I didn't watch the Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday night from Las Vegas, but I do have some reaction on the winners.
Kenny Chesney won his fourth consecutive Entertainer of the Year, but he complained that the fans, not academy members, picked the winner. Hey, Kenny - chill out. It's like the New York Giants complaining that they won the Super Bowl with too much passing from MVP Eli Manning and not enough of a contribution from their running game. Savor the victory and enjoy it!
Both Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood repeated as Male and Female vocalist, respectively. Both were very deserving of their honors.
The ACMs began as a West Coast counterbalance to the Nashville-based CMAs, but now the two associations are largely similar. But Paisley paid homage to Buck Owens, one of his musical heroes and the ACM's first male vocalist of the year.
Miranda Lambert won album of the year for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Ironic, considering her debut, "Kerosene", was probably better than her sophomore effort.
And Jack Ingram won best new male vocalist. Ingram, like Pat Green, was a long-time Texas Music act who found mainstream success in Nashville. What, if anything, does this mean for Texas Music? Is it a good thing for the scene's visibility or does it mean that more acts will attempt to cross over. Let me know your thoughts
Texas and Nashville have always had an interesting love-hate relationship. I tried to explain it to my cousin, who is unfamiliar with the genre. It's not serious like the East Coast-West Coast rap feud. More of a contrast of styles between grassroots, creative music versus slick, often over-produced music. The Texas Music scene is aimed at young people and college students. Nashville? The target audience seems to be soccer moms and the favorite genre played in offices located in cities or towns with populations of less than 50,000.
I've said it before on this blog that I enjoy both genres and would like to see them flourish. Texas Music, in the words of singer/songwriter Houston Marchman, can't become a farm system to Nashville. It needs to maintain its own identity, even as it branches out to parts of the southwest and southeast.
And Nashville needs to find that delicate balance of tradition and material that will draw in new listeners. The two conflicting genres need to come together sometimes, yet maintain their distinct identities.
That would be my perfect world of country music.