With CRS 2017 finally in the books it’s now time to get back to the basics. Zac Brown and his boys put on quite a show at this year’s event, picked up a well deserved award just as their heartfelt “My Old Man” (Southern Ground/Atlantic) takes off. Zac and company could not have had a better launching pad for what could be another banner year for them. Also making a big impression on all of us was the new vocal act Midland. They picked up some big time believers at the Big Machine lunch hosted by the always brilliant Scott Borchetta. Now we see their debut single “Drinkin’ Problem” (Big Machine/Universal) take off and we are just thrilled for them.

Old Dominion is back to their old tricks and that means yet another hit single. “No Such Thing As A Broken Heart” (RCA Nashville) is the one that many of our music and program directors are raving about. Brett Eldredge continues his winning ways at Country radio. He’s taking his new “Somethin’ I’m Good At” (WB/WEA) out for a spin and so far so very good. Wayne Warner is also getting a lot of love from our panel. Everyone we talk to is just raving about his new single “Wasted” (B Venturous/MTS).

Blake Shelton just keeps the hits coming as his new season of the Voice (NBC) takes charge of the television ratings. “Every Time I Hear That Song” (WB/WEA) is his latest offering and it’s another gem from the master we first interviewed years back at CRS.  Luke Combs is also getting plenty of great action at the format. “Hurricane” (Thirty Tigers) is the latest from Luke and this one could go “all the way”. I’m also really loving the latest from Kip Moore. “More Girls Like You” (MCA Nashville) is probably one of the best things he’s done so far. I really hope that radio likes it as much as I do.

Kane Brown appears to have a real good thing going. Many of you out there just can’t seem to get enough of the single “What Ifs” (RCA Nashville) and for good reason, it’s one of the best out there. Maren Morris was truly the star of the New Faces show at CRS 2017. She displayed major star quality and even made a solid pitch for her current single  “I Could Use A Love Song” (Columbia Nashville) which is yet another gem from this rising superstar. And speaking of superstars, Rascal Flatts are putting their pitch in for their latest and greatest in “Yours If You Want It” (Big Machine/Universal) so I say come on and get some of this. You can’t go wrong with these boys when it comes to music choices.

Cole Swindell has teamed up with Dierks Bentley for quite a wild ride. Flatliner” (WB/WEA) is the jam that I’m talking about so come aboard the fast train. Dustin Lynch also has a hit on his hands with “Small Town Boy” (Broken Bow) so please spend a little time with this one. Michael Christopher keeps getting raves for his “DNA” (Ind) and that’s a good thing for him. Chris Loid has paired up with Ed Dailey and together the boys make beautiful music with “If Only They Knew” (Ind). Easton Corbin made his presence felt at CRS 2017. He also put a little plug for “A Girl Like You” (Mercury Nashville) even though he really doesn’t need to.

Lady Antebellum were all over CRS and they showed that they really do care about what’s going on out there.  “You Look Good” (Capitol Nashville) is their latest and it really sounded “oh so good” live. Florida Georgia Line and the Backstreet Boys are really doing it with God, Your Mama, And Me” (Big Machine/Universal). Richard Lynch has joined forces with Ronnie McDowell for “Love Tattoo” (Twang Thang Country/MTS).

The Richard Thomas Band are on fire as their “My Mother’s Love” moves towards the top of our Country Top50. This is our NMA Winners issue and nobody wears it better than
Chuck Murphy. He picks up another well-deserved award just as his powerful “Peace Be With You” (One West Music) gets closer to the top. Another NMA winner in Joey Canyon has had a masterful run with “I Can’t Start Loving You Again” (Glo Dot). We’ll see you back here next time and stop by Legends Corner in Nashville this weekend and join me for a song and a beer. Congrats to all of our NMA winners for 2017, you so deserved them.