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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: The Head and the Heart go beyond the nah nahs – "Nah nah," "la la" and "Wee oh" populated a number of songs from The Head and the Heart. Yes, the Seattle-based band does pen a good amount of sing-along songs that were clearly designed that way. And while that style can certainly engage and energize a crowd, there was more to that from the sextet.... »»»
Concert Review: Underwood leads a night of women in country – Carrie Underwood may have been off the road for three years, during which time she had two boys and did not release an album until "Cry Pretty" 13 months ago, but the most successful American Idol contestant has lost none of her vocal luster to say the least in her Cry Pretty 360 Tour. First and foremost, Underwood remains one tremendous... »»»
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