MacArthur Clark

Giddy Up: Budweiser County Fair Toronto!

In the heart of the city, country took over. The Budweiser County Fair brought country music, BBQ, beer and more to King Street West, and country fans were there to soak it all in while they soaked up the sun.

The two day festival featured a list of rising stars on stage, and paired with the food, drinks, games, line dancing, pie eating, bull riding, and general good times, we’re calling it a win for Toronto and the live music scene in the city.

We were at the County Fair on Saturday, and to say there was a lot going on would be an understatement…

Line dancing lessons popped up between sets all day, with beginner, and more advanced dances being taught to the crowd. It was awesome to see the combination of men and women, in everything from flip-flops to broken in cowboy boots.

The mechanical bull was a hot spot all day, with some entertaining rides – and a contest that saw male and female winners take home tickets to Boots & Hearts 2017.

Budweiser County Fair Toronto

The pie eating contest was a hot mess of cherry pie filling and crust all over contestants, the table, and the ground… but it was also awesome.

There were well deserved lineups for food, including the pig roast by Chef Kevin Castonguay and the hot dogs from Chef Stephen Payne.

And the live music from MacArthur Clark, Kaitlin Kozell, Jesse Gold, The Reklaws, and Emily Reid was on point!

MacArthur Clark took the stage first with a stripped down set of tunes that showed off his rich voice. With sweet, sad, true, and real notes that come from good singer/songwriter music.

The Peterborough, ON native is strong on stage, and songs like Blinded rang through the early afternoon crowd with the kind of soul that MacArthur Clark is known for to their fans. And, the cover of Cash’s Ring Of Fire was an excellent end to the set, offering a personal take on the classic song, and a dedication to Travis Berlenbach’s dad made it extra special.

Budweiser County Fair Toronto Budweiser County Fair Toronto

Kaitlin Kozell took the stage after a break for line dancing and festival fun. And along with her band, they filled the King Street West space with the country sound we’ve heard from her at events like Boots & Hearts and Steak Stock in the past.

Songs like Highway 28 and Right As Rain gave the crowd a taste of who the singer is and what she does. Kaitlin’s crowd work was also great, with a great highlight leading into Incognito. Her request for a little help from the crowd if the form of a baseball cap lead to one dude tossing her his Detroit Tigers lid, which probably looked better on her than it did on him.

Kaitlin Kozell is one to keep your eye on… trust us.

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After another break for line dancing, food, games, and the search for shade, Natasha Zimbaro hit the County Fair stage, accompanied by her band and some awesome silver balloons displaying her initials.

Natasha’s energy was a perfect fit for the late afternoon crowd, with some pep in her step, and her songs, she let her strong voice and solid performing chops show everyone what she has to offer.

Tracks like Cardboard Box (now available at CMT Canada) and Obvious, as well as her covers of Rascal Flatts’ Riot and Mötley Crue’s Home Sweet Home, rang across the space, and made new fans out of the Toronto country fans.

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As afternoon turned to evening, Jesse Gold took the County Fair stage, and the combination of his guitar picking + his accompanying guitar picking + and the songs he brings to the stage, he put on a show worth seeing.

The vibe reminds us of a Jack Johnson or Ed Sheeran – acoustic picking, sweet words, and the kind of music that you’re very comfortable listening to. The Electric/Acoustic hybrid on the stripped down set brought an interesting and appreciated feel, and songs like Lake Girl, and Chris Stapleton’s I Was Wrong were the hook Gold needed to grab our attention and make us take note that we’ll be seeing more of him in the future.

Jesse Gold Budweiser County Fair TorontoBudweiser County Fair Toronto Jesse Gold Budweiser County Fair Toronto

As the dinner hour passed, the beers continued to flow, and the pie eating and bull riding contests were wrapped – The Reklaws prepared for their turn on the stage.

The Hometown Kids, duo had been seen at the County Fair all day in their position as hosts, but in new outfits, with amped up energy, and their entertaining vibes turned up to 11, Jenna and Stuart hit the stage with their band, and put on the kind of show that we were hoping for.

The downtown Toronto crowd was given everything they hoped for as the brother/sister act rang through their set of originals and covers, allowing even the most casual of country fans to get in on the action.

The Reklaws Budweiser County Fair Toronto

We got to hear The Reklaws jam out to originals, Wish You Were Beer, Boys Don’t Cry, Last Call, and their current single, Hometown Kids – and they sounded great doing it. And when they dipped into their bag of tricks for covers of Shaggy’s Angel, The Steve Miller Band’s The Joker, Rihanna’s Four Five Seconds, Sum 41’s In Too Deep, and Kip Moore’s Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck – there were jumps and sways and singing along all throughout the County Fair.

And with an awesome little acoustic medley that had everyone singing along, the Budweiser County Fair got to hear Stuart and Jenna slip together clips of Snapback (Old Dominion), Better Man (Little Big Town), Body Like A Back Road (Sam Hunt), My Church (Maren Morris), and H.O.L.Y. (Florida Georgia Line). We love a good medley, we love country music, and we loved this little addition to the set.

