Happy Holidaze!

Happy Holidays from Country Heartbeat! Enjoy these holiday photos of Michael Ray and Parmalee that I took at WPOR’s Jingle Jam a couple weeks ago! Michael is wearing his Nana’s Christmas sweater for his performance, but when Parmalee took the stage, M. Ray came out dancing and wearing an ELF SUIT! He was such a good sport about it!

Then, check out the hilarious parody video that Parmalee made with Jake Owen singing about getting into the Christmas “spirits”. This video was released a couple days after Jingle Jam… I wish Parmalee had been wearing those outfits for our show!!!

And lastly, check out these awesome Christmas cards from BK & B.Cole and Hayley and Tyler, Florida Georgia Line and their wives! (And the Kelley’s 4 dogs. Sunday looks adorbs!)

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Best wishes for a happy holiday season! Whatever you celebrate, I hope that it’s merry and bright!

Love, Jess

Old Port Fest Was A Success!

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WPOR Staff with Brooke Eden & Drew Baldridge

I had the honor of taking photos for my station, WPOR, at this year’s Old Port Festival in Portland, Maine. The weather held out and despite it being extremely windy, it was a warm afternoon! Opening our show were local favorites, American Ride. They’re a country cover band and every song was something that you could sing along to!

Next up was Nashville newcomer, Matt Gary. He tested out some songs on us that he will be putting on his EP; we were some of the first people to hear this new music! Check out his official lyric video for “It’s On You”.

With Matt Gary!

Soon-to-be-superstar Drew Baldridge was our headliner for the show, and he put on one hell of a performance! His debut album Dirt On Us was just released a couple days before and his first single, “Dance With Ya” is currently sitting at number 45 on the media base country charts. Baldridge is an enthusiastic and energetic performer and has some dance moves that rival those of Luke Bryan.

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Cole Swindell Rocks The Roof off the Wolf Den

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Opening weekend for Cole Swindell’s Down Home Tour kicked off in NYC on 11/11/15. I was lucky enough (and I don’t say that lightly…) to attend his Friday night show in Uncasville, CT in the very small and intimate Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard to get myself into a “first come/first seated” show with a maximum capacity of 350 people… total. For those of you who know who Cole Swindell is, you’ll know that he’s been playing sold out stadium shows with Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney to crowds of over 50 thousand. For those of you who don’t… he is the 2015 ACM New Artist of the Year and someone whom I’ve been a fan of for at least 2.5 years now if not more! He is currently being sponsored by Monster Energy on their Outbreak Tour featuring “emerging” artists. I put that in quotes, because Cole emerged in my world well over two years ago. 2015 is the first year that the Outbreak Tour has added a “country” artist, and I’m pretty sure that they have been overwhelmed with the positive response in their choice. Cole and his Down Home Crew have been making a name for themselves in both the country music world as well as the fandoms.

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Young and Crazy with Frankie Ballard

Our AWESOME concert shirts!
Our AWESOME concert shirts!

It’s no secret that I have some serious love for Frankie Ballard and all that he does. I mean I even went back to college (at least for one night) just for him. He knows how to tear it up on stage no matter what type of venue it is.

My most recent Frankie adventure brought me to Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. There were two opening acts; Ryan Sandford, a current student of Saint Anselm, and Alec MacGillivray, both of which were amazing. You could tell they both had a solid fan base at the show.

The last time I saw Frankie he was still recovering from a shoulder injury but since then he’s been able to pick up his guitar and resume his “face melting” skills on stage. This is what I was most excited for.

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He started the night off with I Came to Git Down and rattled all these new comers with his guitar moves. I think the majority of the students knew him by Sunshine and Whiskey, Helluva Life and from his recent single Young and Crazy, so when he started to sing those songs, things got a little crazy. Witnessing the smile on his face when people are singing his songs back to him is just an unbelievable moment.

