The Grammy Awards concert is being held in Nashville for the first time, so that was a guarantee to bring out the country stars. Taylor Swift was there, of course, with LL Cool J.
Interesting combo, and it was on the contrived side by my ears. The banter between them seemed very forced and unnatural. They "tackled" Swift's Mean. She did some beatboxing and not that well. He sang, and he said in advance he wasn't a singer. Somehow I got the feeling that Swift can do a lot better in reality than she did tonight. To wit, her gig with T-Pain a few years ago where she showed a strong sense of humor and some ability.
What worked really well was the combo of Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry on Jackson. Kimberly Perry excelled on delivering the June Carter Cash lines, while Bentley got a lot of grit in his voice. Very nice.
Hunter Hayes did his best in singing the nominees for Best Pop song. Some worked better (Kelly Clarkson) than others (Pink). Different. Good TV time for Hayes anyway.
More comments as we go along - as long as it's country. Maroon 5 will not be confused for a country band, so no comment!
Okay, Chris Young is out there, but I thought he's on vocal rest. What's the deal here? He's out there with Sheryl Crow and even sang a few bars.
Swift gets nominated for Best Record for We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. I was wondering/figuring she'd get nominated for something. Now,s he has to go up against Gotye, Kelly Clarkson, Black Keys and Frank Ocean. Well, I hope I have that right.
Luke Bryan's out there now singing I Don't Want This Night to End. Maybe he started singing too low because he doesn't have enough oomph out there. His voice got a bit lost in the mix. Maybe it's because he forgot his baseball cap at home. The song isn't exactly what you'd call on the traditional country end. Barely registers as pop country either. Still, there's no denying that Bryan has enjoyed a really fine year.
Country's getting a lot of face time tonight. Now it's Little Big Town out there. The quartet does a quick, but real good four-part harmony on Yesterday. Maybe 2013 will finally be a break-out year for them. They're on target for it now.
Anyway, they introduce the nominees for Best New Artist - Hunter Hayes gets a nod. So does the rootsy band The Lumineers, who also enjoyed a real good '12. Congrats to both. Not going to be easy though because other nominees include Frank Ocean and fun.
After a few non-country performances, eg., Ne-Yo, we get nominees for Best
Country Solo Performance: Home - Dierks Bentley; Springsteen - Eric Church; Cost of Livin - Ronnie Dunn, Wanted - Hunter Hayes; Blown Away - Carrie Underwood and Over - Blake Shelton.
Not exactly sure how Dunn got nominated considering his CD was not a big seller and he had no big hit from the disc. Of course, he's no longer on the label either. The world works in strange ways.
Okay, that's it from Nashville. Rest assured country sales will be up next week. Music Row is thrilled.
This was a decent show. Swift was nothing too exciting here, but in an hour show, that's not so easy either, and there was no real rapport with LL Cool J either.
Stay tuned for Reb. 10 and the Grammys.