Artist Spotlight: Chasin’ Crazy

Posted May 19, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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So I’m just going to come out and say this right now: the first time I ever heard of Chasin’ Crazy, I was told by a good friend that they were an incredible band, but they were the equivalent of the Backstreet Boys of country music.

Say what???

After hearing that I paused and thought “could there really be a Backstreet Boys of country music?”

Anyways, even with that description, I set out to find out more about the band. And I’m sure glad that I did.

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Credit: Rudy Sabin

First, here’s a little background:

Chasin’ Crazy came to be back in 2012 when Jimmy James Hunter and Forest Miller met in Nashville while playing in separate acts at a show. It was out of this meeting, during which the two also met Travis Fincher, that Chasin’ Crazy was born. For several months they performed as a trio until they were approached by Scott Siman and April Rider from RPM Entertainment who believed that they had the talent, musicianship and passion to be successful.

Obviously, the next step was to build out the band which came by way of a fan who suggested that Hunter talk to Landon Parker. Apparently, Parker was in another band in North Carolina at the time, and Hunter was in awe with his vocal skills and convinced him to visit with them in Nashville. Soon after, he joined the band, moving to Nashville and committed fully to the project. Creigh Reipe joined several months later and the rest, as they say, is history.

I’ve been chatting with these guys on Twitter for nearly a year now and had the opportunity to catch them live at the Rodeo Club in San Jose at a KRTY show opening for A Thousand Horses. What’s funny is that I had taken some time to listen to some of their music ahead of the show, but nothing prepared me for their live performance.

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Credit: Rudy Sabin

I always find it interesting to see the difference between recorded music and live music. Chasin’ Crazy is a band that you definitely need to see live. Love their music, but their live performance takes things to a whole different level. You’ve got a band that is completely polished, who play off each other during the live show.

It’s obvious that they love making music and love playing to a crowd.

Smack Dab”, written by Parker, Drew Davis and Danny Myrick, is definitely my personal favorite song by the band. It’s a tune about being “Smack Dab” in the middle of love. Don’t get much more country than that, right?

Another favorite of mine is “That’s How We Do Summertime. I think the lyrics say it all:

“Yeah it’s gonna be a hot one, so drink em if ya got em…”

Sounds good to me!

And of course I can’t forget “Trespassin’”.

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I’ll let you check out the band, and the rest of their music, for yourself. If you’re interested in keeping up with Chasin’ Crazy, make sure you follow them on Twitter at @ChasinCrazy and on Facebook.

You can follow each of the guys individually on Twitter at , ,, ,.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Chasin’ Crazy live? What do you think of them? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: Runaway Angel

Posted May 19, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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While you may or may not have heard of the Canadian-based band Runaway Angel (trust me…you will soon!), members Cadence Grace, Ann Chaplin and Stacey Zegers have had success in their own right for quite some time now.

But, everything changed in late-2013 when the three women decided it was time to abandon their solo aspirations to form a trio that would take their country music careers to a new level.

Runaway

Credit: runawayangelmusic.com

Here’s a link to a great introductory video featuring the trio.

As solo acts, Grace, Chaplin and Zegers toured Canada, the United States, Europe and Britain, opening for artists such as Dean Brody, Aaron Pritchett, One More Girl, Jessie Farrell, Aaron Lines, Terri Clark, Emerson Drive, and Doc Walker. Since forming Runaway Angel, they’ve taken the stage ahead of acts like Jason Blaine, Dallas Smith, Jess Moskaluke, Dierks Bentley and Tim Hicks.

Their debut single “Our Story” was released in early 2014 and landed them as Regional Finalists in the 2014 CBC Searchlight Contest. It also got them a spot in Boots and Hearts 2014 Emerging Artist Showcase. Not bad! Their Live Video entry won them the chance to play at Lucknow’s Music in the Fields that summer and they were invited to participate in the CCMA 2014 Coast to Coast showcase series.

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Credit: runawayangelmusic.com

Their second single “Run Angel Run” was released to radio and digital retailers in March, 2015, and continued to grow the buzz the group has been promoting since the beginning.

