Category Archives: Live Blog

CMA Live Blog 2013

47th CMA AwardsThe festivities begin at 8 PM EST.  Refresh for updates and check for winners above the fold:


Entertainer: George Strait

Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton

Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Vocal Group: Little Big Town

Album: Blake Shelton, Based On a True Story…

New Artist: Kacey Musgraves

Vocal Duo: Florida Georgia Line

Song: “I Drive Your Truck” – Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, and Jimmy Yeary

Single: “Cruise” – Florida Georgia Line

Music Video:  “Highway Don’t Care” – Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban; director: Shane Drake

Musical Event: “Highway Don’t Care” – Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban

Live Blog (EST):

7:04  First two wins go to “Highway Don’t Care” for Music Video and Vocal Event.  First wavering of previously held sentiment: I totally want George Strait to win Entertainer of the Year for his farewell tour.  – KJC

8:01  It’s 8:01 and Luke Bryan is wearing a glittery shirt.  I’m already confused.  – KJC

8:03 And the show starts with two of the most insufferable songs of the year (to me). Where’s the money shot of Zac Brown’s face? -TS

8:06 Weird how we can go from such a horrible representation of the genre to such a charming one.  Carrie/Brad >>>Luke/FGL. – KJC

8:08 Brad and Carrie shining as always. This feud sketch is stellar. Thoughts on the Julianne Hough dig?  – TS

8:09 It would be nice if there was someone other than Darius Rucker to hand the name to. – KJC

8:10 A bunch of rich people with insurance making health care jokes.  Privilege goes down smooth with “Amarillo by Morning.” – KJC

8:10 “Cruise” is only one of the biggest crossovers of all time because they changed the chart rules.  Boo. – KJC

8:12 I thought that was Blake Shelton in a costume. Turns out it’s the real Duck Dynasty guys. Wow. – KJC

8:15 SINGLE OF THE YEAR:  “Cruise”  – Florida Georgia Line.   (That is not a typo.)

8:17 I can’t think of anything quippy, I’m so disgusted by this FGL win! – LW

8:20: CMA Awards 1992: The feud is Billy Ray Cyrus vs. Travis Tritt, and “Achy Breaky Heart” wins Single of the Year over “Maybe it Was Memphis”, “I Feel Lucky”, “Love, Me” and “Look at Us.”    The more things change… – KJC

8:23 Jason Aldean singing “Night Train” is the best actual performance so far.  We’re reaching a point where last year’s nadir is this year’s apex.  Where’s Kacey Musgraves? – KJC

8:25 There she is.  Singing a Brandy Clark co-write. Now we’re talking. -KJC

8:28 Can we take a moment to reflect on how awesome this chick’s mainstream success is? She’s looking and sounding fab here. Love this song.  – TS

8:30 Always nice to hear some actual audible steel guitar on the CMAs for a change. – BF

8:32 Check out the Engine 145 Live Blog, led by the incomparable Juli Thanki!

8:34 Who else feels like a giddy 14-year-old listening to this new Lady Antebellum song? I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. – TS

8:35 Lady Antebellum with “Compass,” a song which is really growing on me. It sounds like it was made for a live setting. – BF

8:37 Song: “I Drive Your Truck” – Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, and Jimmy Yeary

8:38 Lee Brice wins Song of the Year with “I Drive Your Truck.” I’m not complaining. – TS

8:41 I feel like “I Drive Your Truck” is a surprise win…but maybe that just shows how much I’m out of the mainstream these days. – LW

8:42 As truck songs go, it’s not a bad one.  But wow, there was so much more compelling material to choose from this year. – KJC

8:44 “Sober.” YES. – BF

8:45 Every year, there’s at least one performance that makes it clear that it’s not the sound system’s fault that everyone sounds bad.  This year, it’s Little Big Town.  They sound fantastic. – KJC

8:46 I’ll say it again: I always love LBT live, even if I don’t love the recorded version of the same song. – LW

8:45 LBT nailing “Sober” with a sparse and spiritual performance. – TS

8:46 LBT sounding fantastic as usual. This is one of those performances that makes me glad I tuned in in spite of all the drivel. – BF

8:47 Vocal Duo: Florida Georgia Line

8:48 For one brief moment, I was clinging to a tiny shred of hope that The Civil Wars would get it. I don’t know why. – BF

8:53: Keith and Miranda with “We Were Us.” I actually think I’m liking this performance better than the studio version. It’s one of those songs that I like well enough, but would like better if it had a better production. – BF

9:00 Having Vince Gill and Alison Krauss onstage doesn’t exactly invite favorable comparison to Taylor Swift’s vocal abilities, but I am enjoying this performance. I love hearing the cheers for Vince and Alison.

9:02 Incidentally, I may be going crazy, but I actually think T-Swift is sounding quite decent tonight. – BF

9:02 The R-eh-eh-ed hook doesn’t work in this setting. – KJC

9:01 I feel like the TS collaboration with Vince and Alison could be good, but my sound must be messed up, because it’s not working for me… – LW

9:02 Even when Taylor isn’t sounding as bad as she usually does, it’s pretty daring of her to sing with two of the best voices in country music! – LW

9:04 Florida Georgia Line performing “Round Here.” – BF

9:10 Hunter Hayes and Jason Mraz with “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me.” I’m actually enjoying this so far. – BF

9:12 Hunter Hayes channeling Gary LeVox with this messy live performance. This kid has so much potential, though. – TS

9:12 New Artist: Kacey Musgraves

9:13 Woohoo! I could not be happier for Kacey. This is one that the CMA got very, very right. – BF

9:14 I liked that Hayes/Mraz performance – LW

9:14 Eric Church performing “The Outsiders.” – BF

9:16 I don’t think Eric Church’s backup singers are actually making those sounds – KCJ

9:17 I wonder what the aforementioned Tom Petty thinks of this one. Me, I kinda dig it. – TS

9:18 Does that bass breakdown in the Church song remind anyone else of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”? – LW

9:19 It would be hilarious if this segued right into the George jones tribute. – KJC

9:23 The Band Perry performing “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely.” – BF

9:24 I’m half expecting Jennifer Nettles to walk out during this Sugar Land-lite tune. Really, though, that would be kind of awesome. – TS

9:28 Sheryl Crow presenting Album of the Year. – BF

9:29 Album: Blake Shelton, Based On a True Story…

9:29 Blech. So much for my optimism is predicting an LBT win here.

9:31 This is pretty much the worst slate of winners I can remember. – KJC

9:31 Tim McGraw performing “Southern Girl.” – BF

9:32 I’ve decided the CMA voters are just trolling now. – KJC

9:33 This song gets on my nerves so bad. I can’t believe the songwriters have the bad taste to rhyme “girl” with “rock my world.” – BF

9:35 And there’s glitter on Tim’s hat. – KJC

9:35 Nashville fans, do you get a 90s Rayna James vibe from this song? Have I lost my mind? – TS

9:35 What is with all the glitter? – KJC

9:40 Nice to hear some acknowledgement for Cowboy Jack Clement and Bobby Bare.

9:40 Blake Shelton performing “Mine Would Be You.” – BF

9:44 Not one part of me can get behind a Blake Shelton AOTY win, but this is a decent song and performance. – TS

9:47 Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, George Strait, and Rascal Flatts presenting Taylor Swift with the CMA Pinnacle Award.

