Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Weekly jams: Gone country

I'll admit, while I may not be country music's #1 fan, I can certainly appreciate talented artists. I had low expectations for tonight's CMA Awards and ended up glued to the TV screen after hearing Sara Evans' performance of "A Little Bit Stronger" at the beginning of the show. Hosted by Carrie Underwood and Braid Paisley for the fourth year in a row, the show was entertaining and jam-packed with a quality lineup. The show even included several unlikely duos (Matt Nathansan/ Sugarland and Lionel Richie/Darius Rucker to name a few.) The surprising non-country pair ups highlighted the multi-talented artists' capabilities and added a few unexpected entertaining moments. What I appreciated most about the show was that, unlike the Oscars or Emmys, the hosts didn't attempt to fill time with un-witty humor and rather focused on fitting in as many performances as possible... Which after all, isn't the music the whole reason people enjoy watching a music awards show in the first place?! In any case, to celebrate the brilliant performances tonight and my rediscovered appreciation for country musicians, this week's Wednesday Weekly Jams is a compilation of my favorites from the show.

  • Nominated in the new artist category, Thompson Square performed their hit "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not." Loved the performance, even though they did not win the award.
  • Another New Artist of the Year nominee, Eric Church, performed "Drink in My Hand." While it is a bit more country than I'm used to, I find the lyrics entertaining and catchy!
  • Nominated in five categories, Zac Brown Band performed a jazzy and soulful version of "Georgia on My Mind" on tonight's show. I don't have the video clip from the show, but a ZBB favorite of mine is "Keep Me In Mind."
  • Vocal Duo award nominee, The Civil Wars, have had a stellar past year. (Admittedly though I've always considered them in the indie/folk category and not country, so I was surprised to see their nomination.) I'm a huge fan of their entire "Barton Hollow" album, but would have to choose "Forget Me Not" as a favorite.
  • Last but not least, another unlikely duo of Rascal Flatts and Natasha Bedingfield teamed up to perform their new song "Easy." I heard it on the radio for the first time a few weeks ago and was hooked! I think the pop/country balance works well together and I've had this song on repeat since.

Did you watch the CMA's tonight? Any favorite country songs from 2011?

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