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CMA Music Fest opens

Thursday, June 5, 2014 – The 2104 CMA Music Festival kicked off today in Nashville with a slew of concerts and activities.

The CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Concert kicked off the event with Lindsay Ell, Tim Hicks and Small Town Pistols from Canada, and Morgan Evans from Australia. Rounding out the lineup were honky-tonk traditionalists Brazilbilly; Shooter Jennings performing with Waymore's Outlaws, his father Waylon Jennings' touring and studio backing band; three time Grammy-nominated bluegrass ensemble The Grascals and The Marshall Tucker Band.

Artist of the Day LeAnn Rimes cut the ribbon, officially opening AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X. Rimes performed and answered questions on the CMA Close Up.

Big & Rich opened the gates to admit fans to the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage and hit the stage for a concert. Admittance to the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage is free, but four-day ticket holders have an exclusive 45-minute, early-entrance window before the gates open to the general public.

Alabama, Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw closed out the first day with The Nightly Concerts on the LP Field Concert. This was the first time Alabama played the festival in 20 years. Their set included "Dixieland Delight," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why)," and "Mountain Music." Rascal Flatts introduced its new single "Payback." Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore joined Gilbert for "Small Town Throwdown."

The festival continues through Sunday.

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: There's a lot to be said about The Felice Brothers – The Felice Brothers have soldiered on, occupying the fringes of the musical world with ups and downs. After not knowing whether the group would even continue following the departure of half of the band a few years ago, The Felice Brothers continued with a new rhythm section and a new album, "Undressed," that is heavily political.... »»»
Concert Review: Sara Evans comes around again with Barker Family Band, and that's just fine – What goes around comes around for Sara Evans. Back about four decades ago, she was singing weekends with her family band in Missouri. Now, she's back on the road on a very short tour including two of her children and three siblings. For now, Evans, at 49, has lost absolutely none of her vocal super powers, and her offspring can handle their own at... »»»
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