Chris Janson and Ross Ellis Entertain on the Real Friends Tour

Country-star and Grand Ole Opry member, Chris Janson, and the Real Friends Tour, named after his new album that dropped last Friday, stopped on Long Island Thursday night at the Paramount Theater in Huntington. He brought along special guest, Ross Ellis.

Ross Ellis

Ellis opened his 30-minute acoustic set with two original songs in “Ghosts” and “Barefoot Dancer”. The singer-songwriter also debuted some unreleased music he’s been working on including “Without You” and “2000 and You”. He mentioned that he had just learned the chords 25 minutes ago backstage. Ellis’ vocal chords are similar to those of country super-star, Brett Young as both do a great job of expanding their range to hit the high notes. This was made apparent when Ellis beautifully covered King of Leon’s “Use Somebody”. He then performed a cover of a song he wrote for Tim McGraw titled, “Neon Church”. He closed his set with his most recent release “Buy and Buy”.

A half-hour later, headliner Chris Janson took the stage, starting his set with three songs from his second album, Everybody with “Redneck Life”, the title track and its lead single, “Fix a Drink”. He quickly got the crowd cheering when he broke out his harmonica for “Redneck Life”. “It’s hard to get me away from home during hunting season but man, when it’s New York, I’m coming; that’s it.”

It was a big week for Janson as his new album came out last week and its lead single “Good Vibes” hit number one on country radio, making it the singer-songwriter’s third number one hit. He was in Manhattan all week promoting it, he even made an appearance on the Today Show. He said performing on Long Island was the most relaxed he’s been all week.

Chris Janson

Janson was spreading good moods all night long, constantly reminding the crowd that there’s a lot to be thankful for and there’s a lot of reasons to get up every morning. “The Power of Positive Drinking”, “Who’s Your Farmer?” and his newest number one were next in the set. He blended “Good Vibes” with Bob Marley’s “Every Little Thing is Gonna Be Alright”. “I don’t take a second of it for granted,” he said. “Good Vibes” is the song and it has changed my life.”

After performing a new song off Real Friends, “Waitin’ On 5” and a cover of Vern Gosdin’s “Set ‘em up Joe”, he brought out his Grand Ole Opry mic stand and told us the story of his upbringing, growing up in a trailer park in Missouri. The next song, from his debut album, Buy Me a Boat, “White Trash” was inspired by his life before moving to Nashville. Janson, who was a big talker, told another story about how he met his wife. He was at a bar with his friends in Nashville when he first laid eyes on this girl. He said to them: “I’m going to marry that girl over there, done and done; that’s it” to which they responded: “yeah, right; she’s hot.” Well, it happened, they have been married for ten years and they have four kids, two of which they had together. Janson doesn’t like the term “step kids” however; he prefers the term “bonus kids”. “Children are the light of the world and it’s a blessing to have them,” he praises. “They’re happy, they’re healthy and they got ten fingers and ten toes apiece and I’m just thankful for that.” That story set up his next song, “Holdin’ Her”.

As much as the crowd loved his stories and slow songs, he brought the energy back with a song he co-wrote with LOCASH called “I Love This Life”, which was also the motto he was promoting all night. He then stopped singing and began to spread his arms open and closed, then up and down. The audience was very confused so Janson addressed the issue. “I dance like this when I’m in a good mood. Everyone do it with me.” Sure enough, the whole crowd followed suit and joined him in this weird, interpretive dance he was displaying.

Chris Janson

Janson headed to the piano to perform a few covers, including Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”, Elton John’s “Rocketman”, Tom Petty’s “Learning To Fly” and a Long Island favorite, Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”. This song was fitting for the arena and Janson as he loves his showcase his harmonica skills. Already at the piano, he then played his ACM-winning song, “Drunk Girl”.

Janson placed this next song in the setlist because of a fan he met at his meet-and-greet before the show. The fan explained when he lost his job and was depressed, it was his music that got him through it. “If you’re in here and you feel like sometimes you’re a little out of place, I wrote this song for people like you and me.” Janson then performed a new song called “Everybody’s Going Through Something”. Janson played another song he wrote for an artist in Tim McGraw’s “Truck Yeah”. During the rock-infused country song, he took over the drum set and on the first strike, his stick broke in half. He managed to finish the solo, however.

To end the night, he played his next single that comes to country radio the week of Thanksgiving, “Done”. In this song, Janson realizes his purpose in life is to give his wife the best life possible. He sings “Just say the word, girl, paint me, you’re perfect. I won’t quit till the good lord says my work is done.” He followed that with his first number one hit in “Buy Me a Boat”.

If you have never seen Chris Janson before, move it to the top of your bucket list because he is so fun to watch perform. He has a variety of songs, some that hit you hard, some that make you want to party, even some that make you laugh. He is an extremely talented musician on the guitar, the drums and of course, the harmonica. But the best part about his act to us, was seeing the pure the joy on his face during each and every song. He loves what he does and is incredibly grateful for everything he has in life. He thanked us a lot last night, but we’re the ones who owe him thanks.

