REVIEW: Garth Brooks Nashville 10 "The Rescue Party"

 The old saying states it is better to give than to receive, yet Garth Brooks accomplished both when he announced his benefit concert aptly named “Nashville 10  The Rescue Party” for Nashville flood relief. His giving started when the nine sold out shows garnered more than five million dollars in concert tickets and merchandise sales alone, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Community Foundation of Tennessee for Flood Relief. The donations brought much needed financial assistance to those who still struggle to rebuild homes and lives after the devastation of the May floods. The generosity and giving spirit encompassed not only the star of the show and his talented guests, Trisha Yearwood and Steve hotels and volunteers who all donated their equipment, time and talents. Due to the generosity of so many, lower Broadway businesses directly affected by the flood were “flooded” with business during the weeklong concert series, resulting in sales reports well above average and generating much needed revenue. One fan from Dallas said “Having spent my time in Nashville as a “tourist” I felt energy in the town that I didn’t expect.  I spent an afternoon walking downtown, stopping in many shops along the way.  It seemed to me that the town was abuzz and the native Nashvillian’s were genuinely grateful for the influx of folks brought to town by this monumental event. I had a mental image and expectation that there would be an element of depression in the area, but it’s clear that Nashville is resilient and focused on coming back better than before.” Many business fronts decorated their windows and hung banners thanking Garth for his support and boosting the economy. During the final show, Mayor Karl Dean took the stage to present Garth and Trisha with a framed commemorative thank you poster for the efforts and assistance to the city. In addition to concert donations, Mayor Dean reported an estimated $15 million dollars was brought to the city in hotel revenue alone.  

Wariner, but also included the entire production crew, countless individuals and too many businesses to mention; from catering and merchandise to

Opening the early show every evening for the duration of the concerts, and also contributing backup vocals was Wilmington, NC native Karyn Rochelle, currently a Nashville songwriter with hit singles such as "I Wonder", "Red High Heels", and "Don't You Know You're Beautiful" for Kellie Pickler, and also "Georgia Rain" and "This Is Me You're Talking To" for Trisha Yearwood. The tone of gift giving co

ntinued as concert attendees received a copy of Karyn’s new EP which was given out after each show as a thank you for the support to the cause.

A highlight of the event and continuation of the “giving” came for Ms. Yearwood during the Friday night performance. According to her Facebook status post she wrote Last night. Nashville. Marines on stage with me singing "How Do I Live" does NOT get any better than this!” The Marines were part of many who were on hand for the “Toys For Tots” collection which was stationed in front of the Bridgestone Arena for all nine of the concerts.  Another big moment during the week came when NFL Alum Ray Carolin delivered over 14,000 toys which arrived by semi-trailer trucks accompanied by Santa Claus on Sunday afternoon. “The opportunity to help Garth in his efforts to help our buddies in the U.S. Marine Corp. and their Toys for Tots program is an honor.” said Carolin. The toys were donated by a number of children’s to

y and sporting goods companies, and Spalding Sporting Goods.
The first three performances were filmed those serving in the Military; those giving up so much and making the ultimate sacrifice for the United States. On December 25th and again on December 26th, the AFN (Armed Forces Network) aired the concert for the troops as a great big thank you and Christmas gift. Each night during the nine shows, Ms. Yearwood announced the taping and the audience response was deafening, with repeated chants of USA echoing throughout the arena. “What an amazing gift for our troops over seas to have an opportunity to see the show broadcast.  Couple this with the entire “gig” being about charity and it gives an entirely different perspective on what is driving Garth and Trisha.  So much of what they are involved in now revolves around charity.  They are giving more than the gift of music.” a concert attendee who traveled to Nashville from Dallas shared with me.

