Say what you will about the divide in country music: whether you’re a pop-country crossover supporter, or a traditionalist country fan, you can’t deny the power that is Eric Church. He brought his Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour to Ottawa on February 16th, 2013, giving fans in the Valley their first country show of 2013. It was the first headlining date in the capital region for the rock-country superstar, who previously played in Ottawa when he opened for Dierks Bentley.
Most of Eric’s dates on the Canadian leg of his current tour were sell outs: even selling more tickets than the legendary Bon Jovi in some markets. Not bad for a pretty simple set, which didn’t even include a main video screen. He did bring plenty of pyro, smoke effects, and showed up his piano skills in his encore of the GRAMMY nominated “Springsteen.” (Read our interview with “Springsteen”co-writer Ryan Tyndell here).
Eric came to Ottawa ready to rock, and rock he did. “Y’all can kick the rest of Canada’s asses,” he announced early into his set. Whoever in the crowd wasn’t already on their feet finally got up after that.
Get ready country music fans in Michigan! A brand new festival is about to take off in Brooklyn, MI with some huge country stars. The Faster Horses Festival, which is being organized by Live Nation’s ACM Promoter of the Year Brian O’Connell, will feature headlining performances by Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, and Luke Bryan. The three-day festival will run from July 19th to the 21st and will also feature performances by Jerrod Niemann, Thompson Square, Kix Brooks, Chris Young, Colt Ford, and more to be announced.
Following the success of the inaugural Watershed Festival at the famed Gorge Amphitheatre last year, O’Connell selected a wide-open field in the secluded Irish Hills in Michigan for his next country camping festival. Surrounded by lakes and rolling hills, this area of Michigan is a summer hot spot, attracting vacationers far and wide. The Faster Horses Festival is set to be a prime summer event featuring 2 stages, 9 campgrounds, late night jam sessions, food trucks, bonfires and more to highlight the unique summer lifestyle experience in the area.
Are you excited for the new festival? Will you be picking up your tickets on Monday? Who else do you want to see added to the festival lineup?
As we found out years ago, Tim McGraw, along with country music pals, Kenny Chesney and Tracy Lawrence, found out who his friends are. Well, Tim has teamed up with those friends to create a compilation disc, entitled “Tim McGraw & Friends,” scheduled for release by Curb Records on January 22, 2013. Colt Ford helped Tim out on the track, “Twisted,” which will be the first single off the special compilation disc. The album will be exclusively available at Walmart and will include 11 individual tracks:
Miranda Lambert is helping out some friends in need next year, replacing Lady Antebellum‘s headlining date at Country Fest in Wisconsin. The superstar trio were forced to cancel dates next year because member Hillary Scott is expecting her first baby. Miranda will headline the festival alongside Toby Keith and Jason Aldean.
Miranda is the first headliner for the four-day festival on Thursday, June 27th. It’s the only solo tour stop in June 2013 for Miranda.. She’l be hitting the road with the Pistol Annies for most of the Summer.
“We could not be more excited to announce Miranda Lambert as a Headliner for Country Fest ‘13!” says Country Fest. “She not only puts on the most entertaining and high energy show for her fans, she is adding this solo date to her previously scheduled tour dates with Pistol Annies to join the Country Fest Family here in Cadott. We cannot thank Miranda enough & look forward to her return this year!”
Tickets & Camping for the 27th Annual Country Fest are currently available at Early Bird Pricing at countryfest.com . Prices increase January 23, 2013. Nearby hotels are available with continuous daily shuttle service for non-campers. Free mobile phone app also available now in app stores for Country Fest.
What would you have done to see the early days of Eric Church, Justin Moore, or even Gary Allan‘s careers? Country music fans who played their cards right were able to see one of the new underrated talents on the Blake Shelton Cruise last week with JJ Lawhorn. The 19-year old signed to Average Joe’s Entertainment in 2011 and he’s your good ol’ Southern boy – who isn’t afraid to make sure everyone knows it, too. The singer, who was raised on a family farm, stole the spotlight in one of the many atrium shows on the NCL Pearl last week.
JJ might not be a name that country fans are familiar with yet, but they soon will be. He’s hitting the road with Colt Ford on the “Answer To No One Tour,” and with his gritty songwriting style and rocking vocals he’ll soon be taking over radio. Fans who are looking for someone along the lines of Brantley Gilbert, Justin Moore, or even Eric Church should keep their eyes peeled to this newcomer.
We had the chance to get to know JJ during the Blake Shelton Cruise, and as the week went on, word about his performance had spread to the passengers. His final show was a packed one- with two levels of the atrium watching the young singer with the rock-styled vocals. His influences on his writing are obvious: he calls Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings his influences in his official bio. JJ is a rebel, one of the new branches of Nashville that’s finally getting the spotlight thanks to the success of Brantley, Eric, and Gary.
