The Jeff D’Ambrosio Auto Group Stage Lineup

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Alabama

Alabama
It’s the kind of story you read about in books and watch on the big screen at the movies. For the band ALABAMA, it’s not just a story; it’s their life. It is a classic American tale of rags to riches. From humble beginnings picking cotton in the fields to international stars that went on to sell 73 million albums while changing the face and sound of country music.

It's been over 40 years since Randy, Jeff and Teddy, left the cotton farms of Fort Payne, Alabama, to spend the summer playing in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina bar called The Bowery. Having grown up working in the fields, the cousins were no strangers to

hard work. They didn’t flinch when it took six long years of working for tips and living hand to mouth playing in the bar.

Of the early days and their humble beginnings, Jeff says, "I don't think we thought too far ahead. We were more concerned with paying our bills at the end of the week and playing music."

Finally, word of mouth earned the major label deal they'd been dreaming of. In 1980 the band broke through with their first Top 20 hit “My Home’s In Alabama.”

ALABAMA is the band that changed everything. They brought country music to the mainstream and from side stage to the main stage. ALABAMA introduced rock style guitars, lights, pyrotechnics and sounds to the country audience.

"We were renegades in sneakers and T-shirts," says Teddy. "We had long hair and played loud and some of the country folks resisted us for a while. But then of course they did accept us and then after that, our success made it lots easier for other bands to try it in country music," concluded Gentry. Bands benefitting from that breakthrough include Zac Brown Band, Florida Georgia Line and Eli Young Band.

They have also inspired many of today’s brightest country stars including Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan as well as pop and rock stars from Ed Sheeran to Jon Bon Jovi.

"I was part of a benefit concert at the Ryman," he says, "and I look over there's Jon Bon Jovi. He walked over and said hello and it turns out he’s a fan of our music."

ALABAMA’s reach goes far beyond their impact on other artists; their music is timeless and can be heard today as a part of every cover band’s set list in nearly every college town in America.

Not long ago, Teddy was witness to a scene that reminds us that their legacy of song remains as fresh as it ever was.

"I was in Nashville," he says, "walking by this club full of young people--I'm talking 18 or 20. The band started playing 'Dixieland Delight' and everybody in the place started singing and sang all the way through. I had to smile at the longevity of the songs. Half the crowd at our shows is young people, under 25 years old. So I think that's a tribute to the fact that we spent a career putting out good songs that stand the test of time."

While their music continues to stand the test of time, their numbers and stats are beyond compare. The and has sold over 80 million albums. They have charted 43 #1 singles including 21 #1 singles in a row, a record that will likely never be surpassed in any genre. They have won over 178 CMA Awards, Grammy Awards, ACM Awards and counting. They’ve earned 21 Gold ®, Platinum ® and Multi-Platinum ® albums and were named the RIAA's Country Group of the Century. They are members of the Country Music Hall of Fame and have a start on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They are also world-class philanthropists who have raised over 250 Million dollars for charity.

The band continues to perform to legions of loyal fans, selling out venues night after night. They were honored with the ACM Career Achievement Award at the Ryman Auditorium in the Fall of 2015 and were named “Album Of The Year” at the 2015 Dove Awards for ANGELS AMONG US” HYMNS & GOSPEL FAVORITES.

As the band approaches their 50th Anniversary in 2019, ALABAMA continues to “Roll On” and thrill fans all over the world.

Toby Keith

Toby Keith
The familiar maxim of the triple threat – singer, songwriter, musician – doesn't begin to cover it for Toby Keith, one of the modern era's most complete self-directed hit makers. And Keith's most recent months are a remarkably accurate representation of his entire career. In September 2017 he released The Bus Songs which went on to set a Billboard Comedy Albums chart record for a country artist by holding the No. 1 spot for 11 consecutive weeks. The collection of humorous, just-for-fun compositions includes two new songs “Shitty Golfer” and “Wacky Tobaccy,” whose accompanying music video features Willie Nelson and quickly became a surprise runaway viral hit. Throughout the past year, Toby performed at Sing Me Back Home: The Music Of Merle Haggard in Nashville and he took the stage at Carnegie Hall for The Cake And The Rain: A Celebration Of The Music Of Jimmy Webb in New York City where he performed Webb's classic, "MacArthur Park.” The Academy of Country Music also honored Keith with their Poet's Award for songwriting in recognition of his outstanding and longstanding musical and lyrical contributions as a songwriter throughout his career, and his songs' impact on the culture of country music. Rounding out the year full of music-related accomplishments was his 14th Annual Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic which raised $1.6 million, a record-breaking amount of funds for a single event in the Toby Keith Foundation’s history, to aid sick children and their families in Oklahoma.

This year, Toby honors the 25th anniversary of the release of his debut single with his aptly-named tour “Should’ve Been A Cowboy XXV Tour.” From the moment that song was released and shot up the charts to become his first No. 1, the engine driving everything has been the music. He writes it. He arranges and produces it. And he releases it on his own record label, Show Dog Nashville. At the core is his songwriting, as recognized in his 2015 induction into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in New York City. That year Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, Willie Dixon, and other songwriters from all genres of music were also included in his induction class. The Nashville Songwriters Association International named him Songwriter/Artist of the Decade and he is a three-time BMI Country Songwriter/Artist of the Year. His songs have received more than 91 million BMI performances on commercial radio stations worldwide. Keith's albums have sold more than 40 million copies. His tours have drawn more than a million fans each year for more than a decade straight, with recent expansion into Europe and Australia. The awards are too numerous to count and include Artist of the Decade nods from Billboard and the American Country Awards, as well as the ACM's Career Achievement honor and twice their Entertainer of the Year award winner in back-to-back years. A musician's musician, he was a last minute illness stand-in for the late Merle Haggard a few years back and responded to Merle's query about which of the legend's songs Keith knew and could cover with, "All of 'em." And there have been some unexpected highlights along the way as well, including country's most impactful viral event, "Red Solo Cup," the video for which has received more than 46 million views and was named ACM Video of the Year. Toby's most rewarding experiences, however, have come from giving back locally, nationally and abroad. His golf classics fund the Toby Keith Foundation and OK Kids Korral, a cost-free home for families of children dealing with critical illnesses. His 11 USO Tours to date have enhanced the lives of nearly 256,000 troops and military families in 18 countries with more than 285 events, and have been recognized with the Spirit of the USO Award (2014). And when a tornado ravaged his hometown, Toby Keith was the face of the community and helped shoulder the cleanup with the 2013 OK Twister Relief Concert. Triple threat? How about singer, songwriter, musician, producer, entertainer, humanitarian, Oklahoman and patriot. For starters.

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, guitarist and entertainer whose talents have earned him numerous awards, including three GRAMMYs, two American Music Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards and 14 Country Music Association Awards (including Entertainer of the Year), among many others. He has been a proud member of the Grand Ole Opry since 2001. Paisley’s successful 2017 Weekend Warrior World Tour continues through March of 2018 with an additional 30 shows. Paisley has written 21 of his 24 #1 hits. His 11th studio album, LOVE AND WAR, which was released April 21, 2017, was his 9th consecutive studio album to debut #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. On April 28, 2017 LOVE AND WAR was released as country music’s first ever visual album for a limited time exclusively on Apple Music and now is available on VEVO. Paisley’s Netflix comedy special debuted August 15, 2017 – “Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo.” Paisley has partnered with Boot Barn® and developed an exclusive line of jeans, hats, T-shirts, jewelry, belts and woven shirts called Moonshine Spirit by Brad Paisley. Connect with Brad at www.BradPaisley.com, www.Facebook.com/BradPaisley, on Twitter @BradPaisley, on Instagram @Brad Paisley, and YouTube at YouTube.com/BradPaisley.

Dustin Lynch

Dustin Lynch
With a string of hits stretching back to 2012, a red hot live-performance reputation, and a fanbase that’s growing exponentially, Dustin Lynch is one of the hottest acts in modern country music. And with his third album for Broken Bow Records – CURRENT MOOD – he’s done flying under the radar. After three years of determined diligence, CURRENT MOOD arrives as one of the most adventurous, attention-grabbing Country albums of 2017, and it shows a bold next-generation superstar coming into his own.

“I’m a little nervous,” Lynch admits with a laugh. “But the last thing I want for chapter three is ‘Oh, this is just a new take on what we’ve heard for the last few years.’ I hope people see a side of me they haven’t seen yet.” Still only 32 years old, fans have already seen a few sides of the Tullahoma, Tennessee, native. His first two albums mixed traditional influence with edgy intensity to debut at #1 and #2 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, while his first-ever single – the tender ballad “Cowboys and Angels” – earned Platinum status. Five consecutive Platinum and Gold singles followed as “Where It’s At,” “Hell of a Night,” “Mind Reader,” “Seein’ Red,” and “Small Town Boy” all became hard driving #1s. Online, Lynch has also hit the #1 spot on the iTunes Country Albums Chart while racking up 3 million track downloads, more than 245 million Spotify streams, and 113 million YouTube/VEVO views. His social-media following tops 2.5 million, and he’s not connecting with those rabid fans through music alone. Lynch’s own Stay Country clothing line puts his personal style in their hands, and national TV appearances have highlighted his good-natured charisma.

Meanwhile, those same fans have watched him become one of the most dynamic performers on the road. Cranking up massive crowds while opening for stadium-rocking icons like Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, and Brad Paisley, Lynch has played for millions while developing an unparalleled onstage potency – and he’ll put it to good use on THE RIDE OR DIE TOUR in the fall of 2017, his opening salvo as a headliner and an arena-filling testament to his rise.

But with CURRENT MOOD, those milestones take a backseat to unbridled creativity. Thirteen new tracks push proudly against country’s already-expanded boundaries as timeless themes mix freely with edgy, new-school sonics, romantically-charged vocals and swaggering streetwise grooves. Produced by a five-headed monster of Brent Anderson, Mickey Jack Cones, Ross Copperman, Zach Crowell, and Will Weatherly, the album stretches from Top 40 R&B to SoCal power Punk, from dusty roots Country to lush millennial Pop, and from straight-up party Rock to danceable EDM. Using his inner monologue as inspiration, Lynch takes his music – and fans – to the next level.

“There’s a song for every emotion I’m feeling right now,” he explains. “All these songs are a behind-the-curtain-look at my heart and soul, and it’s so diverse because I listen to all kinds of music. Depending on what mood I was in, I would start the session out with ‘Hey, I was listening to Sugar Ray last weekend in San Diego, I want to feel like that today.’ Or ‘I just saw Imagine Dragons, let’s try something like that.’”

From the album’s opening notes, each track feels raw and urgent – just like his electrifying concerts. Lynch’s fingerprints are everywhere as finished recordings were based largely on demos he laid down in the back of his tour bus, and each producer was given free reign on just a few tracks, resulting in 13 separate “passion projects.”

With the first single, “Seein’ Red” (a Gold-certified #1), Lynch jumped head first into lusty Pop Rock – a hint of the creative explosion to come. The second, “Small Town Boy,” followed that experimental trend, mixing stone-Country lyrics with an irresistibly smooth R&B rhythm to become another Gold #1, his fifth in a row. Lynch knew he was on to something.

“I think it’s got a nice little mid-tempo groove, but what’s special about it is the lyric,” he says. “It’s not even about small towns to me. It’s about the true love we’re all chasing down and trying to hang on to.” “I’d Be Jealous Too” dives even deeper into the sounds of Top 40 Pop, grafting a club-ready backbeat to a strutting vocal delivery, while sexy, smoldering tracks like “Back On It” and “Why We Call Each Other” test Country’s limits with undeniable crossover potential.

Meanwhile, “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” strips away everything but the essentials, pairing a wounded Country vocal with vibey vintage guitars. The song features Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, who first heard it during a post-show jam session and immediately claimed it as her own.

“She pretty much threatened me with my life, if I didn’t let her sing this song with me. And, I was like ‘Holy crap!’” Lynch jokes. “She just loves the song, and that’s such a great endorsement.

“It rips my heart out, because I’ve been there,” he goes on. “It’s all about ‘What are we? Are we hooking up? Are we more than dating?’ I think we can all relate to that line in the sand, and having to cross it eventually.”

