Jessica Mitchell

Women, Whiskey, and Music: Country Songs and Cocktails for a Cause

On A Wednesday night in the heart of the city, we gathered with country music fans and whiskey lovers at the newly opened Love Child Social House for an evening of Jack Daniels cocktails and celebrations of the power of songs and the women who sing them.

Jessica Mitchell, Madeline Merlo, The Lovelocks, and Jenna Walker of The Reklaws took turns at centre stage, playing short three song sets and telling stories about what they do and what brought them to where they are.

As the stories, songs, and the whiskey flowed, money was being raised for the victims and affected families of the Las Vegas shooting during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. Dollars from the sale of tickets and special Jack Daniels cocktails were donated to the Music City Cares Fund. It’s a great cause, for the worst reason… and if you have a willingness or ability to help, please consider making a donation or sharing the link: MUSIC CITY CARES FUND.

Jenna Walker - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House The Reklaws - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House

The music began with Jenna Walker taking the stage, with her brother, and the other half of The Reklaws, Stuart joining her to play guitar and sing a little backup for her. It was special to see Jenna open up and have Stuart step back to give her all of the space she needed and was supposed to have on that night.

Miss Walker’s voice was strong, steady, and started things off with the proof that we had all come to the right place on a Wednesday night. Jenna sang new music (that we can’t wait to hear on an album from The Reklaws) including Boy’s Don’t Cry, I Can Wait, and That Makes Two Of Us. It was a great start to a special evening.

The Lovelocks - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House The Lovelocks - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House

Ali and Zoe, The Lovelocks, with all of the rich and sweet harmonies that we are used to and blessed with every time they sing, were next on the Women, Whiskey, and Music stage. We’ve been fortunate to listen to these two talented women over the last few years, and the chance to hear them stripped down and acoustic is never something we want to miss.

The Lovelocks shared two favourites with the crowd, and added in a sneak peek at their next single. The crowd was 100% into Home Sweet Home, Lovely, and the new track, Staycation. And while everyone surely wished they could have heard more, everyone was happy to have seen and heard Ali and Zoe perform.

Madeline Merlo - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House Madeline Merlo - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House

Madeline Merlo was the next to step up on the Love Child Social House stage, doing what she does and wowing the crowd with the depth and strength in her voice. The B.C. native has made her mark in Canadian country over the last two years, and on Wednesday night she left that mark again in Toronto.

With War Paint, a new song called Unravelling, and her summer 2017 jam, Motel Flamingo, Madeline had the crowd both emotionally pulled in, and tapping toes and singing along. In just three songs she was able to take everyone along with her, and nobody was disappointed with the short journey.

Jessica Mitchell - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House Jessica Mitchell - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House

Jessica Mitchell was the last of these wonderful women to come on stage on Wednesday night, and reminded everyone that she’s a shining star in Canadian music. The stripped down setting fit her perfectly, the weight of the event and cause weren’t too much for her, and if anything – it played perfectly into Mitchell’s performance.

With new songs, Bulletproof and Heart Of Glass opening her set, and her powerhouse hit, Workin’ On Whiskey wrapping it up, all eyes were on the stage and the songstress as she poured everything she had into the songs. It’s hard to explain the feeling of watching Jessica Mitchell, it’s like we should know better than to be surprised by her, but then she goes and wows you and you just stare and sing along.

At the end of Jessica’s mini-set, she invited and welcomed all of the women who had performed back to the stage and as a group they sang a stirring and powerful rendition of Somewhere Over The Rainbow. It was sweet and strong and was the perfect ending for a good night for a good cause.

Jenna Walker, Zoe Neuman, Ali Raney, Madeline Merlot, Jessica Mitchell - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House Jenna Walker - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House Madeline Merlo - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House The Lovelocks - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House Jessica Mitchell - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House Jessica Mitchell - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social HouseJessica Mitchell - Women, Whiskey and Music - Love Child Social House

3 weeks ago No Comments Views

Side A: Jillian Jacqueline Album Review

In May of 2016, Rolling Stone Magazine put Jillian Jacqueline on a list of 10 Country Artists You Need to Know… and if you didn’t get to know her then, the time is now with the release of her brand new album, Side A.

The nine song album comes in just under 30 minutes, and the time flies by as Jacqueline’s voice announces its presence on the country scene alongside modern country music making women including: Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, and Lindsay Ell.

Keen observers will notice that the nine track album is truly six songs, with three acoustic versions (Reasons, Hate Me, God Bless This Mess) added in. And while we do wish that we were listening to nine or more songs on Side A, the acoustic cuts are truly a pleasure to listen to, so we’re into it.

Note: Jacqueline has Side B planned for early 2018, and if we get another six or more originals, plus some acoustic versions, live versions, or something like that to make it sparkle, we’ll be quite happy with the combined offering from the Chester Springs, Pennsylvania native.

Side A offers chances to sing along and smile, sit back and think, and in the end, a half hour to enjoy new country music. Tracks like Bleachers are catchy and will catch attention with the beat and hook in the chorus, while a song like God Bless This Mess does its best to grab reach out to touch, deep and personal like country music does when it’s doing its best work.

Jillian Jacqueline holds her own on this album, and country music fans will be smart to remember her name as she releases more new music, hits the road to tour across the United States, across the Atlantic in the UK, and if we’re lucky, back to Canada again before too long. Already she’s taken the stage at shows with Dwight Yoakam, Ryan Adams, and counts country legend Kenny Rogers as her road mentor. We’re sure there will be more big names on that list soon.

Jillian Jacqueline, Side A Tracklist

1. Reasons
2. Sugar And Salt
3. Holier Than Thou
4. Bleachers
5. Hate Me
6. God Bless This Mess
7. Reasons – Acoustic
8. Hate Me – Acoustic
9. God Bless This Mess – Acoustic

Listening through this album reminds us of all of the things we love about artists like Morris, Jessica Mitchell, Madeline Merlo, and all of the women in country music that paved the way for artists like Jillian Jacqueline to be where she is right now. It has feeling, wit, fun, and features a voice that we’ve already listened to on repeat without regret. We’re in.

We can’t wait to hear Side B and pair it up with Side A.

2 months ago Views

Don’t Love Me: Jessica Mitchell at Boots & Hearts 2017

Jessica Mitchell is a treasure and a talent, and on Friday at Boots & Hearts 2017 she climbed up on the Front Porch stage and showed it.

In the middle of the afternoon, Jessica and her band played and sang and entertained. They filled the space with sound, they expressed the emotion and depth of Mitchell’s music, and they proved that this is still just the start of something special.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Jessica Mitchell

Related -> Jessica Mitchell, the Feature

We’ve been on the Jessica Mitchell bandwagon for the last 18 months or so, and in that time we’ve watched as she found the spotlight with Workin’ On Whiskey and earned standing ovations. At Boots & Hearts she put her soulful voice in the spotlight again, sharing songs including Workin’ On Whiskey, Tear It Down, That Record Saved My Life, and one of our favourite moments of the weekend when she stripped it down on the piano for Don’t Love Me.

