Beer City Music Festival: Lindsay Ell, Chase Bryant & Michael Ray

B93.7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan held their first ever Beer City Music Festival at the Delta Plex Arena on January 13, 2018. The general admission show featured Lindsay Ell and Chase Bryant along with headliner Michael Ray!

Lindsay Ell: I’m pretty sure she’s actually an angel. Lindsay is so incredible live, and I’m not saying anything new when I tell you she’s a guitar goddess. This is the second time I’ve seen Lindsay and my mind was just as blown as the first. Between the guitar battle, a Beatles cover, and celebrating her first top 40 single “Criminal” it’s safe to say the whole crowd was in awe.

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Chase Bryant: This was also the second time I’ve seen Chase live and I’m such a fan! When I seen him for the first time two years ago I didn’t think it could get any better. (Wrong…) I LOVED what we got to see of his set including “Wayfarer Weather”, and his current single (that I’m OBSESSED with) “Hell If I Know,” however, after the first couple songs of his set we had to go to our Michael Ray meet and greet (YAY!) so we didn’t see a ton of his set. While waiting we were able to hear him cover the Chainsmokers’ “Closer” and “Little Bit of You”, and we were able to make it back in time for “Take It On Back”. Chase is great live and I hope to see him again soon.

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Michael Ray: In typical fashion lets start with what I always say: “HE’S THE SWEETEST HUMAN”. Now that we got that out of the way, haha. This was his first show of the year and it was incredible as always. His set included the first three singles among others from the first record, his cover of David Lee Murphy’s “Dust on the Bottle” (please record a studio version of this with Devin Dawson), and seven new songs off his upcoming record, including his current single, “Get to You”. The new music… no clue how he and his team are gunna choose his next single, because every one he played was a smash. Seriously, this stuff is next level. It’s no secret that Michael is one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to see him on the Get To You Tour!

Looking to catch him on tour? Michael just announced the third leg of his “Get to You” tour. Go to michaelraymusic.com for more info, you won’t want to miss it!

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What I’m Listening to Right Now!

Looking for something new to listen to? Here’s some of what I’m loving right now!

(Yes, there is a lot of Devin Dawson on this list, yes I did do a separate post about how awesome Dark Horse is. Read it HERE.)

Fall Recap: Where Was I?

So when I moved to West Michigan I was wayyy closed to one of my favorite concert buddies, Cori. We’ve gone a little concert nuts since August. (This is a continuation of my last post of where have you been, but to prevent it from being to long I separated it.. so heres whats happened since August haha).

We’re a couple hours from Chicago. When Thomas Rhett announced his three show album release parties so close to us I HAD to be there. Thirty bucks got you a ticket, a t-shirt, a signed CD and a digital copy. It was INCREDIBLE. I had class, so we were standing at the back of Joe’s on Rosemont and I had chills the entire time. It was so cool.

The very next day we drove to Taylor, MI because Michael Ray was playing, duh. I ended up with meet and greets because he’s the sweetest human, and also became one of the world’s biggest Devin Dawson fan that day.

The next weekend we headed to Allegan to see Thomas Rhett and Morgan Wallen play. (Everyone went nuts during Life Changes in the parts about Lauren, Willa Gray and Ada James).

I then got to go see Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd, in his hometown of Kalamazoo. Such a good show. This was the weekend after the Vegas tragedy and the most beautiful moment I’ve ever seen at a concert was Maren’s tribute with Dear Hate.

Next my Momma and I drove six hours to Indianapolis to see Russell Dickerson’s album release party show. Such an incredible show, such an incredible album. So good to get to hug he and Kails. Also, I got to see Hannah Ellis open, which was awesome, and she was such a sweetie!

(Wow, as I type this I’m realizing I’ve been real busy since I moved here).

The weekend after RD, Mom, Cori and I drove to Medina, OH because thats the closest Michael’s headlining tour was. We did VIP. Devin and Michael were incredible (in other news the sky is blue) and there new music is SO GOOD.

The week of Granger Smith’s album release he did all sorts of pop up shops promoting When the Good Guys win. One of these were under an hour away from me, so I was obviously there. This was so cool. They weren’t there to make money, in fact the album was five bucks. They were there to get that album in people’s hands and to say thank you.

