New Music Monday

opaque new music mon

Maren Morris – My Church

This song is starting to explode on country radio! Marren Morris is going to be someone who will rise to fame very quickly this year. For those of you who haven’t heard it, no the song isn’t religious or about going to church, so don’t shy away from it out of fear of that. It’s a powerful song about the healing powers of country music, and how one can just get lost in the music on a long drive and end up feeling so much better about everything. “I find my soul revival, singing every single verse / Yeah, I guess that’s my church.” I’ve always been a huge believer that music can save a soul, much like God or a church can, and this is the message that Maren is trying to get across in this single that is going to soar up the charts over the next few months!

Russell Dickerson – Yours

Can I just take a second and personally say, “Awwwwwww” and that I want a guy to feel like this about me one day? I yearn to make someone the best version of themselves, more than I want to find someone who is going to make me the best version of my own self! The fact that there is a “Wedding Version” on his EP for this song speaks magnitude about the power it will hold over people’s emotions. This song is going to touch hearts and that’s what makes or breaks a song in my opinion. His vocals are strong and the lyrics are touching and powerful. You need to give it a listen!

Brooke Eden – Daddy’s Money

Brooke has been in the Nashville scene for a few years now, and after releasing an EP in early 2014 and the single American Dreamin’ later that year, now she’s come out with a brand new single that country radio is going to love! This song isn’t about being handed everything on a silver platter, it’s just the opposite! Brooke sings about working hard for everything she has gotten, and encourages all of the girls around town to not let it hold them up or slow them down if they don’t have the ease of living off of “Daddy’s Money”. It’s a sassy single with attitude and girl-power that is going to be her big break in 2016 and just goes to prove that hard work (and of course talent) will get you far. Sometimes it’s about who you know, but in Brooke’s case, she wants it known that pure determination and hard work got her to where she is today!

Brothers Osborne – It Ain’t My Fault

I had the pleasure of hearing this song live, acoustically, for the very first time at the Brothers Osborne CD Release Party. So let’s just start out by saying that as a kid, one of my favorite games was Mouse Trap, simply for the fact that it was a game of cause and effect based on a chain reaction… where one action influenced the next. (Memory refresh here!) Same with my obsession for the Back to the Future… do you remember Doc’s alarm clock contraption in the opening sequence? (If not, refresh your memory here!) Basically, these type of Rube Goldberg machines intrigue me, and It Ain’t My Fault is a song with that same basic idea, but reversed. It’s all about blaming the previous night’s behavior on a plethora of things, each one leading to the next. It’s a fun song about someone who is guilty of a “damn good time”. Not sure which track BR-OS plans on releasing as their next single, but this would be my pick for sure!

Be sure to follow along on twitter and like our facebook page! I would love for you to join me along in my journey through the country music industry and help me chase my dreams!

Nashville Happenings

News F Nash 2 merged

Hello Country Heartbeat readers! This week has been packed with events from the NHL® All-Star weekend where Dierks Bentley, Eli Young Band and Kelsea Ballerini preformed on a packed street in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame on Sunday. The Sunday show was the last of the daily concerts that were being preformed in downtown Nashville starting on Thursday. Other great musicians such as Big and Rich, Lo Cash, Lee Brice, Chris Young, Clare Bowen, Charles Esten and Russell Dickerson were part of the IntelliCentrics Honda NHL® All-Star Festivities Outdoor Concert Series presented by Bridgestone.

Unfortunately I was not able to attend these shows because I was up in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Kip Moore Wild Ones Tour concert at Bogarts. Kip Moore and The Slow Hearts put on a great show as always, full of energy playing some classic Kip songs and new songs off the long awaited Wild Ones Album.

image

To end the weekend, on Tuesday I attended a benefit for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation at the High Watt on Cannery Row, hosted by Chris Cavanaugh and sponsored by Galena Garlic Company. Chris has been throwing this benefit for the past three years. Though Chris was the main performer, there were guest/friends who also performed. Chris invited some fellow songwriters who have written hits for many artists. Matt Rogers (“We Went” for Randy Houser), Jody Stevens ( “Lemme See Ya Girl” for Cole Swindell and “Home Alone Tonight” for Luke Bryan), Doug Johnson (“Love Like Crazy” for Lee Brice and “3 Wooden Crosses” for Randy Travis), and Scott Stepakoff (“Looking At Stars” and “Underage” on the new Kelsea Ballerini album) also came out to help raise money. Chris Cavanaugh is a touring Nashville based musician from Missouri; he just released his new EP Footprints on My Windshield, which is available now on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon MP3 and Spotify. The benefit ended up raising over $3,000 for the CCFA even with the horrible weather and tornado warnings. Congrats to Chris for a successful night!

image

I’ll be posting in the next day events going on in Nashville for the week that people might want to attend…

~CK

 

 

TBT #5 – Canaan Smith (WAY Back When!)

