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HARDY Shares HIXTAPE: Vol. 2 “Hometown Boys” ft. Dierks Bentley & Matt Stell

HARDY shares first taste of HIXTAPE: Vol. 2 with new song, “Hometown Boys,” featuring Dierks Bentley and Matt Stell. Take a look below as we dig into the track.

HARDY and Bentley are becoming quite the team. The two recently joined forces on Bentley’s fun bar tune, “Beers On Me.” Now, the two come together once again along with Matt Stell for the very first taste of the highly anticipated collaborative project, HIXTAPE: Vol 2. “Hometown Boys” is all about nostalgia and the friendships that have stood the test of time. Even though they are beyond their glory days, they still drink together, send each other fish pics, and reminisce on all of their past football games and dirt road shenanigans. Stell takes the first verse and chorus, followed by Bentley, and then HARDY closes it out, singing the final bridge and chorus.

“Still wild as a whiskey shot // Straight out the bottle in a parking lot // Man, I got a lot of love ’cause I wouldn’t be me without ’em // ‘Bout time somebody sang a song about them hometown boys”

HIXTAPE VOL. 1 contained ten songs, including the number one smash hit, “One Beer” with Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson, and featured seventeen different artists. VOL. 2 ups the ante, with fourteen songs and an impressive collection of 33 artists, such as Ashland Craft, Brantley Gilbert, Brothers Osborne, Chase Rice, Chris Lane, ERNEST, Jake Owen, Lainey Wilson, Morgan Wallen, The Cadillac Three and many others. Unlike the first project, HARDY’s vocals will not appear on all tracks; only six. VOL. 1 was very popular among fans and was essential to launching HARDY’s career as a singer. Now a star in the industry, anything HARDY is involved in is must-listen material.

“I am beyond excited about this release,” HARDY states in a recent press release. “I think it’s really the first one that’s going to truly introduce what HIXTAPE is all about, how it can take on a life of its own, and just be the first original Country mixtape with all different artists. I think the songs are great and everybody involved from the singers to the songwriters to the Big Loud family are some of my favorite people in the world. I’m just happy to be part of such a cool project and I have really high hopes for it.”

HARDY is still riding the success of his debut album, A ROCK, with the current single “GIVE HEAVEN SOME HELL” slowly rising up the charts. He is currently supporting Jason Aldean on his Back in the Saddle Tour. For tickets, head to his website.

hardy-hometown-boys

The first single from HARDY’s collaborative project ‘HIXTAPE VOL. 2,’ “Hometown Boys” is out now featuring Dierks Bentley and Matt Stell.

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

To keep up with HIXTAPE, Follow Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Hometown Boys” is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes 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 
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and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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CRS 2021 New Faces Showcases – The Full Recap

This year, CRS (Country Radio Seminar) looked quite different from years past. We weren’t all gathered at the Omni Hotel in Nashville celebrating the incredible people and artists that make the country genre so popular. Instead, we were in our respective homes or offices, watching on laptops across the country. The virtual CRS however did allow for a spectacular chance to network with radio programmers, personalities, media, and people involved in all facets of the industry. 

New Faces CRS 2021

Each year at the conclusion of this great seminar, five rising talents take the stage for a one-of-a-kind showcase called New Faces. Here at NYCountry Swag, we cherish the new artists that we choose to champion and so many of the artists who were nominated and voted for tonight are not new to our followers however they are just on the verge of their superstar careers. 

 

HARDY kicked off the night of performances with songs from his debut LP, A ROCK including “BOOTS”, “UNAPOLOGETICALLY COUNTRY AS HELL”, and his first number one song as an artist “ONE BEER”. He was also grateful to be able to perform his current radio single, a song for anyone who is missing someone they have lost called “GIVE HEAVEN SOME HELL”. His signature grit and energy was the perfect way to showcase his talent for anyone who already wasn’t a fan. Learn more about HARDY and check out an acoustic session from his last trip to New York City in our video above. 

Next up was Matt Stell who not only performed his back-to-back number-one singles “Prayed for You” and “Everywhere But On” but also included a video package that surely brought the audience to tears featuring his proud mother. Stell’s mix of rock and country and his stage presence absolutely earned him a spot in the five artists featured. Check out our Swag Session with Matt Stell in the video below.

Tenille Arts, one of our 2021 Artists to Watch, showcased her vocal prowess and catchy lyrics with tracks from her most recent album including “Everybody Knows Everybody”, and her current top 15 radio single “Somebody Like That”. She also performed her latest release, “Give It To Me Straight” and her personality and her talent glittered just like her gorgeous hand-decorated guitar. 

