As CMA Fest 2018 comes to a close, we are reflecting on all the incredible shows we got to experience all week. It would be impossible to be at every stage at all times but from the three days of Whiskey Jam to the final act at Nissan Arena, we were able to discover a ton of new favourite artists as well as see some that we have already grown to love. Below are a few of our Top Country highlights from CMA Fest 2018.
Whiskey Jam has become a Nashville staple amongst the industry, artists and country fans on Monday and Thursday nights at Winner’s. To celebrate CMA Fest, the creators of Whiskey Jam took over the Winner’s and Loser’s parking lots and created Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Fundays with an incredible line-up. Some of our favourites were Mitchell Tennpenny, Drew Dixon, Riley Green, Kenton Bryant and of course, Canada’s own Meghan Patrick.
There are so many reasons why the Acoustic Corner Stage was one of our favourites at CMA Fest. Not only did we get to escape the sweltering heat, we got to discover some incredible new talent that are making waves in the Nashville community. Matt Stell instantly drew us in with his charming stage presence and undeniable talent. His song ‘Prayed for You’ has been on repeat since we watched him play it. Vancouver duo, Sons of Daughters have been a fan favourite of ours since we were first introduced to them during last year’s CCMA Discovery program. Their harmonies filled the room with goosebumps as they performed. We can’t wait to hear their new music which is coming our way on June 29th.
Spotify turned Blake Shelton/Opry Entertainment Group’s Ole Red restaurant and music venue into its ‘2018 CMA Fest Headquarters.’ There were over 50 artists that performed throughout the week and the entire line-up was stellar. This was definitely one of the hardest rooms to get into as fans braved the heat for hours to get in to be part of the show. Some of the highlights from the Spotify Headquarters were Riley Green, Tenille Townes, Lindsay Ell and Levi Hummon. Two artists that we also got to see for the first time who blew us away were Maggie Rose and Brennin. Getting to witness the epic songwriting that came out of that venue in 4 days made us feel incredibly blessed and inspired.
After spending the day enjoying all the shows under the sun, we cooled off at Jimmy Buffets Margarittaville to see one of our favourite live acts… ever, Blackjack Billy! So much for cooling off, as soon as they stepped on stage and turned the restaurant into a ‘Booze Cruise’ we were up, dancing and sweating again. Their energy is completely infectious and everyone should see them live at least once. We can’t wait for their new single ‘Straight Line Sober’ to arrive June 22nd and to see the perform at Boots and Hearts in August!
There are so many extremely talented females in country music right now. We were so excited to see the Song Suffragettes show on the CMA Close Up stage on Saturday which featured a few of Nashville’s newest and brightest female singer-songwriters. This year, the line-up included two Canadian gals that we adore, Tenille Arts and Emily Reid. If you live in Nashville or are planning to visit, be sure to check out the Song Suggragettes website to see who is playing. #LetTheGirlsPlay