Although I went to a lot of shows in Nashville during CMA week (and believe it or not, there are actually some good traditional and older artists during the daytime), I didn’t go to the expensive shows at the stadium. Last night was the television show covering those shows. I’m a glutton for punishment, and this was what was on TV. Saints preserve us. Before I dig in, here are some songs to listen to while reading:
Better Boat was announced yesterday as Kenny Chesney’s new single.
Whitey Morgan released “Honky Tonk Hell” yesterday.
David Paul Nowlin released “Holed Up In Some Honky Tonk” last week.
Garrett Pittman released “To The Honkytonk” a couple weeks ago.
AJ McLean posted a cover of Drunkard’s Prayer. I never imagined that I’d post about Kenny Chesney and a member of the Backstreet Boys in a positive manner on one day, but good songs are good songs.
Some of the traditional-minded readers have likely already checked out by now, perhaps cursing my name vigorously, but here are some thoughts on the CMA television special. Rather than cursing the mediocre and negative material (and there’s plenty I could pick apart), I’ll simply highlight a few of the ones I did like:
Carrie Underwood. She always delivers a big vocal performance, and there’s even pedal steel. “Cry Pretty” is still going sideways on the charts, though.
Cole Swindell’s “We Break Up In The End” is a solid song and performance. Blake Shelton’s “I Lived It” is one of his better hits in years, a bit of nostalgia. Midland’s “Burn Out” from the HGTV Lodge (only performance not from the stadium) is one of the most traditional performances of the night. Luke Combs’ “When it rains, it pours” is fun, if not especially deep.
Dierks Bentley with Dwight Yoakam: “Fast as You.” Great to see Dwight doing his thing, and kudos to Dierks Bentley for setting this up. There were other classic country artists who performed at the stadium (Ricky Skaggs, Charley Pride, and Lee Ann Womack), but they were not shown on the television show (and I wonder if it’s because they had early time slots, when it was still light outside).
Chris Stapleton ! Dave Cobb playing slide guitar on “Millionaire.” Damn right. Brothers Osborne (who filled in for an injured Chris Stapleton last year) closed the show with “Shoot Me Straight” and its extended guitar outro.