What better way to announce a CMA Music Fest stage lineup than with a music-filled party in Nashville?
BMI and the CMA announced this year’s BMI Tailgate Party lineup with a performance-packed celebration at BMI Nashville’s lobby yesterday (April 29). Two artists who will perform on the upcoming stage, Will Hoge and female duo Muddy Magnolias, were on hand to give attendees an early look at what to expect during CMA Music Festival, which takes place June 11-14.
Also slated for the BMI Tailgate Party stage are Rhett Akins, Sammy Arriaga, Bri Bagwell, Tucker Beathard, Hannah Blaylock, Danielle Bradbery, Kane Brown, DJ DU, Josh Dorr, Haley Georgia, Chris Lane, Sonia Leigh, Maren Morris, Mitch Rossell, Caitlyn Smith, Sundy Best, Emi Sunshine, Mitchell Tenpenny, and Charlie Worsham.
Kallie North and Jessy Wilson of Muddy Magnolias held everyone’s attention during the reveal celebration with their high-energy set, confident vocals and, at-times Tina Turner-esque stage moves. The duo gave one of their earliest performances, as a then-unsigned act, at last year’s CMA Music Festival. Since then, they have joined forces with John Grady-led I.R.S. Records and are working on their debut project with Butch Walker.
Hoge held court with a more earthy, but equally enticing set that included cuts from his 10th studio album, Small Town Dreams. The heart-tugging “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore” was particularly crowd-pleasing. He welcomed Muddy Magnolias back to the stage to offer backing vocals on “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” the 2012 hit co-written by Hoge and Eric Paslay, which was recorded by Eli Young Band.
Hoge is ready to pour the lessons he’s learned from his years of performing into a top-notch BMI Tailgate Party show. “Over two years of doing these country fairs and festivals, I tried to really cater to make everything as traditionally country as I can,” recalled Hoge. “That continued to flop, so the more that we got more into the middle of what I do, which is some country, some pop and some rock, all those different things, the better the crowds reacted. For me, it will be a mix of all the sounds I grew up listening to as a native Nashvillian—rock, soul, gospel, country and everything else. We’ll throw it all out there and see what happens.”
“Our music is fusion,” Wilson said of Muddy Magnolias’ brand of tunes. “We came here to be country music songwriters, but when we started writing together and became a duo, all of our influences came into play. We’ll keep it high-energy and rockin’.”
The BMI Tailgate Party takes place nightly on the LP Field south lawn from 4 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. CT, just prior to the Nightly Concerts at LP Field.