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Craig Morgan brought in the 2008 at Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville
By: Brianna Nightingale, CSO Staff Journalist

What is better than bringing in the New Year with a few good friends and Craig Morgan? I can’t think of anything off the top of my head; well, unless there were more friends and two Craig Morgans...

Ambrosia, John Ford Coley, Terry Sylvester and Christie’s Ex all warmed up the New Year’s Eve crowd for Craig Morgan this year at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville. After the opening bands, one which is a remarkable Billy Joel tribute band, Morgan came out and put everyone in the peppy mood he wanted them in by singing “Little Bit of Life,” the title track from his fourth album. At this point, members of the 1,000 person crowd got on their feet after relaxing for a few hours, enjoying a delicious buffet dinner at the tables set up around the beautifully decorated saloon.

Morgan pointed out how thankful he was that all of these people chose to spend their New Year’s Eve with him. This father of five, who brought his wife to the show, truly meant it when he looked out before him and said “It’s so good to be home.”

Morgan sang “Look At Us,” followed by a couple that showed his softer side, “My Kinda Woman” and country radio’s most-played song of 2005, “That’s What I Love About Sunday.”

This multi-talented songwriter threw “I’m Country” into the mix for this country crowd; with this tune he revealed his appreciation for living in the countryside and partaking in activities such as riding dirt bikes and fishing.

“Hey, I'm country; I was born and raised in it. 
I'm country, that's my kind of livin'. 
White beans, collar greens, sweet tea, chicken and dumplings. 
Well, I get up every mornin' when the rooster crows, 
I stay out some nights until the cows come home. 
I'm dog-runnin', deer-huntin', fish-catchin', cow-tippin', 
Hay-balin', pea-pickin' country.” 

And the lyrics only get better from there. Normally, I would say that a song such as “Almost Home” is filled with so much imagery and emotion that it was one of the best songs done all night. However, Morgan is known for songs that are this way. “I have a passion for making little things very visual and big, stuff that can be easily overlooked,” he said.

“I Got You” and “Tough,” which I am not surprised was one of radio’s most-played songs last fall, came next. Also, after hearing the song once, you probably weren’t (or won’t be) amazed that Morgan’s weekly CD sales more than doubled once “International Harvester” hit radio. The authentic tractor sounds and good-humored lyrics fit perfectly with Morgan’s style.

Another witty one, “Redneck of the Woods,” has never been recorded; hearing it is just one more perk to attending one of more than 200 concerts Morgan puts on each year.

As he began to wrap up his last performance of 2007, Morgan took the opportunity to sing a new song. I believe the up-tempo, reminiscent song that fans appeared to adore is called “Lookin’ Back With You.”

Morgan finished his set with “Redneck Yacht Club,” cleaned up the stage and then came back for the countdown to 2008. People on all three levels of the venue watched as vibrant confetti and balloons slowly fell from the ceiling at midnight.

Seriously, how can you beat a New Year’s Eve like this one?

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