We're thrilled that Sunday In The Country is BACK for 2022! The show is October 2 at Merriweather Post Pavilion starring Sam Hunt, Jimmie Allen, Ryan Hurd, Priscilla Block, Ernest & Carter Faith!
Tickets are on sale now here!
“It felt like the beginning of the next chapter in my life,” says Sam Hunt of finishing his second studio album, SOUTHSIDE.
Hunt made his remarkable debut back in 2014 with Montevallo, a revealing self-portrait told via a pastiche of sounds native to Hunt’s Georgia hometown: country, hip-hop, and R&B. The collection went triple platinum and logged four No.1 Country Airplay singles, a first for any male in the history of the genre off of a first album. Singles like “Leave the Night On,” “Take Your Time,” “House Party,” and “Break Up in a Small Town,” all platinum certified in their own right, each also enjoyed true crossover success. All four cracked the Top 30 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.
But fame and fandom have curious effects on creativity, Hunt found. And while working on his follow-up, there were moments where he felt the weight of public perception and expectation. “I knew too much,” he says, “there was a lot more to consider. I didn’t know what I wanted to say—how I wanted it to sound.” He stopped writing entirely for two years. “I questioned what was next for me,” he confides.
Together, they fashioned songs that snake between open-hearted, Nineties country (“2016,” “Let It Down,” “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s”), sizzling R&B (“Nothing Lasts Forever”), and brooding speak-singing confessions (“That Ain’t Beautiful,” a set standout). “Young Once” sees Hunt turn nostalgia into the sounds of the future, laying a soulful missive over airy atmospherics and a glitchy drum loop. And on “Sinning With You,” he ruminates on his ever-evolving faith over choral effects and reverb soaked strings. One-upping the old adage that country music is just “three chords and the truth,” here, he makes magic with only two.
Hunt has sent shockwaves through the industry before, moving the very mainstream of the genre towards his hip-hop inflected fare following the release of Montevallo, and he finds welcome new terrain again with the irresistible “Hard to Forget.” Currently climbing the Airplay and Hot Country Songs charts, Hunt warps a Webb
Releases from years past, “Drinkin’ Too Much,” “Downtown’s Dead” and “Body Like A Backroad,” all of which dropped between 2017 and 2018, also each find a home on SOUTHSIDE. “I kept a list of song titles, and for some reason it just didn’t look complete without them,” he admits. “I kept thinking about it from the perspective of 10 years from now, looking back—those are all part of this moment and this part of my career.”
A perfect set of musical bookends, the album opens with the regret-laden “2016,” one of Hunt’s finest vocal performances yet, and closes with the sparse “Drinkin’ Too Much,” which was shared to Soundcloud on New Year’s Eve 2017. Both arrived via moments of profound impulse, he recalls, nights where you just “pull out your guitar and an idea falls out.” Stunning in their vulnerability, they’re the very antithesis of the standard Nashville co-write fare. “Sometimes, it can all get too cute,” says Hunt. “It feels like everything’s gotta be some kind of wordplay—something that’s super clever. Songs don’t always have to do that.”
As for the title, Hunt says it perfectly encapsulates the duality of where he hails, something ever evident in his music. “It captures the urban and rural side of my upbringing,” he explains. “I associate that word with a lot of the music I grew up listening to; the different artists I grew up listening to—and the place that I’m from.” Put more simply: “It felt like this record. It felt like me.”
Multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Jimmie Allen has been blazing trails since the beginning of his breakout career. Allen was nominated for Best New Artist at the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards, his first ever GRAMMY nomination. He was also nominated for Male Artist of the Year nominee at the 57th ACM Awards (which he co-hosted alongside Dolly Parton & Gabby Barrett) and Outstanding New Artist nominee at the 53rd NAACP Image Awards. Allen launched his career with two consecutive No. 1 hits off his 2018 debut album Mercury Lane (which The New York Times dubbed as one of 2018’s strongest) – the first being his RIAA 2x Platinum debut single “Best Shot,” which claimed the No. 1 spot on Country radio for three weeks, and second being Platinum-certified “Make Me Want To.” In July 2020, Allen released his star-studded collaboration project Bettie James that garnered a slew of critical acclaim for the music, the historic nature of various collaborations, and its subsequent place in country music history. Named for his late grandmother, Bettie Snead, and late father, James Allen, Bettie James has been hailed as an “announcement of [Allen’s] arrival” and a “huge step for country” (NPR), and “a powerful statement from a developing voice” (Billboard).
On June 25, 2021, Allen released the project’s follow up album Bettie James Gold Edition. Doubling down on Allen’s expansive love for music across genres, the album “broadens country’s borders” (Billboard) and includes nine brand new songs featuring Babyface, BRELAND, Keith Urban, LANCO, Lathan Warlick, Lindsay Ell, Little Big Town, LOCASH, Monica, Neon Union, Pitbull, teamwork. and Vikina in addition to the previous collaborations on Bettie James with Brad Paisley, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, Mickey Guyton, Nelly, Noah Cyrus, The Oak Ridge Boys, Rita Wilson, Tauren Wells and Tim McGraw. His single “Freedom Was A Highway” with Paisley went #1 in February 2022. Allen won the both the ACM New Male Artist of the Year award and CMA New Artist of the Year award in April and November 2021, respectively. He has amassed more than 1 billion on-demand streams and performed on The Kennedy Center Honors, Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Good Morning America, TODAY, American Idol, Tamron Hall Show, Nick Cannon, The Steve Harvey Show, ACM Awards, CMA Awards,CMT Music Awards, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and more.
Much like his approach to music, Allen’s other creative pursuits know no boundaries. His debut picture book, My Voice Is a Trumpet – a powerful story about speaking up for what you believe in, at any age – was published on July 13, 2021 with Flamingo Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. Allen also serves as Executive Music Producer for Netflix’s series Titletown High, which premiered globally on August 27, 2021. His song “Big In A Small Town” is the theme song for the series. He most recently reached the quarterfinals as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars’ landmark 30th season on ABC. In February 2022, Allen embarked on his Down Home Tour 2022, his first headline tour. Starting this Fall and through Spring 2023 he will join Carrie Underwood’s The Denim & Rhinestones Tour as special guest on all 43 U.S. arena dates. His new single “Down Home”. The song is the first single from Allen’s upcoming third album Tulip Drive, which will be released June 24, 2022 and is named for the street his late grandmother grew up on in Lewes, DE.
With momentum still high following their fourth career #1, MULTI-PLATINUM hitmakers Eli Young Band are releasing an introspective new single with “Break It In” via The Valory Music Co. Under producer Dann Huff, the tune explores lessons in life and love that are only learned over time well spent. As showcased through vivid Benjy Davis, Brandon Day, Daniel Ross, and Michael Whitworth-penned lyrics, EYB further delivers a booming chorus: “Like these dusty boots that walked me through / The work that got me here / And these faded jeans with Skoal can rings / I’ve worn out all these years / When the shine wears off, when you lose that gloss / There’s so much more underneath it all / You think that good is good as it can get / Then you break it in.”
“We definitely didn't just start a band and have instant success. We’ve continued to build it up over the years — we broke it in,” shares EYB. "We’ve been blessed to have had our moments of being able to sit back and soak it all in. ‘Break It In’ carries a message you learn with time, and we’re so excited for these lyrics to be heard far and wide!”
“Break It In” closely follows THIS IS ELI YOUNG BAND: GREATEST HITS, which features chart-toppers – “Love Ain’t,” PLATINUM "Drunk Last Night,” 2X PLATINUM “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” and 3X PLATINUM “Crazy Girl.” EYB has always been unique in modern Country music as a true band of brothers who cling fast to their Texas roots and has maintained an impressive trajectory with singles earning Billboard's #1 Country Song of the Year and ACM Awards Song of the Year. They have previously earned multiple nominations from GRAMMY, CMA, CMT, ACA and Teen Choice Awards.
