The Country Music Association’s CMA Music Festival (formerly Fan Fair) is in high gear in Nashville this week and is experiencing a record turnout. I had the opportunity to check it out on Friday, June 11, 2010 when I visited the Nashville Convention Center and LP Field. Although I am a Nashville native, this was my first time to ever visit the CMA Music Festival or Fan Fair, and it was a crash course in country music.
Temperatures had hit the low 90s by the time I made it to downtown Nashville in the late afternoon after waiting for an air conditioner repairman all day. Nashville skies were partially overcast as the sun set, but that did nothing to ease the heat and humidity that persisted well into the night. However, the Nashville Convention Center was cool, so I started my CMA Music Fest adventure in the exhibit hall.
I began my tour of CMA Music Fest booths by meeting Brantley Gilbert. Although this Georgia boy looked more like a rapper than a country artist, Gilbert performs country music with a rock spin and had performed earlier that day on the Chevy Music Stage. His most recent project is “Halfway to Heaven.” See a photo of Brantley Gilbert in my slide show at the top of the article.
From Gilbert’s booth I headed over to meet Leah Seawright and Mark Herndon who were both at the Greased Lightning booth. A native of Fort Payne, Alabama. Leah is known for songs like “Southern Boy” and “Country Girl 101.” See a photo of Leah Seawright in my slide show at the top of the article.
Seawright’s booth buddy was Hall of Fame drummer Mark Herndon, formerly of the group Alabama which was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Their hit songs include “Tennessee River,” “The Closer You Get” and “Song of the South.”
In another corner I found three lovely ladies being interviewed and photographed, the McClymonts, a new country group out of Australia where they are very popular. The girls recorded their first studio album, Chaos and Bright Lights, in Nashville in 2007 which peaked at number thirty-seven on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart. See a photo of the McClymonts in my slide show at the top of the article.
After that I met country music’s bad girl, Mindy McCready. McCready is known as much for her run-ins with the law as she is for her four studio albums, but was delightful with her fans. See a photo of the Mindy McCready in my slide show at the top of the article
My tour of meeting country personalities in the exhibit hall concluded with Bill Cody, who hosts GAC’s “Master Series,” as well as “The Bill Cody Show” on 650-WSM radio.
Julianne Hough, Josh Turner, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Reba McIntyre & Kid Rock
The night ended watching live performances by Julianne Hough, Josh Turner, Miranda Lambert, Keith Urban, Reba McIntyre, and Kid Rock at LP Field. Fireworks brought the June 11 CMA Music Festival in Nashville to a fitting conclusion. More on the LP Field concert coming in a future article!
Stars Energize at the CMA Musical Festival
‘Billy: The Early Years’ now on DVD: Armie Hammer, Martin Landau, Josh Turner