It is a strange time to say the least. Life has essentially been put on pause, and the world is eagerly waiting for the day that coronavirus will be a thing of the past and we can resume our regularly scheduled lives. Weddings have been cancelled, vacations have been cancelled, and many more major events have had to be postponed. For the country concert enthusiast, that most likely means that the show you have been looking forward to has been rescheduled for a later date. Such a disappointment!
Our favorite country artists are just as disappointed by this turn of events. They live for the adrenaline rush of performing a live show and the excitement of meeting their fans. In the meantime, Instagram Live has been a lifesaver. While on Instagram Live, an artist can interact with fans through the comment section, perform unreleased songs, host Q & A’s, take us on a tour of their quarantine setup, and generally put a smile on our face. Despite everything around us being cancelled, music is not cancelled. Neither is kindness, conversations, relationships, and hope. Artists have taken it upon themselves to be that light and continue performing for fans.
Turn on post notifications for any artist that you do not want to miss! Many artists post ahead of time what time they will be performing on Instagram Live, however it’s better to make a schedule of who you want to watch in case the performances overlap! I have personally caught Jake Owen, Riley Greene, Jon Pardi, Morgan Wallen, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Hardy, Travis Denning, Cole Swindell, Thomas Rhett, Russell Dickerson, Lainey Wilson, Ingrid Andress, Runaway June, and Kelsea Ballerini perform on Instagram Live.
Kelsea Ballerini released her third album, kelsea, on March 20th. Having to cancel her release tour consisting of exciting media stops such as Good Morning America, Kelsea had to get creative with her release. She went Instagram Live hours before her album was set to release at midnight. She performed new songs off the album and even chatted with surprise guests Kenny Chesney and Halsey who both duet with Kelsea on the album. Talk about truly making the most of a situation!
Jake Owen and Dierks Bentley have both partnered with Bud Light to bring you the, “Budlight Dive Bar Tour.” Budlight wants to bring y’all a party while being stuck (safely) at home. Luke Bryan partnered with Chipotle during his Instagram Live to encourage everyone to stay at home and use his Chipotle discount code to have food safely delivered.
Whisky Jam, a free concert series at Winners Bar in Midtown Nashville, to continue hosting concerts on Instagram Live. Their Instagram Live series is called, “Risky Jam” and has featured artists Caylee Hammack, Ashley McBryde, Ashland Craft, Lauren Alaina, Jessi Alexander, and many more!
Stay safe, healthy, and positive. We will be back to singing every word to our favorite country songs in our favorite bars before we know it! In the meantime, practice social distancing and continue to stream and support your favorite artists.
Rising star Caitlin Quisenberry is a Colorado native who splits her time between Denver and Nashville. While she is pursuing her career as a solo artist, Caitlin also devotes her time to performing live with her band based in Denver. Caitlin has a Vocal Performance minor from Pepperdine University where she studied and performed classical music. She also studied voice in Lausanne, Switzerland with renowned opera singer, Karine Mkrtchyn. Having been professionally trained, Caitlin has been able to hone her craft to give her the perfect foundation for pursuing her true passion for country music.
Recently she premiered her debut music video for her lead single "Blue" off her new EP. Directed by Monico Candelaria, a longtime friend, photographer and videographer of Quisenberry, the video was shot in Quisenberry's home state of Colorado in two days. One day in Elizabeth for outdoors scenes with a horse, and the next day indoors at the Flying Horse Ranch, a popular wedding venue in Larkspur. Throughout the picturesque video, Quisenberry's vocals mesmerize as the forlorn song weaves through the different "seasons" of love. Eloquently-written by Nashville songwriter, producer and talent scout, Erin McCaffrey and songwriter Billy Falcon, "Blue" was produced in Nashville at Off The Row Studio.
Watch the "Blue" video via CMT here.
You might recognize the name Jenee Fleenor as the first female to win Musician of the Year at the CMA Awards, but that’s not all. Jenee learned to play the violin at the young age of three alongside her musical parents. Picking up the fiddle, she became a member of the band at her local opry house. After high school, Jenee moved to Nashville to become a full-time musician.
Her career began touring with Martina McBride and Terri Clark, however Jenee has been working longest with Blake Shelton. In fact, she joined Blake on his Friends and Heroes Tour and plays in the house band on NBC’s The Voice. Jenee has also played fiddle on various number one songs including Jon Pardi’s songs "Dirt On My Boots," "Head Over Boots," and "Heartache On the Dancefloor.” Currently Jenee’s achievements are on display at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s showcase “American Currents.” There you can find her CMA Award, fiddle, and wardrobe memorabilia.
Not only a musician, but also a singer songwriter Jenee recently released “Good Ol’ Girls.” Co-written with Buddy Owens and Phil O’Donnell, “Good Ol’ Girls” was written in just three hours. An autobiographical take on living her dream, the song is directed at young female musicians following in Jenee’s footsteps. “Thank you for putting in a song and lighting a fire in me,” a fan remarked after hearing Jenee perform. Now working to build her catalog, Jenee plans to release an EP in the coming year.
Stay up to date with Jenee Fleenor by following her on social media at @JeneeMusic and listen to “Good Ol’ Girls” here.
By: Nicole Marchesi
Meet Nebraska native, Heidi Merrill. Inspired by the voices of Stevie Nicks, Evanescence, and Martina McBride, Heidi blends her country roots with a pop-rock influence to produce a sound like no other. Paying homage to her fellow cornhuskers she released “Home Grown” in 2015, an album which received radio time in the mid-west.
Last year Heidi’s music was focused on sports, her single “Game On” being picked up by CBS’s Inside College Basketball. This year, Heidi released “Can You Keep a Secret,” a sassy melody on trying to keep a secret in a small town.
Now residing in Newport Beach, CA with her husband and two-year-old son, Heidi is working on new music and posting covers from her home. You can find Heidi’s music on all streaming sites and on her website here.
Born into a musical family, Amanda Kate can’t remember a time when she wasn’t singing. Taking it back to her roots, Amanda recorded her rendition of George Strait's hit "Someone Had to Teach You" out now.
About Amanda Kate:
With a mom who wrote Christian music and the opportunity to work for Dean Martin and Bob Hope, Amanda was able to pursue music professionally at the age of 16 when she toured with her band. After being told Nashville was where she must take her dreams, Amanda made the move at the age of 23. However, she quickly became homesick and is now making a name for herself in the California country scene. Although having balanced a job with music and being a mom, Amanda quit her job in December to pursue music full time. With champions standing in her corner, such as Tina, the director of the Subaru Country Freedom Festival, Amanda is being given the opportunities she’s been working for. She also makes frequent appearances at The Ranch Saloon and Campus Jax.
With her growing success, Amanda released her latest album on November 8th. The album includes 12 songs dedicated to her mother, who was battling cancer. Including songs written by Amanda and her mother, she sees the album as an opportunity to be her mother’s voice during this hard time. Entitled “Time” to represent how “when you are faced with a limit of time you realize that there is no time like the present,” it’s about time for Amanda to see her career soar.
Follow Amanda on her journey via social media at @amandakatemusic and on her website here.