Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, we are going to discuss an AMAZING up and coming artist who has all of the tools to become a country music superstar. Dakota Bradley is Streamsound Record’s newest artist, and along with his incredible vocal and guitar skills, catchy songs, and natural charisma, Dakota has one more thing that will definitely help him in his career. What is this secret weapon? A mentorship with country music legend Tim McGraw. Yes, the same Tim McGraw who has won more awards, and has had more #1 hits than we can count. So read on to see why Dakota Bradley is soon going to become your newest musical obsession.
Dakota Bradley is a country music singer/songwriter/guitarist from St. Louis, Missouri. Dakota became an internet sensation when he and his friend CJ Holland posted their version of the Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s track ‘The Girl Is Mine’. This viral video led to an appearance on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ in 2010. Bradley built on this momentum in 2011 by co-writing ‘All Of My Tomorrows’, with Colt Ford (this was later released on Colt’s 2012 album, ‘Declaration of Independence’. Also in 2012, Bradley was signed to a recording and publishing deal with Streamsound Records (a label founded by Grammy-award winning producer Byron Gallimore and Jim Wilkes). Bradley’s debut single ‘Somethin’ Like Somethin’, was released on May 14th, 2013 and peaked at #53 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. ‘Somethin’ Like Somethin’ was originally intended for Tim McGraw’s latest album ‘Two Lanes of Freedom’, but was given to Dakota by Tim. In August of 2013, Bradley opened for Tim McGraw in Phoenix, Arizona during the ‘Two Lanes of Freedom Tour’. Dakota also released a special track, called ‘Wild Child’ on SiriusXM’s ‘The Highway’, in November of 2013. Dakota’s second single ‘Won’t Be Young Forever’ (which he co-wrote) was released in April of 2014. Dakota is currently working on his highly anticipated debut album, which is being produced by Byron Gallimore and Tim McGraw.
I couldn’t find the original upload of Dakota and CJ Holland’s rendition of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s track ‘The Girl Is Mine’ CJ Holland and Dakota Bradley sing “The Girl is Mine”, however I did find a YouTube channel with the video uploaded (if this is the original video I apologize, I just wasn’t sure). I absolutely love this cover, because it is extremely good, which is a difficult task considering the fact that Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney are music legends, and extremely talented musicians/vocalists. The fact that Dakota and CJ were able to do so well on the track really impressed me. Dakota uploaded his first solo video on YouTube (on his official ‘Dakota Bradley’ channel) on August 25th, 2010. The video was his rendition of Taylor Swift’s hit track ‘Mine’ Dakota Bradley – “Mine” (Taylor Swift Cover) , off of her ‘Sparks Fly’ album. I really love this cover, because it shows off Dakota’s mastery of playing lead guitar and singing simultaneously live (which if you didn’t know, is VERY hard). This video will DEFINITELY amaze you, and shows that Dakota truly is the real deal. The last cover video that we are going to speak about in this section, is Dakota’s rendition of Rascal Flatts’ emotionally charged ballad ‘I Won’t Let Go’ Dakota Bradley – “I Won’t Let Go” (Rascal Flatts Cover) . This cover was uploaded on March 21st, 2011, and features Dakota’s super impressive piano skills (seriously he can sing, he can write, he play the guitar and piano, is there anything that this guy CAN’T do!?!). I really loved that this video showed that Dakota is able to tap into his emotions to deliver a song, and proves that his artistry is already very well developed.
