This year marked the first time I’ve gone to Nashville during CMA week and I have to say I’d like to go again.  Although I didn’t attend the awards I was invited to a label viewing party and a couple of after parties as well.  On awards day (Thursday Nov. 1st) I had lunch at the Midtown Café with some friends and was happy to run in to Blake Shelton, who was there having lunch with his managers.  When you’re in Nashville you tend to forget that at any given moment a famous singer, song-writer, manager, etc. can be seen.  Later that afternoon I ventured over to the Big Machine Label groups viewing party.  It was exciting to see people from the industry that have invested so much promoting their artists, be so thrilled routing on their artists that were nominated.  After experiencing a label viewing party I can say without question that I’d rather watch the awards there than to have been at the actual event where you have to deal with seat fillers and the worry of making it back to your seat on time during your bathroom break.

After the show, I was lucky enough to have been invited to a couple of after parties where artists were seen mingling with writers, label executives, publishers and folks like me from radio.  I felt honored to be among this group of talented people and proud to be a part of the country music industry.  I wish I had more pictures to share, but the fact of the matter is these people were celebrating and I didn’t want to impose on them.  I did though get a picture with Mike Eli of The Eli Young Band, he asked for one with me, lol so I took him up on it.  Then later at the Warner label after party I grabbed a photo with Kelly Clarkson who was having a few firefly vodka cocktails like I was, so a picture was in order.

CMA night was fast paced and full of surprises.  It was a night I won’t forget.

photo by Renee Laymen
Photo by Chris Palmer