A Few Notes on ‘ACM Presents: Superstar Duets’

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With his flat-brimmed cap, camo leggings, and visible/audible unease, Sam Hunt destroyed "Fast As You." Not in a good way. At all. Dwight's still got it. Someone should let Alan Jackson do fast songs other than "Chattahoochee" sometime. Cole Swindell is passable but unnecessary. He really likes that cap. "Swingin'" or any other way, John Anderson still sounds great. I wouldn't mind if Miranda and Patty Loveless recorded a duets album. Their two performances ("Blame It On Your Heart" and … [Read more...]

CMA Awards 2014 Show Notes

48th annual cma awards

Here are some assorted notes on last night's 48th Annual Country Music Association Awards. Feel free to chime in with your own observations or highlights in the comments. Carrie and Brad Underwood and Paisley can usually be counted on to keep it pleasantly toothless, but they were on point with the feigned puzzlement at George Strait's continued presence (hadn't the cowboy ridden away?) and, especially, the line "Luke Bryan would be happy to buy you a faster horse." A reference to griping in … [Read more...]

Merle Haggard Receives the Crystal Milestone Award

Here's the full Merle Haggard segment from the 2014 ACM Awards. It features Garth Brooks, George Strait singing "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," Miranda Lambert singing "The Bottle Let Me Down," the "Happy Birthday" serenade, and a few quick words from Merle. The YouTube account that posted it, cmntexas, also has high-quality video of most of the show's other performances and highlights, though it's unclear how long any of this stuff will stay up. Of course, it'd be nice if there were some … [Read more...]

2014 ACM Awards Recap

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Composed from memory and scant notes in the wee hours of the morning after, so don't be shy about mentioning any corrections or important moments I missed. Blake and Luke The show's script was mostly toothless and forgettable, which sort of has to be the case when the hosts themselves exemplify much of what's ripe for mockery in contemporary country music. Can't exactly have Luke Bryan delivering pointed jabs at bro-country tropes, can we? The Merle-Cam From his first stone-faced … [Read more...]

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your 2013 Country Grammy Nominees

Guy Clark tribute cover

Well, we have a pretty likable field of country-oriented Grammy nominees this time around. In the album categories, I'm especially tickled by nominations for The Time Jumpers, Jamey Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, and the Guy Clark tribute This One's for Him. The song categories are mostly solid, with nice nods for Ronnie Dunn's "Cost of Livin'" and Alan Jackson's "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore." One major takeaway: Grammy voters are quite enamored of young Hunter Hayes. Besides the Best … [Read more...]

2012 CMA Awards: Show Notes

2012 CMA Awards

Although I wasn't online to live blog last night's awards show, I did go old school by jotting down some notes while I watched. Here's my 2012 CMA Awards notebook dump. Luke Bryan in leather jacket, Eric Church in trucker cap and shades, Jason Aldean in plaid shirt and straw hat. They look like a faux-outlaw version of the Village People. Carrie and Brad's opening includes a "Moves Like Jagger" parody (Martina looks bored) and a "Gangnam Style" dance. Just in case anyone was concerned … [Read more...]

2012 CMT Music Awards, Abridged

Ronnie Dunn not asked to sing, but invited to introduce Luke Bryan's boom-boom song? Alan Jackson not given a performance slot, but offered the consolation prize of handing Carrie Underwood the Video of the Year award for "Good Girl"? Rascal Flatts performing with Journey? Good grief. There was plenty to dislike about the 2012 CMT Music Awards, but there were also bits and pieces that made sitting through the rest seem almost worthwhile. For your convenience, here are the 12 minutes of the … [Read more...]