Dakota uploaded a live version of his debut single ‘Somethin’ Like Somethin’ Dakota Bradley – “Somethin’ like Somethin'” – YouTube on his YouTube channel on February 19th, 2013. I thought that this song was an excellent debut track, because it’s upbeat, catchy, and the perfect song for summer. This song provided a very strong start for Dakota, and is definitely a song YOU should add to your music library (well finish reading the blog, and then hop over to iTunes and buy the song. Ok? Ok!). Tim McGraw (who the track was originally intended for), gave the following statement to ‘forthecountryrecord.com in 2013′, “Dakota is the real deal. He is a great young artist who defies the trends and lives for his music. His voice is unique and instantly recognizable, and his ability to convey pure emotion in his music draws the listener in from the very first word of every song. Working with him on this project has been a lot of fun. The single is a great summer song and I really think Country radio is going to dig it.” The next track that Dakota released entitled ‘Wild Child’ was uploaded onto iTunes on November 26th, 2013. This song is another upbeat track, that will have you dancing and singing along in the car. ‘Wild Child’ is about being young and falling in love with that “wild one”(you know, the person that your parents would have a heart attack over if they knew you were with them…yeah that one). I really love how much fun this song is to listen to, and can easily see it playing on the radio. Dakota’s latest single ‘Won’t Be Young Forever’, Dakota Bradley – “Won’t Be Young Forever” Official Audio (which was uploaded on his YouTube channel on April 16th, 2014) is another track that you should have in your music library. This is another perfect song for the summer, that will have you singing along on road trips with your friends, or putting on concerts in front of your mirror with your hairbrush (not that any of us do that…yeah…moving on). This track certainly shows how much Dakota has grown as a musician over the past few years, and further shows how great a business man he is, due to the fact that he know what types of tracks his fans want.
So needless to say, it’s easy to see that Dakota’s music is soon going to completely take over country music radio, and all music award shows. Also, the vast amount of natural talent that he has at such a young age, only further excites me in regard to what his future holds. Dakota is definitely an artist to watch out for, and I anticipate that he is going to have an AMAZING, long lasting career.
Keep up to date with everything Dakota Bradley is doing here:
YouTube: Dakota Bradley – YouTube
Facebook: Dakota Bradley | Facebook
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to discuss a trio that is quickly making their way to becoming country music superstars. Please allow me to ask y’all a question. When you think of Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, and The Band Perry what comes to mind? Talent, great artistry, amazing vocals, all around awesomeness? Well be prepared to add another INCREDIBLE trio to that list very soon. People of the internet please allow me to introduce Restless Road.
Restless Road began their journey as contestants on season 3 of the X Factor USA. The three original members: Zach Beeken, Colton Pack, and Andrew Scholz originally auditioned as solo artists, but eventually were combined as a group and mentored by Simon Cowell. As they began to compete as a group, Restless Road made it into the ‘Four Chair Challenge’ portion of the competition (which was a section in which the acts competed, and their mentors choose four acts to take into the live shows portion of the show). During the ‘Four Chair Challenge’ of the competition, Restless Road dazzled the judges with their rendition of Keith Urban’s hit ‘Somebody Like You’. This well executed performance propelled them to the live shows. In the live shows, the trio showed off their advanced level of artistry by performing a country version of Katy Perry’s hit track ‘Roar’. Restless Road advanced to the top 12, and treated their fans to their rendition of the beloved song ‘Easy’ by the Commodores (in honor of ‘Motown’ week). Unfortunately due to a graphics error that nullified the votes, Restless Road was forced to sing a different song in the re-vote show. They stayed true to their country roots by choosing the track ‘Don’t You Wanna Stay’ by Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson. The next show had an ’80’s’ theme, so Restless Road decided to incorporate their country roots into the performance by selecting country superstar Blake Shelton version of the 1984 hit ‘Footloose’ ( originally performed by Kenny Loggins, who sang the song for the 1980s classic musical ‘Footloose’). The next challenge the trio took on was ‘British Invasion’ night. Restless Road room on this challenge like pros, and performed a country rendition of Coldplay’s mega hit ‘Fix You’. This choice ended up being a crowd favorite, and definitely proved that Restless Road can handle emotional ballads. Next up was ‘Big Band’ night, in which the trio covered Rascal Flatts’ version of the 1991 Tom Cochrane hit, “Life Is a Highway”. The next competition night was ‘Divas/Unplugged’ night, and the trios choose to perform ‘Red’ by Taylor Swift as their “diva” song. Their ‘unplugged’ song was ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii (Restless Road’s version of this track reached #1 on the iTunes country chart). After conquering every test the show threw at them, Restless Roads entered the semi finals, where they performed ‘That’s My Kind of Night’ by Luke Bryan (which the public chose), and ‘Wanted’ by Hunter Hayes (which the trio chose). Unfortunately Restless Road was eliminated the next night and finished 4th in the competition (but considering all of the thousands of people they had to beat out, and the fact that they were not a trio before the competition, finishing 4th is pretty impressive!).
