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Best Country Albums of 2020 – Our Favorite Picks

As this crazy, unprecedented year finally comes to a close, the one thing we could all find solace in was music in 2020.  The New York Country Swag team is highlighting the wide range of our team’s favorite songs and artists when it comes to the country music genre by featuring our favorite album picks of 2020.  At the end of the day, we are all fans first with a passion for country music and are eager to share with you all the albums we’ve had on repeat this year.

Best Country Albums of 2020 - Our Favorite Picks

Best Country Albums of 2020 – Our Favorite Picks

Find below each of our team member’s favorite albums and why in our 2020 best country album picks.

 

Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: Southern Symphony – Russell Dickerson

Although the album has only been out a few weeks, I would be lying if I said I haven’t been playing it on repeat nonstop since its release. It’s one of those albums you can listen to over and over again and each time fall in love with a new song. This was one of the records I was looking forward to most this year and I’m so glad that in a year of uncertainty, this new music from Russell Dickerson has made its way out into the world. I can not wait to see songs from this project performed live!

Honorable Mention:  Southside – Sam Hunt – When I think of the early days of quarantine, I think of this album and listening to it on repeat night and day. It’s full of jams, relatable lyrics, and clever twists that made it easy to listen to over and over again.

 

Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: The Other Side – Cam

Cam

Throughout this unprecedented and unpredictable year music has been healing and also very painful to listen to. Missing live music and the way our old life played out was something I had to come to grips with early on in the pandemic but each time a new album was released, I fell deeper and deeper in love with music and was able to really focus on my favorite part of the country genre – the lyrics.

Picking a favorite album of 2020 was nearly impossible. Three different albums were constantly playing throughout the year, the first half of the year was Nightfall by Little Big Town, then came my favorite singer-songwriter HARDY with A ROCK. Both of those albums were chosen by two of our writers so finally, released at the end of October was Cam’s sophomore project, The Other Side.

Cam’s impeccable vocal ability blew me away from the moment I first heard her sing but with this second project, she proves her power in this genre. Each song tells a different story from heartbreak, divorce, growing older, and a love that is envied by all. “Happier for You”, “Redwood Tree”, and “What Goodbye Means” are highlights but even choosing three songs to showcase was hard. I am so glad that “Diane” is getting a second life on this project as well after being released back in 2017.

For any fans of real country music that tells a story, The Other Side will instantly become a favorite for years to come.

 

Lucie Bernheim, Contributing Writer

Pick: The Dream – Hailey Whitters

2020 has felt like multiple years rolled into one. Between a global pandemic, civil unrest, and ultimately, vast unpredictability, the true silver lining has been the incredible music released over the last 12 months. This year has produced some of my favorite works of all time, two being Brett Eldredge’s risk-taking Sunday Drive, which I got to review in July, and Hailey Whitters’ magical and brilliant The Dream. Choosing between these albums was hard because they are both my favorites on different ways, but when it came down to it, I had to choose Hailey Whitters’ The Dream.

The Dream is a dream album. It’s cohesive and gorgeous, insightful and witty, heartbreaking and hopeful. “Dream, Girl” and “All The Cool Girls” have a real groove and mystique to them, making them standouts. “Janice At The Hotel Bar” is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of song. I remember where I was when I first heard the song, walking in Central Park, so moved I had to stop. I immediately played it for my parents and my sister. Lyrically, it’s incredible, as is any story-song written by Whitters and the unparalleled Lori McKenna. “Paris in the spring of 1973/She said if there is a heaven, that’s where I’ll be”.  Something about the delivery and production makes it incredibly evocative, with Whitters’ reverbed vocals and a shimmering acoustic guitar gliding you along. It’s the kind of musical moment you never forget.

It’s hard to encapsulate what music has meant to me this year. “The Days” gave me the closure I needed to end my senior year of high school; “Heartland” and “Janice At The Hotel Bar” got me through my first semester of college. Whenever I hear this record, I will always be transported back in time to 2020, a year that even if we try to forget, we never will. I can’t wait to see what Hailey Whitters does next.

 

Dylan Bestler, Contributing Writer

Pick: Southside – Sam Hunt

With all live shows being canceled this year, we needed artists to drop a lot of new music to fill the void and get through quarantine. Luckily, country artists delivered and we got a ton of great albums from Luke Bryan, Kelsea Ballerini, Dustin Lynch, Brett Eldredge, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Carly Pearce, Chris Stapleton, and many others. My favorite was Sam Hunt’s Southside.

