Country 2 Country is drawing ever closer and just before Christmas we saw more additions to the line up as many of the spotlight stage artists were announced. As always we’re going to give you a little information about each and every artist including a recommended song to get you started on your research, this will help you plan your weekend’s schedule!
Friday’s first spotlight artist is Mitchell Tenpenny. Born in Nashville Tennessee, his Grandmother Donna Hilley, was a music publishing executive who introduced young Mitchell to some great writers such as Curly Putman thus inspiring Mitchell to pursue a similar career. Now signed to a joint venture with Riser House and Columbia Nashville, Tenpenny had a top ten single with Drunk Me. Before this he had songwriting success with Granger Smith’s If The Boot Fits.
Recommended Song: Alcohol You Later
Kyle Daniel recently opened for Brandy Clark when she came over for a one off show in London. His vocals are not too dissimilar from Chris Stapleton and we all know how loved he is in the Country community. He has a great catalogue of real roots-y Country songs, definitely one to watch.
Recommended Song: Born to Lose
Gabby rose to the limelight as she took part on season 16 of American Idol. She came third in that competition but has since toured with the likes of Keith Urban, Toby Keith and Cole Swindell. We’ve played her songs on our radio show a number of times, and the song I’m going to recommend she co-wrote with Jon Nite and Zachary Kale and was produced by Ross Copperman.
Recommended Song: I Hope
You can read more about Niko in my piece about CMA Songwriters Series as we see him play first on the Thursday evening. The key thing to note about Niko Moon is his exemplary work with the Zac Brown Band and Sir Rosevelt. Inspired by John Prine and Patsy Cline and now signed to Sony Music Nashville and RCA, Niko is set to become a household name when it comes to Country music artists.
Recommended Song: Good Time
Kassi is my very favourite on this line up - yes my unbiased view there - she has all the makings of a star. Fantastic songs that straddle both Country and Pop, an incredible voice and a lot of on stage attitude and excitement. She has a heart of Gold. On stage at CMA Fest Kassi came bounding on the stage, tossing her hair and jumping up and down, laughing at her miss-queued blunder which made her incredibly endearing to the Nashville crowd that was currently being rained on, she was the sun on that rainy day. It’s hard to choose my favourite of hers but lets choose her debut, and most true to heart single she’s released.
Recommended Song: California Missouri
Twinnie is our only UK artist on the Spotlight stage so far. This is not her first Rodeo, sorry, first C2C. A former cast member of TV soap Hollyoaks, Twinnie has released a number of Country songs and has written with some cool writers from both sides of the pond. She has opened for some great visiting Country artists from the US.
Recommended Song: Better When I’m Drunk
I first saw Willie Jones out in Nashville at Rodney Atkins Music City Cares concert in June 2019. To say he is far from your traditional Country artist would be an understatement but he is lively on stage and mixes Country and Hip-hop seamlessly. He will more than likely divide the C2C crowd but I am really excited to see this interesting and unique performer again!
Recommended song: Runs in our Blood
The self described “Hippie in a Hillbilly Town” is signed to Capitol Records. She’s had to suffer a lot of struggles and set backs to get to where she is now but it has been worth it for the 24 year old who is tipped to be one of the next best solo female’s in the genre. 2019 was a great year for her but 2020 is the year she’s really going to break out.
Recommended song: Family Tree
Well Noah really impressed me both at last years C2C and at CMA Fest, he really knows how to charm the ladies the way he gives out Roses and sings his love songs whilst gazing in to a chosen fans eyes. He’s a very well rehearsed performer and his songs are commercially viable both in a Country and Pop crossover market. Signed to Big Machine he has the backing to be very successful. It’s great to see him return to C2C.
Recommended Song: Maybe We Will