So it’s official C2C 2019 is looking good! In an announcement celebration tonight before the CMA Songwriters Series hosted by Bob Harris in London next March’s line up was finally revealed before a surprise guest appeared, Chase Rice, who is on the bill! So as we’re all buzzing from the big reveal I thought I’d bring you more information about each artist and a suggested song or two in case they’re new to you. I know the majority are over the moon, some may be disappointed but I’m sure we’ll all have a great weekend either way. So without further ado, let’s take an in depth, day by day look at the line up.
Chase Rice will be the first artist kicking things off at C2C and he is playing Country Music Week this week if you want to check him out early! A lesser known fact about Rice is that he’s quite a good writer not just an artist, he co-wrote Florida Georgia Line’s hit single Cruise. He first rose to fame in the World of reality TV when he landed a place on the show “Survivor.” His 2014 record Ignite the Night topped the Billboard Country albums chart and the single Ready Set Roll is certified Platinum. Last year he released his album Lambs and Lions, which peaked at number 6, it featured songwriters such as Ashley Gorley, Chris DeStefano and producers such as Mac McAnally. He’s quite the entertainer too so despite being first on the bill he’s bound to get the party started.
Suggested song: Lions
Next on the line up is Cam, I first saw her opening for Carrie Underwood at the Apple Music gig they did at the roundhouse a few years back, she was fairly unknown at the time but I knew she’d go far, she blew me away. Sure enough her single Burning House got to number 2 on both the hot country songs and country airplay charts. Again before Cam’s artist career began she had success as a songwriter and penned songs for Miley Cyrus! Although I like Burning House I can’t get over the strong similarities between that song and Whiskey Lullaby (trust me, listen to them back to back). Cam’s first full length album Untamed performed well but subsequent singles haven’t charted well. That being said, Cam, in my opinion, has a very unique style of Country, her single Diane has a feel of Mumford and Sons. With her sweet but powerful vocals Cam is going to impress the C2C crowd and it’s a good upgrade from the satellite stage a few years ago.
Suggested song: My Mistake
Brett Eldredge co-wrote Gary Allan's song I Think I've Had Enough before going on to become a successful artist himself. He’s had five number one singles on the airplay chart with Don’t Ya, Beat of the Music, Mean to Me, Lose My Mind and Wanna Be That Song. With four albums under his belt, two reaching the top and two getting to number two. He is an artist with a big personality and he shares that within his music and on his social sites as well where he regularly shares updates about his dog. He’s just completed a successful tour in the States with some sell-out crowds. His latest single Love Someone, I believe is still climbing the charts. My favourite song of his though is Something I’m Good At, it’s a fun little number and I’m sure much of the crowd will be singing along!
Suggested song: Something I’m Good At
This headliner is long overdue but we’re just so glad he’s here now! Yes Australian New Zealander (Born in one and raised in the other) has been requested time and time again by U.K. Country fans and after years of asking he has decided to give it a go! Urban has won 4 Grammy awards in his career and 15 of his songs have made it to number 1 on the Hot Country songs chart. However he’s not just a great singer, his first job in Nashville was working as a session musician so we are bound to be wowed with a guitar masterclass, a bit like when Brad Paisley headlined. His music is beginning, now more than ever, to lean more towards the pop side than country but throughout his career he has released some epic tunes and I can’t wait to hear those unique vocals raise the roof on the O2.
Suggested song: John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16
I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Saturday’s opener last year, Carly Pearce. She spent a lot of time performing at Dollywood and has had her fair share of struggles in the music industry however her single Every Little Thing got to number one of the Country Airplay charts earlier in the year. Her album of the same name was produced by Busbee and featured songs co-written with Shane McAnally, Ashley Gorley and Natalie Hemby to name a few. It didn’t perform too badly in the charts when it reached number 4, not bad for a debut album. She does have a good support system in place though with being signed to Big Machine. If you’re a fan of early Taylor Swift up until around the Red era then I think you’ll enjoy her music.
