Saturday, 8 February 2014

C2C Country to Country 2014 Pop-Up Acts Announced

C2C Country to Country 2014 Pop-Up Acts Announced

Updated Feb 9, 2014: Jessica Clemmons Weekend Wogan Live session 

* Updated Feb 19, 2014: 
Carolynne Poole, Frankie Davies and Alan West added to Pop-Up stage list now 30 names! Scroll down for profiles

On Feb 5, 2014 C2C Country to Country announced the Pop-Up Stage news and the initial 27 act line-up. An eclectic selection of up-and-coming acts are due to appear on the Pop-Up Stages at C2C Country to Country at The O2.

C2C Country to Country 2014 Pop-Up Acts Collage
* It includes some 30 names, 5 from the USA,  2 from Germany, 1 from Sweden, 1 from Jersey, 15 from England,  3 Scottish acts and 2 Irish acts:

Ann Doka (Germany), Carolynne Poole (UK), Curran (UK),  Dexeter (UK), Frankie Davies (Jersey), Gary Quinn (UK), Hometown Show (UK), Jessica Clemmons (USA), Jill & Kate (USA), Jill Johnson (Sweden), Lisa-Marie Fischer (Germany), Lisa Redford (USA), Luke and Mel (UK), Maria Byrne (Ireland), McKay (UK),  Raintown (Scotland), Star Lane (UK), Stephen Kellog (USA), Stevie Agnew (Scotland), Striking Matches (USA), The Diablos (UK), The Dirty Beggars (Scotland), The Shires (UK), The Sonny Walters Band (UK), Thorne Hill (UK), Tom Wright ( UK), Ward-Thomas (UK), Alan West (UK)

Where: Millennium Dome/ North Greenwich Arena, more known in this modern branding world as the London O2 Arena
The O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX - How you travel to The O2
The Pop-Up stages can be found in shopping area, themed marketplace, in the main entrance to the venue and dotted along the boulevard within the O2.
NOTE: These shows are FREE and will follow the huge success of last year’s gigs where the cream of new talent were given a stage to showcase their talents and prove that country music has a very strong future in the UK.

When: Over the Weekend of Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March 2014.

Find C2C on TWITTER Don't forget to tag your tweets with #C2C2014!
#C2C2014 Country To Country 2014 Pop-Up Stage LINE UP REVEALED!

According to the C2C Festival organisers there is no shortage of talent on offer as all the artists on the pop-up stages have really worked hard to earn their places at the festival. 
Jill & Kate from Nashville who have toured internationally as Kelly Clarkson’s backing singers, Emma Jade a former contestant on BBC’s The Voice, and Jill Johnson who is a platinum-selling artist in her native Sweden. Also appearing are the duo Striking Matches who are in the UK courtesy of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation and will also appear as part of the recently announce CMA Songwriters Series on Friday 14th March. 

Country Routes Blog shines the spotlight on the 27 Pop-Up Stage C2C 2014 acts with links to their Websites, Audio, Video and Available Online Music.

>> Listen to a SPOTIFY playlist of the Pop-Up Stage 2014 acts
     using this ONLINE Web Player Link: C2C Pop-Up Stage Artists 2014

Note: The Playlist below requires you to already have your SPOTIFY application
installed and  OPEN and is ONLY for users of the online music streaming service

MEET the #C2C2014 Pop-UP Stage Artists: 

Ann Doka (Germany, Website - Facebook )
C2C Blurb: Singer-Songwriter Ann Doka combines the drive and catchy pop hooks of modern Nashville country without losing sight of the song or her own voice. 
That sensibility is more than evident on her 11 track debut-album “Never Ending Road” released 20 July 2012) which won her “Best country singer“ and “Best country song“ at the 2012 German Rock & Pop Awards. >> >> Watch her video "There You Fly"
>> Listen to her music on SPOTIFY - Ann Doka – Never Ending Road
Available MUSIC: “Never Ending Road” is available on UK iTunes

Curran - (UK; Born Oct 31, in London, England and raised in the working class town of Navan, Ireland;  Website - Facebook )
Rocker Mark Curran is currently based in the UK promoting his 5 Track mini album 'Beginnings' (self released Nov  5, 2013) Lead Singer of Rocks best kept secret CURRAN.,
C2C Blurb: Mark was soon introduced to the sounds of Elvis Presley, AC-DC, Status Quo, and Thin Lizzy.  After graduating high school, Mark found himself at a crossroads, go back to the cover band scene and end up God knows where, or go on the road and learn the ropes! There wasn't much to think about, Mark went to work for Maryland Sound. It was there he quickly found himself on the road with the likes of Kid Rock, David Lee Roth, Faith Hill, and Whitney Houston. 
 Available MUSIC: 'Beginnings' is available on Amazon UK and UK iTunes

Dexeter (UK)
C2C Blurb: They play fresh contemporary country with a rock and roll twist from deep within the folds of Leicestershire.
They have a EP titled “Brighter Skies” (2012) which was a fan funded Pledgemusic Project
This motley crew of six musicians is on a roll with regular Nashville radio play and interest from the BBC, Dexeter are ready for 2014 and everything it brings.
>> Watch their EP Sampler ; “Brighter Skies” is available on UK iTunes

Emma Jade (Garbutt) (UK; Doncaster; unsigned; Country Pop Website - Facebook & Facebook/EmmaJademusic - Twitter 5,335 Followers) She is a unsigned 19 year old country/pop  vocalist from Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
About: Emma Jade describes herself as ditsy and once broke a microphone because she sang too loud! She is a HUGE country music fan, her idol is Miranda Lambert and she also loves a bit of Dolly Parton.
Job: Beauty Consultant in Meadow Hall
Quotes: "There aren’t many country singers like me from Yorkshire!" / "When I was over in Nashville a producer said to me you could become the first English country superstar and that has become the biggest goal for me" / Ref Joe Nichols - "Theres a possibility i’d faint if i met this man… jus’ sayin"
C2C Blurb: Her sound is best described as country with her focusing on her emotional vocals.