Janson’s tour continues up until December 7th. He mentioned at the show that he will be back in New York performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade this year. Janson is also a part of the stacked lineup at 94.7’s Stars and Strings at the Barclays Center on December 4th.

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


NYCS First Impression: Chris Janson ‘Real Friends’

Platinum award-winning singer-songwriter Chris Janson released his third album Real Friends today, and the album is as personal as it can get.  Real Friends is Janson‘s latest project with Warner Music Nashville, and a follow up to previous chart-topping records Everybody and Buy Me A Boat. All thirteen tracks are co-written and produced by Janson, and the album lives up to its title because he created it with all of his “real friends” including the song-writing, the producing, and even the special guest track featuring his “Ol Friend” Blake Shelton.

Janson kicks off the album with the Top 10 chart-topping country song “Good Vibes” which Billboard dubbed an “electric, juiced-up anthem” about soaking it all up and enjoying life.  He keeps the energy high with the second track, “Check.” The twangy up-tempo song reflects on all that he has, and how far he’s come. The talented multi-instrumentalist breaks out his harmonica mid-song and the anthemic chorus is as catchy as they come.

“Done” is the third track and it is an ode to his wife and his admiration and love for her.  Janson recently released the autobiographical music video to “Done” and it is an incredible display of true love.  He sings on how he knew he met the one with lyrics, “Done, the first time I saw you, done.”  “Normal People” is the next song that everyone can relate to.  It describes the day to day life of the world that we live in with lyrics, “We live for the weekend, jump off of the deep end, in a backyard pool keeping it cool, barbeque on the grill, we got church on Sunday, we got work on Monday, we’re keeping it real, keeping it simple, normal people”.

Halfway through the album, Janson turns it up a notch with “Say About Me,” a heavy guitar song, that has a bit of an edge and a whole lot of rock and roll to it. Janson confidently sings, “I make money, I make music, I got swagger, and I use it.”  Even though he’s a redneck boy, he was raised to not care what people say about him.   Janson continues to emulate his determined and blue-collar persona on the next track “Waiting on 5.”  It is a tribute to those who work hard and watch the clocks waiting to get out of work to enjoy life and “have a little party.”

There is no doubt Janson is a husband and family man.  Janson shows off his strong vocals with the ballad “Hawaii On Me” where he explains how he would want people to live life once he’s passed on.  He mentions not to mourn, but rather celebrate and have a party.  He reminds his love, “I made a good living, I lived a good life, I raised some great kids, and I loved a great wife, so get on a plane in a first-class seat, when I die, go to Hawaii on me.” In the following song, “Mine Does” Janson shows off all that he loves about his wife in a more playful uptempo manner.

The singer-songwriter takes a break on love songs and shows appreciation for life and nature with “God’s Gotta Be A Good Ol’ Boy.” He explains God must be something special since especially since he “put the bucks in the woods, he put bass in the water, and put the redneck in the old blue-collar.”  Next up is the title track “Real Friends” which features country superstar Blake Shelton. An electric guitar and a thumping background beat allow Janson and Shelton to tell us a story of when things in life may not be going your way, or you need an extra hand, you can count on your true friends to raise a drink with you and get you through it. “Real Friends” is an anthem that can and will be played in bars all over the country.

Janson keeps up with the positive vibes once again with “Everybody’s Going Through Something.” It is a subtle reminder that at the end of the day everything is going to be okay.  The last two tracks of Real Friends is all about the good times.  “Beer Me” is the ultimate party song and every reason why we all would want to have a drink.  Janson sings it best with, “Any ol’ time is a damn good time to beer me.” The party continues on the next track with “Country USA.” The rowdy song gives us a taste of what it’s like in letting loose after a long week of work in a small town.

Real Friends in its entirety is an example of unrefined artistry, incredible talent, and ability to turn life stories into songs.  Janson did exactly that on what matters most in life and that is what makes him an unbelievably successful singer-songwriter.  He is currently headlining his Real Friends – Fall 2019 Tour, a 22 date run that has already made headlines selling out Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennesee. Rolling Stone calls Janson a “live legacy in the making,” and his explosive stage presence and authenticity night in and night out is one to be seen.  Janson will be bringing his charismatic energy to Brooklyn, New York on December 4th for NY Country’s Stars & Strings Concert.

Real Friends 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.

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

Real Friends Track Listing
1. Good Vibes* (Chris Janson, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley)
2. Check (Chris Janson, Tommy Cecil, Greylan James, James McNair, Mitch Oglesby)
3. Done (Chris Janson, Mitch Oglesby, Jamie Paulin, Matt Roy)
4. Normal People* (Chris Janson, Zach Crowell, Tommy Cecil)
5. Say About Me (Chris Janson, Shy Carter, Tommy Cecil)
6. Waitin’ on 5 (Chris Janson, Shy Carter, Tommy Cecil, Craig Wiseman)
7. Hawaii on Me (Chris Janson, Kelly Roland, Will Nance)
8. Mine Does (Chris Janson, Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip)
9. God’s Gotta Be a Good Ole Boy (Chris Janson, Brock Berryhill, Brad Clawson, Greylan James, Mitch Oglesby)
10. Real Friends (feat. Blake Shelton) (Chris Janson, Brad Clawson, Greylan James, Mitch Oglesby)
11. Everybody’s Going Through Something (Chris Janson, Tom Douglas, Tony Lane)
12. Beer Me** (Chris Janson, Brock Berryhill, Jason Blaine, Jay Brunswick, Mitch Oglesby)
13. Country USA (Chris Janson, David Lee Murphy, Mitch Oglesby)



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.


