Country Favorites: Summer 2017

Life

Even though it’s technically still spring, summer music is undoubtedly here.

Some of my favorites:

  • Body Like A Back Road (Sam Hunt) Talk about one of those instant feel-good jams. Goin 15 in a 30, I ain’t in no hurry, Imma take it slow just as fast as I can.
  • Craving You (Thomas Rhett & Maren Morris) Two of the top most popular country artists collaborating. What a beautiful thing!
  • Happy People (Little Big Town) This song has the best vibe and super solid lyrics too. Personal favorite line…Happy people don’t fail; happy people just learn.
  • The Fighter (Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood) Am I the only one who has a significant urge to kick-box when I hear this song? I’m still thinking about a full out routine to go with the song…
  • For Her (Chris Lane) Maybe the most adorable song ever-check it out.
  • Greatest Love Story (LANCO) This song is the first LANCO song I ever did hear and let me tell you they just might become a favorite of mine. If you have not yet heard this song, check. it. out.
  • No Such Thing As A Broken Heart (Old Dominion) Another extremely catchy song with excellent lyrics.
  • Round Here Buzz (Eric Church) This is a JAM! I have heard really great things about Eric’s Holding My Own tour and I just just imagine him singing this one live.
  • You Broke Up With Me (Walker Hayes) One of my gym buddies caught me jammmmmmming to this tune last week in my car…I had no idea he was driving in the lane next to me… The tune/lyric combination is on point. Do yourself a favor and listen to this one.
Advertisements

All About Me… At The Moment

Life

I just read my “Self-Interview” from February 2014. I have changed since then! Also regarding my post from 2014, I don’t recall Renee* from Juan Pablo’s season of The Bachelor but I was (apparently) a fan of her at the time.

Now that we have made it to Holiday Season 2016, here’s my life in bullet-point summary:

  • Listening To
    The Weight of these Wings (Miranda Lambert’s new double-album). Maren Morris. MKE Worship! Florida-Georgia Line. A lot of the top 40 songs right now. I’m getting REAL close to busting out Christmas music (I’m thinking about you, Pentatonix and A Very Kacey Christmas!)
  • Watching
    Lost, with my roommates. The Voice! Baby Daddy. Young & Hungry. I was watching Pretty Little Liars but that show was stressing me out so I have to pace myself on that one.
  • Reading
    I just finished See Me (by Nicholas Sparks- my first Nicholas Sparks book ever- can you believe it). Now I’m reading Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling and it’s cracking me up! I’m also slowly reading The Next Christians, one chapter at a time, and I love it.
  • Loving
    Starbucks. My current living situation. Black G-2 gel pens. Dry shampoo.
  • Hating
    Narrow bootie-shoes, since I cannot wear them (because, bunions. Ugh). Hate-posts on social media. Reptiles.
  • Crushing On
    Theo James. Halo Top ice cream. Bright orange-red nail polish.
  • Goals
    Find a new pair of glasses. Volunteer somewhere. Eat more protein, and less carbs, at night. Be nicer despite hangry-ness/tiredness.
  • Missing
    Wedding planning. My friends. Being warm.
  • Anticipating
    The arrival of my new nephew or niece! The holidays. An upcoming Maren Morris concert. (!!!!!!!)
IMG_2507.jpg

Here is a picture of me in my “Katniss Pants” and with the shoes that give me awful blisters if I wear them too long/walk too far wearing them. I’m also wearing an excessive amount of dry shampoo. THIS IS REAL LIFE, PEOPLE.

I hope you feel sufficiently caught up on my life! What are YOU up to? I’d love to know in the comments.

*I just googled Renee from Juan Pablo’s season of the Bachelor. She was the one who looked like Jennifer Aniston. She WAS awesome!

CMA’s 50, Reviewed

Life

Is today Christmas? I woke up with the same giddy excitement for the 50th CMA show!

So it’s not Christmas but I do have TONS of snacks, sparkling grapefruit water (I really went cray-cray on that impulse buy) and not-gonna-lie I’m wearing the same dress I wore to my sister’s wedding. (WHO SAYS YOU WON’T WEAR YOUR BRIDESMAID DRESS AGAIN? I’LL GIVE YOU AN OCCASION.)

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-10-33-18-pm

Let me recap for you the first ten solid minutes of the CMAs in one sentence. Basically anyone who has been involved in country music for over 10 years sang a medley of all-time hits, including Reba’s Fancy, Randy Travis’s Forever And Ever, Amen and Alan Jackson’s Don’t Rock The Jukebox.

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are singing “the election is lasting, forever and ever.” Clever start to the hosting intro. (And I mean… amen. Pun WAY intended.)

Entertainer of the Year nominees are mentioned, Carrie Underwood’s one of them. Brad proclaims, “#ImWithCarrie.” Love it.

Aweeee you guyssss! Five of our Olympians from this year are giving the first award tonight for single of the year. They look adorable all dressed up. My money was on Chris Stapleton, Nobody To Blame. The adorable Thomas Rhett is the winner, though, and he and his wife both look so happy about it. I’m happy too.

Home girl has taken the stage! (I should specify… this is Kelsea Ballerini.) She’s singing Peter Pan – a slow version with two people dancing in the background. She looks sincere and has such solid stage presence. PS, the people dancing are aerial dancing (is that even a term?) Read… one or both of them are regularly… not on the ground… I love the creativity and level of entertainment I felt from this performance.

Olivia Newton John is part of the group – who knew, she was 1979’s female vocalist of the year? Song of the Year will be announced. Tim McGraw wins with Humble and Kind. The song writer, Lori McKenna, gave the sweetest thank you speech about how this song was a prayer she wrote for her children, and how she writes songs for Tim McGraw because of Faith Hill. Faith is (adorably) crying at her seat. I LOVE MOMENTS LIKE THESE.

Jason Aldean is singing “Brand New Man” with Brooks & Dunn. Jason’s voice sounds great with Ronnie and Kix in this classic performance.

Dierks Bentley and Elle King are singing “It’s Different With Girls.” I love this song and they’re performing a classic, sweet version of this song.

GUYS MY OTHER FAVE IS PERFORMING! Maren Morris is singing My Church. Her hair is way curly, “fro-ed out” even. She’s got a little church choir behind her, and she’s wearing a trendy black dress. She seems real happy and comfortable rockin’ out to her first hit.

Let me take a minute to say, Carrie Underwood has been dressing to honor each decade. Everyone knows she’s like model-level beautiful so she looks amazing in each dress. #GOALS.

Jennifer Garner is giving the award for New Artist of the Year. Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, and Cole Swindell are all nominated. We have some great new artists! Side note, she is rocking her outfit. Maren wins! Hooray sista, I am PROUD O YOU. She’s way humbled and emotional. Last year she was watching the CMAs at a bar and here she is today. CRYING up a storm and thanking her favorites. She is a wreck and I absolutely love her perfectly flawed thank you. Maren, you have arrived my friend.

Brad Paisley straight up admitted that Carrie is doing one of her “legendary outfit changes” and I love that.

Garth and Tricia are singing a tribute medley. Watching the crowd react to each song introduced is really fun. Words to explain the way this audience is receiving the performance: giddy excitement, sentimental tears, true appreciation.

Oh snap, Carrie Underwood is looking SASSY singing Dirty Laundry. She literally is crushin it tonight.

Faith Hill is giving out the next award, for Album of the Year. Nominated: Black (Dierks Bentley), Hero (Maren Morris), Mr. Misunderstood (Eric Church), Ripcord (Keith Urban) anddddddd Storyteller (Carrie Underwood). Ok, I am WAY surprised. Eric Church is the winner! Mr. Misunderstood is a solid album though, so I’m happy with him. Eric mentioned that he presented his album last year at his performance at the CMAs and I totally remember that.

Little Big Town is singing their new song, Better Man. Fun fact, Taylor Swift wrote this song! Listen to the lyrics and you will believe it.

