Postcard from Music City: Countdown to CMAs
November 10th, 2010
06:30 PM ET

Postcard from Music City: Countdown to CMAs

Nashville is always buzzing the week of the CMA Awards, but this year, the star power has been kicked up a notch.

It started with Monday night's premiere of "Country Strong," which was filmed in Music City earlier this year with Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw and Leighton Meester.

Then on Tuesday, the stars of the movie held court during joint media interviews at Union Station, a 19th century train depot that's been restored into an elegant hotel. Guest rooms are featured in the picture, and a dramatic press conference scene was shot beneath a giant clock in the lobby.

Although McGraw doesn't sing on camera in the movie, you can hear him in a duet with Paltrow called "Me and Tennessee" that runs over the end credits. Rumor has it that the track was penned by Paltrow's husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

"I don't know," Paltrow said coyly. "It's a mystery who wrote that song. It just showed up." (Insert wink here.)

"Country Strong" opens wide in the U.S. on January 7th.

Meanwhile, down the road at Bridgestone Arena, rehearsals were taking place for today's CMA Awards. As Lady Antebellum left the stage, Keith Urban walked on. The New Zealand-born superstar will be showcasing "Put You in a Song," the new single off his sixth studio album, "Get Closer" - which hits stores next Tuesday.

After three run-throughs of the tune, Urban swapped his t-shirt and jeans for a suit, and high-tailed it over to Music Row for the BMI Country Awards. There, he picked up a ribbon for co-writing his 2009 hit, "Kiss a Girl," while 20-year-old Taylor Swift became the youngest-ever recipient of the "BMI Country Songwriter of the Year" trophy. The genre's current golden couple, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, also caused quite a stir - especially with the paparazzi.

Lambert goes into tonight's 44th Annual CMA Awards with a leading nine nominations. Shelton has four.

It's also Lambert's 27th birthday, but if her fiancé is planning a big celebration, he isn't letting on. "To me, Miranda doesn't really deserve a party or a present for turning 27. That's kind of a piece of crap age, honestly,” Shelton confided to CNN with a straight face. "Eighteen’s a big deal, 30's a big deal. 27 is the I-40 between Nashville and Memphis - there's really nothing and it takes forever. So I don't think she really deserves anything for turning 27."

Hmm. Maybe he's throwing her a victory party after the CMAs, instead.

CMA-eve closed out toasting marshmallows and making s’mores at a giant bonfire on Dierks Bentley's property in Leiper's Fork. Guests were loaded into pick-up trucks lined with hay, and shuttled up to a rustic barn at the top of the hill. One of the drivers was the former pedal steel guitarist for Brooks and Dunn.

Bentley - who's up for four awards at the CMAs - often retreats to this hideaway to write music. On this particular night, guests could grab a cold beer out of the trunk of a vintage Dodge, but the dessert bar was the place to be.

In between bites of cherry pie, Bentley, Austin-based singer-songwriter Jack Ingram and Capitol Nashville chief Mike Dungan told stories that made you laugh at the absurdities of the country music business - and make you love it all the more. Dungan even poked fun at himself for wearing a nude-colored hoodie with the Capitol Records logo splashed across the front.

"I had it custom made for Trace Adkins, but it was so ugly, I couldn't give it to him," he laughed.

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Vintage clothing

    The newest pattern with regard to clothing is a classic, classic type that appears excellent in any scenario. Peaceful jeans, western and military services lower button-down tops, awesome image ...vintage bass

    February 4, 2012 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. peg martin

    Can someone tell me the names of the band members that played with dierks bentley on the cmas? They rocked and some of them are not on his cd top of the ridge. The guitar player left of dierks was incredible. Thanks

    November 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Greg Melia

    Wow, I just heard this from a friend that "Need You Now" is probably a rip-off of "Eye in the Sky". It got me thinking that someone needs to do an analysis of the similarities of these two songs. Check out my blog,, where I will be looking closely at both songs to get to the bottom of this.

    November 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lisa Marie Parsons

    This is not huge news but it's sad that this is happening.

    After the morning cup of java, we watched, on Showbiz Tonight, how Jason Mraz is reacting to Jonas Bro lazily using his song but changing it ever so slightly so that is cannot be disputed via copyright law.

    Alan Parsons has been nominated 11 times by the Grammy Committee throughout his 35 year career. He also engineered Pink Floyd, Dark Side of The Moon, as well as the Hollies, Oh Ho Ho it's Magic by Pilot, Al Stewart and countless other artists. He even became boss of Abbey Road Studios in London.

    Our fans are reaching out to us by the hundreds telling us how Need you Now by Lady Antebellum is a clear use of the "lazy rip off" of Eye in The Sky by The Alan Parsons Project.

    Please see the link below that shows the similarity. This came from Alan's fan club.

    Would it please be possible to give this man a little bit of help and respect he deserves?

    Warm wishes,

    Lisa Marie Parsons
    Executive Personal Assistant to Alan Parsons
    Appertaining Incorporated
    1500 Farren Road
    Santa Barbara, CA 93117 USA
    805 562 1201 Office
    Before you know it, the Grammy Award nominations will be announced. I was
    reading an article in a music magazine about the early favorites for
    nomination. Lady Antebellum is considered a favorite for Song of the Year
    with "Need You Now," but even the article said it might be observed to
    sound just too naggingly close to EITS and raise a few hackles. Ha! Then
    last week this video was posted on YouTube:

    Maybe Alan will finally get his Grammy... sort of?

    They harmonize so prettily over the piano-laced pulse of "Need You Now" that it takes you a couple of spins to realize that the tune is a virtual rewrite of "Eye in the Sky" by the Alan Parsons Project. Reviewed by Mikael Wood

    November 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kriss

    Again....You f'n loser!!! Why don't you go play hide and go f–k yourself. No one cares about your negative, worthless comments IDIOT! She's on the red carpet and you're probably sitting in your creepy basement, in front of the computer, with nothing better to do with your pathetic little life. All you do is sit there and diss people you only wish you could be. Give your head a shake & Get a grip A–hole!

    November 11, 2010 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |

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