NYCS First Impression: Chris Bandi Self Titled EP

Chris Bandi EP

We knew long before his record deal that it was just a matter of time before singer-songwriter Chris Bandi made it in the country music scene. The NYCountry Swag 2020 Artist to Watch made his major-label debut with his hit, “Man Enough Now,” and now is releasing his self-titled debut EP, filled with seven impressive tunes.

“I feel like I started making this EP 7 years ago when I first moved to Nashville,” Bandi shared on his social media, even acknowledging his early days. “From every open mic night, to writer’s room, to show throughout the years, I’m so proud of this EP and the hard work that everyone involved has put in. It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait for you’ll to hear it.”

Beginning with “Dirt On Me,” the singer shows off his songwriting flair with a title that appears to be one thing, but is another. The guitar-heavy tune is an honest account of mistakes made, experiences had, and people that have come and gone that make up Bandi’s unique story. He sings “I got pages of me that are hard looking back on / regret written into my skin like a tattoo,” admitting later, that you don’t have to look far, if you want some dirt on him.

The next song is an ode to music. “Leave It To A Song” is as relatable as can be. Bandi sings about how music is always there for you, and ironically, this song can now be added to that list of songs. “When you need a real good / feel good / throwback feeling that you ain’t felt in so long / leave it to a love song to take you back in time / leave it to a song to get you feeling right”

In the same vein, “Free” talks about how the best things in life are free. The old cliche rings true through gritty lyrics and a fresh and exciting arrangement. The song has a gospel feel, during the hook, and a Sam Hunt vibe in the verse, where Bandi talks some of the lyrics. His versatility shines through on this track, and in the feel-good, flirty, adventure-seeking song “What If We Don’t.”

On the contrary, Bandi’s “Would Have Loved Her” is touching in a completely different way. The song is a heartfelt and heartbreaking piano tune, where the singer croons about meeting a girl that he knows his late father would have loved. In one of his live performances on Instagram, Bandi called this song one of his favorites that he’s ever written, and we agree.

“They Make Whiskey” is the other slower tune off the record. The break-up slow jam is a back and forth about all the reasons things were made. Of course, whiskey was made to get over an ex. “And they make little bars on the edge of town / for getting lost / for getting found / and hanging around / for more than a round or two”

If there was one word to describe Bandi’s new project, it would be honest. Each and every song off the record is an honest, personal, and fresh anecdote into the singer-songwriter’s life and journey. Know for his debut single, “Man Enough Now,” Bandi utilizes that platform to express different parts of his life throughout the new project. The single sits as the closer of the record, and no matter how many times we hear it, it remains as one of our favorites.

To keep up with Chris Bandi follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

NYCS Picks:

  1. “Would Have Loved Her”
  2. “Man Enough Now”

 

Chris Bandi EP Tracklist:

  1. “Dirt On Me”
  2. “Leave It To A Song”
  3. “Would Have Loved Her”
  4. “Free”
  5. “They Make Whiskey”
  6. “What If We Don’t”
  7. “Man Enough Now”

 Chris Bandi EP is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police, and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
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NYCS First Impression: Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley ‘Snake Oil’

Diplo Thomas Wesley Snake Oil

The year is 2015. You are at the club with your friends when you hear Justin Bieber’s synthesized voice sing “I need you, I need you, I need you the most” over the speakers and everyone in the crowd screams in excitement. The producer behind the Grammy Award-winning song, “Where Are Ü Now” is Thomas Wesley, better known as American DJ, Diplo. If you were a betting man/woman, you would have never guessed Diplo would drop a country-inspired album, but here in 2020, we don’t know what to expect anymore. Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley, Chapter 1: Snake Oil released today (May 29).

Although raised in Miami, Florida, Diplo was born in Tupelo, Mississippi – the same town in which Elvis Presley was born, so country music was always in his blood. He first dipped his feet in the industry when he released his remix to the popular Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus hit, “Old Town Road,” but received even more attention with his collaboration with country star, Morgan Wallen on “Heartless.” The song is being played on both mainstream pop and country radio and was recently certified platinum; it is becoming a staple in Wallen’s live set as well. A remix to the song with Julia Michaels was released earlier this year and all three songs appear on the new album. Michaels, who has been working with a lot of country artists as of late, also appears on the eighth song on the record, “Real Life Stuff” with Clever. Over an acoustic guitar and thumping bass, Michaels sings about wanting a real relationship with her significant other.

Although we would classify this as an EDM album, there are some real aspects of country on it. The Intro sets the mood and puts the listener inside an old western saloon. Orville Peck, the featured artist on the track, talks over an acoustic guitar, saying he wishes there was more trouble in this town. In “So Long,” Cam sings about a troubled man who acts independent but is really looking for love. Diplo adds produced-sounding string instruments to the chorus, including a fiddle, that is the perfect representation of this new sub-genre he has created.