Related -> Jessica Mitchell at Boots & Hearts 2016!

Jessica Mitchell is on the rise, and music fans across Canada are only going to see and hear more from her as new music is recorded and released.

Be ready. Be excited. We are.

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3 months ago Views

Boots & Hearts 2017 Preview: Day-to-Day Schedule and Stage Lineup

Boots & Hearts 2017 is coming, and we’re getting ready for all of the live music action that we can handle. And now we know which day, stage, and time we’ll be catching our favourite country music artists from August 10 to 13th in Oro-Medonte, ON.

Now, we know that there are going to be some overlaps in artists you want to see, so it’s important that you start planning now for your busy days at the festival. Don’t be afraid to run from one to stage to the other so you get the chance to see as many of these acts as possible.

And, when there’s a time slot that doesn’t have an artist you know, we highly recommend taking that chance to discover some new music – you might just fall in love with what you hear.

So, without any further ado, here is the 2017 Boots & Hearts day-to-day stage schedule…

Thursday, August 10

Front Porch Stage

Emerging Artist Showcase
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Vanessa Marie Carter
7:25pm – 8:05pm
Love and Theft
8:30pm – 9:15pm
Doc Walker
9:40pm – 11:10pm
KICX Late Night Dance Party
11:30pm – 1:00am

Doc Walker Boots and Hearts

Friday, August 11

Main Stage

Leaving Thomas
2:15pm – 2:45pm
Endless Summer
3:15pm – 3:45pm
Brooke Eden
4:15pm – 5:00pm
Frankie Ballard
5:30pm – 6:30pm
Dan + Shay
7:15pm – 8:30pm
Keith Urban
9:15pm – 10:45pm

Dan + Shay Boots and Hearts

Front Porch Stage

Sykamore
2:00pm – 2:25pm
Andrew Hyatt
2:45pm – 3:15pm
Jessica Mitchell
3:35pm – 4:20pm
Drake White and the Big Fire
4:45pm – 5:45pm
Kiefer Sutherland
6:15pm – 7:15pm
KX Country Late Night Dance Party
11:00pm – 1:00am

CMT Music Fest - Drake White & The Big Fire

SiriusXM House

Music Row Happy Hour with Buzz Brainard
4:00pm – 8:00pm

Saturday, August 12

Main Stage

The Abrams
2:30pm – 3:00pm
JJ Shiplett
3:30pm – 4:00pm
Aubrie Sellers
4:30pm – 5:15pm
Chad Brownlee
5:45pm – 6:45pm
Eli Young Band
7:30pm – 8:45pm
Brantley Gilbert
9:30pm – 11:00pm

Chad Brownlee Boots and Hearts 2015

Front Porch Stage

Patrick Dorie
2:00pm – 2:30pm
Nice Horse
3:00pm – 3:30pm
Jesse Gold
4:00pm – 4:30pm
Lindi Ortega
5:00pm – 6:00pm
Tucker Beathard
6:30pm – 7:30pm
Country 105 Late Night Dance Party
11:00pm – 1:00am

Tucker Beathard - The Rivoli

Sunday, August 13

Main Stage

Alee
2:00pm – 2:25pm
Dani Strong
2:45pm – 3:15pm
Delta Rae
3:40pm – 4:40pm
Cold Creek County
5:30pm – 6:30pm
Brett Eldredge
7:15pm – 8:30pm
Luke Bryan
9:15pm – 11:00pm

Luke Bryan Boots and Hearts

Front Porch Stage

Tomi Swick*
2:25pm – 2:55pm
Kelly Prescott
3:15pm – 3:45pm
Midland
4:30pm – 5:30pm
Jess Moskaluke
6:15pm – 7:15pm
Country 101.1, 93.5, 106.7 Late Night Dance Party
11:00pm – 1:00am

Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016

*Tomi Swick replaces Colt Walker on the B&H schedule.

4 months ago Views

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! 

4 months ago Views

Moments: Jessica Mitchell, the Feature

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, Jessica Mitchell knows that, she told us that. But in those moments when it seems darkest, inspiration is abundant, and art is made.

One year ago Mitchell’s life presented two bright moments that changed the course of her career, and thrust her into a spotlight that she didn’t expect to find. But do not let yourself believe that she is some sort of overnight success, or that Workin’ On Whiskey was anything less than the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and talent.

But before we relive those two moments, we have to go back to other moments that helped shape Jessica Mitchell’s life, music, and direction.

In all of our lives, no matter what our careers or talents may be, there are moments that change us, open us up, and influence the rest of our lives. Some are obvious, some more subtle. Sometimes you know right away that a moment is going to change your life, and sometimes you look back years later and see the impact that it’s had. For Jessica Mitchell, three moments have helped direct her to where she is today. Two she looks back at fondly, and one would break even the strongest of hearts.

Moment #1

When Jessica was 14 years old, living her teenage years in London, Ontario, she was in a neighbour’s basement with friends. The room was dark, black lights were on, states were altered, the stereo was turned up to maximum volume, and Nine Inch Nail’s Hurt blasted through the speakers. The song, the experience, and the moment opened her up to a whole new musical world. She jokes now that people would be surprised if they could see her playlists and what she listens to. The woman that country music fans have embraced, nominated for Ontario and Canadian Country Music Association awards, listening to music so vastly different than the songs she performs with a guitar or piano. And while the music may not be country, it inspires her, influences her, and helps her create her own songs and sound.

Moment #2

Years later, in Manchester, Tennessee, Mitchell stood in awe as Radiohead, her longtime favourite band, put on what is looked at now as a legendary performance. “It felt like I couldn’t breathe for two hours” she says, describing what it was like to see the band on stage. As a fan, those experiences are universal, but individually, we all take away something different from them. Jessica Mitchell, 11 years ago this June, walked away from that show with an awareness of greatness.

Those two moments would be easy for anyone to look back on and smile. The memories of music washing over us and taking us back to a pure and happy time. The third milestone moment, well it puts us back in the dark.

Moment #3

To accurately describe the pain and loneliness that anyone experiences when they lose a parent is impossible. Any of us that have been unlucky enough to go through it know that it’s a confusing mess of feelings and memories and whatever else may come along with it.

Jessica Mitchell’s experience when she lost her mother to a decade long battle with cancer is her own story to tell, not ours, but what she tells us now is that the experience gave her a feeling of freedom to fully and completely pursue her dreams of a career in music. And while she doesn’t speak of her mother often in her public life, we have seen her invoke her memory when partnering with The Lady Ball in Toronto.