Each night the performance seemed to get better and better, and those who attended all nine of the shows attested that Garth still has it; he has not forgotten how to entertain and make every person in an arena holding 17,000 people feel like they are the only person in the room and each show special. Garth alluded many nights that some of those in attendance were not even born when he started his career, but looking around the crowd, one could see fans of all ages filling the arena and most everyone knew every song he sang. Seventy-three year old “Ms Nita” said she “had never seen anything like the Garth show…she stood with her eyes wide and enjoyed the music. It was something she would never forget, something she would remember forever!!  And what a wonderful young man he was.”  A fan from New York told me “The love that pours out from his audience to him and from him to them is

quite magical. When he connects with an audience member and you witness it, you can't help but be almost as happy as the person is... and the reaction from the lucky ones is nearly always identical... a look of shock, and then turning to the person next to them and high-fiving them... it's so much fun to watch!”

Remember in the beginning I mentioned that it is better to give than receive? Well, Garth also received much love, respect and gratitude from the fans that have waited all these years for him to perform on stage again. A favorite part of the show for everyone is the encore, or as Garth likes to call it, “housekeeping.” Fans never know what songs he will do and what signs he will honor. It is usually him and his guitar as he sings songs requested off the many bright colored poster board signs seen throughout the arena.  Many of them requested older album cuts and when he performed them he was always in awe of the fact the audience would sing them right back to him as loud as if they were his biggest hits.... and he was humbled by that every time. He said “singing every word back to me is the best gift I could ask for.”

During the press conference held before the show on Thursday, Garth affirmed the end of the Rescue Party is not the end for his live shows. Garth’s scaled-down, acoustic performances in Las Vegas will continue, and Trisha has already given him a go-ahead to hit the road again once his daughters are no longer living at home.

“With Miss Yearwood’s blessing, once the children get off to school and we feel like we can kind of be our own people, I’ve asked her blessing to fire this tour back up for one more run,” he said with his charming smile. “I would love to go from city to city, and I’d love to do it at a price that is reflective of what I feel should be out there that I’m not seeing. No offense to anybody, but people need a break, and they need to have fun, and so she has said yes.” Fans can expect him to hit the stage close to 2014.

The definition of BELIEVE is to have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to and with the Christmas following just days after the final encore you can say there is no such thing as Santa, but after witnessing all the miracles and generosity that emerged from these performances, I BELIEVE!

MUSIC ROW MAGAZIN: Copeland Debuts “Smashville” Theme

Copeland Debuts “Smashville” Theme

• December 21, 2010
Copeland poses with Nashville Predators Ice Girls who attended the "Smashville" after party. Photo: Bev Moser
Lewis Copeland recently debuted his original theme song “Smashville” at the Nashville Predators game vs. the San Jose Sharks (12/15). Later during a special performance at the Stage on Broadway, Copeland again performed the song. Among those present at the “Smashville” after party were several Nashville Predators Ice Girls who passed out Preds merchandise to fans.

INTERVIEW: Rachel Holder "Christmas Eve"

In a town full of attractive Country stars, it takes a lot for a young female singer to stand out and catch the attention of Nashville’s music industry crowd. Eighteen -year-old Rachel Holder is up to the challenge.
“I’ve already learned that it takes more than a few good songs to make it in Nashville,” says Holder. “These days, I don’t think that there’s any one formula for success; I know you have to have faith in yourself, passion for the music and a serious will to succeed. And great songs!” she emphasizes.
Rachel Holder embodies youthful energy and a spirit that is refreshing and new.  Her voice is powerful and strong and will win you over whether she is singing an original tune or a cover song. We recently met in the studio for a chat before she did a radio show to talk about her  new  holiday song titled “Christmas Eve”  and her bright future and journey this far.  

