Friday, February 27, 2015

Thomas Rhett Made Me Wanna...

It started with a smile, and didn't quite end with an all night long slow kiss, but I'm totally alright with that. Thomas Rhett, you have jumped to my top five, without a doubt. The vibes during his show at Starland Ballroom accurately illustrated my idea of a country concert. There was beer, cowboy hats, and multiple U.S.A. chants (it's not really a country concert without all of that - GO AMERICA!). 

Other than his best songs (which really is everything), TR also performed the song he wrote for Florida-Georgia Line, Round Here, and a better version of it in my opinion. He serenaded us with an emotional Beer With Jesus (that had me in my feelings). And just like at MSG the night before, he showed us his version of Uptown Funk and Parkin' Lot Party, but when it comes to the atmosphere, there's no comparing the two. Despite the fact that it was a whopping 20 degrees outside, Starland Ballroom really felt like one big parkin' lot party (they actually did have to tow some asses outta there as well). 

TR had the country boy charm turned all the way on last night. He's got a beautiful wife but I'll bet the ladies were wishin' they were his high school sweetheart. I mean, his moves alone... Luke Bryan better watch out! My favorite thing about his performance though, is the fact that he's just having so much FUN on that stage and he's so interactive with the crowd. He brings fans up to sing with him and takes quite a few selfies (jealous). You can't help but love every bit of it.

I can't forget to mention the opener, Alex Hall. I hadn't heard of him until last night, but there's no doubt in my mind that the rest of the country music world will know him soon. Not many people can pull off a Johnny Cash cover, but he had the deep voice and moves to back it up. We didn't have the blues, but he certainly gave us a rhythm. Props to you, Alex. I can't wait to hear more. (IG has the videos and pictures)

The whole night was amazing and there's really no better way to end a show than with Garth Brooks' Friends In Low Places. Honestly, I'd love to be a part of that tour, because it seems like a blast. TR, when can we get another album?

I don't know when it's gonna end
So for now, I'm sorry for partying


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bumpin' the Night with FGL at MSG

I guess I must be spoiled, but a country concert is just not the same in a big arena. Now don't get me wrong, Florida-Georgia Line had the crowd on their feet the entire night, but it just wasn't my scene. To be completely honest, I enjoyed the opener (Thomas Rhett) more than the main act. The whole production was just too big, but I guess that's just how they roll. 

Florida-Georgia Line is all about bringing the party and they had some damn good times. Looking around, I got the feeling that I was surrounded by either die-hard FGL fans or really drunk people (or both in some cases) because they were livin' every minute of the night like there might never be another. I was definitely not on the same level, but I did notice several people leaving before the show was even close to being over. 

Tyler and BK performed all of their biggest hits, but my personal favorites of the night were Sippin' on Fire, Here's to the Good Times and Dirt. I also really would have liked to hear Take it Out on Me and People Back Home, but I guess you can't always get what you want. They also took us out of our country into a little hip-hop with Forgot About Dre and All About That Bass while rockin' some J's (those are Jordan brand sneakers for my cowboy boot loving friends).

Thomas Rhett absolutely killed it. The man is just as fun and lively as I'd hoped, which has me even more fired up to see him in a (much, much) smaller venue. The crowd jumped to their feet for his performances of Get Me Some of ThatMake Me Wanna, and It Goes Like This, where he showed off his sweet moves. I honestly think he could rival Luke Bryan in a dance contest - the man can shake it! TR also did a fun country cover of Uptown Funk, and made his way out into the crowd to sing with a fan (hilarious). What a fun, and true country artist. I am however, a little ashamed to admit that I missed Frankie Ballard's opening performance (a confusion with the set time). Oh well, I guess bad times make the good times better. 

Now I'm not saying your boys (FGL) didn't bring the party. Bottom line: It was exactly what you would expect from a rock/pop country duo. I'll continue to listen to FGL on Spotify, but I'm not sure I'd pay $100 to attend one of their shows again.

Every goodbye is bitter sweet,
So why should we fight what we both need?


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Hang on to Your Country Roots in NYC

Hey you little homegrown honey. It's winter. And if you're anything like me, this time of year up north has you missing your country roots more than ever. Don't let it get you down. Here's a list of things you can do in New York City that will make you feel right at home... like you never even left.

