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Brooks & Dunn REBOOT Featuring Kane Brown, Luke Combs and More

Brooks & Dunn Reboot

For the younger generation of country music fans, Brooks & Dunn may seem like your grandparents country music, but their songs and stories are important centerpieces of the genre.  In their latest news, after taking a break from performing and recording together, Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks are back and rebooting their most famous songs with some of the genre’s biggest rising names. The duo has had 20 number one hits over the last two decades and they are now getting ready to reimagine those incredible songs with some of the freshest talent coming out of Nashville.

Artists like Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, LANCO, Ashley McBryde, Brothers Osborne, Midland, Cody Johnson, Jon Pardi, Tyler Booth, and Kacey Musgraves will be featured on the new project. Released today are the first two tracks from their next studio album, REBOOT slated for release on April 5th. Luke Combs joins the best selling duo of all time on “Brand New Man” while Kane Brown lends his vocals to “Believe”.

“This whole experience has been humbling, to say the least. What a cool rush to hear somebody do one of your tunes in a unique way, and it still holds up,” said Ronnie Dunn in a recent press release. “That’s the greatest compliment you can get as an artist. People used to ask us all the time about the legacy we wanted to leave, and it’s honestly just that – you hope the music stands up over time. This is the first opportunity we’ve had to run it up a new flagpole…and it really flies.”

“Brand New Man” features Combs’ rugged voice and dimensional grit. The multi-platinum singer-songwriter is not new to honoring the duo, he usually performs at least one Brooks & Dunn song in his set. When we caught his set at Madison Square Garden opening for Jason Aldean on his High Noon Neon Tour he covered a rousing rendition of “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”.  The entire idea for this project happened when Combs met with the duo’s longtime manager and he explained how important Brooks & Dunn had been to his career. “Brooks & Dunn’s music absolutely had a tremendous impact on me,” said Combs in a recent press release. “To me, they invented that foot stomping, driving sound. And it’s so cool that this has turned into such an awesome album, with artists that actually grew up listening to Brooks & Dunn. Their music was so influential to us that having the chance to come in and bounce ideas off the guys and sing with them in the studio was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Kane Brown may be one of the artists in the genre who is pushing the boundaries of pop/R&B but he recognizes his Georgia/Tennessee roots by collaborating with Brooks & Dunn on “Believe”.  His sultry baritone voice tells the riveting story of Old Man Wrigley. In our opinion, this song is one of their best, and we were lucky enough to experience it live when Brooks & Dunn took the stage at the Grand Ole Opry back in 2017.

Both songs, and hopefully the entire REBOOT  album will keep the integrity of the original songs while adding the fresh new twist and inspiring vocals from rising artists. This album is a chance for an entirely new generation of country fans to experience the beautiful songs that Ronnie and Kix made famous. Take a listen to “Brand New Man” and “Believe” below.

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NYCS Swag Spotlight Featuring Sundance Head

Sundance Head

Photo Credit: Tara Bone Photography

You may recall our next Swag Spotlight, Sundance Head as the winner of season 11 of The Voice back in 2016. Growing up in Porter, Texas about twenty miles north of Houston, his father was in the music business so he grew up around musicians, never really knowing that people had other jobs other than playing music. “It was more of like a lifestyle, I wrote songs because everyone I knew wrote songs, played guitar because everyone around me playing guitar,” Head says. In order to pay the bills, he took a job in construction which allowed him the freedom to work outside, listening to the radio all while keeping his musical dreams on the back burner.   When his girlfriend at the time suggested he try out for American Idol. Making it to the top 13, he learned a lot about the television competition process during that time. “I didn’t know myself as an artist and I wasn’t a great vocalist at the time. I didn’t realize that you needed to have a strategy,” Head explains.

After working an office job for five years after American Idol, he got sick of sitting at a desk and decided to try his hand once again in the music industry. He started up a band and they played every bar and venue they could in Texas, cutting their teeth and honing their craft.  When that same girlfriend who now was his wife suggested that he try out for another television competition, he was skeptical. “I said that’s the last thing I want to do is do that, it’s taken us four-five years to prove ourselves to Texas Radio, if we go do that and it doesn’t work out, I can’t come back to Texas,” he explains. “They look at that like you are selling out, they don’t always understand that you are just trying to do what it takes to pay your bills.” He does think that that mentality is changing, however, with the help of artists like Cody Johnson and Aaron Watson. “We’ve cultivated this great sound down here, why should we just keep it here”.

Taking one more chance, with more experience under his belt he tried out for The Voice, making it on to Team Blake and eventually going all the way to win the season. Since then, he has been on tour, performing over 280 dates last year alone, especially opening for Blake Shelton for his arena tour. When discussing what he learned from touring with Shelton he explains that the main takeaway is, always be yourself, be true to who you are and people will respect you for that. “Blake is so good at singing to 80 thousand people but he makes each individual there think that he is performing the show for them personally,” he says.

He then comments about rising superstar Luke Combs and how his genuine nature and incredible songs are making waves in the genre and how that will affect the path he takes to the industry. “He is singing great songs about real stuff and he is a real dude…This is a dude that’s lived it, people can feel that. That’s super exciting for me too, other than me being in incredible shape and very tall and handsome, we have a lot in common,” he laughs.

Looking ahead, Head has worked with and befriended legendary songwriter Dean Dillon (“The Chair”, “Tennesee Whiskey”) to pick the right songs and produce his album that has become highly anticipated since winning The Voice. Some of the greatest songwriters in Nashville has contributed songs to the record, slated for release very soon he tells us. Lori McKenna (“Girl Crush”, “Humble and Kind”) and JT Harding (“Sangria”, “Somewhere With You”) collaborated on the debut single from the record, “Leave Her Wild”. He comments about the song and how he knew it was the right single for him explaining, “I fell in love with it, it has that sexy kind of rock n roll backbeat on the kick drum but then it’s got these hip lyrics, it talks about this amazing woman, I can visualize her being smoking hot, free, goes around being happy and being sweet to everyone, lives as hard as she loves. I know who that girl is, that’s my wife.”

