Posted tagged ‘Brad Paisley’

Artist Spotlight: McKenzies Mill

May 23, 2016

I’ve been on a major southern rock kick the past couple of days. Sometimes I find that I just need to step back from listening to new music and revert to the classics. Listening to some Lynyrd Skynyrd, Allman Brothers etc…

That’s probably how I stumbled across my latest Artist Spotlight: McKenzies Mill,  two brothers from North Carolina, now based in Nashville, Tennessee, that absolutely know how to rock!

Founded by Justin and Ryan Harris, and backed by the a few of the best musicians around, McKenzies Mill brings its audience what has been described as “Southern Fried Rock & Roll.”

From Ryan’s own words (via Wrangler Network):

“Southern Fried Rock-n-Roll” is definitely the way that we most often describe our music. For the people that see us live, I like to think that most of them walk away thinking, “man, those country boys can rock!” If they are, then we’re doing it right.”

There you have it! A little bit country, a little bit southern rock and a little bit rock and roll. Take three of my favorite genres, wrap them up in a package, and put them out on the road. Just what I love…and that’s what these brothers give you night in and night out!

While you might not be familiar with McKenzies Mill (yet), the duo is in no way a newcomer to the music scene. They’ve been featured at NASCAR’s Speed Street Fest in Charlotte, North Carolina, and at BayFest in Mobile, Alabama. They’ve also been featured alongside artists such as Brad Paisley and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

In terms of music, McKenzies Mill has released two albums, “One Hell of a Ride” and a self-titled album, “McKenzies Mill”. In 2014, they were named a Band to Watch by CMA Close-Up magazine back and the duo also won Bud Light’s National Battle of the Bands back in 2012.

In addition, last September, the duo released two new singles, “Middle of Nowhere” & “Willie“.

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I’ll let you check out the rest of the band’s music for yourself. Here’s a sample of their own songs, as well as a few great covers:

Fishin’ in the Dark

My Heaven is a Small Town

Dirty Things

Country Born & Raised

Yee Haw

If you see McKenzies Mill on the bill anytime soon, make sure you’re there early. You don’t want to miss your chance to see this band. I said it before and I’ll say it again: they can flat out rock.

Also, make sure that you check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @McKenziesMill. Upcoming tour dates can be found here.

Don’t forget to check out their music on iTunes.

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

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Year in Review: My Top 100 Country Music Songs of 2015

December 4, 2015

It’s that time of year again where I like to take a look back at my favorite country music songs of the year. We’re into the home stretch so now is as good a time as any, right?

Now, let me preface this list as I always do.

  • I’m not a professional music reviewer.
  • I don’t get paid to promote artists.
  • I don’t go by Billboard or radio airplay charts.

Got it? Good. Let’s get going. My list which consists of the top 100 songs that I loved over the past year (or so). The 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.

Now you might notice that a lot of mainstream, radio hits by major artists are not included. No reason except for the fact that my list is not based on how famous you are. Simple as that. I listen to the radio all day long, but a lot of the songs that are played just get played too often. I get burned out. Or, I hear them so often that I change the station. For that reason, those songs may or may not be on my list.

Frankly, it’s my personal list which includes the songs that I love and want to hear (but please feel free to sway me in your direction if I left a song off or ranked a song too high/low).

You probably heard some of these songs every hour (on the hour) on your local station. Others may not have been played much (if at all) when they should have been, in my own, personal opinion. You’ll note quite a few songs on the list that haven’t even been played on the radio. If you see those…be sure to take a listen!

Also, while some of these songs may have come out in late 2014, they were ones that were predominantly played (if they made the radio) in the 2015 calendar year. Others may be primed for success later next year so, like I’ve said before, keep your ears open!

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!!!!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go through each entry and provide detailed background on the song, reasons for it’s placement, etc…But, feel free to leave a comment and I’d be happy to respond.

