Tag Archives: New England Country Music

Kacey Musgraves Has Her ‘Golden Hour’ at the GRAMMYS

Last Sunday, it was our New England Patriots who stole the show, beating the LA Rams in the Super Bowl. But last night, it was Kacey Musgraves who had quite the night in Los Angeles at the GRAMMYS… She won not one, not two, not three but FOUR GRAMMYS!

Before the show even started, it was announced that Kacey was the winner for Best Country Song for ‘Space Cowboy’ as well as the winner for Best Country Solo Performance for ‘Butterflies.’ She was then later announced, during the broadcast, as the winner for Best Country Album for her 2018 ‘Golden Hour‘ – which was also named Album of the Year at the 52nd Annual CMA Awards this past November. The GRAMMYS win came over great albums from Kacey’s peers… Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Ashley McByde, and Chris Stapleton.

But that wasn’t all! Kacey would also win the biggest honor… The GRAMMY for Album of the Year. ‘By The Way, I Forgive You’ by Brandi Carlile, ‘Scorpion’ by Drake, ‘H.E.R.’ by H.E.R., ‘Beerbongs & Bentleys’ by Post Malone, ‘Dirty Computer’ by Janelle Monáe and ‘Black Panther: The Album, Music From And Inspired By’ by Various Artists were the other category nominees. Quite the group of nominees, but Kacey prevailed taking home the honor. Prior to last night, in the history of the GRAMMYS, only 4 country albums had won Album of the Year. Kacey’s win is the first for country music in over a decade- since Taylor Swift took home the award for her ‘Fearless‘ album in 2009.

What. A. Night. for Kacey Musgraves. Big congratulations to Kacey and her team from all of us here at New England Country Music!

Super Bowl LIII Was The Perfect One for a Country Halftime Show…

We’re just days away from Super Bowl LIII. Our New England Patriots will be facing the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia on this coming Sunday evening. While I’ll be watching for the game, many others tune in for the commercials and many others tune in for the halftime concert. And this year will be no different. But the NFL had the chance to do something they hadn’t done before for a Super Bowl halftime show- country music.

There are very few NFL stadiums in the heart of American where country music lies supreme. Obviously, Nashville is number one. But behind Music City, Atlanta probably is next in line to be home to an NFL franchise AND have thick roots in country music. And Nashville will probably never host a Super Bowl. No offense to Maroon 5, Big Boi or Travis Scott, but c’mon NFL, pay homage to country music for once. Atlanta was the perfect Super Bowl host to do it- unless you decide to play with Mother Nature again and grant Nashville a Super Bowl- which is unlikely.

And who could the NFL have tapped from country to put on one helluva Super Bowl… Well, we’ve been lobbying for Kenny Chesney to play the Pepsi Halftime Show for years. He is one of the few artists of any genre who can headline and sell out NFL stadiums across the country every summer. And let’s face it, he may already have plans to be in the building as he has strong ties with Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization. He was seen in Mr. Kraft’s suite in past Super Bowls.

But there’s also a plethora of Georgia born and bred country artists that would put on a great show. Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt are two icons that come to mind. And we know the argument will be that traditional country would struggle on national television because a lot of people don’t like country. But guess, what!? A LOT OF PEOPLE DO LIKE COUNTRY.

And if that is the argument, we can all be real here. Country music as played on country radio today definitely straddles the genre lines with influences and sounds of pop, rock and hip hop. So why not take modern country artists who flirt with other genres!? Again, the list artists from Georgia who are ruling in the modern country world but can appease the masses is pretty long. Artists like Cole Swindell, Sam Hunt, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Kane Brown, Kip Moore, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, to name a few. Hell, throw Florida GEORGIA Line out there with Bebe Rexha to perform their 2018 smash hit, ‘Meant To Be.’ Give us SOME country music.

The last time that the NFL had a halftime show that exclusively featured country artists, it was 1994. Yes, 25 years ago. Seems like long enough. That show featured Travis Tritt, Tanya Tucker, Clink Black and The Judds. And only fittingly, that Super Bowl was also in Atlanta! So 25 years later, we’re back in Atlanta for a Super Bowl…

Nearly every year, the NFL has pop stars playing the halftime show. Let’s change it up. If there was any Super Bowl to feature some of country’s biggest stars, it was this weekend. Here we are 25 years later, we’re back in Atlanta for a Super Bowl. What better year could it have been to have had a country halftime show.

The truth is… the NFL dropped the ball here. Pun intended.

Ryan Hurd: ‘To a T’ Single Review

If you didn’t know the name before, hopefully you do by now. 2019 will be an exciting year for one of our personal favorite singer songwriters, Ryan Hurd. This Michigan native kicked off 2019 with all of his current tour stops sold out and two new singles on the radio. We are waiting to see where else he will stop on his tour but in the meantime, we can’t stop listening to his most recent single to be released, ‘To a T.’