“Why Not Tonight” looks to Travis Tritt’s “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” and California Pop-Rock to inspire uptempo, party-centric fun, while the wild and free “Party Song” treats falling in love like the perfect mixtape. Both will add even more excitement to his live show, capable of moving crowds of 60,000-plus.

“I Wish You Were Beer” keeps the good times rolling while “New Girl” delivers a heartfelt message wrapped in circa-2000 Pop, and the album closes with a flourish of nostalgic romance – a gorgeous oceanside tribute to love lost but never forgotten, “Sun Don’t Go Down on That.” “She’s living a happy life, I’m living a happy life, but who’s gonna make me feel that again?” Lynch asks. “The sun won’t go down on that question, and I’m glad because it makes me want to find out.”

Each track on CURRENT MOOD is like that – a snapshot of Lynch’s crazy world, an unforgettable relationship, or a feeling he can’t escape. Walking tall with a new generation of fans behind him, it’s the next step on his path to superstardom. He’s pushed deep into uncharted Country territory, and now he’s ready to claim it as his own.

“The goal for me is to continue to stretch,” he explains. “It’s all about moving the needle now.”

Trace Adkins

Trace Adkins
Trace Adkins’ trademark baritone has powered countless hits to the top of the charts. The three-time GRAMMY-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry is a TV personality, actor, author, and spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project and the American Red Cross, for whom he raised more than $1.5 million dollars as winner of NBC’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice.

In recent years, Adkins has performed for our service men and women across 11 USO Tours, with his 12th scheduled for spring 2017. In his 2007 autobiography, A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck, he recounted his rise to fame, brushes with death and battles with personal demons. Adkins has played a tough-as-nails biker in The Lincoln Lawyer (starring Matthew McConaughey), a desperate father in Deepwater Horizon (starring Mark Wahlberg) and a wise oracle of a tattoo artist in the family-friendly film Moms' Night Out (starring Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin, Sarah Drew).

For more information, visit www.traceadkins.com or on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @TraceAdkins.

Jake Owen

Jake Owen
Every artist has his or her sweet spot. For Jake Owen, it's all-American nostalgia. No artist is more adept at summoning those times when a sunny day, good friends and maybe a cold drink were all you needed to feel forever blessed. Now reunited with Joey Moi, the producer of his star-making album Barefoot Blue Jean Night, Jake is recording the country-music soundtrack of summers past and those still to come.

The multi-Number One artist and ACM Award winner is also launching a high-profile tour and unveiling an unforgettable new single, "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)," his first release for Big Loud Records.

"It's been revitalizing. Making music with Joey is all about recording songs that reflect who I am," Jake says of his creative rebirth. "I've seen the negative side of life and the positive side – and I really like the positive side. I want my songs to put a smile on your face."

With "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)," Jake evokes the most golden of memories: a warm-weather romance set to one of rock & roll's essential songs, John Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane." Based around the 1982 hit's iconic melody, Jake both pays homage to and boldly reinvents the classic-rock staple.

"I never release a song without the intention of stepping up to the plate and knocking it out of the park," he says of "I Was Jack." "When I first heard the song, I thought, 'How can I do this and re-create what is already a classic song?' But the more I listened to it, the more I saw my own life growing up. The original 'Jack & Diane' was about 'two American kids growing up in the heartland' and that image is exactly what so many country songs are based on."

Along with "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)," Jake has recorded a trio of radio-ready new tracks for his upcoming album. The breezy "Something to Ride To" celebrates hanging with his buddies at his Tennessee farm; "Made for You" is an old-fashioned love song; and one of the lyrics to the steel-heavy "Down to the Honky Tonk" provides the title to Jake's summer tour: the Life's Whatcha Make It Tour.

The trek features opening acts Chris Janson and Jordan Davis and will hit baseball parks around the country. It's a full-circle moment for Jake, who last year helped dedicate a children's ball field bearing his name in his hometown of Vero Beach, Florida.

"Growing up a baseball fan, this is really cool for me," he says. "When people come to our shows, there's these good vibes that everyone has. I love that and I think baseball parks provide that too. I'm fired up!"

Brett Young

Brett Young
With piercing blue eyes and standing tall at 6’ 6,” it’s impossible to miss Brett Young. The former college pitcher and current ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year uses his competitive edge to create music that critics, radio and fans cannot stop raving about. Brett has spent many late nights in the recording studio strumming chords and perfecting lyrics that encompass his “Caliville” sound – the world between Brett’s SoCal roots and Music City coming-of-age. This can be heard on his GOLD-certified self-titled album (BMLG Records) now available everywhere. Produced by Dann Huff, Brett is credited on 11 of the 12 tracks establishing himself as an accomplished songwriter.

“I think my background has a lot to do with my work ethic,” expresses Brett. “There is a discipline that you learn growing up playing sports, which I did through college. It is always my goal to work harder than the next guy.”

Brett’s “confessional, soulful Country gems” (Entertainment Weekly) are derived from a myriad of personal experience. One pass through the California native’s self-titled debut album, you are completely immersed in his love, passion, hope and honesty.

“Everyone leaves a trail of ‘almosts’ and bittersweet memories behind on the road to ‘the one’,” says Brett. “It has happened to me on my journey—it happens to everyone - but I’m learning to use those moments now when I write music. I’m a hopeless romantic who feels everything, and that shows in my songs.”

Capturing attention right out of the gate, Brett’s first three singles “Sleep Without You,“ “In Case You Didn’t Know,” and “Like I Loved You” all climbed to No. 1, making Young the artist who has spent the most time atop the Billboard Country Airplay Chart within the past 12 months. All three singles have also reached PLATINUM status, while his breakout smash “In Case You Didn’t Know” is 3X PLATINUMcertified, making him the only debut Country artist to reach that sales milestone since 2014. Further proving that he makes love look like an art form, Brett’s newest single “Mercy” is steadily climbing the radio charts, and its video has already hit No. 1 in its second week on the Vevo Top Country chart.