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New York’s Country 94.7 Announces Stacked Line-Up for Inaugural ‘Stars And Strings’

On Friday (Oct 11), local country radio station, New York’s Country 94.7 introduced a brand new event for New York Country fans, “Stars And Strings”. Teasing the event all weekend long with on-air announcements and several posts across social media, the beloved radio station left the line-up up to imagination, leaving fans guessing who could be filling the seemingly seven spots on the show.

At precisely 7:10AM this morning (Oct. 14), country radio personalities Kelly Ford and Jesse Addy broke the highly anticipated news. The December event will include music from rising artists Matt Stell, Gone West, Runaway June, and Blanco Brown. Additionally, Chris Janson and Dustin Lynch will take the stage and finally, country music superstar Sam Hunt will headline the show. The show marks Sam Hunt’s first stop in New York City in over two years with his last NYC show being his sold out show at Madison Square Garden back in September 2017.

The event takes place on December 4th at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, October 18th. Grab your tickers here and for more information, visit:

Be sure to sign-up for our Weekly Round-Up here so you don’t miss any ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events and more!

To keep up with New York’s Country 94.7 follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.




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.


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Chris Janson Announces The Real Friends 2019 Fall Tour

If you are looking for a high energy, charismatic performer, look no further than Chris Janson. The man exudes fun during his live show and he just announced he will be bringing his enthusiasm for performing on tour, coast to coast on his 22-date REal Freinds Fall Tour. The run kicks off on September 20th in Iowa and includes a sold-out stop at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville with label mate, Michael Ray on September 25th.

This announcement comes on the heels of Janson also announcing his next studio album, also titled Real Friends which is slated for release on October 18th. The title track will feature mega country star Blake Shelton and fans who preorder the album will instantly get the four songs he has released so far including “Good Vibes”, and most recently released, “Done”. “Good Vibes” is currently sitting in the top 10 at country radio and climbing.

As of right now, the tour wraps early December but check back for any additional dates.

For tickets and more information head to

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

See below for a full list of tour dates.

2019 ‘THE REAL FRIENDS’ Tour Dates:

9/20  —  Dubuque, IA
9/21  —  Fort Dodge, IA
9/22  —  South Bend, IN
9/25  —  Nashville, TN
9/26  —  Concho, OK
9/28  —  Littleton, CO
10/2  —  Fresno, CA
10/4  —  Tulsa, OK
10/5  —  Arlington, TX
10/12  —  Jordan, NY
10/13  —  Mohnton, PA
10/18  —  West Wendover, NV
10/19  —  San Pedro, CA
10/24  —  Huntington, NY
10/25  —  Uncasville, CT
11/1  —  Mount Pleasant, MI
11/2  —  Warren, OH
11/8  —  Salem, VA
11/9  —  Renfro Valley, KY
11/15  —  Marietta, OH
11/16  —  Pikeville, KY
12/7  —  Peoria, IL


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Chris Young Brings the ‘Raised On Country’ Tour to New Jersey

Raised On Country

Photo Credit: Jeff Johnson

Country music fans made their way to the PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey on Sunday night to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with Chris Young’s ‘Raised On Country Tour 2019.’

Dylan Scott kicked off the show, bringing the audience to their feet with a mash-up of his hit “Hooked” and The Black Eyed Peas song, “I Gotta Feeling.” He continued to keep the crowd entertained with his song “Ball Cap” and his newest single and the title track to his latest EP “Nothing To Do Town,”. The entertainer slyly added in “This ain’t no nothing to do town, am I right about that?!,” to which fans erupted into applause.

Dylan Scott

After he introduced himself to the crowd, Scott took time to express the sentiment behind the next song he went on to play, while playing the piano. He shared, “Well, I’ve been with my wife, since I was 15 years old, and we’ve been married three years now. We have a beautiful baby boy and a little girl that’s going to be here in September. And y’all I love doing what I do, I love getting on this stage, and I love performing and singing, and I love the fact that I see y’all smile and singing along. So thank you so much- I appreciate it. But this next song, I looked at my wife, and not in a cocky or an arrogant way, just the truth, and said, “nobody’s going to love you like I love you.” And when I said that, I said that’s a song, and I went and wrote that song. It’s one of my favorite songs that I wrote in the past year, so we’ll play it for you tonight, it’s brand new. It’s called “Nobody.”

Keeping the crowd entertained Scott, went on to sing a medley of 90’s country songs, including “Fishin’ In The Dark,” “Check Yes or No,” and “When You Say Nothing At All.” By the time he ended his set with his first number one song “My Girl,” Scott had won the crowd over and was sure to have garnered many new fans from his performance.

