Life returns to...wait, normal is just a setting on the dryer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Things are slowly returning to the current version of normal. Doctor appointments, motorcycle rides,  service appointments, motorcycle rides, haircuts, motorcycle rides, chores, shopping and oh yeah, did I say....motorcycle rides?

I finally got all the photos from CMA Fest uploaded to SmugMug and thought I should post a recap of the nightly music at LP Field. [Each name is linked to the photo album for that person]

The first night was Thursday and after the National Anthem, Glen Campbell came out and gave an amazing performance. When done, it was a standing ovation from all. Miranda Lambert came next followed by Kellie Pickler, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, Lauren Alaina, and Brad Paisley closed the night along with surprise guest, Hank Williams Jr.

On Friday The Oakridge Boys performed the National Anthem and a few verses of "Elvira" to warm up the crowd. The opening classic star was Ronnie Milsap. He's got a new album and his voice is as good as ever!. Brantley Gilbert, Jake Owen, Gwen Sebastian, The Band Perry, Blake Shelton, Randy Houser followed with Carrie Underwood as the closer. What a performance she put on!!

Saturday Julie Roberts opened with the National Anthem. The classic star was Kenny Rogers. If you follow country music, you know his plastic surgery has been a more recent claim to fame. His voice might have faded a little but he showcased many old favorites, all to the delight of the crowd.

The gee-whiz kid of country music was next, Hunter Hayes. He's been performing since age 2, plays almost any instrument, write songs and has a voice to die for. After doing several songs on stage he proceeded to the middle of the audience and played piano. All the lights were dimmed during one of his songs and the field was lit by thousands of mini-LED flashlights that were handed out, or in our case (and others that didn't get one), by our cell phones. The effect was amazing....a starry, starry night.

The rest of the evening's performers were Love and Theft, Rodney Adkins, Little Big Town, Eric Church, Faith Hill, Kip Moore and was closed with a rousing performance by ace showman, Luke Bryan.

Sunday, Sarah Darling was the performer of The National Anthem and the first classic star performance was to herald the return to country music, The Mavericks. The second classic star was "Whispering" Bill Anderson...what a velvet voice! Scotty McCreery was next, proving his country roots. Dierks Bentley was next and near the end he did a duo with Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town.

Rascall Flatts came out and soared, doing new and old songs and everyone joined in for "Life is a Highway". They were followed by Alan Jackson who wowed the crowd with every tune. Steel Magnolia, winner of the reality show "Can you Duet" were next, followed by Martina McBride. Her closing act was the highlight of the event, perfect for the last performance on the last night. When she finished “Broken Wing,” the long and adoring applause had its effect on McBride, who surrendered to tears. “All I’ve ever wanted to do since I was 4 years old was sing,” she said, emotionally. “Thank you for making my dreams come true.” [quote source]

We had a wonderful time, enjoying our first and last nights eating out with friends from Knoxville area who ended up being camped about six sites away. We originally had planned to leave on Monday but opted to stay the extra day and rest. The weather was perfect, no severe storms and even the heat wasn't bad on the worst day; in addition we were treated to gorgeous sunsets several nights.

Stu enjoyed the campground pool during the day, we rode our bicycles several times, made a trip to both Camping World (stayed under $100) and Bass Pro (spent nothing). We really liked the Two Rivers Campground, so well that we reserved a week for 2013 CMA Music Fest and bought our tickets. The past two times we've paid for a parking pass at LP Field, but the campground is on the Gray Line route so we plan to buy a 4 day pass. (Will make it easier to run in/out of town during the day.) So, anyone wanna join in the fun with us? Sites go fast as do the tickets!


  1. Now that sounds like some serious fun, Donna! wow. Great photos of the performers. what a kick! So many from the past and I keep seeing Carrie all over the place lately. She is great, and definitely puts on a show. I have a cute photo of her with my grandson when my daughter was in radio and she was new to music and singing at a country show right here in Oregon.

  2. WoW! What a weekend! Hard for anybody to top that! Wonderful that Sue got to see her before she really got famous. Talent packed weekend, that's for sure.

  3. Sounds like a great time. I would like to go next year, but we just hate to make plans too far in advance.

  4. Sounds as if you guys had a blast and seeing all that talent in one place!!

  5. So is there anybody who didn't show up to perform? Wow - you saw some amazing performers. Went to a Country Music Jam in Wheeling WV when I lived in DC. What a fantastic time.

  6. How well I remember the Country Music Jams in Wheeling way back when. Never did make it over there.

    I can hardly look at either Kenny Rogers or Dolly Parton. Their plastic surgeries make them look bizarre. Also, so surprised to see all the weight Alan Jackson has put on. But, hey who am I to talk about weight gain.

    I downloaded your short story on Kindle. Enjoyed it. Keep up the good work.

  7. That's why we loved fanfair...You saw soooo many stars..When we went, Tim McGraw had just released, "Don't Take The Girl", which tells you how long ago that was..1994. Sure would like to join you, but we are in limbo on camping plans for next year..a few family members not doing too well...


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