The 2008 CMA Music Festival
rpshen | June 7, 2008 at 09:35 amby
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With temperatures hovering around 90, fans were comforted by blue skies, an occasional wind from the Cumberland River and dozens of artists performing at Riverfront Park and along lower Broadway. When the sun goes down, the music moves to LP Field for an evening concert featuring Jennifer Hanson, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, Luke Bryan, Jewel, Taylor Swift, Sugarland and another act that was only revealed Thursday morning -- Rascal Flatts.
Tickets are required for the concerts at Riverfront Park and LP Field, but there's no admission charge for lots of performances taking place at the other downtown stages. In particular, the Chevy Plaza stage in front of the Sommet Center is featuring a strong lineup, including Thursday's bluegrass offering of Dan Tyminiski, Mountain Heart, the SteelDrivers and Sierra Hull. Other notables playing the free shows on the Chevy Plaza stage include Julie Roberts, the Grascals, the Clark Brothers, Cory Morrow, the Greencards, Michael Peterson, Riders in the Sky, La Familia and Texas music legend Augie Meyer.
In addition to the morning's show headlined by Vassar, Thursday's music at Riverfront Park also included Mindy McCready, the Bellamy Brothers, Heidi Newfield, Richie McDonald, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Byrd, Crystal Shawanda and Erika Jo. By Sunday afternoon, the stage will have featured more than 100 artists, including Joe Nichols, Darryl Worley, Jake Owen, Josh Gracin, Bo Bice, Jeffrey Steele, Michael Martin Murphey, Mark Wills, Sunny Sweeney, the Oak Ridge Boys, Lonestar, the Road Hammers, Bryan White, Jimmy Wayne and Buddy Jewell. Riverfront Park will also host performances by two members of the Country Music Hall of Fame -- Bill Anderson and Mel Tillis.
The nightly concerts at LP Field -- stadium home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans -- remain the biggest draw of all. Friday's bill features Ashton Shepherd, Jack Ingram, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Jake Owen and Faith Hill. Saturday includes performances by Jason Michael Carroll, Craig Morgan, Little Big Town, Jamey Johnson, Rodney Atkins, Darryl Worley, Trace Adkins, Alan Jackson and Kenny Rogers. And closing out the festival Sunday night is Chuck Wicks, James Otto, Bucky Covington, Randy Travis, John Stephan, Sara Evans, Phil Stacey, Billy Ray Cyrus and Dwight Yoakam.
The star-studded lineup includes Dwight Yoakam, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis and Billy Ray Cyrus among others.
A strong lineup of veterans and newer artists are appearing throughout the weekend at the 2008 CMA Music Festival, providing thousands of fans from not only across America but also around the world the opportunity to witness first-hand country music’s diversity and multi-generational appeal.
They include Dwight Yoakam, who last appeared at the festival 20 years ago in a landmark event performing alongside the late Buck Owens, and Faith Hill, who returns for the first time in 10 years.
The reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Carrie Underwood and multiple CMA award winners Alan Jackson and Randy Travis are on the weekend bill. And the contemporary face of country is equally well represented by such stars as Miranda Lambert, Josh Turner, James Otto, Darryl Worley and Rodney Atkins.
Friday's concert begins at 7:45 p.m. and is being hosted by Country Music Television (CMT) personality Allison DeMarcus, with Ashton Shepherd, Jack Ingram, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Jake Owen and Faith Hill scheduled to appear.
The stars of ABC Daytime (WKRN-2 locally) will host the Saturday night event, among them Bobbie Eakes and Ricky Paull Goldin from All My Children, Kassie DePaiva from One Live To Live and Bradford Anderson, Rebecca Herbst and Jason Thompson from General Hospital. Jason Michael Carroll, Craig Morgan, Little Big Town, Jamey Johnson, Rodney Atkins, Darryl Worley, Trace Adkins, Alan Jackson and Kenny Rogers are performing.
Comedian Killer Beaz hosts the Sunday night finale. Chuck Wicks, James Otto, Bucky Covington, Randy Travis, John Stephan, Sara Evans, Billy Ray Cyrus and Phil Stacey are on the bill, with Dwight Yoakam’s set concluding the 2008 CMA Music Festival shows at LP Field.