9:48 Leeann: I would like to hear George Strait do a Swift song. – LW

9:49 LOL to Keith Urban describing Taylor Swift’s contribution to country music while “22” plays in the background. – TS

9:50 LOL at Ellen’s “Pineapple Award” quip! – BF

9:51  “The Pinnacle Award?”  Okay ,they’re just making things up now.  No time for the Hall of Fame inductees, but time for this. And stop acting so shocked. They announced this beforehand. – KJC

9:54 This is like the first husband who knows his wife is leaving and tries to keep her by giving a really shiny piece of jewelry. – KJC

9:56 But it’s not on her. It’s on them.  We got a stupid award made up in 2005 for Garth Brooks, with Mick Jagger and Julia Roberts shout-outs, and nothing but a three-second wave for Bobby Bare.  Too much. – KJC

10:01 Carrie Underwood highlight reel from the past year leading up to her Entertainer of the Year award… Oh, wait – KJC

10:05 So Tim McGraw got a standing O but Carrie polite applause? Huh. – KJC

10:05 Disappointed in her team for taking the lazy route with this medley, but nonetheless proud of Carrie for, ahem, following her own arrow during this Blown Away era. My EOTY. – TS

10:05 So weird that Carrie’s doing a medley. It’s usually what people do when they’re not big anymore… – LW

10:05 I really enjoy Carrie’s voice these days. – LW

10:07 Vocal Group: Little Big Town

10:07 Can’t complain about LBT. Though they still look like ABBA to me. – KJC

10:08 Beautiful shout-out to Nancy Jones. – KJC

10:09 Loving the George Jones tribute with George Strait and Alan Jackson. I cannot think of two guys better qualified for this job. – BF

10:11 First time tonight I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. Just lovely. – TS

10:12 So much history. So much love. – KJC

10:14 Kinda weird how the Opry can be just like a digital backdrop, given how many years the show was aired from the actual Opry. It feels sometimes like the arena has swallowed the CMA show like arena rock has swallowed country music. – KJC

10:14 The Jones tribute was wonderful. I felt a bit emotional during. I’m such a wimp. – LW

10:17 Zac Brown Band with Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters debuting a new song, “Day of the Dead.” – BF

10:21 Between this and Eric Church’s “The Outsiders,” I’m all kinds of confused and happy. – TS

10:22 Brad Paisley performing “The Mona Lisa.” – BF

10:31 The Kenny Rogers tribute begins with Jennifer Nettles. – BF

10:32 Jennifer Nettles is certainly doing her best Dolly Parton impression. – KJC

10:32 Rascal Flatts singing “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).” – BF

10:33 Darius Rucker singing “The Gambler.” This I can take, but if given a choice, I would just as soon hear Kenny Rogers sing it himself. – BF

10:35 Kenny Rogers singing “Islands In the Stream.” I love this song. Unashamedly. – BF

10:35 The audience sing-along to these Kenny Rogers tunes is my favorite part of the night so far. – TS

10:35 I’m enjoying hearing Jennifer Nettles sing this, but I can only imagine the warm fuzzies I would be getting if Dolly were onstage singing it. – BF

10:36 Wow. Darius did a rough job on “The Gambler.” Nettles and Rogers doing “Islands in the Stream” works for me! – LW

10:39 Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

10:40 Eh. Not my choice this year, but she’s being classy as ever in her acceptance speech. – BF

10:42 Very sweet of Miranda to recognize the other females in the category. Don’t agree with it, but there are worse things than her fourth FVOTY trophy (see: basically every other award given out today). – TS

10:44 Miranda is always classy when she accepts these awards. – LW

10:44 Given how the night’s gone so far, can we just call Male and Entertainer for Blake now? – KJC

10:46 Luke Bryan performing “Drink a Beer” (“a very personal and meaningful song dedicated to the memory of his brother and sister”). – BF

10:49 Leeann: I’ll admit that as much as I hate Luke’s music these days, I soften when I think of how he lost two siblings within a short span. I’m just a sap that way, I guess. – LW

10:49 It’s so easy to forget what a good vocalist Luke Bryan is these days. Wish that weren’t the case. His voice deserves better material. – TS

10:50 It’s nice to hear Luke Bryan singing in a quieter setting. – BF

10:50 This is a great song that is being sung well…on the set of Once Upon a Time.  ABC sure is good with the corporate synergy. – KJC

10:50 Seriously? He even turns a song about his deceased siblings into a beer-drinking song? That takes…something. – LW

10:50 Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton

10:51 Can we just get over Blake Shelton already? – BF

10:51 Blake Shelton, however, is not in the same league as the other two men who won four of these at the time that they won. – KJC

10:53 Other two: Vince Gill and George Strait. – KJC

10:53 I can’t even. – TS

10:56 Blake Shelton, Vince Gill and George Strait: One of these things is not like the other. – TS

10:57 I’ve learned to accept that ABC is going to use the CMA Awards to shamelessly plug their programming. I just wish that they’d leave the Entertainer of the Year award out of it. – BF

10:57 Entertainer: George Strait

10:58 That just saved the whole night. – KJC

10:59 I share Kevin’s remorse for not picking George Strait for Entertainer. Was he on the top of his game this year? No. But he’s still the only nominee whom I can be genuinely happy for their winning. – BF

11:00 Keith Urban’s arms in the air is the best reaction to George Strait’s EOTY win. I had the privilege of seeing and reviewing his farewell concert earlier this year, and he is an entertainer indeed. – TS

11:01 Go King Gentleman George Strait!! I’m so, so happy for George Strait right now! Strait is so classy. – LW

10:03 Thanks so much for hanging with us, y’all. Not a bad show, in all honesty. All props to Ben for keeping this post alive in the midst of technical difficulties! – TS

10:03 That was almost worth the three hours. Almost! – KJC

10:04 I’m relieved that that didn’t wind up another Blake Shelton victory. – BF

10:04 Thanks, all! This was a blast. Rough show as usual, but we had a few great moments. – BF


Filed under CMA Awards, Live Blog

ACM 2013 Live Blog

acm awardsIf you’re tuned into tonight’s show at Blake and Luke just ain’t gettin’ buy tadalafil online it done for ya, come commiserate on the state of this genre with us. It’ll be fun, maybe!

As always, please let us know in the comments if you have any trouble with the live blog client.


Entertainer: Luke Bryan

Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist: Jason Aldean

New Artist: Florida Georgia Line

Album: Eric Church, Chief

Song: Miranda Lambert, “Over You”

Single: Miranda Lambert, “Over You”

Musical Event: Jason Aldean, Luke Byran & Eric Church, “The Only Way I Know”

Music Video: Little Big Town, “Tornado”


Filed under Live Blog

Grammy 2013 Live Blog

55th Grammy AwardsThe telecast starts at 8 PM Eastern/7 Central, and we’ll be launching our coverage about a half-hour prior. We’re trying out the newfangled live blog client again, hopefully with better prep and results this time! Please let us know if you have any issues

accessing the client/the site in general in the comments section, or at our Facebook or Twitter.  -DM


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ACM Live Blog 2012

Show starts at 8/7 Central. Hang with us!

Also, if you have any trouble with the live blog client, let us know in the regular comments section!


Entertainer: Taylor Swift

Top Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton

Top Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Top Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

Top Vocal Duo: Thompson Square

Top New Artist: Scotty McCreery

Album of the Year: Miranda Lambert, Four the Record

Song of the Year: Lee Brice & Liz Rose, “Crazy Girl”

Single of the Year: Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”

Vocal Event of the Year: Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson, “Don’t You Wanna Stay”

Video of the Year: Toby Keith, “Red Solo Cup”


Filed under ACM Awards, Live Blog

ACM Live Blog 2011


This is going to be a really important show, you guys.


Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift

Top Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Top Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley

Album of the Year: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now

Song of the Year: “The House That Built Me”

Single of the Year: “The House That Built Me”

Top Vocal Duo: Sugarland

Top Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

Top New Artist: The Band Perry

Top Till You Drop:

Vocal Event of the Year: Zac Brown Band & Alan Jackson, “As She’s Walking Away”

Music Video of the Year: Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me”

– – –

10:02 Well, all right, that was fun enough. Kinda. Thanks for playing along, y’all, and have a good night!

9:58 A shocking upset! As shocking as, like, one of those chewy Sweet Tarts.

Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift

9:56 Hey, how about next year we get James Taylor to come back and sing with the Dixie Chicks again? Yes or yes?

9:52 They segue into “Sweet Baby James.” At least this pairing makes musical sense.

9:48 Leeann: Zac Brown and James Taylor, Carrie Underwood and Steven Tyler, Jennifer Nettles and Rihanna? Is CMT testing for upcoming Crossroads episodes?

9:45 Was having some trouble with the site for a few minutes there. Now we’re up to Zac Brown Band doing a very cool “Colder Weather” with James Taylor.

9:41 Amazing how only a year and a half ago the idea of Miranda winning one of the really competitive awards still seemed like a pipe dream.