In 2013 the attractive Emma was chosen out of 30,000 artists for the blind audition stage of BBC 1's The Voice UK, She was successful and joined Team Tom after the Welsh Legend turned his chair. Her performance was seen by over 11 million people as they watched her move forward. Emma's Battle round performance has been viewed by over 800,000 people on youtube alone.
The Voice UK wasn't Emma's first big shot, she was scouted in 2011 by legendary country music producer David Malloy. She flew out to Nashville in February 2012 to perform at his show called The Teen Hoot, the show sold out. It was broadcast worldwide and Emma gained a huge fan base. She is now working on her debut EP.

Claim to Fame: As a then 18-year old Emma appeared as a contestant on 'BBC The Voice UK' after being chosen to join Sir Tom Jones' 2013 team Image after performing a cover of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine" on Episide 2 broadcast on 6 April 2013. Unfortunately Emma Jade left the competition at the third battle round stages episode aired on 25 May,2013 pitched against Mike Ward (cousin of British The X Factor series 2 winner Shayne Ward) performing Stevie Nicks' song "Landslide" (also cut by The Dixie Chicks) - BBC Profile - BBC Photo HOT! - Cowgirl Photo HOT!
Gossip: It was reported in May 2013 Emma was dating fellow hopeful Lex Flowers (Twitter pic) who is 14 years older, one half of duo De'Vide, who lost out to Danny County in the Battle Round stage in Jessie J's team. The couple were said to have met during the BBC One show's Blind Audition stage and had since been on a number of dates, The Sun reported.

On a country forum in August 2013 she stated she had “finally fully recovered from a chest infection” and unfortunately “didn’t  have the money to have more high tech videos done” and was “literally living on pennies” and shared "she didn’t have “a laptop or computer to record with my vocal microphone”.
In her blog you can find out all of her Beauty secrets and fashion tips!  Her 5 Must Have Beauty Products!
You Be The Voice Judge, Would you turn around? >> Watch Full backstage and live footage of  Emma “Sweet Child Of Mine” in her blind audition on The Voice UK 2013, this Taylor Swift cover “Treacherous” and Live At The Granary "Stay" (Sugarland Cover)

Gary Quinn (UK; Hometown Omagh, Location: Leigh, Wigan;  Website - Facebook
C2C Blurb: Described as having a cool modern sound with echoes of the past, Gary Quinn is an award winning singer-songwriter who knows how to pull on the heartstrings of his audiences. Creating beautifully crafted lyrics he draws you in with his performances of rock infused country balanced with the traditional.
He was one of a handful of artists who went to Nashville in 2012 to represent the UK at the CMA Music Festival.
Quinn has shared the stage with some of Nashville’s finest including Sugarland’s Kristian Bush and Hall of Fame Songwriter Bob DiPiero as part of the CMA Songwriter Series that visited Europe. He has performed at the CMA MUSIC FEST in Nashville as well as playing shows all over the UK and Ireland.
Quinn striking whilst the iron was hot” asked fans to dig deep into their pockets to pledge their support to his Debut Album which was successfully funded. Signed goodies and VIP experiences were traded in exchange for a pledge -
Quinn’s 10 track  self penned album 'Gary Quinn', released Oct 22, 2013 can be heard on radio stations in his native Ireland, UK, America and Australia.
National recognition was received when his song, ‘He Don’t Show Her Anymore’, was awarded ‘Song of the Year’ by the British Country Music Awards in 2013.

>> Watch "He Dont Show Her Anymore" (Official Music Video)
>> Listen to his music on SPOTIFY - Gary Quinn – Gary Quinn
Available MUSIC : 'Gary Quinn' is available on  Amazon UK (rank #34,017 in MP3 Albums) and iTunes

Hannah Jane Lewis (UK, London, Pop/Country, - Facebook - Twitter
C2C Blurb: Hannah is an emerging singer/songwriter based in London, who is quickly making a name for herself with her twist on modern pop/country music. 
After moving to America at the age of fifteen, Hannah was thrown into the world of country music, falling in love with the storytelling nature of the lyrics. In her seven years of living there, she soaked up as much of it as she could and is now determined to win the UK over.
She aims to write and sing relatable stories that ring with refreshingly honest lyrics, gaining inspiration from her own experiences and relationships.
On Nov 10, 2013 Hannah released her first for independent release self-titled 4 Track EP, showcasing just a taste of what is to come. Come and join her on her journey so far…
Prior to her C2C appearance she will be performing with other C2C Pop-Up artists Gary Quinn and Raintown:
Where and When: At East Wintergarden, 43 Bank Street, London on Thursday, 13 Mar 2014  (Doors: 6:45PM; Starts: 7:30PM – Event Detail)
>> Watch her video “I See Fire” Ed Sheeran (HJL Cover)
>> Listen to her music on Soundcloud and SPOTIFY - Hannah Jane Lewis
Available MUSIC : Hannah Jane Lewis’ EP is available on Amazon UK (Rank: #58,398 in MP3 Albums) and UK iTunes 
Hometown Show (UK; Hometown: Portsmouth, England/Bowling Green, Kentucky Website - Facebook )
C2C Blurb: Hometown Show is Matthew Harrison, Caz Batten, Joshua Hibberd & Trevor Thwaites.
Influences: Love & Liquor. Hailing from the South-Coast of England, Hometown Show has an authentic Americana/ Bluegrass/ Country sound. Heavily influenced by the old-time string bands of appalachia and many modern day folk heroes. They have shared the stage with artists such as: Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo, Bob Cheevers, Austin Lucas, Jason Isbell, Kim Richey and many more.
Their Kickstarter debut album project was successfully funded on Jul 18, 2013 (25 backers pledged £595 of a £400 goal)
>> Watch their video Shot at Pie & Vinyl in Southsea during an in-store performance.
>> Listen to her music on SPOTIFY - Hometown Show – This Side of the Ocean
Available MUSIC : “This Side of the Ocean”, 13 tracks released on 12 September 2011 is available on Amazon UK and UK iTunes

Jessica Clemmons (USA; Houston, TX ; Pop/Soul songstress; Website - Facebook)
C2C Blurb:
Talented singer-songwriter Jessica, honed her talent in her hometown of Houston, writing and recording her debut album in London, Chicago and Aarhus, but it was London where the beautiful collection of soulful and uplifting songs really came together.
Jessica went on to release 3 singles from the album: Permanent, Relentless, and Here I Am in the UK, and a further release of Relentless in Germany in 2011. She also released I Can Do Anything With You as an exclusive in Ireland.
Her second album LOVING THIS DAY was co-written with Grammy Nominee Anita Wilson and Rick Robinson in Chicago, and BMI Award winning production house Phrased Differently in London.  After its release in 2012 the critical acclaim led to a support slot with Doo-Wop / Vocal Harmony The Overtones sold-out 27 date UK tour in November/December of 2012 and a host of media support including National radio attention. Read this review of her performance at Hammersmith Apollo, London (26th Nov 2012)
She loves meeting her fans so much she enjoyed setting up some intimate Living Rooms Sessions via a Pledgemusic Project in order to continue touring.
2013 proved a big year for Texan Country Jessica Clemmons. Having spent an intensive week writing in Nashville with Jeff Cohen (The Band Perry, Sugarland), Sherrie Austin (George Strait, Tim McGraw) and James T Slater (Rascall Flatts, Martina McBride), Jessica took to the road in the UK armed with a new 5 track EP 'What If' (released Nov 20, 2013) she supported the one and only Boyzone on their 20th Anniversary UK Tour dates (see Wembley Arena review)
In this December 2013 >> interview in Bournemouth prior to her support at the BIC for the Boyzone tour she spoke about the audience's most favoured songs, her most personal song and her musical career.
Her new country infused single, 'Single Tonight' has been playlisted and very well received across BBC Radio 2 and her famous fans had grown from the aforementioned four Irish boys to include Radio 2 stalwarts Terry Wogan and Simon Mayo.

To celebrate it's release on Sunday Feb 9, 2014, Jessica was in the UK especially to perform live in the Weekend Wogan studio (See BBC Showpage for details and Listen Back 7 days).
Joined by Ricky Riccardi (percussion), Louis Riccardi (guitar) and Steve Williams on the keyboards (Overtones Tour musicians) Jess performed “Single Tonight” [Live] and a quite wonderful and classy cover of Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” [Live] which drew an immediate reaction from Sir Terry Wogan – “Well with the greatest respect to Glen Campbell, that’s the most fabulous version of that song I’ve ever heard, that was terrific...Jessica Clemmons sensational” . This was followed by a great response from the BBC Radio 2 listeners.
Her success in the music business means this bubbly songstress from Texas, now divides her time between Houston and London.
>> Listen to her edited Weekend Wogan session and interview with her best bits:

>> Watch her video "Beautiful" (Released Jul 15, 2012)
>> Listen to her music on Soundcloud and SPOTIFY - Jessica Clemmons – What If

Available MUSIC : Her EP 'What If' is available on Amazon UK and UK iTunes
Jill & Kate (USA; Pop/Acoustic/Folk; Nashville, TN; Website - Facebook)
C2C Blurb: With lyrics inspired by real life, seasoned with the simplicity of youthful energy and timelessness that is rarely seen in today's pop music; that is "Jill and Kate". 
Jill Pickering and Kate Rapier met at the Contemporary Music Center on Martha's Vineyard, an invitation-only artists' colony that offers masters classes in songwriting, recording, and performing. It was during their residency, they formed "Jill and Kate". They spent six years touring the world with Kelly Clarkson as her backing vocalists before leaving to concentrate on their own career. They have even taken the stage with Keith Urban and Seal.
Their 10 track debut album, HEART OF STONE, charted at #39 in the US iTunes pop chart and they have two releases coming out in 2014.
After the Country 2 Country 2014 Festival they will also play 2 other shows…one at Matthews Yard, Croydon (March 17) & at The Blind Tiger, Brighton (March 18) - Events
>> Watch their video "What Do You Say" the lead-off track from Heart Of Stone.
Available MUSIC: Heart Of Stone is available on Amazon UK and UK iTunes

Jill Johnson (Sweden; Hometown: Ängelholm, Current Location: Stockholm; Born 1973; Genre: Countrypop, Countryrock) Current Location Stockholm Website - Facebook)
C2C Blurb: A platinum artist in her native Sweden, Jill has spent a lot of time recording in
Nashville and was invited by the Country Music Association (CMA) to perform last year on their Global stage in Nashville. In the summer of 2013 she was support act and guest artist for Rascal Flatts in London and Dublin and was invited as guest artist at their concerts in Gothenburg and Stockholm in Sweden. She featured “Come Wake Me Up” on their latest album “Changed Live & acoustic performance (with Göran Ericsson) by Jill Johnson at the TV show "efter tio" TV4 (>> video).
Jill returns to C2C for a second year after rave reviews from fans in March 2013.
Her videos have appeared regularly on The Phil Mack Country Show on Showcase TV (Sky/ Freesat)