That career, the work that she does, and the life that she lives, wasn’t a choice Mitchell told us. “I didn’t choose this. This got chosen for me.” And while we 100% believe her when she says this, and 100% believe that she believes it, her story isn’t that simple. Some artists stories are those of a non-stop, never ending pursuit of music, but Jessica Mitchell’s isn’t. She tried to quit music, she tried to walk away and leave it all behind to live a normal life. But it didn’t work, that wasn’t her path, and now she’s here, doing what she truly believes she was meant to do.

One year ago Jessica Mitchell stood on stage at the Country Music Association of Ontario awards show in Markham, Ontario and performed Workin’ On Whiskey. She stood on that stage alone, guitar in hand, microphone in front of her, and sang the song with all of the emotion and depth that lives in its lyrics. It was a performance so powerful and, quite honestly, unexpected, that it received a standing ovation from the artists, industry professionals, and fans in the audience. At the time the song hadn’t been recorded, released to radio, or streamed online. That changed quickly.

Soon after the CMAO awards show, Mitchell recorded Workin’ On Whiskey with her label, Open Road Recordings, and released the song to radio. And then June 23, 2016 happened.

In a video that’s been watched over 70,000 times on her Facebook page, was featured by Global News and multiple online outlets, Jessica Mitchell cried tears of happiness, disbelief, gratitude and more as she sat in her car and listened to the radio. On her way to Stratford to open for Kiefer Sutherland, Mitchell was shouted out by Country 104’s Matt Weaver as he introed her new single. Nearly a year removed from the video and the response, we asked Mitchell to look back at the moment and tell us what it felt like and meant to her.

More than anything, Jessica saw that moment as validation for all of the work and time and tears that she had put into that song and her career and life in music leading up to that day. She also took away encouragement, a push to keep moving forward with her music, to create more, and to keep doing the thing that the universe decided she should do.

“Jessica is one of those talents that’s undeniable the first moment you lay ears on her. A genuine blue eyed soul singer well beyond her time. It’s like she’s lived many lifetimes and all that experience pours out of her in her songwriting and singing. She’s a rare gem. Whenever I’m around her I feel the need to pull my socks up as a singer and a writer.”  – Amanda Wilkinson, country singer/songwriter, and friend of Jessica Mitchell

The months that followed the release of that landmark single have been busy for the Ontario songstress. Tours with Kiefer Sutherland, Royal Wood, and Ron Sexsmith have put her on a number of stages across the country, playing for new faces as she travelled. The summer of 2016 also saw her stop at Boots & Hearts, Cavendish Beach Music Festival, Niagara Wine Festival, Manitoulin Country Fest, the Canadian National Exhibition and more stages that introduced her to more country music fans, and showed them all the face and smile and charm that brought them the solemn song they all knew.

We asked Jessica about her 2017 tour with Ron Sexsmith, and she glowed. The combination of being able to share the stage with the accomplished artist night after night (the show ran 11 dates in 13 days), and driving solo through the Rocky Mountains and beautiful scenery that Western Canada provides was something that she sees as priceless. From a purely personal and perspective driven point of view, Jessica Mitchell highly recommended that we, and everyone else, make that drive, alone, at least once in our lives.

She explained the feeling of independence that she felt, even after experiencing enough of life in her adult years to feel independent, as incredible. And she pointed out, in a very wise and Zen master kind of way, that it becomes very easy to see how small you really are when you’re standing next to a 3,000 foot tall mountain.

And while the last year has been the sort of whirlwind experience that can make things as hectic as you can imagine, Jessica tells us that she has found her calm. In the last six months specifically she feels as though she has found her centre, and is better equipped and able to handle everything new that comes her way.

Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016 Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016 Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016

As spring 2017 approached, and nearly a year had passed since Whiskey was released to the world, it was time for Jessica Mitchell to release new music to the masses. And while a full album wasn’t yet ready, there were songs to play. So on May 12, 2017, two new songs, Don’t Love Me, and Tear It Down, were released to the internet of things, and links were shared and play buttons were pressed.

We asked if there were any feelings of pressure as she endeavoured to follow the success and experience of Workin’ On Whiskey, and honestly, were shocked when she said no. However, she did tell us that there were other factors. Chief among them, fear. Fear that the songs wouldn’t have the same reception, or the same emotional connection to listeners and fans. She says that she has that same feeling with every release, and that these two songs weren’t an exception, but followed the rule.

To sit and listen to these songs is to take a journey, fall into memories, insecurities, love, loss, heartbreak, and loneliness. But they also serve as a reminder that nobody who feels those things is alone. There are many right there with you. And Mitchell has provided the proof.

Don’t Love Me and Tear It Down also offer hope. Hope that a full album is on the way before the end of 2017 (we are lead to believe it will be). Hope that we’ll continue to hear Jessica’s heart and soul through her music. And hope that people will listen and her music can affect them the way it affects us.

That hope that we’ll continue to hear her heart and soul is as close to a sure thing as you can get. Mitchell knows, and told us that her life will continue to influence her songwriting. And that allowing herself time to live that life is essential to the creative process. To make that happen, balance is key. Balance between work and relaxing. Between home and the road. And between being alone and with a crowd.

Related: Workin’ On Whiskey: Jessica Mitchell at Boots & Hearts 2016!

Related: Dean Brody with Jessica Mitchell at The CNE 2016

She also pointed out that she writes songs for people. She wants her songs to connect and be able to mean something to the people that open themselves to their messages. She does not want to simply write about personal experiences for the sake of getting them out of her system, although she does admit that having this outlet is an important part of her emotion balance and being able to keep moving forward in life with a smile and positivity as often as possible.

Jessica places a premium on her alone time. And gave us half a laugh when she told us how much she loves to just curl up on her couch and watch Netflix while cuddling her cat.

But when she’s not at home, binging House Of Cards, or watching movies, you’ll find Mitchell all over the country, smiling on stage, and showing the love she has for what she does. And one of her favourite things is connecting with her fans. She loves receiving messages through her Facebook page that tell her stories about life and loss and love, and how her songs fit or feel to strangers who have opened themselves up to her.

She also loves meeting fans, and can often be seen giving out hugs and smiles and being caught off guard by compliments and the sincere love for her that pours out of people. We’ve seen it, we’ve experienced it. Jessica Mitchell can be a hard person to give a compliment to.

Jessica Mitchell Jessica Mitchell

We asked if there were any special stories she could share from the road and meeting fans, and two memories came to mind pretty quickly.

1) While on tour with Terri Clark, a woman named Dee came to three meet and greet sessions, bringing with her a bottle of booze as a gift each time. Jessica laughed about it, but was clearly fond of the memory and connection she felt to Dee.

