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CMA Festival broadcast

Mike Sudhalter  |  July 24, 2007

I'm currently watching the ABC broadcast of the "CMA Festival - Country's Night to Rock", and it's kind of interesting seeing a close-up show of what I viewed from the LP Field club level.

The first song showcased Rascal Flatts singing "Life is A Highway". I missed the Saturday night show because I was the Grand Ole Opry. Hmmm. That's a tough decision for a traditional country fan - Grand Ole Opry or Rascal Flatts?

I was at Friday's show where they announced RF would be the special guest and the audience was asked, five or six times, to cheer for the television cameras.

Then, I watched Carrie Underwood perform "Before He Cheats", which I remember from Sunday's show. That's a great song, but I wish they showed her singing "I Ain't In Checotah Anymore".

It was refreshing to see they didn't just showcase the night concert shows because the night concerts didn't begin to tell the entire festival experience.

There was some footage of Brooks & Dunn playing The Stage, a honky-tonk on Lower Broadway. I remember standing outside the club amid the massive crowd and seeing Ronnie and Kix inside the club.

Dierks Bentley, Sara Evans and Big & Rich were all on the show, but my dad called so I missed it. At least, nobody called me during the festival itself.

Now, Brad Paisley is singing "Online". I actually saw him perform that at his Fan Club party, before the stadium show on Sunday.

There's The Wreckers. I hope they stay around the country music scene, but who knows?

The commercial's over, and now we have Reba and Kelly Clarkson dueting on "Because of You". What's better... the country-pop duet or Clarkson's original? I'm casting my vote for the original performance.

Is Josh Turner the only traditional country artist on the radio today? Few have a sound as traditional and appealing as the song, "Your Man".

What? A reality show called "Six Degrees of Martina McBride". The contestants need to find McBride in some rural area, I assume Kansas, and then prove their worth as a country music artist. Sounds like a reality show I might actually watch. McBride might be the best pop singer in country music today, but I do have to give kudos for that classic country album "Timeless" that she released last year.

Jason Aldean is playing "Johnny Cash", and as much as I hate to admit it, this song is starting to grow on me. Did you know that it was selected for the Nascar 2008 video game soundtrack? That's cool. I used to play those NASCAR video games, and always realized that they never featured country music. I guess back then, they wanted to distance themselves from the country-NASCAR connection.

McBride is back on stage, honoring a couple from Greensburg, Kan. near her western Kansas home. They lost their home in the severe tornado that ripped through the small town. She performed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as a song of hope. Then, they show footage of the Greensburg tornado and hearing McBride talk about Chance and Tracy Little, an emotional story. McBride paid for the Littles and their baby to come to the CMA Festival last month. It's good to know McBride has a heart and that she hasn't forgotten her Kansas roots.

Talk about bubble gum TV? A couple of ladies are thrilled to meet Rascal Flatts backstage. That's great. Now, we have to hear them sing "My Wish". It's not a bad song, but it doesn't belong on country radio.

:: Posted at 12:35 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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