Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Dee Jay Silver Dominate Hartford (plus an interview with Dee Jay Silver)

Jason Aldean
My Kinda Party Tour
w/ Luke Bryan and Dee Jay Silver
Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT
July 13, 2012

On a hot and steamy Friday night, Connecticut Country Music fans came out in droves to party with a few of the hottest names in music.  Jason Aldean brought his highly successful My Kinda Party to the Comcast Theater in Hartford, CT and what ensued was what Dee Jay Silver described as a “hillbilly rave”. 

Up first was my meet and greet with Luke Bryan.  I have met Luke a bunch of times over the past few years and despite all of the success he has attained, he is still humble and personable as ever.  We spoke about his next single, which he told me is “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”, the National Anthem controversy, and how next year he is going to being headlining his own major tour.  We also discussed how long of a day it had already been for him since he had performed in Central Park in New York City that very morning for Good Morning America. 

I arrived to my seat just in time for Dee Jay Silver’s first set.  Silver is a country music DJ who combines all genres of music to country music for amazing mixes and mashups.  This was the first of his two sets and he had the packed amplitheater up and dancing throughout.  With amazing mixes using songs such as  “Dust On The Bottle”, “Smoke a Little Smoke”, “Party Rock Anthem”, and “Shake That Ass” he has truly created a unique style of music.  I was fortunate enough to interview him on his tour bus after the show and you can see that interview within the bottom of this blog post. 

Silver had the crowd amped up and ready for Luke Bryan’s set.  Luke came out storming with his smash hit “Rain Is a Good Thing” and never looked back.  Luke is certain to be a future Entertainer of the Year.  He uses every inch of the stage while he dances, jumpes, and shakes around with the swagger of a veteran performer.  His dance moves have the women screaming and his music is masculine enough to have every male in the venue singing along as well. 

Luke performed all of his hits within his set, including “Drunk On You”, “I Don’t Want This Night To End”, “Someone Else Calling You Baby” and “Do I”.  He even threw in two covers (Lionel Richie’s “Easy Like Sunday Morning” and Journey’s “Faithfully”) that the crowd knew word for word.  However, the Comcast Theater went insane when they heard the auto tuned intro to “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”.  The stage was then rushed by a contingent of women who were ready to show Luke just how well Connecticut girls could shake it.  He put everything into his last song and his energy was unparalled.  Luke just keeps getting better and better with each performance. 

 Dee Jay Silver had the hardest job of the night by filling up the time slot following Luke Bryan’s amazing performance and before Jason Aldean took the stage.  But, as the true professional and visionary that he is, he handled it perfectly.  He gave the crowd exactly what they wanted: party music.  At a time where most would head to the bathrooms, he had the sold out crowd dancing and fist pumping Jersey Shore style throughout his time. 

With the two Dee Jay Silver sets and Luke Bryan’s bombastic performance, the crowd was on a music high by the time Jason Aldean took the stage.  The stage became a spectacular array of stars, lights, hanging HD screens, ramps, and smoke as Aldean pumped out “Johnny Cash”.  While he is not as much of an energetic performer as Luke Bryan is, he has his own style that works.  You hardly ever see him without his black acoustic guitar and he keeps a straight face as he gets down to business.  But his live vocals are what shines the brightest in his performances.  As he belts out the words in “Fly Over States”, “The Truth”, or “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, you can see that he why he garnered so much success over the past few years.  He is truly one of the best live vocalists in music today. 

Of course, he performed crowd favorite country-rock songs such as “My Kinda Party” and “She’s Country” and the country-hip-hop mega-hit “Dirt Road Anthem”.  But he also gave the Connecticut crowd a few sneak peaks at a few tunes off of his next album, which he said he expects to be released in October.  “Take a Litte Ride” is another high energy, country-rock banger that is undoubtedly headed for country radio supremacy.  It has the sound you expect from Jason that borders on commercial appeal while keeping true to his style of music.  During his two song encore, he also sang “Wheels Rolling” which is another vintage Jason Aldean type song.  I am starting to see a theme in his lyrics as many of the songs are about him traveling somewhere. 

