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Where Are They Now? Our 2017 Artist to Watch Update

Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag

Here at New York Country Swag, we pride ourselves on being tastemakers, finding and championing new and up-and-coming artists and introducing our followers to the best of the best of the rising acts. Back in 2017, we named the 10 artists below in our “Artists to Watch in 2017” and we are proud to say, we know rising talent before they make it big. Check out what each of these artists has done over the past two years and what is coming up for them in 2019.

 

10. Seth Ennis- Last year, Ennis followed his debut single, “Woke Up In Nashville” and “Look at You” with the captivating “Call Your Mama,” featuring A-list superstars, Little Big Town. The singer-songwriter went on to make his TODAY Show debut with that song, taking his career to new heights. This year, Ennis also opened up for Dylan Scott on his headlining tour.

 

9. Trent Harmon- Continuing to ride the high from dropping his debut album You Got ‘Em All, Harmon released the title track to country radio last year. The song peaked in the Top 40 on Country Airplay.

 

8. High Valley- The Canadian country duo continues to take the country music world by storm. Back in April, they released their new single, “Single Man” from the forthcoming studio album. The song already reached the number two spot on the Canadian country charts. Earlier this month they released “Your Mama” and the video features real-life shots of their families. We hope 2020 brings more music from the rising duo.

 

7. Runaway June- The ladies of Runaway June have had arguably the most successful year! The trio released their debut record Blue Roses, and their radio single “Buy My Own Drinks” cracked the Top 5 on the Country charts, making history as the first song by a female trio to break into the Top 5 in a decade. Additionally, the ladies joined superstar, Carrie Underwood on her sold-out headlining tour. Check out how they expressed their excitement for their success with us here, during our interview with the girls at Taste of Country Music Festival and our most recent Swag Session below.

 

6. Brett Young- 2019 was a big year for Young, both personally and professionally. The singer-songwriter’s beautiful wife Taylor gave birth to their first child together in October, after they celebrated one year of marriage. As a recording artist, Young released his new project, The Acoustic Sessions EP, which followed the release of his Number 1 sophomore record Ticket to L.A. Fans of Young have his newly announced headlining tour to look forward to in the new year. The tour stops at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on February 2nd.

 

5. Ryan Hurd- In 2019, Hurd focused on advancing his career as a solo artist. The talented singer-songwriter sold-out Bowery Ballroom in New York City this past January. We got to catch up with him at Taste of Country, where he shared what it’s like playing for New York fans. Hurd upped the ante by releasing both his EP Panorama and Platonic this year, including lead single “To a T.” Just recently announced, he will be headlining the Platonic Tour with Niko Moon, the tour hits NYC for a two night run on March 4th and 5th.

 

 

4. Russell Dickerson- We are proud to continue to champion the very first artist that New York Country Swag ever featured at our very first event back in January of 2016. Dickerson continues to be one of the most promising rising artists and infectious entertainers on the scene right now. This year, the singer-songwriter achieved a rare feat, as his first three singles to ever go to country radio hit the number one spot on the charts! Even better, the entertainer finally made it to the big stage at Madison Square Garden, where he opened up for Thomas Rhett on his sold-out tour and even shouted out our company, during his set!

 

3. Walker Hayes- Hayes continues to release music that he can be proud of and that his fans can always relate to. This year, he released a beautiful tribute to his wife, Laney, titled “Don’t Let Her,” headlined his own tour, and is about to release Volume 3 of 8Tracks. Check out our interview with the Swag Session alum below, as he talks about “Don’t Let Her,” and his journey.

 

2. Luke Combs- Combs has officially solidified himself as a bonafide country superstar in just a few short years. The singer recently accepted his membership into the Grand Ole Opry and released his record-breaking sophomore record What You See Is What You Get. Combs’ has had seven consecutive singles reach the top spot on County Airplay and continues to sell-out shows in arenas across the country. 2020 is shaping up to be another mega-successful year for the entertainer.

 

1. Drake White- It’s been a relatively quiet year for the White; however, that has not stopped him from bringing his unique talent to stages across the United States. The singer-songwriter captivated fans in New York City back in February when he played at Irving Plaza. He continues to be a mainstay at country music festivals as well.

Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for an update on all the artist we named to watch in 2018 and 2019, and then coming soon, our carefully-cultivated 2020 Artist to Watch list.

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High Valley Releases New Single “Single Man”

High Valley Single Man

 

Rising Canadian country music duo, High Valley, is back with their highly anticipated single titled “Single Man” from their forthcoming album. Brad and Curtis Rempel are the brothers that comprise the bluegrass-influenced duo. In 2017, the duo was on New York Country Swag’s Artists to Watch list and have been rising ever since.

The new single is upbeat which is the vibe the duo usually goes for when putting out songs. “Fans always say, ‘Man! Your records are so upbeat, and we can’t help but smile when we listen to them,’” Brad says in a recent press release. “That’s honestly the greatest compliment anyone could give us. Because we’re not that band that’s gonna be singing these hurtin’ and break-up and cheating songs. That’s not real life for us. There’s a lot of positivity over here.”

Recently, the duo’s career has taken off following the breakout success of their 2016 debut album, Dear Life, which features the gold-certified single “Make You Mine” and “She’s With Me,” the duo’s first Top 10 at country radio. The two also clinched two consecutive ACM nominations for New Vocal Duo and were brought out on the road by Old Dominion. They also embarked on their own headlining dates like the Highway Finds Tour which we caught back in 2017.

In the past year, the band has been holed up in the studio writing and recording for their forthcoming album. The new single is just a taste for fans of what’s expected in the future.

Both members of the duo insist that the new single may very well be their most revealing song yet. Brad talked about the reason behind penning the new song, “I wanted to be brutally honest. The lifestyle as a single man on the surface looks amazing. You have a relaxed accountability that comes with this sense of freedom, and yet true happiness exists at a far more profound level. Most importantly I wanted to write a song that said, ‘I promise you I wouldn’t be able to find any single man on this planet that if he saw what I had — my wonderful wife and my family — he wouldn’t say, “Dude! Can we please trade places?’”

The journey is not over yet for the duo, its actually just beginning. “Single Man” is now in the hands of the world and with a new album on the way, the future is looking very bright and fans can enjoy the ride with them.

“To keep up with High Valley follow them on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“Single Man” 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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Where Are They Now? Our 2017 Artists to Watch Update

Here at New York Country Swag, we pride ourselves on being tastemakers, finding and championing new and up-and-coming artists and introducing our followers to the best of the best of the rising acts.  Back in 2017, we named the 10 artists below in our “Artists to Watch in 2017” and we are proud to say, we know rising talent before they make it big.  Check out what each of these artists has done over the past two years and what is coming up for them in 2019.

 

10. Seth Ennis – In 2017, Ennis released his debut EP, Mabelle, which featured his first single “Woke Up In Nashville” which put him on our radar early on.  Most recently he released a heartfelt song “Call Your Mama” which features Little Big Town and has garnered over a million streams on Spotify. The singer-songwriter joins Dylan Scott on tour which hits Gramercy Theatre on January 17th.  Grab your tickets here.

9. Trent Harmon – Harmon spent 2017 writing and working on his debut album, You Got Em All.   The American Idol winner of season 15 set out to prove to his fans and critics that he wasn’t just a competition winner that could sing covers but that he had something important to say with his songwriting.  We caught Harmon back in February in Nashville as he performed his single “You Got Em All” for radio programmers and the audience was blown away by his delivery of the breakup song. He told New York Country Swag during a recent interview:  “I had one job that day and that was to solidify myself a slot for the next year as a relevant up-and-coming artist in the country format,” which he certainly did.  We can’t wait to see what he has in store for fans in 2019.

 

8. High Valley – This Canadian duo since making our Artist to Watch list has toured the country on the Sirius XM The Highway Finds Tour and released brand new music, The Farmhouse Sessions which was recorded appropriately on a farm outside of Nashville. When we caught their infectious, high energy set a little over a year ago, the brothers, led the audience in a dance off and played their top 15 hit “She’s With Me” which elicited a crowd singalong.  The duo has tour dates booked through the new year, playing shows in the U.S as well as Canada. For all of the tour dates head to their website.

