Garth Brooks has a Christmas gift for you. It's a four-disc box set of cover songs. "Blame It All On My Roots: Five Decades Of Hits" will be available in time for holiday shopping. Each disc covers a different genre of music that Garth says influnced him. One disc is all country while the others feature classic rock, R&B and folk music. The announcement of this release comes on the heels of rumors that Garth would not only be releasing new music but also going on tour in 2014.
I am no fashion expert, but I do enjoy seeing what country music's biggest stars wear to the award shows. Generally I think country stars do a great job of dressing for the occasion without going to wild and crazy or risque (Hello, Jennifer Nettles...). Say what you want about Taylor Swift, but she always looks like a princess at these events and Tim McGraw has come a long way from wearing his suit jacket hoddie a few years ago. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley generally do well with their outfits for the night, although the slacks Carrie had on at the end of the show last night looked like they were made from the curtains from 1960s roadside motel. I think Blake and Miranda both did well and everyone was talking about Miranda's sleeker look. Check who the The Boot thought were the best and worst dressed at the CMAs.
Tonight is a big night for country music, it's the CMAs in Nashville hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. Don't forget that you can join us for our big CMA Viewing Party at Buffalo Wild Wings in Urbana starting at 7. This year I think it is harder than most to predict who is going to walk away with awards but here is who I think will win and who I personally would pick to win.
Entertainer Of The Year: I think this is a 3 horse race between Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Taylor Swift. While I would give a slight edge to Blake Shelton, I believe Luke Brayn will be the big winner tonight!
Male Voclaist: Any of the 5 nominees could win it, but this year I would vote for Luke Bryan (narrowly over Keith Urban) and I think Luke will win it.
Female Vocalist: First, I want to say how happy I am that newcomer Kacey Musgraves was nominated. She is a future star, but this will come down to Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. For pure vocal talent I vote for Carrie, but I think Miranda will win this evening.
Vocal Group: How competitive is this category? Rascall Flatts isn't even nominated. All 5 groups have had a great year and while the Eli Young Band is one of my personal favorites, I will always vote for Little Big Town (the guys and gals of Little Big Town are some of the most awesome people I know) and I think LBT will win tonight. Don't be surprised if Lady A, or the Zac Brown Band or The Band Perry win...they are all THAT good.
Vocal Duo: No one has had a bigger year than Florida Georgia Line. These guys are the hottest new act in country and they get my vote and should be a lock to win tonight.
Single Of The Year: There is always confusion about what makes this different than "song" of the year. Single of the year is about popularity and goes to the performer while song is really about quality and goes to the song writer.. With that in mind, my vote goes to "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line and I do think they will win.
Song Of The Year: "Wagon Wheel" has been a favorite of mine for years. While some prefer the Old Crow Medicine Show version, I am happy that Darius Rucker made it a hit...so I vote for Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor. Wouldn't it be cool to give a CMA to Bob Dylan? I think it will happen tonight. Special nod to Kacey Musgraves again for being nominated twice for her own "Merry Go Round" and Miranda's "Mama's Broken Heart."
Album Of The Year: It's hard for me to pick against Little Big Town, but the album I have listened to the most...all the way through...over and over again is "Same Trailer, Different Park" from Kacey Musgraves. She gets my vote. However, up against the "big stars" in the format, I think she is a long shot to actually win. Therefore I will pick Taylor Swft's "Red." That being said, I would not be shocked to see Carrie, Blake or LBT also get the win here. Tough choices.
Musical Event of The Year: What an awesome category. Blake and Pistol Annies, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Eric Church, FGL and Nelly!!!! All very good and all very cool, but to me it is an easy choice to pick Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban for "Highway Don't Care." I wouldn't be stunned if this won Single of The Year as well. It gets my vote for Musical Event and I do think it will win!
Best New Artist: The new artist that has impressed me th most is Kacey Musgraves and I would vote for her because of that. That's not to take nothing away from Florida Georgia Line and I think Brian and Tyler are a lock to win this tonight. They have had an amazing year...but remember, Kacey Musgraves is going to be a star. Trust me!
Musician Of The Year: For those who don't know, the band you see playing live with your favorite artist is seldom the band they recorded their hit songs with. Some do, but most don't. It's guys like Brent Mason and Dann Huff who are the studio musicians on the actual records. And, while I have a soft spot for Mac McAnally, great country songs really do need a steel guitar and for that reason I vote for Paul Franklin. To be honest, I don't know who will win, so I will pick the only nominee I have yet to mention, mandolin player Sam Bush.
Video Of The Year: I think Blake Shelton and Tim McGraw had very cool videos because of the nature of the co artists (Pistol Annies, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban) they had involved in the song. "Blown Away" from Carrie Underwood had great specil effects and is a powerful song, but to me the clear choice here is Little Big Town for "Tornado." They get my vote and I think they will win.
Now, I do think it is a shame that year after year the industry awards ignore Toby Keith. I have had that gripe for a long time. This year the bigger surprise is....not a single nomination for Brad Paisley!!! What's up with that? Did the CMA not listen to the "Wheelhouse" album? Have they not seen his live show? Do they know he is hosting tonight? Hmmm.....
So, personally I give 2 wins each to Little Big Town, Florida Georgia Line and Kacey Musgraves. In reality, I think Florida Georgia Line winds up as the big winner with 3 while Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and Taylor Swift (thanks in part to Tim McGraw) get 2 awards each.
The CMAs are on ABC tonight at 8. Join us at Buffalo Wild Wings in Urbana at 7 for our Viewing Party and your chance to make your own predictions to win tickets to see Justin Moore's "Off The Beaten Path" tour. Plus we will be giving away lots of tickets to our 21st Anniversary show this Sunday featuring The Henningsens and Cassadee Pope.