2007 CMA Awards Live Blog

by

November 7, 2007

cma_award.jpg

Winners:

  • Entertainer – Kenny Chesney
  • Male Vocalist – Brad Paisley
  • Female Vocalist – Carrie Underwood
  • Vocal Duo – Sugarland
  • Vocal Group – Rascal Flatts
  • Horizon – Taylor Swift
  • Album – George Strait, It Just Comes Natural
  • Single – “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood
  • Song – “Give it Away” – Bill Anderson, Buddy Cannon & Jamey Johnson
  • Music Video – “Online” – Brad Paisley
  • Musician – Jerry Douglas (Dobro)
  • Musical Event – “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” – Tracy Lawrence, Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw

Final thoughts:

No big winners tonight, in terms of numbers. Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney each won two. Best performances: Sugarland, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban and…dare I say it? Kellie Pickler!

Making me feel too old? Taylor Swift. Who’d think that country music would make me feel old at the tender age of 28?

We should go back to one host, or two, and not the slapdash “let’s promote our TV shows” way it was done this year. If you have to pick an ABC star, have Kimberly Williams co-host with a country artist. Or, do the obvious and just bring back Vince!

Thanks to all of you who posted in the comments and hung out with me tonight. You’ve shattered my site traffic record! It’s starting to feel like a real community here at Country Universe!

_____

10:56 He’s giving a wonderful speech, very humble and appreciative.

10:55 Entertainer: Kenny Chesney. Three wins, ties him for second place with Alabama on the all-time wins list in this category. Garth Brooks remains top dog with four.

10:54 Home stretch, and not a moment too soon. I’m just about out of wit!

10:50 Well, alright. That just happened. Next?

10:46 Holy crap. Jamie Foxx is wiping the floor with Gary LeVox. That’s right. Wanda the Ugly Girl is out-singing you.

10:45 Did she just call Ray Charles one of the greatest country singers of all-time?

10:38 Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley. Now Willie Nelson’s all alone as the guy with the most nominations without a win in this category.

10:37 “What the hell am I doing here?” Ha! I was thinking the same thing!

10:36 Okay, Kimberly and LeAnn can co-host next year.

10:34 Give her the props she’s due, though. Pickler’s giving a beautiful performance. Brought herself to tears. Wow.

10:33 On a dull night, one of the only new acts with a real personality is singing a downer song. Unleash your inner Mindy McCready, Pickler!

10:31 “Check her for ticks and you’re dead, tour.” Ha! Let me add that Kimberly standing in front of that orange CMA award silhouette, she looks like a gaudy Virgin Mary statue come to life. Coming soon to a Queens lawn near you.

10:27 Reba’s presenting Entertainer later. Good pick, but it won’t match the emotional punch of her presenting in to Shania in 1999, when Ms. Twain was the first woman to win since Reba herself back in 1986.

10:23 Another great album I haven’t had a chance to review yet. Josh Turner’s the real deal. If he wins Male Vocalist, he better sing, “VIC-tree!”

10:22 Am I the only person who thought when she mentioned “country music is soul music”, that we were about to hear Jamie Foxx, rather than Josh Turner?


10:21 I love the song, but Kenny’s performance is awfully listless for a two-time Entertainer of the Year.

10:18 One foot in East Tennessee and one in the islands. Kenny’s quite flexible.

10:17 Well, at least this ABC star is married to the top nominee. She’s funny.

10:12 In a perfect world, Emmylou would be introducing Vince, Pam would be introducing Mel, and Reba would be introducing Ralph. Sigh.

10:10 Hall of Fame. Smile and wave, old-timers.

10:09 Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood. I suspect she’ll be getting the Grammy, too, next February.

10:07 Dierks has a crush on Alison Krauss. He likes talent.

10:06 There sure are a lot of places to find Jesus in country music. The Boondocks. Red Dirt Road. Behind the wheel of your out-of-control vehicle.

10:05 Oh, and Mister Announcer Man: “Boondocks” is a classic comic strip, not a classic single.

