The annual CMA songwriters series kicked off country to country 2017 at a sold out indigo with Kristian Bush of sugarland, Drake White, 2017 Grammy winner Maren Morris, Liz Rose and Mac McAnally.
Bush opened the night with a sugarland favourite Stuck Like Glue and the hits didn’t end there. Each artist sang five of the songs in a night which lasted over two and a half hours. Bush featured us to a mix of sugarland songs, baby girl and also some from his 2015 solo record Southern Gravity, trailer hitch, love or money (a song he credited with kick starting his solo career and got the crowd in agreement we do everything in life for either love or money). The highlight of the night from Bush came from his solo track, Flip-flops, when you are minding you own business at the bar and don’t realise how many you’ve had and struggle to walk in a straight line let alone be capable of walking in flip-flops.
Drake White is an artist I’ve heard big things about and will be one ofany I’m sure who will be listening to the album after tonight and this weekend. Singing I be free, I need real, story, making me look good again and heartbeat I am sure White will attract many new fans following his satelitte stage appearances.
A year ago Maren Morris was a relative unknown before her satelitte stage appearance having not even released her debut album at that point. Since then she has had huge success in the charts and also won a Grammy. During the evening she even confirmed a full UK tour to take place in the fall (autumn) which will please many fans across the country and also in Ireland. Treating fans to Rich, Bummin’ Cigarettes, 80s Mercedes as well as her next single I could use a love song before finishing the night with the smash hit My Church which is sure to go down a storm this weekend.
Also on stage was Liz Rose who treated fans to a story of writing with Taylor Swift and debating what to do with the sofa they sat at while writing 2010 Grammy winning hit You Belong With Me. As well as performing this track Rose sang another hit she wrote with Swift, White Horse and ended the evening singing song of the year Girl Crush.
Mac McAnally concluded the evening with an instrumental piece which I hope there will be a YouTube video of as it was something quite incredible. The hall of fame member opened the evening with the 2009 collaboration with Kenny Chesney, Down the Road. He also performed another track he penned for Chesney, Back Where I Come From.
Country to Country is underway and even though there wasn’t a surprise guest appearance there was a tour announcement and a first CMA award presented to UK country artist The Shires.