>> Stream/ Download << her opening track "Rhythm Guitar” (Written by Kennerly/ Harris) from her 2007 album MUSIC ROW (Catalog LHICD0054). 
It is professionally and beautifully presented with a fabulous booklet full of pictures which come in a Super Jewel Case Available on Amazon UK
>> Watch her video “A Woman Can Change Her Mind” (Sampler) released March 19, 2013
Available MUSIC: “A Woman Can Change Her Mind” is available on Amazon UK (Rank #127,487 in MP3 Albums) and

Lisa-Marie Fischer (Germany; Hometown: Marburg; Record label: Stevja Records Website - Facebook - is a 22 years old country/folk singer-songwriter)
C2C Blurb: In 2011 she has released her first CD "Lisa-Marie Fischer" and her second CD "Sugar & Salt" (13 tracks) was released in March 2013.
Due to major TV appearances (ARD MoMa, ZDF Fernsehgarten, RTL, SAT1), radio appearances as well as her tour with the singer/actor Tom Beck in October-November 2013 she became well known to the public in Germany.
>> Watch her videos "Done Is Done" filmed in Rabbit Hash, KY - and "Valentine's Day" (Nov 2011)
>> Listen to her music on SPOTIFY - Lisa-Marie Fischer – Sugar and Salt
Available MUSIC: "Sugar & Salt" is available on Amazon CD - MP3 and UK iTunes

Lisa Redford (USA; Hometown: Manhattan, NYC./ Norwich UK; Acoustic, Americana, Folk Pop Website - Facebook
C2C Blurb: Described by BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris as “one of our finest singer/songwriters” Lisa Redford has earned acclaim for her heartfelt Americana with gorgeous melodies, stunning pure and soulful vocals.
Lisa has toured the UK and Europe and supported many country artists. As well as gaining airplay on Bob Harris's Radio 2 show, she has recorded live sessions for the legendary DJ. "Bob Harris, the patron saint of female singer-songwriters, has Redford has up there at the top of the pile. It's easy to see why" - Americana UK
'Lisa Redford is a breath of fresh air. Hers is a pure and quite lovely voice which delivers some sweet Americana-tinged songs from the heart, all done to tasteful acoustic arrangements including some nice fingerstyle guitar.' - Manchester Evening News
"In a sea of smart female singer-songwriters, Lisa Redford is an admiral.' Maverick Magazine **** New EP 'Reminders' (4 tracks; self-released) May 20, 2012
>> Watch her video "New York Song" (Music and lyrics by Lisa Redford)
>> Listen to hear songs on Soundcloud - Reverbnation and SPOTIFY Lisa Redford – Reminders - Lisa Redford – Clouds With Silver . She recently recorded a live acoustic version of Arctic Monkeys ‘Do I Wanna Know?
Available MUSIC: Reminders is available on Amazon UK (Rank #159,387 in MP3 Albums) and UK iTunes

Luke and Mel (UK; Luke Thomas and Melanie Greggain; Website - Facebook - Twitter )
C2C Blurb: Award-winning duo, Luke and Mel are being hailed as the hottest young act in UK Country Music. 
Combining haunting harmonies and fine musicianship, they create a sound that is both unique and authentic. The duo was formed in the summer of 2012 after they met whilst performing together in the UK's most successful country music theatre show, Country Legends.

Luke & Mel were voted the Horizon Act of the Year at the 2013 British Country Music Awards (BCMAwards), after just 18 months of touring together as a duo.
Up Country Magazine called them "The most exciting young act to grace UK country music in recent years" 

Maria Byrne (Ireland; Website - Facebook London/Cork; is an Irish singer/songwriter, rooted in country and folk music)
C2C Blurb: Her music is a collection of intimate yet infectious songs, showcasing Maria’s beautiful voice along with some rousing harmonies and country fiddle. Based in London, Maria released her first EP 'All You Need' in 2010 followed by her debut 10 track LP 'Little Basement' on Oct 24, 2011. Both releases earned her live sessions with Janice Long (BBC Radio 2)
Her next EP Graphic is due for release in March. Her EP Launch take place on 20th Feb 2014 - Event Detail.
>> Watch her BBC Radio 2 live session
>> Listen to hear songs on Soundcloud and SPOTIFY Maria Byrne – Little Basement
Available MUSIC: 'Little Basement' is available on Amazon UK and UK iTunes

McKay (UK; Country/Pop/Rock - Website - Facebook)
Its members consist of Tim McKay (Lead Vocals), Arthur (Keyboards), Henry (Lead Guitar), Jack (Rhythm Guitar), Milo (Bass Guitar) and Nick (Drums). McKay have the backing of a big team from CMA industry people, the CMA President of Europe and Garth Brooks and The Band Perry’s managers - “The right people loved us and like what we do” said Tim speaking to ex BBC Radio Sheffield presenter Allan Watkiss.
The Oct 2013 issue Country Routes Magazine celebrated the "news of the decade for Brit Country":
Tim McKay (front cover) and his band McKAY were signed to a major worldwide label EMI/UNIVERSAL.
In 2012 Tim McKay, was on the bill at the Wembley Festival of Country Music, and in interview he spoke of keeping in contact with festival performer Richie McDonald of Lonestar for songwriting sessions. In June 2012 McKay went on a mini tour in Europe with Dwight Yoakham (headliner), Laura Bell Bundy and Joey & Rory with dates in Scandinavian including Oslo, Norway and the famous High Chaparral Country Music Festival in Sweden.
In May 2012 well known UK country artist Darren Busby became Tim's father-in-law!
The McKay Band were then slated to open for Brad Paisley and The Band Perry on the European leg of Brad Paisleys Virtual Reality World Tour in November 2012 but sadly due to staging issues, production complications and show timings beyond their control this never materialized.
In Oct 2012 they were due to head to a studio to work on an album and songs with a major label. Regarding their progression Tim McKay said they have become “bigger, better and stronger” and he believes they have the songs and the talent as a band to do it. McKay are 6 best friends who “instantly gelled”, 2 are twins.
On March 16th 2013 McKay opened for Brantley Gilbert at the Manchester Academy and in July supported Rascal Flatts on their UK and European dates Shepherds Bush Empire on 10th & 11th July.
>> Watch  their video "Goodbye Would Go" (Feb 2013)
>> Listen to their song on Soundcloud and on SPOTIFY Tim McKays previous solo set Tim McKay – Chasing Dreams

