Friday, 29 April 2016

**CONTEST ALERT** CMAO Conference Passes!!

We're giving away one pair of passes to the CMAO Conference!!

The conference will take place on May 28th and May 29th at the Edward Village Hotel in Markham and will included many special guests from the music industry: artists, managers, promoters and more! Rub shoulders with Aaron Pritchett, Jason Blaine and Cold Creek County!

To enter, send and email to with the subject CMAO CONTEST with your name and contact number and you'll be entered into a draw to win! Winner will be announced on May 13th!

 For full conference details and schedule, click here!

Thursday, 28 April 2016

DAN + SHAY Announce Forthcoming Album "OBSESSED" to be Released June 3rd!

Multiple ACM Award, CMT Music Award and CMA Award nominated chart-topping duo Dan + Shay (Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney) announced today that they are set to release their brand new album Obsessed, the follow up to their No. 1-peaking album Where It All Began, June 3 on Warner Bros. / Warner Music Nashville.  
“The idea for the album title, Obsessed, came directly from our fans,” shares Smyers.

“Our fans know we live on social media both when we’re in and out of the studio, and we started noticing that hashtag ‘#obsessed’ being tagged in all our fans’ posts when we first revealed our single, ‘From The Ground Up,’” Mooney adds. “So when it came time to pick a title for this album, it seemed pretty appropriate that we’re even more obsessed with making music for our fans than they are to hear it.”

“From The Ground Up,” the first single off of Obsessed, is currently Top 30 on Country radio and climbing. Dan + Shay premiered the heartfelt song last month on ABC’s Good Morning America. Written by the pair along with Chris DeStefano and co-produced by Smyers and the award-winning Scott Hendricks, the track has already accumulated more than 8 million streams.
Dan + Shay are currently on the road and will join Darius Rucker on his Good for a Good Time Tour this summer, kicking off on June 3 in Tampa, FL.
For tour dates and more information, visit

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

George Strait Launches STRAIT TO VEGAS Exclusive Concert Series

The "King of Country Music" captivates 19,222
concertgoers during his opening night at new Las Vegas arena
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

On a balmy Friday night in Las Vegas, the heat only added to the excitement as George Strait packed the new T-Mobile Arena and captivated a record-setting 19,222 fans during the opening night of his Strait to Vegas exclusive concert series. With his Resistol cowboy hat on his head, his signature Wrangler shirt and denim with a well-worn acoustic guitar and the expert Ace in the Hole Band backing him up, Strait proved once again that he is the undeniable “King of Country Music” and consummate entertainer. As he churned through hit after hit, he lived up to the Las Vegas Review Journal's bolstering observation, “George Strait is someone you can legitimately say is in a league of his own.”

“I’ve missed you guys and I’m looking forward to being here a few more nights this year,” Strait told the crowd early on in the night before performing for over two hours. In addition to playing a selection of his illustrious 60 career No. 1’s including “Give It All We’ve Got Tonight,” “Ocean Front Property,” “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” and more, Strait also took a moment to pay tribute to Merle Haggard who was not only an icon for Strait but also a friend. “We’ll never get to hear Merle play live again, but his music will live on forever,” Strait said before performing a medley consisting of “Mama Tried,” “Fightin’ Side of Me,” and “My Life’s Been Grand,” with Strait pausing at the end in remembrance. GRAMMY, CMA and ACM Award-winning singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves opened the show.

Strait first announced his plans to perform a series of select shows at T-Mobile Arena last September, immediately selling out every date in the Strait to Vegas concert series for 2016 and 2017. Musgraves will join Strait as support for all 2016 dates.

Upcoming Strait to Vegas dates are as follows, with more likely to be added in 2017:

Saturday, April 23, 2016
Friday, Sept. 9, 2016
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016
Friday, Dec. 2, 2016
Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016
Friday, Feb. 17, 2017
Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017

For more information, visit

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Chris Stapleton CRUSHES Nothing Compares To You

Chris Stapleton paid tribute to the late Prince on Saturday night  in California with a cover Nothing Compares To You. Check it out!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Nashville-based Rapper JellyRoll Releases New Video!

Nashville-based rapper JellyRoll (aka Jason DeFord) just released a new video for the song "When I Get Rich". The video celebrates hick-hop at it's finest - a sweet mix of rap and banjos. The video features the rapper and band partying it up around town and taking over the stage at the legendary Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, because when I get rich, imma still act broke.

JellyRoll previously released the single "Sunday Morning" featuring Uncle Kracker and you can currently catch him on the road with Cypress Hill for their 25th Anniversary Tour.

