What a show. It felt like almost all of the Treasure Valley was there. From what I could see it was a close to packed house in the Ford Idaho Center. Idaho has been waiting for quite some time to enjoy the Blessed and Free Tour with Kane Brown, Jordan Davis and Restless Road and it did not disappoint.

 

The opening act was 3 incredibly talented young men who are making a splash in the country world and certainly in the live music department. Restless Road composed of three talented and charismatic men Zach, Garret, and Colton.

They Played some great originals and some fun covers like this clip of Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leopard.

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They had a lot of charisma and did an amazing job of getting Idaho excited about the next act.

Restless Road at Ford Idaho Center on 10-8-2021, Photo by Nikki West

Jordan Davis is one of my country favorites, although that is hard to claim when I say that about so many. Jordan really is special though and getting more and more imbedded into the country music genre.

Jordan Davis, Nampa's Ford Idaho Center, 10-08-2021, Photo by Nikki West

This was Jordan's third time performing in Idaho this year alone! He played in Boise for our Country Summer Concert Series with Go Out Local at Expo Idaho's Grandstand on June 18th then in Pocatello Idaho on June 19th. And now his biggest Idaho performance Nampa's Ford Idaho Center October 8th.

Here he is with "Almost Maybes"

And his latest hit "Buy Dirt"

So far two amazing acts, Restless Road and Jordan Davis - Now for Kane Brown and WOW. First did you know???...

Kane Brown was recently named one of TIME Magazines Most 100 Influential People. A massive honor:

Now back to the show :)  with Kane Brown

Kane Brown, Nampa's Ford Idaho Center, 10-08-2021, photo by Nikki West

The production was unbelievable and the energy Kane brought filled the room. Plus there was fire, Kane had some massive pyrotechnics going on.

Kane Brown, Nampa's Ford Idaho Center, 10-08-2021, photo by Nikki West

There were also pillars of steam

Kane Brown, Nampa's Ford Idaho Center, 10-08-2021

This was Kane's second time to Idaho ever. The first was in 2017, he said he cant wait to come back though. Here is is with "Lose It"

"What If"

The amount of work that went into this production not only from Kane but his whole team. The attention to detail and fun surprises made this a night to remember. Kane is welcome back to Idaho any time.

The Best Country Singer From Every State

Some states, like Oklahoma and Texas, are loaded with famous country singers. Others, like Nevada and Maine, are still looking for a real breakthrough artist. See the best and most successful country music artist from all 50 states, starting with Hank Williams and Alabama.

Country Music's 10 Hottest Artists of 2021

The culmination of the annual Taste of Country Hot List is the 10 Hottest Country Artists list, a true measure of the songs, the tours and the intangibles, combined. Luke Combs was No. 1 in 2020, but he had trouble holding off a few artists for this year's list.

Just six of the 10 artists featured last year make the 2021 version — a collection that gets to consider touring plans and award achievements. We've had four new Entertainer of the Year of the Year winners in the past eight months, and three are featured below. One misses out for taking a year off the road and the radio, but we're confident she'll be back soon.

This list is an effort to combine and assess an artist's commercial success, fan appeal, touring demand and social media presence. Emphasis was placed on what's coming, not what has happened so far.

Top Country Songs of 2021, Ranked

You'll find much more than just the Top 10 Country Songs of 2021 on this list.

Our team has sourced fans to create 10 superlatives for this mid-year version of the year-end songs list. Best Country Tearjerker? Best Country Baby-Maker? Best Country Breakup Song of 2021? Keith Urban, Carly Pearce, Chris Bandi and more help make up this portion of the Top Country Songs list, while hitmakers like Thomas Rhett and Little Big Town lead the 10 best songs portion.

Did your favorite song of 2021 make this list? To be considered, the song must have been released in 2021 or have actively charted for a portion of the year (see "Wine, Beer, Whiskey"). New artists including Lainey Wilson, Breland and Triston Marez crack the Top 10. Let us know your favorite song of 2021 at Twitter or email, at staff@tasteofcountry.com.

Best Country Albums of 2021 - Critic's Pick

There have been many creative country albums in 2021, but not all have hit the mark. Artists are more than ever toying with distribution methods and packaging as much as they are new sounds, so you get double and triple albums, Part 1 and Part 2, and digital EPs in lieu of a traditional 10 or 11-song release.

The bar for an EP on this list of the best country albums of 2021 is higher than an LP, but one project did crack the Top 10. Too much music proved to dampen other artist's efforts, although Alan Jackson's first album in years was filled with country music we couldn't turn away from. Where Have You Gone has 21 songs, but somehow no filler.

More than ever, this relied on staff opinion and artistic merit to allow for some parity among major label artists and independents. The 10 albums listed below are not ranked, although the year-end list published in the fall will crown a true best album of 2021.

5 Hottest Country Tours of Summer 2021


There’s a lot to consider when making a list of the hottest tours of summer 2021, including star power, opening acts, venues and set lists. Add to that concerns and cautions as the country begins to emerge from a pandemic and that no one has seen live music in 14 months. It’s quite likely you’re craving live music like a drug that’s just out of reach ... or you’re scared shirtless to surround yourself with 10,000 fans indoors. 

All the emotions about reengaging with the live country music community are valid. While at first it seemed September would be start-up month, several tours on this Hot List begin in July and August at outdoor venues across America. The No. 3 tour and No. 1 tour on our list are mostly indoors, but both are banking on increased safety that comes from a majority of the population having the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Once those lights go down, all of these worries will be carried away by the buzz in the air (and maybe, from your cup). Find five total professionals on this list of Hot Summer Tours, each bringing a total stage show, plus several in-demand opening acts with a proven track record of live entertainment at the highest level. There’s no fat on any of these country tours — if you stick to the tailgate through an opener’s set, you’ll truly be missing something special. 

As always, let us know who you can’t wait to see on tour in 2021 via Twitter or email

PICTURES: See the Hottest Artists Under 25 in Country Music in 2021

Some of the best, most inspiring and most diverse artists in country music today are under the age of 25. The collection of singers Taste of Country chose to highlight for our annual Hottest Country Artists Under 25 feature in 2021 include two reality TV veterans, a budding superstar and several artists who are stubbornly doing things differently than anyone else in country music.