“I know you’re fine doing life on your own / that doesn’t mean you should spend it alone / ‘Cause boy, you’ve been flying low for so long / but I think it’s time to give your heart / your heart what it wants”

Diplo gives us a brand new version of the classic square dance in “Do si do” and it’s no surprise he chose “The Git Up” singer, Blanco Brown, to feature on this track. Brown gives the dance’s instructions in a whisper and harmonica solos serve as the bass drops in the song. “Heartbreak,” featuring Ben Burgess, is probably the most country-sounding song on the album. Burgess paints the fictional picture of a whole bar strip closed by eight o’clock because no one needs alcohol to drown the pain and every song playing on the jukebox is a party song. To the average person, this isn’t an ideal situation. However, Burgess is content with his not-so-perfect life because “heartbreak makes the world go ‘round.” Instead of being upset about his break-up, he is going to raise his glass to the fact that there are better days ahead.

Diplo Snake Oil

Photo Credit: Mason Poole

Paying tribute to your roots is a classic theme in country music and Diplo covers it on this album with “Hometown.” Zac Brown and Danielle Bradberry play the role of a couple who would like to get to know each other better. They decide to visit their respected hometowns together so they can learn more about each other’s pasts and make sense of why they are the way they are now.

“We’ll pump gas before we pay for it / on some backroad, ain’t got no name for it / Headlight shining ‘til forever /Promise you gon’ know me better”

Other more pop-inspired songs we love are “Lonely” with the Jonas Brothers, “On Mine” with Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter Noah Cyrus, and “Dance With Me” with Young Thug and country star, Thomas Rhett. “Dance With Me” has some funk vibes to it, which are familiar to Rhett, as songs such as “South Side,” “I Feel Good,” “Country Gold” and “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” are all funk-infused.

This album is a great representation of Diplo’s roots, showcasing his creativity, and how versatile these modern country singers are with their cross-genre collaborations. As we are beginning to see many artists blend the genre lines, we believe it will introduce fans of all music to the country genre and give them a taste of what makes our industry so special! Although we are unsure if any of these will be embraced by country radio as positively as “Heartless” was, we feel these songs will fit perfectly into the fun vibes that lower Broadway brings to Nashville and country music fans.

NYCS Picks

  1. Hometown
  2. Heartbreak
  3. Dance With Me

Keep up with Diplo by following him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley, Chapter 1: Snake Oil is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS First Impression: Kip Moore ‘Wild World’

Kip Moore Wild World

“She said, ‘Ooh baby, it’s a wild world” are the first lyrics in the chorus of the title track of Kip Moore’s fourth studio album available today (5/29). While that sentiment couldn’t ring truer during a global pandemic, Moore has forged ahead with the release of his highly anticipated project, giving fans just what the world might need right now, a little bit of musical medicine.

Opening with a song that he first played for attendees of CRS (Country Radio Seminar) back in February in Nashville at the Ryman Auditorium, “Janie Blu”, the story of a lost girl from his past that he is clinging to.  Moore has a way of filling the entire space in a song with a smattering of instruments while his lyrics are insightful and quietly express the story. The project was recorded live with a full band to capture the full emotion of each of songs.

Throughout the project, Moore’s vocals sound better than they’ve ever been, intentional yet breezy. He sings each word with conviction, something that fans have gravitated towards since his debut album and sing back to him with the same confidence during his live shows.

One of the many highlights on Wild World comes at the very end of “Fire and Flame” where after several cathedral-like chords,  Moore echos the chorus one final time as if speaking a confessional. “Someday I might find my way to heaven and Lord I hope there’s still room on that train / if you’re looking for me tonight, I’ll be out here burning bright, somewhere between the fire and flame”. The reflective track acts as a mirror showing the internal struggle you face as you grow older, trading in your vices for better practices.

“Music is the one thing where I really try to unveil where I’m at mentally, where my soul is,” the MCA Nashville recording artist explains in a press release. “As you get older, you start thinking about bigger concepts and where you fit in the grand scheme of this whole thing, and I’ve always lived my life simple. But the more I’ve lived, the more I understand that all this stuff we crave and seek, I see how much of life is smoke and mirrors. When I strip it down to the bare essentials, that’s when I’m the most happy.”

Although songs are written, recorded, and produced sometimes years before they become available for fans to hear, the title track seems as if Moore and songwriter Josh Miller could predict the crazy world they would be releasing this treasure into. “Wild World” reads like a list of advice a parent would give to their sons or daughters all the while, encouraging childlike wonder and to ultimately give up control. “Mama said, “Wild man, won’t you listen?” / Every second is God given / So forgive yourself, you’re just a man / And he’s too big for us to understand” he sings.

Moore’s version of a simple love song, “More Than Enough” highlights an effortless declaration that no matter what challenges may arise, a strong relationship can face anything. “I say the grass is pretty green right here, and this glass is past full, baby, cheers / to you, to me, to life and dreams, to all the little simple things / like this little piece of land that we’re on right now,” he croons in the second verse. “If it gets any better, hell, I don’t know how”.

“South” has a distinct sound, instantly catching your ear as Moore reminiscences of a summer romance over a bright cross-picking guitar while “Crazy For You Tonight” is sonically simple and sensual. The album closes with “Payin’ Hard”, for anyone who is following an unconventional dream. An acoustic masterpiece Moore outlines a life of sacrifices to play music, something that is specific to him and so many artists starving and yearning for the spotlight. “At the expense of my heart Lord, I’ve cashed in my soul / Chose this old guitar before the only love I’ve known / I gotta live with that, lose sleep with that when I close my eyes I’ll die with that yeah / My life’s a credit card, play now, pay later and I’m paying hard”.

Cowriting all but one song on Wild World, Moore bares his soul, laying out personal struggles and triumphs and managing to be sonically refreshing and nostalgic throughout.  One of his most stunning works to date, this project continues his legacy in the country music world.

NYCS Picks:

  1. “Payin’ Hard”
  2. “More Than Enough”
  3. “South”

To keep up with Moore, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Wild World is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Kip Moore, Wild World Track List:
1. “Janie Blu” (Dan Couch, Kip Moore)
2. “Southpaw” (Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
3. “Fire and Flame” (Cary Barlowe, Brett James, Kip Moore, Will Weatherly)
4. “Wild World” (Josh Miller, Kip Moore)
5. “Red White Blue Jean American Dream” (Jimi Bell, Barton Davies, Luke Dick, Philip Lammonds)
6. “She’s Mine” (Dan Couch, Kip Moore, Scott Stepakoff)
7. “Hey Old Lover” (Dan Couch, Kip Moore)
8. “Grow on You” (Blair Daly, Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
9. “More Than Enough” (David Garcia, Josh Miller, Kip Moore)
10. “Sweet Virginia” (Kip Moore, Manny Medina, Erich Wigdahl)
11. “South” (Adam Browder, Dan Couch, Manny Medina, Kip Moore, Dave Nassie, Erich Wigdahl)
12. “Crazy for You Tonight” (Blair Daly, Westin Davis, Kip Moore)
13. “Payin’ Hard” (Blair Daly, Westin Davis, Kip Moore)

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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NYCS First Impression: BRELAND Self-Titled EP

Breland EP

Late in 2018, Lil Nas X’s now Grammy-award winning song “Old Town Road” blew up on TikTok, giving us an introduction to what ‘country trap’ is. A year and a half later, a new artist in the same genre, BRELAND, breaks into the scene with his song, “My Truck.” Soon thereafter, the 24-year-old Atlanta-based rapper dropped his debut extended play today (May 22) under a major record label.

Born in Burlington, New Jersey, Daniel Breland grew up listening to all types of music from The Beatles, to Prince, to Rascal Flatts. While attending Georgetown University, BRELAND knocked on every possible music-industry door and eventually broke through as a songwriter, landing several high-profile cuts with rappers such as Elhae and YK Osiris. As much as he enjoyed writing for other artists, his dream was to put out his own music. Like “Old Town Road,” “My Truck” went viral on TikTok and due to its popularity, fans urged him to drop the track on Spotify. It found tremendous success, including hitting #1 on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 and US Viral 50 charts. On April 24th, country mega-star, Sam Hunt joined the “My Truck” remix, and the song debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Charts at #46.

“My Truck” is a fun and simple song, in which BRELAND and Hunt just describe how much their truck means to them. However, this EP allows him to go deeper and tell us more about his personal life. “Wifi” discusses a complex relationship, while “Beautiful Lies” has all the vibes of a Post Malone track. In this song, he sings about his upbringing and all the grinding he had to go through to make it to where he is today. “I’ve been going in, going hard for the longest. Worked a couple jobs, did it all for my mama. People wanna talk but they can’t walk a mile in my shoes,” he sings in the chorus. “They ain’t know that hate is only love in disguise. So I had to thank you for the beautiful lies.”

Our favorite track, “In the Woulds” features Chase Rice and Lauren Alaina. Although it has a lot of hip-hop influence, it also contains multiple elements of country music, with an acoustic guitar serving as the lead instrument in the chorus, backed by a banjo and a strong bass beat. ‘Woulds’ is purposely misspelled as the singer says he is “lost in the woulds” with this girl, meaning he would do anything to be with her. BRELAND sings the chorus and Rice and Alaina take the first and second verses, respectively.

“Horseride” and “Hot Sauce” are two more fun, upbeat songs to go along with “My Truck” that lean a little more into a hip-hop sound. In the latter, BRELAND says his girl is like hot sauce, as everything is better with her.

If you are one who likes to categorize music by genre, good luck with this one. BRELAND took a sound that we have only heard in one song before and created an entire EP out of it, giving us a better understanding of the genre and sound. Although we doubt this will become the new ‘norm’ in country music, there is definitely a place for it. All these cross-genre collaborations are helping country music become more mainstream in regions where they have not been popular in the past, like here in the urban, northeast. For example, Morgan Wallen credits “Heartless”, his record with American DJ, Diplo as one of the causes of his fast-growing substantial fame. Diplo fans hear the song, then go check out Wallen as a result, and vice versa. In this case, after hearing “My Truck,” a fan of rap might go check out Sam Hunt, then venture off into other pop-country acts such as Thomas Rhett, which could lead to him/her listening to Jon Pardi, and soon enough, he/she could be adding George Strait and Waylon Jennings to their playlist.

