Posted tagged ‘Cruise’

Concert Review: Chase Rice and Sam Hunt Have a “House Party” in San Jose, California

February 27, 2014

If you haven’t heard the names Chase Rice and/or Sam Hunt…then you need to look them up (and you might as well go do it now).

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On February 26, Rice and Hunt put their talent on display at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California, for a show that was not to be missed.

First, a little bit of background. Rice has released two albums, Country as Me and Dirt Road Communion. He released his second 6 song EP, titled “Ready Set Roll”, featuring the single “Ready Set Roll” back on October 15, 2013. Oh, he also co-wrote a song that you might have heard…the number one single performed by Florida Georgia Line called “Cruise”. Ring a bell?

If not, here’s the song live from last night:

Not bad, huh?

The show was high energy from beginning to end. Lots of fan interaction and just really good music. With a set list including “Party Up”, “I Like Drinking, Cause it’s Fun”, “Dirt Road Communion”, “Country in Ya”, “Whoa” and “Jack Daniels & Jesus”, Rice had the crowd eating out of his hand.

Could I really pick a favorite song of the evening? Probably not. The reason? In reality, while there were some great tunes, they all fell into a fairly similar theme (drinking and women). Not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, this was a country music show. But I hope to see a little more diversity with the next few singles. He’s definitely got the talent to take it to the next level!

But before you go running off to check him out…hold on just a second. Rice wasn’t the only one who rocked San Jose last night. Let’s not forget about Sam Hunt.

In my opinion, Hunt is one of the top, up-and-coming singer-songwriters in country music. Also, get this, he’s a former college football player. He co-wrote Kenny Chesney’s 2012 single “Come Over”, for which he received an award from ASCAP. Last year, Hunt released his debut single “Raised on It” and he also wrote two singles released in 2014: Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight”. Never heard of any of those, right?

During his set, Hunt played each of these hits as well as a selection of other crowd favorites. My favorite: without hesitation was “Ex to See”. Loved it before I saw him live and loved it even more during his performance last night. The set list also included “Leave the Night On”, “Take Your Time”, “House Party”, his current single “Raised on It” and the ballad “Speakers”.

Great songs and live performance for sure. One thing I do have to add is that Hunt has an acoustic mixtape (Between the Pines) that you need to check out. The playlist contains 15 songs and you can find it here.

KRTY always puts on a great show. Anyone who’s a fan of country music in Northern California knows this. This show was no different. A $50 show for only $15. A no brainer. Go check them out when they come to your town!

One little thing I want to throw in here at the end is congratulations to KRTY General Manager Nate Deaton. Deaton was recently awarded “GM of the Year, Large Market” at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. A well deserved (and overdue) recognition for the man who brings the best acts in country music to San Jose. Congrats Nate!

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Year in Review: My Top Ten Country Music Songs of 2013

December 29, 2013

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.

Concert Review: Florida Georgia Line “Cruise” Into Eugene, Oregon with Dallas Smith and Colt Ford

December 15, 2013

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…straight to the top of the charts. 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. Give him another year or two at most. He’ll be all over the radio. Dare I say, the next Jason Aldean???

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!