Bio

Ask anyone what makes country music unique, and they’ll likely answer it’s the storytelling.  For generations country artists have illuminated the human condition in songs that share life’s tragedies and triumphs while exploring love, loss and the full range of life experiences. It’s a noble calling and one that Canaan Smith passionately embraces on his Mercury Nashville debut album Bronco.

With wisdom beyond his young years, Smith has emerged as one of Nashville’s most compelling storytellers. Whether painting a steamy portrait of a burgeoning relationship in the hit single “Love You Like That” or honoring the memory of his brother in the powerful title track, Smith knows how to draw listeners into his world. “Bronco” is a prime example.  When he was only 11, Smith lost his 16-year-old brother in a car accident. “It was important to me that I write that story,” he says of the song he co-wrote with Scooter Carusoe. “I always wanted to write something that would honor my brother, but I didn’t know it would be in the form of his car.  I had no idea the Ford Bronco that he drove would stick with me all of these years, but it has.  When I think about him, that’s the first thing I see.”

And he’s learned that even the most personal experiences can strike a universal chord with an audience.  “At first it was hard for me to sing, I would tear up in the middle of a show trying to sing it,” he says of “Bronco.” “Then I realized it’s not just my story. Every night the room is full of people that have been through loss.  It’s actually pretty cool to transition from it just being my story to hopefully being a story that people can find hope in, and a little peace.  That’s what I tell them.  Before the song I say, ‘Now if you’ve gone through loss, if you’ve gone through something like this, maybe for the next three and a half minutes you’ll find a little bit of peace.  I hope this song will do for you what it has for me.’”

Smith has seen first hand the impact his music has on fans as he’s toured extensively with Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley and Florida Georgia Line. “Love You Like That” has quickly proven to be a fan favorite as it has garnered extensive airplay and has become one of the best-selling singles of 2015, selling more than 400,000 tracks. “We started thinking about cool metaphors like the flow of the Mississippi,” Smith says recalling his co-writing session with Brett and Jim Beavers. “That river moves pretty damn slow, and we thought that’d be a sexy line to talk about loving somebody that slowly. It was one of those moments where you’re going for it, reaching, digging as deep as we could for metaphors and at the end of the day we had no idea this would be a hit single.  You just never know, but it definitely felt special in the moment.”

Smith’s gifts as a storyteller have earned the respect of his peers and his songs have been recorded by Love & Theft, Cole Swindell and Jason Aldean, among others. Love & Theft took “Runaway” to the top ten on the charts and Aldean puts his unique stamp on “Black Tears,” a song Smith co-wrote with Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard. “Whenever I show up to write a song, it could be either for me or somebody else,” he says. “I feel like 95% of the songs that I’m writing on a daily basis I can see myself doing, but obviously I’m not going to have 100 songs on an album, so I have no problem pitching them to other artists.”

A native of Williamsburg, Virginia, Smith grew up listening to a variety of music from George Strait to Rage Against the Machine. He knew early on that he wanted to make music for a living. “It’s just what I love.  I can’t see myself doing anything else,” he says. “My dad was a rock singer.  He was in a band and I would go to his rehearsals and shows, and I just saw a life that I wanted in music.  It’s what God put me here to do.”

Possessing a smooth, evocative voice, Smith could have pursued success in any genre of music, but was always drawn to country. “It’s all about the stories,” Smith says. “You can listen to a country song and it will raise the hair on your arms.  I’m a people person and I love being able to connect with people so it makes the most sense for me to be able to tell my stories and connect with people via country music. I want them to find a piece of themselves in the music.  I want them to be moved by it.  I want it to hurt.  I want it to celebrate.  I want them to feel like they can take on the world.”

Smith began pursuing his musical dream at an early age. He was only in the sixth grade when he formed a band with his two best friends and they remained together through their senior year of high school, writing, recording and performing.   And long before anyone had ever heard of Kickstarter, Smith and his band raised money to record their first album by selling advance copies to their friends at school. “We played music and wrote our own songs for six years. I really got a crash course at a young age in what it means to be in a band and to be a traveling act.  Our parents would drive us around until we could drive ourselves. I’m so thankful that I got to do that because you learn to hone your craft. It was great finding a sense of community that encourages you to do what you are passionate about and can do it with you; to have that at a young age was great.”

