Discussion: Favorite Country Music Moments of 2008

2008-hall-of-fameExpanding on Blake’s discussion last night, let’s end 2008 with a look back on our favorite country music happenings in 2008.

My personal favorite was this year’s stunning Country Music Hall of Fame inductee list.    Gaining long overdue entry were Tom T. Hall, Emmylou Harris and The Statler Brothers,  all of whom I’d been hoping to gain entry since the early days of Country Universe.

Speaking of Country Universe, it’s hard to believe that at this time last year, I was still the only writer.    The contributions of Leeann, Blake, Dan and Lynn have transformed this site into something far beyond its humble origins.    My goal is to be the worst writer on my own site, and they helped me achieve that goal in record time!

What were your favorite country music moments of 2008?


  1. You guys are all great writers, great enough to make me want to do the same! I think working on a blog is so much fun, and I can’t wait to have fun with it in 2009!

    Discovering Patty Loveless and Kathy Mattea this year was good too.

  2. yeah right Kevin- you are a great writer, as well as all the others. haha.
    My favorite would have to be Lee Ann Womack’s “comeback” :)

  3. Mine was actually a concert. Carrie & Keith at the Gwinnett Civic Center. Keith made my Lovely Bride swoon and Carrie just stole my heart. It’s been decades since my wife and I had such a great time at a show. We didn’t sit the whole time. Kinda’ like all our old rock concerts in the 70s. Just a wonderful time.

    I also got a real kick out of Blake Shelton’s “Sexiest Man” video in NYC. I still chuckle when I think of that one.

    Paisley’s “Waiting on a Woman” video. Behind every great piece of music there lies a boatload of truth!

    On a bittersweet note was the passing of Jerry Reed that brought me back to all of his old music. Stuff I had hidden away in the attic. I had truly forgotten how good a picker Jerry was. The memories alone are priceless and it’s a shame I had to wait until he was gone to go back to them.

    Folks seem to think ’08 was a weak year. I beg to differ. It was a very, very diverse year that toward the end saw the pendulum swing back in the direction of traditional Country while still embracing other styles. I found it a rewarding year in Country. The advent of all the artists on MySpace and YouTube made finding so many gems a real treat. I definitely look forward to ’09!

    Happy New Year Country Universe!

    May the Good Lord continue to take a likin’ to y’all! :-)

  4. Personally, My favorite moment of 2008 – and probably my life – was in May, when after 20 years of wondering if it would ever happen, it finally did; I met Dolly backstage at her Minneapolis concert…she was as sweet and kind as I hoped she would be…plus a real beauty up close…pictures do not do the woman justice, she glows. I got my pic with her, then asked if I could get one for the boys at work – knowing she is a huge flirt – she said “Sure! stand behind me and put your hands around my waist!” I am still smiling…

  5. Happy New Year to all!

    I had the opportunity to watch my favorite artist Patty Loveless sing in my favorite concert venue, the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsberg,Ky. Nothin But The Wheel,Crazy Arms,and Cold Cold Heart gave me chills. It was beyond compare to any other musical moment this year.

    I enjoyed Ashton Shepherd with Lee Ann Womack in concert as well as Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town.

    The first time I listened to That Lonesome Song I was so impressed with an artist that had a vision for an album that reminded me why we buy albums instead of songs off of I Tunes.

    Thanks to Kevin and the crew for helping me find new artists that continue to build my appreciation for country music.

  6. Kim Richey’s free concert this past summer on the Opry Plaza.
    Such a great songwriter and one of those artists that make you say “she wrote that, too?!”.
    She was also very cordial to those that wanted to say “hi” afterwards.

    Attending the final dress rehearsal for the CMA Awards.
    It’s my one real chance to see everybody at once and my only opportunity to see Sugarland.

  7. John L, that must have been a real treat to see Patty in concert on her home turf!

    I attended my first Patty Loveless concert this past October in Morristown, NJ., and for many reasons, it was the best concert I ever attended.

    I had very similar reactions as you did…chills, ..the one-two punch of “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me” followed by “Nothing But The Wheel” batting cleanup.really got to me.

    Crazy Arms was a highlight, the magic of that recording was no accident, she matched or surpassed the studio version with her enchanting live performance. The four other songs from her Sleepless Nights set were sublime, especially the title cut from the album..just amazing.

    Then, her encore closer, Cold Cold Heart…her performance of that ole Williams classic really caught me by surprise and moved me to tears. Of course I heard it on the record, but her live rendition has to be seen to be believed.

    This was my favorite concert not only because Patty Loveless is also my favorite artist, but she included many of my favorite songs in her set list, the acousitcs were the best I have ever experienced…loud enough without ear-splitting, gut thumping distortion…..

    And it was all about the music, just like she said it would be. No bells and whistles, or smoke and mirrors…Just Patty’s wonderful, soulful Appalachian alto, pure and clear as a crystal bell…and her first rate band. SO nice to hear a real COUNTRY band again, complete with fiddle and real steel guitar, (not electric slide-guitar substiute)..Pete Finney’s steel was a worthy counterpart to Patty’s amazing voice…and his riffs also seemed like characters that inhabited the songs.

    This was actually Patty’s third concert in two days, but her heart was fully focused and commited, as though it was her first. And Patty’s warm and humorous personality absolutely shined in her interactions with her band, as well as with us her audience. Her stage presence was informal and inviting, but also confident as befits a seasoned pro, and loaded with real Country charisma.

    In the lead up interviews to this Sleepless Nights tour, Patty expressed concerned for her fans having to make hard choices in this economy, and said the least she could do was to make it worth our while to attend.

    Patty Loveless more than made it worth our while, she provided her fans and all in attendance with an unforgettable concert experience.

  8. And I’d like to second the Happy New Years wishes expressed by JarHeadDad and John L and others, and also express my appreciation as well to the Country Universe staff and all who participate. You provide a wealth and diversity of information and opinion here that is essential to anyone who wants to learn about Country music, and exchange ideas and opinions..

    This is a valuable resource that is pretty near unmatched anywhere on the internet!

    And John L. Not only am I with you in your appreciation for Patty Lovelss, I also echo your appreciation of the CD album as an art form. May it never vanish!

  9. My was not a public moment but a personal one. When I met Carrie Underwood 10/04/08 at her Detroit concert and watched her sing the song “Under The Sea”, from the Little Mermaid to a four year old girl with leukemia which Carrie did not know of until the Aunt of the girl told her while Carrie was signing her stuff. It was that girls one wish to meet Carrie and to go to her concert. Well she met her and I can tell you it was a very memorable meeting, it has brought myself and the family of the girl together, and I can happily call them friends now. Everyone will be able to read about it in the Feb.10 issue of Country Weekly Magazine. I had written a post about it and put the video on youtube a so many people have read and seen it and have said so many nice things about my story of Carrie’s amazing act of kindness. Certainly was a life changing moment for me.


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