Bev: Rachel, you are not a newcomer to the music business by any means. Share some of your experiences that have gotten you to this point.
Rachel: I began performing when I was younger in contests, competitions and school talent shows.  I got my first real job at  age thirteen at Pigeon Forge and I performed about 200 shows that first season.  The second season, I did two shows a day for about 300 shows a year!  I guess you’re probably wondering how did I do school with all that?  I was home schooled.  But the first year I worked there I was in 7th grade and I would go to school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; then I would perform at Pigeon Forge and come back Sunday and then go to school on Monday; it was pretty crazy.
Bev:  All of the determination and your desire truly shows.
RACHEL:  I love the music business and that’s how I grew up. God has given me a talent and it’s amazing.
Bev: Coming from that kind of a background, where you really had to learn discipline, what’s the one thing that you gained the most from that experience really early on? What’s the one thing you think you’ve carried forward from that?
RACHEL:  My experiences made me grow up early.  I learned about the real life and real life experiences that others do not have to face so quickly, that has given me a step up I think.
Bev: Have you had an opportunity to perform with any other artists? 
RACHEL:  I have!  I performed with Vince Gill and sang a duet with him.  I opened up for James Otto and some other artists, Crossing Dixon to name a few.
Bev:  Most artists have a vision of what they think the industry and business side of the music is about; what has surprised you the most?
RACHEL:  Everything is surprising!  Everything in the music industry is surprising.  There’s nothing that’s dull about it, I can tell you that!   
Bev: Has there been anything that’s scared you or what do you worry about?
RACHEL: I think we all get the doubts in our heads.  What if this song doesn’t do good?  I think we worry about that the most. And all the waiting around, then you start worrying is it ever gonna happen?  So I think that’s what scared me the most.
Bev:  Let’s talk about your Christmas song "Christmas Eve" out on radio. Did you write the song?
RACHEL: No, I didn’t. Curtis Frasca and Maria Christiansen. I fell in love with it and we got in the studio and recorded it.  These past three weeks have been so crazy and we’ve worked so hard, but I think the outcome has been amazing. 
Bev: Was it hard for you to do a holiday song and get into the holiday season before it was really in full swing? 
RACHEL: You have to get yourself in Christmas mode. That’s the fun. We shot the video on October 1st and we did most of the recording in September and October; we really had to gear up for the season little bit early.
Bev: With so much already achieved, what are your goals for the future?  Do you prefer to be a solo artist? Do you have any other aspirations on where you want your career to take you?
RACHEL: My goal is to keep putting out my music, keep getting more fans and just soon having a platform where I am recognized as a respected female country artist.
Bev:  Do you have an  “I know I’ve made it when” picture in mind?  Have you had yours or is there something that  you are reaching for?
RACHEL:  We all have that “Pinch yourself” kind of moment, and I think it changes as you evolve.
Bev:  What has the reaction been to listeners who have heard you sing “Christmas Eve”?
RACHEL:  Oh they love it! When I perform it they love it and when they see the music video and they hear the song they’re like “Oh my gosh, Rachel, I can’t believe that’s you!”  So it’s amazing to hear the feedback.
Bev:  Rachel, it was wonderful sharing this time with you and I know we will see each other again. Your future is bright and I wish you a very happy holiday season and hope all your wishes come true this year and for many years to come.
RACHEL:  Thank you very much. I am looking forward to seeing you again as well and appreciate you taking the time to interview me and support my music.
For more information on Rachel Holder visit

INTERVIEW: Nathan Lee "Bar Room Hymns"

He writes songs about desperation for those in despair, who no longer wish to be desperate.
He sings songs about brokenness for the brokenhearted, who no longer wish to be broken.
Darkness. Spotlight. Piano.
His journey, through minefields and madness of the music industry, has taken him to the edge of the abyss. He’s danced along its edge and flirted with the shadows. In fact he’s wallowed in the bleak and black desperation of uncertainty – professionally, personally, spiritually. And though he may still occasionally walk the tightrope over that abyss, he’s found his way out of the darkness. It was music that led him back into the light. Just like it always has.
Lee resides in the in-between – of chaos and order, sin and salvation, joy and pain. There’s a bracing honesty in his refusal to provide easy answers for the complex characters and narratives he creates. You can hear it in the songs of his projects "Risk Everything" & "Bar Room Hymns". They are unflinching in their honesty, uncompromising in their artistry. He possesses the hallmark of all great artists – an ability to find and communicate honest experience no matter how painful or euphoric.
Born into music, his father ran a recording studio in Pennsylvania, just outside New York City, Lee caught the performance bug at an early age. After honing his skills in the Northeast bar and club scene, he moved to Nashville when he was 19. Once there, he began writing with a friend who had a record deal. That led to a publishing deal for Lee with EMI. He learned to treat songwriting as a craft, but writing for other artists left him in search of his own distinct voice as a performer.
2010 brought the unknown and the uncertain. Nathan focused more of his 2010 performance schedule on cause related shows in U.S. Prisons & Military bases overseas. He finished writing "Bar Room Hymns" and took the songs to 22 year old producer, Zach Hall. (Released in November 2010) The sound of this project is unlike anything Lee has recorded thus far, Yet, staying true to his artistry.
As for 2011….God only knows…..  Nathan is once again committed to a residency at 12th & Porter in Nashville called “GIVE A DAMN SUNDAY", a series he will do for the month of February with proceeds will go to local charities each week.