He eventually moved to Nashville and enrolled at Belmont University while honing his performing skills playing in clubs around Music City. His hard work paid off when he landed a publishing deal followed by a record deal with Mercury Nashville.

His debut album spotlights Smith’s versatility as a performer as well as his zest for life. As a once reluctant reality show contestant, the young artist has traveled to Dubai, Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia. His songwriting is informed by his adventurous spirit and keen observational skills, but it’s his willingness to be vulnerable in sharing his trials as openly as his triumphs that makes him so relatable.  Though the album has its share of poignant, thought-provoking songs, there are also rowdy, in-your-face anthems that celebrate life’s lighter moments.  Working with producers Brett Beavers, Jimmy Robbins and Ryan Tyndell, Smith has crafted a well-rounded album that takes the listener on a riveting emotional ride. “American Muscle,” penned by Smith, Tyndell, Beavers and Dan Couch, is an edgy number with a kick ass lyric and infectious groove.  “I just the love the message from start to finish,” Smith says of the song which celebrates the working man, fast cars and rockin’ music. “I’ve seen the way the crowd goes nuts when they hear it. When we play it on stage we feel high as a kite just because it’s such a high-energy song. It has so much power behind it.”

Another stand out track is “Mad Love.” “I love that song so much,” Smith enthuses.  “I’ve heard people say, ‘Man I’ve got mad respect for you’ or ‘Man, I’ve got mad respect for this or that.’ And I started thinking that’d be pretty cool to write a song that talks about mad love for somebody, and not just meaning that you love them to pieces, but that you love them so much that they make you mad.  They rub you wrong sometimes.  They push your buttons. It makes me think of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash; they had a real fire for each other. If anybody had mad love it was them.”

Whether chronicling a complex relationship, celebrating the power of hard work or exploring the loss of a loved one, Canaan Smith has a gift for telling stories.  He is carrying on Country Music’s most beloved tradition and adding to the narrative that has become the soundtrack of American life. “I made a promise to myself, no matter how far we go musically, or what boundaries we push, to just tell stories and be honest in the lyrics, and to get to the root of Country Music,” Smith states. “The songs that have resonated with people the most are just the ones that tell true, honest stories that people can relate to.  There’s a place for songs about hot girls and all that stuff, and I have a few of those too, but as we push farther and farther, I always want to check myself and make sure that what I’m doing is rooted in truth and honesty. I think that is what will last.”

 

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VALENTINE’S DAY LINERS 2018

Audio / LINER Billy Currington (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey! This is Billy Currington. Hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Brothers Osborne (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey, this is T.J., and I’m John, and we’re Brothers Osborne. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Canaan Smith (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey, what’s up guys? I’m Canaan Smith, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Carrie Underwood (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Send me some chocolate.”

Audio / LINER Clare Dunn (Valentines Day)

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“Hey! This is Clare Dunn, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Darius Rucker (Valentine’s Day)

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“What’s up y’all? This is Darius Rucker, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Eric Church (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey! This is Eric Church, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Eric Paslay (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hi! This is Eric Paslay, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Gary Allan (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey, this is Gary Allan, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER George Strait (Valentine’s Day)

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“This is George Strait, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Jon Pardi (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, and I hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Josh Turner (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey! This is Josh Turner, and I want to wish you and your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Kacey Musgraves (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hi, this is Kacey Musgraves, and I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Keith Urban (Valentine’s Day)

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“Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. This is Keith Urban. Make the day special for your ‘Once in a Lifetime’ love.”

Audio / LINER Kip Moore (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey! What’s happening, everybody? This is Kip Moore. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Lady A (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey everybody! We are Lady Antebellum, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day, you love birds.”

Audio / LINER LBT (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Audio / LINER Luke Bryan (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hey y’all, it’s Luke Bryan. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Sam Hunt (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hi! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Audio / LINER Shania Twain (Valentine’s Day)

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“Hi, this is Shania Twain. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

UMG NASHVILLE RELEASES 19 SONG ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK FOR THE FEATURE FILM ‘FOREVER MY GIRL.’

