This past Friday night the CMT Next Women of Country tour kicked off at Casino Rama. For those not familiar with the idea of this tour last year CMT (USA) announced a short 10 date tour with Jana Kramer and Kelsea Ballerini which had some fantastic success. So CMT decided to up the ante with the 2016 edition with the likes of new comers Tara Thompson and Lindsay Ell along with the talented Brandy Clark while being headlined by the amazing Jennifer Nettles. Not a bad line up at all. They have scheduled a 38 date tour that kicked off in Canada at Casino Rama .
The evening started off with emerging artist Tara Thompson taking the stage for a brief 2 song set (shortened set from the rest of the dates on the tour I was told) I had the chance to chat with Tara earlier in the day and take in a 5 song performance where she wowed the crowd. Now the set times were slightly moved up to allow for all 4 artists to perform and get the show wrapped up by 11ish. So with only 2 songs to perform in front of a surprisingly somewhat full venue, considering the start time change Tara laced into her quick set and got things kicked off in grand style.
Next up was Canada’s own Lindsay Ell. Lindsay has really started to turn heads in Nashville these days with songs such as Shut Me Up and Trippin’ On Us getting spins on Satellite Radio (The Highway of course). Lindsay also only had a quick set to impress. I know the lady sitting beside me was. She couldn’t believe the sound that the girl and the guitar could make with the loop pedals etc. Lindsay is one hell of a guitar player as well. Was great to see her back in Ontario that is for sure.
After Lindsay wrapped up it was time for Brandy Clark. I have seen Brandy perform only one other time, when she opened for Eric Church in London last year and she was killer then. Well, not much has changed. She is still killer. Having talked to a couple walking into the venue, they had mentioned that they had come to actually see Brandy Clark, which comes as a bit of a surprise because Brandy has little to no radio play in Canada not sure if that is lack of record label publicity or lack of Country Music stations having too much to choose from these days. BUT.. That said Brandy put on a fantastic 45 min set. But she definitely had the crowd listening.. With her very smart lyrics and great voice to match Brandy Clark is definitely one of those NEXT big things in country music.
— Sound Check Ent. (@SoundCheckBlg) January 16, 2016
Then it was time for the lovely Jennifer Nettles. Now Jennifer is about to release her upcoming 2nd solo album and she performed a few off it on Friday along with a plethora of her former hits. With her hit Stay being one that I could just see everyone waiting for and when it started the crowd let her know they were excited to hear it.
Now Jennifer is another artists I had never actually had the pleasure of seeing before. Her voice is so recognizable and flawless live. When she kicked things off with her current single Playing with Fire it started with a punch. And it wasn’t till about 4 songs in before it slowed down a little. As you know I am not one to give you a set list of songs performed because I like to leave a little bit of a surprise for those attending the show later in the tour. But easily the stand outs for me were Playing With Fire and Unlove You. Both off the new album coming out in early April. If you have a chance to catch the Next Women of Country Tour I would strong suggest you going. Country music is due for an overhaul from bro-country and these 4 ladies are a hell of a start!
We had a lot going on Friday with Mason Jar Sessions with both Lindsay & Tara watch for those in the coming weeks! And check out what else is happening over at Casinor Rama here…
CoreyKelly / @CoreyKelly76