Top Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

9:36 “Love Gets a Hold of You” or something. It sounds okay – almost in the same you’re-gonna-miss-me-boy! vein as “Turn on the Radio,” though. I think we’re all ready for some more mature Reba now. Take a lesson from Martina.

9:34 Reba’s out to sing something or other. I just saw today that “If I Were a Boy” got yanked as a single; this must be the new one?

9:27 Darius Rucker singing “Music from the Heart” with a choir of various ages and developmental disabilities. Very passionate, touching performance.

9:25 Chris Young’s trying out the hatless thing.

9:25 Oh, for real? At least he acknowledged he has too many now.

Top Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley

9:22 I don’t know how I’m still awake through all this. I shouldn’t be saying such things at 9:23.

9:17 Leeann: Martina is worming her way back into my heart again. I’m a soft touch.

9:17 …Who just tweeted, “Holy crap, I’m singing.” Perfect.

9:14 Awesome. It does. This reminds me of Jeannie C. Riley, the spunky honesty of it. And I like to fantasize that she got some inspiration for that opening “honestly, I think I need a drink” line from Drunken Martina.

9:13 Martina’s coming out with “Teenage Daughters.” I really hope this translates well to stage.

Top Vocal Duo: Sugarland

9:10 Kevin: Naomi Judd: The answer to the age-old question, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

9:09 Leeann: Ronnie Dunn sounds so much like Brooks & Dunn. Go figure.

9:07 He looks and sounds like musical Jesus. I mean that in a complimentary way!

9:03 Ronnie Dunn’s coming up with “Bleed Red.” Excited for that, kinda. I think C.M. Wilcox is right and that it’ll work well as an award show performance even if the single itself is a little sleepy (to some of us).

8:56 Leeann: Good. Have Kristian introduce Nettles/Rihanna to show how secure he is about being put on the sideline all the time. We’re convinced.

8:55 True fact: The banner at the top of this post will light up and spin all through this Rihanna-Jennifer Nettles performance. Watch closely!

8:53 She interjects a bit of some song I should probably recognize but don’t, and then “I’ll Fly Away.” And she sounds real good.

8:53 I bet there are some Christian folks out there from Miranda’s life who are like, “We did not say that!”

8:52 A Miranda performance is usually my favorite part of an awards night. But it’s “Heart Like Mine.”

8:44 Eh. Let’s not talk about that. Let’s talk about how awesome that live blog over at The 9513 is!

Top Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

8:41 Or, as our pal Corey Parkman of Farce the Music just put it on Twitter, “I wonder what Sara Evans would sound like if she ever got over that sinus infection.”

8:38 The return of Sara Evans to the ACMs. Last performance I remember from her here was that severely pitch-challenged one of “Coalmine” the night she won Top Female years ago. She sounds better here, but still not up to many of her recorded performances.

8:35 I mean, seriously, y’all. “Need You Now” is the only reason Need You Now has sold like it has, and the album selling like it has is the only reason it’s getting this recognition. “Need You Now” won Song and Single of the Year at last year’s ACMs; couldn’t that have been enough?

8:31 IEIOF432IfffkDdk&*$#vdsadvfdjfpvfs >:(

Album of the Year: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now

8:28 Well, don’t think I was missing much. Such a shame – he truly would be one of the best male vocalists in the game if he had better taste.

8:25 We get a Blake Shelton performance. Don’t recognize the song.

Single of the Year: “The House That Built Me”

8:14 Jason Aldean doing the Colt Ford country-rap “Dirt Road Anthem” and it’s every bit as cool you would imagine. (That is, decidedly un-.)

8:09 Apparently their dad’s name is Steve Perry. I snickered harder than I should have.

Best New Artist: The Band Perry

8:07 Kevin: And my favorite of the 57 performances so far is…Taylor Swift. No one can ever accuse me of not having an open mind.

8:05 Kimberly Perry delivers the “well” in “If I Die Young” with way too much spunk. “Well! I’ve had just enough time. So if I do die – y’know, whatever!”

8:03 Whoops, apparently it’s a guitjo/ganjo. Whatever, it’s not like I’m a writer of music-related opinion articles or something!

8:00 Taylor Swift singing “Mean” and strumming the banjo, which is not how I’ve known anyone to play the banjo. Pretty cool scene, though – they’re in front of an old-timey house and the band’s all decked out in their Depression-era best.

7:55 Kevin: Not naming the songwriters for Song of the Year is an absolute disgrace.

[They announced it as “Miranda Lambert, ‘The House That Built Me,'” though she’s not the one who wrote it.]

Song of the Year: “The House That Built Me”

7:53 Finally, we get one: Song of the Year.

7:50 Eric Church doing “Smoke a Little Smoke,” the one single of his I really dig, with verve. BUT THERE STILL HASN’T BEEN A SINGLE AWARD.

7:45 Back from commercial, Keith Urban performing his newest hit, “Without You (Nicole Kidman)(Pt. 3)(Ballad Version).”

7:42 Leeann: Seriously? Still no award yet? What are we watching?

7:38 Dierks Bentley running laps around the arena to “Am I the Only One,” determined to make us like the unlikable.

7:36 Kevin: That’s what I wanted that song to sound like on the album.

7:35 I’ll say this: JNett still has the best stage charisma of any mainstream country star who isn’t Keith Urban.

7:32 Leeann: Half hour in and still no award yet at this…uh…awards show.

7:32 Sugarland’s here, Jennifer apparently with hair extensions, and they’re doing “Tonight.” Figured this would probably be the next single. Like Kevin, I’d like the recorded version if not for the head-cold-ish performance.

7:30 Well, that was fun. Good thing I gave up on the term “country music” meaning anything a few weeks ago!

7:27 Kevin: We’re officially down the rabbit hole.

7:27 They segue into “Walk This Way.”

7:26 Steven Tyler is really good at screaming awesomely and only ok at remembering the words to Carrie Underwood songs.

7:24 Two Soul Surfer ladies come out to introduce Carrie, who’s doing “Undo It.” WITH STEVEN TYLER! OK, I like this now.

7:20 Apparently Dr. Pepper’s current slogan is “There’s nothing like a Dr. Pepper.” Uhhhh.

7:17 Pleasant enough song (“Somewhere Else”), and he’s got that sweet Toby growl going.

7:16 Leeann: It’s nice to like Toby Keith music these days.

7:14 “ARE THEY READY?! DOES ZAC BROWN ENJOY THE FEEL OF HIS ASS IN THE SAND?!” Best Blake line of the night so far.

7:13 The celebrity cheap shots are coming hard and fast, though.

7:10 We are promised no Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan jokes. God? Is that you?!?

7:07 Celine Dion’s here now, and she’s VERY VERY EXCITED! I honestly can’t think of a better Vegas gate-keepeer, though.

7:07 Kevin: Since when did Alabama become a trio? What a poorly cropped picture, lawsuit or not.

7:06 It would be great if, instead of writing songs about how great the classic acts were, today’s artists just figured out how to measure up.

7:04 Leeann: Good. We get this disappointing Paisley  song out of the way now.

7:04 “Old Alabama” now.

7:02 Cute-ish opening skit with Blake Shelton “rehearsing for his wedding night” by serenading a blond-wigged Reba with “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking.”

6:52 Leeann: John Rich is so much more tolerable when he’s with Big Kenny.

6:38 The JaneDear Girls just appeared onscreen. When are they un-appearing, I wonder?

6:33 Wynonna and Naomi Judd chilling with Suzanne Alexander now. Colorically speaking, Wynonna has become a human sunset.

6:31 Chris Young is now talking to Storme which means his voice is audible – yay!

6:26 On some red carpet somewhere, GAC’s Storme Warren just presented to Vocal Event award, inevitably, to “As She’s Walking Away.”

6:15 Dierks Bentley will be playing “Am I the Only One” tonight. Have fun, no one!

6:04 Super-jealous of The 9513’s sweet new live blog layout. Also: the smartness of their live-bloggers. Also: the fact that Brady and Brody Vercher are named thusly.

5:59 Red carpet time, woo!! I bet everybody’s totally wearing clothes this year.

[Dan from here on out, unless otherwise noted.]

