There is so much to discuss about the 2017 CMA's that I am not 100% where to start. I'm currently watching the AMA's and hoping that country music sent Keith Urban as a representative and not FLGL Line. I can't even help it. I'm sure they're wonderful human beings, but I. Just. Can't!! I guess that is where we will start, let's get the less than positive thoughts out and on the table. Of course, I MUST begin with performances and what became the scene stealing performance of the night, Garth Brooks lip syncing his current track and just after winning ETOY.
Now, before you get all huffy I need you to know I am a HUGE Garth fan!!!! I have loved him, his music, and Tricia Yearwood since the beginning!! I am even willing to look past that moment in time where he released an album as an different person and it flopped. That's the kind of love I have for that man. That said, I believe true love includes the truth not just the rosy easy moments, making what I have to say next very difficult for me. I think that Garth made the wrong call in lip syncing at the 2017 CMA's. I do. He stated after the show that he indeed was lip syncing and had chosen to do so because his voice was not at 100% after just coming off a 12 shows in 10 days run. Perfectly understandable that ones voice would be worn after that. He said he thought country music deserved best foot forward and so instead of singing with a less than on point voice he chose to lip sync. Later he would walk away with Entertainer of the Year. It is of my opinion that as a past winner and current nominee for EOTY Brooks should have passed up the performance and allowed another artist to perform in his slot. I think it would have been received far better, but hey, you live, you learn. On to the next.
Garth was not the only artist to cause a little chatter this year. Sturgill Simpson, one of my favorite renegades, stood outside the Bridgestone Arena with his acoustic guitar, a few political home made signs, and his Grammy and performed for any passer by that wanted to hear. Several posted vids to socials and I admit, I love it. I don't think it will garner him a future invite, but I get what he was doing. How does a Grammy winning artist from the genre not get ONE nom?! I'm baffled too, Sturgill.
Miranda Lambert - "To Learn Her"
fr "The Weight of These Wings"
LIVE at CMA 2017
One of the highlight performances for me of the evening was Miranda Lambert and her performance of "To Learn Her". It is from her double disc album, "The Weight of These Wings" and it was distinctly traditional country with a slide guitar twanging through out the tune. I absolutely LOVED this performance. Combine it with the Alan Jackson performance and it was almost like a time machine of country music awards gone by. Queen Ran took home for the SEVENTH year in a row Best Female of the Year and deservingly so. I like that Ran has chosen to perform varied tracks from her double album instead of just sticking with the singles released to radio. There is no way that all the tracks where going to get the time they deserved on radio and this is a great way of giving them the attention they deserve.
Another very notable performance was Carrie Underwood's performance of the hymn, "Softly and Tenderly" dedicated to those we lost this year including the victims of the Vegas Shooting. I know that I had tears in my eyes and from the footage shown it would seem there wasn't a dry eye in the arena including Carrie's as she became emotional during the performance, and rightfully so. I think it was a good call for Carrie to be the one for this dedication. It was her only performance of the night other than what her co-hosting duties required. I would have loved to have seen Carrie in the ETOY category and have high hopes that in the years to come it will become more balanced in female representation. Carrie rocked her "Storytellers" tours, both her in the U.S. and abroad. She toured with Keith Urban on the Australian leg of the "Rip Cord" tour. She has multiple contracts such as Almay, Callia by Carrie, etc. that have her representing the country music community on a variety of stages. If Blake Shelton won because of his work on the voice in addition to his touring, etc. then I feel the same should be considered when someone like Carrie is out there doing all she does for the genre.
While we are on the topic of EOTY, my vote would have been for Eric Church. And keep in mind my love for Garth!! But y'all!!!!!!! He toured SOLO!! Three hours of nothing but Church!! Sold out Red Rocks two nights in a row, has been nominated for the past several years, Mr. Misunderstood has cranked out amazing track after amazing track. I have to ask............what's a fella gotta do to get a Entertainer of the Year WIN???!!!! Lip Sync??!! I for real love Garth, but I just can't let it slide.
I was stoked to see Brothers Osborne take home two trophie's. Best Duo, FINALLY I think the reign of Florida Georgia Line is over!! I'm sorry, I just, I mean, I just can't with those guys!!!!! Bros Oz also took Video of the Year for "It Ain't My Fault", which they also performed during the show. I was torn between their video and Thomas Rhett with Maren Morris and "Craving You". I am happy with this win!! Check out Brothers Osborne Best Video, "It Ain't My Fault", from their album, "Pawn Shop", below. I hear the guys have been working on new tunes so, I think that we may be gearing up for closing the "Pawn Shop" chapter and starting a new one. I am honestly so stoked to hear what they create next I'm unsure I can wait for official releases. I may have to go rouge and start searching the dark web, lol!!
