A few noteworthy items from Country Radio Seminar:
Only one artist made me say “WHERE?!” when a friend saw him – Michael Martin Murphy. A legendary and authentic artist. How cool to see him there and shake his hand later in the day.
I didn’t catch everything, but some of the performances I saw or music I heard knocked me out. These artists should be all over the radio if they aren’t already:
- Lady Antebellum – the next superstars.
- Darius Rucker – we are fortunate to have him in the format. What emotion and delivery.
- Randy Houser – first heard his album at last year’s CRS and still knocks me out.
- Little Big Town – they have upped their game bigtime, what a performance.
- Miranda Lambert – she fills a void and can bring it.
- Jamey Johnson – maybe a little over-hyped by the bandwagon of coolness that is Nashville, but he is worthy.
- Josh Turner – what a voice and doesn’t sound like anyone else in a format where too many guys sound the same.
- Emerson Drive – an album of great songs is on the horizon and these guys are the best at what they do.
- Joey + Rory – distinct, fun, and foundational country. “Cheater” was a hit that most missed.
- Jessica Harp – the new single is okay, but if they get this right in the studio for the rest of the project, she will knock it out of the park on the radio.
- What did I miss????
The turkey and dressing label lunch is always the best. The food that is.
Putting tech panels up against typical popular industry fodder and unimaginative entertaining fluff is not helpful for growth.
There was a time when the Bridge Bar was a great hang for industry professionals and artists. An artist could literally walk from one end to the other during the course of the night and and visit with radio on a more personal level. The non-CRS crowd, or the “townies” as I hear them called, grows every year and it is less enjoyable and useful for networking and connecting. Those connected to the people, artists, or events going on during CRS should be the only ones in the room. I don’t blame the many aspiring artists and songwriters for seeing opportunity, but why are we here again?
CRS is an amazing place for small market radio to make connections and create beneficial relationships.
Next year I hope to see more “next level” tech panels.