Now, without further ado, let’s get this party started with a three-way tie at #100:

(T) 100. “Amen“, Toree McGee

(T) 100. “CRUSH“, The Darlins

(T) 100. “Kids with Cars“, Dallas Smith

99. “Lovestruck“, George Ducas

98. “Giving it All“, Haley & Michaels

97. “Trouble Maker“, LANco

96. “Upside Down“, Dean Brody

95. “Hit the Road“, Waterloo Revival

94. “Hey Time“, The Springs

93. “Move On“, Clare Dunn

92. “Run Angel Run“, Runaway Angel

91. “Hanging on a Lie“, Striking Matches

90. “I Met a Girl“, William Michael Morgan

89. “Drink Drink Drink“, Cloverdayle

88. “Til the Summer’s Gone“, Emerson Drive

87. “Trespassin’“, Chasin’ Crazy

86. “Country Proud“, The Stickers

85. “I Am Invincible“, Cassadee Pope

84. “The Driver“, Charles Kelley (Featuring Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay)

83. “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face“, Craig Wayne Boyd

82. “Miss You the Most“, Natalie Stovall and the Drive

81. “Kiss By Kiss“, Kristen Kelly

80. “Go Live Your Life“, Wade Hayes

79. “Next Boyfriend“, Lauren Alaina

78. “By the Way“, Lindsay Ell

77. “Ray Bans“, JT Hodges

76. “Me and Johnny Cash“, Rainey Qualley

75. “Clean Hands” Kyle Douglas

74. “Ain’t Always Thirsty“, Ray Scott

73. “White Lightning“, The Cadillac Three

72. “On To Something Good“, Ashley Monroe

71. “Fix“, Chris Lane

70. “Bad for You“, Waterloo Revival

69. “Blue Bandana” Jerrod Niemann

68. “It All Started With a Beer“, Frankie Ballard

67. “Kiss You in the Morning“, Michael Ray

66. “Live Forever“, The Band Perry

65. “Folks Like Us“, Montgomery Gentry

64. “Ain’t No Trucks in Texas“, Ronnie Dunn

63. “Lose My Mind“, Brett Eldredge

62. “I See You“, Luke Bryan

61. “My Mistake“, Cam

60. “Shake it Like a Hillbilly“, Hillbilly Vegas

59. “Tomorrow Tonight“, Craig Campbell

58. “Gonna Know We Were Here“, Jason Aldean

57. “Crooked Halo“, Annie Bosko

56. “Going Out Like That“, Reba

56. “Sippin’ on Fire“, Florida Georgia Line

54. “Hole in a Bottle“, Canaan Smith

53. “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey“, Cole Swindell

52. “Run Away with You“, Big & Rich

51. “Raise ‘Em Up“, Keith Urban featuring Eric Church

50. “A Guy Walks Into a Bar“, Tyler Farr

49. “Take Your Time“, Sam Hunt

48. “Better Than You Left Me“, Mickey Guyton

47. “Confession“, Florida Georgia Line

46. “My Church“, Maren Morris

45. “Standards“, Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers

44. “Backroad Song“, Granger Smith

43. “Little Toy Guns“, Carrie Underwood

42. “Riser“, Dierks Bentley

41. “Crushin’ It“, Brad Paisley

40. “Save it for a Rainy Day“, Kenny Chesney

39. “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16“, Keith Urban

38. “Nothin’ Like You“, Dan & Shay

37. “I Got the Boy“, Jana Kramer

36. “American Flags in Black & White“, John Moreland

35. “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial“, A Thousand Horses

34. “I’m to Blame“, Kip Moore

33. “Nobody to Blame“, Chris Stapleton

32. “Hell of a Night“, Dustin Lynch

31. “Let Me See Ya Girl“, Cole Swindell

30. “Already Callin’ You Mine“, Parmalee

29. “Jim and Jack and Hank“, Alan Jackson

28. “Biscuits“, Kacey Musgraves

27. “She Don’t Love You“, Eric Paslay

26. “Love Me Like You Mean It”, Kelsea Ballerini

25. “Little Bit of You“, Chase Bryant

24. “It Feels Good“, Drake White

23. “Young & Crazy“, Frankie Ballard

22. “Buy Me a Boat“, Chris Janson

21. “Don’t It“, Billy Currington

20. “Head Over Boots“, Jon Pardi

19. “Traveller“, Chris Stapleton

18. “Die a Happy Man“, Thomas Rhett

17. “Country“, Mo Pitney

16. “One Hell of an Amen“, Brantley Gilbert

15. “Whiskey on my Breath“, Love and Theft

14. “All Country on You“, Austin Webb

13. “Break Up with Him“, Old Dominion

12. “Like a Wrecking Ball“, Eric Church

11. “Anything Goes“, Florida Georgia Line

10. “I Love This Life“, LoCash

9. “Trailer Hitch“, Kristian Bush

8. “Burning House“, Cam

7. “Hooked Up“, James Wesley

6. “Crash and Burn“, Thomas Rhett

5. “House Party“, Sam Hunt

4. “Homegrown“, Zac Brown Band

3. “Girl Crush“, Little Big Town

2. “Stay a Little Longer“, Brothers Osborne

1. “Smoke“, A Thousand Horses

Well that’s it. My Top 100 of 2015! I know, it was a longer list than normal this year. But, I wanted to be sure to give everyone their due.