Anticipating his album, Stained Glass and Neon to be released in early 2019, Head can’t wait to release his own brand of soulful country to the world. For all news and updates be sure to follow Sundance Head on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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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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Jason Aldean, Luke Combs & Lauren Alaina Play Sold-Out MSG Show

High Noon Neon Tour

Jason Aldean, the ACM Entertainer of the Year for three years running brought his High Noon Neon Tour to a sold out Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. This is the second time the country megastar has headlined the iconic venue, each time bringing energy, and screaming fans together to sing along to his massive catalog of hits.

His tourmates, Lauren Alaina and Luke Combs had the privilege of playing to packed crowds, whereas some tours the fans tailgate and trickle in slowly until the headliner, these fans were in their seats at 7:30 on the dot.  Alaina has celebrated a ton of success over the last year with her sophomore album producing her very first number one single, a duet on country radio with Kane Brown which also hit the top spot and being named ACM New Female Vocalist of the Year. Her 30-minute set was filled with emotion as she clearly understood the importance of being able to sing her music to a crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Lauren Alaina High Noon Neon Tour

The American Idol runner-up has grown into a beautiful, strong young woman who is now writing music that had fans swaying their cell phone lights to in New York City.  Her set included her solo version of her duet with Kane Brown “What If’s”, “Next Boyfriend” and her number one single “Road Less Traveled”. Clearly emotional from the overwhelming response from the crowd, Alaina stated “I wrote a song about being a three-year-old little girl having a big dream, it’s my favorite song I’ve ever written and getting to play it for you guys here tonight is a dream come true,” before she played her inspiring song “Three”.  Closing her set by putting a New York Rangers jersey on over her sparkly dress, Alaina felt love from the crowd the moment she stepped on the stage until she stepped off.

Luke Combs High Noon Neon Tour

Another rising country artist was next up on The High Noon Neon Tour, Luke Combs took the stage and filled his 45-minute set with not only his biggest hits from his debut album but memorable covers as well.  Our team was blown away by his incredible fan base, especially in the heart of New York City. Opening his set with “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and “She Got the Best of Me” his raspy voice pleading through the latter, only to bounce back with 90’s country swag on Brooks and Dunn covers of “Honkey Tonk Highway” and “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”.  “One Number Away”, Combs’ third number one single on the Billboard Chart was met with screams and at one point, it was hard to still hear the singer over the audience’s participation.  Closing with “Hurricane” his obvious charisma and ability to write and perform already fan favorites prove he is primed and ready for absolute superstardom.

Jason Aldean High Noon Neon Tour

As if fans weren’t treated enough to a night of incredible music already, at 9:30PM Aldean’s band stood center stage on a platform as a neon sign rose into the air.  Seconds later the Entertainer of the Year himself sprung up from beneath the stage, kicking off the set appropriately with “Gettin’ Warmed Up”.  For fans who have been to any one of Aldean’s shows, they know he isn’t a talker, he isn’t going to sit on a stool and tell you about the first time he heard a demo of a song, but what you can expect is back to back high-energy songs for just under two hours.  Aldean does a great job of picking songs from all of his albums, going back and forth between his very first albums with songs like “Amarillo Sky” and “The Truth” to bringing the audience into his current world of “Rearview Town” and “You Make It Easy”.

Playing to the enormous sold-out crowd of twenty thousand fans, he spent his time at three different mic stands, playing his guitar and staring out into a sea of people on their feet, singing along.  Stopping only a few times between songs, he congratulated a couple who got engaged during “You Make It Easy” inviting them to the front of the stage and joking that he thinks the ballad should be their wedding song. “Somebody gets engaged you’ve gotta celebrate that don’t ya,” he said as he raised his red Solo Cup in the air.  “Here’s to you guys, may you have a long and blissful marriage and here’s to you Madison Square Garden, thank you for being here tonight.” The sentiment was enough to encourage fans to cheers their beer with the people next to them and on to the next song.

It wouldn’t be a true Aldean show if he didn’t play “Big Green Tractor”, “She’s Country” or “Crazy Town” which he saved for the end of the night, bringing just as much energy and intensity to those huge hits as he did when he first stepped on stage proving the award of Entertainer of the Year is well deserved sitting on his shelf at home.

The High Noon Neon Tour is just getting started. Click here for the full list of tour dates.

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Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
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Save-the-Dates: Major Country Music Tour Announcements…

Over the past few days, some of our favorite country acts have announced their 2018 tours and they are all heading to the metro area!

First up, Lady Antebellum announced they will be co-headlining with Darius Rucker and bringing Russell Dickerson on the road.  The “Summer Plays On Tour” will stop at PNC Bank Arts Center in New Jersey on August 3rd and Northwell Jones Beach Theater on August 4th.  Tickets and more info available at LadyAntebellum.com

Lady A Tour Announcements

 

Announced last night at an intimate show at the Exit/In in Nashville, Keith Urban will release his new album early this year and is hitting the road with Kelsea Ballerini.  The “GraffitiU World Tour” heads to Barclays Center on October 27th.  Tickets and info here.

Keith Urban Graffiti U Tour Announcements

 

Last but not least, earlier today Jason Aldean announced a 34-city “High Noon Neon Tour” featuring rising stars, Lauren Alaina and Luke Combs. The tour stops at the iconic Madison Square Garden on Saturday, August 11th.

Jason Aldean Tour Announcements

 

Be sure to be following us on Instagram for the latest and greatest in NYC Country news, ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests & more!

 

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