Hunt covered a lot of themes on this record. Being that his last album was released five and a half years ago (which could’ve been another reason why I loved Southside so much), he had a lot of stories to tell. His songs are very personal to him, but are general enough where others can relate as well.

If you want to dance and have a good time, “Kinfolks” and “Hard to Forget” are great tailgate anthems. If you want to get in your feels and maybe even cry, “2016” and “That Ain’t Beautiful” are for you. “Young Once” and “Sinning With You” paint great pictures of young love if you want to reminisce on your youth. There is a song for every type of emotion on this record which makes it so versatile and relevant.

Honorable Mentions: A ROCK-HARDY, The Lemonade Stand-Tenille Townes, The K Is Silent-Hot Country Knights.

 

Kristina Callahan, Contributing Writer

Pick: Tullahoma – Dustin Lynch

Remember a time when artists put out albums, did press about the new record, and maybe even have an album release party? It seems like that was a lifetime ago. Dustin Lynch put out Tullahoma, his fourth studio album, right before the Covid-19 pandemic hit and let me tell you, I can still listen to it front to back nearly a year later. The album is named after Lynch’s hometown of Tullahoma, Tennessee, and is a central theme throughout the album from running into an ex-girlfriend at the Circle K in “Thinking ‘Bout You” or singing about momma’s fried chicken in “Dirt Road.”
I grew up on a dirt road dreaming ’bout making a name // And getting out of dodge and the same ol’ same // Graduate and settle down, man I was out of that town // Now I catch myself rewind and reminiscing // ‘Bout a small town girl and mama’s fried chicken // I can taste it right now // Let me tell you I’m proud
 
Lynch sings about his hometown in a way that so many that grew up in the small towns can relate to: driving down backroads, having everything remind you of an ex, and memories with some of your best friends. I think that’s why I love this album so much, it’s relatable and simple. When Lynch can finally perform these songs live in front of thousands of fans, I have no doubt they’ll be crowd favorites.

Jeremy Chua, Contributing Writer

Pick: Rollin’ On – Jesse Daniel

If your knowledge of country music relies solely on what’s played on country radio, you probably wouldn’t have heard of Jesse Daniel. But, if you listen to country radio and also keep up critics’ reviews, you would have heard the buzz about the California native. Though Daniel released his debut album back in 2018, it is his sophomore (and latest) effort that caught the ears of many. Rollin’ On is a throwback to the warmth of classic country, whilst also giving a nod to the Bakersfield sound made famous by icons like Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam.

The twelve-track project boasts plenty of fiddle, steel, mandolin, and all your favorite traditional country elements. Sometimes, you hear the phrase “my life is a country song” tossed around in lighthearted humor. But Daniel’s life truly is a country song. He’s lived through poverty, drugs, substance abuse, jail time, rehab and more. This roller-coaster journey is on full display in Rollin’ On. “Champion” boasts a story of overcoming odds, “If You Ain’t Happy Now (You Never Will Be)” is a timely reminder of true contentment, while the rollicking title track celebrates the adventure of life everyone is on. Like classic country? Like authentic songwriting? Like a record with impeccable production? Then Jesse Daniel’s Rollin’ On is definitely for you. Look out for him in 2021! This album is just the beginning for the rising country star.

 

Erin Crosby, Contributing Writer

Pick: Lady Like (Deluxe) – Ingrid Andress

This “More Hearts Than Mine” singer-songwriter and piano ballad enthusiast did not only release LadyLike, her debut record, in a time when the word quarantine was still freshly coming off the tongue like a foreign island that protrudes its way onto the coast, impacting the nation in more ways than could have been anticipated. But, Ingrid Andress followed up with a deluxe edition just six months after the collection itself.

LadyLike (Deluxe) deepens and expands a presence of the crisp, lovable yet heartbreaking sentiment that exceeds an already palpable sense of her artistry in the original album. A stripped-down and honest production is only accentuated in the follow-up project with a rearranged tracklist that is said to tell the story in the order that it occurred. Each song acts as a chapter of Andress’ life whether it highlights emotional distress or an attempt at a real relationship, though intentions vary throughout depending on where you left off in the story. LadyLike (Deluxe) acts as a true representation of modern ideologies of romance while not closing the curtain on inner frustrations and insecurities along the way.