Tour dates and ticket information can be found HERE.

Kenny Chesney Starts Tour with 50,430 War Eagles

 Spread The Love is First Concert at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium
   They hoisted the flag of the No Shoes Nation Monday. Friday afternoon, there was tell of a few songs played at the Lambda Chi house. By 8:50 Saturday night, the War Eagles were beyond ready for Kenny Chesney, who kicked off his 2016 Spread The Love Tour as the first ever concert in the 75-year history of Jordan-Hare Stadium, with two full hours.

            With guitars blazing, a bumper crop of hits and guest appearances from tour mates Miranda Lambert (“You and Tequila”), Sam Hunt (“Come Over”) and Old Dominion (“Save It For A Rainy Day”), the 8-time Entertainer of the Year ran, laughed, and sang songs from a career that includes 28 No. 1s. The two dozen songs ignited the crowd, who sang along throughout, often taking an a cappella chorus on songs like “Anything But Mine” and “American Kids.”

            “Sometimes you can feel the energy long before you hit the stage,” Chesney explained after the show. “It’s gathering, and you can sense it. This was one of those shows, one of those times. It was so intense, it was so there, this is the reason we do this: to play music and feel all that energy coming at us.”

            The show – billed as the Music & Miracles Festival – was created to honor the last wish of Kevin Brown, who succumbed to cancer. Telling the crowd, “Before I came onstage, I got to meet so many great people... This show is because of Kevin: his dream specifically was to see us play in this stadium. And so, War Eagle...,” the audience began what became a two-minute chant of “War! War! War! Eagle!”

            With only a piano, Chesney delivered a particularly heartfelt “My Home’s in Alabama” to honor the sentiment behind the event. But for much of the night, it was high impact and higher energy. Even a five-song lapse in his voice – remedied by Throat Coat Tea– didn’t slow down the man deemed “The King of the Road” by The Wall Street Journal. As the audience pumped their fists to “Noise,” his propulsive new single, the notion of being together and celebrating the night seemed to be the only thing on everyone’s mind.

            Miranda Lambert, in a black leather mini skirt, offered a sultry take on Hank Williams’ “Move it on Over.” Then the 7-time CMA Female Vocalist scalded the crowd with a potent “Gunpowder and Lead.” American Music Awards Favorite New Country Artist Sam Hunt took momentum and rode the energy of his set for a performance that included diving off the stage and working his way through the crowd to the other end zone. ACM Best New Group Old Dominion opened the day with a set that included their two-week No. 1 “Break Up With Him.”

            “Some years you just know from night one, it’s going to be special. When we named it Spread The Love, we got it right. To be able to hear the kind of music and the crowd I did all afternoon, it really gets me fired up to get on that stage and make some music. We started back in February with everything pointed at tonight. From the first second we heard that crowd, all the work was beyond worth it! Miranda, Sam, Old Dominion and every single person totally rocked our world. This is what memories are made of.”

            As “Noise” blazes into the Top 10, the 2016 Spread the Love Tour starts on a high note. With dates at Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Isleta Amphitheater on May 5 and Phoenix, Arizona’s Chase Field on May 7, summer is now officially underway.

Dolly Parton Announces Dates for First Leg of 2016 'PURE & SIMPLE' Tour

Her Largest North American Tour in 25 Years Kicks Off June 3

Dolly Parton 

Coming off the heels of a headline-making performance at the ACM Awards in early April, Dolly Parton is heading out on her largest North American tour in over two decades. Tickets are selling fast for the first leg of the Pure & Simple Tour, which will be a total of 16 dates. (See first 14 announced in tour schedule below)

Dolly Parton’s Pure & Simple Tour coincides with the summer release of her double-disc album Pure & Simple with Dolly’s Biggest Hits. The collection will include some of Parton’s most popular singles as well as a few new tracks. Parton’s set list will include the hits her fans love along with a few new songs from the double-disc album. She will also be playing songs that have not been heard live for decades.

Additional U.S. dates for Parton's 2016 historic tour will be announced soon, which includes her first trek into Canada in more than two decades. For the last 20 years, Parton has only played select dates in the U.S., but her 2016 tour will cover cities across North America.

The entertainment icon is on one of the biggest hot streaks of her career after her hugely successful TV movie, “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” attracted a network record of more than 15.8 million viewers. It was the most watched movie on network TV in more than three years and will be released on DVD May 3.