Raintown (Scotland; Glasgow Pop/Country duo; 28 year old Claire McArthur (born in Glasgow) and 34 year old Paul Bain(Born in Kirkcaldy, Fife moving to Cumbernauld when he was a baby) - Website - Facebook
The Kilsyth Chronicle referred to them as “Cumbernauld Pop/Country duo”. They met in Glasgow when they were both part of a company in a “big Las Vegas style show”.
This was about 7 years ago and it was how they started and how they got into performing. The couple met working in Dennistoun at the Parade bar (A former cinema) – See PIC1 
They went under the name of "OMNI" as a pop act making a living at weekends. They covered songs such as "It Takes Two", “Suspicious Minds” and "Warwick Avenue and their webpage and music still exists on Myspace
Seeing the success that Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift were having in the UK as pop crossover acts with remixed singles it is thought that they saw an opportunity as a “country act” naming themselves after the Deacon Blue album titled “Raintown”.
In November 2010 they released their mostly pop leaning debut album HOPE IN TROUBLED TIMES. They were dubbed as the “UK’s answer to Lady Antebellum” by Allan Watkiss CMA International Broadcaster 2010 (ex presenter on BBC Radio Sheffield and station head of
In June 2011 they represented Scotland at the ‘CMA Global Artist Showcase’ in Nashville as the sole representatives for the UK.
They opened for McDonald Brothers (Craig and Brian,  finished 4th to Leona Lewis in the 3rd series of X Factor) playing to 300 of their fans as a support.
The couple had an exciting 2012 winning the support (with fan voting) for Wet Wet Wet at their 25th Anniversary concert in front of 15,000 fans with their 7 piece band.
They won two awards on 2nd Sept 2012 at the criticized and now defunct Scottish New Music Awards, including Record of the Year (Traditional Folk).
In 2013 they supported C2C main stage US star Brantley Gilbert at a Glasgow gig and performed 6 short sets over the 2 days on one of the Pop Up stages at Country2Country at London's O2 Arena.
Presenting on Internet station VOC (Voice Of Country)  they describe their own experience of C2C 2013 and gave the low down on the headliners performances >> Audio Link
On their website Raintown list as influences: Pink, Brad Paisley, Christina Aguilera, Take That, Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and Rascal Flatts.
Raintown also state they are “fast gaining the reputation as one of the hottest Country acts in Europe”! and “Wet Wet Wet had all agreed that Raintown were the real deal as far as music was concerned”.
Raintown were winners at the 2013 BCMAwards snagging the Duo of the Year at their first attempt.
 “I was told to look out for an amazing duo in Scotland called Raintown. A few tracks were sent down and I was hooked on their original sound. We have since met and I find them two of the most professional young musicians with the right attitude that is going to give the UK their own hit Country/Americana act in the very near future. ” - Lee Williams, CMR Nashville (CMA International Broadcaster Award 2013)
They plan to release their second album in 2014.
>> Stream/Download << their 2010 single “Just One Kiss” (Radio Edit) with Valentines in mind!
Contact for more on their music and info.
>> Listen to their songs on SPOTIFY Raintown – Hope In Troubled Times
Available MUSIC: Amazon UK

Star Lane (UK, Kent; Websites: Artist Website - About Starlane - Gig Guide - Facebook)
C2C Blurb: This duo comprise Sarah Lucy Dole lead singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian James Langsdon who are an established and popular act in England and have a fast growing fan base that stretches across the globe. Together they form a dynamic and vibrant mix of Country/Americana with a Modern pop feel. Their debut 12 track album “Buckle Up!", written and arranged by Sarah and Brian, released Sept, 26, 2013 is loaded with original hit songs and received 4 Stars in Maverick Magazine Jan/Feb 2014.
Their album launch took place on  Thursday, 26 September 2013 at the Pavillion, Harbour Street, Broadstairs in Kent
Sarah is a singer-songwriter with a commercial music degree, from South East London who has played in with a variety of different bands, playing a wide range of music, from rock 'n' roll to bluegrass. Sarah who hails from Cheltenham has been praised for her contribution to the music business since the tender age of sixteen, when she first fronted her country band Buntline Special, covering songs from her most influential artists such as Dolly Parton, Crystal Gayle, Billy Jo Spears, Lorrie Morgan, Tanya Tucker and Don Williams.
Over the past 20 years, Brian Langsdon has had the privilege of working with some great musicians in many different genres. He enjoys equally both playing and engineering great music – whether in the studio or live performances. Over the last ten years, Brian has have been immersed in some truly wonderful British and American Folk, Blues, and Country music.
Sarah joined Brian Langsdon in 2011, Starlane Country duo were born and they are creating a big following, and are according to their Facebook Bio set for Super Stardom!
Listen to "Rainmaker" at and "There You Are" (written by Sally Barris) and stream their album on SPOTIFY -
Available MUSIC: “Buckle Up!" is available on Amazon UK and UK iTunes

