Category Archives: Concert Reviews

Guest Contribution: Concert Review: Keith Urban in Tulsa, OK

Arizona is experiencing a shortage of major concert tours this year. So far the biggest shows have been April’s Country Thunder and June’s Tim McGraw performance. Luckily a writer from Arkansas by the name of Scott Smith was able to attend and write about superstar Keith Urban’s recent concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you’d like to submit a concert review for posting on ATC, please feel free to email me. In the mean time I hope you enjoy Scott’s review.


**Written by Scott Smith**

A whole lot of country and rock flavored singer-guitarist Keith Urban’s performance Aug. 18 inside the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
 
The Australian-born hit maker pleased long-time fans and apparently won many new believers during a concert that ran far past the two-hour mark. “Days Go By,” “I Told You So” and “Only You Can Love Me This Way” came early in the energized set, with “Raining on Sunday” morphing from its initial meditative state into gospel-esque crescendos.
 
Dressed in a snug brown T-shirt, faded bluejeans and well-worn work boots, Urban surprised some viewers when he played an abbreviated, one-man version of Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Silly Love Songs,” “You Gonna Fly,” “Jeans On,” “Georgia Woods” and “Sweet Thing” also won waves of applause and cheers from the all-ages crowd.
 
As strong as his voice was at the Tulsa gig, Urban’s busy, guitar-loving fingers were even more eye-catching. Seemingly channeling The Eagles’ Joe Walsh, Urban changed guitars frequently. Grinning through most of the concert, Urban ripped inspired, impressive solos from Telecasters, Les Pauls and one guitar whose body comprised of color-changing lights.
 
A musician who is capable of playing guitar in almost any other band — Urban’s guitar style could mesh seamlessly with hard rockers Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones and even The Who — Urban often did opt for the less-is-more approach during the instrumental breaks. He hit single guitar notes during breaks instead of always shredding up high on the guitar neck, letting those tasteful notes ring throughout the venue.
 
Remarkably, Urban’s band included only four musicians, yet most of the members played double and triple duty on pedal-steel guitar, six-string banjo, B3 Hammond organ and keyboards. Bassist Jerry Flowers sang the chorus on a shimmering take of U2’s “With or Without You,” and former Tait guitar player Brian Nutter gave a wonderfully shrieking vocal tribute to AC/DC’s Bon Scott via a faithful reading of “It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock and Roll).”.
 
Needless to say, though, it was Urban who was the central figure. An artist hailed by fans and critics alike — even non-fans admit to Urban’s greatness on guitar without a moment’s hesitation — Urban side-stepped any fake, high-energy hokum airs in Tulsa. He read aloud every cardboard sign fans held up, wished a happy birthday to those celebrating the start of a new year, and pulled a young woman up on stage after reading her sign that said, “My Better Half is in Afghanistan.”
 
Urban also took over a minute to thank the crowd for spending money on tickets “in these tough economic times when people have lost jobs.” He later pulled three fans onto the stage to sing with the band. Winning the most cheers was a tiny elementary school girl, whose dance moves and playful sassyness made her seem like a miniature Shania Twain.
 
“Wow,” Urban said after watching her sing and dance. “Where are you from?”
“I’m from Joplin, Missouri,” the girl responded into the microphone.
 
Two seconds later, a deafening roar of cheers and whistles flooded the BOK to encourage the girl and mark the public’s on-going support for Joplin tornado victims. Urban then knelt down beside the girl and kissed her cheek, which caused the child to shake with glee and jump up in down in place.
“I don’t know what you guys have in Joplin, Missouri, but it must be some magical stuff,” Urban said. “Joplin and Tulsa are amazing.”

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Concert Review: Easton Corbin Rocks Arizona…Twice!

This past weekend was a fun weekend that revolved around country’s hottest new artist, Easton Corbin. Corbin performed two shows in Arizona – once at Mesa’s Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill and once in Tucson at the Pima County Fair. I was able to attend both shows so here’s my review of Corbin’s performances.