2) She was once given the gift of hand drawn pictures that a young fan had put the time into creating specifically for the purpose of getting them to her. It melted her heart, and we’re willing to bet that it’s a memory that she will carry with her for a long time.

And we can fully imagine that there are more memories and stories like this to come in the future. More heartfelt stories shared through messages and meetings, more drawings from young fans finding their own artistic identities, and more booze, because why not?

Jessica Mitchell is just getting started, the work that she’s done has brought her to where we have all gotten to know her now, and the work that is happening now, and will continue to happen in the future will take her as far as she wants to go. We fully believe that.

You should too.

Jessica Mitchell at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016 Jessica Mitchell at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016 Jessical Mitchell Peller Estate Jessical Mitchell Peller Estate CCMA Awards 2016 Jessica Mitchell Green Carpet

5 months ago Views

Cavendish Beach Music Festival 2017

The folks at Cavendish Beach Music Festival have been busy today. We’re here to give you all the #CBMF2017 news and there’s lots of it. Where to start?

Let’s start with the newly announced Tailgate Party on Thursday, July 6th. This free event allows you to check out the venue, pick up your wristbands and enjoy some awesome music. Our good friends Johnson Crook are part of the tailgate party along with John King, DJ Bad Ash and Mountain Faith Band.  You can expect some great music from all of these acts and a tailgate party is just the thing to get you ready for the weekend.

Also announced today is the official Cavendish Farms Kitchen Stage Lineup. Heading up the Kitchen Stage is CMA Award-winner and multi-platinum selling artist Billy Ray Cyrus. Supporting acts include Amanda RileyDJ Bad Ash, Eloie Richard, EmiSunshine, Endless Summer, Jason Price, JJ Shiplett, Rawlins Cross, Rik Reese, Sykamore, The Good Brothers, The Lovelocks, The Mountain Faith Band, The Stanfields, TJ King  and Tony Jackson.

We don’t have the daily schedule yet, but we’ve broken down the artists by day for you.

Friday, July 7th


Little Big Town

High Valley
Gord Bamford
Brandy Clark
The Good Brothers
Port Cities
Endless Summer
Mountain Faith Band
Sykamore
Rawlins Cross

Saturday, July 8th


Kip Moore
Kane Brown
Chad Brownlee
Canaan Smith
Madeline Merlo
Andrew Hyatt
Makayla Lynn

Sunday, July 9th

Zac Brown Band
Brothers Osborne
Tim Hicks
Aaron Goodvin
Jessica Mitchell
Lucas Hoge

For your full weekend lineup check out the Cavendish Lineup Page.

What else do you need to know? How about ticket info. Tier One tickets are on sale right now for $169.00. There are VIP options, Sunroof Options and Hayloft Reserved seating options. Check out all the ticket info here.

Additionally, there are some pretty amazing food vendors for you this year including the return of Mr. Donair.  And last but not least… Cavendish Beach Music Festival is running a Mother’s Day Contest. Check out their Facebook Page for all the details.

6 months ago Views

CMAO 2017 Awards Show and Conference Contest!

The 2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards are coming, and London, ON is going to do a great job hosting.

We know this because we just experienced a hell of a good time with the country music family during Canadian Country Music Week 2016… ask around and people will tell you the same thing.

Now, because we know this weekend is going to be amazing, we want to send you to experience it!

Yup, we want you to go check out the panels at the CMAO R2I (Road to Independence) TuneUp Conference and the CMAO Awards show on Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11.

It’s going to be a great time. It’s going to be filled with country music’s brightest stars from Ontario. It’s going to be a weekend that you won’t soon forget. Memorable moments will happen. Selfies will be taken. Stories will be told. And you could be there.

If you haven’t been to the awards show in the past, you should know that it’s going to have some amazing musical performances… Your host, Jason McCoy, is sure to sing you a line or two, and backed by house band, The Western Swing Authority, you will see no fewer than 11 artists live on stage.

2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Show Performers

♫ Aaron Pritchett
♫ Cold Creek County
♫ Deric Ruttan
♫ Genevieve Fisher
♫ James Barker Band
♫ Jason Blaine
♫ The Abrams
♫ Jessica Mitchell
♫ Meghan Patrick
♫ River Town Saints
♫ Tim Hicks

At the bottom of this post there’s a widget that you can use to earn up to 7 entries for your chance to win 1 pair (2) of tickets to the R2I (Road to Independence) TuneUp Conference and 1 pair (2) of tickets to the Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Show!

But before we get to that, let’s have some fun. As members of the CMAO, we’ve already cast our votes for the 2017 awards – and now we want to see who you think should win. We’ve picked out six categories featuring some of our favourite, and your favourite, Ontario country artists. Vote for the artist you think should win, then use the widget and enter for your chance to be a winner!

Good luck!













ENTER! ENTER! ENTER!

Note: This prize does not include travel or accommodations. Please keep that in mind when entering and hoping to win!

6 months ago Views

Boots & Hearts 2017 Day-to-Day Lineup Announcement!

We’re closing in on 3 months away from Boots & Hearts 2017 at Burl’s Creek Event Park… and with seven new names added to the lineup this morning, it feels like we’re nearing the full list of performers.

And adding to that is the announcement of the day-to-day lineups for this year’s festival!

Yes, we now know who we’re going to see on which day. And yes, there are more details to come, telling us who will play on the main stage, who will be on the front porch stage, and what time we’ll be seeing everyone… but this is a huge start to the planning process, and amps up the excitement for each day of August 10 through 13.

Let’s start at the start, with the Thursday night Coors Banquet Kick Off Party, and go through the weekend!

And, for each day we’ll key in on a couple of names (headliners not included) that we think you should be ready to watch… and enjoy!

Ready?

Thursday, August 10 – Coors Banquet Kick Off Party


Doc Walker
Vanessa Marie Carter
and more…

This one is easy… both Doc Walker and Vanessa Marie Carter are going to be awesome. But after seeing 5 acts on stage last year during the kick off party, we’re waiting to see who else gets added here!

Friday, August 11


Keith Urban
Dan + Shay
Frankie Ballard
Kiefer Sutherland
Drake White & The Big Fire
Brooke Eden
Endless Summer
Jessica Mitchell
Andrew Hyatt
Leaving Thomas
Sykamore

Ugh, so this is not as easy… Drake White & The Big Fire are awesome, if you haven’t seen them before, you need to make your way to the stage for them. And if we’re going to pick more, which we have to do, we’re highlighting Jessica Mitchell, Andrew Hyatt, and upstart duo Leaving Thomas.