Hey, the song even landed on my Top 100 of 2015!

Using their passion for social media and creative video content, Runaway Angel has cultivated a loving and dedicated fan base around the world.

Their latest single “June” was released earlier this year and their debut album “No End in Sight” is now available via the Runaway Angel website. Looks like they will also personally sign a copy for you. I want one of those! You can also purchase it on iTunes.

No End

A few other songs from the new album that you should be sure to check out include:

My Someday

Around the Bend

Tumbleweed

Heart to Break

Do What I Want

If You Only Knew

Easy

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I’ll let you check out the band, and the rest of their music, for yourself. If you’re interested in keeping up with Runaway Angel, make sure you follow them on Twitter at @runaway_angel and on Facebook.

Angel

So what did I miss? Have you seen Runaway Angel live? What do you think of them? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: Waterloo Revival

Posted May 19, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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When you hear the word “Waterloo”, what do you immediately think of?

For history buffs, obviously the name Napoléon Bonaparte, the French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution, comes to mind.

But, if you’re a country music lover, then Waterloo has a slightly different point of reference. I’m talking about the up-and-coming duo Waterloo Revival.

Waterloo

For a bit of background, back when Cody Cooper met George Birge in their Austin, Texas middle school, he inspired him to express himself through music. Good thing because this took them down a path that affected both of their lives.

Later, the duo, now known as Waterloo Revival, began sampling tunes during Nashville songwriter showcases, adopting the town as their new home. They soon caught the attention of Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, and signed a deal with Big Machine Records just one week later.

Talk about a whirlwind!

Last year, Rolling Stone Country named the band as one of the ten country artists you need to know for the summer:

Waterloo Revival’s first single, “Hit the Road,” was textbook contemporary country — down-the-middle melodies, “whoa-oh” choruses and vague romantic imagery.  Their follow-up “Bad for You,” however, taps into country’s new fascination with funky power pop — with thrilling results. Co-written by the duo with Ross Copperman (“Real Life,” “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16”) and Jon Nite (“Smoke”), “Bad for You” may be a preview of where country radio is headed. Or where Waterloo Revival is taking it.

I was lucky enough to catch Waterloo Revival last year at a KRTY show at the Rodeo Club in San Jose opening for Eric Paslay. I actually caught them briefly in the parking lot…but that’s another story to tell on another day (but the band knows what I’m talking about, right???).

I had missed the band a couple of time before due to some personal travel schedule changes, but I’m certainly glad that I caught this show. If you know me, you know that one thing that I enjoy most is when the entertainers interact with the audience. This wasn’t an issue with Waterloo Revival as they spent time between each song telling stories about how they wrote a song, or just chatting with the audience.

While “Hit the Road” and “Bad for You” have found a place on country radio, and have received a positive response from programmers, critics and listeners, Waterloo Revival has a few additional songs that could certainly find their way on the radio.

These songs include:

Summer Thing

I Could Get Used to This

Fall

Front Row

That Damn I Didn’t Give

I Love You, I Hate You, I Miss You

The band’s six song EP, Front Row, came out in March and is available now on iTunes and contains a number of the songs listed above. If you like what you’ve heard (and read), be sure to go pick it up right away.

Front

If you see Waterloo Revival on the bill anytime soon, make sure you’re there early. You don’t want to miss your chance to see this band, like I did so many times before. Make sure that you check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @WaterlooRev.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Waterloo Revival live? What do you think of them? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: Drew Baldridge

Posted May 18, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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Today, I’ve got a real treat for you. I first stumbled upon this up-and-coming artist a few months back when a guy by the name of Eric Burgett said to check out this friend of his, a country singer from Patoka, Illinois. I finally took the time to do a quick YouTube search and listened one night and thought “hey…this guy is pretty good.”

As it happens, a couple weeks later, I heard him again on the KRTY “On Air Music Meeting” with Nate Deaton and Julie Stevens. His name? Well it’s Drew Baldridge.

