Posted tagged ‘Natalie Stovall and the Drive’

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!

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Year in Review: My Top 50 Country Music Songs of 2014

December 13, 2014

It’s that time of year again. Time to reflect on the year that was. For me, it was a difficult year. I lost my father on August 11, and I am still trying to deal with the loss. One thing that helped me get through the past few, difficult months, is good music.

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 50 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. Also, while some of these songs may have come out in late 2013, they were ones that were predominantly played (if they made the radio) in the 2014 calendar year. Others may be primed for success in early 2015 so keep your ears open!

Either way, I’m sure that I’m going to leave 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, with a list this long, I wasn’t able to go through each entry and provide background on the song, reasons for it’s placement, etc…But, feel free to leave a comment and I’d be happy to respond.

And now, Without further ado, let’s get this party started:

50. Dallas Smith, Wastin’ Gas

49. Chase Bryant, Take it on Back

48. John King, Tonight Tonight

47. Natalie Stovall and the Drive, Mason Jar

46. Maddie & Tae, Girl in a Country Song

45. Casey James, Fall Apart

44. Kip Moore, Dirt Road

43. The Swon Brothers, Later On

42. Canaan Smith, Love You Like That

41. Zac Brown Band, All Alright

40. Billy Currington, We Are Tonight

39. Randy Houser, Goodnight Kiss

38. Brantley Gilbert Featuring Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore, Small Town Throwdown

37. Justin Moore, Lettin’ the Night Roll

36. Ray Scott, Drinkin’ Beer

35. Frankie Ballard, Sunshine and Whiskey

34. Jerrod Niemann, Drink to That All Night

33. JT Hodges, Already High

32. Parmalee, Close Your Eyes

31. Sam Hunt, Leave the Night On

30. Lee Brice, I Don’t Dance

29. Scotty McCreery, See You Tonight

28. Jason Aldean, Burnin’ it Down

27. Luke Bryan, Play it Again

26. Florida Georgia Line Featuring Luke Bryan, This is How We Roll

25. George Strait, I Got a Car

24. Brantley Gilbert, Bottoms Up

23. Randy Houser, Like a Cowboy

22. Love and Theft, Night That You’ll Never Forget

21. Lady Antebellum, Compass

20. John Pardi, Up All Night

19. Cole Swindell, Chillin’ It

18. Craig Campbell, Keep Them Kisses Coming

17. Florida Georgia Line, Dirt

16. Kenny Chesney, American Kids

15. Will Hoge, Middle of America

14. James Wesley, I’m a Lonesome Fugitive

13. Maggie Rose, Looking Back Now

12. Miranda Lambert, Automatic

11. A Thousand Horses, Smoke

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/smoke-single/id952514687

10. Jake Owen, What We Ain’t Got

9. Eric Church, Give Me Back My Hometown

8. Hillbilly Vegas, Long Way Back

7. Cole Swindell, Hope You Get Lonely

6. Dustin Lynch, Where It’s At

5. Eli Young Band, Dust

4. Luke Bryan, Drink a Beer

3. Brett Eldredge, Beat of the Music

2. Dierks Bentley, Drunk on a Plane

1. Dierks Bentley, I Hold On

Concert Review: (Steve) Holy Moly! KAT COUNTRY 103 – 2014 Listener Appreciation Concert

June 22, 2014

LAC

What else can I say. I drove nearly 700 miles from my home in Portland, Oregon, for this show…and it DID NOT disappoint!

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of spending nearly 7+ hours with 15,000 of my newest, closest friends in Stockton, California. While it may have been nearly 95 degrees for this outside show, it didn’t matter. To see acts including Maggie Rose, Natalie Stovall and the Drive, Chuck Wicks, Josh Thompson, Love and Theft, Steve Holy and Keith Anderson, no weather (neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night) could have kept me from having an incredible afternoon.

Credit: Nikki Thomas. We're having a blast at LAC 2014. Ignore the gum that apparently was about to fall out of my mouth.

Credit: Nikki Thomas. We’re having a blast at LAC 2014. Ignore the gum that apparently was about to fall out of my mouth.

First and foremost, I have KAT COUNTRY 103 to thank for their 2014 Listener Appreciation Concert. This includes the staff, volunteers and everyone else who made the event happen. Concerts like this take months of hard work and dedication, and from what I saw, incidents were minimal and everyone had A LOT of fun!

OK. That’s enough of the introduction. Let’s get to the music!

First to take the stage was Maggie Rose.

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I’ve seen her once before at the Rodeo Club in San Jose, California, and was excited that KAT COUNTRY brought her to kick off the show. She definitely set the tempo for a “kick ass” afternoon. Songs such as “Mostly Bad”, “Better”, my wife’s personal favorite “I Ain’t Your Mama” and radio’s next big hit “Looking Back Now” filled the set list, which sadly was only a few songs due to the number of acts at the event. If you haven’t caught Maggie live, I suggest you pick up a ticket next time she’s in town. She won’t be an opener for long. She has headliner written all over her!

Next up was Natlie Stovall and the Drive.

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I’ll admit, this was the act that I knew the least about going into the show, but I certainly left a HUGE fan. Let me introduce them to you. The band consists of Natalie Stovall (lead vocals, fiddle), Miguel Cancino (guitar), Zach Morse (bass), Joel Dormer (guitar, vocals) and James Bavendam (drums).

Anyways, I can’t say enough about this band to do justice. High energy doesn’t even begin to describe them. Awesome work on the guitar…the bass…the drums. Oh, and did I mention Natalie has a great voice and is an incredible fiddle player. This was demonstrated in their closing rendition of Charlie Daniels “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, one of the highlights of the entire afternoon.

