Canada Country Aircheck Year End Issue

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It has been an interesting 2017 which saw a lot of new artists break through and make it to the charts. Radio is still an important element in an artists career but we have seen artists see success and sales using social media and othe internet properties such as online radio. It has been a good year for country music but it was also a sad year with the mass shooting in Las Vegas as Jason Aldean was on stage. 58 fans were killed including 5 western Canadian fans. It was a sad day and we had a lot of friends who were there and backstage. The feeling when it all started was that fireworks were going off until they realized that it was something more serious. I had friends who hide on stage ran to buses and hide under the bussesScary and something that will be with them for a lifetime. Eric Church who we consider kind of a tough guy performed on Friday night and after Sunday was asked to perform at the Opry, something he didn’t wasnt to do but he did in a very emotional performance. He wrote a song for this occassion. We urge you to watch the video. Billboard just did an article explaining that security has changed for major events which is a good thing but how do you stop something where the shooter is a block away in a hotel room. My main question was how on earth did he get all those guns and amo into the hotel without any alarm bells going off. Let’s hope we never see anything like this again. In this issue we spotlight the top 18 artists we feel will break through in 2018 in a section we call Who To Watch in 2018. We also by request run our The State of Country Music with input from industry professionals. We also look at new Nashville acts that made an impression. We also hear from some artists that talk

about their songs in 2017 and various other subjects. 2018 is a year we see many indie artists break through. Radio is much more receptive to new artists and production has improved over the years. As we have said many times in Canada Country Aircheck songwriting is a real plus in this industry. If you can get cuts by some of the majors while still moving your career ahead. Steven Lee Olsen is a perfect example who as an artist has had some success but his real success came when he co-wrote the smash “Blue Ain’t Your Color” recorded by Keith Urban and spent many weeks on the charts. That is what you want multiple weeks on the charts. As an example Lee Brice didn’t see much income from his Number one song Only a Memory recorded by Garth Brooks becaue it startedout at number 1 and had nowhere to go but down the charts. Craig Morgan once told be his Almost Home was on the charts for 30 plus weeks and as a writer he made a lot of money from that song. So our advice to indie artists is to continue to record but also spend time developing your writing skills. Spend some time and watch Eric Church.

EIGHTEEN INDIE COUNTRY ARTISTS TO WATCH IN 2018 We have a lot of great talent in Canada and especially Canadian country music.The indie artists are breaking through and many are charting and doing well across the country. We thought we would spotlight who we

feel are the top 18 artists you need to watch in 2018. We have not numbered them because we feel they are all on the verge of breaking through across Canada and beyond.

LAUREN MAYELL What a year Lauren has had including winning Country 105 Rising Star; support spots for Brett Kissel, Gord Bamford, Washboard Union, Road Hammers and Kane Brown. Lauren’s new single “IF IT AIN’T FIXED” was produced by Jeff Johnson and released by RPM Music/ Fontana North as part of her New Album for 2018. She is also a 2017 ACMA multi-nominated artist for Female Artist, Album for the Year. Watch for big things from Lauren in 2018!

Andrew Frelick Born in Halifax, NS and having grown up in the nearby town of Bridgewater, Andrew is rapidly building momentum as an award winning Independent Canadian Country Music Artist. In September 2017, Andrew connected with Nashville producer Scott Harter. Ready to take the next step in his musical career , an EP produced by Harter is thought to be just that step. The first radio single, “Live To Love You”, is set to release to country radio December 7th , and digital download everywhere December 11th. A co-write by J. Michael Harter, Trey Matthews, & Earl Bud Lee (Friends In Low Places co-write for Garth Brooks), the next single and first from soon to be released EP “Lost In The Right Direction”, is set to be Andrew Frelick’s most successful song to date. Just the next step needed to rise Andrew to the next level.

BREA LAWRENSON Ottawa Valley’s Brea Lawrenson captures emotions and stories in her music that have put her on the charts eight times in the last four years. Her success is further punctuated with appearances at fairs and festivals (Ottawa Bluesfest, Boots & Hearts, Cavendish Beach Music Festival and Havelock Country Jamboree) where she shares stages with Bobby Wills, Brett Kissel, Tom Cochrane, The Road Hammers, Dwight Yoakam and many more. Brea is set to release her album “Demons” in early 2018

DEAN YOUNG On July 11, 2017 Canadian Country artist, Dean Young released his debut original album, MAKIN’ A LIFE. In July 2016, Dean released Tennessee Honey, the first single from the album. The second single was released January 2017. Carnival Ride is an upbeat, fun song that pulls you into the excitement of falling in love; with all its twists and turns. With his third single, Dean asked “ARE YOU READY TO...?” Get Your Country On is about taking a break from the fast pace of life. Making the time to reflect on what really matters, while spending time with the people who mean the most. Dean is pleased to share Makin’ A Life, an album of meaningful original works. Produced mainly by multi-award winning Jason Barry of Barrytone Studios, with a couple of tracks Produced by Dean Malton of Groundloop Studios. The three radio singles, Tennessee Honey, Carnival Ride, and Get Your Country On were all mastered by Nashville’s, Benny Quinn Mastering. The final album mastering completed by Canada’s own iTuneAudio by Glenn Thomas. 2018 looks bright for Dean and we look forward to hearing more great music.

ASHLYNNE VINCE I remember interviewing Keith Urban once and he told me some advice. He said “Play as much as you can and anywhere you can whether it is a street corner or a honky tonk. Learn your craft.” That is exactly what Ashlynne is doing. She is spending time in Nashville writing, performing at the honky tonks on lower Broadway building a fan base and networking with key industry people. This past year, Ashlynne has shared the stage with Jess Moskaluke, Randy Houser, Brett Kissel, The Abrams, and so many more. She was chosen to open for Brett Kissel on his Ice, Snow, 30 Below Tour; to be a Spotlight Artist at Trackside; to perform at Stars and Thunder; and to Headline at Billy Barker Days. Ashlynne’s latest single is Take Cover. Ashlynne is destined for stardom in country music.

ME AND MAE A little serendipity mixed with a tenacious appetite for creating powerfully melodic, modern country music, finds Canada’s own Me and Mae ready to blaze new trails. Me and Mae have been part of the Canadian Country Music Festival Scene for the past four years. With performances at events including: Sunfest, Rockin River, Big Valley Jamboree, Craven, Dauphin, Havelock and more. Earlier this year they crossed the line and showcased at the NAMM show, in Anaheim CA. The band is slated to perform in the UK in 2018. Taking the stage at the world-famous Threshold Music Festival. With solid 4-part harmonies and unforgettable hook laden music, Me and Mae is for everyone who loves the likes of Zac Brown, Little Big Town and the Eagles. Keep an ear to radio for their current release, “To Hell with the Devil”.