 

Caleigh DeCaprio, Contributing Writer

Pick: kelsea– Kelsea Ballerini

There were a few albums that I found myself playing on repeat this year, including The Speed of Now Part 1, What you see Ain’t Always What You Get, and Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley, Chapter 1: Snake Oil. But when it came to what album got me ~through~ this year, it was kelsea.

Too many of these songs felt like Kelsea wrote them just for me. I’ve never heard a song that was so lyrically perfect for me before I listened to “club”. Seriously if you know me, this song is my anthem. I had already loved “homecoming queen?” and “la” because of how vulnerable and relatable they were and when I heard the full album, I felt the very same way about “overshare”, “half of my hometown”, and “a country song”. I related so strongly to these songs to the point that I felt I could have written them myself. (not that I could have done that, but you know what I mean).

The artistry in the songwriting and production of this entire album is a pure example of a true and rare talent. No matter what song you come across on this record, it will be some of the most vulnerable and honest music you have heard. Ballerini shares her highs and lows and everything in between. It’s not that common for an artist to be so open and forward about their struggles with anxiety and introversion, especially this early on in their career, but Ballerini showed that side of her and then some with this album.

My heart hurt for her when this album came out the week the world shut down. I wanted her to get to play these songs live and receive all the glory she deserved for this beautiful work of art. However, the way that she was able to spin that negative into the reimagining of the very same songs on ballerini in order to give herself the chance to re-fall in love with these songs was extraordinary and a lovely example of music that would not exist if it weren’t for this year’s events. The re-imagined ballerini album just made fans understand even more how much love she had for this collection of songs.

The pair of albums was meant to show that there are two sides to every story and every person. Understanding that we all have more to us than what is seen on the surface is an important and beautiful lesson that we can take away from these albums and this year. When the day finally comes for Kelsea to play these songs on tour, I will be the first one in line to see it.

Julia Grubbs, Contributing Writer 

Pick: Starting Over – Chris Stapleton

2020 has been a certain kind of year, so I was looking for something that told a complete story. As soon as I heard Starting Over, I knew it captured everything I was feeling about how the year had gone: some of the anger, some of the resentment, some of the just getting up every day for a brand new day that looked very similar to the one before. While Stapleton always manages to speak truth to listeners in ways no one else can, this year we needed comfort and assurance unlike any other that we will make it through this. “Cold” is one of my favorites, using his iconic tone and lyricism to hit raw emotion. “Starting Over”, just like the title of the album, reminds us that through this journey, we can still learn and grow, find moments of joy, and serves as a reminder that we must accept what has happened, and use that as a pivotal moment for the path forward.

 

Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer

Pick: Nightfall – Little Big Town

My favorite and most listened to album of 2020 was easily Little Big Town’s Nightfall, which came out in simpler pre-pandemic times back in January. In fact, their phenomenal concert at the Apollo was my last taste of live music this year, so at least I went out on a high note.

Although not as single-heavy as some of their other releases, Nightfall is truly a cohesive masterclass in harmony. With standout songs such as “Sugar Coat,” “Questions,” and “The Daughters,” this album is one I’ll be listening to through 2021 and beyond.
Pick: My Gift – Carrie Underwood
Whether or not you’re a religious person, this album is absolutely stunning. We needed something positive to come out of 2020 and the first ever holiday project from the queen of country definitely delivered. From gorgeous covers of Christmas classics like “O Holy Night”, “Mary Did You Know” and “Joyful Joyful” to new original songs like “Let There Be Peace” and “Sweet Baby Jesus” the album truly has something for everyone. Underwood’s voice shines on the power ballads and the softer hymns alike, and you can hear her emotion and faith come through every song.
My personal favorites off the album happen to be the two collaborations: “Hallelujah” with John Legend and “Little Drummer Boy” featuring Underwood’s son, Isaiah. Curling up with hot chocolate and a blanket and listening to My Gift has been my weekend routine since it came out in September, and I’m definitely going to be listening to these songs well after the holiday season.

What a year wild ride 2020 has been. While it was so strange not going to any concerts, new music from many great country artists certainly got me through. While this was a tough decision to make, my favorite album of 2020 had to be Granger Smith’s Country Things (Both Volumes). It just gives you such perspective to live in the moment and enjoy the little things. This was such an important message for 2020 as while we may not have gotten to enjoy the big events, we got to enjoy those moments with our loved ones we may not have gotten to if we had a year of our normal, busy schedules.