Hurd’s newly debuted ‘To a T’ was co-written with Laura Veltz and Nathan Spicer as a follow up to ‘Diamonds or Twine’ which was a wedding gift to his talented wife, Maren Morris. You can check out that review here.  Not only is Morris a muse for her husband but she sings the harmonies on his most recent track.

Hurd is pulling at our heart strings yet again with these intimate lyrics. Take off your makeup, nobody’s around it’s you and me, girl, just let your guard down starts off this sexy song. Stripped down to basics, a t-shirt, white sheets and red wine, how much more vulnerable can you get?

Hurd’s talking about how well he’s figured her out, he knows what she needs and how comfortable she must be to let her guard down and close her eyes. He declares his love with I got you down to a T.

We are impatiently waiting for Hurd’s highly anticipated debut album coming out this year. Stay tuned as you won’t want to miss this one.

Favorite Lyrics: Stay here ’til sunrise, I wanna know you like it’s the last time I’ll ever hold you

NECM’s WCW Spotlight: Carrie Underwood

We, at New England Country Music, want to bring on the new year with a fun 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 it in the country music scene.

Let’s change things up a bit for this week and talk about one of the current powerhouse women in the country music scene, Carrie Underwood. Little did anyone know that the blonde-haired, farm girl from Checotah, Oklahoma was going to become a household name. Growing up in a religious home, Underwood began singing at church when she was quite young and continued singing in local talent shows in and around her home town. She was a well-rounded teenager, playing sports like softball and basketball, cheerleading for the blue and white Checotah High School Wildcats, and graduating as the salutatorian. After high school she attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. Her academic success continued as she graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Mass Communications. Like many college students, she worked her tail off at various jobs including a zoo, a veterinary clinic, and a pizzeria. She could have never known back then that today, she would have over eleven million Facebook followers. How quickly life can change!

Underwood’s life changed completely in the spring of 2005, after winning the fourth season of American Idol. The soon to be thirty-six-year-old vegan is not only a super talented vocalist, she is also an accomplished songwriter and actress. Her very first single, ‘Inside Your Heaven,’ released in June 2005, was the only single by a solo country artist between 2000-2009 to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Five months later, she dropped her first full length album, ‘Some Hearts.’ It debuted as number one on Billboard Top Country Albums and went on to become the best-selling country album in the United States for 2006 and 2007. It is certified eight times platinum by the RIAA. Two years later, in 2007, Underwood released her second album, ‘Carnival Ride.’ It sold over half a million copies in its first week. It is certified four times multi-platinum. Another two years passed and then Underwood released her third album, ‘Play On,’ which sold over 300,000 copies in its first week. She went on to release her fourth album, ‘Blown Away’ in 2012, her fifth album, ‘Storyteller’ in 2015, and her sixth album, ‘Cry Pretty’ in 2018. Although music has been her predominant career, she has immersed herself in the world of acting. In February 2010, she performed a voice-over on PBS’s classic show Sesame Street. A couple months later, she took on her first major acting role as “Tiffany” on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. Her first film role was in the 2011 movie Soul Surfer. And in 2013, Underwood appeared in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live as Maria von Trapp. With six albums under her belt and some time on the big screen, we’re confident that Carrie Underwood will continue to impress us.

Since she came into our lives, Carrie Underwood has sold sixty-five million records worldwide. She has had twenty-six number one singles, co-writing thirteen of them. She has won seven GRAMMY awards, ten Billboard Music Awards, fourteen ACM Awards, eighteen CMT Music Awards, and nine CMA Awards. She has been a member of the Grande Ole Opry for over ten years. Billboard referred to her as “the ultimate Idol success story.” Forbes mentioned that Underwood was “the most successful American Idol winner of all time, with more albums sold and more revenue generated than any of the other contestants in the show’s 15 seasons.” Though she may have had her start on Idol, there’s absolutely no stopping her now.

The happily married mom has two little ones. Isaiah will be turning four next month and Jacob was born just last week! I’m sure you didn’t miss Carrie’s social media pictures that were released shortly after giving birth to Jacob, gorgeous as ever and make-up free! We are so excited for her growing family and also for her Cry Pretty Tour which is set to start in May of 2019. Joining her on tour are two other groups of dynamic women in country music, Maddie and Tae and Runaway June. Be sure to catch them all when they stop in Boston, MA at the TD Garden on Thursday, October 10th.

Don’t forget to download one of our favorite Carrie Underwood songs, ‘Love Wins,’ from her album ‘Cry Pretty’ on iTunes here.

‘The Fighter,’ a collaboration with Keith Urban, can be found on his album ‘Ripcord.’ You can download it from iTunes here.

Stay connected with Carrie Underwood by following her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Be on the lookout for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday, February 13th.

The Country Megaticket is BACK in Hartford!

Live Nation Connecticut is proud to present The 2019 Country 92-5 Megaticket Presented by Pennzoil. 

