Country music seems to be getting back to it’s roots (after bro-country crashed the party in the mid-2010s and disappointed a lot of fans). Just looking at a sample of the performances last night in the 5 examples below, let’s be hopeful the days of hearing snap track pop country are soon to be over! Here are 5 amazing performances from the 2021 ACM Awards held in Nashville, April 18, 2021.
1. “Maggie’s Song” Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert – Warning: you will need a box of tissues on standby for this one. If you don’t cry or at least get a lump in your throat, you are an evil person…. or you love cats (PS. check back tomorrow for my post: I almost dated a woman with 3 cats).
2. “My Savior Medley” Carrie Underwood – Carrie’s voice, need I say more? Along with CeCe Winans, I went to church Sunday morning (cheers Church at Avenue South) AND Sunday night. I love how Carrie’s voice is somehow stronger at the end of this long medley than it is at the beginning. The songs she mashed together are a sweet reminder of the gospel hymns a lot of us grew up on.
3. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” Dierks Bentley with The War & Treaty – A bluegrass version of a great U2 song? Yes, please! Dierks nailed it and so did The War & Treaty, but I’m just going to say it… there’s something hot about a woman who plays the steel guitar. There’s something hot about a woman who plays the banjo. With that awkwardness out of the way, the entire performance was great.
4. “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” Little Big Town – I love this group! Ever since “Boondocks” and following along with their career while I was working at CMT, they are consistently great performers and the nicest people you will ever meet in country music. Not to mention, the band playing with them here was fun and festive. Listen for the trumpets throughout and your ears will thank you. One question: How did they block off that much of Broadway from the thousands of people always there? Downtown Nashville is back to pre-pandemic days with the crowds and while it’s a challenge to drive around down there, it’s nice to be back!
5. “Bunch of Nothing” Eric Church – When I’m 95 years old looking back on all the music from this century, Eric Church is going to be one of my all-time favorite artists. He’s a great performer and seems to be in is own lane on the edge of mainstream and outlaw. I love his style, mannerisms, and performances. This is another good one right in line with who he is. Enjoy!
Did you have favorite performances not on this list? If so, chime in below, and as always, thanks for stopping by!
-Out of the Wilderness