While selling out venues as a headliner from coast-to-coast, EYB has toured with Jason Aldean, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, and Darius Rucker. They will continue to bring these fan-favorites and more on the road this summer with several festival appearances.
Singer/songwriter Ryan Hurd continues his ubiquitous rise as one of Nashville’s most multi-dimensional, engaging entertainers. Hurd claims co-pen credits on some of the format’s biggest hits including “Lonely Tonight” (Blake Shelton), “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” (Luke Bryan), ACM Award-nominated “What If I Never Get Over You” and “You Look Good” (Lady A), and “Heartless” (Diplo ft. Morgan Wallen). Hurd continues his hit-producing path with the release of his latest single, “Every Other Memory,” which has been dubbed one of the Best Songs of April 2020 (TIME) and follows his Gold-certified Top 20 hit. Lauded for “generating major buzz” and “making waves” (Rolling Stone), the Kalamazoo native has garnered nearly 330 million career streams worldwide and caught the attention of entertainment tastemakers including Esquire, GQ, Maxim, American Songwriter, Billboard, People, NBC’s “TODAY,” and more.
“This is me,” says Priscilla Block. “Love it or leave it.”
It’s that kind of attitude towards life, and her fearless music-making, that has made the rising country star one of the genre’s most exciting new artists and one of its most authentic and relatable voices. One part endless party, one part unmitigated honesty, and one part best friend who always gives it to you straight, even when it hurts, Priscilla’s debut album, Welcome to the Block Party, finds an artist who is redefining ‘three chords and the truth’ for an entirely new generation.
Though she came to prominence in 2020, Priscilla’s rise has been years in the making, full of hard work, long hours, and country grit. Originally from Raleigh, NC, she moved to Nashville to pursue music shortly after high school after being encouraged by her mom to pick up the guitar when she found one in the attic of the house she shared with her four siblings. “I auditioned for every single singing show,” she remembers with a laugh. “Then as soon as I could leave town, I packed my bags and moved to Nashville.”
Nothing went right at first: her house was broken in to more than once, and she wasn’t yet old enough to even get into bars to perform or attend songwriting rounds–it was discouraging to say the least. It was while working at a yogurt shop, taking classes in the evening, and reaching what she thought may be her final straw of misfortune in town, when things suddenly changed: Taylor Swift drove by, spotting Pricilla wearing one of her shirts, she pulled over. “Taylor was like, ‘hey, I love your shirt so much, thanks for supporting me,’” Priscilla remembers fondly. “I went to class that night and I decided that I really needed to give music a proper shot. I quit my job and school that night.”
From then on, Priscilla dedicated every waking hour she could to songwriting. She built a close group of collaborators –including her roommate Sarah Jones –and even made a fake booking company to try and secure the band gigs around town. She played outside of Bridgestone arena during big concert nights, and “the hustle was at an all-time high,” she says, nannying, dog walking, and selling goods on Craigslist just to pay the bills. “Anything I could do was how I got by.”
Priscilla and her band were gaining some momentum when they got a brutal blow, along with the rest of the world –the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and she was stuck on lockdown. She had been writing songs nonstop before March 2020, but she’d never quite thought about sharing them explicitly on social media until the pandemic hit. Having moved out of her apartment into a house shared by random Craigslist roommates, she needed something to fill the dreary days.
TikTok, while thoroughly driving pop culture in myriad ways, had not yet made inroads with a country fanbase: until Priscilla came along. When she started posting songs like “Thick Thighs” and “PMS” in the middle of lockdown, to continue to share her music with her fans, she would never have imagined that she would soon top the iTunes Country and All-Genre song charts.