Raised on Country Tour

Continuing to get the audience ready for the headliner, Chris Janson took the stage next with an unbelievable amount of energy. From start to finish, Janson was jumping around on stage, playing the harmonica, and singing a mixture of songs he wrote, covers, and of course, his own hits. Underneath his namesake sign, utilizing an official Grand Ole Opry microphone, and with a full band there to support him, the singer-songwriter exploded on to the stage with his song, “Redneck Life,” immediately getting fans on their feet, singing and dancing along. Fans continued to match his energy throughout his entire set.

After signing, “Everybody,” Janson took some time to acknowledge the service men and women in the audience, while still continuing the party. “I really am thankful to wake up free in this country. If you have served, please be recognized- will you raise your hand, please be recognized. Thank you for your service. It is a privilege- we raise a toast to you tonight for the sacrifice you’ve made to our country and to us as Americans. I’ll also raise a toast to your health and happiness! […] So now let’s sing a number 1 song, and have a party. Here’s one called “Fix A Drink.”

At this point, every single person was on their feet, jamming along with the entertainer and holding their drinks in air, even during his newest song, “Good Vibes,” his track, “White Trash,” and the cover of a song he had written for LOCASH called “I Love This Life.” Afterward, Janson decided to slow it down a bit, singing a mesmerizing cover of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” and his impactful song, “Drunk Girl.” The sky was lit up by the fan’s flashlights on their phones, making it a moment that neither Janson or the audience will ever forget.

Janson ended his set on a high note, jamming to Tim McGraw’s “Truck Yeah,” and even playing some drums, just before singing one of the song’s that started it all for him, “Buy Me a Boat.”

Raised on Country Tour

Under a neon ‘CY’ sign and accompanied by a full band, Chris Young took the stage next, beginning with his latest number one hit “Hangin’ On.” Young went on to sing nineteen songs, including, “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” and “Lonely Eyes.” The former being his first number one song and the later making its way to number two on the charts.

After singing a crowd favorite, “Lonely Eyes,” Young interacted with the audience, sharing, “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been parked behind this building somewhere because I was opening for someone else. It’s my honor and my pleasure to be here tonight,” adding, “This is the ‘Raised On Country Tour.’ We’re going to be playing a whole bunch of random stuff for you guys tonight. We might play a couple of new things off the new record that’s getting ready to come out this year. We’ve been in the studio doing a lot of work on that. […] We’ve got a whole bunch of stuff we’re going to announce really soon, but most importantly, all of this was only possible because you guys care anything about me getting up here playing music, so we’re going to play some country music for you guys tonight.”

Young’s set included some of his biggest radio hits, including “Losing Sleep,” “Think of You,” “Tomorrow,” “You,” and “I’m Comin’ Over,” which all went number one on the country charts. The entertainer made sure to sing both fan favorite tracks, including, the rowdy, “Hold My Beer,” the heartfelt tracks, “Who I Am With You,” and “The Man I Want To Be.”

One of the highlights of the night was when Young sang his newest song to go to country radio, the lead single off his upcoming album, “Raised On Country.” The crowd screamed back the lyrics to each and every song, but were especially loud during the new song, giving their approval of the track to Young. He even shared on Twitter that the crowd “Broke the audience volume record” for his career. Right before singing the new track, Young got a little help from the country music family, as images and videos of fellow country musicians flashed before our eyes on the big screens as they shared some love for the country music that they were raised on. Artists included the men from Brothers Osborne, Brett Young, Kane Brown, Lauren Alaina, Morgan Evans, Cassadee Pope, and more talented artists.

Raised on Country Tour

Another awesome moment came when Young sang a cover of Garth Brooks iconic song, “Papa Loved Mama.” Guitar in hand, the recording artist jammed to the catchy song, as the audience danced and sang along. Young continued the momentum, singing his ode to beer and country music in, “Save Water, Drink Beer.”

Leaving it all out on the stage, Young closed out the night with the high-energy song, “Aw Naw.” The concert was the perfect kick-off to the unofficial start of summer and concert season. For those willing to travel, Young, Janson, and Scott will bring the ‘Raised On Country Tour’ to Connecticut’s Xfinity Theatre on June 14th. Head to for tickets and more information.

For more summer concerts heading to this area, check out our calendar.


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Chris Janson Effervescently Spreads “Good Vibes” With New Single

Chris Janson Good Vibes

After the heart-tugging single “Drunk Girl” and fresh off its top 10 success, Chris Janson is back with “Good Vibes,” the lead single off his upcoming third studio album.

Co-written with Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell, “Good Vibes” is all about forgetting your worries, counting your blessings and have a good time. Right from the get-go, the fun, up-tempo production follows Janson as he expresses unhappiness about the news he hears today and all the negativity we are inevitably surrounded by. “If you ain’t got anything good to say, then shut your mouth,” he sings as he firmly ushers in what he is all about— good vibes.

“I’m getting’ them good vibes, I’m livin’ this good life, I’m breathin’ on God’s time and I ain’t gonna waste one breath.”