Saturday, August 12


Brantley Gilbert
Eli Young Band
Chad Brownlee
Tucker Beathard
Aubrie Sellers
Lindi Ortega
JJ Shiplett
The Abrams
Jesse Gold
Nice Horse

We all know how great Chad Brownlee is, so let’s skip him and move to JJ Shiplett and The Abrams. We’re looking forward to both of these sets, and can’t wait for more country music fans to hear their music.

Sunday, August 13


Luke Bryan
Brett Eldridge
Jess Moskaluke
Cold Creek County
Midland
Delta Rae
Dani Strong
Alee
Kelly Prescott
Colt Walker

Last day, and it’s still not easy. If you haven’t seen Alee yet, go listen to her brand new record and then get ready to see her on stage… and you are not going to want to miss Midland. Those Texas boys are good, and funny, and we’re willing to bet that they’re going to kill it on the big stage.

So there you go… this is who we’ll see each day at Boots & Hearts 2017. Now, get ready to be even more excited every day as we get closer.

And stay tuned for contests, interviews, previews and more!

Jess Moskaluke Boots and Hearts 2015Jessica Mitchell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-Vanessa Marie Carter The RanchChad Brownlee Boots and Hearts 2015CMT Music Fest - Andrew HyattDani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

 

6 months ago Views

Boots & Hearts 2017 Lineup Announcement: Chad Brownlee, Jess Moskaluke, Eli Young Band, and more!

Boots & Hearts is back with a big announcement today… with 20 new names added to the 2017 festival lineup.

Some of these artists we’ve seen a bunch, some we’ve never seen at all, and that makes us pretty freakin’ excited for August 10-13, 2017.

Get yourself ready, this is getting big.

Today’s Announcement Includes…

Chad Brownlee
We are happy campers to see this Canadian headliner added to the Boots & Hearts lineup. Chad isn’t new to the festival, but he has new music to share since the last time he hit the B&H stage.

We can’t wait to see Chad up there, with the entire crowd singing along to his radio hits!

Chad Brownlee Boots and Hearts 2015

Eli Young Band
If you were looking for a name you knew, this should be it! The Eli Young Band are sure to bring a bunch of energy, talent, and smooth sounding songs to the Boots & Hearts stage when they play their set.

We don’t know which day we’ll see them, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s gonna be good.

Frankie Ballard
Frankie’s back! Mr. Ballard played Boots & Hearts in 2015, and now he’s coming back to do it again. We expect the crowd to be bigger and louder, and we expect that Frankie Ballard will be ready for it.

Get ready to sing loud when he plays Cigarette and Sunshine & Whiskey.

 

Jess Moskaluke
YES! Ms. Moskaluke is still the top of the heap when it comes to Canadian women in country music. Her third consecutive CCMA win for Female Artist of the Year should tell you that.

Jess has been on the small stage twice in her Boots & Hearts career – the last time playing the kick-off party. This year we’re expecting to see her on the main stage, playing for some very excited country music fans.

Jess Moskaluke Trackside Fest 2016

Kiefer Sutherland
Yes, that Kiefer Sutherland. If you haven’t listened to Kiefer’s 2016 album, Down In A Hole, give it a listen now (click here to listen on Spotify) and get ready for his stage performance.

This isn’t the first Hollywood star to play the festival… year 1 attendees will remember Kevin Costner getting it done.

Kiefer Sutherland Band at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016

Tucker Beathard
We saw Tucker last year at a small showcase in Toronto… and after seeing him sit with his guitar and sing, we can’t wait to see the full show when he’s plugged in with the band.

His star is rising, you’ve probably heard Rock On, and you should go listen to Momma and Jesus to get yourself ready.

Tucker Beathard - The Rivoli

Drake White and the Big Fire
We saw Drake White last summer… and the dude is a lot of fun on stage. He sounds great and he brings a love for doing what he does when he’s up there. And he’s got a great hat.

This will be a sing and drink and dance along set.

CMT Music Fest - Drake White & The Big Fire

 

Brooke Eden
This Florida powerhouse has been on a ton of “ones to watch” lists in the last 2 years, and now we’re going to get to hear in person why she’s landed on all of them.

Boots & Hearts is bringing girl power to the stage. And we’re into it.

Cold Creek County
Canadian country fans already know these boys… but if you haven’t seen them yet, this is a great opportunity. They bring as much energy as anyone in the game when they step on stage. And they fill the stage with dudes and sound when they get to playing.

Be ready, this one is going to get loud.

Aubrie Sellers
They call her a Texas/Nashville hybrid… and we can get behind that. Sellers will be making her Boots & Hearts debut – which means a whole lot of fans to grab. And we’re sure she’ll be up to it.

Get ready for this 20something to show you what she’s got.

Lindi Ortega
Lindi Ortega is an underrated add to this list. With all kinds of critical acclaim, and fans who absolutely love her, Ortega is going to be great at Boots & Hearts.

Her signature sound and style are going to present some awesome “wow” moments for new fans this summer.

Endless Summer
Clint and Bob Moffat may never have been names that country fans thought they’d see on a festival lineup… but here they are. Endless Summer has been putting in work to show their country chops and build their fanbase. And, they’re super nice guys who can truly play and sing.

The boys announced online that they will be handling some hosting duties on the weekend as well – so be ready to see them on stage more than once.

CCMA Awards 2016 Strut Social House Endless Summer

Midland
They hype is legit when it comes to Midland. You may have seen other country artists talking about how much they’re into what these guys are bringing… and if you haven’t, we can tell you that we trust their judgement.

We don’t know where these new comers will land on the schedule, but we’ll be there to listen.

JJ Shiplett
We had a feeling that JJ would be making the trip to Boots & Hearts this summer to share the new music from Something To Believe In, and we’re very happy that he’s going to have that chance.

Be ready for a sing along and grab a beer, this is gonna be good.

The Abrams
The Abrams have been rising stars for the last little while… and their single, Champion, has been heard by a lot of people. The boys opened for Brett Kissel on the Ice, Snow & 30 Below tour – and got a shout out to us from Brett during Canadian Country Music Week 2016.

We’re expecting some energy with this one – to go along with a great sound.

Jessica Mitchell
Thank Goodness! We love this talented young woman, and the small taste of her that Boots & Hearts fans got on the SiriusXM stage just wasn’t enough. If you only know Workin’ On Whiskey, please go listen to her EP (click here to listen on Spotify) and get ready.

Prepare for jokes, songs, and feelings when Jessica Mitchell gets on stage at B&H.

Jessica Mitchell at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016

Dani Strong
Dani is a hard working, talented country artist – and we’re happy that she’s going to get this chance to play at Boots & Hearts. We’ve had the chance to see her play on a couple of stages over the last 2 years, and we’re sure she’ll bring the same love to the stage this summer.

Be ready for a good time, it’s gonna happen.

