I have heard that the CMA Fest is a really fun time for country music fans. You have the opportunity to meet a lot of fun and awesome musicians Kenneth headed down and spent the weekend there and he met tons of people at the fest!
Kenneth has done a great recap! Make sure and check it out below!
Well, I went to CMA Fest this year and stayed all four days (Thursday-Sunday).
Lot of stories. My favorite one is this…
The way CMA Fest works now is there is a lottery system in place for the more known artists. You have an allotted number of picks and place them on meet-and-greets and performances. I won nothing, but my wife won two tickets to meet Thompson Square. If you don’t win the tickets, you can get in a hopeful line, but it isn’t a sure thing.
So, long story short, I gave our extra Thompson Square ticket to an unnamed fan as I had something else going on at the time of the TS meet-and-greet.
I had offers from people to sell it, but I never felt right about doing something like that. I did try to make a trade, but once that didn’t happen, I decided I would rather it go to one of TS’s true fans rather than possibly someone just looking to meet someone.
Later in the weekend, I begged all for a Darius Rucker Meet-and-Greet ticket, but came up empty-handed.
In the end, I tracked him down on my own and had a great interaction with him. Got a selfie and four CD covers signed.I got his attention by telling him what my favorite album of his is (it is an Hootie record that didn’t sell very well).
His response was an enthusiastic “I loved that record, too” and he came straight over to me and signed all of my stuff.
Also got a photo with Darius, but as we both admitted we suck at selfies and there was no time for a retake. Oh well. The interaction is worth more to me.
So, I felt my success in getting Darius was my reward for helping another. Why else would everything fall my way and who knew Darius thought that record didn’t get a fair shake?
However, what happened right before I left Sunday afternoon gave me goosebumps. While making my way to Riverfront, I spied unsigned 8x10s of my favorite NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick at the Hunt Brothers tent. I leaned in and asked if I could have one and explained he is my favorite driver.
The guy said sure and handed me one. I made it about 20 feet before I heard “Sir, sir…” coming from behind. My initial thought was I’d dropped something. I stop and one of the managers from the booth tells me he wants me to have this. I look down and there is a Kevin Harvick Hunt Brothers Pizza (they are one of his sponsors) T-shirt. I look closer and it is signed by Harvick.
Manager explains he saw him at Christmas and had him sign some things. I wasn’t expecting anyone to do something like that for me. Was it karma? Who knows, but it can’t hurt to do something nice for someone.
Anyways, so there’s my favorite success of the weekend, but a lot more happened
Here is the full list of those I got autographs and/or photos with …
Darius Rucker, Wade Hayes, Lee Greenwood, Mo Pitney, Kelsea Ballereni, Meghan Lindsey from The Voice, Jamie Dailey of Dailey and Vincent, Buddy Jewell (Nashville Star winner), Jill & Julia, Josh Turner, Deana Carter, Aaron Tippin, Brooke Hogan, Sunny Sweeney, Diamond Rio, Lynn Anderson, Jeff Bates, Ray Scott, Moore & Moore, Lindsay Ell, Neal McCoy, Cowboy Troy, Mickey Gilley, Rex Allen Jr, Mark Wills, Billy Yates, Aaron Watson, Sarah Darling, Jana Kramer, Hunter Hayes, Thompson Square, Joe Nichols, Craig Wayne Boyd from The Voice, Irlene Mandrell, Phil Vassar, Ashton Shepherd, Makenna and Brock, The Swon Brothers from The Voice, Austin Webb, Dakota Bradley, Brian Collins, Jericho Woods, Ronnie McDowell, David Ball, Ken Mellons, Sammy Sadler, Jeannie Seely, James Robert Webb, Matt Farris, Hollywood Yates- Wolf from American Gladiators (we talked wrestling), 2 Steel Girls from The Voice, John King, Rainey Qualley (Andie McDowell’s daughter), Rick Monroe, Laura Bell Bundy from TV’s Anger Management said two words to describe Charlie Sheen were “Idiot Savant”, Waterloo Revival, Courtney Cole, Rachele Lynae, Savannnah Berry from The Voice, Macy Martin, The Springs, Ali Dee, The Bellamy Brothers, Marty Raybon, The Kentucky Headhunters, Cort Carpenter, Denny Strickland, McKenna Faith, Carissa Leigh, Brandon Alan, Tyler Barham, Chris Rodgers, Dexter Roberts, Jeff Dane, Sonia Leigh, Simon Andersson, Keith Anderson, Shane Runion, Sara Evans, Dave Moody, Courtney Dickinson, Sarah Ross, Amber Hayes, Darin and Brooke Aldridge, Morgan Evans, Lulu Roman, Nick Sturms, McKenzies Mill, Tyler from Moonshiners, Stephanie Quayle, Moe Bandy and I am sure a couple I am omitting along with the signed Kevin Harvick shirt that was given to me by Hunt Brothers Pizza.