Travis Denning was up next, his performance of his first number one song “After A Few” and his next radio single “ABBY” was electric, and he even dazzled attendees with a brand new song, “I’m Gonna Love You”. Denning joined us for a Swag Session in New York City. Revisit the interview and performance in the video below.

 

To close out an already remarkable evening of live music, Ashley McBryde, a current GRAMMY nominee brought her delicate vocals and honest storytelling to the stage. Starting her set with songs from her first album that put her on the map “Girl Goin Nowhere” and “A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega” she told the story of her journey so far in the industry. “One Night Standards” and “Martha Divine” from her current album Never Will showcased the magic she can bring to a room.

While we anxiously await the return of concerts and live music, it’s a positive thought to know that when we do all gather again, country artists have written and recorded some amazing music for us during this past year. 

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

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

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for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

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Matt Stell Drops A New Song Titled “That Ain’t Me No More”

Matt Stell’s new song, “That Ain’t Me No More” comes on the heels of two consecutive number ones from the rising artist. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the new track.

We first met Matt Stell back in 2018 when he joined us for a Swag Session and performed his debut single, “Prayed For You”, which later became his very first number one song. Additionally, before chatting with us about his journey in country music, Stell performed a brand new song, “Everywhere But On”, which went on to become his second number one song off of his debut EP of the same name.

Most recently, Stell released another EP, “Better Than That”  in October of 2020 which includes catchy singles  “If I Was A Bar” and the title track. Now, as he continues to give fans new music to look forward to, Stell has released his newest track, “That Ain’t Me No More”. 

“That Ain’t Me No More” was written by HARDY, Hunter Phelps, Smith Ahnquist, Jake Mitchell, and Nick Donley and co-produced by Stell with Ash Bowers.  In this song, the guy knows he has become a better man thanks to this girl, but he also knows he changed too late to be able to keep her. 

Matt Stell’s new song “That Ain't Me No More” is available now, February 5th

Matt Stell’s new song “That Ain’t Me No More” is available now, February 5th

“I used to drink ‘til I got drunk / My fuse was short and my guard was up / I’d start a fight, I’d slam a door / But that ain’t me no more / Yeah I was number one on my list / I’d never called back because I miss / No I ain’t  proud of who I was before / But that ain’t me no more / Yeah I’ve turned it all around”

This is Stell’s “the one that got away” song. It is bittersweet to know that this girl is going to end up with this other guy, but he can’t help but credit her for making him into a better person, the man he should have been when they were together. 

“Somebody’s got her in their shirt / Somebody’s texting her at work / Somebody’s got a picture on their dash / Somebody’s going fishing with her dad / She’s letting some lucky someone see, that knock you dead dress hit the floor / She found the one and it’s killing me / ‘Cause that ain’t me no more”

The song will officially impact country radio on Feb. 22nd. Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Matt Stell announcements and future releases.

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

“That Ain’t Me No More”  is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes 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!

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HARDY, Ashley McBryde and More Announced as 2021 CRS New Faces

Earlier today, Country Radio Seminar (CRS) officially announced the CRS 2020 New Faces of Country Music Class of 2021.

The CRS New Faces of Country Music is one of the most coveted showcases of the weekend that spotlights five emerging artists that have achieved significant success in the country genre. This year, Tenille Arts, Travis Denning, HARDY, Ashley McBryde, and Matt Stell were honored with the title.

New Faces CRS

 

For three years in a row, our team has had the pleasure of attending Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in Nashville, where country music and radio industry gather to exchange ideas, check out new talent, and celebrate the country music genre. Although the 2021 seminar will be virtual, members of the country music and country radio community will still come together through technology to celebrate the year in music.

We highlighted Travis Denning back in 2018 when he was just hitting the scene and Matt Stell back in 2018 and was our first Swag Session in 2020. Watch both performances and interviews below.

We’ve also championed HARDY since he started releasing his own music as an artist/songwriter. His album Hixtape Vol. 1 made our 2019 Albums of the Year and we’ve loved watching his career explode.

CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience will be held Tuesday, Feb. 16, through Friday, Feb. 19.  The New Faces of Country Music® Show closes out the event on Friday, Feb. 19. 

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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!

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!

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Nominees for CRS 2021 Virtual New Faces of Country Music Announced

The 2021 CRS New Faces of Country Music nominees have been revealed today, November 16th.