Kelly Prescott
Kelly is on the rise. Featured as December 2016’s CMAO artist of the month, she’s been working hard, playing hard, and showing a whole lot of people that she’s got what it takes to play with the big kids.

We’re looking for energy, great songs, and Kelly Prescott working hard again to show new listeners that she’s one to watch.

Andrew Hyatt
We like Andrew a lot. Can’t lie. He’s a good dude who plays good music, builds all kinds of woodshop projects when he’s got the time – and sent us a hilarious Christmas wish to share last year.

You might not think you know Andrew Hyatt, but be ready to sing along to MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) when he plays it loud.

CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

Jesse Gold
Another up and comer, Jesse will be looking to show the country fans at Boots & Hearts that he belongs and that they should be listening. And we think he will. Be ready for all kinds of effort and passion for the music when he’s playing.

You won’t be disappointed.

and more…

Stay tuned for more from Boots & Hearts 2017 – we can’t wait to hear what the next news is going to be… but we know we’re going to have contests, fun info, and more to share.

9 months ago Views

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 4

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

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

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

Listen to the tracks, enjoy, and leave a comment telling us which country cover you like best.

10 More Awesome Country Covers

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 2

10 More Awesome Country Covers: Part 3

Dylan Scott: Love Yourself

Dolly Parton: Shine

Tebey ft. Emerson Drive: Wake Me Up

Lennon and Maisy: Ho Hey

The Washboard Union & Meghan Patrick: Seven Bridges Road

Jessica Mitchell: Chandalier

Charles Kelley: Set Fire To The Rain

Chris Stapleton: Nothing Compares To You

Sturgill Simpson: In Bloom

Jennifer Nettles: Glory Days

10 months ago Views

Songs, Success, and Standing Ovations: The Overdue Rise of Canadian Women in Country Music

2016 was a big year. A lot of people will look back at it and see all of the turmoil, loss, and general destruction that came from it – but there were positives that some of us will look back on from the year and use a fence posts for timelines and stories.

Some of those highlights came in the form of success for female artists on the Canadian country music scene. While we never hit a complete zero of radio play or live shows – the Bro Country movement, along with the general dominance of the genre by male artists, and the influence and import of American music in the genre certainly hindered the growth and bloom of women making country music north of the border.

And while we haven’t evened the scales, or even come close in some areas of the business, 2016 showed great promise for a 12-month period, and with any continued momentum, the future.

Before taking a deeper dive, let’s take a quick look at some of the accomplishments and milestones reached this year…

☆ Jess Moskaluke won her 3rd consecutive Female Artist of the Year award from the Canadian Country Music Association and was awarded a Platinum award in recognition of the success of Cheap Wine & Cigarettes.
☆ Meghan Patrick (#5) and Madeline Merlo (#9) landed on the Top 10 first week album sales charts.
☆ Jessica Mitchell went viral, saw exciting success, and earned critical acclaim for her single, Workin’ On Whiskey.
☆ Whitney Rose saw plenty of success and critical acclaim for her work on Heartbreaker Of The Year and the upcoming release of South Texas Suite in both Canada and the United States, including multiple mentions from Rolling Stone.
☆ Lindsay Ell continued her ascent in the U.S. playing at the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium half a dozen times.

Participate in a conversation about female artist representation for any length of time and you’re likely to hear someone say “it shouldn’t matter if an artist is male or female, quality will play”, and that’s all well and good to say. But it doesn’t fly. Going back even as recently as May 2015 we had to deal with Tomatogate and Keith Hill’s comments about women not being as important as men on the country radio landscape. That’s only a year and a half ago. We’re not talking about a quote from 1955 and a station manager living in the past generation. This is now and we’re still seeing the real life fight for equality in the entertainment world just like we are in business and personal life.

Jess Moskaluke (MDM Recordings) has seen her presence and success increase in the three years since the release of Cheap Wine & Cigarettes. We first saw and interviewed her in 2014, and named her as one of our breakout stars of that year. In the time since then country music fans in Canada have embraced the Saskatchewan songstress and singles like 2016’s Take Me Home and Elevator, which reached #7 and #15 on the Canadian Country Charts. Her performances have grown stronger, her fanbase has grown larger, and we’ve heard more spins on country radio as her popularity and viability have risen.

Jess Moskaluke Bright Lights Big City Toronto The Phoenix

We asked Moskaluke about the swing in country, with more female success and recognition being seen, and she told us, I think country music is cyclical. In the 90’s, the women dominated. In the 2010’s, it’s been the men’s turn. But it’s coming around, and I think in the next couple of years, it’ll be the women’s turn again (or at least it’ll be 50/50, which would be ideal!). We’re seeing strong content both lyrically and sonically on both sides of the border from female artists such as Kelsea Ballerini, Madeline Merlo, Maren Morris, Meghan Patrick, etc. That’s not going to go away. I have always believed that the music industry is one of the most difficult industries, so musicians tend to be extremely driven. The struggle has only made me want to work harder! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, as, like I had mentioned earlier, the women are coming back bigger and better than ever before!”

That work ethic, the one that makes Jess Moskaluke want to work harder, isn’t new to this year. In fact, we looked back at our 2014 Q&A where she said, “I would love to be the one that breaks the door down in Canada and makes it easier for women to gain popularity in country music.” And with the first Gold (and now Platinum) single by a solo female country artist in Canada since Shania Twain, we’re tempted to say that she has done a significant job of doing just that.

Along with the accomplishments and accolades have come more opportunities for Jess Moskaluke and other female country artists in Canada. In 2016 alone Moskaluke performed across Canada at shows and festivals that featured some of the biggest names in the country genre. At Trackside Music Festival in London, ON, at the Havelock Jamboree in Havelock, ON and at Country Thunder Music Festival in Calgary, AB, Moskaluke put on shows to thousands on the same stages as big-time acts like Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, and Luke Bryan.

Jess mentioned the 90s dominance of country by women. In Canada we saw awesome success in that decade from artists like Shania Twain, Terri Clark, Michelle Wright, Patricia Conroy, and K.D. Lang. And when looking at the Single and Album of the Year Awards handed out by the CCMA from 1990 to 1999 we can see a total of 13 awards won in the two categories out of a possible 20. That’s an impressive 65 percent. However, in the 17 award shows from 2000 to 2016 women have won only 3 Album of the Year awards and 4 Single of the Year awards for a total of seven wins out of 34 awards. A much less impressive or encouraging 20%. The cycle has taken long enough in our opinion, it’s time to see some turnaround.

One of the artists that had a big breakout in 2016, and looks forward to more in 2017 was mentioned in Moskaluke’s quote. Meghan Patrick (Warner Music Canada) burst into the market, playing her own sets at festivals and shows all over the country with some of the genre’s biggest stars, and by the end of the year it has started to feel like she’s been here all along.