Recently, at a closed industry event/listening party in Nashville, the 32-year-old shared humbly with CMT‘s Leslie Fram, “I am grateful. I do love my life and I do love the Lord and I do appreciate it when people do nice things for me and work hard with my name on it. I am truly grateful for that. Sometimes when I sing (“Good Vibes”), it’s sort of subliminally reminding myself. They say when you’re giving someone an uplifting talk that you’re really talking to yourself, and I really think (this song) is talking to me, too.” And he shares further perspective on life through the lens of this song: “Every single day, you have the choice to say something really nice to somebody. We just knew we had something, it just felt really right, it felt really good and it felt like no matter the times we’re living in, we’re always going to have ups and downs in life. That is a timeless message. It’s so simple: be nice.”

The singer-songwriter has had great success with past singles like the aforementioned last single (“Drunk Girl”), “Fix A Drink” and the song that started his whole career engine moving at lightning speed, “Buy Me A Boat.” But, honestly, “Good Vibes” might give him a very good chance at attaining his first number one on country radio. Needless to say, it’ll be a great song to crank up in the spring and summer!

I ain’t tryin’ to hear the negative, I’m just tryin’ to change the narrative,” and we hope this song also changes the narrative of his career and propels him to yet another level of well-deserved success (and possibly, a Mountain Dew sponsorship)!


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NYCountry Swag’s Favorite Concerts of Summer 2018

Favorite Concerts Summer 2018

Christina Bosch: The Fest Featuring Brown and Gray, Mitchell Tenpenny, Russell Dickerson, and Dustin Lynch

This summer as Managing Editor for New York Country Swag we attended at least one show a week, sometimes two or three.  Narrowing my favorite concerts to one was a hard decision but as a big fan of rising artists, I think one of the greatest experiences we had was attending The Fest out on Long Island.  The lineup featured Brown and Gray, Mitchell Tenpenny, Russell Dickerson and Dustin Lynch.  Over the past year, we have seen each of these artists perform separately whether it was a Live Swag Session like we did here with Brown and Gray or Mitchell Tenpenny or catching Dustin Lynch at Playstation Theatre or Russell Dickerson at his sold-out NJ show.

Seeing them all on one stage was truly incredible, their unique talents and the different vibe each bring to the country music genre made for the perfect night of music.  Between Brown and Gray’s summer hit “Top Down” to Dickerson’s venue-wide sing-a-long to his latest single  “Blue Tacoma” the audience was loving these rising artists and the smash hits they are releasing.



Stephanie Wagner: Mitchell Tenpenny at Mercury Lounge

As Christina mentioned, we had the incredible opportunity to see so many amazing shows this summer. One of my favorite things to do with this company is to support rising artists which is what makes Mitchell Tenpenny’s Mercury Lounge show my favorite show of the summer.

We first worked with Mitchell back in December when we did a Live Swag Session in the heart of Times Square. This was before he had a song on the radio and before his record deal with Riser House/ Sony Nashville. I had been a fan of his since the first time I heard his music, so I was excited to work with him that day. To see how hard he has worked and watch his debut single hit the Top 20, makes me so proud of the artist and person he is. Tenpenny sold out his Mercury Lounge show two weeks before the date, which is a huge accomplishment for a new artist on a NYC play. There was a special sense of magic in the room that night catching Tenpenny’s performance while the packed house sang back every word to his hour long set. You only get to experience your ‘firsts’ once, so being in the room to experience Tenpenny’s first sold out headlining NYC show is a memory I will treasure.



Favorite Concerts Summer 2018

Crystal Fenton: Trip Around the Sun Tour Kenny Chesney

Seeing Kenny Chesney live has LONG been on my bucket list, so naturally, the Trip Around the Sun tour was my absolute favorite concert of summer 2018. Plus, with Old Dominion & Thomas Rhett as openers, even a multi-hour rain delay at MetLife stadium couldn’t damper (see what I did there?!) the vibe of No Shoes Nation. The show was amazing from start to finish. What a perfect & appropriate way to close out the summer while kicking off September, my birthday month where I’ll take another trip around the sun myself; My first Kenny show definitely won’t be the last!  For a full recap and more photos of the Metlife Stadium show, click here. 



Favorite Concerts Summer 2018

Photo by Matthew Paskert

Molly Holmberg: Jake Owen, Chris Janson, and Jordan Davis

Jake Owen has always been the barefoot blue jean icon in country music and when he takes the stage, he embraces that. During his “Life’s What You Make It” tour this summer he came out barefoot every night and ready for a party. Playing hits like “Good Company”, “Beachin’”, and even a mash-up between Eight Second Ride / Mountain Music / Tennessee River / Dixieland Delight, he puts on a show.

With opening acts Chris Janson and Jordan Davis, the night gets started with a kick. By the time Owen steps foot on stage, the fans have been on their feet the past two hours and are ready for more. The 37-year-old’s big smile with a loose and carefree attitude brings so much life and energy to the stage. He comes to not only entertain but to have a good time with the fans. He is engaging, charismatic, and an overall nice guy. His concert puts you in a feel-good mood by the end of the night. So if you are looking for a great concert, Jake Owen’s is definitely worth every penny.

