Tag Archives: NECM

Florida Georgia Line: ‘I Love My Country’ Single Review

If you’re looking for some new tunes to help get you through this difficult time, Florida Georgia Line has just the song for you. Written by Corey Crowder, Ernest K Smith, and Charlie Handsome, ‘I Love My Country’ has that vintage FGL party vibe. As the lyrics suggest, this is one of those songs that you have to turn up loud. Whether you’re tailgating in a parking lot or relaxing at home, the rockin’, banjo-infused melody will have you bopping along to the beat. Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley hoped that this new single would bring some joy to their fans in the midst of the current pandemic, and it certainly does just that.  

‘I Love My Country’ is an ode to life in the countryside and loving country music. The lyrics detail the simpler, more laid-back aspects that come along with living in the country, such as hunting and fishing and a barbecue, steak fries, styrofoam plate date night. Tyler and BK go on to sing about how they like other genres of music but country is their favorite. They love driving around town with the windows down and the music up. The fun, light-hearted nature of this song is reminiscent of many of the first big hits that helped launch FGL’s career. The duo have been in the studio working on their next album, and if this first single is any indication of what’s to come, we can’t wait to hear the rest of it.

Favorite lyrics: Six strings and fiddles, whiskey from Kentucky, We keep it funky we like how it sounds, Monday to Sunday, yeah, I love my country

You can purchase ‘I Love My Country’ here.

NECM’s WCW: Hillary Scott

We, at New England Country Music, have decided to continue 2020 with our popular WCW (Women Crush Wednesday) series, where we spotlight women in country music. Each month we will feature a talented woman who is crushing the country music scene.

For March, we’re featuring the lovely singer/songwriter Hillary Scott. Unlike many of the WCW that have come before her, Scott was born right in Nashville, Tennessee. Her mother, Linda Davis, was building a career as a country music artist, and her father, Lang Scott, was working as a musician. With music running in her veins, at the young age of fourteen, she decided to follow in her parent’s footsteps. It was without a doubt that Hillary was bound for musical greatness.

Scott attended Middle Tennessee State University. After college, she began writing with Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. With Hillary Scott taking the role of co-lead singer, the trio began performing as Lady Antebellum in 2006. In 2007 they signed with Capitol Nashville.

Lady Antebellum dropped their debut single, ‘Love Don’t Live Here,’ in the fall of 2007. Their self-titled, eleven-track, debut album was released in the Spring of 2008 and debuted at Number One on the Top Country Albums Chart. The trio released their second album, ‘Need You Now,’ in the winter of 2010. It sold over 481,000 copies the first week. In 2011, they released ‘Own the Night’ and in 2012 they dropped a Christmas album, ‘On This Winter’s Night.’ They went on the release three more albums: ‘Golden,’ ‘747,’ and ‘Heart Break.’ Their most recent single, ‘What if I Never Get Over You,’ dropped last spring from their latest album ‘Ocean.’

Lady Antebellum took home their first Academy of Country Music Award in 2008 for Top New Duo or Vocal Group. Since then, the trio has received seven more ACM Awards. Over the years, the trio has won six CMA Awards, seven GRAMMYS, four American Music Awards, and two Billboard Music Awards.

Alongside from her success with Lady Antebellum, Hillary Scott has also released some faith-inspired music. With her mother, father, and sister, the Scott family released their first album together, ‘Love Remains,’ in 2016. The thirteen-track record includes singles Thy Will, Beautiful Messes, Love Remains, and Still. At the 2017 Grammy Awards, Hillary Scott and the Scott Family’s ‘Love Remains,’ won for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album andThy Will won for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.

Hillary Scott will be in New England this summer with Lady Antebellum. You can see them here:

Hartford, CT at the Xfinity Theater on June 14th.

Gilford, NH at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion on June 18th.

Bangor, ME at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion on June 19th.

Mansfield, MA at the Xfinity Center on June 20th.

Be sure to download Lady Antebellum’s latest album, ‘Ocean,’ on Apple Music here.

You can stay connected with Hillary Scott by following her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page in April.

NECM’s WCW: Stephanie Quayle

We, at New England Country Music, have decided to continue 2020 with our popular WCW (Women Crush Wednesday) series, where we spotlight women in country music. Each month we will feature a talented woman who is crushing the country music scene.

For February, we’re featuring the lovely singer, songwriter, and musician, Stephanie Quayle. Her interest in music began when she was a young girl growing up in Bozeman, Montana. She began playing the piano when she was four and picked up the guitar a few years later. This WCW sang in her very first band when she was only sixteen.