 

7. Runaway June –  The ladies of Runaway June are at such an exciting time in their career.  The week that New York Country Swag hosted them for a Live Swag Session, they had just announced they would be joining Carrie Underwood and Maddie and Tae on her Cry Pretty 360 Tour.  Since then they have also released their debut self-titled EP and their single “Buy My Own Drinks” is garnering plenty of spins on Spotify. Watch their performance and interview with New York Country Swag below and grab your tickets to see this powerhouse group of girls at Madison Square Garden on October 2nd, 2019.

 

6. Brett Young – Arguably the artist who has made it the biggest over the past two years, Young released his debut, self-titled album in February of 2017 and since then has had four no. 1 hits including “Sleep Without You,” “In Case You Didn’t Know,” “Like I Loved You”, and “Mercy.”  His brand new single from his forthcoming album, “Here Tonight” is already Top 40 on the Country Radio Charts and steadily climbing. Young is coming to New York City on December 9th with Tyler Rich and drops his sophomore album, Ticket to L.A just two days prior.

 

5. Ryan Hurd – We highlighted Hurd’s incredible songwriting career back in 2017 however since then he has written and recorded songs for himself that have proved he isn’t just a songwriter anymore.  Recently he released two songs, “Diamonds or Twine” and “To A T” which were both inspired by another huge milestone Hurd has accomplished since 2017, he got married. Marrying fellow singer-songwriter and chart-topper Maren Morris earlier this year has given Hurd the opportunity to write about his love for her and when he sings those songs, his delivery and devotion is evident.  We are hoping for a full-length album in 2019 and will keep you posted about future tour dates heading our way.

 

4. Russell Dickerson –  We are proud to champion the very first artist that New York Country Swag ever featured at our very first event back in January of 2016 just a few weeks after our launch! Dickerson played on top of a bar at Libation, a New York City nightclub, the event was sold out long before he had signed his record deal with Triple Tigers.  Since previewing his music for 300 of our lucky followers and a handful of NYCS events later, Dickerson has garnered not one but two no. 1 songs on the Country Radio Charts.  His love song for his wife, “Yours”, made it to the top of the charts and appropriately was the title of his debut album which was released this time last year.  Most recently, his second single to radio “Blue Tacoma” took the top spot. He toured all summer with Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker, increasing his fanbase.  Looking to the new year, Dickerson is working on new music and will hopefully get back on the road. Take a look back at our Country Night with the rising superstar from September 2016 below.

 

3. Walker Hayes – In January of 2017 when our list was published, Hayes had only released his 8Tracks Vol. 1 and 2 to his fans, a unique take on the storytelling country music is so accustomed to.  Over the past two years, the lines of genres have blended, country music has sonically changed and become more fluid and no artist has benefitted more than Hayes.  His blend of hip-hop, R&B and pop all infuse with country lyrics and have created a sound that is undeniable all his own.  We hosted Hayes earlier this year for a Live Swag Session after he released his major label debut album boom. and garnered plenty of success with his debut radio single “You Broke Up With Me”. He just released a new single, “90’s Country” which name-drops 22 different 90’s country songs that Hayes tells us in a recent interview, influenced him growing up and is the first of new music we can look forward to in the new year.  Watch the Live Swag Session from April below.

 

2. Luke Combs –  Another artist who had huge success since 2017, Combs released not only a debut album but a deluxe version with five additional songs.  The album entered the Billboard charts 73 weeks ago and continually makes its way back to the top of the charts, including this week where he holds the top spot for not only album but also the top song with “She Got The Best of Me” at no. 1 for the second week in a row. This marks the fourth chart-topper for Combs, previously he landed the top spot with “Hurricane,” “When It Rains It Pours,” and “One Number Away”.  He joined Jason Aldean this summer on his High Noon Neon Tour which made its way to Madison Square Garden in August.  The sold-out crowd knew every word to each of his songs, even the deep album cuts proving that the country crooner has grown his fan base so wide and is here to stay.

 

1. Drake White – White’s ability to captivate a crowd during his live performances landed him an opening spot on Zac Brown Band’s tour and at festivals across the country. He just released five new songs in an EP titled Pieces which highlights his signature groove and sultry vocals. Next year he is heading overseas to play the C2C Country to Country Festival in Glasgow along with Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban, and Lady Antebellum.

 

Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for an update on all of the artists we named to watch in 2018 and then coming soon, our 2019 Artist to Watch list.

