Here we go folks, our annual gathering of old souls and independent-minded country fans to collectively commiserate and contemplate what the hell has happened to our fair genre known as country music as the pomp and circumstance of the CMA Awards transpires right before our shocked and disgruntled eyes. Be forewarned that all sense of decorum and courtesy will be tossed aside in lieu of admittedly immature and reactionary snark delivered with little or no governor. This is a night to get small and speak our minds, while at the same time being willing to give credit to any glimmers of true talent or hope.
So get your refresh fingers ready, and feel free to chime in yourself below in the comments.
Also, if you’re wondering why we pay attention to the CMA Awards if we hate them so much, please read the disclaimer at the bottom.
Pot right? Let’s wheel ’em around!
2014 CMA Award Winners
- Luke Bryan – Entertainer of the Year
- Miranda Lambert – Female Vocalist of the Year
- Blake Shelton – Male Vocalist of the Year
- Little Big Town – Vocal Group of the Year
- Florida Georgia Line – Vocal Duo of the Year
- Miranda Lambert’s “Platinum” – Album of the Year
- Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” – Song of the Year
- Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic” – Single of the Year
- Brett Eldredge – New Artist of the Year
- Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban “We Were Us” – Vocal Event of the Year
- Dierks Bentley’s “Drunk on a Plane” – Video of the Year
- Mac McAnally – Musician of the Year
- Vince Gill – Irving Waugh Award of Excellence
10:13 – Not as an exciting ending as last year when George Strait won Entertainer of the Year, but the writing was on the wall that Luke Bryan would win, especially after he got shut out in other categories. However there were some minor award victories, including Kacey Musgraves for Song of the Year, and not just because of the message of “Follow Your Arrow,” but because she’s a traditional artist, a female artists, and a songwriter. Also Brandy Clark is now a CMA award winner, which is big. But overall the awards were very same old, same old, and predictable. The CMA is going to have to do something about the Blake/Miranda Male/Female monopoly. It just doesn’t represent the music well, especially for Blake Shelton whose new record was a virtual flop.
What was positive was the overall presentation. Aside from Little Big Town’s neon silliness, most of the performances were sedated and tasteful, even if they weren’t especially entertaining. Carrie Underwood was the highlight as expected, as were Kacey Musgraves and Loretta Lynn. The Vince Gill award was a big surprise, and so was The Band Perry paying tribute to the ailing Glen Campbell. No Bro-Country was possibly the biggest story, aside from maybe Jason Aldean, which shows just how out-of-touch Bro-Country is becoming. Aldean’s performance seemed out of place.
Thanks everyone for reading. More tomorrow on the awards maybe…
10:02 – THANK YOU THANK YOU everyone who stopped by, read, commented, reposted, liked, retweeted, and everything else! I am going to compose some final thoughts, recap the winners, and then we’ll be done. More to come!
9:59 – Doobie Brothers weren’t bad taking it out though. They still got chops.
9:58 – Yeah, we should take our anger over the Luke Bryan Entertainer of the Year Award “To The Streets.” I need a Doobie.
9:56 – Your Saving Country Music alternative Entertainer of the Year is Sturgill Simpson!
9:54 – You don’t know how much it angered the blood to write that last line.
9:53 WINNER: The CMA for Entertainer of the Year goes to Luke Bryan.
9:52 – Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9:51 – CMA’s give Garth Brooks a standing ovation as he comes out to hand out the Entertainer of the Year.
9:47 – Your Saving Country Music alternative Female Vocalist of the Year is Karen Jonas!
9:46 – This is Miranda Lambert’s 5th consecutive CMA for Female Vocalist, EXACTLY like her HUSBAND, Blake Shelton. Go wild conspiracy theorists. It also sets her up for the biggest CMA night ever if she wins Entertainer of the Year.
9:45: WINNER – The CMA for Female Vocalist of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert
9:44 – Sam Hunt needs to get busy bussing my table and filling my glass.
9:43: Normally I’d make a quip here about how this is the most country thing all night, but it actually isn’t for a change thanks to Musgraves and Loretta.
9:42: Yeah, maybe turn The Doobie Brothers’ mics on Pimples the Engineer boy.