5:21 I…….this post……AM BORN


Filed under Live Blog

CMA Live Blog 2010


Entertainer: Brad Paisley

Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton

Vocal Duo: Sugarland

Album: Miranda Lambert, Revolution

Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

New Artist: Zac Brown Band

Song: “The House That Built Me” – Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin

Single: Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now”

Music Video: Miranda Lambert, “The House That Built Me”

Musical Event: Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins, “Hillbilly Bone”

Musician: Mac McAnally

Correct Prediction Tally:

9: Dan,Tara

8: Leeann

7: Kevin


10:59 Brad deserved it last year, got it this year. Carrie deserved it this year, will hopefully get it next year. When the history list is written though, nobody’s gonna care which year they won in, just that they were acknowledged. So a good end to an okay night. – KC

10:58 Very, very pleased! And what a sweet, sincere moment. – TS

10:57 You know, I’m kind of relieved. Granted, Brad gave possibly the worst performance of the night and is generally not someone I like much, but I just didn’t feel like having to listen to a bunch of whining tomorrow about Miranda or Lady A or someone winning. – DM

10:57 Pretty much the best acceptance speech for this category since…Shania Twain in 1999? Or maybe Garth Brooks in 1991? – KC

10:53 Entertainer: Brad Paisley

10:49 Miranda’s inability to pretend to be enthusiastic about silly stuff cracks me up. – DM

10:48 Kind of falls somewhere in between all the performances tonight, I guess. Plus, Vince makes any song country stronger. Yeah. I said that. -TS

10:47 Gwenyth sounds great so far, but wtf with the creepy limp-fingers guitar-playing? Just grab the mic. – DM

10:46 So. Gwyneth Paltrow on the CMA Awards. Don’t know what to say about that. – KC

10:43 Man, weird how stuff shakes out, isn’t it? I remember seeing Miranda’s first video for the lame “Me and Charlie Talking,” knowing nothing about her, and thinking she’d be out of a record deal within a year. Who’d have thought? – DM

10:37 Female Vocalist: Miranda Lambert

10:36 Loretta Lynn on Female Vocalist of the Year: “we’ve kept it with the girls, haven’t we?” – DM

10:36 Fun Fact: Loretta Lynn was the first woman to win Entertainer of the Year.  Sissy Spacek was the first woman to win Album of the Year. – KC

10:36 I don’t even particularly like this song, but it is such a breath of fresh air tonight. It’s just nice to hear some country phrasin’, ya know? -TS

10:35 Um, Loretta Lynn is holding up better than Sissy Spacek. – KC

10:35 Called it. – DM

10:34 We’re into the tribute version of “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and Miranda’s come out sounding good. I didn’t see if they showed Loretta in the audience, but if they didn’t, betcha she comes out and sings a bit. – DM

10:33 Boo! Miranda sang “born”, not “borned.” – KC

10:32 Yeah, I kind of just feel nothing. – DM

10: 31 Meh. – KC

10:30 Thirty minutes left in the show, and I’m overall pretty unimpressed. How about the rest of y’all? – TS

10:26 Still, he could be doing almost any other song from this album and I would be enjoying it even more. – DM

10:24 …and possibly everything else. -TS

10: 24 OK, you can already tell Dierks Bentley is going to be the coolest performance of the night. At least in camera angles. – DM

10:23 With Dierks Bentley going home empty handed this year, and Jamey Johnson significantly under-performing last year, I’m wondering if the traditional voting bloc doesn’t have much pull anymore.  Or has label consolidation just made it harder for the bloc to have a large impact? – KC

10:21 Crazy perceptive Carrie fans, did she seem really nervous to you, too? -TS

10:21 I do love Mama Underwood in the video for this song. Soft spot. – DM

10:20 Not the best vocal performance I’ve heard from her. Not by a long shot. – KC

10:20 Can we get a shot of Mama Underwood, please? – TS

10:19 Carrie, I know I said I liked the “spirit”-y background vocals on “Mama’s Song,” but you didn’t have to go all The Shining with ’em at the beginning. – DM

10:18 Not a big fan of the two performances per night thing, but can’t think of anybody who I’d particularly want to hear that would have a shot at a performance, so it’s hard to care. – KC

10:12 What’s up with all the blond curls these days? It looks like a Shirley Temple convention up in here.  – KC

10:12 Country music revelations: the boys Perry don’t sang that good. – DM

10:10 Somewhere, Collin Raye, Joe Diffie, Mark Chesnutt, Clay Walker, Tracy Byrd, and countless other platinum-selling male acts of days gone by are not pleased. – KC

10:09 WOW. And he’s the lowest-selling of the bunch! – DM

10:09 Wow. Shocked, really. -TS

10:08 Wow. First real surprise of the evening.

10:08 Male Vocalist: Blake Shelton

10:06 Oh, Lady A. Such a sincere attempt, but such a misguided attempt. -TS

10:05 This is like the soundtrack to a department store coma. – DM

10:04 I see…no reason to question my mediocre assessment of Lady Antebellum. – KC

9:58 “It’s been a wonderful few weeks for us of actually having music to promote. We’re proud to be your Vocal Duo of the Last Few Weeks.” – DM

9:57 So I’m getting left in the dust in the prediction derby, as Tara takes the lead! – KC

9:55 Vocal Duo: Sugarland

9:55 Cue the “WTF?” ABC presenters. But yay, JoAnna Garcia! – TS

9:54 I love Paisley for his wit and intelligence. This makes me sad. -TS

9:54 You know what was way, way better? Sugarland’s “Very Last Country Song.” But no, they’re prancing around in tutus. So we only have Brad’s take. Sigh. – KC

9:53 Ahhhh, so THAT’s what “Too Country” sounds like without Bill Anderson to make it good. – DM

9:51 SO SICK of the straw man. I’ve never met a person in my life who doesn’t have pride and respect for fallen soldiers. – KC

9:50 I think it’s a lovely jingle. – KC

9:49 Fighting the urge to instantly hate this song based on the fact that it falls under the “I’M COUNTRY!!!!” category. But…it’s Brad. What do I do? -TS

9:44 I can see that someone making you get out of the car and walk home. – KC

9:43 Ha! Much as I don’t think Kid Rock belongs on this show, I’m kind of weirdly enjoying this “Born Free” thing. I can see myself laying drunkenly in someone’s backseat singing this. – DM

9:42 Every year, there are more and more people on the CMA Awards that yell at me. Why have I angered y’all so much? – KC

9:40 See…this is where we insert Clay Walker. -TS

9:38 Perfect. -TS


9:37 Album: Miranda Lambert, Revolution


9:36 NEW RULE: Taylor Swift writes, Little Big Town sings.

9:35 I’m personally glad just because for a few years there it seemed like Kelly might have lost some of her voice. If she did, she’s hiding it well now. – DM

9:35 Dear God. THAT is what singing is, stupids. – DM

9:35 And Kelly outsings almost everyone so far. Take that, Borchetta. -TS

9:32 Although…I guess it’s not a terrible song by Jason’s standards. By KC’s is another story. -TS

9:32 Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean duet. Be still my heart. -TS

9:30 Having Jeff Gordon be Brad Paisley’s doppelganger would be funnier if Jeff hadn’t given the skit away on the Black Carpet. Fool. – DM

9:27 I heard a song off the new Reba album called “The Day She Got Divorced” on XM yesterday. It was goooood. – KC

9:26 That wasn’t a very good performance, but she did well on it in some CMT live performance earlier this year. And I’m sure the album performance will be better, too. – DM

9:25 How is it that Taylor Swift, Sugarland, Reba McEntire – in that order – and the age appropriateness is going in reverse? – KC

9:25 I don’t. I didn’t like that at all. I wanted to, though. -TS

9:24 I think I get what this song is fundamentally getting at, but I’ve always found the lyrics kind of muddled. I like Reba (bring “McEntire” back!) on it, though. – DM

9:22 Ok, “If I Were a Boy” always creeps me out. Anyone? -TS

9:21 Man, I don’t know. I still enjoy the Keith Urban ear candy, but I just feel like he’s been running on autopilot since the final catharsis that was Love, Pain and the whole crazy thing. – DM

9:19 Shout out to Leeann for making me appreciate this song! -TS

9:10 Vocal Group: Lady Antebellum

9:08 No reggae breakdown, no peace! Not that I have any reason to worry after that intro. – DM

