Blake Shelton Brings the Laughs and Hits to Boots & Hearts

 Blake Shelton at Boots and Hearts 2016.  Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

 LAUREN JO BLACK • AUGUST 7, 2016 - 9:56 AM


Things Canadian love: Tim Hortons, poutine, Blake Shelton, eh?

Fans showed up in droves to see Country superstar Blake Shelton perform at Boots and Hearts 2016 on Saturday evening. The crowd was stretched across festival grounds as far as the eye could see as Shelton took the stage around 9pm.

Shelton appeared center stage singing “Neon Light” as fans inched closer and closer to the stage to get a closer look at the Oklahoma native. Keeping the tempo up, he toasted the crowd and went straight into “All About Tonight.”

Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

At one point, he acknowledged just how big the crowd was, asking the stagehands to turn up the lights. “That’s freaking me out, he said. “That is ridiculous. Look at all those country music freaks out here! Damn, I gotta start drinking!”

If you’ve ever seen Blake live, you know that his shows teeter between comedy and country music, and last night was no different. Making several hilarious quips throughout his set, Shelton had fans laughing and singing along all night.

Mixing in songs old and new, Shelton gave his Canadian fans exactly what they wanted and more.

Dean Brody.  Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

Dean Brody.  Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

Dean Brody had the coveted 90-min slot on the main stage before Shelton. Drawing quite the crowd, Brody sang his hits like “Bring Down The House” and “Canadian Girls” and his new single, “Bush Party.” Special guest Alan Doyle joined him on “It’s Friday.”


Also performing on Saturday were James Barker Band, Madeline Merlow, Raquel Cole, Aaron Pritchett, and more. Boots & Hearts closes today with performances by a variety of artists, including Jordan McIntosh, Lindsay EllDylan ScottChase Rice, and Tim McGraw.

Dierks Bentley, Sam Hunt Close Out Boots & Hearts Festival Day Two

 LAUREN JO BLACK • AUGUST 6, 2016 - 12:19 PM

 Sam Hunt. Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

Dierks Bentley and Sam Hunt capped off the second day of Boots & Hearts festival in Oro-Medonte, Ontario with electric sets on the festival’s main stage.

Bentley closed out the night with a two-hour set that took fans back through his entire catalogue. He even brought along “Dude Air,” the almost life-size plane that has been popping up at his Somewhere On A Beach Tour for “Drunk On A Plane” throughout the summer, for an epic show-close.

 Dierks Bentley.  Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

Fans erupted with cheers as Hunt took the stage singing his debut smash, “Leave The Night On.” The Georgia native completely owned the stage for 75-minutes, busting out hit after hit from Montevallo and beyond. Summer anthems like “Raised On It” and “House Party” had fans dancing along while ballads like “Take Your Time” and “Make You Miss Me” evoked a sing-a-long from the crowd. In the middle of his set, Hunt played acoustic renditions of some of today’s biggest Country hits, including Thomas Rhett’s “T-Shirt,” Luke Bryan’s “Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day,” and Maren Morris’ “My Church.” I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sam take home an Entertainer of the Year trophy in the coming years. His live show is that good.


 Sam Hunt. Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

Always a ray of sunshine, Cam drew quite the crowd at the festival’s Front Porch Stage. Performing songs from her debut album, Untamed, the California native came to the realization that she had more fans in the Great White North than she imagined. The audience sang along to many of her songs, and not just radio hits. Cam acknowledged them and admitted that’s how she can tell who the “real fans” are among the crowd. Country music is lucky to have that one. She’s a true gem.

Fans flocked to the main stage for Canadian star Tim Hicks. He brought a full-on party and had fans in the palm of his hands for his hour-long performance. Hicks performed songs from his first two albums and also previewed his upcoming album, Shake These Walls, coming September 6.

Chase Bryant bought along his hits (and his killer guitar skills!) for a 45-minute set that had fans clapping and singing along. The Texas native sang hits from his debut EP, like “Little Bit Of You” and “Take It On Back,” and gave fans a taste of what’s to come on his debut album with his latest single, “Room To Breathe.”

The festival’s daytime stages features a variety of acts, including The Recklaws, The Dungarees, and Autumn Hill, the music never stopped throughout the day and night.

Boots & Hearts runs through Sunday, August 7 and will feature performances from Dean BrodyBlake Shelton, Chase Rice, Tim McGraw, and many more throughout the final two days.

Jake Owen Brings the ‘Love’ To Boots & Hearts

 LAUREN JO BLACK • AUGUST 5, 2016 - 9:43 AM


 Jake Owen.  Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

Fresh off his American Love album release week, country hitmaker Jake Owen made his way to Oro-Medonte, Ontario to headline the first night of Boots & Hearts 2016.

“It’s my main mission tonight to make sure that every single one of ya’ll has one hell of a time,” he told the audience from the stage. Well Jake, we have two words for you: mission accomplished.

Wearing a white tee shirt and jeans and sporting his signature smile and bare feet, Owen took the stage just before 10pm. Singing the title cut of his new album, the Florida native looked happy as ever, even after a whirlwind release week.

Throwing it back to his third studio album, Owen kept the energy up with “The One That Got Away” and “Anywhere With You.” Thousands of fans sang along to every word. At one point, the 34-year-old almost seemed taken aback by how loud the audience was singing along.

“You guys are the best crowd I think I’ve ever played for,” Owen said with a smile.

The natural born entertainer continued to give fans a taste of his new album with high energy performances of “VW Van,” “Good Company,” and “American Country Love Song.” His latest single got an incredible response from the crowd, which sparked Owen to lead a full-on audience sing-a-long.

Mixing in a few covers from some of his heroes, such as Johnny Cash (“Ring of Fire”), Alan Jackson (“Chattahoochie”), and Garth Brooks (“The Dance”), Owen slowed things down with the poignant “What We Ain’t Got.”

Jake Owen.  Photo by Katie Kauss for Sounds Like Nashville

Jake closed the show with his possible next single, “If He Ain’t Gonna Love You,” and the mega-hit “Barefoot Blue Jean Night.”

Whether it’s the addition of his horn section, or his seemingly newfound spark for life, Jake Owen proved that his live show is on an entirely new level this year.

Boots & Hearts runs through Sunday, August 7 and will feature performances from Sam HuntDierks BentleyDean BrodyBlake SheltonTim McGraw, and many more throughout the weekend.