Summer Play List

We are right smack in the middle of summertime weather, which means there are some great songs out there for us to jam out to!  I’ve made up a list of my top summer songs this year.  These are the songs I just can’t get out of my head and sometimes even have to wait till the song is over before I can go on with whatever I’m doing!  (Anyone else stay in the car until a song is over?!

Alrighty so here is my list…in no specific order 🙂

Saltwater Gospel – Eli Young Band    

Nothing says summer more to me than this song right here!  Who doesn’t love the idea of summer time and the beach.  What I love most about this song is the message behind it and what a person can get out of some ‘saltwater’ time.  Whether you are on a beach or a boat, just being a part of the water can be a divine experience.  Watching sunrises and sunsets can often put things in perspective.  I also always feel a type of spiritual connection and amazement when I look out over the ocean and realize just how small or huge an impact a person can have on our planet.  There’s so many striking lyrics in this catchy and ‘fun’ summer song that really can go a lot deeper.  “I just think about how small I am and life after we’re gone I’m out here by myself But I know I’m not alone Yeah, I got all the proof I need”.  If you haven’t yet, be sure to check this one out!

 

Castaway – Zac Brown Band

Now, while Saltwater Gospel was poignant, yet fun, this song by ZBB is just a GREAT straight up loving live and summer drinking song.  The tune is off of their latest album, Jekyll and Hyde released earlier in 2015.  This song makes you think of an amazing tropical vacation with your best friends where you get to kick back, relax, and pretend that no one can come and find you for a little while at least. The groove behind this music is extremely tropical, relaxed, and just yells summer.  These guys have done it again with making a catchy and chill song where everyone around you is suddenly friends dancing around a tikki bar. So yes, pour me another one, make it a strong one, while I listen to this song again.

Love Drunk – Steve Moakler 

More time to relax?!  Perfect.  Take a few minutes of your day to sip on something cold and enjoy this laidback tune by Pittsburg native Steve Moakler.  I first heard of this lovely chill guy from Sirius XM Radio.  He has a previous single released call Suitcase, which also fits the bill of fun, chill, and hanging out music.  This song Love Drunk made it onto my summer jams because it’s a song that makes you think about being out with friends and loving your life.  The song is featuring lyrics about a lovely lady who is making him love drunk and trying to keep it cool and together even though it’s not easy for him.  Summer is a time for romance people!  How many of you have been out in the summer and met someone who immediately made you feel like you were buzzing off of them.

 

American Country Love Song – Jake Owen

So, let me be a downer for a brief moment, I was so sad when I heard that Jake Owen had a rough personal life this year and that his marriage had ended.  And then he manages to release an amazing track of American Country Love Song after going through all of this.  Sigh.

“It’s playing in the night air
Through the speakers all night long
Couple kids just livin’
That American country love song”

Perfect.  These lyrics and summer romance all rolled up into one perfect song.  A little sweet, a little fun, and all around americana love song.  Take a listen.  And to make this song a little better, Jake Owen actually took a VW Love Bus on tour to promote this album.

http://tasteofcountry.com/jake-owen-american-country-love-song-video/

I love this man.  BTW Jake, I’m single….

 

Dirty Laundry – Carrie Underwood

Ok I needed to get my country divas in here somewhere and just heard this one FINALLY on the radio off her latest Storyteller album.  I truly hope her husband never upsets her in any way, shape, or form because this woman is not someone I would want to mess with.  In this AWESOME badass summer tune Carrie takes on the persona of a woman that catcher her husband being, shall we say, a little unfaithful to her.  This woman power anthem is great because well, she’s just going to do his laundry and make sure the whole world knows about it.  The girl’s a classy lady and it looks like this guy is out again with some more low class.  I love that she mentions she’ll be making sure to hang is dirty laundry out for all to see since she’s got nothing to hide.  Rock on Carrie.

