About Us

“You want your artist to make it in Canada? You talk to Keepin’ it Country.” – Jan Woods, publicist.

What simply started out as a way for two friends to share their love of music – one through photography and one through music reviews – has turned into something that neither could have imagined. Keepin’ it Country was formed by Lydia Picknell and Jessica Crans; two friends out on a mission to share their love of country music. That mantra remains true to this day, and with a new staff of ten – writers, photographers, and marketers- KIC has turned into one of the newest leading sources in all things country music. We’ve broken news that’s appeared on US Weekly, The Tennessean,  PEOPLE magazine, and countless other places. Our stories have been shared with fans by Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith, JT Hodges and many more of today’s hottest artists. Keepin’ it Country is in it for the long run.

We pride ourselves on having fan interaction and involvement in everything we do: live Tweeting from award shows and major events, asking celebrities the questions the fans wanted us to ask, and having the coolest giveaways that the fans want to have.

We’re always on the lookout for new, hot talent. Seen someone we haven’t yet? Let us know! Have some hot news tips to share? Just want to talk? Want to join our team? Give us a shout. We can all be reached at our general mailbox: contact@keepinitcountryblog.com.




Lydia Picknell – Ottawa, Canada
Co-Owner / Writer

Lydia is one of the two co-owners of Keepin’ it Country. She manages everything to do with the website technically, handling interview and review requests, and organizing the staff to cover major events. She has attended the Academy of Country Music Awards (2012), the Country Music Association Awards (2011), and the CMT Music Awards (2012). She is the only Country Music Association (CMA) voting member on staff. She grew up on 90′s pop and 90′s country, but now her favorite artists include Kacey Musgraves, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, and Reba McEntire, but she loves to discover new acts and give them the exposure they deserve. She is also seen as a contributor to Dirt Road Daughters magazine out of New Mexico.


Jessica Crans – Nashville, TN
Co-Owner / Lead Photographer

Jessica Crans is a graphic designer and photographer from Watkins Glen, NY and now an official Nashville resident! She grew up on country music as a huge Reba fan, while also listening to a lot of Tracy Lawrence, Alan Jackson and Neal McCoy. She now finds her favorites to be Kelly Clarkson, Lauren Alaina, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift. Besides working for KIC, she also works as a freelance designer. Music is her passion and she can’t wait to see where this path takes her!


Becky Zamora – Minnesota
Marketing Director

Becky Zamora is the Interactive Marketing Director at Keepin’ It Country.  After learning html in 1998, she has been creating websites and designing graphics ever since.  In 2005 she graduated from the University of St. Thomas and returned in 2011 to pursue a graduate certificate and further her marketing education.  Becky combines her love of marketing with SEO and web development skills to create an excellent user experience and achieve goals for Keepin’ It Country.


Tia Carpino – Ottawa, Canada
Canadian Writer & Interviewer

Tia is a 20 year old psychology major at Carleton University. She became quite interested in and devoted to country music at the age of 13 when she came across Keith Urban‘s music. She appreciates all genres of music, from classical, to rap, to pop, and of course, country. Her favorite country artists are Keith Urban, Emerson Drive, Johnny Reid, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, and Sugarland. She has attended over 40 concerts in her 20 years, so it is obvious that she has an undying love for music. She hopes to share that admiration, especially for the country genre, by writing for Keepin’ It Country.


Ian Ewing – Ottawa, Canada

Ian Ewing is a freelance writer and country music enthusiast based in Ottawa. He grew up on the Canadian prairies listening to Montgomery Gentry, Sawyer Brown, and Shania Twain. Now Ian enjoys spotting new acts just before they make it big – especially groups with great harmony, like Lady Antebellum, Love and Theft, and Gloriana. He is our on-staff reviewer and handles all reviews.


Jennifer Swirsky – Florida

Writer & Director of Business and Legal Affairs

Jen Swirsky is an attorney located in Florida who you can often find at country music concerts in the southeast part of the state. She discovered country music when she first heard Faith Hill cover Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” and she never looked back. She prides herself on the diversity in her iPod, which ranges from country to pop to rap to rock. Her favorite artists are Kelly Clarkson, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, and Laura Bell Bundy. Before becoming a writer for Keepin’ it Country, Jen was a website administrator for KellyClarkson.ca, where she developed her love for all things music/entertainment. She hopes to practice sports and entertainment law during her legal career.


Nicole Piering – New York
Writer & Social Media Marketer

Nicole hails from Long Island, New York, where she currently works in Internet Marketing. Although her friends will tease her due to the fact that she spends a large part of her day on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, she is a social media junkie who loves the ability such sites have to immediately connect people and information. Growing up in New York, Nicole would tell you that she loved “all types of music, except country.” However, that all changed when she attended a Rascal Flatts concert at Madison Square Garden on a whim. After seeing the Flatts rock the stage alongside support acts Eric Church & Gary Allan, she was hooked. You can now find her attending most country concerts in the tri-state area, and although she’d be hard pressed to name a favorite artist, she’s a huge fan of Luke Bryan, Sugarland, the Zac Brown Band, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, and the sometimes-country, Kelly Clarkson. On top of her love for country music, Nicole is a pop culture guru, reality TV connoisseur and former 2-time elementary school spelling bee champion.

Jeanna DellaRagione – New York

Jeanna is an attorney who loves and adores all things music. She was born and raised in New York, but has been a country music fan since she was a kid. Her mom has musically diverse tastes, and her grandma used to play old country records every weekend. In addition to her music obsession, she has a passion for writing as well as photography and graphic design; is a pop-culture and social media junkie; and is always up for a good concert. She hopes to someday combine her legal career with her passion for music. Some of her favorite artists are: Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Martina McBride, and The Band Perry but she could go on because she is truly a fan of all music.


All views expressed on this website are that of our own, and are no way a reflection of the opinions of those artists we cover, the sites we link, or anyone that isn’t writing for this website. We accept revenue for advertising in many forms, and will be stated as so if used for a post or anything that could affect content on this website.

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