UMG Nashville releases the highly anticipated 19 song soundtrack to the feature film Forever My Girl today. Assembled by executive music producer Brett Boyett, the star-studded soundtrack includes brand new original songs along with classics from some of the most respected names in country music. Artists include reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town performing their harmony soaked “Can’t Go Back,” premier American acoustic vocalist Dan Tyminski with his new track “Can’t Tame A Fire,” and critical darling Lauren Alaina and her original song “Wings Of An Angel.” Alaina also performs a duet with Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet titled “Enough.” Additionally, Josh Turner, Travis Tritt, Canaan Smith, Mickey Guyton, Alex Roe, Destin Bennett, Brett Boyett, and Abby Ryder Fortson have all recorded original songs for the soundtrack.

The digital-only soundtrack is available worldwide, and Forever My Girl releases wide in theatres today. Fans can listen to the entire soundtrack HERE. Written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf based upon the novel by Heidi McLaughlin, the film stars Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, Abby Ryder Fortson, Travis Tritt and John Benjamin Hickey The official trailer for the movie can be viewed HERE and the full track listing to the soundtrack is as follows:

 

FOREVER MY GIRL SOUNDTRACK:

1. Little White Church – Little Big Town
2.  Don’t Water Down My Whiskey – Alex Roe – Original Song
3.  Enough – Alex Roe – Original Song
4.  Can’t Tame A Fire – Dan Tyminski – Original Song
5.  Can’t Go Back – Little Big Town
6.  Back From Gone – Josh Turner  – Original Song
7.  Who Needs Mexico – Canaan Smith – Original Song
8.  Silver and Gold – Little Big Town
9.  Wings Of An Angel – Lauren Alaina – Original Song
10. Live Forever – Little Big Town
11. Little Red Wagon – Miranda Lambert
12. Caught Up In Your Storm – Mickey Guyton – Original Song
13. Slowing Down – Travis Tritt – Original Song
14. Wild And Free – Destin Bennett – Original Song
15. Solid Ground – Brett Boyett – Original Song
16. Smokin’ and Cryin’ – Alex Roe – Original Song
17. Finally Home – Alex Roe and Abby Ryder Fortson – Original Song
18. Always and Forever – Canaan Smith – Original Song
19. Enough (reprise) – Lauren Alaina and Phillip Sweet – Original Song

NEW YEAR’S EVE 2017

What are some of your favorite stars doing to welcome in the New Year? Some of them are working to help fans celebrate. Several artists have taken the time off around the holidays and will hit it hard when they return to the road in January. Some artists have resolutions and some are very helpful with their own hangover cures for those who imbibe too much on New Year’s Eve.

Keith Urban is set to headline Music City on New Year’s Eve for the second year in a row. He’ll perform against the backdrop of the State Capitol Building as part of the Jack Daniels Music City Midnight Bash. Maren Morris, Cheap Trick, Carly Pearce, Johnny P, Larkin Poe and the Fisk Jubilee Singers are also on the bill.

Canaan Smith will perform on New Year’s Eve in Nashville as part of Team USA’s WinterFest at the Walk of Fame Park at 3:30p.

Audio / Brothers Osborne talk about how people spend the last moments of the year, and the first moments of the new year.

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Brothers Osborne (New Year) OC: (TJ) …next month. :44
JOHN: “I think it’s kind of funny how we spend literally the last moment and the very first moment of every year being extremely intoxicated, extremely, because you don’t want to wait until like 12:30 to get your buzz on. You’ve got to do it before midnight, and then once midnight happens, you’re like, ‘Omigod! Now it’s time to celebrate even more.’ Debauchery is the literally bookending your entire year.” TJ: “I love how everyone starts the year off with diets and then we end the year with like excessive amounts of food. And then you get to the end of the year, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m going to start a diet on the 1st, so I’m going to eat everything that’s in front of me.’ I love it.” JOHN: “And come February 1st, ‘what diet?’” [laughs] TJ: “What diet? I’ll start it next month.” [laughs]

Audio / John Osborne of Brothers Osborne says a little hair of the dog is definitely the cure for a hangover.

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Brothers Osborne (hangover cure) OC: …of the year. :07
“Usually drinking more. I mean, a little hair of the dog never hurt anybody. Plus, it’s the first of the year.”

 

Audio / Canaan Smith says there’s really no cure for a hangover.