In the end,  it is easy to see why this is one of the must see tours of the Summer.  Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan put on completely different styles of performances that both show the range that country music is at in today’s music world.  The addition of Dee Jay Silver’s two DJ sets made that Friday night in Hartford everyone’s Kinda Party. 


Luke Bryan

  1. Rain Is a Good Thing
  2. Someone Else Calling You Baby
  3. Drunk On You
  4. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
  5. Drinking Beer and Wasting Bullets
  6. Easy Like Sunday Morning (Lionel Richie Cover)
  7. Do I
  8. Faithfully (Journey Cover)
  9. All My Friends
  10. Enter the Sandman (Metallica Cover)
  11. I Don’t Want This Night to End
  12. Country Girl (Shake It For Me)
Jason Aldean
  1. Johnny Cash
  2. Big Green Tractor
  3. Amarillo Sky
  4. The Truth
  5. Take a Ride in the City
  6. Fly Over States
  7. Tattoos On This Town
  8. Don’t You Wanna Stay
  9. Dirt Road Anthem
  10. My Kinda Party
  11. She’s Country
  12. Wheels Rolling
  13. Hicktown


Dee Jay Silver Interview – July13, 2012

Question:  It seems like everyone was a DJ or wanted to be a DJ at some point in their life, how did you take it to the next level and get to this point?

 Answer: I’ve been doing this for awhile now.  I toured with the rapper, Nelly, doing his afterparties  and was on the Jackass World Tour with the MTV guys.  Then I did a Remix of “She’s Country” with Country Grammar and my agent, Kevin Neal, who is also Jason Aldean’s agent, heard it at the Country Music Awards three years ago.  Kevin then walked up to me at the Tabu Nightclub in Las Vegas and simply asked me “do you want to go on Tour with Jason Aldean?” 

Question:  Wow, so it was one song and the right person listening that gave you your shot?

Answer: God put it in the right hands.  Now we are going on two years.  In fact, Brooks & Dunn on their last Tour, used my remix of “She’s Country” as one the songs right before they walked on stage.  I was blown away by that honor. 

Question:  I know you have a lot of free material on the Iphone App, Soundcloud.  How long have you been doing that?

Answer: Over the past few years I have been putting up lots of mixes for free on the App.  But my record deal came through and you will be seeing my music on Itunes. 

 Question:  What kind of record deal?

 Answer:  I am proud to say I am the first ever DJ to be offered a country record deal.

Question:  So what should be expecting from you next?

 Answer: Working with some of the biggest names in country music, past and present. 

Question:  Have you become close with Jason and Luke?

Answer: Absolutely, they are two of my great friends now.  I was just speaking to Luke before I spoke to you and we were talking about how far he has come.  He just got to play Good Morning America in Central Park and I told him that was a bucket list type of thing.  We both cannot believe we get paid to do what we are doing and love. 

Question:  I am a big fan of all genres of music.  I think it is phenomenal that you can combine each of the genres into the country world on your mixes.  I hear everything from country to Jay-Z to LMFAO on your mixes.  Where did you come up with the idea that hip-hop and country could actually mix?

Answer:  I think it is such a cross roads right now and music is a kick drum from being rock and roll.  Look at Jason’s music, there is not much difference between the high energy music he performs and rock and roll.   On this Tour, we are basically throwing the largest country club party every night. 

Question:  If you are in a honky-tonk or a country bar and you hear a country song mixed with a hip-hop, rock and roll, or pop song, what are the chances it is a Dee Jay Silver mix.

Answer:  If you heard a country mix,  chances are I might have had something to do with it.  I change the keys, switch the pitch, and reverse the chorus.  My mixes of “Dust on the Bottle”, “Rodeo”, “Crazy Town”, among others, are getting a lot of play. 