On February 25th, 2014, Restless Road uploaded their first YouTube video since Colton’s departure. The video was a cover of Keith Urban’s hit song ‘Cop Car’ (Restless Road Cop Car), off of his latest album ‘Fuse’. I really enjoyed this cover because it allowed fans to see how much Zach and Andrew grew vocally, since there time on The X Factor ended. I also liked that they didn’t perform any harmonies on this track, because you were really able to hear how strong their vocals are individually, and this excited me for how amazing they will now sound together. All in all, they performed an excellent rendition of a very difficult song (because Keith Urban is AMAZING!), and thus proved that they are ready to compete in mainstream country music. On May 28th, 2014 Restless Road uploaded their version of One Direction’s latest hit ‘You & I'(Restless Road You & I), with new group member Jared Keim. I have to say that this is definitely one of my favorite Restless Road covers ever, because it really demonstrates how far the trio has come. In this song all 3 guys proved that they are talented vocalist (and Jared proved that he is an AMAZING guitarist), and have the potential and meticulous hard work to only get better and better. I really loved the chemistry that the three members share, and am excited to see what they release next. I really enjoy that Restless Road continues to impress me time after time, and I know that these YouTube covers are just a small taste of what this powerhouse trio has in store (yay!!!).
In 2014, Andrew and Zach announced that Colton had left the group, but that they would both continue in the group. On May 28, 2014, Andrew and Zach posted their rendition of the One Direction song ‘You and I’, and in doing so, officially introduced their fans to the newest member of Restless Road, Jared Keim. Restless Road has stated through their social media sites that they are currently writing and recording new original music for their fans. On June 3rd, 2014, Restless Road uploaded a Ustream session (a website that allows people to hold Q&A and/or performance sessions) to YouTube. In this Ustream session they discussed the future of Restless Road, answered questions, and really allowed their fans to see their true personalities (BTW they are really funny guys, y’all should definitely check out the video).
So as you can see, Restless Road is on their way to becoming country music’s next super trio. With talent, ambition, charisma, and a loyal fan base, there is no stopping these superstars. I can definitely see them performing on numerous large scale platforms (stadiums, award shows, etc.) one day, and their sound and vocal versatility is also very radio friendly. It seems as if the stars are aligning perfectly for this power trio, and I for one am excited to see where their “Restless Road” takes them.
Stay in touch with Restless Road:
YouTube: Restless Road
Andrew’s Twitter: Andrew Scholz (Andrew_Scholz) on Twitter
Zach’s Twitter: Zach Beeken (zachbeeken) on Twitter
Jared’s Twitter: Jared Keim (JaredKeim) on Twitter
Facebook: Restless Road | Facebook
Instagram: restlessrdmusic on Instagram
Andrew’s Instagram: andrewscholz on Instagram
Zach’s Instagram: zbeeken on Instagram
Jared’s Instagram: Jared has an Instagram but I couldn’t get a link for it on my computer, but his username is jaredkeimofficial
Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we are going to recap Sunday night’s (Sunday April 6th, 2014) ACM Awards. The award show took place in Las Vegas, and honored some of country music’s brightest stars. The show was once again hosted by the hilarious and unpredictable Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan (both were nominated for various awards). With these two hosting, the show was definitely not short on laughs or surprises (and NO celebrity was safe with these two). There were also some amazing performances that stole the show and left the audience in amazement. We definitely have A LOT to cover so if y’all are ready…let’s go!!!
