NYCountry Swag’s 2018 Artists to Watch

The New York Country Swag team loves to discover new artists that are releasing great music and share our favorite songs with New York country fans. Here is a list of 10 rising country artists we think you should look our for in the new year. —



  1. Ryan Griffin – Releasing his debut EP, Sake of the Summer back in March, the first single “Back Seats & Burnt CDs” hits you with just the right amount of nostalgia.  Fans of Thomas Rhett and Dan & Shay will love this newcomer. P.S. he also co-wrote Kelsea Ballerini’s number 1 hit, “Dibs”.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Ryan Griffin

Listen: Back Seats & Burnt CDs
Stay Connected: @RyanGriffinLive


  1. Brandon Lay – Brandon Lay’s debut single packs a punch of small-town living and growing up.  Fans can look forward to a full-length EP in the new year and can catch him as an opening act for Kenny Chesney’s, “Trip Around the Sun” Tour in 2018.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Brandon Lay

Listen: Speakers, Bleachers & Preachers
Stay Connected: @BrandonLayMusic


  1. Jordan Davis – Fans of Thomas Rhett and for more of a contemporary country sound will love Jordan Davis.  Just wrapping up his opening slot on Kip Moore’s, “Plead the Fifth” Tour, Davis is currently working on his debut full-length album for Universal Music Group Nashville.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Jordan Davis

Listen: Singles You Up
Stay Connected: @JordanDavisOfficial


  1. Jillian Jacqueline – Continuing to change the game for women in the country genre, Jacqueline released her debut EP, Side A, featuring six new tracks along with three acoustic versions of her singles.  Fans of Maren Morris and Cam will relate to the singer’s honest approach to songwriting and compelling storytelling.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Jillian Jacqueline

Listen: God Bless This Mess
Stay Connected: @JillianJacqueline


  1. Adam Doleac – With a grit-filled, blues-inspired vocal, Doleac’s debut EP released earlier this year features all kinds of love songs.  The first single on the project “Whiskey’s Fine” earned him a spot on Sirius XM’s Highway Finds Tour and since then the nationwide stations have played “Some Girls” and “Everybody Needs Somebody”.  Doleac even stopped by Refinery Rooftop for Swag Sessions with us back in October.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Adam Doleac

Listen: Whiskey’s Fine
Stay Connected: @AdamDoleac


  1. Ryan Kinder – Blending R&B and country to make his own unique sound, Ryan Kinder released the powerful “Still Believe In Crazy Love” earlier this year which has racked up over 2 million streams on Spotify.  Read more about the artist in our review of his first NYC show here.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Ryan Kinder

Listen: Still Believe In Crazy Love
Stay Connected: @RyanKinder


  1. Jimmie Allen – With a larger than life personality and catchy songs, Broken Bow recording artist, Jimmie Allen is sure to have a big 2018. During a recent trip to NYC, Allen joined New York Country Swag for a Swag Session to tell us about the trials and tribulations he overcame to follow his dreams.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Jimmie Allen

Listen: Blue Jean Baby
Stay Connected: @JimmieAllen


  1. Danielle Bradbery – Reinviting herself in 2017, Danielle Bradbery released her sophomore album, I Don’t Believe We’ve Met which showcases the young singer’s beautiful vocals and songwriting skills. Check out her next single, “Worth It” which features a powerful message for women of all ages.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Danielle Bradbery

Listen: Worth It
Stay Connected: @DanielleBradbery


  1. Cale Dodds – Rising artist, Cale Dodds has racked up over 8 million streams with his break out single, “People Watching”. Fans of Dustin Lynch and Ryan Hurd will definitely dig Dodds’ vibes.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Cale Dodds

Listen: People Watching
Stay Connected: @CaleDodds


  1. Morgan Evans – Our final ‘Artist to Watch’ in 2018, Morgan Evans hails from Austraila, just married country superstar Kelsea Ballerini and has his first single on country radio.  “Kiss Somebody” is infectious and watching Evans’ live show will mesmerize fans, he uses a peddle loop to play each of the instruments and acts as his own backup band.

