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2012 CMA Nominations

They’re out!  What are your thoughts on this year’s CMA nominations?  Discuss in the comments section.

Entertainer of the Year 

Jason Aldean
Kenny Chesney
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton
Taylor Swift

Female Vocalist of the Year

Kelly Clarkson
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist of the Year

Jason Aldean
Luke Bryan
Eric Church
Blake Shelton
Keith Urban

Vocal Group of the Year

The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band

Vocal Duo of the Year

Big & Rich
Love and Theft
Sugarland
The Civil Wars
Thompson Square

New Artist of the Year

Lee Brice
Brantley Gilbert
Hunter Hayes
Love and Theft
Thompson Square

Album of the Year (Awarded to artist and producer)

Luke Bryan, Tailgates and Tanlines - Produced by Jeff Stevens and Mark Bright

Eric Church, Chief - Produced by Jay Joyce

Miranda Lambert, Four the Record - Produced by Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay, and Glenn Worf

Dierks Bentley, Home - Produced by Brett Beavers, Luke Wooten, and Jon Randall Stewart

Lady Antebellum, Own the Night  - Produced by Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum

Song of the Year (Awarded to songwriters)

Eli Young Band, “Even if It Breaks Your Heart” – Will Hoge and Eric Paslay

Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You” – Dave Barnes

Dierks Bentley, “Home” – Dierks Bentley, Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers

Miranda Lambert, “Over You” – Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton

Eric Church, “Springsteen” – Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell

Single of the Year (Awarded to artist and producer)

Jason Aldean, “Dirt Road Anthem” – Produced by Michael Knox

Blake Shelton, “God Gave Me You” – Produced by Scott Hendricks

Dierks Bentley, “Home” – Produced by Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten

Little Big Town, “Pontoon” – Produced by Jay Joyce

Eric Church, “Springsteen” – Produced by Jay Joyce

Musical Event of the Year

“Dixie Highway,” Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band

“Feel Like a Rock Star,” Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw

“Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die,” Willie Nelson featuring Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson

“Safe and Sound,” Taylor Swift featuring the Civil Wars

“Stuck on You,” Lionel Richie and Darius Rucker

Music Video of the Year (Awarded to artist and director)

Eric Church, “Springsteen” – Directed by Peter Zavadil

Kenny Chesney, “Come Over” – Directed by Shaun Silva

Miranda Lambert, “Over You” – Directed by Trey Fanjoy

Little Big Town, “Pontoon” – Directed by Declan Whitebloom

Toby Keith, “Red Solo Cup” – Directed by Michael Salomon

Musician of the Year

Sam Bush
Paul Franklin
Dann Huff
Brent Mason
Mac McAnally

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 5, 2012 in News and Events

 

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Eli Young Band – “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”

Songwriters:  Will Hoge, Eric Paslay

Over the years, there have been countless country songs that have delved into the experiences of an aspiring country music star trying to make it in Nashville, and there’s an endless variety of possible angles from which to approach the theme.  There have been songs like Lacy J. Dalton’s “16th Avenue” and Pam Tillis’ “Band In the Window” that have celebrated the spirited determination of those who make the pilgrimage down to Nashville.  There have been songs like Trisha Yearwood’s “Wrong Side of Memphis” which channels drive and determination into a fierce and fiery musical experience.  But perhaps the best song to compare the new Eli Young Band single to is the Dixie Chicks’ 2001 single “Heartbreak Town,” written by Darrell Scott, in that both songs address the rough and difficult nature of the road to stardom.

“Even If It Breaks Your Heart” lacks the spot-on commentary and vivid attention to detail that helped make the aforementioned Dixie Chicks song such a strong across-the-board winner, but instead makes it mark through pulsing energy and raw emotion, thanks in large part to Mike Eli’s earnest lead vocal.  The song begins over quiet acoustic guitar strumming as Young sings “Way back on the radio dial/ The fire got lit inside a bright-eyed child/ Every note just wrapped around his soul/ From steel guitars to Memphis all the way to rock and roll.”  From there, the song quickly picks up muscle.

The message of “Keep on dreaming” may ring as somewhat trite, but the hook of “…even if it breaks your heart” effectively hones in on the narrator’s determination to reach his goals regardless of the cost.  Eli’s delivery is colored with a sincere lived-in emotional quiver, which supplies the greater part of the song’s impact.  The production is predictably loud, but the driving arrangement fits well with the song’s theme, while also retaining just enough focus and clarity to avoid coming across as needless noise.  Incidentally, the steel guitar player shows up to remind us what radio format we’re listening to.

Though the song stumbles in telling its story – a little more detail with regard to the narrator’s heartbreak would have been helpful – the spirit of the song shines through above all else, which is enough to redeem the group from the misguided condescension of “Crazy Girl.”  “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” is a fine display of interpretive ability on Eli’s part, and will likely impart some much-needed emotional punch to the mainstream country radio scene.

ELI YOUNG BAND’S SCORE:  8
(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Single Reviews

 

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