Miranda Lambert looks like she 100% knows what she’s doing. She’s singing Vice… acapella for the first several measures and completely on key. I actually love her very simple hairstyle.

Matthew McConaughey has taken the stage! (Alright alright alright!) He’s introducing Tim McGraw who is singing Humble And Kind.

Brad Paisley sang with the Oak Ridge Boys.. until commercial break… It was a nice moment of fame for them.

Cue the happy tears, Alan Jackson is singing Remember When. He looks completely authentic. Clips from CMA shows are being played overhead. Don’t mind me while I sob on my couch. George Straight has entered the stage and he’s singing Troubador, with Alan still on the stage too.

I have no clue who the couple is currently on the stage, announcing the next award. They did give the score to the World Series though (and I must admit I’m pulling for the Cubs, even though I’m a pretty serious Brewers fan). Vocal Duo of the Year goes to Brothers Osborne. I’m shocked because I was expecting Florida Georgia Line to win. Side note, turns out Brothers Osborne are brothers… 😉

Keith Urban is singing Blue Aint Your Color. The performance is very classic. I’ve noticed a theme of authentic, slow, serious songs tonight.

The award for the Vocal Group of the Year is up next.Awe, Little Big Town wins! I love them so I could back this any day.

The time is here. BEYONCE and the Dixie Chicks have taken the stage. They’re singing “Daddy Lessons.” Out loud, I meaningfully said in a confused tone, “I like this.” We have fiddles, a harmonica, your classic guitars and the Dixie Chicks harmonies. This dynamic girl-power collaboration is now singing “Long Time Gone.”  My roommates have really good opinions and they say this was the “best. collab. of the night.” They have some credibility and I have to say it was an unforgettable performance.

Kenny Chesney is receiving the third ever Pinnacle Award. I’m so happy for Kenny and proud of all he has done for country music. One of my favorite life moments thus far was watching Kenny perform live at Country Thunder several summers ago. KENNY, U DA MAN.

Thomas Rhett is singing “Die A Happy Man.” We have another heart-felt performance delivered by Thomas who already won an award tonight for this very song.

Chris Stapleton is performing “Seven Spanish Angels,” which I believe was by Ray Charles. I am remembering my complete confusion last year when he won so many awards. And here we are today with Chris as another household name in country music.

Luke Bryan has taken the stage, and he’s singing Move. I’m honestly thrilled to hear a party song as we have experienced a lot of the sweet-serious songs tonight. Luke Bryan will always come through for a good time.

Lee Greenwood is singing “I’m Proud To Be An American” with Brad and Carrie and absolutely everyone at the CMAs. I LOVE AMERICA, AND I LOVE COUNTRY MUSIC.

Florida Georgia Line is singing “May We All.” I’m looking for you, Tim McGraw. AND THERE HE IS! Tim has joined Tyler and Brian on the stage for the second half of the song, and I loved the solid performance.

Vince Gill is on the stage to present the Female Vocalist of the Year award. He also announced that the Cubs are up 6-3 and I’m gathering that a majority of the crowd is pulling for Chicago tonight. Carrie Underwood is tonight’s winner! I would like to personally congratulate Kacey, Maren, Kelsea and Miranda as they were also nominated for the award. All five of these women are doing amazing things for country music.

Eric Church is singing Kill A Word. Eric is an incredibly talented singer and I will always appreciate his work.

Dolly Parton is now being honored. She is definitely iconic. Jennifer Nettles and Pentatonix are performing Jolene. (CUE ALL THE EXCITED VIBES!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I. loved. their. performance. BOOM. REBA has entered the stage. She’s singing Dolly’s “9 to 5.” Now we have Kacey Musgraves singing “Here You Come.” Kacey is crushing this sweet performance and Dolly appears to be very pleased with the performance. Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride have joined the stage singing “I Will Always Love You.” (Carrie and Martina, would you pleaseeeee collab more often?!). Jennifer, Carrie, Martina, Kacey and Reba are all singing and I am shivering and have tears with all of the emotions. The performance was sweet, special, beautiful, and altogether lovely. The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is given to Dolly. “I would’ve cried but I didn’t want to mess up my eyelashes.” Gosh Dolly, some things just never change!