Genre-defining aside, BRELAND showcased his true creativity with his fun and lively lyrics and sounds. If country trap is going to take off, Lil Nas X will be known as the one started it, but BRELAND will be credited as the one who truly moved it forward.

NYCS Picks:

  1. In the Woulds
  2. Beautiful Lie
  3. My Truck [Remix]

Keep up with BRELAND by following him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

BRELAND’s self-titled EP is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police, and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS First Impression: High Valley ‘Grew Up On That’ EP

High Valley Grew Up On That

The Canadian brothers behind the mega-hits “Make You Mine” and “She’s With Me” have long been one of country music’s most underappreciated duos. Rather than pander to contemporary trends, High Valley, composed of Brad and Curtis Rempel, have always strayed a bit from the mainstream, staying true to their harmonic, blue-grass tinged roots. Today, they released the Grew Up On That EP, a follow up to 2016’s Dear Life, that shows them continuing to do exactly that.

The six-track collection opens with the title track celebrating the ways the duo was raised and grew up. “We have spent a lot of time in the past couple of years explaining what we grew up without, having spent our childhoods living in a pretty remote area,” Brad said in a statement. “This time around we wanted to let people know more of our story and exactly what we did have – what made us who we are – and what we grew up on.”

That theme continues throughout the tracks of the EP, as “Your Mama” takes us through an ode of appreciation to the pair’s wives, while “River’s Still Running” continues to look at life through the lens of small town glasses. On “River,” the pair muse how the song accidentally applies to the current circumstances of the world. “When we wrote this song, we had no idea about the predicament we’d be in right now,” said Brad in a statement. “But it’s pretty true that if you can look outside and see the sun still shining, see the river still running… then you know it’s going to be ok. We just have to focus on little pieces of positivity every single day.”

While the entire EP is a solid offering of new music, “Northern Star” is a certain standout, perfect for first dances and proclamations of new love. Think the likes of Russell Dickerson’s “Yours” or Dan + Shay’s “From the Ground Up” here. “I’ve always prayed for a porch light/To keep me from losin’ my way in the dark,” They sing. “I finally found it in your eyes/ My northern star.”

One of the best things about High Valley is that they have always managed to stay true to their roots, sound, and upbringing, and nowhere is that more apparent than on the Grew Up On That EP. The collection combines their signature harmonies and bluegrass background with songs that still manage to maintain modernity and mainstream appeal.

Grew Up On That EP Track Listing:
1. Grew Up On That (Brad Rempel, Ben Stennis, Jaron Boyer)
2. Your Mama (Ben West, Tyler Hubbard, Josh Miller, Troy Verges)
3. River’s Still Running (Brad Rempel, Randy Montana, Corey Crowder)
4. Northern Star (Brad Rempel, Matt Rogers, Ben Stennis)
5. One Day You’ll Get It (Brad Rempel, Derrick Southerland, Ben West)
6. Show Me The Way (feat. Jillian Edwards) (Brad Rempel, Daniel Tashian, Tenille Nadkrynechny)

To keep up with High Valley, visit their official website or follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Grew Up On That – EP is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our “New Country Music” playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS First Impression: Craig Morgan ‘God, Family, Country’

Craig Morgan God Family Country

Craig Morgan is no stranger to country music. In fact, the 55-year old Tennessee native had his Grand Ole Opry debut back in 2000, which was the same year that his debut self-titled album was released. After eight albums, one of which being a collection of hits, God, Family, Country is here to reintroduce the artist in a way that could not have been anticipated for the Morgan family.

In 2016, almost directly after his last album A Whole Lot More to Me, Morgan’s son, Jerry, lost his life during a boating accident. Artists and devoted listeners of country music were devastated to hear about the news, feeling a sliver of the pain and sorrow that the family was suddenly in the face of during such misfortune. A silent gloom fell upon the genre and was only lifted by the transformative “The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost”.

The single was the first we’ve heard of Morgan since the loss of his 19-year old son, with the exception of “4 x Life” featuring Maggie Rose. Still, this is the comeback that fans were waiting for. Written and produced by the high-esteemed musician and veteran, “The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost” is one of the most vulnerable and honest productions in a landslide of emotional tracks in country music. One cannot miss the grief evident in the lyrics that are amplified by the heavy ache in Morgan’s tone; still, a sense of hope remains.

“In the mornings I wake up, give her a kiss, head to the kitchen / Pour a cup of wake-me-up and try to rouse up some ambition / Go outside, sit by myself but I ain’t alone / I’ve got the Father, my son, and the Holy Ghost”

God, Family Country breathes as something so much more than a ninth studio album: it’s a way of moving forward from the headlines and conversation regarding Jerry and the emotional healing involved by reflecting heavily on past experiences. “This album is based on everything that’s happened in my life and my career,” Craig said in a press release. “I feel like I have some of the most quality songs I’ve ever recorded, and there is a new energy here. After all I’ve been through, I’m at one of the most inspired places I’ve ever been.”

There are five new songs as well as remastered versions of previous tracks Morgan recorded through Broken Bow Records. Gavin DeGraw’s “Soldier” is included and taken through a different scope with the distinguished country artist’s perspective of former EMT and service member experience.

