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NYCS First Impression Luke Combs ‘The Prequel – EP’

Luke Combs The Prequel

With his unassuming presence and every-man attitude, Luke Combs has captured the hearts of country music fans in a way that’s rarely seen nowadays. Rather than relying on glitz and glam, Combs has earned his legion of tried and true followers by staying true to his country roots and releasing great music. As the follow up to 2017’s This One’s For You, Combs’ released The Prequel – EP today (June 7), featuring 5 new songs, including the project’s first single, the anthemic “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”

Aside from “Beer Never Broke My Heart,” The Prequel’s two other standout tracks are “Refrigerator Door” and “Even Though I’m Leaving.” The former is a celebration of nostalgia and life’s best days while “Even Though I’m Leaving” is a heartstrings-tugging ode to the relationship between a father and a son. On “Refrigerator Door,” Combs executes such a simple concept expertly, celebrating life through the contents of a refrigerator door. “With all those pictures hanging side by side / Forgotten memories from another time/ And all the places that I’ve been before/ A couple magnets, recipes, and Polaroids / Yeah, but that’s my life on the ‘frigerator door.”

“Even Though I’m Leaving” is the chill-inducing moment of the EP, taking listeners on a journey through a father and son’s special relationship. It starts with monsters under the bed then moves to the son leaving for the military, ultimately ending with the father’s passing. The message here is clear on the simple yet intense chorus, as Combs sings, “Even though I’m leaving, I ain’t going nowhere.”

What Combs does best is on full display on this EP, weaving powerful lyrics over anthemic country music. He takes us through a wide range of emotions including nostalgia, love, and loss. Not to be missed are “Moon Over Mexico,” a slow jam that celebrates a magical moment in Mexico, and “Lovin’ On You,” where Combs brings the party to the exciting buzz that comes from new love.

When it comes to modern country, many new acts are more style than substance, but Luke Combs is truly an exception. He shines by simply releasing solid songs with an unmatched voice. The Prequel is a perfect example of that and is truly just another step towards his superstardom.

Combs will hit Long Island’s Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall next week for an acoustic show with Hunter Hayes, Gone West, and Aaron Goodvin.

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

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

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Luke Combs Lyrics to Use As Instagram Captions

Luke Combs is currently on his “Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour”, which was recently extended into the fall. Combs will be accompanied by Morgan Wallen and Jameson Rodgers on the majority of the tour. Not only is he busy headlining his own show, but the singer-songwriter is also making appearances at some of the hottest country music festivals of the summer, including CMA Fest in Nashville, TN and WYRK Toyota Taste of Country in Buffalo, NY.

If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket to see one of the hottest acts in country music, you’ll want the perfect Instagram caption to capture the moment. Here are a few of our favorite Luke Combs lyrics:

1. “Long neck ice cold beer never broke my heart” – Beer Never Broke My Heart
2. “Her day starts with a coffee and ends with a wine” – Beautiful Crazy
3. “I ain’t afraid to take too many steps out of line, So don’t tempt me with a good time”- Don’t Tempt Me
4. “I can only stay for so long ‘Til that Honky Tonk Highway’s calling me home”- Honky Tonk Highway
5. “You don’t think that much about life. You just live it”- She Got The Best Of Me
6. “I pick up a beer can and get to feeling like Superman”- Beer Can
7. “I just laugh thinking ’bout all the shit that we got into to, Yeah those were the days we thought we’d never lose”- Memories Are Made Of
8. “I’ve been knocked down time and time again. Got picked back up by love and a few good friends”- This One’s For You
9. “You wrecked my whole world when you came and hit me like a hurricane” – Hurricane
10. “And I’ve been on a hell of a redneck road for three weeks now And it all started on the day that she walked out”- “When It Rains It Pours”

For more information and to find out where Combs is playing near you, check out http://lukecombs.com/.

 

Cover Photo Courtesy of Instagram, photo credit: David Bergman

 

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Luke Combs Performs “Beer Never Broke My Heart” On Jimmy Fallon

To celebrate the latest release of his new song, Luke Combs took on New York City to promote his long-anticipated new single. Combs performed his new single “Beer Never Broke my Heart” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night making the song’s television debut.