This is your season ticket to four of the best country concerts this summer at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford.  You’ll see the biggest superstars in country music, plus the superstars of tomorrow! 

Your four shows in Hartford on the Megaticket are:
June 15th: Chris Young with Chris Janson and more!
July 19th: Florida Georgia Line with Dan + Shay, Morgan Wallen and Hardy
August 15th: Dierks Bentley with Jon Pardi and Tenille Townes
August 29th: Brad Paisley with Chris Lane and Riley Green

Ticket Types:

Gold Seat Ticket (Reserved)

  • One reserved ticket in the lower or mid pavilion for each of the four country shows for $599
    • The same seat for each show.
  • One Premier parking pass (for each pair of tickets) for each show.
  • Access to the 2020 Megaticket Presale.

Price per ticket: $599 plus applicable service charges

Silver Seat Ticket (Reserved)

  • One reserved ticket in the rear pavilion for each of the four country shows
    • The same seat for each show
  • Access to the 2020 Megaticket Presale
  • Skip The Line pass for each of the 4 shows

Price per ticket: $375 plus applicable service charges

Lawn Ticket

  • Spread out a blanket and enjoy each of the four country shows under the stars. 
  • Guaranteed lawn ticket for each show.  
  • Access to the 2020 Megaticket presale.
  • Skip the Line pass for each of the 4 shows

Price per ticket: $99 plus applicable service charges

Gold level packages include premier parking and Skip The Line privileges!

*Available while supplies last. No refunds, exchanges or transfers. All shows are performed rain or shine.  All acts are subject to change

Previous Buyers Pre-Sale: Tuesday, January 22 at 10am  –  Thursday, January 24 at 10pm

CITI Cardholder Members Pre-Sale: Wednesday, January 23 at 10am – Thursday, January 24 at 10pm

Live Nation/Radio/Ticketmaster Pre-Sale: Wednesday, January 23 at 10am – Thursday, January 24 at 10pm 

General Public On Sale: Friday, January 25 at 10am


The 2019 92-5 Country Megaticket is finally here! 4 great shows featuring Chris Young, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks…

Posted by XFINITY Theatre on Friday, January 18, 2019

NECM’s Artists To Watch in 2019

In the past, we’ve projected breakouts from artists like Old Dominion, Luke Combs, Jordan Davis, LANCO, Morgan Wallen and many more! The following artists are our 2019 class of Artists to Watch. Whether they’re new to the scene and just start to be heard or someone that we think is going to take the next step in their careers, they are all ones you should check out and keep tabs on.

Abby Anderson

Abby moved to Nashville in 2015 after graduating high school early to pursue her dream of country music. She was a member of the 2018 class of CMT Next Women of Country. The Black River Entertainment recording artist released her ‘I’m Good‘ EP on September 7th to rave reviews. The EP featured her debut single ‘Make Him Wait.’ Abby spent much of the year touring with artists like Chase Rice and Russell Dickerson as well as Brett Eldredge and Devin Dawson on the fall leg of The Long Way Tour.

You can follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her website.

Adam Hambrick

Hambrick really broke into the country music scene as a songwriter, penning some big songs for major acts. He co-wrote Dan + Shay’s ‘How Not To’ and Justin Moore’s ‘Somebody Else Will.’ Inspired by artists like Alan Jackson, Joe Diffie and Mark Chesnutt, he released his debut single ‘Rockin’ All Night Long’ back in September which is crazy infectious. It’s time for the world to hear more of Adam and we think 2019 will do just that.

You can follow Adam on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

Brown and Gray

Brown and Gray really stepped into the scene in 2018 with their infectious single ‘Top Down.’ We heard it all over The Highway before FM stations began playing the single. And they really impressed us when we saw them live at the WKLB Street Party last year! We think Brown and Gray continues to ride their hot hand into 2019 and really take off even more!

You can follow Brown and Gray on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their website.

Carlton Anderson

Chances are you’ve never heard of Carlton. But he is absolutely one of our favorite new artists. The native Texan just has this very genuine sound with his traditional voice and plays with contemporary themes in his debut single ‘Drop Everything.’ He was frequently found playing in Honky Tonks up and down Broadway in Nashville over the past few years and you can still find him playing writers rounds in Music City these days. If you love a great smooth, traditional country voice, you MUST check out Carlton!

You can follow Carlton on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

Caroline Jones

Caroline Jones is someone who had a fantastic 2018 as she opened for some of the biggest stars in country music and beyond. Artists like Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Jimmy Buffett and more! When you’re playing for these artists’ fanbases, you’re destined to have a great year. And she’s definitely riding that wave as she will be touring with none other than Kenny Chesney in 2019! How awesome is that? Oh and did we mention that Caroline hails from Connecticut!? A New England girl going on tour with Mr. Kenny Chesney! Yep, 2019 is going to be a helluva year for this talented artist!

You can follow Caroline on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her website.