Stephanie Quayle dropped her first single, ‘Drinking with Dolly,’ in 2016. She released her second single, ‘Winnebago,’ in 2017. Winnebago, along with The RV Loft and KOA, decided to sponsor her first U.S. tour. This same year, Rolling Stone Magazine named Quayle one of their Top 10 Artists to Watch. Rebel Engine Entertainment released her first album, ‘Love the Way You See Me.’ One of the eleven tracks, ‘Selfish,’ was her first song to reach the Billboard Country Airplay chart. This past fall, she released her five song EP, ‘If I Was a Cowboy.

While talking about her latest EP with Rolling Stone, Stephanie Quayle mentioned: “When I think of cowboys, it’s not a gender thing to me. It’s a state of mind. That has been a huge part of me persevering and making decisions. When you’re out on the range, you don’t have always a lot of time to make choices. You have to really look at today and what has to happen today for tomorrow to show up.”

Quayle had the honor of performing alongside Lady Gaga and Alabama at a hurricane relief benefit concert, Deep from the Heart: The One America Appeal. She made her Grande Ole Opry debut in the spring of 2018. And she had the honor of being part of CMT’s 2019 Next Women of Country class.

We hope you were lucky enough to catch Stephanie when she was here in Foxboro at Six String Grill and Stage on February 7th. Her loyal fanbase, known as the “Flock of Quayle’s” really showed up that night. With the support of her fans, Quayle definitely got the crowd’s energy up for Jimmie Allen to hit the stage.

Be sure to download her latest EP, ‘If I Was a Cowboy,’ on Apple Music here.

You can stay connected with Stephanie Quayle by following her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page in March.

NECM’s WCW: Maddie & Tae

We, at New England Country Music, have decided to continue 2020 with our popular WCW (Women Crush Wednesday) series, where we spotlight women in country music. Each month we will feature a talented woman who is crushing the country music scene.

We’re kicking things off with a double dose of talented females, Maddie and Tae. This country music duo, both twenty-five-years old, is comprised of Madison (Maddie) Kay Font and Taylor (Tae) Elizabeth Dye. Maddie is from Sugarland, TX and sings lead vocals and plays the guitar as well as the mandolin. Tae is from Ada, OK and sings background vocals and also plays the guitar. While in high school, the pair met through their shared vocal coach and became friends. They started performing under the name ‘Sweet Aliana.’

Upon graduating high school, they both moved to Nashville and were picked up by Dot Records. These talented ladies wrote their debut single, ‘Girl in a Country Song,’ alongside Aaron Scherz. It was released in July 2014 and it peaked at number one on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart in December. This was only the second time in history that a female duo’s debut single reached number one. The only other women to accomplish is was The Wreckers with their 2008 single ‘Leave the Pieces.’ ‘Girl in a Country Song’ was certified platinum by the RIAA and went on to sell over 650,000 copies in the USA. Later in 2014, Maddie & Tae dropped their four song, self-titled EP. They released their first album, ‘Start Here,’ in 2015. In early 2018, this WCW duo signed with Mercury Nashville and released two singles, ‘Friends Don’t’ and ‘Die From a Broken Heart.’ They went on to release two more Eps: ‘One Heart to Another,’ in April 2019 and ‘Everywhere I’m Goin’ in October 2019.

Maddie and Tae were nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2017 ACM Awards held in Las Vegas, NV.

Just this month, Maddie and Tae announced some super exciting news. They are heading out on their first headlining tour in over five years, the Tourist in This Town Tour. The tour will run from mid-April through mid-July, but will not be stopping anywhere in the Northeast.

Following their headlining tour, Maddie and Tae will be joining Jake Owen on Lady Antebellum’s Ocean 2020 Tour. Definitely grab your tickets now as they’ll hit four New England states this summer!

You can see them on June 14th at the Xfinity Theater in Hartford, CT, on June 18th at the Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford, NH, on June 19th at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, ME, and on June 20th at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA.

Be sure to download ‘Girl in a Country Song’ on Apple Music here.

You can stay connected with Maddie and Tae by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday, February 26th.

Sam Hunt: ‘Sinning With You’ Single Review

Fresh into 2020 and Sam Hunt is back in the country music spotlight. Hunt unveiled his latest single ‘Sinning With You’ at midnight on January 3rd. The release comes just three months after his 2019 single ‘Kinfolks.’ 

