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Thread: The CMA's 2018

  1. #961
    Carrie Guru
    maddkat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Concert Stars
    couple ads in aircheck

    hjj, txacar, DaisyTweets and 7 others like this.


  • #962
    Ultimate Carrie Fan
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    After reading the Deaton article in this week's country aircheck, I'm convinced more than ever that Carrie & Brad will be hosting again next year!!!!
    rainbow1, ethelu and mbh like this.

  • #963
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    I've now had a chance to watch the BBC coverage a couple of times,. I'm not sure if it is available internationally, but the website is offering it here for a few weeks, at this address (they also have separate clips of Brad Paisley & Midland, who were not included in the hour screened)

    You'll see that they have a picture of Carrie advertising the broadcast - that makes up for a small quibble I had when I watched originally. The UK introductory blurb to attract viewers said there'd be "incredible performances from the Pistol Annies, Keith Urban, Mavis Staples, Old Dominion, and Kelsea Ballerini." OK, they can't mention everyone - but this is something I've noticed quite a few times before, when people reel off names - Carrie either tends to be taken for granted, or seems to be almost invisible to the commentators. I'm not sure why this should be - especially as I would say her profile has been pretty high here in recent years (and more so than Kelsea or Old Dominion, for example.) Her signature style may not be a favourite one for every core Country fan - I accept that - but presumably part of the intention was to attract a varied general audience, and I would say that Carrie is often a more popular draw for the general public than she sometimes seems to be for the commentators. Ah, well - maybe I'm being over sensitive on this point - but I think the genre (on both sides of the Atlantic) is lucky to have her, and would benefit from celebrating her more openly.

    Brad and Carrie's long record of hosting was credited, and they popped up for various announcements throughout, but the monologue was (understandably) cut from this selection, which concentrated on music. The only joke featured (a good one, I thought) was the one that said someone proposed in their speech at another show, but this was Country, so it was more likely that someone would announce a divorce!).

    (As an aside, pregnancy was more evident at this show than has sometimes been the case. As well as Carrie and Angaleena, there was Britanny Aldean - offered chicken by Carrie! - and Morgane Stapleton, expecting her fifth baby, only seven months after delivering twins!)

    It was certainly a pleasure to see Carrie win Female Vocalist of the Year - for the second time in the last three years, after a prolonged award dearth. The announcement, walk to the stage, and speech were included in full in this excerpt, and it was plain to see both how much the win meant to her, and the pleasure shown by some of her fellow artists, especially Kelsea, Miranda and Angaleena. (Not for the first time, it can seem that she's more popular with her peers than has sometimes been the case with some of the bloggers, critics and voting pool).

    Carrie's actual performance was impressive, and very much in her classic style of power vocals, but I'm afraid I can't rank this performance one of my personal favourites. Apart from the beginning, I'm not too keen on the song, which I find stylistically rather backward-looking, especially in the context of this innovative album. Although the attractive blue gown and the swirling background lighting effects worked well, I found it a little disappointing that the stage presentation hid the musicians from view. Whether presentation style is primarily an artist's own design, or one preferred by the show's producers, I can't say - but it does rather break away from the tradition that instrumentation is a vital part of Country Music performance - something that was otherwise particularly emphasized in much of this show. That, though, is a personal reaction - for many, I'm sure, this performance would have been a highlight, and I would stress that this style of vocal performance does play an important part in Country tradition too.

    Kelsea Ballerini is influenced by Carrie, but whereas Carrie prefers, in much of her work, to retain noticeable homage to classic Country tradition, recalling, in that respect, artists like Connie Smith and Martina McBride - Kelsea seems more prepared to move further in the direction taken by Shania Twain and Taylor Swift, Her brown and cream trouser suit outfit, co-ordinated with her dancers, was effective, and the complex (and potentially risky) routine with chairs, forming a cage, was, I thought, one of the more striking of the Pop-influenced performances.

    As a Country fan, what particularly struck me about the show as a whole overall, was twofold. Firstly, there did seem to be a greater attempt to span the wider range of the genre; and secondly, the show seemed relatively more willing to cast its net beyond the narrow confines of radio playlists. (In that respect, there seemed more willingness this year to align rather more with the approach of CMT, the Opry, and the other award shows, rather than leave radio as the main arbiter of what the genre should value).