The show began on a hilarious note due to the comedic pairing of Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. Luke began the show by making fun of the amount of money that was “wasted” on the “ruined” hairdos by the confetti that ‘The Band Perry’ released during their number (I’ll speak more about this in the ‘Performance’ section). They then went on to announce that the 50th ACM show will be held in Arlington, TX (yay Texas!!!) at the ‘AT&T Stadium” (which is home to the NFL team the Dallas Cowboys). Then Blake commented that “you don’t see many awards shows in Cowboys Stadium”, in which Luke responded “You don’t see any playoff games there either”. The two then poked fun at other celebrities such as Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus. The two also attempted to replicate Ellen Degeneres’ famous Oscar ‘ selfie’ moment, but discovered that they were the “most famous people there”. These were just a few of the numerous jokes and antics that the two came up with. The two definitely left their audience laughing uncontrollably, and in doing so once again proved why they are the perfect award show hosts. The only disappointment that I felt about Blake and Luke’s hosting was that I have to wait A WHOLE YEAR to see them in action again. Honestly who can wait that long?!?
Vocal Event of the Year: ‘We Were Us’ by Miranda Lambert feat. Keith Urban
Although all of the nominees released amazing tracks that were more than deserving of this award, I can definitely see why this song won. Not only is the song incredibly catchy and fun, but the time of the song is very unique in relation to the theme. The tone of the track is happy, because the song is about how good a relationship used to be when the couple was together. When you combine a unique song with the equally unique vocals of Miranda and Keith, you certainly have ‘The Vocal Event of the Year’.
Video of the Year: ‘Highway Don’t Care’ by Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
Even though I didn’t pick this video, I can definitely see why it won. The plot of the video deals with the devastating effects that texting and driving can have. The story in the video is definitely one that most of us can relate to, and this makes the video much more powerful. The video leads the audience through an emotional roller coaster and makes you reflect on your own texting and driving habits. Because of the power and emotion that this video is able to convey, I can see why it won.
Vocal Duo of the Year: Florida Georgia Line
This was such a big year for Florida Georgia Line that I don’t see how any other group could have possibly had a shot at beating them out. From their breakout cross-over hit single ‘Cruise’, to their newest track ‘This is how we roll’ which features fellow country star Luke Bryan (the song was #2 on the ITunes Country Charts as of 4/8/2014). This power duo seemed to emerge out of thin air, and have since taken fans hearts’ and the airwaves by storm. Although this past year was HUGE for them, Florida Georgia Lone shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Single of the Year: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ by Miranda Lambert
This song was all over the radio this year, so it was no surprise when it won ‘Single of the Year’. With about 1,521,000 copies sold as of November 2013, it seems that fans just can’t get enough of this song. This was a really big night for Miranda, but Kacey Musgraves (who co-wrote Mama’s Broken Heart with a few other writers)was also able to share in this honor.
Song of the Year: ‘I Drive your Truck’ by Lee Brice
Now although I didn’t pick this song, I can see why it won. The emotionally charged lyrics make the track very powerful, and this power resonates and stays with listeners. Also, the fact that this song was written about a real person ( the late Fort Drum soldier Jared C. MontiI who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor in 2009) makes the lyrics hit even harder. I personally love this song, and it was all over the radio this year, so this was definitely a HUGE step forward for Lee Brice in his career.
Male Vocalist of the Year: Jason Aldean
This was a VERY tough category, because all of the artists who were nominated had huge years in country music. Jason Aldean has had numerous hits this year with songs such as ‘Night Train’ and ‘When She Says Baby’. With his catchy songs and amazing vocals, Jason definitely proved that he deserves this high distinction.
Vocal Group of the Year: The Band Perry
Even though this wasn’t the group that I thought would take home this prize, they have had numerous popular songs this year. With fan favorites such as: ‘DONE.’ ‘Better Dig Two’, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Lonely’, and ‘Chainsaw’, it is easy to see why this group continues to dominate the country music scene. The group has been on a non-stop uphill ride ever since their 2010 hit ‘If I Die Young’, and this momentum makes no indication of stopping any time soon.
Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert
Even though there were a lot of very deserving artists for this category, this was “the year of Miranda Lambert”, so it only makes sense that she would win the award for best representing female country vocalists. With her huge sales, fiercely loyal fan base, and incredible songs and vocal ability, who else could’ve won this award!?!