She will be playing a show in Boston, MA on January 19th and another show in Uncasville, CT on January 20th!

Dillon Carmichael

GRAMMY award winning producer Dave Cobb has worked with some of country music’s biggest and best stars. Artists like Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, Jamey Johnson and many more. And add Dillon Carmichael to the list. For a producer like Cobb to latch onto Carmichael says a lot. And it should, as he is such a rising star with this classic smooth baritone voice that hits you right in the feels. You most likely won’t hear Carmichael on the radio as even Chris Stapleton doesn’t get the airplay he deserves, but that shouldn’t stop Dillon from taking off in 2019. We see a huge fanbase coming together and supporting this Kentucky boy through and through based on his undeniable talent alone. Give this guy a listen!

You can follow Dillon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

Hannah Ellis

This young lady is another one of our favorite rising acts. She’s opened for everyone from Lee Brice to Russell Dickerson and Jake Owen and she is one of the members of the newest CMT Next Women of Country class! She will even be on the Next Women of Country Tour that will also feature Cassadee Pope and Clare Dunn (and will come through New England!). Her self-titled EP showed so much versatility with piano ballads to up tempo songs meant for live shows.

You can follow Hannah on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her website.


Hardy is another guy who made his first big break in country with songwriting. He is one of the co-writers on Morgan Wallen’s smash hit ‘Up Down’ as well as Florida Georgia Line’s ‘Simple.’ And the guys of FGL knew Hardy had the star power as they invited him to join them on stage several times this summer on their festival circuit appearances. Hardy released his ‘This Ole Boy’ EP back in October which features the fun ‘Rednecker.’ Watch out 2019, Hardy is comin’ for ya.

You can follow Hardy on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

Mitchell Tenpenny

By now, you’ve heard of Mitchell. He took 2018 by storm with his debut single, ‘Drunk Me,’ hitting the top of the charts just a few weeks ago. We fell in love with his sound back in 2017 which led us to bringing him to our festival in August where he absolutely killed it. Now, all we see is videos on social media of massive crowds singing his songs back to him. His ‘Telling All My Secrets‘ album was one of the best debut releases we’ve heard in a long time- which is why you’ll find it on another of our lists that you’ll see in a couple days! Not many people had a better 2018 than Mitchell but we think 2019 could be even bigger. We wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Alcohol You Later’ is the next Number One in Tenpenny’s catalog.

You can follow Mitchell on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

Rachel Wammack

This young lady caught our attention with her mesmerizing vocals and her powerful piano ballads. Her poignant debut single, ‘Damage,’ caught our attention the first time we heard it and we were absolutely hooked. And she showed off her talents while she was on tour with Brett Young this past fall and winter. In a time where country radio needs more female voices, Rachel Wammack is here to answer the call.

You can follow Rachel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her website.

Ray Fulcher

You may not know Ray Fulcher by name but you know his work- guaranteed. He just happens to be the co-writer on 8 of the tracks on Luke Combs’ ‘This One’s For You‘ record including ‘When It Rains It Pours.’ Pretty impressive stuff from the Georgia native who is also a performer in his own right. Combs isn’t the only who who has recognized Ray’s talent as he has shared the stage with artists like Old Dominion, Keith Urban, Lee Brice, Kid Rock and many more. He will be joining Luke Combs on his headlining tour this summer- including a show at the Bank of NH Pavilion in Gilford. So make sure you check out Ray’s music and go see him live with Luke Combs later this year!

You can follow Ray on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

Riley Green

We fell in love with Riley in 2018 as he captivated us with his debut single, ‘There Was This Girl.’ I mean, this song is so catchy. It’ll have you bobbing your head and singing along on the first listen, guaranteed. Hell, his whole EP is special. He’s an absolute star in the making that is going to take the world by storm in 2019. Trust us.

You can follow Riley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

Ross Ellis

Ross was named a ‘Highway Find’ on Sirius XM The Highway in 2017 and ever since has been a staple on the satellite radio channel. We particularly love his single ‘Ghosts,’ which really shows off his unique voice. Ross has also had some success with songwriting as Tim McGraw cut ‘Neon Church’ last year- a song that Ross co-wrote with Ben Goldsmith and Ben Dennis. He’s set to play the iconic Stagecoach festival in April but we’re expecting even more from Ross in 2019!

You can follow Ross on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

Travis Denning

No that isn’t David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs but it is the man behind the debut single, Travis Denning! After a few years of playing bars in Georgia, Travis made the move to Nashville in 2014 where he scored a publishing deal that led him to cuts by Jason Aldean, Michael Ray, Justin Moore and Chase Rice and eventually a record deal with UMG in 2017. Fans love his debut single ‘David Ashley Parker from Powder Springs’ with its upbeat sound and relatable theme of a fake ID. Denning is set to join his fellow Georgian in Mexico later this month for Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa. He also has a headlining tour set for next month and a brand new single, titled ‘After A Few,’ which will be released next week.