 

Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: A ROCK – HARDY

If there is one thing that got me through this year, it was music. As 2020 comes to a close, I could not be more grateful for country music! With that being said, my favorite record of 2020 has to be HARDY’s album, A ROCK.

I am completely in love with everything HARDY does as a singer, a songwriter, and a performer. He continues to exceed my expectations and delivers music that I relate to, enjoy, and want to share with my friends and family. HARDY’s ability to craft lyrics is a skill I’ll never get enough of. Moreover, his record is a cohesive masterpiece that tells a full story from start to finish.

Songs like the title track, “A ROCK,” “GIVE HEAVEN SOME HELL,” and “SO CLOSE” are all so different, yet distinctly HARDY.  Time after time, the singer-songwriter and superstar in the making proves that he has an IQ high above the rest when it comes to creating a captivating song and full-length project.

I truly cannot wait to see what he does next. Also, it is an added bonus that HARDY gave us all a live concert via streaming to celebrate this record. Even through the screen, I could feel how amazing the record truly is and will be when performed in front of a live audience; hopefully next year! Congrats to HARDY and his team for delivering a badass and unique record to an ever-growing fanbase!

Honorable Mention: Jordan Davis Self-titled EP

 

How do our favorite picks match up to yours? Let us know what music you’ve had on repeat in 2020. Already anticipating new music in 2021? Check out our list of albums to expect in the new year here.

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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Granger Smith ‘Country Things Vol. 2’ – Album Review

Granger Smith’s highly anticipated second volume of his tenth studio album is here. Country Things Vol. 2 shows Smith’s appreciation for the life lessons he learned being raised in the country.

Granger Smith Country Things Vol. 2

Country Things Vol. 2 shows Smith’s appreciation for the life lessons he learned growing up in the country and a tribute to the people who made him the man he is today. No matter where you’re from, these new songs will give you an appreciation for how you were raised.

The eight-track album is filled with valuable messages and life lessons, starting out with “Man Made”. Written by Swag Spotlight alum Brett Sheroky and Ian Christian, “Man Made” pays tribute to the importance of women, especially mothers. It raises the question where would men be without their moms? The answer? Absolutely nowhere. “If a man made anything it’s cause / A woman made that man, yes she did.”

Lessons come from “That’s What Love Looks Like” and “Where I Get It From”. Teaching you not only that love is everywhere you look, but to also appreciate the traits your family gave you.

Being a parent may be one of the hardest jobs out there, but Smith reminds us it can be the greatest reward with “Buy a Boy a Baseball”. Written by Brad Rempel, Jon Nite, and Justin Ebach, this song is a reminder that spending quality time with your kids and teaching them how to play sports, how to get their hands dirty, how to pray, the value of a dollar, etc. are the most valuable lessons you can teach them.

This wouldn’t be a Granger Smith album without the appearance of his alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr. He is featured on “Workaholic” and “Diesel” portraying his fun, beer loving self.

Country Things Vol. 1 came out in September and with the two albums combined into one, what a story Smith shares. The greatest lesson of all that’s learned is to appreciate the things that money can’t buy especially quality time with the people who matter the most.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Granger Smith releases.

To keep up with Granger Smith follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Country Things, Vol. Two  is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Granger Smith’s New Album ‘Country Things, Vol. 1’ is Out Now

Granger Smith’s new album Country Things, Vol. 1 is here, marking this his tenth studio release. The eight-track project is one you’ll want to listen to and then listen to again, as it will teach you to appreciate the moments in life that money can’t buy, not to take anything for granted, and enjoy every moment spent with your loved ones.

Granger Smith Country Things

Smith began working on this project last year before it was put on hold when he and his wife, Amber, tragically lost their son River, in an accidental drowning. While it must have been difficult to start back up, the singer-songwriter showcases his incredible strength and gratitude for the life he built with each song.

The title track “Country Things” starts off the album in true country fashion with a fiddle. Written by Jordan Schmidt, Michael Hardy, Ernest K. Smith, Brian Kelley and, Hunter Phelps, this song sets the whole upbeat yet deep, tone of the album. It shares the message that no matter where you’re from, take a moment, and enjoy the simple “country things” in life, including dirt roads, manners, and passed down recipes.

