My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Category Archives: Awards Discussions

Our CMA predictions revisited

This was definitely our most successful attempt at predictions yet.

All three of us correctly predicted that the top Entertainer of the Year award would go to our current Spotlight Artist, Brad Paisley, who defied the influx of new names in this category for a long overdue triumph. He also premiered his new single on the show, as well as playing guitar for co-host Carrie Underwood, who went home with nothing for the first time.

However, we all wrongly thought Brad would also walk home with a fourth straight Male Vocalist win. Blake Shelton’s success was the biggest surprise of the night, crowning a great evening for the Shelton-Lambert household, and confirming them as country music’s current First Couple. It will be interesting to see if he gets a sales boost for his hits collection, Loaded. Blake’s fiancee Miranda Lambert didn’t win all the categories in which she was nominated, and missed out on Entertainer, but was still the big winner of the night, including her first Female Vocalist trophy – as we all expected would be the case. Razor X was the only one to predict that Revolution would beat out the opposition in the Album category.

We correctly predicted that Lady Antebellum’s commerical domination of the early part of this year would give them the Group title, and that Sugarland were unbeatable in the Duo category this year. Their eccentric performance of their latest hit may not have won them any new fans, though.

New Artist was an easy prediction for the Zac Brown Band (also nominated in the Entertainer category). Their live performance of current hit ‘When She’s Walking Away’ with Alan Jackson was a highlight of the show, and I’m predicting now that the record will probably get at least a nomination for Vocal Event of the Year next time around. That award went this year to Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins, for ‘Hillbilly Bone’ – another one we all got right.

Razor X and I correctly predicted that Lady A’s ‘Need You Now’ would be named Single of the Year, and Razor X and J.R. Journey both pegged Miranda’s hit ‘The House that Built Me’ to take Song honors for its writers, Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin. (I didn’t think it would win, but wanted it to.) None of us expected the song also to win the Video category. J.R. correctly predicted that Mac McAnally would win the Musician title.

Razor X was the most successful at predicting winners (9), with J.R. in second (8). I trailed in last with 7.

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CMA picks and predictions

Last week we reminded you who all the nominees were. Now it’s time to reveal our predictions as to who is likely to walk away with the awards later this week – and who we think ought to win.

Entertainer of the Year

Razor X: Despite Taylor Swift’s win last year, the Entertainer of the Year awards is usually given to a seasoned veteran, which makes Keith Urban and Brad Paisley the two serious contenders. Despite having the third highest number of career CMA nominations after Alan Jackson and George Strait, Paisley has yet to win the top award. His turn has probably come this year.
Occasional Hope: It’s fascinating to see so many relatively new names in contention this year; it marks a real change in the CMA’s mindset as traditionally this highest honor has been reserved for more established artists. Last year’s win by Taylor Swift may be responsible for that change. In some ways, I think Lady A have a good claim, as they’ve dominated sales charts and had some international success, but I would like Brad Paisley to finally get it this year, and I believe he will. He’s been nominated for years without winning, and for the last two or three I’ve been thinking surely this was his year. I think his time to win this award is running out, but this should be his year.
J.R. Journey: Our current Spotlight Artist is currently tied with Kenny Rogers for most nominations without a win in this category. But I think Brad Paisley’s unsuccessful bids for country music’s top award will end this year. He’s had a great year commercially, but he’s had those in years past too. His edge this year comes mostly from the lack of seriously strong competition. Only Lady A and Miranda Lambert could stop him this year, and I think Lady A is still a ways from being fully embraced by Nashville. So barring a full-Lambert sweep in all her categories (which I also think is sorta unlikely), I think 2010 is Brad Paisley’s year for this trophy.

Male Vocalist

J.R.: Again, the lack of another stand-out contender is Brad’s biggest advantage in the Male Vocalist race. Keith Urban continues to perform well at radio and retail, but hasn’t had a monster hit in some time now. Shelton and Bentley are still newbs to this category and don’t have the label muscle behind them to win. A victory for Brad Paisley this year will give him four consecutive wins, still one behind five-time winners Vince Gill and George Strait.
OH: I’m delighted to see Dierks Bentley get nominated this year, having taken a rare artistic risk with his bluegrass influenced Up On The Ridge. I would love to see him win, but suspect it will go to Brad Paisley again.
Razor: Aside from Dierks Bentley, none of these artists released anything that really excited me during the past year. George Strait and Blake Shelton are the two best vocalists in the group; I’ll say that Strait should win simply because I liked his material this year better than Shelton’s. However, I think this category is wide open this year, and any one of the nominees has a shot at winning. My instincts, which haven’t always been reliable in the past, are telling me that this will be a good year for Brad Paisley.