“Whiskey” lands as the third mastered production on the project, yet the first to be brand new. The electric guitar arrangement works alongside soothing harmonica subtleties to establish a true, powerhouse country song: dealing with a heartache washed down with whiskey. If there’s one thing this genre is known for it’s the breakup songs, and of course, drinking songs. Jon Pardi combines the two in “Heartache Medication”, Cole Swindell does it with “Ain’t Worth the Whiskey” and the 2013 “Drunk Last Night” from Eli Young Band takes on the same concept. There’s a wide array of music devoted to this type of story, and it doesn’t dilute the new releases that join them. Though, this new one from Morgan sets the bar for the next wave.

“It runs like a river through my veins / kills my liver, wrecks my brain, makes me numb but I still feel the pain / So I pour and pour, then pour some more ‘til me and the bottle hit the floor / Another shot in the dark won’t stop this heartache / Lord, I hate the taste of whiskey, but I drink it anyway”

“Sippin’ on the Simple Life” and “Going Out Like This” were released within the last few weeks to act as teasers for this album. They show both dimensions of the entertainer, being that each piece is complete in itself and tug at the heartstrings for different reasons. The first is a feel-good summer song that has a Kenny Chesney feel while resembling Scotty McCreery’s “Feelin’ It” or Jake Owen’s “Barefoot Blue Jean Night”. The latter tries to hold onto a relationship that may have passed its expiration date. It’s a heartfelt ballad that scrambles to fall back in love, similar to the desperation in Darius Rucker’s 2010 “I Got Nothing”.

Morgan’s project is not only for fans of the artist over the years but allows room to welcome new ones into the fold. If you love traditional country sounds with heartfelt lyrics, you will revel in God, Family, Country.

NYCS Picks:

  1. “The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost”
  2. “Whiskey”
  3. “Going Out Like This”

To keep up with Craig Morgan, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

God, Family, Country is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more recently released music on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS First Impression: Jordan Davis Self-Titled EP

Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis has been one of the NYCountry Swag team’s favorite artists since he burst on to the scene with his hit song “Singles You Up.” Davis’ Louisiana swagger combined with his knack for intricate songwriting has created a unique musical sound that we just cannot get enough of. A little over two years since the release of his debut record Home State, Davis just premiered a self-titled EP to hold fans over until album number two.

Although only six songs in total, the new project is exactly what we needed from the singer-songwriter. Each song shows a part of his personality, a piece of his story, and of course, delivers with that signature Davis sound. Three of the songs off the record have been previously released over the last few months to keep fans hungry for new music.

Opening up with the newest release “Almost Maybes,” Davis has teased this song for a while on social media and of course during his live streams. The song is a smart take on a love song, as the singer shares about all the mistakes, the crossroads, the heartbreaks, and everything in between that he had to experience before finding his better half.

The record continues with a gem of a song called “Church In A Chevy.” The introspective track is about needing time to reflect and connect with God or the universe or whatever you believe in. For Davis it is talking to God for a moment in his truck. “Amazing grace came flooding through the windshield / Felt some broken parts of me start to heal,” Davis sings in the most touching and endearing way. It is such a powerful sentiment.

Davis’ smartly placed two of the most fun songs in the middle of his project. “Ruin My Weekend” has the “Singles You Up” and “Take It From Me” vibes that Davis fans have one to love, while “A Little Lime” is the best way to sing a song about approaching someone you noticed at a bar. We cannot get enough of Davis’ romantic, yet sensual lyrics.

“A little lime and a lotta tequila / Still buzzing off your nice to meet ya / Honestly I like to see how this thing plays out / Kinda wanna know all about you”

Of course, arguably Davis’ most personal song to date, “Detours” is our favorite. Co-written by the singer with his brother Jacob Davis and Dave Turnbull, Davis takes fans through the ups and downs in his life’s journey. He sings about his time as a little bit of a rebel in the first verse, but in the second verse, he admits that finding his wife has made him a better person. Davis shares tidbits about how he met his wife (in a hotel) through that verse.

Sittinwith a group of friends and sippinon a glass of red / And I dont remember what I said but she wrote her number down / All I ever wanted but never knew I needed / Shes the dotted lines and every sign that led me straight to Jesus / Was a voice that made me hit the brakes, slow it down, have some faith” 

The record ends with Davis’ previously released duet with pop vocalist and songwriter, Julia Michaels “Cool Anymore.” The combination of the vocals on the new song is unexpected, but boy does it work! Co-written by Davis and Michaels with a team of superstar songwriters, Nicolle Galyon, Ross Copperman, and Emily Weisband, the song is a real-life, everyday love affair. Expressed through the eyes of someone who loves you, Davis and Michaels encourage listeners to be themselves and to let down their guard. The song aims to remind listeners that they can be their silly, normal self at home and with the ones they love, and to not like their work image or persona to take over.

Overall, this EP is the perfect project for Davis to release during these times. It reminds fans of his one of a kind talent, and honestly, makes us super excited for his sophomore record. We cannot wait for live shows to come back, to see Davis perform these songs, and to see how they resonate with the music community.