NYCS 2018 Artists to Watch: Morgan Evans

Listen: Kiss Somebody
Stay Connected: @MorganEvansMusic


Like what you hear? Give a follow to our 2018 Artists to Watch List here.



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Click Here to learn more about NYCountry Swag
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– Team NYCountry Swag


Top 10 NYCountry Swag Moments of 2017 – #4: “The Day of 4 Shows”…

The countdown continues as we give you our Top 10 New York Country Swag Moments of 2017.

Typically when people think of New York City, they do not necessarily think of country music. However, we are here to change that perception.  NYC and its surrounding areas are the home to at least one country show a week, if not more! Don’t believe us? just subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up, which highlights all upcoming events in the area. We promise to always have something to look forward to for the country fan in NYC.

In addition to shows and special events, artists often travel from Nashville to New York daily to promote their new music.  This brings us to our Top 10 New York Country Swag Favorite Moment of 2017, #4: “The Day of Four Shows.” Back in September, we caught up with four different country performances all in the same day, proving that not only is country music here, but it is thriving.

Our first stop was to the NASH FM Studios for a Stage 17 show featuring Thomas Rhett in honor of his brand new album, Life Changes.  Rhett answered questions for the NASH FM DJs and played songs off the new album including “Craving You” and “Unforgettable”. For the full recap of the exclusive performance as well as our First Impression of Life Changes click here.

Thomas Rhett NASH Fm


Our second stop brought us to Times Square for one of our special Swag Sessions featuring Scooter Brown Band. The three men wearing cowboy hats played songs off their latest album, American Son and answered questions about their backstory and all about the new music.  Check out the video recap below.


As the sun began to set, we found ourselves back in Bryant Park for our third country show of the day, an Opry Circle Throwdown featuring Morgan Evans and Michael Ray. Both rising artists played on the Southwest Porch on a warm September night to fans and New Yorkers passing by in Bryant Park. Full recap and more pictures here.

MIchael Ray


Finally, we ended our ‘Day of 4 Shows’ as we headed to Dustin Lynch‘s iHeart album release show.  Lynch played songs off his album, Current Mood as well as some fan favorites. Click here for our full First Impression of his latest project.

Dustin Lynch


We’re looking forward to bringing you more great events and exclusive coverage in 2018.
Be sure to sign-up for our Weekly Round-Up so you don’t miss a thing!


Thanks for supporting Country Music in NYC!

Click Here to learn more about NYCountry Swag
+ Follow our Country Music Adventures on Instagram, @NYCOUNTRYSWAG!

– Team NYCountry Swag

Lee Brice and Morgan Evans Pack Out PlayStation Theater


Lee Brice PlayStation Theater

With the lights of Times Square shimmering down the street, PlayStation Theater is a great venue for New York country music fans to catch their favorite artists. Last night was no exception, rising star Morgan Evans took the stage to warm up the crowd before headliner, Lee Brice.

Lee Brice/Morgan Evans PlayStation Theatre

Evans tells the story in his live set of how he decided to skip finding an American band to back him, but instead to record all of the music solo on stage with the use of a peddle loop.  He played covers of Ed Sheeran and his main influence growing up, Keith Urban as well as new songs including “Life Changes” and “Day Drunk”.  “I do love New York,” he says adoringly, “I always feel like I’m in a movie when I’m here.” His first single released in the states, “Kiss Somebody”, has not hit radio airwaves yet, but you could have fooled the crowd, they knew every word to the uptempo love song.  New York City fans may have had the opportunity of seeing Evans earlier this summer when he played the Grand Ole Opry’s Circle in the City in Bryant Park.


Right at 9:15 on the dot, Lee Brice took the stage and filled his set with plenty of his incredible hits throughout the years as well as new songs off his forthcoming self-titled album due out November 3rd.  A true performer, Brice packed the 90-minute set, alternating between new and old and uptempo hits and ballads.  His passion for his music is evident during his live set, always interacting with his loyal fans who sang along the entire night.  Concert-goers heard “That Don’t Sound Like You”, “Hard to Love” and his first number one single “Woman Like You” as well as his latest single “Boy”.

