Faux-Chella: My Perfect Country Music Festival

Country Heartbeat Day1 Fixed

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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ACM Week – Day 3 – Women Of Country

Friday 4/1/16

Total girl confession first off; I totally loved my outfit for Friday and wanted to have a mini photo shoot by the pool where we were staying with Jencita’s family. So we did.

First on our agenda for Friday was a meet and greet with Thomas Rhett at the BMLG Music Has Value pop-up store at the MGM Grand at 1:30pm. One hundred people received wristbands to meet Thomas by purchasing some Music Has Value merchandise from the shop and then there was an “if he has time” line. Since I didn’t have a physical copy of his recent album Tangled Up (I know, shame on me!), I purchased that for him to sign. One thing I learned that day? I probably shouldn’t wear white/ivory. My shirt had a lipstick stain on it within 5 minutes of arriving at MGM. So typical of me!


Party For a Cause festival gates opened at 3pm on Friday, so Jencita and I drove down to the other end of the strip, to the new MGM Grand Festival Grounds, across from the SLS Hotel. Part of my goal during this years ACM week was to keep my radio station and all of it’s listeners, WPOR 101.9, informed with an inside look!

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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…

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This Week in Country Music News

Have you heard?

luke crash my playa 2016

Luke Bryan announced a save-the-date for his second “Crash My Playa” in the Rivera Maya, Mexico. Tickets go on sale April 9th at 11am CDT. Go to www.crashmyplaya.com for more event details!


Earlier this week, Canaan Smith released his debut EP on iTunes. It includes his radio hit single, Love You Like That as well as 4 other great songs. Grab your copy here! (No, really, go buy it, it’s less than $7 bucks!)

TR Promo

Thomas Rhett‘s sophomore album is largely inspired by Bruno Mars! TheBoot.com wrote up a great article that you can read here! T. Rhett has been known to cover a few Bruno Mars songs during his set. Check out this swoon-worthy cover of When I Was Your Man. Last show of his that I saw, he ended it with an AMAZING rendition of Uptown Funk! He’s also got some killer dance moves, for those of you who haven’t seen him in concert yet! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1iAxyLzBT8

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Anything Goes On A Monday Night

FGL 2/23/15

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!

FGL 2/23/15

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.

TR 3/23/15
Thomas Rhett has some killer dance moves!

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Fangirl Moments

Oh you know, just a typical 24 hour period for @country_hrtbeat on twitter

Sam Palladio (Gunnar on ABC’s Nashville) favorites your tweet, Austin Webb follows you and THOMAS RHETT favorites your tweet about the video in your prior blog post… no big deal. #fangirling

PS. Sorry in advance for the vulgar language, intense moment on tonight’s episode of Nashville.

tweet capture

Thomas Rhett’s heart melting video he shared of his wife

So, I’ve been a huge fan of Laur and T.Rhett’s relationship since I’ve been following them both on instagram for the past couple years. Lauren is so naturally beautiful and their relationship seems so pure and honest and full of endless love. This video, though. This just did me in. Chills. Eyes watering up. I never knew they were friends for so long before they actually dated! I knew that they were college sweethearts, but had no idea about the whole high school phase where they were just friends. Wow, I love them SO MUCH MORE now. In fear of totally sounding like a typical white girl… I can’t even… ❤

Happy Early Valentine’s Day Y’all 🙂

PS. I cannot WAIT to see him live in 8 days!!!! Thomas is on my “Must Meet in 2015” list (along with Cole Swindell and Dierks Bentley). Sending some good vibes out into the Universe, hoping a Meet & Greet falls on my lap for my show next week!

Patrick Knight's News from Nashville

TR Promo

Thomas Rhett won the internet today by sharing a video of how his love with his now wife grew from friends to where it is today! Check it out…

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