Vegas Bound for “The Week Vegas Goes Country”!

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I’m a strong believer in chasing dreams, and I know that you must do whatever it takes to make your dreams happen! Blood, sweat & tears! I spent the entire month of March picking up extra jobs and extra hours from various places, hustling, and busting my butt to be able to afford to go to Vegas for ACM week this year. I’ve worked HARD, and I’ve earned it! I wasn’t willing to accept not being there this year, especially with this being the last ACM week before the big Nashville move! There are a lot of connections to make, tons of networking opportunities, and some amazing performances that I hope to catch! I’m also extremely excited about escaping the cold and the upcoming snow predictions!

I will be sharing my adventures LIVE on snapchat! You can add me manually at @country_hrtbeat or scan my snap code below! I can guarantee that my “stories” will be filled with some exclusive behind-the-scenes stuff! You definitely don’t want to miss out!

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I will also be posting photos to an album on my facebook page, so go LIKE my page and follow along for updates throughout the course of the week! It will almost be like you’re right there with me! Feel free to live vicariously through me!

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Hey HIGH VALLEY, Can I Make You Mine?

HV Make You Mine Single Image

I’ve been waiting for a day like today in the office since I started working for my local country radio station, WPOR! Mid morning my boss told me that High Valley would be coming in around noon to play us some songs. I’ve been covering at the desk at the radio station (which I absolutely LOVE) and switching off days with another girl. On one of the days that she was here covering, Dan + Shay came in unexpectedly and I was so jealous and bummed that I had missed them! So this definitely made up for it!

Surprisingly, I had yet to hear of High Valley and did some research immediately. Turns out, these two musicians from a rural Canadian town about as high up as Alaska are pretty talented! I guess they are a pretty big deal already in Canada, earning many accolades including 10 GMA Canada Covenant Awards, multiple CCMA Award and JUNO Award nominations and the 2013 CCMA Award for Interactive Artist of the Year. In 2014, their top 5 single, “Country Line”, held the record as the longest running Top 10 hit on the Canadian country music charts! They’ve opened up for several major acts including Little Big Town, Alan Jackson, and Shania Twain.

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You Just Gotta Believe

Shine Bright!

“How are you going to make enough money to survive? How are you going to make this happen? Where are you going to work? Do you even have a plan?”

In the words of Big Kenny (of Big & Rich):

“You just gotta believe. You come to this town and you start meeting all these people and you become inspired. Everywhere you go there’s someone who can play, someone who can write a song. You finally meet enough of them that you start to think to yourself, ‘Wow, maybe I am kind of normal after all.'”

Nashville. “It’s a crazy town full of neon dreams, everybody plays, everybody sings.”

Although I don’t have the typical musician dream, I do have a dream of working in the country music industry. I fully believe that once I am there, surrounded by the people that make this crazy passion of mine feel “normal,” that this dream is going to really take flight. Thriving most on inspiration, I am positive that, although I might feel slightly threatened by the competition at first, it’s what I truly need.

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Brothers Osborne CD Release Party!

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Did you hear that Brothers Osborne had a CD Release party at Bull Moose in Salem, New Hampshire the day before their debut album, Pawn Shop, was released?! If you weren’t one of the few lucky enough to attend, I captured the question and answer part of their acoustic performance for you guys to watch!

So technically, I was scheduled to work that Thursday, but when I found out on Tuesday morning that they would be about an hour and a half away from my house, AND there was an opportunity to meet them and get their CD before anyone else… I knew I had to go. I had to find SOME way to be there. They recently played in Portland, and sadly I had to miss the show and was very upset about it. THIS WAS MY CHANCE. Sooo… should I play hooky? Call out sick? I decided that honesty was the best policy (it usually is!) and I decided to just present the facts to my boss and see what she had to say about it. Luckily, she understands my passion/obsession for country music and networking within the industry and graciously allowed me to take the day off to go! When you truly want something guys, just have the courage to ASK!

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Reflections & What I Want In 2016

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Lately I’ve been finding myself comparing my twitter/instagram/facebook page to others in this world of country fan sites/blogs. I’m noticing how many followers they have in comparison with me, and I know this is partially due to the fact that they are on top of the latest news stories that fans want to hear. I swore in the beginning that I would not be one of those sites/blogs, whose purpose is to relay the latest gossip in the country music industry or keep fans with the most up to date information. Nothing against them, because clearly they have hundreds of thousands more followers than I do… but I want my blog, my brand, Country Heartbeat to be a bit more personal. To tell a story. MY story. I want to introduce you to this life that I lead, that yeah, happens to be immersed in country music. It’s the thing I’m most passionate about, and much to my boyfriend’s dismay, comes first above everything. I want to inspire people to chase their dreams, to step out of their comfort zone, to grab hold of something that they love and take a leap of faith, to do things they never thought they could do.

I had a talk with a close friend recently that helped me realize that out of our group of friends, or even out of the people in this local area… heck, even in all of Maine… don’t love the industry in the same way that I do. One of my best friends since early childhood, God love her, once commented on my new profile picture with Lee Brice on his tour bus and asked, “Is that your new man?”. Oh, sweet Jesus. These people around here just don’t get it.

That’s why I’ve got to get to Nashville, and soon. That’s why I love every minute of “The Week Vegas Goes Country” aka ACM week, where I can surround myself with those friends who are as passionate about country music as I am. I’ve got friends from California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Florida, Ohio… all these people come together in Vegas and are as crazy about it as I am.

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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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Tour Bus Hang with Lee Brice

THROWBACK THURSDAY!

Lee Brice letting us preview some unreleased songs!

May 16th, 2015

Today was the day that I realized that my dreams were starting to come true. Today marked a very important day in the history of my future career in the country music industry. I was able to obtain an official photo pass (aka special access to the stage for the first 3 full songs) to photograph Lee Brice at his show on the Maine State Pier in Portland. I’ve always photographed every concert that I’ve ever been to, but point and shoot camera photos do NOT compare to a SLR with a long zoom lens! Photography has always been a passion of mine, and combining that with country music basically makes me one of the happiest girls alive.

Official Photo Pass!
Official Photo Pass!

The radio station that I work for, WPOR 101.9, gave two lucky listeners the opportunity to “hang” with Lee Brice on his tour bus before the show. Obviously a photographer needed to be there to cover the event 😉 and that was ME! This amazing opportunity left me basically speechless. (No, really, I didn’t say more than two words on his bus… I think I said “Thank You” after taking a photo with him and that was about it!) You couldn’t wipe the smile from my face if you tried!

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