Brooks & Dunn CMT "Crossroads" Experience

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Live TV tapings are often full of flubbed lines, extra takes, and lots of crowd participation. How do you get invited to a CMT show? Casting companies are hired to find a diverse mix of people that will make the perfect audience. You’ll have to wear colors suitable for TV - jewel tones are preferred. Once chosen, you have to smile, sing, and never look at the many cameras that are flying around you. Want to get some screen time? Just know all the words to every song, and you’re golden. Now, knowing word-for-word the lyrics to absolutely every Brooks & Dunn song is probably the thing that I’m best at doing. I could maybe even recall some of the dance routines we used to make up as kids when we listened to their “Greatest Hits Collection” CD on repeat.

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Crossroads History

Premiering in 2002, the CMT show pairs acts with other musical guests, resulting in unforgettable collaborations. The inaugural episode featured Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello. Other notable pairings include the Dixie Chicks and James Taylor, Travis Tritt with Ray Charles, Dolly Parton and Melissa Etheridge, and more. Brooks & Dunn first appeared on the show with ZZ Top in 2002.


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As we were waiting on sundown, Brooks & Dunn welcomed the crowd and explained how all the on-screen magic works. They then launched into their 1996 hit, “My Maria,” amid Broadway’s honky-tonk heart in downtown Nashville.

The unstoppable duo always seems to unlock a new level of success with each single they released and this one was no exception. “My Maria,” a B.W. Stevenson cover, was the most-played song on country radio for that entire year and helped them become the first (and only) duo to ever claim the Entertainer of the Year prize from the CMA.


Midland-Crossroads

Boot Scootin’ Boogie

The evening’s first guest, the retro and raving, Midland, joined Kix and Ronnie on one of the most popular 90s hits, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie.” It was the first country song ever to be re-mixed into an extended version for club play and helped spur the decade’s line dance craze.


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Ain’t Nothin’ ‘Bout You

Brett Young slows the tempo with a sultry spin while an intoxicating saxophone solo takes the song to new heights. Noted as B & D’s triumphant 2001 radio resurgence, this single dominated the number one position on Billboard’s airplay chart for an astonishing six weeks. Again, they notched another most-played song of the year honor from Billboard.


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My Next Broken Heart

Jon Pardi intentionally doesn’t stray too far from the original recording, and the pure country melodic structures blend perfectly with his traditional sound. Unsurprisingly, Jon was the most entertaining guest artist with his wild antics and sheer excitement of being on stage with future members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.


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Mama Don’t Get Dressed Up For Nothing

Lanco’s Brandon Lancaster trades lines with Kix Brooks in this 1996 hit. While it was the first Brooks & Dunn single that failed to reach the top ten, it stalled at #13; the fan-favorite remains a staple in the duo’s live show.


Red Dirt Road

The poetic imagery that emerges from this Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn-penned song is merely timeless. Declaring a pinnacle is tough when you’re talking about a catalog of songs that have remained beloved favorites for over 30 years. But “Red Dirt Road” is one of those that crest far and above and when you add Cody Johnson’s vocals to it, it’s a dream-like scenario.

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Brand New Man

The one that started it all. Luke Combs helped close the show with the duo’s iconic (you can say that about all their songs and not be exaggerating) introduction to country radio back in 1991.


Crossroads: Brooks & Dunn and Friends premiered on CMT in late June 2019. You can view the entire episode online here.

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Miranda Lambert to perform at ACM Honors; additional star-studded appearances announced

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The Academy of Country Music has revealed an additional 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. Talent confirmed to appear include Lauren Alaina, Bobby Bones, Caylee Hammack, Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally, Midland, Billy Joe Shaver and Chris Young. 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 Ticketmaster.com.

Previously Announced Appearances

Previously announced appearances 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.

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.

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.

Tickets to ACM Honors are now on sale at www.ticketmaster.com.For more information on the ACM Awards and all ACM events, visit www.ACMcountry.com. 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 13thAnnual 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 Ticketmaster.com and the Ryman box office at 10:00 AM CT on Friday, June 7, 2019. For more information, visit www.ACMcountry.com

Riley Green concert review in Evansville, Indiana

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Playlist placement, a social media presence, and other marketing methods all have significant roles within the music industry, but what defines an artist is their songs. In country music, it’s that real-life authenticity through personal perspectives, clever wordplay, and memorable hooks that resonate with fans. Without the right song, an artist has nothing. Riley Green seemingly has everything.

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When he took the stage at the Vanderburgh County Fair in Evansville, Indiana, Riley ignited a bond with the audience that will last long after the final notes fade. You immediately feel a connection like you know him. But maybe even more so because with every song he sang, it felt like he knew you and your life’s story. It’s an instantaneous realization that kept the crowd engaged and hanging on to every offering in his 13-song set.

Riley’s strong storytelling nature contributed to the evening’s pinnacle. The stirring and powerful, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died,” was an acoustic highlight. It’s the kind of song that the genre’s foundation was built upon. And no matter what small-town map dot you call home, there’s a little piece of everyone’s life in that song. This song is the reason we listen to country music - to find ourselves through chords and rhyme.

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His set consisted of material from his latest EP, “Get That Man A Beer,” - a collection of songs featuring some of Nashville’s prime writers. Rhett Akins, Marv Green, and Jonathan Singleton all had a hand in writing the tracks; Dan Huff and Jimmy Harnen produced the project. Plus, well-chosen covers like “In Color” from fellow Alabama-native Jamey Johnson captivated the crowd and prompted singalongs.

Propelled by his debut single, “There Was This Girl,” the rising momentum continues to swing upward. He topped the Mediabase charts earlier this year (not bad for your first single, right?) and has spent the majority of the summer opening for country music’s ultimate spokesperson, Brad Paisley. And judging by this crowd’s response, headlining arenas someday himself would come effortlessly with his well-suited style of country music. Undoubtedly, being true to yourself and singing about what you know is the ultimate way to solidify your place in the country music scene.

“I wish country music still got played on country radio.”

While there are no set rules on what country music is or isn’t, let’s get something clear here. This is what it is. Riley Green proved that this is how it should be sung.

As passionate music fans steeped in tradition, we all want our country music to sound country. And we can debate, analyze, and read a million think-pieces about what qualifies, but Riley is carrying that vision out. Those hard-hitting lyrics and guitar sounds are reminders that good (beyond good, actually) remain. If an audience feels it, you win. And Riley Green won over every single person that stood in the grandstand or danced on the dirt track that Indiana summer night, turning concertgoers into fans and believers.

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More on Riley Green

Visit RileyGreenMusic.com for upcoming tour dates. You’re gonna wanna pre-save “I Wish Grandpas Never Died” on Spotify, too.


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