Sharon Stone has taken the stage to award the Male Vocalist of the Year. Nominees are Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Tim McGraw, Chris Stapleton, and Keith Urban. Our winner is Chris Stapleton.  Again, all five nominees are phenomenal, but since I never lie I will admit that Chris would not be in my top four preferences for this award. Nevertheless, Chris is WAY talented and he gave a very nice speech, so kudos to you my friend.

Now it’s Brad Paisley’s turn to perform. He’s wearing jeans and a cowboy hat, and he’s singing Today. Country history clips are being showed on screens behind Brad, which contributes to the sentimental touch of this year’s show.

Taylor Swift is back at the CMAs! She is presenting the award for Entertainer of the Year! Nominated: Garth, Keith Luke, Chris, Carrie. The 2016 Entertainer of the Year is awarded to Garth Brooks. Garth is our winner and he gave a very classy and heart-filled thank you acceptance speech.

Carrie, wearing a beautiful black dress, and Brad, wished our viewers a final good night.

The current score of the World Series is 6-6 so while the CMAs are over, American TV has more history to be made tonight! Goodnight all and thanks for reading the post!

Were you surprised by the performances and award winners? I’d love to hear in the comments.

This One’s For The Girls

Life

I am feeling very clever about this post title, obviously referring to the Martina McBride hit from 2003. In reality, this post is for the current women of country music.

I should recognize the ladies like Martina, Faith Hill, Sara Evans, and Gretchen Wilson who rocked country music in their prime (literally). But I felt like we went through a stretch with a very few females on country radio.

Don’t get me wrong, we were all good with Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Big & Rich, the list goes on . . .

But now, the ladies are BACK, and dare I say better than before?

Check them out:

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 9.47.40 PM.png

This photo is from Carrie’s instagram account. I am biased, but I think Carrie makes for a very fine cheesehead!

First up, an obvious one: Carrie Underwood. Carrie has been around the country scene for quite some time (I was in high school when she won season four of American Idol). When I think Carrie, I think #goals . . . and vice versa. From her adorable family, to her super healthy lifestyle and CALIA fitness line, to all of her music, Carrie is theeee woman. I love her newest album, Storyteller. One of my favorite songs on it is a hidden gem called Relapse. It’s so dramatic but Carrie’s talented vocal chords are totally right for it.

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 9.51.46 PM

On a scale of 1-perfect Miranda is nothing less than a 10! I love this instagram picture she recently posted.

Miranda Lambert absolutely must come second on this list because she is my other role model of sorts. She has the perfect way of being girly and tough at the same time and I love that about her. Miranda consistently keeps it real with her songs and her style. Platinum is the name of Miranda’s newest album; it’s also the name of my favorite song on it.

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 9.56.26 PM

Kacey definitely has a unique style. I love that she often wears boots.

I got to see Kacey Musgraves a few months ago, and have really come to appreciate her as an artist! I love her entire album, Pageant Material. Kacey is an exceptionally clever song writer, and a talented singer too. One favorite song of hers is This Town, although picking just one favorite was tough!

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.07.32 PM.png

I love this picture from Kelsea’s instagram.

My girl Kelsea Ballerini is near and dear to my heart. I got to see her (FO FREE!) last summer, I bought her album, and I feel like I was among her first fans. I think that Kelsea is adorable, classy, and significantly talented! Besides her singles already released to the radio, I totally love her song Yeah Boy.

Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.14.18 PM.png

This picture, from Maren’s instagram account, makes me want to see Maren live!

My very newest favorite female country artist is a lovely lady named Maren Morris. So far her only song on the radio is “My Church”but she has other great songs too like Drunk Girls Don’t Cry. I am so excited to see what this girl is going to do!