Drew

Credit: drewbaldridgemusic.com

As a bit of background, Drew is a singer songwriter at heart. According to some background research I did ahead of the show, he grew up playing basketball and baseball, but would perform the National Anthem at all his games. As a teenager, he joined a quartet at church singing bass while his father sang tenor. Later on, he played acoustic gigs at a nearby bar on Saturday nights. Not a bad way to break into the business.

In 2013, Drew signed with THiS Music, joining the company of a number of the most prominent and prolific songwriters in Nashville. Soon after, he released his debut EP, All Good and singles “BYOB” and “She’s Taken” apparently became radio staples across the Midwest. Living on the West Coast, I had yet to be exposed to him.

Known as much as a performer as a singer, Drew brings an energy-packed show to every performance. Doesn’t matter if he’s opening, or the headliner. He’ll always give you 100%. No less. Over the past few years, Drew has shared the stage with artists such as Alabama, Cole Swindell, Dustin Lynch, Jerrod Niemann, Phil Vassar, Lee Brice, Eric Paslay, Parmalee and Josh Turner among others.

Not bad company to be associated with, right?

Back in January, I was lucky enough to catch Drew at the Rodeo Club in San Jose opening for Granger Smith. I’ve got to say that I was thoroughly impressed with he and the band, so much so that I hit the merchandise table after the show and bought both his CD and EP. The setlist that night was packed full of songs that were both originals, as well as a few cover songs that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

What I loved the most about the live show was how the band was always in sync and they entertained. That’s the key word. This show was entertainment at it’s finest. You could tell they were having fun up on stage. Everyone danced together while playing. Seriously. Check out the live performance video links below.

His recent radio hit, “Dance with Ya“, which closed the set (and will certainly find a spot on my Top 100 of 2016), was the most recognizable of his own songs and in San Jose, the crowd is always sure to make artists feel welcome. Check this out. Nothing says “Welcome to California and KRTY country” quite like a front row filled with Drew Baldridge bobbleheads, right?

Bobblehead

Credit: Rudy Sabin

And yes, that’s me right behind Drew’s left hand, wearing my Oregon Ducks gear!

You can generally get an idea of how a show is going to go by the setlist. Drew doesn’t disappoint. His setlist includes songs such as his latest single “Rebound”, “God’s Front Porch“, “Tractors Don’t Roll“, and “Love on Your Body“.

He also includes a great selection of cover songs including Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance”, as well as a medley of hits from the 90s such as Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”, Smash Mouth’s “All Star”, Sugar Ray’s “Fly” and Third Eye Blind’s “Semi Charmed Life”.

Of course, what country setlist wouldn’t be complete without a few classic covers such as “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Play Something Country”?

Here’s a quick clip of the live performance of “Shut Up and Dance”.

Here’s a quick clip of the live performance of “Dance with Ya”.

During Baby Got Back, the crowd was “treated” to a little rump shaking from the four guys in the band, which seemed to go over well. We also got a little “All About That Bass” from the bass player.

Oh, did I mention the drummer, Simone Simonton? She was amazing! I mean she could flat out play. She played her heart out the entire show and her drum solo was one of the highlights of that evening for me!

DrewBand1

Drew recently announced the release of his full-length debut album titled Dirt on Us. The album is set to be released on June 10 and features 13 tracks, 11 of which Baldridge co-wrote. You might recognize a few of the songs from his previous EPs.

Drew is active on social media so make sure to check him out on Facebook and follow him on Twitter at@DrewRBaldridge. Speaking of social media, also check out the Drew Crew fan page on Facebook for news, photos and discussions about all things Drew.

Anything else you can find on his website including tour dates, merchandise, news and more.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Drew Baldridge live? What do you think of him and the band? Is the setlist I mentioned pretty common? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: Halfway to Hazard

Posted May 18, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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“Just’a good ol’ boys
Never meanin’ no harm.
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day they was born.”

Wait. I thought I was going to talk about the Dukes of Hazzard today. You mean I’m not?

All kidding aside, I’m here to continue my Artist Spotlight series with another up-and-coming group that goes by the name Halfway to Hazard. Heard of them? Maybe a few years back? More on that later…

H2H

As background, Chad Warrix and David Tolliver, better known as the group Halfway to Hazard, can only be described with the same words I’ve used here on my blog for years, “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.” Nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s two of my favorite things when it comes to music. And they live up to that descriptor. From what I’ve seen, the group holds nothing back in their music. In fact, if they were in NASCAR, I’d say that they put the pedal to the metal and don’t look back until they cross the finish line.