“That lipstick on your collar, well, it ain’t my shade of pink
And I can tell by the smell of that perfume, it’s like forty dollars too cheap
And there’s a little wine stain on the pocket of your white cotton thread
Well, you drink beer and whiskey, boy, and you know I don’t drink red”

 

Make You Mine – High Valley 

THANK YOU SIRIUS XM RADIO!!!! Again, they are responsible for introducing me to this excellent band that hails from our neighbors up north.  Their latest single, Make You Mine,  is a good old country song that makes you think of summer afternoons and the county fair.  The brothers, Brad and Curtis, pull off yet another fun-loving country number.  Instrumentally their music is much closer to country roots and as someone who grew up in a more rural area, I can in fact relate to a pale moon sky and the small town feel.  This song is constantly stuck in my head and I can’t stop listening to it. The song even ends with a longer instrumental segment that really just makes me want to dance every time I hear it.   They have previously released albums including County Line, which I strongly recommend you check out as well.  These brothers are grounded in their roots, which is reflected in their music, lyrics, and how they interact with their fans.

http://www.highvalleymusic.com  GO BUY ALL THEIR MUSIC (you’ll be glad you did)

 

Sleep Without You – Brett Young 

Ok, so, just in case you have been living under a rock these past few months and haven’t caught on yet, Brett Young.  BRETT YOUNG!  Seriously, you should know who he is and if you don’t oh man are you missing out.  I saw Brett Young open up for a show in New Jersey this year and was already previously hooked from hearing him on the radio.  He currently has a new hit single (that, in my opinion, was career changing and is successfully launching his country career) called ‘Sleep Without You’.  Brett Young.  Where do I begin.  I’m going to keep this brief because I am going to devote an ENTIRE blog just to him. So back to this song. It’s a love song, but it’s upbeat!  Also, his voice will make you fall in love instantly.  Seriously.  Go listen right now.  The song speaks for itself so that’s all I got.

“Even if I tried without you by my side I’d be dreamin with my eyes open”  heart throb

 

Somewhere on a Beach  – Dierks Bentley

Ok, so many people are calling this the follow up to his previous hit Drunk on a Plane.  This beach bummin’ and relaxing song comes of of Dierk’s latest album Black.  Perfect vacation getaway from everything and everyone who just screwed up and you just don’t even care anymore.  Onto bigger and better things.  This song is for everyone who needs to remember that life is better when you’re somewhere on a beach. It’s got everyone’s favorite parts of summer rolled into one song: beach, booze, nothing to worry about, no regrets.

“I’m somewhere on a beach, sipping something strong…”  Yes Dierks, I wish I could do that all summer long too.  But since I can’t, whenever this song is on I at least escape for a few minutes.

For Her – Chris Lane 

Ok, ok, ok.  Hear me out on this one.  It’s not exaaaaactly a summer song, but it’s one that’s out this summer, and it’s about love, and the guy who sings it is another total throb.  Also, he’s super funny and if you have Snap Chat, you should add the guy because he’s a trip.  His previous hit Fix can be heard on the radio too.  I’m ready for his newest album Girl Problems  to come out! This song made the summer list because it’s a windows down, music turned up kind of song.  The song is a perfect one for those who are with that special someone and the things that go through our minds when we’re together.

“She’s the kind that makes you wanna..
Ride around, windows down, yeah, with the radio
She’s the kind that makes you wanna…
Drop your plans, drop a grand, hell where the money goes”

This song is for those summer nights when you just want to be out enjoying the evening with that special someone, and it doesn’t even matter what happens.  I had to include it, it’s such a sweet and happy summer love song 🙂

 

Vacation – Thomas Rhett

Everybody calm down.  This song has gotten the country music listeners all in a tizzy.  “It’s not county!”  Oh. Stop. It.  Country music goes in a million different directions.  Now yes, this song is not a typical country song, however, that is the genre it’s listed as so it makes my list.  Thomas Rhett is a rising star on the country music scene and this song is for everyone out there who has the imagination to pretend they’re at a fabulous vacation spot.

“I got my Solo Cup amplifier, playing all my jams
And my Walgreens beach chair working on my tan
This like it’s Jamaica and I’m sipping on some Red Stripe
But I’m in Decatur, baby, crushing on that Busch light”

I absolutely love this song and see it as a party anthem for when everyone is together celebrating summer and making the most of what they have.  To each their own.  So cheers Thomas Rhett, I will also be partying like I’m on vacation all summer.

 

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed my summer pics in country music and even picked up a few more bands and singers you haven’t heard of before.  As always, if you like the song, buy it on iTunes and support the artist! ❤ ❤ ❤

Stay Cool People!

Love and All Things Country 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Ain’t Country..But Wait…

Hello my friends! So part of the purpose of this blog is to bring you artists you may not be hearing on local country radio in these parts of the Tri-State Area. Thanks to Sirius XM channel ‘On the Highway’, I’ve been able to come across several new artists that have quickly become my favorite (Brett Eldredge, Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion, High Valley, and Brett Young just to name a few).

