Capping off Country Radio Seminar (CRS) week, Big Machine Label Group showcased six stellar acts on Friday (Feb 24th) at the Omni hotel in Downtown Nashville. The annual event hosts country radio and industry executives, who were treated to show-stopping performances from Maddie & Tae, A Thousand Horses, Trent Harmon, Midland, Carly Pearce and Delta Rae.
BMLG President & CEO Scott Borchetta invited the room to enjoy new music and celebrate career milestones they helped create alongside imprint leaders Jimmy Harnen (BMLG EVP & BMLG Records President), George Briner (The Valory Music Co. GM), Jack Purcell (Big Machine Records SVP Promotion) and Chris Stacey (Dot Records GM).
A Thousand Horses lived up to their label as “country’s coolest band” (Rolling Stone Country), serving up Southern rock and contemporary country mixed with rowdy jams as the afternoon began. They performed their chart-topping “Smoke,” which solidified them as the first band (with at least three members) to send a debut single to No. 1 on Billboard Country Airplay Charts this decade. The ACM Awards New Vocal Duo/Group of the Year nominees also performed “Travelin’ Man” and brand new song “Preachin’ to the Choir” that will soon impact country radio.
With a set that honored her Kentucky Bluegrass background and years collaborating in Nashville, Carly Pearce proved country music is her destined path. The CMT Next Women of Country alum, who took the stage earlier this week during the CRS-themed Grand Ole Opry, crushed hearts with her debut single “Every Little Thing.” She also sang “Hide the Wine” from her forthcoming album, recorded with buzzed-about producer and frequent co-writer busbee.
Maddie & Tae, A Thousand Horses, Trent Harmon, Midland, Carly Pearce & Delta Rae Perform for Radio Programmers & Industry Crowd
Making waves with their history-making, Platinum-certified, chart-topping breakout “Girl In A Country Song,” Maddie & Tae treated the audience to four new songs. The hit songwriting pair previewed new tunes “Blame It on the Tree,” “Welcome to the Club,” “Just Fine” and the emotional ballad “Somebody Will.” Following their own headline tour and opening slots for Brad Paisley and Lee Brice over the last couple of years, the ACM Awards Vocal Duo of the Year and New Vocal Duo/Group of the Year nominees also partnered with Bloomingdales on a Special Capsule Collection called AQUA x Maddie & Tae.
Intentionally nodding to the wild west with country music reminiscent of the 1970s and 80s, Midland kicked off their performance with “Check Cashin’ Country.” Lead vocalist Mark Wystrach fronts the band’s rich sound, which is rounded out by lead guitarist Jess Carson and bass player Cameron Duddy throughout additional songs “Burn Out” and current single “Drinkin’ Problem.” Originally formed in Dripping Springs, TX Midland is rooted in tradition both in sound and style, channeling idols Dwight Yoakam and Willie Nelson.
Earning national recognition as the reigning American Idol, Trent Harmon continues to demonstrate unparalleled vocals and Southern boy charm. He serenaded the crowd with his Top 20-and-rising debut single “There’s A Girl” before bringing the crowd to their feet for a stirring performance of “Her.” From singing “Amazing Grace” with his family to starring in various musicals in college, Trent credits life on his family’s farm as a major influence on his music career.
The event culminated with six-piece band Delta Rae offering up the robust bravado of Liz Hopkins and Brittany Holljes along with the sultry harmonies of brothers Eric (vocals, piano) and Ian (vocals, guitar), which are further fleshed out by Mike McKee (percussion) and Grant Emerson (bass). They mesmerized the crowd with haunting previews of “Walk With Me,” “No Peace in Quiet” and “I Moved South.”