Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year!
What’s on tap for 2014??? Any resolutions???
Wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year!
What’s on tap for 2014??? Any resolutions???
Quarterback Marcus Mariota had nearly 400 total yards as the Oregon Ducks, ranked tenth in the nation, spoiled Mack Brown’s final game with a 30-7 victory in the Alamo Bowl last night. Mariota led all rushers with 133 yards on just 15 carries. He was also 18 of 26 for 253 yards passing in what I’m hoping set the stage for a Heisman Trophy campaign next season. Mariota will be returning in 2014 for his junior season.
After many (including myself) thought the team was snubbed for a BCS Bowl, the Ducks are definitely flying high on their way home to Eugene following the blowout of the Longhorns. Except for one drive, the Ducks pretty much dominated the game on both sides of the ball, although I think Ducks fans found it somewhat crazy that their high-powered offense scored just one touchdown and had to settle for a few field goals. Not what they’re used to seeing!
Leaving the field for the last time with the Longhorns, Coach Brown gave the crowd one final “Hook ‘em Horns” hand signal following the team’s fifth loss this season. I know that this loss was far from the send-off that the Texas crowd, and team, wanted for Brown. But now, the school must shift its focus to finding a replacement. This should be a job that is highly sought after, and I’m sure they’ll have a new coach in place in the next few weeks.
Anyways…congrats to the Ducks! Here’s to a great 2014 season next year! Win the Day!
It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on the year that was. I know…I know. I’ve seen the video that’s circulating that pretty much says that every country music song was exactly the same this year. But I’m not here to support or fight that claim. I’m here to present you with “my” top ten country music songs of 2013.
Now, let me preface this list. I’m not a professional music reviewer. I don’t get paid to promote artists. I don’t go by the Billboard or radio airplay charts. This list consists of the top ten songs that I wanted to come on my radio while driving to and from work, on a road trip, or when I was just sitting at home. You probably heard some of these songs every hour (on the hour) on your local country station. Others may not have been played much (if at all) when they should have been, in my own, personal opinion.
Either way, I’m sure that I’m going to leave quite a few songs off this list that could have easily made it. I know this going in and expect each and every one of you to say “hey, what about this song…or that song.” Please do. Fight for the music and artists that YOU love!!!!
To begin, a few songs that just missed the cut were: “Point at You” by Justin Moore, “Don’t Ya” by Brett Eldridge, “It Goes Like This” by Thomas Rhett, “Outta My Head” by Craig Campbell, “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” by Gary Allan, “Anywhere with You” by Jake Owen, “Drunk Last Night” by Eli Young Band, “Jump on In” by Zac Brown Band, “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” by Randy Houser and “Crash My Party” by Luke Bryan. Consider these, in no particular order, my numbers 11-20 (and yes, I could have easily gone up to 50).
Without further ado, let’s get this party started:
10. Tyler Farr, Redneck Crazy
Tyler Farr crashed the country music scene this summer with his hit “Redneck Crazy”. The classic story of love and loss…or is it more of an in-your-face, cheating girlfriend, you’re gonna regret it later song? Either way, it was fun and it was a staple on my playlist this year.
9. Steve Holy, Radio Up
You know him from hits such as “Good Morning Beautiful”, “Brand New Girlfriend” and “Love Don’t Run”, but in 2013, Steve Holy definitely turned the “Radio Up” with another fan favorite. “Radio Up” got some great airplay on KRTY in San Jose thanks to DJ’s Indiana Al, Randy Jones and others, but is still fighting for airplay nationwide. If you haven’t heard it yet, take a listen below. Remember, if you like it, please tell your local station to add it to their rotation!
8. Eric Paslay, Friday Night
Eric Paslay seem to have taken the Phil Vassar route: After gaining acclaim for writing hit songs for other artists, he is finally breaking out on his own. He definitely did this in 2013 with his hit “Friday Night”. Great song by an up-and-coming star. Keep an eye out for this guy in 2014.
7. Parmalee, Carolina
California and Carolina once again came together in 2013. No, it wasn’t a Jo Dee Mesina remix. It was the Parmalee hit “Carolina”. Now, I know what you’re thinking: this song came out well before this year. It’s true. The song was first released on their 2008 EP entitled Complicated before being re-released this past February. Either way, it was a huge hit this year and lands at number seven on my list for 2013.
