Category Archives: Live Blog

Grammy Pre-Show Live Blog


The following categories are being announced on the Grammy pre-show.  Winners will be posted as they are announced.

Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Gaither Vocal Band, Lovin’ Life

Best Traditional Folk Album: Pete Seeger, At 89

Best Contemporary Folk Album: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand

Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Carrie Underwood, “Last Name”

Best Male Country Vocal Performance: Brad Paisley, “Letter to Me”

Best Country Collaboration with Vocals: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, “Killing the Blues”

Best Country Instrumental Performance: Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Steve Wariner, etc. “Cluster Pluck”

Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Honoring the Fathers of Bluegrass

Best Country Song: Jennifer Nettles, “Stay”

Best Country Album: George Strait, Troubadour


Filed under Grammys, Live Blog

2008 CMA Awards Live Blog

2008 CMA Winners

Entertainer: Kenny Chesney

Male Vocalist: Brad Paisley

Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood

Album: George Strait, Troubadour

Vocal Duo: Sugarland

New Artist: Lady Antebellum

Vocal Group: Rascal Flatts

Song: Jennifer Nettles, “Stay”

Single: George Strait, “I Saw God Today”

Music Video: Brad Paisley feat. Andy Griffith, “Waiting on a Woman”

Musical Event: Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, “Gone Gone Gone”

Musician: Mac McAnally


Predict the Winners:

Kevin – 8

Leeann – 7

Blake – 7

Dan – 7


Live Blog:

11:03 Thanks again for another great night.  See ya at the Grammys!

11:02ish To Blake and Dan:  A Song For You.

11:02 Blake: Down with our dictator!

11:02 Dan: Kevin sucks.

10:57 If I was a petty man, I’d be gloating about out-predicting all of my co-writers at Country Universe.  Wait a minute.   I am a petty man.   I won! Yes! I won!  This country universe is mine.   Y’all just live in it.  Suckers.  (Except for you Leeann.  You didn’t get all up in my grill, talking smack before the throwdown.  You’re cool.)

10:56 ENTERTAINER – Kenny Chesney

10:54 Standing O for Shania.  Good God, she’s beautiful.   Welcome home.

10:50 So the only artist I see live who charges Eagles prices is Madonna, and I have to say that if she just stood there and growled, I’d feel ripped off.  Come on, guys.  Slap on some heels.  Throw in some synchronized dancing.  Jump some rope.  Rub up against something.   You’re supposed to be legends.

10:49 Dan: Once again, a washed up rock act gives us one of the better performances of the night. I like the Eagles, but that’s sad.

10:48 You know it’s bad when you’re hoping that Shania’s the surprise guest because you want to see some real country stars.

10:46 Paisley’s right about that.  The Eagles have a lot more to do with country music today than most seventies country stars.

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Filed under CMA Awards, Live Blog

ACM 2008 Live Blog

ACM Live Blog

11:02 From the comments: Jonathan notes that the AP says Tracy Lawrence won Vocal Event.   That settles the final open question of the evening.   All of you in the comments helped make a boring show interesting. Have a good night!

10:58 Any idea who won Vocal Event?

10:57 Kenny just mention what I think he mentioned about his parents?

10:56 Like I said when that whole foot thing happened, I don’t want to hear anybody complaining about this win!

10:55 Entertainer: Kenny Chesney

10:53 Where’s Dolly Parton?

10:52 Okay. I totally thought that was Dr. Phil in a biker fetish outfit.

10:50 Wasn’t Dolly supposed to perform?

10:48 I think the two straight wins for Carrie at ACM and CMA (and Grammy) were a given. It will be interesting to see if she can be a three-time winner this fall and next spring.

10:45 Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood.

10:44 “Country music legend Dwight Yoakam.” That both pleases me to hear and makes me feel old.

10:43 What’s with all the oddly colored microphones?

10:41 LeAnn Rimes is singing “Family.” I was hoping for “What I Cannot Change.” The sound mix just doesn’t favor loud songs like this, as the lyrics get lost in the shuffle.

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Filed under ACM Awards, Live Blog

2007 CMA Awards Live Blog



  • 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?

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ACM Awards: 2007 Live Blog

ACM Winner Miranda Lambert (above)


10:59: Just FYI:  Carrie won Video, so she went 3/5.   “Building Bridges” by B&D, Vince and Sheryl Crow won Collaboration.

10:57 Entertainer: Kenny Chesney, three in a row.   Good. He earned it.

10:56 Vince Gill, brilliant as always. Here comes Shania.  Still impossibly beautiful.

10:45 Female Vocalist: Carrie Underwood. And she gives a shout-out to Tim McGraw that shows real class. As usual.

10:44 Martina’s crying. Me too.

10:42 Tim gets the nod for best performance of the night. What an unbelievable song, a letter written by a soldier just in case he dies in battle. This is why I love country music.

10:37 Just saw an ad for the 400th Episode of The Simpsons. I was in fourth grade when that show started. How long ago was that? People were sick of The Judds always winning Vocal Duo awards every year.

10:33 Top Vocal Duo: Brooks & Dunn. Enough already.

10:32 The Sugarland performance was very cute.