The subdued single confesses Hunt’s desire to stay connected to his faith while passionately indulging himself in a lover. Both come to him effortlessly and both are highlighted with innocence and forgiveness. With sultry tones and haunting guitar strings, ‘Sinning With You’ instantly gives goosebumps. Although much different than his usual sound, this ballad fits into Sam’s repertoire perfectly. 

The single is a reflection into Hunt’s own mental and emotional processes – which makes the single that much more relatable.The lyrics show a sense of urgency for whatever it is he is speaking on. With lines like “My past was checkered, your spotless record was probably in jeopardy. Your place or my place, His grace and your grace, felt like the same thing to me” and “...I felt forgiveness in my heart with you, saw the light in the dark with you, felt like I could fly,” Sam’s approach to being raw shines bright. 

The chorus displays an inner battle between his morals, and challenges the teachings of his faith against his desires. The lyrics will resonate with many: “I never felt like I was sinning with you. Always felt like I could talk to God in the morning. I knew that I would end up with you. Always felt like I could talk to God in the morning. If it’s so wrong, why did it feel so right? If it’s so wrong, why’d it never feel like sinning with you? Sinning with you.”

‘Sinning With You’ takes on different forms: oppressive to some due to its introspective approach, or like a breath of fresh air with its truthfulness and purity. Either way, Sam Hunt took his artistry to another level. The single has powerhouse writers Emily Weisband, Josh Osborne, Paul DiGiovanni, and Hunt himself behind it. If this is what to expect out of Sam in 2020, we are excited and ready to see what he has in store for us!

Favorite Lyrics: “But I never felt shame, never felt sorry, never felt guilty touching your body. As long as you’re for me, as long as I’m for you; who could be against us, baby?”

Listen to ‘Sinning With You’ now: Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

NECM’s WCW: Shania Twain

We, at New England Country Music, are continuing our series spotlighting women in country music. While the acronym WCW, standing for ‘Women Crush Wednesday,’ is often used for physical attraction, that is not the case here. This series will feature talented women who are crushing the country music scene.

This week, we are featuring Eilleen Edwards, also known as Shania Twain! If you watched the 2019 American Music Awards last Sunday, 11/24, you caught an incredible performance. Twain hadn’t been on that stage in sixteen years, but she knocked it out of the park with some covers including Post Malone’s ‘Rockstar,’ Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off,’ and Drake’s ‘God’s Plan.’ Of course, she sang some her own hits as well: ‘Any Man of Mine,’ ‘Don’t Impress Me Much,’ and ‘Man! I Feel Like A Woman.’

This Canadian born singer/songwriter has sold over one million records. Dubbed the “Queen of Country Pop,” she is one of the best-selling female country music artists. Twain grew up as Eilleen Regina Edwards with two sisters in Ontario, Canada. After a divorce, her mother remarried Jerry Twain, a full-blooded Ojibwa. Mr. Twain adopted all of the Edwards children. The family was quite poor and Shania started singing at local bars at the young age of eight to help her family pay the bills. She wrote her first song when she was ten. Her interest in music continued throughout high school where she played in the band ‘Longshot.’ After high school, she joined the band ‘Flirt’ and took singing lessons. When she was twenty-two, tragedy hit the Twain household. Both her mom and step-dad died in a car crash and she took on the responsibility of raising her siblings. When her siblings were grown and moved out of the house, Twain returned to her passion – music. She recorded a demo tape that was picked up by Mercury Nashville Records and they signed her shortly thereafter. In 1993, Eilleen changed her name to Shania, meaning “I’m on my way” in Ojibwa. She dropped her debut, self-titled album, this same year. Twain went on to release four more albums: ‘The Woman in Me,’ ‘Come On Over,’ ‘Up!,’ and ‘Now.’ Over her career, this WCW has headlined four tours.

Shania Twain was the first non-US citizen to win a CMA Award. In 1999 she took home the CMA Award and ACM Award for Entertainer of the Year. She was inducted into the Canadian Music all of Fame in 2011. And she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. From 2017-2018 Shania Twain had her own exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

We can’t wait to see where this WCW goes from here.

Hopefully you were lucky to see Shania Twain in June of 2018, as she stopped at the TD Garden in Boston then. She will be filling up 2020 by playing ‘Let’s Go! – The Las Vegas Residency’ starting in December.

Be sure to download some of her earlier songs including ‘Any Man of Mine’ and ‘Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?’ from ‘The Woman In Me’ on Apple Music here.

