The 49th Country Radio Seminar (CRS) took place this past week in Nashville, Tennessee at The Omni Hotel in Downtown Nashville. CRS is an annual three-day convention where country music and the radio industry gather to exchange ideas, set trends, introduce brands, launch artists and make decisions that affect every aspect of the genre’s future. The seminar includes new music from rising artists as well as some of the most established artists in the business.
Here are some highlights of our week down in Nashville including photos of our favorite artists. Head to our Instagram to see more exclusive content and videos.
During the opening ceremonies, attendees gathered in one of the Omni’s ballrooms to honor their sponsors for the week as well as to award Dierks Bentley with the 2018 Artist Humanitarian Award. Humbled by this award, Bentley took the stage to thank the committee who chose him and explain that he is happy to use his platform for a greater good. He received recognition for his charity work with his Miles & Music for Kids concert and the accompanying motorcycle ride. Over the last 10 years, the organization raised over 4 million dollars.
Next up, our team headed to Broken Bow Records’ showcase which included the signing of a brand new act, Everette The Band as well as performances from each of their talented stars including Walker McGuire, Lindsey Ell, Dustin Lynch, Granger Smith and Jimmie Allen.
Closing out the night of incredible music, Jason Aldean took the stage to perform “Tattoos On This Town”, “Any Ol’ Barstool” and his brand new single “You Make It Easy” for the attendees.
Aldean and Allen then headed to the Amazon Music & CRS Monday Night Showcase where they performed and Garth Brooks joined Aldean on stage for an epic duet of “Friends in Low Places”.
Heading down to Broadway, we stopped by Dierks Bentley’s brand new Bar, Whiskey Row, for a performance from Hot Country Knights, Bentley’s parody 90’s cover band. Fellow Universal Music Group labelmates Jordan Davis, Kassi Ashton, Maddie and Tae, Jon Pardi, Travis Denning, took the stage to sing classic 90’s hits including “Boot-Scootin’ Boogie”, “Any Man of Mine”, “Sold” and “Lesson in Leavin'”.
Tuesday, Day 2 of the seminar was filled with 26 artists, performing their new music for the radio and media attendees. Every year the UMG Luncheon which takes place at the historic Ryman Auditorium is a highlight of the week and this year was certainly no different. After grabbing our boxed lunch, we headed inside to sit 4th row ready for some incredible music. Performers at the luncheon included newcomers, Jordan Davis, Kassi Ashton, Travis Denning, and Brandon Lay. Each of the rising artists that have just been signed to Universal Music Group were so grateful for the opportunity to play the on the historic stage for the most prestigious names in radio. Other acts to perform were Kip Moore, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Maddie & Tae, Jon Pardi and Luke Bryan. Highlights included Vince Gill singing a new song he wrote about sexual misconduct and the powerful movement happening in the world and keeping with the theme, Keith Urban singing his latest single “Female” with Nicolle Gaylon who co-wrote the song.
Next up we stopped by the NASH FM Nashville campus to visit our friends Ty, Kelly & Chuck and Elaina and Shawn from Nash Nights Live. Then we headed back to the Omni to catch the Sony Showcase. This guitar pull or acoustic round featured some of Sony’s biggest acts as well as newly signed artists. The first round included Chris Young, Walker Hayes, LANco, Luke Combs and Cam. Each took turns singing their radio singles and Cam even performed a haunting version of a song she wrote with pop singer Sam Smith called “Palace”. The second round featured Brad Paisley, Kane Brown, Mitchell Tenpenny, and Maren Morris. Morris sang her very first radio number one, “I Could Use a Love Song” as well as “Rich” which impacts country radio today.
We then headed to the Warner Suite to catch one of our favorite rising artists, Cale Dodds perform his latest singles “People Watching” and “Take You Back”.
Our final day of the seminar concluded with two shows at the theatre in the Omni hotel. The first was Big Machine’s Luncheon which featured a remarkable performance by the newest artists to join their label Trent Harmon and Tyler Rich. Thomas Rhett also performed his latest single “Marry Me” and Brett Young played his no. 1 hits. Making their official comeback as a duo, Sugarland sang their smash “Baby Girl”, “Stuck On You” and their new single “Still the Same”.
The culmination of three great days ended with New Faces, a critically acclaimed event which features the brightest rising country acts of the previous year. This year was no different, taking the stage with their full bands to each play three of their most popular hits was Carly Pearce, Michael Ray, Midland, Lauren Alaina and Luke Combs.
Overall, Country Radio Seminar was an incredible three days for New York Country Swag, being a small part of bringing new country music to listeners and followers in New York City and beyond. We are already looking forward to next years seminar!
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