Tag Archives: New England Country Music

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.

Jordan Davis: ‘Detours’ Single Review

Jordan Davis – one of the many talented artists to bless the country music scene. On Friday March 27th, Davis released a personal and reflective single ‘Detours.’ A single that he called “… one of my favorite songs I have ever written…”

Let’s flashback to 2017, first. We had the honor of covering an Eli Young Band concert at the House Of Blues in Boston. The opener for EYB was Louisiana native, Jacob Davis (yes, you read that correctly). Jacob Davis is none other than Jordan Davis’ twin brother. As Jacob’s set unfolded, he introduced a new, not yet recorded single called ‘Detours.’ As soon as the first chord hit, the crowd was mesmerized. People swayed back and forth, recording the single with their phones so that they could listen to it before it was officially released. When the song ended, Jacob confided in the crowd by saying “that song is my life. I love it so much, man. We’re in the studio with it right now and it should be out soon!” 

Fast forward to 2020 and we finally have this amazing single, with Jordan being the one to cut it! Jacob performed this song before Jordan came to fame from his debut album, ‘Home State.‘ However, what makes ‘Detours’ so special is the story behind it – for each of the brothers, and listeners will be able to resonate with the message within the lyrics, too. 

‘Detours’ is a song that celebrates all the wrong paths life takes you down on the way to finding where you’re supposed to be. The song was co-penned by Jordan, Jacob Davis and Dave Turnbull. With his daughter and wife in mind, Jordan wrote the song from the perspective of being thankful for all the different directions life took him in. What seemed like obstacles at the time, were actually changes that made him the man he is today. 

Soft guitars open the song with Davis’ voice sneaking through – blissful and content. He begins to explain how his life was growing up and where his choices took him, which ultimately led him to his wife, Kristen. Davis sings that she “was an everything but the wings angel outta nowhere” and that “she’s the dotted lines and every sign that led me straight to Jesus.” After learning from his past mistakes, he states that he’s finally on the right road now.

Melodic and sweet, ‘Detours’ fits in perfectly with Davis’ sound. He delivers the story behind the music soulfully and convinces the listeners of how grateful he is for all of the detours that led him to where he is today. It’s been a long three years waiting for this single to be released, but we’re ecstatic that it’s finally out. 

Favorite Lyrics: “And I’d love ’em and I’d leave ’em and it was what it was. And it is what it is and I wouldn’t change it if I could…”

Listen to ‘Detours’ now: Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

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!

Payton Smith: Self-Titled EP Review

Country music continuously grows with new talent. Payton Smith, a 19-year-old who recently signed to Big Machine Label Group, is now part of this ever growing brilliance. He’s equal parts George Strait and John Mayer while incorporating his own flare to his music. On October 4th, the former CMA Fest performer released his first EP – ‘Payton Smith’ under his new label.

1) ‘‘92’ Written by Payton Smith, Marla Cannon-Goodman, and Larry McCoy

Impression: To open the EP, Smith sings about throwin’ it back to the year 1992. Smith’s voice is strong and mature despite his age. He proudly displays what he is capable of right off the bat. The instrumentals are rocker-esque and old school country mixed into one. 

Favorite Lyrics: “Now hold on, while we throw it back to ‘92…”

2) ‘Can’t Go Wrong With That’ Written by Payton Smith, Thomas Archer, and Jim McCormick

Impression: ‘Can’t Go Wrong With That’ brings nostalgia to the listener. With happy riffs and a kicked up beat, Smith takes the audience on a journey of some of his favorite things. Whether it’s cold beer, Willie on vinyl, or football on Friday nights, you’ll be able to resonate with this song and with Smith. 

Favorite Lyrics: “Football is better under Friday night lights. Hard to lose the girl if you treat the girl right. Don’t matter where you’re from, don’t matter where you’re at, no you can’t go wrong with that.”