Just before Combs took the stage, Fallon introduced Combs with “Oh you’re going to love this song! Here with the TV debut of his new single “Beer Never Broke My Heart” give it up for Luke Combs.”

The backdrop perfectly displayed Combs’ new music video for this single. The red-steamy background was in full effect. Starting off the song with his raspy, old-school country powerful voice, Combs gave the fans even more reason to keep listening as if we didn’t have it on repeat already. For his fashion sense, Combs sticks to his roots with wearing what he knows, representing Appalachian State. His stage presence and feel of the song makes you believe every word and this track is nothing but a future hit for the rising superstar.

After the performance was over, Fallon came out on stage overjoyed. As the audience applauded and cheered, Fallon said, “That’s what I’m talking about! Thank you, buddy. Fantastic! Loved It. Luke Combs! “Beer Never Broke My Heart” is out now.” Combs just playing this track back last January, to it going viral on Facebook, to now performing it on live television, the wait is finally over where we can enjoy the song live and studio version.

To keep up with Luke Combs follow them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Thinking About You” 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.

You can catch Luke Combs on his  ‘Beer Never Broke My Heart’ headlining tour through December, and just announced Morgan Wallen will open for him. For tickets and more information check out lukecombs.com.

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It’s Here! Luke Combs Releases “Beer Never Broke My Heart”

Beer Never Broke My Heart

Country music singer-songwriter, Luke Combs continues to crank out hit after hit. His last five singles, including “Hurricane” and “Beautiful Crazy” all reached the number one position on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, and his debut album, This One’s for You went number one, just before being certified double platinum. As he continues to plays shows on his headlining tour, Combs decided to release and record the tour’s namesake track, “Beer Never Broke My Heart” today.

The hitmaker debuted his new song back in January 2018 at a songwriter’s round at Acme in Nashville. A fan caught the moments on video, and the video went viral on Facebook, even finding itself a place on the singer’s official Facebook page. The rowdy song has old-school country influences while keeping with Combs’ new school way of linking wordplay to an emotionally driven song. The track definitely has the potential to be Comb’s next number one song.

Combs laments about all the things and people that have let him down, including failed relationships, a truck that broke down, and a fishing trip that didn’t go so well. In the track, he concludes that an ice cold beer is the only thing he can count on.

“It takes one hand to count the things I can count on / No, there ain’t much man that ain’t ever let me down / Longneck iced cold beer never broke my heart / Like diamond rigs and football teams have torn this boy apart / Like a neon dream it just don’t know me, the bars and this guitar / And longneck iced cold beer never broke my heart.”

Later today, the award-winning entertainer will release a music video for the song, as well as, answer some questions about the song, his tour, and his career thus far. Follow along here.

Combs will continue to play shows on his headlining tour through December, as he added a second leg of his tour, accompanied by rising country star Morgan Wallen. For tickets and more information head to lukecombs.com. Also, make sure to stay tuned for the national TV debut of “Beer Never Broke My Heart” on Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night! If you miss it, check back here at NY Country Swag for all the details on the performance.

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

“Beer Never Broke My Heart 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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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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Luke Combs & Florida Georgia Line Win at the Billboard Music Awards

 

Luke Combs was the big winner in the country genre at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards which took place last night (May 1st) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The singer-songwriter took home Country Album of the Year for This One’s For You, Top Male Artist and Top Country Artist. Florida Georgia Line, Dan + Shay, Carrie Underwood, and Kenny Chesney also picked up a Billboard Music Awards.

Luke Combs is having a huge award season as he gains three more awards to add to his astonishing resume. Combs has already won the iHeartRadio Country Artist of the Year and the ACM New Artist of the Year. The success is well deserved as Combs has had three songs, “One Number Away”, “She’s Got the Best of Me” and “Beautiful Crazy” reach number one on the Billboard Country Airplay in 2018. “Beautiful Crazy” is currently number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. It has been on the charts for fifty-one weeks and in the number one spot for ten.