The other day I was listening to a new catchy song being played on the radio being played called ‘That Ain’t Country’ and it was definitely a catchy and fun country song. Ironically, the music sounds exactly like country so I liked the title and decided to do some digging into this Aaron Lewis. Now, I have always been a fan of country music and don’t know much about who’s who outside of the genre. Imagine my surprise when I did some research on this guy and discovered that he was the frontman of the grunge band Staind. You read that correctly. The singer from Staind is now doing country music. Now, before you get all music purist on me about people just trying to jump into country music using their previous singer status, give me a moment. Just as Darius Rucker was able to make a smooth transition into being a successful country singer, I think Aaron Lewis might have what it takes to do the same. If you listen to his previous albums, while they sound country, you can still hear the original sounds from the band Staind. The lyrics are in the vein of a typical country song, and he’s definitely heading in the right direction to his country music road to success. The music is country, but his voice still has the deep and soulful emotional sound from previous work. He has two previous albums The Road and Town Line.  He was successful in collaborating with Charlie Daniels and George Jones in his song ‘Country Boy’.   What I like most about this newer song is that it gives it a much clear and distinct sound separating him from his previous band, plus it’s got a very catchy vibe to it. His voice fits the country sound much better and gives it a fresh take on what he can do as an artist. The radio station did not give any introduction to him trying to make a transition, but just introduced him as a new song with a ‘what do you think?’ type of mentality. And I was loving it. He sounds like he grew up with country, which considering he went for the grunge music, is very interesting. Turns out country roots are exactly what he has and he grew up on folk music, which you can hear in the music being played by his band. If you’re looking for a country artist who can mix the fun country vibe with the deeper roots and emotion of country, take a listen to Aaron Lewis.

If Aaron Lewis sticks to his country roots, he should do just fine in country music.

Check out his music on iTunes, Spotify, and his latest song That Ain’t Country

http://www.aaronlewismusic.com

Love and All Things Country

We’re Having Ourselves a Big and Rich Time!

So I got the unexpected opportunity of meeting Big and Rich at the Spread the Love Tour in Philadelphia this year! My local radio station (Thank you 92.5 WXTU and Razz!) had gotten me meet and greets for Old Dominion (see previous entry) and as an added bonus, a pair of meet and greets for the always fabulous Big and Rich! I’ve been listening to country for as long as I can remember and Big and Rich were a country duo that are just essential to all things country. They’re such a fun and upbeat country group and I was so excited to meet them. They definitely lived up to everything I have ever heard about the duo! Cowboy Troy was also with them too so it just kept getting better and better. What I loved most about this meet and greet was the overall energy and vibe that I had from both the fans and Big and Rich. Even though this had the same rules as the Old Dominion meet and greet with no autographs or extra photos, the atmosphere was fun, relaxed, and excited. The manager was great and put all of us who had meet and greets in the room to wait for their arrival. Right before the doors opened, their manager got us all excited to see Big and Rich and when they walked in, the group starting cheering and clapping for them. Of course, they strutted into the room as only they can, and even had a camera man with them. Turns out they were filming some extra snippets for something they were working on, as they told us. Of course, everyone there was happy to oblige for some extra fun time with Big and Rich and they even led us in the chorus of ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy’ so the cameraman could go around the room filming the fans singing along and dancing with the group. I waited my turn with the rest of the group for my pictures, and it was so great to watch them interact with each and every fan that came up to them for the photos. They posed for photos, goofed around with their fans, and overall made it a great experience for those of us who love all things country.  The fan experience is much better when you don’t hide your fans behind the backdrop prior to photos…but I digress.  You can even see from the pictures just how ecstatic I was to meet them in my pictures!  The manager took a ton of photos and basically captured my entire interaction with the guys including some really funny candids I’ll have to post later.