3) ‘Like I Knew You Would’ Written by Payton Smith, Ronnie Bowman, and Dan Fernandez

Impression: Slow and sensual tones fill this single from the very first note, followed by accompanying guitars to pick up the pace. Smith sings about how a girl stole his heart from the first moment he saw her – like he knew she would. This take on a love song will be a hit with listeners anywhere.

Favorite Lyrics: “You’re my angel. As a matter of fact you took me to Heaven and all the way back, like I knew you would. And I knew you would.”

4) ‘What It Meant To Lose You’ Written by Payton Smith and Jim McCormick

Impression: The last song of the EP has a funky beat, which displays Smith’s versatility in incorporating the country/pop crossover. As for the meaning behind this single, the title speaks for itself. In a tale so often told, you never know what you have until it’s gone, and Smith sings his heart out on this track to depict that feeling. 

Favorite Lyrics: “I can see that you’re the only one I really need. I can feel the fire comin’ from the spark. I can feel the love runnin’ through my heart. I can admit that I’d die if you ever really leave.”

In just four short songs, Smith has created a name for himself under his new label. With an impressive variety presented in this EP, the country music genre just gained another future star. You can stream Payton Smith’s self-titled EP on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, and YouTube! Give Payton a follow on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Eight-time Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney is ready to take it back to the stadiums! His Chillaxification 2020 tour is designed to bring great music, good vibes and one of his most diverse lineups to some of his favorite cities and a few new places. Joining him for this summer’s adventure are six-time Academy of Country Music/Country Music Association Duo of the Year Florida Georgia Line (“Meant to Be,” “Cruise”), three-time and reigning ACM/CMA Vocal Group of the Year Old Dominion (“Make It Sweet,” “Break Up With Him”) and summer touring sensation Michael Franti & Spearhead (“Sound of Sunshine,” “Say Hey (I Love You)”).

Chillaxification 2020 kicks off Saturday, April 18 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – and culminates Friday, August 28 with his 20th show at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Tickets for all dates will go on sale next Friday, October 4 at 10 a.m. local time

“These stadium shows are the most fun thing I do,” says the high-energy songwriter. “It’s been a year, so when I get out there, I wanna make sure that No Shoes Nation is being rocked, having fun and getting all the music they can out of the day. We always try to do something different, bring someone new – and for anyone who’s never seen Michael Franti and Spearhead, just wait!”

The only country artist on Billboard’s Top 10 Touring Acts of the Last 25 Years, Chesney’s summer stadium treks have become legend – and gave rise to the iconic No Shoes Nation. Built on a strong commitment to the fans, Chesney’s No Shoes Radio serves as a connector for the man The Los Angeles Times deemed “The People’s Superstar” and The Wall Street Journal hailed “The King of the Road.”

“I love playing for No Shoes Nation any time, anywhere,” says the soft-spoken superstar, “but these stadium shows are always something so powerful, I can’t tell you how much anticipation goes into each one. Not to mention, we’re always wanting to top what’s come before – and I think this lineup might just pack the most fun of them all.”

Recently singled out by Variety as “Country’s only long-term stadium act,” Chillaxification 2020 builds on the enduring rite of summer that Chesney’s stadium shows have become. With the multiple week No. 1 “Get Along” from his deeply personal Songs for the Saints, benefiting the Love for Love City Fund, and the steamy “Tip of My Tongue” hovering just outside the Top 10 at Country radio, there’s a lot of new music, old favorites and surprises on tap for what will be the summer’s biggest tour.

American Express® Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning Thursday, September 26 at 10 a.m. local time through Thursday, October 3 at 10 p.m. local time. General ticket sales begin at 10 a.m. local time on Friday, October 4.

Having defined the country music stadium experience over the last decade and a half, Chesney spent this year’s Songs for the Saints Tour taking his music to the cities that have been overlooked on his massive million-tickets-a-summer treks. Having played 159 stadium shows – rocking over a million people at Gillette Stadium alone – Chillaxification 2020 promises to be everything No Shoes Nation has come to expect from the man who gave them “American Kids,” “Beer In Mexico,” “Out Last Night,” “Noise,” “When the Sun Goes Down” and more.