10:04 Little Big Town have a new album and they’re singing “Boondocks”? Huh?

10:03 I’m amazed Reba was allowed to perform with another country artist. I expected her to have to drag Justin Timberlake back to the CMA’s for a performance slot.

10:02 Reba’s always all up in the grill of her duet partners. Vince used to joke, “Don’t give me those murder eyes. It’s a love song!”

10:01 One of the better songs on the Reba duets project, and here comes Reba herself.

10:00 Just checked my watch and thought, “should be time for the Hall of Fame segment.” Alas, we have Jamie Foxx instead. Yay.

9:55 Remember when we used to bash LeAnn Rimes for acting too adult? I think that’s better than hearing, “This is the highlight of my senior year.”

9:53 Horizon: Taylor Swift. Glittery tears for everyone!

9:52 Carrie’s giving out Horizon, I assume.

9:51: Pre-Show winners: Musical Event – Tracy Lawrence/Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw. Music Video – “Online” (Brad Paisley) Musician: Jerry Douglas (Dobro)

9:49 Is it just me, or is Keith Urban the only guy of the new wave of superstars that doesn’t seem to be faking it? Faking the talent, faking the enthusiasm for being on stage, faking the appreciation for the fans. He just doesn’t seem contrived at all.

9:48 I wasn’t sure if Keith was going to sing. Thank God, he is. And he sounds awesome.

9:47 Martina’s scream at the end had this “I don’t want to do this, but they expect me to” feel.

9:45 Gotta love the black choir lifting up the female diva. CMA tradition, in case you didn’t know. (I’m not being cheeky – Dolly Parton, Pam Tillis and Faith Hill have all done it before.)

9:44 Fun Fact: Leslie Satcher wrote this song after watching Fox News coverage of Rick Santorum’s Senate loss in 2006.

9:43 LeAnn was hilarious when she hosted the ACM’s a few years ago. She was funny now. She should host the show next year.

9:42 Good time to mention, since I haven’t reviewed it yet, that LeAnn Rimes has a great new album out.

9:40 Strange that nobody’s mentioned Hank Thompson at all. Heck, I didn’t mention him yet on the blog yet myself, but his passing is just as big a loss as Porter in many ways.

9:38 Mike says the standing O was started by both Gill and Marty Stuart. Makes sense, as Porter himself said those two are the guardians of the Opry legacy shortly before his death.

9:36 Album: George Strait! Wow! I thought Vince, but George Strait! Fourth time he’s won this as an artist, by the way!

9:36 So Vince not only stands up first for Porter, but then looks back to make sure everyone else gets up, too. He’s the man.

9:35 Dwight Yoakam is paying tribute to Porter Wagoner. The “HI” in the jacket just got me. Beautiful.

9:34 So there have only been two standing O’s tonight, and both go to Sugarland. Wow!

9:33 Okay, performance of the night, just because she didn’t indulge in the cheers, but went right back into the song. No showboating always wins me over!

9:30 Apparently Sugarland wants “Performance of the Night” to go with their Vocal Duo trophy. They’re certainly neck-and-neck with Krauss & Union Station.

9:29 Jennifer Nettles sounds fantastic.

9:28 Dwight Yoakam? Am I hallucinating? And he’s mocking the new digs. God Bless him!

9:26 From the Comments – Bridget: “OMG! Did Ronnie Milsap cut Jennifer Nettles’ hair?”

9:24 Very, very classy of Nettles to acknowledge Brooks & Dunn with such grace.

9:23 Mike, did Brooks & Dunn start walking to the stage from force of habit?

9:22 Vocal Duo: SUGARLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:21 Vocal Duo stronger than Vocal Group by a mile.

9:20 Did Blake Shelton just say he’s presenting the Duo award for Vocal Group of the Year?

9:18 I don’t know what words Jason Aldean is singing, but he sure is singing it LOUD!

9:17 I don’t get it. We sideline all the little categories and the older stars and even the Hall of Famers so we can showcase the genre to potential record buyers for three hours. Then they don’t bother to get the sound right. Nincompoops.