Where did I hit the nail on the head? Where did the arrow miss the mark?

I want to hear from you!

Let me know in the comments below!

Taylor Swift Takes Top Honors at CMA Awards

November 12, 2009

It was a big night in Country Music last night as Taylor Swift walked away with four Country Music Association Awards, including the top prize of Entertainer of the Year, over longtime favorites Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley.

Other CMA Award winners for 2009 included Best New Artist Darius Rucker, Best Duo Sugarland and Best Group Lady Antebellum. I thought that there were some great moments during the show including both Swift and Rucker’s wins but one performance that should not be overlooked was the Zac Brown Band’s rendition of The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels. It was my favorite moment of the night!

What was yours? Did you agree with Taylor Swift winning Entertainer of the Year? What about Sugarland taking Best Duo from Brooks & Dunn and how about Lady Antebellum dethroning Rascal Flatts? Great night!

From the Los Angeles Times:

Taylor Swift made history at Wednesday night’s Country Music Assn. Awards by becoming the youngest person, at only 19, to win the coveted entertainer of the year title. Only five women —  Loretta Lynn (1972), Dolly Parton (1978), Barbara Mandrell (1980, 1981), Reba McEntire (1986) and Shania Twain (1999) — as well as one female group, the Dixie Chicks (2000), have received this honor in the 43-year history of the CMAs.

Swift — who just two years ago was named best new artist by the CMA — also won album of the year for her top-selling disc “Fearless,” video of the year for “Love Story” and female vocalist. Among those she edged out for that last award was show co-host Carrie Underwood, who had taken this prize the last three years running.

Her co-host on the ABC kudocast, Brad Paisley — who led with half a dozen nominations — was just one of three of last year’s champs to repeat with his third-in-a-row male vocalist win. Paisley also shared the trophy for musical event with Keith Urban for their duet “Start a Band.”

Sugarland won its third consecutive duo award despite the impending breakup of sentimental favorites Brooks & Dunn, who dominated this category every year but one from 1992 to 2006 (Montgomery Gentry bested them in 2000). Musician of the year was once again all-rounder Mac McAnally.

From Newsday:

Darius Rucker became the first black singer to win new artist of the year at the Country Music Association Awards, joining Charley Pride as the only African-American to win a major individual award, while Taylor Swift won two awards, including album of the year.

“First of all, to the fans, thank y’all for accepting me,” the jubilant Rucker said. “And I think most importantly, to country radio, you took a chance on a pop singer from Charleston, S.C. Thank you so much for that!”

Swift, who won the top prize of entertainer of the year, thanked the fans for their support of “Fearless,” the top-selling album of the year. She also won video of the year for “Love Story.”

“You guys, this album is my diary and so to all the people who voted for me for this, thank you for saying you love my diary because that’s the nicest compliment,” Swift told the audience.

Concert Review: Brad Paisley in Mountain View, September 25, 2009

November 8, 2009

I’ve been to a lot of great country shows: Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, McBride, Trailer Choir, Keith Urban, Shania Twain and a WHOLE LOT MORE! I’ve been to a ton of shows at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, put on by local country station 95.3 KRTY.

But this year’s show with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne has to rank up there near the top. I first saw Brad Paisley live at the KZLA Country Bash in Irvine, California, back in 2001 about a month after the terrorist attacks on America.

Back then, Paisley was still an up and coming talent. Today, he is one of the best in the industry.

The night started off with a short set by Jimmy Wayne. Too bad it was only 6 songs because I’m pretty sure that this guy is going to be huge. He has a stage presence that puts him at a much higher level than his billing and its shows as he plays the crowd during his entire set. After the show, I got the chance to meet him. He was really nice and took the time to sit and talk for a minute with each person during the meet and greet. The photo can be found below.

jimmywayne

Jimmy Wayne and I

Here’s the set list:

Cowboys and Angels

Stay Gone

Kerosene Kid

Trespassin’

Smile Sara

Do You Believe Me Now

Next on the bill was one of my favorites, Dierks Bentley. For most concerts, Dierks Bentley would be a headliner and he proved it during his set which include most of my favorites (how could you leave off my all-time favorite “Tryin’ to Stop Your Leavin'”). There was so much about his set that I loved. “Sideways” is a great song to start with because it really gets the crowd going. Others such as “How Am I Doin'”, “What Was I Thinkin'” and “Feel That Fire” were crowd favorites.