And here are some of the notable photo ops.
Aaron Watson – Independent country music singer that made waves by getting his album to No. 1 earlier this year
Aaron Tippin – “You’ve Got To Stand For Something Or You’ll Fall For Anything”, “Where The Stars and Stripe and Eagles Fly”, “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With The Radio,”
2Steel Girls from The Voice
Billy Yates – Wrote George Jones’ hits “Choices” and “I Don’t Need Your Rocking Chair.”
Craig Wayne Boyd – Winner of NBC’s The Voice. An awesome guy. Told me he split with his record label prior to his album because they wanted him to make the empty music that country radio is putting out right now.
Deana Carter – Sang “Strawberry Wine” and “Did I Shave My Legs For This?”
Irlene Mandrell – Singer, model and actress. The story behind the hat is Matt Farris was giving out cowboy hats at his booth. Now, I’m a ball cap type of guy, but a $30 cowboy hat is a nice piece of swag. So, I took it and wore it until I found my wife and put it on here head cause you can’t carry a cowboy hat around in your hands.
Hollywood Yates – best known for his American Gladiators’ portrayal of Wolf. Talked WWE with me for about five minutes.
James Robert Webb – Sings “Daddy Made a Million.”
Jeff Bates – Sings “Long, Slow Kisses.”
Jeannie Seely – Legendary Grand Ole Opry member
Joe Nichols – “Sunny and 75”, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” Brokenheartsville”, etc. He will be playing our local festival in September so I hope to get the op signed there.
Laura Bell Bundy of TV’s Anger Management
Keith Anderson – Sings “Pickin Wildflowers.”
Ken Mellons – Sings “Jukebox Junkie” and Sammy Sadler.
The Kentucky Headhunters – Sing “Dumas Walker”, “Walk Softly on This Heart of Mine.”
Lee Greenwood – Famous for “God Bless the USA.”
Lulu Roman – Hee Haw cast member
Makenna and Brock from The X Factor
And a funny photo with them.
Lynn Anderson – Grammy winner, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.”
Mark Wills – Sings “Don’t Laugh at Me.”
Mandy Barnett – Played Patsy Cline in stage show “Always…Patsy Cline.”
Marty Raybon (Lead singer of Shenandoah)
Mo Pitney – Sings “Country.” Being lauded as the next traditional country music star in the vein of Randy Travis.
Rainey Qualley – Singer/Actress and Model (daughter of actress Andie MacDowell)
Rex Allen Jr.
Ray Scott – Sings “I Ain’t Always Thirsty When I Drink.”
Sarah Darling – On ABC’s Rising Star
Sunny Sweeney – Sings “From A Table Away.”
Savannah Berry – The Voice
Ronnie McDowell – “Older Women”, multiple Elvis projects on television
The Bellamy Brothers – Singers of “Let Your Love Flow”, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Tyler of Discovery Channel’s TV show Moonshiners. Was a random. He was at CMA Fest as a fan. I watch the show weekly and am entertained by it. So, I approached him and asked for a photo. He was cool about it.
Wade Hayes – Singer of “Old Enough to Know Better.”
Darius Rucker – I know it sucks quite a bit, but hey, I got a photo with one of my favorites. He attempted to take one with my phone the first run through and it is worse. We both laughed and agreed we suck at selfies. As men, we should be. Also, contrary to Pinky’s meeting with him, Darius was as nice as could be to fans. Of course, Pinky also shouted “You suck, Hootie!” when he wasn’t doing photos per her own admission. He took care of as many fans as he could in the five minutes he said he had allotted after he had already signed and did photos for over an hour. Talked to the crowd. Smiled. Class act in my book. Took care of a few more the day before when I got him, as well. Didn’t detect any rudeness in his mannerisms. Sometimes you have to treat as you’d like to be treated and good things will happen.
Kelsea Ballereni – Her debut song just went to No. 1. She was lauded by Taylor Swift earlier this year and her stock has shot up.
Meghan Lindsey – Runner-up on The Voice/Previously known for being part of the country duo Steel Magnolia
Will post some autographs once I get them all scanned in. I totaled 152 signed things.
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