Progression and preservation coalesce in the exploratory “American Currents” exhibit now open at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Culminating with significant milestones from radio favorites, bestowed musicians, and living legends, the impressive collection serves as a snapshot of the country music landscape of 2017. Winding through multimedia, artifacts, and accolades, this glimpse of history gives both casual and well-informed music fans the opportunity to discover the genre's ever-present impact on American culture.
Upon entrance, a timeline of major happenings graces the wall touting airplay and tour success of acts like Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw.
Adding an element of surprise to each stop, Garth didn't announce his opening acts prior to show dates, leaving it a surprise to concertgoers as acts like Raelyn, Dustin Lynch, Randy Houser, and Granger Smith took the stage for acoustic sets.
The Soul 2 Soul tour, headlined by power duo Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, also gave rising and critallically-acclaimed stars a chance to perform to packed houses each night. Caitlyn Smith, Lori McKenna, Natalie Hemby, Rhiannon Giddons, Brent Cobb, and Brandy Clark were among the twenty-six artists handpicked by the couple to open throughout their year-long first-leg trek.
Eric Church took an alternate approach to this latest tour. He performed three hours, sometimes even longer, to sold-out arenas all across the country, without an opening act. Highlights include when Texas royalty Ray Wylie Hubbard made an unannounced appearance to duet with Church on "Screw You, We're From Texas" in Dallas.
Hand-written lyrics on hotel paper from Jason Isbell’s Grammy-winning “If We Were Vampires.” Isbell became an artist in residency at the Country Music Hall of Fame in December of 2017. His most recent work "That Nashville Sound" debuted at #1 on four of Billboard's charts: Country, Indie, Folk, and Rock. The album has sold over 130,000 copies to date.
Stage wear from the Brothers Osborne appearance on the 51st annual CMA Awards. The duo claimed their second and third trophies on the night they performed “It Ain’t My Fault” coupled with a rousing rendition of Don William’s “Tulsa Time.”
A tribute to the legends and hitmakers who passed in 2017. Notable figures include Country Music Hall of Fame members Glen Campbell, Mel Tillis, and Don Williams. It also remembers cross-genre influencers Chuck Berry and Gregg Allman.
The Country Music Hall of Fame blends the triumphs of the format's pillars as well as recognizing the accomplishments of breakthrough acts such as Taylor Swift and Jon Pardi. One day prior to releasing her 2017 blockbuster "Reputation" album, Swift snagged the CMA Song of the Year for "Better Man," a track recorded by Little Big Town. Pardi, on the heels of back-to-back Billboard chart toppers with "Head Over Boots" and "Dirt on My Boots," took home the coveted Best New Artist trophy on CMA night.
Sturgill Simpson’s Grammy for Best Country Album for his “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth.” This same trophy also accompanied Sturgill during his impromptu busking in downtown Nashville prior to the CMA Awards, which was streamed via Facebook Live.
His groundbreaking performance from Saturday Night Live is also played in the exhibit. Sturgill Simpson became the twenty-first country music artist in SNL's forty-two year tenure to serve as the musical guest. Other country acts to perform include Anne Murray, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Charlie Daniels Band, Rosanne Cash, Randy Travis, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakam, Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Margo Price, and Maren Morris.
With staggering sources for consuming music, the American Currents exhibit is essential for uncovering, understanding, and ultimately, appreciation. The output from these acts contribute to the ongoing cyclical changes and longstanding traditions in the country format. Don't miss your chance to view this extrodinary exhibit chronicalling country's best - American Currents is open now through February 8, 2019.
The Country Music Hall of Fame, located at 222 Fifth Avenue South in downtown Nashville, is open daily from 9:00 - 5:00 pm. For admission info, including the option to purchase passes or become a member, visit www.CountryMusicHallOfFame.org.