Out of all the concerts that are hitting Arizona this year, this one was the one that I was looking forward to the most because I had seen Easton Corbin twice before (both shows were last year) and he didn’t disappoint. I’m glad to say that these past two shows once again didn’t disappoint.

Corbin started his 60 minute set with “The Way Love Looks,” a track of his 2010 album Easton Corbin. From there the newcomer transitioned into “Don’t Ask Me About a Woman” and “Far From Memphis” and didn’t hold anything back throughout his set. Some of the set’s highlights included the album tracks “A Lot to Learn About Living,” “Let Alone You,” and the current single, “I Can’t Love You Back.” He continued to perform every other song from his debut album including the number one smash singles, “A Little More Country Than That” and the set-ending “Roll With It.”

Since Corbin doesn’t have enough material of his own to fill an hour long set, there’s the need to throw in a few covers. Being one of country’s best neo-traditionalists Easton covered classic country hits like Merle Haggard’s “Workin’ Man Blues” and Don Williams’ “It Must Be Love.” He also threw in songs by current artists like Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Happen Twice” and Alan Jackson’s “Where I Come From.” During his Tucson performance he also threw in Gary Allan’s “Watching Airplanes” and Conway Twitty’s signature hit, “Lay You Down.” The highlight of both performances was Easton’s encore which included a medley of hits from the artist he’s most compared to to, George Strait. Beginning with just an acoustic guitar, Corbin ran through a few lines of Strait’s “The Chair.” After that, he was joined by a steel guitar to sing “You Look So Good in Love” and then was joined by the full band to conclude the medley with the hit “It Just Comes Natural.”
After spending several months on the road with the CMA Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley last year, it’s obvious Easton learned a lot about performing live. He had the packed house eating out of the palm of his hand and delivered a sold and energetic set during both shows. His voice was right on and, in person, he sounds even more like George Strait. I’ve known for a while now that this newcomer has what it takes to have a Strait-esque career in country music and I sure hope he sticks around for many more years to come. I think we have yet to see the best Corbin and I can’t wait to see where his career goes from here.

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Concert Review: Country Thunder 2011

It’s finally here…ATC’s first concert review of 2011! Last weekend I attended the annual Country Thunder music festival in Florence, Arizona and had one heck of a good time! This year’s headliners included Sawyer Brown, Jason Aldean, Martina McBride, and Toby Keith. This year I got to attend two festival days so here’s my review of the acts I was able to see over the two days.


The main day I wanted to attend was Friday night which included the lineup of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Eric Church, and headliner Jason Aldean. Being a big fan of both Church and Aldean, this was a show I could not miss and both acts didn’t disappoint. We arrived at the festival in the middle of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s set so I wasn’t able to see the majority of their set but I did get to hear their classic hit, “Fishin’ in the Dark.” From what I could tell, the massive crowd was enjoying the band’s set as most of the audience was on their feet dancing along to the music.

Once they ended it was time for Eric Church. Church is somewhat a modern day outlaw in country music. His music doesn’t fit the current mold that you hear on country radio which I think makes him a fan favorite on the road. His hour set included the majority of his singles from his debut “How ‘Bout You” to “Love Your Love the Most” to his current single, “Homeboy.” He did a great job balancing his set list with songs from each of his two albums. Church’s shining moment came during the last song which was his smash, “Smoke a Little Smoke.” The song had the entire audience on their feet and singing along as he lit up a cigar to celebrate the song’s theme. Church did a fantastic job in the last opening spot and definitely got the crowd rowdy for Jason Aldean.

