Bobby Karl Works The Capitol CRS Lunch

Chapter 363

Pictured L-R: Steve Hodges, Bill Mayne, Luke Bryan, Eric Paslay, and Mike Culotta

Luke Bryan onstage at the Capitol Luncheon

All country artists want to be liked, but few have the winning, eager, puppy-like charm of Luke Bryan.

Luke was the centerpiece of Capitol Nashville’s concluding luncheon at last week’s Country Radio Seminar convention. His Friday afternoon (3/4) set mixed hits such as “Someone Else Calling You Baby” and “Country Man” with five new tunes from his forthcoming CD, including “Drunk on You” and “Too Damn Young to Know Any Better.”

“This is incredible to be here,” said show-headlining Luke. “Four years ago, I was opening up for Trace [Adkins]. There is no better room to play to get your career going.

“This isn’t my show,” he said to the radio decision makers. “This is OUR show, together.”

Using his lanky body language and likeable smile to full advantage, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. A thunderous sonic mix and plenty of flashing lights added to the ambiance.

The only thing missing was Capitol’s usual emcee, Mike Dungan. “He is in a hammock on the beach with a drink in his hand,” explained the subbing Steve Hodges. It seems that Mike thought that CRS was the last week in February and instructed his wife to book their vacation during what he thought would be the following week. Oops.

Steve began the festivities by screening the world premiere of Jeanette McCurdy’s inspirational new video “Generation Love.” Brilliantly written by Tom Douglas, Heather Morgan and Ross Copperman and wonderfully produced by Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, this looked and sounded like the breakthrough country hit the iCarly teen-TV superstar has been seeking. Each luncheon place setting, by the way, held a copy of the CD single as well as a reproduction of a Tennessean newspaper feature about Jeanette that had run earlier in the week.

The luncheon also introduced new signee Eric Paslay. The tall, lean, red-headed singer-songwriter performed the light-hearted “When the Sun Comes Up” and “If the Fish Don’t Bite,” as well as a moving ballad about the afterlife called “Deep as it Is Wide.”

“It’s a privilege to be up here,” said Eric, who performed solo with acoustic guitar. “I’m looking forward to meeting all of you this May and June,” when the label issues his music.

Steve also screened a video containing thank-you footage from all the company’s promotional staff as well as its roster – Little Big Town, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Walker Hayes, Darius Rucker, Eric Church and Troy Olson as well as the luncheon-spotlighted Jeanette, Eric and Luke.

We lunched on lasagna and veggies. Prior to the event, the CRS attendees volunteered to stuff bags with various snacks to be shipped out by Operation Troop Aid. A giant, robotic Tron/Transformers character with an electronic voice posed for snapshots and kept the volunteers entertained.

Mixing and mingling were Dick Beecham, Becky Begin, Kristi Green, Gary Greenberg, Sharon Allen, Bill Wence, Starlet Page, Walt Trott, Bobby Young, Jeff Walker, Vanessa Davis, Raeanne Rubenstein and John Zarling.

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