If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait until artists receive the go-ahead to begin scheduling and performing live shows again. This summer looks drastically different with the absence of so many music festivals! While some artists have concert dates tentatively set for the month of October, the majority have postponed their tours until Summer 2021.
Drive-in’s have resurfaced! A handful of artists have been testing the waters of drive-in concerts, which is exactly what it sounds like! Fans watch and listen to the performance from the comfort of the car. Keith Urban performed a secret drive-in concert outside of Nashville for 200 healthcare workers. Alan Jackson will be performing a drive-in concert in Cullman, Alabama on June 5th and June 6th. Each show will hold approximately 2,000 vehicles. The Texas Rangers will be hosting artists like the Eli Young Band and Whiskey Meyers from their parking lot in Arlington, TX. Tom Lee, Live Nation’s President of U.S. venues says, “This is not a long play, by any stretch of the imagination. But you’ve got a pent up fan that really wants to go out and have a good time. It’s a concert you never forget.”
In an attempt to save the entertainment and concert business, Live Nation is planning to expand drive-in shows to 50 amphitheaters this summer. Promoters are hoping that these events will be a financial solution for artists and their team. While the profit margin is much slimmer, this is a temporary way for musicians and fans to continue engaging.
I know you’re wondering when actual concerts will begin though, right? According to Travis Rider, a scholar at John Hopkins, “There’s serious doubt among some insiders that live music will fully return before 2021. A shortage of tests and the lack of a vaccine simply make things too risky. The risk of those events as we would have done them in the past outweighs the benefit of doing them. We are flexible creatures. We're going to have to do things differently. We can find ways to do the things we love.”
During the pandemic, music has been an outlet for healing. Without our daily drives to and from work, the majority of people are discovering and listening to music on steaming sites. Such as Spotify, which allows listeners to create their own playlists and builds new playlists based off previously played songs. However, to discover such music people turn to their hand selected playlists where the women are often left out. On Spotify’s most followed playlists, women on average make up 19% while on average 75% of the songs listed are by men.
Cover: Florida Georgia Line
Male: 39 (71%)
Female: 11 (20%)
Both: 5 (9%)
Chillin’ On a Dirt Road
Male: 73 (78%)
Female: 16 (17%)
Both: 5 (5%)
Male: 45 (75%)
Both: 3 (5%)
To discover new music from the women of country weekly follow our Top Ten Tuesday Playlist here.
Singer-songwriter Kendal Conrad releases a new single titles "Bodyguard" which is available on all streaming platforms.
“‘Bodyguard’ is about being disappointed in someone you love,” the Pottstown, PA-born artist tells American Songwriter. “The person who promised to protect you and take the bullet winds up being the bullet instead.”
Country crossover sensation Kendal Conrad is one of the most impressive voices on the scene and is currently garnering a lot of attention from fans and industry insiders. She was recently featured on Keith Urban's website as one of his favorite "Raise 'Em Up" tour moments and has also joined Walker Hayes on-stage where they performed 'Halloween' for 92.5 XTU's Ski Day at Jack Frost Big Boulder. Kendal has also opened for Blake Shelton at the Dick's Sporting Goods Open town audience of 18,000.
These impressive support slots and performance highlights have meant that Kendal has been on stage at a number of esteemed concert venues and festivals such as the Foundry at the Fillmore, iPlay America, Jenks Club, Prospector's Saloon, One Centre Square, Sherman Theater, Sellersville Theatre, Provident Bank Park, PPL Center, Wayne County Fair, PGA Concert at the Bogey, and the Santander Arena.
Alongside singing, Kendal also enjoys acting and was an extra in the Silver Linings Playbook film where she can be seen bumping into Bradley Cooper and has also starred as Holly Golightly in the exclusive post-Broadway production of Breakfast at Tiffany's which played at the Civic Theatre of Allentown.
Her forthcoming EP has been produced in Nashville by platinum-selling producer Matt McVaney who has been responsible for a string of Kane Brown's hits - the record is expected to propel Kendal Conrad even further into the mainstream country music world.
You can learn more about Kendal Conrad by visiting www.kendalconrad.com and connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Born and raised in Sonoma, California Ismay pays tribute to her hometown in her debut album. Introduced to performing by her grandfather who hosted music festivals, she performed regularly at festivals including the Strawberry Music Festival.
Following in the footsteps of her idols Emmylou Harris and Cat Power, her songs reminisce of living on the ranch and include aspects of the natural world. Titled “Songs of Sonoma Mountain, Ismay gives the mountains a voice with stories from the animals who reside on it to the fires that tore through it. The album’s narrative is detailed and compelling. A storyteller herself, Ismay released a narrative podcast called “Where the World Begins.”
You can listen to Ismay on all streaming platforms or visit her website here.
Nashville singer-songwriter Sophie Sanders has unveiled “California,” an undeniably catchy pop country track that leaves us dreaming of the west coast, where the sun shines a little brighter and heartbreak might sting a little less. The track is available today on Spotify and Apple Music.
“California” is Sanders’ third single this spring, following “Dad Bod,” an ode to less-toned men, and “All My Friends Are Married,” the wryly funny, woe is me bridesmaid’s anthem. Sanders shows her versatility with “California,” giving us a heartbreak song that somehow feels upbeat and fun.
“You coulda broke my heart in California,” she sings, saying she’d be just as sad, but at least she’d be tanning and watching the sun-kissed guys walk past. She downplays the significance of her ex. Instead of I need you, I miss you, take me back, it’s a refreshing hey, you could’ve done this to me in a prettier place.
Sanders, a Nashville native, is no stranger to breakups, or to that Nashville late winter gray. “I had been dumped and devastated a few months before writing California. We were in the midst of one of those two weeks without sunshine in Nashville, and I just couldn’t take it anymore,” she says of the morning she sat down to write the track alone. “I kept thinking, if I could only be somewhere sunny sitting on a beach this would all feel better.”
She says that there are so many country songs about California already, but her spin on the state felt like one she hadn’t heard yet. And Paul Sikes, the producer, knew just where to guide the mix for a fun, sunny feeling. Ironically enough, Sophie’s father, Mark D. Sanders, gave country music “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” one of the biggest California hits of all time. As a little girl listening to the song, she says, she never would have dreamed that, 25 years later, she’d be sitting with her own guitar trying to match its ultra catchy, sing along nature with just a few words shaved off the title.
Sophie came to songwriting after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011 with degrees in Psychology and Anthropology and zero experience making music. But with “California” she shows us that maybe some of her greatest education was listening to the songs that filled her home as a child. Surely they were sinking in.