Nathan is one of the best people I know, he speaks from his heart and sings from his soul and his journey has touched many people along the way. Always facing challenges he states that “Staying creative while not burning out & keeping my heart gentle” is one of his biggest hurdles.

As many musicians and artists will share with you, the misconception of what we think we want and what reality has in store is sometimes difficult to swallow; he honestly answered “Well….My dream was bullshit. My heart is music. My passion is people. I moved to Nashville 16 years ago…..and it has taken me almost 16 years to learn that your dreams and your heart might not be fond of each other.  Dealing with that reality is what makes you a man…for better or worse.”

Couples think long and hard about naming their children, people put thought and meaning into naming a pet, and artist put a lot of effort into the title of their CD and album projects. “Bar Room Hymns” is who I am and what I do. I’m a Bar singer…and I sing songs to give people hope… Bar Rooms.” Explains Lee “I think it came to me when I was trying to explain to my accountant what it is that I do for a living.”

Every person relates to music personally and every individual has their own relationship with a song. When I asked Nathan about his he confided with “It’s my time alone….Capturing emotions and words and melodies. Once a song is finished, everything changes….and it becomes commerce. That’s not a bad thing…..but the intimacy of chasing down a song is the best day I could ask for.”

In times of economic strain and change, many have secretly wished to win the lottery, to have just one wish to do whatever they wanted with, I asked Nathan if he could achieve anything musically, what did he hope for. “I would build a tour model without losing my butt, and have the financial outcome help others in need. This world doesn’t need more rock stars …. but they sure as hell need more hope. I’m slowly working towards this model. It’s gonna’ take a few more bucks, and possibly a few more mistakes … and I’m praying that I can retain the strength to see it through. I’d like to be part of something that involves real music, and helping people get ahead in their not-so-perfect emotional situations, without losing money. I hate the word “could” …. so I’m working towards figuring it out. In the process of learning how to do this, I’ve also had to do some unlearning as well. It’s going to take a team. This kind of heartbeat requires some serious clarity and a specific vision/direction. One day at a time … one breath at a time.”

With every “new baby” comes new obstacle and choices, Nathan and I spoke about “Bar Room Hymns” and what he struggled with during the creation of this project. “Honestly…this one wasn’t difficult. When I handed the songs over to Zach Hall, I completely let go. The tricky part was figuring out which songs to record. We had a lot of songs. As far as creative direction….I trusted him; and I’m glad I did. Zach Hall might be the best kept secret in Nashville. He rolls out of bed every morning with a fire under his belt, and the ability to keep a gentle heart. Hanging in the studio with him is about as good as it gets. He’s far more interested in creativity and what feels good, than he is impressing. We’ve written together over the years….and every time I left his studio with a demo, I’d be driving away thinking “Damn…that kid is good; he knows how to find a heartbeat”. He also knows how to work fast, which allowed ideas to be captured quickly. I couldn’t think of anyone better to take these new songs to. He aced it. We released it without mixing or mastering. I’m damn proud of It!”