June 03 Greensboro Coliseum - Greensboro, N.C.
June 04 Infinite Energy Center - Duluth, Ga.
June 07 Charleston Civic Center - Charleston, W.Va.
June 08 Wolf Trap - Vienna, Va.
June 10 Hard Rock - Northfield, Ohio
June 11 Horseshoe Casino - Cincinnati, Ohio
June 12 Artpark - Lewiston, N.Y.
June 15 Mann Center - Philadelphia, Penn.
June 17 Tanglewood - Lenox, Mass. | VIP
June 18 Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion - Bangor, Maine
June 22 Mohegan Sun Arena - Wilkes Barre, Penn.
June 25 Forest Hills Stadium - Forest Hills, N.Y.
June 26 PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, N.J.
June 28 Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, Penn.

All Tickets and official VIP packages are available for the North American dates; details and purchasing info can be accessed at

Performers Announced for the CMAO Awards!!


On May 30th, country stars Jason Blaine, The Road Hammers, Tebey and Tim Hicks will transform the Flato Markham Theatre in Markham, Ontario into an epicenter for live country music.

The 4th annual presentation of the CMAO Awards, presented by Slaight Music, will recognize artists across 14 different categories, while music fans will be treated to an incredible night of performances from some of Ontario's top country talent and rising stars. Confirmed performers include: Autumn Hill, Cold Creek County, Genevieve Fisher, Jessica Mitchell, Leah Daniels, Meghan Patrick, River Town Saints, Runaway Angel and Tianna Woods. Returning host Jason McCoy will engage the audience solo and accompanied by his band mates The Road Hammers for a special live collaboration with Tim Hicks. The Western Swing Authority takes the reins as the show's house band to keep the music flowing all night. More performers to be confirmed.

Tickets for the 2016 CMAO Awards are $59.98 plus taxes and applicable service charges and are available for purchase now online at

Thursday, 21 April 2016

INTERVIEW: The Loving Mary Band

Last month, Loving Mary was in town and we had the opportunity to sit down with Marti Frederiksen, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Suzie McNeil, Elisha Hoffman, Andrew Mactaggart and Sarah Tomek!

Playing not only as a band themselves, Loving Mary also backs legendary Aerosmith rocker turned country crooner Steven Tyler!! We talk to them about what it's like playing with the legendary rocker,  their songwriting process, plans for an album release, share embarrassing stories and more!!

The 2016 Juno Awards Brought Out the Best in Canadian Country Music

An unparalleled guest list of Canada’s top talent was on hand for The 2016 JUNO Awards Red Carpet and Broadcast earlier this month at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome.

Hosts Jon Montgomery and Jann Arden pose in front of the stage during rehearsal for THE 2016 JUNO AWARDS broadcast in Calgary, Alberta, April 1, 2016. (Alex Urosevic/CTV photo) 
JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards. Paul Brandt arriving.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) crowned 35 new JUNO Award winners during the 2016 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards Presented by SOCAN. A night of big wins and even bigger talent, more than 1,100 music industry guests and JUNO Award nominees joined host Jessi Cruickshank at the Telus Calgary Convention Centre to celebrate the best in Canadian music from the past year.

The JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards were the prelude to CTV’s nationally televised broadcast of The 2016 JUNO Awards where six remaining JUNO Award categories were announced.

JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards. Autumn Hill arriving.
Following a hugely successful year with the release of his chart-topping album Beauty Behind the Madness, alternative R&B singer-songwriter The Weeknd scored a hat-trick tonight, snagging wins for Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year*, and R&B/Soul Recording of the Year. The multiplatinum-selling artist will also grace the JUNO stage for his second year in a row with a special performance during Sunday night’s live broadcast of The 2016 JUNO Awards on CTV.

Three other broadcast performers also took home statuettes including double-winner Buffy Sainte-Marie, who earned Aboriginal Album of the Year and Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, Dear Rouge, who were named Breakthrough Group of the Year and Whitehorse, who won Adult Alternative Album of the Year.

Calgary natives, BRAIDS were the hometown heroes of the night who received an award for Alternative Album of the Year and Bragg Creek, Alberta’s Shawn Everett won Recording Engineer of the Year. (Shawn is an old friend of ours so we are thrilled to see how well he is doing following Grammy and Juno wins this year!!!)

JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards. Shawn Everett, Recording Engineer of the Year. Calgary Telus Convention Centre. April 2, 2016. Photo: CARAS/iPhoto
Additional highlights of the evening included special award presentations by Tom Cochrane to commend Arcade Fire with the 2016 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award (sponsored by Bell Media), and 2016 Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Burton Cummings, who honoured legendary former Music Director Rosalie Trombley with the 2016 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award.