Album of the Year: Kacey Musgraves. ‘Same Trailer, Different Park’
Kacey has certainly been a breakout star this year with her super popular tracks ‘Merry Go Round’, ‘Blowin’ Smoke’, and ‘Follow Your Arrow’. Her “classic country” vocal qualities and honest lyrics have carved her a permanent slot in country music that she will be occupying for A LONG time. Kacey also helped write Miranda Lambert’s hit ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’, which further got her name out to country music lovers everywhere, and also gained her more respect as a singer/songwriter.
Crystal Milestone Award: Merle Haggard
This wasn’t an award that was up for grabs, which is why I didn’t include it in my ‘2014 ACM Awards Predictions’ blog (which you can see here: Monday Memos: My 2014 ACM Nomination Predictions on celindareyes’ Blog – Buzznet ). This award was presented to Merle Haggard due to his long and phenomenal career in country music. He has had countless hits with tracks such as: ‘(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers (his 1st top ten hit), ‘I’m a Lonesome Fugitive’ (his 1st number 1 hit), ‘Okie From Muskogee’, ‘Mama Tried’, ‘If We Make it Through December’, ‘Today I Started Loving You Again’, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star’, and numerous others. Merle Haggard has won 14 ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards, 6 CMA (Country Music Association) Awards, and 3 Grammy Awards. He was inducted into ‘Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame’ in 1977, ‘The Country Music Hall of Fame’ in 1994, and was inducted into the ‘Kennedy Center Honor’ ( an award given to individuals who use the performing arts to affect American culture) in 2010. He was also one of the pioneers of the ‘Bakerfields Sound’ ( which is distinguished by the combination of traditional country steel guitar sound, and new vocal harmonies in which words are kept at a minimum). This sound continues to greatly influenced numerous modern artists such as Brad Paisley, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and numerous others. So as you can see, Merle Haggard has not only had an extremely enviable career, but has also greatly changed the sound of country music.
Entertainer of the Year: George Strait
Although there were numerous deserving artists that could have won this award, the award had to go ‘King George’. With a chart topping 2013 album ‘Love is Everything’ (which reached #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums, and #2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 charts), George Strait used this final album to perfectly end his career. Even some of the other artists who were nominated for this award cheered when George Strait won, so this showed the vast amount of respect that he has within the country music community.
The Band Perry:
They performed their newest hit track ‘Chainsaw’, and brought a very cool rock element to their performance style. The band dressed in all black, which finished off their very cool country meets rock vibe. The back screen behind the stage displayed the lyrics of the song in big red letters, which brought a very unique element to the number. My favorite part of the performance was the confetti that flew into the audience about mid-way through the track. It brought a very fun vibe to the performance, and served as a great set-up for jokes from the show’s hosts. All in all, this performance was very energetic and cool, and definitely showed that The Band Perry has cultivated their performance style and have found their artistic identities.
Florida Georgia Line:
FGL performed their newest hit ‘Stay’, while the music video for the tune played in the background. At one point of the number fire and smoke began to go off in the background, which added an extra cool flair to the number. I really loved Florida Georgia Line’s vocals on this song, because their harmonies were very tight, and they proved that they have the talent and energy to put on a phenomenal live show. Later on, Florida Georgia Line performed their super hit ’This is How we Roll’ with the show’s co-host Luke Bryan. The performance was very interesting and intricate, with a very cool BMX show in the background (it was AMAZING!!!).
Brad Paisley performed his newest song ‘River Bank’. I thought it was really cool that he performed the song on a glass stage over a pool. Throughout the song, Brad kept the energy up, and played a very cool guitar solo midway through the song (which has become a staple in his songs). I really loved this performance, and found it to be a very cool addition to the lineup.
Blake Shelton & Gwen Sebastian:
Next, ACM co-host Blake Shelton, and singer/songwriter Gwen Sebastian (who also competed on the second season of ‘The Voice’, and was coached by Blake while she was on the show) performed the song ‘My Eyes’, off of Blake’s album ‘Based on a True Story’. The staging for the song was very cool, due to the stage’s darkness and the small lanterns that decorated the stage. The performance gave off a very stripped down acoustic vibe, due to the staging, and Blake accompanying the song on an acoustic guitar. After so many high energy performances, this was a very nice change of pace.