2021 New Faces of Country Music Nominees

For three years in a row, our team has had the pleasure of attending Country Radio Seminar (CRS) in Nashville, where country music and radio industry gather to exchange ideas, check out new talent, and celebrate the country music genre. Although the 2021 seminar will be virtual, members of the country music and country radio community will still come together through technology to celebrate the year in music.

The CRS New Faces of Country Music is one of the most coveted showcases of the weekend that spotlights five emerging artists that have achieved significant success at Country Radio. This year, nine deserving artists have been nominated for the honor, including Tenille Arts, Travis Denning, HARDY, Ryan Hurd, Ashley McBryde, Parker McCollum, Niko Moon, Jameson Rodgers, and Matt Stell.

Here at NYCountry Swag, we pride ourselves on being tastemakers and introducing our followers and country music fans to the freshest and newest talents in country music. We are proud to say that we have been able to interview most of the nominees, as well as, witness their talents in different capacities, and can honestly say that they all are deserving of the accolades. We even named Parker McCollum, Jameson Rodgers, and HARDY in our 2020 Artists to Watch.

CRS 2021: The Virtual Experience will be held Tuesday, Feb. 16, through Friday, Feb. 19.  The New Faces of Country Music Show closes out the event on Friday, Feb. 19.

Voting for the Class of 2021 will open Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. CST and will run through the end of the day (11:59 p.m. CST), Friday, Dec. 4 at www.CountryRadioSeminar.com.  The five acts with the most votes will make up the lineup for the show. To view the New Faces of Country Music® qualification criteria, visit www.CountryRadioSeminar.com.

We look forward to seeing which five artists make up the New Faces of Country Class of 2020, and we cannot wait for the showcase. In the meantime, check out our recap from our experience at Country Radio Seminar last year and watch our exclusive interviews and performances with each of the artists nominated below.

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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!

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!

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Matt Stell’s “Everywhere But On” Earns Him Second #1

Matt Stell’s “Everywhere But On” earns him his second career number one as the song hits the top spot on the country charts this week.

In 2019, rising artist, Matt Stell’s debut single “Prayed For You” was the only debut artist single to reach the top of the country charts. The single held the coveted spot for two consecutive weeks and became an unofficial anthem for weddings across the globe. Now the singer has another #1 single to add to his catalog. His second song to country radio, “Everywhere But On” officially earned him another number one hit.

The title track for Stell’s debut EP, Everywhere But On tells the story of a man avoiding the memories of an ex by moving around. The protagonist is doing anything in his power to avoid the feelings of heartache. Appealing to the masses, the single clearly tugged the heartstrings of country music lovers across the nation.

“I’ve been from Savannah to Long Beach / Trying to keep your memory out of reach / But there you were in the Delta nights, the Santa Fe Sun, the Colorado sky / I could add another pushpin to the map / But that don’t stop me from missing you or looking back / Guess there’s just one place I haven’t gone / I’ve moved everywhere, but on”

We got a little preview of the track when the singer played the song as a part of one of our Swag Sessions, which you can watch below. Recently, Stell released his second EP, Better Than That. Ultimately, in his short career, Stell has proven that he is a hitmaker and that fans value his honesty and sentiments. We look forward to seeing what he does next!

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Matt Stell announcements and releases.

To keep up with Matt Stell, you can follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“Everywhere But On” is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes 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:

Matt Stell ‘Better Than That’ EP Review

Matt Stell’s new 8-track extended play, Better Than That, dropped today and is available now on all streaming platforms. Take a look below as we dive deeper into the project.

SONY Nashville recording artist, Matt Stell released a new EP titled Better Than That today (October 16th) containing eight songs, four previously released tracks, and four brand new ones. Stell produced the EP with Ash Bowers and has writing credits on five songs.

“Everywhere But On,” originally featured on his EP of the same name, begins the record. It is about a man who has moved all over the country to try and get over this particular girl, but no location can erase his memory of her. This track hit number six on Country Airplay last week and continues to climb to the top of the charts. “Prayed For You,” ironically, reached the top spot the same time last year and has racked up over 75 million streams to date.  In this track, the singer found a girl he never met but knew she was the one he always wanted.

Better Than That EP Matt Stell

Matt Stell – Photo Credit Dustin Haney

Other previously released tracks include “If I Was A Bar” and the title track. The latter of which tells the story of two old flames at the same bar. Despite wanting to say hello, the ex-boyfriend holds back as a new guy steps in to make a move, calling out every wrong gesture the new guy is making. Stell knows she deserves better than that. “If I Was A Bar” is another breakup song. In this one, he describes how if he was a bar, the ‘getting over her’ process would be must faster. In the last song, he is upset at the bar and feeling bad for himself, but in this one, there’s a hint of anger and resentment still left in him. These tracks contain heavy electric guitar and percussion, displaying his rock-n-roll influence.