Blue Chair Bay Rum returns as tour sponsor. Chesney’s award-winning line of rum will again be the presenting sponsor, with activations throughout the summer.

Kenny Chesney’s Chillaxification 2020 Tour
with Florida Georgia Line, Old Dominion and Michael Franti & Spearhead
April 18                  AT&T Stadium                                       Arlington, Texas
April 25                  Miller Park                                              Milwaukee, Wis.
May 2                     U.S. Bank Stadium                                  Minneapolis, Minn.                
May 9                     Raymond James Stadium                        Tampa, Fla.
May16                    Mercedes-Benz Stadium                         Atlanta, Ga.
May 22                   Minute Maid Park                                   Houston, Texas
May 23                   The Alamodome                                      San Antonio, Texas
May 30                   Heinz Field                                              Pittsburgh, Pa.
June 6                     Lincoln Financial Field                           Philadelphia, Pa.
June 13                   Busch Stadium                                        St. Louis, Mo.
June 20                   Ohio Stadium                                          Columbus, Ohio
June 27                   Nissan Stadium                                       Nashville, Tenn.
July 11                    Arrowhead Stadium                                Kansas City, Mo.
July 18                    CenturyLink Field                                   Seattle, Wash.
July 25                    Soldier Field                                            Chicago, Ill.
August 1                 SoFi Stadium                                           Los Angeles, Calif.
August 8                 Empower Field at Mile High                  Denver, Colo.
August 15               Ford Field                                                Detroit, Mich.
August 22               MetLife Stadium                                     East Rutherford, NJ
August 28               Gillette Stadium                                      Foxboro, Mass.
…and more dates to be announced.       

Brother’s Osborne Closes Out the Country Season at The South Shore Music Circus

Opening the show for Brother’s Osborne at the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, MA, Kendell Marvel treated the encompassing crowd to a ten song set that showed off his talents as a performing artist and as an accomplished songwriter. Before beginning with ‘Untangle My Mind,’ a song on Marvel’s 2017 album ‘Lowdown & Lonesome‘ he proudly declared that he would be playing some COUNTRY music tonight. Kendell certainly delivered on that promise with a more traditional country sound paired with some rock-influenced guitar playing. He followed up with 4 more original songs before, “Jumping into songwriter mode,” to play Gary Allen’s ‘Right Where I Need To Be.’ He told the audience, “I moved to Nashville from a small town in Illinois in 1998 and wrote this song the day I got into town.” He explained that Gary Allen changed his life when he recorded the song that went to number 5 on the country songs chart. Next, Marvel treated us to another song he wrote, ‘That Lonesome Song’ recorded by Jamey Johnson.

With the mention of Chris Stapleton before Kendell performed the next song, ‘Either Way, the energy of the crowd was then taken up a notch.’ Marvel described Stapleton as a good friend and revealed that he has penned about 60 songs with him. After, Marvel played the first release off of his upcoming album, “Solid Gold Sounds,” which will was just fully released on Oct 11th. Playing his worn guitar that displays his years in the business, Marvel completed his set with two songs from his first album, ‘Gypsy Woman’ and ‘Lowdown and Lonesome.’

After a quick intermission Brother’s Osborne entered the tent to a sold out crowd. They quickly jumped into a high energy version of ‘Drank Like Hank’ followed by ‘Shoot Me Straight.’ As always, the brothers delivered with talent and enthusiasm.

