2021’s Country Radio Seminar came to a close Friday in Nashville with a New Faces show unlike any that’s come before, as the entire affair was forced to go virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, country radio managed to knight HARDY, Matt Stell, Tenille Arts, Travis Denning and Ashley McBryde as the genre’s potential superstars of tomorrow.
Matt’s set opened with a tongue-in-cheek video of a bad date that suddenly turned around, once the beauty in his truck realized how successful he’s been, thanks to a chance mention on the radio. The Arkansas native went on to do both of his number ones, “Everywhere But On” and “Prayed for You,” as well as his first live performance of his new single, “That Ain’t Me No More.”
Travis Denning kicked off his part of the show with a video that compared fishing to having a song climbing the chart, before doing the chart-topping “After a Few” and revealing that “ABBY” would arrive as his new single next month.
HARDY served up “One Beer” as well as its follow-up, “Give Heaven Some Hell.” This year’s newest artist, the Canadian Tenille Arts, offered her top fifteen breakthrough, “Somebody Like That.”
Ashley McBryde brought CRS 2021 to a close, starting with a solo acoustic version of her autobiographical “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” before her band joined her for the song that put her on the map, “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega.”
In a throwback to her days playing those little bars, Ashley transformed Johnny Cash‘s “I’ve Been Everywhere” into “I like every beer, man,” before sticking to the “One Night Standards,” her only top ten so far. She ended with its successor, the murderous “Martha Divine.”
By Stephen Hubbard
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