Koreen Perry Hailing from Edmonton Alberta, Koreen Perry is not only enjoying radio exposure with her original tracks, but is also experiencing film success as well. Several of her songs were incorporated into the upcoming Shaun Donnelly directed film Breaking Spirits, which also casts Koreen in a main supporting role. In the film, Koreen and her band performed “See You Through”, which Donnelly made into a music video using clips from the movie. Koreen released her second single for 2017 “You Don’t Know Me.” This self penned tune is a song about going it alone with children after a life-changing divorce, and it’s from her new EP Evolved. Koreen Perry a voice to be heard and a name to be remembered and we see Koreen breaking big time in 2018.

NICE HORSE It’s the Zac Brown Band in miniskirts; the Runaways at a hoedown; the Spice Girls on a whiskey bender. Girls just wanna have fun – and Nice Horse are the best of the good-time girls. Born and raised on the Alberta prairies, Kaley Debra, Katie Marie, Brandi Caroline and Krista Lee are ready to unleash a jacked-up, bushpartying bolt of energy on the country music scene. Longtime friends and musical allies, joining forces (as horses) seemed long overdue. One strong, smart, powerful girl on her own can start a spark - but four together can create an explosion. Their debut single Pony Up was the talk at radio stations across Canada and we can expect much more from this high energy group called Nice Horse

Ryan Laird Ryan Laird lives and breathes the very essence of taking a bet on something you love, which he has consistently proven over the years to persist on, from being recognized for his BDS Top 10 hit song, “I’m Your Man”, consecutive Top 40 singles, “Girl Crazy”, “She Was The One” & “Where Do I Go” with Leah Daniels, and garnering the coveted spot of an original “Highway Find” on Sirius XM The Highway. 2017 saw his first headlining tour, which included multiple successful dates across Canada in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. The 2x CCMA nominated recording artist, songwriter, and philanthropist Ryan Laird brings you exactly what the world needs a little more of... Love. With nothing less than an exuberant, fun loving beat, “Gamble On Love” While Ryan is not new to the industry we expect to see big things from Ryan in 2018

Arlene Quinn From humble beginnings in rural Lanark, Ontario and the middle of three children, Arlene found her voice at the age of five when she received her first guitar as a Christmas gift. Arlene began writing her own songs at the age of eleven and as a teenager began touring with her own band Arlene Quinn and Ramblin’ Rose. At the age of 18, Arlene was one of Ottawa Valleys highly sought after and most established female vocalists which gave her the honor of opening shows for Grand Ole Opry stars Johnny Duncan, Stonewall Jackson, Charlie Walker, Tommy Cash, and whispering Bill Anderson throughout Ontario and Quebec. After receiving great advice and support from her Grand Ole Opry heroes she committed to a full time career as a recording and performing artist. Fast forward to August 2015, Arlene reentered the coun-

try music world with her brand new single entitled “NO WHERE TO GO BUT UP”. NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP is heard on radio stations around the world! Arlene was named Music Road Radios #1 artist in 2016 for holding the #1 spot for 12 weeks in a row! Arlene was also nominated for four WOBA awards being held during CMA week in Nashville Tennesse. Working with the finest musicians and songwriters from Nashville Arlene released her next single entitled LIFE IS GOOD in September 2016 and it can be heard on radio in 12 countries around the world. Arlene has been spending her time writing in Nashville with hit songwriters in 2017 and will be releasing a brand new single and EP in early 2018!

Nicole Rayy Combining the distinctive sounds of classic country, pop, and rock, while refusing to compromise on the raw, emotional honesty that is prevalent throughout her entire body of work, Canadian Country singer-songwriter and pianist Nicole Rayy is a dynamic and powerful force of musical talent. Her distinctive and brutally honest songwriting paired with her energetic performances come through seamlessly no matter where her music is played, live on the stage or in her critically acclaimed recordings. Nicole has had the honour of performing at the 2015 and 2016 World Music Festival in Shanghai, China, proving to be a hit among Shanghai’s enthusiastic crowds. Nicole has been invited back once again to perform three shows at the 2017 World Music Festival. With plans for sharing her China experience with her followers via live streams, videos, and exclusive contests for hand–picked souvenirs purchased on the trip, fans are being encouraged to keep a close eye on her social pages. Nicole released her debut full length album Dig, October, 2016. The highly anticipated album, continued in the theme of uncompromising honesty and challenges listeners, as well as Nicole herself, to dig deep down to the emotional core of themselves.

Tommy West Band “All of Tommy’s songs are uncontrived; their sincerity believable. They’re what sets him apart.” said Tom Harrison, Vancouver Province music columnist who wrote a review of Tommy West on January 29, 2017. Tommy’s first song ‘Test of Time’ hit #3 Most Active Indies by DMDS for 2 weeks in a row, just after release on January 30, 2017. Tommy West was recently named as Canada’s Up and Comer by Sun Country 99.7FM Country Radio Station, and as Emerging Artist by Cal Gratton, 105 CJVR - Today’s Best Country and XM 105, Melfort, Sask. on Canadian Coast 2 Coast radio program. Tommy West was also a Featured Artist on Country 89, Welland, Ontario on February 28, 2017. Over the years, Tommy West, member of the CCMA, singer/songwriter, has had fun building a musical career entertaining audiences throughout western Canada. Tommy’s country music style infuses lively dance songs with soulful ballads. His fun and upbeat rhythms inspire along with his charismatic performances are known to ‘liven up’ a crowd and promise an entertaining experience for all music lovers.

STEVE RIVERS Steve Rivers is an upcoming recording artist & songwriter who is turning heads in the country music scene! Steve’s album ‘No Boundaries’ has been highly anticipated by fans and music industry professionals across North America. With a live show of high energy and excitement, Steve’s reputation has led him to open for national acts such as Eli Young Band, Frankie Ballard, Trace Adkins, Parmalee, Eric Paslay, Gregg Allman, Josh Thompson and Charlie Worsham. Steve’s influences – country, southern rock, Americana, and blues – give his music a fresh and exciting sound that country music fans are gravitating to! Established as one of the most exciting new artists in country music today Steve Rivers continues to perform on many notable stages in both Canada and the US making him a rising entertainer sure to watch out for! Steve lives in Nashville with his wife Laura Lynn.

