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?

10:33 Billy Ray just got served by his daughter.

10:31 They should’ve stood up for Sara. Oh well.

10:29 Okay, I have to admit. I’m rooting for Sara Evans. Is it too late to change my pick?

10:20 Jason Aldean didn’t get any nominations. How did he nab a performance slot?

10:16 Letting a Hall-of-Famer talk and they’re not even a superstar. Damn right.

10:13 Weird to see an American Music Awards commercial brag that the Chicks are appearing during the CMA telecast.

10:08 Carrie won Horizon. First winner I’m on board with.

10:07 Kellie Pickler. Yay.

10:04 Where did Josh Turner’s hair go? He looks like Justin Timberlake.

10:00 Faith sounds awesome. This is my favorite single of hers to date.

9:55 ABC is promoting “the return of Sara Evans”? Way to milk a scandal.

9:53 At least they gave Musical Event to Paisley/Parton. Maybe he’ll get album. I’m starting to feel bad for him.

9:51 I think this Lambert record, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, will be huge. She’s not quite pulling it off live, but she’s probably nervous. Don’t get the rain, though. Fire last year, now rain this year. Cut down on the special effects.

9:49 What a classy letter, even if it is from rehab. Here comes Miranda Lambert.

9:48 Male Vocalist goes to….Keith Urban! I can’t believe Brad is getting shut out again. Nice show of love for Urban.

9;47 What’s with the dead time. Aren’t the hosts supposed to be paying attention?

9:46 News bulletin. Little Jimmy Dickens is actually dead, and the man sitting behind him is pulling his hands together to make it look like he’s clapping.

9:43 Paul is right. Dierks Bentley is really good.

9:37 Brooks & Dunn. Fourth award tonight. Fourteenth win in this category. Are they really this good? Am I missing something?

9:36 First Gary Allan, now Trisha Yearwood. Why are our best singers presenting?

9:32 Funny that Kix said The Wreckers show country can rock a bit, since these girls are turning in a much more country performance than the one that B&D opened with.

9:31 Chesney sounds better than usual. Anybody notice he’s also singing backup? Gotta love backing tracks.

9:23 Great acceptance speech. Fans first, industry in the middle, family last. Class act.

9:18 Strait’s going in the Hall of Fame. Good for him.

9:15 Oops. Spoke too soon. Here come da shriek.

9:13 It is. Good job of rewriting it. I’d rather hear it from Kathy Mattea or Olivia Newton-John, but it’s tolerable from McBride. Thank you for not shrieking tonight.

9:12 “Anyway” is the name of the song Martina’s about to do. I wonder if it will be based on that poem about doing things anyway.

9:08 Commercial break reflection: four awards given so far, and not one artist or song that I like have won yet. Sigh.

9:06 Hey Gary, while you’re thanking God for giving you a stage to stand on, thank the carpenters for reinforcing it so you don’t fall through. Seriously. Put down the cheeseburger. You’re three times the size of the maximum weight a female artist can be these days and still get a record deal on the Row.

9:06 Four years in a row for Rascal Flatts. Meh. Bring back the Chicks.

9:05 “Knocked up and blind.” How about she hosts next year?

9:04 Is Kimberly Williams the new Lisa Hartman Black, presenting ’cause her hubby’s a country star?

9:02 Come on, a Mariah-style breakdown? Give me a break.

9:00 Gary’s gonna go get a burger or eight with Craig Wiseman after the show. “My wish, is fish, with chips and sauce on the side.”

8:59 Kix: “I’m kidding, y’all!” Guess what, Kix. If you have to keep telling people it’s a joke, you’re just not funny.

8:53 Second anniversary clip is Dolly & Kenny. Yawn.

8:51 I know why! They sound like Fleetwood Mac but look like Abba! That’s scary!

8:50 Little Big Town is scaring me. Can’t put my finger on why.

8:49 We “got” the joke, Kix. Just wasn’t funny.

8:47 Alan Jackson is awesome.

8:41 They won Video, too???? This is like when Vince would host and sweep, except he was actually good at hosting and making music. Blech.

8:40 Craig Wiseman has been living high on the hog. He’s going to eat that CMA award as soon as he gets backstage.

8:39 I “believe” this song is getting way too many awards. Boooooooooo!

