C2C 2016 pop-up artist details!

Pop-Up artists confirmed & The Shires return as
C2C Ambassadors

North American country artists including; Phil Vassar, High Valley, Sarah Darling, Maren Morris, Rainey Qualley, Sonia Leigh and Glen Campbell’s daughter Ashley Campbell; CMA Award winning songwriters Jessi Alexander, Barry Dean, Lori McKenna and Shane McAnally and up-and-coming British stars, including CC Smugglers, Callaghan, Pauper Kings and Red Sky July…and more

After a huge year for the duo, The Shires return to C2C at The O2 from 11-13th March 2016 as Ambassadors  and will introduce acts appearing on the Yamaha Music Stage, host up and coming UK artists on the Pop-Up stages and make several appearances across the weekend.

The band recently played at Nashville’s Grand Old Opry, they have a debut album that has just gone gold and spent a summer with hits such as ‘Nashville Grey Skies’ and ‘State Lines’ on national radio playlists. They are currently the UK’s most successful domestic Country band. 

Also returning to the festival in March, are the ever popular Pop-Up stages which will feature later running performances in Brooklyn Bowl which will host some of UK’s rising stars, and The Saloon which will feature a line-up of traditional country performers.

With over 40 performances per day across the site and artists from the all over the UK, Europe and the US, C2C once more provides an incredible opportunity for artists to showcase their talents and offers a great opportunity for fans of country music to discover and support new artists. 

C2C organisers commented: “Every year we’re looking for new talent we can introduce to fans via the C2C Pop Up stages - the calibre of artists applying to play is now very high. We had over 400 applications from all over the world… we’re looking forward to seeing how these new artists are received this year.”

More stages and artists to be announced.

Pop Up Acts info:

Alan West & Steve Black
They say that some things are meant to be! Nothing could be truer about the coming together of Alan West and Steve Black. With over 50 years of professional performing between them, they discovered that their unique combination puts a refreshing slant on country music.

Alice Wallace has become a shining light on the Los Angeles Americana music scene, sharing her songs of travel, adventure, life, love and loss in her authentic voice...as beautiful as the land she travels,” say the folks at California Country Records.

Ashley Campbell is the daughter of legendary Country singer Glen Campbell, a songwriter, performer and musician in her own right; she spent time on the road with her father during his last tour. The journey was filmed for the documentary “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”, whose music garnered Oscar and Grammy nominations and includes her current single “Remembering”. She is currently in the studio working on new music.

Ashton Lane was formed after Esther met her now husband Tim O’Connor at one of her solo gigs down a cobbled street in Glasgow (Ashton Lane). Their creative partnership, as well their connection over what they value in life was immediately obvious and the street where they met seemed like the perfect name for their band.

Benjamin Folke Thomas, Sweden 
Ben is a young Swedish singer songwriter with his roots very much in the Americana, alt country genre - his heroes are 'sad men with guitars' - Warren Zevon, Townes Van Zandt, and Bob Dylan amongst others. Ben’s explosive take on alt-country and country-rock is complemented by his highly accomplished finger-style guitar and soulful, resonant vocal style.

Originally from Lincolnshire, Callaghan moved to the US in summer 2010 to record and tour with Shawn Mullins. Since then she’s been busily carving out a career for herself and winning fans all across the USA. Back home in the UK the BBC’s Bob Harris has been a strong supporter, regularly playing her music on both his Radio 2 shows and describing her as “a wonderful artist.... beautiful, warm and hugely talented”.

Carolynne Poole
Often compared to Shania Twain, Carolynne describes her style of music as "Country Pop Rock".  In 2012 Carolynne was the first Country artist to be seen on the X factor UK and is proud to have played a role in paving the way for future UK country artists to perform on commercial UK television shows. "She is supremely talented and just oozes Country" - Gary Barlow
Case Hardin are a four piece Americana band from London. Operating musically across all points within the genre, they are the vehicle for songwriter, Pete Gow.

CC Smugglers are currently writing new music set for release early 2016 and are eager to hit the road with their brand new record. Front-man and songwriter Richie Prynne reflects: “Showmanship and really good music invariably speaks way beyond any genre. We play good, original music with inspiration plucked from the rhythms and instrumentation that inspired most of today’s modern music.  We like to think most people connect with that in some way”.

Chisum Cattle Co., Spain
A Truckin ́ Country band with a strong and personal style that resembles the great sound from the 70 ́s. On stage they play songs from their brand new album “90 Miles” and versions of Owens, Jennings, Haggard, LaBeef, and Yoakam.

Cooper & Davies
Originating in Shropshire, Cooper and Davies combined as a duo after some years of solo and band work. Drawn together by a desire to play rootsy Americana, they developed their own style and sound which draws on the traditions of country, blues, bluegrass et al. 

Crash n Recovery, Sweden
Their new acclaimed album DEEP IN THE WOODS was released in 2015 on their new label Rootsy Music, SE. Since the start in 2012 their music has reached an audience all around the world through radio, TV & Internet. We have shared stages with Leanne Rimes, Buffy Sainte Marie, Doug Seegers, The Kilkenny’s, Ten Years After, and many more at major festivals in Scandinavia & Europe.

Darline are country pop duo Abby Inez and Cara Beth Beard. Aged 20 and 18, the girls have only been playing together for 8 months. Both have played solo for a few years, but came together after Ben Earl from The Shires introduced them. They hit it off immediately, sharing a strong love of everything Country-and a slightly obsessive love of Taylor Swift!!!

Dexeter are a modern UK Country band. Developing a loyal fan base from their set on the pop up stages at Country to Country 2014, the four piece have gone from strength to strength playing regularly in London and UK country festivals including Yeehaw, Fort San Antone Fest and MidWinterFest.

Emma Stevens is a British singer-songwriter who fuses catchy pop melodies with folk instrumentation, playing the majority of the instruments on her albums herself. She first picked up the guitar at the age of two and has since learnt cello, piano, banjo, ukulele and mandolin. 

Erin Kinsey, US
It is very rare in today's music industry to come across a young artist with the passion and love for music displayed by country singer-songwriter Erin Kinsey. The 14-year-old performer from the Dallas, Texas area has not only had multiple appearances performing at one of Nashville's most historically significant venues (The Bluebird Café), she has also received training from some of the biggest names in the modern music industry.

Foreign Affairs
Started by brothers Adam and Lawrence in 2012, the band’s first summer saw them booked for Glastonbury Festival, by owner Michael Eavis, as well as performances at iconic Bristol venues and airplay via BBC Introducing. In the studio for most of 2014, the band have now settled on a trio line up, with the addition of bass player Ben Sweeney and are now set to release three, three track EP’s over the next 18 months.
Frankie Davies
A big favourite amongst UK based country & folk singers; Frankie was born on a tiny British Island called Jersey. But as much as she loves her Island home, that stage was just too small for this girl & she’s since travelled the length and breadth of the UK, LA, San Francisco and Nashville, to let the world know about her particular brand of original folk & country music.

Great Western Tears are a Country band hailing from Oxford, England who subscribe whole heartedly to the Ameripolitan ethos of authentic Roots music.

High Valley, Canada
Canadian brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel are High Valley.  These two young men are making what the music industry in Nashville has called “singular,” “seminal,” and “a perfect mix of radio, revision, and respect.” But they like to call it “popgrass”!  Growing up on a 1,400-acre farm in the far-northern reaches of Alberta, with music, farming and family as the basis of their entertainment, their musical language was formed at a very young age.

Holloway Road are Jack Cooper and Robert Gulston, both originating from sunny Southend-On-Sea. But these aren't your ordinary Essex Boys. Instead of tanning or getting their vajazzles done, they're creating “free big in your face” country pop music. Jack and Robert, being in their mid-twenties now, have had their fair share of experience writing and playing around the world.

Honey Ryder are a trio from London/Stoke. Having firmly established themselves within the inner circle of Nashville’s elite, UK band Honey Ryder return to spearhead the British country crossover invasion with their 3rd studio album, ‘Born in a Bottle’.

ILONA, Bulgaria
Originally from Bulgaria, but based in the UK for the past 10 years, ILONA has had a life that makes her unlike many others. With a rich blend of influences to draw on, combined with her passion for music and the ability to speak four languages fluently, she is truly a unique and original performer.