Renegade Station Renegade is defined as a person who deserts a party or cause for another. While the new band Renegade Station is not deserting their unique brand of country, they are moving on in a new direction. With a sound forged during a successful career as “Domino”, Renegade Station moves forward with a new sound, an edge that can truly be synonymous with the term “renegade”. The band feels the name reflects on what you can expect to hear from them in the future. Their sound will see no borders, simply the hybrid of four individuals, all coming from various backgrounds able to blend together to create a unique group with a harmonious sound. Together the band had mastered their harmonies to near perfection, which one might say could be reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, embellished with country flair, and now with an outlaw (another definition of “renegade) edge.

Obviously not wanting to rest on their laurels and looking forward to change, their career to date as Domino simply cannot be denied. Domino recently garnered numerous ACMA (Association of Country Music in Alberta) nominations including top 5 placements in the categories: Group, Album, Song, and Fan’s Choice. At the 2015 ACMA Awards the group was named “Group of the Year” and the prestige title of “Fan’s Choice”. They repeated as “Group of the Year” in 2016. Being selected on a CCMA (Canadian Country Music Association) ballot for their song writing on the single “2:15” was a huge milestone for the group and endorsed their song writing ability on a national level. While some will look at the name change as simply that, the band looks to the re-branding as a step forward in direction, both in their recordings and live performances.

The Mudslingers They work hard, and it shows. They’re the perfect combination of fresh energy and veteran musicianship. They balance the heritage of Country Song Writing with modern production, and just enough rock edge to add spice without being too spicy- like the perfect hot wings on a Friday night. The music is engaging and catchy. They’ll have you singing along, drumming on your dashboard and giving the best air guitar riffs you’ve had in decades. These boys aren’t just another studio trick. Seeing the Mudslingers live is likely to be one of the most energizing concerts you’ve seen.

Genevieve Fisher Performing since the age of 2, London born and raised Genevieve Fisher has earned the respect and affection of both Country fans and the industry at large. Nationally, Genevieve has been recognized by the Canadian Country Music Association with her prestigious CCMA performance selection at the 2012 New Artist Showcase in Saskatoon as well as the Songwriters Series this past year. Genevieve proceeded to earn Female Artist of the Year nominations at the 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Country Music Association of Ontario Music Awards. She will forever have the distinction of being the very first artist, other than the house band, to perform at the first ever Country Music Association of Ontario Music Awards in 2013. In 2016, the Canadian Country Music Association selected her to perform at the prestigious Songwriters Series at the 2016 CCMA’s held in her hometown of London Ontario. A strong working music relationship was forged in late 2016 between Genevieve and Nashville hit producer Jason Massey. With 4 top 50 songs already to her credit, Gene-

vieve entered 2017 with renewed energy and vitality. Their collaboration produced the January release “Take It On Home” which became an immediate hit climbing into the top 20 across Canadian Country radio. This was followed by her most recent top 50 hit, her 6th single to do so, “You Me We”, which was released in Septmeber of 2017 and this week is at 31 on the BDS chart. Genevieve has had the opportunity to perform at some of the biggest music festivals in Canada including Boots and Hearts, Manitoulin Country Fest, Lucknow Music in the Fields and Aboriginal Day Live. Added to this list are opening performances for stars such as Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice, David Nail, Dean Brody and Great Big Sea. When not on stage, Genevieve finds herself in Nashville collaborating with some of the brightest songwriters on both sides of the border including Jason Blaine, Steven Lee Olsen, Patricia Conroy, Jason Massey, Jennifer Schott and many more..

Brenda Dirk Brenda Dirk is young lady with a big voice, and even bigger plans. She released her debut single “Shades On” in September 2017 and is rapidly moving forward. Her second release “Too Broke For Christmas” hit the air on November 2017 sitting in Second place on the top Five DMDS downloads on it’s second day out. She has garnered herself 4 ACMA nominations for 2017: Fans’ Choice, Female Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Video of the Year. With past performances at Big Valley Jamboree, The Needle Vinyl Tavern and Cook County Saloon to name a few and upcoming ones filling up her calendar this year will be ending with a rush of performing and 2018 is getting ready to start off with a bang that will last the whole year. Once you have heard her, Brenda’s powerful vocals and her “edgy country rock” song writing style combination, will have you acknowledging they place her in a unique category that takes her audience through an unforgettable feeling experience. “She’s a Canadian Gretchen Wilson” says Producer Bobby Cameron.

Olivia Rose Already having years of stage experience behind her, this 18 year old is getting set to have her biggest year yet. Her debut single “Make up to Mud” has a chorus that will leave you singing it long after she has delivered the last note proving she is a gifted songwriter. She has shared the stage with some of the biggest acts including opening for Brett Kissel, Cold Creek County, Chad Brownlee, Charlie Major and more, the next year will prove to be her biggest challenge yet. Her second single “Please Maybe” helped her reach the top 10 regionally the CBC Song quest search with submissions from across Canada.. This up & coming county artist received the 2016 Mayors Youth Award as well as the Rising Star award at the Edmonton Music Awards and is currently up for nomination at the Alberta County Music Awards. With new music slotted for an early 2018. Olivia Rose is just getting started.

THE STATE OF COUNTRY MUSIC “THEN, NOW & FOREVER COUNTRY” We’d like to thank the following people for help with this feature. Jay Bedford, PD/MD New Country 1035, Shilo Bellis Music Director New Country 96.9, Paul Ferguson, PD Cool 100, Mike Jones, Music Director Country 93.3, Dave Palmer Program Director Country 92.9, Chuck Thompson, Thompson Thompson Entertainment Group Nashville, Matt Watkins, AristoMedia Nashville, CMA Nashville, Yvonne Valnea, Last Tango Productions, Joël Lamoureux, Consultant, Bill Miller Sharp 9 Music, Lauren Tutty, Lauren Tutty Promotions, Andrea Morris AM to FM Promotions This is our special “State Of Country Music In Canada” article. We as an industry have come a long way. We felt the best way to see where we are and where we are going is to long back at where we have been as an industry. Country music was introduced to Canadian audiences by US radio. Early shows on WBAP, Fort Worth (beginning in 1923), WLS, Chicago (‘WLS Barn Dance’ 1924), and WSM, Nashville (‘Grand Ole Opry’ 1925), as well as on the later (1933) and influential WWVA, Wheeling, WV, were heard in many parts of Canada. Country music soon was broadcast on Canadian radio, beginning with George Wade and His Cornhuskers on CFRB, Toronto, in 1928, and Don Messer on CFBO, Saint John, NB, in 1929. The Newmarket station CFGM, the first to program country music exclusively, went on air in 1968 and produced the syndicated ‘Opry North’, established in 1976 in emulation of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, it continued until CFGM curtailed its country music policy in 1990. Over the years country music has gone through a

