Back to news 06/05/16

CMA MUSIC FEST 2016: AJ, Darius, Dierks, Easton, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Jon, Josh, Keith, Lady A, Lauren, Luke and more

CMA MUSIC FEST 2016: AJ, Darius, Dierks, Easton, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Jon, Josh, Keith, Lady A, Lauren, Luke and more
Alan Jackson
Charles Kelley
Darius Rucker
Dierks Bentley
Easton Corbin
Eric Church
Eric Paslay
Jon Pardi
Josh Turner
Keith Urban
Kip Moore
Lady Antebellum
Lauren Alaina
Luke Bryan

It’s that time of the year again! The 2016 CMA Music Festival begins this week in Nashville, and the stars are coming out to perform and check in with their fans!

Audio / Backstage at last year’s CMA Music Festival, Alan Jackson talked about CMA Music Fest and how it’s become a family affair. Alan is set to perform at ACME in downtown Nashville on Tuesday, as well as at the Grand Ole Opry on Friday.


Alan Jackson (CMA Music Fest) OC: …all about. :28 [NOTE: There’s a slight buzz underneath audio.]
“My daughter – three daughters – and about 10 friends every year, we have to pack into vans and get ‘em out here. They come every night. They come every night, not to see me, they come see everybody else. So, it has become more of a local event, and of course it evolved tremendously since I first started when it was Fan Fair at the old fairgrounds and signing autographs in a hot buildings. But the fans are the same, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Audio / Darius Rucker will host his 7th annual Darius and Friends concert at Nashville’s Wildhorse Saloon Monday (June 6th) during this year’s CMA Music Festival. Proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Darius is nominated for a CMT Music Award – CMT Performance of the Year – for “Alright” from the show, Instant Jam.


Darius Rucker (CMA Music Fest) OC: …awesome. :48
“Music Fest is like nothing else. I say all the time that country music is the only genre that could have something like that. It’s truly amazing, when I come that weekend, people are everywhere and they want to be your best friend. It’s always cool and I love coming here. The thing that always gets me is the show. The fact that you can get that many superstars at one show all playing for free, for the same goal, to entertain those people that are in that stadium that come here for the whole week from all over the world. They come here for one week to see country music, and it’s amazing that those artists say on Friday and Saturday night, this is country music come on out. That’s awesome.”

Audio / Dierks Bentley is making a few appearances during CMA Music Festival week, including performing his latest single, “Different for Girls,” on this year’s CMT Music Awards with Elle King. He’ll also perform during the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) on Thursday (June 9th). Dierks Bentley talks about the lengths that fans will go to show their appreciation.


Dierks (fans) OC: …commitment. [laughs] :22
“I know a lot of the early fans by name, because we played a lot of shows at a lot of small venues where we’d be around a lot after the shows. I’m not gonna say her name ‘cause I don’t know if she’d want me to or not, but she has like a dog print of Jake, my dog’s Jake, but she has this dog print on her shoulder with my name in the middle of the tattoo. So, tattoos are always, that’s a big deal when somebody gets your name tattooed on part of their body or something. It’s kind of a scary thing, because it’s kind of a lifelong commitment. [laughs]”

Audio / Dierks Bentley recalls the weirdest thing he has signed.


Dierks Bentley (signing a baby’s head) OC: …child’s brain. :13
“A baby’s head with a sharpie. Yeah, like a two-week old baby. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to do it. The woman was like, ‘Please.’ I was like, ‘Alright.’ The head at that point is so vulnerable, transparent, so I’m just hoping they didn’t get any ink in the child’s brain.”

Audio / Easton Corbin, who has hit the airwaves with his latest single “Are You With Me,” talks about CMA Music Festival.


Easton Corbin (CMA Music Fest) OC: …wouldn’t work. :25
“CMA Music Fest, it’s a great opportunity to hang out with your fans and stuff. The great thing about the country genre is it’s one of the only genres that really has a festival dedicated to their fans, and I think that’s great because without the fans we wouldn’t be here. They’re the ones that make it work. Without the fans to buy records and listen to the radio and come to the shows, it just wouldn’t work.”

