George Strait

5 Quick Questions with Ben Hudson: Holiday Edition and Fancy Spiced Rum & Eggnog Recipe

With the holiday season coming up on us, we’ve been sliding into the spirit with some of our favourite artists. And to help get us a little more excited for gifts and friends and family and holiday music, Ben Hudson has joined the fun.

We caught up with Ben for a quick, holiday edition, round of 5 Quick Questions, and found out his favourite childhood Christmas song, who he’d love to duet with, and how he likes his eggnog.

Note: Congratulations to Ben – he’s been named a winner in the Kick It With Kissel contest and will be opening for Brett Kissel in North Bay, Ontario on February 23, 2018.

Check it out!

5 Quick Holiday Questions with Ben Hudson

Q) Did you have a favourite Christmas songs when you were a kid?

Ben) I’m old enough to remember staying up all night listening to the radio just to hear your favourite song again. I barely slept one Christmas Eve waiting for Bob and Doug McKenzie’s version of Twelve Days of Christmas to come on. By far my favourite Christmas song as a kid.

Q) Do you have a favourite Christmas song to play?

Ben) I don’t yet but I am currently working on some good ones for the upcoming ‘Home for the Holidays’ Christmas Concert with Leah Daniels and Beverley Mahood. Christmas Cookies by George Strait is a lot of fun.

Q) If you could partner up with any artist for a collaboration on a Christmas song, who would you choose?

Ben) Lindi Ortega. It would be a Christmas song with a twist for sure.

Q) What is your favourite beverage for a holiday party?

Ben) Spiced rum and eggnog could be the best thing about the holiday season.

Q) If you could only have 1 dessert after Christmas dinner, what would you choose?

Ben) Spiced rum and eggnog.

eggnog photo from

Ben Hudons’s Fancy Spiced Rum & Eggnog


2 oz Captain Morgan spiced rum
4 oz eggnog
1 pinch fancy nutmeg


1. Pour spiced rum into glass.
2. Add eggnog to spiced rum.
3. Stir and sprinkle with fancy nutmeg

A post shared by Ben Hudson (@benhudsonmusic) on

1 month ago

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

5 Quick Questions with Endless Summer!

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

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

Here we go!

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

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

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

CCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House Endless Summer

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

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

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

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

Both: Video games… specifically NHL online.

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

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

Both: Coffee

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

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

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

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

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

1 year ago

My Girl: Dylan Scott at Boots & Hearts 2016!

Few artists packed the tent at the Boots & Hearts Front Porch stage the way Dylan Scott did, and there’s little wonder as to why after seeing him perform for the second August in a row.

Yes, it’s true that Scott came back to Canada without the benefit of an album’s worth of material fully familiar to fans. But he did bring some singles, some covers, and some new songs that we’re all going to know really soon… with his self titled debut album coming out Friday, August 12!

Dylan Scott brings the whole package to the stage. He’s got catchy, upbeat songs to pull you in, he’s got sweeter, sexier tracks to keep you going, he’s got a deep, powerful voice that has been described as a mix of leather and whiskey, and those arms and eyes and beard and… ya, ok, he’s handsome.

On Sunday at #BH5 Dylan brought all of that and more to an energized and enthusiastic crowd that sang his songs, and the covers he played, back to him with all kinds of volume and precision. You could see in his eyes that he may not have expected it, but at the same time he was soaking it in and enjoying it. And the fans were enjoying things too.

Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

The 25 year old showed his ability to work the crowd by telling stories about his songs…

‣ The story for My Girl was adorable, and started with that line about his high school girlfriend, now wife, turning to rap Eminem’s Lose Yourself directly into his face and loving every second of it.

‣ The story behind Beer Buddies was just as sweet, but in a different way, celebrating the bonds of friendship and loyalty between truly good friends… plus the inspiration came from a friend’s Facebook status.

‣ And the story of growing up listening to the country countdown radio show, dreaming of hearing his name and his song someday becoming a reality when Crazy Over Me did just that for him was the kind of thing you hope little kids hear and pushes them to go after their dreams too.

Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016The bottom line is this, Dylan Scott has “it” and is ready to break out… and I’m ready to predict right now that this album is going to help him do just that. I don’t know if he’s going to reach Thomas Rhett level success with his break, but if Dylan keeps pushing forward with new music, more shows, and the excellent work he does on social media (seriously, he’s worth a follow on Facebook) there’s no doubting that he’ll continue to see more and more new fans singing the words back to him when he’s playing on stage.