New Artist nominee Bret Eldridge performed a very shorten version of his track ‘Beat of the Music’, as the music video for the song played in the background. Despite the performance being very short, he still got the crowd excited, and certainly showed that he is one to watch in the upcoming year.
George Strait performed his new single ‘I got a car’ off of his final album ‘Love is Everything’. Before he began the performance, the person who announced him stated some facts about his career, such as the fact that he is the only artist to have a top 10 hit every year for 30 years. As he performed the song, different images of road signs and other images that have to do with driving appeared behind him on the back screen. I really loved how George Strait proved that even after all these years, he is a true showman, and is able to keep an audience completely captivated just with his voice. Later in the show, George Strait covered Merle Haggard’s song ‘I’m a Lonesome Fugitive’, as sketches of Merle Haggard were displayed on the back screen. It was really cool to see a legendary performer like George Strait honor another legendary performer and showing how important roots are in music.
Lee performed a shortened version of his hit song ‘I Drive Your Truck’ (which won ’Song of the Year’ later in the show). Even though this was a shorten version of the track, it was still very powerful due to Lee’s intense emotional connection to the song’s lyrics. I also really loved how dark and haunting the staging looked, it really added to the vibe of the performance. My favorite part of the performance was that you could really see how much passion he gave to his performance, especially when he began to cry while singing, (then I began to cry and it all got very emotional…but you don’t want to hear that…ok…moving on).
Eric Church was up next with his single ‘Give Me Back My Hometown’. I really loved how simple the performance was (the staging was very simple with only the music video playing in the background). I felt that this staging perfectly matched the “old country” feel of the song, and just gave the whole number a very cool effect.
Justin performed a shortened version of his hit song ‘Lettin’ the Night Roll’ (which helped him win the new Artist of the Year award at the ACMs). Even though the track was shorten, it certainly proved why Justin won the award this year.
Blake Shelton and Shakira:
Blake’s second performance of the night was with another artist associated with the voice, the one and only Shakira (who coaches on the show)! They sang the song ‘Medicine’, which is off of Shakira’s self-titled album. I really liked this performance due to the unique pop meets country feel that this song has (and Shakira even wore boots!). Towards the end of the song, Blake and Shakira walked down the catwalk part of the stage, and added a little bit of rock to the performance. This was definitely a fun performance to watch, and made me excited to see if the two will duet again sometime in the future.
Lady Antebellum performed an absolutely unforgettable number with the legendary rock star Stevie Nicks. They did a mashup of their song ‘Golden’ and Stevie Nicks’ song ‘Rhiannon’. It was so much fun to see the two amazing acts share the stage together. This was certainly one of the highlights of the show, and gave the audience a fun change in musical direction. Ever since Lady Antebellum and Stevie Nicks performed together on ‘CMT Crossroads’ earlier this year, I have loved seeing them together. I was really excited to see them perform at the ACM’s, and this leads me to think maybe they should record an album together…maybe…possibly…please! Ok, I will stop fangirling now.
Keith Urban performed his track ‘Even The Stars Fall 4 U’, off of his ‘Fuse’ album. Per usual Keith Urban fashion, the performance was full of energy and very entertaining. There was also a very cool mid song guitar solo (another Keith Urban staple). My favorite part of the performance was towards the end, when two of Keith’s band members went up to his mic and started singing with him, it gave the performance a very old school rock n’ roll feel.
Kip (another nominee for best new artist) performed a shortened version of his hit song ‘Something Bout a Truck’. Although this was a short performance, the crowd completely loved it, and Kip showed exactly why he was nominated.
Co-host Luke Bryan performed his newest single ‘Play it Again’, off of his hit ‘Crash my Party’ album. This performance definitely had my favorite staging of the night, due to the fact that the stage was made of giant records, and the back screen also had giant records on it as well (because the song is called play it again…get it…good!). The items on the back screen rotated between displaying the giant records, and showing a live feed of the audience dancing to the song. This was a really fun performance to watch, and definitely proved why Luke Bryan is one of the top male artists in country music.