    The opening of the show seemed to foreshadow that approach. It started with Luke Bryan (not without irony, lol) singing a Southern Rock influenced number that began by saying people were arguing about what is and isn't Country. But the medley of artists seems to have been chosen to include newer faces, associated with a variety of styles. Although male artists still predominated, Lindsey Ell appeared - and this segment was stolen for me by the contribution from Ashley McBryde, whose voice and stage presence should have guaranteed her a full three minutes (which I think will come in a future show).

    Among the men, a special mention must be made of Luke Combs, who won the new artist award. His performance of "She Got the Best of Me" was sung with a strong emotion and a unashamed Country attitude. (According to Grady Smith, who covered the show on Twitter, he had the biggest immediate sales boost from the show, going #4 all genre on I-Tunes, and beating Kelsea Ballerini, in that respect, who went #8 with her more Pop-friendly number). I also thought there were impressive contemporary male performances from Dan and Shay ("Tequila"), and the collaboration by Dierks Bentley and Brothers Osborne ("Burning Man").

    But in relation to the aspect of a more wide ranging approach that I've mentioned, the big win of the night (and probably, for some in the industry, the big upset) was Kacey Musgraves' "Golden Hour" winning Album of the Year. For my part, I miss the incisive lyrics, more rootsy sound and often more probing themes of her two previous albums - but there can be no denying the significance of this win for the genre. In an increasingly difficult climate for female artists, this was the only album by a woman in contention; it had no Mainstream radio support, and won on the strength of its artistry and critical acclaim; and it had a definite cross genre feel (the co-producers, Daniel Tashian & Ian Fitchuk are better known in Alternative Folk & Pop-Rock than in the Nashville Mainstream) - proving that, with the right material, the Music Row and radio establishment can be successfully by-passed. A nice touch was that Kacey's grandmother was with her, to see her win.

    The Pistol Annies' album will probably also almost completely by-pass the conventional industry channels - significant radio play seems highly unlikely, and Miranda has seemingly spearheaded most of the project's promotion, with her stage band, her style team, and her associates at Carnival production and Shopkeeper management. Bringing a washboard to the CMA stage (as I mentioned in an earlier post) may have been symbolic of the project's unconventional approach - but the performance as a whole seemed to encapsulate the stylistic mix of the show. Boo Massey's electric guitar solo, Spencer Cullum's innovative steel passage, and Danny Mitchell's spirited honky tonk piano part provided a strong blend of Roots and Progression, rounded off by the retro Pop feel of the closing chorus.

    For me, the two ensemble performances with guest artists were a special treat. Ricky Skaggs' induction to the Hall of Fame was marked by a three song segment, which the BBC included in full. The songs marked different facets of Ricky's career, encompassing Bluegrass, Country Blues and Country Rock. The segment closed with a British song (Albert Lee's "Country Boy"), and this was the highlight for me, involving Brad Paisley, Marty Stuart, and two young guests from the IBMA, mandolinist Sierra Hull, and 13 year old fiddle prodigy, Carson Peters (the latter being, like Carrie, a reality contest graduate). Ricky's instrumentation is brilliant, but the younger generation also showed that the transition is in safe hands.

    The closing segment also included a guest better known on the "other side" of the award shows - this time the AMA, where Mavis Staples has been an honoree. Now aged 79, she helped Chris Stapleton with one of her songs, that he included on his own Blues influenced album - and then really came into her own with the closing number of the show. (Her new album, due in February, will be of the live show she performed in London, so this would have been a highlight for some of the BBC audience.)
    ethelu, Smokyiiis, Hil and 3 others like this.

  • #964
    New Carrie Fan
    Join Date
    May 2005
    CMA on AXS
    txacar likes this.

  • #965
    Carrie Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    ^^ Too bad you missed the monologue Faraway. Carrie was incredibley relaxed this year during the monolgue. She just gets better and better at it. I know that the magic is in the two of them together but Carrie's comic timing is really impressive. In fact, this year, Brad messed up a couple of times. lol.

  • #966
    Ultimate Carrie Fan simonplay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Here is the monologue!!

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