42nd Annual “Country Music” Association Awards

Just read some interesting live blogs (CU & The9513) covering last night’s award show and while my opinions lined up with their’s at times, I also had disagreements.  I did actually watch the whole show last night, “live” as it came to my Mountain Time home (so, in other words, an hour behind), because I wanted it to be fresh this year for me, and I know going online would mess up any surprises.  I also actually watched the live red-carpet show on CMT.  Since I did not do a live blog, I thought I might share my opinions right here as a day-after analysis.  And I ain’t gonna hold back…

(you like my picture above?  I made it green because, you know, after all is done and said, that’s what the awards were all about.  The green… and I don’t mean the environmentally-friendly kind)

On the red-carpet pre-show.  It was decent, but I was kinda wanting to see other people than the ones they interviewed. Remember, I’m going by my memory here, so I might miss out on some details.  Two things I remember: Jack Ingram‘s wife, Amy’s, oddly short dress: wow… don’t know what she was thinking lol, but no worries (I’m a guy, yes, but I thought it was a strange choice).  And I guess Alan Jackson‘s daughters are all into the pop-country craze, which I found interesting.  So cool to see him and his family, though.

For us, the awards didn’t televise until an hour after the red-carpet show, which I always hate because I wish I could see it live live.  Brad Paisley and Keith Urban started into the show with their duet, “Start a Band”, which I thought was cool that it was the first time they performed it together live, but I wasn’t too impressed, and waited for what was next.  When Brad finally performed his own song, “Waitin’ On a Woman”, it was nice too, but I wasn’t crazy for it.  Keith’s new song is anything but country, though I found myself liking it, for some reason (like I’ve noticed and posted before, I seem to like his really pop singles lol).  Not country at all but not bad.

I thought Paisley and Carrie Underwood, overall, did a fine job as hosts.  Of course, could have been done better, but it is a tough job to do, so I give them props for that.  Carrie did an amazing execution of “Just a Dream”.  I think it was a good idea to have the war widow speak before that because it gave it more meaning.  Definitely one of the best and moving performances of the night.  Also, congrats on her “Female” win.

I was stoked that George Strait won for “Single of the Year” for his excellent song, “I Saw God Today”.  I was pretty sure that “Stay” was going to win.  While we’re on the topic of King George, I gotta say his win for “Album of the Year” was even greater because I really like Troubadour and it was even more special that Lee Ann Womack got to present it to him (with Josh Turner) because they have such admiration for one another and George is one of her biggest heroes and she had won that award for the amazing There’s More Where That Came From years before.  I bet she’ll be accepting the award next year for Call Me Crazy.  Even better that producer, Tony Brown, went up there too! (he produced Strait’s & Womack’s latest projects).  Moving further in the program, honestly, George’s performance of “River of Love” was definitely not something I was looking forward to because I don’t really care for the song (too Kenny Chesney-like) but I think his vocals and the steel guitar save the song from being a total failure (in anybody else’s hands, it would be really bad).

Kellie Pickler.  I really don’t know what people see in her, to be honest.  Her personality is really cute, but dumb blondes don’t really do anything for me, unless I know the person and can’t tease them up front.  I thought her performance was the worse of the night.  I think she tries too hard and the music was way louder than her vocals.  Just a bad performance through and through.  Horrible.

Alan Jackson‘s performance of “Good Time” was solid and I liked it (I’m glad he didn’t sing “Country Boy”, though it might have been cool).  I thought the dance line was too gimmicky (but I love the video).  While we’re on Alan: I don’t think his Good Time album is as good as it could have been.  To me, I love love traditional country and I love his music, especially his older music, that even sounds like this, but to me, the album just sounds too much like what he’s done before and not fresh.  Alan’s my #2 favorite but the album doesn’t cut it for me.  I don’t listen to it that much, but I wish I could.

Billy Ray Cyrus can just go away.  I can’t believe I enjoyed “Achy Breaky Heart” as a boy.  I’m not too fond of Miley either.

Sugarland.  Like I mentioned several times on this site, I’m for sure not a fan of their’s, nevertheless, I am content with Jennifer Nettles‘ “Stay” win for “Song of the Year”.  She did a nice job writing and performing it, and it is actually a country song, so she gets credit for that.  Their win over Brooks & Dunn for “Duo” was alright with me, even though I consider B&D tons better, though only because I think B&D need to step up their game more and I think competition is good for them.  Sugarland’s performance of “Love”, IMO, was outta place.  The beginning did remind me of China’s Olympic Opening Ceremony too lol, but it was the song itself that just didn’t hit me.  I don’t know what’s happened to country music, seriously.

I think Miranda Lambert‘s “More Like Her” performance was amazing.  Real country song and done real stripped down.  I thought a lot of the performances could have used quieter music in the background so the vocals could be heard, so this was a great touch.  Much much better than seeing her rock-star-wannabe stuff on stage.

Lady Antebellum.  I was very happy for their “New Artist of the Year” win and their performance of “Love Don’t Live Here” was pretty good.  I would have preferred “Lookin’ for a Good Time” but all is well.  I’m taking a big likin’ to them.

Martina McBride.  I’ve always loved Martina, but some of her material lately is questionable.  I’m growing to like “Ride” every time I hear it, but still remain unimpressed.  I wish the Timeless influence was apparent in her music.  She looked good and she gave a semi-sweet performance.