JUNO Fan Fare. Chad Brownlee. CF Chinook Centre. April 2, 2016.
Photo: CARAS/iPhoto

JUNO week in Calgary also brought in Canadian talent to meet and greet with fans at Fanfare and even inspired a little friendly competition for the JUNO Cup.

Brett Kissel performs during Juno Cup Jam.
Alex Urosevic/CARAS/iPhoto)
Chad Brownlee performs during Juno Cup Jam (Alex Urosevic/CARAS/iPhoto)

Lady Antebellum Joins Award-Winning Lineup at Fallsview Casino in July

If you’re ‘lookin’ for a good time’ in a live performance get ready for an evening of incredible talent when the hit-making trio Lady Antebellum stop by Fallsview Casino for two nights in July.

The seven-time Grammy-winning band has amassed a multitude of hits of and a loyal fan base worldwide. Since the band’s 2006 inception, Lady A has won the "Vocal Group of the Year" honour from the CMA and the ACM three times in a row and has sold over 11 million albums worldwide. The trio has taken nine trips to No. one on the country radio charts and earned six Platinum singles.

Fans at the show can expect a mix of their favourite hits such as “Just A Kiss”, “We Owned The Night”, “American Honey”, “I Run To You”, “Need You Now”, “Downtown” and “Bartender”

Legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist John Fogerty will shake things up - rock ’n’ roll style - as part of July’s lineup, featuring songs he wrote and performed with Creedence Clearwater Revival such as “Proud Mary” and “Bad Moon Rising”,  as well as his solo hits including “The Old Man Down The Road”, “Centerfield” and many more.

With a career spanning more than 50 years, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Fogerty is hailed as one of the most influential musicians in rock history.  Fogerty wrote, sang and produced numerous classic hits, which earned him the title as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists (No. 40), 100 Greatest Songwriters (No. 40) and 100 Greatest Singers (No. 72) by Rolling Stone Magazine.

The complete July 2016 Performance Schedule:

Tony Orlando
July 7: Showtime 3:00PM & 8:30PM
July 8: Showtime 9:00PM
Tickets start at $30

Songwriters Featuring Melissa Manchester
In the Grand Hall
July 9: Showtime 8:30PM
All tickets are $40

Ti Lascio Una Canzone
July 9: Showtime 9:00PM
July 10: Showtime 7:00PM
Tickets start at $80

Lady Antebellum
July 12 & 13: Showtime 8:30PM
Ticket start at $95

John Fogerty
July 14: Showtime 8:30PM
July 15: Showtime 9:00PM
Tickets start at $80

David Cassidy
July 16: Showtime 9:00PM
Tickets start at $25

Dancing Queen
July 20 – 31 (excluding July 27)
July 20, 21 & 28: Showtime 3:00PM & 8:30PM
July 22 & 29: Showtime 9:00PM
July 23 & 30: Showtime 3:00PM & 9:00PM
July 24 & 31: Showtime 3:00PM & 7:00PM
July 25, 26: Showtime 3:00PM
Tickets start at $25

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

REVIEW: Garth Brooks in Hamilton

My first CD ever was a Garth Brooks record. The man is an icon, a legend. So when it was announced that  Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood would bring their Ghostunes tour through Hamilton, ON over the Easter weekend (with FIVE shows), you can say I was just a little bit excited. (This is your fair warning that this review may be slightly biased).

It had been 19 years since Garth's last visit to Southern Ontario and the anticipation was palpable! Garth SMASHED his ticket sales record for both Hamilton & Toronto shows combined ( in 1996) in just 45 minutes! This also represented the biggest four days in the 31 year history of the First Ontario Centre in Hamilton. Tickets were snatched up by fans old and new. The very fact that an artist can come back after a hiatus as long as Brooks, (he famously retired from touring/recording new music to stay home in Oklahoma and raise his three daughters) and break his own records, proves how timeless an entertainer he is That is no small feat!

Canadian country star Brett Kissel opened the first show, playing an acoustic set for fans and living a career dream, as a self-proclaimed huge fan!

Garth Brooks energy is truly infectious. He arrived on stage with a grin so big it only reviled that of every audience member. I think what is so engaging about watching a Garth Brooks show is just how truly genuine and humble he is. There's no acting there. He's the real deal, and he gets it. He acknowledges that fans have paid their hard earned money to spend their night with him, and he doesn't take it for granted.