Female Vocalist

Razor: Out of all of this year’s nominees, Miranda Lambert‘s career has picked up the most momentum. Taylor Swift didn’t release a new album during the eligibility period. Reba McEntire has enjoyed a resurgence, but I think her award-winning days are, for the most part, behind her. Martina McBride had another lackluster year; I’m not sure why she was even nominated. Carrie Underwood has an outside chance of winning; I’m betting that the Association will opt for a fresh face this year.
J.R.: It’s a sad state of affairs when there aren’t even five legitimate hit-makers or artistic stand-outs to fill out this ballot. Unlike seat-filler Martina McBride, the trio of Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, and Reba McEntire continue to have solid radio hits and release gold and platinum albums, but none have done anything substantial or memorable this year. Miranda Lambert, on the other hand, had her major breakthrough with the multi-week #1 ‘The House That Built Me’ and cemented her status as a superstar with her first headlining tour and the release of her third critically-acclaimed album. For all that, and her leading the nominations, Miranda seems like the logical choice to win.
OH: This is Miranda Lambert’s time to shine. She’s had a really big year, and although she won’t win Entertainer, this one should be hers.

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CMA award nominees, 2010: setting the stage

It’s awards time again, with this year’s CMA awards being announced next week. We’ll share our predictions on Monday, but meanwhile here’s a reminder of who is nominated and why. The nominations this year have a few new faces showing up in unexpected places. The big questions of this year’s show will be whether Miranda Lambert will dominate the night as she has the nominations list. Whatever happens, outraged fans are likely to complain that their favorite has been “snubbed”, or someone else has won undeservedly.

Entertainer of the Year
Lady Antebellum
Miranda Lambert
Brad Paisley
Keith Urban
Zac Brown Band

Last year’s controversial winner Taylor Swift was snubbed altogether in this category this year – perhaps partly because of the backlash after her clean sweep last time, but also because she released little during the nomination period. Instead, the category sees no less than three first-time nominees: critical flavor of the month Miranda Lambert (who leads nominations overall), and the two hottest bands of recent years, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band, who are among the few current artists to be selling in the millions. They join Keith Urban (the only former winner to be in the running this time) and our own current Spotlight Artist Brad Paisley, who has been nominated every year since 2005 but is so far without the trophy.

Male Vocalist
Dierks Bentley
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton
George Strait
Keith Urban

Brad Paisley has won this award for the past three years, and Keith Urban took it home for the three years prior to that. Both men are still scoring regular #1 hit singles and selling well, but is it time for another change at the top? There are two first-time nominees, Dierks Bentley, rewarded by the CMA for his artistic ambition even though country radio has been reluctant to embrace the singles from his bluegrass-inspired Up On The Ridge, and Blake Shelton, who is becoming a regular fixture at the top of the charts. The evergreen George Strait, meanwhile, seems to be nominated virtually every year, but hasn’t won since 1998 (his third year in a row – he also has a couple of trophies from the 80s).

Female Vocalist
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Reba McEntire
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Last year’s winner Taylor Swift gets another nod, recognizing her commercial preeminence despite a series of woeful live TV performances – including at last year’s CMA awards show. She faces pop-country queen Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, who had a massive breakthrough this year, and is the only one of these ladies to be nominated in the Entertainer category. Reba McEntire, the oldest nominee, is still contending on the charts, but the fifth nominee, Martina McBride, seems to be merely filling out the category, as she has not had a good year commercially or critically.

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ACM Rewind: Billy Dean – ‘Somewhere In My Broken Heart’

An acoustic version of the 1991 Song of the Year:

ACM Rewind: Moe Bandy with Janie Fricke – ‘It’s A Cheating Situation’

A 1988 performance of the song which won the ACM Song of the Year Award in 1979 for writers Curly Putnam and Sonny Throckmorton.

