“Grand Ole Omni” Opry Event Brings New Music To CRS

Pictured  (L-R): Trace Adkins; Maddie & Tae; Ashley Campbell; Sarah Trahern, CEO, CMA; Pete Fisher, Vice President/General Manager, Grand Ole Opry. (Back): Bill Mayne, Exec Director, CRB/CRS; Easton Corbin; Chris Janson; Tracy Lawrence; Chris Carmack;  David Nail; Charlie Morgan, President, CRB/CRS. Photo: Chris Hollo/Rachael Black

Pictured (Front row, L-R): Trace Adkins; Maddie & Tae; Ashley Campbell; Sarah Trahern, CEO, CMA; Pete Fisher, Vice President/General Manager, Grand Ole Opry. (Back row): Bill Mayne, Executive Director, CRB/CRS; Easton Corbin; Chris Janson; Tracy Lawrence; Chris Carmack; David Nail; Charlie Morgan, President, CRB/CRS. Photo: Chris Hollo/Rachael Black

The Grand Ole Opry moved to the “Grand Ole Omni,” remarked host Bill Cody of a saying that floated around the Country Radio Seminar (CRS) event on Monday night (Feb. 8).

Open to all CRS registrants, the Opry performance continued a five-year tradition by bringing its signature barn backdrop and famous microphone stands to the annual seminar. The Omni Hotel’s Broadway Ballroom hosted the event for the first time, as CRS debuted at the venue this year, after moving from the Renaissance Nashville Hotel. Three mirrored buffet lines offered tasty selections like mashed potatoes, biscuits, tacos and spiced apples.

The special 7:00 p.m. performance featured a star-studded lineup with Chris Janson, Tracy Lawrence, Maddie & Tae, Chris Carmack, Easton Corbin, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride, Ashley Campbell, and David Nail.

Unreleased music was showcased by the latter four. Opry member McBride said she “did some math” backstage and realized her upcoming single, “Reckless” (written by Sarah Buxton, Zach Crowell and Heather Morgan), will be her first in five years.

Martina McBride. Photo: Chris Hollo/Rachael Black

Martina McBride. Photo: Chris Hollo/Rachael Black

Nail has spent many sleepless nights with his wife, Catherine, since welcoming “miracle” twins Lawson Brent and Lillian Catherine on Dec. 12. Although he felt “guilty being out of the house,” the “Red Light” singer also previewed music he has been working on for an upcoming album, including its title track, “Fighter,” which has taken on new meaning for his wife these past few months.

David Nail. Photo: Chris Hollo/Rachael Black

David Nail. Photo: Chris Hollo/Rachael Black

Adkins’ whole set explored new music from an upcoming Wheelhouse Records project, including his lead single “Jesus and Jones” (written by Jim McCormick, Casey Beathard and Tyler Farr) and “Soldier.” A stand-out song for the night was his “Watered Down,” which Adkins declared his favorite song on the upcoming album. “It’s about where I am in my life right now,” he confessed of the ballad about finding maturity and balance. In addition, Bill Cody introduced Opry GM Pete Fisher to present commissioned, copper-engraved artwork to celebrate the institution’s 90th year.

Additional stand-out titles came from Carmack (“Being Alone”) Campbell (“Remembering”), and Lawrence’s 1993 single “Can’t Break It To My Heart.” The only standing ovation of the night went to Chris Janson, whose set included a heartfelt dedication to his wife, sung with a strong vibrato, on “When I’m Holding Her,” about his wife. He concluded with a soulful harmonica solo in his first No. 1 single, “Buy Me A Boat.”

The Grand Ole Opry at CRS 2016 was sponsored by Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the CMA. Sarah Trahern, CEO of the CMA, welcomed the crowd and showcased a CMA Awards promo, extending a virtual invite to attendees to its 50th annual event in November.

Chris Janson. Photo: Chris Hollo/Rachael Black

Chris Janson. Photo: Chris Hollo/Rachael Black

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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