The closer time gets to the madness of CMA Music Festival, the more artists are added to the bill with Country Music Association announcing more than 100 additional acts to perform at the four-day event. One of the beloved areas of CMA Fest lies in Xfinity Fan Fair X, where supporters can get up-and-close with some of their favorite stars in the genre. From intimate performances to career chats, a number of artists make their way into the Music City Center-based location to experience country music on a deeper level.
“What makes CMA Fest unique from other music festivals are our one-of-a-kind fan experiences at Xfinity Fan Fair X,” said CMA Chief Marketing Officer Damon Whiteside. “For decades, Country Music fans have flocked to Nashville to attend the festival to get up close and personal with their favorite artists. We’re proud to continue that tradition year after year.”
Radio Disney Country always invites some of the rising stars of country to come in for brief appearances at Fan Fair X, and this year is no different. Artists scheduled to play live include Jimmie Allen, Abby Anderson, Cam, Jordan Davis, Devin Dawson, Russell Dickerson, Lindsay Ell, Trent Harmon, Walker Hayes, Jillian Jacqueline, LANCO, Maddie & Tae, Tegan Marie, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr, among others. Two more familiar faces were added to the night shows at Nissan Stadium, with Jake Owen scheduled for Friday night and Cole Swindell hitting the stage on Sunday. Fans can continue to stay tuned in for even more guests to drop by during the evening festivities. The 2018 CMA Music Festival will take place in downtown Nashville from June 7-10. Visitors can attend day shows at various venues around the city for free, with the nightly stadium shows open to ticketed festivalgoers.
Does your back hurt? Most people complain of back pain at some point because our lower back bears the weight of the upper body. Aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility and good posture can relieve back pain. Research reveals that regular exercise reduces stiffness in the connective fibres and keeps the tendons flexible. Exercise also keeps your discs “spongy” by reducing the swelling in soft tissues. When you don’t exercise, the swelling in these soft tissues may increase. The good news is that exercising for your back is simpler than you think! No need to carve out hours a day for a strenuous workout; back-strengthening exercises can be done quickly and easily.
Stretch it out
Whatever your current workout, add a few minutes for stretches. Stretching improves flexibility, which improves your posture, and a good posture is essential for a strong and healthy back. Try a yoga stretch such as the downward dog. Stand on a non-slip mat and bend over. Flatten your palms shoulder-width apart on the mat. Straighten your arms, pushing your palms down into the mat. Push your hips as far back as you can, creating a triangle shape from your hands to your hips. Don’t tense your jaw! Try this exercise at the end of your day to help you relax.
Get up from you screen ever 30 minutes
A study by Temple University in America found that the average person spends nine hours hunched over a screen each day! That is a long time for your back to take strain. Stick a post-it note on your cubicle to remind you to take a break every 30 minutes.
Stomach in, shoulders back
Right now, in your chair, pull in your stomach muscles and straighten your shoulders. A strong core is vital for a strong back. In the car, place a cushion at your back to keep you upright instead of slumping forward.
Sort out your workspace
Is your computer at eye level? Does your chair offer good lumbar support? If not, place a rolled-up towel or cushion at the small of your back. Add height by placing your laptop on a stand so that you look straight at the screen.
Set an hourly phone reminder to sit upright with feet placed firmly on the ground. Place a pillow under both knees when you sleep on your back. This little trick helps your spine stay in alignment and cushions your hips, reducing the stress on your joints. Before you get into bed, stretch out your back, neck and shoulders. Do the same when you wake up.
Jordan Davis proves his staying power on his memorable debut album, Home State, out March 23. The Shreveport, Louisiana, native worked with producer Paul DiGiovanni for the 12-song collection, which blends slick production and thoughtful lyrics for a diverse project. All 12 tracks on Home State are co-written by Davis and as a result, the listener gets to know the inner-workings of the singer. Standout ballads like “Slow Dance In a Parking Lot” and “Leaving New Orleans” highlight his sentimental side while “Take It From Me,” “More Than I Know” and debut single “Singles You Up” showcase his undeniable country swagger.
The album kicks off with the infectious “Take It From Me,” where Davis tells a girl they should ditch the after party and instead do their own thing. The polished production and rhythmic singing style featured on “Take It From Me” make it an instant party anthem. Later, on “Selfish,” he cleverly explains how he wants to stay in bed all day and keep his girl to himself despite her already made plans. His smooth singing style coupled with John Mayer-inspired guitar parts and seductive beats, further gets his point across.
The captivating beats continue on “More Than I Know,” penned by Davis, DiGiovanni and Blair Daly. With hand-clapped rhythms and Davis’ soulful vocals, the listener is immediately drawn in as he sings of a woman he just can’t get enough of. “When it comes to you, I don’t know what I got into / You love like a wildfire / Light me up like a live wire / But I can’t get enough / You kiss like a hurricane / Off the tracks like a runaway train / But I think I’ll try my luck,” he sings.
Relationships aren’t always easy and this struggle can be heard on “Tough to Tie Down” as Davis sings of a woman who’s “good at lovin’ and better at leavin’.” While he has a tough time getting the woman to commit, he sings of how he’ll keep pursuing and loving her “as long as this world keeps spinning ’round.” A sweet sentiment, he continues the thoughtfulness on the romantic “Slow Dance In a Parking Lot.” On the enchanting ballad, Davis’ vivid storytelling sets the scene as he spins his lady around by the Walmart sign in a deserted parking lot. As a rent-a-cop drives around, Garth Brooks’ “She’s Every Woman” plays from the car stereo speakers. “Making the most of whatever we’ve got / Even if it’s just a slow dance in a parking lot,” he sings.
While at times Davis’ rhythmic singing style brings to mind Sam Hunt, the Louisiana native sets himself apart within his standout songwriting and unique storytelling. This is perhaps best seen on album closer, “Leaving New Orleans,” with a picturesque description of the city that helped mold his diverse sound. As he sings of the need to leave New Orleans because everywhere he goes he’s reminded of his ex, Davis’ vivid details of the popular city put the listener in the song. Meanwhile, light horn accompaniment adequately pays tribute to The Big Easy. Overall a standout debut that highlights Davis’ ability as both a vocalist and a songwriter, Home Statemarries big sounds and production with the vulnerability of his lyrics for a truly enjoyable listen.
Luke Bryan quit making Spring Break EPs, but he’s certainly not done with warm, beachside memories. “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” is a definitive piece of summer nostalgia. The song finds Bryan and a few buddies enjoying free lodging at a lake house when a girl rolls up with some friends and the group become better acquainted. There’s little to think about during this three-and-a-half-minute earworm — while the singer has never been one to wrap his intentions in layers of poetic metaphor, the action here is as clear as Where’s Spot? If great summer songs were meant to be easy, then Bryan’s “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” will be an all-timer. The song’s chorus sticks like wet sand and each verse recalls one’s own dalliance with a less-than-hesitant lover. Expect this song to burn brightly this summer.
Midland transport listeners back in time in the throwback video for their new single, “Burn Out.” Filmed in one take at Billy Bob’s in Forth Worth, Texas, “Burn Out” has the reigning ACM New Vocal Group of the Year performing in the middle of a dance floor at the famous honkytonk as a couple’s relationship dissolves around them.
The video for “Burn Out” is inspired in part by the 1980 film Urban Cowboy, which starred John Travolta as Bud and Debra Winger as Sissy. In “Burn Out,” a bartender is confronted by an ex who apologizes after cheating on her. Still not taking the hint that things are over, he continues to heckle her throughout her shift. All the while, Midland’s Mark Wystrach looks on.
“The scene is inspired by the movie,” Midland’s Jess Carson explains in a behind-the-scenes video. “There’s a bad guy and there’s a good guy. The good guy is Mark.”
The video was directed by TK McKamy and Midland’s Cameron Duddy. It was filmed in one continuous shot, showing Midland in the center of the dance floor as couples two-step around them. Mid-set, the bartender and her ex get into a fight on the dance floor and after the man is escorted out of the venue, Wystrach lightens the mood as he walks up to serenade her.