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Nothin’ Like Dan + Shay

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A Dan and Shay concert = insane energy. These boys rocked the rock out of the Paradise Rock Club Sunday night and when you add Canaan Smith into the mix, you’re in for the ride of your life.

I’m sure most of you have heard “Love You Like That” on the radio, well that’s Canaan Smith. He recently released his new EP and is winning the hearts of many girls while opening for Dan and Shay. He won my heart over when he opened for Sam Hunt in September 2014 at the Hard Rock Café.

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After doing some songs from his EP, he covered Nick Jonas, Jealous and this got the crowd going. There’s no going back after you ask Bostonians if they’re Boston Strong, because it’s going to get rowdy. The passion that just pours out of Canaan is incredible. If you need someone to get the crowd going, it would be Canaan.

He is currently working on his first studio album that will be named “Bronco” in dedication to his late brother who owned a Ford Bronco.

After a short intermission Dan and Shay were ready to take the stage. They played song after song, barely stopping to take a breather. You could tell they really loved what they did and performing on stage is where they had to be. From all the jumping and dancing you would like think these boys would be worn out, but nothing stopped them.

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Every song they sang from Parking Break to their current single; Nothing Like You, every single person sang along. When they covered songs like Ed Sheeran, Thinking Out Loud and Def Leppard, Pour Some Sugar On Me, it got even louder. I mean I saw a security guard in front of the stage singing and dancing along, that’s how contagious they were. At one point of the night they stripped it down and did an acoustic version of Can’t Say No, which sent chills down everyone’s spine. We even got a hear a new song, Partner In Crime and it definitely did not disappoint!

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These boys fed off the energy from the crowd and the crowd was definitely fueling the fire. They had some serious love for Boston and well; Boston felt the same way. I wish I had more than two thumbs because this concert deserves a hundred thumbs up!

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Until next time boys.

The Where It All Began Tour is Dan and Shay’s first headlining tour. Visit www.danandshay.com to see if they will be performing at a venue near you!

P.S. If you’re one of the first 60 give or take (and ultimately depending on the venue) people to purchase either a shirt or CD from the merchandise table, you will receive a wristband for a post show meet and greet! 🙂

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Anything Goes On A Monday Night

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Florida Georgia Line is starting to become one of country music’s most popular duos, so when the Anything Goes tour with Frankie Ballard and Thomas Rhett was announced, people got really excited to say the least.

I’ve seen FGL once before, during the taping of Good Morning America and that was a totally different atmosphere. I figured this concert was going to just be one giant party and it most certainly was!

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Frankie started the night off and unfortunately due to a stage mishap a few weeks prior; his shoulder was out of commission, so there was no guitar playing for him. But that didn’t stop him from getting the crowd warmed up. Some fans may not have known Drinky Drink, but when Sunshine and Whiskey came on; everyone was up dancing and singing along. He then paid tribute to a fellow “Michigander” and did a cover of Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock and Roll and if you weren’t already up and dancing, you most definitely were now. So after doing 4 songs, it was time for Thomas Rhett to take the stage. He was working the crowd, jumping around all over the place, taking phones to take pictures and going into the crowd. His energy just kept escalating as the night went on.  I’m pretty sure he won some hearts over when he sang Uptown Funk. The crowd was getting rowdy.

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Thomas Rhett has some killer dance moves!

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Up All Night With Jon Pardi

My favorite local country station, WPOR, hosted an invite only event with Jon Pardi on their private stage. Only way in was to win! I entered via text nearly every day, of course! During this past week, the Universe has provided me with so many awesome opportunities and blessings, and I am so grateful this was one of them!

My first time seeing Jon Pardi was in December of 2013, and I will just nicely state that I wasn’t too impressed. Apparently during this show he was suffering from a knee injury and awaiting surgery in a few days, so I blamed his performance on this. Poor guy was probably in some pain! So I knew that I needed to give him the opportunity to redeem himself in my book next time he came around! Whether it is merely more stage experience over the past year or the fact that he was no longer in need of surgery, Jon definitely impressed me and won me over this time around!

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