9:14 What’s with everybody being out of breath tonight? I mean, I can understand Gary Levox with all those stairs, but even the fit performers are winded. Weird.

9:13 Brooks & Dunn doing “God Must Be Busy.” I bash these guys a lot but I really do like some of their music, this song included.

9:12 Apparently I got a shout-out on the USA Today blog. Funny!

9:06 Nine months after Rascal Flatts destroyed two Eagles songs on the Grammys, the Eagles show up at the CMA’s and show them what a Vocal Group is supposed to sound like.

9:05 Um….to quote my friend Charlie, “Hey! Don Henley plays drums for the Eagles! Boooo!”

9:04 Vince Gill is here to introduce the Eagles, rather than accept a Hall of Fame plaque. Messed up.

9:03 She got it together and sounded pretty good overall, but there’s no reason a singer that good should be struggling. Something’s amiss with the sound production.

9:01 Correction, she can sing but isn’t showing it tonight. Also, what the hell is up with all of the big backing bands on the stage pretending to play? She’s obviously singing to the backing track. The harmonies are identical to the record.

9:00 Carrie’s wearing a Prom Dress. Thank God she can sing.

8:59 Please welcome the star of Private Practice. Really? There better be twenty country artists presenting at next year’s Emmys.

8:57 Mike from Nashville Now is at the show! I hope him and his friends have a bag of tomatoes and plenty of upper arm strength.

8:54 I like Rodney Atkins, but he sounds strained. I think the sound on stage must be off. Maybe Krauss/Union Station were immune because they’re a self-contained band?

8:53 Wait a minute…Sara Evans was supposed to give that speech before Rodney Atkins, not before Vocal Group. Somehow I doubt she’ll be asked back to host next year.

8:52 The Voice just called country radio their mouthpiece. Is that a compliment? Anyway, he’s looking terrible. Like I said last year, a female act would’ve been told to hit the treadmill eighty pounds ago.

8:51 Vocal Group: Rascal Flatts. Five in a row. This is approaching Brooks & Dunn Vocal Duo ridiculousness.

8:50 Do I hear big cheers for the Chicks? Or is that just wishful thinking?

8:49 Sara Evans is either full of it, or she actually spent her youth watching the CMA awards so she could ogle Lee Greenwood and Ricky Skaggs.

8:48 Are there champagne bottles on the back of Big Kenny’s head?

8:47 Is John Rich dressing that way to reach out to his alienated gay fan base, or is he just color-blind?

8:45 They just gave a shout-out to “The king of bling, the late Porter Wagoner.” Then they started lip-synching to a bad Kid Rock rip-off. Approaches desecration, don’t ya think?

8:45 Big & Rich are going to get “Loud.”

8:43 So I was wondering why Carrie was in a Claritin commercial, then she spun and was on a stage. Weird album commercial.

8:40 Friend asked earlier why Strait didn’t sound great and I mentioned the acoustics are terrible. Then Krauss comes out and sings like an angel, acoustics be damned.

8:39 I [insert enthusiastic expletive]-ing love this song.

8:38 Alison Krauss doing “Simple Love.” Restoring dignity to the evening in the process.

8:37 Is Sara the new host?

8:36 Reality check: TAYLOR SWIFT IS SEVENTEEN. How disgustingly inappropriate.

8:35 Gotta say, that is one lethargic fiddle player in the back.

8:33 I [insert vile expletive]-ing hate this song.

8:32 Sara Evans is looking beautiful these days. And she’s being cut off by a marching band playing “Online.” How very Kanye West.

8:31 Thanks to Jim, I now know the host is the guy from Desperate Housewives. ABC should’ve called in somebody from Ugly Betty instead. Then we’d have some humor.

8:30 Brad’s “Online” coming up next. Good, get the stuff I hate out of the way in the first hour.

8:26 Why does she keep twirling her hair?

8:25 No offense to any Taylor Swift fans out there, but if I wasn’t watching the TV and seeing it with my own eyes, I’d think it was a teenage fan singing along off-key to a Taylor Swift record.