You can follow Travis Denning on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and his website.

NECM’s WCW Spotlight: Lindsay Ell.

Welcome 2019! We, at New England Country Music, want to bring on the new year with a fun 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.

It is not easy for women to get their songs played on country music radio. Just as recently as early December, there were no females featured on the Top 20 of Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart. The gender gap in country music is certainly not new. Going back to 2015, New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, and Rolling Stone Country all called this “Country Music’s Women Problem.” The New York Times even referred to it as “Country’s War on Women.” Though these words may feel a little harsh, there’s no arguing that country music is primarily a male-dominated scene. Some may argue that it’s because “women just aren’t making good enough music when compared to the men” or “women would rather listen to bro-country.” Neither of which is true. Many women are releasing incredible music. Despite the legacy left by Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn, it’s certainly a difficult road to success for today’s women in country music. We, at NECM, are huge supporters of females taking this journey. By spotlighting them, we are hoping to provide you with some background, and most importantly, the reasons why you should spend time listening to these amazingly artistic women.

The first artist we are spotlighting here is none other than the multi-gifted Lindsay Ell. The soon to be thirty-year-old was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ell discovered her love of music at the early age of six, when she started playing the piano. A couple years later, when she was eight, she picked up the guitar. She began dabbling in songwriting at the age of ten. Her strengths go well beyond her unprecedented musical ability. She is a perpetual learner, in every aspect of life. Ell even went on to graduate from high school a year early as the valedictorian of her class. She continued her quest for knowledge by studying business at The University of Calgary and music at our very own Massachusetts-based Berklee College of Music (online). Lindsay Ell moved to Nashville in 2010 to pursue her career in music city. It was here that she signed with Stoney Creek Records. In 2013, Ell released her first single, ‘Trippin’ on Us.’ It became the most added song for country music radio in both the U.S. and Canada, with over fifty first week adds. Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and piano are just some of the instruments that she has mastered over the years. She is a true “guitar geek” frequently playing her Martin acoustic guitars and her custom Gibson Les Paul Goddess. She took the definition of “artist” to the next level by going as far as to hand paint several guitars. Each custom paint design represented a song on her EP. Ell released her debut six-song EP, ‘Worth the Wait’ in March of 2017. Only five months later, in August of 2017, she dropped her first full length album, ‘The Project.’ A few tracks that are definitely worth a listen are: ‘Waiting on You,’ ‘Criminal,’ and ‘Wildfire.’ Though they are each unique, they all showcase the brilliant way she dominates the guitar. Adding to her accomplishments, Ell made her Grand Ole Opry debut back in April of 2014. She has been on tour with renowned artists including The Band Perry, Brad Paisley, Sugarland, and Keith Urban.

Just a couple weeks ago, in mid-December, Ell teamed up with Brantley Gilbert – think ‘Bottoms Up’ and ‘The Ones That Like Me.’ The duo released a new single ‘What Happens in a Small Town.’ Written by Gilbert, Brock Berryhill, Josh Dunne, and Rhett Akins, it is a strong power ballad. Nash Country Daily mentioned that Gilbert said: “This song builds and burns. It really has that want for someone you can’t have, and having to live in all the places they are. I wanted to have someone on the record who could match those feelings, to really push the song. It’s not just any female who makes sense, and we knew that. But Lindsay is a whole other kind of artist, and she understands that power.” This tune showcases Lindsay Ell’s incredible vocals as well as her ability to shred on the guitar. Definitely keep an eye on Lindsay Ell, as this woman is well on her way to becoming a powerhouse in the country music scene.  

So, if you’re still working on that new year’s resolution for 2019, let us make it an easy one! Give Lindsay Ell a listen, request her music be played on your local country radio stations, and follow her on social media. Let’s continue to support the great women of country music.

You can listen to ‘The Project’ on iTunes here.

Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in Country Music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday January 16th.

You can listen to ‘What Happens in a Small Town’ on iTunes here.

Be sure to stay up-to-date with Lindsay Ell by visiting her website.

You can also and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Female Artists Lead in Country Grammy Nominations.

Announced last week, Brandi Carlile, Kasey Musgraves, and Maren Morris lead in Country/Americana Grammy Nominations for 2019. Brandi Carlile came out on top of the genre with seven total nominations including those for the cross-genre Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Album Of The Year. Kasey Musgraves raked in six total nominations including one for the cross-genre Album Of The Year. Morris dominated with 5 total nominations due to the success of her collaborations with Zedd on the pop hit ‘The Middle’ and on ‘Dear Hate’ with Vince Gill.

Maren, however, was just the start of country artists receiving nominations in categories for other genres. Chris Stapleton was recognized for his collaboration with Justin Timberlake on ‘Say Something’ for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Willie Nelson received a nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for ‘My Way.’ Other noteworthy nominations include Luke Combs and Margo Price for Best New Artist. 