Slowing things down just a tad, the crowd swayed for a version of ‘Remember Me’ as T.J. Osborne welcomed the crowd to sing along with his arms open. Next a roaring crowd for ‘Weed, Willy, and Whiskey,’ prompted T.J. to deliver a toast before following up with ‘Greener Pastures.’ Beaming, T.J. asked the Crowd “How we feeling?” Only to be answered with even more applause and enthusiasm. He went on to tell us, “I can tell already this is going to be an awesome night” and gave accolades to Marvel for opening the show. “It’s a beautiful town; Cohasset is a very beautiful place; not sure I can afford it though,” T.J. joked. He went on to display his accent declaring that Cohasset was easier to say than Hyannis, where the duo had played just the night before.

Transitioning back into the music T.J. asked, “How many die-hard’s are here tonight? We are going to find out now.” The pair put the crowd to the test playing ‘Rum,’ but the audience certainly proved themselves; with their hands in the air, it seemed that everyone was singing the last verse. Feeding off that energy the lights turned red and a fast clap from the fans ensued as Brothers Osborne began to play their latest hit, ‘Burning Man.’ After telling the audience that they were loud out there, T.J remarked on how the little towns out here in MA remind him of the little quiet water town that they recorded ‘Port Saint Joe‘ in. He admitted that it was,”Trippy as hell being on a stage going around,” before getting everyone to sway and keeping them going for the entirety of ‘Tequila Again.’

Again, T.J. complemented on how lively the crowd was before delivering a broken down version of ’21 Summer’ under a spotlight. At the end of the song the band came back on stage to lead into a cover of Steve Earle’s ‘Copperhead Road.’ The band’s energy led perfectly into ‘Stay A Little Longer’ featuring John’s signature guitar solo. T.J. then took the vocal break as an opportunity to head into the crowd to take a photo with a young fan. After, a rendition of ‘A’int My Fault’ brought back the red lights and T.J. once again asked the crowd if they were ready to kick it up one more notch. A long instrumental with T.J. playing shakers and the tambourine gave the band time to shine as they showed off their talent. Throughout the engaged crowd had their hands up clapping.

T.J. took another moment to acknowledge how awesome the crowd was and joked that it was odd to know that there were people watching his backside for the entire show. He also reflected, “Typically one other weird thing about how this is right now, we would walk off stage and sit somewhere and try to egg on the crowd. You guys have been awesome and it would have been very awkward to walk off in plain sight where you guys can see us.” T.J. admitted that they do not always do encores, but halfway through the set he knew that this crowd was ready. At that time the band truly took a moment right on stage to discuss what they were going to play next.

The Brothers began to close out the show with ‘Pawn Shop’ followed by ‘Pushing Up Daisies.’ T.J. joked about not seeing any pawn shops up here while exploring the area and commended the crew for their work to make the unusual set with the spinning stage a success. The final song was a cover of ‘Hard Workin’ Man’ by Brooks and Dunn. The cover featured a unique moment with John’s lead vocals, rather than T.J.’s.

The South Shore Music Circus is now closed for the season, but you can keep tabs on upcoming shows for next season on their website. You can learn more about Kendall Marvell and his recently released album, ‘Solid Gold Sounds‘ on his website, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Brother’s Osborne currently does not currently have any New England shows scheduled, but you can keep up with them on their website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

All You Need is a ‘Six String Session’ to Know Southerland

Matt Chase and Chris Rogers started their careers as two solo acts that often shared a stage at bars in college towns around the country. Eventually, the inevitable happened as they officially linked up to form the duo, Southerland. The pair’s debut EP, ‘Six String Sessions’ was released Friday, August 23rd and serves as an introduction of the band to the world. The acoustic, three-song collection is lyrically driven, as Matt and Chris view themselves as songwriters first, artists second. “We wanted the songs to speak for themselves,” Chris said. “It all goes back to how we started this.”