So before I get to the music, you’re probably wondering where the band’s name came from? Well, it seems that Halfway to Hazard are the opening words of the song “Cold,” which it so happens was the first song Warrix and Tolliver wrote together several years after they left their home state of Kentucky. Eventually, they wound up where many aspiring country music groups find themselves…in Nashville. So much for my assumption that they were huge fans of Bo and Luke Duke. Side note: I probably should have known since the name was missing an extra “z”.

Now let’s get to the most important thing that I’m here to talk about today: the music. Plain and simple, it’s good. It’s really good.

Their debut single, “Daisy“, was a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts way back in 2007. That same year, the band toured as the opening act on Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul Tour. In 2008, they went on tour with McGraw and a youngster by the name of Jason Aldean. They were also nominated by the Academy of Country Music (ACM) for the Duo of the Year award. Not a bad two year stretch, right?

Sadly, in January of 2010, the duo went on an extended hiatus. After some ups and downs over the next few years, Tolliver and Warrix decided to officially reunite Halfway to Hazard in late 2014…and I for one am glad they did!

Released earlier this year, the song from Halfway to Hazard that I’m absolutely hooked on is “American Outlaw“. Oh, the video isn’t too bad either. In fact, it’s really good!

According to The Rowdy:

The video is being used as a tease for the upcoming spanking new record that’s still in development that has HTH returning to the studio after their personal hiatus was declared in 2009, and will put them back in the tour bus for their 2016 REDEMPTION TOUR.

Penned by Tolliver and Warrix with the aid of Matt Alderman, the single will be featured as the theme for a documentary about the song’s subject, which gives Halfway To Hazard a chance to see the back story of their old stomping grounds.

You’ll definitely want to check it out on iTunes.

Here’s to hoping that they get their new album out this summer. I’m really looking forward to it! Until then, take a listen to some more of their music. You’ll find links to a few additional Halfway to Hazard songs, both old and new, that I’m sure you’re going to enjoy, below:

Meet Me in Vegas (Potential next single)

Heaven on Down the Highway

Countrified

I Know Where Heaven Is

Country Til the Day We Die

I know there’s more, but I’ll let you check out the band, and the rest of their music, for yourself. If you’re interested in keeping up with Halfway to Hazard, make sure you visit their website and follow them on Twitter at @HalfwayToHazard and on Facebook.

So what did I miss? Have you seen Halfway to Hazard live? What do you think of these guys? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: Tyler Rich

Posted May 17, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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We spend so much time talking about new artists coming out of Nashville, North Carolina, Georgia and other hotbeds for country music. However, we need to take a step back sometimes and look at artists who were born and raised in what can only be described as non-traditional areas.

Take for instance today’s spotlight artist, Tyler Rich who hails from the Yuba City area of Northern California (we’ll get to more California-born artists in the coming weeks).

Tyler_JK

During a show I caught earlier this year at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, opening for Dustin Lynch and Chris Lane, Tyler told the crowd a great story about how it was a Garth Brooks show at Arco Arena in Sacramento that cemented his love for country music. Then, three months before his 14th birthday, his grandparents surprised him with a guitar for Christmas. That, as they say, was that. Tyler never looked back.

After countless hours working on his craft, and spending years on the road touring across the U.S. with multiple bands, Tyler decided it was time to pursue his career as a solo artist. This turned out to be a great choice as he’s taken the stage with some of the country music’s top artists including, Cole Swindell, Sam Hunt, Dan + Shay, Gloriana, Canaan Smith, Maddie & Tae, and a whole lot more (including Dustin Lynch who he’s been touring with). Tyler’s first single “Radio”, landed on iTunes in mid-2015 and is getting airplay on a number of radio stations across the country, including iHeartRadio.