The first of the new tracks is “I Love You Too,” which sounds like it would be a sweet love song. However, the singer describes a relationship where the woman has settled with a man who does not reciprocate the same amount of love and effort the woman does. Stell is telling this story from the third-person, so we are not sure if he had any relationship to the two in the story, but one can speculate that this song is about the same girl from “Better Than That.”

With young love comes immediate infatuation and a lot of mistakes made, and Stell paints that picture beautifully in the next track. “Sadie” is a somber, folk-influenced song that, although not written by Stell, could be very personal to him. The singer admits his wrong and confesses that he would do anything to get this girl back. It is impressive when such a personal song like this can relate to almost anyone who has been in a relationship at a young age.

“Sadie / If you need to k-k-keep me waiting / Just do what you got to, girl / I-I-I-I-I-I-I’d start a riot for ya /  I-I-I-I-I-I-I’d fall in the fire for ya”

“Chase It Down” is about gaining the courage to leave your hometown to follow your dream. People from the singer’s hometown generally end up staying there forever, but him and his girl are determined to make a name for themselves. The final song, “Look At Me Now” has the potential to become a common first dance-wedding song. A troubled man’s life was turned around when he met the love of his life. He went from a lone “hell-raiser” to tearing up watching his soon-to-be wife walk down the aisle.

“Look at me now, tears in my eyes / Even though I swore that I wouldn’t cry / Lost in the second I saw you in that dress and your daddy was walking you down / Thought I’d never do this but look at me”

Stell sings from the heart, and listeners can hear his honesty and humbleness in these eight, terrific tracks. He has shown country music his versatility as he has something for everyone: heartbreak, love, and vengefulness, all demonstrated in different ways sonically. He is open and honest with his fans which makes us feel a part of his life and leave us wanting to hear more stories. That is an incredible trait of any new artist. Expect to see his name atop the charts for years to come.

NYCS Picks:

  1. Sadie
  2. Look At Me Now

BETTER THAN THAT EP TRACKLISTING

  1. Everywhere But On– Matt Stell, Paul Sikes, and Lance Miller
    2. If I Was a Bar 
    – Dan Isbell, Zack Kale, and Jonathan Singleton
    3. Prayed For You – Matt Stell, Ash Bowers, and Allison Veltz
    4. Better Than That-Matt Stell, Joe Fox, and Phil Barton
    5. I Love You Too – Matt Stell, Seth Alley, and Ryan Peterson
    6. Sadie – Nate Cyphert, Sam Roman, Parrish Warrington, and Diederik van Elsas
    7. Chase it Down – Matt Stell, Jarrod Ingram, Blake Hubbard, and Brian Maher
    8. Look at Me Now – Joe Fox, Seth Ennis, and Thomas Finchum

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

To keep up with Matt Stell, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

Better Than That is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes 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. Specially selected foundations that support our heroes will receive donations from each purchase. Honoring their service and remembering their sacrifice is what we are dedicated to.

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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:

Matt Stell to Release ‘Better Than That’ EP + Drops Title Track

Matt Stell has announced a brand new EP “Better Than That” due out on October 16th and released the title track, available on all streaming platforms now.

Up and coming country star, Matt Stell released a new track titled “Better Than That” and announced a brand new EP of the same name, out October 16th. This EP will be the follow-up to Everywhere But On and contains previously released songs such as “If I Was a Bar” and his multi-week number-one hit song, “Prayed For You”.

Matt Stell Better Than That

The title track, “Better Than That” tells the story of two old flames at the same bar. Despite wanting to say hello, the ex-boyfriend holds back as a new guy steps in to make a move. Calling out every wrong gesture the guy is making to try to win her attention. From shots of Jägermeister to trying to kiss her, Stell sings of how he knows her ‘better than that.’

Going from verse to chorus, the song contains a loud build-up and a heavy percussion, channeling Stell’s inner rock star. The uptempo track is a catchy tune that leaves fans wanting more from the rising star and if the rest of the EP matches its energy, it’s sure to produce some additional number ones for Stell.

