Country Livin’

The ACM Awards went down in Vegas last night. As expected it was an awards show in name only, and that’s fine with us.  We poured ourselves a tall moonshine, sat back and watched it all unfold.  We’re gonna recap the highlights.  It’s gonna be a short post.


If you have something negative to say about Reba McEntire, we’re not interested in hearing it. Back to host for the 15th year in a row (17th time overall), the country queen came out with her comedy guns a blazin’. She knows both audiences (fans at home, colleagues in the arena) and connects with both on an intimate level.

Music is a more intimate community than the TV/movie community.  When Jimmy Kimmel hosts the Oscars, he’s interviewed most of the nominees. He’s probably partied with a good portion of them. But Jimmy and other traditional awards season likely hasn’t collaborated with any of the nominees. But Reba’s been around.  She’s been lending a lyric here and voicing a track there for decades. From the artists to the producers to the record execs, she is personally invested in the lives and careers of many people in the audience.

But she wasn’t just hosting. Reba did what she does best: perform.  She paired up with Original Idol Kelly Clarkson to sing Does He Love You. Kelly talked about the first time she sang this with Reba and admitted to being a mess!  It was sweet, touching, and everything we wanted.

And speaking of Idols..


Carrie Underwood returned to the stage to debut her new song Cry Pretty.  And she looked pretty and like she was about to cry.  She’s kept a low profile since taking a nasty fall that required dozens of stitches to her face in November.  This was her first performance since the an accident and she was clearly overwhelmed by the moment.  Her eye makeup was designed to simulate tears, but it was almost washed away by real tears.

The audience gave her an extended standing ovation, welcoming back their nicest diva to rock the country stage in decades.  If she performs in your town: go see her!  Save a vacation day or call in sick.  Skimp on the mortgage payment. Bail on your mom’s lasagna. Just get to the show!

Everyone Else!

So many performances!  It was A-Listers on parade. One after another took one of the stages set up in the cavernous MGM Grand Garden Arena (a great place to see a show, btw).

There were plenty of solo performances including Lauren Alaina, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, and Darius Rucker (AKA Hootie!).

Duets included Jon Pardo and Alan Jackson. Blake Shelton and Toby Keith.

Dierks Bentley hugged his seat filler after his performance.  How cool is that?!?

Essentially there were lots of fun, cool moments, but nothing that’ll have us talking about  for the next year (or maybe much past the morning coffee break).

They gave out a few awards, and winners (the ones who bothered to show up) kept their acceptance speeches short.  But let’s face it: this is a concert with awards sprinkled in.

The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation

If this is sitting in your DVR or cloud and need a drink, we suggest the Spiker and Sponge, the house drink at Nashville’s iconic Rolf & Daughters. It’s a little tart, just like us!




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