“I grew up with Marvin Gaye, Kenny Rogers, Tim McGraw— emotionally expressive singers. I like that the emotion carries the songs, where the music is almost secondary,” he explains. "Tim McGraw’s 'Don’t Take The Girl’ – that for me was the first time I heard a country song and said this is what I wanna do. That influenced me; as a songwriter and a performer, I want to connect like that. When your audience really feels what you’re singing, it becomes about much more than the show. You have a connection…you truly have a fan and a shared special moment."

Having previously toured with Superstars Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Lady Antebellum, the California native sold out every single stop on his debut headlining CALIVILLE TOUR. This spring he will be on the road with Thomas Rhett’s LIFE CHANGES TOUR 2018. For the latest updates, follow Brett on Instagram or visit BrettYoungMusic.com.

Tyler Farr

Tyler Farr
Columbia Nashville’s Tyler Farr releases his highly anticipated sophomore album, Suffer In Peace, on April 28th. Suffer In Peace made its debut in the top 5 on the BILLBOARD Top 200 Albums and BILLBOARD Country Albums Charts. Previously with the release of his debut album Redneck Crazy, which released in 2013, landing Farr at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and #5 on the Billboard Top 200 made Farr the only solo male country artist in the last 10 years to have his first two studio albums debut in the top-5 on the Billboard 200 Chart. His #1, platinum-selling title-track “Redneck Crazy” was called the “song of the summer” by The New York Times and projected Farr forward to celebrate back-to-back #1 singles, including his first #1 as a songwriter, with his Gold-certified hit “Whiskey in my Water.” The Missouri native’s dry wit and energetic live show have earned him industry recognition as a 2014 CRS New Faces of Country Radio and 2014 Music Row “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” nominee, as well as rave reviews for his coveted opening slots touring with Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Brantley Gilbert and Lee Brice. Tyler has appeared on the Today Show and Fox & Friends’s All American Summer Concert Series. Tyler’s first single off the newly released Suffer In Peace album, “A Guy Walks into a Bar,” is proving to be Farr's third radio hit, currently residing in the Top 5 at country radio, and is now RIAA Certified GOLD.

Michael Ray

Michael Ray
Michael Ray loves a good story. So, it’s only natural that when it came time to tell his own, he gravitated to country music. “I feel like in music in general, but especially in country music, the story lines have always been the foundation,” he says. “No matter what changes may happen with the sound, I feel like when you listen to a song, no matter what walk of life you come from, you can really lose yourself in that song and put your own story to it.”

Get to You The small-town Florida native began to tell his tale on his 2015 self-titled debut album and scored two number one hits with “Kiss You in the Morning” and “Think a Little Less.” His dynamic sophomore album, “Amos,” named for his grandfather and produced by the legendary Scott Hendricks (Alan Jackson, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton) picks up where that record left off, combining the vintage sounds he absorbed growing up with a contemporary polish that puts him at the forefront of a class of fresh young voices.

Ray runs the emotional gamut on “Amos,” from vulnerable ballads to boot-stomping rockers, showcasing a musical and vocal dexterity he has long admired in heroes like Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.

First single “Get to You” is a heartfelt plea for making a relationship work that utilizes Ray’s impressive vocal range, moving from a ruminative baritone to a tender falsetto croon. “Her World or Mine,” the album’s emotional centerpiece, breaks down the universal emotions of a break-up in heartbreaking and incisive detail. He turns up the tempo and the temperature with the pithy rocker “You’re On” and offers a slinky slice of wordplay with the whimsical “Fan Girl,” giving “Amos” a diverse feel that retains a cohesive whole.

Her World or Mine Ray can’t remember a time without music. Growing up in Eustis, he was surrounded by several generations of his extended family singing and playing songs. “My grandfather would sit around and teach me and my cousins how to play and sing harmony,” Ray recalls with a smile. “He wanted to put a guitar in everybody’s hand.” Amos eventually formed a family band with Ray’s dad called the Country Cousins who played festivals and parties all through central Florida. Which is how Ray found himself steeped in the likes of Ray Price, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, and Jeanie Seely and onstage “when I was literally old enough to just be able to stand.”

At age 10, after beginning to learn guitar, Ray says, “I started playing every Thursday through Sunday with my grandfather in groups he was in. I learned a lot that I didn't know would help me where I'm at now.”

As he practiced, he began to take in the influence of a disparate group of contemporary artists, including everyone from Garth Brooks to Green Day. He was hooked and knew what he needed to do. “I switched my high school schedule so I could play bars and stuff on the weekends,” he says, and his grandfather backed him every step of the way. “He knew that I wanted to take it further than just playing bars and stuff in the hometown.”

And he did, beginning a several year stretch of paying his dues playing all around Florida and eventually expanding out to Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and the Carolinas while picking up work teaching guitar lessons and installing phones. In between covers, from Keith Whitley to Snoop Dogg, Ray would slip in originals, building a name for himself as both a songwriter and performer.

Fortunately, Amos was able to enjoy some of his grandson’s success. “Florida radio was playing some of our stuff, so it was really cool for him to be able to hear that,” he says. “He sadly passed away two months before my Opry debut, but the Opry was kind enough to let me play ‘Green, Green Grass of Home,’ a Porter Wagoner song I used to play with him and I used the guitar that he played for sixty years.”

“I feel like this album is a big reflection of the last two years,” says Michael of the time between his debut and “Amos,” as he’s toured, recorded and enjoyed a taste of success. “I feel like I found my voice. And when I'm asked what made me get to this point, if you peel back all the layers it goes back to my grandfather.”

Fan Girl Ultimately for Ray, every song on “Amos” was processed through a filter of what it means for his live show, the place where he connects with his fans. Everything he learned from years of playing solo acoustic shows, bar band gigs and packed arenas opening for other acts has been poured into the time that he spends on stage—“That was my college,” he says. He takes a meticulous approach to crafting the night to maximize the connection between himself and the fans.

“A live show is a give and take from both ends. There's just this big tornado that takes everybody away from whatever's going on in their life, and just puts them in that moment. I believe when you're an artist of any sort, it's your job to make sure that tornado keeps its wind going all the way up to the very end of the show, so everybody goes, ‘What the hell happened? What a great night! We gotta go back and bring more people.’ I say it every night, ‘Tonight's about making memories. We'll take this night with us for the rest of our lives. Let's keep it going and make it something unforgettable. "

With the songs from “Amos” added to his arsenal, he is in a strong position to make good on that promise.

