Sam Hunt “15 in a 30 Tour”~ Review!!!

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If you do not consider yourself a country music fan, you should think again. Sam Hunt’s “15 in a 30 Tour” is what I call “alternative country.” Unlike other country artists like Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and Tim McGraw, Hunt’s music is a combo of his two favorite genres of music: Country & R&B. The Georgia native as a child grew up listening to country music, but when he got older his cousins introduced him to hip hop & R&B. Hunt shared with the auidence how many Nashville producers did not like his music early on in his career and how they thought he would not make it in the country music world.

However, four years later, Hunt is headlining his first big tour with opening acts Ryan Follese, Chris Janson and Maren Morris. On Tuesday August 15, 2017 at the Greek Theater I was there to see one wonderful show.

Opener Ryan Follese, previously the lead singer of rock/punk band Hot Chelle Rae. Started the night with his song “Float Your Boat” from his self-titled EP, which was released last year. The 30 years old, whose parents are both country songwriters, left rock and started a country music career in 2016. Follese continued his set with “Put a Label on It,” and “Lose a Little Sleep,” which also on his EP. Follese closed his set with, “Tonight, Tonight,” which is Hot Chelle Rae’s best-known song.

Chris Janson was next up and he got the party going again. He started his set with “Redneck Life” from his “Fix a Drink EP” that was released in June. During this song he was playing both the acoustic guitar and harmonica. He then went into “Everybody” also from his new EP. He is an artistic and well-rounded singer/songwriter, and it shows a lot while he is performing live. Janson interacted with the auidence and was getting people up on their feet and dancing and singing along with him. He sang covers of “I Love This Life” which he wrote for country band LoCash and “Truck Yeah” by Tim McGraw. He even did a small drum solo during “Truck Yeah.” After singing his most popular song, “By Me a Boat,” he ended his set of the show with a cover of Johnny Cash “Ring of Fire.”

The last opening act of the night was Maren Morris. Morris played songs from her “Hero” album, which came out in June 2016. “Sugar”, “Just Another Thing” and “How It’s Done,” all show off her stunningly powerful voice. Next she did an acoustic verison of “I Could Use a Love Song,” which she called the “first vulnerable thing I’ve put on the radio waves.” Then she played a few of the audience favorites, “such as “80s Mercedes” and “My Church,” before ending with a mash up of “Second Wind” and Beyoncé’s song “Halo.” She and Hunt are making country/pop/R&B mashups a new music trend.

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Lastly, Sam Hunt played and it was worth the wait. Of all the concerts I been to recently, Hunt had by far the best lighting and special effects to go along with his music. There are four moving panels with lights that are loomed above the stage. Then there are other times that song lyrics would appear so that fans can sing along. For his opening song he sang “Leave the Night On,” the words of this song appeared on each panel moving around just as fast as Hunt was jumping around from one side of the stage to the other. He then started to sing, “House Party” and “Raised on It.” Next, Hunt shared some personal stories from his life with the crowd, such as the story behind his next song “Cop Car.” This song is a slow pace kind of song, along with the rest of his set, which showcased his style of combining both country/R&B. Most of the songs going forward were a combo of singing the chorus, then singing verses or bridges. But this type of format, works for Hunt and show the importance to certain phrases as needed like in his songs like in “I Met A Girl’ and “Speakers.” He also created a build up, for the encore of his song “Break Up in a Small Town.” He remains close to his country roots by telling his own personal stories, but also opens this genre to a crossover with his R&B influence.

Hunt then performed his recent hit “Body Like a Back Road,” it was really cool to see him play it live. He then played “Take Your Time” and “Ex to See.” The stage then went dark for about a minute, before a while piano came on stage. Hunt came back out again, and played a piano solo and while the opening lines of “Make You Miss Me.” The rest of the band came back an out after the first verse. Lastly Hunt did a quick combo of “Break Up in a Small Town”/”Drinkin Too Much,” and then the lights went down on another wonderful country concert at the beautiful Greek Theater.

 

Websites:

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Chris Stapleton~ Concert Review!!!

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So much has changed for Chris Stapleton in the last two years since his debut album “Traveller” was released. Nowadays, Stapleton’s stages, crowds and venues are growing, as seen on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Los Angeles Forum.

At around 9 p.m., the stage turned an amber red color as Stapleton, his wife, Morgane, and three band members started to play the opening notes of “Might As Well Get Stone.” The fans in the crowd started to sing right along with Stapleton and continued on through the night.

