It's not often that CMAfest has perfect weather, but today was truly a gift from God. The temperature remained in the mid 80's with a gorgeous sun overlooking the riverfront stages. The excitement was so high you could feel the electricity in the crowd anticipating the show we would be honored with today.
The first portion of today's show was titled "Country Kickstart Show" hosed by Lon Helton of
CMT Country Countdown USA There was no better choice for the kickoff of the festival than Charlie Daniels with his flying, smoking fiddle. He had the crowd singing and stomping along with his timeless classics. I have never known Charlie to disappoint his fans and today was no exception. His show ended way too soon, but an exciting newcomer was ready to excite the audience.
I have heard a lot about Eric Church and found out what the buzz around town was about. Eric is someone to keep your eyes on. I think he will go far.
Eric then handed the stage over to Jace Everett who kept the pace going strong. Now it was time for the females to take over. Shannon Brown is fairly new on the music scene and didn't give any slack to the guys. Shannon will definitely be able to hold her own in this male driven business. Her voice was loud, strong and sweet. I would love to see her do a full concert.
Blaine Larsen belted out his fan favorites including " How Do You Get That Lonely". He has matured nicely in his vocals and presentation.
Joe Dublin of WRKN-TV was handed the torch for The Mega Music Show. Tracy Byrd was shown his fans are still out in full force. Tracy did a lot of his mega hits and had the gang singing clapping and stomping along with him. I've never seen Tracy look or sound so good.
Ashley Monroe is a beautiful young lady that had the guys in the stands drooling.
What can I say about the Poverty Neck Hillbillies? They are a dynamic group that will soon be at the top of the charts. I've heard a lot about them, but this is my first experience watching them and I predict they are mega stars in the waiting.
Kevin Sharp blessed us with his chart toppers and also teased his brother in law about being ugly. His brother in law is Neal McCoy who was watching in the wings.
Jake Owen did a wonderful set and turned the mic to Rhett Akins who showed us all that he is still just as wonderful as he ever was.
Young and Elder from radio WGKX in Memphis was the host of the Complete Country Show.
The Belamy Brothers are still singing about "If I Said You had a beautiful Body" and "Old Hippie". They are celebrating 30 years since their first hit.
Mark Wills surely made the crowd go wild with his other hits.
Cowboy Crush proved how talented this band of beautiful young ladies really are. They are all premier musicians as well.
The Grascals are some of the most awesome bluegrass pickers in this country. They are really making an impact on the music business. If you ever get a chance to see a concert by these guys, you would not regret seeing them.
Jamey Johnson sang his heart out doing "The Dollar" among his selections.
Several NASCAR drivers hosted the Nashville Spotlight Show.
Emerson Drive gave us the pleasure of doing "Fall in Me" among their other hits. They are still as strong and harmonious as they ever were.
Luke Stricklin has wonderful vocals and will be doing well in the music business.
Ty England is best known as Garths' guitarist for many, many years. He has a new album coming out this fall and is the Dick Clark of country music. Ty never ages. He still looks the same as when I first met him 18 years ago. He made us all remember when "I Should Have Asked Her Faster" was on the charts.
Chely Wright told us about the story behind her mega Internet hit "Bumper of my SUV". Her brother is a career Marine and gave Chely a bumper sticker. A lady in a minivan gave Chely the finger and the rest of the song is history. Even though it was never released as a single, it was the most downloaded song for 6 weeks straight from a major superstore website.
Billy Yates is among my favorite performers. He is such an excellent songwriter in his own right, and never fails to wow the crowd with his good country music or forget his country roots.
The final performance today was Trick Pony. They were super hot and had so much energy that they performed for approximately 45 minutes. They love their fans and today they showed their appreciation in full force.