While he opened his set with the new stuff, Man Against the Machine, Garth didn't hold out on any of his classics. In fact, he told the crowd he knew exactly what they came to hear (the old stuff!), and he delivered.

"Rodeo", "Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House", "The River", "Beaches of Cheyenne", "Aint Going Down til the Sun Comes Up", "Papa Loves Mama", "The Thunder Rolls", "If Tomorrow Never Comes" were just SOME of the songs in the first half of the show, before "Ms. Yearwood" (as Garth calls her), came out.

Trisha Yearwood took the stage for her part of  the show after a sweet duet of In Another's Eyes with her husband, Garth Brooks. She then went into her classics, American Girl (X's and O's), How Do I Live, Prizefighter (a new one dedicated to cancer survivors - with an impactful video montage) and of course, She's In Love with the Boy accompanied by Garth Brooks on backup guitar and a really fun audience Kiss Cam - watch close and you'll spot Garth and Trisha. She ended her set with a sweet kiss and an "I love you" from her husband. She has an incredible voice and truly makes it look effortless!!

Garth returned to perform his favourite song live, and also one of my personal favourites, Callin Baton Rouge. SO much fun! The Dance, That Summer and Friends in Low Places, followed.

Then, he somehow managed to turn a sold out arena into what felt like a tiny, intimate venue by taking requests from the crowd. He spotted signs and made shot-outs, and gave some audience members so very special memories. Some of the requests he performed over the weekend included The Red Strokes (my all time personal fave), Ireland, Mom, The Change, When You Come Back to me Again. There's really not many artists out there who can pull out any song from their library of hits at the drop of a hat like Garth did.

He closed the show with an encore of Much Too Young, Standing Outside the Fire,  Fever, and covers of American Pie, Aamrillo by Morning, and Night Moves.

If you were one of the 80,000 people at the Hamilton shows, consider yourself lucky. Garth puts on one hell of a show - there's really no one like him. Two thumbs WAY UP, A++++, She's Gone Country APPROVED! A definite bucket list experience filled with nostalgia that didn't disappoint.

As I mentioned, this was a true bucket list experience for me. We were lucky enough to see the show 3 out of 5 times over the weekend - and from the front row no less!

We were invited for a special behind-the-scenes tour! We got to go under the stage - if you've seen the show you'll know that's where Garth and the team enter and exit from.

We got to see "Garth's Guitars" all lined up and prepped for the show and check out all of the detail that goes in to choreographing a massive sound and light show such as Garth's.

After that, we were lucky enough to help make some dreams come true: we got to help select some lucky fans to upgrade to front row!

We thought it would be nice to choose a mother-daughter group and some Garth super-fans out for a girls night!

Oh what a night!

Check out our video highlights below!

Cabela’s and Luke Bryan Announce New HFE Apparel

Cabela’s and country music superstar and Cabela’s ambassador Luke Bryan announced today Bryan’s 32 Bridge clothing line will expand to offer a new collection of apparel inspired by Bryan’s hit single, “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin Every Day.” The new apparel line, named HFE, will be available exclusively at Cabela’s and debuted on Friday, April 1.

The HFE collection will offer both men’s and women’s apparel, including short-sleeve T-shirts, long-sleeve T-shirts, caps and more. It will be offered online at, by phone at (800) 237-4444 and at select Cabela’s retail stores.

“I grew up hunting, fishing and loving the outdoors in Lee County, Georgia,” said Bryan. “No matter where you may be from, my hope is that living the HFE lifestyle will make you feel complete. My song ‘Huntin, Fishin and Lovin Every Day’ embodies who I am as a person and an artist and I want to share that with all my fans and those who share my love for the outdoors.” Cabela’s and Bryan collaborated to design and create the 32 Bridge clothing line to appeal to country music fans and outdoor enthusiasts. Bryan drew inspiration for the collection from his childhood home near Route 32 Bridge in Lee County, Georgia and his passion for the outdoors. The new HFE assortment expands on that inspiration and passion for the outdoors.

“Luke and Cabela’s share a tremendous passion for hunting, fishing and the outdoors,” said Scott Williams, president of Cabela’s. “The launch of Huntin, Fishin and Lovin Every Day as a tribute to Luke’s song of the same name will bring that lifestyle anthem to life for our customers who share our love for the outdoors.”

For additional information about Cabela’s partnership with Luke Bryan, 32 Bridge products and Cabela’s locations offering 32 Bridge, visit