ACM Honors reveals first round of special appearances by country's best


The Academy of Country Music has revealed the first round of talent participating in the 13th annual ACM HONORS, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards. Artists confirmed to appear include this year’s ACM Entertainer of the Year Keith Urban, Chris Janson, Maddie & Tae, Barbara Mandrell (one of only 7 artists to receive the coveted ACM Triple Crown Award), Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, and Trisha Yearwood, with more talent to be announced in the coming weeks. The event will take place on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. Tickets are available to the public at

City National Bank is the presenting partner of the evening, and 1000 Stories Wine is the official wine partner for the Academy and ACM Honors.

A limited number of VIP “Sit with the Stars” tickets – restricted to only 20 available pairs – are available to the public. VIP seating includes valet parking, viewing area access to the red carpet, premium seating during the event, and an official commemorative ACM Honors Hatch Print. Tickets for VIP are priced at $750.

Award Recipients

As previously announced, Special Award recipients to be celebrated at the 13th Annual ACM Honors include Brooks & Dunn and Martina McBride (ACM Cliffie Stone Icon Award), Rodney Crowell, Kye Fleming, and Billy Joe Shaver (ACM Poet’s Award), Gayle Holcomb (ACM Gary Haber Lifting Lives Award), Miranda Lambert (ACM Gene Weed Milestone Award), Kacey Musgraves (ACM Jim Reeves International Award), and A Star Is Born (ACM Tex Ritter Film Award). The evening will also honor winners of the Industry and Studio Recording Awards, along with Songwriter of the Year Award winner, Shane McAnally.

Tickets to ACM Honors are now on sale at For more information on the ACM Awards and all ACM events, visit You can like Academy of Country Music on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @ACMawards and Instagram @ACMAwards for more immediate updates.

About ACM Honors

ACM Honors is an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the Academy of Country Music Awards, including the Special Awards, Studio Recording Awards, Industry Awards and Songwriter of the Year Award. The 13th Annual ACM Honors will take place Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. The show is executive produced by R.A. Clark, and written and produced by Lisa Lee. VIP tickets to ACM Honors are priced at $750 and regular ticket prices range from $79 - $132. Tickets go on sale to the general public at and the Ryman box office at 10:00 AM CT on Friday, June 7, 2019. For more information, visit

Forecastle Festival VIP Experience in Louisville, Kentucky


An immersive, genre-crossing lineup heralded the mid-July Forecastle Festival along Louisville’s sultry waterfront. Mix in the makings of an adult playground: a Ferris wheel, bourbon tastings, party cove, and you have a summer festival worthy of a road trip.

Neon Fantasies

Layers of brightly colored streamers adorned the VIP entrance - a perfect photo opp to commemorate your weekend. With scorching temps, the disco ball-decorated lounge provided a much-needed respite from the blazing summer sun and a place to crash between sets. You could settle in front of the screen streaming the main stage show if you didn’t want to venture out. Admission also included exclusive glam perks like massages, a braid bar, and glitter body art stations. The upgrade is worth it alone for the air-conditioned trailers with bathrooms, I promise.

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Favorite Food Discovery

A sandwich toasted with peanut butter, jelly, and perfectly crispy bacon from Hippie Dips was a sweet and savory highlight. Their fresh fruit smoothies were fantastic, too. For supper, I headed to the La Chandeleur food truck and indulged in a delicious crepe stuffed with pulled chicken, spinach, creamy pesto sauce, and Parmesan.


Five stages with diverse lineups allowed us to take in acts like Sunflower Bean, Yungblud, Johnnyswim, Dawes, and more. The spirited atmosphere enables you to mosh with the best or soak in the sounds sprawled on a blanket in the shade. The fashion is also anything goes - the more glitter, the better.

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Anderson East

With selections from 2018’s “Encore,” Anderson East drew one of the biggest crowds on the festival’s closing day. The Grammy-nominated artist fuses roots and R&B with an electrifying set.

Best Live Act

Tyler Childers has turned on listeners to his East Kentucky country sounds, and the grassroots movement has turned into a nationwide phenomenon. Less than a month until his next album release, “Country Squire,” - his first record for RCA - his set featured tracks from the upcoming Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson produced project. The storytelling in songs like “Bus Route,” the stellar band, and witty banter make Tyler a can’t-miss act.

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Music with a Mission

The fun and whimsy make the event unforgettable, but The Forecastle Foundation mission celebrates our planet, which is even cooler. A special auction was held in the VIP area to bid on limited-edition items and experiences.

“Our mission is to protect and connect the world’s natural awesome.  We do so by shining a light on biodiversity hotspots - the richest reservoirs of life.”

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Forecastle Feelings

I wasn’t super familiar with most of the acts on the bill, but that’s the beautiful thing about music. You don’t have to understand it - you feel it. It’s a freeing experience with people who are there to share a common passion. Forecastle Festival, with its emphasis on environmental matters and community, is a music lover’s dream.

For more on details, including alerts when tickets go on sale for Forecastle Festival 2020, click here.


Record Store Day 2019 in Evansville, Indiana


It’s barely 7 am on a chilly spring morning. A line of people dots the sidewalk of an empty shopping mall in anticipation of Record Store Day. We stand and wait for two more hours, all-knowing the slim chances and unlikely outcome of actually getting all the specialty records on our lists. Eventually, they move the line inside the building, and we plant ourselves in front of Hard Copies, counting down the minutes until the doors open.

Record Store Day (RSD for short) started in 2007 as a way for music fanatics and independent record shops to celebrate all across the country. Some stores have live music all day long, meet and greets with artists, food, contests, and more. Exclusive releases are made specifically available for that day - most created in limited quantities. The announcement of the list of titles is almost as exciting as the day itself.

“The List” is revealed weeks ahead and allows plenty of time for planning. I had three exclusive releases that I wanted for my collection, so I contacted dozens of stores to see if they would be carrying them. Hard Copies had the majority, so my early-morning jaunt to Evansville was set.

It’s intoxicating, but an under-control semi-chaotic scene when they open the doors. I scan the racks of 7” singles and immediately spotted The Mavericks and Sweet Lizzy Project - that’s one off my list. The entire wall popped with RSD releases. Quickly walking and eyeing all the records while trying to navigate my way through the crowd, I found one of two copies of LeAnn Rimes’s “Live at Gruene Hall” vinyl. Two down. Maybe it was the dark cover art, but it took me a few more rounds to realize that the coveted Kip Moore album that I had been searching for was right in front of me the entire time. Mission accomplished.


It’s a rush that only lasts less than a couple of minutes. You have to be fast, and you have to be courteous, which everyone was. While waiting for my purchases to be ringed up, shoppers would congratulate others, even if it was a record they wanted for themselves. It’s a spirited day that allows people with differing interests and tastes to come together to share the love of vinyl.

I could give endless praise to the great staff at Hard Copies. They responded lightning fast to all my questions early in the week via Facebook. I’m all about my country world, and this is the place to visit if you are in search of obscure, out-of-print CD titles from the 90s. Not everything is readily available via streaming platforms and a lot of it ends up being remastered or re-recorded by the artists, so it’s like a treasure chest finding the original stuff.

Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby

I took a post-record shopping break at Parlor Doughnuts, a new addition to Evansville’s vibrant and growing downtown. The line was packed to the door and was worth the not-so-long wait. I was impressed with the staff’s efficiency and friendly service.

While waiting, I gazed over the list of decadent doughnut selections. I decided on the Chocolate Chocolate…because what’s better than chocolate? More chocolate.

The doughnut itself was gigantic. The best one I’ve ever tasted. Subsequent visits are highly recommended/needed.

Across the street, I stopped at River City Coffee + Goods, an eclectic shop comprised of locally created goods. I can never pass up a brand new journal, so I grabbed that along with a cold-pressed organic juice that’s made right here in Evansville, it’s crazy delicious.

Plan Your Visit

Hard Copies - 800 North Green River Road, Evansville, IN

Doughnut Parlor - 12 NW 3rd Street, Evansville, IN

River City Coffee + Goods - 223 Main Street, Evansville, IN

For more places to stay + shop, check out

Downtown vibes + views.

Downtown vibes + views.