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CMA Music Fest opens

Thursday, June 5, 2014 – The 2104 CMA Music Festival kicked off today in Nashville with a slew of concerts and activities.

The CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Concert kicked off the event with Lindsay Ell, Tim Hicks and Small Town Pistols from Canada, and Morgan Evans from Australia. Rounding out the lineup were honky-tonk traditionalists Brazilbilly; Shooter Jennings performing with Waymore's Outlaws, his father Waylon Jennings' touring and studio backing band; three time Grammy-nominated bluegrass ensemble The Grascals and The Marshall Tucker Band.

Artist of the Day LeAnn Rimes cut the ribbon, officially opening AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X. Rimes performed and answered questions on the CMA Close Up.

Big & Rich opened the gates to admit fans to the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage and hit the stage for a concert. Admittance to the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage is free, but four-day ticket holders have an exclusive 45-minute, early-entrance window before the gates open to the general public.

Alabama, Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw closed out the first day with The Nightly Concerts on the LP Field Concert. This was the first time Alabama played the festival in 20 years. Their set included "Dixieland Delight," "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," "I'm in a Hurry (And Don't Know Why)," and "Mountain Music." Rascal Flatts introduced its new single "Payback." Thomas Rhett and Justin Moore joined Gilbert for "Small Town Throwdown."

The festival continues through Sunday.

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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