Country Radio Seminar - Day 2
I spent most of my waking hours in conferences talking about the country music industry. The report card was mostly positive from the research we saw. One panelist, said "country music is currently the cool table at the high school cafeteria". This was refreshing for me to hear, because (it may be a shock to you), I never sat at that table in high school. New research indicates a lot of new country listeners are coming from the rock / classic rock / and active rock radio formats.
Gary Allan put on a stellar lunchtime performance. Not only has he not lost any mph on his musical fastball, he has never sounded better. You can feel the passion in his voice. When you hear him perform "Every Storm runs out of Rain", you know he means it. He is honest.
Artist to watch on day #2 - Jon Pardi. He was described as a Buck Owens at a frat party by his music company. Uh, ok. I didn't quite get that analogy, but he was very talented. Keep an eye (and ear) on him.
The highlight of the trip so far was the Sony music General Jackson boat cruise. Artist performing included Miranda (and her hubby), the Pistol Annies, Sara Evans, Chris Young, Voice winner Tate Stevens and Brad Paisley.
Another artist to watch - The Henningsens. Their current single "America Beautiful" is climbing up the charts.
The event capped off with a surprise visit from REO Speedwagon! I guess that research about rockers turning to country was right on!
Country Radio Seminar – Day 1
“Travel Weary, but have no feary…the country format is strong!”
Thanks to the snowstorm that hit Chicago on Tuesday (did this one have a name? – I missed it), I arrived into Nashville – a mere 25 hours after leaving the KSUX studios. That’s a subject for another time and another blog.
The forecast coming out of Music City is a sunny one. I witnessed about 30 artists showcased on the first day. Here are some of the highlights:
Lady Antebellum performed “Downtown” and Hillary Scott was given a onesie for her baby due this summer.
Billy Currington has resurfaced! He debuted a new song “23 Degrees South” where he channels his inner Kenny Chesney, mixed with a dose of James Taylor.
David Nail is back too! And he hammered home a happy ditty called “I Want Whatever She Got”. He addressed the radio programmers with “Believe it or not, I’m going to sing a happy song. I’m taking enough medication to make me happy”.
Excerpt from the song: “She’s got blue jeans painted on tight. Everybody wants on a Saturday night!”
Little Big Town may have the hit of CRS so far called “Other Side of the Bed”. That was the new song receiving the most popular buzz on Day one. It details a married couple sharing the same bed, but “how did you get so far away”? My guess is they are not cuddling at night. Man, you can really feel the tension in the song.
Dierks Bentley sang a fun song called “I’m getting drunk on a plane” Lyrics include “Buying drinks for everybody, cept the pilot – got the 737 rockin’ like a G6”. It almost sounded Adam Sandler inspired.
Vine Gill provided the classiest moment of the day when he performed “Go Rest High on That Mountain” in memory of Mindy McCready. It was a very moving tribute.
George Strait made a surprise visit over lunch. Trying to get his 60th #1 with “Give it all we got tonight”. Also, sanG “The Chair”
Greg Bates looks like Brad Paisley lil’ brother.
Rising stars to watch:
Kacey Musgraves – complete with a nose ring and plenty of moxie! Great lyrics Her cd is "Same Trailer – Different Park" - to be released this month. Very different and compelling listen!
Mickey Guyton – Dallas, TX native – church / gospel backgroud – who then sang about her ex who is a jerk!
Drake White – Arkansas native - good energy and great lyrics about the simple life
The Brothers Osbourne – Mumford & Sons meet James Otto Here’s a good line for the bar – “Let me love the lonely outta you”
Randy Montana – suck it up song You can only cry at “Funerals & Football games” - Awesome lyrics
Jacob Martin Band - writing with Lee Brice’s brother From what I heard, they impressed at a Tuesday showcase at a whiskey bar!