 

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Old Dominion Releases New Single & Makes 2019 “Sweet” with Big Announcement

Following a successful year of live shows and number one singles, Old Dominion is ready to begin the next era of their career with a brand new single and headlining tour, both entitled “Make It Sweet.”  Co-written by all five members of the group (Brad Tursi, Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Geoff Sprung, Whit Sellers) and Shane McAnally, this upbeat and infectious single is the perfect blend of a love story and a take on the imperative phrase “life is short.”

The guys shared how unexpectedly and effortlessly it came to be in a note via the band’s Twitter account, check out the Tweet below.

Make It Sweet

Photo via @OldDominion Twitter

The band sings in the chorus, “’Cause I’m stuck on you, you’re stuck on me / I never gotta wonder where my honey be / I ain’t saving all my sugar for a Saturday night / Seven days a week I got an appetite / Sunsets like a tangerine, let’s find a road we’ve never seen / Don’t waste another mile or a minute not kissing me / Life is short, make it sweet”

The tune precedes more music to come from the Academy of Country Music award-winning group.  Along with the song’s release is a brand new music video to go along with it, displaying young couples reveling in each other’s company upon some majestic scenery which concludes in a mountainside house party with the band.  Tursi, Ramsey, Rosen, Sprung, and Sellers had one more surprise in store for fans this week: a winter headlining arena tour. Kicking off on January 18, 2019, in Chicago, IL, the twenty-four date tour will run through April 27, 2019, ending in San Jose, CA. The band will be joined by special guests Jordan Davis, Mitchell Tenpenny and Morgan Evans, each at select dates. For a full list of dates and ticket information, visit https://olddominionband.com/tour/.

“Make It Sweet” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music.

Listen to the new song below on our new music playlist and check out more new tracks here. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Old Dominion is currently out on the road for their ‘Happy Endings Tour’ with special guests High Valley and Michael Ray. Follow the guys on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates and future announcements.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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NYCS First Impression: Ashley McBryde Releases ‘Girl Going Nowhere’

Adding to a day of great music released by badass women in country music, Ashley McBryde‘s new album Girl Going Nowhere is available everywhere today. She has spent the last 11 years in Nashville, gigging in biker bars, growing her tattoo collection and writing songs.  Now with her very first major-label debut record, McBryde is serving up some of her best songwriting, with producing genius Jay Joyce. The debut single off the project “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega” hit number one on Sirius XM The Highway’s Top 30 Countdown and is currently sitting top 35 at country radio.

She has cut her teeth in Nashville and Memphis bars, but since then has landed opening spots for Eric Church and Miranda Lambert and was also on the bill for the most recent Sirius XM Highway Finds Tour with High Valley and Adam Doleac.  During her set she told the audience  “I was four or five years old when I told my parents this is what I wanted to do for a living,  so now we are doing it and I am in New York City for the first time,” reflecting on what a ride it has been from her little town in Arkansas to the stage in the Big Apple.

The tracks are sentimental without being mushy, they all weave a story of the artist that McBryde strives to be, and the niche of the country music world that she has carved for herself. “The Jacket” is simple, about a piece of clothing that her father gave her, but the way she poetically explains the fabric and the imperfections seemingly tug at even the toughest of hearts strings.  “Livin’ Next to Leroy” doesn’t shy away from a topic that is rarely talked about, let alone sung about in country music, where beer and dirt roads are all the rage.  The track tackles meth addiction and the downfall that the main character encounters over an upbeat, soulful melody.

“Andy (I Can’t Live Without You)” is the closest thing you’ll find to a love song on the project, and McBryde says it is about one of her bandmates, not a romantic relationship.  “Radioland” takes you all the way back to a 5-year-old girl sitting in her parent’s vehicle or kitchen learning about life as it flowed out of the speakers.

Ashley McBryde

The lyrics on the project are straightforward and it is undeniable the mark that she has left on this project, co-writing the album in its entirety and recording it with the same band that she is on the road with night after night. Authenticity rings true, making Girl Going Nowhere the quintessential country album, telling stories that McBryde just knew in her soul that she needed to tell.

Grab your copy of Girl Going Nowhere on iTunes here and check out McBrydes full 2018 tour schedule below.