8:24 Good Lord, it looks like MySpace just exploded on the stage.

8:23 They should’ve let Jamey speak at the ACM’s when they won in the spring. He killed!

8:22 Fun facts: Bill Anderson won Song of the Year for “Whiskey Lullaby”, Buddy Cannon co-produced Shania Twain’s pre-Mutt country album and Jamey Johnson wrote “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”.

8:21 “Give it Away” – Bill Anderson and Buddy Cannon pulled it across the finish line. Maybe it will be a veteran’s night after all.

8:20 He just called “Anyway” “Away”. Way too look more ignorant than usual. Feel like catching a bear after the show?

8:19 Montgomery Gentry, giving out Song of the Year. Already?

8:17 I’d like to see George get something tonight for his five nominations.

8:15 Who are you, CMA mystery host?

8:12 Vince Gill just got more screen time in an underwear commercial than he will for his Hall of Fame induction.

8:11 They only left the stage seven minutes ago, and ABC’s already pimping Rascal Flatts’ return to the stage…with Jamie Foxx!

8:09 Single: “Before He Cheats” – Carrie Underwood. Can’t argue with that one.

8:08 So, are there any country artists presenting tonight?

8:07 I wonder if the screaming audience knows she just killed an abusive boyfriend in that song.

8:05 Oh, good. Miranda Lambert. Singing one of her best and looking hot.

8:04 Um. I don’t know who the host is. Is that the host?

8:03 They’re playing against a backdrop of past CMA moments and being outshined from behind. Hilarious!

8:00 Starting out with Rascal Flatts. The first of two performances tonight. God help us.

7:45 Here we go again! I can’t remember the last time I’ve found the CMA’s so difficult to predict – 1998, maybe? It’s a wide open field, and though I’ve made my predictions, there’s a nagging thought in the back of my mind that voters are going to go veteran and the night will belong to George Strait, Reba McEntire and Vince Gill.


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  1. JimNo Gravatar says:

    Thought Garth might kick off the show – local radio was talking about the possiblity this morning.

  2. JimNo Gravatar says:

    James Denton aka “Mike Delfino”, from Desparate Housewives

  3. Joyce says:

    Brad sounds like he can’t breathe.

  4. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    Well Joyce, he IS mildly asthmatic!

    Alison’s the first singer tonight that sounds on her game.

  5. Mike @ Nashville NowNo Gravatar says:

    Kev,

    I love you man. I’m reading you on the Blackberry (I’m at the show) and we are laughing our asses off!!! Your commentary sure does liven this little place up!

  6. Mike @ Nashville NowNo Gravatar says:

    At least the hair is smaller!!

  7. Matt C.No Gravatar says:

    Well, as much as I dislike them, Rascal Flatts have earned it, unlike Brooks and Dunn in recent years.

  8. Mike @ Nashville NowNo Gravatar says:

    Are the acustics on tv as bad as they sound here?

  9. Bridget says:

    Damn I would have liked to see a group besides Rascal Flatts win but they did well this year I guess they do deserve it. I wish Sugarland was in the running this year.

    My commentary so far…I’m confused..whose the host?
    What’s with the obnoxious marching band…btw marching music does NOT turn me on.

    John Rich looks like a either a redneck pimp or the Elton John Fan Club president.

    Alison Krauss… just wow.

    Are we going to be tortured by the Git R Done of Larry the Cable Guy or the twangy bad and obnoxious comments of Jeff Foxworthy this year..please say no.

  10. Joyce says:

    All of the vocals sound terribly strained, as if the singers had just finished running across town and were trying to catch their breath. The instrumental parts sound OK but not great..

  11. Bridget says:

    I think Brad sounded out of breathe b/c he has to strain himself terribly to even approach singing on key with his mediocre chops Oh yeah, and flex his muscles ’cause he’s so cool..

  12. Matt C.No Gravatar says:

    Well, most of the instrumental parts are pre-recorded.

  13. Mike @ Nashville NowNo Gravatar says:

    Bro – the sound is SO F#%@ED!!!!!