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Canaan Smith (no hangover cure) OC: …long, you know? :32
“There is no hangover cure. The older I get I’m like, ‘Oh God! What am I thinking?’ It’s terrible. Hangovers are awful. Tequila’s the worst. I try to stay away from Tequila, because it hurts me bad. I used to be a whiskey guy. I still am every now and then, but of late, I’m domestic, American beer, just something light and tasty. Shots are my worst enemy. When I start working shots into the picture, that’s when I know I’m gonna hurt the next morning. I just try to keep it the same, whether it’s whiskey or beer or whatever, I just stick with that same drink the whole night long, you know?”

Audio / Dierks Bentley says there’s not really a cure for a hangover.

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Dierks (NYE) OC: …for that. :10
“I think January first is universally accepted as a dog. So I mean, a little hair of the dog, I guess. But just…water and stay on the couch, I guess. There’s no real sure-fire cure for that.”

Audio / Eric Church has a couple of hangover cures for those times (especially on New Year’s Eve) when you might imbibe a little too much.

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Eric Church (hangover cure) OC: …every time. :17
“The best hangover cure – I’ve got two. One is 5-hour Energy [bottles], because of all the B-vitamins that are in it. You can start pounding those, and it’s either gonna work, or it’s gonna keep you up and prolong your misery. But the other one I have is just take two Advil and a beer in the morning. Hair of the dog, man – that works every time.”

Audio /

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Jon Pardi (hangover cure) OC: …deal with it. :20
“My hangover cure is Bloody Marys, but be careful – because once you have a couple, don’t go to beer, because if you go to beer, you’re gonna start drinking again and you’ll end up a morning drunk. OR if you want to go the non-alcoholic route, there’s nothing you can do for hangovers. [laughs] You just go deal with it.”

Audio / Kacey Musgraves, who is expected to release her new album sometime in 2018, has her own hangover cure.

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Kacey Musgraves (hangover cure) OC: …water. Yup! :32
“Coconut water is a major help with hangovers and also, a lot of times we go and eat Vietnamese fuh. It’s a soup, and it’s got this awesome broth. You can get different things in it or whatever, but for some reason, it’s just like…it’s almost like a chicken noodle soup kind of an idea, you know, but it’s good. That’s good for hangovers too. That, sleep, Tylenol, coconut water and just water, in general. And when you’re drinking, have your alcohol, drink a little bit of water, drink some more alcohol, drink some water. Yup!”

Audio / Keith Urban talks about the emotions he feels on New Year’s Eve.

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Keith Urban (New Year’s emotions) OC: …of time. :35
“Yeah, I go for every emotion on New Year’s Eve, every emotion – regret, remorse, melancholy, joy, hope, sadness, gratitude, calm, anxiety. [laughs] There’s a lot in that night for a lot of people. I’ve always been a big, I love New Year’s…Nic’s not a big New Year’s Eve person. I love New Year’s Eve. The counting down is important to me and I find it huge, that demarcation of time.”

Audio / Kip Moore gives advice on how to avoid a hangover on New Year’s Eve.

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Kip Moore (avoiding hangovers on NYE) OC: …yourself. :03
“Pace yourself on New Year’s – that’s the remedy. Pace yourself.”

Audio / Luke Bryan’s favorite New Year’s Eve has to be when he and his now wife Caroline reunited.

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Luke Bryan (New Years-best) OC: …great night. :17
“My best New Year’s Eve is definitely when my wife and I started back dating. We started back dating right before Christmas, and we went on a trip down to Florida and met some friends. And her birthday is New Year’s Eve. We celebrated it that night. It was just a great night.”

Audio / Luke Bryan takes a look back at his busy 2017, including releasing his brand new album, What Makes You Country.

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Luke Bryan (looking back on 2017) OC: …about it. :40
“I look back on the year, and certainly it’s been a crazy busy year, but I don’t know any other way on doing this business other than it being really, really crazy and really, really busy. I try to sit down and write music and write songs and then I’m constantly listening through what the city of Nashville and what all the wonderful songwriters there are churning out. So, yeah, listening and writing and then we go into the studio and try to make some music happen. So, we’ve been going in periodically through the year in getting this album done, and it’s finally, finally here and I’m pretty excited about it.”

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