You know you’ve had a great day at Boots and Hearts when you come out of it with ears ringing and muscles so sore to the point of absolute exhaustion. For me, day three of Boots and Hearts was hands down the best day out of this four day festival and it’s not even over yet. Not only did I meet some of the greatest people who made the very long day interesting, I got to experience one of my absolute favourite artists up close and personal for the first time – and it was the best two hours I could have hoped for.
Day three seems like a memory as this weekend is quickly coming to an end. Boasting even more Canadian artists throughout the event, fans could hear the likes of MacArthur Clark, Aaron Pritchett, JoJo Mason, Madeline Merlo, Alan Doyle (from Great Big Sea), and even Dean Brody. And I know I’ve mentioned it before but I just love the Canadian representation. With such a huge festival like Boots, it’s easy to get all the big name artists on the radio and I know as a country fan, I’m glad that my country is being represented in the best of ways! I just wish I had more time to be able to catch each and every single one of them.
As if it’s fate, there’s always somebody new I find while listening to so many musicians each year I’ve attended Boots. This year it’s MacArthur Clark. I had no idea who he was when he entered the stage area to perform, but he definitely gained a new fan. The best way to describe him is a mix of soul, country and rock-and-roll. His voice reminds me a little bit of Johnny Reid and The Zac Brown Band combined, with a touch of something unique. I couldn’t get enough and you should definitely check him out on facebook!
I recall listening to JoJo Mason on the radio the other day saying he was so nervous about this weekend. But when he stepped up to the mic on Saturday, it was all smooth sailing. He’s a natural performer who knows how to really get a crowd going. His humble and sweet nature played well with the nature of his songs he chose to sing and you could tell he was in awe about being able to participate in such a big event with so many people.
Madeline Merlo may only be 22, but she has the style and grace of someone in the business who’s been at it a lot longer. She had such an ease on stage and was confident in every song she sang. She has such an easy voice to listen to and it was nice to be able to put a face to the name I hear on the radio. Some people may say they don’t know who she is, but if you’re country fan you’ve definitely heard her over the airwaves. With hits like “Whatcha Gonna Do About It” and “Honey Jack”, she’s definitely getting her name out there and I have no doubt she’ll continue her rise to success.
Alan Doyle and the Gypsies were a little different if you were to compare them to some of the other musicians performing at Boots. The great thing about this festival though, is you can get all kinds of variations of country music and everybody accepts it without question and with open arms. Leaning more towards the folk end of things, he still managed to get the crowd up and ready for the two remaining acts. Performing not only his own original music, he treated the crowd to a little bit of Great Big Sea’s tunes and even threw in a traditional song or two from his home of Newfoundland.
Dean Brody has been around for quite some time now but this was the first time I’d actually seen him perform live. He has an instantly recognizable voice and being able to listen to great songs like “Bring Down the House”, “Dirt Road Scholar”, “Brothers” and the infamous “Canadian Girls” was definitely a highlight of the day. He smooth country voice set the tone for the headliner, Mr. Blake Shelton.
Related: Boots and Hearts – Day 2
Blake Shelton jokingly said he better not get a “bad review” if the crowd sucked at singing all of his old songs. Well I’m fairly sure, there won’t be a bad review in site for this country crooner. From the moment he stepped out onto the Boots and Hearts main stage, he had everybody dancing and singing along to all of his hits and then some. For almost two hours he serenaded, joked around and genuinely enjoyed being with the crowd of, what was it? 350,000? While I’m fairly sure he kept upping the numbers just because, he indeed had a full house full of country music fans and most certainly Blake Shelton fans. Singing hits from his newest album If I’m Honest, to going way back to the beginning with his first ever radio hit “Austin”, he did not disappoint.
I may be a little biased with Blake Shelton because he’s definitely my favourite musicians and human beings in general, but I think it’s safe to say he is in the majority when it comes to being loved. His genuine, no-bullshit personality is part of the reason why I enjoy him so much and it always shines through whenever you see him. Last night I did a first and I made it to the front (THE FRONT!) of 35,000+ people to see my favourite singer perform – and acknowledge me – for the first time in my life. I know he probably won’t read this, but if by chance he does, he’ll know that there’s at least one great review out there just for him!
Up today, Sunday August 7, 2016 – James Barker Band, Jason Benoit, Lindsay Ell,River Town Saints, Jason Blaine, Chase Rice, Tim McGraw and more!
Check out Blake Shelton’s video for his newest single “She’s Got a Way With Words”: