Thursday, November 11, 2010

CMA Awards - Music City's Night to Shine

The annual CMA Awards Show here is to Nashville what the Oscars show is to Hollywood (& by extension L.A.). It's Country Music's and Music City's NIGHT to SHINE.

And shine we did last night, Wednesday, 10 November. Which, BTW, on any calendar year the Tenth of this month could legitimately be called "Vets-e'en" since it's the eve of Veterans Day. Remember, dear reader, to "Thank a Vet" for her/his vigilance in serving our nation in the military and guarding our borders to keep the peace within these United States.

Back to the music. . . .

Wednesday is rehearsal night for the Choir of Eastwood Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and I haven't paid great attention to nor viewed on TV the CMA and other award shows for some years. But THIS Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten is different. A Facebook status notified us that ECC(DC) member and Nashville Bluegrass Band fiddler Stuart Duncan would perform during the show, at two specific times, the first being 9:30 local time. Choir Director Julie Duemler also notified us at rehearsal. So even tho' I'm always reluctant to leave Eastwood right after rehearsal, I did scoot back to Mercury Courts in timely fashion.

Only one resident was watching TV in the community room, and he didn't mind me switching channels to the award show. Just in time! Within only a minute or so they started a segment honoring Loretta Lynn for her 50 years of singing. Miranda Lambert began singing Loretta's signature song "Coal Miner's Daughter", then Cheryl Crow joined her onstage AND THEN Loretta herself came out to make it a trio. I cannot blame the camera crew for focusing on such notable singers of the female persuasion; the instrumentalists got short shrift. I only saw a bit of Stuart over a feminine shoulder now and then.

Just a few minutes later -- naturally after a LONG commercial break -- actress Gwyneth Paltrow played acoustic guitar while singing the title song of her up-coming movie "Country Strong". Vince Gill assisted her up front with electric guitar and his stellar tenor harmony. But blonde and beautiful Paltrow was the star of the moment, as she sounded like a true Country singer! Her performance prompts me to seriously going to see the picture show when it is released.

And on this song the cameras seemed to show more of the instrumental accompanists; I saw much more of Stuart and his deft fiddling. One could hardly call what he does so well "sawin' on a fiddle", you know! He and the other backing musicians were clad nicely in retro suits and ties, in a "men in black" motif.

When Tim McGraw came onstage to announce the final and highest award, he too sported a "men in black" look - only with addition of a sable Stetson! My favorite singer, George Strait, wasn't even nominated this time (he hasn't released a notable song in the past year or so). So I was rooting for Brad Paisley to win Entertainer of the Year. And sure en'uf, Tim said Brad's name as winner! Hooray for Brad Paisley - he's earned it & it's really overdue.

Brad was endearing in his acceptance. When he first walked onto the stage, with a white Stetson, he had sort of a swagger - but quickly it became evident that this was not due to arrogance but rather his being deeply humbled and moved by this honor. First thing he did was quote his hero, Jimmy Dickens, who often says at the end of his performances on the Opry, "If you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, it had help getting up there". He likened himself to that turtle, just as Jimmy does. And in the closing moments of the awards show Brad thanked all those who helped HIM "get up on the fence post". He started with a nod to fans -- and not simply HIS fams but all Country Music fans, calling us "the most amazing, loyal fan base in the world."

Do I need to add that I was very glad I saw that half hour of the CMA Awards Show? Yes, I was very, very glad!


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