Chase and Rogers met in the writing room and quickly became buddies. After a couple of years playing small gigs together, the guys decided to head down to Florida for the Key West Songwriters Festival. They secured a late night residency at a local spot to perform for a few hours after the BMI shows wrapped up each night. “We had a lot of buddies down there so we had them come show up and hop on stage and play some songs,” Matt said. One of these guys was Luke Combs, who was right in the middle of his ‘Hurricaine’ success. Combs was accompanied by an explosive energy from the crowd and Lynn Oliver-Cline, the founder of River House Artists. She was so blown away by Chris and Matt’s performance that night, she offered up a deal on the spot for the pair to be signed as a duo. Although flattered, Rogers and Chase politely declined the offer. 

“Neither one of us wanted to be a duo,” Matt said firmly. They had both put so much time and effort into their own careers. Chris added, “It almost felt like you were throwing away those five years, which is not the right way to look at it, now that we know what we know now. Everything I did up to that point was preparing me for this. We were slowly developing ourselves as a duo without knowing it.” So a couple years later, after Lynn’s unwavering persistence, they ended up caving in and signing on to officially give the duo thing a shot. 

Through  songwriting and putting together their debut EP, Matt and Chris knew they wanted to be 100% authentic. “The songs that we have been writing have leaned towards that lyric-based music. We wanted that to shine through and not to get the songs muddied up with a ton of production,” Chris said, supporting the decision of releasing an acoustic EP. The stories that live within country music songs are what Matt and Chris fell in love with at the beginning. It’s what drove each of them to move to Nashville and pursue this career. Putting out this acoustic collection shifts the focus to truly allow fans to fall in love with their songs. 

As the writers behind all of Southerland’s music, fans are getting an honest glimpse into Chris and Matt’s  lives and personalities. On the ‘Six String Sessions’ EP, each of the three songs are slightly different in subject, “All of them still make sense to our voices, we’re not trying to do something we’re not. Being songwriters we want to write about so many different things.” Matt described. “This is our showcase for the world, you only get one chance to make a first impression… We wanted to show people a little bit of a 360 view.” The three tracks most authentically showcase who Southerland is. “I want people to walk away knowing who we are and what type of music to expect. The thing that we pride ourselves on is that we want to sound exactly how we do on that EP in a live setting,” Chris said. 

What you hear is what you get with Southerland and some local fans can account for that. The pair recently made a stop with Ray Fulcher and Faren Rachels at Six String Grill and Stage in Foxboro, MA. “Thing is about being the opening slot is you do you 40 minutes then get to hang out,” said Chris. “We love performing but we almost love even more watching other people do their craft,” Matt added. The guys had the chance to do a formal Meet & Greet before their set, and stuck around during the show giving them plenty of opportunities to get to know some of their New England fans. The two raved about the venue and it’s proximity to the legendary Gillette Stadium. If you missed out on this show, be sure to catch Southerland next time they’re in the neighborhood. 

To listen to Southerland’s ‘Six String Sessions’ click here

Be sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date!

Brett Eldredge Brings the Beat of the Music to the Melody Tent

Deafening. Wild. Fun. Hot.

Those are just a few words to sum up the show Brett Eldredge put on at the Cape Cod Melody Tent last Friday. This venue is always such a treat to see concerts at, and seeing one of country music’s heartthrobs do his thing there was unbelievable. 

The night started out electric – with a sold out capacity crowd waiting for Brett to take the rotating stage. He entered the tent to his 2015 #1 song on Billboard charts ‘Lose My Mind.’ The tent was filled with loudening cheers. “Oh man, back to the Melody Tent y’all! And it feels so good!” Brett kept the pace rolling with his 2017 song ‘Something I’m Good At’ and 2012 #1 hit ‘Don’t Ya.’ He took the time to thank the crowd for their attendance: “thank you for selling this place out tonight, this place feels alive!”

To slow things down just a hair, Brett and company played ‘Love Someone.’ Eldredge had to take another pause to embrace his audience because of their intensity: “we played here about a year ago and y’all showed up and now y’all damn showed up AGAIN. This is crazy!” The fans that filled the Melody Tent were so happy Brett was there. The applause and cheers were nothing shy of loud, and every word to Eldredge’s music was sung along with him. ‘The Reason’ with a transition into ‘I Got Sunshine’ was a great way to break the energy. At this time, his band exited the stage, and Brett and his pianist were the only ones left.

