Goin’ Country

We’ve been in a funk since the Oscars ended on March 4th.  Celebrities suddenly quit giving other celebrities statues for work well done.  There’s been nothing to speculate on. And aside from A Quiet Place & Cardi B’s new album, noting of note to watch or listen to! All this spare time on the back half of the weekend has had us lingering longer at Sunday Brunch and indulging a bit more at Sunday Funday events.

But not today!  We must keep our wits about us because we finally have an awards show!  It’s almost time for the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards!  They don’t get as much play as Grammys, and can easily be confused with the alphabet soup that is the country music awards-sphere (ACM, CMA, ACA).  But if you need a night of A-List stars, A-List Music, and shiny trophies.. this is for you!

Ready for Reba

Country Queen Reba McEntire is setting aside her Colonel Sanders drag for the night and is back to host for the 15th time. As a host, she kills!  Reba can literally do it all: sing, tell jokes, keep the show moving. Plus she’s just genuinely likable.

Carrie’d Away

Carrie Underwood has been keeping a low profile, literally, for the past five months.  She took a nasty fall around the holidays and needed dozens of stitches to her face.  This is the latest picture she’s posted.  She’s said she’s healing nicely, but she’s still keeping the camera at a safe distance and the zoom off!

That will probably not be the case tonight.  She’s set to perform on the big show, and is well aware that the director will probably tell camera three to get a close up.  But does it really matter?  We love Carrie for her voice, her spirit and her amazing personality.  Honestly we’ve interviewed hundreds of A-Listers over the years and she’s one of the easiest to talk with.

Something for City Folk

Okay, so maybe you’re not into country music.  We won’t waste your time reminding you that the genre has never had more crossover appeal. We’ll just tell you who else is gonna show up. Scheduled presenters include Ashton Kutcher, Kiefer Sutherland, and Drew Brees. Seriously? Yes!

None of them are likely to ever chart on iTunes Country, but they bring a fresh perspective to the show.  Rebecca Romijn will hand out an award. What does she have to do with country music?  Well she’s probably bought a few Dierks Bentley  songs on iTunes, and people tend to like her. So why not book her!

Let The Music Play

CBS is airing the show, and is producing it like they do the Grammys: lots of performances and unlikely duets. Awards will be presented to give stage crew time to set up for the next artists.  Currently the schedule calls for 14 awards and 20 performances during the three-hour (scheduled) show.  That breaks down to one award every 13 minutes and one performance every six minutes.

Set to perform together are Keith Urban and Julia Michaels, Toby Keith and Blake Shelton, plus Kane Brown and American Idol’s Lauren Alaina. And speaking of Idol (from when it was really really good) Kelly Clarkson will duet with host Reba McEntire!

Of course our dream pairing, and this is totally doable tonight, is Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.  These two women single-handedly made Idol a cultural juggernaut and even more than a decade removed from the show, both are still industry icons.

The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation

jd cc

Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails.  Like the awards show, it has a country feel, but flavorful enough for people who don’t necessarily like the harsh taste of brown liquor straight up.


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