“We feel and we are so blessed to be here again, and even more blessed that you guys are here because you make all of our dreams come true,” Brice says mid-concert. “I can’t stress that enough.”

Lee Brice PlayStation Theater


A highlight of the night was Brice’s obvious adoration for our police men and women, our firefighters and our military.  He thanked them for their service before singing his touching hit “I Drive Your Truck”.  The stage went dark as the twinkle lights of cell phones popped up for the duration of the song.

Brice closed his set with more smash hits including “Parking Lot Party” and the song he wrote for his wife “I Don’t Dance” as well as a cover of Lynrd Skynrd’s “Simple Man”. Before leaving the stage, he autographed and handed off his guitar to a deserving fan who held the American Flag high the entire night, Brice proves there is a reason he can come back to New York City time and time again.  His fans love him and his music and look forward to many more shows from the megastar.  Pre-order his self-titled album on iTunes.



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New York! 5 Rising Country Stars You Should Be Listening To

There is no doubt about it, country music is making a rise in the New York City and its surrounding metro areas but with only the most well-known artists heading to our big venues, it might be hard to find your next favorite up and coming country act. New York Country Swag is here to help with a list of some new music we think you should have on your radar. Whether you love pop-country acts or something a little more traditional, check out these five rising stars…


5 Rising Country Artists I Russell Dickerson

Russell Dickerson

1. Russell Dickerson – If you have been a fan of New York Country Swag and our events you know that Russell Dickerson will obviously be our number one pick.  Dickerson released his debut single “Yours” into the world back in 2015 and has been on tour with some of country’s biggest acts since then.  After closing out his opening set with Thomas Rhett’s Home Team Tour, he then transitioned to open for Florida Georgia Line’s Smooth Tour which is hitting the west coast over the next two weeks. His energetic live performance along with catchy lyrics and unique genre-bending melodies has led to huge success, all before his debut album hits shelves.  Yours available for pre-order here, features 12 tracks including his latest smash single “Billions”.

For Fans Of: Thomas Rhett, Dierks Bentley

Our Favorite Songs: “Yours”, “Blue Tacoma”

Stay Connected: @Russelled




5 Rising Country Artists I Steve Moakler

Ashley McBryde

2. Ashley McBryde – Ashley McBryde charms with a haunting voice and brings life to honest stories.  The Arkansas native moved to Nashville 10 years ago and has played her fair share of dive bars and biker hangouts perfecting her craft. Country music fans are starting to see what a kick-ass singer and songwriter she is, having the incredible opportunity to open for Eric Church this weekend in Alabama.  McBryde sings her heart out on her latest single “Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”, the story of perseverance and chance meetings.  Sirius XM The Highway has also been playing the singles off her forthcoming debut LP and has recently announced she will be a part of the 2nd Highway Finds Tour which will make its NYC stop at Gramercy Theatre on October 21st.

For Fans Of: Chris Stapleton, Dixie Chicks, Miranda Lambert

Our Favorite Songs: “Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere”

Stay Connected: @AshleyMcBryde




5 Rising Country Artists I Steve Moakler

Steve Moakler

3. Steve Moakler – A refreshing change from most artists who grew up in the south, Pennslyvania native Steve Moakler takes pride in his northeast roots, highlighting the people who helped shape him as an artist in his latest album Steel Town.  The album presents a cohesive look into Moakler’s life and the lead single “Suitcase” gives off a “Die a Happy Man” vibe, just compelling listeners about a simple love story. Fun fact, Moakler co-wrote Dierks Bentley’s smash hit “Riser”.

For Fans Of: Brett Eldredge, Blake Shelton

Our Favorite Songs: “Suitcase”, “Wheels”

Stay Connected: @SteveMoakler





5 Rising Country Artists I Steve Moakler

Carly Pearce

4. Carly Pearce – With debut single, “Every Little Thing”, currently sitting in the 8th spot on the country charts, Carly Pearce is headed for stardom.  In a genre where female artists aren’t always given their fair shot, Pearce has a secret weapon, her tenacity and determination to make it in this business.  One listen to the heartbreak ballad and you can understand why fans are quickly opening their eyes to the young songstress.  Just like our top artist to listen to Russell Dickerson, Pearce’s debut album hits shelves everywhere on October 13th.