Tyler1

What I loved about Tyler’s live performance during the San Jose show was his stage presence. You could tell by watching him play that it is what he was born to do…and he loves doing it. The passion is there from the very start. Songs like my personal favorite “California Grown“, a song about growing up in California (which I can DEFINITELY relate to being born and raised in the small town of Petaluma), “Brothers“, “Turn it Up” and “I Can Teach Ya” to his first single, “Radio”, grab the attention of the audience immediately and keep them on their feet until the final note of the final song.

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I had the privilege of catching up with him after the San Jose show, nearly 3 hours after he first took the stage. It’s funny. He was filled with the same energy and love for his fans that he demonstrated earlier in the evening. I bought his EP that night which has already been worn out on my many drives from Portland to the Bay Area. Definitely take a listen when you have the chance.

Also make sure to also check Tyler on Facebook and definitely follow him on Twitter at@TylerRichMusic. His YouTube channel also has a number of good clips. Finally, as I alluded to earlier, don’t forget to pick up his EP “Valerie” on iTunes.

So what did I miss? Do you own the EP? Have you seen Tyler live? Is the show as good as I’ve noted? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: LANco

Posted May 16, 2016 by Kreuzer33
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Today’s “Artist Spotlight” is a band that i’ve had my eyes (and ears) on for a long time: LANco.

Haven’t heard of them? Give it some time. These guys are primed for success. Heck, they even landed at #100 in my “Top 100 Country Music Songs of 2015” countdown with their song “Trouble Maker” and I can name two others that will most likely make my list in 2016. More on that later.

LancoPic

Credit: Rudy Sabin

As a bit of background, formerly known as Lancaster & Company, Sony Music Nashville signed LANco to the label group’s Arista Nashville. The band, consisting of Brandon Lancaster, Tripp Howell, Eric Steedly, Jared Hampton and Chandler Baldwin, released their debut EP on Spotify, featuring the tracks “American Love Story”, “Trouble Maker“, “Long Live Tonight” and “We Do“. You should definitely check it out when you have a few minutes. You won’t regret it. You can find it on iTunes and Amazon.

I actually discovered these guys on a Saturday night back in September when I was on a trip to Atlanta. So I’m checking out the town and I stumble across a venue called Smith’s Olde Bar. Without any plans that evening, I decided to check things out when I heard a familiar tune (see the link below to a video from a performance of this Red Sox favorite at the Rodeo Club late last year). I’m glad I walked in. Although I only caught a couple songs that night, it gave me an idea of who the band is and what they’re all about. I was very excited to catch them again a few months later, late last year in San Jose.

I’ve got to admit, while I loved the energy and crowd interaction of both the Atlanta and San Jose shows, one of my favorite songs they played both nights was the ballad “American Love Story“. This song is your small town love story that many of us can relate to. I sure can and I’m pretty sure that the rest of the crowd did as well. I read somewhere that it was featured on Netflix’s “The Ranch” and I’m going to go out on a limb right now and say that you’ll hear this one as a radio hit later in 2016.

Lanco4

As I mentioned, at the San Jose show, LANco pulled a few cover songs out of their bag.

Here’s a link to one of the highlights of the evening, a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”.

Here’s a link to a cover of Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance”.

I’m not sure that there’s a lot more I can say about LANco. These guys are fun. They’re talented. They put on a show that makes you want more.

Oh, I do have one more thing. Did I mention that in the concerts I saw, they played the second half of their final song from the crowd? The lead singer literally brought some drums into the crowd and went to town. The crowd ate it up! I actually ended up with a drumstick from the San Jose show. My son has claimed it for his own.

I can tell you this right now, you don’t want to miss LANco when they come to your town. Whether opening for another act, or performing their own set at a club, they are well worth your time.

In fact, they’ll be back in San Jose on Wednesday, June 1, opening for Chris Janson at the Rodeo Club (and I’m still trying to find a way to make a trip down from Oregon to catch the show). You guys have any plans for an Oregon show anytime soon?

Interested in keeping up with LANco? Make sure you visit their website and check them out on Twitter at @LancoMusic and on Facebook.

So what did I miss? Have you seen LANco live? Is the show as good as I said? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 


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