After a quick 30 minute intermission it was time for Jason Aldean to end the night’s festivities. Aldean roared onstage to perform “Tattoos on this Town” off his My Kinda Party album. From there his setlist included nearly every single he’s released to radio from the rowdy anthems like “Johnny Cash” and “Hicktown” to ballads “Why” and “The Truth” to his current single, “Dirt Road Anthem” (songwriter Brantley Gilbert joined him onstage to perform the song). During the middle of his set he was joined by a virtual Kelly Clarkson to sing their #1 smash duet, “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” Since the current tour is in support of My Kinda Party, he included cuts off the album like “See You When I See You” and the title track, “My Kinda Party.” After ending his main set with “Hicktown,” Aldean returned for an encore that included a cover of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” and the smash hit from 2008, “She’s Country.” It was clear he feels extremely comfortable as a headliner and gave the massive audience one of the best closing sets that Country Thunder has seen. He’s already scored an ACM nomination for Entertainer of the Year and I’m certain he’ll one day win the award from either the ACM’s or the CMA’s.
I was unable to attend Saturday’s shows which included sets by Rodney Atkins, Little Big Town, and headliner Martina McBride, but I was able to see a few of the sets that were apart of Sunday’s lineup. The first act I got to see was the group Gloriana. Their set included all their singles like “Wild At Heart” and their current release “Wanna Take You Home.” Though they have one album out, they chose to have the majority of their set be new songs from an upcoming release, but they did throw in a few songs from their debut album. “You Said” was one of the highlights and so was the set-ending “How Far Do You Wanna Go?” The group is having a little trouble hitting the big time on country radio but their live performances are full of energy and spunk and show that the group has lots of potential.

After Gloriana came Sara Evans, who I must say I was the most excited to see. With a catalog as deep as hers and with the amount of hits she’s had, it was no surprise that her set list was mainly filled with singles. She opened with “I Keep Lookin” from her 2003 album, Restless. From there she jumped into singles like “Perfect”, “Real Fine Place,” “Born to Fly,” and her current career reviving single, “A Little Bit Stronger.” In between she included more hits like “Coalmine,” “Some Things Never Change,” and “I Could Not Ask for More.” She ended her set with one of her career defining hits, “Suds in the Bucket.” During the earlier sets the crowd was fairly scarce and almost non-existence until Sara hit the stage then it grew and only got bigger during her set. Her voice was on point and she showed that she’s one of the best female vocalists country music has to offer. I’m excited to see her back on the road and performing new music.

When I first saw the lineup several months ago, I was a bit surprised that Sara Evans wasn’t occupying the final opening slot before Toby Keith and I was intrigued to see who they’d get to fill that slot. When it was announced that it would be Clay Walker, I knew he was the perfect choice. Like Sara before him, Clay has a deep catalog that could fill more than the hour he was alotted, but the songs he chose represented his career brilliantly. From the opener “Live, Laugh, Love” to “If I Could Make a Living” it was clear the audience would be treated to plenty of Walker’s early hits. He included plenty of 90’s hits like “Rumor Has It,” “Dreaming with my Eyes Wide Open,” “Then What?,” and even his debut singles, “What’s It to You” and “Live Until I Die.” He also included some of his recent hits like “Fall” and his top 10 hit from last year, “She Won’t Be Lonely Long.” I hadn’t seen Clay since probably the mid to late 90’s so I was thrilled that he included most of his early hits in his 60 minute set. He did a fantastic job getting the crowd ready for the Big Dog Daddy, Toby Keith. Unfortunately, I had to work early Monday morning so we left after Walker’s set but I heard Toby put on a great show and closed out the festival with a bang.
Traditionally Country Thunder is usually the kickoff of my yearly concert series and this year is no different. Look for reviews of concerts featuring artists like Easton Corbin, Kenny Chesney, country music legend Loretta Lynn, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Taylor Swift this year as well as many more as I’m sure more Arizona concerts will be announced soon.

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Review Blast: 2010 Fall Concert Series

Since I’ve been extremely busy with school and work these past few months, I’ve been slacking on reviews. So this week look for a few Review Blasts that include small reviews of recent concerts I’ve attended, singles, and albums. Also make sure you check back last this week for some more talk about next week’s CMA awards.