Anyone who knows Nathan Lee knows he stands out on his own and as an individual. His style and his persona is not a copycat of anyone else. When asking him about how is “fans” were accepting and reacting to his latest CD, he responded with ”Let me start and finish by saying this. The word “fans” has never sat right with me. It’s very acceptable in country music and I believe it’s because country music listeners are far more sincere than other genres of music. That being said, I don’t want fans, I want intimacy! Do you realize how many years it has taken me to learn this? Of course I’d like to sell out Madison Square Garden, but not at the risk of being some Record Labels puppet, or selling my soul and time to a marketing/PR FIRM.  I’m an artist. I wake up every day and make art, and at night I share that art; In bars and clubs. If there comes a night when 300 listeners turns in to 3000 listeners. Fantastic! But a man can’t sing songs about Brokenness and Healing and act like a Rock star; that’s the simple truth! I prefer not to re-learn the lessons that taught me that simple truth, Otherwise I’d be a loudmouth poser and God knows we don’t need anymore of those.”

"I hope you hear my heart in this....I'm grateful to anyone who listens to the songs I write. Truly grateful. But I don't need my ego stroked to feel good about what I do. If that’s the path to musical success, I’d rather be a failure. The beauty in getting older is I want to make music for the people who want it; not the people who don't.

I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have said this ten years ago, and I'm curious as to what I'll think of these statements ten years from now.
The one thing I do know, there's more to learn. I’m certain of this.

For those of you who have shown me support; I am grateful for you. And if it's okay with you...I'd rather call you my friend, instead of my fan. Cool?"

The “Interlude” happened during the recording process. Near the end of recording the piano parts, Zach asked me to just sit down and play for a while. He recorded about an hour of  solo piano parts. I’ve always wanted to open and close a record with solo pieces….I’m glad we did it.
New York City” was actually written in NYC, over a period of 3 years. The lyrics are actually journal entries. Every time I was in NYC, I ended up thinking about back home, which is only an hour from the city. Earlier this year, I compiled all the entries, and turned them in to a lyric.
“What Love Is All About” was written the day after I got home from the 40 Day Risk. I was exhausted. I was sitting in front of a bible and a big ass bottle of whiskey….and I was clueless on what was next. These words are the quiet whisper I heard after a lot of prayer.
I wrote this with my buddy Rique Patire. After a long conversation, one thing we realized was simply this…..we all have heartaches that we carry….the question is. “Will you carry, or will you be carried”
There’s only one person I could of written this with…Tony Lucido. Tony is one of my few buds who is willing to break down the honest truth about moving forward as a man. It’s not comfortable subject matter….But it was important to us to take a look back, and look forward, at who we’ve been, and who we want to be.
I wrote this song 10 years ago with Marty Funderburk. I’ve had it sitting around ever since. When Zach went through my catalog, he instantly said that it needed to be on the record. This song isn’t easy for me to sing. It hurts. It’s honest. And I’m happy we finally released it.
7. DOWN.
“Down” was written in early 2010 in L.A. with Wyatt Earp. Wyatt is a true cowboy, and an amazing artist, writer, and actor. Zach took this song in a different direction from the way Wyatt and I originally wrote it. Originally, it was another minute and a half longer…..Zach made some serious changes. This one was tricky for me in the recording process. I’m guessing that I’ll take back to the original template for Live shows, but I’m really happy that we took some chances with this one in the studio.
“Gotta Keep Movin’ On” was written a couple years ago with my buddy, Kyle Wyley. It was one of those rainy Mondays, when we couldn’t seem to find our next step. This song has been a bit of an anthem for me over the past year.
“Use Your Voice” was written for a non-profit called World Vision. A buddy of mine, Jonny Morgan, was hired to shoot a video for them to help raise awareness, and help musicians get involved. In the process, they gave him 20 words to use as an outline for the storyboard. Jonny gave me those words, and I put em’ all in a song. For me, it was a fun and challenging writing process. When it was all said and done, we put the song on the new record as well. I’m proud of this song. I truly hope that More musicians use their abilities to help World Vision. It’s an amazing organization that truly gives hope and restores faith all over the world.
“Carnival Lights” is the one song on the album that makes me take a step back. The sound…the lyric….the mood….it feels like the old me and the new me all wrapped up. We used a vocoder on this track…..something I was making fun of only 2 years ago. I’ve become exhausted on survival in the music business. I’ve grown to realize that I’m not willing to do the things it takes to survive in the music business, simply because the value I have for people is starting to change. This was my gentle “F - You….It’s time to start being honest about what really matters”
The “Postlude” is what it is…..a gentle exit….without the words.

