. Don Henley and Vince Gill coming together on Sacrifice has a hint of the Eagles in the background, which fits when you consider Gill’s involvement in the band’s recent live shows. And Brothers Osborne get funky on Take Me To The Pilot with their signature combination of deep vocals from T.J. and arresting guitar work by John.

And that’s just four of the 13 songs on the record.

It feels pertinent to point out Miley Cyrus’s work on The Bitch Is Back. While Miley has been a celebrated pop star over her career, there has been clear evidence of her country chops in limited releases. And while I could do without the cow mooing in the song, her edgy vocals, and the well-constructed instrumentation put Miley in country music where some people think she could flourish artistically.

Two of country music’s most celebrated male artists, Chris Stapleton and Dierks Bentley, both turn in excellent performances on their album tracks. Stapleton offers the slow, deep, and powerful vocals that we crave on I Want Love, making you feel like this could have been one of those critically acclaimed songs he’s written in Nashville over the last decade. And Bentley delivers a piano country jam on Sad Songs (Say So Much), making it sound like it would fit halfway through his live set in any country music loving city he stops in.

And after saying all of that about nine of the songs on this album, there are still vocal performances from Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack, Rhonda Vincent & Dolly Parton, and Rosanne Cash & Emmylou Harris on My Father’s Gun, Honky Cat, Please, and This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore.

The combined success and talent of these six women is astounding, so it should be no surprise that they did great work with these songs. And, as should have been expected, these country music women took Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s pop classics, bent their gender, added their country twang, and delivered hits of their own.

Overall, Restoration: Reimagining The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin feels like an album that was made specifically for me and music fans like me. The classic, catchy pop songs that I could sing along to all day have been countrified, with the vocal and instrumental touches that make me love country songs.

From top to bottom there isn’t a song that I want to skip over. There’s not a song that I don’t want to sing along to for at least a line or two. And there’s not an artist included that didn’t prove that they were the right choice.

My only complaint might be that this could have been a 30 song effort when you consider the depth of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s career together.

Here’s hoping for another two or more albums to follow this one!

Restoration: Reimagining The Songs Of Elton John And Bernie Taupin, Tracklist

1. Rocket Man – Little Big Town
2. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters – Maren Morris
3. Sacrifice – Don Henley, Vince Gill
4. Take Me To The Pilot – Brothers Osborne
5. My Father’s Gun – Miranda Lambert
6. I Want Love – Chris Stapleton
7. Honky Cat – Lee Ann Womack
8. Roy Rogers – Kacey Musgraves
9. Please – Rhonda Vincent, Dolly Parton
10. The Bitch Is Back – Miley Cyrus
11. Sad Songs (Say So Much) – Dierks Bentley
12. This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore – Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris
13. Border Song – Willie Nelson

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


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

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!


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!


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.


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!


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.

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

Trackside Music Festival 2018 Headliner Announcement: Dierks Bentley & Dustin Lynch

Trackside Music Festival, London’s biggest Canada Day party, is coming back strong in 2018 – and they’re starting with news of their headliners.

The two day festival, held at London’s Western Fair District, has a history of bringing big country stars and homegrown talent to their stages, and in 2018 they’ll continue that tradition with Dierks Bentley and Dustin Lynch taking their turns as headliners on June 30 and July 1.

These two country stars are at the top of their game right now, and fans that make it out to Trackside are going to be in for a treat when they get there. We’ve seen first hand just how entertaining Dierks Bentley can be, and we’ve been hearing stories about Dustin Lynch’s performances for the last couple of years.

Dierks Bentley BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

Related: Dierks Bentley at Boots & Hearts 2016

To have the chance to see both of them on back-to-back days, plus the rest of the Trackside Music Festival lineup that we’re excited to see, is going to be fantastic!

Get yourself ready with a couple of live performance videos from the 2018 Trackside headliners – and stay tuned for more info when it becomes available!