ACM Awards: My Kind Of Country’s choices

Last week we revealed our predictions for Sunday’s ACM Awards ceremony. Now we’ll let you know who we’d actually like to win. We had a number of unanimous predictions, mainly relating to Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum, but we’re a bit more divided when it comes to our personal choices.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Kenny Chesney
Toby Keith
Brad Paisley: J.R. Journey, Occasional Hope, Meg
George Strait: Razor X

Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban
Zac Brown Band

J.R.: I think Brad is about 3 years overdue for an Entertainer of the Year win. He’s one of the best we’ve got.
OH: He apparently puts on a great live show, has a good image, is a popular choice to co-host awards shows himself, and it’s his turn. Actually, as J.R. says, it’s been his turn for a while, and he keeps getting overlooked. Now his commercial star seems to be waning a bit, I hope he doesn’t miss the boat on this award at one of the major awards shows. It’s a shame this category is fan-voted.
Meg: Top tour, great sales & #1s, appearances everywhere – Brad’s been working hard and deserves this.
Razor: This is a pretty underwhelming list of nominees. I don’t think the Zac Brown Band has risen to the level yet where they can be taken seriously as contenders for this award – and the veterans who usually get nominated (Chesney, Urban, Keith, and Paisley) haven’t done anything that spectacular in the past year. For that reason, I’m picking my favorite from this list of entertainers as the person to whom I’d like to see this award given.

TOP MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley: J.R., Meg
Darius Rucker
George Strait: Occasional Hope, Razor X
Keith Urban

Razor: Again, I’m going strictly by personal preference. Strait is the only really decent singer in this group of otherwise weak vocalists.
OH: He’s the best singer of these guys and has the best current album release.

TOP FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Miranda Lambert
Reba McEntire: J.R., Meg, Razor X
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood
Lee Ann Womack: Occasional Hope

Razor: She is simply the best in this group of nominees, and against the odds, has had a resurgence at radio in the past year.
J.R.: Who else would I pick? She did have a great album which was just certified gold and recently released the longest-running chart-topper of her 33 year career and is currently part of the hottest country music ticket on the road right now. This is Reba’s 14th nomination with 7 wins in this category in the past 25 years. That’s impressive.
Meg: She’s had a great year with a super single in ‘Consider Me Gone’ at #1 for 4 weeks, a gold album, and arguably has the best vocals and interpretation out there.
OH: I love her voice the most of the nominees, and although flawed I liked her album the most. I hope her new album is better than the lead single though.

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ACM Rewind: Mickey Gilley – ‘Don’t The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time’

Jerry Lee Lewis’s cousin, and owner of country music’s most famous nightclub, Mickey Gilley swept the ACMs in 1976, winning Entertainer, Male Vocalist, Album, Single and Song of the Year awards.  Mickey’s cover of the 1960s R&B hit ‘Bring It On Home To Me’ was the Single of the Year, while this classic picked up Song of the Year honors:

ACM Rewind: Donna Fargo – ‘Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.’

Donna won both Female Vocalist of the Year and New Female Vocalist at the ACMs in 1972. Her signature song also won Single and Song of the Year, and the album it came from was awarded Album of the Year.

ACM Rewind: Ray Price – ‘For The Good Times’

‘For The Good Times’ won the ACM Song of the Year award back in 1971 for its writer Kris Kristofferson.

ACM Awards: My Kind Of Country’s predictions

It’s award time again, with the Academy of Country Music due to hand out its trophies for achievements during 2009 on Sunday April 18. Here are our predictions of the likely winners:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
This category is fan-voted this year (as it has been for the last couple of years). This year, though, the number of nominees has been substantially increased.

Kenny Chesney
Toby Keith
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Taylor Swift: our unanimous pick
Carrie Underwood
Keith Urban
Zac Brown Band

Occasional Hope: Fan-voted. No further comment required.
Razor X: Since this is a fan-voted award, the only two serious contenders are Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. Underwood won last year, and since Swift has had a more successful year, I’m going to predict that the momentum is in her favor.
J.R. Journey: I think she’s ahead of the pack in this race by a large enough margin to safely call her the early winner. With it being fan-voted yet again, Taylor’s younger, internet-savvy fan-base would give her the edge even if she didn’t already have it.
Meg: Taylor will get it due to fan voting, and it’s not as though she hasn’t worked equally hard as the other nominees, or harder.