By this time, Brett is dripping sweat from his performance and the humidity that was under the tent. For being on a rotating stage, he knew how to work every side of it – visiting the fans that his back was to. Brett took the time to get personal with the crowd and sing his song ‘Raymond’ which is about his grandmother who had Alzheimer’s Disease. He explained that this song helped him cope with her illness. 

After intently listening to this song that pulled the heart-strings, an acoustic version of ‘The Long Way’ came around to lighten the mood. The band re-entered the stage and Brett’s cover of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ filled the air. ‘Heartbreaker,’ ‘Drunk On Your Love,’ and ‘Time Well Spent’ played into one another right after. 

‘Mean To Me’ accompanied by phone lights, or “fireflies” as Brett calls them gripped the audience. Eldredge’s upbeat rocker song ‘Fire’ picked the pace right back up, followed by his 2016 single ‘Wanna Be That Song.’ At this time of night, Brett and his band left the stage, leaving the fans desperately wanting more. The cheers were deafening, pleading for Brett to come back. 

He fulfilled their wishes and hopped back on stage. Brett took a few minutes to sit there and take in the insane cheering, while continuously mouthing “Man! Wow!” in awe of their noise. He and his pianist played ‘One Mississippi’ and then welcomed the rest of the band. ‘Beat of the Music’ – his number one single closed out the show. Brett had to do one last thing for his fans, so he jumped off the stage and ran through the aisles, finishing his set out there.

Brett Eldredge put on an amazing show from start to finish. He knows how to work the crowd and he is truly appreciative of the energy his fans bring to every show. Brett never stopped during the two hour performance. If you haven’t seen him yet, we highly recommend seeing him soon!

Thomas Rhett Brings The Heat with a Sold Out Show in Mansfield!

It’s been a hot summer and it got any hotter with one of the most anticipated shows of the summer, Thomas Rhett’s Very Hot Summer Tour, when it came to the Xfinity Center in Manfield last Friday night! The tour also featured Dustin Lynch, Russell Dickerson and Rhett Akins- yes, TR’s father!

If you didn’t know, Rhett has had a great career writing songs for some of your favorite stars such Blake Shelton, Jon Pardi, Jason Aldean oh and his son, Thomas Rhett. But Rhett also has had a solo artist career of his own. His set would feature a mix of his original songs and songs he’s written for other artists. Rhett kicked it off with Jon Pardi’s ‘Dirt On My Boots,’ saying after, “What’s happening y; all. My name is Rhett Akins. I’vespent the last 10 years in Nashville writing songs for my buddy. I wrote this one for Jason Aldean” – the song, ‘When She Says Baby,’ had the crowd singing and dancing along. He again addressed the crowd by saying “The first time I played here was 1995 with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith...” Talk about a throwback! He would continue his set with ‘Just Getting Started,’ ‘Boys Round Here,’ and finishing with his original and an absolute jam if you don’t know it, ‘That Ain’t My Truck.’

If you showed up to Mansfield tired after a long week of work or just a look day, Russell Dickerson got you out of that funk with one hell of a set. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone with more energy on stage. Talk about stage presence. His night started with ‘Billions’ before moving into a crowd favorite ‘Every Little Thing’ and then ‘Float.’ He’d address the fans by saying, “Country music fans are the best in the entire world!” You got that right, RD.

Russell would slow it down with ‘Yours’ followed by ‘Blue Tacoma.’ But the RD Party was just getting started. No Russell Dickerson show his complete without the infectious ‘My Girls Night Out.’ This song had the whole crowd going and it seemed that RD had drawn in all the fans from the parking lots and concessions as the venue was packed by the end of the set. Russell wanted to show his appreciation so decided to take a lap around the venue before returning to the stage to show off his dance moves and finish his song. Watch out, Luke Bryan. Russell Dickerson is coming for your dancing crown! I was uberly impressed with Russell’s set. This was my first time seeing him live and I will definitely be seeing him again when he comes through the area.