8:38 “Song” Please don’t go to “Believe.” I can’t watch those guys win twice, sing and host, all in 40 minutes.

8:37 Lee Ann is refreshingly sober. And somber. Belle of the ball last year didn’t get a nod.

8:33 Gretchen’s singing with John Rich. First verse and the song is already better than anything on her last CD. Kick that sophomore slump to the curb!

8:32 Sara Evans is cheering on that song about not settlin’. She looks hot, now that she’s single.

8:29 Good for them. Sugarland is doing “Settlin'” from their new CD, instead of just doing the standard “current single” performance. I like this cut a lot. Nettles has unbelievable stage charisma.

8:28 Why are B&D referring to Sugarland as a group, when they’re obviously a duo now?

8:24 First 40th Anniversary clip is Johnny & June doing “Jackson.” How creative.

8:23 The man plays a mean guitar, though. He should let others do the writing and stick to the picking.

8:22 Wow, Brad’s wife looked pissed when they cut to her in the audience. That face says, “Write a better song for me next time, asshole.”

8:21 This song wasn’t very good when Garth wrote it ten years ago and called it “She’s Every Woman.”

8:19 Oh, look. It’s Bob Saget. In a cowboy hat.

8:17 Maybe a bit too much edge? Hell, she still sounds better than most anybody else on a good day. Why does the sound always suck on this show?

8:15 Carrie’s up. Maybe getting gipped will put an extra edge in her voice.

8:10 B&D got Single of the Year???? What a joke.

8:09 LeAnn is presenting with Bon Jovi boys. She’s looking good.

8:06 Eva Longoria must’ve drawn the short straw at the ABC studios.

8:05 No such luck. B&D are hosting, and it’s already one bad joke after another.

8:01 Brooks & Dunn are getting some vocal help from Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow. They need it. Maybe Vince will stick around to host?


  1. I’ll have you know Kevin that I’m recording the CMAs, watching Monday Night Football and periodically checking your running commentary on-line

  2. I’ve gotta ask: What in the world has happened to country music? How must Brooks & Dunn feel to be in competition with the sorry likes of the Wreckers. I pretty much wanted to gnaw off my hand when they were singing their duet. Any two college kids with guitars and mediocre voices could have sung that song as good or better than the Wreckers did. Other questtions press in: How many country music songs tonight were in minor key? How many singers sounded at all on tune? What was up with the Little Big Town sounding/looking like some goolish country goth group? Whatever happened to sweet little Miranda Lambert…I remember when she was the innocent runnerup on Nashville Star.

  3. Faith Hill’s reaction did not look fake to me — I think she was outraged about Carrie winning then caught herself as she remembered she was on camera

  4. Faith’s reaction was totally fake. She was laughing and smiling, then ambushed the camera with the “outrage” reaction. She wasn’t caught off-guard; she was directly interacting with the camera, and very deliberately. Maybe her and Sara Evans were joking around backstage. Faith has lost way too many times at award shows (and won so many awards, as well) to be seriously outraged at a loss.

  5. My notes:

    – I missed the first five minutes, but did we actually make it all the way through a country music awards show without a dig against The Dixie Chicks?

    – There isn’t a worse singer recording in any genre of popular music than Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts. Ashlee Simpson comes closer to holding pitch than he does, and he uses more melisma than Christina Aguilera.

    – Kenny Chesney gives Levox a run for his money, though. At least someone had the good sense to turn his guitarist’s mic levels way up…

    – That was the best performance I’ve seen out of Dierks Bentley. Those 300 days on the road last year have done him a world of good, performance-wise.

    – Note to Martina McBride: You are not Mother Theresa, and cities that get blown away by hurricanes can’t be rebuilt on glorynotes, liberal guilt, and wishes. And here I thought she’d never record anything more shameless than “God’s Will.” Standing O!

    – I chalk up Faith Hill’s reaction to Carrie Underwood’s upset win for Female Vocalist– mock or genuine outrage, either way– to recognizing that she’d been traded in for a younger, even blander robot.

    – The idea that the only way Kelly Willis gets to perform on the CMAs is as Hill’s back-up singer is appalling. Willis should have Hill’s entire career– she’s just as gorgeous (like Hill, she’s been named one of PEOPLE magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People”), but she actually sings as though she’s singing in a language she understands and she doesn’t choose to sing songs that sound like things Celine Dion would record.