TOP MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley: J.R., Meg
Darius Rucker: Occasional Hope
George Strait: Razor X

Keith Urban

Meg: Brad’s got this one. He’s come into his own as a performer, writer, and entertainer with great musicianship and great vocals.
J.R.: Major tours, a critically acclaimed album and an impressive run of chart-topping singles are just Brad’s commercial qualifications for his victory here. When he wants to be, he’s also a mighty fine statesman and torch-bearer for traditional country.
Razor: After three consecutive wins in this category for Brad Paisley, I’m guessing that the Academy will want to give this award to someone else this year. Urban is the only serious competition.
OH: If Darius wins it will be seen as a surprise victory, but I think he just could get it. He does have an interesting tone, has scored some big radio hits, and sold exceptionally well. And it all seems to be about commercial impact these days. Plus, you need at least one surprise at any award show.

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Album Review: Gary Allan – ‘See If I Care’

Seven years after his debut single hit the charts, Gary Allan’s career was showing serious signs of heating up.  His previous two studio albums had gone platinum and he had the year before scored his first #1 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Consequently, he was nominated for the CMA’s Horizon Award just before his fifth album, See If I Care, hit stores in September 2003.  Like its predecessor, See If I Care would give Gary another platinum frame for his wall, and would spawn 2 chart-toppers and another top 15 hit.  The album debuted at its peak on the Billboard Country Albums chart at a respectable #2 slot, meanwhile scratching the top 20 in the all-genre chart.

‘Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey’, the rocking album opener finds the singer drowning his sorrows with black label whiskey while telling all his friends and fellow barflies white lies about how happy he is.  The Steeldrivers would later record a bluegrass version of the tune.

‘I Can’t Do It Today’ is a John Rich co-write with fellow Muzik Mafia members Vicky McGehee (a member of the Gretchen Wilson posse) and Rodney Clawson.  Gary slips into falsetto vocals perhaps a little too often in the bluesy kiss-off number, and the melody is a little clunky.  It’s placement at the beginning of the set is awkward as it is definite filler.

Gary would earn his second consecutive #1 with the album’s lead single, the poignant ‘Tough Little Boys’.  The almost-saccharine lyric is a bit of a departure from the material we’re used to hearing from Allan.  It’s a neat, three-act story song revolving around the story of a little boy who grows up and hurts and cries again when he becomes a dad.  The message of just how much macho men love their families, but can’t put their feelings into words, has always resonated well with the country audience and this is certainly one of the better attempts at tugging at country fans’ heartstrings.

The disc’s title track is more akin to the sound Allan had crafted for himself in previous albums.  ‘See If I Care’ finds the singer hiding his heartache with mock sarcasm.  The burning delivery from Gary gives real character to the brilliant Jamie O’Hara lyric.

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Our Grammy predictions

The 52nd annual Grammy Awards show airs January 31, 2010 at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Earlier we told you who we’d each like to see winning in the country categories this year. Now it’s time to go out on a limb and say who we expect to win. We didn’t do very well last time, due to collectively underestimating the CMA voters’ enthrallment to commercial success.

Best Male Country Vocal Performance
Trace Adkins – ‘All I Ask For Anymore’: Chris
Billy Currington – ‘People Are Crazy’
Jamey Johnson – ‘High Cost Of Living’: Jordan Stacey, Occasional Hope, Razor X
George Strait – ‘Living For The Night’: J.R. Journey
Keith Urban – ‘Sweet Thing’

Jordan: The Grammys always go for this type of song: critically acclaimed, sold a lot of albums, and has been listed in best of lists all year. The Grammy’s won’t ignore Jamey Johnson.
Razor: While I like the Trace Adkins song very much, I think the award for Male Vocal Performance will – and should – go to Jamey Johnson. It received a tepid response from country radio, but the Grammy’s are somewhat less inhibited and Puritanical in their selections. This was a true highlight of 2009, and I expect that the Grammy voters will recognize that and reward the song appropriately.
OH: See my comments below on Song. I believe Jamey will win at least one of these categories, but possibly not both.
J.R.: Strait is long overdue for a string of trophies from the Grammy’s. His first-ever statuette came from the NARAS last year in the Best Country Album race, and I think he’ll add to his collection this year.

