Author Archives: Makayla Markey

Garth Against the Machine

garth brooks black hat reuters
From a young age I listened to Garth Brooks around the house. My mother is a huge fan of Garth Brooks. My mother was actually in the Primetime documentary about Garth Brooks in the front of the crowd at one of his concerts in July of 1992 in what used to be called the Coors Amphitheater in Southern California. She was at the concert with a big group of friends and just happened to be filmed. This is her claim to fame and I will never forget this story.

Unknown-1This is why I took great joy in informing my mother that after 13 years of retirement Garth Brooks is making a comeback with his new album called Man Against Machine under the label RCA Nashville. This album will be quite different than most of the music circulating around other male Country Music singers. Brooks looks past partying and rural life to music that better speaks to the common man. In his album Brooks is representing the middle class that works day in and day out without time for excessive partying and celebration. I am very interested in seeing how listeners will react to this divergent theme. This album shows influence from Jason Aldean and Eric Church with its heavy guitars and dark-hued themes. He doesn’t include auto-tuned vocals, rhythm loops or rapping unlike most modern male country stars. His tracks are weighty and wordy, just like his previous albums “Scarecrow” and “In the Life of Chris Gaines” left off.

Due to this type of construction of the album I get a new traditionalist subgenre vibe from Brooks new album. He reals country music back in to a more traditional standpoint unlike the modern country music that is currently popular. Although his album strays from the current modern country themes produced by male country stars, in my opinion, his desire to address life’s important themes should be more successful than the more superficial themes currently popular in Country music. The themes in Man Against Machiene, show that Garth still nods to his Oklahoma roots, patriotism, parenthood, and there are trademark dashes of feistiness. Mostly, though, there are well-constructed songs with catchy melodies and a sturdy voice that show that a decade of rest has served Brooks well. This album brings together a new and old Garth Brooks. I urge all of you to check the new album out, and hopefully you will connect to it and enjoy it as much as I did.


Filed under New Country, News

Sam Hunt’s Montevallo


enhanced-14422-1410282499-9On October 27th, Montevallo, the debut album by the new hot country music artist Sam Hunt, was released. Zach Crowell and Shane McAnally produced this Country Pop album under the label MCA Nashville. New music is always so exciting especially from a very new and already popular Country Music artist. It is also exciting to see that Sam Hunt wrote all of the songs on the album with some help but for the most part he is the main writer. This is his first studio album ever! Before this album he came out with the popular single, “Leave the Night On”, which is on Montevallo. Hunt also released “X2C,” a four song EP, intended as a preview for his first studio album. The EP debuted on the No. 36 on the Billboard 200 and No. 5 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. This is the only music he has with his label MCA Nashville.

images-1Though he’s taking the spotlight as a solo artist for the first time, Hunt is not exactly new to the Country Music industry. Before signing with MCA Nashville he had a 15 song mix tape and one single called “Raised On It”. He has also co-written a few popular songs, like Kenny Chesney’s 2012 single “Come Over”, for which he received an award from ASCAP. Hunt also wrote two singles released in 2014: Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight”. Even though he has had recent success with music it hasn’t always been his passion. Sam Hunt was a college football quarterback at both Middle Tennessee State University and University of Alabama at Birmingham. After college he was briefly signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs.

So as you can see this is Sam Hunt’s first actual step onto the country music scene. So far he has had lots of positive feedback from fans. His single made it on US Billboard Hot 100 38 times. I expect that Montevallo will experience the same type of success since the single is from the album. It will be very exciting to see how listeners will react to the album.  I love when I am able to discover an artist early on in their career because you can watch how they grow in their music and how they transform throughout their career. Definitely give Montevallo a listen when you can it is a very fun listen that will get you singing along as well as make you a new fan of newcomer Sam Hunt. He is currently on his CMT Tour: Up in Smoke with Kip Moore and Charlie Worsham that started in September and will continue through November at venues across the U.S.


1. “Take Your Time”
2. “Leave the Night On”
3. “House Party”
4. “Break Up in a Small Town”
5. “Single for the Summer”
6. “Ex to See”
7. “Make You Miss Me”
8. “Cop Car”
9. “Raised on It”
10. “Speakers”


Filed under News, Reviews

Happy Birthday Scotty McCreery!


On October 9th Scotty McCreery turned 21 years old. Most of you may know him from American Idol where he won the tenth season. He was only seventeen years old then! That makes him the second youngest contestant to win American Idol. Now at twenty-one years of age he is currently on his See You Tonight Tour. On his actual birthday he was performing his show at the KMPS Presents: The Sunset Chevrolet 12-Man Jam in Seattle. Scotty's 21st on tourDuring his performance Scotty was surprised with a cake on stage with candles and all. Joe Tafoya and Norm Johnson, two retired Seattle Seahawks players were the ones who took it out on stage for Scotty to blow out all of his candles.

What did he wish for you might ask? As a National Goodwill Ambassador for the 12.14 Foundation, Scotty asked fans to help him celebrate his 21st birthday by making a donation to the 12.14 Foundation. (You too can fulfill Scotty’s wish by making a donation like I did by clicking on the link in the previous sentence. Every dollar counts!) The non-profit organization plans to build a multipurpose performing arts and education center for the residents of Newtown, Connecticut, site of the tragic 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. What a selfless individual.

This must have been an amazing experience for the fans to witness this as well as be a part of the celebration for another monumental year in the life of a young country music star. This really builds a strong relationship with fans by sharing intimate moments like a birthday. The fans feel connected to Scotty on a personal level which just makes them even more loyal, supportive, and influential when it comes to supporting his 12.14 Foundation as well as his career.

McCreery will also hold a benefit concert for the organization on Thursday, December 4 at the Toyota Oakdale in Wallingford, Conn. Danielle Bradbery will be joining him as well for the special performance. I don’t know about you, but every time I hear about celebrities really making a positive impact it warms to hear to know they are using there influence and status to better the world instead of take advantage of it.

This is not seen too often unfortunately. Who knows, maybe it’s just the good ole country spirit that working in Scotty. The country boy spent his birthday with family and friends back home in North Carolina. He will then be returning to the See You Tonight Tour in Fayetteville, N.C., on Oct. 17.

Tour Bus


Filed under Live Music, New Country