    – Was Kris Kristofferson drunk? Not that he hasn’t earned the right to be, but still.

    – Looks like Jessica Harp (the “Wrecker” who isn’t Michelle Branch and her ridiculous bandana) had her make-up gun set to whore.

    – Billy Ray’s daughter could’ve also advised him to lose the soulpatch. Just sayin’. Especially since he already made fun of the mullet himself on his new album.

    – That makes two years running that Miranda Lambert has the most exciting performance. More’s the pity she still can’t crack the top 10 at radio.

    – Vince Gill’s performance was killer, too. But I’m still not shelling out $40 for your new CD, Vince. Unless you actually consider replacing Brooks & Dunn as CMA hosts next year. Then we’ll see what we can negotiate.

  6. Vince’s new CD has been selling for $17.99 to $24.99 . It’s worth buying even though I don’t hear any radio hits in it . Vince is a really versatile performer and this collection really demonstrates this

  7. Now that I’ve had a chance to watch – skipping through the commercials , a few thoughts:

    Brooks and Dunn are terrible (again) . Bring back Vince Gill

    Hall of Fame
    Although the presentations this year were better than those of a few years ago when artists such as Carl Smith were given short-shrift , they are still miles behind what they were years ago. That said, I especially liked Harold Bradley’s comments concerning some of the other great members of the Nashville “A ” Team. Sonny James was worth more than a short clip of “Young Love” . Sonny, who suffers from spastic dysphonia (the same illness that short-circuited Johnny Bush’s career), can barely speak anymore. Sometimes wrongly accused of being a “covers artist” , Sonny wrote three of his #1 records and discovered several of his other hits from previously unknown songs. Kristofferson has never been at ease in front of the camera, and this time was no exception

    Rascal Flatts and Miranda Lambert’s performances were definitely sub-par as was that of George Strait. The others were okay – typical awards show quality performances, meaning neither as good as the recods nor the usual live show performances.

    My picks – well I got some of them right but not enough to matter. As they say at Wrigley Field , “Wait ’til next year”

  8. I’m not sure Faith was joking. It seems like a pretty risky “joke” and Faith tends not to take risks with her wholesome image. But it does seem completely out of character – and was sort of hamming things up even when they were naming the nominees. But maybe as she gets older and her status as a country mega, mega superstar has stablized, she has become more comfortable with playing with her good-girl image.

    I am glad that I am not the only one who thinks Carrie Underwood is a bland bore. I think it’s a shame that she is the ‘best new thing’ out of country music these days.

    Sara Evans is so awesome. I think she’s just entered in a new phase of her career and we are going to see her do much more edgy stuff.

    Overall, this awards show confirmed the sorry state of country music today. Ditto, ditto on Kelly Willis. You know, she was signed by a Nashville label many years ago but was not comfortable with the way they were promoting her (probably as a sexpot) and the kind of music they were pushing her to do. I’m actually glad that she’s in Texas making music that is actually distinctive and good. I’m not sure that would be true if she were as famous as Faith Hill.

  9. A quote from Hazel Smith’s CMT column

    “I won song of the year honors tonight,” Toby told me exclusively. “I wrote the most-performed song of this year. Why am I not nominated by the CMA in any category?” Toby pointed to his BMI trophy and continued, “No entertainer of the year nomination. No male vocalist. No single or song or album nomination. The most performed song of the year? I just don’t understand.” – Toby Keith speaking at the BMI awards

    He’s right, of course. The fans adore Keith, but the critics and insiders are not wild about him. and they make up the CMA’s 6000 members.

  10. Toby must have forgotten that “As Good As I Once Was”, the most-performed song, was nominated LAST YEAR, at the 2005 CMA Awards, for Single and Song. He even got his first solo Grammy nomination for that record.

    I think he should’ve been nominated for Male Vocalist and maybe Entertainer, but he doesn’t have a legit beef for Single and Song. He’s been nominated for Single four times and Song three times, more than most singer-songwriters could hope for. I fail to see the Single or Song that CMA unfairly overlooked. “Get Drunk and Be Somebody”, “A Little Too Late” and “Big Blue Note” were not big enough (or good enough) to be nominated.

    He was left off the ballot this year, but was nominated 27 times since 2000. Bitching about being nominated this year just makes him look petty.

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