6. Thompson Square, If I Didn’t Have You
“If I Didn’t Have You” was released back in October of 2012 as the first single from Thompson Square’s album Just Feels Good. The song was written by Keifer and Shawna Thompson with Jason Sellers and Paul Jenkins. It’s a powerful song, and one of two ballads that makes my list (see below for the other).
5. James Wesley, Thank a Farmer
Broken Bow recording artist James Wesley was at it again in 2013. Following hits “Real” and “Didn’t I”, Wesley went back to his roots this year with “Thank a Farmer”, an ode to those farmers that put food on all of our tables and takes listeners, wherever they may live, directly into the heart of Middle America. A song that should be on everyone’s playlist, “Thank a Farmer” really drives home the fact that real songwriting is still alive and well in 2013. Go take a listen and enjoy!
4. Kip Moore, Hey Pretty Girl
The second ballad that ends up on my list, “Hey Pretty Girl” seemed to be on my radio constantly for months earlier this year. The song was released back in January as the third single from his debut album, Up All Night and was co-written with Dan Couch. A simple, yet moving ballad, “Hey Pretty Girl” basically tells the story of a man who makes some moves on a woman, dances with her, then marries and has a child with her. Simple enough, right?
3. Lee Brice, Parking Lot Party
“Parking Lot Party” was a huge hit for Lee Brice in 2013. It was released in May as the fourth single from his 2012 album Hard 2 Love and was co-written with Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett and Luke Laird. In simple terms, this was a song about partying with your friends before a concert. Talk about a fun song. Who hasn’t done that??? Every time this song came on the radio, I immediately turned the volume up to ten. I suggest you do the same!
2. Darius Rucker, Wagon Wheel
Where do I begin with “Wagon Wheel”. I absolutely love this song, and especially the cover in 2013 by Darius Rucker. As a bit of background, “Wagon Wheel” was originally written by Bob Dylan and later completed by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show. Rucker, with some help from Lady Antebellum, took the song to a new level this year. I heard this song everywhere, from my cousins wedding to my living room (where I danced to it with my one year old every night to help put her to sleep).
1. Florida Georgia Line, Cruise
Could I go anywhere else with my selection for number one song of 2013? “Cruise” was everywhere this year. It crossed genre’s with the Nelly remix and spent more than 20 weeks at the top of the charts. Brian Kelley (from Ormond Beach, Florida) and Tyler Hubbard (from Monroe, Georgia) have been performing the hit on every major show out there and after starting the year doing club shows, are now selling out arenas nationwide. More hits followed with “Get Your Shine On”, “Round Here” and “Stay” and their album is FULL of more hits (not to mention their cover of Alabama’s “I’m in a Hurry”). I’ve followed Florida Georgia Line for a couple of years now and it’s great to see that they have finally “made it”.
So that’s it. My top ten country music songs for 2013. I know that there were a good 10-15 more songs that could have easily fit onto this list, but in the end, I had to go with the ones that would be on my ten song playlist.
Thoughts? Who/what did I miss? Please leave your thoughts (or your list) in the comments below.
Davis, California, may not be the world’s hotbed for country music. But, on the evening of December 19, 2013, the city welcomed two of my favorite live performers in Steve Holy and Dustin Lynch.
I’ve been lucky enough to catch both of these stars in small venues on multiple occasions, and after last nights show, I’m thinking that it might be my last chance to see them in such an intimate setting. In my opinion, both were tremendous performances once again. I’ll keep this simple: Steve Holy and Dustin Lynch are destined for stardom.
The Davis Graduate was the venue for 101.9 The Wolf’s Country Acoustic Christmas Show, which hardly had the feel of an acoustic show with the energy from the crowd, the radio personalities and the performers. From the moment the doors opened at 7 p.m., until Steve Holy concluded his set at 11:45 p.m., the venue was electric.
Dustin Lynch took the stage first and played a mix of his own music featuring “Cowboys and Angels” and “She Cranks My Tractor” as well as a great selection of cover songs including “Wagon Wheel”, “Callin’ Baton Rouge”, “Dust on the Bottle” and “Friends in Low Places”. How can you go wrong with any of those songs?