We know we’re going to see The Reklaws again soon, you will too.

And we’re already looking forward to next year when the Budweiser County Fair comes back to Toronto. See you there.

The Reklaws Budweiser County Fair Toronto Stuart Walker The Reklaws Budweiser County Fair Toronto Jenna Walker The Reklaws Budweiser County Fair Toronto

More Photos from Budweiser County Fair, Toronto – 2017!

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4 months ago Views

Cowboy Up: Budweiser County Fair is Coming to Toronto

For the last few years we’ve been talking about Toronto’s emergence as a country music hot spot. And now, the city is getting their own country music festival when the Budweiser County Fair comes to 525 King Street West, July 14 and 15, 2017.

The County Fair is offering a full experience, including:

Carnival Games And Prizes
Succulent BBQ Eats From 6 Of Toronto’s Hottest Chefs
The County Fair Mechanical Bull Championships
Carnival Food Classics
Drink Samplings
Tomorrow’s Stars Of Country Music
Line Dancing Lessons And Coyote Ugly Dancers

Don’t have your tickets for the fair yet? Stop wasting time and get them now: Budweiser County Fair Tickets!

2017 Budweiser County Fair Lineup and Schedule

Friday, July 14th

6:00pm – Jade Eagleson
7:00pm – Vanessa Marie Carter

Vanessa Marie Carter The Ranch

8:30pm – Johnson Crook

Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern

10:00pm – Andrew Hyatt

CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

Saturday, July 15th

2:00pm – MacArthur Clark
3:30pm – Kaitlin Kozell

Kaitlin Kozell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016

5:00pm – Natasha Zimbaro
6:30pm – Jesse Gold
8:30pm – The Reklaws

The Reklaws Boots and Hearts 2015

10:00pm – Emily Reid

via YouTube

Do you remember that line about Succulent BBQ Eats From 6 Of Toronto’s Hottest Chefs? Well, it’s legit.

Via thecountyfair.ca, The Budweiser County Fair has rounded up 6 of the city’s well renowned chefs to showcase their unique style in a fire fuelled BBQ experience. Satisfy your cravings and indulge in some succulent BBQ eats and local fare. From heat to sweet, this is one tasty experience you don’t want to miss out on!

Steve Gonzalez
Executive Chef, Baro Restaurant
Kevin Castonguay
Executive Chef & Founder, Provisions
Elisa Corrigan
Executive Chef & Owner, The Green Wood Restaurant
Matt Blondin
Chef & Owner, OMAW Restaurant
Stephen Payne
Executive Chef & Owner, Kung Fu Dawg
Nate Middleton
Executive Chef, Home of the Brave

We don’t know exactly what’s going to be on the menu(s), but given the pedigree of the chefs coming to party… we’re damn sure that things are going to get tasty!

Note: Please remember to grab a napkin, good BBQ gets messy, and this should be good.

All in all, this 2-day country party in the heart of downtown looks like it’s going to be a blast. From the afterwork excitement of Friday night, to the all-day festivities of Saturday, there will be feet stompin’, drinks pourin’, and good country singin’.

Check out the promo video, get your plaid and boots ready, and we’ll see you at the Budweiser County Fair in downtown Toronto!

5 months ago Views

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!

1 year ago Views

Boots & Hearts 2016 Lineup Announcement #3 – Jake Owen, Dean Brody, Diamond Rio, Dylan Scott and More!

It’s a big morning for country music fans in Ontario with 16 new names added to the 2016 Boots & Hearts lineup!

There are personal highlights for me (DIAMOND RIO!!!) and some big names that people have been waiting to see on the B&H stage, plus acts that we’ve seen before and are very happy to see returning to the Boots & Hearts stages.

We’re also excited to see emerging talent represented on this list, and while the Republic Live team has always shown us that they’re willing to give young artists a chance, it’s still awesome to see every year.

So, let’s take a look at some of the highlights and what we think we can expect from these fine country music acts.

❤️Jake Owen
Jake Owen CMT AwardsJake is an artist that I am very very happy to see on this list. I can not wait to see him on stage in either jeans or board shorts, swaying and singing, and generally making sure we’re all having a good time. My guess is that this is a set that’s going to happen as the sun is getting ready to go down on us at Burl’s Creek, and we can’t wait for that barefoot blue jean night.

❤️Dean Brody
Dean-Brody-Boots-and-Bourbon-Toronto-2015 SLIDERMr. Brody is one of our favs here on the blog. We talked to him last summer while he was on his lunch break at the sawmill (building his own house) and watched him kill it pre-game with the Blue Jays. It’s always a good time when he takes the stage, and the Boots & Hearts crowd has always shown that they love him. Here’s hoping we get some whistle and ukulele this August!

❤️Diamond Rio
Diamond RioI LOVE Diamond Rio, I have since I was a boy, and I am thrilled to see them announced for B&H 2016. I’ve predicted them before, and here we are… I can not wait to hear tracks like One More Day, Meet In The Middle, Norma Jean Riley, How Your Love Makes Me Feel, and more! Don’t mind me if I’m singing along to every single song in this set.