And now onto their performance…holy wow. Those guys know how to both rock the audience and also slow it down and give that old-school country romance vibe. Their voices sounded amazing, the crowd interaction was great, and their comments in between songs were hysterical as well. I’m not sure how they managed to have that much energy performing on stage while the sun was blazing, but man, they were so good! They played some of their fun hits like ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy’ and ‘Coming to Your City’. They even slowed it down with a few songs from their latest album ‘Gravity’. One of my favorite things about going to country concerts is how proud it makes me to be a country fan in the good old USA. While the country has it’s fair share of political issues, disputes, and divides, going to a country concert reminds me that this music unites all the fans regardless of differences. Big and Rich also paid tribute to those who have served prior to singing their song ‘8th of November’. This simple act of saying thank you to those who have given of themselves to serve in our military is inspiring and always makes me have a whole lot more respect for the artists who can take a moment and give a shout out to these people. Big and Rich also brought out Cowboy Troy to take the stage with them, which just added yet another element to their already layered musical performance. They did a cover of Cake by the Ocean by DNCE! Such a fun and rocking country performance by everyone that day!

If you ever get the chance to get a meet and greet with these guys, definitely don’t pass up that opportunity, they won’t disappoint! Also, check out their latest album Gravity, which is currently available on iTunes.

Love and All Things Country

Twitter:  @fitfunjen203  @bigandrich

Said Nobody Ever

If you haven’t listened to this song yet by Old Dominion, you definitely need to check it out. And if you don’t know who Old Dominion is, stop reading this blog right now and go listen to their brand new album, Meat and Candy, right now. Go! Stop reading and go listen to it, you don’t know what you’re missing!

But if you’re still reading, AND you’re an Old Dominion fan, I hope you read that heading like you were singing that wonderful song. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan of Old Dominion and their music. I was a fan of their music the very first time I heard their song ‘Shut Me Up’ and their career launching ‘Break Up With Him’ on the radio. I even got their album Meat and Candy when it was released on CD so I could listen to it in my car. This band has an amazing sound hands down that is laid-back, fun, and catchy. Old Dominion is a band of 5 guys who play together and are song writers as well for top acts including Kenny Chesney. Which then makes a lot of sense why they are out on the road with Kenny for his Spread The Love tour (more about that in a later entry). I absolutely love the sound that Old Dominion has, and when I realized I was going to get a chance to hear them play live in Philadephia, I was even more excited. It’s a lot harder to see up and coming country acts where I live since it seems the Jersey-Philly-Delaware area isn’t so big on country music. Now, imagine my excitement when the wonderful local radio station, 92.5XTU was able to get me meet and greets before the show. I’ve never been to a meet and greet with them before before, and this was one of my favorite bands so I couldn’t wait.

Which is why I have waited over a week to write this blog entry. Not because the excitement just couldn’t contain itself and I needed a week to get myself calm. But because of the complete let down I had at the meet and greet. Yes. I was extremely disappointed, and it pains me to say it, but as a music fan, I feel that it is SO incredibly important to keep your fans happy. Now, please read about my experience in its entirety before you think, oh she’s just a fan trying to get attention. Not in the slightest. But if anyone from OD’s team is reading this, please keep all of this in mind going forward with your meet and greets. As a new artist, building a fan base is extremely important. Appreciating the fans whom support you is important. Meet and Greets are important.

And now this is why I am disappointed. I specifically asked the radio station about how to get meet and greets for these guys. Not for Kenny Chesney or Miranda Lambert, but Old Dominion. The band that when I texted all my friends I got meet and greets for, most had to ask me what song they sang. But, this was a band I’ve been telling friends to check out for well over a year now, and that I have listened to and supported in their career. I got to the meet and greet spot where the coordinator took us downstairs to the room where we were doing the meet and greet. My friend and I were the second ones to meet the guys, and to be honest, it seemed like we were literally the second people they have ever done a meet and greet with in their life. We were told ahead of time that there were to be no autographs and to hand our phone to the manager (I believe that’s who it was) who would take our picture. So, when I got to the point where the guys were, they were hidden behind the backdrop for the photos. In my excitement I went to see where they were and we were both told by the guy (again, I’m assuming he’s the manager) we were only allowed to see the guys when it was our turn. Not even allowed to see the guys unless it’s your turn for the meet and greet. Literally, my meet and greet lasted maybe 60 seconds. My friend and I were told we could go around the screen, I walked up to the guys and shook all 5 of their hands because I wasn’t exactly sure what I was supposed to do and they all were just standing there anyway with their hands in their pockets. Plus, the manager guy seemed so pushy about getting us through the meet and greet so there was that aspect of it. Matt did pull us in for a photo, but aside from me saying that I loved their music I got a minimal response from them of hi at least. They also say that body language is 90% of communication.  We posed for our picture (Well some of us did.  Trevor is just just kind of standing there), and then off we went. I was excitedly looking at the pictures afterwards when several people pointed out that some of them are barely even smiling. Maybe they were having a bad day, I don’t know. But what I do know is that shortly after this they were on stage performing. So they know how to put on a smile and perform on stage at least, maybe they just have to work on pretending to look excited backstage.