Cassadee Pope

Cassadee Pope
Changes often make us stronger than ever before.

In 2017, everything shifted for GRAMMY® Award-nominated platinum-certified country hit maker Cassadee Pope. She restructured her team, parted ways with the major label that served as her home for five years and endured the dissolution of a relationship. In the aftermath, she doubled down creatively and channeled those changes into the boldest, brightest, and biggest music of her career empowered by newfound confidence, inspiring independence, and true happiness.

“It was really important and pivotal for me to go through all of these life changes, because now I’m in the best place I’ve ever been,” she admits. “Honestly, I never knew how to be this happy. I didn’t even know I was capable of it. I always felt like I was afraid of starting over and not finding anything as good or better than what I had. As a result, I’m becoming who I was meant to be as an artist and a person. I can definitely say I’ve grown.” And, you can hear that in the progression of the music.

Truth is, Pope had already laid the ground work for such an evolution.

The singer’s powerhouse voice, inimitable presence, and endless charm transformed her into a force of nature beloved by millions worldwide. Following her victory on Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice, her 2013 full-length debut, Frame By Frame, bowed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart and Top 10 on the Billboard 200 all-genre chart. Its lead single “Wasting All These Tears” not only notched an RIAA platinum certification, but it also achieved “Breakthrough Video of the Year” at the CMT Music Awards in 2014. Additionally, she would receive nominations at the American Country Awards and People’s Choice Awards, to name a few.

During 2016, she also teamed with Chris Young for the No. 1 hit “Think Of You” and garnered a 2017 GRAMMY® nod in the category of Best Country Duo/Group Performance. Along the way, she toured with everybody from Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley to Young and Rascal Flatts, as well as making fiery appearances at Stagecoach and the UK’s C2C: Country to Country.

Throughout this time, Pope made significant creative strides as a lyricist and performer. “This is a new chapter,” she continues. “Lyrically, it’s really self-assured and reflective of where I am. The music is sweet and vulnerable, but it’s also confident and sexy. There are no boundaries in terms of the music and I’m not afraid to cross the line and go a little rock ‘n’ roll either. It’s definitely new territory for me all around.”

The first single “Take You Home” kicks off this phase with swagger, style, and substance. Punctuated by confessional lyrics, it swings towards a guitar-driven refrain as she croons, “I wanna take you home.”

“When you meet someone, there’s a moment where you want to show this other person where you’re from and exactly why you are the way you are,” she explains. “‘Take You Home’ speaks to that. You’re showing this guy that there are lots of layers to you. It’s not about just a one night stand; it’s about really understanding. It’s also very in-your-face musically, really intimate, and a little seductive. I’m in love with it!”

Fans everywhere will be too. In the end, Cassadee’s music resounds and resonates on a new level in 2018 and beyond.

“My main goal is for people to relate,” she leaves off. “Going through tough times, crazy times, and even happy times, you want to feel like you’re not alone. When audiences hear this, I hope they think, “Oh, there she is. This is the Cassadee we knew was there, but never quite got in the past.’ Recently, a longtime fan said to me, ‘You’re truly happy. You remind me of that excited Cassadee from 2008 again.’ Hearing those words just meant so much to me. This new music is real. It’s my story. You’re getting the most authentic version of me.”

High Valley

High Valley
Country fans are no strangers to the uncanny musical connection of a family band, but they’ve never heard anything like the duo High Valley – and that’s simply because brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel never knew how country was “supposed” to sound.

Growing up in La Crete, Alberta — more than 2,500 miles from where they now live in Music City — Brad and Curtis were completely cut off from the world of pop culture throughout their early lives.

“It’s not that we weren’t allowed to have a radio,” lead singer and songwriter Brad, explains. “We had radios, but you turned them on and heard a lot of static from an AM station 300 miles away. When it was cold enough you could hear the farm report, the price of grain and the occasional old school country song. We finally got FM in our town when I was in 10th grade.”

While their upbringing didn't exactly acquaint them with the Billboard 100, it’s that insulation that helped cement their musical ideals and love of simple, classic country, allowing High Valley’s music to feel simultaneously fresh and timeless. Dear Life, their recently released major label debut on Atlantic/Warner Music Nashville, is an album that fuses tradition with wide-eyed musical exploration, stays true to their family-first value system and celebrates resilient positivity.

High Valley learned to become skilled digital citizens, building an avid fan base that is actively involved in selecting the duo’s songs through the High Valley app and connecting with each other via social media. As a result, they have amassed more than 43 million song streams worldwide – including 22 million for first single “Make You Mine.”

Likewise, they are the first country act to broadcast live on Twitch.TV in the United States and their song “Young Forever” scored placement on EA Sports’ Madden NFL 17 Soundtrack. The band has been selected for “Ones to Watch” recognition by Rolling Stone Country, Spotify, Pandora, CMT and Taste of Country. And they’ve been profiled on CBS This Morning for their unique and inspiring story and performed on NBC’s Today Show.

“You could say it’s weird that we come from the upbringing we do and make this kind of music,” Curtis admits, “but if you analyze Dear Life and the messages on it, you can almost tell that we were brought up the way we were.”

“That’s why the record was called Dear Life,” says Brad. “Because that song for me was trying to write a journal entry to God and my life and say, ‘I really have loved every mile of this road.’”

Saying their biggest compliment is when a fan describes their music as “old-school and modern” at the same time, “Make You Mine” is an excellent introduction to the rest of Dear Life. For example “She’s With Me,” the newest single from Dear Life, is an anthemic opening track that begins as something ancient and ends ahead of the country curve, also announcing High Valley’s desire for their music to be positive and family oriented.

“My life is not perfect, but I’ve experienced dark things with positive results at the end of it,” Brad says. “The opening line of the entire record says ‘When the devil’s knocking at my door,’ and I wouldn't say that’s a very positive idea, but the conclusion of the whole song is ‘Holy cow, she’s been with me through the thick and thin,’ and that’s been my experience with my wife.”