Tickets for Trackside Music Festival 2018 go on sale Friday, December 1 – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley Boots andHearts

Dustin Lynch

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

Black: Dierks Bentley Video Release

Have you seen it yet? Dierks Bentley has just released a video for the title track Black. This is the third single off the album Black and it’s very different. Somewhere on a Beach was fun, upbeat with a hip-hop feel and Different for Girls offers up an understanding, kind feeling, featuring uber talented Elle King. Both hit the number one spot and I’d be surprised if Black didn’t climb right up the chart too.

Dark and sultry the video was shot in Iceland and it features his wife Cassidy. Married for over 10 years this is the first time Dierks’ wife has appeared on screen and once you see her, you’ll wonder why it took so long. Turns out she’s shy and we’re glad Dierks managed to coax her into the video. Cassidy Bentley was born Cassidy Black and she’s been the inspiration for many of Dierks’ songs.

Check it out!

Dierks is on tour now, check out the dates here!

1 year ago

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.

1 year ago

Bury Me In My Boots: The Cadillac Three Album Review & Contest!

When we got asked to give the new record from The Cadillac Three a listen we were told that it was going to be a game changer, a selection of songs that would push these dudes from Nashville into a new spotlight among country music fans and the industry… but we needed to hear it for ourselves.

So we listened. Over and over and over again. It’s likely a conservative estimate to say I’ve listened to the 14 songs on this album a eight times since it’s release. Here’s a secret, I don’t keep listening if I don’t like it.

This isn’t a secret, Bury Me In My Boots is good.

From the start of the record, with the title track, the music pulled me in. It’s fun and easy to tap a toe to, or sing along to, or get lost in, or all three at the same time. And that continues as the tracks continue all the way from 1 to 14. It should also be pointed out that 14 songs is a monster number in a new era that has seen EPs become more and more popular among country artists.

The Cadillac Three On Stage via Twitter

Note: During the recent heat wave in Toronto I have started to appreciate Ship Wrecked more and more every time I hear it. It’s 100% true that I could go for a boat on the water, some Bimmy Juffet on the radio, and certainly a cooler full of cold ones.

This album is also great to sit back and drink to, or dance and drink to. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. In fact, we encourage it from guitar driven country music. So high five to The Cadillac Three for delivering on that point with Bury Me In My Boots.

Proposal: A drinking game where you take a shot of whiskey or a drink of beer every time you hear The Cadillac Three reference the two beverages on this record. I didn’t count, so I don’t know how many there are… but in the 47 minutes it takes to listen to all 14 songs, I’m betting you’d feel a buzz. (legal drinking age only!)

Now, with all of this said about the drinking and the dancing, we need to acknowledge that there are some great stories told in these songs. They aren’t just empty bangers, they’re full of great lyrics that will either put you in a small town teenage memory, or thinking about a relationship or imagining the south the way these native sons see it. And that is where country music has always been graded and evaluated. The stories that are told are the backbone of the genre, and we’re very pleased to see TC3 keep that tradition alive.

We’re also looking forward to seeing The Cadillac Three play these songs live (especially The South, Bury Me In My Boots, Slide, This Accent, and Peace Love & Dixie) – and we will be seeing it in Toronto when the boys come to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre with Florida Georgia Line on September 1.

Other dates we’ve got circled that we know friends will be interested in include…

August 26 at Darien Lake w/ Florida Georgia Line (Darien Center, NY)
August 31 at the London Concert Theatre (London, ON)
September 2 at Lakeview Amphitheatre w/ Florida Georgia Line (Syracuse, NY)

There are a heap more dates in the US with FGL, and a bunch in Europe – CLICK HERE to see all of The Cadillac Three’s scheduled tour dates between now and the end of November 2016!

The Cadillac Three On Stage via Facebook

The bottom line is this: I recommend this record to country music fans looking for a full album to listen to and enjoy from the top to the bottom.

We’re recommending Bury Me In My Boots so much we’re going to give it away so three of you can experience it for yourself!

