Artists to Watch: CMA Fest 2019

It’s that time of the year again, 90-degree weather mixed with thousands of country music fans on Nashville streets. But besides that, If you’re heading out to CMA Fest this year, you’re in for a treat. Being able to see the bigger artists is always a blast, but there’s something special about seeing the uprising artists. Here are some of my top picks for CMA Fest 2019 that you don’t want to miss:


I’ve been DYING to see this duo live. If you haven’t listened to their tracks yet you’re missing out. They’re already impacting country fans with their catchy songs that will be stuck in your head. The amount of times I’ve blasted their tracks is ridiculous and I’ve been waiting for CMA fest to finally see them. Their upcoming single “Love That” hit country radio earlier this week. Give their EP a listen and head over to the Chevy Breakout Stage on Saturday, June 7th at 11:50 AM to check them out.

Gabby Barrett

Barrett is an artist I’ve admired since her third-place finish on American Idol. Her fiery vocals take over in her single “I Hope” and has put her #1 on The Highway XM. This track has been on repeat since it dropped. It’s such a classy breakup tune that will get you fired up for sure. Make sure to check out Barrett Thursday, June 6th at 12:45 PM on the Maui Jim Broadway Stage at Bridgestone Plaza.

Riley Green

Green is someone who I’ve been lucky to see many times, yet it never gets old. All of his tracks are underrated and should be blasted at all times. He’s bringing the old-school country back and it’s time we do too. Green’s single “There Was This Girl” earned #1 on the Mediabase/Country Aircheck chart and it won’t be his last. His current single “In Love By Now” will soon take over country radio. Make sure to check out Green on Sunday, June 9th at 3:15 PM on the Chevy Riverfront Stage.


If you’re at CMA Fest for a good time, HARDY is your man. He was one of the writers on Florida Georgia Line/Morgan Wallen collaboration “Up Down,” which is a #1 platinum-selling country single that’s on everyone’s summer playlist. His EP “WHERE TO FIND ME” released earlier in the year has some tracks that make you wanna turn up the radio as loud as possible. Check HARDY out at the Chevy Breakout Stage on Friday, June 7th at 12:00 PM.

James Barker Band

This band does not have one bad song. With over 95-million global streams, this band is taking over country music one unforgettable song at a time. This Canadian group released their most recent single “Keep It Simple,” which currently has over 10-million streams. James Barker Band just dropped their album “Singles Only” that’s a must listen. Check out James Barker Band at the Chevy Breakout Stage on Friday, June 7th at 3:10 PM.

Jaden Michaels

This is the one you need to keep an eye on. I’ve been following her on Instagram for quite some time now and I’m obsessed with the song teasers for her upcoming EP. Her melodic single “Behave” has over 800,000 streams, give it a listen. Make sure to check Michaels out at the Nashville Acoustic Corner on Saturday, June 8th at 12:45 PM.

Don’t forget to download the CMA Fest app for scheduling and updates on everything festival related.

Puppies Make Dan & Shay Happy

Happy one year to this little blog of happiness! For my one year post, I’m going to go back to where it all began for me in country music, Dan & Shay. I know what you’re thinking, shouldn’t I have grown up with listening to Garth Brooks and Shania Twain? Truthfully I’ve never appreciated the 90s country until I listened to the new. Dan & Shay was that for me.

I was probably fifteen-years-old when I first saw Dan & Shay. I watched them open up for Hunter Hayes at Mohegan Sun Arena and I remember I have never been so excited about a concert in my entire life. This was during the time where country music was “changing” and I never really saw this coming where I would be so invested in this genre. They completely changed my perspective on country music. From their first album Where It All Began to winning awards and coming out with a self-titled album, they are the role-models of hard work and persistence. Most importantly, they know how to build relationships with their fans.

Not only has music been put first, but something near and dear to their hearts that has always stood out to me the most is Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue.

“Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue is committed to ‘Helping His Helpless’ through quality care and healing, adoptions, and population control awareness.”

Dan & Shay incorporate Proverbs 12:10 on almost every social platform they possibly can. Their music video for their track “Nothing Like You” includes dogs from the shelter and it has over 8 million views. 

Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue is a no-kill, not-for-profit charitable organization based in Middle Tennessee. Dan Smyers and his wife, Abby, have three dogs and continue to foster many. There are many animals out there that need a home or foster care. If you want to help, they make it easy! Their Amazon wish-list delivers directly to them. Also, If you want to volunteer, you can here. Tomorrow they’re holding a bake sale at Petco in Bellevue 11-2 during adoption hoursThey will also be having a fundraiser for their third annual Golf Scramble in November; you can purchase your tickets here.

If you just simply want to donate, you can here.

As Dan & Shay continue to show their loyalty to Proverbs 12:10, I hope they know their supporting of something they humbly characterize does not go unnoticed. They are lending their voices to help animals find their forever home!

The Secrets Of SoundCloud: My 2017 Playlist

Whether it’s a weekday or Friday night, if these songs aren’t played in the first 10 minutes of my friends and I sitting in my dorm room, something’s wrong. My friends and I might be the only ones who do this, but it’s fine because after this post you’ll be doing it too.

You’re heading over to SoundCloud. Yes, you heard right, SoundCloud. Some people love it, others might think it’s all about dropping mixtapes. However, you have to do what you have to do to hear songs that aren’t released yet.

