The New Music Weekly gang took the great city of Nashville by storm for the 2017 Country Radio Seminar (CRS). This event was everything advertised and more and we tried to take advantage of every event it offered. It was also more of a homecoming of sorts meeting up with a good many of our radio stations, music and program directors, artists and many of the movers and shakers in the music industry. While all of this craziness was going on in Music City, it was also time to tabulate the winners for our 2017 New Music Awards. This really added to the list of things we had to deal with so we took it all on and even managed to have a good time in the process.

Our first order of business at CRS 2017 was to meet and interview many of the up and coming artists and to talk about their new releases and plans for the year. We started out with the impressive sister duo Presley & Taylor & the lovely and talented Arista Manning all thanks to Music City News Media & Marketing. We spent some quality time with the legendary John Berry who talked about his musical family thanks to Kay Waggoner. Anna Christina Cash, Camille Rae & the entertaining James Dupre came in courtesy of Christy Walker-Watkins while Lucas Hogue, Cathy Whitten and Kim McAbee among others, kept us busy with their stories, many of which we will share with you in future issues.

Performances from some of the best in Country music filled CRS 2017. Lady A seemed to be just about everywhere and proved to us once again why they are one of the biggest selling artists in music today. There was a well-deserved award winning moment for Zac Brown and his amazing band. In addition to hearing him speak he and his boys did not disappoint with a stellar live performance which highlighted their current heartfelt single   “My Old Man” (Southern Ground/Atlantic). The Ryman lunch showcased some of the very best doing acoustic versions of their songs from a number of Country giants that included Easton Corbin, Darius Rucker to a special treat from Keith Urban and Vince Gil.

The Big Machine complete with Scott Borchetta as host put on a very memorable luncheon that not only provided some of the best barbecue we had on this trip to a showcase of some of their best and upcoming artists including American Idol winner Trent Harmon. Another act in particular also showcased some exceptional talent and promise for a very bright future followed. Midland is the name of this amazing vocal act and they really had the place jumping. They performed their debut single “Drinkin’ Problem” (Big Machine/Universal) which is nothing short of brilliant and we are thrilled to see that their new single is one of our prime movers here at NMW.

The New Faces show was still the biggest highlight of the grand CRS event. The Omni Hotel showed us that they can provide an amazing array of fine dining and that helped to settle everybody in. Among performances there were awards given out in between set changes and that seemed to drag the event out just a bit. We found ourselves waiting for the final act Maren Morris who proved why she is the red hot “new kid in town”. The Omni despite the food gets mixed reviews from many of us including a good number of programmers we spoke with. Too many of us miss the Bridge Bar at the other venue and found it very hard to socialize at the drinking hole the hotel provides.

This is also our very special winners edition. Once again New Music Weekly honors the very best in recording artists, radio stations, music & program directors, record labels and industry professionals. All of the winners were selected via votes on our website and this year found a record number participating. As we continue our quest to level the playing field there is a good mix of both major label and independent music artists that made their way into the winners circle. Many of them are sharing their thanks in this issue and please pay some extra special attention to them and all of our winners. Our thanks to the wonderful folks from CRS 2017 and a big time congratulations goes out to all of our winners for this year’s New Music Awards.