Women continued to represent in all country nominations, a refreshing change in comparison to the male dominated award shows our genre has come to know. Women were contributing artists in at least 3 of 5 nominations for every award in the country genre. Below are the awards that included a predominately country artist as a nominee. 

Record Of The YearAward to the Artist and to the Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s) and/or Mixer(s) and mastering engineer(s), if other than the artist.

  • ‘I Like It’- Cardi B, 
    Bad Bunny, and J Balvin Invincible, JWhiteDidIt, Craig Kallman & Tainy, producers; Leslie Brathwaite & Evan LaRay, engineers/mixers; Colin Leonard, mastering engineer.
  • ‘The Joke’ – Brandi Carlile
    Dave Cobb & Shooter Jennings, producers; Tom Elmhirst & Eddie Spear,engineers/mixers; Pete Lyman, mastering engineer.
  • ‘This Is America’ – Childish Gambino
    Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, producers; Derek “MixedByAli” Ali & Riley Mackin, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi, mastering engineer
  • ‘God’s Plan’ – Drake
    Boi-1Da, Cardo & Young Exclusive, producers; Noel Cadastre, Noel “Gadget” Campbell & Noah Shebib, engineers/mixers; Chris Athens, mastering engineer
  • ‘All The Stars’ – Kendrick Lamar & SZA
    Al Shux & Sounwave, producers; Sam Ricci & Matt Schaeffer, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi, mastering engineer
  • ‘Shallow’ – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
    Lady Gaga & Benjamin Rice, producers; Tom Elmhirst, engineer/mixer; Randy Merrill, mastering engineer
  • ‘Rockstar’ – Post Malone Featuring 21 Savage
    Louis Bell & Tank God, producers; Louis Bell & Manny Marroquin, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi, mastering engineer
  • ‘The Middle’ – Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey
    Grey, Monsters & Strangerz & Zedd, producers; Grey, Tom Morris, Ryan Shanahan & Zedd, engineers/mixers; Mike Marsh, mastering engineer

Album Of The Year Award to Artist(s) and to Featured Artist(s), Songwriter(s) of new material, Producer(s), Recording Engineer(s), Mixer(s) and Mastering Engineer(s) credited with at least 33% playing time of the album, if other than Artist.

  • Invasion Of Privacy‘ – Cardi B
    Leslie Brathwaite & Evan LaRay, engineers/mixers; Belcalis Almanzar & Jorden Thorpe, songwriters; Colin Leonard, mastering engineer
  • By The Way, I Forgive You’ – Brandi Carlile
    Dave Cobb & Shooter Jennings, producers; Dave Cobb &Eddie Spear, engineers/mixers; Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth, songwriters; Pete Lyman, mastering engineer
  • Scorpion‘ – Drake
    Noel Cadastre, Noel “Gadget” Campbell & Noah Shebib, engineers/mixers; Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters; Chris Athens, mastering engineer
  • ‘H.E.R.’ – H.E.R.
    Darhyl “Hey DJ” Camper Jr, H.E.R. & Jeff Robinson, producers; Miki Tsutsumi, engineer/mixer; Darhyl Camper Jr & H.E.R., songwriters; Dave Kutch, mastering engineer
  • Beerbongs & Bentleys‘ – Post Malone
    Louis Bell & Post Malone, producers; Louis Bell & Manny Marroquin, engineers/mixers; Louis Bell & Austin Post, songwriters; Mike Bozzi, mastering engineer
  • ‘Dirty Computer’ – Janelle Monáe
    Chuck Lightning & Janelle Monáe Robinson & Nate “Rocket” Wonder, producers; Mick Guzauski, Janelle Monáe Robinson & Nate “Rocket” Wonder, engineers/mixers; Nathaniel Irvin III, Charles Joseph II, Taylor Parks & Janelle Monáe Robinson, songwriters; Dave Kutch, mastering engineer
  • ‘Golden Hour’ – Kacey Musgraves
    Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves & Daniel Tashian, producers; Craig Alvin & Shawn Everett, engineers/mixers; Ian Fitchuk, Kacey Musgraves & Daniel Tashian, songwriters; Greg Calbi & Steve Fallone, mastering engineers
  • Black Panther : The Album, Music From And Inspired By ‘ – (Various Artists)
    Kendrick Lamar, featured artist; Kendrick Duckworth & Sounwave, producers; Matt Schaeffer, engineer/mixer; Kendrick Duckworth & Mark Spears, songwriters; Mike Bozzi, mastering engineer