“Families are a tough thing in today’s world,” Curtis agrees. “They fall apart all the time, and if we could leave our mark by doing our little part and trying to bring families together, I think that’s great.”

Meanwhile, the title track “Dear Life” is a foot stomping thank-you letter inspired by watching children grow, “Don’t Stop” offers steady encouragement to persevere and the hand-in-hand “Memory Makin’” asks the question, “Do you believe that there’s a meant-to-be?”

“Roads We’ve Never Taken” shows their energized and optimistic outlook with plucky, banjo-rolling abandon, while the chanting gang vocals of “Young Forever” were dreamed up during a family beach trip to Pensacola.

“Nothing makes you feel more young than chilling on a beach and throwing a football around in the waves,” Brad says with a smile. “It’s like ‘Man, if we could freeze this weekend and stay young forever, it would be perfect.’”

The Rempel brothers have already scored six Top 10s, three Gold certifications, played to 15,000 seat arenas opening for Shania Twain and earned multiple awards show wins – including Canadian CMA Group of the Year. And now with their major label debut, a fall tour with Martina McBride and a headlining U.K. trek on the way, it’s true that High Valley inhabit a much different world today than the one they were raised in. But some things remain the same, and that is the central theme of one of the album’s most powerful tracks, the hard-charging backroad rocker, “I Ain’t Changin’.”

“That was a very important song for me because of our upbringing,” Brad explains. “The chorus is like ‘I ain’t changing the way I talk, I ain’t changing the way I pray, I ain’t changing my last name.’ Yeah, I’m in a big city now, not in the middle of some field somewhere…”

“But that doesn’t change the core of who we are,” Curtis jumps in.

Brad continues. “I remember coming to Nashville six years ago and thinking about 100 different things that would blow my mind – and they’re all happening. I don’t want to wake up one day and say ‘Wow, I’m completely different than what I was.’”

If anything, Dear Life is evidence that Brad and Curtis shouldn't worry about losing their way. Their calling is a strong one – to bring positive and original family-friendly energy back to the country landscape – and they’re following it with passion.

Danielle Bradbery

Danielle Bradbery
Danielle Bradbery knows how you remember her. And she doesn’t blame you. There she was, in 2013, a spry, bubbly and utterly vivacious 16-year-old Texan, plucked from her normal life and placed on The Voice stage as if divinely destined to win over America’s heart. “People still have this idea of me as this little blonde country girl,” Bradbery says with a chuckle as she reflects on her younger self. “Pigtails and all.” A member of Blake Shelton’s team, Bradbery cruised through the TV-singing competition on the strength of her stunning, mature-beyond-her-years performances of traditional country songs. Later that year, she released a Top 5 self-titled debut album with songs of a similar variety. And while Bradbery contends she still loves country music and always will — “With all my heart,” she declares — the 21-year-old that sits here today is a decidedly new woman. A more refined one. A singer finally ready to share all of herself with listeners. “I didn’t know myself as a person back then,” Bradbery says of her teenage years. “I didn’t know my sound yet. Now I want to talk about real things. I want to be honest.”

A desire to peel back her emotional layers and, in the process, reveal her true self to the world — every bit the excited, inquisitive and passionate young woman who loves country, pop and R&B in equal measure — is precisely why Bradbery took nearly three years to rediscover her musical passion, investigate her sonic influences, and best understand where she stands as both a woman and evolving recording artist. It’s why she titled her next album I Don’t Believe We’ve Met, which was released December 1 via BMLG Records. And, ever more important to Bradbery, it’s why for the first time as an artist she dove headfirst into the songwriting process with a no-nonsense directive to be honest and revealing in her music like never before.

“You get scared to be more open, especially to so many people,” Bradbery says of the hesitation and self-doubt she endured before ultimately deciding to showcase an unvarnished vulnerability on her eclectic new LP. “Sometimes, though, you just have to be brave and push your limits a little bit,” she continues, citing stunning songs including “Human Diary” and “Potential.” “I just love when I hear another artist talk about something real. You relate to it more. I wanted to be that artist.”

The initial taste of Bradbery’s new album, and the first new solo music from the singer in more than four years, came in 2017 with the release of “Sway,” a feel-good, doo-wop flavored single is currently at country radio. Co-written with Emily Weisband and Johan Fransson, the breezy, sing-along track, the singer says, is “all about being simple and carefree.” But, as she notes, it was rather when she wrote the mesmerizing “Potential,” a raw, piano-anchored ballad penned with Weisband and Johan Lindbrandt, that she at last tapped into the unrelenting honesty that would come to define I Don’t Believe We’ve Met.

“It’s so real and honest and vulnerable and powerful,” she says of “Potential.” “We realized we needed to continue down that path.” Having the support of her fellow songwriters, including the acclaimed Shari Short (Miley Cyrus, Jessica Simpson), Bradbery notes, freed her up to give herself over entirely to each respective song. “Songwriting can be like a therapy session,” Bradbery says. “Nothing is wrong with being honest. Nothing. I always have to tell myself that. Not even just when writing a song. Even in conversation when you’re honest it makes everything feel so much better.”

Songwriting was a new and slightly frightening proposition for Bradbery. The Cypress, Texas native had long considered herself exclusively a singer – “Every day after school I would go and sing. I didn’t write. I didn’t play an instrument. My voice was my instrument,” she says – but with the encouragement of her fellow songwriters she finally decided to put pen to paper. “I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” she admits of early writing sessions. “I’m getting in a room with these people I’ve never met before and then you have to tell these secrets to them right away.” In the beginning she was “painfully shy,” but after multiple sessions in L.A. with Short, “I took everything I learned there back to Nashville, wrote with lots of Nashville writers, and it all started to make sense.”

Bradbery says in witnessing the boundaries of country music being constantly redefined she gave herself permission to take artistic chances with her new album. This sense of freedom is heard most notably on groove-indebted, pop-centric songs including “Hello Summer” and “What Are We Doing” both of which incorporate her passions for R&B and hip-hop. “I feel like the line of what is country music gets pushed every day,” Bradbery says. She references peers like former tourmate Thomas Rhett and Sam Hunt who she says are both pushing the genre in exciting new directions.

