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Maren Morris Joins “Watch What Happens Live”

Marren Morris joined “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen last night alongside fellow guest Teddi Mellencamp from the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Cohen introduced Morris as a housewife superfan, loyal to the Beverly Hills Housewives. He congratulated Morris with the release of her new album “Girl,” saying Morris is “a woman whose voice is what your ears want.”

Cohen surprised Morris by proving what a huge fan she is of the Beverly Hills Housewives by showing an Instagram clip of where she once pretended she was a housewife, almost like an audition tape for the show! She then had 45 seconds on the clock to ask Cohen and Mellencamp whatever burning Bravo questions she wanted. Next up was a fun game called “Why Don’t You Just Meet Me In The Middle?” Perfect for housewive’s fan Morris and fitting because of her smash single “The Middle”, she was given scenarios of Beverly Hills Feuds and she chose who she thought should forgive first and makeup.

Cohen even got Morris to share that the “Real Housewives” had actually made it into their wedding vows! Maren laughed and gave us the details about the exchange of vows between her and Ryan Hurd. “He said, I promise to love you through everything, the blah-blah-blah to the this and watching ‘Real Housewives’ to this, ” Apparently, he tries to pretend that he’s not a fan and doesn’t keep up on them, “And then he somehow knows all of the information, the inner workings of what’s going on.”

It was then time for some fan questions for Morris, with the first one being, “How did you and your friend Kacey Musgraves initially meet? Maren responded, “Kacey and I are both from Texas, and we started going to the same auditions, and Oprys and talent shows when we were kids and that’s how we met.” Another question that came through was “What was the most intimidating part about performing with Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus at the Grammys and what did you all talk about backstage? Admitting she was nervous because it was ‘Dolly’ Morris said, “Dolly immediately made me feel so welcomed to be there, and she and I joked about how short we are” while they were backstage. The final question brought up the other pop stars such as Demi Lovato and Camila Cabello and how they passed up recording “The Middle,” and if she had ever reached out to them. Morris doted on them explaining that “they’re huge stars” but they “chose to do other songs at the time.”

Cohen praised Maren’s rendition of “The Middle” by saying, “What a gift it is for your life.” Morris humbly answered, “I come from the country world, and I am a songwriter but on this song, I just knew it was such a hit I didn’t care that I wasn’t a writer on it – and thank God I made the decision” All in all, It has been an incredible month for Morris, since releasing her album on March 8th, GIRL now sits at number 1 on the Top Country Album Chart and has broken the record for the largest ever debut streaming week for a country album by a woman, with 23.96 million streams in its first week.

Check out clips from Morris’ visit to “Watch What Happens Live” for a good laugh and enjoyable entertainment by clicking here.

 

/Cover Photo Courtesy of Bravo TV.com/

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Maren Morris iHeartRadio ‘GIRL’ Album Release Show

Maren Morris has been promoting and celebrating the release of her sophomore album, GIRL, right here in New York City all week long. This past Monday night (Mar 11th) the songstress partnered with iHeartRadio to throw an official intimate album release party at the iHeartRadio Theater. Hosted by country radio DJ Bobby Bones, Morris performed three of her biggest hits from HERO, as well as seven brand new songs from GIRL.

Kicking the night off with the album’s title track, the Texas native gave a bit of insight behind the song’s writing process, “No one really wants to have those days where they don’t like themselves and I was having one when I wrote that song. And I just felt like it was a really therapeutic co-write that day.” She also shared one of the co-writers, Sarah Aarons also wrote her pop hit collaboration with Zedd, “The Middle.”

Transitioning into the song that she claims changed her life, “My Church” was up next. Bones asked Morris about how much her life had changed in the past three years, since releasing her debut record back in 2016. “I still have my sass and Texan in me, but I also have gotten married in the last year, fallen in love and so there’s a lot more love on this record represented [..] but also the industry’s changed, the culture of music has changed this year, I just felt Iike I wanted to put something out that’s honest and uplifting because it’s crazy times and I felt like this was a good medicinal record to put out.”

After performing her first ever number one hit“I Could Use A Love Song,” Morris transitioned into two brand new tracks, “The Bones” and “All My Favorite People.” The songstress revealed that when she played demos for this record to family and friends, each one insisted “The Bones” to be featured on the album. She co-wrote “All My Favorite People” with her husband, Ryan Hurd, in which she shared some insight into their professional relationship, “My husband and I met writing songs so it doesn’t ever feel weird to have that part of our relationship be creative and professional. We love writing songs.”

The powerhouse vocalist continued the night with “The Feels” and her seductive new song “RSVP,” which she told the crowd was intended to have country lyrics and the sound of a 90s R&B track. Before performing “Shade,” Morris told the crowd she purposefully placed it as the last track on GIRL, saying it was a perfect period at the end of her sentence, so to speak.

Wrapping up the evening with the nostalgic tribute to music, “A Song For Everything” and “Rich,” the singer-songwriter continuously thanked the audience for showing up and singing along, as well as iHeartRadio for putting on such an unforgettable event.

Morris will head back to New York City this spring, as part of her headlining ‘GIRL: The World Tour.’ Lucky for us New Yorkers, we will have two chances to catch the live show; Friday, May 3rd at Brooklyn Steel and Saturday, May 4th at Terminal 5. Tickets are available now. Visit https://www.marenmorris.com for all information.

Be sure to tune into the iHeartRadio Music Awards tonight, airing live on FOX at 8 p.m. to catch Morris presenting and hopefully taking home some awards of her own.

 

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What We’re Listening To: March Picks

NYCountry Swag’s “What We’re Listening To” playlist highlights the wide range of our team’s favorite songs and artists when it comes to the country music genre.  At the end of the day, we are all fans first with a passion for country music and are eager to share with you all what we’ve got on repeat each month.

Find below each of our team member’s favorite songs and why in our March picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!

 

MARCH PICKS:

 

Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: “Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere” – Chad Brownlee
Songwriters: Cary Barlowe, Donovan Woods, Todd Clark

This month I’m listening to Chad Brownlee’s “Forever’s Gotta Start Somewhere”. The song paints the picture of making that first move whether in a dive bar, on a train, in a crowded room, etc… the idea that for any relationship to begin, it’s got to start somewhere, anywhere first. 

“I know what you must think /Another guy tryin’ to buy your drink / Two for one on a Tuesday /
How can a good thing start this way / Well it could end up anywhere / Forever’s gotta start somewhere”

I love the idea behind these lyrics and paired with the catchy rhythm of the song, it makes it easy to sing along to and keep on repeat.”

 

Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: “Ten Year Town” – Hailey Whitters
Songwriters: Brandy Clark and Hailey Whitters 

“I’m twelve years into a ten-year town”  That is the opening line of this incredible song. From the moment I heard it the day it was released, I knew it would be my pick this month.  Hailey Whitters moved to Nashville when she was just 17 years old and has been paying her dues since the day she got there. In a time when pop production has taken over the country genre, this track is simple and Whitters’ voice is delicate, almost melancholy as she explains the struggles she’s dealt with.

“Waiting tables another month, waitin’ on that break to come / all it’s ever done is break my heart”

Whether it’s a songwriter like Whitters who is waiting for that big break, just like a ton of artists in Nashville or co-writer, Brandy Clark who has been nominated for six Grammys but can’t get airplay on country radio, we are all looking to find our little place in this industry.  For me, this track can resonate with anyone waiting for validation in any career, music industry or not.

“Payin’ dues don’t pay the bills / Dreams come true, and I think mine will / lesser fools would have given up, they don’t go for broke like a dreamer does, ya gotta get back up when you get knocked down, I’m twelve years into a ten-year town, this next song could turn it all around”

I hope that I can be a small part of allowing others to hear this song and to take notice of amazing artists and songwriters striving for the spotlight.

Dylan Bestler, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Chapters” – Brett Young feat. Gavin DeGraw
Songwriters: Brett Young, Ross Copperman, and Gavin DeGraw

Like Young, I am also a huge Gavin DeGraw fan. He has always been one of my favorite artists so I was very excited to see him on Ticket to LA’s track listing.

“Chapters” is a true story about Brett Young’s life and his love for baseball growing up. Young received offers from Tampa Bay and Minnesota after high school but turned them down to play in college. However, an elbow injury ended his career which made him get into songwriting. Clearly, it worked out well for him, but his ability to turn the page and start a new chapter is what got him through that tough time in his life. Young and DeGraw explain throughout this very powerful and moving song that just because things didn’t work out the way you intended, doesn’t mean you failed; God had a plan the whole time.

“Every page you’ve turned is a lesson learned / And we all, and we all, just tryna get it right /
These are the chapters of my life.”

Nicole Bochinis, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Brand New Man” – Brooks & Dunn feat. Luke Combs
Songwriters: Don Cook, Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn

“Brand New Man” by Brooks & Dunn is one of my favorite country songs. I grew up listening to it with my family during BBQs in the summertime. When I heard that Luke Combs was going to be a part of a reboot for the song I couldn’t contain my excitement. I heard Combs cover this song the first time I saw him live and let me tell you, he does an awesome job and the crowd sings every word with him. Having one of your favorite artists cover a song you love is one of my favorite moments at a show. He’s such a great addition to this song and I’ve had it on repeat since it was released.

 

Jeremy Chua, Contributing Writer 

Pick: “Keep Abilene Beautiful” – Carlton Anderson
Songwriters: Carlton Anderson, Tom Douglas, Tony Lane

“You don’t have to be from Abilene or Texas to love this song. It’s lyrical, vocal and (traditional-leaving) instrumental perfection, evoke a very palpable sense of longing for the familial and familiar warmth we’re sometimes too far away from. And, needless to say, Carlton’s performance of this personified song coupled with his personal connection to the said city in Texas really bolsters the impact “Keep Abilene Beautiful” has on our heartstrings. Personally, I’m rooting for this to be his next single at country radio. With the standing ovation, he got at his Opry debut and the reaction this song is seeing, it could very well be a career-defining one for him— if given the chance to be heard on the radio.”

 

Taylor Felvey, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Sad Song” – Mike Ryan
Songwriters: Mike Ryan, Brent Anderson, and Clint Lagerberg

“San Antonio native, Mike Ryan gives a soulful take on a love song on his Album Blink You’ll Miss It.  The ballad tells the story of a love affair caught in a vicious cycle. It’s a relationship that’s headed nowhere, and will certainly end in heartbreak as the lyrics take you through the tumultuous situation.

“I watched the taxi cab take you away / I was the one left alone in the rain / I’ve drained a few bottles /
Stared a hole through my phone / I’ve come to grips with the fact that you’re gone /
And here you are standing in tears at my door / I don’t know what to tell you / I’ve heard this one before”

 

Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Try Saying Goodbye” – John King
Songwriters: Paul DiGiovanni, John King

“I have always loved John King’s upbeat songs from “Tonight, Tonight” to “Heat Wave” although I feel King has never got the attention he deserves. As an amazing songwriter, including Randy Houser’s “We Went”, his newest slow song “Try Saying Goodbye” hits a new chord. The song explores the difficulties of relationships and singing in the chorus, King thought sorry was going to be the hardest thing he would have to say, turns out goodbye is. The main theme of the song is to not take things for granted and be okay with admitting when you are wrong, never letting your pride get in the way.

With such a powerful message, I thought I could not be more compelled to press replay, but I was wrong. The paired music video was also done so well and certainly makes you emotional listening to the song and reflecting back on your own past relationships. Looking ahead, King has new music in the works for the coming year and I cannot be more excited to support him as an independent artist.”

 

Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Tammy Wynette Kind of Pain” – Reba
Songwriters: Brandy Clark, Mark Narmore, and Shelley Skidmore

“In country music, there are few voices that are as instantly recognizable as Reba’s. In the weeks leading up to the release of her new album, Stronger Than the Truth, the Queen of Country has been releasing a string of new tracks, each showing a different side of the superstar. On “Tammy Wynette Kind of Pain,” co-written by the genius that is Brandy Clark, Reba sings of a cheating man, admitting that “standing by your man, well that’s a broken plan.” Lyrically, the song is absolutely brilliant, weaving in and referencing various Wynette songs to tell the tale of a broken heart. However, it’s Reba’s delivery that makes the song a true masterpiece, as you can absolutely hear the sorrowful ache in her voice. Knowing that Reba went through her own divorce a few years ago, it’s hard not to wonder if she drew upon her own heartache when recording the song. Either way, it’s a powerful performance that once again reestablishes her as the undisputed Queen of the genre.”

 

Olivia Reese, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Gone West” – Gone West
Songwriters: Colbie Caillat, Danelle Reeves, Jason Reeves, Justin Kawika Young

“I’ve absolutely loved the message in “Gone West” by Gone West. Although it can be difficult to leave what you’ve always known the adventure can be worth risking it all, “Sailin’ off to search the islands / Gone west for somethin’ new.”

Additionally, the harmonies with folk undertones are what initially drew me to the song as I have a proclivity for loving harmony bands. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Gone West.”

 

Nicole Sellati, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Give Up The Ghost” – Lauren Jenkins
Songwriters: Emily Shackleton and Lauren Jenkins 

“From the moment I first heard Lauren Jenkins’ song “Give Up The Ghost” off her soon to be released debut album, No Saint, I instantly fell in love with it. From the very first listen I knew this was going to be one of my go-to songs to sing at the top of my lungs while blasting in my car. She combines the essence of rock and country into this song creating the ultimate jam, while the lyrics tell a story about a former flame causing a disruption in a present relationship.

“I know I could make you happy / Baby, if you’d only let me / But two of us is one too many / Open the door and set her free / Give up the ghost, hold onto me”

It’s my favorite song released from the album so far and I can’t wait for No Saint to come out this Friday!”

Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer

Pick: “To Hell and Back” – Maren Morris
Songwriters: Maren Morris, Jessie Jo Dillon, Laura Veltz

“I’ve had Maren Morris’ new album GIRL on repeat all month long and I absolutely love every single song, but this one sticks out to me as being the most vulnerable track on the record. The story told in this one is so beautiful. It’s about a partner’s willingness to love you fully and freely and I just love everything about it.”

“You didn’t save me / You didn’t think I needed saving / You didn’t change me/
You didn’t think I needed changing / My wings are frayed and what’s left of my halo’s black /
Lucky for me, your kind of heaven’s been to hell and back”

 

Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Ol Muddy River” – Dee White
Songwriters: Dee White

“This month, I have Dee White’s “Ol’ Muddy River” on repeat. I heard White and his band perform last year when opening for Ashley McBryde and I was hooked on this song ever since he sang it live.  “Ol Muddy River” is a classic vintage country song with a catchy guitar twang and fiddle.  White singlehandedly penned “Ol’ Muddy River’ and tells a story about going to a river that brings him peace and tranquility.  He sings about his admiration for a place where he can go to escape problems with lyrics:

“All my life’s been wild like the river, so he and I really get along just fine /
Everything’s easy at the Ol’ Muddy River / You know that’s where I like to spend all of my time”

When I listen to “Ol’ Muddy River,” I can easily picture myself fishing and not worrying about a thing!  White released his debut album Southern Gentleman on March 1st, and a week later he made his debut at The Grand Ole Opry.  I am so excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for him!”

 

Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: “A Song For Everything” – Maren Morris
Songwriters: Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz, Maren Morris

“My March song pick came super easy this month.  The second I heard Maren Morris’ sophomore album GIRL, I instantly fell in love with the nostalgic ballad “A Song for Everything.” It is everything I never knew I always needed in a song. The song is essentially an ode to music for always being there for us, as we go through good and bad experiences in life.

When I was looking for the words / Somebody said it first like they knew me / They were singing right to me /
One danced you through love / One rocked you through lonely / Mixtaped your heartbreak and made you feel holy / For the hits and the misses / For the fire and rain / Close your eyes and listen /
‘Cause there’s a song for everything, yeah / There’s a song for everything / There’s a song for everything”

Ironically, I’m sure that this song will be one of those memorable tracks that I attach to future experiences for a long time coming. Thank you to Maren Morris and her co-writers for penning this monumental song.”

Listen to our picks on our “What We’re Listening To” playlist on Spotify and be sure to give it a follow, so you can catch our monthly updates.

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Maren Morris Gives Stunning Performance on the Tonight Show

On the heels of album release week for her sophomore album, GIRL, Maren Morris stopped by the ‘Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’ to showcase her vocals on the title track. Earlier that night, the songstress performed “GIRL,” and many other songs, during a special live performance for fans sponsored by iHeart radio. The female powerhouse is breaking down barriers with her captivating songs, unique songwriting perspective, and pride in supporting other women.

Towards the end of the show, host Jimmy Fallon introduced Morris to the studio stage, sharing “Performing the title track to her album, “GIRL,” please welcome back Maren Morris,” while holding a record copy of her new LP. This marks Morris’ third time performing on Fallon.

Immediately after the gracious introduction, the cameras cut to the stunning Morris standing confidently center stage, guitar in hand at the microphone stand. Supported by a five-piece band, the singer-songwriter belted the lyrics to the girl-empowerment anthem. Her performance was effortless, as it was clear that she believed every word she was singing to the sure to be a future hit. Afterward, Fallon came running back on stage to greet Morris, making sure to say, “That’s how you do it, Maren Morris! Thank you so much. GIRL is out now!.”

Morris will not be slowing down anytime soon. She is going full speed ahead to promote her album through a slew of appearances, as well as, her headlining ‘GIRL; The World Tour.” The songstress is bringing along fellow gal pals and talented singers, Cassadee Pope and Raelynn along for the ride. New Yorkers have two chances to catch the show on May 3rd at Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, and May 4th at Terminal 5 in Manhattan. Tickets are available now.

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Maren Morris Takes over TODAY on Album Release Day

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Maren Morris released her sophomore album, GIRL, today, on none other than International Women’s Day. The record is filled with girl-power anthems, funky and unique sounds, and heartfelt lyrics, sure to resonate with fans across all genres. In order to celebrate that milestone, Morris performed some of her hits and new songs on NBC’s TODAY.

In the first segment, the songstress and one of the co-hosts had an important and open dialogue about her journey and International Women’s Day, as well as, introducing a new digital series, sponsored by Citi that both TODAY and Morris are taking part in. The ‘See Her, Hear Her,” initiative will provide up and coming female musicians with mentoring to advance their careers and gender equality in the music industry. Morris has signed on to be a mentor, sharing “Well I am a woman in the industry. Anytime, I can help kinda share some of my light with someone else- I think it’s all about paying it forward […]. I am such a girls girl, this day is already so inspiring. It’s incredible.”

After a brief conversation about the new initiative, Morris was ready to perform some of her songs to an audience full of excited fans, already filling the outdoor Plaza. Beginning with her latest hit and current single, “Girl,” the singer-songwriter mesmerized fans with her vocals and stage presence. Rocking a statement black dress with thigh high boots, Morris outwardly showed her internal strength. Fans were singing along during the entire performance of the sure to be hit.

After a short commercial break, Morris was back with all of the co-anchors of TODAY, where she learned that after just a few hours, Girl already hit the number 1 spot on iTunes all genres chart. A tearful Morris, shared, “Well it [this journey] makes me pretty emotional. It looks so beautiful out here. There’s so many amazing men and women out here celebrating International Women’s Day,” just before singing her next song off the new record “The Bones”. The sassy and honest love song embodies Morris’ unique and inspiring confidence while showcasing her amazing songwriting skills. She made sure to interact with fans, while she sang the lyrics to the new track. Morris ended her early morning performance with her smash hit “The Middle,” which fans and co-hosts alike were clearly loving, as they danced and sang along throughout the song.

Following her whirlwind performance, Morris sat down in the studio with co-hosts, Craig Melvin and Sheinelle Jones, in a segment called ‘Catching Up With Maren Morris.” Melvin welcomed her back stating, “[Morris] flat out rocked the plaza a few minutes ago.” Throughout the segment, Morris shared her feelings about releasing GIRL, the song-writing process, and her reasoning for releasing, “Dear Hate,” Melvin’s favorite song.

“It feels kinda surreal, just because we’ve been sitting on these songs for so long. I wrote some of them four years ago, so to have them out for the world to consume now, not just for my husband and I listening in our kitchen […]. It’s about having the music out to the fans.” Melvin ended the segment calling Morris “a light,” and encouraging fans to go out and listen to her new record.

Morris embarks on her headlining tour ‘Girl: The World Tour’ tomorrow, bringing fellow female country artists Casadee Pope and Raelynn along for the ride. New Yorkers have two chances to catch the show on May 3rd at Brooklyn Steel in Brooklyn, and May 4th at Terminal 5 in Manhattan.

 

[Cover Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock]

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Want a chance to win an autographed copy of Maren Morris’ album? Fill out the form below to enter to win!
*All winners will be notified by Wednesday, March 13th via e-mail. 

 

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Maren Morris Teams Up With Brandi Carlile For Powerful Ballad, “Common”

Brandi Carlile and Maren Morris

Photo Credit: Al Wagner/Invision/AP/REX/Shutte

In current times, society is often fixated on our differences and they tend to drive a wedge between individuals, well Maren Morris’ new duet with Americana Folk Rock singer Brandi Carlile couldn’t have come at a better time. On Thursday, the 28-year-old announced the March 8th release of her sophomore album, “GIRL,” and surprised fans the same night with a brand new duet and instant-gratification track coinciding with the album’s pre-order.

Morris and Carlile first debuted the song last Saturday night (Feb 1) at the latter’s ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Weekend Festival’ in Mexico, and since then clips of the song have been circulating online and fans wondered if the track would be included on  Morris’ upcoming release. Well, it is, and we love every bit of it!

This mid-tempo ballad reflects on the current state of society, humanity and the world. “I’ve been tryin to carry on, but I’m crushed under the weight of the world I belong,” Morris laments, as she takes listeners into a dive straight into the importance of seeing past our differences because, “we’ve got way too much in common, so what’s the point of fighting?”

“Common” pleads us to direct our eyes away from the differing social, political and many other differences plaguing our society, but turn them toward our similarities because “we’re the different kinda same.” And, if we want to “get to the bottom of this,” we have to step down from the top, humble ourselves and work together to bring change.

Carlile’s vocals, unarguably, augment the poignancy of the situation and depth of the message. For those who aren’t aware, Carlile is a multi-nominated Grammy artist herself and is no stranger to country music. Last October, she performed with Morris on a stellar rendition of “Natural Woman” as a tribute to Aretha Franklin on CMT’s Artist of The Year.

Above all, the message of this song is important to our current time. “Common” is Morris and Carlile’s aching plea and a personal invitation to mankind to really let our commonalities triumph over our differences, and let love truly bind us all.

Carlile is up for six Grammys, including the all-genre Album of the Year and Morris is nominated for five Grammys, be sure to tune in to the prestigious award show on CBS this Sunday night at 8:00 PM ET.

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Maren Morris Releases Powerful Video for “GIRL”

It’s no secret that Maren Morris is one of the biggest faces in the women empowerment movement going on in country music right now. Between posts on social media with fellow stars Kelsea Ballerini and Carly Pearce to her latest single, “GIRL” which is the debut single from her upcoming sophomore album, Morris takes empowerment to a whole new level.  She released a visual to go along with the single and the opening shot is her saying, “I think it just comes down to, we don’t want more than anyone else, we want the same as everyone else.” A true badass right off the bat and it only gets better.

From boxing to arguing to dancing to throwing paint and more, the video shows women of various backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities, going through a variety of difficult life experiences. It is not until almost the end of the song that we see the beautiful faces of all the women that are struggling. By the end of the song each one is embracing their struggles and in a women’s march with Morris leading, with heads held high and proud. The video then concludes with Morris stating, “Well, one of the hard things about being a girl, is having to always answer questions about why it’s hard to be a girl.”

Morris is expected to release her second album sometime this year with songs anywhere from traditional country, to some with pop elements and everything in between. Morris also announced a headlining tour with Raelynn and Cassadee Pope. GIRL: The World Tour starts March 9th in Chicago and goes all the way through the summer ending in New Zealand. New Yorkers can catch her May 3rd at Brooklyn Steel and May 4th at Terminal 5 in New York City. If you want to listen to even more great music that is released every week, check out our ‘New Country Music’ playlist.

 

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Ryan Hurd Sells Out Bowery Ballroom in New York City

This past Friday, singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd brought his first ever headlining tour to the Bowery Ballroom in New York City with special guest, Ryan Beaver. Luckily for us New Yorkers, we were one of the four sold-out stops he was making on this exclusive series of club shows.

Ryan Hurd / Ryan Beaver

To kick off the night, Ryan Hurd invited his friend Ryan Beaver to warm up the crowd. Beaver took the stage with just a guitar, beginning the night saying, “Last time I was here it was 2016. It’s taken me 3 years to come back to the Bowery Ballroom but I’ve played all over the city, it’s always a blast!” He performed most of his songs off his record, RX, like “Fast,” “When This World Ends,” “Rum and Roses,” “Still Yours,” and the song people were waiting for “Dark.” While on stage he mentioned how performing with just himself and a guitar is one of the most terrifying things one could do but anytime someone is singing his songs, it makes his whole night. He performed each song effortlessly, making it hard to believe how terrifying it really was. Beaver got the audience pumped up for Hurd to take the stage, even covering a song everyone knows and loves, “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley.

Ryan Hurd / Ryan Beaver

Next up was the man of the hour, Ryan Hurd. He kicked off his set performing the song “Last Turn Home,” which Hurd and his wife Maren Morris penned for country superstar, Tim McGraw. As the night was just getting started, Hurd took the time to welcome and thank everyone for coming out to the show before singing his romantic hit song, “Diamonds Or Twine.” The soulful love song had the entire crowd singing back the lyrics to the singer, making it a moment to always remember. As the night went on he performed his own music along with songs that he wrote for other artists throughout the years. Making sure to cover all his bases he sang his songs, “We Do Us,” “Love In A Bar,” “City Girl,” “Hold You Back,” and his most recently released song, “Michigan For The Winter.”

It was a night to never forget, those lucky enough to be in the crowd got to hear Hurd’s brand new song, with him mentioning, “The only other people who ever heard this in the entire world are the country music fans in Los Angeles, California…this song is called “Her Name Was Summer”.” The singer-songwriter was not one to disappoint, he sang his heart out giving everyone a new song to fall in love with. Throughout the night he continued to interact with the crowd, saying, “I’m a songwriter in Nashville, Tennessee, that’s the way I got moving and just sort of stumbled into this part and I never thought that I would have this many country music fans coming to a show like mine, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.” He was nothing but thankful throughout the show, telling everyone how appreciative he was to be performing to a sold-out crowd in New York City.

Hurd continued to show off his songwriting by performing the songs that he had written for other artists. Mentioning to the crowd, “I’ve written a lot of songs for other artists in Nashville and I still do. This is one of them, that’s my favorite,” singing the song he penned for Dierks Bentley, “I’ll Be The Moon.” That wasn’t all for the night, he also performed the songs he wrote, “You Look Good,” cut by Lady Antebellum and “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset,” cut by Luke Bryan. Each time the crowd singing along to the infectious tunes.

As the night was coming to an end, Hurd had a special surprise for the crowd. Turning the show into a family affair, he brought out his wife Maren Morris to join him on stage to perform his single, “To A T”.  Bringing the song to life, she was on stage harmonizing and providing backup vocals, their voices intertwining flawlessly. The entire time the crowd was screaming, while every phone shot up to record the magical moment between the two. Head to our Facebook to watch the duet.

The show ended on a high note, with Hurd coming back on stage for the encore saying, “I wrote this song and I played it last week for the first time ever, there’s no recording of it. I love country music with all my heart and I love coming to see beautiful people like you sing it with me…I wrote this song and I hope that you take it home with you tonight, it’s called “Wish For The World”.” Ending the night perfectly, debuting another brand new song. Hurd left the crowd wanting more while being excited to see what the singer-songwriter comes out with next.

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What We’re Listening To: January Picks

NYCountry Swag’s “What We’re Listening To” playlist highlights the wide range of our team’s favorite songs and artists when it comes to the country music genre.  At the end of the day, we are all fans first with a passion for country music and are eager to share with you all what we’ve got on repeat each month.

Find below each of our team member’s favorite songs and why in our January picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!

 

JANUARY PICKS:

 

Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: “Every Little Thing” – Russell Dickerson
Songwriters: Casey Brown, Parker Welling, Russell Dickerson

“It’s no surprise that one of my favorite artists is Russell Dickerson, so every time he releases a new song to radio, I always have it playing.  “Every Little Thing” is such a fun, upbeat song from Dickerson’s debut album, Yours, and when he performs the tune live, his energy lifts the entire venue to another level. I’m excited for the world to hear more of this song and can’t wait to see it become his third #1 song.”

 

Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: “Confetti” – Gone West
Songwriters: Colbie Caillat, Danelle Reeves, Eric Arjes, Jason Reeves, Justin Kawika Young

“Recently I was driving and heard a song on Sirius XM The Highway that sounded a lot like Little Big Town, I looked down to see the name of a new band, Gone West, singing “Confetti”. After I did some digging I realized the main aspect of why I loved what I heard, one of the female voices was very familiar, singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat. Caillat teamed up with her husband Justin and husband and wife Danelle and Jason to create Gone West. Their incredible harmonies draw you in while the catchy lyrics will get stuck in your head.

“Yeah, my heart didn’t break when I broke into that old bottle of fancy champagne / I’ve been saving for the perfect time/ You can’t rain on my parade / Got my freedom, gonna celebrate / When you left, I was so damn ready / No tears fell, just confetti.

Their debut EP, Tides was released last Friday and each song is better than the last. I am looking forward to hearing more from these musicians and in the meantime, I’ll be over here dancing to “Confetti”.

 

Nicole Bochinis, Contributing Writer

Pick: “GIRL” – Maren Morris
Songwriters: Greg Kurstin, Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons

“GIRL” by Maren Morris is her brand-new song and I am loving every second of it. Since the moment I heard it, I have had it on repeat all day every day. Recently life has been throwing curveballs at me and this song is the perfect pick me up. Every girl should know that they are stronger than they think, and it is the perfect women empowerment song. I can’t wait to see what other new music Maren has in store for us!

 

Kelly Cunningham, Contributing Writer

Pick: “All On You” – Mitchell Tenpenny
Songwriters: Andrew Albert, Jordan Schmidt, Mitchell Tenpenny, Nick Fradiani

“When I first heard Mitchell Tenpenny’s new album, Telling All My Secrets, this was the first track that stood out to me. The catchy, quick lyrics that make you want to sing along is the most unique melody I’ve heard from Tenpenny so far. His voice can pull off any note and he made an outstanding impression on me with this new album. This track can be a potential single I see in Tenpenny’s future. ”

 

Taylor Felvey, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Honky Tonk Flame” – Tyler Childers
Songwriters: Tyler Childers

If you’d like to experience old-school country with a modern age feel – look no further. The moment I heard this song I downloaded every album Tyler Childers has and put the song on repeat. The opening chords and story remind me of something Johnny Cash would write. The love song tells the story of a man trying to woo his new woman, who is no-nonsense, and how he’ll need to step up before he steps out with her.

“Hold on now buddy won’t you wait up a minute / You’re mistaken if you think I’m the same as them skirts you’ve been chasing all over town / Along with that honky tonk flame / I’m a woman with a love so true / Truth of the matter, I’d give it to you / You just got to slow down and quit acting that way / Burning your barn in this honky tonk flame”

 

Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Really Shouldn’t Drink Around You” – Teddy Robb
Songwriters: Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, Trevor Rosen

“Since seeing Teddy Robb a few times in Nashville during his Teddy and Friends shows that we covered, the music that he previewed from his upcoming EP was amazing. Now one of the artists we are most excited about in 2019 is our own Swag Spotlight star.

Just after signing to Monument Records, Robb has been working nonstop with some of Nashville’s best songwriters to create his first project. His newest release following “Lead Me On” which has been streamed over 4 million times, “Really Shouldn’t Drink Around You” was released at the beginning of the year. The new song is relaxed and easy going. Describing the decisions that are made when drinking around an ex, Robb decides that maybe it isn’t always the best idea. The song is currently being featured on Spotify’s ‘New Boots’ playlist and Apple Music’s ‘Breaking Country’ playlist. We are patiently waiting for the anticipated release of Robb’s new project and cannot wait for it to come out!”

 

Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Running Man” – Randy Houser
Songwriters: Jeffrey Steele, Randy Houser

“When I began listening to Randy Houser’s new album, Magnolia, I was immediately taken by how mature his voice sounded and how deeply personal the singer’s lyrics had become. Since releasing the album, Houser has revealed that he wasn’t always proud of his past musical releases, but that he’s very proud of his newest album.

Despite the fact that I truly enjoy every song on the album, it was track 11, “Running Man,” that immediately captured my attention. The song tells the story of a man who discovers what he was made for, but continues running through lives, filling his “pockets full of empty things.” It’s easy to look at this song as autobiographical for Houser, and it’s even more powerful listening to it that way. On this song, Houser challenges himself vocally and lyrically, and this song is truly a must-listen. “Every show’s got an end/ Where’re you gonna go then/ Running man?”.”

 

Olivia Reese, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Wilder Horses” Brandon Lay
Songwriters: Brandon Lay, Jon Nite, Ross Copperman

“Wilder Horses” by Brandon Lay is the epitome of a nostalgic song. The lyrics provide a vivid image of missing someone and days gone by “I think about you a little too much these days/Riding no-name lost back roads we take/Ain’t easy for gettin’ out innocent stays”

 I’ve been listening to this song on repeat since it came out late last year after really enjoying other music Bradon Lay has released. The imagery of the lyrics is what really got me hooked on this song. It’s like a quick story and you can imagine yourself there experiencing the simultaneous feeling of innocent love and longing for past days  “Whoa I wish I was down in Dixie tonight / Where we were / Wilder Horses, stronger whiskey, faster two lanes / Every other mile marker you kiss me

 

Nicole Sellati, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Puzzle of Us” – Adam Doleac
Songwriters: Adam Doleac and Anthony Smith

“Recently, Adam Doleac kicked off the year releasing not one but two tracks. Both songs, “Famous” and “Puzzle of Us” are incredible, showing off his pure talent and smooth vocals. It’s hard to pick which of the two is my favorite, but if I had to choose one, it would be “Puzzle of Us.” I fell in love with the story behind the song, showing that inspiration can easily come from anywhere.

“The only piece missin’ is you / Fallin’ into my kiss / Your hand slippin’ through my fingertips / Locked up in my arms where you perfectly fit / I wanna hold you so close / I can feel your heartbeat / And be the air that you breathe / And together you and me can put together all the colors of love / Yeah well that’s the puzzle of us”

Doleac took a moment with a stranger and turned it into a beautiful love song. “Puzzle of Us” has easily become a favorite of mine, and I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next!”

 

Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer

Pick: “The Way That She Loves” – Tyler Hilton

Songwriters: David Barnes, Jon Green, Jordan Reynolds

“One Tree Hill is my all time favorite show, so of course I have to listen to all of the music Tyler Hilton puts out. I love his previous albums because of his unique sound and raspy voice, but his newly released album, City on Fire, has to be my absolute favorite. There’s just something about the country twist on this one that is sticking with me, particularly “The Way That She Loves.” This song reminds me of something that would play in an early 2000s teen movie and I wholeheartedly mean that in the best way possible. Between the lyrics, the beat, and his voice, this has to be my favorite on the album and possibly of all of his music, obviously besides the iconic “When The Stars Go Blue” (if you know, you know).”

 

Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Michigan for the Winter”
Songwriters: Aaron Eshuis, Neil Mason, Ryan Hurd 

For this month, the song I chose is Ryan Hurd’s “Michigan for the Winter” written by himself, Aaron Eshuis and Neil Mason of The Cadillac Three. With his commanding vocals and captivating lyrics, you can practically feel the loneliness and emptiness Hurd sings about throughout the mid-tempo breakup song.

With lyrics like: “I can’t stay watching you move on all February long/I’m going to Michigan for the winter/Between the dark and the light of the sky and the snow/Most people go south for the weather/Instead of hiding out in the cold,” Hurd takes us on a journey escaping a broken heart and returning to his home state of Michigan.

I am sure all of us in the NY area including myself can relate to the cold weather feeling Hurd sings about in “Michigan for the Winter” regardless if we are going through a breakup or not. It is the perfect song to play on a chilly day while relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine and the fireplace going! I am excited Hurd will be singing this song live Friday, January 25th at his sold-out show at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City!

 

Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” – Filmore
Songwriters: Hannah Ellis, Jason Massey, Tyler Filmore 

“This month it was really difficult for me to pick a song, especially with all the great records that have dropped recently. After much deliberation, I kept going back to Filmore’s “Heart’s Having a Hard Time.” I discovered the song thanks to NYCS’s 2019 Artists to Watch list. I had heard of Filmore, but never really listened to any of his songs. Right away, I found “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” to be completely relatable and heartbreaking all at the same time.

The feel of the song is right on trend but still feels fresh and new. More importantly, this track makes me excited to hear more from the recording artist, which is always exciting for me. I encourage you to give “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” a listen if you haven’t already.”

 

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Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here
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and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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Maren Morris Releases “GIRL”, Her First Single From Sophomore Album

Maren Morris Girl

Grammy award-winning artist, Maren Morris has made strides throughout the country and pop charts over the past year with multiple solo singles from her debut album, HERO, along with her hit collaboration with EDM producers Zedd and Grey, “The Middle.” Today, she has returned to her solo country musical roots, with the lead single from her upcoming sophomore studio album, entitled “GIRL.”

Co-written with Greg Kurstin and Sarah Aarons, the mid-tempo female empowerment anthem dignifies the concept that there is no need for competition between women, we should all support one another through ups and downs. Morris discussed the meaning behind the song during a radio interview on Nash FM 94.7 with on-air host Jesse Addy, saying she penned this song with that original intention and wound up realizing the message applied to herself.  She sings in the chorus, “Girl / Won’t you stop your crying / I know that you’re trying / Everything’s gonna be okay, baby / Girl, don’t you hang your head low / Don’t you lose your halo / Everyone’s gonna be okay, baby / Girl”

This track was not the only thing Morris released today. Earlier this morning, the Texas native surprised fans with her forty-two date second headlining tour, ‘Girl The World Tour.’ The tour will stop in New York City on not one, but two dates; Friday, May 3rd at Brooklyn Steel and Saturday, May 4th at Terminal 5. Tickets will go on sale Tuesday, January 22nd at 10 AM. Visit https://www.marenmorris.com for additional information.
“GIRL” is now available everywhere you stream or buy 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!

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!

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