Stephen Kellog (USA; Northampton, MA; Singer/Songwriter, Alt/Rock, Adult Alternative - Website - Facebook)
C2C Blurb: His music has been described as Americana, Country-Rock, Folk and even pop but the singer-songwriter prefers to think of it as American Rock 'n' Roll. After 10 years of playing with his band The Sixers, the group decided to go on hiatus and Stephen has since released his solo album Blunderstone Rookery.
Deriving its title from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, the 11 track Blunderstone Rookery is Kellogg's third solo album, and his first in some ten years.
There are several guests on hand, including Travis McNabb and Annie Clements of Sugarland, Jerry DePizzo from OAR, and Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek.
>> Watch "Thanksgiving" (Oct 28, 2013)
>> ** Listen to "Crosses" off the album, Blunderstone Rookery at Soundcloud available on UK iTunes
Available MUSIC: UK iTunes

Stevie Agnew (Scotland; Dunfermline based singer/songwriter Website - Facebook
C2C Blurb: For the past 20 years, Stevie Agnew has gigged relentlessly around his native
Scotland and beyond, gripping audiences with his gravelly baritone, tellingly described as ‘a cocktail of grit and Drambuie.’

His 13 track debut album 'Wreckin’ Yard' (released Jan 26, 2013) reached No.2 in the European Americana Chart in December 2013 and was described by top U.S Americana Magazine No Depression as “In the company of the pens of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Springsteen”

>> Watch  "Paid My Dues" (Loving You)  
>> ** Listen to his music on SPOTIFY Stevie Agnew – Wreckin' Yard
Available MUSIC: 'Wreckin’ Yard' is available on Amazon CD - MP3 (Ranked #89,321 in MP3 Albums) and UK iTunes

Striking Matches (USA; Nashville, TN; Website - Facebook
C2C Blurb: Simply stated, Striking Matches, made up of Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis, came to Nashville to play music. Sarah, a Philadelphia native and Justin, from Atlanta,
met when a professor at Belmont University paired them at random to play for a classroom full of guitar majors. The pair has been writing and performing ever since.
Their 4 Track debut self-titled EP (UK iTunes) was produced by Luke Wooten (Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch) with all four tracks co-written by the band. The EP released Oct 2, 2012 was named among iTunes "Best of 2012" and enabled the duo to score features with NPR and The Wall Street Journal. In December 2012, Striking Matches made their debut on the Grand Ole Opry where they have subsequently played more than fifteen times.
The duo has also had five songs featured on ABC's hit show "Nashville.”
They will be sharing the stage with Martina McBride, Brett James and Bob DiPerio at the CMA Songwriters event on Fri March 14th Event Detail
>> Watch  Striking Matches perform "God And You" live at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN (Oct 2013)
Available MUSIC: iTunes (currently their EP is #292 on UK Top 1500 Country Albums)

The Diablos - (UK, Brighton; British Country Rock Website - Facebook)
C2C Blurb They are a five piece country rock band (François DeVille, Chris Nieto, Geoff Ansell, Danny O'Loughlin, Terry O'Loughlin), who all hail from Brighton. A rarity in the UK - a Real British Country Rock band playing original songs and taking on the Americana thang at its own game.The current line-up formed in 2006 and quickly established themselves as a major force on the British Country music scene.  Their self penned debut album 'Welcome To The Club' wowed critics and from it the single 'Whiskey Women and Wine' won the Best Original Song at the 2008 BCMA Awards.
Their next two albums Rhinestones & Diamonds (2011) and Riding The Long Road (2013) spawned three Number One’s on the British Hotdisc Country Chart: “Truth And Consequences” (2012-01-22), “I Don't Like Country” (2012-06-24) and “Bad Chrome Job” (2014-01-12). Both albums received four star reviews in Maverick and Country Music People.
In 2012 they were also recipients of the Hot Disc Horizon Award .
>> ** Listen to their music on SPOTIFY The Diablos – Rhinestones and Diamonds
Available MUSIC: Amazon UK and UK iTunes

The Dirty Beggars (Scotland, Peebles/Glasgow/Dunblane - Facebook - Twitter)
C2C Blurb: They an outfit who comprise Kieran Begbie (Vocals, Guitar), Finn Begbie (Vocals, Harmonica, Mandolin, Guitar), Pete Begbie (Vocals, Banjo, Guitar), Stuart Printie (Double Bass, Dobro, Mandolin) and Pedro Cameron (Fiddle). They hail from Central Scotland with the
music of the Appalachians running in their blood. Their own brand of down and dirty bluegrass has been electrifying crowds all over the UK and abroad. Comprising of guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, harmonica and double bass, The Dirty Beggars are one-of-a-kind in the UK in their genre - fusing traditional Celtic and American bluegrass sounds.
The Dirty Beggars toured the US in 2011, playing a session at The Station Inn in Nashville and garnering attention from CMT while there.
On Nov 29, 2013 The Dirty Beggars released an EP 'Time to Reminisce' - featuring 3 new tracks.
…delicate, country-infused and beautiful. The banjo and fiddle compliment completely the stunning block harmonies. CSNY can rest easy, The Dirty Beggars have got it from here” -- MTV UK
>> Watch them play an unplugged version of "Unforgiven" on the rooftop of Studio Fàs on the Isle of Skye.
Available MUSIC: waywardsounds - Amazon UK -  UK iTunes (currently Bite the Bullet is #292 on UK Top 1500 Country Albums)  