“I Kill Spiders” is a song that every parent needs to hear and even if you’re not a parent, it will still pull on your heartstrings. Written by Smith and Tim Owens, this song starts with a little girl’s voice calling her dad saying she needs him. The touching melody shares the message that whether you need them to kill spiders or help you when you’re feeling lost, your parents will always be there for you to make your world a bit brighter.

Smith does a fantastic job reminding us to live in the present with “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads”. He also reminds us to be thankful for the people in our lives who go the extra mile to make sure we succeed with “Heroes”.

While this album may make you stop and think, Smith did a great job of balancing out the deep songs with the traditional love and country pride songs we are used to. Additionally, no need to worry as fan-favorite and Smith’s alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr., closes out the album with a fun twist of the popular kid’s tune “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. Appropriately retitled “Country & Ya Know It”, the song shows appreciation to the country lifestyle, and instead of clapping your hands, you raise a beer. We cannot wait to sing along to this at a future live show.

Country Things, Vol. 1 gives you a new appreciation for the little things in life and we can’t wait to see what Volume 2 brings.

To keep up with Granger Smith follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Country Things, Vol. 1  is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

 

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SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Granger Smith Subtly Honors His Son, River in “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads”

That's Why I Love Dirt Roads

For anyone who does not know, Granger Smith and his family lost their son River earlier this year in a tragic accident on their family property. Since then the family has opened up on YouTube although Granger took a break from touring as well as releasing music. “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” is his latest song that paints a picture of a beautiful vast landscape and subtly pays homage to his precious little boy.

Smith shared on Instagram, “It’s about finding peace. Finding yourself. Finding God on a road that’s rough around the edges just like us. It’s about that rural sanctuary we all know so well behind a pair of headlights, a steering wheel and your heavy thoughts.”  The honesty and vulnerability Smith showcases here is what makes this song so special.

“That’s why I love dirt roads // Make the world turn real slow // Feel the gravel letting go // It’s stirring up my soul // That’s why I love running wild // Through country miles // They’re out of style // They take a while // But every winding ride’ll lead me home // That’s why I love dirt roads”

“It’s not about Riv, although I did weave him into the lyrics in the 2nd verse, but it’s special to me,” Smith commented. The second verse sings, “Chasing a painted sky // And river winding curves // Can’t help but feel like my // Heaven here on earth, yeah.” While the song may not be about his son, Smith did include hidden gems into the album cover. The same red tractor from the River Smith tribute t-shirts and River’s face on the side of a mountain range are incorporated into the album artwork.

To keep up with Granger Smith follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

—————

SHOP THE HERO COLLECTION

The Hero Collection by NYCountry Swag is inspired by the men and women of the Fire, Police and Military Departments across the country. A portion of sales from each purchase is donated to different foundations that support our heroes. We are dedicated to honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice.

—————————-

Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Granger Smith Releases Heartwarming “Heaven Bound Balloons”

Heaven Bound Balloon Granger Smith

For anyone who has ever lost a loved one, friend, or animal, Granger Smith’s new song “Heaven Bound Balloons” is for you. The track, penned by Smith with Andy Albert and Jordan Schmidt highlights the innocence of children and the simple ways we can send a message to those in heaven, letting them know how much they are missed.

“Heaven Bound Balloons” starts out with Smith seeing his children out in his backyard with magic markers and balloons. The singer-songwriter notices that one is let go into the sky, he then goes outside to see what they are up to. The children tell their dad that they are sending notes to their grandpa, Smith asks to join them.

“We wrote we miss you and we love you / Told him things were great down here / We spelled it out and sent it up / And we watched it disappear / Sometimes I guess you’ve got to see it to believe it / Cause right then I knew those blue sky prayers were getting through / When we let go of those heaven bound balloons.”

The family ends up making a balloon for everyone they wished were here, including their dog Rio.
Although the song is about losing those you love, it has a powerful, uplifting message. While we certainly miss talking to our loved ones in person, there are still ways we can communicate with them, tell them we miss them every single day and show them we are doing okay down on earth.

We aren’t used to hearing too many personal songs from Smith as most of them are party tunes especially when his alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr. makes an appearance.  This is the singer’s second new song of 2019, last month he released “Holler”. He is planning on releasing a new song each month. We can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve for May.  The official music video for “Heaven Bound Balloons” is set to premiere tonight at 7:00 PM EST, click here to set a reminder.

“Heaven Bound Balloons” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

To keep up with Smith follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Granger Smith and Earl Dibbles Jr. Get Rowdy with “Holler”

Granger Smith Earl Dibble's Jr.

Texas country music superstar and singer of the No. 1 “Backroad Song,” Granger Smith released a new single called “Holler” with special guest Earl Dibbles Jr. Dibble’s Jr. is Smith’s infamous alter-ego who often comes out on stage, or in YouTube videos such as “The Country Boy Song” where he was made famous. Dibbles Jr. is quite the opposite of Smith’s low key, polished persona. Dibbles Jr. is a rowdy, dressed down, tattooed version of Smith, who sports overalls, boots, and a trucker hat.

“Holler” is an up-tempo song about a group of down-home country boys going out on a Friday night to “burn that barn down” as Smith says and to have a good time. With a crisp, dynamic guitar and a slow drum beat in the background, the catchy “Holler” will reel you in. Smith is all about a living it up with lyrics, “Raise em up to the sky, if you’re trying to throw down/get a little country faded/ take it way on out/park your truck in the line/ if you’re looking for a buzz and the girls in love with the boys in the blue collars – holler.” Dibbles Jr’s appearance comes in the last verse and he is ready to party, singing “I’m about to get the fuse lit, crack a can take a long sip,” and you better believe it – Dibbles Jr. sure knows how to make an impression shouting, “I don’t care what the city boys say, we where the party is, and that’s damn right! Yee yee”

Granger Smith Earl Dibbles Jr.

“Holler” is the perfect energizing track to play and get a little rowdy, written by Smith along with Andy Albert, Jordan Schmidt, and Justin Wilson. It is a light-hearted follow up to the title track of his compelling documentary honoring fallen soldiers with “They Were There.”

The official video for “Holler” is premiering tonight (3/29) at 7:00 PM on YouTube, click here to set a reminder.  Check out Smith and his comedic alter-ego Dibbles Jr. on tour now. For tour dates and more information go to www.grangersmith.com.

To keep up with Smith follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. “Holler” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook:

Granger Smith’s New Project: ‘They Were There’ A Hero’s Documentary

 

Granger Smith “They Were There: A Hero’s Documentary”
Produced by: Granger Smith
In partnership with Texas Roadhouse and Altama
Directed by: Paul De La Cerda

Granger Smith’s music career is hotter than ever right now, but this country artist has a passion that goes well beyond creating music. In his self-produced documentary “They Were There: A Hero’s Documentary” in conjunction with an original soundtrack released November 30th, Smith pays tribute to five fallen soldiers that sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

In the opening of the documentary, as Smith leaves his wife and children behind to begin his journey, he says “With my job, I always have to be on the road but I can only hope that when they see me leaving and eventually they understand that some of these things that I’m doing is out of an effort to try and make a difference. That is what this is about and that is what this trip is about and that is what this walk in the desert is about – making a difference.”

Smith takes us along an emotional yet uplifting five day trip through the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend National Park for the setting of “They Were There.” As he walks he speaks to family members and views personal belongings of each soldier which allows us the opportunity to learn a little more about each hero. Letters from family and journals these men wrote bring us into the life they lived on tour, their character and determination to make this world a better place. Their passion for America and defending our country in order for us to live safe and free is embedded in these men, and their sacrifice for all of us will never be forgotten.

Smith can now add self-producer to his ever-growing list of achievements, and his patriotism as he honors these fallen heroes is remarkable. Smith has performed for troops overseas several times and is an avid supporter of our U.S. military. Fans can experience a beautiful reminder on why we remain a free country by watching the eye-opening and heartfelt documentary “They Were There: A Hero’s Documentary” on his YouTube Channel here:

They Were There Original Soundtrack tracklist:
1) “They Were There” (Granger Smith, Mitchell Tenpenny, Jordan Schmidt, Andy Albert)
2) “You’re In It” (Frank Rogers, Justin Adams, Mark Nesler)
3) “We Got It” (Granger Smith, Jordan M. Schmidt, Justin Wilson, Jamie Paulin)
4) “4 Wheel Drive” (Granger Smith, Frank Rogers, Mike Florentino)
5) “Everybody Lives” (Tommy Cecil, Seth Ennis, Jay Brunswick, Jaida Dryer)
6) “I’m A Fan” (Granger Smith, Justin Wilson, Jamie Paulin, Jordan Schmidt)
7) “Raise Up Your Glass” (Frank Rogers, Matt Alderman, Ty Graham)
8) “Love Ain’t Blind” (Granger Smith, Justin Wilson, Jamie Paulin)
9) “Home Cooked Meal” (Granger Smith, Frank Rogers)
10) “Never Too Old” (Granger Smith, Justin Wilson, Jordan M. Schmidt, Andrew Albert)
11) “You’re In It” (Remix) (Frank Rogers, Justin Adams, Mark Nesler)

 

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Granger Smith Releases Hilarious “If You’re City, If You’re Country” Book

Earl Dibbles Jr

Earl Dibbles Jr. is the alter-ego of country singer Granger Smith, who has racked up a social media following of over 1 million fans. Between drinking beer out of a boot on stage, to waving a flag around like a true country hick, Earl’s followers can’t get enough of his take on country life. In his new illustrated book “If You’re City, If You’re Country”, Earl walks through 50 different scenarios, comparing and contrasting how city folks and country folks do things very differently. Earl addresses many topics such as fast food, huntin’, fishin’, shootin’ the breeze, how to browse the web, and politics. Earl’s hilarious take on the country versus city debate will have longtime country fans and new converts in for quite the laugh.

Smith explained the process, “This book has been several years in the making and I couldn’t be more excited to finally put the idea into fruition. Writing these jokes as a creative outlet has been the product of so many late night after show laughs with the band. Earl in his entire existence has been a walking caricature and finally seeing him in all his glory come to life in illustrations seems so natural. Ultimately, I hope it makes people smile,” he added, “and the thought of that makes me happy.”

Smith is still on tour until the end of the year! Between finishing festival season and the rest of his tour, you have plenty of time to get out and catch both Granger and Earl Dibbles Jr. out on the road. You can check here to see if they are coming to a town near you. You can also pick up a copy of Earl Dibbles Jr.’s new book right here to be guaranteed some great laughs.

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Nash FM 94.7 Summer Shindig Kicks Off Memorial Day Weekend

Nash FM Summer Shindig

Photo Via @NashFm947 Instagram

This past Friday (May 25.), was without a doubt the most beautiful day of the long weekend and New York Country Swag headed down to the Jersey Shore to celebrate the official summer kick off with Nash FM 94.7 and their Summer Shindig. Taking place right on the boardwalk of the New Jersey beaches, DJs, Katie Neal and Jesse Addy broadcasted live from Spicy Cantina prior to the concert event.  Fans gathered early rocking their bathing suits, American flag attire, and smiles as the boardwalk was filled with country music lovers and beachgoers alike.

Nash FM Summer Shindig

Photo Via @NashFm947 Instagram

As the tri-state area’s lifeline to new country music, Nash FM 9.47 brought a full line-up of incredible artists to the beach for their very first Summer Shindig including Jessie Chris, Michael Tyler, Carly Pearce, Chris Lane and Granger Smith. First up, Jessie Chris sang a few of her original songs before local high school student Bri Dorso took the stage to sing an incredible rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with the American Flag waving behind her.

Nash FM Summer Shindig

Michael Tyler photo via @NashFm947 Instagram

Michael Tyler was next to the stage after Nash FM 94.7 DJs Katie Neal and Jesse Addy welcomed the crowd to the event.  Tyler who sang his singles “Hey Mama” and “They Can’t See” also put a spin on a song he co-wrote for Dierks Bentley, “Somewhere on a Beach” which was fitting for the boardwalk, beach setting.  Tyler told PIX News 11 in an interview it was the first time he was singing the song actually on a beach.

Nash Fm Summer Shindig

Carly Pearce photo via @NashFm947 Instagram

After a short break, Carly Pearce was next up, wearing a tank top with the word “Wine” in a heart, which boded well considering it was National Wine Day and played perfectly when she sang her second radio hit “Hide the Wine”. Check out a clip from the song here.  Pearce sang album cuts including her very first single and number one song, “Every Little Thing”. “Thanks to stations like this one, shout out to NashFM 94,” Pearce exclaimed for helping her to achieve the accomplishment with “Every Little Thing”.