But above all, Bradbery was free to be herself because she was confident she’d earned the trust of her loyal fans. Having a passionate support group like “the DB’ers,” the dedicated fans who’ve stuck by her side even during her years away, Bradbery felt the courage to never question her artistic and creative decisions. “I’m really thankful that I’ve had this fan group that has stayed with me from Day One,” Bradbery says. “I’ve had moments where I was like ‘Oh my God. They’re gonna leave and forget about me.’ But it’s amazing to see that even though I’ve put out some risky things or that I’m growing up, people have come to accept it. Your fans are like your army. I feel like we’ve grown up together.”

Tyler Rich

Tyler Rich
Sometimes you hear a song and you just know it’s special, it resonates with you and you can’t get that song out of your head. For up and coming country star Tyler Rich that song is “The Difference.”

A prolific songwriter who estimates he’s written a hundred songs in the last year, Tyler explains it waslove at first listen when he heard the Rhett Atkins-penned “The Difference” during a pitch meeting.

“We’ll do these five-hour pitch meetings where a publisher will walk in and everybody gets 30 minutes. They’ll play ten songs they think are the best for you. That one was hour three and a half, the little guitar riff started and just immediately the kind of swag and the delivery of the melody and the vocal, I was instantly hooked,” he recalls. “For an outside song, I have to hear it and immediately be like, ‘Oh yeah, this sounds like I wrote it, this feels like me.’ It was pretty cool to find out a legend like Rhett wrote this one with Ben Burgess and some Northern California boys like me – Devin Dawson and Jacob Durrett.”

Tyler is still kicking himself for not writing the lyrically profound and musically infectious tune about appreciating and showing the one you love how much they mean to you. “My fiancée and I live in a texting relationship cause we’re long distance. If I’m like, ‘I’m gonna call you in two hours, love you,’ she goes, ‘Love you? You mean I love you? There’s a difference between I love you and love you,’” he says smiling. “She’ll always say that to me so then when I heard ‘The Difference,’ it’s like, ‘Why didn’t I come up with this idea?’ It’s perfect; I’m pumped it’s the first single.”

His immediate belief in the song has been rewarded with just as urgent praise. Already lauded as a coveted SiriusXM Highway Find, “The Difference” is an anchor that also landed Tyler as a CMT Listen Up artist for 2018.

For the Yuba City (small farming community near Sacramento) native who splits his time between Nashville and Los Angeles, where his fiancée lives, “The Difference” is his long-awaited introduction to Country radio – a moment he’s been working towards since first playing various genres with his band in high school. While grinding on the road in the early days, Tyler also kept a steady gig at Red Robin where he rose up the corporate food chain. Becoming some of his first fans, Red Robin gave Tyler and his band members all-you-can-eat gift cards so they wouldn’t starve while struggling to make it big. “My first concert was George Strait at Arco Arena in Sacramento when I was eight. My mom was big into Country, so when I was riding around with my mom in the car it was Clint Black, Vince Gill, Garth, George,” he recalls. “My dad would listen to Tom Petty, Creedence, Pat Benatar so it’s cool to have both of those influences in my sounds now.”

Music is part of Tyler’s bloodline. “My uncle would play at these holiday parties, any get togethers we ever had with our family. He and his friends would get their guitars and just play cover songs,” he says. “I told my grandma I need to be a part of this, I need a guitar. So, for Christmas, when I was 14, she bought me a guitar and then my uncle and my buddy taught me to play a couple of songs so I was just jamming.”

Growing up around all styles of music – the first four songs Tyler learned on guitar were Ben E. King’s “Stand My Me,” Garth Brooks’ “Friends In Low Places” and songs from Blink 182 and Metallica – he was comfortable in multiple genres, which led to years of covering songs and writing Pop songs. But when given the opportunity four years ago to be a solo artist he knew it was finally time to explore his Country side.

“I said, ‘If I’m gonna be a solo artist I want to explore Country,’” he recalls. “I was in Santa Monica sitting with these two guys from Giant Lion Productions - who I still write with today - Mike Mac and Jordan Baum, and they were like, ‘Show me what you got.’ I played them three half songs I had written and they said, ‘This is all you’re ever allowed to do. If anybody ever told you differently they’re stupid and they’re wrong. This is the only thing you’re ever allowed to do and we hope you’ll do it with us.’” Tyler began testing his Country music chops online where he gained a huge following. One of his biggest fans included another hot Country newcomer, Dustin Lynch, who saw him singing his hit song “Mind Reader” on Instagram before inviting Tyler to Nashville for a meeting. That lead Tyler to a management deal and the momentum hasn’t stopped.

Shortly thereafter he made the permanent move to Nashville. For Tyler it was another gut instinct call. But those have been paying off for him for years, like the six-figure job he turned down straight out of college to give music a final try.

“I went back to college, graduated, I have a bachelor’s in Economics and got a job offer from a financial investor. I graduated with honors, not because I’m smart, but because I tried really hard to impress my grandma. I promised her I would get my degree,” he says. “It was crazy because as a poor college student with a ton of debt now I was offered this prestigious job. I sat there and I politely declined. I promised myself when I graduated I was gonna go back to L.A. and give it another shot.”

His faith in his music is being rewarded with a hot new single that is set to finally bring him the career he wants. And Tyler wants it all. “This is our key to the door that opens everything,” he says. “Writing and listening to songs this last year with my team, we really narrowed down what we believed that perfect song was going to be to launch this. And when I say launch it’s because our plan is to reach the top. We want to play stadiums. We think this song will be the one that does it.”

Jimmie Allen

Jimmie Allen
For breakthrough country artist Jimmie Allen, a simple phrase sums up his view on life and music: Never give up.

A native of Southern Delaware – the “slower, lower” part of the state, he explains – Allen has carried that mantra with him through good times and bad, whether than meant living in his car or rocking amphitheaters on Toby Keith’s Interstates & Tailgates Tour.

He’s poured out his soul at Music City’s famous Bluebird Cafe, wrote a song that was featured in a Super Bowl commercial, and appeared in a Diet Coke ad with superstar Taylor Swift. But now with the BBR Music Group debut of his self-titled EP, a lifetime of never giving up has brought him full circle.