You can stay connected with Shania Twain by following her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday December 4th.

Granger Smith: ‘That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads’ Review

In his new single, ‘That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads,’ Granger Smith takes us on an emotional journey of self-discovery and healing. As we ride along through beautifully textured descriptions of a winding country road, we can’t help but reflect on the influence behind the lyrics. This song is Smith’s first release since the tragic death of his three-year-old son, River, five months ago. His message of finding serenity, even while enduring unimaginable heartbreak, is truly inspired.

On October 24th, Granger took to social media to announce the release. His statement was raw and honest. Smith spoke candidly about his loss, about anxiety, and about finding what truly matters. He was sure to stress that music matters to him. He pointed to the fact that it matters so much because it highlights all of the important events and people in life. And while Granger says this single isn’t about River, it certainly pays homage to him. 

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I’ve been sitting here watching the cursor blink trying to figure out how to tell you about this. Earlier this year, I promised one song per month and I gave you one in March, April and May. My life changed forever in June and needless to say, I apathetically derailed any career plans and goals. Things I used to think mattered, just didn’t anymore, and other things mattered more than ever. It was almost like some kind of enlightenment where my life filter disappeared revealing only what mattered in full clarity. I never considered leaving music, (that’s hardwired into me and non-removable) but I did decide to change the way I approached the never-ending anxiety of this business. If you see me on tour, or hear new music, know this: it matters to me. Or makes me smile, or makes me think of my dad, or my little red headed boy. Or my wife, kids, momma, friends, struggles and triumphs. But…wait…isn’t that what country music is supposed to be about? . I have a new song coming out tomorrow, 10/25. It’s not about Riv, although I did weave him into the lyrics in the 2nd verse, but it’s special to me. It’s about finding peace. Finding yourself. Finding God on a road that’s rough around the edges just like us. It’s about that rural sanctuary we all know so well behind a pair of headlights, a steering wheel and your heavy thoughts. It’s called “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads.” . That’s the cover of the song in this picture, and if you zoom in, there’s so much detail, so many hidden gems that you probably won’t even find all the references at first. Even if you don’t understand any of the hidden meanings, it’s just a cool picture of a dirt road following the river up a beautiful mountain. Can’t wait for y’all to hear the song. I hope it brings you the same peace that it has for me.

A post shared by Granger Smith (@grangersmith) on

Just like Smith’s announcement, ‘That’s Why I love Dirt Roads’ is as uplifting as it is somber. The rapid tempo, paired with poignant lyrics, will stir the soul of every listener. Smith sings of being delivered from the fast-paced highways to the dirt roads that slow down life. Here, he’s given pause to reflect on his memories, on his faith, and on the freedom found in taking the road less travelled. Smith relates that it’s on these dirt roads that he feels a piece of heaven. When he says, ‘out here in the quiet, I know you hear me. The stars are smiling. I feel you near me,” we can imagine he’s in the presence of his late son. While the road is slower, longer, and rougher than the highways, he appreciates the journey of finding his way home again.

‘That’s Why I love Dirt Roads’ is sure to become a fast hit, not only because of its catchy tune, but more so, the message behind it. While Granger Smith may be suffering the most inconceivable pain, he’s proven that we can still travel forth by the means of what we love most. Because of him, we’ve fallen in love with dirt roads too! 

Also, be sure to check out the gorgeous artwork that accompanies this track. It’s rife with hidden gems. Just take a closer look at the mountains! 

Favorite Lyrics: Sometimes they’re beat up and broken, scattered and tossed in the breeze. But no matter their scars, it don’t change what they are. That sounds a little like me.

You can listen to his new single here.

NECM’s WCW: Trisha Yearwood

We, at New England Country Music, are continuing our series spotlighting women in country music. While the acronym WCW, standing for ‘Women Crush Wednesday,’ is often used for physical attraction, that is not the case here. This series will feature talented women who are crushing the country music scene.

This week, we are featuring the one and only Trisha Yearwood. You may know her as the country singer that is married to Garth Brooks, but you may not know that she is also an actress, author, television personality and celebrity chef.