lot ups and downs. I remember my days at CFGM and no matter what research you had advertisers had a perception of what the country audience was. In their eyes country fans were poor, had little disposable income, drove an old vehicle, had four kids and probably lived in a trailer. Boy were they wrong. Let’s look at the timeline of what has happened in country music. Jimmie Rodgers, known as the “Father of Country Music,” was an instant national success. He is credited with the first million-selling single, “Blue Yodel #1,” and his catalog of songs, all recorded between 1927 and 1933, established him as the first preeminent voice in country music. Rodgers died from complications of tuberculosis in 1933. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961. The Carter Family was country music’s first famous vocal group. Comprised of A.P. Carter, his wife, Sara Dougherty Carter, and A.P.’s sister-in-law, Maybelle Addington Carter, the group flourished in the late ‘20s after the release of their first collection of songs in 1927. Different variations of The Carter Family continued recording and performing for decades. Two of their earliest hits, “Keep on the Sunny Side” and “Wildwood Flower” remain country standards to this day. THE RISE OF BOB WILLS AND WESTERN SWING Originating in Texas and up through the Midwest in the late 1920s, western swing reached its peak in the early ‘40s. It blended the upbeat horn-driven sounds of the big band with New Orleans jazz, blues, and Dixieland. Drums were first incorporated by western swing, and the eclectic musical mix included saxophones, pianos, and a Hawaiian instrument called the steel guitar.

Prominent western swing figures included Bob Wills (the “King of Western Swing”), the Light Crust Doughboys and Milton Brown (the “Father of Western Swing”). BILL MONROE AND THE BLUE GRASS BOYS Dubbed the “Father of Bluegrass,” Bill Monroe is credited with first popularizing bluegrass, a form of oldtime mountain hillbilly music with its origins in Great Britain and western Africa. Bluegrass got its name from Monroe’s band, the Blue Grass Boys, which eventually included future legends Lester Flatt (guitar) and Earl Scruggs(banjo). After six years, Flatt and Scruggs struck out on their own in 1949 to great success. Bill Monroe was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. HOLLYWOOD GOES COUNTRY The cowboy films of the 1930s and ‘40s contributed greatly to the evolution of country music. Stars like Roy Rogers (the “King of the Cowboys”) and Gene Autry parlayed their musical careers into very successful acting careers. Much of the great music from this era was actually written specifically for the movies. As these films flourished at the box office, their soundtracks were pressed to vinyl, and the buying public ate them up. Great cowboy stars of the era also included Rogers’ wife, Dale Evans, the Sons of the Pioneers and Spade Cooley. THE HONKY-TONK HEROES In 1942, Ernest Tubb’s recording of “Walking the Floor Over You” made him an overnight sensation, which thrust his brand of country, honky-tonk, into national prominence. Hank Williams further popularized the genre with his emergence in the late ‘40s, while Lefty Frizzell ascended to almost Elvis-like popularity in country music circles in the ‘50s. Unlike all other styles of country music, honky-tonk has never taken a backseat to any new trend. Go into any establishment today with live country music, and you’re bound to find a honky-tonk band on the bill. THE NASHVILLE SOUND In direct contrast to honky-tonk music, the Nashville Sound movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s polished up country’s rougher edges by blending big band jazz and swing with great storytelling. Lush orchestrations backed up the smooth crooning of stars like Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, and Jim Ed Brown.

THE BAKERSFIELD SOUND Developed in the mid-1950s, the Bakersfield Sound originated in the honky-tonk bars in and around Bakersfield, California. Grittier than the polished and highly produced music coming out of Nashville, Bakersfield country drew on many aspects of rock and roll and rockabilly, predominately loud amp-up guitars, usually twin Telecasters played through Fender amplifiers, and loud drums. The biggest Bakersfield stars of the day included Buck Owens (the “Baron of Bakersfield”), Merle Haggard and Webb Pierce. THE OUTLAW MOVEMENT Fed up with the perceived “selling out” of most country performers in Nashville, a number of frustrated and independent-minded artists decided in the mid-‘70s they would no longer follow the rules of Music City’s establishment. N’er-do-wells like Willie Nelson, his good friend and frequent collaborator, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, David Allan Coe and a host of others “outlaws” burned their leisure suits, grew their hair out, and sang whatever and however they chose to. These Outlaws gave country music the timely kick in the pants it desperately needed. URBAN COWBOY The 1979 John Travolta movie, Urban Cowboy, popularized a movement in country that focused heavily on easy-listening crossover success. Artists like Johnny Lee, Dolly Parton and Mickey Gilley scored major hits on both the country and pop charts, while the “outlaws” of the mid-‘70s saw their music wane in popularity. History has proven that much of the music from this era, referred to by some as country’s disco era, was quite disposable. However, a number of notable artists did emerge during this dark period to forge wonderful careers, including Alabama, George Strait, Reba McEntire and Steve Wariner. THE CLASS OF ‘89 The list of superstars who debuted in 1989 reads like a future Country Music Hall of Fame induction class: Garth Brooks, Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Travis Tritt and Dwight Yoakam all scored their first country hits in 1989. They drastically altered the direction of country music by infusing a youthful vitality and rock-androll mentality into a genre that was quickly growing stale and predictable. The amazing Class of ’89 bridged the gap between 20th and 21st Century country music.