Song Of The Year A Songwriter(s) Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • ‘All The Stars’ – Kendrick Duckworth, Solána Rowe, Al Shuckburgh, Mark Spears & Anthony Tiffith, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar & SZA)
  • ‘Boo’d Up’- Larrance Dopson, Joelle James, Ella Mai & Dijon McFarlane, songwriters (Ella Mai)
  • ‘God’s Plan’ – Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Brock Korsan, Ron LaTour, Matthew Samuels & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Drake)
  • ‘In My Blood’ -Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Shawn Mendes & Geoffrey Warburton, songwriters (Shawn Mendes)
  • ‘The Joke’– Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth,songwriters (Brandi Carlile)
  • ‘The Middle’– Sarah Aarons, Jordan K. Johnson, Stefan Johnson, Marcus Lomax, Kyle Trewartha, Michael Trewartha & Anton Zaslavski, songwriters (Zedd,Maren Morris & Grey)
  • ‘Shallow’ – Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters (Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper)
  • ‘This Is America’ – Donald Glover & Ludwig Goransson, songwriters (Childish Gambino)

Best New Artist An artist will be considered for Best New Artist if their eligibility year release/s achieved a breakthrough into the public consciousness and notably impacted the musical landscape.

  • Chloe X Halle
  • Luke Combs
  • Greta Van Fleet
  • H.E.R.
  • Dua Lipa
  • Margo Price
  • Bebe Rexha
  • Jorja Smith

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – For new vocal or instrumental duo/group or collaborative pop recordings. Singles or Tracks only.

  • ‘Fall In Line’ – Christina Aguilera Featuring Demi Lovato
  • ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ – Backstreet Boys
  • ‘S Wonderful’ – Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
  • ‘Shallow’ – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
  • ‘Girls Like You’- Maroon 5 Featuring Cardi B 
  • ‘Say Something’ – Justin Timberlake Featuring Chris Stapleton
  • ‘The Middle’ – Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new traditional pop recordings.

  • ‘Love Is Here To Stay’ – Tony Bennett & Diana Krall
  • My Way’ – Willie Nelson
  • ‘Nat “King” Cole & Me’ – Gregory Porter
  • ‘Standards (Deluxe)’ – Seal
  • The Music…The Mem’ries…The Magic!’ – Barbra Streisand

Best Country Solo Performance For new vocal or instrumental solo country recordings.

  • Wouldn’t It Be Great?’ – Loretta Lynn
  • ‘Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters’ – Maren Morris
  • ‘Butterflies’ – Kacey Musgraves
  • ‘Millionaire’ – Chris Stapleton
  • ‘Parallel Line’ – Keith Urban

Best Country Duo/Group Performance For new vocal or instrumental duo/group or collaborative country recordings.

  • ‘Shoot Me Straight’- Brothers Osborne
  • ‘Tequila’ – Dan + Shay 
  • ‘When Someone Stops Loving You’ – Little Big Town
  • ‘Dear Hate’ – Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill 
  • ‘Meant To Be’ – Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line

Best Country Song – A Songwriter(s)Award. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • ‘Break Up In The End’ – Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill & Jon Nite, songwriters (Cole Swindell)
  • ‘Dear Hate’ – Tom Douglas, David Hodges & Maren Morris, songwriters (Maren Morris Featuring Vince Gill)
  • ‘I Lived It’ – Rhett Akins, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley & Ben Hayslip, songwriters (Blake Shelton)
  • ‘Space Cowboy’ – Luke Laird, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)
  • ‘Tequila’ – Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds & Dan Smyers, songwriters (Dan + Shay) 
  • ‘When Someone Stops Loving You’ – Hillary Lindsey, Chase McGill & Lori McKenna, songwriters (Little Big Town)

 Best Country Album – For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new country recordings.

  • Unapologetically – Kelsea Ballerini
  • ‘Port Saint Joe’ – Brothers Osborne
  • Girl Going Nowhere’ – Ashley McBryde
  • Golden Hour‘- Kacey Musgraves
  • ‘From A Room: Volume 2’ – Chris Stapleton

Best American Roots Performance – For new vocal or instrumental American Roots recordings. This is for performances in the style of any of the sub genres encompassed in the American Roots Music field including Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk or regional roots. Award to the artist(s).

  • ‘Kick Rocks’ – Sean Ardoin
  • ‘Saint James Infirmary Blues’ – Jon Batiste 
  • ‘The Joke’ – Brandi Carlile
  • ‘All On My Mind’ – Anderson East
  • ‘Last Man Standing’ – Willie Nelson

Best American Roots Song – A Songwriter(s) Award. Includes Americana, bluegrass, traditional blues,contemporary blues, folk or regional roots songs. A song is eligible if it was first released or if it first achieved prominence during the Eligibility Year. (Artist names appear in parentheses.) Singles or Tracks only.

  • ‘All The Trouble’ – Waylon Payne, Lee Ann Womack & AdamWright, songwriters (Lee Ann Womack)
  • ‘Build A Bridge’– Jeff Tweedy, songwriter (Mavis Staples)
  • ‘The Joke’ – Brandi Carlile, Dave Cobb, Phil Hanseroth & Tim Hanseroth,songwriters (Brandi Carlile)
  • ‘Knockin’ On Your Screen Door’ – Pat McLaughlin & John Prine, songwriters (John Prine) 
  • ‘Summer’s End’ – Pat McLaughlin & John Prine, songwriters (John Prine)

Best Americana Album For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental Americana recordings.

