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My Top 15 Country Artists to Watch in 2015

2014 was an amazing year for country music. I heard so many great songs and saw so many amazing performances that I’m already pumped for what 2015 will bring. As I wrap my head around all my goals for the new year, I thought it would be fun to reflect on 2014 and those that I can’t wait to see do big things this year. Here we go! My top 15 artists to watch in 2015:

Cale Dodds – This past July I headed down to Myrtle Beach to see Sam Hunt and opening for him was a guy by the name of Cale Dodds. I looked him up on iTunes and before I even saw him live I had downloaded pretty much every song he had out there. His performance at the Boathouse in Myrtle Beach was nothing less than dynamic and the songs were even better in person. I had the opportunity to watch him perform again in Greenville, SC at Sam’s album release party for Montevallo and once again he impressed me with his performance, music and personality. I personally am excited for all that is in store for him over the next year. I have a feeling I’ll get to say, I knew him when

Chase Rice – Heading out on the road this year with Kenny Chesney, a larger audience will get to see the exceptional stage presence Rice brings from beginning to end. His Ignite the Night album charteda top 5 song on its first release with “Ready, Set, Roll.” Big things are to come for this North Carolina native. Get ready to fall hard for his next single “Gonna Wanna Tonight.”

Sam Hunt – Familiar with success from his songwriting skills with song like Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over,” he’s no stranger to the top of the charts. Hunt’s first single “Leave the Night On” went straight to number 1 and paved the way for a whole new sound in country music influenced by a mix of artists Hunt grew up listening to. “Take Your Time,” the second single off his debut album Montevallo, has already been released and if you haven’t heard it yet, keep an ear out for it. You’ll be a Sam Hunt fan in no time.

Dustin Lynch – With a brand new album out in 2014 and a number 1 song already under his belt from it, I’d say we have yet to see what will be to come for this guy.

Annie Bosko- For every girl out there who doesn’t follow the straight and narrow. For every girl out there who walks to the beat of her own drum and isn’t afraid be who she is and do what she loves no matter what anyone around her might think, this is the girl you’ll be listening to this year. “Crooked Halo” was released in November 2014 and honestly it’s such a motivating and inspiring song for all the girls out there who feel pressured to fit the cookie cutter image society has laid out for them.

Kelsea Ballerini - There hasn’t been a song of hers I’ve heard so far that I don’t like. “Love Me Like You Mean It” is the anthem of every girl out there searching for Mr. Right and tired of finding Mr. Wrong. It’s catchy and upbeat and lyrics wise, spot on.

Chris Lane – I saw a car with a crack in the windshield the other day and started singing the lyrics “looking at life through a broken windshield view.” A true to life growing up in a small town song, Lane’s single “Broken Windshield View” will hit home for many. I saw him in concert this past fall where I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at even more songs from his soon to be released EP and I am so ready to get my hands on them. Lots of good ones on there.

Chase Bryant- His single “Take It On Back” is still climbing the charts and from the looks of it, it will continue to do so as we enter 2015. Keep an eye on this guy.

Dallas Smith – I’m willing to give anyone a chance when I find them scrolled across Florida Georgia Line’s news feed, but Dallas Smith really backs up that support. As long as the boys of FGL, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan continue to pave the way for songs like “Tippin’ Point” and “Wastin’ Gas,” Smith will definitely gain as much success here in America as he already has in his home country of Canada.

Old Dominion- “Break Up With Him,” is probably one of the most clever songs I’ve heard in awhile. It’s catchy and honest with a little bit of humor thrown into it. And then, there’s “Shut Me Up.” A modern twist on real country that reminds me of Diamond Rio and Alabama. Touring this past year with Chase Rice was only the beginning for them, I know it.

Canaan Smith  – You know when you first hear a song and you go, “that’s it?” A song so perfectly written and performed there is no doubt it’s about to blow up? Well in my opinion, Canaan Smith found his song. “Love You Like That” in all honestly is pure perfection. This guy better buckle up and get ready for one heck of a ride.

Logan Mize - He’s a mainstay on XM’s The Highway and reminiscent to me of Tyler Farr. He’s got the vocals and the songs to really go places.