The 90’s It’s hard to believe that twenty years have passed since the nineties first began. Perhaps that’s because so many of the artists who broke through during that decade remain relevant on the music scene today, whether they’re still getting major spins at radio or not. For many of us, it was the nineties when we discovered and fell in love with country music, and it’s the music and artists from that decade that represent the pinnacle of the genre. It may be debatable whether the nineties were the most artistically significant decade in the history of country music, but there’s no debating that country music never had more commercial success or cultural impact than it did in that decade. It was a time that when the C-list artists could sell gold or platinum on the strength of one or two hits, and that 24-hour video outlets could give wide exposure to songs and artists that radio playlists could not. From George Strait, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Brad Paisley, Shania, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Vince Gill, Alabama, Leanne Rimes, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Terry Clark, Michelle Wright, Paul Brandt, Patricia Conroy, Lisa Brokop, Mary Chapin Carpenter and many more all top the charts in Canada and the US in the 90’s. BRO COUNTRY Artists hated the label. Songwriters hated writing the songs but it drew a younger demographic for country radio which was good for business and it was believed to build on the future audience for country music. Many “bro-country” songs are about attractive young women, the consumption of alcohol, partying, and pickup trucks. The first use of the term was by Jody Rosen of New York magazine in an article published on August 11, 2013. He used the term to describe songs by Florida Georgia Line, particularly their debut single “Cruise”. He also named Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Jake Owen to be notable singers of the genre. Entertainment Weekly also cited “Boys ‘Round Here” by Blake Shelton, “Ready Set

Roll” by Chase Rice, and “Redneck Crazy” by Tyler Farr as other examples of “bro-country”. The genre drew criticism from other country singers; artists who have spoken against the “bro-country” subgenre include Ray Price, Dale Watson, Jean Shepard, Willie Nelson, Alan Jackson, Gary Allan, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Travis Tritt, Kacey Musgraves, and Zac Brown. The popularity of the genre opened up a divide between the older generation of country singers and the bro country singers which was described as “civil war” by musicians, critics, and journalists. The “bro-country” movement has been criticized by listeners and music reviewers for its subject matter, namely repeated lyrical themes of partying associated with Friday nights, alcoholic beverages, and trucks, as well as its exclusion of female country artists. In December 2014 Brad Paisley spoke out against bro-country and the lack of females on country radio: “one of my frustrations with radio now is lyrics: [...] there’s a lot of stuff on the radio about, you know, put your tan legs on the dashboard and we’ll roll around in the truck and go party. It’s like, ‘Guys, come on!’ – and specifically, yes, guys, ‘cause there are no girls! We can say something too. There are phrases that are totally cliché that we as songwriters owe it to ourselves to not use again. In a Vancouver radio interview Zac Brown described Luke Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night” as the worst song he had ever heard, to which Jason Aldean replied, “nobody gives a shit what u think.” Aldean also called the term bro-country ridiculous, and was bothered to be labeled as such because he didn’t “feel like it’s a compliment,” that “it’s sort of a backhanded thing that comes from a very narrow-minded listener” On October 15, 2014 Canadian country music artist Paul Brandt released the song “Get a Bed” as a comedic response to the whole bro-country phenomenon. Canadian country artists have done well in Canada and south of the border in Nashville.

We have a lot of talent and fans are buying product and attending concerts across the country. Dean Brody almost gave up on the music business when his first time in Nashville he lost his writing deal and had to move back to Canada. He was just about ready to take a day job when he got a call from Broken Bow records in Nashville and they signed him to a US deal. His first single did well as did his second single however the label ended up dropping Dean. As often happens once you have had some success in the US and you come home you are welcomed with open arms. Many artists go on to become major Canadian stars. This was the case with Dean and Paul Brandt before him. Over the past several years we have turned out some impressive artists including Brett Kissel, Kira Isabella, Johnny Reid, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Bobby Wills, George Canyon, Lindsey Ell, Wes Mack, Tim Hicks, Chad Brownlee, Aaron Pritchett, Dallas Smith, Doc Walker, The Roadhammers, Dan Davidson, Emerson Drive, Jason Benoit, Cold Creek County, Jessica Mitchett, Madeline Merlo, Meghan Patrick, JoJo Mason, Steven Lee Olsen, Victoria Banks, Deric Ruttan, Gord Bamford just to name a few. Some emerging artsists that we are keeping an eye on include Lauren Mayell, Steve Rivers, Brea Lawrenson, Koreen Perry, Brad James, Andie Duquette, Anthony Tullo, Domino, The Mudslingers, Jamie VanScott, Ryan Laird, Nicole Rayy, Jackie Guy, Stevie Jewel. There are so many that it is hard to mention them all. Canadian songwriters have had great success in Nashville. A few examples include Deric Ruttan has had several cuts by major artists including Blake Shelton. Patricia Conroy just got a cut on Reba’s new gospel album, Steven Lee Olsen co-wrote the Keith Urban smash Blue Ain’t Your Color and Victoria Banks, Gordie Sampson have had a lot of success as well. I can only imagine the feeling that these Canadian’s feel when they get a major cut and see their song head to number one. Money in the bank. A story I remember well was when Garth recorded Lee Brice’s song More Than a Memory. The song debuted at number one. Lee

was all excited however it sunk in that this was not a great thing because if you start at number one you don’t benefit of a long run up the charts which will make you more money as a songwriter. Canadian artists are selling out headlining tours across the country. It wasn’t always that way. It would be difficult to sell out venues back in the 80’s and 90’s for Canadian acts. There are many country festivals across Canada which now give Canadian artists top spots on main stages. Again it was not always that way it was more of using Canadian acts as fillers during the day and you would seldom see a Canadian on stage in the evening. US artists like Garth Brooks have seen the value in adding a Canadian to their tour like Brett Kissel and Aaron Pritchett. Keith Urban called on Dallas Smith to open his western Canadian dates recently. Artists like Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, The Roadhammers, Emerson Drive, Doc Walker, Johnny Reid, Geroge Canyon have all seen great sellout tours across the country. It is really good to see that radio and fans have built a real star system for Canadian artists. Media coverage is stronger for Canadian artists now. Besides the traditional media’s support we feel and research shows that the internet has been a great way to build a strong fan base and build sales. We asked Chuck Thompson, President of Thompson Entertainment Group in Nashville do services like Spotify Pandora help or hinder sales of country music? “Certainly, digital music services have changed forever how we access, how we market and how we sell music. Recent documents filed with the SEC from one major music company’s recorded music division showing a 45% increase in streaming revenues for the calendar Q1 as opposed to the same period in 2016 is one more strong indication of the streaming services place in the current industry landscape. These streaming services, including Spotify and Pandora, are positioned as the newest gatekeepers for music discovery in all formats, including country music. When the streaming services are integrated into an overall strategy, they can help sales”