Stapleton also sang “Midnight Train to Memphis” from the 2008 debut of his former band, SteelDrivers. While singing this song Stapleton showed off his great guitar skills. It is neat to see Stapleton sings songs like “Outlaw State of Mind” and “Death Row” which showcases his unique country twang that many other artists cannot even reach.

I really enjoyed when Stapleton sang an acoustic verison of his hit song “Whiskey and You.” During this performance Stapleton’s voice was strong and it was also neat to see how far his range of his vocals could go. Next he sang his song “Parachute” which is a mixture of soul and southern rock. Stapleton then performed his cover of Charlie Daniels’ single “Was It 26,” which was potent and lively.

Stapleton’s wife Morgane’s did a bluesy solo cover of one of my personal favorites, “You Are My Sunshine.” Morgane’s pure voice was heard throughout the song especially in the third verse. Stapleton ended his show with more new material, as well as some old favorites like “Fire Away.” This song showcases the flexibility and dedication of Stapleton’s love for country music.

His show started off right around 7 p.m. with opening acts, Lucie Silvas, a British country singer, and Marylands duo, Brothers Osborne. Brothers Osborne played a45 minute set including their own popular hits “21 Summer” and “Stay a Little Longer.” It was a wonderful night of country music with three talented acts that I feel have long lasting careers in the country music scene.

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Kevin, Nikki and I “The Three Amigos!!”

 

Boots on Stage~ May Showcase!!!

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Nikki, Caleche and Me

 

On May 3rd, Boots on Stage had a showcase at The Hotel Café featuring up and coming country artists. The lineup for this show included Chaley Rose, Chris Bandi and Caleche Ryder. The Hotel Café has featured famous musicians such as John Mayer, Adele, Sara Barellies and Katy Perry.

The night started around 9 p.m. with Chaley Rose. Rose was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana. After high school she graduated from Indiana University and then spent some time studying acting in New York. She is best known for her role as Zoey in the drama series Nashville. Rose is truly making a name for herself in the television and music world. She has been playing many local LA and Las Vegas showcases for Boots on Stage in 2016 and 2017. I have enjoyed seeing Rose at the different concerts. Each time I have seen her play she truly shows her talent and how she grateful she is for all the accomplishments she has achieved so far in her career. I do not think this will be the last time LA or any other popular city will be graced with Rose and her wonderful music. If you want to find out more about Chaley Rose then check out her Instagram (chaleyrose).

Following Chaley Rose was country male artist Chris Bandi. Bandi grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. After graduating from Ole Miss and spending a couple of summers traveling back and forth from Oxford to Nashville, Bandi decided it was time to move to Nashville. After a few months living in Nashville, Bandi began writing with different songwriters like Shane Minor (Cole Swindell “Chilin It” and Monty Criswell (Eric Church “Like Jesus Does”). Working with these songwriters led Bandi to be introduced to Grammy winning producer and engineer Julian King who had work with Tim McGraw and Tyler Farr. Monty and Julian became supporters in Bandi’s work ethic and new country sound. Not long after meeting and working with both of them the three of them started to promote and help Bandi make a name for himself in the country music world. Bandi has got the chance to be an opener for The Marshall Tucker Band, Cannan Smith and LoCash. When I went to Nashville for my first time in November 2015, I was able to see Chris Bandi opened up for Smith at the well-known country venue Exit/In. I loved his vocal skills and I also like how when he sings he doesn’t try to be anyone else but himself. I was super excited to see Bandi on the line up for this event, because I feel like I have been a fan of his music for the last two years and was excited to see him perform in my hometown finally. My favorite part of his set is when he sang Ed Sheeran’s song “Thinking Out Loud” and also when he sang his latest single “Man Enough Now.”

After the showcase I went up to introduce myself to Bandi and told him how he was my first concert in Nashville and how I been a fan of his since I saw him in 2015. He was happy to hear that I enjoy his music and was sharing how he was enjoying his first time in LA. I am hoping that he will be back in Southern California again really soon. If you would like to find out more about Chris Bandi then check out his Instagram (chrisbandi).

