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

Sunday Funday with BK & Chase Rice

Brian Kelley, of Florida Georgia Line got some new ink this weekend. Chase Rice was there for some emotional support and a little liquid courage. Of course they were drinking some Old Camp Whiskey, which is Florida Georgia Line’s new brand of whiskey. (Read more about that here!) This tattoo session happened right on BK’s bus! No photos yet of the final product, but where would we all be without life/twitter updates?!

FYI, in case you didn’t know, I’ve been busy posting to my ‘POR Heartbeat blog for my radio station. I would love it if you checked out those posts! It would mean so much to me! Thanks for being a part of this journey with me!

That (Old Camp) Whiskey Whispers Temptation In My Ear…

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Florida Georgia Line are not only sitting on a mountain of talent in terms of both songwriting and performing, but entrepreneurship also runs deep in their blood. BK and THubb have already created a name for themselves in the music and fashion industry (BK and his wife BCole have their own clothing line, Tribe Kelley!)… but now the boys have expanded to another one of their true loves… whiskey!

That’s right, you heard it hear first. FGL have been perfecting their own brand of whiskey for the past 5 years and will soon be doing a national release to stores everywhere! They’ve dubbed their brand “Old Camp Whiskey” and one of the first flavors to be released has a true Georgia feel, Peach Pecan. For those that don’t already know, Tyler Hubbard hails from Georgia, while Brian Kelley is the Florida half of the duo.

Of course, Tyler and BK love to share, so they brought out a special “radio cup” backstage for us to taste test… and this is coming from a non-whiskey drinker… it was AMAZING! Little bit of sweetness, no burn, and absolute deliciousness with both peach and pecan notes. Smooth and easy to drink! (Note: Must be of legal drinking age to consume.)

Old Camp Whiskey is gearing up for an August 2016 release nationwide! Check out their official facebook page to stay up to date on the release date!

Faux-Chella: My Perfect Country Music Festival

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With Coachella just around the corner, TickPick and I have teamed up to present with Country Heartbeat readers my ideal country music festival! I have so many favorites that they had to divide the festival between two days! If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, it’s pretty obvious who my favorite country artists are. Whenever someone asks who my favorite artist is, I ask them if I can give them a top-5 or top-10 list instead, because it’s entirely way too hard to narrow down. I then proceed to list the above 10 artists, and a few others… depending on whose show I may have seen recently and re-fell in love with.

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For All Those Underappreciated Supporting Musicians Out There!

I’ve always felt that the band members never get as much credit as the artists themselves. They can go out in public without being recognized (for the most part), and they rarely get to attend awards shows or join the main singers on stage when they win. Half of the time, they don’t even get to record their instruments on the record (there are of course exceptions to this rule!). After following certain bands for several years, I’ve noticed a lot of changes. It seems like just after I’ve finally located all of the band members on twitter and/or instagram, next show I go to, they’ve already been replaced! I guess the supporting musicians aren’t as set in stone as the singers, but I still feel like they play a very important role. I highly respect artists like Kip Moore who make it a point to include his band members in all that he does, and publicly recognizes “The Slow Hearts” as part of his success. We need more artists like him that truly believe in their band, and who know that it’s the support of the guys behind them on stage that make the live shows an amazing experience.

TO ALL OF THE BAND MEMBERS: Thanks for all that you do! Your efforts and kick ass performances do not go unnoticed by the true fans!

 

I think I will start with Kip Moore & The Slow Hearts, because I have so much friggin’ respect for those guys! Besides, who else’s band has their own name? With the exception of a change in drummer, Kip has stuck with his original crew that he started off with. 

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Manny Medina, my favorite Scorpio & Kip’s amazing bass player!
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Adam Browder and some loyal #kipchicks!

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New Music Monday!

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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.

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