9:40 – Shit, when I heard The Doobies were performing, I thought it was going to be a mashup of Eric Church and Kacey Musgraves. #legalizeoregon
9:38 – Remember for the ACM Awards, Luke Bryan’s peeps bitched when he got locked out. https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/members-of-luke-bryan-camp-mad-over-george-strait-acm-win
9:37 – Yes folks, that means Blake Shelton has now won five CMA Male Vocalist of the Year awards in a row. A deserved shout out to Earl Thomas Conley doesn’t deaden that sting at all. This is also another award many thought Luke Bryan would win, and he gets shut out once again. Expect the bitching from his camp to come out in full force if he doesn’t win Entertainer of the Year.
9:32 – Your Saving Country Music alternative Male Vocalist of the Year is Don Williams!
9:30 WINNER – The CMA for Male Vocalist of the Year goes to Blake Shelton.
9:29: Seriously, no offense to Eric Church, but why can’t we get the reigning Entertainer of the Year by himself in what might be his last CMA performance? He kind of stole the show.
9:27: Seeing Eric Church performing with George Strait is like looking at a really hot woman with a screaming, hairy mole on her cheek.
9:25: Irving Waugh was a veteran broadcaster who was instrumental in gaining national television exposure for country music during the ’50s and ’60s. He died in 2007. Johnny Cash was awarded the Irving Waugh Award in 2003. He was the only other ARTIST to win the award. Other winners include 1987 Frances Preston, 1991 Jo Walker-Meador, and 2009 Walter Miller. It is considered an industry award.
9:22 – Had never even heard of this Irving Waugh award before, but it was very well deserved for Vince Gill.
9:20 – WINNER: Vince Gill is Awarded the CMA Irving Waugh Award of Excellence, only awarded to one other artist before, Johnny Cash.
9:15 – Looks like Vince Gill may be getting the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. If so, very deserved.
9:14 – Anyone check with Vegas on what the over/under is on how much Little Big Town paid for their Vocal Group of the Year trophy? More, or less than the Opry induction?
9:12 – Too many voices on Miranda’s “Smokin’ & Drinkin'”. This is not working. The song is flat to begin with. Tasteful instrumentation though.
9:11 – Could this Miranda Lambert / Little Big Town mashup start off more monotone?
9:07 – Also, Kacey Musgraves and Loretta Lynn, The Band Perry covering Glen Campbell. I’m telling you folks, still some terrible music out there, but you feel things slowly changing.
9:03 – Notice that there’s pretty much been NO Bro-Country so far? Even Luke Bryan is pulling out his adult contemporary material. Somebody sent out a memo.
9:01 – Your Saving Country Music alternative Vocal Group of the Year is the Turnpike Troubadours!
9:00 – WINNER: The CMA for Vocal Group of the Year goes to Little Big Town.
8:58 – I know some might find it screamy, but damn, I’m breaking out in goosebumps at this Carrie Underwood performance. The best singer right now in country music, period. Very inspiring. Two guns way up.
8:56 – Whoa! Which one of you bastards slipped the LSD in the beef stroganoff I was wolfing down in the commercial break? I’m seeing tracers, dude.
8:55 – Yes, there’s “Something In The Water,” but hopefully the preggo Carrie Underwood doesn’t drop hers when she hits that high note…
8:54 – Biggest awards coming up folks, hang in there!
8:47 – Great to see Ashley Monroe get some screen time, but this song does so little for me, and her teaming up with Blake Shelton is about as lame as when your parents showed up on Facebook. What’s up with all of this adult contemporary schlock?
8:42 – Yawn, Paisley. You’re lyrical hook is more flat than a pre-pubescent.
8:40 – Also, the producer of Miranda’s “Platinum” is Frank Liddel, who is the same producer of the new Stoney LaRue album.
8:38 – Miranda Lambert winning Album of the Year is a big development. This means she could have a HUGE night if she pulls off the upset for Entertainer of the Year. She’s already won two CMA’s for songs, and she’s pretty much a shoe-in for Female Vocalist. Also, this is another award Luke Bryan did NOT win. Surprising win for Miranda.
8:35 – WINNER: The CMA for Album of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert’s “Platinum”
8:30 – I think Dierks’ Riser album is tits, but “Drunk On A Plane” is an awful song in my opinion. Where’s a bunch of drunk Ukrainian separatists playing Galaga with a $500 million rocket launcher when you need them?
8:25 – Thanks to everyone leaving comments down below. Some great zings and observations!