THROWBACK THURSDAY!

WHEN: June 16th, 2012
WHERE: Meadowbrook Pavilion, Gilford NH
HOW: Stood in line for over an hour after Sugarland’s set to get an autograph and photo!

So this is before ANYONE had ANY idea of who Canaan Smith even was… but HE was the main reason that I wanted to go see the Sugarland show in June of 2016. I had been a fan for a little while since We Got Us was released earlier that year and I had been following him on twitter for a while. (He was just too adorable to resist!)

A couple days before the show, he actually replied to my tweet, and that got me EVEN MORE PSYCHED for the upcoming show!!

canaan smith june 14th 2012

During his set, he mentioned that he would be willing to meet EVERYONE after Sugarland’s set over by the merch booth. I had bought his CD with two original tracks, We Got Us and All In My Head. I convinced my friend to wait in line with me while he took the time to meet each and every fan, sign an autograph, AND take a photo. To put it into perspective, the venue has about 8,000 seats and there was a long line, but the wait was so worth it! I remember that security was extremely strict about taking photos with your own camera, but I snuck some anyway. (Typical.) Canaan was a sweetheart and introduced himself (like I didn’t already know who he was!) and I told him that he put on an awesome show and he thanked me. I don’t remember much besides that, it WAS nearly 4 years ago!

CANAAAAAAN

image

Canaan has always been awesome about interacting with his fans. I’m so happy that I grabbed these screenshots [of tweets] all those years ago! I’ve been a fan of Canaan since the very beginning of his career and am proud of how far that he has come! Since then, I’ve seen him in concert several times and met him a couple more times over the years. I will always be a supporter of his music!

canaan smith reply

Follow Canaan on Twitter and check out his website for tour dates and more information!

What’s Up From Nashville

News F Nash 2 merged

I would like to start by introducing myself, I am a female living in Nashville enjoying the city and engulfing myself within the music industry that this city has to offer. I have lived in Nashville for almost 3 years now. I go to live shows, writers rounds and other fun events that go on here. I also attend other shows and events that are destination venues from Nashville based company’s.

A little about what I’ve been doing… I have been working with artists of all genres for about 6 years. I use to work in the North East booking, and promoting small bands that people never heard of, trying to get their name out. I have had a passion for music since I was a kid, but since I am no good at playing and I can’t sing for crap, I go by the rule if you can’t do it, promote and manage it. 🙂

So what I am going to be doing on here? Well I’m going to be showing, giving, introducing the Nashville life to the readers of Country Heartbeat, I’m going to get interviews with artists, let you know what’s happening in this amazing city and let you know what artists you might want to start checking out and events that have happened and are going to happen.

Well that’s a little about me. If y’all have any questions or want me to look into something or if you have any requests please comment and I will do my best to get you answers.

~CK

Photo Credit: Sarah Bell
Photo Credit: Sarah Bell

 

 

 

Brothers Osborne CD Release Party!

image

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!

Continue reading

Reflections & What I Want In 2016

image

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.

Continue reading

New Music Monday!

opaque new music mon

LAST New Music Monday of 2015!

Musically, 2015 has been a breakout year for artists like Kelsea Ballerini, Michael Ray, A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osborne, Sam Hunt, Cam, Chris Janson, Old Dominion, Chase Bryant, LoCash, Canaan Smith and more! What artists will emerge and climb to the top in 2016?! I’ve got some premonitions, but for now, I’ll just share with you some of my “new” favorite songs as the year is wrapping up!