Owen is putting out music that is real country. And real country is the reason Jake Owen’s future keeps looking promising. Check out his latest party song single “Down To The Honkytonk” here.



Favorite Concerts Summer 2018

Nicole Piering: The Bandwagon Tour Featuring Tenille Townes, Little Big Town, and Miranda Lambert

When it comes to summer in New York, Jones Beach is undoubtedly the best place to see a concert. While I attended quite a few this year, my favorite show of the summer was definitely Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert’s “The Bandwagon Tour.” For one, it was great to see these two superstar acts play at Jones Beach, but even better, the set they did together was electric. While both Lambert and LBT played their own shows, they also combined forces into an epic super-group for a 40-minute set that included some of their biggest hits and some incredible covers. “Boondocks” is always one of my favorite songs to hear live, and their joint covers of “Goodbye Earl,” “Say My Name,” and “Let’s Go Crazy” were all phenomenal. I’d love to see other acts join forces and make shows like this more popular in the future.  The full recap of The Bandwagon’s Jones Beach tour stop here.



Favorite Concerts Summer 2018

Nicole Sellati: CMA Fest

This year I was lucky enough to attend the music event of the summer, CMA Fest! This was easily my favorite week of the year! The week was jam-packed with amazing artists, going from concert to concert with no stopping. Some highlights for me were going inside to the fan fair as well as attend the fan parties of Michael Ray and Luke Bryan. These were the events I was looking forward to the most while in Nashville, getting to see the artists up close and personal in an intimate setting. Luke Bryan’s fan club party was in celebration of 10 years of the Nut House where he got to play an acoustic set, performing songs he hasn’t in years. CMA Fest as a whole was amazing but if I had to choose my favorite night at Nissan Stadium I would say Sunday was hands down the best. The last night had all my favorite artists starting with Brett Eldredge, Cole Swindell, Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, and closing the night was Luke Bryan. It was a night I never wanted to end and thanks to Luke Bryan he made it last a little longer. He was just getting warmed up and ended up playing for over an hour closing out the best concert of my summer. CMA Fest was as perfect as I imagined and I can’t wait to be back next year!



Favorite Concerts Summer 2018

Shanna Vitaliano: Ashley McBryde at Taste of Country Music Festival

My favorite concert of the summer was seeing Ashley McBryde at Taste of Country Music Festival in Hunter Mountain, NY on June 9th. Ashley has an infectious personality onstage. She is down to earth, extremely humble, and her stage presence along with her sense of humor had every festival goer’s attention. Her incredible songwriting ability shined through during “The Jacket” and powerful voice captivated all during “American Scandal.” It was my first time seeing her live after being a fan of her album Girl Goin’ Nowhere and I look forward to seeing her again. Her next show in the NYC area will be December 5th at Gramercy Theatre, grab your tickets here.


Favorite Concerts Summer 2018

Danielle Tornatore: Sam Hunt and Kane Brown in Atlantic City

I attended almost twenty concerts this summer but my favorite had to be Sam Hunt and Kane Brown at Atlantic City BeachFest on July 1st. There are so many reasons why this was my favorite show, one being, I got to road trip there and back with two of my best friends. It’s about two and a half hours each way from us so we were able to make some great memories together. Between jamming out to some great music, sharing stories and just making each other laugh, it was overall a great trip. The day this show got announced, we knew we had to go. We’ve seen Sam Hunt together multiple times, but we had yet to see Kane Brown and he is one of our favorites. We missed Kane when he played at Irving Plaza in New York City in 2016 so we knew this was our perfect opportunity. It was literally 100 degrees out that day and the show was on the actual beach, toes in the sand and all, and despite the heatwave, both guys put on an incredible show which made me admire them even more. Myself, along with the rest of the crowd, were sweating. So much. But the two of them somehow made everyone forget about the weather and just get lost in the music. In the middle of Kane’s set, most of the sound equipment went out from the intense heat but he kept the show going and that is one of the many reasons why I am a huge fan of his. Sam was jumping all around the stage, as usual, during his entire set and maintained his high energy the whole time. It honestly was a day I will never forget and another memory I’ve gained with my best friends.



Favorite Concerts Summer 2018

Erica Zisman: CMAFest (Lee Brice at HGTV Lodge)

Public service announcement: Go to Country Music Association Fest (CMA Fest) in Nashville, Tennessee at least once. Although there are a ton of wonderful concerts held in New York, especially those good ole’ country shows at Jones Beach Amphitheater on Long Island, CMA Fest is a once (or more if you’re lucky) in a lifetime experience for any country music lover. The four-day festival combines some of the biggest names in country music, such as Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett, with new artists and up and coming artists, like Dylan Scott and Morgan Wallen, into a musical extravaganza. The event is packed with free shows all day long, free shows at night, and the ticketed Nissan Stadium line up.

