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CMA Awards 2010: The Times, They Are A-Changin’

Our Country

The first round of performers for the 2010 Country Music Awards were announced this week--and, by the looks of things, the show is continuing its developing trend toward change and modernity.

Last year's first-round announcement was--as it usually is--all about the big names: George Strait, Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood. This year, it's all about the buzz names: Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, and the Zac Brown Band.

It can't be any accident the CMAs are taking this direction. First of all, the nominee list already is weighted heavily with these fresher names. Second, it's these very artists who are bringing a new audience and recognition to country music, which (as I've been repeatedly writing about over the past year or so) has been growing steadily into the genre of power in the industry these days.

Some may lament the advent of "new country" over "true country," but, like it or not, this is the future of Nashville. It's a bright future, I think; one not lacking authenticity whatsoever, actually. I was pretty excited to see the initial 2010 performers' roster.

However, for those folks who really are worried about the direction of country music--not to fret, there will be plenty of tried-and-true at the CMAs this year. Kenny Chesney was among the initial crew announced, as was Alan Jackson (who will be pairing up with the Zac Brown Band on stage--sure to be a focal point of the show). And, I'm sure there will be additional solid names added to the bill when the rest of the artists are announced.

If anything, the show will not be boring, as it has been guilty of in past years. Last year's made history, and I can only expect the same with the talent at the table this year.

The 44th Annual CMA Awards, which will be hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood for the third year in a row, will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena November 10 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Who are you looking forward to seeing on stage? Be sure to let me know.  

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