Question: I know I heard you did a mix of Lee Brice’s “Parking Lot Party”.  What else are you working on?

Answer: I just met with Lee’s people last week and we are going to be working on some stuff together.  Actually, ESPN College Game Day heard that “Parking Lot Party” mix and we filmed a whole section for this Fall’s ESPN College Game Day with the mix. 

Question:  When did you put out your first country mix?

Answer: Over five years ago.  It was the first country mix ever made. It’s funny, now, I have clubs all over the nation asking me to come and play an hour of country music mixes.  I couldn’t believe it because it was at a time where people either hated country music or loved it.  Times have changed and it is one of the most popular types of music out there now.  My first country club mix went through about 10,000 copies. 

Question:  Are there any other artists out there you admire or want to work with?

Answer:  The Zac Brown Band right now is killing it.  Musically, there are not many that can compete with them and they are blowing up.  I would love to do something with them.  And Eric Church is my boy.   There are not many solo acts right now that get more energy when I play a mix of his, Luke’s, and Jason.  You saw it tonight – it was the biggest country club in the world tonight. What an honor it is to be on the road with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.
Special thanks to Dee Jay Silver for allowing me to do the interview with him.  Good luck in your already impressive career. 

Zac Brown Band: Uncaged – Track by Track Dissection

Zac Brown Band – Uncaged
Track by Track Dissection

I do not want to describe this post as a review.  I have too much respect for the Zac Brown Band to “review” their music.  This blog post is more of a dissection of each of the tracks by a fan who already had great admiration for the talents of each of the Band members.  I must say I had high expectations for this album before I even listened to it – and it surpassed those expectations and more.  Here are my thoughts about each of the tracks as I listened to the album:

1. Jump Right In

The name speaks for itself on the first track of Zac Brown Band’s third album, “Uncaged” as the band jumps right into the hit making music that they have become famous for.  “Jump Right In” starts off with a short yet effective intro highlighted by the infamous Zac Brown guitar picking along with a few whistles and bongos, courtesy of new member Daniel de los Reyes.  But after about ten or so seconds, the whole Band gets involved to create a musical explosion.  The song has the inner linings of the country music jam band that the ZBB are, but with a commercial appeal that could easily make the song yet another #1 on the Country Music Charts.  The song has lyrics that will stick in your head all day long: “…you can jump right in, let music pull in you in, you can jump right in…it’s the Southern Wind, sings again, an idle lullaby“.

2. Uncaged

Uncaged lets the Band showcase their southern rock side as the song includes a multitude of guitar licks, drum bashing, and all out jam outs alongside the powerful Zac Brown voice.  I can easily see this song becoming one of those songs that the Band goes nuts on for about ten minutes in their live shows as the song is more about the musical instruments than the lyrics.  The euphoria of the seven ridiculously talented members showcase why the Band is truly on a different level than any Band in any genre in today’s music.

3. Goodbye In Her Eyes

This song may go on to become the most successful song, commercially, off of this album.  It is an epic story of a man who knows the woman who he loves so much is leaving him and he cannot do anything about it.  The song unfolds with the lyrics painting a vivid picture that could almost be the summation to a sad romantic movie.  Zac is never better as he hits low and high octaves with ease and the Band gets to sing background vocals as a unit, more so than any song I’ve heard from them before.  Furthermore, it is the first song on this album that fans get to hear the immense talent of Jimmy De Martini on the fiddle.  Overall, this song is sad, beautiful, and powerful all at once. 