Trisha Yearwood grew up in Georgia, the daughter of a schoolteacher and a banker. The fifty-four-year-old has always been passionate about music. Throughout her childhood, she performed in talent shows, community events, church functions, and musicals. She received an associate degree in business from Young Harris College and moved to Nashville in 1985. It was her job with MTM Records that really kicked things off for Yearwood. This is also where she first recorded demo tapes with her future husband, Garth Brooks. The two struck up a friendship, and in 1990, Yearwood sang background vocals on Brooks’ album ‘No Fences.’ She toured with Garth and released her debut, self-titled album in 1991. The lead single ‘She’s In Love With the Boy’ peaked at Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart. This album went on to be certified double platinum by RIAA, making Trisha Yearwood the first female country artist to sell one million copies of her debut album. Over the next twenty-eight years, she released twelve more albums. We are excited to mention that she just released her latest single, ‘Every Girl in this Town,’ this past summer.

Trisha Yearwood has been on various television shows including Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Ellen, JAG, and Nashville. She has hosted a popular cooking show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, since 2012. And she has written several cook books including ‘Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood,’ ‘Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen,’ and ‘Trisha’s Table: My Feel-Good Favorites.’

As far as awards go, this WCW has earned quite a few. She has received three GRAMMY Awards, 3 CMA Awards, 3 ACM Awards, and 1 Daytime Emmy Award.

We can’t wait to see Trisha Yearwood continue along the path of success.

Lucky for us, Trisha Yearwood will be at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA on Friday, November 22nd. You can purchase tickets here.

Be sure to download ‘Every Girl in this Town’ on Apple Music here.

You can stay connected with Trisha Yearwood by following her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday, November 6th.

Your Guide To The 53rd Annual CMA Awards

With the weather getting cooler it means that awards show season is almost here! The 53rd annual CMA Awards will air live on ABC from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday November 13th at 8pm. In an effort to honor more women in country music, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire will serve as guest co-hosts alongside longtime host Carrie Underwood, who is returning for her 11th year in a row. The CMA’s are always a fun night full of amazing performances, must-see collaborations, and special moments. Currently in the midst of a career year, Maren Morris could be in store for a big night after receiving the most nominations with 6.

Check out the complete list of nominations as well as our predictions for who will win below.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Garth Brooks
  • Eric Church
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

Prediction: Garth Brooks – In the middle of his record-breaking three year stadium tour Garth has already played to over 750,000 fans this year, needing only 12 shows to accomplish this feat. Look for him to take home his 7th Entertainer of the Year award in this closely contested category.

Male Vocalist of the Year

  • Dierks Bentley
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Keith Urban

Prediction: Thomas Rhett – Thomas Rhett has had a huge year. Not only did he headline his first amphitheater tour this summer, but he also released his fourth album, and had two #1 singles with a third currently climbing the charts.

Female Vocalist of the Year

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Maren Morris
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Carrie Underwood

Prediction: Maren Morris – In what will probably be the most highly contested category, we’re giving a slight edge to Maren Morris. Very deserving of the honor, if Maren wins she’ll be the first woman other than Carrie Underwood or Miranda Lambert to win since 2009.

Vocal Group of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Midland
  • Old Dominion
  • Zac Brown Band

Prediction: Old Dominion – Old Dominion have solidified themselves as one of the top groups in country music, which is why they have a great chance to be repeat winners in this category.

Vocal Duo of the Year

  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Brothers Osborne
  • Dan + Shay
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • Maddie & Tae

Prediction: Dan + Shay – After being snubbed in 2018, this is finally the year that Dan + Shay will win Duo of the Year at the CMA’s. They followed up the success of their smash hit ‘Tequila’ with two more #1 singles (‘Speechless’ and ‘All To Myself’) and a headlining tour earlier this year.

New Artist of the Year

  • Cody Johnson
  • Ashley McBryde
  • Midland
  • Carly Pearce
  • Morgan Wallen

Prediction: Ashley McBryde – You can make a strong case for all of these artists, but ultimately we think that it will come down to either Ashley McBryde or Morgan Wallen. Ashley McBryde is looking to follow up her win at the ACM Awards for New Female Artist of the Year with a win at the CMA’s.

Album of the Year

  • ‘Center Point Road’ – Thomas Rhett
    • Producers: Dann Huff, Jesse Frasure, Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, The Stereotypes, Cleve Wilson
  • ‘Cry Pretty’ – Carrie Underwood
    • Producers: David Garcia, Jim Jonsin, Carrie Underwood
  • Dan + Shay’ – Dan + Shay
    • Producers: Scott Hendricks, Dan Smyers
  • ‘Desperate Man’ – Eric Church
    • Producers: Jay Joyce, Arturo Buenahora Jr.
  • ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris
    • Producers: busbee, Maren Morris, Greg Kurstin

Prediction: ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris has herself a winner with this gem of an album. We can’t get enough of it. Every song is fantastic.

