We call it “CRS” for short. The one week a year when country radio and country music converge in Nashville for three days of seminars, networking, sharing ideas, and incredible live performances. It’s quite the whirlwind of music, fun, and incredibly valuable content. Every one is an adventure, and this past week’s Country Radio Seminar was quite the trip for me.
After Delta Airlines tried twice to put me on a broken airplane, I got a refund on my tickets and baggage fees and decided to make the ~500 mile drive to Nashville. Even though the route defies logic, turns out it was considerably faster to go from Natchez to Memphis to Nashville, than it was to go Natchez to Meridian to Birmingham to Nashville.
The first day of CRS, there isn’t usually a lot going on as far as seminars go. It’s mostly the day to sign in, mingle, reconnect with old friends, and go to various artist showcases. The Country Hall Of Fame opens its doors for CRS attendees on the first day, which is always a nice touch. A walk through the CHOF always sets the mood for the rest of my time in Nashville.
The second day is all about seminars. Got a ton of value out of the ones I attended. In the middle of the second day, everyone goes to the Ryman Auditorium for an acoustic showcase of Universal Music Group artists, which is always incredible. Highlight of that performance for me was Chris Stapleton’s performance of “There Ain’t No Easy Way.”
UMG has an amazing repertoire, and the setting can’t be beat. New artist Travis Denning delivered a really good song with a interesting lyrical twist.
After the UMG showcase, you do a couple more seminars, then it’s time for more dinners, more drinks, and more showcases.
The third day is similar to the second, with lots of seminars on the schedule, a lunch featuring performances by Big Machine Label Group artists, and then the big show of the seminar, the annual Country Radio Seminar New Faces show. The lineup at New Faces is chosen entirely by the country radio and country music industry, and getting selected is a huge honor. This year, Carly Pearce, Michael Ray, Midland, Lauren Alaina and Luke Combs all performed 3-4 song sets. All of the performances were top notch, and I feel very good about the future of country radio.
On my final morning in Nashville, I made the point to head a few miles south and check out the
legendary Blaw-Knox tower that sends 650 AM WSM’s signal into the ether. Such a cool sight, and site!
Here’s a Spotify playlist I whipped up that represents the artists and songs that I really liked. In some cases, the songs performed aren’t available online yet (like Kassi and Travis’s songs above) so I just used a song that was available.
Country singer Chris Stapleton had a busy weekend.
He and fellow Kentuckian Sturgill Simpson performed two INCREDIBLE songs on Saturday Night Live, and then, Stapleton picked up three Grammy Awards on Sunday night: Best Country Song for “Broken Halos,” Best Country Solo Performance for “Either Way,” and Best Country Album for From A Room: Volume 1.
And on Monday, he announced he’s performing at the brand-new Brandon Amphitheater near Jackson, Mississippi.
Turn your speakers or headphones way up and enjoy both performances.