9:07 Oh snap. This is ridiculous. But I freakin’ love this song. – TS

9:06 Sugarland done lost their minds. – KC

9:05 Anyone see her mouth “what” just before the curtain fell?! Ha! I want to know what that was! – DM

9:05 The thing that bugs me about Taylor is that she changes her singing accent so often, even if it’s subtle. Like…which one is it? – TS

9:05 Taylor S. doing her Taylor L. song. Somehow this performance is really “whatever,” and not just because the vocal is so weak. It’s like she’s already graduated from the CMAs and is just here as a formality. – DM

9:04 Fun Fact – The “snow” falling around Taylor Swift is actually Rascal Flatts on the rafters, shaking out their hair gel. – KC

9:02 Spotted: Blair Waldorf at the…CMA Awards? -TS

9:01 He did release it as a single. He confirmed on the red carpet. – TS

8:58 Since we’re talking about the upcoming Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson duet in the comments: if he does release that as a single, which it sounds like he will, it’ll instantly become my second-favorite Aldean single after “Amarillo Sky.” – DM

8:54 Man, I’m just saying: Kenny Chesney’s football thing is starting to weird me out. I’d feel the same If Laura Bell Bundy kept releasing songs that referred to how awesome and life-changing high school theatre was, and I actually DID that. – DM

8:51 Wow, that was a cool set! – KC

8:50 How can you not get warm fuzzies inside when Alan Jackson starts singing in this song? It’s like seeing an old friend. -TS

8:49 Dude, I’m actually for this Zac Brown Band/Alan Jackson performance. This song has really grown on me. – DM

8:46 Wouldn’t it be nice to see Clay Walker back at these shows? He put out two great singles and one decent album this year. Just sayin’. -TS

8:44 New Artist: Zac Brown Band

8:43 From the Comments: “Does Jimmy Dickens live in Brad Paisley’s dressing room?” – Canadian Boy

8:40 Except, he sounds kind of off tonight. Is it just me? – TS

8:40 George Strait, you sing too pretty for Hallmark. – DM

8:39 Don’t like the song, but amazed at the irony that he sounds out of breath.  – KC

8:38 Is Carrie wearing a wedding cake? -TS

8:38 Totally agree, Dan. (Shocker!) – TS

8:37 I wasn’t sure how “That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round” was gonna work out here, but I actually dug it. Makes more of an impression live than the sly “Only Prettier” would have. – DM


8:33 Agree with Ben from the comments: “All About Tonight” was a big hit, but a well-staged “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking” tonight could have deepened his image some. – DM

8:29 I don’t like the song either, but Blake sounds terrific. I’ve always been on the verge of BS fandom, just waiting for some slightly better songs. – DM

8:28 Not that there’s anything too bad about Shelton or his music, but his Male Vocalist nomination reminds me of Terri Clark and Sara Evans being up for Female Vocalist in the mid-2000’s. They didn’t so much work up to it as back up into it. – KC

8:27 I swear “All About Tonight” is like air to me. I get absolutely nothing out of it. -TS

8:26 Maybe I’m a cornball, but I want full versions of these parody songs. Extraneous Paisley comments omitted plzthx. – DM

8:24 So deserved. And happy birthday to Miranda! – TS

8:22 Song: “The House That Built Me” – Tom Douglas & Allen Shamblin

8:21 Man, Tara and I never agree on this stuff! – DM

8:20 Vintage Flatts: great song, mediocre performance. I’ll take it. -TS

8:19 Rascal Flatts sounding more controlled on “Why Wait” than they have in quite some time. If I liked the song, I’d be onboard. – DM

8:18 Rascal Flatts song isn’t as bad as they’ve been, but I still say Faith Hill .

8:13 And Dan and Tara move ahead in the prediction count!  First time in CMA history that an artist wins Single of the Year twice in a row.

8:12  SINGLE: “Need You Now”, Lady Antebellum

8:11 A gay joke on the CMAs that isn’t completely offensive? Gotta be the Gwenyth. – DM

8:10 …OK, I’ll give him that one. That was pretty funny. – DM

8:10 I find this Lady A/Lady Gaga thing way too amusing. Maybe because I’ve had so many friends make the same mistake. Including my lovely mom. -TS

8:09 I would by a Brad Paisley Lady Gaga cover album. – KC

8:08 I say this as not a big fan of either of them: Carrie is way, way funnier than Brad. – DM

8:07 Disturbing and hilarious McGraw picture.-TS

8:06 Vince Gill ribbing Julia Roberts ’94 > Brad Paisley ribbing Gwyneth Paltrow ’10

8:05 he return of the Brad/Carrie musical parodies! Yessss. – DM

8:04 Never liked this song, but Carrie’s performances really have evolved. +10 for Keith Urban banjo breakdown. – DM

8:03 Cursing “Undo It” right now for stealing this song’s single spotlight. – TS

8:03 Nice to hear Urban rocking the banjo again. Well, it would be, if I could actually hear it. – KC

8:01 Underwood is rocking it out. Gonna be a loud night, I think. – KC

8:00 Crossing my fingers for the sweet “Single Ladies” ad lib that Carrie does when she sings this on tour. – TS

8:00 Ooo, Transformers-inspired new CMA logo. – DM

7:55 Let’s hope Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t as country as it gets tonight.  – KC


Filed under CMA Awards, Live Blog

CMA Live Blog 2009

CMA AwardsWinners

Musician of the Year – Mac McAnally

Musical Event of the Year – “Start A Band”, Brad Paisley & Keith Urban

Music Video of the Year – “Love Story”, Taylor Swift

Single of the Year – “I Run To You”, Lady Antebellum

Song of the Year – “In Color”, Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, James Otto

Vocal Group of the Year – Lady Antebellum

New Artist of the Year – Darius Rucker

Album of the Year – Fearless, Taylor Swift

Vocal Duo of the Year – Sugarland

Male Vocalist of the Year – Brad Paisley

Female Vocalist of the Year – Taylor Swift

Entertainer of the Year – Taylor Swift

– – –

11:05 DM: Final tally of CMA staff predictions: Leeann – 9, Dan – 7, Tara – 6, Kevin – 5 (not counting Video). Leeann triumphs again! Thanks for joining us, everyone!

11:04 KC: Artists who have won 4 CMA awards in one night: Johnny Cash. Merle Haggard. Vince Gill. Alison Krauss. Dixie Chicks. Taylor Swift.

11:00 DM: Well, this certainly feels like some kind of watershed moment for country music. I guess we’ll see what happens, huh?

10:59 KC: Though to get us back to reality: Female winners of the Entertainer of the Year award – Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks, Taylor Swift.

10:57 KC: And she brought out the band. And she thanked the fans. And she’s crying. Darn you, Taylor Swift. Making me be happy for you!

10:56 KC: And her parents just made me get misty.

10:55 KC: Okay, she deserved this one.

10:55 DM: A clean sweep.

Entertainer of the Year: Taylor Swift

10:54 DM: After that, no Entertainer result could surprise me.

10:52 KC: Before the show, I told Dan that I hoped there would be some surprises tonight. God says “Ha!”

10:48 DM: Dave Matthews is pretty cool. It’s a shame he couldn’t be here for a more interesting song. Anybody remember his Crossroads with Emmylou Harris? That was cool.

10:46 KC: Pardon my absence. I had to put a “Kanye Was Right” sticker on my car.

10:42 DM: Well, the backlash should start pretty soon here. I don’t even wanna know what’s being said in the Carrie Underwood fan forums right now.

10:40 DM: Speechless.

10:40 KC: Oh dear.

Female Vocalist of the Year: Taylor Swift

10:37 KC: People are crazy. Crazy enough to give Lady Antebellum single of the year, but not quite crazy enough to give it to Billy Currington.

10:35 DM: Billy Currington. I feel a power-nap coming on!

10:34 KC: Also praying that Reba can drag George Strait up to the NYC metro area when they tour together.

10:33 KC: This decent Reba single reminded me of an interesting piece of trivia: All five female vocalist nominees are in the top 20 of the singles chart this week. See what’s possible when you don’t nominate Alison Krauss?

