The time for reflection and relaxation is over. 2017 is here and it’s full steam ahead with the expectation and anticipation that a new year brings to our country music world. January is arguably the most depressing month of the year with its gloomy short days and the joys of Christmas far behind us. However, the release schedules are beginning to fill up and we do have a few tasty concerts to look forward to.
There are single releases from some of our favourites. Kenny Chesney is releasing ‘Bar At The End Of The World’ on 2nd January. Brett Young releases ‘In Case You Didn’t Know’ from his self-titled album on 9th January. The album is due on the 10th February.
C2C performers Brothers Osborne will release ‘It Ain’t My Fault’, the last track on their ‘Pawn Shop’ album on 17th January.
Looking forward into February, Big Machine will be releasing a single that we featured last year. Midland’s ‘Drinkin’ Problem’ was a favourite of ours and it’s good to see that their label intend to get behind it. It’s due on 27th February.
Albums are also starting to appear on the release schedules.
The significant ones are:
Lauren Alaina – ‘Road Less Travelled’
Brantly Gilbert – ‘The Devil Don’t Sleep’
Reba McEntire – ‘Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith And Hope’
Little Big Town – ‘The Breaker’
Aaron Watson – ‘Vaquero’
Brad Paisley – ‘Love And War’
Sunny Sweeney – ‘Trophy’
Early 2017 chart and radio activity will no doubt be dominated by the big guys. Luke Bryan’s ‘Fast’, Jason Aldean’s ‘Any Old Barstool’ and Miranda Lambert’s ‘We Should Be Friends’ will be up there together with Thomas Rhett’s ‘Star Of The Show’.
However, some of our favourite up and coming artists are looking strong for the new year. Tucker Beathard’s ‘Momma and Jesus’ is gaining airplay, as is Locash’s ‘Ring On Every Finger’. That has to be one of the catchiest singles we have heard for some time.
There is always one artist that always breaks out of the pack every year. This year it has to be Drake White. You may have heard his debut album and it featured in our top 10 lists. He spent 2016 on the road with ‘A-List’ performers and now it’s time to headline. He kicks off his first stint as a headlining artist in February. ‘The Spark Tour’ is touring the US and for those of us lucky to have tickets for the after show party on Saturday at C2C, we can join in the fun. This guy could be the star of this year’s C2C.
The new year touring schedules in the UK will help to banish these long winter nights. In January/February we have tours from Aaron Watson, Brent Cobb, Margo Price, Stella Parton, The White Buffalo, Angaleena Presley and Nathan Carter, Mary Chapin Carter, Mandolin Orange, Shovels and Rope, High Valley (Support from American Young), The Turnpike Troubadors, LeAnn Rimes and Courtney Marie Andrews
There are also a few of our UK country stars out on the road early this year. Kevin McGuire has announced a couple of dates at the beginning of February in Glasgow and Newcastle, and our first ‘Your Life In A Song’ songwriters night will take place in Birmingham on the 24th February with Liv Austen, Holloway Road and The Southern Companion.
Exciting times and all before we gather at the O2 in March!