The evening was closed by Alan Jackson returning to the stage for the last performance. Alan Jackson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame just weeks ago making his return to the CMA stage appropriate and honestly, needed. I think in the midst of arguments over what defines a genre, fear of attending live shows because of vigilante's, an unprecedented amount of access to music that doesn't even require the purchase of a actual in hand album or download. In a time when you can cherry pick singles to stream or purchase someone like Jackson who made entire albums that were stream worthy I think his closing the 2017 CMA's was a wonderful reminder. A reminder of what Country Music and really music in general use to be and should be.
I appreciate the right now effect of streaming a new single or pre-ordering an album and getting instant downloads leading up to the full album release. That said, I love, no, I am OBSESSED with walking through the music isle in a store. I am addicted to going to shops like McKays and flipping through the vinyl, the "scratched" or "damaged" CD's for gems that are a quarter and only in a scratched case. I like the noise that the c.d. cases make as I flip through them looking for that one that is out of print and is so old that the only way to find it is in a second hand shop. I like reading the booklets inside a c.d. case. I STILL OWN TAPES!!!! This is just who I am and the Alan Jackson performance reminded me of that and how wonderful that is. I fear the current generation is going to miss out on so much that music of all genre's has to offer simply because they chose to stream or download it and never get the actual in hand album. Wonder if this is what folks thought when eight tracks went out?!
One last performance from the 51st CMA Awards, Reba and Kelsea Ballerini singing Kelsea's, "Legends" her first track from her new album, "Unapologetically". Kels didn't go home with any trophy's, but I would consider this a win!! Reba is epic!! She is a performer through and through and one of the true legends that I would say define women in country music and really women in music in general. Reba also handed out the last award of the night, EOTY to Garth Brooks. In his accpetence speech he acknowledged McIntire and her iconic performances.
What performance did you love? Hate? Who did you wish was there and or nominated? Any fashion love for anyone ? There was so much good fashion and accessories on the red carpet this year. I know I already shared this, but Lindsay Ell's ear cuff was legit the accessory of the evening for me. Girl rocked it!! I can't close this post with out discussing a few of my fave looks of the evening. As you know I did some virtual styling via my Instagram and I was amped to see that I wasn't far off on my fashion predictions.
Mkay, I am gonna close this years CMA Review with someone that I feel deserves to have been nominated as well as have had a performer slot, Kip Moore. It is only appropriate considering Mr. Moore will be releasing his second single, "Last Shot" from his newest album, "SLOWHEART" on this New Music Monday. Along with the release of his next single he will also be releasing to Youtube and I presume his site, etc. "The Journey to Slowheart", a video that fans who pre-ordered "SLOWHEART", got to see several months ago. I have watched it probably a solid half dozen times. I don't say that like a creeper, I swear!! Honestly, I am so excited that this is getting released for everyone to have access that I very well may explode. Kips bestie, Life in Rewind's, P.J.Brown, has done it again in capturing Kip in some of his most natural elements. I think if you aren't a fan of Kip prior to watching "The Journey to Slowheart", he will win your heart by the time the credits roll. It is a bit of insight into his rarely shared personal life as well as his professional. He allows us to meet some of his family, his closest friends, and takes us traveling with him to his home town, Tifton, GA, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Iceland. It's truly a beautiful way to spend thirty minutes of your Monday!! I think that 2018 will be Kip's year come award season. I truly don't believe he can be ignored any longer. Listen to Kips newest single, "Last Shot" and judge for yourself! Kip will be finishing his first leg on the "Plead the Fifth Tour" in a few weeks, but in February he, along with another of #NMM's fave, The Cadillac Three will be opening for Luke Bryan on a small set of month long dates. Then it is back to the "Plead the Fifth Tour" as it heads to the west coast. If you haven't gotten "SLOWHEART", it would make for a wonderful stocking stuffer!
Kip Moore - " Last Shot"
Live at Paste Studios
Have a beautiful, relaxing, and yummy Thanksgiving!!
We will catch you next week when the turkey coma wears off.