Arizona has had one of the best fall concert series that I’ve seen in quite sometime. Many of country’s biggest tours have hit the Grand Canyon state including Brad Paisley’s H20 Tour, Zac Brown Band’s 2010 tour, Rascal Flatt’s tour, and Carrie Underwood’s Play On tour. I was lucky enough to get to attend all four of these concerts and here are my quick reviews.

H2O Tour 2010: Brad Paisley featuring Darius Rucker, Justin Moore, Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia, and Josh Thompson
CMA Entertainer of the Year nominee brought his H2O tour to Arizona’s Cricket Wireless Pavilion and the tour as a whole did not disappoint. The country music started early in the afternoon on the Waterworld Plaza Stage with Josh Thompson. Thompson delivered a solid set that included hits “Beer on the Table” and his latest single, “Way Out Here.” Thompson was followed by country’s newest traditionalist, Easton Corbin. Easton was the small stage’s highlight as he played through some of his songs off his debut album like “Just Can’t Love You Back,” “Don’t Ask Me About a Woman,” “A Lot to Learn About Livin’,” and “The Way Love Looks” as well as his chart-topping singles, “Roll With It” and “A Little More Country Than That.” Duo Steel Magnolia capped off the small stage’s performances with a set that included hits “Keep on Lovin’ You,” and “Just By Being You” as well as a cover of Johnny and June Carter Cash’s hit, “Jackson.”

Over on the main stage, Justin Moore kicked off the night with a decent set that included hits “Backwoods,” “How I Got to Be This Way,” and his number one smash, “Small Town U.S.A.” The audience seemed bigger during Easton Corbin’s set than it did for Moore’s set which make me wonder why Easton wasn’t the main stage’s opener. Following Justin was Darius Rucker who included many of his country hits and album cuts off his album, Learn to Live, as well as throwing in several Hootie and the Blowfish songs. Rucker did a fantastic job at warming up the crowd for Paisley by singing all his country singles as well as his latest hit, “Come Back Song.” Rucker ended his set with a cover of Prince’s classic, “Purple Rain.”

Brad Paisley opened his headlining set with “Water” and ran through nearly every smash hit he’s ever released from early hits like “Wrapped” and “Mud on the Tires” to current songs like “American Saturday Night” and “Welcome to the Future.” He was joined onstage by a virtual Alison Krauss for this hit “Whiskey Lullaby” and Dierks Bentley even made a small cameo on the large screens behind Paisley. Paisley ran through the crowd to a diving board shaped stage near the lawn to perform his nostalgic hit, “Letter to Me.” He had all the couples dancing and singing along to slow ballads like “She’s Everything” and “Then.” Paisley ended the night with the usual set closers, “Ticks” and “Alcohol” which everyone on the tour helped perform and even included a strange onstage cameo by Steven Seagall.

This was one heck of a show that proved to be a bang for your buck considering some lawn seats were on sale for just $10.

Breaking Southern Ground Tour 2010 featuring Zac Brown Band
Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of the Zac Brown Band until they released their latest single, “As She’s Walking Away.” So when the opportunity arose to be able to see them in concert, I initially declined. However, when the CMA nominations came out and ZBB was nominated for Entertainer of the Year, I knew I had to attend since this could be first time I’ve seen all five Entertainer nominees in a single year. However, I was soon wishing I could get a refund of my $40 during their concert.

The night started with a couple of unknown, non-country bands that left the enthusiastic crowd really confused about why they were even there. I even caught myself asking if I was still at a country show. Once they openers ended, it was time for Zac Brown Band to take the stage. They tried to build the suspense by showing an intro video that went way too long (it was about 15 minutes of them doing nonsense acts). Once they finally hit the stage, they delivered a set that was very up and down and included major hits “Free,” “Highway 20 Ride,” and “Toes.” The band also threw in their cover of the Charlie Daniels Band’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” They ended the night with “Chicken Fried” and failed to return for an encore. The biggest complaint I heard from most people was that some of the band’s instrumental breaks were far too long, one in particular lasted about 15 minutes and consisted of one guitar. I get that they are great musicians but turning each 3 and a half minute song into a 10 minute song isn’t the way to go about proving it. I don’t understand how they were included in the Entertainer field but they have no chance at winning. This show gets the unfortunate honor of being the worst of 2010.