I was able to experience CMA Fest for the second time this summer. One of my favorite free venues is the HGTV Lodge, which is an intimate venue that gets you up close and personal with an artist, while the singer performs acoustically. I was able to see Lee Brice perform, for the first time in June. Hearing some of his hits: “Drinking Class”, “Love Like Crazy”, and his most recent single, “Rumor”, live and stripped down, was one of my favorite concert moments of the summer. Brice was extremely charming, poised, and humble; despite, his major success and even opened the doors to extra fans, who were unable to get into the lodge, due to it being over capacity. Being able to relate to Brice’s songs, but also, Brice as a human being was a really special moment for me and my friends. It was a “concert” I will never forget.




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NASH FM 94.7 Presents Chris Janson at Opry City Stage

Chris Janson Opry City Stage Nash FM

Wednesday night (May 30) the newest inductee to the Grand Ole Opry, Chris Janson made his Opry City Stage debut for an intimate performance for NASH FM 94.7 winners.  Janson took the stage after being introduced by NASH FM DJ Jesse Addy to tell stories about his songwriting, his latest album Everybody and to play some of his biggest hits to date.

“I write all of my own songs. I only write and record my own songs no matter what and I am so thankful that it has paid off, thanks to NASH FM especially, it’s paid off,” Janson says at one point during his performance, as he discussed with the audience the origins of his songs “Everybody” and the song he wrote with Preston and Lucas from LOCASH, that they then cut and was a top ten hit, “I Love This Life”.

He also played his breakout hit, and first number one song “Buy Me A Boat” and the title track to his latest album, “Everybody” along with his own version of a song that Tim McGraw recorded called “That’s How I’ll Always Be”.  The intimate setting on the fourth floor of Opry City Stage always allows artists to feel like they can share stories about their music instead of just playing them.  Janson admitted that he was first and foremost a huge punk rock fan growing up, wanting to rebel against his small-town life growing up in Perryville, Missouri.  He explained that he was a fan of The Ramones, Weezer, and Sublime and he knew that the New York City crowd would understand his love for those bands.  He mashed into his set “Undone” by Weezer and The Ramones, “I Wanna Be Sedated”.

Chris Janson Opry City Stage Nash FM


“All I can say is thank you, Jesus, and thank you NASH FM 94.7” he laughed as he explained how incredible it was to have a song of his go number one, right before singing his second number one, “Fix a Drink” then in true New York City fashion, sat down at the piano and played the unmistakeable chords on his harmonica to Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”, which had entire crowd swaying and singing along. As his set came to a close,  he performed his current single, “Drunk Girl”  as he told the crowd that he has four children, two daughters, and two sons and he hopes in the future that his daughters are taken care of like hte girl in the song but more importantly that his sons are good men and listen to the lyrics of the heartfelt song.

Ending the night with an upbeat, Janson version of “Folsom Prison Blues”, Chris Janson proved why he is not only the youngest living member of The Grand Ole Opry but also one of the best entertainers in country music.  Head to our Instagram for exclusive stories and videos from the show.


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NYCS First Impression: Chris Janson’s ‘Everybody’

Chris Janson's Everybody

Released today, Everybody is Chris Janson’s highly anticipated sophomore album.  For fans, the title says it all, everybody will find something to love on this record even if it is just an appreciation for the hard work and incredible stamina Janson pours into his craft.

“I’m so proud of my new album and happy to share a full preview of it so people can hear the depth and diversity of the music,” said Janson in a press release regarding giving fans a chance to hear the album early. “With this album you really get a sense of who I am. No one could ever question if it’s real or not, or if I’m really this guy. I lived all these songs, I wrote all these songs and they all come from an absolutely real place.”

Co-writing all 12 tracks on the project, Janson has a hand in telling his story the way he wants to.  Whether it’s fun songs like “Who’s Your Farmer” or the debut single “Fix a Drink” or a more serious note like “Bein’ A Dad” and “Drunk Girl” his true personality shines through.

While the radio-friendly, “Out There”, and “Name On It” have the potential to be huge hits for the singer, “Our World” sounds like it was specifically recorded for Janson’s live set, featuring his signature harmonica skills and will be the perfect sing-along for fans.  Most recently opening for Sam Hunt at Madison Square Garden the crowd came out in full force singing to all of Janson’s hits.

When Janson sings love songs such as “Eyes For Nobody But You” you can feel that he actually lives those emotions.  During his energetic live set, he takes time to slow things down and tell the story of the first night he met his wife, their journey together and the true sentiment of love that they share.  As a songwriter, “Bein A Dad” is a standout track, highlighting the true feelings wrapped up in being a parent.

“It keeps me young, it takes me back / it makes me cry it makes me laugh / it’s what I do it’s why I breathe / my flesh and blood, my legacy / it’s the hardest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had, ain’t nothing like bein’ a dad.”

Overall, Everybody cohesively sums up the type of artist Janson is striving to be.  By putting his marriage, his family and his love for music at the forefront of his album he attracts different types of country music fans.