We went to our panel of professionals and asked a simple question. How is do you feel country music is doing in Canada? Mike Jones Music Director Afternoon Drive Country 93.3 Fort McMurray AB “I still feel Country music continuing to grow in the metropolitan areas while holding it’s mainstay in rural communities as well. I feel like Canadians are really coming into their own and in recent years we are making our own stars like Dean Brody, Dallas Smith, Jess Moskaluke, Tim Hicks and more… We are still seeing a lot of package tours with multiple acts to hit as many fans as possible- but I think there are more genuine stars being made. I still see extremely strong support from labels and trackers- and they will always be an important part of Country music. But the last year saw some amazing successes from independent artists like JoJo Mason. Another huge story was “Found” by Dan Davidson. Having known Dan from his rock days- we gave him a few spins on his first single “Unkiss Her”- it didn’t sound out of place or anything but we weren’t sure if it would be a hit because he was new and indie. When I first heard “Found”- I thought to myself…. This has all the makings of a hit…It can’t be a hit- can it? Sure enough- it did take off and became our #2 most played song of the year. It became a strongly requested song as people in Fort McMurray turned to County radio for an escape from the tragedies of the fire.” Dave Palmer Program Director Country 92.9 Chatham ON “It’s a great time to be a Country music Programmer and fan. I was at a concert in London recently where Tim Hicks was the headliner with Jason Blaine and River Town Saints. Not only was it a packed house I also took notice at the people around us that were singing every word. We have a strong fan base which you can see at festivals, concerts, awards show or as witnessed with the CCMA’s last Fall in London. We’re seeing some amazing talent emerging from across the country which can make it a challenge for a Programmer to find space for all of this great music. I also think the success of performers like Tim Hicks, Brett Kissel, Jess Moskaluke have fueled a great local scene of up and coming artists too.”

Paul Ferguson Program Director Cool 100 Belleville, ON “I feel country music is thriving. Ratings for country radio stations, not only in our market, but others I’ve checked around the country are growing. The level of talent is such that there are more great songs than we have time for on air! That hasn’t always been the case, but certainly is now.” Jay Bedford PD/MD New Country 1035 Sydney NS “There is an increasing variety in country music which in turn makes the genre more exciting for the loyal listener and more appealing to a wider audience. The traditional (iconic) artists continue to turn out great product; Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley are good examples. Their material is relatable and the sound (production) is very current. Then you have the newcomers like Maren Morris and Sam Hunt who have a fresh approach to content and sound. On the other end of the spectrum, country blues have made a dramatic comeback thanks to Chris Stapleton et al. But the fun survives, thanks to the Brothers Osbourne and the River Town Saints. Hence, variety!” Shilo Bellis Music Director Afternoon Host New Country 96.9 Moncton NB “I feel that country music in Canada has never been better. From the quality of the songs coming out, to the level of promotions and touring that is going on in this country, Canadian country is so strong right now. In fact, had a conversation with someone the other day who was listening to an american country station online, and said it was missing something, he thought our cancon made us sound better. I was very excited about this, I feel the same way.” Matt Watkins, VP Marketing & International Relations,The AristoMedia Group Nashville “I think overall country music is doing great. It seems the country format is expanding and there is a wide variety of fans coming in the format. With all the different segments there are more opportunities for each artist.”

Men Are Lettuce, Women Are Tomatoes? Who remembers this? Keith Hill, so called radio consultant gave an interview and says you need to take female singers off of country radio. His exact words were, “If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out.” So we asked our friends at Canadian radio what is happening today. Dave Palmer PD Country 92.9 says “That might depend on who you ask. Just read the other day that Jess Moskaluke’s latest “Drive Me Away” is the first time in 9 years that a Canadian female artist has charted that high which was a little surprising to me given we have some great talent in this country. For me the mindset has always been about playing the best music regardless of gender and does it fit with the overall sound of the station. From Jess Moskaluke, Kira Isabella, Meghan Patrick, Jessica Mitchell, Leah Daniels and others I think the future is bright with such a talented group of artists.” Mike Jones Music Director at Country 93.3 says “I would say overall a little bit more but with a larger span of artists. I mean there has always been staples from a Canadian standpoint like Shania Twain or Terri Clark. But lately while we are creating a genuine superstar in Jess Moskauke- it’s incredible to see other legitimate stars like Kira, Madeline and Meghan. I think we can still do a better job- and I hope to see names like Alee, Jessica Mitchell, Sykamore and the Lovelocks really take off in the next few years.” Paul Ferguson PD Cool 100 says “That’s

a good question! I’d hate to speculate on something that data can either prove or disprove. All I can say is that I never really had set a limit on the potential of a female artist on our radio station. I’ve always operated on the model that a good song is a good song. If it deserves to be on the air, then put it on the air. Did the, “tomatoes in the salad” debate spark some change for others? Maybe. But I never had specific criteria in regards to programming female artists.” Shilo Bellis Music Director Country 96.9 “It has been great to see how country fans, and country radio are loving our female artists. Over the last year and a bit, I have definitely noticed an increase in our female artists getting spun, and the willingness for Canadian country radio to play them. It still might not be a level playing field, but it is getting much closer.” And Jay Bedford PD/MD New Country 1035 says “Canada has a great female to male ratio in country music. The US charts and the American stations tend to concentrate on a couple of female artists at one time, shutting the door to others with great potential. At the moment, if your name is Carrie or Kelsea or Maren, you get airplay. But an equally acceptable artist like Ashley Monroe fights unsuccessfully for position. Here in Canada, Jess, Alee, Meaghan and Madeline can all have strong chart positions at the same time.” Things look bright for female artists.

