Summer Country Round-up

         by Roman Mitz for Open Spaces

This has been a great summer for Canadian Country Music, particularly with the growing success of the Boots & Hearts Festival near Orillia, which featured scintillating sets by Meaghan Patrick, Dean Brody and Emerson Drive, to name a few. The Havelock Jamboree keeps the momentum going with Canadian icons such as Terri Clark and The Good Brothers gracing the stage. Things are also beginning to heat up on the recording front as several artists have dropped or will be dropping new releases.

Doc WalkerCountry icons Doc Walker will be releasing their new album, ‘Echo Road – The Best of Doc Walker’, this fall. The new record includes their recent single, ‘Heaven on Dirt’.  For lead singer Chris Thorsteinson the album sheds light on the past and casts an eye toward the future. “We write music from the heart, with our fans in mind,” he says “This record is unique in that it encapsulates where we are from and where we are going. We can’t wait for fans both new and old to hear it.”

Dallas Smith’s third solo outing, ‘Side Effects’, is due out in the first week of September. The album, which was produced by Joey Moi (Florida Georgia Line), will feature collaborations with some of country music’s most popular songwriters including Jaren Johnston of the Cadillac Three. The new single ‘Autograph’ follows on the heels of ‘One Little Kiss’, which hit the top of the country charts.  Don’t bet against Smith picking up some hardware at next month’s Canadian Country Music Awards as he’s nominated for four awards including Fans’ Choice, Male Artist of the Year and Single of the Year.

Country newcomer Beamer Wigley is certainly not named for his prowess behind the wheel of the luxury car because he’s too young to drive. Beamer first picked up a guitar at the tender age of five, inspired by Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, and now at the ripe old age of 13 he’s released his first single ‘Meteorite’. Wigley co-wrote the song which is propelled by a nice acoustic guitar refrain. The kid is no slouch on the axe as a year ago he was awarded the coveted Brotherhood of the Guitar, which recognizes a group of talented musicians worldwide.

Dan Davidson
Dan Davidson

Alberta’s newest up and coming country sensation Dan Davidson has his first #1 record with his second single ‘Found’ (Co-written by Clayton Bellamy of The Road Hammers). Dan is new to the country scene, but is far from green in them music industry. He spent 10 years playing in the well-known Canadian indie rock band Tupelo Honey, but then drifted toward country in order to form a closer bond with his audience.“ I love country music because it’s not about being cool, it’s about feeling something. It’s about having a good time and connecting with people.”

Nipping at the heels of Found is ‘Lawn Chair Crazy’ the major label debut single from the pride of Woodville Ontario, the James Barker Band.  Leader James Barker cannot believe the reaction that the single has received. The catchy tune, which has to be given consideration for the top feel good song of the summer, toasts the merits of ‘day drinking’ and ‘getting refills’.  “You don’t realize how many supporters you have until something like this comes along. It’s like our whole local community just blew up. We’re very excited for the release of Lawn Chair Lazy and we hope it’s going to stay on country fans’ playlists all summer.”

It’s always nice to end things with an item that’s a little risqué, and Chad Brownlee’s ‘uncut’ video for his latest single ‘I Hate You For It’, fills the bill nicely. While it’s not quite as spicy as the latest from Britney Spears, black lingerie, pasties and a bare bum are prominently featured. Oh yeah, and the song’s really good as well. “This is my favourite song on the EP. (‘Hearts On Fire’)”, Chad says. “It’s got an edge that is slightly softened by an underlying addictive love. We can become entangled in one another. A conscious knowing of the intoxicating power one person can have over our emotions. We lay prisoner to the chains of infatuation.  Like the lyrics say, one is literally ‘punch drunk crazy’.”

[styled_box title=”Chad Brownlee – I Hate You For It” color=”black”][/styled_box]

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