Tune in alert: Don’t miss Chris Janson performing “Fix A Drink” on LIVE with Kelly and Ryan next Tuesday, September 26th. To catch his incredible live set check out 




Sam Hunt, Maren Morris & Chris Janson Sell Out Madison Square Garden

Sam Hunt I Madison Square Garden

One album, four years after his debut EP, only six songs sent to radio, Sam Hunt has reached extraordinary heights in a very small amount of time.  Thursday night was no different for the genre-bending superstar, completely selling out Madison Square Garden. As the “15 in a 30” Tour made its NYC stop, Hunt’s tour mates Ryan Follese, Chris Janson and Maren Morris took part in the epic evening, warming up the crowd.

Ryan Follese I Madison Square Garden

As fans were packing into The Garden, Ryan Follese took the stage to play a few songs including his latest single, “Put a Label On It”. “I know every artist probably says this but this is totally a bucket list item, playing this stage tonight,” he told the crowd.  The former frontman of the pop-punk band, Hot Chelle Rae, has recently released a few singles to country radio all on his own.  Mashing up the theme song to “Fresh Prince of Bel-air” and his former band’s biggest hit, “Tonight Tonight” had the audience jumping around and singing along.

A common theme throughout the night of incredible music was the fans packing out The Garden from beginning to end. It didn’t matter if a song was a radio single, a number one hit or a track buried on an album. Fans didn’t care if it was traditional country or had a twinge of R&B or pop, they cared that they loved the artists and the way the night made them feel.

Chris Janson I Madison Square Garden


Chris Janson was the perfect opening act for such a big show, providing the crowd with a high-energy set that left fans on their feet.  Singing all of his radio singles including “Buy Me a Boat”, “Fix a Drink” and even his unique version of “Truck Yeah” which he wrote and Tim McGraw cut.  “We are in the greatest city on God’s green earth tonight, I love America and I love New York City,” Janson said, which was met with an eruption of cheers.  Before singing his smash hit “Holdin’ Her,” (which he wrote for his wife, Kelly, and his children) he explained, “I believe if you speak simple acts of positivity to the world, positive acts rain down upon you”.  His inspirational words were the perfect lead-in for the love song. Before closing out his set, he let the fans in on a secret, that the very first instrument he ever learned to play was the drums for a punk rock heavy metal band. He took a seat behind the drumset showing off his skills.

Next to take the stage, Maren Morris, is the perfect counterpart for a Sam Hunt tour. Morris creates a unique version of country music, blending country with R&B. The power vocalist sang songs off her debut album Hero only stopping throughout her set to thank the audience for their enthusiasm and for singing along.  From her latest single “I Could Use a Love Song” to “Once” and “80’s Mercedes” every song had fans on their feet and swaying along.


Maren Morris I Madison Square Garden


“I never thought I would be doing this song at Madison Square Garden.  It’s such a special night and it’s been an amazing week and it all started with this song,” she explained. “I’m gonna take you to church on this one” Holding up her microphone to the sold-out crowd, she watched in amazement thousands of people singing her lyrics back to her.  The moment was a highlight of the evening, even bringing the songstress to tears.

Hunt’s headlining set featured songs that were exclusively on his first mixtape Between the Pines as well as covers of songs he has written for other artists and of course, his most recent absolute smash, “Body Like A Back Road”. The atmosphere was electric as Hunt’s amped up production featured huge screens and even smoke. It was the perfect mix of spectacle and slowed down moments that allowed the fans to feel like they were taking part in something really special.

Reminiscing to playing Irving Plaza for a small crowd three years ago, Hunt acknowledged how quickly his career has taken its turn and how he has had an incredible year. “This is amazing to be playing Madison Square Garden, I would say it is definitely a highlight of 2017 for me, it’s been a good year,” he tells the crowd in a moment between songs. Taking a moment to also thank Billy Currington for cutting “We Are Tonight” which was written before his career as an artist took off.

Sam Hunt I Madison Square Garden

This being his first headline tour, Hunt took a few minutes to slow things down, sit on a stool by himself on stage and talk to his adoring fans. Taking us through his musical journey growing up in Georgia, the acoustic set featured songs from all genres including traditional country, R&B, and pop music. He explained to the crowd filled with men and women of all ages, “This generation, y’all don’t pay attention to genres of music; you don’t pay attention to genres of people. You listen to what makes you feel good; you hang out with people you like, not people who look like you.”  The sentiment hit home, where fans of Hunt do not care which radio station is playing his songs, they only care that they love his songs.  Before ending his night on the main stage with “Break Up In A Small Town,” Hunt took to a smaller stage on the opposite end of the venue to perform “Make You Miss Me” on piano. Hunt showed versatility and the ability to entertain a sold-out crowd in New York City.

Overall, the epic night ended with confetti spraying down and fans leaving The World’s Most Famous Arena super impressed with the four-hour show. The 15 in a 30 Tour continues through the month.  For more information and tour dates check out

NYCountry Swag I Madison Square Garden

Perhaps one of the most surreal parts of the night for us was running into so many fans rocking New York Country Swag gear! We saw everything from our Red & Blue Line Snapbacks to our Whiskey Me Away Flannels. Thank You for the support and for rockin’ your swag! Most importantly, Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC!



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