The Shires (UK; Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire; Country/Pop; - Facebook - Twitter)
C2C Blurb: They are a New Country duo (Ben Earle & Crissie Rhodes) from the UK who formed in mid 2013, meeting through a friend on Facebook. After playing a number of shows during the second half of 2013, they are just in the process of inking a record deal with a major record company and plan to release their debut single in Spring 2014.
The band are in the process of writing their debut album, having already written with hit Nashville songwriter Steve Mcewan.'We can build our own Nashville underneath these Grey Skies' (from their song "Nashville Grey Skies" sums up the duo's dream of bringing New Country to the UK and taking The Shires to Nashville!
>> Listen to their music on Soundcloud

The Sonny Walters Band (UK; Website - Facebook
C2C Blurb: They were born out of The album “I Think I’ve Gone Country” that has taken them from the studio to the road and across the country.
They comprise Sonny Walters (Vocals and Guitar), The Reverent Green ( Guitars n Vocals) Rich Bateman (Drums n Perc), Joe Neal (Bass n Vocals) Nick Zala (Peddle Steel n Banjo), and Justin Durrant (Piano n Hammond n Vocals). They play and write songs about love, heartbreak, dumb ass’s and true stories that will make you laugh and sing along.
They played the main stage at the Americana Festival on Saturday 13th July 2013
>> Listen to "Cause I'm Over You"
Available MUSIC: Amazon UK CD - MP3  and UK iTunes

Thorne Hill (UK, Manchester;  Website - Facebook - Twitter)
As a solo artist he has already had a number of successes, including the release of two singles, the 2011 Top 20 UK & Irish Country iTunes Chart hit, Come Undone, and the equally successful 2012 hit, Help Me Find The Strength.
More recently in 2013, Thorne released his much anticipated EP, 'Tomorrow', All five songs were self penned and this makes quite an impressive list of achievements.
Thorne Hill released his 5 Track EP titled TOMORROW (EmuBands) on November 3rd, 2013 with the help of producer Christopher Barn which is available for download from Amazon.UK and UK iTunes.
It made a very brief debut at No.61 on the iTunes UK Country Album Chart before  descending to #1169 a week later.
The popular Thorne was a finalist in September 2013 at's Listeners Club Awards. His single “Tomorow” is included on the November Promotional Hotdisc 179.
It moved up to No.28 on the Hotdisc Top 40 and fell short of making the Top 10 British placings on his fourth chart week. 
On the chart Dec 15, 2013 Thorne finally made the Top 10 of the Hotdisc British & Irish Chart after 2 months whilst promoting his second self penned single “All My Days” which made a 34-27 move and snagged the No.9 slot.

Available MUSIC: Amazon UK - UK iTunes

Tom Wright (UK; Cambridgeshire; unsigned Website - Facebook - Twitter)
C2C Blurb: Tom is a kid who has lived in Peterborough all his life, but dreams of Nashville. 
At 19 years old, he’s already played all over the country and part of Europe. He’s played the guitar since he was just seven, and has been massively influenced by the great guitarists of Country music, from Don Rich to Brad Paisley.
Currently touring with The Johnny Cash Story and Elio Pace (providing backing vocals and lead guitar), he is also recording his first EP, comprising of four original songs, and the old Carl Perkins’ classic ‘Restless’. The successfully funded fan funded Kickstarter Project (23 backers pledged £1,050 pledged of a £1,000 goal) on Dec 10, 2012
Regarding his C2C call up Tim excitedly posts on Facebook "This is going to such a great gig, as I am literally on the same bill as Brad Paisley, Rascall Flatts, The Band Perry, and Chris Young. AND as many of my friends know, The O2 is pretty much a dream come true gig for me......*Dances round the room aked* :D:D:D "

Ward Thomas (UK; Petersfield, Hampshire; Catherine and Lizzy Ward-Thomas Website - Facebook - Twitter)
C2C Blurb: They are a Country/Americana duo from Hampshire, England. Catherine and Lizzy Ward-Thomas are 19 year old “Testube” twin sisters who grew up on a livestock farm and who fell in love with country music when they were introduced to the music of the Dixie Chicks in their early teens.
The girls, who have been singing together since childhood have a fantastic vocal blend and already the likes of Alan Cackett from Maverick Magazine has given them his seal of approval: "Young, country-pop duo with terrific original songs, and the delivery to make them unforgettable.
They represented the UK at the CMA Presents The Aristo Global Show on Tuesday, June 4 at The Second Fiddle in Nashville during the CMA Festival week activities.
The lovely Catherine and Lizzy were the support for Mindy Smith on Sun 30th June 2013 at The Bush Hall in London.
The singer songwriting duo spent time in Music City during 2013 recording a country/folk/pop album in Nashville TN, co-writing with Matt Greaves and Ann Bailey. An EP has been released ahead of an album launch. They have completed their debut album with Chris Rodriguez (Producer, previously guitarist in Keith Urban’s band), Bobby Blazier (Producer), Jeremy Hunter and Dan Dugmore (Lap steel, Acoustic Guitar) and Vince Gill (Electric Guitar)!
They have a live band 7-piece band of UK Musicians – “None of this backing track gubbins!” they said on their Facebook
Listen to their super song "Take that Train" at
Their most recent visit to Nashville in the late autumn of 2013 saw a series of radio appearances in Tennesse and Kentucky >> Video and further recording.
According to their website they are touring throught the UK during February and their Footnotes EP will be out 7th April in UK
Summer 2014 will see the UK release of their debut album.
>> Listen to their music on Soundcloud

C2C Pop-Up  ADDITIONS (Feb 17)

