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Maren Morris Announces ‘RSVP: The Tour’ Dates

Maren Morris Tour

After celebrating a historic 2-week number one song on the country radio charts with “The Bones”, Maren Morris announced that just a few months after giving birth to her son, she will be hitting the road on the RSVP: The Tour. Along for the tour is her husband and fellow songwriter artist, Ryan Hurd as well as Caitlyn Smith and James Arthur.

Morris is also on the bill as the only country act at Governors Ball in NYC this summer.

Tickets go on sale March 6th 10 AM local time.

Heading to the show, don’t miss our Maren Morris lyrics perfect for your Instagram captions. 

Tickets for RSVP: The Tour Dates

June 5 – Boston, MA @ Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion*‡
June 6 – Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion*‡
June 7 – New York, NY @ Governors Ball Music Festival
July 10 – Calgary, AB @ The Scotiabank Saddledome
July 24 – Boca Raton, FL @ Mizner Park Amphitheatre*‡
July 25 – Jacksonville, FL @ Dailey’s Amphitheater*‡
July 30 – Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica*‡
August 7 – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Amphitheatre*‡
August 8 – Indianapolis, IN @ Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park*‡
August 21 – Atlanta, GA @ Ameris Bank Amphitheater*
August 22 – Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater*‡
August 22-23 – Lexington, KY @ Railbird Festival
August 27 – Detroit, MI @ Freedom Hill Amphitheatre*
August 28 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Van Andel Arena*
September 4-6 – Aspen, CO @ Jazz Aspen Snowmass
September 7 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre†
September 10 – Abbotsford, BC @ Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre†‡
September 11 – Portland, OR @ Moda Center – Theater of the Clouds†
September 17 – Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre†‡
September 18 – Charlottesville, VA @ Sprint Pavilion†‡
September 19 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion†‡
September 25 – Montréal, QC @ Corona Theatre‡
October 1 – Tuscaloosa, AL @ Tuscaloosa Amphitheater†‡
October 9 – Rogers, AR @ Walmart AMP†‡
October 15 – San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU†‡
October 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre†
*with Ryan Hurd
†with James Arthur
‡with Caitlyn Smith

Maren Morris The Only Country Act at the 2020 Governors Ball Music Festival

Maren Morris Governors Ball

As artists continue to push the envelope and venture into the cross over world, Maren Morris has found a ton of success in the pop genre since her collaboration with Zedd and Grey, “The Middle”. Announced today, Morris will join the lineup for the 2020 Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City which features over 65 artists.

Her latest project, GIRL while of course, has all of the country storytelling, leans in the fluidity of not being boxed into one genre. “The Bones” has been played on pop stations across the country and her spot at this year’s festival will attract even more fans that love good music, no matter the genre.

Many genres will be well-represented at this year’s Governors Ball at Randall’s Island Park on June 5th-7th, as the headliners are Tame Impala, Missy Elliott, Vampire Weekend, and Flume. Stevie Nicks and Miley Cyrus are also on the bill.

For the full lineup head to https://www.governorsballmusicfestival.com/lineup/

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Country Artists Nominated for 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Announced earlier today, the nominations for the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards and country artists were not only found in the country music categories but Luke Combs was nominated for Male Artist of the Year while Dan + Shay were nominated in the Best Duo/Group of the Year category.

Maren Morris iHeartRadio Music Awards

Photo Credit Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) For NYCountry Swag

Notably, Maren Morris was nominated for Country Song of the Year for “GIRL” and Best Lyrics for The Bones, a socially voted award. Ashley Gorley, country songwriter who we sat down with this past fall was also nominated for Songwriter of the Year. All five of the Best New Country Artist nominees are rising artists that NYCountry Swag has worked with in the past including Jimmie Allen, Matt Stell, Morgan Wallen, Runaway June, and Riley Green.

The 2020 iHeartRadio Music Awards will happen live on March 29th at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Fox at 8 PM ET.