The only televised country award presentation was given to Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha for the Top Country Song, “Meant To Be”. The smash pop-country hit spent 50 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart, surpassing the record that was previously held by Sam Hunt’s “Body Like a Backroad”. This song was also nominated for Top Radio Song but lost to Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” featuring Cardi B.

“As artists, we all get to experience so many unbelievable things,” Hubbard said as he and Kelley went on stage to accept their award. “But in our opinion, at the end of the day it’s all for nothing if you’re not using your platform for better, if you’re not using your platform to spread love, to help those in need, to be a light to your community.”

“Speechless” was the lone country performance last night as the Grammy Award-winning duo of Dan + Shay took the stage with gospel-pop singer, Tori Kelly. Kelly is familiar with collaborating with country artists as she was featured on Chris Lane’s “Take back Home Girl” track and the remix version of Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man”. Her mezzo-soprano voice paired beautifully with Mooney’s incredible tenor vocals.

Dan + Shay took home the award for Top Country Duo/Group and were also nominated for five others, including Billboard Chart Achievement Award, Top Country Artist, Top Country Album, Top Country Song (“Tequila” and “Speechless”) and Top Duo/Group overall. It will be fun seeing two of the biggest country duos, Florida Georgia Line and Dan + Shay on tour together this summer.

Carrie Underwood was awarded Top Female Country Artist, topping Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris. Underwood released her sixth studio album Cry Pretty in September which reached number on the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums. Underwood was not in attendance because her Cry Pretty 360 Tour with special guests Maddie & Tae and Runaway June kicked off in Greensboro, North Carolina last night.

Kenny Chesney won the Top Country Tour award, topping Luke Bryan and Shania Twain. Chesney’s Trip Around the Sun Tour, featuring special guests Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and Brandon Lay, stopped at 39 locations around the US in 2018, performing in amphitheaters, baseball and football stadiums. The tour generated over 100 million dollars in total revenue and nine of his shows had over 50,000 fans in attendance. NYCountry Swag had the pleasure of attending his show at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Read all about it by clicking here!

To see pictures and highlights, follow the Billboard Music Awards on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Click here to see the complete list of winners or watch the whole show on NBC.com.

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NYCS First Impression Brooks & Dunn Feature New Artists On ‘REBOOT’

Brooks & Dunn REBOOT

Making their old hits new, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn have gotten together with some of country music’s hottest acts to repurpose and reimagine their biggest songs in the new album REBOOT. It has been over a decade since the best selling duo of all time released new music and exactly 10 years since they released anything at all, their last album #1s…and then some was a compilation of their hits.

For fans who are new to loving the genre, they may not be familiar with the duo or any of their songs however Brooks & Dunn have shaped the landscape of country music and helped cultivate and influence the artists that you know and love today. This new project allows fans of Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Ashley McBryde and so many more really dig into these tracks otherwise may have been lost on them.

Released first and prior to the full album, Luke Combs and Kane Brown’s contributions (“Brand New Man” and “Believe”) gave fans a taste of what to expect from REBOOT, without changing the songs melodically, they breathed new life into them.  “What’s really intriguing to me is that we didn’t do any production meetings about how we might cut these things,” Kix Brooks said in a recent press release. “We kind of just went in, and it morphed in the process.”

Choosing which songs out of their twenty, that’s right twenty number one hits, couldn’t have been easy but each track shows a different side of the duo’s outstanding discography. A standout on the record is “Ain’t Nothin’ Bout You” which features Brett Young’s soulful and sultry vocals. Young starts the song with the familiar lyrics, sonically slowing things down to accentuate the words, changing things just a bit, instead of singing to the girl, they are singing about her to each other. The addition of a saxophone solo adds a sexy spunk to the vibe, making this track one of the best on the record.

Currently one of the most talked about country acts, Kacey Musgraves who humbly took home Album of the Year at this year’s Grammy Awards is featured on “Neon Moon”. Her sweet voice highlights the buzzing neon signs in bars that will always welcome you back when experiencing heartbreak.  The decision to have a female voice adds so much to the two tracks on the record, the ACM New Female of the Year Ashley McBryde adds her grit and unique vocals to “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”.

Possibly one of their most popular songs, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” is energized by Grammy-nominated Midland who’s debut album is filled with songs just like their cover for REBOOT. Their version is perfect for dance halls and bars across America.

While every song on the record is an absolute proven gem, when Texas native, Cody Johnson starts off the last chorus alone on “Red Dirt Road” over a quiet acoustic guitar, it will make you fall in love with the song that has been a classic since its release in 2003.

It was just recently revealed that Brooks & Dunn will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later this year. Making timeless hits brand new again, fans Brooks & Dunn and fans of these modern day country artists will have a record to blast for years to come.

To keep up with Brooks & Dunn, follow them on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

REBOOT 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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Luke Combs Sells Out New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom

ACM and Grammy-nominated Luke Combs brought his headlining Beer Never Broke My Heart tour to a sold-out crowd last night in New York City. Opening up for Combs was singer-songwriter and one of our Swag Spotlights, Jameson Rodgers, who was playing in the big apple for the first time ever.

Rodgers kicked off the unforgettable evening after a quick introduction from Nash FM’s Kelly Ford and Jesse Addy. His half-hour long set started with a few of his own songs including “Midnight Day Dream”, “Girls That Smoke”, and “Some Girls”. He also shocked the crowd when he played two big hits he wrote for Florida Georgia Line and Chris Lane. This was Rodgers first time playing for a crowd in NYC and he definitely impressed, leaving the stage with new fans. Rodgers announced that he will be back in the city this year at Mercury Lounge.

Luke Combs took the stage with a red solo cup in hand and the crowd went wild. Combs started his set with boot stomping, right out of the 90’s song “Honky Tonk Highway”. The intense energy from Combs and the crowd continued as he performed hit songs from his debut album “Out There” and “When It Rains It Pours” and “Must’ve Never Met You”.

Combs then interacted with the crowd to talk about how insane his year has been already. He told fans that he has new music coming out this year and the crowd went wild. He played a few of those songs and excited to hear new music, the fans were taking in every moment. The songs aren’t even released yet, but it is apparent that they will definitely be smash hits for the singer-songwriter.

Before the next song, Combs talked to the crowd about how he won a CMA Award for Best New Artist, being nominated for 2 ACM Awards, and a Grammy. Most recently, he made history when his 5th single, “Beautiful Crazy” hit the top of the charts. After all of the success he has seen, he lovingly explained that the most important part of the year last year was getting engaged. “You know it doesn’t matter what you look like, doesn’t matter if you’re short or tall, fat or skinny, black or white. If you’re a guy out there with a girl you’re trying to impress, you should write her a song. Cause that’s what I did. The song went number one and she’s going to be my wife now,” he said. “I would love for you to be the first ones to sing it since it went number one”. Check out our exclusive video clip from the beautiful song on our Instagram below.

It wasn’t only the major singles that have hit the number one spot that the fans were singing, every single the audience knew every word, including album cuts. It is a true testament to the artist, his songwriting ability and how relatable his lyrics are. Combs continued to play songs off of his debut album including “This One’s for You” where Combs pays homage to his family, friends, and fans for supporting him on this crazy ride.

“I want you to sing this so loud that there is no way they won’t put me in Madison Square [Garden] next year,” the singer exclaimed and did his audience listen, it was the loudest crowd we’ve heard in a long time when he performed his first single “Hurricane”.  He closed out his encore with Brooks and Dunn’s “Brand New Man” which he sings as a duet with the duo on their forthcoming album, Reboot, and his own “She Got the Best of Me”.

We’ve watched Luke Combs’ career blossom since first seeing him back in January 2017, just after naming him a NYCountry Swag 2017 Artist to Watch. Click here to throwback to a piece we wrote about Combs’ very first NYC show back in 2017 and head to lukecombs.com for remaining tour dates.

 

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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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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC!

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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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Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
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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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