Country Music Week – Day 1

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For the first time since 1982 Country Music Week is in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Four full days of country music leading up to the CCMA Award show on Sunday Night, which will be showed on CBC, which will also include performances by international superstars  Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett.

Over the next four days I will be writing about the events that I was lucky enough to attend, so make sure to check back daily.

Day 1 – Thursday, September 10, 2015

Day 1 started with session one of four of the Songwriters Series, which was hosted by the lovely Chad Brownlee. 

Songwriters series session 1 hosted by Chad Brownlee
Songwriters series session 1 hosted by Chad Brownlee
Front Row Seats
Front Row Seats

Session 1 was divided into two parts. Part one included host Chad Brownlee, The Doll Sisters, Jessica Mitchell and Zac Wrixon. Part two included, local favourite Bruce Guthro, Leah Daniels, RyLee Madison and Meredith Shaw.

Each artist sang three songs.

The Doll Sisters were first to preform. The Doll Sisters consist of Jenna Leigh Doll and Shelby Doll. Sisters from Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Their style is Celtic with a hint of country. Absolutely phenomenal. Their first song instantly sent chills through your whole body. *

The Doll Sisters
The Doll Sisters

*Rookie mistake. I didn’t keep track of the songs the artists sang. Definitely something I need to do next time.

Next to perform was Jessica Mitchell. Jessica is from Toronto and this is her first time at the CCMAs. She mentioned that intimate sessions like song writing circles make her feel very vulnerable. Me personally love acoustic, raw, vulnerable performances. She absolutely blew me away. Such an incredible singer and songwriter. The songs she preformed were Grown Up Things (Available on iTunes), That Record Saved my Life (not yet available) and Scars (not yet available.)

Jessica Mitchell
Jessica Mitchell

Ontario’s Zac Wrixon was next up. Such a beautiful songwriter. You could feel the emotion in every song he sang. Zac sang a song that he originally wrote when his then girlfriend left him called You Haunt Me. It was a very powerful song about the one that got away. Zac and the woman the song is about are now scheduled to get married in November.

Zac Wrixon
Zac Wrixon

Next up was man of the hour Chad Brownlee. Chad Brownlee is an incredible artist. Out of the four performing in the first half he was the only artist I knew before hand. If you think his songs are great already, you have to hear them done acoustically. Such powerful messages.

Chad Brownlee
Chad Brownlee
Group one
Group one

After a short break the second group was brought out. As mentioned above this included Bruce Guthro, Meredith Shaw, Leah Daniels and RyLee Maddison. Again, with the exception of Brucec Guthro, these are artists that I have not heard before. I am anxiously awaiting the release of Leah Daniels’ Saltwater, and Meredith Shaw’s Good day and Hurt my feelings.

Group Two
Group Two

I was very impressed with group two because it didn’t matter who was singing, any one of the guitarists would pick up on what they were playing and start playing as well. Pure talent if you ask me.

After the Songwriters Circle I was supposed to go to a showcase, but instead decided to pay $10.00 and go to The Carleton to listen to some local artists. The Carleton is very quickly becoming one of my favourite low key places in halifax. There is always a performance going on, featuring a local artist (and their frites with aioli sauce are to die for.)

Performing at the Carleton was Casey May, Jason Price and Samantha Power.

Casey May
Casey May
Jason Price
Jason Price
Samantha Power
Samantha Power

Casey May did an amazing cover of Bungalow, as well as Hallelujah.

Jason Price, just released his first album last month. He did a cover of Luke Bryan’s Drink a Beer, and the twang in his voice just made it that much better.

The night ended with a performance by Samantha Power. This was my fourth or fifth time seeing Samantha now, and I am just blown away every time I hear her sing.

My favourite cover of hers has been Believe by Mumford and Sons. Until last night when she sang the most beautiful rendition of Girl Crush by Little Big Town.

What I loved so much about the events I attended today, was the fact that they were all intimate. Country music is about telling a story, and when you listen to the music in an intimate setting you get an inside look into what emotion and what story was behind the song.

Today I heard 11 artists perform, before today I had only ever heard of three of them. I am now a fan of all 11 and will be impatiently waiting for them to release the songs they performed.

-K

PS. My day ended with a tweet from Chad Brownlee :)

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