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..