I have been thinking a lot since watching the ACM Awards on Sunday. All of my family and friends know I am a huge country fan so they have all asked me my thoughts. My answer to them, “I guess the show was what I expected it would be.” However, I decided that begs the question…shouldn’t I have higher expectations? I am not here to call anyone out, to pick on a certain artist or to completely trash talk the show. Everyone has an opinion and mine is no more important than anyone else’s. I just want to put a few thoughts out there to see if anyone else may feel the same way.
For starters…why oh why are multiple artists performing multiple times on one award show? Last time I checked there are plenty of country artists that didn’t get showcased that probably would love a spot on a show a like that. Just off the top of my head I can think of six artists who performed more than one time! This is a true disservice not only to the country artists, but also the country fans. It is the same on country radio. A handful of artists get played over and over and over again. Is there not room for more?
Next, let us not forget the show is called the Academy of COUNTRY Music Awards. It has a rich history just like the music it is supposed to represent. While I very much appreciated the tribute to Merle Haggard, it would have been nice if there was a bit more done with it. Perhaps a few videos, a little more on his career, and instead of a brief medley of two songs, perhaps two full songs would have been nice. There would be time if some artists were not performing twice. I think many people that have embraced country music, have embraced the more modern pop sounding country music. The ACM Awards would be a great time to showcase where our music came from and pay tribute to the heroes who really paved the way. I think Merle deserved more time.
Overall I feel like the show represented the current state of country music, so I guess that is why the show was what I expected. I am just not sure that I am comfortable with that representation. I think country music fans need to demand more. While a good party song here and there is a ton of fun, so is a good story song with twang. Where is the balance? I will tell you…it is not there! There are extremely talented artists in country music who are not getting heard because radio and apparently now award shows, favor the same songs and the same artists. I know they are popular, I know they make money and I know many fans love them, BUT there is more to country music than those handful of songs and artists. I would love to hear country radio give some more traditional sounding artists a shot. Mix those artists in with the ones being played. Equal opportunity…ya know? Then when award season comes around there is a bigger pool of people that fans are familiar with who can take the stage!
Of course there were moments on the show that I enjoyed. I am truly happy for EVERY single artist that won. Whether I am a fan or not, they all work hard and have a dream…and I love seeing people’s dreams come true. All I am saying is fans deserve more of a variety; they deserve to hear a broader spectrum of country music represented and that includes honoring the music’s history.