LASTLY, I went to Nashville. We went to the Country Rising Benefit show, which had a bunch of great acts such as Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Sam Hunt and Reba. The highlight of the trip for me was probably the night before though. We went to see a writers round at The Listening Room Cafe. This is a monthly round with Josh Kerr, Jordan Minton, Jordan Reynolds and Nick Wayne. (Josh is one of the writers behind Dylan Scott’s “My Girl”, and Kelsea Ballerini’s “Dibs” and “Love Me Like You Mean It.” He is also currently producing Nick’s record. Being a big KB fan, I’ve became a huge fan of his writing, so when I found out we were in town for this round we HAD to go. Jordan Reynolds wrote multiple tracks on the new Russell Dickerson record, – including on of my favorites “Would You Love Me”, Dan + Shay’s new single “Tequila”, and Lauren Alaina’s “Three”, and Keith Urban’s “Gettin’ In The Way”). About halfway through the round they say oh yeah, Keith Urban is here… then I lost my mind, because I was like five feet away from him, so that didn’t suck. Overall, this show was so cool to see. Such a talented group of writers. There was one other special guest, Hannah Ellis. It was so cool to get to see Hannah again after seeing her in Indy and to see her get up and sing a verse/chorus of her single “Temporary Feeling” and to see the whole group perform “How Do I Get Close” (wrote by Ellis, Wayne and Kerr).

It’s been an awesome and busy time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Where have you been? (Recap from Summer)

Hi. Life has been crazy since the end of June when I last posted (yeah, sorry about that).

I was putting a lot of time into this blog, and I love it, don’t get me wrong, but I also wanted to live more in the moment in June and July and soak up my time at shows and with friends and family because…

I moved across the state for college. You may or may not know that I want to go into radio, and I’m working on a communications degree. Since I started school, I started an internship at a rock station. Even closer to my heart, I now have my own country radio show called Country with Jess on the college station.  A lot of life has happened since I last posted, but hopefully, I can do better with this again.

It wouldn’t be fair for me to not take you through the rest of the summer now that life has “calmed” (not at all I’ve just adapted haha) down since I’ve moved.

I left off at Sam Hunt 15 in a 30 Tour and me freaking out about Michael Ray at Birthday Bash.

At the end of June we went to WYCD’s Hoedown at DTE Energy Theatre. We seen Russell Dickerson (who you may or may not remember I adore), Brett Young, Kelsea Ballerini and Lady Antebellum. We had VIP so I got to see Kels and hear some of the songs early off the INCREDIBLE record that has since been released . During Kelsea’s set I got to hang out with Russ and Kailey in the pit, and as you can imagine watching one of my favorites with another was a dream. Also, Brett Young took a selfie on my phone so RIP Jessica.

 

Then after trying all day, I won tickets to a private Michael Ray listening party, with about twenty other people and it was one of the absolute highlights of the summer. He’s the sweetest human, I adore him, and he was basically the theme of the summer because hugging him happened a whole lot. He played a couple new songs for us, (Cold as You, Get to You, Her World or Mine and the Jerrod Nieman cut he wrote – God Made a Woman). Then he took time to take pictures and talk with everyone, and I will never not tell you how he’s the SWEETEST human I’ve ever met.

Then it was Faster Horses time! The highlights: the radio girl gave me meet and greets for Michael (yay, more hugs haha), Bailey Bryant KILLED it, and LANco was even better this time than the last two times I’d seen them.

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Then we went and seen and met Granger Smith at the Clair County Fair, and he was INCREDIBLE, as usual.

Then I moved across the state for college and it only gets better from here… I will have a post to follow with an update from September to now up soon!

B-93 Birthday Bash: Day 1 6/17/17

Paradise Outlaw, Joe Diffie, Brooke Eden, Michael Ray, Granger Smith and Big & Rich


We’re just going to start this article out by saying that 1.) B-93 can throw a party and 2.) I just love Michael Ray.

Paradise Outlaw and Joe Diffie: We got to the track towards the end of Paradise Outlaw’s set (local band). We heard a few songs from them while we were walking in and they sounded great. As for Joe Diffie, we were working on getting checked in and getting details for our Granger Smith meet and greet, and didn’t see much.

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Brooke Eden: I ADORE Brooke Eden. Her set consisted of songs from her “Welcome to the Weekend” EP –  “Silence Speaks”, “Sunday Mornin'”, and her current single, “Act Like You Don’t”, along with “American Dreamin'” amongst others. We got to see Brooke afterwards because she is the SWEETEST human, and stood and signed for anyone who wanted to come meet her. (Seriously, I think she was there for a couple hours). I got to have her sign our picture from last summer and she even posted it the picture from Friday on her Instagram so that made my freakin’ day!