Next up was a New England favorite, Dustin Lynch. We go back with Dustin as he was one of the first artists who worked with us so seeing a capacity crowd in their seats when Dustin took the stage was awesome. He started with ‘Seein’ Red’ before moving into ‘One Hell Of A Night,’ a new song called ‘Red Dirt’ and ‘Yep Yep’ before addressing the crowd for the first time saying, “This energy is unbelievable. You guys always bring it at this venue! I wanna get weird tonight.” Dustin continued with ‘Mind Reader,’ ‘I’d Be Jealous Too,’ and his classic hit ‘Cowboys and Angels.’

Blown away by the crowd reaction, Dustin again took his mic to communicate his feelings to the fans. “This is incredible. I can’t even hear myself up here. You guys have been the most supportive place for us since we started doing this!” Lightening up the mood, he told the crowd that his bassist is a ‘Masshole.’ “We got the whole family here tonight. Here’s how redneck he is… his family drove a whole school bus into the tailgate tonight,” Dustin said laughingly. He continued with a medley of songs that influenced him from his first country song by George Strait to where he is today with different artists who have taken him on the road. The medley included songs like Alan Jackson’s ‘Chattahoochee,’ Tim McGraw’s ‘Something Like That,’ Dierks Bentley’s ‘What Was I Thinking,’ and Keith Urban’s ‘Someone Like You.’

Dustin would conclude his night with ‘Ridin’ Roads,’ ‘Good Girl,’ with Dustin telling the crowd,”You changed our lives with that one,” and finally ‘Small Town Boy.’ With a bow with his band and a wave to the crowd, Dustin retreated backstage and the stage crew began the transformation of the stage for the man of the night, Thomas Rhett.

As the lights went down, the crowd was buzzing as they awaited the arrival of Thomas Rhett. And with a bang, TR was sprung multiple feet in the air from his riser in the center of the stage. He got the party going with ‘Look What God Gave Her,’ and continuing with ‘Crash and Burn, ‘ Something Like That,’ and ‘Craving You,’ saying in between that (Boston) was his favorite city to play in!

The night continued with ‘Sixteen,’ and ‘It Goes Like.’ Before playing ‘Remember You Young,’ TR told the fans, “My wife is having another baby. The song relates more and more to me.” Next up was ‘Make Me Wanna’ which smoothly transitioned into Justin Timberlake’s ‘Suit and Tie.’ After ‘Life Changes,’ Thomas exclaimed, “You’re hands down the best crowd we’ve played for all year!” Fresh off his recent album was ‘That Old Truck’ before ‘Star Of The Show,’ which Thomas explained, “I wrote this song about my wife, Lauren, who is back in Nashville. She would freakin’ love you guys!

Next up would be a song he co-wrote for a duo that headlined the venues just a few weeks before, Florida George Line. The song? ‘Round Here’ – singer, songwriter; TR does it all. He followed that song with another song off his new album, ‘Beer Can’t Fix,’ which Dustin Lynch and Russell Dickerson joined in on before Rhett came back out with a cooler full of… beer, of course! During ‘Vacation,’ Thomas would introduce the members of his band and would also put on a show of his own when he took a seat at his very own drumset at the top of his riser. But the night was far from over as he wrapped it up with ‘Marry Me,’ ‘Die A Happy Man,’ ‘Unforgettable,’ and ‘T-Shirt’ – all of which had fans singing so loud that you could hear it loud and clearly from the parking lot!

It was an incredible night of country music at the Xfinity Center with one of the genre’s biggest stars. It was already a hot summer but Thomas and his buddies made it even hotter with this show.

If you missed this show, don’t worry! Thomas is coming back to New England next month when he plays the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT! Tickets for that show can be purchased here.