  14. Joyce says:

    The Eagles sound like, well, the Eagles.

  15. TobyFlattsfan01 says:

    Vince didn’t deserve to be reduced to presenter status.

    Loved Jamey Johnson’s comments on the podium.

    Man, did Carrie Underwood nail it or what?

    And I couldn’t hear what Big and Rich said because the music was too loud.

  16. TobyFlattsfan01 says:

    Kevin, when somebody can reach the album sales, number one hits, and the high concert draws that the Flatts have attained, then we can talk about possibly removing them from the top.

  17. Bridget says:

    OMG! Did Ronnie Milsap cut Jennifer’s hair?!

  18. Mike @ Nashville NowNo Gravatar says:

    They pump faked man, the almost did. Then Jennifer actually said that everybody in the nominated group BUT Brooks and Dunn rock out and deserved the award. I know she didn’t mean to, but talk about adding insult to injury. Call the medics. We have some SEVERLY damaged egos!!

  19. Mike @ Nashville NowNo Gravatar says:

    Can you even imagine what MG might have said, in their slightly intoxicated state? They’re my boys, but all I can say is that they take their sponsorship from Jim Beam VERY seriously!

  20. Mike @ Nashville NowNo Gravatar says:

    Ironic, isn’t it, that the Vocal Duo of the year only needs one mic? Just askin’. And folks debated Brooks and Dunn as a real duo…

  21. Mike @ Nashville NowNo Gravatar says:

    Porter’s ovation was just led wholly by two men on the main floor – Marty Stuart and Vince Gill. Dare anyone not follow?

  22. TobyFlattsfan01 says:

    Dwight is awesome for his salute to Porter.

    And I love this Keith Urban song, probably his best yet.

  23. TobyFlattsfan01 says:

    Off topic, why is Jessica Simpson there?

  24. TobyFlattsfan01 says:

    I’m shocked Taylor just won Horizon, I thought Rodney had this won with the year he had.

  25. n/aNo Gravatar says:

    keith was amazing of course. i really hope he wins something.

    and i’m glad taylor won horizon, although i think rodney probably should have

  26. Joyce says:

    Jessica Simpson: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20055782,00.html

  27. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    Why is Jess Simpson there? Why not? Anything goes, this year! Jamie Foxx, come on down!

  28. Jim MalecNo Gravatar says:

    She’s 17. She’s being honest. We need more honesty in country music.

  29. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    We need more talent in country music.

  30. Jim MalecNo Gravatar says:

    I am seriously going to bat for Swift here, but let’s be real–pound for pound, year for year, she’s one of the most excellent songwriters to hit the scene in a very long time.

  31. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    That’s a description I’d use on Miranda Lambert before her.

  32. Joyce says:

    How can Little Big Town be performing a “classic” song and be nominated for a Horizon award?

  33. Jim MalecNo Gravatar says:

    There are a lot of reasons to like Miranda Lambert over Taylor Swift, but it’s a stretch to call her a better songwriter. More rugged? More mature? All of those things can be good attributes to have as a writer. But AS a writer, I recognize the difficulty in writing the kind of vivid, memorable lyrics and hooks that Swift is writing. And for her to do it at 17 is just incredible.

  34. JonathanNo Gravatar says:

    Kevin,

    Just out of curiosity, what do you think Underwood’s going to win the Female Country Vocal Performance Grammy for? I said in my CMA predictions that I think “Before He Cheats” will win Record of the Year (if it gets nominated, that is…), but she / the label submitted both “Before He Cheats” and “So Small” for the Country Vocal category. I think she’s running a serious risk of vote-splitting, both for the nomination and possibly for the win. If nominated for “Before He Cheats,” I think she’ll win in a walk. If nominated for “So Small” only or if both songs managed a nomination, I think she’s far from a sure bet.

    That’s a description I’d use on Miranda Lambert before her.

    Seconded.

  35. Joyce says:

    “One foot in East Tennessee and one in the islands. Kenny’s quite flexible.”

    Maybe that’s why he has to wear such baggy pants.