Use the widget in this post to earn up to 6 entries and you’ll be entered to win. We’ve got 3 CD copies of the album, and 1 vinyl copy to give away, so we’re going to give a grand prize of vinyl & CD to 1 winner, and CD copies to 2 runner-up winners.

Be sure to follow all of the directions in the widget to ensure your entries are properly submitted and counted.

Good luck!

The Cadillac Three, Bury Me In My Boots Tracklist

1. Bury Me In My Boots
2. Slide
3. Drunk Like You
4. Graffiti
5. Buzzin’
6. Party Like You
7. Ship Faced
8. Soundtrack To A Six Pack
9. White Lightning
10. The South ft. Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, Mike Eli
11. This Accent
12. Peace Love & Dixie
13. Hot Damn
14. Runnin’ Red Lights

2 years ago

Take Your Time: Sam Hunt at Boots & Hearts 2016!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 2 years since we first saw Sam Hunt on stage for the first time at Boots & Hearts… and now we’ve seen him again. But this time the Georgia boy was all over the main stage as the direct lead-in to headliner Dierks Bentley on Friday night.

As the minutes ticked by and we got closer to Sam’s set you could see the people coming over the hill and towards the stage in waves, and they didn’t stop until they were as close to the stage as they could get and the band come on stage to start off the show with Leave The Night On. And when Sam started singing – they all started singing with him!

One look out into the crowd showed hands up, phones up, and girls up in the air. And even though the sun was setting and the temperature was finally dropping, it was hot hot hot the entire time Sam Hunt and his band were up on that main stage.

Sam Hunt-3850

During the set, as the cheering and singing and dancing continued, Sam Hunt made a point to give some love and thanks to the fans at B&H for supporting him since that 1st set in 2014 and at all of the Canadian shows he’s played since then.

Sam Hunt-3811He also gave back every single bit of energy the crowd was feeding him. The dude ran and jumped back and forth from the stage to the catwalk and looked like he was having the time of his life while making use of every piece of stage he could get his feet on. It truly looked like Sam and the band were having a lot of fun in Oro-Medonte with a few (30,000+) of their fans and friends watching them do their thing.

Since summer 2014 we’ve been all in on Sam Hunt (you can check the archives) and we’re not stopping now. With any luck we’ll have new music from the former QB in the next year and then have the chance to see him again with new songs to sing along to.
Check out the set list and more pics of Sam Hunt now…

Sam Hunt Set List, Boots & Hearts 2016

Leave The Night On
Ex To See
Raised On It
Saturday Night
I Met A Girl
Single For The Summer
Take Your Time
We Are Tonight
Medley: Mama Tried, My Church, Somewhere On A Beach, T-shirt, Snapback, You Should Be Here, Huntin’ Fishin’ And Lovin’ Every Day
Cop Car
House Party
Make You Miss Me
Break Up In A Small Town

Sam Hunt-3743Sam Hunt-3727Sam Hunt-3649Sam Hunt-3691Sam Hunt-3777Sam Hunt-3537Sam Hunt-3640Sam Hunt-3594Sam Hunt-3782Sam Hunt-3874Sam Hunt-3573Sam Hunt-BH5-12Sam Hunt-BH5-1Sam Hunt-BH5-6Sam Hunt-BH5-7Sam Hunt-BH5-5Sam Hunt-BH5-8Sam Hunt-BH5-10

2 years ago

Drunk on a Plane: Dierks Bentley at Boots & Hearts 2016!

If you’re ever wondering who to invite to your party on a summer Friday night, the answer is Dierks Bentley. For real.

Bentley headlined the Boots & Hearts main stage Friday and hosted one hell of a party for (our estimate) 40,000 of his closest Canadian friends. Hell, he even invited a dude named Nick up onto the stage to shotgun a beer with him – and Dierks was the clear winner in speed of chug. We also watched as he got his drink topped up with what looked to be a 2:1 ratio of vodka to mix. This wasn’t a quiet, dry get together. It was wet, loud, rowdy shindig.