Great music, great voice and, like Wayne, Bentley really played the audience. I love the way that he was able to mix in his standard party songs with his great ballads and he never lost touch with his emotion. This is clearly demonstrated in each song he performed during his one hour set.

I’ll admit, I would have loved a little longer set but you can’t complain when you get nine of his best! I think if he had been the headliner, the set list would have included a few additional songs. The crowd was really into the set but I really enjoyed when he took the time to slow down a bit for “My Last Name”. Very emotional and showed his softer side.

bentley

Dierks Bentley

Here’s the set list:

Sideways

Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do

How Am I Doin’

Settle For A Slowdown

Come a Little Closer

My Last Name

Feel That Fire

What Was I Thinkin’

Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)

About 9:20, it was time for the main event of the evening: Brad Paisley. Paisley is an entertainer at heart and really knows how to put on a show. Multiple times during the show, he thanked the audience for coming out to show, knowing that we are in difficult economic times and still paid to see the performers that night. Yes, the show’s are pretty expensive, but I’ll continue to pay to see my favorite artists live.

Paisley played all of his hits and the audience was eating out of his hands from the opening number “Start a Band” (minus Keith Urban of course). It was a great mix of old songs, and new. Ballads and rockers. And of course, lots of guitar solos. Paisley is an incredible guitarist who demonstrates his talent throughout.

paisley

Brad Paisley

I loved the videos that played on the screen in the background throughout the show. Good stuff! Loved the parodies and everything. It really made the songs come to life even more.

“Welcome to the Future”, Paisley’s latest hit was the opening song of a three song encore. This song has fast become my favorite song that Paisley has ever performed. Not only does it have a great beat and just makes you want to turn up the radio when it comes on, it has a great message of hope and making you realize that the future is here, now!

During the encore, Paisley brought Wayne and Bentley back out for a great rendition of “Alcohol” which capped the night! , a great cover of Don Henley’s classic “Boys of Summer” was the final song of the evening, but seeing these three talented musicians on stage together was a real thrill, and a perfect song!

If you ever get the chance to check out Brad Paisley (and Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne) live, I suggest you do! It’s definitely a 5 star show!

If I can get some video of the show up, I’ll be sure to do so! You can always check out my Facebook page which has the videos there.

Paisley and Bentley

Here’s the set list:

Start a Band

American Saturday Night 

Mud On The Tires

Wrapped Around

Celebrity

Waitin’ on a Woman

Water

Feel Like Makin’ Love (Bad Company Cover)

I’m Still a Guy

Catch All the Fish / I’m Gonna Miss Her

She’s Everything

The World

Letter to Me

When I Get Where I’m Going

Ticks

Online

Then

Encore:

Welcome to the Future

Alcohol 

Boys of Summer (Don Henley Cover)

George Jones Calls Out Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift

November 3, 2009

Seems like George Jones still fears change. The country music legend is speaking out against up and coming stars such as Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and others, saying that they need to leave country music and find a genre that better suits them.

Yes, today’s country music isn’t the same as traditional country music, but what “The Possum” needs to learn is that people change, styles change and music changes.

Sorry George. I’ve been a fan of both traditional and modern country music and if it reverts back, I think you’ll lose at least one fan (me). I enjoy a lot of the country songs on the radio today, but when I hear new music by George Strait, and even Alan Jackson lately, I have to turn the station. Their songs just don’t do anything for me anymore.

These days, I’m more of a fan of singers such as Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Toby Keith and Brad Paisley and bands like Trailer Choir and Montgomery Gentry. These are artists who can reach across different genres of music and reach a larger audience. In Jones interview, he said that he had no intention of collaborating with any musician of another genre.

We’ll see what happens! I have a lot of respect for Jones, but right now, he’s coming off like a grumpy old man.

From The Boot:

George Jones says he’s been robbed. Not of his personal belongings, but of something perhaps even more valuable: his role as a country singer.

Referring to some of today’s biggest stars, including Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, the country legend tells the Associated Press, “they’ve stolen our identity.” And, he maintains, they need to give it back and move on to another genre. “They had to use something that was established already, and that’s traditional country music. So what they need to do really, I think, is find their own title, because they’re definitely not traditional country music.”

Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne…Tonight in Mountain View!

