The year was 2014, a young up-and-coming singer release “Love You Like That” on country radio. In 2015, the song went #1, leading artist Canaan Smith to his next song, “Hole in a Bottle.” This song didn’t give Smith the same success, however, peaking at #23. He went on tour with Russell Dickerson as a headliner, but he just dropped off after that.
His luck started to change in 2020, when Florida Georgia Line signed him to their new record label, giving Smith a second chance that he deserved. As a result of the new partnership, Smith’s quality of music has gone up significantly. He has released a few new songs; the best has been “Beer Drinkin Weather” and “Country Boy Things.” However, his best work might have just come.
Released on February 5th, Smith released a new single, “Mason Jars and Fireflies.” The song is a bluegrass song, which is incredible as it follows Luke Comb’s “Great Divide” in a week of country stars turning out bluegrass music. I like Smith’s song is even better than Combs. The song was written by Smith, Corey Crowder, and Brian Kelley. This is interesting to me because of the Brian Kelley connection. We made a post about the Florida Georgia Line break-up for those who don’t know, and Tyler Hubbard isn’t a writer. I wonder if Kelley will be more hands-on with the label going forward, as Hubbard is too busy making crappy music with Tim McGraw.
The worst part of a song like “Fireflies” is that they come out and die. It probably won’t be a hit song, people who don’t know Canaan aren’t going to listen to it, and by summertime, it’ll just be gone. I hope that I am wrong; I want Smith to DM me in a few months and tell me to suck it. I want to hear the song all over the radio, with every listen to remind me how wrong I was about this article. But I know better, unfortunately. I know that this type of song doesn’t do well by “metrics” and “stats.” I know that the suites of Nashville look at a song like this and think, “Oh shit, that’s cute but let’s bury it on an album.”
I hope that this Florida Georgia Line label can help change what is already going on, but I don’t think it will. Kane Brown and Luke Bryan are both trying to create record labels, and while Brown just started his label, Bryan has been working on Jon Langston for a while. I’m not sure this era of acts creating labels will work, but at least they are trying their best. The thing is, these artists are signing artists that other labels have passed on. I love Jon Langston and Canaan Smith, but both have had chances in the past and had it not work out. If it’s going to work, I can’t wait to see it.