  1. Throw on your cowboy gear. This includes your boots, cowboy hat, daisy dukes, and your countriest flannel. Go out. Stay in. Do whatever you want, because you're from the country and you like it that way.
  2. Lose yourself at a country concert or music festival. Or at least purchase your tickets. All of the local events are listed on the event calendar.
  3. Drop in at your local country-western bar. My recommendation would be The Waylon with it's old school country jukebox and it's cozy atmosphere, but word is there may be several others around the city worth a shot as well.
  4. Ride the mechanical bull at Johnny Utah's. You may not get the country music you were hoping for (depending on the night), but you're sure to feel a little less citified after taking a turn on that guy.
  5. Eat some good southern BBQ. Two of my personal faves are Georgia's Eastside BBQ and Dinosaur Bar-b-que, and are the closest you can get to the real stuff in this big ole city.
  6. Pull out your mama's recipe book and make some soul food. If you don't feel like venturing out into the arctic tundra, any of Paula Deen's buttery recipes are sure to do the trick. I'm actually making my grandmother's peanut butter pie as we speak. Okay, no I'm not. But it sounded good, didn't it?
  7. Phone home to grandma and grandpa. This gives you the opportunity to bask in their southern accents for a while, but beware. This one may instantly make you NOT miss home because they will likely ask you when you're going to bring home a nice southern boy. Grandma, I'd like to know too.
  8. Blast this Home Sweet Home Spotify playlist. Have your own house party (Sam Hunt wouldn't oppose) and don't apologize to your non-country-music-loving roommates and neighbors. You need this.
  9. Line dance in your living room. Slide the furniture out of the way and turn on YouTube. Lucky for you, this also replaces a gym visit and will make up for all of the bad (but also delicious) food you ate earlier.
  10. Immerse yourself in a good southern movie. If you can't actually do it, you can at least pretend you're surrounded by a bunch of good looking country boys with thick southern drawls. Sweet Home Alabama always does the trick for me. 
  11. Find your nearest rodeo. This is one I'm working on. The PBRs were at MSG not too long ago, but more to come on local ones in the surrounding areas.
  12. Book a flight back home. There's no shame in needing a little getaway every now and then. Besides, some sweet southern comfort does good things for the soul.
  13. Rent a car and take a drive. If you're like me and don't have a car, you are probably really missing those drives with the windows down and your music blaring. Surprisingly enough, there are some decent country-ish destinations in New Jersey. You just have to give it a chance.
  14. Retail therapy AKA new cowboy hat and boots. Make a trip to Space Cowboy Boots (and let me know how it is) or just place an order on Amazon for instant satisfaction.
  15. Go stargazing. And by that I mean, turn off the lights and stare at your glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. Because in your mind your somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon (at least). 
  16. Dive into the NYCountrified blog. You're already making great progress on this one. Now just make sure you're connected to the Instagram and Twitter so you never have a relapse again.
  17. Repeat multiple times if necessary. I'm certainly not judging you.
So, instead of getting the blues this winter, forget what anyone has told you. A country boy (and girl) can survive. It just takes a little more work. 


Friday, February 13, 2015

Sam Hunt's Got Us In Our Feelings

It was a Wednesday night in the city that never sleeps...

Since we're now all sorting through the stages of PCD (Post Concert Depression, for you first-timers), maybe it's time to get our feelings out in the open. Sam Hunt came to town, stole our hearts, and we're likely never going to get them back. We can, however, find comfort in knowing that we're all in this together ladies - even though last night we were each other's worst enemies, threatening to punch anyone that even dared trying to get past us. But today? Today we're friends again. And I'm glad you're here reading this.

For those of you who aren't aware, Sam Hunt fans don't mess around. The line was around the block an hour before doors even opened, in 20 degree weather. And once doors opened, it was a free for all to get the best standing location in the venue. Losing your spot to go to the restroom during the show? Didn't happen, because you made sure you didn't take a sip of anything liquid at least 4 hours prior (go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for that one). 

We all know opening acts are a hit or miss - especially since we're all there to see the main attraction - but Native Run really won us over. Rachel, Bryan, and the band pumped up the crowd with some serious jams including Steal My Girl (which accurately explained what the fellas next to me were feeling for Rachel) and their latest hit, Good on You. They had the whole place on fire with their high energy performance. Guess it wasn't their f-a-u-l-t though... the party came looking for them.

