"The Voice" season 3 winner and rising country singer Danielle Bradbery was onhand at the SEEN in Nashville on Monday (Jan. 27) to give a performance for an upcoming CMT Listen Up! feature. Her debut single, "The Heart of Dixie," is currently climbing at radio and is sitting pretty at No. 15 on the Mediabase radio airplay chart. The song's video is a vintage story about setting out to find something better in life. Bradbery has been named one of The Next Women of Country, and rightfully so.
Also, singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett, who has penned such hits as "1994" by Jason Aldean and "Round Here" by Florida Georgia Line," has carved out a niche among the fans. Last fall, he scored his first No. 1 single as an artist with "It Goes Like This," off his rowdy debut album of the same name.
16-year-old Bradbery appeared a bit shy during her five-song set, but that voice of hers broke through the crowd like an arrow in the woods. This girl did not miss a beat, a note or a hand gesture as she powered through several cuts from her self-titled debut album, released last fall and bowing in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200. Her setlist featured the lovestruck "Talk About Love," the Taylor Swift-esque "Never Like This" and the plucky "Wild Boy."
Of course, her set would not be complete without a rousing, crowd-pleasing rendition of her current single "The Heart of Dixie." Bradbery also whipped out her "My Day" song, which is the theme song for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Throughout her entire set, the crowd bobbed and weaved their heads in time with each track. It was smart to keep her songs predominantly uptempo or at least rhythmically-inclined to some extent. Even if the crowd did not know the words to her songs (many people did not know who she was), they enjoyed themselves and let the budding talent do her thing.
On more than on ocassion, she reminded me of Carrie Underwood when she first came off "American Idol," clearly super talented but still finding her way on the stage. My only real complaint of Bradbery's set? Too freaking short.
Now, after a little intermission to change lights and flip the stage, Thomas Rhett took the place. There was an almost audible shift in the crowd at this point. With a bar only a few feet away, you can bet the increasingly inebriated party-goers had been sipping various concotions throughout the evening. By this point, they were rooting and fist-pumping for Rhett.
Sure, bro-country is most definitely not my cup of tea, but I can't deny that Rhett knows how to perform and engage and audience. He handled the transition between each song with humor. At one point, he looked to stage left and pointed to Bradbery, calling her his "little sister." And cue "awww" from the entire room. Seriously, that was the cutest moment of the night.
He kicked off his set with a little "Front Porch Junkies," which easily segued into "Sorry For Partyin'." The crowd ate up every. single. moment. Hands and bodies moved and grooved.
He also performed his new single "Give Me Some Of That," before launching into Jason Aldean's "1994." I admit: it was cool to hear him perform the song as originally intended. Of course, that song became lodged in my brain for the rest of the show. He closed his set with his first chart-topping hit "It Goes Like This."
No date has been set on when these filmed performances will be posted.