Best Female Country Vocal Performance
Miranda Lambert – ‘Dead Flowers’
Martina McBride – ‘I Just Call You Mine’
Taylor Swift – ‘White Horse’: J.R. Journey, Occasional Hope
Carrie Underwood – ‘Just A Dream’: Chris, Jordan Stacey, Razor X
Lee Ann Womack – ‘Solitary Thinkin”

Razor: ‘Just A Dream’ and ‘White Horse’ are the only two songs in this category that can legitimately be called hits. It would be a further travesty for Taylor Swift to win over Carrie in a vocal performance categeory. The Grammy’s are more prone than the CMAs or ACMs to reward artistry over commercial success. While ‘Just A Dream’ is no artistic masterpiece, Carrie is hands down the superior vocalist.
OH: The Grammy voters don’t always care if something’s a hit, but nothing here is sufficiently artistically compelling to win on that account. I agree it’s between Taylor and Carrie, and travesty or not, I think Taylor will carry it on her current awards and commercial momentum.
J.R.: Taylor is white hot right now, pardon the pun. Grammy voters have traditionally either went for tracks that make strong artistic statements or the flavor of the day. This year, with nothing really standing out from the pack as brilliant in this category, I think name-recognition will swing it for Swift.
Jordan: They seem to like Carrie, and it’s a much stronger song than ‘Last Name, so she will probably walk away with this one.

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Our Grammy picks

Yes, it’s awards time again, with the 2010 Grammy’s due to be handed out on January 31 this year.

Who do we want to win this time around?

Best Male Country Vocal Performance
Trace Adkins – ‘All I Ask For Anymore’: Chris, Jordan Stacey, J.R. Journey, Occasional Hope
Billy Currington – ‘People Are Crazy’
Jamey Johnson – ‘High Cost Of Living’: Razor X
George Strait – ‘Living For The Night’
Keith Urban – ‘Sweet Thing’

Jordan: Trace gives one of his best vocal performances on record, on an above average song. Among the nominees it fits the “Vocal Performance” part the best.
Razor: While I like the Trace Adkins song very much, I think the award for Male Vocal Performance should go to Jamey Johnson. This was a true highlight of 2009.
OH: I think Jamey’s song is better, but Trace’s vocal is outstanding. I’d be really happy with either winning though.
Chris: I’m not a fan of Jamey Johnson because of his voice, but I understand the merits of his work – but Adkins can really knock stuff out of the park when he picks the right song.
J.R.: I prefer ‘High Cost of Living’ as a song, but am definitely more into Trace Adkins’ vocal performance than Jamey’s.

Best Female Country Vocal Performance
Miranda Lambert – ‘Dead Flowers’:
Chris
Martina McBride – ‘I Just Call You Mine’
Taylor Swift – ‘White Horse’
Carrie Underwood – ‘Just A Dream’
Lee Ann Womack – ‘Solitary Thinkin”: Jordan Stacey, J.R. Journey, Razor X, Occasional Hope

Jordan: Give Lee Ann Womack one of the worst singles of the year (‘There Is A God’) and she can still somehow make it enjoyable simply ’cause of her beautiful vocal delivery. ‘Solitary Thinkin” in my opinion is a better performance and song overall than ‘Last Call’ which was robbed last year; hopefully the voters get it right this time.
Razor: I can’t recall any other year with a such a weak offering of choices for Female Vocal Performance. ‘Solitary Thinkin” is not my favorite Lee Ann Womack song, nor is it particularly vocally challenging, but I’d still like to see this one win, simply because I don’t like any of the other choices at all.
OH: I’m really uninspired by all of these. I think I’ll go with ‘Solitary Thinkin”, because although I’m not crazy about the song, Lee Ann sounds good and the vocal works with the song rather than overwhelming it (‘Just A Dream’) or being simply inadequate (‘White Horse’). Martina’s song is forgettable, and Miranda’s is far from her best work.
Chris: Underwood’s performance is great, but a little bombastic for my taste. ‘Dead Flowers’ has just always struck a chord with me and I love how she sings it – she deserves the award with Lee Ann Womack being next in line.
J.R.: Weak, yes. I’ll go with Razor’s reasoning that I ‘Solitary Thinkin’ is the only one I don’t actively dislike. Plus I think Womack is the best of this bunch presently.