 

2018 Ashley McBryde Tour Dates:
4/03 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy
4/04 San Jose, CA City National Civic*
4/05 Irvine, CA Bren Events Center*
4/06 San Diego, CA The Observatory North Park*
4/11 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex*
4/17 Portland, OR Roseland Theater*
4/19 Seattle, WA Showbox SoDo*
4/20 Garden City, ID Revolution Concert House*
4/21 Spokane, WA The Knitting Factory*
4/23 Vancouver, Canada Commodore Ballroom*
4/25 Calgary, Canada MacEwan Hall*
4/26 Edmonton, Canada The Ranch Roadhouse*
4/29 Indio, CA Stagecoach Festival
6/09 Hunter, NY Taste of Country Music Festival
6/20 Oshkosh, WI Country USA
6/21 Brainerd, MN Lakes Jam
6/23 Cadott, WI Country Fest
7/15 Rhinelander, WI Hodag Country Festival
7/20 Twin Lakes, WI Country Thunder- Twin Lakes
*Denotes dates on Luke Combs’ Don’t Tempt Me With a Good Time Tour

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High Valley Highway Finds

Highway Finds Tour Hits NYC’s Gramercy Theatre

High Valley Highway Finds

Part of Sirius XM The Highway’s charm is their ability to seek out and spin tracks from brand new country artists.  Their feature, Highway Finds, takes on a new life during the tour they have dedicated to these rising stars. Featuring three new artists to hit the scene, The tour lineup includes Adam Doleac, Ashley McBryde, and High Valley.  Each of the acts made their way to the big apple to play New York City’s Gramercy Theatre.

Adam Doleac Highway Finds

Straight from our Pop-Up at Refinery Rooftop, Adam Doleac was first to take the stage Saturday night.  Opening his set with “Some Girls”, which Doleac says “I tell everyone this is my mating call to the world, where is my future wife at?…I’ve gotta find her at some point.” He filled his opening set with songs off his latest self-titled EP including “Bigger Than Us” and “Refill”.

His voice is gritty, yet smooth and the Mississippi native injects a bluesy vibe into his country twang.  He sang a cover of “Let Her Cry”, Doleac credits Darius Rucker as an influence in his career and was thrilled to sing a song that the country artist just released that he wrote.  ” I grew up singing this guy’s songs and now he’s singing one of mine,” he says before singing “Don’t” which can be found on Rucker’s latest album When Was the Last Time.  Currently sitting in the #3 spot on the Highway’s Top 30 Countdown, Doleac’s debut single, “Whiskey’s Fine” had the entire crowd singing along.

Ashley McBryde Highway Finds

Next up to take the stage was Ashley McBryde, who is one of our 5 Rising Country Stars You Should Be Listening To. Three of her singles have made their way to Sirius XM The Highway including “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” and ” Tired of Being Happy”.  McBryde’s powerful voice, commanding stage presence, and overall badass attitude captivated the crowd. “I was four or five years old when I told my parents this is what I wanted to do for a living, so now we are doing it and I am in New York City for the first time.”

The crowd joined McBryde for her single “Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”, her performance honest and raw, proves she is definitely a rising star in this industry.  She closed her set with a cover of The Eagles’ “Heartache Tonight” stating, we only do covers if it means something to us and this cover, it matters to us.”

High Valley Highway Finds

Headlining the second Highway Finds Tour is brothers from Alberta, Canada, High Valley. Brad and Curtis took the stage singing the title track to their latest album “Dear Life”. “This is obviously our first time playing in New York City and I don’t know how often y’all see banjos but we’re about to break one out right now.” they laughed.  Their high energy set was filled with songs from the album as well as covers including John Michael Montgomery’s “Be My Baby Tonight” to which they organized a full-on dance contest between members in the crowd.  “Let’s crank it up to 11, who’s ready to party tonight? they asked the loyal crowd.

A highlight of the night is when the duo slowed things down to thank their father for believing in them and for helping them get to where they are right now.  Singing “The Only Way He Knew How” from their 2010 debut album, the crowd hushed to listen to the incredible lyrics. Closing out the night with a giant sing-a-long the duo performed their latest single “She’s With Me” from the middle of the crowd only and then took the stage to perform the upbeat “Make You Mine”.

Check out our Instagram for more photos and videos of the great night of country music in New York City.

 

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