Jason Aldean performed his newest hit single ‘When she calls me baby’. As always, Jason’s impressive vocals were front and center (which makes sense since he did win Male Vocalist of the Year). The staging was very simple, with blue lights shining all over the stage, and Jason dressed in all black (even his guitar was black!).
Miranda performed her newest single ‘Automatic’ off of her newest, yet to be released, album ‘Platinum’. I really love that this performance had Miranda old family pictures displayed on the back screen throughout the number. The song has a very ‘vintage country’ sound to it, so the performance really matched the theme of the track. I also loved that Miranda wore a very casual outfit ( a sparkly white tank top, sparkly white boots, and ripped jeans), because this really matched her carefree and down to earth attitude ( which is one of the many things that makes her awesome…I mean c’mon, you have to admit that she seems really cool and we all want her to be our BFF…yeah that what I thought). Later in the show Miranda covered Merle Haggard’s song ‘Tonight the Bottle let me Down’. As she sang, sketches of Merle Haggard rotated on the back screen. Miranda did a very good job performing covering this classic song, and proved that although her music has many modern country elements in it, she is still influenced by the pioneers that shaped country music.
Next up, Tim McGraw performed ‘Meanwhile Back at Mama’s’, where his wife Faith Hill made a special appearance. She was dressed in a beautiful strapless white dress, and he wore a tux with a black cowboy (very cowboy chic). My favorite part of the staging was the old 50s style golden mic that Tim McGraw used in the performance, I thought it was an interesting touch that made the performance unique.
Toby Keith performed his newest single ‘Shut Up and Hold On’ off of his ‘Drinks After Work’ album. The staging was really cool due to the multicolored stage lights and steel guitar influence in the sound.
Next, Hunter Hayes performed his latest tear jerking ballad ‘Invisible’. The performance began with Hunter singing behind a large screen as images of shadows appeared across the screen. Once the first chorus of the song began, the screen rose but the shadows continued to move across the screen. I really enjoyed this performance because how passionate and connected Hunter was to the song. The fans really seemed to love this number, proving that this was certainly one of the most special moments of the evening.
Darius Ruckner then performed his version of the song ‘Wagon Wheel’ with super group Lady Antebellum. The crowd seemed to really get into it, and the whole performance felt like an amazing sing-along. I really loved how much fun the performance was, and even though they have performed this song before they were able to bring a fresh feel to the track.
Next up was the AMAZING Rascal Flatts who performed their newest hit track ‘Rewind’, which is off of their latest album ‘Rewind’. Even though the lead singer Gary LeVox did not perform the song live (because he was sick and did not want to damage his vocal chords), I still felt that the group put on an excellent show. I was really impressed that they did not cancel their appearance last minute, and found a way to make an appearance for their fans despite the problems that they were faced with.
Sheryl Crow and Dierks Bentley:
Lastly, Sheryl Crow and Dierks Bentley performed Dierks song ‘I hold on’. I really loved how the two had such great stage chemistry, which made their performance a very sweet ending to an AMAZING show.
Hello people of the internet! For this ‘YouTube Wednesday’ blog, I am going to introduce you to a group that I have recently become obsessed with. I first heard of them, when they started following me on Twitter, so I decided to listen to their YouTube covers and original music. I have to say that my first impression of them was surprise…as to why I hadn’t ever heard of them before! Luckily, after reading this blog, I know that you’ll check them out and became as obsessed with them as I am ( you’re welcome). If you like country super groups such as Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry, then you’ll love Ashton Lane. They are a country group from Scotland, which consists of lead singer Ester O’Connor, her brother, and her husband. I wasn’t able to find too much more biographical information about them however; I will tell you what I think of their music, and their overall sound as a group. Shall we begin? Great, let’s go!