The nominees were just announced earlier this morning for this year’s American Country Awards. The third edition of the fan-voted award show will once again air live on FOX from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. While the co-hosts remain the same with Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth, there is something new about the award show – the addition of the “Song Of The Year” category which will honor country music’s top songwriters of 2012. The nominees for Song of the Year are determined by the National Songwriters Association International (NSAI). The award show will air live on December 10th on FOX at 8 pm EST.
Artists leading all nominees this year are Luke Bryan with seven, and Lady Antebellum tying for second with Zac Brown Band with six nominations each. Eric Church and Taylor Swift both have five nominations each. Check out the full list of nominees below and let us know who you’ll be voting for. Fans can vote at theacas.com for their favorite artists, and make sure to tune in December 10th to see who wins!
Performers and presenters will be announced shortly, so stay tuned for that announcement too!
Columbia Nashville newcomer Tyler Farr will be releasing his new single “Hello Goodbye” to country radio this month. The emotional and powerful ballad follows the story of a man at the end of a relationship who is trying to find the strength to move on with his life and say his final goodbye to the relationship. It’s a real-life story Tyler wrote about an experience with an ex-girlfriend:
“I caught an ex-girlfriend of mine cheating on me, and the next day we (Kris Bergsnes and Skip Black) wrote this song,” said Tyler. “Songwriting is like therapy, and thanks to Kris, Skip and a few drinks, I got some good counseling,” he laughed.
On Saturday, Tyler will sing the new single live on the iconic Grand Ole Opry stage.
“One of the things I love about country music is the songs are built on real life experiences and events and I can’t think of a better place to play this song than at the Opry,” said Tyler.
A native of Garden City, MO, Tyler fell in love with country music at a young age when he was on the road with his step-father – the guitar player for George Jones. After spending two years at Missouri State for a vocal performance scholarship, Tyler packed up his belongings and hit the road for Nashville. He quickly took on a job at the famous Tootsie’s for the 10 pm to 2 am shift.
“We’ve put a lot of miles on the van and we probably qualify for a U-Haul endorsement.”
The hundreds of miles he’s hit on the road has helped Tyler build a loyal fan base with country music fans:
“What’s great now is I’m finally getting to the point where people are starting to catch on and know my songs and that is the best feeling in the entire world when you get someone. “When a fan comes up to me after a show to say they had a good time, then I’ve done my job.”
“Hello Goodbye” impacts country radio on August 27th, with a digital release date of August 28th. Check out an acoustic performance of the song with KNIX 102.5:
Country music’s resident rapper, Colt Ford, released his brand new album “Declaration of Independence” to stores nationwide TODAY. The brand new studio album features collaborations with Jason Aldean, Wayna Morris of Boys II Men, Kix Brooks, Montgomery Gentry, Jake Owen, Darius Rucker, and many more country stars. The record was produced by Dan Huff (Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban), along with long-time collaborator Shannon “Fat Shan” Houchins.
“This album is very real and honest and by far the best record I’ve ever made,” Colt says with pride. “The last two records—I stand up and cheer for them—but I tried to make a lot of people happy on the last two records and I took the edge off of it. On this record I put the edge back on there.”
“Declaration of Independence” is being released on Colt’s own Average Joe’s Entertainment. Over his career so far, Colt has already sold more than one million albums and over three million downloads of his songs. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see those numbers quickly rise with the guest stars lending their talents to Colt’s album. Check out the official track listing of Colt’s new album below and let us know what is your favorite country collaboration of all-time:
Due to a safety issue, Colt Ford and radio station WXCY were forced to cancel his free concert scheduled for Monday night in Charleston, MD. There was so much demand for the show that safety officials were worried about having that many fans in Wellwood Restaurant that they had to put a stop to the show. The show, which was scheduled to be an acoustic show, had an overwhelming response by fans in the regions wanting to attend. In a video posted on his YouTube page, Colt promises that they are working on a new location to host the event. Watch Colt’s statement below:
Colt’s new single “Back” featuring Jake Owen is out on country radio now. What do you think of his brand new song?
With so much buzz surrounding Colt Ford’s latest sinlge “Back” with Jake Owen, Ford decided to more up the release date and make the single available on iTunes now! “Back” is the first single off Ford’s new album, Declaration of Independence, which is set to hit stores on August 7th. The song was written by Colt Ford, Shannon Houchins, Noah Gordon, and Mike Hartnett and finds Ford reminiscing about some of his favorite childhood memories.
This is such a personal song for me. It’s my life. It’s about my past and my future. I talk about friends that are no longer here and I talk about the way I grew up…To have one of my best friends in the music business, Jake Owen, be a part of this song with me is a big deal. It’s a song that I wanted a friend of mine to be a part of and Jake is just on fire and one of my favorite singers. He captured the emotion that I had in this song. I think everyone, when they hear this song, will want to call home.