  36. KevinNo Gravatar says:

    I think she’ll get the nom for “Before He Cheats”, Jonathan. I wouldn’t worry too much about the vote-splitting hurting her. There was one year where there were three Shania Twain songs on the ballot, and she got the nom for the slight “She’s Not Just a Pretty Face.”

    I agree with you, though, that “So Small” will be less likely to win than “Before He Cheats,” though I’ll add that if Alison Krauss is up against Underwood, she might not even win with “Before He Cheats.”

  37. Bridget says:

    Okay, Pickler gave the same exact well timed crocodile tears during her performance at the Grand Ol’ Opry..now I know exactly why I don’t like her….and never did.

  38. LynnNo Gravatar says:

    Hey, I’m on the west coast and the show hasn’t started yet. However, I’m reading this blog and I have to ask – is there any reason to tune in? It doesn’t sound all that great. Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Pickler, Underwood, Big and Rich…all acts I’m not crazy about. Are Miranda, Dierks, and Alison worth the torture? Did Dwight perform?

  39. Bridget says:

    Well Lynn all three are fairly early on in the broadcast. Don’t hold on for the big Jamie Foxx/ Rascal Flatts collaboration…ugh!

  40. Jim MalecNo Gravatar says:

    Tune in for Sugarland. They were amazing.

  41. n/aNo Gravatar says:

    i would love “i wonder” if kellie didn’t say stuff in interviews like “i’m going to wear waterproof mascara when i sing that song,” which just makes it seem fake

    i’m happy for brad, but i really dont think his vocal skills are at the same level as keith urban’s or josh turner.

    and i missed the beginning of the rascal flats/jamie fox song, but i turned it on in the middle and after about five seconds turned it off again

  42. T-Country says:

    kellie pickler was the best performance… rascal flatts was the worst

  43. TobyFlattsfan01 says:

    You know Kev, that was pretty funny about the Simpson joke.

    As far as Chesney being listless, he’s been singing that way for the last six years. The main reason I don’t listen to him. Insult the Flatts all you want, but at least they make an effort good or bad. But to be honest, I didn’t care for the duet with Foxx, Gary sounded like he was straining himself on several occassions, probably one of the weaker tracks ion Still Feels Good.

  44. Paul W DennisNo Gravatar says:

    I’m certainly glad to see the great Tracy Lawrence finally win a CMA award, even if it was for an album track with two lesser vocalists (the single version was the better version, but it wasn’t nominated for anything)

    By and large, I though the show was a waste of time – I DVR’d it and fast forwarded through most of the performances. Whowever engineered the sound for the show should be hung, drawn and quartered (and then castrated)

    The Eagles, Jamie Foxx, etc don’t have enough musical talent collectively to have fit into Hank Thompson’s pinkie

  45. MattoBNo Gravatar says:

    Paul, I’d disagree about them not having musical talent. They just aren’t the same kind of talents as Hank Thompson. I have no problem with The Eagles being at the show since they’re basically country now (with the genre sonics moving to them moreso than them becoming more country). As for Foxx, he shouldn’t have been there AT ALL singing that song. C’mon CMA. Honor folks like Vince Gill. Hell, bring back Vinnny as the host.

  46. Kent says:

    My favorite performances were definitely Keith Urban and Sugarland. Although Reba and Leann’s performance wasn’t my favorite, I thought they did a spectacular job on it. Their vocals were amazing. I also thought Carrie Underwood has amazing vocals. Kellie Pickler’s performance was certainly touching. And as the Rascal Flatts / Jamie Foxx performance, I kind of liked it, but Gary couodn’t have sang it worse. His vocals were terrible. I didn’t even bother to pay attention to Kenny Chesney; he bores me.

    I was glad Sugarland finally knocked Brooks & Dunn out of the Vocal Duo slot. I think Rodney Atkins deserved the Horizon Award over Taylor Swift, but I’m not terribly disappointed. The main disappointments for me were George Strait’s win for Album and Kenny’s win for Entertainer. I would have liked to see Keith Urban or Dierks Bentley win for Album of the Year, and anyone other than Kenny would have been an improvement.