To keep up with Jordan Davis follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

NYCS Picks:

  1. “Detours”
  2. “A Little Lime”
  3. “Church In A Chevy”

Jordan Davis EP Tracklist:

  1. “Almost Maybes”
  2. “Church In A Chevy”
  3. “Ruin My Weekend”
  4. “A Little Lime”
  5. “Detours”
  6. “Cool Anymore” featuring Julia Michaels

Jordan Davis EP is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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NYCS First Impression: Randy Rogers & Wade Bowen ‘HOLD MY BEER, VOL 2.’

Hold My Beer Wade Bowen Randy Rogers

Fans of Texas country megastars, Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen are in for a real treat this Friday morning (5/8). The twosome released their first record in five years, a fun and exciting new project that picks up where they left off. HOLD MY BEER, VOL 2. is a purposeful masterpiece that the two meticulously wrote and ultimately recorded songs from the heart.

During our Swag Spotlight with the singers, we learned that Bowen and Rogers are long-time friends for almost 20 years. That notion is clearly embodied throughout the twelve cohesive songs off the new record. Each track is laced with vocals by the duo, but even more so, the songs tell the story of their friendship, their mutual love for traditional country music, and their respect and admiration for the genre as a whole.

“AM/FM” kicks off the album with a bang. The groovy and comedic song features banjos, horns, and drums while depicting a picture-perfect country scene. “Rodeo Clown” continues that vibe, as the duo laughs about losing a woman to a “rodeo clown.” The sarcastic tune is funny, witty, and as catchy as can be.

The duo shows off their comedic side again on the track simply titled “Her.” Rogers and Bowen lean on their knack for story-telling, as they talk to a guy, who they only like because of his girl. Ultimately, the man gets too drunk and loses his girl to the charm of the other men. “The other guy” taught him a lesson in this one.

“Yeah, the moral of the story is if you take your girl somewhere to quench your thirst / Don’t drink more than the other guy, and always, always, keep your eye on her.”

Rogers and Bowen trade lyrics on “Habits,” a true duet that depicts their vices. The two consider the pros and cons of drinking and smoking, but ultimately decide, that they are having too much fun to change. Amen to that fellas!

Two of the songs off the record pay homage to the country music family “Let Merle Be Merle,” has the duo advocating for simplicity and consistency in the ever-changing world, but of course the late, great, Merle Haggard is an integral part of the song. On the other hand, “Ode To Ben Dorcy (Lovey’s Song)” honors both Waylon Jennings and Ben Dorcy. Jennings’ unreleased vocals are sampled at the beginning of the song, and the country music great wrote the tune. Of course, the song honors Ben Dorcy, who was a longtime fixture in the country music industry for his work backstage. He is considered by many to be the ultimate ‘roadie.’

The record continues to flow with “Rhinestoned” sitting as the number 5 track. Arguably the best song off the record, the song is a love letter to country music. Written by Lori McKenna, Ryan Beaver, and Ashley Ray, the song reminds us all about the times country music has been there for us. This song is truly flawless lyrically, sonically, and vocally.

Another standout track is “This Ain’t My Town.” Rogers and Bowen joined forces with Jon Randall and Jim Beavers to create a song about their values and their experiences. The men sing about how cities are taking the place of rural and country landscapes. The soft acoustic guitar plays well with the venerable lyrics of the song. They firmly state “Pack my bags I ain’t lookin’ back / This ain’t my town.”

Just as it started, the records ends on a fun and exciting note with the title track, “Hold My Beer.” One of our favorites, the song is a honky-tonk good time and the perfect drinking tune. It celebrates unwavering friendship and loyalty.

Overall, Rogers and Bowen make the ultimate team. It is clear from this record that the two love working together, creating music that can only be described as fun and upbeat country music. Fans across the genre will like this one!

To keep up with Randy Rogers follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
To keep up with Wade Bowen follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

NYCS Picks:

  1. “Rhinestoned”
  2. “Hold My Beer”
  3. “Habits”
  4. “This Ain’t My Town”

HOLD MY BEER, VOL 2. Tracklist:

  1. “AM/FM”
  2. “Rodeo Clown”
  3. “Habits”
  4. “Let Merle Be Merle”
  5. “Rhinestoned”
  6. “Ode To Ben Dorcy (Lovey’s Song)”
  7. “Mi Amigo”
  8. “This Ain’t My Town”
  9. “Warm Beer”
  10. “Speak to Me Jukebox”
  11. “Her”
  12. “Hold My Beer”

HOLD MY BEER, VOL 2. is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

Saturday Night Live Combs

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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NYCS First Impression: Hot Country Knights ‘The K Is Silent’

Hot Country Knights

Many people thought this moment would never come. But in spite of 30 wasted years and countless bad decisions, the ’90s influenced country band, Hot Country Knights, have finally released their debut album, The K is Silent. Since signing a recording deal with Universal Music Group, the Knights have come riding in to save country music from itself, with the promise of resurrecting that real ’90s country sound that made so many fans fall in love with the genre.