10:31 DM: Have you guys noticed how Reba is just going by the one name now? Not a fan. She still sounds good, but it’s time for some better singles.

10:26 KC: Now they brought the Hall of Fame CMA moment back? After the Emmylou Harris induction has already come and gone?

10:24 KC: Okay George Strait just saved it. Perhaps because he actually has been country all along?

10:24 KC: Let’s all pray that Martina isn’t previewing Timeless II.

10:24 KC: Even if Roy Clark was dead, it wouldn’t be excusable for Barbara Mandrell to get such a lopsided amount of attention.

10:21 DM: Well, I’m glad they’re doing something for the inductees. Even if it involves “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.”

10:21 KC: I have this fear that Taylor Swift is going to win Female Vocalist.

10:19 KC: That sounds like a dangerous thing to do on a tractor.

10:18 DM: Is Jason Aldean really at superstar status now? Bummer.

10:15 DM: Upsets at every turn.

Male Vocalist of the Year: Brad Paisley

10:11 KC: To answer LeAnn’s question, “By listening to their music.”

10:10 KC: I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at 19, either.

10:09 From the Comments, Diamond: Kanye. NOW. Please…

10:08 KC: I wonder how LeAnn Rimes feels about all of this.

10:07 DM: Gotta say, there are probably at least five girls in a ten-foot radius of Swift who could be up there singing this better.

10:04 DM: Wow, burn.

10:03 KC: Rascal Flatts commercial for Wendy’s. A celebrity endorsement that is completely believable.

10:02 KC: Why didn’t B&D get up and talk? Way to sink a classy moment.

10:01 KC: Sugarland: A standing O I can get behind.

10:00 DM: Don’t think we didn’t notice your complete lack of applause for Joey + Rory, CMA! For shame.

Vocal Duo of the Year: Sugarland

9:59 KC: B&D’s retirement announcement was timed so it could impact CMA voting. Let’s see if it did the trick.

9:58 KC: In terms of personal grooming, he’s somewhere between Jennings and Cousin It.

9:57 KC: Still don’t think Johnson’s schtick is particularly authentic.

9:56 DM: John Rich got a mention. Not going to do much to help that smugness thing.

9:54 DM: Jamey Johnson doing “Between Jennings and Jones” at the CMAs. If he doesn’t kick ass, he’s going to come off really smug.

9:54 KC: Dan, the time for steel-tipped intervention was when they were considering recording it in the first place.

9:52 DM: I remember Ronnie doing a good job on “It’s Getting Better All The Time” some number of years back.

9:52 KC: This final B&D CMA performance has me feeling sentimental for all of those amazing CMA performances from them over the past eighteen years, of which I can’t name one.

9:51 DM: Brooks & Dunn’s final CMA performance is “Honky Tonk Stomp.” I’d like to kick the balls of whoever made that call.

9:48 KC: KC: Shout-out to Cutting the Treacle, living up to the name and the comment thread’s MVP so far.

9:46 KC: Women who’ve won Album of the Year: Sissy Spacek, Anne Murray, Patty Loveless, Dixie Chicks, Lee Ann Womack, Taylor Swift. Rank them as you wish.

9:44 KC: Shocked that Jamey Johnson didn’t win.

9:45 DM: And the tweens have it.

Album of the Year: Fearless, Taylor Swift

9:42 DM: I think my dad may have had that ugly black Aloha-cowboy vest.

9:42 KC: My dad also went out with his Boots On.

9:41 KC: My dad had that POW MIA hat!

9:39 DM: Seriously, Nettles has better stage presence than just about anybody else we’ve seen tonight. Maybe Zac Brown Band could compete. Still not digging her head voice, though.

9:38 KC: KC: Love this song. Love this duo.

9:36 DM: Carrie has a lot more charisma this year. And speaking of charisma, here comes Jennifer Nettles!

9:30 DM: …So how about Tim’s jester pants?

9:27 DM: Tim forgot his first few words because he was looking around waiting for that “famous Southern people” montage Kevin promised to start up. Now that it has, he’s good.

9:25 DM: I really want to like this song – it’s certainly something new for Keith – but I just can’t get into it somehow. Doesn’t feel accessible.

9:23 DM: Keith Urban debuting his new single about how depressing empty carnivals are.

9:21 DM: I don’t know whether to smile that Little Jimmy got a spot at all or weep that it was just so he could deliver a limp Kanye joke.

9:15 KC: For me, the Tennessee line just meant that I had another three hours of driving until Nashville or another twelve until New York.

9:12 KC: Much like cheddar cheese and Grey Goose, Vince Gill makes everything a little bit better.

9:11 DM: Good thing Daughtry is here. I was worried they might mention the Country Music Hall of Fame inductees or something.

9:10 KC: Darius Rucker joins Shelby Lynne in possession of both a country new artist award and the Best New Artist Grammy.

New Artist of the Year: Darius Rucker

9:08 KC: Wynonna – you look great, but you won the HORIZON AWARD, not the New Artist award

9:07 KC: Songs that stink live and on record: “Alright”, whatever Taylor sang.

9:07 KC: Songs that haven’t: “White Liar”, “Welcome to the Future”

9:07 KC: Songs that have sounded better live tonight: “Need You Now”, “Cowboy Casanova”, “Twang”

9:06 KC: Also, very cool set piece

9:05 KC: Why is it that the whole “they sound bad because of the sound system” argument falls apart every time that Carrie Underwood opens her mouth and puts the rest of them to shame?

9:05 DM: I meant that positively. She looks hot.

9:03 DM: Oh man. This performance is going to inspire drag shows for years to come.

9:02 DM: Carrie launching into “Cowboy Casanova.”

9:00 KC: Dan, it’s taking all my strength to get through this show without medication, and I’m watching at home.

8:58 DM: Now the healing can begin.

8:57 KC: Rascal Flatts didn’t win, which is more satisfying than any winner could be.

Vocal Group of the Year: Lady Antebellum


8:55 DM: Is it me, or do the TV star presenters always seem the most medicated?

8:54 KC: That’s Jamey Johnson and Kid Rock up on the rafters, shaking out their hair.

8:53 KC: I bet Miranda Lambert feels just like that string of Christmas lights.

8:50 KC: If Jason Aldean recorded this, it would sound like a Metallica record.

8:50 KC: Amazing how this man has managed to wade through at least three “Country Goes Crazy for Crossover” phases without even sullying his crisp white shirt.

8:48 KC: The CMA needs a little “Twang” too. Thanks George!

8:47 DM: Incidentally, the awards for Video and Musical Event were given out pre-show. The winners are “Love Story” and “Start A Band”, respectively.

8:45 KC: I cursed on the CMAs. That means I’m hard-core!

8:44 DM: But point taken – it was a breath of fresh air.

8:44 KC: Scratch that – AK&US  and Nickel Creek have been on the show since then.

8:43 KC: Though  to be fair, it’s the first time since the Dixie Chicks ruled the CMAs that a band has actually played well live on the stage.

8:42 KC: The devil went down to K-Mart, he was looking for some clothes to wear. He found a polo shirt and stone-washed jeans for his big awards show affair.

8:40 DM: Alright, this is the most interesting CMA performance I’ve seen in some time. They’re so un-glamorous compared to the rest of the crowd that it’s a little mesmerizing.

8:40 KC: Loving the tambourine guy.

8:39 KC: Halloween was eleven days ago and a lot less scary.

8:39 DM: Zac Brown Band doing “Devil Went Down To Georgia.” I’m sure they can play it, but seriously, WTF?

8:38 KC: The history geek in me wants to tell Brad that he just woke up the founder of the Lutherans, not the leader of the civil rights movement

8:36 KC: Apparently in the future, you don’t have to sing into the microphone.

8:35 DM: Seconded.

8:35 KC: Seriously, if Mario or Link show up, I’m switching my Entertainer vote to Brad

8:34 KC: Pac-Man!

8:33 KC: PONG!!!!

8:31 DM: I know what you mean, Kevin. I get to a point where I just have to stop reading reviews in order to enjoy music.

8:29 KC: This song’s grown on me a bit. Miranda’s talent and her hype keep switching leads in their ongoing race. Right now, it’s hype by a nose.