Rock Country, Pop Country & Traditional Country! Do They All Work Together? We have all heard it. That’s not country! So we wanted to find out how artists like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood and Chris Stapleton work together in the country format. We encourage you to watch the video with Chris talking about that very thing. One thing he says is “I try to do things I would listen to.” Jay Bedford PD/MD New Country 1035 “I have no problem, scheduling Stapleton and Luke Bryan back to back; great music does not require bookending. The best example of blues, traditional, and contemporary coming together is the recent #1 song by Keith Urban. The first time I heard “Blue Ain’t Your Colour” I knew it would be a hit with all country fans. If I have any concerns about country music on radio, it is the balance available at any one point in time. Country was always a balance of three somewhat different types of music. On the left you had the truck driving, beer drinking, bonfire party songs. On the right, you always had the schmaltzy love ballads. But in the middle were the story songs; the songs that made country music distinctly different from the other genres. I wish there was a more steady supply of great story songs to maintain the balance in the genre that I love so much!” Mike Jones Music Director Country 93.3 “As someone who will throw his Spotify on shuffle and bounce back and forth between Slayer and Pink Floyd or Chad Brownlee and Leonard Cohen- it’s one of the things I love the most about Country music is the huge variety. I think there will be a split at some point like there has been in rock between Classic, Active and Alternativebut right now people seem to just be loving the music. A chunk of our listeners may not be big fans of Sam

Hunt or Florida Georgia Line but they still seem to be tuning in to hear the more traditional country songs. I also think artists and labels alike are paying attention to the traditional stuff doing so well- and for a guy like Luke Bryan to have a big hit with “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day” which was about as traditional as he gets- I think more artists will embrace their roots in the coming years. I just hope the focus always remains on “the song” because that is what makes Country music unique.” Shilo Bellis Music Director New Country 96.9 “I would say that we have three types of country that are trying to fit together. Rock country, pop country, and traditional sounding country. It is definitely an easier fit in my opinion between pop and rock country. Traditional country mixes in with the other two, but you really need to be careful how much traditional sounding country you add to the mix. It definitely allows us to play new country music, but appeal to more people by playing all 3 types.” Dave Palmer PD Country 92.9 “I think it does because it can offer a good variety all under the Country Music umbrella. As with any music genre things change and evolve over the years and Country has seen it’s share of changes too but it’s been my experience that fans of country are generally very accepting of new music, artists and styles. Certainly there are those that will say “ that’s not country” or “that’s too old school” but I think what we’re seeing now is a great mix of the two. Where you can have Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett mixed in with Chris Stapleton, Midland and Josh Turner and it works. Continued

Paul Ferguson PD Cool 100 “Is there room on our station for Stapleton and Luke? ABSOLUTELY! I’m a believer in a variety of sounds on the radio. Same as I like a lot of variety on the menu at a restaurant. I think it’s futile to try to put one, standard definition on, “what’s country”. Other genres have many, subdivided silos within their formats. With country…it’s just country. And that’s why I think it’s hard to define. What I do know is that our audience responds to Luke Bryan. They respon to Chris Stapleton. And they respond to Dallas Smith. And they respond to Sam Hunt. And others. So why would I withhold those stars from my audience?” Unlike any other genre of music three distinct kind of music all fits together. I remember years ago listening to an Anne Murray interview on a pop station and she was asked why is her music in the country section at record stores (remember those?) and she said “Record stores need to have a label for music so they decided I was country so that is where my records are.” Today we have so many artists entering the format from Steven Tyler, Kid Rock, Sheryle Crow, Dallas Smith, Dan Davidson and many more. As an industry there is a lot of flack from some who complain why are they being played on a country station? I personally say if it is a good song and fits then it should work. Variety is a way to keep the core audience while bringing in new maybe from a younger demographic. Country music has grown internationally mainly due to the internet. We asked Matt Watkins,VP Marketing & International Relations, The AristoMedia Group in Nashville a few questions How do you find Country music is doing? I think overall country music is doing great. It seems the country format is expanding and there is a wide variety of fans coming in the format. With all the different segments there are more opportunities for each artist.

How is the global market and do you see growth in Europe, Australia? The global market place is booming with growth. In the last 5 years; there was maybe one or two country festivals in the UK; now we are up to 5+; and many many tours. This is also true to most of Europe although their fanbase is a little more traditional than current. Australia is continuing to be a hot bed for Country Music. Warner Music Nashvile just signed their first Australian - Morgan Evans to their roster; Big Machine signed UK’s The Shires and I am sure many more are coming down the pipeline. Has the internet been a big boost to indie artists? Incredibly growth. We have looked at all aspects of the country music business and if we were an artist today we would of course focus on radio however there are many other avenues to follow to be successful. Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records has always believed in developing and international following for his artists. With the internet today while your team is working radio part of the business think outside the box and develop an international following. Look for ways to tour internationally. There have been several artists who were discovered online. Kane Brown was a perfect example of that. He would record cover songs and put them on You Tube and build a very strong fan base. Pictured is Miranda Lambert at the 2016 C2C Country Music Festival. C2C: Country to Country is an annual multi-day country music festival created by AEG Europe and SJM Concerts in association with the Country Music Association. The festival takes place each March in London, Glasgow and Dublin. C2C was first launched in March 2013 at The O2, London as a two day event with Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw as headliners. This was Tim McGraw’s first UK appearance. Outside of the arena a small amount of free Pop Up Stages presented local country acts.



Ladies We’d Like To See Crash the Male Dominated Charts and Rolling Stone Country’s How ‘Every Little Thing’ Singer Carly Pearce Defied Odds With Risky Song. Previously joining the bill alongside Eric Church, Kelsea Ballerini, Martina McBride, Kip Moore, Hunter Hayes, Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars, Carly is currently on the road as direct support for Brett Young’s CALIVILLE TOUR.

BRETT YOUNG Brad Paisley calls Kane Brown a LIFER. What that means is that Brad believes that Kane will build a career that will make him become a legend in the years ahead. Kane was born in Georgia and got discovered using social media as a tool. He would record songs and place them on Youtube and built a huge fan base. Sony signed Kane in 2015. It was in 2017 that Kane first got to appear on the CMA Awards show and he performed with Brad Paisley. Brad recalled the first time he appeared and was brought on by Ricky Skaggs and he felt he wanted to do the same with Kane. Kane is touring with Brad right now. We at Canada Country Aircheck feel that Brad is right Kane has a long career ahead of him. With his success it goes to show that there are many ways to build your career and socuak media and the internet can play an important role a lesson we should all learn by.

Born into the bluegrass brawn of Kentucky, Carly Pearce has never known a moment that Country music wasn’t her destined path. At the young age of 11 she began touring with a local band and by 16 quit high school for a job performing at Dollywood while being homeschooled before moving to Nashville, working odd jobs and playing songwriter rounds for the last nine years. Life experiences and strong will are reflected through her buzz-about debut album EVERY LITTLE THING. Carly has been blazing her own trail with the depth of her sensibilities, nearly 50 invitations to play the Grand Ole Opry and celebrated her first Top 40 hit, a sultry collaboration with Josh Abbott Band called “Wasn’t That Drunk,” fans and critics have continued to take notice. She has been the highlight of features with bold headlines from The Washington Post’s ‘Radio tour is not for the weak’: Inside the first step to country music stardom, Billboard’s 13

Named as the only Country act on Shazam’s “Emerging Artists of 2017,” Brett Young has captured the hearts of fans everywhere through his honest lyrics and West Coast-meets-Southern sound, aptly dubbed “Caliville” style. “Destined for mass appeal” (Rolling Stone Country), the ACM Awards New Male Vocalist of the Yearnominee released his self-titled, debut album on BMLG Records earlier this year. The album was recorded in Nashville with producer Dann Huff (Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Steven Tyler) and features 11 of the 12 tracks co-written by Brett, including his current single “Like I Loved You” and the No. 1 GOLD-certified debut “Sleep Without You.”

