Hunter Hayes, Sam Hunt + more soak in Canadian country at The Boots & Hearts Music Festival

The Boots & Hearts Music Festival in Ontario, Canada took place this past weekend from 7/31 – 8/3, and the SiriusXM Canada team caught up with a handful of artists, many of whom get regular spins on SiriusXM The Highway: Sam Hunt, Hunter Hayes, Lee Brice, and Tim Hicks.

Attending the music festival in Canada was a first for “Highway Find” Sam Hunt, who signed a record deal after being discovered on The Highway. He’s currently making waves with his new single Leave the Night On.

“I’ve heard lots about [the festival]. I’ve had friends that have come to see the concert, but I have not been here myself. I have a good buddy who plays football for the Toronto Argonauts; he’s a big country music fan and he’s been over here to the festival. Last year, he came over … He said it was a blast … He told me, that I remember most, is how much the Canadians in this area appreciate country music and how passionate they were about it. That’s really something I’ve remembered since then and have experienced on the other side, over in the Cavendish fest a few weeks ago and am now witnessing here in this area, too.”

Meanwhile, Hunter Hayes could barely contain his excitement for his summer shows.

“I think one of my favorite things about the summer is when we do outdoor shows. When we do our tour, obviously it’s the same every night, we have the same sort of bill and everything is the same. On the summer shows it changes drastically every day, so you never know who you’re gonna to see and you pull up and you recognize somebody’s bus, and you’re like, ‘Oh no way, they’re here!’ It’s been a lot of that this summer. I got to hang out with Joe Nichols a little bit, I’ve always been a big fan of him. Clay Walker, we just did a gig with him, that was like my second concert I ever went to as a kid. And all that kind of stuff, the summer’s full of that, for sure.”

Lee Brice, who is set to release his latest album, I Don’t Dance, on 9/9, arrived equally ready to rock the festival.

“This is rocking. It’s a whole deal. Everybody here, including the artists…. It’s just laid back. We got people backstage throwing a baseball around, and it’s just a good time to come out and relax. I bring it every show, even in the theater last night, but there’s just a different state of mind you have to be in. It’s kind of like an actor on TV. If you’re in a theater, everything’s smaller, but if you’re in the big theater in New York, it’s bigger, live acting. You just got to be bigger and be louder and be more energetic even. At these big places, you got a lot of people to reach.”

The SiriusXM Canada team also talked to Tim Hicks, who has his second album, 5:01, set to release on 8/5.

“Writing songs, for me anyway, is a really difficult process. I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great writers down in Nashville and they have fantastic ideas going all the time. It’s really hard when you’re on the road, and I have two young kids, and so I’m trying my best to keep a list of titles and song ideas, but that’s the most difficult part for me, is trying to stay on top of the creative game.”

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