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CONCERTS

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SCOTTY
MCCREERY

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Scotty McCreery’s current album Same Truck contains his No. 1 RIAA Gold-certified singles “You Time” and “Damn Strait,” and his current single “It Matters to Her.” McCreery co-wrote 10 of the 12 songs on Same Truck. An expanded edition, Same Truck: The Deluxe Album, will be released on November 18, 2022, with six additional new songs. He achieved new heights by earning three back-to-back No. 1 hits from his last album Seasons Change, the RIAA Gold-certified project which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Album chart: the RIAA Double Platinum-certified “Five More Minutes,” the RIAA Platinum-certified “This Is It,” which stayed at the top of the charts for two weeks, and RIAA Gold-certified “In Between.” McCreery co-wrote all 11 songs on Seasons Change, which Rolling Stone named one of the “40 Best Country and Americana Albums of 2018.” Four of his albums have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Albums chart, with current combined sales surpassing 4 million copies. With five consecutive No.1 hits to his credit, he’s earned one Double Platinum, four Platinum and four Gold singles; one Platinum and two Gold albums; won the 10th season of “American Idol” in 2011; was named the ACM New Artist of the Year in 2011; won the CMT Music Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year (‘The Trouble with Girls’) in 2012; American Country Awards for New Artist of the Year in 2011 and Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2013; BMI Awards for writing One of the Top 50 Country Songs of the Year four times (in 2015 for “See You Tonight,” in 2018 for “Five More Minutes,” in 2019 for “This is It.” and 2021 for “In Between”); a Carolina Beach Music Award for National Dance Song of the Year (‘Barefootin’’) in 2018; and the NSAI Nashville Songwriter Award for One of the Top Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written (‘Five More Minutes’) in 2018. The North Carolina native released his first book, Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream, in 2016; it was re-released in paperback in 2020. His song “Five More Minutes” inspired a popular movie that aired on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Network from November to December 2021. McCreery launched his recording career by making history in 2011 as the first country artist and the youngest male artist of any genre to debut his first studio album, the Platinum-certified Clear as Day, at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard Top 200 Albums chart.

When contemporary influences expand country music’s parameters, you’ll hear, “country music ain’t like it used to be” as a common refrain. But 25-year-old ZACH TOP is reviving the spirit of ‘90s traditionalists like George Strait, Keith Whitley, and Randy Travis with classic vibes that evoke the dancehalls of Texas, the roar of the rodeo, and jukebox ballads with a cold beer in hand. There’s nothing more current than old-school country to ZACH, who grew up on a ranch in Sunnyside, Washington. He recalls rockin’ a Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs cassette while riding out in an old Chevy pickup to feed livestock throughout his childhood. At the age of seven, he formed a bluegrass band with his siblings called Top String.

All through his teens and early twenties, he played in various bluegrass bands, including Modern Tradition (winners of the 2017 SPBGMA international band competition) with whom he notched a string of hits on bluegrass radio, including the #1 song “Like It Ain’t No Thing.”Honky-Tonk dreams took him to Nashville in 2021, where he secured a crucial publishing deal with Bob Doyle’s Major Bob Music. Since the move, he has established himself as an artist to watch, being asked to perform at the Grand Ole Opry several times, where he debuted his first country single, “Cold Beer & Country Music,” on the historic stage.

ZACH
TOP

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meghan
patrick

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Since making her debut with 2016’s multi-award-winning Grace & Grit, Meghan Patrick has embodied the kind of unbridled truth-telling that leaves listeners feeling undeniably seen and understood. A back-to-back CCMA Female Artist of the Year whose accolades also include 18 CMAOntario Awards, the Nashville-based artist doubled down on that soul-baring specificity in the making of her latest project, The Greatest Show On Dirt. Over the course of the EP’s six intimately

detailed tracks, the rural-Ontario-born singer/songwriter sets her storytelling to a high-energy but expansive sound that stretches beyond the boundaries of country—a move befitting of a musician whose background includes co-founding an all-girl band at age 13, studying opera and jazz, fronting a 10-piece funk act that once opened for Aretha Franklin, and touring  extensively as part of a bluegrass group. Anchored in the  powerful vocal work she’s brought to the stage as support for

legends like Dwight Yoakam and top artists including Keith Urban, Old Dominion, Kip Moore, Brothers Osborne and more, the result is a body of work that captures the nuances of her emotional experience with equal parts boldness, humor, and wildly colorful originality.