For starters, I don't think anyone expected Sam Hunt to make his entrance onto the stage solo with an acoustic guitar, and that's precisely why we love him (always surprising us). He played a lovely little acoustic rendition of his most popular songs and then took us in to Ex To See (pun definitely intended). He managed to play every song from his Montevallo album, as well as the songs he wrote for Billy Currington and Keith Urban (you little singer-songwriter you). And what would a concert be without a little 90s throwback? Sure, we're not used to hearing Mariah Carey and Destiny's Child at a country concert, but yet again, you've managed to not only entertain us, but also leave us wanting more. Oh, and closing out the show with Breakup In A Small Town was serious torture. So thanks for that, Sam.

Last night was too real - and it was gone real fast too. In the words of Mr. Hunt himself... if I could bottle it up, I'd have a stash in the truck, splash in my cup. It'd never get old. One little sip, just a taste on my lip. I'd be takin' a trip wherever I go. I'd keep a "life's good, sweet bliss, does it ever really get better than this?" kinda buzz. If I could bottle it up.

Feel like swooning some more? Check out Instagram. Hopefully the photos and vids will make you forget Sam's goodbye sad... at least for a little bit. And if you missed him, don't worry - he'll be back this summer with Lady Antebellum on the Wheels Up Tour! The event calendar has all of the details.

I don't know if you were looking at me or not. You probably smile like that all the time. And there may have been a thousand other women vying for your attention, Sam, but I'm going pretend it was just us and the speakers on.

Because, who doesn't like a fairy tale ending?

Cuz it'll sneak up on you fast
When life pours out the good stuff, just can't make it last
Well every moment in time would never end
Cuz I'd take it with me when it did


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Would You Go With Me to Josh Turner in NYC?

It's so hard to handle this absolute truth, that you're so not around and I'm so into you... 

Wait, what? Josh Turner IS coming to New York City? Best Buy Theater, FTW.

I was so disappointed when I looked up his tour dates and found the closest he would be was 3+ hours away (that's the struggle for those of us with no car). But that fear has subsided, my friends... he's coming to visit us on Thursday, April 23 at Best Buy Theater, and a lovely MetroCard is all you'll need (well that and a ticket). And speaking of, tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, February 13. 

Ok yes, Josh Turner is model status - and we always like that - but there are so many other great things to mention about him as an artist. Not only has he been around longer than you think (Long Black Train ring any bells?), but he's won and been nominated for many awards, including GRAMMYs and CMA Awards (Lord have mercy on that country boy!). He also might be the only man to ever understand the difference between a woman and a man - his wife is a lucky lady. JT is releasing his sixth album at the end of March and I can't wait to hear what that deep voice shares with us next.

Interesting fact: During Josh's debut at the Grand Ole Opry, he received a standing ovation in the middle of his performance of "Long Black Train," then sang it once more for an encore.

So if you live in the city, but you don't fit in, then get your butt there. Besides, there's a great chance you may find some friends at this show, and we could all use a little more country in our lives.

Well, I'd love to hang longer, but I've got someone... just kidding. But really, until next time.

Well, it might be me, but the way I see it
The whole wide world has gone crazy
So baby, why don't we just dance?


Monday, February 9, 2015

Am I Dreaming, Or Am I Dying?

Either way I don't mind at all. Because this guy is killin' it.

If you've never heard of Sturgill Simpson (you're not really living), he was on Letterman this past July playing "Life of Sin" and also made his debut at the Opry back in 2013. Another one who gets it honest, guys - his grandfather is apparently very close to and has opened for artists like Dwight Yoakam and Zac Brown Band. I'll give that an amen.

Sturgill has two sold out shows in New York City. He's at Bowery Ballroom on 2/11 and Music Hall of Williamsburg on 2/12. He'll also be at The Stone Pony in NJ on 2/14, for those of you that don't have other plans. I can't imagine that anything else would be as important on that specific date, but maybe that's why I'm still single.

My goodness, I just really dig what this guy is doin'! Go listen to some songs right now. I guarantee you'll find yourself coming alive to the beat. Also, his lyrics are unbelievable, and yes, he writes them himself, which I admire SO much (I've got mad respect for singer-songwriters). He's got a way with words, my friends. He says the stuff we don't know how to, and sometimes didn't even know was possible. With his clever lyrics about life, he really gets you thinking and feeling. He tells us there ain't no point getting outta bed if you ain't living the dream. And he's right.

