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The CMA Awards - A Closer Look
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist 
Photos Provided by Country Music Association 

This year's 41st Annual CMA Awards show was one of the most enjoyable I've watched in a long time and I think that it's because of all of the great performances. Miranda Lambert (right) starts out with a country rockin song called "Gunpowder And Lead". Great song with some hot southern rock guitar. 

The CMAs really don't have a host, but a lot of people took turns, including Brad Paisley's beautiful wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley (left).

American Idol winner ,Carrie Underwood walks away with the single of the year "Before He Cheats". (Where's Faith Hill and Tim McGraw tonight?)

Real nice traditional country song performed by George Strait -"How 'Bout Them Cowgirls?" Nice to hear the traditional country arrangement. (In Philly, that statement means something else)

Song Of The Year goes to "Give It Away" by Bill Anderson, Buddy Cannon and Jamey Johnson. Recorded by George Strait. (Is that legal, having that many legends together?) Where's Alan Jackson tonight?

Taylor Swift performs her latest single, "Our Song", a really nice tune, real country, reminds me of a young Leanne Rimes, this high school senior is for real. (Whatever happened to Jessica Andrews?)

Brad Paisley (left) plays "Online", Paisley is country's ruling guitarist, playing a gimmick song, with non-gimmick guitar, this guy can play with the best. Paisley gets a chance to let her rip as he is joined by Taylor Swift and Kelly Pickler dancing on stage, plus a real live high school marching band. 

Alison Krauss does a beauty called "Simple Love" with her band Union Station. This song sounds more like a country ballad than bluegrass. Ron Block is awesome on a tele for the first time and Jerry Douglas (winner of musician of the year) plays an electric dobro. Best song so far.

Vocal group of the Year goes to Rascal Flatts! (Why were the Dixie Chicks nominated singing "Not Ready to make Nice", wasn't that a couple of years ago?)

Rodney Adkins (left) sings and performs a great song titled "These Are My People" with his band which includes a great guitarist. Very country sounding band.

The Eagles are surprisingly good with a performance of a song which gets the biggest rise from the audience so far.

Country music sometimes can connect with real situations. Brooks and Dunn (right) put on a stunning rendition of a slow song called "God Must Be Busy", they are at their best and this song has some great lyrics.

Surprisingly, Sugarland won vocal duo of the year, I didn't know they were  considered a duo? 

A Vince Gill underwear commercial was quite good, proving that there is more than one way to get on the CMA's. Dwight Yoakam gave a very touching tribute to Porter Wagoner. (Why doesn't this guy get more attention?) 

Album Of The Year goes to George Strait (left) for It Just Comes Natural. Great to see this legend win with a traditional album.

Martina McBride (right) sings another timely song "These Times In Which We Live", loved the simple acoustic rhythm and Gospel Choir back up. This was a great song, she really belts it out as only she can.

Keith Urban sings a really warm acoustic song. "Everybody needs somebody sometimes".

Taylor Swift won the Horizon Award, and was very emotional, she said it was the hi-light of her senior year.

Leanne Rimes and Reba sang a really emotional duet, sounded great together. From Reba's "Duets" Album.

Carrie Underwood wins female vocalist of the year. 

Ralph Emery, Mel Tillis and Vince Gill all inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame. (Is something wrong with this picture?) 

Kenny Chesney sang a real moving song, real sweet guitar break, love this song.

Josh Turner plays a real nice traditional country rocker with his great band.
Kelly Pickler brought the house down going into tears singing a real emotional slow tune.

Brad Paisley won male vocalist of the year. Brad became very emotional during the presentation, couldn't happen to a nicer guy, going to have to get "Fifth Gear".

Entertainer of the Year is KENNY CHESNEY, no arguments here. 

And for the last song, actor/singer Jamie Fox joins Rascal Flatts for a song that really worked well.

This was a lot of fun to watch, seemed like more music than ever.


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