4. The Wind

The first single released to country music is ZBB’s ode to bluegrass music.  The picking and strumming of the guitars as well as the rapid fire fiddle and quick moving vocals create a song that I challenge anyone to not want to at least tap their foot to, if not get up and dance to.  After just a few short weeks it is already in the top 20 on the country charts and moving quickly up from there.  The Band just released a unique, animated music video to the song which can be seen here: 

5. Island Song

For me, this was the absolute stand-out song on the album.  It is a reggae song more than it is a country song.  But for all intensive purposes, Zac may have created a new genre of music with his reggae-country masterpiece.  The lyrics immediately take you to a place “down in the islands, down in the islands”.  Zac’s reggae delivery is that of perfection.  I had heard him sing in this style before at a few of his past shows, but he really nails it in this song.  I found myself daydreaming as he sings about drinking rum at a tiki bar down in the islands.  ZBB has always had a beach themed song on each of their albums, whether it be “Toes”, “Knee Deep” or “Where the Boat Leaves From”, but this track takes that theme to a whole new level. 

6. Sweet Annie

Musically, this song reminds me a lot of “Colder Weather” as it gradually builds from a soft melody to a power ballad.  The lyrics depict a man who has seemingly let everyone down in his life and he is pleading with a woman Annie to not give up on him and to give him another chance.  He starts out defeated, but by the last verse he seems to gain more confidence in himself and makes his plea to let him stay with her.  It is another sad yet beautiful ballad that portrays the pain that love can have on a man. 

7. Natural Disaster

Another very unique song which starts out with a forty second acapella intro singing about a preacher’s daughter when all of the sudden the pace of the song picks up tremendously.  It becomes a rolling country song that has beautiful lyrics about a woman who the man knows may bad for him, but cannot stop himself from loving her.  The vocals pick up in pace as the song goes and creates a very effective song in which both the lyrics and the melody are equally phenomenal: “She’s like rain when she rolls in, but there’s sunshine in her thunder, it makes the loneliest heart wonder if the ride is worth the pain”. 

8. Overnight (Featuring Trombone Shorty)

Simply put, I was not expecting this song when it came on.  It is, in no way, a country song.  It is a flat out R&B song.  That being said, Zac showcases the unbelievable depth of his talent.  His delivery alongside the blues guitar, trumpet and trombone and that are featured in the song make this song, by far and away, the most unique that I have heard from ZBB.  It is smooth, sexy and totally out of the box.  Zac is definitely not afraid to do things his own way and he does not disappoint with his track. 

9. Lance’s Song

I need to learn the real meaning behind this song, but it is clearly dedicated to a musician who has passed away.  The lyrics tell a story about a man who obviously lived his life engulfed in music, but apparently was not given the credit and respect he deserved until he passed away.  Zac sings, with love and pain in his voice:  “But they don’t know what they got, until its gone, like it or not.  You live on life, you try to do what’s right, we’re all here a-waiting for our silver invitation to the big band in the sky”. It is a beautiful dedication to someone the ZBB obviously admired. 

10.  Day That I Die (featuring Amos Lee)

This, for me, was yet another stand-out on the album.  When I first heard this song, I thought to myself that Zac Brown has probably never been more truthful in his songwriting than in this song.  When he states that “I believe that I was born with a song inside of me” and “when I live out my days and to the very end, I hope find they find me in my home with my guitar in my hands” I know he is being competely honest.  While I always give full credit to ZBB as a Band and completely respect each Band Member’s outstanding talents, this song is all about Zac and his dedication to music.  Amos Lee is feautured on the track and his verse echoes what Zac is saying.  Throughout this masterpiece you can hear the honesty that both artists are singing about.  It’s very hard to think about your life, your legacy, and how you spend the last moments of your life.  Zac has figured it out.  I found myself getting goosebumps while listening to his sincerity. 

11. Last But Not Least

A simple song about a man letting his woman know that he loves her and that she is important to him.  Charismatic Clay Cook adds his vocals to the middle verse as he and Zac make it known to the woman they are with that they may have been their last love, but that it is the one that means the most because they will end up wit her.  The song also works well as it was undoubtedly strategically placed as the last song of the album. 

Top Picks: Island Song, Day That I Die, Goodbye In Her Eyes, Jump Right In