If you're lucky enough to have a ticket, you're going to have a kick-a** time. Be careful though... he's not shy:

Easy lovin' y'all. One a**hole at a time.

So to each their own 'til we go home
To other realms our souls must roam
To and through the myth that we all call space and time


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Guy Walks Into a Bar and It Just Might Be Tyler Farr...

They done let country come to town, y'all! Or maybe town came to country. 

Just announced yesterday: Tyler Farr. Yeah, he's the kind that shows up at your house at 3am. TF will be at Starland Ballroom on Saturday, March 14 and tickets go on sale this Friday, February 6. I've been thinking about it all damn day (and night). I can hardly wait! Don't be the one who didn't notice it was over til' it was too late. The joke will be on you, and I don't think it'll be funny.

Fact: Tyler's father was the lead guitarist for George Jones' tour, so you could say he was born country. I watched his performance on Yahoo! Screen live a couple weeks back and I was diggin' it! (Yes, I did fall in love when I heard his southern drawl). Y'all... he sounds even better live. Trust me. I'm walking, talking, drinking proof. But ain't nothin' new.

Hey Tyler, I could be your cowgirl, your hot mess. This country girl came to town looking for a rock star, and that's just what you are. You're the moon in my shine and the whiskey in my water. Ok, I'm just wishful drinking... 

Anyway what are you waiting for? Monday morning is out of sight. And we all get a little thirsty on on a Saturday night. 

Makes you wanna drink, don't it?


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Call Everybody and Tell 'Em All There's a Party

I don't know what it is about you, Thomas. I'm all messed up and it might sound crazy. But you make me wanna write on my blog. I mean, there you are, and here I am. And clearly we both need something to do with our hands...

Sorry, I'll behave... best I can. Don't you look at me that way.

Anyway, in the case that you've also been sippin' what I've been sippin' on, then you'll be happy to know that not only is Thomas Rhett opening for Florida Georgia Line on February 25 at MSG (info here), but he's also making a stop of his own the next night in New Jersey. You guessed it. I'll be there! Because I want it now and later (ok, somebody stop me). He's at Starland Ballroom on Thursday, February 26 and tickets are a steal. 

So if you've got a lot on your mind and you're tryin' to forget it then join me and the other all-american middle class white folk. As TR would say, "If you want then it you better come and get it." He'll rock all night 'til he's feelin' alright.

Not only are all of his songs super catchy, but he's not hard to look at either. Ooo what I wouldn't do... I mean seriously, what was his college major? Whatever. That doesn't matter. Just go.

Yeah it starts with a smile, and you never know, it just might end with an all night long slow kiss. Although his wife might not like that so much (Sorry, Lauren).

This song pretty accurately describes my life as well, Thomas. Thank you.

Lived in the sticks 'til I moved to the city
But the stars ain't as bright and the girls (and boys) ain't as pretty
I still say yes sir, ma'am and y'all
So don't you be hatin' on the way I talk


Monday, February 2, 2015

Anything Goes on a Wednesday Night in NYC

Hey hey hey hey, where my party people? It's Monday, and hopefully you got your sundaze on yesterday like FGL (couldn't help myself). 

If you're anything like me, you're country. Your roots are buried deep down in the south and your boots don't get muddy from just sittin' around. What we both need is a little bit of Florida, a little bit of Georgia and a whole lot more country in our souls. I've already talked to you about the importance of a concert buddy, but when your concert buddy has other plans, you proceed to plan B. What is plan B you ask? (And no, I'm not referring to a form of birth control). Plan B is rolling solo. Yes, I'm going to a concert alone and I'm not ashamed *gasp*. This life I live, it might not be for you... but it's for me though. Let's roll!

Because I know you don't want to wait until it's Friday before you hit it sideways, prepare to getcha shine on at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, February 25. Yes, you heard it right, Florida Georgia Line is stopping in NYC on their Anything Goes tour and they are bringing along Thomas Rhett and Frankie Ballard. Oh that makes me wanna... After all, pennies make dimes and dimes make dollars; and dollars buy gas and country concert tickets. Right?

They'll bring the songs. You bring the party. It'll be a helluva night. 

So fill your cup and turn the good time music up, and you and me will be rocking all night long (kinda like Brian and Tyler in that photo). You'll be like "Who brought the party? Damn, that was Florida Georgia Line." That’s a memory that’ll get you when you look back.

That’s how we do it ’round here