“Some artists out there tried to put the ‘O’ back in country, that was a thing for a while….but what it’s really missing is the ‘T,’” front-man Douglas (“Doug”) Douglason said. “Country music has Low-T right now…it could use a pick me up, if you know what I mean. Those record label people over at Universal finally realized that only the Knights could be up to a task this big and hard.”

And big they went. This 10-track record begins with a song simply titled, “Hot Country Knights,” giving listeners a taste of the album’s sound, theme, and vibe. The song begins with the band members chanting the letters that spell out ‘Hot Country Knights’ behind a modest drum beat which transitions to steel and electric guitar. Listeners can also hear a lot of fiddle and keys throughout the song, bringing back classic country instruments that popularized country music in the 90s and have slowly faded on mainstream, country radio. The band sings “Ain’t nothing cooler than these Hot Country Knights,” referencing themselves and the party under the moonlight they so descriptively paint. You can also see the humor this group provides in the bridge when they purposely don’t rhyme their lines. “Hey pretty baby, you’re an eleven. It must’ve hurt when you fell from the sky. Fold up them wings ‘cause tonight I’m going to teach you how to soar.” This track is followed by the lead single, “Pick Her Up,” featuring ‘90s country star, Travis Tritt. In this song, Tritt and band give step-by-step instructions on how to show your lady friend the night of her life. The music video features ’90 television star, Tiffani Thiessen of NBC’s Saved by the Bell.

Next is the first of a few ballads on the record, “Asphalt.” This clever and well-written track is about a man who cannot commit to a relationship. The reasons why can be interpreted in a few different ways. Maybe he just loves the open road, or maybe he can’t resist a woman’s behind. Who’s to say? The Knights got to perform this song live on Jimmy Kimmel on February 3rd.

The boys pay tribute to Tracy Byrd and his famous “Watermelon Crawl” with the next track called “Moose Knuckle Shuffle.” When the band’s truck breaks down in the small and fictional town of Moose Knuckle, Tennessee, some of the female residents teach them the new dance craze called the Moose Knuckle Shuffle. It goes like this:

“Then It Rained” is another song that could be construed with two different meanings. The band’s bassist, Trevor Travis provides the vocals on this tune, singing over a melancholy guitar strum. He describes good situations like hearing George Strait on the jukebox and finding change under the pillow cushion, which ultimately leads to “it raining.” A fun, honkytonk track called “Wrangler Danger” follows. Douglason sings about how a pretty woman in Wrangler jeans can get a man into a lot of trouble.

“The way she shakes them W’s, oughta be a honkytonk crime. WRANGLER. DANGER. My heart’s in danger but I can’t leave a Wrangler’s behind”

“Mull It Over” is a song about heartbreak and the band uses play on words and their luscious hairstyles in an attempt to try and win back their former lovers. “Don’t cut me off. I swear I’ll love you longer than the hair on my shoulders,” Douglason pleads. “Oh baby, maybe you should mull it over.”

“You Make It Hard,” a duet ballad featuring Canadian singer-songwriter, Terri Clark and the very patriotic “The USA Begins with Us” close out the album. In “You Make It Hard,” Douglason and Clark sing about how difficult it is to leave each other, both on their hearts and other parts of the body. There are a few funny and not-so-subtle lines throughout the song such as “With an ache in my heart and blood rushing to my head,” “Boy I hate to see you so blue” and “Every inch of me is so into you.” “The USA Begins with Us” is more of a political speech than a song. Deep inside Douglason’s long, rambling dialogue, he states that no matter your age, sex, race, political views, etc., we’re all Americans and to overcome any large obstacle, we need to come together as a nation.

The band consists of Douglason, Travis, guitarist Marty Ray (“Rayro”) Roburn, Russian-born keytar/fiddle player Terotej (“Terry”) Dvoraczekynski, steel guitarist Barry Van Ricky and percussionist Monte Montgomery. 2020 ACM Male Artist of the Year nominee, Dierks Bentley took the Knights under his wing and had a huge impact on the making of this record. He produced all ten songs and has co-writes on seven of them. Other writers include Jim and Brett Beavers, Jon Nite, Brett Tyler, Jon Randall, Chase McGill, and many others.

“When [Dierks] first moved to town, he was struggling, and he saw us crushing a big venue,” Douglason claimed, although he can’t recall which Hooters’ parking lot it was. “We inspired him, so he thinks he’s paying us back in some way by offering to produce us–but we all know what’s really going on here. He’s trying to grab onto the old mullet and ride it as hard as he can.”

The showmanship and the passion for ’90s country was always there for the Hot Country Knights, they just lacked direction and motivation. Whether they want to admit it or not, they needed Bentley, and with his help, the Knights are more than a novelty. They’re here, and they’re here to stay.