Upon clicking on Ashton Lane’s YouTube page, I decided to listen to their cover of Rascal Flatts hit song ‘Come Wake Me Up’ Come Wake Me Up Rascal Flatts- Rascal Flatts Come Wake Me Up ASHTON LANE COVER – YouTube, because honestly I thought that if they could do a good job on this cover, then I would have a good idea of their vocal talents. I used this song as a way to measure how good the group is, because Gary LeVox (the guy who usually sings the lead vocals in Rascal Flatts’ songs) is a phenomenal vocalist, so I thought that if Ester O’Connor could handle the same notes, then that would show us how good the band is. After I listened to their take on the hit track, I decided that this group is definitely the real deal. First of all, O’Connor has a beautiful voice. Not only is her voice technically correct, but she is also able to perfectly express the emotions within the songs she sings. The group’s harmonies were also very tight (which honestly can be a very difficult task to master), and shows how meticulous and serious the group is about their craft. The next cover song I listened too was the group’s cover of Katy Perry’s hit ‘Wide Awake’ Wide Awake- Katy Perry Wide Awake- Wide Awake Katy Perry (ASHTON LANE KITCHEN SESSIONS) – YouTube. Now I know that you’re probably wondering why I listened to this cover if Ashton Lane is a country group (just stay with me, I promise I’ll connect the importance of this cover back to the group’s primary genre), well the answer is simple…I wanted to see the group’s emotion depth. Now I know that I just raved about the group’s lead singer’s ability to capture emotion in her vocal delivery however, I wanted to see if she could really tap into the vulnerability that Katy Perry shows in the song. O’Connor definitely demonstrated that she is not afraid to completely commit to the emotional content of a track, which is a trait that is absolutely necessary in country music (see, I told you that I would connect this cover back to the group’s primary genre). The final cover video that I listened to was the group’s cover of Taylor Swift’s infectious track ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – YouTube, (on a side not, I only looked at three cover videos, for the purpose of reviewing the group’s musical abilities…later on I listened to all of the group’s videos and my obsession with them only grew J). My reasoning for choosing this cover, is that I wanted to see if they could cover a fun song. At this point I knew that Ashton Lane could make me cry, and could make me look deep within myself for the answers to life’s problems however, I wanted to see if the group could make me want to dance…as excepted, they did not disappoint! The group’s execution of this sassy tune showed me that they can certainly handle producing a good quality mainstream country hit.
Now that I knew that Ashton Lane could put a cool spin on an already popular song, I was curious as to whether they could create original music that would have the same effect. Luckily, the group has a link on their videos which allows you to receive 7 free songs from their album ‘Magic in the Air’. Upon listening to three of these songs, I realized that there is no reason why this group is not already famous. Their original material is honestly very good, and I found myself humming along to the catchy tracks within a few rotations of the songs. The group has their full album available for purchase on ITunes, as well as another album entitled ‘Other Side’, and several singles. I would suggest purchasing all of the music that Ashton Lane has put out, because you will quickly become OBSESSED with them.
When I first decided to listen to Ashton Lane’s YouTube videos, I honestly had no idea what to expect. I hoped that I would find a good emerging country band that I could introduce to all of you, and that would be that. After listening to their music, I came to the conclusion that I had no idea what I had stumbled upon. I can say with a great deal of confidence that Ashton Lane will soon become a household name. I can definitely picture hearing their music on mainstream and country radio, as well as seeing them on every major award show…yea they are just that AMAZING! This group certainly showed me that they deserve to be in the fore front of everyone’s mind, and if a group can perform this amazingly with live vocals and two guitars, can you imagine what they can do with a full band and a lot of production behind them!? I personally cannot wait for Ashton Lane to become the next country super group. Trust me, the question is not a matter of IF the group will become a worldwide phenomenon, but rather WHEN this will happen. The group currently (as of December 17, 2013) has 45,659 Twitter followers, 10,487 likes on Facebook, and 7,225 subscribers on YouTube. My guess is they will become inescapable very soon, and you can say that you knew them when they were still music’s most well kept secret.
Here are some links so you can keep up with the group’s career J:
Facebook: Ashton Lane
YouTube: Ashton Lane – YouTube
*All photos and information used in this blog belong to Ashton Lane, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, countryschatter.com, eventim.co.uk, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.