Nothing Like This Tour featuring Rascal Flatts, Kellie Pickler, and Chris Young
Rascal Flatts has always been a big draw in Arizona and their recent stop in Phoenix was no exception. The night started with Chris Young delivering a fantastic set that was way too short. He managed to perform hits like “Gettin’ You Home,” “The Man I Want to Be,” and his latest single, “Voices.” He also threw in album favorites like “Beer or Gasoline” and “Raining Night in Georgia.” Young was followed by country bombshell Kellie Pickler who opened her set with “Best Days of Your Life.” It was painfully obvious that Pickler wasn’t feeling to good because she came out with no makeup on and her hair tied into a messy ponytail. Throughout the night she kept apologizing for her voice citing allergies as the reason she wasn’t 100%. Nevertheless, she sang through her hits like “Red High Heels,” the somber “I Wonder,” and her recent release, “Making Me Fall In Love.” She also included a cover of her idol, Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”

Once Pickler was finished, Gary, Joe Don, and Jay (also known as Rascal Flatts) burst onto the stage and delivered a solid headlining set. They included hits from the past ten years like early favorites “Prayin’ for Daylight,” “I’m Movin’ On,” and “These Days.” They also included newer classics like “Why Wait,” “Unstoppable,” “Bob that Head,” “Mayberry,” and “Bless the Broken Road.” Throughout the show, the guys made it crystal clear that they were excited to be entering their tenth year in the music industry and chose to use this tour to celebrate it. They promised to deliver hits from every corner of their catalog and they delivered. However, their setlist was poorly arranged because they loaded the front two-thirds of the show with fast, rocking songs and saved power ballads like “Stand,” “What Hurts the Most,” and “Every Day” for the last third of the show. The group ended the night with their smash hit, “Summer Nights.” I’ve seen Rascal Flatts several times and I always feel like I see the same show every year. I think they need to switch things up for their upcoming tours to avoid being repetitive.

Play On Tour featuring Carrie Underwood, Billy Currington and Sons of Sylvia
Carrie Underwood has been one of the biggest female superstars of the decade and she proved why during her Play On  Tour stop in Phoenix. The night began with the trio of brothers, Sons of Sylvia. They delivered an interesting rock flavored set that showed off their musicianship and their vocal talents. It’s clear that since they aren’t exactly country, they were given the opening slot in large part to their duet with Carrie, “What Can I Say.”

The trio was followed by country hearthrob Billy Currington who opened his set with his recent smash, “That’s How Country Boys Roll.” Currington showed the crowd that he’s more than just a pretty boy by performing hits like “Pretty Good at Drinkin’ Beer,” “I Got a Feeling,” “Must Be Doin’ Something Right,” and “People are Crazy.” He ended his set with his smash hit, written by Luke Bryan, “Good Directions.” It’s interesting to wonder whether or not Billy really feels comfortable on stage because he mainly just stood in one spot the entire night and rarely visited the sides of the stage until he was walking off stage. Still, his set was fairly solid and well put together.

Headliner Carrie Underwood took the stage to perform her recent hit, “Cowboy Casanova,” to open the show. In numerous interviews about this tour, Carrie has always said that she wanted to go big and pull off all the stops and she didn’t disappoint. She rose from under the massive stage on a couch while performing “Casanova” and made sure she utilized the elevation changes throughout the night. She continued performing songs like “Quitter,” “I Know You Won’t,” and “Wasted” before she went backstage for a quick costume change. She returned to the stage to sit on a swing that lifted her above the stage while she sang “Just a Dream.” Underwood powered through nearly all her singles including “Temporary Home,” “So Small,” and “All American Girl.” The highlight of her set was the powerful medley of “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and the gospel classic, “How Great Thou Art” which resulted in a huge standing ovation for the three time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year.