Brent Young Continued The follow-up single, a Billboard and Mediabase No. 1 hit “In Case You Didn’t Know,” solidified Brett as the first Country artist to hit the PLATINUM-certification sales mark with a song released in 2017. The video was No. 1 on Vevo’s Country Chart for six consecutive weeks and is currently the only Country song on Vevo’s list of Top 10 Videos of 2017. “In Case You Didn’t Know” is currently nominated for a Teen Choice Award forChoice Country Song and was also nominated for Breakthrough Video of the Year at the 2017 CMT Music Awards. Brett was also nominated for two Association of Independent Music Publisher (AIMP) Awards for Writer of the Year and Song of the Year for “Sleep Without You.” In addition to his own headlining dates, the California native is currently on the road with Lady Antebellum’s YOU LOOK GOOD WORLD TOUR 2017 after joining Luke Bryan’s KILL THE LIGHTS TOUR earlier this year.


With all the chest-thumping going on in Nashville today, where bluster and swagger have replaced heart and soul, you half expect some of

country music’s male stars to be sporting bruises. Which is what makes Midland, a trio of friends based in Dripping Springs, Texas, so undeniably refreshing. Made up of singer Mark Wystrach, lead guitarist Jess Carson and bass player Cameron Duddy, Midland is the embodiment of Seventies California country, all smooth Eagles harmonies and heart-on-your-sleeve lyrics. Their songs are intoxicating country sung with the twang of George Strait. And it’s impossible to resist. Midland — the guys took their name from a Dwight Yoakam song — excel in setting a mood, transporting the listener to another place and time. This is music made for wide-open skies, endless deserts and wondering where the road is going to take you next. “We write with a very visual storytelling approach. We paint that big picture and go to that place,” says Mark. “Where is this story going? Let’s paint it.” It’s no coincidence then that it was in an especially scenic setting where the band first came together — at Cameron’s wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There, casual friends Cameron and Jess formed a musical and personal bond while picking songs together on Jess’s cabin’s front porch. The connection was only strengthened when they found themselves jamming with Cameron onstage later that week at his rehearsal dinner. “It was this serendipitous chain of events,” says Mark, an Arizona native. “And it was the best week ever.” “All of us playing together happened only because Mark and I both showed up in Jackson Hole a week before the wedding with time to kill,” adds Jess, originally from the Pacific Northwest. “But, by the end, we knew the three of us had amazing chemistry,” says

Mark. Armed with the newly married Cameron’s nest egg, Mark, Jess and the California-raised Cameron decamped for the Sonic Ranch studio, near El Paso, Texas. They cut 15 songs and, bolstered by the outcome, realized they had a unique sound. “When we went to the Sonic Ranch, we became a band. We walked away believing in what had happened,” says Mark. “All of our souls, our imaginations, were wrapped up in these 15 songs. We went all-in.” “And then we all moved out to Texas,” says Cameron with his gregarious laugh. Now signed to Big Machine Records, Midland is in the studio refining and expanding their catalog with ace songwriters like Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.


Aaron is a perfect example of never giving up. I had the pleasure a few years ago of working with Aaron and he had been turned down by every label as not good enough. So he went and did it on his own. Started his own label, booked tours around Texas and built a strong fan base. After several albums his last two albums have debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard charts. If the labels turn you down and you believe in yourself go for it alone.


Let us introduce you to Andie Duquette. Andie has a bright future in country music and Wrong Wrong Wrong is a sure fire hit. Andie Duquette is a Canadian country singer from Montreal, Quebec, signed to TAB Records INC. She’s been known to favor a dab of “edge” in her personal brand of country music, whether we talk about her strong and direct “women first” lyrics to some of her more robust songs on her debut Country album LOCK STOCK AND BARREL, released in 2017. There’s no mistaking it: this country girl is definitely a bit rock’n roll and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Andie’s career started at the very young age of three. Her parents were quite astonished when, at age five, Sesame Street hired Andie to sing their full repertoire for the French adaptation of this iconic TV show for Quebec audiences. Andie continued to sing and perform at a high level as a child for years and was given a number of roles on TV commercials and TV series. Andie released her debut single out March 20th entitled ‘WRONG WRONG WRONG’.


I have known Anthony for a few years now and have watched as he has grown as an artist. Anthony is a driven, rising country-rock star with a vigorous vocal, energetic live show and edgy production, delivering his songs with grit. At the same time, he can easily switch gears, singing a ballad with an unexpected sensitivity and passion. Anthony signed a management and record label deal with Music Mentor Productions, a CCMA nominated recording studio & Independent Record Label. Owner Peter Linseman is CMAO Producer of the Year Award nominee and also manages the popular actress/country artist Kate Todd. In addition to being a recording artist, Anthony is also a TV and film actor, film producer and a martial arts gold medal champion. In 2017 Anthony released singles “Gasoline” and “Shotgun Ready”. We can ex[ect to hear a lot more from Anthony in the year ahead.

Stevie Jewel

Stevie Jewel is making a name for herself on both sides of the border. We sat down and talked to Stevie. CCA: Learning the business is a kkey to success and Stevie attened one of the best music schools in North America. How has you experience been at Belmont? Stevie: I’ve had an incredible experience at Belmont. I completely agree with what Brad said, some of my friends have already signed publishing deals and it’s so exciting to be able to grow with your peers. CCA: Do they teach you all aspects of the business at Belmont? Stevie: Yes, I’ve taken classes that cover everything from being an entrepreneur to copyright law. It’s so useful, because it’s all important when you get into the real world of the music industry. Knowing how royalties work, what an advance is, and how it impacts you is crucial to making good decisions in regards to your songs and work as an artist. W predict that Stevie will see chart action in 2018 not only in Canada but in the US as well.