On April 3, the American Country Music Awards aired its live broadcast on CBS. It is the one awards show I pointedly didn't watch in the past. However, this year it was advertised that Darius Rucker, James Taylor, Carrie Underwood and Steven Tyler would perform, so I thought I'd give it a try.
Carrie Underwood was discovered on American Idol where Steven Tyler is now one of the judges. It was this fact alone that drew me to watch the broadcast.
According to the Huffington Post website:
"It was one of several big collaborations during the show. Steven Tyler and Carrie Underwood rocked out to "Undo It" then segued to the Aerosmith classic "Walk This Way." James Taylor, who [Zac] Brown calls his greatest influence, joined the singer's band on a medley of "Colder Weather" and "Sweet Baby James," and Rihanna, sporting a flaming reddish-orange pixie haircut, performed her song "California King Bed" with Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles."
As far as I'm concerned, they saved the best for last with Taylor's collaboration with Zac Brown's band. I started following Taylor when I was a teenager and my first album of his was "JT." I think Taylor is a class act and have seen him several times in concert along with Herman at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
The crowd at the ACMA also gave tribute to Taylor with a round of applause as he began to sing. I'm not much of a twangy, country music fan, but I really like Taylor's crossover music.
Another performer I enjoyed was Keith Urban, husband of Australian actress Nicole Kidman. He's Australian too, so they've both crossed over in more ways than one. The song "Without You" he sang was a heartfelt tribute to his wife and two kids. Even though he didn't write the song, he felt it was just right to express his feelings about being on the road without his family. Kidman sat in the front row during Urban's performance, and gave her husband a big smile as he acknowledged her with a nod during the crowd's applause after he finished the tender song.
So not being a country music fan, I must tell you I was totally mesmerized by the whole show and will look forward to seeing it next year as I add it to my list of award shows.
Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website at www.kathrynskorner.com