Jeannine Barry has been likened to country music greats such as Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Leanne Rimes and Emmylou Harris. Her true respect for heritage artists with a forward thinking desire to keep the style relevant and current ensures that her kind of country music is what y'all been waiting for.

Jessi Alexander and Barry Dean, US
Jessi Alexander is one of Nashville’s most prolific and talented songwriters.  She recorded for Columbia and released her debut CD in 2005 and enjoyed a couple of hits before changing course and focusing on an award winning and very successful career as a songwriter. She’s co-written big hits for Miley Cryrus, Luke Bryan and the CMA Award winning “I Drive Your Truck”.

Barry Dean, originally from Kansas and now based in Nashville, is a CMA and Grammy Award winner who has co-written numerous hits including “Pontoon” and “Day Drinking” for Little Big Town, “Tattoo” for Hunter Hayes, “Diamond Rings & Old Barstools” for Tim McGraw, “On To Something Good” for Ashley Monroe and “Anyone Else” for Blake Shelton.

Knoxville Highway are a sensational foot tapping, free - wheelin', Americana/Country band from the Midlands. From classic Country songs, foot-stomping Bluegrass, to the infectious rhythms of TEX MEX Knoxville Highway set the standard high in performance and entertainment.  

Lori McKenna, US
Lori has become one of Nashville’s most in-demand Country songwriters. Her songs have been cut by artists such as Faith Hill, Alison Krauss, Tim McGraw, Reba.  Her co-written song, “Girl Crush” recorded by Little Big Town won a Country Music Association Award for Song of the Year and Single of the Year and is nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year, Best Country Duo/Group Performance, and Best Country Song. Along with her successes as a songwriter, McKenna has released critically acclaimed studio albums. Her latest CD, Numbered Doors, was named one of the 40 Best Country Albums of 2014 by Rolling Stone.

Luke & Mel are a multi-award winning singer-songwriter duo and have been hailed as one of the hottest bands to hit UK Country Music in recent years. Formed in 2012, having met through performing in the UK's top touring theatre show, Country Legends, the pair combines haunting harmonies and fine musicianship creating a sound that is both unique and authentic.

Maren Morris, US
From Texas, Maren Morris has quickly established herself in Nashville’s music community with songwriting and vocal styling’s that reflect her country, folk and pop influences. The female singer/songwriter was named one of CMT’s Next Women of Country as well as a CMT Listen Up Artist of 2016, VEVO Discover Artist,  SiriusXM “Artist To Watch in 2016,” one of Spotify’s “Spotlight on Country 2016” Artists and many 2016 Watch Lists including USA Today, Billboard and the Huffington Post.
Megan O’Neill
Originally from County Kildare, Ireland, Megan O’Neill is one of the most exciting new entrants to the world of country-pop music. Megan's music is a fresh mix of modern country and pop, with a fusion of distinctly Irish elements making for a very unique sound. 

Outlander is a Pop/Country-Rock band hailing from the North East of England, and are one of the bands leading the new wave of Country Music in England. Forming in 2015, the band has become one of the most anticipated and talked about acts.

Paul Carella is an award winning Scottish singer/songwriter. Self-taught, Paul learned his trade as a musician playing in the pubs and clubs of Glasgow before moving to London in 2009 to further his music career. Paul is currently touring across Europe with his latest studio release, Dead Town.

Pauper Kings are a pioneering, history making Country music band from the UK... In just 3 years, the Pauper Kings have pushed the boundaries and awareness of Country music in the UK, both nationally and internationally to an unprecedented level. 

Phil Vassar, US
Phil Vassar is a country music hitmaker who has released six albums and is a piano-pounding powerhouse on stage.  His reign of signature songs include 10 No. 1 singles and 26 Top 40 hits, including "Carlene," "Just Another Day in Paradise," "Six-Pack Summer," "That's When I Love You" and many more.

Rackhouse Pilfer are a fiery and exciting band who have been getting rave reviews with their Roots blend of Irish Americana. The rise of Rackhouse Pilfer is unstoppable. They formed in 2012 by the fireside of McGarrigles bar in Sligo, performing an acoustic set of bluegrass and folk hits from their favourite Americana artists. It wasn’t long before they had to be plugged in to be heard due to their growing popularity and swelling crowds.