Not only is Lynch a great live performer, you can tell that he loves what he’s doing and appreciates his fans. Great interaction throughout the show with the audience, who were pretty much eating out of his hand from the first note. Just like Steve Holy and other artists including James Wesley, Phil Vassar and Chris Cagle, he’s genuine. You know that he actually wants to be there, playing music for the people. Taking requests, taking photos (and photo-bombing a few being taken in the front row) and just having a good time.
If you haven’t seen a live Dustin Lynch show, you’re missing out. Check him out next time he’s in town.
Around 10:15 p.m., Steve Holy took to the stage. I’ve seen him in concert three times before, with the most recent concert being a “Songwriter’s Night” in San Jose, hosted by KRTY 95.3, along with Troy Olsen, Brian McComas, Aaron Benward and Jason Jones.
What must be said first and foremost is that Holy brings a passion to his music that is unmatched in the industry. All of his songs are written from the heart (whether serious in nature or in fun) and this comes through in his live performances.
He played all of his hits including “Good Morning Beautiful”, “Love Don’t Run”, “Hauled Off and Kissed Me” and the crowd favorite “Brand New Girlfriend.” He also threw in a great cover of “Easy” and his current single “Radio Up” which is a standard on my playlist these days. If you haven’t heard it yet, what are you waiting for??? The song is a hit waiting to happen.
I always find it hard to choose a favorite moment. On this night, I’d have to go with the few moments we got to catch up after the show in the parking lot, talking about the show and plans for 2014. Spending time with your fans, even when you’re running late and in a big hurry, is important and what sets the good artists from the great artists.
Steve Holy is a genuine, all around great guy who doesn’t get the recognition that he deserves. This is something that needs to change and it really needs to change starting in 2014. There needs to be a movement and I’ll take the charge holding the flag if need be. We need to bring Steve’s name and songs to the top of the charts. Call, email and Tweet your local radio stations and tell them that you want Steve Holy played. Tell your friends to check out his music and videos…and tell them today! Country music needs more of the likes of Steve Holy, James Wesley and others who “get it”. We need to stand up and do what we can to get their names out there!
The future is bright for both of these artists, and I can’t see what’s in store for the year to come.
Have you seen either in concert before? What was your experience? Feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. I’d love to hear them!
It’s amazing to see how much can change for a band in just one year. From seeing Florida Georgia Line for the first time in front of a crowd of 200, to a club show at the Rodeo Club in San Jose with 1,000 of my closest friends, to the sold out Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon this past Friday night. What an amazing journey it has been.
As always, the boys put on a fantastic show. Actually, fantastic is an understatement. The entire band put on an incredible performance and one that I won’t soon forget.
Here’s a little taste of the final song of the evening, their signature song of 2013 “Cruise”. You might have heard it once or twice (either by themselves or with Nelly).
If you have the “Here’s to the Good Times” album, then you’ll know about 90% of the songs they played. A few of my favorites, including “Hell Raisin’ Heat of the Summer”, “Country in my Soul” and “Stay” filled the set list as well as fan favorites such as “Get Your Shine On”, “Round Here” and “Stay” and a great cover of Alabama’s “I’m in a Hurry”. Definitely good times for sure! DO NOT MISS this band if they come to your town. They are only getting bigger as the days, weeks and months go by.
On top of Florida Georgia Line, we were treated to two, great opening acts. Canadian Dallas Smith led off and did not disappoint. What a great mix of country and rock. You might know his current single “Tippin’ Point”, which was produced by Joey Moi and written by Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard along with Jaren Johnston. If you haven’t heard it, check it (and him) out. This guy is going places for sure. He sounds like an evenly split mix of Jason Aldean and Gary Allan. Absolutely loved his live show. Would go to see him as a headline with no doubt.
Following Smith was a crowd favorite in Colt Ford. Ford brings a mix of country and rap that is second to none. His energy level was high and it was obvious that he was feeding off of a rowdy crows in Eugene. Fan favorites such as “Chicken N Biscuits” and his closing rendition of “Dirt Road Anthem” had the crowd eating out of his hands and I personally loved how he threw some Red Hot Chili Peppers in with “Give It Away”. Great artist! Great performer! Great show! Hope to catch him at the Rodeo Club in San Jose later this week!
That’s a quick recap for you. Heading to California tomorrow where I’ll be catching Steve Holy and Dustin Lynch in Davis, California next Thursday night. Hope to catch you there too!