Still, even with the success of “Thick Thighs” and “PMS,” Priscilla was still broke and broken hearted –so in the summer of 2020 she decided to go to a nearby bar where she, to add insult to injury, ran into an ex-boyfriend. A few days later, during a FaceTime writing session with friends, they wrote “Just About Over You,” and “it was the song that completely changed my life,” Priscilla says. Not only was it entirely funded on social media by fans after becoming a viral moment online, it went to the top of the charts. A midtempo stunner about the challenges of thinking you have moved on, it showed that Priscilla could not only crank out pitch-perfect novelty tunes, but she was a country songwriter with serious chops that could get just as introspective as she could be playful and lighthearted.
“It went to number one on all-genre iTunes, and I am sitting there next to Harry Styles and Billie Eilish on the charts,” Priscilla says. “I was just watching as it exploded, and that was when I felt the industry turn around and see me. We started getting calls from everybody.
Soon after, Priscilla signed her record deal and was on her way to making a self-titled EP, followed by her first full-length album: Welcome to the Block Party, named for how she refers to her signature sound of country pop and southern rock that is as rowdy as it can be tender and confessional.
At the core is Priscilla’s connection with her fans: she remains steadfast in her commitment to speaking directly to them and always letting them peer straight into her world. “I’ll never try and be something that I am not, and I let that be known on social media,” she says. “I show my highs, my lows, I show myself put together and falling apart. I talk about my body and being a curvy girl. I think it’s so important for fans to really know me.”
“I write about what I know,” Priscilla says. “If that’s heartbreak or struggle or owning my flaws and being unapologetically me.” Doing things her own way has paid off. Pegged as a 2021 Artist to Watch by Amazon Music, PANDORA, Spotify, CMT, The Boot, MusicRow, HITS, Sounds Like Nashville, Country Now, Music Mayhem and more, Priscilla’s streaming has topped 250million and rising. With Welcome to the Block Party, Priscilla rolls out the welcome mat even further, because she’s truly just getting started.
Nashville’s most unpredictable hit maker Ernest is “The Charmer” (MusicRow), a triple threat talent and one of Music City’s on the rise artist/writers that’s changing the status quo. As a chart-topping songwriter, he fuses influences ranging from Eminem to George Jones, creating a twist-heavy verse style that’s become his signature, proving its mettle, and earning him five #1 hits to date. The eccentric free spirit launched his debut single to country radio “Flower Shops” feat. Morgan Wallen in January to 88 first week stations, the #1 most added single of the week, and was Top 25 after just six weeks. His debut full-length album of the same name - FLOWER SHOPS (THE ALBUM) – is out now, showing off the more classically country side of his craft. ERNEST appeared alongside 90s country legend David Lee Murphy and labelmate Ben Burgess on HIXTAPE: Vol. 2 track “Red Dirt Clouds” last fall, and his podcast Just Being ERNEST is in its third season, hosting guests like Keith Urban, Diplo, Jason Aldean, Bobby Bones, and Craig Wiseman, with many more to come.
Combining the emotive lyricism and pointed perspective of Taylor Swift with the chill aesthetic and refreshing candor of Kacey Musgraves, Carter Faith has been named the “future of the next 10 years of Nashville” by Whiskey Jam founder Ward Guenther. This high praise was recently supported after Spotify claimed Faith on their annual “Hot Country Artist To Watch” list while also including her in their Fresh Finds program – marking the up-and-comer as the first country artist to ever be a part of this program.
Originally from Davidson, North Carolina, Faith taught herself guitar and piano, and soon after began crafting lyrics as a way to make sense of the world around her. Faith has performed at numerous local venues, including closing out a sold-out show at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. She has also shared the stage with artists like Cole Swindell, Carly Pearce, Old Dominion, Chris Young, Kip Moore and more. Faith has garnered a total of over thirty million streams with her recent releases “Greener Pasture,” “Cowboys & Dreamers,” “Joyride,” “Easy Pill,” as well as her debut EP Let Love Be Love. She’s also received noteworthy praise from the New York Times, HuffPost, People Magazine, and Billboard in addition to many others.