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A few thoughts on the CMA awards

shockedWe didn’t do too well with our predictions of this year’s CMA Award winners. In part, that’s probably because we gave the CMA way too much credit for artistic integrity. Next year, I’m going to take a look at the nominees and predict the very worst person in each category, and I suspect I’ll do better than I did this year.

None of us expected Taylor Swift to walk away with four awards, including Entertainer and Female Vocalist. After she delivered yet another poor live performance on the telecast, the Association looks like a set of idiots whose critical faculties have been drowned out by the jangle of cold hard cash. Yes, commercial success has always had an impact on CMA and other award voting, and that’s probably fair enough – it’s one of the factors that measures any artist’s impact on the genre. Carrie Underwood’s three wins as Female Vocalist were largely based on her high sales and radio play rather than her vocal prowess per se, but never, in my experience, to the degree that someone as poor a technical singer as Taylor, who doesn’t even sound good with ProTools, and whose vocals are truly horrific without them, is rewarded quite so generously with so little artistic merit. I wouldn’t have given her Album of the Year myself, especially when Jamey Johnson’s near-masterpiece was on the ballot, but at least there was some possible logic underpinning that decision. It is fairly widely agreed that Taylor’s main strength is in writing songs that appeal to young girls, rather than actually singing them, and this at least rewarded her for her body of work. And in this category, rewarding sales figures does make some sense. But Entertainer for a teenager who has only been recording for a few years and Female Vocalist for someone who manifestly has trouble singing in tune both bring the Association into disrepute. I said, “making her Female Vocalist would rightly attract derision, especially if she sings live on the telecast,” and after watching her performances on this year’s show, I feel I was absolutely right.

On a happier note, there was one award I was thoroughly pleased by – ‘In Color’ winning Song of the Year. It should have won Single too, as it was by far the best record in that category. It appears that the industry really likes Lady Antebellum, though. It was good to see them winning Group of the Year, if only because they aren’t Rascal Flatts. Lady A aren’t really country to my ears, but their music is pleasantly inoffensive melodic pop or AC– that’s a major improvement over Rascal Flatts, who make my ears hurt. I wasn’t very familiar with the Zac Brown Band’s work but I think I could get interested in them.

It was also nice to see the voters weren’t swayed by the sentimental thought of Brooks & Dunn breaking up. Perhaps they too realized that in all likelihood they’ll still be on the ballot next year. In fact, with a big farewell tour planned, they would be eligible for Entertainer of the Year next time around, and they could even win it. Of course it will be even more overdue for Brad Paisley then, but I’m starting to wonder if he ever will win this award, having lost out to Taylor this year.

Back to our predictions, and I am happy to report that Chris was the best predictor among the MKOC staff, with six accurate picks. His faith in Lady Antebellum and Sugarland paid off there. Meg and I got four each, and J.R. and Razor only managed two each. Congratulations, Chris!

Who will win the CMA Awards

cma_awards_2009We shared our wishlist for this year’s CMA awards with you of last week. Now for the hard part – this is where we go out on a limb and try to predict who will actually walk home with a CMA award this year. We collectively sucked at prediction the last time we tried it, but we hope to do better this time – although we’d be happy to be wrong in some cases.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley: Chris, J.R. Journey, Meg, Occasional Hope, Razor X
  • George Strait
  • Taylor Swift
  • Keith Urban

We all want Brad to win this category, and it looks like we all think he will.

J.R.: This is the hardest one to predict, because I think it could go either way with Brad or Taylor, and maybe even Chesney again. But my money is on Brad.
Razor: I think it may be Paisley’s turn this year. Chesney, Urban and Strait haven’t done anything too exciting during the past year and I just can’t conceive that the award would go to Swift under any circumstances.
OH: I really think it’s Brad’s turn to take home the trophy. I think the voters will feel that it’s his turn, plus he’s had a good year commercially. There is an outside chance they might give it to Taylor Swift as it has been a great year for her commercially, they’ll want to give her some recognition of that, and making her Female Vocalist would rightly attract derision. Especially if she sings live on the telecast.

