Country Music People December 2018 - Page 18

WEEK IN THE LIFE... grounds that it was just like going to Robert’s in 1995. And do you know what? He was right. The Legion turned out to be the Nashville equivalent of a British workingmen’s club with a regular clientele of service veterans supplemented by a crowd of ne’er do well country & rockabilly lovers, Greg Garing, Margo Price & Joshua Hedley. $5 to get in, terrible food, awful beer and a properly excellent night dancing to three top notch country bands. Bring on the Awards - I’m ready! Wednesday November 14th CMA Awards day dawns wet and miserable and absolutely freezing, oh joy. The CMA have an annual reception for international industry people before the Awards, and we all spend an hour or so there meeting our colleagues from Scandanavia, Ireland and even Canada, watching extracts from the new Ken Burns documentary series on country music (16 hours long! Can’t wait...), listening to some new music and noticing that it is now raining even harder. Back to the hotel to get our glad rags on and to plot out the evening. Our Radio 2 show is live between 3 & 6 Nashville time on Thursday afternoon and so careful planning is required to make sure that all the material is ready in time. Al watches the show from out front, while Paul, Bob & I are based in the media area backstage to grab interviews from the winners & anybody else interesting who passes by. The nature of the beast means that if you are backstage you don’t really see any of the show itself and so Al has to be the eyes on that, taking notes on the performances and speeches that are going to make it into our final programme. Before that all kicks off though we have what I semi-jokingly call the most important hour of my year. The physical arrangement of the 18 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 Awards mean that all the stars, their managers & publicists walk the red carpet & then nip into the Bridgestone through a back door. I stand in the space between those two which means I’m able to say hello to absolutely everybody and it’s a great way of reminding people that we’re here and that they should come and talk to us later, and also to renew acquaintanceships and to touch base with a lot of people in a very short time. It also means that I get to witness some very impressive and telling behaviour from Garth Brooks. I’m talking to Trisha Yearwood - one of the very first people I met in Nashville - and next to us some technicians are unloading a lot of equipment prior at the top of some quite steep stairs. Without a second thought Garth starts to help them, picking up a heavy case and lugging it down the stairs himself. What a nice man... To be honest, the next three hours flies by in a blur. We set an all- time record for ourselves by doing 11 backstage interviews, including an especially nice one with Kacey Musgraves, Album of the Year winner. She did her first ever radio session for us & she and Bob get on so well that he recorded her answerphone message for her a couple of years ago. Kacey has her grandmother with her, who confesses that she sometimes rings Kacey when she knows she’s out