Florida Georgia Line, “Confession”

“Embers in the ashtray glow / like memories that won’t let go”

“That guy in the windshield looking back looks just like me / But there’s a crack in the reflection”

This song has been my favorite song off of their Anything Goes album since it was first released back in October of 2014. I’m surprised it took them this long to make it a radio single! I definitely appreciate Florida Georgia Line’s “softer side” which helps balance out the high energy party songs. I love the visuals in this song, how you can listen to it with your eyes closed and “see” the story being told. Also, basically any song that mentions a shooting star or star gazing is going to earn extra points in my book! It’s a song about reflecting on the past and driving out to the middle of nowhere to basically drink beer and contemplate life. So far, all of FGL’s singles have hit #1, and this one will be no exception!

Cole Swindell, “You Should Be Here”

“It’s one of those moments, that’s got your name written all over it /And you know that if I had just one wish it’d be that you didn’t have to miss this / You should be here”

Heart. Strings. Pulled. Cole says that this is the song that he “came to Nashville to write” and the raw emotions behind these lyrics tied with the visuals of Mike Monaco’s video… so powerful. This is a very personal song for Cole, written about his late father who passed only weeks after Cole officially got his first record deal. The video features one of their last phone conversations as well highlights from Cole’s career that his Dad has missed out on. Everyone has lost someone they’ve loved, and everyone has those moments where they wish their loved one could be there to experience life with them. You Should Be Here captures these feelings and ties them personally to all of the meaningful moments in Cole’s career that his Dad missed out on. Though Cole says that he knows his Dad is smiling from up above looking down, he just wishes he could be there to put his arm around him and experience the moment. Download this song. NOW. Industry professionals are already predicting it’s going to be up for “Song of the Year” at future awards shows.

Continue reading

6 Reasons Why Kelsea Ballerini Could Be Your New Best Friend

Kelsea.jpg

So I got an email today letting me know that the “Summer Forever Tour” was officially on sale, and that is what prompted this post. (For those of you who don’t know, Kelsea recently announced she’d be joining Billy Currington on his tour that kicks off February 19th in Texas.)

The subject line of the email reads, “Tickets & Friendships Available Now!” Honestly, is there ANYONE that doesn’t want to be legit friends with Kelsea? She’s the most adorable, sweetest, hilarious, authentic, 22 year old girl who just happens to have had the craziest year of her life rising to fame and manages to stay humble and genuine just the same.

How many other artists do you know openly admits that they want to have real friendships with their fans? (See Kelsea talk about that in the video below!)

Here are 6 reasons why every girl wants to be Kelsea’s BFF

Continue reading

Cole Swindell Rocks The Roof off the Wolf Den

wolf den 11-13-15 2

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.

Continue reading

An Open Letter to Meet & Greet Photographers

Dear Meet & Greet Photographer,

I write to you as a photographer myself. Not only do I know how to take a good quality photo, but it is very important to me. Often times I find myself angry at you for being so clueless and lacking concern for the photos you are taking. Some of you clearly just don’t care… (In that case, move over, I would like your job!)

I work for a radio station and often find myself taking meet and greet photos at shows, and you know what I do? I LOOK at every single image after I take it. Why? To make sure that no ones eyes are closed, no one is looking in an odd direction, it’s clear in focus, properly lit, etc. It takes an extra second for a quick glance, and if an issue is spotted, guess what? I correct it!

What angers me the most, is that now artists are charging a lot of money for VIP experiences before their shows and fans choose to pay for this mainly because they want a nice photo souvenir. As a paying customer, especially when some of these super-fans pay $100-$200 for this experience, I would hope to hell that you at least know what you are doing behind a camera and how to use one properly. For instance, in low lighting settings, USE A FLASH. No one wants a dark, shadowy, grainy image after paying $200.

Artists, please make sure that you have someone who knows how a camera functions running these Meet & Greets. So many times I see photos posted where the fan has their eyes closed. Do you know how simple it would have been to check the photo you just took and then ask for a second one to correct the problem? Oh maybe 3 seconds of your time and it would mean the world to a fan who would be otherwise devastated because they’ve been waiting 5 years to meet their favorite artist and finally get a photo with them… only to discover their eyes are closed.

I’ve always felt passionate about this, and recently it has happened to me (as well as every other person who was photographed that day). I would like to share with you my once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity with both Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge. Do you see how I am in Thomas’ shadow? This is due to a poorly lit venue and lack of flash. Low lighting? Turn on the darn flash, people.

TR and BE BangorThankfully, as a photographer, I am also savvy at editing and was able to make it look a LITTLE bit better, but there is really no excuse for this. Here are a few other examples…

Continue reading