Check out the set list, more pics, and a little video clip of Dylan paying tribute to his hero Keith Whitley…

Dylan Scott Set List, Boots & Hearts 2016

My Town
Ball Cap
Lay It On Me
Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy
Passenger Seat
When You Say Nothing At All – Keith Whitley
Check Yes Or No – George Strait
Sorry/ Love Yourself – Justin Bieber
Daddy’s Money – Ricochet
Can’t Take Her Anywhere
Beer Buddies
Crazy Over Me
My Girl

Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016Dylan Scott BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

1 year ago

2015 ACM Awards – Live Tweet Look Back

Sunday night the largest crowd ever for a televised award show gathered at AT&T Stadium near Dallas, Texas – and along with everyone watching at home, they were given one hell of a show to watch, hosted by 2 of our favs (and 2014 Boots & Hearts alumni) Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton!

Because we were so excited about the Academy of Country Music Awards this year, we live tweeted the show from @thereviewsarein. It was a lot of fun, and a lot of tweets and retweets. If you missed them last night, or missed the show and want some highlights – here you go!

Note: There was a lot of switching from Twitter to NHL Gamecenter Live to watch that hockey game. #GoHabsGo

3 years ago

90s Country Playlist featuring Hot Country Knights!

Country music is in the midst of a 90s comeback thanks to Hot Country Knights. The mulleted, dad jeans sporting, neon clothed band have taken Nashville by storm with their infectious energy, hot moves on stage and killer covers of new country classics.

If you haven’t seen them in action yet, take a look at these videos from a recent show in Smashville and just try not to sing along.

In all seriousness, we should all be thanking Dierks Bentley for reminding us just how much we loved country music in the 90s – and how fun it is to go back and listen to some of it now.

So, here are 10 more awesome country songs from the 90s that you can listen to, sing along with, and go back in time to the memories that you made back then…

Deana Carter: Strawberry Wine

Tim McGraw: I Like It, I Love It

Shania Twain: You Win My Love

Dixie Chicks: I Can Love You Better

Diamond Rio: Meet In The Middle

Alan Jackson: Gone Country

Trisha Yearwood: She’s In Love With The Boy

George Strait: Check Yes Or No

Terri Clark: You’re Easy On The Eyes

Paul Brandt: My Heart Has A History

This list could have gone on forever… so leave a comment with some of your favourite 90s country songs and videos so we can keep building the playlist.

Have fun. Be awesome!

3 years ago

When The Lights Go Down Tour Preview: Bobby Wills [Interview]

Bobby Wills Bobby Wills is a hard working, hard playing, Canadian country boy in a cowboy hat – and he’s ready to hit the road!

Wills, the 2013 Canadian Country Music Association’s Rising Star winner, and 2-time Male Vocalist of the Year nominee, is part of the 3-headed When The Lights Go Down tour with Jess Moskaluke and headliner, Chad Brownlee. It’s going to be a crazy time, with 26 dates between March 4th and April 4th… including an awesome 8 day in a row stretch that makes us really appreciate the hard work that these musicians are putting in.

Bobby Wills will likely be showcasing songs from his most recent album, 2014’s Crazy Enough – but if you’ve got favourites from 2010’s Man With No Past and 2012’s If It Was That Easy, there’s a chance that you’re going to hear them too. We have a feeling that Mr. Wills is going to put on a helluva set to get the crowd into the show.

Big thanks to Bobby for catching up with us before the tour – we can’t wait to see him in Toronto on March 17th at Adelaide Hall. Enjoy the Q&A…

Bobby Wills CCMA AwardsQ. Music has been a big journey in your life. Where do you feel you’re at in your journey now, and what do you think is coming next?

A. Journey is such a good word for it!! The journey to date has been a dream come true, I am hopeful that it continues to grow. Lots of work to do, but getting to play music is all I have ever wanted to do!

Q. Crazy Enough is your 3rd album release since 2010, that’s a helluva pace. Can we expect another album in 2016, or are you going to take some time to tour, write, and take things a little slower this time?

A. I am always writing and working on new stuff, so I would expect you will see new music from us soon. We are busy touring from now until fall all over North America, but we will carve out time to make new music. It’s why I love my job!

Bobby Wills GuitarQ. This is also your first album and nationwide tour with MDM, how has it been working with the new label and artists like Chad Brownlee and Jess Moskaluke?

A. MDM has been such a good fit for us, we are fortunate to be part of what going on there. Getting to tour with Chad and Jess and the whole MDM “Road Fam” is such a great opportunity! I can’t wait.

Q. If we caught a look at your current playlist, who would we find in your top 3 most played artists.

A. Garth Brooks, Keith Whitley and George Strait – as of today (it would probably be different in a week)

Bobby Wells On StageQ. In 50 words or less, tell the fans what they can expect from your set when they check out the When The Lights Go Down Tour?

A. High Energy – come prepared to dance and sing along!!! It’s going to be an absolute BLAST!!!

If you want to check out Bobby Wills up on stage with Jess Moskaluke and Chad Brownlee on the When The Lights Go Down Tour – check the tour dates and get your tickets!

And find Bobby Wills online at these fine locations…
Official website:
Facebook: Bobby Wills Fans
Twitter: @BobbyWillsMusic
YouTube: Bobby Wills

3 years ago

Started With A Song: Brett Kissel At Boots & Hearts 2014

Brett Kissel On Top of the Coors Banquet Trailer Boots and Hearts 2014

Boots and Hearts 2014 started with a bang on Thursday night, and Brett Kissel was a big reason why.

From the second Kissel stepped onto the SiriusXM Front Porch Stage to the second he finished his hour long set, the crowd was loud and engaged. With a mix of his own singles and covers like Thank God I’m A Country Boy, Callin’ Baton Rouge and We Will Rock You, he had hands clapping, feet dancing and people singing along to the music.

Brett Kissel in the crowd Boots and Hearts 2014Hell, he even climbed a Coors Banquet tractor trailer and sang his party anthem, Raise Your Glass mixed with a little bit of Def Leppard’s classic Pour Some Sugar On Me.

Early in the afternoon we had a chance to sit down with Brett Kissel on the Gibson Guitars tour bus to ask a few questions about what he’s listening to, playing major festivals, and the Canadian Country Music Awards.

I asked Brett what his favourite part of playing big festivals like Boots & Hearts is and he told us that it starts with the crowd. Being able to have 35,000 country music fans in 1 place together is something that you don’t get every night. He used Toronto country bar (1 of my favourite spots in the city) Boots & Bourbon as an example saying it would take 35 shows in a place like that to get what you do at a big festival like this.

I also asked Brett the same question that I asked The Reklaws a few months ago, Who are the top 3 most played artists on your iTunes right now? But 3 wasn’t enough… so we ended up with a list of 5 artists that Brett Kissel (and his wife Cecilia) listen to most often.

Here’s his list:
Dallas Smith
Dean Brody
Brooks & Dunn
George Strait

And because I grew up singing along to country music on the radio I asked Kissel who he grew up singing along to in Flat Lake, Alberta. He told us that in the last few years he’s keyed in on country legends like Brooks & Dunn and George Strait, boasting that he could probably pick up his guitar and play any of Strait’s 60 #1 hits. He added that he started singing along to classic country artists like Buck Owens and Johnny Cash, which will make all of the grand-parents and pure country fans happy with the 22 year old Canadian hit maker.

We asked Brett 2 questions about the CCMA’s coming up… neither of them were easy to answer, so we don’t blame him one bit for hedging.

Canadian Country Music Association Logo1) Pick a winner in the Female Artist of the Year category.
He wouldn’t… when he finished telling us that Jess Moskaluke, Mackenzie Porter, and Kira Isabella all had a chance to win and wouldn’t be a considered an upset if they did he apologized for giving such a Miss America answer and told us that it was impossible to make a pick after becoming friends with all of the artists.

2) Which of his 8 nominations would he most like to win?
Again, too hard to choose. But he did mention that being named Male Artist of the Year would be a thrill, and that being recognized for the video to 3,2,1 would be great.

Note: There’s a strong chance that Brett Kissel leaves the Canadian Country Music Awards with more than 1 trophy this year and many other years before his career is over.

Brett Kissel owned the Boots & Hearts crowd on Thursday night and was fantastic in bringing to life songs like 3,2,1, Tough People Do, and Started With A Song, which he used to finish his set, thank the crowd and leave the stage as grateful, humble and awesome as he was when we met him on the bus just a few hours earlier.

Look for Brett Kissel to remain a name that you hear over and over again on country radio, CMT and award show nomination lists for a long, long time.

Work Hard. Play Harder. Be Awesome.

Check out more awesome pictures of Brett on the bus and on stage on Trish’s blog HERE.

Brett Kissel on Stage at Boots and Hearts 2014

Brett Kissel Bus Interview Boots and Hearts 2014

Brett Kissel Gibson Bus Interview Boots and Hearts 2014

3 years ago
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