Rainey Qualley is a rising star in Nashville who recently enjoyed success with the single “Me And Johnny Cash”.  She made her debut on the hallowed stage of the Grand Ole Opry® in August and has since been invited back for numerous other performances, including the kick-off celebration of the Opry’s 90th Birthday.

Ray Peters & The Smokey Turtle Band
Ray Peters started his singing career in the 1990s, performing in venues on the Costa Del Sol. In 2000 he returned to the UK and, country music being his first love, set about finding musicians.During 2015, while continuing strongly as a trio, Ray worked on putting together a 5-piece band, and so The Smokey Turtle Band was born. They are Ray Peters (vocals, rhythm guitar), Dave Hayward (pedal steel), Dean Barnes (guitar), Hannah Cope (bass) and Pete Hedley (drums). 

Red Pine Timber Company 
Bursting with talent, this 8 piece Americana band from Perth are currently on the road gathering fans and promoting their debut album ’Different Lonesome’ whilst recording new material for their highly anticipated second album.

Red Sky July are husband and wife duo Ally McErlaine (guitarist in Texas) and Shelly Poole (one half of Alisha’s Attic) along with former model Charity Hair (The Alice Band). Red Sky July’s sound is a hazy blend of Alt-Country and Americana. Red Sky July release their new album ‘The Truth and The Lie’ in March 2016.

Sam Coe & The Long Shadows
Four guys and a girl from East Anglia, blazing a trail for Modern Country Music. Think Brandy Clarke meets Eric Church...that's what we sound like.

Sarah Darling was called, 'a sophisticated songwriter with a crisp, powerful voice', by the New York Times and is a very busy woman with frequent national TV appearances, the launch of her new line of boots with partner Durango, the success of her French macaroon company, Sweet Darling Patisserie and a robust touring schedule.

Shane McAnally , US
Shane is a CMA Award-winning songwriter and producer who has penned 15 and counting career No.1 songs for artists, including Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark and Lady Antebellum, and is a frequent collaborator of Kacey Musgraves, having co-produced both of her studio albums (Same Trailer Different Park and Pageant Material) and contributed as a songwriter to the albums.

Sonia Leigh makes music which has been described as a melting pot of indie, pop, and country rock.  “Her talent is undeniable,” said Music News Nashville, “Sonia Leigh is an artist that sets herself apart from the pack.” After appearing at C2C, she will embark on her first co-headlining European tour with UK artist Sasha McVeigh in early April.  

Southern Junction are a new modern country music group formed in the South of England. Keep an eye out for the Trio's first E.P release coming soon! 

Texas Martha and the House of Twang
Marty Fields (USA/FR) is an award winning singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas with deep musical roots extending to Appalachia. Now based in both Texas and Bordeaux, France, her band has been storming stages across Europe with their Americana Cocktail of Country, Country Rock, Texas Boogie and Honky Tonk.

The Rising are a Pop/Rock, Country Rock band from Belfast, Northern Ireland. The band has just released their debut album Coming Home on Renegade Maverick Records.

The Southern Companion
Recently described as "a Mid-Atlantic sonic whirlpool where the UK and US currents meet" and as "the UKs answer to Zac Brown". The band have recently reached no three in the CM&T International Artists chart with their song Drive and keen to gain momentum to promote the independently released album "1000 Days of Rain".

The Shires, UK
The Shires have swiftly become one of the UKs biggest breakout successes of 2015. The duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes played Nashville’s Grand Old Opry, released their debut album ‘Brave’ which subsequently went gold and have had hits such as ‘Nashville Grey Skies’ and ‘State Lines’ on national radio playlists. They have taken the support from industry tastemakers they received early on in their career and built it into radio plays, record sales and legions of fans and have helped changed the perception of country music across the UK in the process

Wire & Wool
Dundee’s newest bluegrass group have already carved out a well-deserved place in the scene, creating a bit of anarchy while pushing the boundaries of the bluegrass genre with blistering favourites, plus their own cross genre material.


  1. Texas Martha AKA Marty Fields looks forward to C2C. texasmartha.com


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