The last performer of the night was one of my favorite country musicians, Caleche Ryder. Caleche grew up riding horses in San Diego County, California. She then moved to Reno, Nevada where she became Miss Nevada in 2007. She is now living in Los Angeles with her husband Eric and recording music. My favorite part of her performance was when she did a cover of Miranda Lambert song “Gun Powder and Lead” with local country act Curt Chambers and country duo Golden West. Caleche also shared a new song that she was working on called “Bar Fight.” I was also happy when she sang “West Coast Cowgirl.” “West Coast Cowgirl” is an anthem Caleche wrote for all SoCal girls who love and are proud of everything country. It was also nice to catch up with Caleche after her set. You could tell she was happy that her loyal fans came out to see her. If you would like to find out more about Caleche Ryder then check out her Instagram (calecherydermusic).

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Golden West, Caley Rose, Caleche Ryder, my sister (Nikki) and me

This night was a really enjoyable night by seeing new and old faces that have been part of my blog in past posts. I love how these Boots on Stage events are low key and small and how you can listen to good music and also connect to the artists on a personal level as well. I am so lucky to be part of the Country Cali Crew.

Lastly, this showcase was so much fun to watch. It was a real treat to see three up and coming country artists sing some great original and cover songs. I hope Boots on Stage and Ricky Abramson do many more showcases and concerts in the near future.

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Chris Bandi and me

xoxo-DD

Brothers Osborne & Lucie Silvas: Dirt Rich Tour!!

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On December 15, 2016, I went to see country duo Brothers Osborne at the Belasco Theater for their Dirt Rich tour. Brothers Osborne is composed of brothers, T.J. and John Osborne. T.J. is the lead singer and plays rhythm guitar while John plays lead guitar and provides background vocals. They started the show off with their hit single “Pawn Shop.” Their stage actually looked like a real pawnshop with items like an old television, lamps and rustic slot machine. The guys and their band played a 90-minute set with upbeat versions of their popular singles like “21 Summer,” “American Crazy” and “Greener Pastures.” The brothers shared “Ain’t My Fault” will be their new single in January 2017. The duo also shared their versions popular country classics like Dixie Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl” and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Both brothers can play the guitar so well and the sound of the music is something new and refreshing that is entertaining to hear.

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The boys also had an opening act. The opener for them was Lucie Silvas. Silvas was born in England, and then moved to New Zealand and now lives in Nashville. Lucie played songs from her self-titled EP, which came out in 2015. I enjoyed when she performed a cover of Jackson 5’s “Who Loving You.” Silvas is married to John Osborne and has known both brothers for over 15 years. At the end of the concert Silvas sang two additional songs with JT and John. The original recording features country legend, Lee Ann Womack, however Silvas did a great job performing the song live. The last song she sang with the duo was “Rolling on the River” by Tina Turner.

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I hope to continue to hear good things about the Brother Osborne and Lucie Silvas. I feel that all three musicians will continue to make great music and have many more successful years in their careers.

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Websites:

http://www.brothersosborne.com

http://luciesilvas.com

 

Boots on Stage: “Party at the Park!!”

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         I spent Saturday afternoon at one of my favorite places, Santa Anita Racetrack. Boots on Stage, a Southern California and Nevada country promotion company, put on the first ever, “Party at the Park” for the Breeders’ Cup. The crowd at this event was in their best country attire from flannels to cowboy boots. It was a perfect sunny day in California with good drinks and great country music. 

     The venue was set up great, with shaded seating areas, stands for popular country apparel vendors and fast lines for getting cold drinks and placing bets. There were also fun gaming activities like corn hole, bull riding and a huge connect four. Also Boots on Stage had a great backdrop along a wall to take pictures with huge cowboy hats with their logos. 

       I was excited to see one of my favorites country acts, Tyler Rich, playing this event. This was my 10th time seeing him perform and I am happy to consider myself an original fan of his music. During his set, Tyler played many of his popular songs from his EP “Valerie” along with a couple new songs. He shared that next year he will be putting out more new music. Many country music listeners have got the chance to see him open up for Dustin Lynch, Eric Paslay, Jon Pardi and Brothers Osborne. He has also got to headline some shows at local venues like The Troubadour and The Lost Room. After he played his set, he did a meet and greet with many fans who attended the event. He was happy to see some familiar faces and excited to meet new people as well. I think 2016 was a starting point and 2017 will just get better for Mr. Rich. 

