Posted tagged ‘Thompson Square’

Artist Spotlight: Trailer Choir

May 31, 2016

Now here’s a blast from the past. Another country music group that I absolutely love. Heck, I’ve bought all their music. I’ve seen them in concert three times (here’s my review from a KRTY show in San Jose way back in 2009) and I’m absolutely stoked that they have some new music.

Ladies and gentlemen…I bring you Trailer Choir!

Trailer

As background, Trailer Choir is a duo composed of vocalists Marc Fortney and Vinny Hickerson, known by their respective stage names Butter and Big Vinny (also known as Bigg Vinny and Bigg Vinny the Mack). At one time, the group was a trio with Crystal Hoyt. They originally signed to Show Dog Nashville, a label owned by Toby Keith, back in 2007.

After recording “Off the Hillbilly Hook” for the soundtrack to Keith’s film Beer for My Horses, Trailer Choir charted the singles “What Would You Say“, “Rockin’ the Beer Gut” (the song that got me called into my son’s kindergarten class by his teacher because he was singing it during class!) and “Rollin’ Through the Sunshine” on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. These singles were followed by an EP, Off the Hillbilly Hook, and their full-length album, Tailgate. Hoyt departed the group in February 2011.

In 2011, Hickerson entered the national spotlight when he participated on The Biggest Loser. While on the show he lost nearly 200 pounds, made the final four, and was the runner-up for the at-home prize. The show also aired his marriage proposal to girlfriend Lori Diaz, which took place at the Grand Ole Opry with none other than Thompson Square performing “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not”.

Vinny

Since his participation on The Biggest Loser, Hickerson has traveled around the country as a motivational speaker. In his own words, Hickerson said:

“That changed my life and also my music. Now I don’t run out of breath onstage. And guys and girls come up to me after each show and say, ‘You motivate me to realize I can go after the things I want, even though I’m big.’ Or we’ll do music at a school or a gym opening and I’ll talk the the students. I’ll tell them, ‘You have to believe in yourself how you are right now. You have to love yourself enough to realize that you’re worth all the work it’s gonna take to change.”

Now, let’s get onto the music!

Six years ago, I did an in depth review of “Tailgate”, which was one of my favorites of 2010. From the energetic “Shakin’ That Tailgate”, to classics such as “Rockin’ the Beer Gut”, “Off the Hillbilly Hook” and “Rollin’ Through the Sunshine”, the CD had that perfect mix of fun and sun!

Now, Trailer Choir is back and better than ever. As part of the Average Joes Entertainment family, the band is ready to climb back up the charts and share their music with country music fans everywhere. Certainly, big things lay ahead for the boys.

As Fortney states:

“Had we found real success earlier, I have a feeling that Vinny would be unhealthy, weighing 480 or 490 pounds. I might not have my wife and two little baby boys. Instead, by sliding back down the mountain and regrouping, we found ourselves. We needed some time to reflect. We’ve grown up a lot. Once we come back out, we just want to explode. We know that we’re going to be busier than we’ve ever been, going full throttle.”

IceCold

They are certainly taking that path with the release of their summer anthem “Ice Cold Summer“. Written by Hickerson, Fortney, Scott Martin Mills and Brandon Ray Tant, the songs tells the story of a hot summer day spent hanging out with friends, drinking some ice-cold beverages. Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper, MUG Root Beer and Lemonade I suppose, right?

The new song certainly focuses on the simple pleasures in our lives, that’s for sure!

I know there’s more that I could talk about here, but I don’t want to bore you with my words. Instead, I’ll let you check out some more of the band’s music for yourself.

Here’s a sample of their own songs, old and new, and one that you might recognize (hint: think the Steve Miller Band):

Can’t Drink All Day

Last Man Standing

Love Me First

The Joker

Better With a Beer

Homemade Mexico

In My Next 5 Beers

If you see Trailer Choir 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 have the type of show that will keep you on your feet from beginning to end!

Also, make sure that you check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter at @TrailerChoir. 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 Trailer Choir live? What do you think of them? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Artist Spotlight: The Springs

May 19, 2016

There are a lot of country music acts out there. You’ve got solo artists, groups, trios and more. But to me, nothing says country music quite like a duo. And when that duo is a husband and wife team…you’ve got something special. That’s what you have with today’s featured spotlight: The Springs.

Springs1

First, a little background for you. The Springs is composed of Stewart Halcomb and Holly Helms who were married on September 12, 2015, in their home state of Alabama. The ceremony took place in front of their families, band members and some of their closest friends. While they were unable to invite all of their fans to the wedding (see later about their love for their fans), Halcomb and Helms wanted them to be a part of the wedding, which was streamed over Periscope to more than 1500 viewers.

Welcome to the future, right?

So what I love about the Springs is their harmonies, their high energy concerts, and what you would hope for from a couple…chemistry. A husband and wife team (similar to the likes of Thompson Square) brings together both male and female vocals, which really gives the songs a life of their own. Not to mention that the versatile, award winning duo delivers a great mix of country, southern rock, pop and traditional favorites. How can you not like that?

The Springs have shared the stage with country music royalty over the past couple years. they have shared the stage with some of country music’s top recording acts including Florida Georgia Line, Thompson Square, Jake Owen, Josh Turner, Gary Allan, Hunter Hayes, Love and Theft, Mark Wills, Little Big Town, Eric Church, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels and Easton Corbin. Not bad company to be associated with, that’s for sure.

springsband

Credit: thespringsband.com

But outside of the company they share on stage, the company they seem to enjoy most is that of their fans.

One thing that I absolutely love about The Springs is how much they enjoy interacting with their fans. Get this. Their fans have taken on the name “Springsters”, and have truly become more than just fans to The Springs. After each show Halcomb and Helms stay as long as it takes to make sure they sign autographs and take photos with everyone that comes to the show to let each fan know how much they truly mean to them.

You’ve got to love artists who do this. I am starting to see more and more of this these days and it always makes me feeling good. Seeing artists making personal connections with their fans.

In terms of music, their new EP “Dance With Me” is set to launch soon. You can pre-order it online through their Pledge Music page.

Preorder

I, for one, really enjoy Pledge Music campaigns. With The Springs campaign, the group is offering exclusive content and packages to all pledgers. Basically, anyone who pledges will walk away with something. Exclusive packages will include things like a concert in your living room, a songwriting session with us, unreleased (not on our EP) song and even more cool experiences and packages.

Definitely some cool items for fans. Personally, I’d love a signed 8X10 and the EP. I may have to go pledge…

Don’t feel like pledging? Fine. But you’re missing out on some cool stuff! Alternatively, they’ve got some pretty cool merchandise to go along with their music. You can also find additional music on iTunes.

Speaking of the music, here are a few links to some of The Springs songs that I’m sure you’re going to enjoy.

Hey Time

I Went There

Somethin Somethin

Crank it Up

Somethin’ Bout a Woman, Somethin’ Bout a Man

Don’t Tell Him That

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 The Springs, make sure you follow them on Twitter at @TheSpringsBand and on Facebook.

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

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

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.