“It’s always been important for me to be completely honest in my music, but I think this is the first time I’ve had the bravery that it takes to get to place where you can be 100 percent open about every aspect of yourself—the good and the bad, and not just the parts that you hear about in songs on the radio,” says Patrick. “I want to make music that has real longevity, and the only way to do that is to peel back the layers and be unapologetically yourself.”

Produced by Joey Hyde (Jake Owen, The Band CAMINO) and Aaron Eshuis (Rascal Flatts, Cole Swindell), The Greatest Show On Dirt kicks off with lead single “She’s No Good For Me”—a

smoldering and fearlessly self-aware track that Patrick considers a major breakthrough in making her way toward the EP’s unguarded self-expression. “That song was definitely new territory as far as acknowledging some of the not-so-great moments in my past,” she says. “It came from looking back on a time when I was drinking too much and making bad decisions for my health and in my relationships, but I wanted to make the point that the first step to healing is recognizing that you need to heal. I’d never heard that exact idea in a song before, and it felt like a catalyst for digging deeper in my songwriting.”

All throughout The Greatest Show On Dirt, Patrick lets her down-to-earth personality and whip-smart point of view shine to full effect, bringing a dazzling subjectivity to songs like “Ours” (a fiery reflection on “watching your ex hit copy-and-paste on your relationship with whoever they date

next”) and “Truck Breaks Down” (a gorgeously aching account of “knowing someone’s about to end things, and thinking of everything that could potentially stop them from coming to break your heart”). On the EP’s title track, meanwhile, Patrick matches her gritty authenticity with a starry-eyed narrative that’s cinematic in detail. “There’s plenty of songs about those breakups that ruin your life, so I wanted to write a breakup song that’s more of a nostalgic throwback to a summer

romance—something that brings you back to this little moment in time when everything felt right,” she says.

The most darkly charged moment on The Greatest Show On Dirt, “Red Roses & Red Flags” documents the demise of a toxic relationship. With its hypnotic guitar tones, brooding rhythms, and frenetic banjo runs (courtesy of Ilya Toshinskiy, a Russian musician who’s also worked with Tim McGraw and Kacey Musgraves), the haunting yet glorious track finds Patrick’s voice taking on a thrilling intensity as she delivers one brilliantly scathing line after another (e.g., “You’ll be back in the morning/After you’ve paid the florist/With whatever ain’t on the bar tab”). “It’s the story of a scenario I’ve been in time and time again, where a guy screws up and thinks it’ll fix everything if he goes out and buys you flowers,” she says. “He’s talking about how he’s gonna change and be a better man and you’re just thinking, ‘It’s done, I’m over it. I’m already halfway out the door.’” Naming John Prine, Neil Young, and Waylon Jennings among her longtime inspirations, Patrick first

started honing her distinct narrative voice as a kid in the small town of Bowmanville, then took up guitar after graduating from high school. During her time at McGill University, she built up her chops by busking in the Montreal subways, eventually dropping out of school to tour with her bluegrass band. Within a year of striking out as a solo artist, Patrick landed a deal with a major label and soon teamed up with the likes of Vince Gill to record the widely acclaimed Grace & Grit. But while the coming years brought a number of triumphs—including scoring her first #1 single with “Walls Come Down” (from her 2018 sophomore LP) and winning a Juno Award for her 2019 EP

Wild As Me—Patrick later endured a period of intense upheaval compounded by the chaos of the pandemic. “It was a culmination of a lot of different things that shook my world, made me doubt myself and made me feel like I wasn’t being heard by the people around me,” says Patrick, who’s now signed to Riser House Records. “But at the same time, that’s what pushed me to really lead the charge and create what I want instead of trying to fit into other people’s expectations—and because of all that, I ended up with some of the best songs I’ve ever written.”

Now at work on her first full-length since 2021’s Heart on My Glass, Patrick has found that strengthening her creative vision has reaffirmed her sense of purpose as an artist. “After I put out ‘She’s No Good For Me,’ I had people reach out and tell me things like, ‘I’ve been sober for a while and I was really struggling this weekend, but then I heard your song and it put me in a good place,’” she says. “So many of my songs come from the moments where I don’t feel strong, but somehow

sharing those moments ends up helping people. It just shows that the more human and genuine I am in my music, the more it might help people to feel more empowered in their own lives.”

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