Carrie threw in numerous gimmicks like riding above the crowd in the back of a pickup truck to sing “Country Roads” and “This Time.” Underwood was joined onstage by opener the Sons of Sylvia to perform their duet, “What Can I Say.” Carrie ended her main set with “Last Name” and then performed an encore of “Before He Cheats” and “Songs Like This.” This was, at the time, my favorite concert of 2010 and proved that Carrie was no doubt snubbed of an Entertainer nomination. However, I think she’ll get one eventually if she continues to perform shows like this she did this year.

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Concert Review: Lady Antebellum, Need You Now 2010 Tour

Country superstars and CMA Entertainer of the Year nominees Lady Antebellum brought their first headlining tour, the Need You Now 2010 Tour, to Phoenix’s Comerica Theatre for a special Halloween show. Judging by their performance, the trio proves to be a frontrunner for the Entertainer prize at this month’s CMA awards.
Since the announcement of the CMA nominees, all eyes have been on the Entertainer of the Year category and the inclusion of country superstars Lady Antebellum. During their performance last night, they proved they know how to hold their own when it comes to entertaining a crowd and headlining their own tour.

After the theatre’s curtain revealed the trio, they went into an acoustic version of their first number one hit single, “I Run to You.” Mid-way through the song, the band kicked in and never stopped rocking the entire night. The trio went straight into “Stars Tonight” and “Love This Pain,” both songs are cuts on their triple-platinum Need You Now album. The trio continued to rock the theatre by offering earlier songs like “Love’s Lookin’ Good On You” and “Long Gone.” The crowd got to show off their singing skills on the band’s number one smash, “American Honey.” The best performance of the night followed as the band did a bluegrass version of “Something About a Woman” which included an upright bass, mandolin, acoustic guitars, and plenty other bluegrass sounds.

After hyping of the crowd with uptempo numbers, it was time for the band to slow down the tempo. The band offered the tender ballad “When You Got a Good Thing,” which showed off Charles’ soulful voice. About halfway through the trio’s hour and a half set, Charles stepped off stage to allow bandmates Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood to have their time in the spotlight. Hillary performed a toned down version of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” accompanied by only a piano and the harmony of Dave. She then went into the song “Ready to Love Again” which closes their Need You Now album. Once she finished, she too stepped onto the side stage to allow Dave Haywood a chance to perform the song he and Charles wrote for Luke Bryan, “Do I.” Charles then returned to the stage to perform the group’s latest single, “Hello World,” which was one of the night’s best performances.

Once the band finished, it was time to rock the crowd again with songs like “Perfect Day,” and chart-topping singles “Our Kind of Love,” “Lookin’ For a Good Time,” and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.” The trio ended their main set with their breakout smash single, “Need You Now.” After a quick break, the announcer came on the speakers to announce that three country music superstars were performing as special guests and introduced Reba McEntire and Brooks & Dunn. Out of the side stage came Hillary dressed as Reba, Charles dressed as Ronnie Dunn, and Dave dressed as Kix Brooks. They performed the hit “If You See Him, If You See Her” to end the night (you can view the video of their encore below).

The setlist was perfectly balanced and included nearly every song off of Need You Now as well as fan favorites from their debut album, Lady Antebellum. The show’s stage production was extremely simple and proved that the trio doesn’t need gimicks like pyrotechnics, or flying over the crowd to provide an entertaining show. Instead, they relied on their talent and personalities which proved to be enough. What makes Lady A one of the best entertainers in today’s country music is the fact that they obviously love doing what they’re doing and they love being on stage every night. Out of the 10 country concerts I’ve attended this year, this was by far the best one and I’ve seen three other Entertainer nominees this year (Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Zac Brown Band). Don’t be surprised come November 10 because that could be the night this mega-trio is crowned Entertainer of the Year.