Patrick’s album, Grace & Grit, was released in April, following the February release of her debut single Bow Chicka Wow Wow, and quickly became a fan favourite. The lead single and video have combined for nearly 1 million plays (official YouTube and Spotify streams) and reached #17 on the Canadian country charts. The title track follow-up reached #12, and has added another nearly half million plays to her 2016 total.

When we asked Meghan Patrick to talk about 2016 and the role and success that Canadian women saw in country music she said, “It’s very inspiring. It has been great to see these women climb the charts this year, sell albums and make big impressions on the Canadian country music scene, and I don’t say that just because they are women… I say that because they deserve it. These are women with great talent as songwriters, performers and who are so dedicated to their craft. Women who have truly created their own sound and product and stayed true to themselves. That’s where truly great music lives… within artists who are sure of themselves, who know their strengths and who have the drive to make it a reality. I’m very proud to be considered one of those artists amongst both my male and female peers, and I am especially proud of the impression my female colleagues and I have made in country music this year.”

To tell you that you should expect to see Patrick’s name in tier one company on the nominee list for 2017 CMAO and CCMA Female Artist of the Year awards is not a bold prediction. But to tell you that we believe there could be another two or three radio singles (following current single Still Loving You) from the album should give you some indication of how much Meghan Patrick could end up accomplishing with this album, as she actively writes and prepares for her follow-up release.

To get a look at the situation for Canadian women in country music from a different perspective we talked to Jenn Dalen (Program Director at CCMA Medium or Small Market Radio Station of the Year, Real Country 95.5 Red Deer, AB and Newcap Alberta South) and asked her to tell us about the genre and scene from where she sits. And her excitement shined through when she said, My favourite part about Canadian country music at the moment is that it’s filled with strong, passionate, determined, fierce, and talented women who are also as real and genuine as it gets! They are hopping on stage with some of the World’s biggest country stars, shredding it like no ones business, earning Platinum titles, writing award winning songs, earning standing ovations, and stealing everyone’s hearts! As a woman it makes me both excited and proud for what’s going to come in 2017! And I think the rest of the country should get ready… because they’re comin’ in hot!”

To have someone like Jenn making programming decisions is a big deal and should not be overlooked. Her enthusiasm for the genre as a whole is palpable, and her support for women in the industry has the chance to go a long way towards success and recognition for the talented performers we know, and the ones on their way like Lindsay Broughton, Raquel Cole, Livy Jeanne, and Shae Dupuy. With the increase in online streaming and digital listening there are those who doubt the importance or relevance of radio, but don’t be fooled, it still matters and it is important that women, and most importantly Canadian women, are represented at country radio.

The second Canadian mentioned in Jess Moskaluke’s quote is a fellow 2016 Canadian Country Music Award Female Artist of the Year nominee, the reigning British Columbia Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, and 2015 CCMA Rising Star Award winner – Madeline Merlo. With two successful singles released in 2016 (What Ya Wanna Do About It #10 and War Paint #13) Merlo was seen and heard from coast-to-coast. Adding together her YouTube and Spotify streams for the two songs gives an impressive total of more than 2 million plays on the year… but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Madeline Merlo BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

The power and reach of War Paint was one of the genre’s best stories of the year. Pulled from the real life tragedy of mental illness and suicide, the song tells a story that is real and personal. It connected with many listeners, and Madeline Merlo made the most of that connection. In August, Merlo partnered with Spokehaus in Toronto in support of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). She also talked about the significance of the song in interviews on TV and online. And those appearances helped to show her charity as a person and an artist. The song itself continues in the tradition of country music anthems with a powerful message. On merit alone War Paint is a fantastic song and deserves to be recognized as it has been by fans, critics, and on the charts regardless of gender – which is exactly what happened, and what we’re happy to see.

As a rising star in the Canadian country music community (we named her a breakout performer of the year in 2015), Madeline Merlo has already proven that she belongs. And a strong 2017 will be a surprise to nobody that has been paying attention to her career, has listened to her album (2016’s Free Soul), or has seen her perform live at venues like Boots & Hearts, Lucknow Music in the Fields, Calgary Stampede and more.

One of 2016’s biggest, and most pleasant surprises, in Canadian country music came courtesy of Jessica Mitchell. If you haven’t heard of Jessica by now, you’ve probably been under a rock. Her year was an exciting blur of shows, accolades, standing ovations, viral videos, and the kind of recognition that a hard working artist earns when all of the pieces come together.

Mitchell’s breakout single, Workin’ On Whiskey, is the kind of country song that gets stuck in your head and changes the beat of your heart. It’s country music in all of its heartbreaking, liquor pouring, songwriter glowing glory. And it’s a song that has put Mitchell on the damn map. At the end of May, Mitchell played Workin’ On Whiskey at the Country Music Association of Ontario awards show and earned the night’s only standing ovation with her acoustic performance. And in mid-July the song was the most added track by country radio (week of July 13) across the country. She also earned Rising Star (CMAO) and Roots Artist of the Year (CCMA) nominations, proving that the industry admires and appreciates her soulful, heart-felt country contributions.

It is a refreshing thing to see the same kind of respect that’s being paid to artists like Chris Stapleton, given to a woman with those same talents. Do not be surprised to see Jessica Mitchell’s name on award nomination lists again in 2017 – with Female Artist of the Year nominations more than just an outside possibility.

The list of talented Canadian female artists making country music is long (go listen to Kira Isabella, Lindsay Ell, Whitney Rose, Lindi Ortega, Leah Daniels, Trinity Bradshaw, Olivia Rose, and more). The list of names that the average fan is learning and listening to is growing. And the trend of increased popularity in sales, radio play, and online streams is encouraging.

But we aren’t where we need to be yet.

CanCon rules require radio stations to meet a 35% to 40% Canadian song threshold. And if we’re looking for equality, we should be looking for an even split between Canadian men and women. If we can get there on country radio, if fans make the effort to call and request the songs they want to hear from female artists, if they show programmers and advertisers that the women in Canada who make country music are valued and valuable, then maybe we can stop rolling our eyes when we hear someone say, “it shouldn’t matter if an artist is male or female, quality will play”. Because it will be true, and won’t need to be said in the first place.   

The success of women in Canadian country in 2016 should be a beacon of good things to come. But we need to see continued momentum and success in 2017. We need to see the industry recognize this talent at the highest and most visible levels. We need to see support for grassroots and marque names. And it needs to happen now.

We promise to do our part. We hope you’ll do yours. 

Let quality play.

11 months ago Views

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

11 months ago Views

Trish’s 10 Most Listened to Albums of 2016

When Joshua posted his 10 most listened to albums of 2016 post, I wondered out loud if it was too soon to be writing such a post. Joshua and I chatted briefly about it and his conclusion was that there wasn’t an album that could be released now that could top his list of 10 based on how much he’d already listened to said albums.