For more information and to order his AMAZING new CD visit his website

Press Conference: "RUDY" Ruettinger and Ross Browner

When one hears the name “Rudy”, most everyone immediately connects it with the 1993 classic inspirational movie “Rudy.”  On Saturday December 11th, Mount Juliet was blessed with the real life “Rudy” as Mr. Daniel Ruettinger, the world renowned playwright and name sake of the 1993 Rudy and his Notre Dame team mate, Ross Browner, served as Co-Grand Marshall’s of the 2010 Christmas Parade.

Winning isn't everything-it's the only thing!"  In the famous words of Coach Vince Lombardi, Ross Browner knows what it means to be a winner. Browner is a Nashville resident and one of the most honored and decorated collegiate players in history, who went on for more than a decade of NFL notoriety. At the University of Notre Dame he was a four-year starter at defensive end, voted  All-America his junior and senior seasons and won the Outland trophy as the nation's best interior or defensive lineman. The United Press International named him Lineman of the Year and is the only player ever to win it twice. The Lombardi Trophy , Maxwell Award  were also handed to Browner and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

He was the first round draft pick in the 1978 NFL Draft for the Cincinnati Bengals. Voted the team's Most Valuable Player in 1978, he played nine seasons for the Bengals. He set the Super Bowl record for tackles by a defensive lineman in Super Bowl XVI. Browner played one season (1987) with the Green Bay Packers before retiring.

Rudy transferred to Notre Dame in the Fall of 1974.  His focus at Notre Dame was his studies.  Rudy was so inspired to actually attend this University, that had been such a Dream for him as a child that he would do what ever it took to keep his grades up and earn the respect of his peers.  While at Notre Dame, Rudy developed another Dream to play football for the Fighting Irish.  Rudy walked on the team under the coaching staff of Ara Parseghian in 1974.  He played his guts out and treated every practice like it was a real game.  Rudy Never Quit and won the respect of his team mates.  It was this enthusiasm that eventually got Rudy in the game to live his second Dream.  While in the game Rudy saw an opportunity make his move.  He got the tackle.  “When the ball moved I moved,” said Rudy.  Rudy didn't get the tackle because he was lucky.  He prepared, he persevered.  He worked everyday and set his goals every day no matter how tough it got so when his opportunity came, he was ready.

The movie RUDY is a True Story.  Rudy's dream was real, the tackle was real, the carry off was real.  The struggle was real.  The victory was real.  The movie was made to tell a story that would inspire others – to let people know that no matter what the odds are, they can overcome them – they can win.  No matter what your background, your grades, your size – you can find a way.  It won't come easy.  The message is clear that you need to struggle, you need to prepare to earn your dream.  It's all about The Dream, The Struggle, The Victory!

ARTICLE: CMT "Artist of The Year"

Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band

Hosted by Kevin Costner with Performances by Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker with Adele, Jason Aldean and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Maroon 5 and Zac Brown Band with Amos Lee

Presenters include Celebrity Chef Cat Cora, Hayley Williams of Paramore,
Boston Red Sox’s Josh Beckett, Kid Rock, Kix Brooks, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride,
Alabama’s Randy Owen, Randy Travis and Smokey Robinson

90-Minute Special Taped Last Night In Nashville and Premieres Friday, December 3 on CMT