At first I thought that was how a meet and greet was supposed to go. You wait your turn behind the screen, you quickly snap a few photos with the band, and then you get whisked off for the next person to go. And then I did a meet and greet with Big and Rich (this will be the next entry). What a huge difference. Their meet and greet was an unexpected surprise I managed to snag but was so glad I did. You could tell they cared about their fans and while they had the same rule of no autographs or additional photos, they were not kept hidden behind a screen as each fan waited their turn. They engaged their fans and had a fun and relaxing atmosphere. It’s all about the tone you set with the audience. I really wish Old Dominion seemed just as excited to meet their fans as their fans were to meet them.

Matt, Trevor, Whit, Geoff, and Brad, I do love the music you guys make and the performance you did. But after that meet and greet, I was so incredibly disappointed as a fan. I want to believe it wasn’t you guys who created that vibe of a cold, going through the motions, meet and greet. I want to believe it was the manager who kept you guys hidden behind the screen like the great Wizard of Oz and gave us a first impression that this was all business and you guys just needed to get this part of the day over with. I really thought it was going to be a lot like the vibe I got from your music…fun, laid-back, and genuine.

 

Love and All Things Country

Welcome!

Hello everyone!

This is a blog straight from the North East in the hopes that I can spread some of the country love that I have that all comes out of Nashville.  Too many times I’ve mentioned a new artist or started singing a song on the radio that many of my friends haven’t heard of yet, because I’m listening straight from Nashville instead of waiting for the music to get up hear in the NE.  My hope is that I’ll change that and start sharing some of the latest and greatest music I hear and think is worth a listen.

Before you get to reading and wondering why I get to say what I say about country music, it’s simply because I can and because I am a country music fan. Anyone who listens to the music has an option of whether to play the song again, or pass it up and go onto the next.  I grew up on country music and I go back to the days of Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and the country ladies such as Reba McEntire, Patti Loveless and Mary Chapin Carpenter paving the way for ladies such as Miranda or Carrie. Now, as country music has evolved, so has my taste for country.

I would say the greater majority of my music I grew up with would be country. I won’t deny that I went through a teen pop phase when the boy bands such as NSYNC and Back Street came out, but at the end of the day I came back to my roots. Living in the Philadelphia and Jersey region, going back to these roots though can be a lot more challenging. I don’t live down south where every other radio station plays country music. I live in the land of dance, pop, and EDM music. We have one country channel that comes in clearly, 3 total if you count the 2 I can only get in a very specific spot while holding the radio, standing on one foot, you get the picture. There’s one country line-dancing club within driving distance, and I actually have to search and work hard to find out when and where (hopefully within an hour drive) a country act is coming to town. Luckily for me, Philadelphia is within an hour drive so when country acts do come up north, this is my best bet to see them.

I ended up getting satellite radio in my car solely for the purpose of listening to the one and only Sirius XM On the Highway radio station. This station is great since they play both upcoming country acts and current ones as well. They’ve introduced me to some of my favorite artists, which I will be blogging about over time. I’ve realized that not everyone has the joy of discovering these new artists, so when I say to my friends, oh have you heard of this new band? I often get a surprised look. I’m hoping with this blog to review new artists and give them a fair and respectful review as artists. Trust me, there’s plenty of country artists out there that I do not like in the slightest, but I still respect them for their craft. Then again, there’s also other artists out there that if I was their manager, there would be a lot of things I would say to them if they wanted to survive in this live or die genre of country. Country fans are honest. They usually love you or they hate you. There’s country purists out there who feel that country should have specific qualifications But we’ll save that topic for a rainy day (Kenny Chesney anyone?).

Please feel free to check out the artists and remember, while I love free music streaming like Spotify and Pandora, if you truly like the band, please purchase their music. That’s really the best way to show your support. I actually purchase the CD if they catch my attention so I can rock out to it in my car. Also, you never know when you might have one them around to sign it!

So for now, I look forward to sharing new acts, songs, and news that I hear, especially for us well north of Nashville who are a little late to the game in discovering new country talent.

Love and All Things Country