Audio / Easton Corbin talks about his fans.


Easton Corbin (fans) OC: …being here. :24
“My fans mean a great deal to me, especially the fans that come out to the shows and the ones that make it to every show around their home or in that vicinity. I even have people come here every time, in these meet-and-greet lines or maybe at the fence over there by the when you’re getting off the red carpet, I try to always make it a point to recognize those fans and just let them know how much that I care and how much I appreciate them being here.”

Audio / Eric Church, who’s making his way up the country charts with his latest single “Record Year,” says CMA Music Festival is special and unique to country music. Eric is set to perform at Nissan Stadium on Friday (June 10th).


Eric Church (CMA Music Fest) OC: …to see.
“Well, I think it’s what makes country music unique. Find me another format that happens in, it’s just not something that happens. I think it’s about what we were talking about earlier; country music is the one for mat where the fans…the music is really about them. And we’re them; we’re not different than them. We’re not a lot of the rock stars and a lot of the other guys where they’re their own person, they’re their own agenda…they’re not like the people that are listening to them. It’s different in country, we are. We come from there, we are that. I think it’s just a great thing for them to be able to come to our town and to get just this barrage of music. We’ve always tried to do it a little different when we’ll have different events, a couple years ago we made the fans find us…they had to find clues around town of where we were playing and then when they found out they could post it and tell people and then that night we had a full show. We started that day with no people, we didn’t advertise, we said, ‘We’re playing, find us.’ We called it ‘Midnight Church.’ So at midnight we played the Rutledge. They found us, and they were out the door, and they found us there. It was really cool to have some fun in our town and just do stuff like that every year. I’ve done, last year I did a show where I did 3 nights in a row at a place. The first night was me and my band, the second night was an acoustic show, and the last night was me and the songwriters that helped me write this record all sitting up there playing songs and telling stories. It was three different takes on basically the same songs. Just unique. It’s my favorite thing about doing it, is when people come to town, we able to do some shows that we’re not able to do throughout the year because we’re touring a certain way. This is a chance for us to have a little more freedom, creatively, and give the fans something maybe they don’t get to see.”

Audio / Eric Paslay will be all over the place during CMA Music Fest. On Tuesday morning (June 7th), he’ll take part in the Tug McGraw Sporting Clay Event at the Nashville Gun Club. He’s also set to perform at Riverfront Stage Friday (June 10th), followed by booth signings and Behind the Music Listening Event at the Music City Center, as well as a performance at the HGTV Lodge. Here he talks about getting his first autograph.


Eric Paslay (1st autograph) OC: …first autograph. :42
“The first autograph that I ever got was in Branson, Missouri, and it was Shoji Tabuchi, and he’s a great fiddle player, and I always remember that, you know if you go to Branson, you know who he is. But I was a 9, 10 year old kid, and I always remember that. Every time I meet a kid, I don’t know if it’s their first concert. It could be their 100-thousandth, but whenever I sign an autograph for a kid, I really make sure it’s special and memorable, and with anybody, but especially with kids. I still have that Shoji Tabuchi autograph, you know? Because it meant that much. I didn’t know he was until we saw him, but he tore the place down playing the “Orange Blossom Special.”

Audio / Jon Pardi, whose new album California Sunrise comes out June 17th, will be all over town during CMA Music Fest. On Tuesday (June 7th), he’ll be at 5th and Demonbreun at Noon with Wrangler signing and chatting with fans, then later that night, he’ll be at the Cannery Ballroom performing during the Musicians On Call event. On Thursday (June 9th), he’ll be in the UMG booth at the Music City Center signing from 3p – 4p, followed by a performance at the Riverfront Stage beginning at 12:15p.


Jon Pardi (performing live) OC: …really loud. :19
“To get up on stage, it feels like home. It’s like, ‘Yeah, this is where I want to be.’ I’d rather be there than a lot of places. I love just getting up on stage not matter where it is. It’s fun to get up and entertain people and have a good time, make everybody feel a part of the show and get up there and play my guitar really loud.”

Audio / Josh Turner, who just released his new single “Hometown Girl,” recalls the weirdest item he’s ever been asked to sign.