❤️Chase Bryant
Chase BryantChase Bryant is an artist on the rise… he’s only 22, but already making a name for himself on the country music scene, and that’s why he’s on this list today. Chase has two Top 20 singles already, and we won’t be surprised if there are 1 or 2 more before he gets to Boots & Hearts this summer.

❤️Dylan Scott
Dylan Scott Boots and Hearts 2015 2My man-crush is back baby! We were introduced to Dylan largely because of Boots & Hearts 2015, and it’s been a great ride as a fan ever since. From our first Q&A he’s been surprising us, and when he rocked the small stage last year the roof almost blew off the tent. Be ready for more of that in 2016 as the boy from Louisiana comes back to Ontario to make more fans, and to hear more ladies scream for him.

❤️Lindsay Ell
Lindsay EllSpeaking of crushes, have you heard Lindsay Ell play guitar? Because that alone is enough to make you stop and stare. Add her voice and you’ve got the reason she’s coming to play ont he B&H stage. There’s a chance the some of the 45,000 in attendance won’t know what they’re getting into when Lindsay plugs in, but they’ll know exactly why they need to follow her when she’s done!

❤️Raquel Cole
Raquel ColeRaquel is going to get to introduce herself to a whole bunch of country music fans at B&H. With a sweet voice, the ability to command attention with just a guitar and microphone, and a smile on her face – Boots fans are going to be happy with this performance. We’re willing to bet on that.

❤️River Town Saints
River Town Saints CMW 2015These guys?! Love it! We first saw River Town Saints opening for Kira Isabella at Canadian Music Week last spring… and now look at them. A Little Bit Goes A Long Way has people taking notice for all the right reasons, they fill the stage with sound when they get started, and the energy levels are going to be high from start to finish. This is a set that you need to circle on your schedule. Trust us.

❤️Madeline Merlo
Madeline Merlot Bright Lights Big City Toronto The PhoenixThis announcement makes us happy! Madeline is awesome on stage and in person, and with a new album coming in 2016 we know that she’s going to be ready to give the fans a show in the summer sun at Boots & Hearts. Here’s hoping we get to meet up with the rising star for a little Honey Jack and conversation to talk about everything that she’s got planned for the fans at this big show!

❤️David James
David JamesRepresenting the MDM stable of artists, David James is ready for his turn up on the stage this summer! With a new EP on the way, this Manitoba boy has been making waves with Some Hearts, and his hard work in the country music industry. We know that he already has a fanbase that’s growing day-by-day, and by this summer David should have no problem at all with name recognition and entertaining the crowd.

❤️Lindsay Broughton
Steak Stock 2015 Lindsay BroughtonWe love Lindsay. She’s awesome. Oh, also she has some great music to share with the country fans, and we know that she loves to get up and put on a show. We’ve seen it before, we’ll see it again, and this summer at Boots & Hearts a whole bunch of people are going to see it too. We’re already planning a hangout with Lindsay to talk about the festival and just how great this is going to be!

❤️The Reklaws
The Reklaws Boots and Hearts 2015They’re Back! Jenna and Stuart are becoming part of the Boots & Hearts DNA, and that’s totally okay with us. Last year they did a great job getting the Thursday night kick off party started, and we know they’re going to bring it again in 2016. There’s also a strong chance that we see them grab the microphones to host the weekend on the main stage, and we’ll probably get to hear their original Boots & Hearts track again this August.

❤️The Dungarees
The DungareesThey’ve opened for Blake, Reba, Miranda… they’ve played Big Valley Jamboree, Dauphin CountryFest – and now The Dungarees are ready to at Boots & Hearts 2016 to their list of big show accomplishments. These 5 boys look like they mean business… and at B&H thousands of us are going to see exactly what they’re brining to the party!

❤️Kaitlin Kozell
Steak Stock 2015 Kaitlin Kozell bandWe saw Kaitlin last summer at Steak Stock in Ajax, ON and were really impressed with everything she brought to her set. She’s got the guitar, the songs, the smile, the energy, and you can tell that she really loves being up on the stage with the crowd in front of her. The Boots & Hearts crowd will be bigger than the one at the race track, and we’re excited to see how she responds!

❤️Brea Lawrenson
Brea Lawrenson 2The CMAO nominated Lawrenson is coming to Boots & Hearts, and y’all should be happy about that. Brea has been performing her songs, writing new songs, recording songs, and continuing the cycle with the passion it takes to make it in country music. It’s great to see more Ontario music added to the lineup and we are happy that Brea Lawrenson is part of this list.

❤️MacArthur Clark
MacArthur ClarkAll the way from Peterborough, ON MacArthur Clark are coming back to Burl’s Creek after taking the stage for both WayHome and B&H in 2015. The boys offer a offers an new take on traditional Country, R&B and a touch of Gospel that we know the Boots & Hearts crowd can get into… that’s why they’re coming back again in 2016!

2 years ago Views
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