As we make our way out of the traditional winter freeze of new releases, a couple of recent recordings have made a splash on streaming services beginning with Brett Kissel’s latest album “Now or Never”. Last year was a huge one for Brett, who won the JUNO Award for Country Album of the Year and earned the Canadian Country Music Association’s Fans’ Choice Award, following a record-breaking 112-date tour that reached every single province and territory. The Canadian Press crowned him “The New King of Canadian Country.” Although some artists might see these accomplishments as a cue to hit cruise control, it’s only added fuel to his fire to give his audience more and to expand his musical vision, and that’s precisely what he’s done on “Now or Never”. Brett will be sitting down with Open Spaces to talk about the new album for an upcoming feature story.
Singer/songwriter Karli June has just released a new single entitled ‘Say Too Much’, a powerful, anthem that communicates a positive, empowering message. The Listowel Ontario native has shared the stage as an opening act with the genre’s hottest artists including Dierks Bentley, Jason Blaine, Brett and Terri Clark. The new single provides further evidence of her strong vocal and songwriting skills.
Also back on all streaming services is the pride of Pembroke Ontario, Jason Blaine, who wraps his signature vocals around a new single entitled “Drink Too Much”. With over a decade in the country music scene, Jason has amassed over 10 million combined streams and has over six full-length albums and 12 top 10 singles. He moved to Nashville in 2006 before bursting onto the scene in 2007 with his first Number One single “Rock In My Boot”, which led to multiple Canadian Country Music Award nominations.
MDM Recordings has released new singles from two of their premier artists, Don Amero and Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion. The former returns with the sensitive “Morning Coffee”, a number that the singer was immediately smitten with. “As soon as I heard it I was in,” he says. “It was strange and intriguing at the same time. I love it when a song makes you turn your head and lean in a little more and this one definitely did that for me”. Black Mountain Whiskey Rebellion has taken a harder line with “Stillhouse Blues”, which pushes a grittier edge to their already distinct sound of power chord-driven rock.
One of Open Spaces’ favourite American country girls is Carly Pearce who teases her upcoming Valentine’s Day album with her new single “You Kissed Me First”. Working again – and unknowingly, for the last time – with producer Busbee who passed away last September, the pair maintained her roots and his contemporary sense. The down-to-earth vocalist seeks to keep the ‘feel good’ without surrendering the ‘get real’, as is evident on a track from the new album, “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” a duet with Lee Brice that she penned alongside Luke Combs, Jonathan Singleton and Randy Montana.
If they gave away CCMA’s for endurance, The River Town Saints would win hands down. When their original singer departed in 2018, and months later their bassist and best friend Daniel Di Giacomo died tragically at 31, it would have been understandable for them to throw in the towel. The remaining members stuck it out, however, and recruited Chase Kasner, a soulful new voice to helm the group. Their brand new single “Slow Kiss”, is a catchy little ditty in which the singer takes his girl out for a cruise in his Trans Am, hoping for a “slow kiss in a fast car”.
Hailing from the mountains and nature of small-town Castlegar, British Columbia, Lisa Nicole grew up hunting, fishing, camping and embracing country music. Lisa certainly shows that she hasn’t strayed far from her roots on her new single “Wait On Me”, her first release since her stellar 2018 album “Where Wild Hearts Beat”, which was produced by CCMA award-winner Jeff Johnson.