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I also got to see some new country acts that I have heard on the radio or recognize through social media. The other artists included country duo, Smithfield, Daniel Bonte & The Bona Fide and Eli V. I enjoy listening to these new country acts as it is exciting to see them early on in their careers. I hope more positive things are on the way for each of the other acts who played the event. 

      I also felt so lucky when I won some money during the races. Since I was little I have been visiting local racetracks with my family. The two racetracks I go to most often are Santa Anita or Del Mar. I have to thank my dad and brother for showing me the ropes of how to bet the correct way. I hope to continue my love for the races and keep going to them for many years. The next big racing event I would love to see is the Kentucky Derby. 

    Thanks to Boots on the Stage, all the country acts and Santa Anita Racetrack for putting on a great day at the races. Hope this event will return next year as it was truly a blast to attend. 

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Later Y’all 

Dixiedee

Artist Websites:

Smithfield: http://www.smithfieldmusic.com

Daniel Bonte: https://www.facebook.com/DanielBontemusic/

Eli V: http://www.elivofficial.com

Tyler Rich: http://www.tylerrichmusic.com

 

Clothing Apparel Websites:

Puppies Make Me Happy: https://puppiesmakemehappy.com

City Roots in Boots: https://www.cityrootsinboots.com

Playlist:

Boot on Stage Country Artists: https://open.spotify.com/user/danailleb/playlist/5jk3LLDIP3mfUXBjVdlLVK

*Here are some country artists that has been apart of a Boots on Stage Event. Each artist is great live, but if cannot make it to a event the next best thing is hearing their music on Spotify. Hope you enjoy this playlist, as much as I do!!

Later Y’all: Dixiedee

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Dolly Parton’s “Pure and Simple Tour”

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 My grandfather, Pop, was a huge country music fan. Some of Pop’s favorite artists included Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. When I was little I remember he and I would always listen to a Dolly Parton cassette tape while driving around town. When Pop had to switch the tape to the other side, I would asked him what happened to Dolly and he would tell me she was going to the bathroom or taking a water break. He made believe that Dolly was always live and playing a show for just us. He never told me that the tape was pre-recorded live show until I was little older. I wish I was able to go with him to see Dolly in concert but unfortunately he passed away in April 2000. I think he would be happy that I remained a fan of her music and was able to attend one of her concerts.

            On October 1, 2016 I was lucky to see Dolly Parton in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Dolly called her tour Pure and Simple which is also the name of her latest album. Her band is made up of keyboardist, Richard Dennison, guitarist/banjo player, Kenny Welles and bassist, Tom Ruthledge. Dolly also played many instruments throughout the night from the banjo to the fiddle.

            She played for 2-½ hours with a 20 minute intermission. She was really open about telling stories about her childhood with her 11 siblings and parents who showcased love and security. Dolly opened up the concert with the country gospel song “Night Train to Memphis,” from the 1946 film starring country singer Roy Acuff. Throughout the evening she played many more popular songs from her fifty year career while mixing a few songs from her new album.

            She also played her well known songs “Jolene” along with an ancient folk ballad “Little Sparrow” that her mother used to sing. During the first half of her show she sat on mock-up front porch to relate to stories from her childhood. She enjoyed explaining how as a child she would often pretend to be a famous country star at the Grand Ole Opry.

            Her rag-to-riches story is most commonly told through her song “Coat of Many Colors.” The song inspired a popular TV movie that aired last year on NBC. In the winter of 2016 there will be a second movie called “Christmas of Many Colors-Circle of Love.” During the second half of her show she performed her popular country hits like “Here You Come Again,” “Two Doors Down” and “ 9 to 5”. The last song she performed was her best-known song of all time, “I Will Always Love You.” The whole night was truly an evening that I will always remember as I feel very fortunate to have shared it with a living country music icon.

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Website: www.dollyparton.com/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dollyparton/?hl=en

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DollyParton

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DollyParton

 

 

 

BOOTS ON STAGE PRESENTS: Chaley Rose, Caleche Ryder, Jill & Julia, Katie Dix and Sophia Scott – Wed, Sept. 7

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On September 7th, Boots on Stage had a showcase at The Hotel Café featuring up and coming female country artists. The lineup for this show included Caleche Ryder, Chaley Rose, Jill & Julia, Katie Dix and Sophia Scott. As I was heading to Los Angeles, I was excited to be checking out a new concert venue in Southern California. Since opening in 2000, The Hotel Cafe has featured famous musicians such as John Mayer, Adele, Sara Barellies and Katy Perry.

