Airing on the heels of the announcement of the Civil Wars break up(the music world will suffer from this one;there has not been a duo this good since Simon and Garfunkel) this particular CMA music festival show offered not only some very excellent performances but some food for thought.
This show was three hours of some of the most popular, and most loved country artists such as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bently, Jake Owen, Luke Bryan to name a few. There were many many others too numerous to mention but the surprising part of all this was added with these familiar country performers were some performers from other genres specifically Lzzy Hale, Richie Sambora and Vince Neil. As can be expected some initial reactions to these performers were What? Huh? And why?
Later this month, a tribute to motley crue album will be released. Titled Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute to Motley Crue, several country artists will be performing songs by Motley Crue. The album idea was received first with skepticism and later with warmth as artists from both genres began to perform together and the result was well done and enjoyed by all. This years’ CMA fest seems to have been done with this tribute in mind. There has also been a growing trend of country music sometimes referred to as Bro Country. This is a more popular type of country music. Its’ a far cry from what some of us consider to be real country and includes a lot of country artists “rapping”. The mixture of the above artists from different genres with country performers mirrors this trend.For example Miranda and Carrie opening the show with Something Bad and later on in the show Miranda singing Little Red Wagon. Something Bad does not have a country sound to it at all and Little Red Wagon is very much a song with a country feel. It is not clear why country needs to mix with any genre. Country music stands alone in its own right, there is no need to add other musical genres to it.
While Wanted Dead or Alive performed by Richie Sambora and Zac Brown band was excellent and even had a country feel/sound to it. Lzzy Hale performing with Eric Church was just noisy and not enjoyable while the unlikely pairing of Justin Moore and Vince Neil singing Home Sweet Home was surprisingly good. Let’s sincerely hope that the above mentioned music was a one time performance and not indicative of a trend. Give us Dierks Bently singing Train Travelin’, Alan Jackson performing songs off of his new bluegrass album, as well as Good Time, Country Boy and countless others he is known for, Toby Keith singing I Need to Hear a Country Song, Miranda singing Little Red Wagon and George Strait singing absolutely anything and then and only then can it be said, Country? Set a spell, take your shoes off,,,,, ya hear?