OK. Stop reading my review for 10 seconds and visit their website, bookmark it, and come back to read the rest of the review.

Back? Good…

Next up was Chuck Wicks.

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What can I say about Chuck Wicks. I’ve been fan of his since his first hit “Stealing Cinderella” hit the radio back in 2007, and was very excited that the song made the set list. But then again, why wouldn’t it!

The crowd was also hanging on every note of “All I Ever Wanted” which kicked off the set as well as one of my personal favorites “Old School”. My wife was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see Chuck bust out any of his moves from Dancing with the Stars, but she, and all of the women standing around me, were content with the opportunity to see his eyes when the sunglasses came off and was joined on stage with Keith Anderson.

Next up on this afternoon in Stockton was Josh Thompson (sporting a KAT COUNTRY temporary tattoo).

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How can you not love a Josh Thompson show. Even with an abbreviated set list, he was able to pack in all of his hits as well as some new songs which will appear on his new album “Turn it Up”.

I’ve seen him twice before, both at small club shows at the Rodeo Club, but this was my first time in a larger venue. He didn’t disappoint. Songs such as “Beer on the Table”, “Way Out Here”, “Cold Beer with Your Name on It” and “Won’t Be Lonely Long” filled the set list and I can still hear the echo of the crowd singing every note, ringing in my ear today.

A great performance by a great artist (who by the way came out with Maggie Rose, Natalie Stovall and others to the after party following the show).

As we passed the halfway point of the afternoon, Love and Theft took the stage.

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Love and Theft, featuring Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, who both sing lead vocals and play guitar, is a band that I see EVERY TIME they come to town. This was my fourth time seeing them play, and they just get better with each and every performance.

The set list started off with the rocking “Runaway” and concluded with radio favorite “Angel Eyes”. In between, they talked to the audience and just had a good time. Oh yeah, they also played “If You Ever Get Lonely” and the crowd favorite “Let’s Get Drunk and Make Friends”. If you haven’t heard this one, look it up. It’s a fun song that the crowd really gets into every time! Those of us in the front row were having a good time to it and the actual drunks behind us seemed to relate (with hugs and kisses for everyone around them).

Next up was the act that I specifically came for: Steve Holy!

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I’ve said this before, and I will say it again here: while he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, Steve Holy is one of the best male country artists today. Fact!

Not only does Steve Holy have the voice and the hits, he has a stage presence that is second to none. No one is able to build a rapport with the audience quite like him. While he spent much of time during his set interacting with the crowd, his rapport building, and love for the fans, was demonstrated with the dedication of his hit “Good Morning Beautiful” to a young, 6 year old girl named Paisley (named after Brad Paisley). What a great moment.

The set list featured other hits such as “Love Don’t Run”, “Hauled Off and Kissed Me”, and my personal favorite “Men Buy the Drinks (Girls Call the Shots)”. While we didn’t get to hear “Radio Up”, instead, we were treated to “Wrap Around”, which was co-written by Keith Anderson who joined Steve on stage for the song.

Following the set, I was able to catch up with Steve (along with Chevon and Christine of course) for a few minutes AND introduce him to my wife. Being my wedding anniversary, and knowing that “Good Morning Beautiful” was our wedding song, this was a great few moments and the highlight of the afternoon for us.

An all-around great guy (and performer), don’t miss Steve Holy when he comes to your town. You’ll leave a HUGE fan!

To end the afternoon was the one, and only, Keith Anderson.

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Keith Anderson is not only a great performer, he’s an incredible songwriter. A quick Google search will bring up the songs that he has played a part in, either recording or writing, and it was great that we had a nice sample of them on this afternoon. As a country music fan, how could you not like songs such as “Pickin’ Wildflowers”, “XXL”, “I Still Miss You” and “Lost in This Moment”.

But besides the music, one thing that I really enjoyed (and respected) was how he seemed to come out and watch every act perform. He didn’t show up 30 minutes before his set and leave right away, like I know some artists do. The guy was out there supporting and enjoying each of the acts and even joined in on a few of them. We saw him taking photos with the other performers and just having a good time. That’s what I consider awesome!

Speaking of having fun….I think Maggie Rose and Natalie Stovall may have had the most fun of anyone when they weren’t performing. Definitely a couple of “Charlie’s Angels” with the water guns cooling off the crowd.

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So that’s it. Not much else I can say other than that! What an incredible afternoon with 7 GREAT acts!

I have to thank KAT COUNTRY 103 for putting on this shindig! Pulling together a lineup from top to bottom that has no holes in it is difficult to do in any musical genre, but you succeeded and I can’t wait until next year’s show.

I also have to thank my wife who was able to secure tickets for us, for our anniversary, from 700 miles away. She knew that I can’t miss a show that features Steve Holy or Love and Theft, and I got to see both (and 5 other fantastic acts).

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Yep! That’s me trying to look cool with my hand on the rail (thanks to Tim Cruz from KAT Country 103 for taking the picture).

Top Moments:

*10 minutes with Steve Holy after the show (and “Good Morning Beautiful”)
*Natalie Stovall and the Drive’s fantastic version of “Devil Went Down to Georgia”
*Keith Anderson checking out all of the other performances (and joining in on a few)
*Love and Theft’s “Let’s Get Drunk and Make Friends” sing a long
*Chuck Wicks “Stealing Cinderella”
*Maggie Rose with the super soaker (with help from Natalie Stovall)
*Josh Thompson putting some “Beer on the Table”

Were you in Stockton for the show? Tell me about your experience and what you enjoyed the most in the comments below!