            The night started around 8 p.m. with sister duo Jill & Julia. Jill & Julia are from Las Vegas but currently reside in Los Angeles. During the show, they shared how they are enjoying their time in Los Angles and think it is really neat to play a live show on a weeknight. My favorite part of their performance was when they did covers of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” I like how country musicians can cover other genres of music and make it their own. I also had the privilege of meeting Jill and took the time to thank her for being part of my blog a couple weeks ago as an “Artist Spotlight” and “Q & A.” Jill was very happy that I introduced myself and came to see her and her sister play live. If you get a chance, check out their songs on Apple Music and Spotify. Make sure to like their social media pages, which feature some great live videos of the girls singing their own original songs.

Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/JillandJulia/)

Instagram: (https://www.instagram.com/jillandjuliaofficial/?hl=en)

YouTube channel: (https://www.youtube.com/user/jillandjuliamusic)

         The next performer of the night was Chaley Rose. Chaley Rose was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana. After high school, she graduated from Indiana University and then spent some time studying acting in New York. She is now living full time in Los Angeles. She is best known for her role as Zoey in the drama series Nashville. Chaley is truly making a name for herself in the television and music world. She has been playing many local concerts in California this past year. In 2016, I have already seen her perform twice. She has a small set at Boots on Stage’s pre-Stagecoach concert and she joined up and coming country artist, Tyler Rich, for a duet at the famous Troubadour. Each time I have seen her play she truly shows her talent and how grateful she is for all the accomplishments she has achieved so far in her career. I do not think this will be the last time LA or any other popular city will be graced with Chaley and her wonderful music. If you want find out any news about Chaley Rose then checkout her Instagram:(https://www.instagram.com/chaleyrose/).

            Following Chaley Rose was country female artist Katie Dix. Katie is from Bakersfield, California. She was introduced to country music by country legend Buck Owens. When Owens found out about her talent, he showcased her regularly at his venue, The Crystal Palace. Since Owens passing, Katie has made a name for herself as a country singer in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. She also takes many trips to Nashville to help her create songs that have a Cali-Nash vibe. A song that I enjoyed of hers was “Don’t Count the Stars.” I feel many young women can relate to this song. It is about how girls are hoping the boy they are dating is into them and they can see a happy ending in the future. If you want to find out more about Katie Dix, then checkout her Instagram: (https://www.instagram/katiedixmusic/). Her music is also available on (https://soundcloud.com/katiedix).

            Sophia Scott was the next artist to play at the showcase. She is from Boulder, Colorado and currently living in Los Angles, California. She is a country and R&B singer-songwriter. My favorite performance of Sophia’s was when she did a cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.” This song is a hard one to cover, but I felt that Sophia made it her own and was proud many people in the auidence enjoyed it as well. If you want to find out more about Sophia Scott’s music and upcoming shows then checkout her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sophiascottmusic/) or her Instagram: (https://www.instagram.com/sophunky/?h1=en).

            The last performer of the night was my new favorite country musician, Caleche Ryder. Caleche grew up riding horses in San Diego County, California. She then moved to Reno, Nevada where she became Miss Nevada in 2007. She is now living in Los Angeles with her husband and recording music. My favorite part of her performance was when she brought up all the other acts to cover Maren Morris’ “My Church.” I was also happy when she sang “West Coast Cowgirl.” “West Coast Cowgirl” is an anthem Caleche wrote for all SoCal girls who love and are proud of everything country. It was also nice to catch up with Caleche before and after her set. You could tell she was happy that her loyal fans came out to see her. I was also lucky enough to meet some of her family members who were very happy to hear how much I like Caleche’s music. If you are going to Route 91 in Las Vegas, be sure to check out Caleche’s set. If you want to find out more news about Caleche Ryder, visit her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/calecherydermusic/) or Twitter: (https://twitter.com/calecheryder?lang=en). Her music is available on Spotify and Apple Music. Lastly be sure to watch her music video for “West Coast Cowgirl” on Youtube: (https://youtube.com/user/leche510).

            This showcase was so much fun to watch. It was a real treat to see five up and coming female artists sing some great original and cover songs. I hope Boots on Stage and Ricky Abramson do many more showcases and concerts in the near future.

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Sister: Nikki and Country Singer: Caleche Ryder!!