Along with Lady A, newcomer David Nail was also on the bill and provided a great 30-minute set that included his debut smash hit, “Red Light,” as well as his current single, “Turning Home.” Nail proved to be one of country’s best new voices and could see a bright future in years to come.

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Lady A and Easton Corbin lead inaugural American Country Awards Nominations

The inaugural American Country Awards announced its first ever nominations today and it’s no surprise that Lady Antebellum leads the nominations list. But, what is a surprise, is who tied Lady A with the most nominations. Find out how the nominations look as well as the suprise newcomer who scored a leading seven nominations along with Lady A.


Lady Antebellum and Easton Corbin received a leading seven nominations for the American Country Awards show. Right behind Lady A and Corbin is Carrie Underwood who received six nominations while Miranda Lambert and Josh Turner each received five nominations each.

The inaugural awards show is the newest awards show that is all fan voted and will present its first trophies on December 6 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The ACA’s breaks up the nominations into five different categories: Artists, Albums, Singles, Touring, and Music Videos. Here are this year’s nominees…

ARTISTS

Artist of the Year

  • Lady Antebellum
  • Taylor Swift
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Zac Brown Band

Male Artist of the Year

  • Jason Aldean
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • Luke Bryan
  • Keith Urban

Female Artist of the Year

  • Carrie Underwood
  • Taylor Swift
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Reba McEntire
  • Jewel

New/Breakthrough Artist of the Year

  • Easton Corbin
  • Jerrod Niemann
  • Jaron and the Long Road to Love
  • The Band Perry
  • Danny Gokey

Duo/Group of the Year

  • Rascal Flatts
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Zac Brown Band
  • Sugarland
  • The Band Perry

ALBUMS

Album of the Year

  • Revolution – Miranda Lambert
  • Play On – Carrie Underwood
  • Doin’ My Thing – Luke Bryan
  • Haywire – Josh Turner
  • Need You Now – Lady Antebellum

SINGLES

Single of the Year

  • “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
  • “Why Don’t We Just Dance” – Josh Turner
  • “Do I” – Luke Bryan
  • “Gimme That Girl” – Joe Nichols
  • “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin

Single by a Male Artist

  • “Why Don’t We Just Dance” – Josh Turner
  • “Do I” – Luke Bryan
  • “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin
  • “That’s How Country Boys Roll” – Billy Currington
  • “Gimme That Girl” – Joe Nichols

Single by a Female Artist

  • “Consider Me Gone” – Reba McEntire
  • “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Cowboy Casanova” – Carrie Underwood
  • “Wrong Baby Wrong” – Martina McBride
  • “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” – Kellie Pickler

Single by a Group/Duo

  • “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
  • “Toes” – Zac Brown Band
  • “Little White Church” – Little Big Town
  • “Unstoppable” – Rascal Flatts
  • “Keep On Lovin’ You” – Steel Magnolia

Single by a New/Breakthrough Artist

  • “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin
  • “Keep On Lovin’ You” – Steel Magnolia
  • “Lover, Lover” – Jerrod Niemann
  • “I Pray for You” – Jaron and the Long Road to Love
  • “Beer on the Table” – Josh Thompson

MUSIC VIDEOS

Music Video of the Year

  • “Hillbilly Bone” – Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins
  • “Why Don’t We Just Dance” – Josh Turner
  • “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
  • “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin
  • “The Man I Want to Be” – Chris Young

Music Video by a Male Artist

  • “Hillbilly Bone” – Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins
  • “Why Don’t We Just Dance” – Josh Turner
  • “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin
  • “Southern Voice” – Tim McGraw
  • “The Man I Want to Be” – Chris Young

