The American Country Awards weren't overly exciting last year, and a year later, not a ton has changed.
There were some good performances, most notably Alabama's medley in winning their Greatest Hits honor. And to top it off, when they finished, they made it quite clear that that they are unretired as Jeff Cook's jacket had the words "We're back" on the back. So, we will see you guys presumably in 2012.
While Alabama was considered less hard core country in its heyday, it remains interesting to hear how the music stacks up to what is out there today. Truth be told, it's far far more classic country sounding than what's out there. Alabama was not exactly afraid to put some fiddle in its music.
Blake Shelton, usually far more boisterous and joking, had none of that on this evening. He dedicated one award to his father who has been having a rough time back in Oklahoma.
And the singer, who has is having a great career run right now, turned in a sharp performance of God Gave Me You. His father apparently went to the hospital last night with pneumonia. Shelton went back home immediately after the show.
The heartfelt moments were few and far in between. For starters, the hosts Trace Adkins and Kristen Chenoweth just didn't gel. Adkins has a good sense of humor. He's a funny guy, but he came off as being more of a serious foible to the very diminutive (that's relatively speaking) Chenoweth. She must be a good foot shorter. Their banter was plain dull.
Chenoweth was more annoying than anything else. Her fat tush at the outset of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk was not exactly new. Martina McBride pulled that trick on Adkins already when they toured together. And at this stage of his career, does Adkins really need to deal with the novelty of the song? He's better than that.
But, unfortunately, Chenoweth came off as very staged with very little naturalness, surprising given her theatre background. She reminded me of Dolly Parton, but without the genuine sense of humor.
The bottom line is do we really need another awards show? Jason Aldean will think so considering he won six guitars (those are in place of trophies). Ditto for Carrie Underwood (will she now learn to play guitar?)
What seemed odd was the split awards. For example, Aldean won Artist of the Year, but Brad Paisley was the Male Artist of the Year. Aldean won Single by a Male Artist award for My Kinda Party, but Chris Young took Single of the Year for Voices. At least there was consistency with Shelton winning both Music Video of the year and Music Video by a Male Artist for Who Are You When I'm Not Looking. It seems that the fans were not so consistent in voting for their favorites.
And what of Taylor Swift's fans? Did she hold off in telling them to make the push? It was hard to believe she won nothing.
Bottom line...considering that the Country Music Association awards were not even a month ago and from where most people would consider country music to be based (Nashville, not Vegas), somehow last night's awards seem on the anti-climatic side.