Michael Ray: Also on the list of people I adore is this sweet fella. Not only is he like, REALLY good looking, he is incredible live. His set consisted of a couple covers including a mashup of “House Party”, “Wagon Wheel”, and a few other tunes. He also covered David Lee Murphy’s “Dust on the Bottle”. Its one of my favorite songs on the planet as it is, and so many people cover it, but no one does it like Michael. SO. DAMN. GOOD. He sang his new single “Get To You” (ALSO SO GOOD), along with his hits “Think a Little Less”, “Real Men Love Jesus”, and “Kiss You In The Morning”. His set also consisted of other songs from his debut record including “This Love”, “Another Girl”, and my favorite, “Drivin’ All Night” amongst others. We got up to get lunch after Michael’s set and next thing I know he’s standing at the fence signing and taking pictures with people. I got to see Michael last month at The Ryman, and was so excited to see him again. (Also, I’m not sure if it was Birthday Bash, or Michael Ray Bash, because I don’t think I’ve shut up about him since Saturday, or stopped jammin’ his new single since it came out Thursday).

Granger Smith: Before the show we had meet and greets and seeing Granger is always great. He and his crew are super sweet. His show was wonderful as always. His set included “Backroad Song”, “If The Boot Fits”, “19 Forever”,  “Silverado Bench Steat”, “Remington”, and his new single “Happens Like That”, along with tons of others. Granger is always a huge crowd pleaser, especially when he walks in the crowd during “We Do It In A Field” (he high-fived my little brother and he was GEEKED). He also did some phenomenal covers of Alabama’s “I’m in a Hurry” and Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine”. Of course Earl Dibbles Jr. came out and sang “The Country Boy Song”. Such a great set, as always.

Big & Rich: This is the second time I’ve seen Big & Rich and they were so much better this time than last! There set included “Lost in this Moment”, “Comin’ to Your City”, and “I Play Chicken with the Train” featuring Cowboy Troy, and lots of other songs. A highlight of the show: Michael Ray wrote “Run Away With You” with John Rich, and came out to sing it, which was freaking incredible. One of the coolest things was when Big & Rich sang “8th of November” and brought a veteran onstage for the song to show appreciation for our men and women who have served, or are serving our country.  During the last few songs the veteran, along with Michael, Granger and a few others sat in the back at the bar and watched the rest of the show including “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”.

Day one of Bash was INCREDIBLE. Stay tuned to hear about day two!

 

Georgia On My Mind Show – Nashville, TN

My parents and I headed to Nashville for vacation in early May. When I was planning for the trip I was so excited to find out the Peach Picker’s Annual Georgia on my Mind show was happening at the Ryman Auditorium. Not only was I excited because we were going to Nashville and it was going to be a great show… but it was my first show at the Mother Church.  This benefit is put on by the Peach Pickers (the trio of Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Ben Hayslip, who are responsible for a lot of the music you hear on country radio right now… – think “Honey Bee” and “Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Everyday”), and benefits Georgia Music Preservation.

Some of the country acts announced prior to the show were Michael Ray, Lauren Alaina, Chris Janson and Kip Moore. I found out the morning of the show that Thomas Rhett was added to the lineup and was basically the happiest human. Also added was Jon Pardi and Billy Currington.

The show was absolutely incredible. Some of my favorite parts: Michael Ray and Lauren Alaina sang there respectable number ones with “Think a Little Less” and “Road Less Traveled”. Cole Taylor stunned with a new song he wrote. Chris Janson did a mashup of “Buy Me a Boat” and his new single “Fix a Drink”, and Kip Moore did a beautiful acoustic version of “That Was Us”. The Peach Pickers were also wonderful, singing songs recorded by artists such as Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Jake Owen. Rhett Akins sang That Ain’t My Truck and the whole Ryman Auditorium was on there feet. However, my favorite part of the night, of course, was Thomas Rhett. TR’s sang “Star of the Show”, then said he was just “this much tired” after being a father to he and Lauren’s 18 month old daughter who had arrived home just five days earlier (sweet Willa G is the most adorable thing, keep sharing those sweet Insta stories, TR!). He thanked his Dad for allowing him to get out of the house for a few hours with a laugh, then dedicated his second song to the women who was watching his child as he said, then played “Die a Happy Man”. (Other acts included T Graham Brown, Driving and Crying, and Ottis Redding III, amongst others).

The show was incredible, and we were fortunate to meet some wonderful and kind artists both before and after the show. (My meet and greet picture from TR’s Hometeam tour came out a blurry mess, so if I was the happiest girl when he was gunna be at the show, you can only imagine how happy I was to get a clear picture and to meet him again). The BEST night! Check out some photos below!

 

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