Check out the full list of country music categories and the artists that were nominated here:

Male Artist of the Year:  

  • Ed Sheeran
  • Khalid
  • Luke Combs
  • Post Malone
  • Shawn Mendes

Best Duo/Group of the Year: 

  • Dan + Shay
  • Imagine Dragons
  • Jonas Brothers
  • Maroon 5
  • Panic! At The Disco

Country Song of the Year:

  • “Beautiful Crazy” – Luke Combs
  • “GIRL” – Maren Morris
  • “God’s Country” – Blake Shelton
  • “The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home” – Justin Moore
  • “Whiskey Glasses” – Morgan Wallen

 

Country Artist of the Year:

  • Carrie Underwood
  • Dan + Shay
  • Luke Bryan
  • Luke Combs
  • Thomas Rhett

 

Best New Country Artist:

  • Jimmie Allen
  • Matt Stell
  • Morgan Wallen
  • Riley Green
  • Runaway June

Songwriter of the Year:

  • Ashley Gorley
  • Finneas
  • Frank Dukes
  • Louis Bell
  • Savan Kotecha

Best Lyrics: *Socially Voted Category

  • “10,000 Hours” – Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber
  • “7 rings” – Ariana Grande
  • “bad guy” – Billie Eilish
  • “Beautiful People” – Ed Sheeran featuring Khalid
  • “Hot Girl Summer” – Megan Thee Stallion featuring Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign
  • “Juice” – Lizzo
  • “Lose You To Love Me” – Selena Gomez
  • “Nightmare” – Halsey
  • “Señorita” – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
  • “Someone You Loved” – Lewis Capaldi
  • “The Bones” – Maren Morris
  • “You Need to Calm Down” – Taylor Swift

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

2019, The Year of Women in Country Music

As country music has become more mainstream, we seemingly have forgotten about the powerful female forces that once ruled the genre. However, this year, 2019, female entertainers seemed to have taken back their power and their voices. 2019 was the year of women empowerment and women (and men) supporting other women. From all-female tours to opening gigs to being the CEO of a record label to exciting podcasts, women in country music are proving that they are going to fight for their right to be heard.

Here are six reasons that this is the year of women in country music!

Carrie Underwood Women

Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag

1. All Female Tours.

This year superstar Carrie Underwood pulled off the unthinkable and headlined an all-female tour, playing at the most coveted venues across the country. Taking supporting acts, trio Runaway June and duo Maddie & Tae on the road with her, she sold-out shows across the nation, including the iconic Madison Square Garden in NYC. Other female artists are following in her footsteps. Maren Morris’ highly successful ‘GIRL: The World Tour’ boasts an all-female lineup. For the first leg, Cassadee Pope and RaeLynn joined the songstress, while the second leg featured Hailey Whitters and Kassi Ashton. Finally, Miranda Lambert welcomed newcomers, Caylee Hammack, Tenille Townes, and Ashley McBryde, along with Elle King and Maren Morris to perform as part of her ‘2019 Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour’. We love seeing the female tours that are popping up, and we cannot wait until it becomes the norm in country music.

2. Number One Hits and Chart Accomplishments.

Unfortunately when it comes to country radio, female artists are working hard to get the recognition and airtime they deserve. However, we took some giant leaps forward in 2019 when both Kelsea Ballerini’s “Miss Me More” and Maren Morris’ “GIRL” reached the top spot on the charts and just this week, Carrie Underwood’s “Southbound” claimed the coveted number one spot.  Although only three songs by a female artist have gone number one on country radio this year, it is still a magnificent feat. Ballerini and Morris, who were both co-writers on their smash hits found success with songs that are both empowering and emulate confidence, two concepts that are gaining in popularity in the country genre. Underwood also co-wrote the summertime smash, “Southbound”. Furthermore, Runaway June’s radio single “Buy My Own Drinks” is the first single by a female country music trio in more than a decade to break into the Top 5 on the Country charts. This is progress!

Nicolle Galyon Women

3. CEO of a Record Label.

We proudly highlighted the extraordinary Nicolle Galyon in one of our Women of the Month features. She is a leader in empowering women in the industry and advocating for an equal playing field. Galyon was recently announced as the head of a brand new record label in Nashville named ‘Songs & Daughters.’ Big Loud Records out of Nashville is partnering with Galyon on this new imprint to sign rising female artists. This “music house for female creatives,” as she calls it, will definitely change the game. We can’t wait to catch the flagship artist, Madison Kozak this December when she opens up for Morgan Evans.

4. The Highwomen.

Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby recently joined forces to compose an all-female phenomenon entitled The Highwomen. The four magnificent singer-songwriters created an unprecedented musical group, where there is not a definitive lead. Additionally, each of the members have successful careers of their own. In celebration of women-hood in general and of course in country music, these talented ladies challenge societal standards, break and create molds, and of course exceed expectations. They are blazing the path for more female artists in the industry, inviting all artists to come as they are. Take a listen to their self-titled debut album, The Highwomen here.

Maren Morris

Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag

5. Inspiring Music.

Although we appreciate a good break-up anthem and some clever songs about boys or cheating, we are loving the shift in what is acceptable for women to sing about. Both Morris with “GIRL” and Ballerini with “homecoming queen?” sing about their vulnerabilities and question their self-confidence, but somehow beautifully remind girls that it’s okay to be themselves, encourage us to love ourselves, and remind us all that we are just trying to do our best. Other artists, such as our 6 favorite rising female artists and our 6 undiscovered female artists that we are loving are doing the same, writing and recording songs with substance, heart, and with a greater purpose.

Women in Country

New York’s Country 94.7’s Katie Neal, Warner Music Nashville’s Diane Monk, NYCountry Swag Founder, Stephanie Wagner, New York’s Country 94.7’s Kelly Ford, NYCountry Swag’s Managing Editor, Christina Bosch

6. Women Supporting Women.

We believe that this is the key reason for why women are finding more success this year. Podcasts, such as radio personality, Elaina Smith’s ‘Breaking Thru,’ formally called ‘Women Want to Hear Women,” and radio programming such as Radio Disney’s ‘LET THE GIRLS PLAY,’ are shattering stereotypes and evoking necessary conversations about equality. Here at NYCountry Swag, we highlight a different woman in the industry each month in our ‘Woman of the Month’ segment with the hopes of bringing you stories from inspiring women who are chasing their dreams and who have worked hard to be successful. Additionally, we host our annual ‘Babes, Booze and Brunch’ event, and this Friday, we will be hosting our final sail, featuring two incredible female artists, Kalie Shorr and Lauren Davidson, all in the name of supporting other women.

With a little over two months left in the year, we hope to continue to see and champion women in the industry as they achieve the success and accolades they deserve. The CMA Awards, taking place on November 13th will also honor women with three female hosts, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Reba. And just yesterday, Miranda Lambert penned a note on social media in support of Carrie Underwood taking home the big award of the night, Entertainer of the Year.

 

We don’t need to wear anyone else’s crown, as Maren says, “there’s enough to go around.”

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Country Music Artists Who Started Out As Songwriters

Behind every one of our favorite songs is a team of songwriters, who are quietly creating beautiful lyrics and enticing melodies. In some cases, like with “Humble and Kind,” by Lori McKenna, a single songwriter is the brains behind the entire song. Lately, it seems songwriters are stepping out into the limelight, releasing their own music to the world as solo artists.

Here are some of our favorite songwriters turned solo artists:

HARDY

HARDY is the man behind several number one songs. Most recently he co-wrote “God’s Country” for Blake Shelton, as well as, “Up Down” for Morgan Wallen. For the last year or so, the singer-songwriter has ventured out on his own, releasing two EP’s THIS OLE BOY and WHERE TO FIND ME, while also creating a masterpiece of a collaborative full-length record called HIXTAPE, Vol. 1. In his short time center-stage, HARDY has toured with the likes of Wallen, Florida Georgia Line, and Dan + Shay. This December, we’ll finally get to catch a full set from the rising artist, when he embarks on his first headlining tour. We are pumped to see what HARDY brings to the table next with his creative and unique music. Check out our interview with him to learn more about his transition from songwriter to artist.

Chris Stapleton

Before he shot to stardom with his debut record Traveller, Chris Stapleton was one of Nashville’s most respected songwriters. Stapleton co-wrote Kenny Chesney’s number one, “Never Wanted Nothing More,” George Strait’s “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright,” and Luke Bryan’s “Drink a Beer.” He’s even ventured out of the genre, both collaborating on songs for Grammy winner, Adele and Ed Sheeran, as well as, performing with Justin Timberlake and P!nk. As a solo artist, Stapleton is the recipient of five Grammy Awards, several Academy of Country Music Awards, as well as, many Country Music Awards. It’s clear that he will continue to be a staple in the music industry for decades to come.

Lee Brice

Since 2006, Lee Brice has warmed our hearts with his lyrics and made our souls dance with his melodies. Before making it as a solo artist, Brice co-wrote songs for Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, and Garth Brooks. It wasn’t until 2010 that he released his debut record Love Like Crazy, which garnered nominations for its title track. Even after finding success with his own music and releasing four albums, Brice still finds time to write for other artists. Most recently he co-wrote “Boy” for Faith Hill. It has been two years since Brice gave us new music of his own, so we’re hopeful that he has more music in the works in 2020!

Maren Morris Songwriter

Photo Credit: Justin Aharoni for NYCountry Swag

Maren Morris

One of our favorite songstresses in the industry, Maren Morris, started her incredible career as a songwriter. She penned songs for artists like Tim McGraw, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie James Decker, and Brothers Osborne. Now she is one of the most notable women singer-songwriters in country music. Her sophomore record GIRL has already broken records and the title track was the first song by a female to grab the top spot on country radio in months. As if Morris isn’t busy enough, she continues to expand her platform, spreading the message of female empowerment and strength, as one of the members of the new all female super-group The Highwomen. We admire Morris’ confidence and look forward to her future success.

Josh Kerr

Hit songwriter, Josh Kerr recently exploded on to the scene as a solo artist! In just a month, he has garnered attention for his debut songs, “Still Our Town,” and “Oklahoma,” as well as for proposing to Maddie & Tae’s, Taylor Dye. Musically speaking, Kerr has penned Keith Urban’s top 20 hit, “Never Comin’ Down,” Abby Anderson’s “GOOD LORD,” as well as, “If My Heart Had a Heart” by Cassadee Pope and several songs on Kelsea Ballerini’s debut album. Most recently, he even co-wrote Maddie & Tae’s “Bathroom Floor.” Kerr is already a respected songwriter and producer in Nashville, and we cannot wait to see how his career as a solo artist will blossom.

Ingrid Andress

One of our favorite new songstresses, Ingrid Andress started her career as a songwriter. Before she shared her own prolific music with the world, she wrote for artists such as Alicia Keys, Sam Hunt, and Charlie XCX. Andress even received co-writer credits on Lauren Jenkins record No Saint, which was released earlier this year. She’s one of the most unique vocalists in country music right now, but her exquisite knack for storytelling will always be paramount. We can’t wait to see how her way with words and arrangements will manifest in more of her own music in the future.

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

NYCS Swag Spotlight: Hailey Whitters

Hailey Whitters

“I just became obsessed with the city and just the energy that circulated Nashville, and so I went home from that trip, and was pretty much like once I graduate high school, I”m going to Nashville, Tennessee.”

Our Swag Spotlight artist this week just released her newest project The Days EP last Friday, which is chock full of stellar songwriting and sonically beautiful songs, including one of our favorites “Ten Year Town”. On top of that, the blossoming songstress recently opened up for Lori McKenna and most recently, performed her heart out at Radio City Music Hall, opening up for Maren Morris on her sold-out headlining tour. We got a chance to chat with Whitters about her musical influences, her journey to where she is now, and of course what she has in store for us going into the rest of this year and 2020.

Growing up in small-town Iowa, radio greatly impacted her love for music. She grew up listening to artists like The Spice Girls and The Dixie Chicks. Whitters shared, “I was on my own little planet in Iowa. I grew up on country radio, and at the time, it was all these really powerful females, and they all had a point of view and perspective, and I wanted to be in a girl band. I remember asking my guidance counselor, how do you do music because I just had no idea how that worked,” she recalls. “He asked me who my favorite artists were and I said The Dixie Chicks. And he was like ‘ya know they wrote their own songs.’ That was where I learned that I needed to write songs, so then I got a guitar, and I started writing.”

After playing gigs in her hometown wherever she could and a life-changing trip to Nashville, when she was 16 years old, Whitters went on to graduate from high school and made the move 9 hours away from her hometown to Music City. “Nashville was kinda like my crash course into the industry and how it works. I didn’t know anyone when I moved here, and I just kinda started getting on the internet and contacting bookers and showing up at the bar and being like “hey can I play?!” I really had to feel my way through the dark, but being young and ignorant to this business, I was able kinda to make mistakes, and feel my way through it without having too much of an idea of how it all works,” she explained.

Like many artists, the singer-songwriter had to persevere through many struggles to make it in the industry. Although she’s been dedicated to her craft for 12 years now, she’s had times where it felt like her dreams weren’t going to come true. As fate would have it, this led her to write her song, “Ten Year Town,” which revitalized her career and reignited her drive to chase her dreams.

“I kinda felt very broken hearted and kinda sick of Nashville honestly. Two years ago I was coming up on my ten-year mark, and I was looking at my life and looking at my career, and feeling like ‘is it the end of this chapter for me’?” she tells us. “I had to do a lot of internal work and tune out a lot of voices that I had in my head, and just go make a record that I love and so ya know, getting to do that and seeing this response to it, it has been so rewarding and just like good for my soul, I keep saying I needed to find the music and magic in Nashville again.”

Whitters wrote “Ten Year Town” with the extraordinary Brandy Clark, after being turned down by many other co-writers. The two powerful women created a relatable, yet deeply personal tune. According to the Whitters, the song felt like therapy at the time, but two years later, it became the first song on her upcoming record. She agreed with us that the ending lyric “This next song could turn it all around / I’m twelve years into a ten year town” was one of the ‘aha’ moments in the writing process, adding, “The fact that we threw out that line- it ends on the hope that we all when we’re in our co-writes and in our sessions. That’s just the crux of the dreamer like hanging on and hope that the next set or the next day or the next song or the next whatever can turn anything around.”

Ironically, the success of that poignant song has opened doors for the songstress, and her career is finally taking off. Throughout this interview, we learned quickly that Whitters is wise beyond her years and primed for success, due to her can’t quit attitude and unique talent. We cannot wait to see what she has in store for the new year and look forward to the release of her full-length record The Dream, which will be related at the top of 2020.

To keep up with Hailey Whitters follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Miranda, Maren, Tenille, & More Cover “Fooled Around and Fell In Love”

In honor of kicking off the Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour, Miranda Lambert and her girl gang that will be joining her on the road released a cover of Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around & Fell In Love”. The new version of the 1975 classic song features Maren Morris, Elle King, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, and Caylee Hammack – all of whom will open for Lambert on select dates.

This talented group of women trade off verses, all harmonizing on the chorus and tell the story of a bachelor who fell for one special girl.  The video below shows the recording session when all of the ladies got together to create this magic. We love seeing female artists prove that even though each is hustling their way through the industry, just trying to be heard, they continue to support and love one another.

“The girls on the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour can sing their asses off,” said Lambert in a press release. “There’s something crazy about seeing these artists with a new fire in their eyes. It reignites your own flame. I’m so excited to watch them every night on tour.”

One of our favorite parts of country concerts is when the headliner graciously lends a part of their setlist to welcome back the openers and direct support, giving a chance for the entire venue to witness their talent. We can only hope that this collaboration will support that on the Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour this fall which launches tonight with back-to-back shows at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

For tickets and more information head to https://www.mirandalambert.com/

To keep up with the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour follow Miranda Lambert on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

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

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Maren Morris’ GIRL The World Tour Sells Out The Iconic Radio City Music Hall

What do the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Radio City Music Hall all have in common? They are iconic New York City landmarks and on Friday night, three women who all hail from different cities in the country stood on the stage at the latter, sang their hearts out and inspired a sold-out crowd. Maren Morris’ GIRL: The World Tour made its way back to the tristate area this past weekend, a few months after playing smaller venues around the city including Brooklyn Bowl and Terminal 5. 

The sheer fact that her fans are so dedicated that they sold out another venue, this time a room filled with six thousand seats, is remarkable, but, what is even more outstanding is these country music fans all came to see three women. In a time where Morris and Kelsea Ballerini are the only two females who have made it to the top of the charts in the past year and a half, the amount of love and support for these three female artists displayed throughout the night was palpable.

 

The night of girl power kicked off with Hailey Whitters, a smalltown Iowa native who has been grinding away in Nashville, writing music and performing around town for 12 years, all while waiting tables to pay the bills. Feeling like a human disco ball, she laughed, Whitters took the stage covered in sparkles from her romper to her shoes and even specks of sparkles in her tights. She delicately delivered songs that are soon to be released this Friday, on her EP The Days including “All The Cool Girls”,  “Dream Girl”, “Heartland” and the title track.

Her cool, folky rhythm and honest songwriting captivated the fans who arrived early.  “To anyone out there tonight hanging on to the tail end of a dream, and wondering if you should just give it up…don’t,” Whitters humbly emotes to the crowd before playing the song that truly ‘turned it all around’ “10 Year Town”. She thanked Morris who she said, “changed the whole damn game” for her by inviting her out on this tour, allowing her to showcase her talent to a sea of new fans each and every night.

 

 

Next up, was one of our 2019 Artists to Watch, Kassi Ashton, who absolutely brought the heat and the energy to the famed stage. Ashton who is as unique as they come, kicked her set off with “Taxidermy”, a tongue in cheek revenge track that was released last year. This powerhouse danced in front of white flames, singing not only her previously released tracks, “Violins”, “California, Missouri” and “Pretty Shiny Things” but she performed an epic cover of Eric Church’s “Chattanooga Lucy” as well as Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”, which was met with screams from the sold-out audience.

Ashton has the ability to make you fall in love with her charismatic personality while watching her perform, enticing you to get up and dance but also carefully listen to her well-crafted lyrics. After seeing her set, we are certainly proud to have named her one of our Artists to Watch this year and we just know she will be garnering throngs of new fans on this tour run.

The most nominated artist in the upcoming CMA Awards was up next, headliner, Maren Morris. She opened her set with her latest number one single “GIRL”, and Morris, who may be small in stature, commanded the attention of the sold-out venue standing behind a mic stand, holding an acoustic guitar and strumming those familiar first chords. Throughout the night, Morris performed songs from both of her albums, HERO and GIRL.  “Thank you so much, this is honestly such a friggin bucket list dream of mine to play this venue and the fact that you sold it out, it’s Friday night, it just means the world to me,” she gratefully expressed.

The true songwriter was also on display throughout her set as she took time to chat with the audience about moments in her life that have ultimately led her to stand under that legendary velvet curtain. It was apparent to all in the room how important music is to the songstress, especially before she performed “A Song For Everything”. “In this weird ass world that can sometimes feel really fucked up and dark, music is kind of the most magical form of time travel, and for me, it’s the strongest sense tied to memories,” she stated “You feel that song, when you hear a lyric or hear a chord and it just immediately transports you back to the first time you were on the way to kindergarten in your mom’s car, and there was a song on in the background, also your first kiss and the first time someone just completely destroyed your heart, there are those songs that became the soundtrack of those periods in your life.”

Of course, she performed her biggest hits including her collaboration with Zedd and Gray, “The Middle”, her first number one hit “I Could Use A Love Song” and “80’s Mercedes”. She even took a few moments out of her show to pay homage to her brand new band, The Highwomen which were celebrating their album release day. Morris along with Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby, and Brandi Carlile make up the supergroup and she stood alone on the stage to perform “Crowded Table” from their debut, self-titled album. “This song was really born out of wanting to say, you know through all of the polarizing shit, please, come and sit with us at our table and let’s have a conversation….” she continued. “There is a lot of love in this world and I feel so much of it when we sing this song, this is our song “Crowded Table”.

She then welcomed back to the stage her direct support, Kassi Ashton and Hailey Whitters to perform together one for “the 90’s babies” a cover of The Cardigans “Love Fool”. The ladies even channeled their best inner Rockettes and closed out the song by linking arms for a sweet little kick line dance. The energy and the fun could be felt throughout Radio City to the very top of the venue.

No backup singers were needed at Radio City Music Hall on Friday night, the audience sang along like a well-versed choir to even the deep cuts including “Second Wind”, “Gold Love” and “Once”. Closing out the evening with the song that got it all started for her, “My Church”, it was the perfect ending to the most flawless night. As the confetti rained down, whether you have been a fan since before her superstardom, or you were seeing Morris perform for the very first time, there was no doubt that she deserved every single moment of applause and appreciation that New York City willingly gave.

For all of the additional GIRL: The World Tour dates head to marenmorris.com.

To keep up with Maren Morris follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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NYCS First Impression: The Highwomen Self Titled Debut Album

The Highwomen

On paper, The Highwomen might not seem to make much sense. You have pop-country’s reigning “It Girl,” a superstar songwriter, an Americana queen, and a Grammy winner who’s always deserved more attention than she’s received. Yet, somehow, the diverse foursome of Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires, and Brandi Carlile is one of the best things to happen to country music this decade.

Today (September 6), the powerhouse quartet released their debut album, The Highwomen, produced by Dave Cobb.

The project was the brainchild of Shires in response to the lack of females on country radio. Carlile was the first member enlisted, and so began the movement of The Highwomen. “Music was happening in the room, and you could almost touch it,” Shires tell the New York Times of the recording process. “It hadn’t happened for me in a long time. We would sing sometimes, and I would get so excited I would almost feel like being a ding-dong and crying.”

The album opens with “Highwomen,” a new female take on “Highwayman,” released in 1985 by the male super-group of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson. It sets the tone for the album, imbued with unique stories and powerful harmonies. Originally written by Jimmy Webb, the Highwomen enlisted him to make the lyrical swaps on their new version, which features each taking on the role of a different persecuted woman. “We rewrote it with fates that befell women,” Carlile told Rolling Stone. “A doctor convicted of witchcraft; an immigrant who died trying to get over the border but got the kids over safe and sound; a preacher; and a freedom rider who gets shot.”

The album’s first single, “Redesigning Women,” continues the story being told here, as they sing of modern women who do it all. “Redesigning women/ Running the world while we’re cleaning up the kitchen/ Making bank, shaking hands, driving 80/ Tryna get home just to feed the baby/ Skipping the bread for the butter/ Changing our minds like we change our hair color/ Yeah, ever since the beginning/ We’ve been redesigning women”

While the foursome may be “Redesigning Women,” there’s also no place in their lives for no-good men. This theme carries through “Loose Change” and “Don’t Call Me.” Morris leads the charge on the former, which she co-wrote, proclaiming, “Loose change/ I ain’t worth a thing to you/ Loose change/ You don’t see my value/ I’m gonna be somebody’s/ Lucky penny someday/ Instead of rolling around your pocket like loose change.”

The album continues with a diverse assortment of songs, covering various topics and tempos. The album’s most country song is “My Name Can’t Be Mama,” which easily could’ve been released by the likes of Reba or Dolly Parton thirty years ago. It’s a toe-tapping ode to the perils of motherhood. “I’m not a fan of mornings, and I love my Chardonnay,” they admit. “My name can’t be Mama today.” There’s also the clever “If She Ever Leaves Me,” a nod to Carlile’s sexuality, as she sings of a man attempting to pick up her wife. “If she ever leaves me,” She muses here. “It won’t be for you.”

The album also features heartbreak on “Cocktail and a Song,” written in tribute to Shires’ late father. There’s also the up-tempo “Heaven is a Honkytonk,” which celebrates the fact that all of our heroes are bound to end up in Heaven. “Jesus, He loves his sinners,” They remind us on the track co-written by Ray LaMontagne, “And heaven is a honkytonk.”

Perhaps the album’s most important track is the pre-released, “Crowded Table,” co-written by Hemby, Carlile, and Lori McKenna. Here, they sing of an inclusivity that’s a common thread through the entire album.“I want a house with a crowded table/ And a place by the fire for everyone.” The message here is simple, but necessary, conveyed in a way that feels sincere and poignant without being preachy.

Following the theme of inclusivity, the album features touches from a wide range of Nashville and music industry heavy-hitters, including Sheryl Crow, Yola, and Jason Isbell, as well as co-writes by Rodney Clawson, Lori McKenna, Miranda Lambert, and Ray LaMontagne.  “Anyone can be a Highwoman,” Carlile says in a statement. “It’s about banding together, abandoning as much ego as humanly possible, holding one another up and amplifying other women every chance we get. Shoulder to shoulder. One push, one love.”

To keep up with The Highwomen find them on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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

The Highwomen Track List

1. Highwomen (written by Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Jimmy Webb)
2. Redesigning Women (written by Natalie Hemby, Rodney Clawson)
3. Loose Change (written by Maren Morris, Maggie Chapman, Daniel Layus)
4. Crowded Table (written by Natalie Hemby, Lori McKenna, Brandi Carlile)
5. My Name Can’t Be Mama (written by Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires)
6. If She Ever Leaves Me (written by Amanda Shires, Jason Isbell, Chris Thompkins)
7. Old Soul (written by Maren Morris, Luke Dick, Laura Veltz)
8. Don’t Call Me (written by Amanda Shires, Peter Levin)
9. My Only Child (written by Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires, Miranda Lambert)
10. Heaven Is A Honky Tonk (written by Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Ray LaMontagne)
11. Cocktail And A Song (written by Amanda Shires)
12. Wheels Of Laredo (written by Tim Hanseroth, Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth)

 

 

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Maren Morris Performs “The Bones” & Chats on Late Night with Seth Meyers

Last night Maren Morris was not on the musical guest but took time to chat with Seth Meyers about her Grammy win as well as the poetic justice that comes along with hearing her songs performed on the same television singing competitions that turned her down.

Meyers congratulated Morris on being the most nominated artist at this year’s CMA Awards, which will air in November. “I wasn’t really expecting that, I think like the big one for me this year, because I put a record out, was Album of the Year but, yeah, I didn’t expect to walk away with so that was very cool,” Morris shared about her nominations. “It’s voted on by my peers in Nashville so, I feel like the cool kid.” She also discussed how she got her start, not at county fairs but standing on a bale of hay in the middle of a parking lot, something Meyers laughed at but she says is true.

She laughed looking back at her American Idol audition where after singing her heart out for 8 seconds, her entire group got cut. “Sorry, you have to take the walk of shame, yeah I just remember being 17 and I had to like walk through the ‘walk of shame’ out to the parking lot and find my mom’s car and just cry on the way home with her, but I mean it all worked out,” she explains.

After her chat, Morris changed out of her multi-colored dress into a sleek, turquoise pantsuit to perform her current single “The Bones”. The love song about a strong relationship follows her number one single, the title track to her album “GIRL”.

Morris is bringing her GIRL: The World Tour to the iconic Radio City Music Hall this Friday night with Kassi Ashton and Hailey Whitters. Follow NYCountry Swag on Instagram for exclusive clips from the show.

To keep up with Maren Morris follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
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