  47. JonathanNo Gravatar says:

    My notes from the show:

    - I knew that Rascal Flatts were scheduled to open the show, so I figured that I had time to stop by the post office on my way home. And, in doing so, managed to miss Miranda Lambert’s performance, which was, honesty, the only performance that I was actively looking forward to. Super.

    - I was surprised by the results in three of the four pre-show awards– I was sure that they’d give “Anyway” something and thought Video was its best bet, especially since Paisley’s “joke” videos usually don’t win. I was rooting for Eddie Bayers for Musician, since he’s never won, though you can’t really argue with the talent pool in that category. And I don’t think “Because of You” works as a duet at all, so I was glad that it lost Musical Event, even though I do like Kelly Clarkson a lot.

    - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were all over the ABC promos for the show, but were either of them actually there?

    - When she drops a detail from the working class vernacular into the middle of a literary device the way Miranda Lambert did on “Me & Charlie Talking” or deliberately varies her rhyme scheme to emphasize a point the way Miranda Lambert did on “Gunpowder and Lead,” then I’ll reconsider whether or not Taylor Swift is the best country songwriter to come along in years. Until then? She seems like a sweet kid, but her songs are insipid and poorly composed and she can’t sing. The glittery guitar and the hair can only distract from so much.

    - Sara Evans’ new nose looks bad, and her comment about Alison Krauss “earning” her nominations seemed to me like a thinly-veiled and sour-grapesy dig at Carrie Underwood.

    - I liked the “marching band at an awards show” stunt better when OutKast did it at the Grammys a couple of years ago. I’m still a fan of Brad Paisley’s, but “Online” already sounds badly dated, and I was actually glad to be wrong in predicting that 5th Gear would win Album of the Year. Song-for-song, it’s just diminished returns on Time Well Wasted, which fully deserved its win last year.

    - That’s enough, John Rich. You too, Kid Rock.

    - Considering how little attention they gave him when he was at his commercial peak, I can’t believe they asked Dwight Yoakam to be one of the revolving-door co-hosts. But I can believe that he’d be the one to give an actual tribute to Porter Wagoner. Dwight’s still one of my heroes, so it was great to see him.

    - Sugarland deservedly wins Vocal Duo. And I can see them holding onto it until Jennifer Nettles’ eventual solo break. Really, the performance was a (phenomenal) showcase for her, but would it have killed them to let part of the spotlight hit Kristian Bush?

    - I didn’t realize LeAnn Rimes was so broad-shouldered. Does she know that NBC is planning a revival of American Gladiators? Her voice blends well with Reba’s, though, and she’s at least two years’ overdue to re-gain the kind of industry recognition she received as a teenager.

    - Kellie Pickler was born a generation too late to take her rightful place in the cast of Hee Haw. There’s laying it on thick, and then there’s Kellie. She sounds better than she did on American Idol, but the shtick remains the same.

    - That’s the best performance I’ve heard Little Big Town give. Though Lord knows they’ve rehearsed the song enough that it ought to have been good. They still need to fire their stylist, though.

    - I don’t much care for his new single, but Josh Turner sounded great, too, and it’s going to be sooner rather than later that he starts cleaning up at the awards shows.

    - I ended up going 6 for 12 on predictions, which I don’t think is terrible, considering that there wasn’t much consensus as to who would win in most categories.

  48. JonathanNo Gravatar says:

    My notes from the show:

    - I knew that Rascal Flatts were scheduled to open the show, so I figured that I had time to stop by the post office on my way home. And, in doing so, managed to miss Miranda Lambert’s performance, which was, honesty, the only performance that I was actively looking forward to. Super.

    - I was surprised by the results in three of the four pre-show awards– I was sure that they’d give “Anyway” something and thought Video was its best bet, especially since Paisley’s “joke” videos usually don’t win. I was rooting for Eddie Bayers for Musician, since he’s never won, though you can’t really argue with the talent pool in that category. And I don’t think “Because of You” works as a duet at all, so I was glad that it lost Musical Event, even though I do like Kelly Clarkson a lot.

    - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were all over the ABC promos for the show, but were either of them actually there?

    - When she drops a detail from the working class vernacular into the middle of a literary device the way Miranda Lambert did on “Me & Charlie Talking” or deliberately varies her rhyme scheme to emphasize a point the way Miranda Lambert did on “Gunpowder and Lead,” then I’ll reconsider whether or not Taylor Swift is the best country songwriter to come along in years. Until then? She seems like a sweet kid, but her songs are insipid and poorly composed and she can’t sing. The glittery guitar and the hair can only distract from so much.

    - Sara Evans’ new nose looks bad, and her comment about Alison Krauss “earning” her nominations seemed to me like a thinly-veiled and sour-grapesy dig at Carrie Underwood.

    - I liked the “marching band at an awards show” stunt better when OutKast did it at the Grammys a couple of years ago. I’m still a fan of Brad Paisley’s, but “Online” already sounds badly dated, and I was actually glad to be wrong in predicting that 5th Gear would win Album of the Year. Song-for-song, it’s just diminished returns on Time Well Wasted, which fully deserved its win last year.

    - That’s enough, John Rich. You too, Kid Rock.

    - Considering how little attention they gave him when he was at his commercial peak, I can’t believe they asked Dwight Yoakam to be one of the revolving-door co-hosts. But I can believe that he’d be the one to give an actual tribute to Porter Wagoner. Dwight’s still one of my heroes, so it was great to see him.

    - Sugarland deservedly wins Vocal Duo. And I can see them holding onto it until Jennifer Nettles’ eventual solo break. Really, the performance was a (phenomenal) showcase for her, but would it have killed them to let part of the spotlight hit Kristian Bush?

    - I didn’t realize LeAnn Rimes was so broad-shouldered. Does she know that NBC is planning a revival of American Gladiators? Her voice blends well with Reba’s, though, and she’s at least two years’ overdue to re-gain the kind of industry recognition she received as a teenager.

    - Kellie Pickler was born a generation too late to take her rightful place in the cast of Hee Haw. There’s laying it on thick, and then there’s Kellie. She sounds better than she did on American Idol, but the shtick remains the same.

    - That’s the best performance I’ve heard Little Big Town give. Though Lord knows they’ve rehearsed the song enough that it ought to have been good. They still need to fire their stylist, though.

    - I don’t much care for his new single, but Josh Turner sounded great, too, and it’s going to be sooner rather than later that he starts cleaning up at the awards shows.

    - I ended up going 6 for 12 on predictions, which I don’t think is terrible, considering that there wasn’t much consensus as to who would win in most categories.

  49. TobyFlattsfan01 says:

    Paul, I couldn’t agree more on the Tracy Lawrence win. After going through some of his demons back in the late 90′s, it’s been amazing to see him give the public some of the best music in the last couple of years.

    Hey Jonathan, funny you mention LeAnn and American Gladiators in the same breath, because I could actually picture her as a contender for a celebrity special at some point. Come to think of it, I skipped out on last night’s show (the old ones) to watch the red carpet.

    Kev, I had a lot of fun last night interacting, thank you.

  50. Stephen H.No Gravatar says:

    I refuse to accept the Tracy Lawrence song as the best vocal event of the year, as the solo version of the song (the version ACTUALLY released as a single) is much better than the version with Tim and Kenny. Maybe that’s just because I’m not a fan of Kenny.

  51. [...] Well, it’s only a few minutes until show time. Anyone here yet? Kevin is live blogging over at Country Universe as [...]

  52. [...] of the CMA Awards that I found interesting to read.  I blogged about one a couple days ago but here is another to check out.  It’s neat to read people’s perspectives of the awards show that [...]

  53. lisaNo Gravatar says:

    oh my goodness, this is great and hugely entertaining to read…..i felt like you were reading my mind.
    i laughed, said–I KNOWW- said WHAT–said WHO, just like you throughout the show. kudos

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