8:28 KC: Craig Wiseman won Song in 2004 and 2006. Bill Anderson in 2005 and 2007. Jamey Johnson in 2007 and 2009. Next year, Jennifer Nettles better prepare a speech!

8:27 DM: Wow, this mix is terrible. She’s singing well, but she and the drums are about all you can hear.

8:24 DM: Miranda Lambert doing “White Liar.” Interested to hear how it sounds live.

8:24 KC: Jamey’s comment about not thinking he’d ever be allowed to come to stuff like this would seem a bit more believable if he hadn’t already won in this category before.

8:22 Song of the Year: “In Color”

8:21 KC: Darius, we already knew white people don’t have any rhythm. You didn’t have to rub it in.

8:20 DM: This song does not deserve a giant light-up sign of its title.

8:20 KC: Way to set the bar at just “Alright” and still not even approach it.

8:18 KC: Nobody’s EVER made the leap from rock to country as gracefully as Darius Rucker? Somewhere, the family of Conway Twitty is screaming.

8:17 KC: I think Brad & Carrie just locked in hosting duties for the next five years.

8:16 DM: Why can’t Carrie Underwood record countrier music? She’s cleaning up on these song parodies.

8:16 KC: Check out our Country Universe spin-off site launching tomorrow: ladyantebellumsingleoftheyearseriously????.com

8:13 KC: Full disclosure. I purchased the cassingle of Victoria Shaw’s “Cry Wolf” back in ’94.

Single of the Year: Lady Antebellum, “I Run To You”

8:12 DM & KC: WHAT????

8:11 KC: Look! Skeeter Davis grew a beard!

8:11 KC: Kid Rock. Performing AND presenting. Of course.

8:09 DM: Gotta say I’m actually liking some of the opening monologue this time. The gags on Tim & Faith’s colognes and the Brooks & Dunn/Sugarland competition are pretty solid.

8:07 KC: Hope that’s the first and last Kanye joke.

8:06 DM: For a second I thought they were actually just going to stand there and sing old country songs. Bummer.

8:05 DM: Ditto, Kev.

8:04 KC: All of my objective, “She’s the top performer right now and should be acknowledged” comments are difficult to stand by when I hear her sing

8:03 DM: Dramatic moments in song = key time to start singing in fake British accent.

8:01 KC: It’s 8:01. Do you know where your Pro Tools are?

8:00 DM: Taylor performance. She’s doing that Joe Jonas harangue song.

7:59 DM: Show time’s almost here! Kevin and I will be doing double-duty throughout the night and highlighting some of your comments. Get pumped!

Given that CMA Live Blogging has become so widespread that even the super-cool Whitney Pastorek at Entertainment Weekly is doing it, our “update the post repeatedly while you add your comments” approach seems almost quaint.


Filed under CMA Awards, Live Blog

ACM Winners and Live Blog



ENTERTAINER: Carrie Underwood

ALBUM: Taylor Swift, Fearless

SINGLE: “You’re Gonna Miss This” – Trace Adkins

FEMALE VOCALIST: Carrie Underwood


VOCAL DUO: Sugarland

TOP NEW ARTIST: Julianne Hough

VOCAL GROUP: Rascal Flatts

SONG: “In Color” – Jamey Johnson


11:00 Wonderful ending to a pretty good night!

10:59 ENTERTAINER: Carrie Underwood!!!

10:57 Matt and Jamie Foxx should co-host next year.

10:56 Matthew M. was the “Walkaway Joe” in Trisha’s video from 1992.

10:54 The show got better as it went on. I’ve really enjoyed most of the later performances.

10:49 This is the best I’ve heard Rascal Flatts in a very long time. I would buy this song arranged and performed like this.

10:47 Not much in the way of multiple winners tonight, at least in the marquee categories. Brad Paisley has 3 (Male, Video, Vocal Event), Julianne Hough has 2 (New Artist, New Female Artist.)

10:45 ALBUM: Taylor Swift, Fearless (Leeann has to be far ahead by now)

10:42 Blake got Brad Paisley’s slot, I think. Good to hear him. I like this song.

10:36 Who will win Female Vocalist? You need a better teaser than that. Who’s in charge of the clips here?

10:35 SINGLE: “You’re Gonna Miss This” – Trace Adkins  (His first industry award since winning ACM Top New Male Vocalist twelve years ago.)

10:34 Anybody else lose sound?

10:33 She’s getting a Crystal Milestone award for winning an award last year? Really?

10:30 I really need to see them live. If they’re this good on award shows, they must be amazing with their own audience.

10:29 Jennifer Nettles attended Keith Urban’s charisma workshop.

10:28 Reba just said “Any-hoo.”

10:22 The contrast in phrasing between Adkins and the choir is jarring. But Good Lord, this is the best song of the night.

10:19 Amazing how war songs are timeless, even when they describe wars from long ago.

10:15 FEMALE VOCALIST: Carrie Underwood

10:13 She’s getting lost in the mix, but from what I can hear, it’s like “For My Broken Heart” with a brighter morning.

10: 12 New Reba. Good so far.

10:07 Little Jimmy Dickens got served.

10:05 MALE VOCALIST: Brad Paisley

10:04 None of these guys are really at the top of their game.

10:02 She really does put everyone else to shame. This is better than the record.

10:01 Carrie saw it in the window and she just had to have it.

9:54 It’s been 34 minutes since the last award. Yeesh.

9:53 “Hell Yeah”, Part II. Among country recycled grooves, I dig MG’s the least.

9:51 Ladies and gentlemen, Anita Cochran on lead guitar!

9:50 Then again, I’m not sure she’s singing live. Anybody heard the record?

9:49 Alright, I’ll say it. She’s got better vocal chops than most of the people on tonight’s show. I’d like to swap teen idols with pop music right about now.

9:47 Perhaps one of the reasons it’s been such a wild ride for both you and Miley is that you won’t get off her horse.

9:45 Random aside: Is anyone else seeing the Gene Simmons commercial for Cherry Dr. Pepper? Why doesn’t Cherry Coke Zero get such a big promotional push???

9:42 Coming up…Miley Cyrus and Carrie Underwood. Why not?

9:41 This live blog brought to you from New York City. We’re not part of the real world, but thankfully the internet can beam us to those of you who live in it.

9:40 Good to know some tools are still made in America.

9:39 A rundown of working class anthems should’ve included Aaron Tippin.

9:37 I didn’t realize LeAnn Rimes did so much humanitarian work. I guess she has nothin’ better to do.

9:35 She dances like Natalie Maines. Heh.

9:34 I like the imagery. She’s quite the songwriter, assuming that she wrote this.

9:33 Am I the only one who can’t help but think about Mindy McCready’s “Maybe He’ll Notice Her Now” with these lyrics?

9:32 New Miranda Lambert song. Can’t wait to hear it.

9:26 Urban reminds me just how much the new artists lack charisma. He should give workshops on charisma.

9:23 Of all the country superstar recycled grooves, Urban’s is my favorite.

9:21 If Nettles had turned quickly at an angle, this show would be on tape delay next year.

9:20 VOCAL DUO: Sugarland (Finally! First time B&D ever lost a pure Vocal Duo race at the ACM’s!)

9:19 I think we may have peaked for the evening. Sigh.

9:17 So far, this is the only performance of the night that I can say improves on the recorded performance.

9:15 Lee Ann Womack is doing “Solitary Thinkin’.” One of the better tracks from Call Me Crazy.

9:10 Lady Antebellum sounds very generic.

9:06 She gets a crystal milestone award for her incredible record sales? Her albums combined haven’t matched the sales of Underwood’s first album, the first three Dixie Chicks albums, three Shania Twain albums.  Why didn’t Rascal Flatts get this award? John Michael Montgomery? Toby Keith? Kenny Chesney? I’m just confused.

9:05 This reminds me of the Brooke White girl from Idol last year.

9:03 David Copperfield did not, in the end, pull an auto-tuner out of his hat.

8:54 Standing O? Wow, the value of those have plummeted. Must be the economy.

8:53 TOP NEW ARTIST: Julianne Hough

8:52 We like to blame the sound mix for less than par performances. But notice how George Strait still sounds great  – and mark my words, Carrie Underwood will, too.