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley: Chris, J.R. Journey, Occasional Hope
  • Darius Rucker: Razor X
  • George Strait: Meg
  • Keith Urban

J.R.: I just think it’s Brad year.  I expect a Paisley and Jamey Johnson sweep at the ceremony.
Razor: I’ll go with the new face in the crowd on this one.
Meg: I think George will win this one due to a good year vocally and as an echo to the Artist of the Decade.

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Who should win this year’s CMA Awards

cma awards 2009This year’s CMA Awards are due to be announced on November 11th. There are bound to be a few surprises, with unexpected winners or losers. We’ll share our best attempts at prediction with you next week, but first we thought we would let you all know not who we expect to win, but who we think should win, out of those nominated.

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley: Chris, J.R. Journey, Meg, Occasional Hope, Razor X
  • George Strait
  • Taylor Swift
  • Keith Urban

We’re unanimous on this category.
J.R.: Kenny Chesney has become boring and predictable in this category. It’s high time for a new winner, and I do think this year will be it. The strongest contenders are Brad Paisley and Taylor Swift. I would choose Brad Paisley. He had a strong album release, toured relentlessly, and is on a serious hot streak. Ten number-ones in a row, now isn’t it?
Chris: Kenny’s been too boring lately, and Brad deserves the win, with Taylor in second.
OH: It sounds like Brad puts on a great live show, and he’s been knocking at the door of this award for a while now. I think it’s Brad’s turn.
Meg: Though King George has his decade award, and Kenny’s not going to tour again next summer (some might say this should be his last year to get this one), I’d vote for Brad. He’s more country than Keith, has had great songs with some emotional depth, consistently great performances and he’s an amazing musician from his vocals to his guitar licks. It’s his turn. Taylor is certainly an entertainer, but obviously needs work on those live vocals! Can’t believe she’s nominated for this at this stage.

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley: Chris, J.R. Journey, Meg
  • Darius Rucker
  • George Strait: Occasional Hope, Razor X
  • Keith Urban

We’re divided between Brad and old favorite George Strait here:
J.R.: For all the reasons from the Entertainer race.
OH: George Strait is my favorite singer among the nominees, and although I disliked the single he released over the eligibility period, I wasn’t as sold on Paisley’s latest album as most people seem to be. Although I like Darius’s voice, his material has been largely underwhelming (especially the singles), and it’s a bit soon for a win in this category. Keith has moved too far away from country lately for me, and of course Kenny’s still stuck on that beach.
Meg: Though I do like Darius Rucker’s voice and he’s had a great year, it’s a little too soon for him to win this one. Dare I say it – Kenny’s wearing a bit thin due to oversaturation and not enough variety in my opinion. Again, I’d vote for Brad.

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ACM Predictions

acmpromo1Tomorrow night’s Academy of Country Music awards are on everybody’s minds and lips. Reba will be hosting for the 11th time as the Academy hands out the awards on their 44th annual show.  Here then, is our contribution to the ACM Awards media frenzy.  These are the predictions of the My Kind of Country writing staff.

The 44th annual Academy of Country Music Awards airs Sunday, April 5 at 8:00 Eastern time on your local CBS station.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Kenny Chesney  J.R., Chris
  • Brad Paisley   Erik
  • George Strait
  • Carrie Underwood  Razor, Meg, Lisa
  • Keith Urban

Top Male Vocalist

  • Kenny Chesney
  • Toby Keith
  • Brad Paisley   Meg, Lisa, Erik
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban  Rob, J.R., Chris

Top Female Vocalist

  • Miranda Lambert
  • Heidi Newfield
  • Taylor Swift   J.R.
  • Carrie Underwood   Razor, Meg, Lisa, Erik, Chris
  • Lee Ann Womack

Top Vocal Group

  • Lady Antebellum Lisa, Erik, Chris
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts  Razor, Meg, J.R.
  • Randy Rogers Band
  • The Lost Trailers

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