Jana Kramer- I’ve loved her ever since One Tree Hill and I am really pulling for this girl. She really can sing and her songs are country chart worthy. I’m hoping 2015 is a big year for this lady (other than wedding planning that is).

Ashley Monroe- Have you heard her newest duet with Blake Shelton? She’s talented enough by herself, but with a little push from one of the big guns, she’s surely going places.

Thompson Square – They’re back! I saw them at a recent Fan Fest here in Charlotte and they were simply amazing live. A little birdie mentioned they’d been working on some new music and with their track record, I’m sure it will not disappoint..

Country Artist Spotlight: Chase Bryant

Chase Bryant PHotoMusic defines Chase Bryant. At every level and in often unexpected ways, his truths are expressed in melody, lyrics, hooks and sounds … but his reality goes even deeper than that. Bryant’s heritage is defined by music. His upbringing, his craft, his inspiration and his obsessions are all centered in the same – which is good – because there’s no other way to explain how a 21-year-old Texan could already be a top-flight guitar player, head-turning songwriter, RED BOW recording artist and co-producer of his debut album.

Last month Chase’s single “Take it on Back” was released and I’m still blaring it in excitement every time it comes across the radio airwaves. It is one of my feel good songs of the summer. I’m so glad he had the chance to stop by Girl Behind the Covers and answer a few questions for me!

Chase, can you talk a little bit about how life (and your career) has changed since signing with Red Bow Records?

Not that I’ve changed in general but life has been crazy. Traveling has been the highlight at the moment, but beyond all of that it’s made a huge dream come true. I’m a small piece of the greatest family there is: Red Bow Records.

Co-Producing your debut album at just 21 years of age is quite an accomplishment. Where did you get the skills to add that to your repertoire?

As a child I always listened to my grandfathers music. I’m a music and music gear geek. I’m fascinated with sounds and arrangements. That makes me strive in the studio to create something that has my stamp all over it. It’s the sound that’s in my head that will translate into the record. Thankfully I’m co producing with my best friend.

Every time I listen to “Take it on Back,” I can’t help, but get up and dance to the upbeat tempo.  It’s such an easy song to really get into. What other factors did you consider when deciding to release this as your debut single?

We were originally going with another song that was just a strict summer song. Radio had reacted differently to “Take it on Back” more than any other song they were hearing. I really trusted there ears and we went with it instead. If you listen to that song and wanna know who I am, that’s me!! As a writer, singer, player, producer, and person.

When can we expect the full length album to be available?

Talking about after the first of the year
On one of your earlier interview I found this quote: “I never wanted to be anybody else,” he says. “My grandfather always told me ‘you can’t be good at being anybody else. You can only be good at being yourself.” I think that your grandfather was a very wise man and that quote is really something I think people struggle with daily.  Tell me how you stay “Chase Bryant” with all the pressures in the industry today.

 I’ve surrounded my self with people who I can trust will always keep me level headed. My label, my friends and most importantly, my family!

What is the hardest part AND the greatest reward of being a country music singer?

You know the quote “no sleep for the restless?”  Well there’s not much sleep for anyone in this business. There’s no 9-5 in the industry. Everyone works just as hard or harder than you. As soon as you slack someone may take your spot. You have to love what you do, and be passionate about it. There’s not a lot of sleep involved. I try and catch it when I can!! 

It looks like you’re going to be getting even less sleep this fall when you will be hitting the road on Brantley Gilbert’s Let it Ride tour. How are you preparing for that and what are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to playing for Brantley’s crowd every night. They love them some Brantley and he’s one of those guys who is true to himself and his fans. I strive to be like that. For now I’m just preparing with rehearsing for this tour and staying healthy. I really can’t tell you the gratitude of how excited I am.

And lastly, a fun one. Tell us something we would be surprised to know about you?

I am a FISHING FREAK!!!!

And there you have it! A little bit about newcomer Chase Bryant. If you haven’t heart “Take it on Back Yet,” check it out now and request it on your local radio stations! And of course don’t forget to like him on Facebook and follow him on twitter!