It’s fair to say 2017 has been an incredible successful year for country music in general and in particular right here in the UK. There’s been many incredible events to help showcase the amazing talent of UK, USA and Australian country musicians; Buckle and Boots, Country 2 Country and Country Music Week to name a few and I have been lucky enough this year to expand my passion for country music and get to attend each of these events, see and meet some of my favourite artists and discover new artists to add to my Spotify playlists. Due to the high demand and great reactions to each and everyone of these events, its no surprise many more artists this year have announced UK tours wanting to be part of the growth of country music in the UK.
Country to Country this year was where I fell completely back in love with country music once again. After attending the very first Country to Country for one day in 2013 (where I got to see two of my all time favourites Leanne Rimes and Carrie Underwood and experienced the whole incredible atmosphere at the O2 C2C weekend) I have been itching to head back and do a full weekend a – this year I finally got the chance to do just that and believe me it was soo worth the 4 year wait! Not only did I get to see some personal faves; Maren Morris, Lucie Silvas and The Shires I also got to discover some new country artists from across the pond and the UK to add to my ever growing music collection. The highlight for C2C weekend for me was The Bluebird Café show. As a massive fan of Nashville and seeing the Bluebird café vibe on the show when this was announced for C2C I had to be there! And as I have followed Cassadee Pope since her win on The Voice I knew for me this was going to be something special but I never imagined how incredibly intimate and amazing the show would actually be. Just to listen and hear the stories behind each song and how each song came together was an eye opener for any country music fan but the highlight was getting to witness her acoustic performance of one of my all time favourite songs “Wasting All These Tears On You”. In that moment just accompanied with her guitar the audience was completely drawn in and fixated on the sensational talent that was being showcased on stage.
After my C2C experience I knew I had to fill my country music craving with another festival and Buckle and Boots gave me the opportunity to do just that. As a first timer I did not know what to expect but went along with it anyway. I didn’t know as many artists on the bill as I did at C2C but I got to say this festival opened my eyes to a lot more country artists I never knew existed. Highlights included discovering the incredible talent of Liv Austen, Jenn Bostic, Clara Bond, Sonia Leigh and Katy Hurt. Katy Hurt and Sonia Leigh’s performance of Sweet Annie kick-started Day One of the festival perfectly with the whole audience singing along. However, the standout moment of this festival was at the In The Round session I witnessed with Sarah Darling, Gary Quinn and Jenn Bostic and in particular Jenn Bostic’s beautiful and captivating performance of “Jealous of the Angels” hearing the story behind the beautifully written song and listening to every word being sung – it’s no wonder she brought a tear to quite a lot of the audience’s eyes in that tent.
For any country music fan Country Music Week had it all. With many US artists playing headline shows within the week in London and new and upcoming artists being showcased too it was a must for any country fan to attend at least one of the events put on throughout the week. Without CMW I would not have had the opportunity to discover a new country trio I know are going to be the next big thing in the UK “The Adelaides”. Considering this was their first gig it certainly didn’t show in their performance and getting to be one of the first to hear their new single “What your Heart Would Say” at CMW was an amazing moment for me to witness. I knew from the moment they came on stage and started singing they were going to be fantastic and I predict big things for these girls next year and I cannot wait to see them grow. Highlight of CMW was again The Bluebird Café experience, it’s like a little piece of Nashville in London. I think for me it isn’t about who is singing on stage its just the whole feel of the atmosphere and the intimacy you feel inside it’s like its just you and the singers and they are singing just to you, it’s an amazing experience to be a part of. Now I was aware of Miss Lindsay Ell and had heard a few of her songs before I went to this show, however during her performance she completely drew me in and blew me away on that stage. It’s clear to see this girl has talent and it’s no wonder her album is one of the highlights of 2017. After witnessing her insane guitar skills, incredibly catchy tunes and her fabulous voice its safe to say I am now a lifelong devoted fan and am looking forward to seeing and hopefully meeting this completely down to earth beauty again at C2C 2018. There’s one thing for sure she is going to blow the arena away with her insane talent that’s for sure.
Well with 2018 just around the corner and with many festivals and concerts already being announced it’s looking like its going to be another incredible year for country music here in the UK and as a devoted country girl I cannot wait to continue to be a part of it!