Single of the Year

  • ‘Burning Man’ – Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne
    • Producers: Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Arturo Buenahora, Jr.
    • Mix Engineer: F. Reid Shippen
  • ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris
    • Producer: Greg Kurstin
    • Mix Engineer: Greg Kurstin
  • ‘God’s Country’ – Blake Shelton
    • Producer: Scott Hendricks
    • Mix Engineer: Justin Niebank
  • ‘Millionaire’ – Chris Stapleton
    • Producers: Dave Cobb, Chris Stapleton
    • Mix Engineer: Vance Powell
  • ‘Speechless’ – Dan + Shay
    • Producers:  Dan Smyers, Scott Hendricks
    • Mix Engineer: Jeff Juliano

Prediction: ‘God’s Country’ – Arguably the biggest country song of 2019, ‘God’s Country’ reached #1 on the charts in July.

Song of the Year

  • ‘Beautiful Crazy’ – Luke Combs
    • Writers: Luke Combs, Wyatt B. Durrette III, Robert Williford
  • ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris
    • Writers: Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons, Greg Kurstin
  • ‘God’s Country’ – Blake Shelton
    • Writers: Devin Dawson, Jordan Schmidt, Michael Hardy
  • ‘Rainbow’ – Kacey Musgraves
    • Writers: Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves
  • ‘Tequila’ – Dan + Shay
    • Writers: Dan Smyers, Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds

Prediction: ‘Girl’ – This category is full of incredible songs. On a night when country music is putting an emphasis on celebrating women, it would only be fitting if the inspirational power anthem ‘Girl’ won the award for Song of the Year.

Musical Event of the Year

  • ‘All My Favorite People’ – Maren Morris feat. Brothers Osborne
    • Producers: Maren Morris, busbee
  • ‘Brand New Man’ – Brooks & Dunn (with Luke Combs)
    • Producer: Dann Huff
  • ‘Dive Bar’ – Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton
    • Producer: Garth Brooks
  • ‘Old Town Road (remix)’ – Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus
    • Producers: YoungKio, Michael Trent Reznor, Atticus Matthew Ross
  • ‘What Happens in a Small Town’ – Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell
    • Producer: Dann Huff

Prediction: ‘What Happens in a Small Town’ – This collaboration from some of our favorite country rockers is a massive hit. We would love to see Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell take home the award for Musical Event of the Year.

Music Video of the Year

  • ‘Burning Man’ – Dierks Bentley feat. Brothers Osborne
    • Director: Wes Edwards
  • ‘Girl’ – Maren Morris
    • Director: Dave Meyers
  • ‘God’s Country’ – Blake Shelton
    • Director: Sophie Muller
  • ‘Rainbow’ – Kacey Musgraves
    • Director: Hannah Lux Davis
  • ‘Some Of It’ – Eric Church
    • Director: Reid Long

Prediction: ‘God’s Country’ – Filmed in Blake Shelton’s hometown of Tishomingo, OK the video for ‘God’s Country’ features footage of farmers during the Dust Bowl intertwined with the modern day landscape. This concept perfectly captures the essence of the song. It leads all of the nominees with over 60 million views on YouTube.

Musician of the Year

  • Jenee Fleenor
  • Paul Franklin
  • Mac McAnally
  • Ilya Toshinsky
  • Derek Wells

Prediction: Mac McAnally – With the exception of 2016, Mac McAnally has won this award every year since 2008.

Congratulations to all of the well-deserving nominees!

More New Music Coming From Sam Hunt?

For quite some time, Sam Hunt’s fans were longing from new music. Let’s be real, Sam’s career started off hot and really slowed down after the release of ‘Downtown’s Dead.’ And for months, fans wondered if Sam was dead… simply because he went quiet. No new music. No social media posts. No tour announcements. For a guy who was at the prime of his career with smash hits and sold out tours, for him to go quiet was pretty odd.

But fans were elated last week when Sam dropped his new single, called ‘Kinfolks.’ And country radio responded with it being the top added song to country radio this week with over 130 stations adding it to their rotation.

But from what we just saw on the Gram, it sounds like Sam might be releasing even more music soon. At a surprise appearance at The Listening Room last night for a benefit for the American Cancer Society, he said, “I just put out the first song I’ve put out in awhile… this song, we’re going to put out in a few weeks. I haven’t played it yet…

Check it out below and let us know what you think!