Carolynne Poole (UK , Leeds, "A little bit Country..A little bit Rock n Roll" TWITTER , FACEBOOK , FACEBOOK (Fan Pages) - PHOTO !!!
C2C Blurb: Is now performing at venues across the UK and building on her already strong 140,000 followers and fan base. 
2014 looks to be a big year for Carolynne she will be heading to the States in the early part of the year to continue song writing in L.A & Nashville on her pending album and is hoping to showcase her talents to the American Country Music fans and represent UK in having a worldwide Country hit record.
This absolutely stunning lady is a trained actress and played the role of Talia in ITV’s Emmerdale (June 2012)  A source said: “Carolynne is very sexy and will turn a few heads in the Dales”
The Sun Newpaper (Sept 16, 2012) described Carolynne as a “WAG” saying she dated Rio Ferdinand the Manchester United and former England International footballer.
She finished in third place in the second series of Fame Academy and on the weekend Oct 6th to 7th, 2012 we witnessed the first time on X Factor UK that a contestant describing themselves as a “country” artist had made it through to the live TV stages of the ITV competition.
>> WatchEverythingHas Changed” (Taylor Swift & Ed Sheeran Cover) Ont' Sofa session and her X Factor 2012 Sing-off "There You'll Be" (by Faith Hill)
>> Listen to Carolynne on Spotify Carolynne Good – Underneath Your Clothes (Fame Academy)
Carolynne is playing both days at the Free C2C pop up stages on 15th and 16th March 2014! Carolynne will also be joining Sandi Thom on 2 of her UK tour dates as a special guest to perform a very special duet! When & Where: Weds 9th April 2014 (Nottingham Arts Theatre, George St, Nottingham, NG1 3BE) and Thurs 10th April 2014 (Egremont Market Hall, Main Street, Egremont, CA22 2DB see Flyer - Tickets available on Ticketmaster UK )

Read more about Carolynne and her X Factor journey in this Blog Post: UK’s X Factor Goes Country

Frankie Davies (Island of Jersey; Country/Folk Website - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube)
C2C Blurb: Having already performed with the likes of Nerina Pallot at Jersey's famous Opera House Frankie and Lindi Ortega in Cornwall, lovely 21-year old Frankie is developing an enthralling set, after four years of live performance it is clear that she loves what she does and her gigs are full of beauty and emotion. Also a talented film maker you can find artful self-directed videos of Frankie performing on her blog.
Frankie, who said "she doesn't see herself in a city but near the sea", studied music at LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) in Liverpool under the tuition of the likes of Paul McCartney (>> video)
An EP is slated to be in the pipeline (?) with full band post production done in a studio in Oct 2013 that will combine "her signature country and folk sounds". She has visited Nashville and played a few open mic gigs.
Her music sets her apart, inspired by the country sounds of southern USA it is a genre that enjoys little interest in Britain, but what better an ambassador then Frankie - Source frankiedavies.blogspot
She put together a Live band (The Lovely Ladies - Photo : Laura Shea, Emily Linden, Charlotte Haining, Jessie Whitehead = WOW!) which she says "is loads of fun".
The sweet-sounding singer-songwriter Frankie performed live in session and talks to BBC Radio Jersey's Ryan Morrison about Country 2 Country ! She says she will be playing both in band format and solo and has C2C tix to see one of her influences The Dixie Chicks! 
Listen here:

>> Watch "Hide No More" (Live) published on Jun 21, 2013 (690+ Views) joined by The Lovely Ladies in the Paul McCartney Auditorium
>> Listen to her demo songs on  Soundcloud
Available MUSIC: Get an immediate FREE download of "One Day", high-quality MP3 (206kbps) with lyrics for an email share (Vocals and guitar: Frankie Davies; Slide Guitar and acoustic guitar: Emily Linden; Violin: Emily Roe) 
Alan West (UK; Seaton, Devon; Americana/Country Website - Facebook - Twitter)
C2C Blurb: For many years, has been regarded as having one of the greatest voices to come out of the UK.
Alan West (2nd from Left)
with Bob Harris (OBE)
Alan West’s deep passion for Country music has been with him since the age of six and, over the last three decades, he has gone on to establish himself as one of the UK’s finest country singers, songwriters and performers.
“West and Elliott” was to provide Alan with his first real taste of success having won the British Country Music Association award for “UK’s Finest Duo” two years running as well as receiving the “Album of the Year” for their debut album “The All Day Session”. This led to frequent tours with such songwriting legends as Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Sonny Curtis, Hal Ketchum and Hugh Moffatt.
Since the duo went their separate ways Alan has gone on to record two solo CD’s the first of which was recorded in Nashville.
Alan’s CD’s  “Songs from a Neophyte”, “The Way of The World” and “The Way It Is” feature a host of great musicians of the genre.
Alan’s frequent songwriting collaborator has been west country pal and recording artist Steve Black
On Monday 27th January, Alan (joined by Adam Sweet & Dean Barne) was honoured, privileged and very proud to have recorded a session at BBC Radio 2 with #C2C 2014 compere 'Whispering' Bob Harris, which will be broadcast in the early hours on Sunday March 23rd.
Alan West is a UK Treasure” - Alan Cackett (Former editor, Maverick Magazine)
>> Watch "You're On Your Own" (Song by Steve Black)

Available MUSIC: Amazon UK “The Way of the World” (released Aug 9, 2011; Ranked #215,698 in MP3 Albums) – UK iTunes
Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band, Dixie Chicks, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young & Martina McBride confirmed to appear across the weekend.
Tickets: Went on sale at 9am Friday 11th October 2013.
Possibly a few tickets left for Sunday:

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