I thought, hmm let me start putting together my list and see if this is true for me. Turns out, yep it is. While I’m always open to new music and I’m hoping amazing albums come out between now and the end of the year, my list is pretty much set too.

So here, in the order that they came into my head, is my list of the 10 Most Listened to albums of 2016

aussie-flag Mabel: Rachel (2015)

Most played track: My Way

We first caught up with the boys from Mabel during Canadian Music Week. They were so much fun to chat with and their set was energetic and fresh. I love their sound which reminds me of late 50’s rock with catchy lyrics and when Mikey roars, oh, be still my heart.

mabel-rachel-640x640

aussie-flag Paul Cowderoy: Wet Hessian Bag (2015)

Most played track: Gimme That

If fate had a different plan I would have met Paul Cowderoy this summer. There was  a plan for the Australian country singer to do a club tour here in Canada and Toronto was on his list. There were other things in the cards for Paul. A car accident put this guy on pause for a time. But he’s back putting out new music and I’m hoping he’ll be coming to Canada soon. This album was in my car for the first six months of the year and I made everyone who got into the car listen to it.

paul-cowderoy-wet-hessian-bag-640x640
american-flag-emoji Chris Lane : Girl Problems (2016)

Most played track: Maybe

I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Chris Lane this summer and one of the things we do going into interviews is our research. I was happy to listen to Chris Lane’s Girl Problems over and over. There are hints of R&B, dance beats, with hints of pop, amazing rock guitar, energetic banjo, and Chris’ mean falsetto, it all comes together perfectly, if you haven’t listened yet, you should.

chris-lane-girl-problems-640x640
canadian-flag-emojiArkells: Morning Report (2016)

Most played track: A Little Rain (A Song For Pete)

This is the only album that appears on both of our lists. I love this album. It makes me want to sing and dance, it makes me feel happy. That’s a winner in my book, every day. I had the pleasure of seeing Arkells perform at both WayHome and at an awesome The Edge Sugar Beach Session.  These guys really know how to entertain a crowd.arkells-morning-report-album-cover
canadian-flag-emoji Shawn Mendes – Illuminate (2016)
Most played track: Mercy

This might surprise you but I love Shawn Mendes. True story. I first saw Shawn Mendes when he opened for Taylor Swift on the 1989 Tour. This young Canadian singer/songwriter has blown up and I’m not surprised. I’m pretty sure I’ve played this album every day since it came out. 
shawn-mendes-illuminate-large-640x640
canadian-flag-emojiJuly Talk – Touch (2016)

Most played track: Picturing Love

I come to the July Talk party a little late. I didn’t know! I caught the band at one of The Edge’s Sugar Beach Sessions and was blown away. This is an album that I put on and play front to back, no skips. It’s moody, it’s fun, it’s playful and it feels kinda dangerous. I love this album.
july-talk-touch-cover-640x640
american-flag-emoji Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered (2016)

Most played song: untitled 08 | 09.06.2014

I wasn’t expecting this and was thrilled when it came out. After seeing Kendrick Lamar at WayHome in 2015 I started listening to everything Kendrick. The music, the lyrics, it sucks me in and it’s perfect.kendrick-lamar-untitled-unmastered-cover-art

canadian-flag-emoji Jessica Mitchell: Hold Onto The Light

Most played song: Grown Up Things

I’ve been to quite a few of Jessica Mitchell‘s shows and she never disappoints. This is another album that I listen to every day. The timbre of Jessica’s voice is exquisite, I feel everything she sings, I believe her and I feel like we’re kindred spirits. 
hold-onto-the-light-640x640

aussie-flag The Lazys: The Lazys (2015)

Most played song: Shake It Like You Mean It

The Lazys, in three words energetic, enthusiastic, and enchanting. This amazing band from Australia has put together the perfect storm of rock and roll and luckily for us they love Canada. The boys tour and record here regularly and I’d be lying if we said we weren’t hoping for a move to Canada.

the-lazys-album-art-640x640
aussie-flag The Dead Love: So Whatever (2016)

Most played song: Wastelands

I first met The Dead Love during Canadian Music Week‘s  Aussie BBQ. They have a great energy, it’s rock and roll, it’s alternative and punky, it’s grungy, and they can slow things down and keep your attention. They bring together technically great musicianship and compelling vocals. They sing about love but not the sweet kind, summer and living in a wasteland. Check it out!
the-dead-love-so-whatever-640x640

With the amount of music I listen to, ten is a tough number. I’m going to cheat a little, I’ve added an additional five here as honourable mentions. Four out of five are Canadian.

canadian-flag-emojiThe Dead South: Good Company
The Dead South Good Company

 

 

 

 

 

canadian-flag-emoji

Birds of Bellwoods: The Fifth
Birds of Bellwoods The Fifth

 

 

 

 

 

canadian-flag-emojiCrown Lands: Mantra
Crown Lands Mantra

 

 

 

 

 

england-flagPink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here

 

 

 

 

 

canadian-flag-emojiThe Tragically Hip: Fully Completely

The Tragically Hip Fully Completely

12 months ago Views

5 Quick Questions with Trinity Bradshaw!

We had the chance to sit down with our pal, the crazy talented, Trinity Bradshaw while we were hanging out in London, ON for Canadian Country Music Week 2016. And since we were in the catching up kind of mood, we talked Trinity into playing along for 5 quick questions.

Check out Trinity on Facebook, she’s going Live more and more often these days with sneak peeks at new tunes and old favourites – and stay tuned for more from her coming soon.

Now, 5 Quick Questions with Trinity Bradshaw…

Q1: If you’re on a long road trip, what is the album that you can put on and listen to on repeat over and over again?

Trinity: Dixie Chicks, Greatest Hits… with a side of Brooks and Dunn.

It’s not hard to imagine Trinity singing along to Dixie Chicks for hours on end, we believe it.

ccma-awards-2016-strut-social-house-trinity-bradshaw-1883

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

Trinity: Achy Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus

I owned the Some Gave All album on cassette and remember singing along to Billy Ray. So no judgement here!

Q3: What is your favourite thing to do when you aren’t working on new music?

Trinity: Having dog time!

Trinity’s dog Miley is adorable, which you’ll know if you check her out on Facebook, and it certainly looks like they enjoy their time together.

Q4: What do you need to have with you when you walk into a songwriting session?

Trinity: Her laptop and/or phone

Makes sense to us. Phones and laptops for writing and recording and taking notes… as long as you don’t get distracted!

Q5: What artist do you think people should be listening to more?

Trinity: Jessica Mitchell

No argument. None. At all. We love Jessica, and if you aren’t listening to her yet, take Trinity Bradshaw’s advice and start now!

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