I’m sick of Rodney Atkins‘s cap!  Take it off already.  At least, once, dress up and take off the cap and fix your hair.  “This is America” or whatever it’s called, seems like a marketing move.  It doesn’t sound bad… actually kinda reminded me of something that might have come out of the ’90s, but the production was a bit much to totally put in that category.

John Rich, I’d be happy to never see you again.  I do still enjoy Big & Rich‘s music sometimes (surprisingly) but I really can’t stand Rich’s big mouth anymore.  Nice to see Heidi Newfield.

Rascal Flatts.  Y’know, I don’t remember seeing them perform last night, and that’s a good thing.  That made me happy.  Of course, they won “Group” but the less I saw of them, it made the night less intolerable.  Time to close the curtains on their sunny days.

Hmm…Taylor Swift.  I gotta admit, while I am not a fan of her’s at all, I’ve actually, slowly begun to like “Love Story”.  Yes, I am cringing at myself too.  I actually didn’t think her performance was that bad, though the costume-change thing wasn’t necessary.  With that song, I just love the fiddle in it.  It is catchy.

Kid Rock was okay.  I didn’t even know until now that his surprise guest was Lil Wayne (who I can’t stand.)

Jason Aldean.  I like this guy but seriously?  “She’s Country”?  It’s like he’s stopped trying, and what’s up with the contradictory message it sends with the production and the lyrics?  Weak.

Man, Brooks & Dunn!  “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” is IMO a great song and I’m glad to see and hear the fiddle back in their music.  Even awesome-r is them singing with Reba McEntire.  Great great voices.

Darius Rucker did a more than decent performance of his debut single.  It’s funny that he’s singing one of few actual country songs tonight.

Seeing Vince Gill was pretty cool.  He has gotten bigger since I saw him last.  He’s a true country legend.

I’m not too keen on James Otto yet.  That song was played to death on country stations.  Would be happy to never heard it again (alright, maybe in some years from now, it will be okay).

Kenny Chesney.  Totally sick of all the island stuff and not taking it anymore.  Strait should have sang this instead (he does a better job) and then Kenny sing his song.

I used to love Trace Adkins, but I think, just like some other artists, he’s a sell-out.  He may have been wearing black, but all I saw was green.  The song he performed may not have added to my case because it’s actually a good song, but Trace has dug himself into a long, deep hole that I don’t wish to even hear his new music ever again.

I’d consider myself a fan of The Eagles.  “Busy Being Fabulous” is inferior to “How Long?” by miles, but they did a nice execution.

Now, Shania Twain!  Man, she looked so damn stunning.  Beautiful doesn’t even describe it.  So glad to see her return.  It would have been cool to see Strait win that award (he even looked very happy to see her).  I thought she was going to “surprise” perform a new single or something, but it was just to present.  I thought it must have sucked for her to stay backstage the whole time.  She knows how to make good pop-country.

Btw, congrats to Alison Krauss and Robert Plant for their collaboration win for “Gone, Gone, Gone”!

Overall: they were some highlights in the show.  I think Underwood, Lambert, Brooks & Dunn, Urban, and Lady A had my favorite performances.  Pickler for sure had the worst.  My only regret is I wish I watched this on my DVR so I can skip through the pieces I actually wanted to see.  Like I said above, it was all about the green last night.



  1. Wow! I think you and I agree on almost everything. That doesn’t happen with me very often. hehe Good to see someone spit out the truth for once!

  2. I’m with you on many of your observations. You can read from my comments on our live blog to know which ones I disagree with. I’m glad we agree on the Lambert performance though. That’s one of my pet songs right now.:) I know it isn’t going to make it on radio though.

    I liked this quote from you:
    “Jason Aldean.  I like this guy but seriously?  “She’s Country”?  It’s like he’s stopped trying, and what’s up with the contradictory message it sends with
    the production and the lyrics?  Weak.”

    I think that’s his thing…think “Johnny Cash.”

  3. Haha thanks Monica!

    Thanks Leeann! I just barely read the comments in the blog post (too much to read at once lol, but it was entertaining). I’m glad Miranda’s song seems to be played more than I thought it’d be.

    I actually kinda liked “Johnny Cash” lol, but I do agree it’s nothing special. I think that’s where he really started to go down, quality-wise. Another pointless name-dropping song like “Tim McGraw” and to some extent, “Kristofferson”.

  4. I, personally, didn’t like the sound to “Johnny Cash” and the thing I disliked about it the most is that it was called “Johnny Cash” but had no connection to him, lyrically or production wise, just like his new song…the title does not match the production.

  5. I agree with everything, except that I loved Sugarland’s performance, but I’m biased because I’m a huge fan of theirs.

    Also, for an example of a good name-dropping song, look at Sugarland’s “Steve Earle”. The song actually has to do with Earle!

  6. I’m not sold on Sugarland, myself, but I do enjoy “Steve Earle.”

  7. I will have to check that one out.

  8. I agree that Miranda and Kieth were among the best of the night, but I disagree with the Sugarland thing…I thought that it was the third strongest of the night. I personally think they’re doing the best pop-country music since Keith Urban.

  9. Brad Paisly is the finest man alive and i don’t care if his wife reads dis.

  10. Interesting, but too bad you can’t even spell his name right.

  11. lady a rocks. can’t believe how fast they’re moving, but looking forward to watchin them rise up the charts, just wait and see. and it’s only the beginning, they work constantly to fine tune their act. only great things will come from them.

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