“Burn Out” was written by Midland with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne. It is the group’s third single from their debut album, On the Rocks, released last year.
Sturgill Simpson and the Head and the Heart are among the artists scheduled to perform at Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July Picnic at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Joining the 2018 lineup are Ryan Bingham, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Margo Price, Jamestown Revival, The Wild Feathers, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Asleep at the Wheel, Particle Kid, Johnny Bush, David Allan Coe, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, Folk Uke and Raelyn Nelson Band.
The day-long event will culminate with a performance by Willie Nelson & Family. Tickets go on sale Friday (March 9) through Ticketmaster.
Nelson’s next album, Last Man Standing, arrives April 27.
George Strait isn’t known as the “King of Country” for no reason. The influential, iconic and legendary hitmaker has had such an impressive career, and even at 66 years old, he’s still going strong. Strait was born on May 18, 1952, in a town called Poteet, Texas. His Texas influence has been visible throughout his storied career, which began in 1981 with the release of “Unwound.” The following year the singer released the Straight from the Heart album, which included his first No. 1 hit, “Fool Hearted Memory.”
You Think You Know George Strait?
Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Nashville will officially celebrate its grand opening during CMA Fest on June 6–10. The restaurant, bar and music venue will host multiple events throughout the week, including a Blake Shelton and Friends concert on June 6, which will not be open to the public. However, fans can enter for a chance to win tickets to the show.
Located at 300 Broadway, the multi-level, 26,000-square-foot entertainment venue features a two-story bar and restaurant, retail area, performance space, dance floor and private VIP booths for small groups. The complex will also include a large, private event space and a 6,000-square-foot rooftop featuring an indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant with panoramic views of Lower Broadway.
“Lower Broadway is the centerpiece of Nashville,” says Blake. “There’s so much great music and fun going on down there all the time and it’s exciting to now be a part of it—it’s a dream come true.”
The Ole Red concept first came to life in Blake’s adopted hometown of Tishomingo, Okla., last fall. Nashville is the second location, with a third planned for Gatlinburg, Tenn., set to open in 2019
– NashCountryDaily and TasteOfCountry
Chai Tea: This is easier to make than you think – there’s only one problem: once you know how, you may not want to drink anything else! It’s, literally, a three-step process to chai-tea heaven.
8 cardamom seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
4 black peppercorns
1 piece fresh ginger (about 2cm) sliced
2 cups whole milk
4 bags black Ceylon tea
How to do it: Put the cloves, cardamom and peppercorns in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling-pin or a heavy-based pan.
Place the cinnamon sticks, crushed spices, ginger, milk, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring it all up to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let the mixture steep for 10 minutes. Then strain into cups and add a little stevia or honey to taste.
Hot Lemon Infusion
This is a hot drink that delivers a shot of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties from turmeric, while hydrating and warming you – and you can sip this all day.
Juice of half a lemon
1 large cup of boiling water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch cayenne or red chili powder
Pinch coarse sea salt
How to do it: Mix in your mug and give it a good stir! What could be easier than that?
Country music is a wide genre and that’s OK I don’t even know what genre this record is but I know it’s me
There is something about the way Ashley Monroe delivers a song that makes you fall head first into every note. Her television debut of “Hands on You” on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday (May 14) sucked viewers in. The seductive and sensual masterpiece is off Monroe’s brand new album Sparrow, which perfectly serves as a representation of the woman Monroe has grown into being both personally and professionally. “Country music is a wide genre, and that’s OK,” Monroe says of her new project. “I don’t even know what genre this record is, but I know it’s me.”
Monroe heads to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on June 9 to participate as part of their popular Songwriter Session series. During the appearance, Monroe will not only sing songs from the new album, including “Hands on You,” but also be interviewed about her songwriting philosophies. The other thing that has Monroe on everyone’s radar is the likely possibility of her joining forces again with her Pistol Annies bandmates Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley. In March,the trio whet fans’ appetites with a mini-reunion at a Kentucky stop on Lambert’s Livin’ Like Hippies Tour. The group — radio songs include “Hell on Heels” and “Takin’ Pills” — have been dropping many a hint that they just might be about to release new music.