When Dierks and the band took the stage there was immediate engagement and singing and clapping. It was a crowd ready for music, ready for his music, and they weren’t disappointed. For an hour and a half the stage was his, the show was on fire, and the music played and played and played.

Deirks Bentley-BH5-9

At one point, somewhere near the hour mark of the set, a loud Let’s Go Blue Jays chant broke out in the crowd and took over… it was awesome, and led to Bentley commending the pride in the hometown team, and then asking what happened to the Expos, but we’re pretty sure he didn’t mean it in a mean way.

Dierks also let slip (he says he talks too much when he drinks) that there’s a new tour coming, and that it looks like it’s going to kick off in Hamilton, ON. So we’ll be paying attention to his socials and website for more details about that!

In the last third of the show things got a little sideways (pun intended) when Dierks broke into Somewhere On A Beach

Deirks Bentley-BH5-131) Drinks were high and there was def a sense of drunkenness in the air.
2) Dierks Bentley slid in some Lawn Chair Lazy lyrics, which made us super pumped for the dudes in the James Barker Band (who had Dierks show up as their surprise guest at Boots & Bourbon in Toronto on Thursday night).
3) This country music superstar looked, measured, and jumped into the crowd – across a 6 foot photo pit gap.

By the time Dierks Bentley came back on stage for Drunk On A Plane as an encore… complete with the nose of a plane and Dierks himself in a full pilot’s uniform (until he ripped off his tear-away pants) the crowd was in full out sing and dance and drink and party mode. Yes, the song closed the show, but it also gave everybody one more reason to make sure they see Dierks again… maybe in 2019 if the 2 years off and then back pattern continues!

Dierks Bentley Set List, Boots & Hearts 2016

Up On The Ridge
Free and Easy (Down The Road I Go)
Tip It On Back
Am I The Only One
Say You Do
What The Hell Did I Say
Different For Girls
I Hold On
Every Mile A Memory
Feel That Fire
Somewhere On A Beach
What Was I Thinkin’
Drunk On A Plane

Deirks Bentley-BH5-3Deirks Bentley-BH5-11Deirks Bentley-BH5-12Deirks Bentley-BH5-10Deirks Bentley-BH5-5Deirks Bentley-BH5-1Deirks Bentley-BH5-2Deirks Bentley-BH5-6Deirks Bentley-BH5-7Deirks Bentley-BH5-15Deirks Bentley-BH5-4Deirks Bentley-BH5-17

2 years ago

Top 5 Boots & Hearts 2016 Karaoke Songs!

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

Ready? Let’s go!

Tim McGraw – Live Like You Were Dying

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

Blake Shelton – Playboys Of The Southwestern World

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

Dierks Bentley – What Was I Thinkin’

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

Sam Hunt – Take Your Time

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

Cam – Burning House

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

Bonus: Diamond Rio – Meet In The Middle

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

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

2 years ago

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 4

Jake Owen American LoveFront Porch Stage

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


Friday, August 5

Cam UntamedFront Porch Stage

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

Dierks Bentley Black Main Stage

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


Saturday, August 6

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

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

Blake Shelton If I'm HonestMain Stage

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

Sunday, August 7

Diamond Rio cover170x170Front Porch Stage

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

Tim McGrawMain Stage

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

2 years ago

Boots and Hearts 2016 Playlist

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 years ago

Boots & Hearts 2016 Daily Lineup Announcement!

They’re Here!!!

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

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

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

Get ready, August is coming!

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

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

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

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

Boots and Hearts 2016 Friday LineupFriday, August 5, 2016

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

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

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

Boots and Hearts 2016 Saturday LineupSaturday, August 6, 2016

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

Blake! What more do you need?

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

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

Boots and Hearts 2016 Sunday LineupSunday, August 7, 2016

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

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

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

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2 years ago
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