Suggested song: If My Name Was Whiskey
Radio in the States are a big fan of Dustin Lynch who’s been lucky enough to have five of his eight singles reach the top spot on the Country Airplay charts. He’s released three albums now and a debate is currently raging on social media as to whether he and Hunter Hayes should switch places (I’m not getting involved). Although he studied for a degree in biology Dustin chose his college as it was close to the Bluebird cafe which he wanted to frequently play whilst studying. Luckily for us at the end of his course he chose to pursue a career in music although he did contemplate going to medical school!
Suggested song: Small Town Boy
Hunter Hayes is quite a regular visitor now to the U.K. This will be my third or fourth time seeing him which is good that artists want to frequently come over. His self titled first album is now certified two times platinum and he’s now on his third album. Reports claim that Hayes can play thirty instruments proficiently, well I’m not sure of the validity of that but I can tell you for certain he’s a great guitarist. I remember him showing off at KOKO in a London a few years back, the packed out crowd loved it then and I’m sure the C2C audience will love it now although they have seen him before.
Suggested song: I Want Crazy
2015 headliners Lady Antebellum are back! They have nine number 1 singles to their name and three of their six studio albums have been certified platinum or higher and they have won a Grammy. Lady Antebellum are one of my favourite bands and have been for some time. They’re all competent performers and vocalists and have a superb back catalogue of songs. The trio are natural born performers, even when Hillary was pregnant she did her fair share of walking up and down the stage whilst Charles made the security guards life more difficult by going into the crowd. Put it this way, they are the most perfect selection for a Saturday night party atmosphere! Their 12 years in the business shows with their professionalism and ability to get involved with all aspects of the industry!
Suggested song: this is too hard I’ll have to say two, Bartender and Need You Now.
Drake White and the Big Fire opens the last day. I have never seen Drake perform but I’ve heard off lots of people who have that he’s very energetic! I’m excited to see what he does and how well he goes down in the big arena. He’s someone else who frequents these shores regularly. He is over now for Country Music Week so again if you’d like a taste of what’s to come, try and get to a show. I’m not sure what’s happened about label representation as his original label Dot, a branch of Big Machine no longer exists. My favourite song of his Making Me Look Good Again didn’t perform well in the States but I’ve seen many U.K. Country artists covering the song.
Suggested song: Making Me Look Good Again
Ah next on the bill is one of my favourites from last years pop ups stages and that’s Ashley McBryde who has just concluded a sold out tour with Luke Combs over here. Ashley blew everyone away at this years C2C, no one was expecting it but her meaningful, story telling lyrics and powerful voice captivated the London crowd. Due in part to the feedback form we filled out after last year Ashley has a main stage slot at this years festival. Garth Brooks is also waiting in the wings ready to release a version of her song Girl Going Nowhere. She also brings humour to her set and I can’t wait to see her in the U.K. once again.
Suggested song: A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega
This next slot is the legends slot. Lyle Lovett has released 25 singles and 13 albums, quite impressive huh? He’s been an artist since the 1980s and has won four Grammy’s. He was a bit of a crossover artist back in the day as his songwriting didn’t just include Country but elements of Jazz, Blues and Gospel and he wasn’t just a singer but an actor too (since it’s coming up to Christmas soon you should check out the film he’s in called Angels Sing. For a time he was married to Julia Roberts but Lovett remarried last year.
Suggested song: Funny How Time Slips Away
Our headliner on our last night stunned the C2C crowd when he was last here and yes it will probably be one of those “I was there when...” moments. Of course I’m talking about Chris Stapleton. I’m unsure myself whether he’s ready to headline but he has been in ethics business a lot longer than you think writing a range of different songs for Country artists way before he became an artist himself. Chris has now won five Grammy awards and has written for the likes of Adele, Brad Paisley and Luke Bryan. In terms of his own artist career though, he has three records out, all three of which made it to number 1 on the country albums chart.
Suggested song: Fire Away
So with Satellite and Pop up stages still to be announced for London, it is shaping up to be another fantastic Country 2 Country weekend! Stay tuned and we’ll bring you all the latest updates.