These songs and artists you’re going to be hearing are going to be stuck in your head forever because they’ve been stuck in mine for way too long. I’m not complaining though because that’s when you know it’s clearly something special, well in my head it is. Here are my go-to SoundCloud songs on repeat:

“I Wish You Would” – Abby Cone

First of all, Abbey is a complete goddess. Secondly, All of her songs on SoundCloud will be in your head, especially this one. I’m constantly singing it in my head throughout the day. Seeing and hearing her live is an experience I’m all for 25/8. If you see her playing a round in Nashville; go. You won’t be disappointed.

“Just Asking To Dance” – Nicholas Wayne

If there’s anyone who’s going to have a year next year, It’s Nick Wayne. His voice is just.. you have to listen. From seeing him play writers rounds to SoundCloud, he gets you in your feels really quick. Not in a bad way of course. He’ll have you thinking about that ex you don’t even have kind of feels. It’s only a matter of time before Nick makes his mark when his album drops in 2018.

“Holdin’ Up” – Trannie Stevens 

I first heard this song with Trannie singing it at Song Suffragettes and fell in love with it. I immediately went to SoundCloud right after hoping to find a demo, and luckily it was there. I never looked back after that.

“We Got All Night” – Jordan Reynolds 

Jordan has been a favorite going to writers rounds. I can’t get enough of his voice. This song has been a feel-good hopeless romantic jam that’s been on repeat for my semester. I’ll probably be saying this a lot for other artists too, but all of his songs are too damn good not to listen. He has cuts on Dan & Shay’s new project coming out next year. Oh, you bet they’re gems.

“Now” – Josh Kerr

This is the most nostalgic sad song but for some reason, you want to play it over-and-over. You know that song that makes you want to look out a car window and feel like you’re in a movie? This is that song. Yes, this is what I think about. This song is honestly crack. I think my friends and I are half of these loops. I’m not even sorry if you get addicted.

“At The Bottom” – Sydney Cubit

I had to add this in because it’s been on repeat for the last week. It’s the most lyrical genius song I’ve ever heard. She’s preaching what every girl is thinking. Take a listen to this one. Actually just do yourself a favor and listen to her entire SoundCloud, thanks.

These were only a select few that have been on constant repeat, there’s so much more I could babble on about. I probably sound like I’m geeking out over this, however, I don’t care. These artists have been a major savior for me when I get bored with listening to Spotify or Apple Music, so give them the loops they deserve because I said so.




Artists To Watch 2018

This year has been a breakthrough for many artists including Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradberry with their chart crushing albums. Now, it’s only a matter of time before some of my favorite artists I’ve seen live at writers rounds for the longest time get their chance to shine. These are some of my picks for artists to watch for 2018:

  1. Devin Dawson 

Devin is changing the contemporary country music game. From the beginning when I heard his song “Dark Horse” played live at his shows, I knew he was something special. His original song ‘All On Me” has over 36 million streams on spotify. Now, his other single he has released, “I Don’t Care Who Sees” has over 4 million streams. His unique sound to country music is not only refreshing, but is going to make his career take off. His debut album Dark Horse will be released Jan 19; watch out.

     2. Abby Andersen

The idea of people not knowing or hearing who Abby is hurts my heart. Abby has the voice of an angel and her single “This Feeling” is my top played on spotify this year, and should’ve been yours too. It has half a million loops on spotify and I wouldn’t be surprised If I was 25% of the loops because of the amount of times I listen to it. Hearing her new content live at rounds in Nashville gets me overly excited for her. 2018 doesn’t know what’s about to hit, Abby’s coming in hot.

     3. Cale Dodds

Warner Music signee, Cale Dodds, has been killing the country spotify charts in the last year having over 5 million loops for “People Watching” and “Lying”. “All Over,” being his first official single with Warner Music, has over half a million streams and isn’t stopping there. He hasn’t disappeared on Spotify’s playlist “New Boots,” this entire year, and it’s only a short amount of time until he gets the recognition he deserves. The future is only bright for Cale. Listening to his music and randomly bumping into him at Urban Juicer in Nashville has made me curious on what’s to come. Yes, we’re basically best friends now because I ran into him in Nashville. Try not to be jealous.

     4. Ryan Griffin

I cannot talk-up Ryan Griffin enough. This guy is crazy talented. From watching him live at CMA fest to the Listening Room Cafe, he deserves big-time. Ryan has just entered into a well deserving joint publishing and development deal with the one-and-only songwriter/producer busbee and BMG Nashville. Even though we all know that Ryan is the co-writer of Kelsea Ballerini’s hit single “Dibs;” Ryan’s heart wrenching song “Woulda Left Me Too” has over 3 million streams on Spotify. It’s time for the world to discover Ryan Griffin. 2018 is his.

   5. Tyler Rich

California grown Tyler Rich has been up-and-coming the last couple years, but 2018 is going to be his big break. The first time I ever heard of Tyler was when he opened up for Dustin Lynch in 2015 and my mom literally went on stage and took shots with him. Yes, you heard that correctly. After that show, I had his EP “Valerie” on repeat. Now, here we are in 2017 and he just recently signed with Big Machine Label Group. Ladies, if you want a bop, I suggest blasting “Teach Ya Girl” as loud as you can in your car. You’re welcome.

    6. Emma White

Baltimore born and raised, Emma never saw herself in the Nashville scene. Her R&B route somehow went the country route, and I’m not opposed to it. Emma’s self titled EP has been my go-to this past year. Her voice is so soothing you can listen to her on repeat and I’m living proof of it. Her single “OVERTHINK IT” was one of my most played on Spotify this year, do you believe me yet? Getting to know her this past year was a privilege. She’s a class act and most certainly the most humble human I’ve ever met. This year was just the beginning for Emma, and I’m excited to see the big things in store for her in 2018.

If I’m right about all of these, which I will be, you’re welcome for giving you the heads-up.