  • ‘By The Way, I Forgive You’– Brandi Carlile
  • ‘Things Have Changed’ – Bettye LaVette
  • ‘The Tree Of Forgiveness’ – John Prine
  • ‘The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone’ – Lee Ann Womack
  • One Drop Of Truth’ – The Wood Brothers

Best Bluegrass Album – For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental bluegrass recordings.

  • Portraits In Fiddles’ – Mike Barnett
  • ‘Sister Sadie II’ – Sister Sadie
  • ‘River And Roads’ – Special Consensus
  • ‘The Travelin’ McCourys’– The Travelin’ McCourys
  • ‘North Of Despair’ – Wood & Wire

The full list of Grammy nominations for 2019 can be found here. The Grammy Awards will air Sunday February 10th at 8:00 PM on CBS.

Garth Brooks Announces 2019 Stadium Tour- Hints at Gillette

BREAKING NEWS: Country megastar Garth Brooks announces a stadium tour that will start in 2019 and will stop at 30 stadiums- approximately 10-12 per year…

From Taste of Country:

Garth Brooks just announced his biggest tour ever. The Country Music Hall of Famer will tour stadiums in 2019.

During a press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Wednesday (Oct. 17), Brooks revealed that the tour will begin in the spring at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo. He also indicated there will be 30 stadiums on his tour, with 10 to 12 per year.

The second venue will be State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (Phoenix). Five shows will go on sale before Christmas 2018, and while Brooks couldn’t reveal the remaining three stops, he strongly insinuated he’ll be playing Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., and AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Yes, you read that right. He insinuated he’ll be playing at Gillette Stadium sometime during this tour. I mean, of course he is. His buddy Kenny Chesney probably told him how crazy the New England country music fans are- making it one of the must-play stadiums on the tour. It sounds like Mr. Kraft brought and his team to the stadium to pitch the notion of him playing at the home of the Patriots!

Garth says, “So this is gonna give one of the cities away for sure, but I want to thank the Kraft Family up in New England, with the Patriots. They were the ones who kind of flew us out to the stadium to see and really encouraged us to think about stadium shows.

Encouraged Garth to think about stadium shows? Soooo, Robert Kraft is the one responsible for this tour? Either way, Garth is coming to Foxborough in the future!

Mitchell Tenpenny Scores 1st Top 15 Single

In February of this year, Mitchell Tenpenny released his self-titled EP that included a song that I knew was going to be special called ‘Drunk Me.’ With the release of this EP, I was blown away by Mitchell’s unique vocals that really separate him from the pack in country music- there is no one that has a similar sound to Mitchell. I knew I wanted to have him play our festival this year and we were ultimately able to successfully confirm this as one of the performers. As the year progressed, I seemed to be hearing it all over the place. On the radio, on social media- I was even walking down Hampton Beach this summer and heard one of the bars on the strip playing it. It was announced late this past week that ‘Drunk Me’ was certified GOLD by the RIAA- a great accomplishment.

I’ve known that this song has been climbing the charts- at the festival, Mitchell thanked the crowd for making it his first top 40 single. But looking at the Mediabase charts this week, I was so incredibly happy to see ‘Drunk Me’ currently sitting at #15 on the country charts! And we don’t normally do this, but we’re asking y’all to call into your local stations and request this song to help Mitchell in having this phenomenal single continue to climb to the top of the charts.

Now since we don’t normally do this, why are we now? Because Mitchell deserves it.

For one, Mitchell’s talent is undeniable. His vocal ability is so unique so really captivating. Add that in with great songwriting and you have a recipe for a hit. Which is exactly what ‘Drunk Me’ is.

Secondly, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a ton of artists over the years but I can honestly say that Mitchell is one of the best artists of any of the artists that I’ve worked with here at NECM. Whether it be through the festival, at a show, or just an interview, Mitchell is the cream of the crop when it comes to being a good person. He’s extremely humble and polite and he is so appreciative of everyone that helps him along the way. I remember him thanking me for bringing him to the festival and a lot of artists say ‘thank you’ but you can tell that some really don’t mean it. Mitchell meant it. This dude just radiates pure sincerity. I can confidently say that Mitchell is one of the nicest people in country music.

And in case you didn’t know, Mitchell also does a ton of great work for others through his 10Penny Fund which was created by Mitchell from personal experience with a sincere desire to provide inspiration and support to cancer patients beyond traditional medical treatment. Determined to make change, the Fund invests in sustainable and meaningful programs that motivate patients, encourage healing, and build a community of support. You can donate to the fund here.

So again, please call into your local station and request Mitchell Tenpenny’s ‘Drunk Me.’ This song deserves to be at the top of the charts and so does Mitchell.