I finally forced myself to sit through the 44th Annual presentation of the Country Music Association Awards that I recorded when it was televised live a couple of weeks ago. and I have to admit I enjoyed a lot of it.
Carry Underwood and Brad Paisley did a great job as co-hosts. Underwood is easy on the eyes and has a great pipes and Brad Paisley is as close to a shredder as Nashville has. Both are warm and funny and make you feel right at home.
Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox used his wail to annoy dogs for miles around and to personally keep the hair product and skin bronzer industry in business. Kenny Chesney made football suck with his light-rock Boys of Fall and Taylor Swift performed an overwrought, orchestrated and fog-machine and fake snow embellished variation on yet another Us Weekly article put to music and sure to print money. Sugarland unveiled their latest and probably annoying song Stuck Like Glue. Currant flavor of the week Lady Antebellum won Vocal Group of the Year by skillfully utilizing the bland, homogeneous pop sauce ladled in copious amounts at recording studios all over Music City. Reba wasted her impressive pipes on the soft-rock If I Were A Boy Lyrics.
The highlight were where the craft of country music peeked through the glitter. George Strait commanding the stage with his apologetically sentimental song of life and family Take Your Breath Away. The Zac Brown Band sharing the stage with Alan Jackson for the leaving song As Shes Walking Away. I have to admit I teared up a bit during Brad Paisley’s ode to his craft This Is Country Music.
Miranda Lambert beat the odds and won Album of the Year for Revolution. This make it her first win in the category and my first time to review an album nominated at the CMAs (or ever will again probably.) Lambert is a personal favorite of mine. Like her current charts counterpart Jamey Johnson they’ve done a fine job of producing a body of work that combines their particular brand of hard country music.
Dierks Bentley took a huge chance for an established Country act to step into the Americana side of town with the Bluegrass-tinged Up On The Ridge.
Great to see the legend Little Jimmy Dickens.
Apparently there was a blonde shortage in country music so actress Gwyneth Paltrow passably entered the fray and upped her cred by sharing the stage with the extraordinary Vince Gill.
Sissy Spacek Introduced a Loretta Lynn tribute in her sweet Texas twang. Miranda Lambert nailed Coal Miner’s Daughter, but like Kid Rock I have no idea why Sheryl Crow was invited to this party. Was Carrie Underwood busy? Reba? Martina? Great to see a surprise appearance by the Lady Loretta Lynn herself.