“I didn’t quit, I never will,” he says. “Stuff ain’t easy, and you shouldn’t quit either. There’s a big difference between busting your ass, and sitting on it.”

For Allen, musical dreams and a love of true-to-themselves artists like Alan Jackson, Aaron Tippin, Montgomery Gentry, and Jason Aldean brought him all the way to Nashville – and eventually around the world for an Armed Forces Entertainment tour of Japan.

But it was actually a nightmare which turned this promising singer into the artist he is today. After a series of bad breaks Allen was forced to live in his car, too proud to ask for a bail out. For months he worked multiple jobs and finally saved enough for an apartment, but hit then another snag – country music wasn’t ready for him.

“People were just trying to help,” he says now. “But they wanted me to change my sound and told me I had to lose my boots. The turning point came when I stopped listening, and finally let my music be a natural reflection of who I am.”

Since then Allen has been following his own compass, and it’s leading somewhere special.

“I don’t regret it,” he explains about his trials. “I think each thing you do adds a layer, whether it’s a layer of toughness, perseverance, motivation, or just a layer of wisdom. At the end of the day you come back to what you know, and what’s embedded in you.”

What’s embedded in Allen is a powerful, soulful sense of groove – “If my body don’t move in the first four seconds, it ain’t for me,” he says – a love of deep messages and a knack for razor-sharp hooks.

Those driving forces form the bedrock Allen’s EP, a cutting-edge mix of country, rock, R&B, and pop produced by Ash Bowers and Eric Torres. Ironically, it’s the same sound he had when he first arrived in Nashville, but now things are different.

“Underdogs” and “Best Shot” reveal Allen’s true story of laying it all on the line, while “Back Home to You,” “Back of Your Mind,” and “Blue Jean Baby” find the singer-songwriter reflecting on his journey to the spotlight – with all the love he left behind and romantic hopes included.

Allen’s hard-won dreams are finally reality, but he knows he can’t rest now. Wrapped around his wrist is a homemade bracelet given to him by a fan. It bears another simple phrase – “explore” – and now it serves as a daily reminder.

“To me it means to explore every part of your heart that desires to do something,” he says. “No matter what it is. Take a chance and never stop until you figure out where you’re supposed to be.”

Brian McConnell

Brian McConnell
Philadelphia native and ex Van Halen Tour Manager Brian McConnell plays by his own rules and goes back to his rock roots with the release of his latest single “Neon Shades”. McConnell spent most of a decade as personal executive assistant to Van Halen front man David Lee Roth. Brian played an instrumental role in the reunion of Van Halen in 2007, and after touring the world with his childhood heroes, he decided to take some time off get back to writing and recording his own songs.
Brian relocated from Los Angeles and made Nashville his home base. For the first time he started co-writing with other songwriters around town. That decision gave birth to "Neon Shades”, a summertime party anthem that can be downloaded on iTunes and the music video can been seen on YouTube.
Lately, Brian has been splitting his time between Nashville and Chester County Pennsylvania, where he plans to open his own bar and restaurant in 2019.
As for his music, Brian says he doesn't want to be pigeonholed to a certain genre. "I grew up on all types of music, I love it all, so I'm going to do it all!" "I hope people love what they hear, weather its a rock song, dance track or a country song, I just love making music!" "Making music should be nothing but fun with a sprinkle of more fun with no rules." After all, McConnell adds, "Innovator's don't play by rules!

Derek Crider

Derek Crider
DEREK CRIDER: Combining elements of country, rock, and soul, Derek Crider has forged a sound all of his own. Hailing from the backwoods of Southern New Jersey, Derek started playing the guitar and writing songs at age 13 and was influenced by everything ranging from Motown to Country. “Growing up in my house, my parents listened to a very eclectic mix of music. My mom listened to a lot of Motown, and music from the 50’s and 60’s, and my dad listened to a lot of country and rock, everything from Hank Williams Jr. to Black Sabbath.” Shortly after he started his first band with his brother and some high school buddies. They performed at a lot of local parties for friends and family, this is where Derek honed his singing and performance skills. Their first official gig was at a local V.F.W in the town of Mays Landing, New Jersey. “I fell in love with songwriting and storytelling, that’s the one thing I always reveled in when listening to Country music, not only the great musicianship but always the amazing lyrical content and the incredible way those artists told their stories.” It was at this point Derek realized his love for performing and writing his own songs. After graduating high school Derek attended Rowan University where he received his Bachelors in Communications. During this period Derek spent a lot of time writing songs and playing locally in popular clubs and bars around campus. “I would play a gig and be out till 4am in the morning and then I would have to go to class at 8am, I almost flunked out of college.” After graduating, Derek pursued his love for playing and songwriting and released his debut album “Lost & Found” in March 2015. Over the past three years Derek has been on the road playing shows across the US and opening for a ton of top Country & Rock acts including Joe Nichols, Brandy Clark, Gary Allan, Tracy Lawrence, Phil Vassar, Lee Greenwood, Michael Ray, Drake White, Bret Michaels, Tyler Farr, Craig Morgan, Cannan Smith, Dylan Scott and the band Shinedown. His current album "Burning Down The Night"was released in 2017 and is available for download at iTunes.

Stephanie Grace

Stephanie Grace
Stephanie Grace is a 21 year old country/pop artist based out of Douglassville, Pennsylvania, who’s opened shows for artists like Taylor Swift, Scotty McCreery, Josh Turner, Brothers Osborne, Hunter Hayes, and The Charlie Daniels Band. Stephanie has released two EPs, recorded in Nashville (Stephanie Grace EP – July 2012, Life’s Okay EP – Nov. 2013) and co-wrote all but one song between both projects. Her single “Loser” was one of the most added songs in country radio its debut week, and connects Stephanie to a cause that she considers vital: the prevention of bullying. Since releasing the song in 2013, Stephanie has conducted anti-bullying assemblies at multiple elementary, middle and high schools throughout Pennsylvania. Stephanie has just released a new single “Nobody” preceding her new EP “Private Pond” coming Fall 2018.

More artist announcements coming soon!