To keep with the Hot Country Knights, follow them on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

NYCS Picks

    1. Asphalt
    2. Then It Rained
    3. Wrangler Danger
    4. You Make it Hard

The K is Silent is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

 

The K is Silent Tracklist:
1. “Hot Country Knights” (Brett Beavers, Jim Beavers, Cassady Feasby, Ben Helson, Dan Hochhalter, Chase McGill, Steve Misamore, Jon Nite, Jon Randall, Tim Sergent, Brett Tyler, and Dierks Bentley)
2.”Pick Her Up” – Featuring Travis Tritt (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Jim Beavers)
3. “Asphalt” (Jim Beavers, Jon Nite, and Brett Tyler)
4. “Moose Knuckle Shuffle” (Brett Beavers, Jim Beavers, Buddy Brock, Dan Hochhalter, Chase McGill, Zach Turner, and Brett Tyler)
5.”Then It Rained” (Brett Beavers, Jon Nite, and Jon Randall)
6.”Wrangler Danger” (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Jim Beavers)
7.”Mull It Over” (Dierks Bentley, Jim Beavers, and Jon Randall)
8.”Kings Of Neon” (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Chase McGill)
9. “You Make It Hard” -Featuring Terri Clark (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beaver, Jim Beavers, Mary Hilliard Harrington, Jon Randall, and Luke Wooten)
10. “The USA Begins With US” (Dierks Bentley, Brett Beavers, and Jim Beavers)

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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NYCS First Impression: Kenny Chesney ‘Here and Now’

Kenny Chesney Here and Now

Recorded and scheduled for release prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenny Chesney’s Here and Now may just be the serendipitous album we can all use during these trying times. Marking his second release with Warner Music Nashville, Chesney’s new album is a collection of much-needed levity and optimism, executed like only Chesney can.

While Chesney co-produced the album with Buddy Cannon, who he previously joined forces with on 2018’s Songs for the Saints, Here and Now is a markedly different release. When speaking about the album in a statement, the country superstar revealed his goal for the album. “You know, it’s going to have a high fun factor,” he said. “People work hard, and need music that makes them smile, that kicks them into a happy place. There are also songs here that look at very specific people, that tell one person’s story, but it could be any of us. That’s the mark of a good song: let one person’s specific life say so much about a lot of people’s lives.”

The album opens with an exceptional one-two punch that can easily be envisioned as used to open a Chesney live show. The first track is the anthemic “We Do,” which is purely Chesney at his finest, celebrating the life of both a musician and a music fan. “Not really sure who’s lifting up who,” he sings here, encompassing the unique connection between performer, crew, and fans. Instantly, this song has improved our mood and made us excited for the return of live music.

The album’s title track continues the theme of the album, as does the later track, “Beautiful World,” both which celebrate the “here and now” of our “big ol’ beautiful world.” While the former is a carpe diem anthem about living in the moment and enjoying life, the latter celebrates our smallness in such a giant world. Both continue to offer a much-needed glimpse of optimism in light of everything else going on in the world.

While the album is full of levity, Chesney does tackle harder topics, and nowhere is that more well done than on the coming-of-age track, “Everyone She Knows.” Here, he sings of someone who’s caught in the delicate balance between being a girl and a woman, watching as the lives of those around her pass by. While her friends are getting married and having kids and buying houses, “She’s stuck between seventeen and everyone she knows.”

Lost love is on display too, as Chesney excels at mournful ballads with “Knowing You” and “You Don’t Get To.” On “Knowing,” he’s recalling that love he lost, but with a fondness, as he sings. “Knowing you, you’re still wild and free/ And knowing you/ You’re probably way over me…I’d do it all over/ ‘Cause damn it was good knowing you.”

Alternately, “You Don’t Get To” shows an angrier side of the usually breezy singer-songwriter, as he argues all the things that his ex isn’t entitled to. “You don’t get to kiss me and make it all better/ You don’t get to lay it all out in a letter/ Blame it on something, Break me like it’s nothing/ Just to love me back together.”

For Chesney, Here and Now shows a different side of the singer, as he’s embracing optimism and his fans in a whole new way. “When you’re this far into a career,” he says, “I think artists need to keep pushing themselves and the music without losing sight of who they are, or forgetting the people you make music for. No Shoes Nation is a very passionate place without borders; I get inspired every time I see and hear them. These are passionate people who work really hard. They make a difference in their community in all kinds of ways, giving back not so people think they’re good, but because that’s who they are and what they do. When they listen to music, they’re all in – and when they hear something they like, you can feel it in how they respond.”

While Chesney describes the songs on Here and Now as “Polaroids from the parking lots, back home, the islands, my friends’ lives,” there’s truly something magical in each and every track. “Every single one is someone I know, you know, or may even be – and right now, our friends are absolutely the most precious thing we have.”

Kenny Chesney – Here and Now tracklist:

1. “We Do”
2. “Here and Now”
3. “Everyone She Knows”
4. “Wasted”
5. “Knowing You”
6. “Heartbreakers”
7. “Someone to Fix”
8. “Happy Does”
9. “Tip of My Tongue”
10. “You Don’t Get To”
11. “Beautiful World”
12. “Guys Named Captain”

NYCS Picks:
1. We Do
2. Knowing You
3. Here and Now

Chesney has postponed the April and May dates of his Chillaxification Tour, but is still currently scheduled for an August 22 show at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. For more tour dates and to keep up with Chesney, visit his official website or follow him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Here and Now is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our “New Country Music” playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

 

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook: