August 9, 2016

Artist of the Month: James Barker Band

One year ago, the James Barker Band took a giant leap forward in their country music career when they won the SiriusXM Emerging Artists Showcase contest. That win gave them the opportunity to play on the main stage at the Boots & Hearts festival before superstar Thomas Rhett played his set. That performance put them in front of thousands of country music fans, and this August, the band will be back at Boots and Hearts to play the main stage on Sunday afternoon. In the 12 months since that big win, the boys of the James Barker Band (James Barker, Taylor Abram, Connor Stephen, and Bobby Martin) have been plenty busy. They’ve played shows all over the province, including CMT Music Fest and the Boots […]
July 6, 2016

Artist of the Month: Eric Ethridge

It’s been a helluva year so far for Sarnia’s Eric Ethridge, and it’s only half over! Ethridge has been working hard to put his voice, name, and face in the minds of country music fans in Ontario since the calendar flipped to 2016, and prior to that even. We first saw Eric when we were researching the 2015 Boots & Hearts Emerging Artists Contest, and saw him on stage for the first time that weekend last August, where he finished second in the competition. Since then, we’ve had the chance to meet and see Eric Ethridge on a few more occasions, and every time he has shown us that his talent and ability to connect with country music fans is going to give him the […]
June 13, 2016

Artist of the Month: Amanda Sadler

Amanda Sadler is a lifelong performer. From the age of 4 she’s been on stage – singing, dancing, and acting – but now the Kingston songstress has focused her efforts on country music, and she’s getting ready to make her move. Amanda’s debut EP, “The Light”, is available now and features tracks like “Nice Just Ain’t Your Colour”, and “Someone Like You”, which show both her upbeat and slowed down sides, while offering a sweet voice and a glimpse of what may be coming in the future. And when we start talking about Amanda Sadler’s country music future, we may be talking about something more recent than you expect. A March trip to Nashville was dedicated to writing new music, and when the writing happens, […]
May 11, 2016

Artist of the Month: Kansas Stone

Kansas Stone’s Brian Vain and Matt Davey grew up with a major country influence from the likes of Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and more… add the rock & roll edge that came from listening to Bon Jovi and Aerosmith, throw in their own personal touch, and you end up with the music we’re all about to hear a lot more of soon. Since the day Brian and Matt started working on country music (first as a side project 3 years ago) they have been putting in the work every artist before them has put in to make their mark. And recently that work has started to pay off, with appearances in Hamilton at the Garth Brooks tailgate parties, in studio on […]
April 9, 2016

Artist of the Month: Rebekah Stevens

Whether she’s strumming her guitar or sitting at a piano, it’s clear that Rebekah Stevens is one to watch, as she makes her country music push in Ontario and beyond. A country/pop singer-songwriter from small town Ontario, Rebekah has been putting in the work to make her music heard. With a start on YouTube, Rebekah has caught the attention of industry (her debut EP was the result of a producer seeing her online) and fans, with the combination of her well-written tracks and her sweet voice. Another video pushed her into the Top 8 in the 2013 Boots & Hearts Emerging Artists Showcase – a stepping stone for multiple Ontario artists (Tebey, Tim Hicks, Runaway Angel) since its inception – allowing Rebekah to perform in […]
March 16, 2016

Artist of the Month: Kyle Dunn

Country music has split into several new and exciting directions over the last few years. For anyone patiently awaiting a break from the “Bro-country” and a return to the more traditional approach, your prayers have been answered by Kyle Dunn. Dunn, who grew up on a hobby farm, experienced his fair share of the country life before finally taking the plunge, when years of songwriting led him to Nashville in early 2015. Dunn teamed up with some of the best names in Music City to craft his unique and refreshing sound. His debut single, “Bootlegger’s Prayer”, recorded at Beaird Studios in Nashville, boasted slick production and A-list players, landing him as a 2015 semi-finalist in CBC’s Searchlight contest. With the buzz surrounding his first single […]
February 4, 2016

Artist of the Month: South of 7

There’s a new country band on the scene called South of 7 and they’re bringing a fresh interpretation of Nashville sound up to the North. Comprised of Josh Thompson, Alex Bowes, Jordon White, Will Dudgeon and Ben Bryan, these five unique musicians have managed to find their way to each other under less than typical circumstances. Thompson, the songwriter and lead vocalist of the band, had no musical experience until his last year at Carleton University, when a hand-me-down flea market guitar began a new chapter in his life. Inspired by artists like George Canyon, Dallas Smith and Brett Kissel, Thompson began by learning and singing cover songs, and quickly moved on to composing his own original material. Cutting his solo chops while playing the […]
January 8, 2016

Artist of the Month: River Town Saints

A little bit of perseverance and a lot of talent went a long way for hot new country music group River Town Saints. Lifelong friends Chris Labelle, Chris McComb, Jeremy Bortot, Jordan Potvin and Daniel DiGiacomo have perfected the balance between uplifting melodies, hot hooks and sweet harmonies, and have been garnering widespread and well-deserved attention in short order. How did 5 friends with diverse backgrounds and unique personalities head from humble beginnings to the verge of breakthrough? It all started with a little hometown heart. In early 2015, when the band began playing shows around their hometown, they were excited by positive responses they received from the crowd. As they continued to build their fan base while growing their high-calibre song catalogue, they would […]
August 19, 2015

Artist of the Month: Riki Knox

With as much heart as she has talent, Riki Knox is the embodiment of determination. Knox’s roots run as deeply as her connection to music and she credits that to her father’s decision to raise her and her siblings in a small Ontario farming community. Much like her father’s own childhood, Knox’s was filled with all things outdoors: family and fun on a farm just outside of Port Hope in Elizabethville, Ontario. A singer-songwriter himself, he instilled in Riki a love for the musical greats like Waylon, Johnny, Merle, Patsy and Dolly, along with a little bit of Springsteen and Redding. This combination of grit and guidance helped create a newly rising star that was years of hard work in the making. Nominated for the […]