Josh Turner (weirdest things he’s signed) OC: …Sharpie, though. :10
“A toothpick; an unused toothpick, let me throw that out there, an unused toothpick. It was quite challenging, actually, and it didn’t look anything like my autograph. It took a really small Sharpie, though.”

Audio / Keith Urban, who’s sitting inside the Top 10 with his current single “Wasted Time,” will be making a couple of appearances at this year’s CMA Music Fest. First, he’ll play the HGTV Lodge Thursday (June 9th) and at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) on Sunday (June 12th). Keith will also perform during the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday (June 8th), where he’s up for Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year for “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.”


Keith Urban(CMA Music Fest) OC: …love it. :25
“I love it! It’s like summer camp. I mean, it is! It’s a chance to obviously see a lot of people I don’t normally see. I don’t know. It’s just palpable. Since Fan Fair, it’s just been that sort of week-plus of energy; the town just explodes, and what it is we love about this genre and the community aspect of it. I always love it.”

Audio / Kip Moore fans will get a chance to see him a couple of times this week. He’ll perform during the Pandora Country Music event at Marathon Music Works Tuesday evening, and then you can catch him at the HGTV Lodge downtown on Thursday afternoon. He tells us about his favorite thing about performing live. You’ll definitely get to hear him play his latest hit single, “Running for You,” which is from his Wild Ones album.


Kip Moore (favorite thing about performing live) OC: …it gets. :17
“I’d say that my favorite thing about being on the road is the fact that I get to play music each and every night with my best friends. There’s nothing better than that than playing with your best buddies and seeing the joy that you bring to other people’s faces playing the music that you love to play. I mean that’s the best it gets.”

Audio / Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley will participate in Fan Fair X, part of the CMA Music Festival bringing fans and artists together. Hillary, along with her family, will be the artist of the day on Thursday (June 9th) showcasing their upcoming faith-based album with performances and a Q&A, while Charles will give fans an up close and personal look into his solo album, The Driver, on Sunday (June 12th).


Lady Antebellum (Music Fest) 3 OC: …really cool. :25

“When you see the same fans, these die-hard fans that camp out outside the radio remotes and the hotels, and all of these places, and you start recognizing them, I think that’s when you start going ‘Wow, this is a special and unique industry.’ You talk to them by name and give them a hug. I can’t think of any other genre that has that kind of connection. The people that come back the same time every year, you know where they are going to be. It’s really kind of a fun thing. It’s really cool.”

Audio / Lauren Alaina says she owes it all to her fans, and she starts this year’s CMA Music Festival on Tuesday with the City of Hope Softball Game. On Wednesday evening, she’s set to perform a late-night set downtown in HonkyTonk Alley, and on Thursday morning, Lauren will perform an acoustic set on the Disney Stage at the Music City Center, followed by a signing at the UMG booth. On Friday, she’ll perform in the park at the city’s Walk of Fame, and on Sunday, she’ll perform at the Music City Center.


Lauren Alaina (fans) OC: …me wrong. :30
“My fans helped me grow as a person in lots of different ways. I grew up in front of them. I was 15 on American Idol, so they watched me grow up and kind of helped me mold into who I am, because I worked at CiCi’s Pizza, and now I’m traveling all over the place. It’s like I learned responsibility through all of it. I learned who I am as a person, ‘cause my fans have made me stronger, they’ve made me more responsible, they made me believe in myself 10 times more, because I thought I was going home every week on American Idol, and they proved me wrong.”

Audio / Luke Bryan, who is set to perform at Nissan Stadium on Sunday (June 12th), enjoys CMA Music Fest Week. Luke is nominated for a pair of CMT Music Awards, including Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year for “Strip It Down.”


Luke Bryan (CMA Music Fest) OC: …for this week. :33
“It’s a great week. I truly love this week for hundreds of reasons. I always remember my first ones and starting out and doing River Stages and always dreaming of coming over here and performing at LP Field (now Nissan Stadium) and all of the stuff building the fan base early in the week. It’s an amazing week for Nashville, and it’s a great week for me. And then I get to be home and do all this stuff. It’s always been a fun week for me. A lot of my family always comes in for this week.”