The Better Than That EP was produced by Stell and Ash Bowers and will contain the eight songs listed below:

BETTER THAN THAT EP TRACKLISTING

1. Everywhere But On – Matt Stell, Paul Sikes, and Lance Miller
2. If I Was a Bar 
– Dan Isbell, Zack Kale, and Jonathan Singleton
3. Prayed For You – Matt Stell, Ash Bowers, and Allison Veltz
4. Better Than That -Matt Stell, Joe Fox, and Phil Barton
5. I Love You Too – Matt Stell, Seth Alley, and Ryan Peterson
6. Sadie – Nate Cyphert, Sam Roman, Parrish Warrington, and Diederik van Elsas
7. Chase it Down – Matt Stell, Jarrod Ingram, Blake Hubbard, and Brian Maher
8. Look at Me Now – Joe Fox, Seth Ennis, and Thomas Finchum

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

To keep up with Matt Stell, follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“Better Than That” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes 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:

[Listen] Matt Stell’s Rockin’ New Track, “If I Was A Bar”

Matt Stell If I Was A Bar

 

Matt Stell was put on the map with his singles “Prayed For You” and “Everywhere But On”, but those don’t quite capture his rock country vibe that he brings to his live shows but his new single, “If I Was A Bar” certainly does. He tells the story of a breakup, describing how if he was a bar, he’d be getting over it must faster. There’s a hint of anger still left about the breakup, leaving a bitter taste on the tongue, providing the perfect stage for a gritty, dirt road anthem that’s got a lot of punch.

“I wouldn’t have this broken heart, wouldn’t take your leaving half as hard / Wouldn’t be falling this apart if I was a bar”

Stell always writes from the heart, but this one cuts a little deeper, to someone who’s been wronged and feels the need to let it out. He sings about “letting your exes drink for free” creating camaraderie against the injured. It’s a head-banging, electric guitar track that creates solidarity against the girl who walked out. He creates the armor needed to get through the breakup, and sometimes that works better than sinking into despair. Stell has shown his fans that he can do both: the heart-wrenching love songs and the breakup anthems, both the rock and the country that they love.

To keep up with Matt Stell follow him on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“If I Was A Bar” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more 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:

Matt Stell, Chris Bandi & Ray Fulcher Perform in NYC

Ray Fulcher

Having seen Ray Fulcher in this same venue opening for Josh Abbott a few months ago, we were excited to see what he brought this time around. We were instantly reminded again of his Eric Church vibe, both in look and sound. He told a story of going to see Church in 2006 in Athens, Georgia, and knowing it was a moment that changed his life. He knew then and there that he had to write songs that made people feel the way Eric Church made him feel. Fulcher co-wrote “Doe to Me” performed by Eric Church, and played his version of it, hoping to do his legend justice. He told the story of writing his “Somebody Like Me” hit, which resulted from kind of but not really dating someone, then her moving away to Austin, Texas on short notice, realizing he was never really dating her anyway. Fulcher finished with the classic, catchy “When It Rains It Pours” which he wrote for Luke Combs.

Chris Bandi NYC

Photo Credit: Kaiser Cunningham

Chris Bandi was up next, and he was so excited to play his first show in NYC. His almost raspy voice was incredibly addicting, and with the beard and sound, he was giving us Sam Hunt vibes. A definitely more pop-country vibe than the classic country of Fulcher, he’s got a fun edge to draw some non-traditional country fans. He sang a new song “Free” as well as covers of “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects, and a few more rockin’ country songs he hasn’t released yet.

His brand new EP comes out this summer, but until then he is promoting his current country radio single “Man Enough Now”. Bandi moved to Nashville 7 years ago, with the idea of writing a song that can take you back to a memory in 3 minutes, saying, “Nothing else can do that.”

Photo Credit: Kaiser Cunningham

 

Matt Stell was ready to rock the night, with his full band jamming as he opened with “Sex, Drugs, and Country Music”. You can hear the country influence, but the crowd definitely felt like they were at a rock concert with his show. He kept thanking everyone in the audience and expressing how happy he was to be playing a show in New York City, and that none of this is possible without his fans. He played a cover of Rhett Akins’ “That Ain’t My Truck” which definitely has an old school country vibe, but contrasted it with his version of Ariana Grande’s “God is A Woman”. Stell played a few new songs, “Chase it Down” and “Love You Too”, that definitely got everyone excited for his new music. A cover of Kings of Leon’s “Sex on Fire” was in the mix, with another contrasting of John Michael Montgomery’s “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)”, an awesome display of his ability to slide between pop/rock and country so seamlessly. His last song was what he explained changed his life last year, “Prayed For You”, his single that went number one, and expresses his true emotions.

What an awesome night for male country artists in New York City, and the fans were there for it all.

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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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