8:24 – Let’s be thankful for the little gifts, like Cole Swindell only getting 60 seconds before getting cut off by commercials.
8:22 – Your Saving Country Music alternative Duo of the Year is First Aid Kit!
8:21 – WINNER – The CMA for Vocal Duo of the Year goes to Florida Georgia Line. And water is wet.
8:20 – Brandy Clark getting lots of face time tonight. Good for her.
8:19 – From Rawhide & Velvet on Twitter: “After the show Little Big Town will be outside Bridgestone Arena doing the traffic control.”
8:17 – “Truck Yeah” or truck no, Tim McGraw released on of the better mainstream country records so far this year. Not great, but just solid, unoffensive pop country music. Love the steel lick in this song.
8:14 – Overall though, this has been a pretty understated presentation comparatively. This keeps with the trend that started a couple of years ago. So far, no rap, no fire.
8:11 – But hey Little Big Town’s album cuts are REALLY REALLY good (please).
8:10 – Nobody told all the little glowing drummers boys what would happen if you brought a geiger counter close to their glow-in-the-dark suits. That was a performance to bee seen, not heard for sure.
8:09 – Talk your shit on Ariana Grande all you want, but it was the best $2.99 I ever spent at Taco Bell.
8:07 – Yes, that’s Little Big Town, who we gave a friggin’ Grand Ole Opry induction to in order to pad sales of their new album, and they still could only managed 40K.
8:05 – Better clean those cheeseballs up off stage before Luke Bryan gets up and waxes out on them.
8:02 – Jason ALdean spent $700 to have to rips in his jeans custom choreographed just for the CMA Awards. #lesserknownfacts
8:01 – Shouldn’t this asshole be in LA somewhere feeling up an American Idol castoff?
7:59 – So the “surprise legend” turned out to be Loretta. Would have loved to see Hank3’s reaction if it was Tom Hiddleston aping Hank Williams and singing “Jambalaya” with a Westminster accent. Would have loved to see MY reaction if it turned out to be Shania Twain in leopard skin stretch pants and a Madonna-esque cone bra. I’d be like Bob Knight whipping a chair across the room.
7:56 – Knew Brandy Clark didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning New Artist, but when they started with Brr…, I almost thought it was going to happen. Brantley Gilbert needs to get the damn marbles out of his mouth and quit being such a raging douchewad.
7:54 – WINNER – The CMA for New Artist of the Year goes to Brett Eldredge.
7:52: Kacey Musgraves sings Loretta Lynn’s “You’re Looking At Country” with the backdrop of the Grand Ole Opry barn. Loretta Lynn makes a suprise (somewhat) appearance and makes it a duet! Two guns up!
7:50 – Holy shit, someone is playing country music on the CMA Awards! Security!
7:48: “Follow Your Arrow” was also written by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, meaning Brandy Clark is now a CMA Award winner.
7:44: The Band Perry is usually one of the most underwhelming performers on these things, but this Glen Campbell “Gentle On My Mind” rendition is really refreshing.
7:42: Kacey Musgraves on the Song of the Year win for “Follow Your Arrow” – “Do you know what this means for country music?”
7:40: WINNER: Kacey Musgraves wins Song of the Year for “Follow Your Arrow.”
7:38 : Tim Tebow: “Seriously America. I REALLY need work. Anything.”
7:36: Yes, Keith Urban. The only 47-year-old still adolescently-fascinated with owning a car and mugging down in the back of it. But with those highlights, he doesn’t look a day over 46.
7:34 – WINNER: Mac McAnally won a 7th consecutive Musician of the Year award. But of course that didn’t make the telecast.
7:32 – On the Miranda Lambert win for “Automatic”: Sort of an underwhelming song, but not a bad pick, especially for the more commercially-oriented “Single” instead of “Song” of the year.
7:30 – Don’t worry Florida Georgia Line fans, I’m sure they’ll be back later to shoot lasers out of their assholes!
7:28 – Sorry folks, but I don’t think Florida Georgia Line’s “Dirt” song is terrible. Much better to get this than that “Sun Daze” bullshit. They needs to re-alight the blow holes on their damn guitars though. It’s sending my OCD into overdrive.
7:26 – “Hey Bartender” by Lady Antebellum has got so much nothing. And that one guy looks like he should be a elementary school librarian that really into puppets, not a country star.
7:24 – Care of Rawhide & Velvet:
7:21 – I stand corrected. Apparently the picture I posted below of Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley did not include a homeless woman, but Bonnie Raitt. My apologies to Bonnie.
7:18 – WINNER: The CMA for Single of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert & the songwriters for “Automatic.”
7:17 – Quit being so mean America! I think Steven Tyler makes a very handsome older woman!
7:16 – Arena rocker Steven Tyler, “Country is the new rock and roll.”
7:15 – Now they’re razzing on Taylor Swift, Rene Zellweger, and naked selfies, as they do a grand tour of cliches of the American zeitgest.
7:10 – The opening monologue is pretty flat compared to last year, when they played off all the country music feuds. Ebola was last week.
7:08 – Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood doing a dumb bit about George Strait. Meanwhile millions of Florida Georgia Line fans are wondering who the shit they’re talking about.
7:06 – For the record, I think Meghan Trainor is just fine.
7:04 – What does Miranda Lambert use to make her skin have the sheen of a bowling alley? Asking for a friend…
7:03 – If you’re wondering why Meghan Trainor is performing tonight, she’s a Nashville resident and actually co-wrote two songs on Rascal Flatts’ last album. She also once helped get Flatts’ frontman Gary LeVox’s head unlodged when he got it stuck between two rungs of a Carl’s Jr. jungle gym. The key was slathering LeVox’s head in an industrial-sized jar of Mayonnaise. True story.
7:00 – Here we go!
6:57 – Aww, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley invited an older homeless woman to hang out with them backstage. #caring
6:53 – Some stuff of note from the red carpet. Yes, that is Kacey Musgraves’ hair, and meanwhile Sam Hunt looks like he should be fetching more lime wedges for my fish entreÃ©.
6:50 – One thing we can be guaranteed of is that the opening performance will be the most non-country thing to transpire all night as ABC tries to lure in non-country viewers. Be ready for an unmerciful onslaught of your senses.
6:49 – Some late-breaking intelligence on potential performances: Rumor has it Eric Church will be joining George Strait for his performance, and Loretta Lynn might be performing with Kacey Musgraves, which might be the “surprise legend” ballyhooed to be performing. And in case you missed it, the producer of the CMA’s said, “There’s going to be a surprise guest in one of our performances from one of the biggest legends of country music of all time.”
6:47 – For those drinkers out there, Farce The Music has put together a satirical CMA Awards Drinking Game. It’s satirical because if you actually participated, you’d be in the ICU with alcohol poisoning.
6:45 – Some awards have already been doled out. This morning on Good Morning America, it was announced Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert won for Musical Event of the Year for “We Were Us,” and Dierks Bentley won Music Video of the Year for “Drunk On A Plane.”
DISCLAIMER: So every year when we engage in this LIVE blog exercise, people complain, “If you hate the CMA Awards so much, why do you watch?!?” Or, “If you really want to save country music, you should be taking about something positive instead of wasting your time with this.” First, understand that the CMA Awards are the single most significant membership drive Saving Country Music engages in every year as hundreds of thousands of people turn on their TV sets, find themselves in abject horror at what they’re seeing, and take to the internet to find like-minded souls. By directly engaging with the CMA Awards—undisputably the most important night on the country music calendar (whether we like it or not)—it creates a place for those disenfranchised country music fans to connect with the independent world and discover the riches of artists and music it has to offer. This is not a theory. It has been proven to be effective year after year.
Saving Country Music’s mission is not to abandon the storied country music institutions like the CMA Awards to the money changers to do with what they wish, but to challenge them by directly engaging with them and offering our dissent. We have seen significant gains in the pursuit to return balance back to country music in the radio format that is currently splitting to represent more older artists. We could see similar successes with the Awards shows in the coming years, but only if we let our voices be heard. And when you see artists like George Strait winning Entertainer of the Year, and songwriters like Brandy Clark being nominated for major awards, you can see inroads being formed, regardless of how awful the Florida Georgia Line’s and Luke Bryan’s of the world are.
If you don’t want to watch the CMA Awards, I completely understand, trust me. I am not promoting the CMA’s, nor am I encouraging people to watch. But as part of the dirty job of running Saving Country Music, I must watch. And if I’m going to watch, I might as well have some fun with it. Because as soon as we stop laughing, that’s when they truly win.
–The Triggerman, savingcountrymusic.com