For Fans Of: Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson,  Jennifer Nettles

Our Favorite Songs: “Every Little Thing”, “If My Name Was Whiskey”

Stay Connected: @CarlyPearce





5 Rising Country Artists I Steve Moakler

Morgan Evans

5. Morgan Evans – Moving to the Nashville to pursue his music career further, a native of New Castle, Australia, Morgan Evans just released his first U.S single “Kiss Somebody”.  The track is light, the perfect combination of pop-country and Evans’ smooth voice serenades his listeners.  After seeing Keith Urban perform back in 2004, he knew that was the path he wanted to follow. Back in Australia, Evans’ band consisted of his brother and his best friend. When heading to the states, he found it was hard to find that chemistry, so he taught himself how to use a loop pedal and acquired the ability to tour alone. Along with his Australian accent, and his ability to create a backup band all on his own, he is a standout in the country genre.

For Fans Of: Keith Urban,  Brad Paisley

Our Favorite Songs: “Kiss Somebody”, “Everything Changes”

Stay Connected: @MorganEvansMusic






Do you have a favorite new artist your listening to on repeat? Tweet us and let us know! @nycountryswag



Thanks for supporting Country Music in NYC!

Follow our Country Music Adventures on Instagram, @NYCOUNTRYSWAG!
+ Shop the Store for your favorite Country Swag & Tag us to be featured. #nycountryswag

Join the Weekly Round-Up for upcoming event reminders, ticket giveaways and more!

– Team NYCountry Swag


Opry Circle in the City with Michael Ray and Morgan Evans

Morgan Evans, Opry Circle in the City

With a fall chill in the air, Thursday night at the Southwest Porch in Bryant Park was the perfect setting for some acoustic country music.  Circle in the City presented by Southwest and NASH FM 94.7 is a free show available to all those in New York City who want to experience a taste of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.

First up to stand in the Opry’s signature microphone was rising star, Morgan Evans who was introduced by NASH FM 94.7 DJ, Katie Neal.  Evans, who just released his first single in the U.S, hails from Austraila. He stood in the mini wooden circle to sing three songs including “Kiss Somebody”.  A highlight from the country crooner included a song called “Everything Changes”. Before singing Evans’ explained how quickly life can change, going from living in Austraila to moving to Nashville, meeting the love of his life and getting engaged.  For all those who don’t know, Evans is engaged to country superstar Kelsea Ballerini.

Michael Ray, Opry Circle in the City

Not only was the Southwest Porch filled with country fans, but the surrounding areas of Bryant Park had people holding up their phones to take videos and were singing along to the radio hits. Next to stand in the wooden circle was Florida native, Michael Ray.  Ray, who gratefully thanked Southwest and Nash FM for the opportunity to perform in NYC, sang songs including “Real Men Love Jesus”, his latest single “Get To You” and even a cover of Keith Whitley’s, “Don’t Close Your Eyes”.

“To be here representing the Grand Ole Opry is an unbelievable thing,” he said as he acknowledged the radio team here in New York, as well as everyone that works behind the scenes in the music industry.  To close out the night, Ray sang his first number one single, “Kiss You in the Morning” and even gave the fans a chance to sing along.

Missed the show? Check Out the Facebook live video from the Grand Ole Opry’s Page of Morgan Evans’ set here and Michael Ray, here.

If you weren’t able to make this event, don’t miss Ryan Kinder this Friday, September 15th.  For more information, visit Click Here, plus check out our throwback to #CircleThrowdown from last year’s event with RaeLynn.



Thanks for supporting Country Music in NYC!

Follow our Country Music Adventures on Instagram, @NYCOUNTRYSWAG!
+ Shop the Store for your favorite Country Swag & Tag us to be featured. #nycountryswag

Join the Weekly Round-Up for upcoming event reminders, ticket giveaways and more!

– Team NYCountry Swag