Nash FM Summer Shindig

Chris Lane Photo Via @NashFm947 Instagram

Chris Lane’s stage presence and energy brought Nash FM’s Summer Shindig to another level, performing his singles “Let Me Love You”, “Fix”, and even some throwback Tim McGraw with “I Like It, I Love It”.  The singer also invited a pint-size fan to the stage, she sat on a stool while he serenaded her with his love song “For Her”.  Lane asked the ladies in the audience to sing Tori Kelly’s part in his most recent smash hit “Take Back Home Girl”, check out our exclusive clip here.

Nash FM Summer Shindig

“Nash FM 94.7 knows how to throw a party, this is awesome!  Thank you guys for coming out here and letting us live our dreams tonight,” Granger Smith said after taking the stage as the final artist of the afternoon.  Smith sang songs from his latest album When the Good Guys Win including “Happens Like That” and in true Earl Dibble’s Jr. form, “Don’t Tread on Me” complete with “Yee Yee’s” from the crowd. Check out our exclusive from the stage video of “If the Boot Fits” here. 

Nash FM Summer Shindig

Nash FM DJs Katie Neal & Jesse Addy introducing each act to the stage. Photo via @NashFm947 Instagram

The blue sky and sunshine was the perfect setting for a day filled with American pride and great country music.  For more info on events that NashFM 94.7 is hosting this summer head to their Instagram or their website.

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Granger Smith and Smithfield Entertain Fans at Irving Plaza

Granger Smith

 

Last night, Granger Smith fans came out in droves to support the singer at Irving Plaza.  Plaid-wearing country fans packed out both floors of the famed NYC venue to catch Granger Smith, his alter-ego Earl Dibbles, Jr., and opening act, Smithfield on the first night of the “Don’t Tread On Me” Tour.

 

Smithfield

 

Rising country duo, Smithfield, took the stage to warm up the eager crowd.  Singing songs from their 2015 self-titled EP including the first song that Sirius XM The Highway played “Nothing But the Night”.  Mid-set, they hyped up the crowd with their  medley of cover songs including Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River”, Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much”, and even the classic Goo Goo Dolls song, “Iris”.  Closing out the 45 minute set with their latest single (slated to head to country radio this week) “Hey Whiskey”, Smithfield’s harmonies and incredible on-stage chemistry was the perfect way to kick off the night. Check out an exclusive acoustic performance of the song during our New York Country Swag Session.

 

Granger Smith

 

With this being both the first show of the tour and of 2018, Granger Smith was primed for an energetic night.  Opening his set with “Gimme Something”, it was instantly apparent how equally happy he was to be on that stage and his fans were to hear him sing.  He spent the entire night fist bumping and high fiving the lucky fans who waited online in the bitter cold to be front row. Throughout the set, he alternated between songs from his latest album When the Good Guys Win and from his earlier albums such as Remington. 

Taking a moment to slow things down, he grabbed a stool and sat on the edge of the stage to chat with his audience.  “This is my first full band show in New York City and it’s an honor that we get to play here and that you guys come out to see us,” he says.  “We get to see a lot of cool places but it comes at a price, we miss birthdays, weddings, funerals, being a dad and a husband it’s hard and sometimes I have to ask myself if it’s worth it?  Then I come out here on a Thursday night in New York City and I see your faces and see you reacting emotionally to these songs and that tells me it is definitely worth it.”  He then sang one of the most powerful songs on his newest LP, “Everybody Lives”.

 

Granger Smith

 

The night wouldn’t be complete without Smith transforming into his alter ego, Earl Dibbles, Jr. “NYC is officially Yee Yee nation tonight,” Smith yelled as he appeared on stage dressed in his signature overalls, boots, tank top and trucker cap. He rolled a cooler out on to the stage and cranked the end of the party up a notch.  Singing “Don’t Tread On Me” and “If The Boot Fits” to close out the night, Smith proved he is a mega entertainer. Fans that will catch this tour in the future are in for a fun, high-energy filled set.  Click here for the rest of the tour dates and ticket information.

 

Granger Smith and NYCountry Swag

 

Days before the show, New York Country Swag hosted a special Meet & Greet contest for our followers. We gave one lucky winner a pair of Meet & Greets for Granger Smith before the show. Congrats to our winner & thank you for supporting New York Country Swag! Make sure you’re following us on instagram for contests, ticket giveaway & more!

 

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