Music Video by a Female Artist

  • “Didn’t You Know How Much I Loved You” – Kellie Pickler
  • “White Liar” – Miranda Lambert
  • “Consider Me Gone” – Reba McEntire
  • “Cowboy Casanova” – Carrie Underwood
  • “Work Hard, Play Harder” – Gretchen Wilson

Music Video by a Duo/Group

  • “Need You Now” – Lady Antebellum
  • “Highway 20 Ride” – Zac Brown Band
  • “Keep On Lovin’ You” – Steel Magnolia
  • “American Honey” – Lady Antebellum
  • “Little White Church” – Little Big Town

Music Video by a New/Breakthrough Artist

  • “A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin
  • “Keep On Lovin’ You” – Steel Magnolia
  • “Lover, Lover” – Jerrod Niemann
  • “Giddy On Up” – Laura Bell Bundy
  • “If I Die Young” – The Band Perry

TOURING

Touring Arist of the Year

  • Tim McGraw
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Strait/Reba
  • Taylor Swift
  • Sugarland
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Toby Keith
  • Martina McBride/Trace Adkins

I have to say this is quite an interesting list of nominees. Jewel for Female Artist? Gretchen Wilson getting a music video nomination? Danny Gokey for New/Breakthrough artist over Steel Magnolia? Kellie Pickler getting nominations? Some of these nominees don’t make sense, to me, but it is what it is. I’m thinking Carrie Underwood’s fans will make sure she cleans up at this awards show, especially after how they feel about her snub at the CMA’s this year, but it should be interesting to see who wins the inaugural trophies.

The American Country Awards will air live from Las Vegas on December 6 on FOX.

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Legends Corner: George Jones in Concert

Starting this week, All Things Country will start a weekly post I like to call our Legends Corner. Each week we will honor the country of old with reviews of some of country music’s greatest songs as well as concert reviews and news stories. It would be only fitting to start off our Legends Corner with a review of a recent George Jones concert I attended. Read on to see the review.

Country music legend George Jones visited the small town of Camp Verde, Arizona last Saturday and delivered a solid 90-minute set that spawned hits from throughout his illustrious career. The man known as “The Possum” kicked off his set with a noticeably slower version of his hit, “Why Baby Why.” Backed by his band the Jones Boys, George sailed right into his hit “Once You’ve Had the Best.”

Throughout his show, Jones constantly made it known that his raspy voice was the result of allergies acting up as a result of the outdoor venue. It was more noticeable on the more uptempo songs like the opener as well as “The Corvette Song” where the lyrics could barely be heard as well as “White Lightening” which was the end of a medley of some of Jones’ biggest hits including “The Grand Tour,” “Walk Through This World With Me,” and “She Thinks I Still Care.” However, the raspy voice didn’t stop Jones from making sure the senior citizen-dominated audience left happy.

One of the highlights of the night was when Jones delivered his brilliant song, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” after saying he wasn’t a big fan of today’s “hot, new country radio.” During the song the big screen flashed pictures of past country legends like Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and many, many more. At the end of the song, George seemed to have answered the song title’s question of who’s gonna fill their shoes by showing pictures of current artists Kenny Chesney, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, and Carrie Underwood. Other highlights included the duets “Take Me” and “Gold Ring” which background singer Brittany Allyn joined George on.

As the show wound down Jones delivered the song that has become one of the greatest – and saddest – songs ever written, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” The performance brought the crowd to its feet and Jones capitalized on their energy to finish with his racous hit, “I Don’t Need No Rockin’ Chair.”

It’s clear the 78 year old George Jones has lost a few steps that he had back in his prime. All the uptempo songs, and some of the slower tunes, were slowed way down to allow the singer to keep up with the band. There were also a few fiddle solos thrown in to give Jones a small break throughout the set. Despite the slower production, the audience was still treated to a fantastic night of traditional country music from one of the genre’s finest singers.

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Filed under Concert Reviews, Legends Corner