8:51 I love this song. “Troubadour” couldn’t be a better fit for him.

8:50 I wonder how many of the new artists knew that was a George Strait song.

8:49 He could do a sketch as Wanda the Ugly Girl trying to out-dress Carrie Underwood.

8:48 Seriously, he’s killing. Please let him host next year.

8:47 Jamie Foxx. I’d love to see him host the show next year.

8:43 Poor Nashville viewers had to deal with storm warnings during the Johnson performance. How cool would it have been if those popped up last year during Taylor Swift’s performance of “Should’ve Said No”?

8:41 As for the actual performance, he sounds good. Still overwhelmed by the backing track, but that seems inevitable on these shows. I’m surprised they didn’t do a stripped-down performance a la “Stay.” Those are the only ones that ever sound good on these shows.

8:40 So I get the whole conceit here, but give me a break. There weren’t huge projection screens in the days of black-and-white photographs. Or TV for that matter. This is way too pretentious for my tastes.

8:39 Oh dear God. It’s in black and white. I didn’t see that coming.

8:38 Here comes Jamey Johnson. I suspect we’ll see it in color.

8:36 I wonder if McGraw’s production differences had something to do with those screens behind the artists?

8:35 Toby Keith’s best recent performance wasn’t on a country music award show. Check out his roast of Larry the Cable Guy.

8:29 I’m excited for Toby Keith, though he always seems to do rave-ups. Shame, since he’s such a great balladeer.

8:27 VOCAL GROUP: Rascal Flatts (There goes my lead)

8:26 I wonder if next year she’ll be back singing “Amy and Vince” or “Tim and Faith.”

8:23 I feel bad that Heidi Newfield has nearly no chance despite five nominations. A bit weird to see her dolled up. She was Gretchen Wilson before Gretchen Wilson was Gretchen Wilson.

8:22 Home Depot has been a big friend to this show. They supply the wooden performances.

8:17 Methinks that Jamey Johnson would look better out of color. Yikes.

8:16 SONG: “In Color” – Jamey Johnson  (I called this one, y’all – he’ll repeat at the CMA’s)

8:15 J Love is a huge fan of country music. I’m a huge fan of the Ghost Whisperer. Cool.

8:14 Random pics in the back of young college-age girls partying. Weird.

8:12 Anyone in the comments want to explain the appeal of Chesney playing live? What are his shows like? I’ve never been.

8:11 First time in a long time there’s been a woman in there. I think the Dixie Chicks were the last ones.

8:10 Who’s on the couch with Brad Paisley and Little Jimmy Dickens?

8:09 A gay joke? Really?

8:09 George Strait is indeed the man himself.

8:08 Please say Rascal Flatts from the behind of a cow.

8:07 That was interesting, but I wonder how much cooler it could’ve been if it was done later in the show, and was built around ballads with “Very Last Country Song” being the framework.

8:06 I do not want to hang with you and your gang.

8:05 I think they’ve run through all of country’s multi-platinum acts.

8:04 Love me some Carrie Underwood. Hope she has a big night.

8:03 Sugarland, I wouldn’t mind hearing the full song. At least Leeann got a bit of “It Happens.”

8:02 Wow, George Strait snarled at his reference until he noticed the camera was on.

8:01 Taylor Swift doing “Picture to Burn.” Is this a medley of annoying songs performed poorly?

8:00 We’re starting with some sort of jam beginning with Brooks & Dunn. “Play Something Country” still annoys me. The melody is ripped off from “Shut Up and Kiss Me.”


Filed under ACM Awards, Live Blog

Idol Opry Night: Live Blog

idolCountry Universe continues its annual tradition of live-blogging country night on American Idol.


9:55 Kind of boring night overall. I liked Anoop the most. Not too much stood out for me.

9:52 When I reviewed “So Small”, I think that I mentioned it would sound better stripped down. No surprise I liked the first half of this performance more.

9:51 Interesting that only the men took on Carrie this year. Probably a good move on the women’s part, as none of them could go toe to toe with her.

9:46 Ten down, one to go.

9:45 Again, I feel they’re just pushing certain people.

9:43 This is the second time tonight – the first being Adam Lambert – that I feel I’m watching a parody of Idol.

9:41 “Walking After Midnight” is the first song that I actually associate with the Opry that’s been performed tonight.

9:33 I’ll say it before Randy does. This sounds current. It’s also easily the best of the night.

9:31 I remember Fantasia nailing “Always on My Mind.” He’s got his work cut out for him. Love his name, though.

9:25 The show seems rigged this year.

9:24 Why do they keep suggesting songs that you can scream all the way through? That would sound terrible.

9:23 Jesus, take the mic.

9:21 This guy wants to be Color Me Badd on the verses and Linkin Park on the chorus. He can’t pull off either of them.

9:17 Seriously. “Jesus, Take the Wheel?”

9:13 That didn’t sound like Dolly Parton, but I guess Simon’s aware of the version she modeled hers after.

9:11 “Jolene” is a simple song in its original version. That’s what makes it so easy to put a new spin on it without making dramatic changes. I liked her performance of this.

9:10 This is the Mindy Smith version.

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Filed under Discussion, Live Blog, News

Grammy Live Blog

grammys211:28 Kevin: Goodnight all. See ya at the ACM Live Blog!

11:26 Dan: You know what is a surprise? Krauss and Plant both giving completely lucid-sounding speeches. Love ’em both, but those are two of the loopiest public speakers I’ve ever heard.

11:25 Kevin: So Alison Krauss now has 26 Grammy awards, and has been thanked by Robert Plant for teaching him how to sing better. Wow.

11:24 Album of the Year: Raising Sand, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. Woah, no way.

11:23 Kevin: I want the new Green Day album more than anything else in 2009.

11:21 Kevin: Fun Fact – Robert Plant turned down millions of dollars to do a Led Zeppelin reunion tour because he wanted to tour with Alison instead.  I wonder if Zed Heads have taken to calling her Yoko?

11:22 Dan: Ah yes, the hand-clap section of the song.

11:20 Kevin: Hey, T-Bone. How about you don’t play the guitar so loud?

11:20 Dan: Awww yeah, “Gone Gone Gone”! But it feels unnaturally fast.

11:19 Kevin: I’m trying to remember when Alison Krauss became gorgeous. Lonely Runs Both Ways?

11:19 Dan: Plant & Krauss doing “Rich Woman.” Groovy stuff.

11:18 Dan: The guys in my room just said some unrepeatable things about Zooey Deschanel.

11:14 Kevin: Can they just toss Plant and Krauss the Album Grammy while they sing? I want to go to bed.

11:12 Dan: I’m with Kevin on that one, though Nettles’ was good stuff, too.

11:11 Kevin: I think Lil Wayne just gave my favorite acceptance speech of the night. Short but sweet.

11:10 Best Rap Album: Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne. As it should be.

11:10 Kevin: Apparently Obama was elected president. Who knew?

11:06 Dan: This is why I like the Grammys: amid all the Katy Perry fruit-dancing, you can still find some real soul in the final stretch. This fusion of rap and jazz feels so organic; what a wonderful tribute to the city.

11:02 Dan: New Orleans tribute with Lil Wayne and Robin Thicke, both of whom I quite like. Cool.

11:00 Dan: My Blink 182-loving roommate is already re-watching the clip of them presenting that award on YouTube. Crazy.

10:56 Kevin: Random Keith Urban is always welcome.

10:56 Dan: Alright, that was pretty cool. Some nice soloing there.

10:55 Dan: Bo Diddley tribute. Keith Urban, John Mayer, and…is that Buddy Guy?

10:54 Dan: Ooo, and Delaney Bramlett!

10:53 Kevin: I really wish they would add an “In Memoriam” to the CMA Awards.

10:52 Dan: In Memoriam. Really cool clips of Jerry Reed, Eddy Arnold and Eartha Kit so far.

10:51 Kevin: Neil Diamond is one of the all-time greats.  Love that song, too.

10:50 Dan: Is it just me, or is no one excited about this performance? It’s kind of like Macca doing a Beatles song earlier. We know it already, man.

10:48 Dan: Neil Diamond. Really can’t decide how I feel about him.

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Filed under Grammys, Live Blog