September 25, 2009

UPDATE: One of the BEST shows of the year. The set lists listed below are about 99% accurate. Dierks Bentley didn’t play “Trying to Stop Your Leaving. Paisley, Bentley and Jimmy Wayne all performed “Alcohol” together.

I’ll be there at Shoreline Amphitheater tonight! Looking for the KRTY booth! Will you?

It should be an awesome show as always with these guys. I’ve never seen Jimmy Wayne but heard that all three will impress.

Been to a lot of good shows so far this year: Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Trailer Choir, Lonestar, Chris Cagle, Lady Antebellum etc…This should rank right up there with them!

Here’s the most recent set lists for Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley from August 27, courtesy of Setlist.fm:

BRAD PAISLEY

    1. Start a Band
    2. American Saturday Night
    3. Mud On The Tires
    4. Wrapped Around
    5. Celebrity
    6. Waitin’ on a Woman
    7. Water
    8. I’m Still a Guy
    9. Catch All the Fish / I’m Gonna Miss Her
    10. She’s Everything
    11. Drum Solo / Cliffs of Rock City / Huckleberry Jam
    12. The World
    13. Letter to Me
    14. When I Get Where I’m Going
    15. Ticks
    16. Online
    17. Then
    18. Encore:
    19. Welcome to the Future
    20. Alcohol 
    21. Boys of Summer (Don Henley Cover)
DIERKS BENTLEY
  1. Sideways
  2. Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do
  3. Trying to Stop Your Leaving
  4. How Am I Doin’
  5. Settle For A Slowdown
  6. Come a Little Closer
  7. My Last Name
  8. Feel That Fire
  9. What Was I Thinkin’
  10. Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)

Kenny Chesney, George Strait Win Big at 2008 CMA Awards

November 13, 2008

It was a great night of music and awards last night on ABC. Country music once again brought together the top superstars (minus one of the greatest, Toby Keith) for the annual CMA Awards. Awards were handed out in all categories all night but to complete the evening, Kenny Chesney won his fourth entertainer of the year award, a feat which ties Garth Brooks for most Entertainer of the Year awards.

George Strait took home both single and album of the year, Sugarland won for Best Duo, Rascal Flatts took home the honor for Best Group and Lady Antebellum was named the Best New Artist.

Near the close of the show, Kenny Chesney did a great live version of “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven” with The Wailers. Other top artists performed on the show including Kid Rock “All Summer Long” and James Otto “Just Got Started Lovin’ You”.

Otto will be performing at Club Rodeo in San Jose, California on Thursday, November 20. Tickets can be bought in advance at the KRTY studios for just $10. Tickets will be $20 at the door.

From the Associated Press:

After winning the evening’s top award, Chesney said: “As much as tonight is about awards, I really believe that being able to stand up here is more about great songs, more about the fans, more about being on stage every night in front of a lot of people that really make it happen for me and the band out there.”

“This is my fourth time standing up here, and I’m really humbled and I really appreciate it,” added Chesney.

The award — his third straight win in the category — helped Chesney avoid a shutout. He was the night’s lead nominee with seven but did not pick up a trophy in the other categories.

George Strait won single and album of the year. Strait thanked the songwriters for “letting me sing such a beautiful song” after the poignant “I Saw God Today” won single of the year. He later won album of the year for “Troubadour.”

“Everybody says they’ve got the greatest fans. Well, I’ve really got the greatest fans,” Strait said in accepting the album award.

Also winning two awards was Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland. Sugarland won the award for duo of the year, and earlier, Nettles won song of the year for Sugarland’s hit “Stay.”

“It’s just been a gift from the beginning and been a gift to write and I hope it’s been a gift and touched your heart,” she said in accepting the award.

Carrie Underwood, who co-hosted the show with Brad Paisley, won her third consecutive female vocalist award.

“I just want to say Mom, it’s real hard to sing when you’re in the second row crying,” a teary-eyed Underwood told her mother during her speech. It came after her performance of her No. 1 hit “Just a Dream,” about a woman who lost her loved one in war. The song was introduced by Leslie Ponder who lost her husband in Afghanistan.

The former “American Idol” champ also thanked country fans. “I got here in an unconventional way, and you guys didn’t have to accept me at all.

Paisley, who won video of the year earlier, hugged Keith Urban and kissed the stomach of his pregnant wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, as he went up to collect his award.

Rascal Flatts won their sixth straight vocal group of the year award, beating out the Eagles, Emerson Drive, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town for the honor.