10:28 Funny that Reba just mentioned Idol. I’m catching up on tonight’s episode during commercial breaks. Melinda Doolittle can out-sing many of those on the ACM stage tonight. Hard to mess with Jennifer Nettles though.

10:23 Where are all the awards at, anyway? Only 37 minutes left of show.

10:22 So, Faith has herself another big crossover hit. This will dominate AC radio easily. The melody is awesome.

10:19 Faith’s song is new. Very, very new. Can’t wait to hear it.

10:18 Reba going to a wake?

10:15 Top Vocal Group: Rascal Flatts. Meh.

10:12 There’s a guy backing B&D wearing a t-shirt that says “Willie, Emmylou, Merle and Lacy J.” That would instantly be the most interesting performance on the show if it was to happen.

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Filed under ACM Awards, Live Blog

American Idol Live Blog: Country Night, 2007

I can’t believe I did this two nights in a row.

Final Thoughts: Country night was much better than usual, and I credit Martina McBride for being a fantastic coach, along with better song choices.   I actually think the contestants showed more respect and even understanding of country music than those who were on the CMT Awards last night.     My guess for the bottom two: Chris Richardson and Lakisha Jones, with Richardson going home.  I think Sanjaya will be in the bottom three but sent to safety.  Guess I’ll blog the results, too.

As it happened:

8:00 Ryan Seacrest gives a shout-out to the victims of the Virginia shooting immediately, already showing more class than Jeff Foxworthy last night.

8:01 Fantastic intro for Martina McBride. Even I was surprised that she’s been around fifteen years, and I bought The Time Has Come when the “That’s Me” video was in rotation.

8:03 Phil Stacey starts things off, and he’s picked a Keith Urban song that isn’t very singer-friendly, “Where The Blacktop Ends.” McBride notes Stacey’s biggest strength and weakness immediately, yet still comes off sounding constructive. So far, she’s good at this.

8:04 Before the judges pipe in, I’m going to say it sounds like Stacey followed McBride’s advice and put more soul in the beginning. They always seem to bash him, though.

8:05 Let me add, he looks like Kevin Sharp.

8:06 Randy thinks he should sing country, Paula notes that he did what Martina said without giving her credit for it, and Simon says it’s his genre as well. I worry that they’re just saying that because they haven’t found one for the genre yet and need one for the money, but he was pretty good.

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CMT Music Awards: 2007 Live Blog

Kris is here to keep me calm.

Good God, what an astonishingly tasteless evening. A nasty host with an insult for everybody, music that barely resembles country, and women spoken of with no respect, whether they’re cheerleaders, talk show hosts, country music superstars or songwriting legends.  Not to mention a pot-shot at Stonewall Jackson.  I’m going to go listen to some Kristofferson, Tillis, Cash and Loveless, and remind myself that this twisted trainwreck is not what country music is; it’s just a cable channel’s tawdry attempt to be the hillbilly MTV. You can read my running thoughts below for the evening. Know that they’ve been heavily censored. HBO wouldn’t broadcast my inner monologue from the past three hours.

Oh, and I will never, ever, ever, do this again. Not live blogging, mind you: I’m going to do that for Idol country night if I’m home for it. But the CMT Music Awards? Never again.

As it happened:

8:0o Are You Smarter than a 5th Grade Country Music Star, eh? Would’ve been cooler if they asked one of the aging pop/rock stars to name a Webb Pierce song.

8:03 This skit was longer than an SNL bomb.

8:04 Then again, I’d rather watch that than Rascal Flatts. I wonder if their cover of “Life Is A Highway” has Tom Cochrane thinking he could do country?

8:09 I’m glad Foxworthy has a hit to pimp again. Doesn’t have to drag out the redneck jokes.

8:10 Martina McBride doesn’t strike me as thinking Thomas Jefferson is related to George and Wheezy.

8:11 Now you’re mocking Dolly Parton? Lay off the chicks, dude.

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CMA Live Blog

10:58 Yeesh, you guys shattered the daily traffic record for this site in three measly hours. I need to live blog more often. Let’s end with watching B&D once again not know how to fill up the dead time.

10:54 Kenny came back to win it again. He deserves it, too.

10:52 She’s even wearing the dress they buried her in.

10:48 Wow, they’ve defrosted Barbara Mandrell so she can give out Entertainer of the Year.

10:46 Vince just showed how it’s supposed to be done. Everyone else looks like amateurs now.

10:44 You’re right, Kix. You guys have made him look better the past three years. Hopefully viewers will go get the Vince 4-CD set that just came out. This is one of the best songs on it.

10:41 Don’t be sad, Brad. You just won Album!

10:39 In case you’re wondering, Carrie’s the fourth artist in history to win their vocal award plus horizon in the same year: Last three were Ricky Skaggs (Horizon and ‘Male 82), Alison Krauss (Horizon and Female ’95) and Dixie Chicks (Horizon and Vocal Group ’98)

10:35 Carrie says this is the best night of her life. That’ll get the naysayers in her corner!

10:34 Carrie Underwood! Ha! Did you see Faith do the fake outrage bit?

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Filed under CMA Awards, Live Blog