NASHVILLE – December 1, 2010 – The stars were out last night in Nashville to honor CMT’s first ever ARTISTS OF THE YEAR, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band, for their successes of the past year.  Hosted by Kevin Costner, CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR will premiere Friday, December 3 from 8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., ET/PT on CMT and 
During the 90-minute special, taped last night at the Factory in Franklin, the honorees were brought together with their peers, as well as celebrities from across the entertainment spectrum, including celebrity chef Cat Cora, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Boston Red Sox’s Josh Beckett, Kid Rock, Kix Brooks, Luke Bryan, Martina McBride, Alabama’s Randy Owen, Randy Travis and Smokey Robinson who served as presenters for the glamorous evening.  Kevin Costner opened the night by taking the stage and reminding the five honorees that, “Tonight is about you.  It’s not just about numbers this past year…it’s about impact.” 
Some of the night’s honorees chose to perform their hits such as Jason Aldean, who kicked off the evening and was joined onstage by Aerosmith’s Joe Perry for the rockin’ “My Kind of Party”; Zac Brown Band who sang their new single “Colder Weather” joined by the soulful Amos Lee; and Carrie Underwood, who performed a medley of hits from the past year including “Cowboy Casanova,” “Temporary Home” and “Undo It.” Honorees Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum looked on as their hits were performed by others; Maroon 5 surprised Taylor Swift by performing her latest hit, “Mine” as the country superstar danced and sang along; and Darius Rucker and Adele performed Lady Antebellum’s smash “Need You Now” as the trio watched in appreciation.  Surprises were also in store as the honorees watched pre-taped segments that included words of praise from their biggest admirers, including Charlie Daniels, Reba McEntire, Ryan Seacrest, Selena Gomez and more. 
The night was filled with tears of gratitude and appreciation as the honorees took the stage to thank those who have aided in their recent successes.  Zac Brown Band accepted their Artist of the Year trophies first, which were presented to them by friend Kid Rock.  Carrie Underwood gave a tearful speech as she accepted her award from legend Randy Travis and Jason Aldean gave thanks to everyone who has supported him in his career thus far after receiving his award from Alabama's Randy Owen. Taylor Swift obtained her trophy from close pal Hayley Williams and Martina McBride presented awards to her former tourmates Lady Antebellum. 
In addition to the television taping, the evening also included an elegant three-course dinner created by the James Beard Award-winning chefs RJ Cooper (Washington, D.C., 2007); John Currence (Oxford, Miss., 2009); and Michael Schwartz (Miami, Fla., 2010), and chocolate truffles inspired by the night’s honorees created by Nashville chocolatier Bethany Thouin
Over the past 12 months, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift and Zac Brown Band have collectively received over 2.5 million plays of their current songs; sold over 8.5 million copies of their current albums; sold over 21 million individual downloads of their current singles; and topped both the touring and charts, proving themselves to be the top country artists for 2010.
            CMT ARTISTS OF THE YEAR is produced by Audrey Morrissey and Chad Hines.  John Hamlin and Margaret Comeaux serve as executive producers for CMT.


Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum,

INTERVIEW: Kevin Costner

IEBA (INTERNATIONAL ENTERTAINMENT BUYERS ASSOCIATION) presented a performance by actor and musician Kevin Costner with his band MODERN WEST followed by a question and answer session led by GAC on-air talent Suzanne Alexander. The performance and Q&A session took place on Monday, October 4th in the main ballroom of the Hilton Hotel downtown Nashville as part of the IEBA 40TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE October 3rd through 5th in NASHVILLE.
Executive Director Tiffany Davis said: “We are thrilled to have such a renowned entertainer as Kevin Costner not only perform, but spend time with our attendees in an intimate setting. It was a rare, but very special gift to our members, and a top highlight of our 40th anniversary.”
SA: Kevin, thank you for taking time today to visit with us and share your music, and your insight.  Last night, you played the Opry and with it being such a landmark and cherished venue for so many, I am wondering how you sum up the experience?

KC:  Thank you, I obviously seen some wonderful nights in my life and that has to rank right up there with the things that have happened in this thing that you call your own personal journey.  Those were the only two shows that I actually had butterflies all day for; the Opry, I’m kind of uneasy the whole day.
SA: (Speaking out to the audience) I don’t know if you know that or I don’t know if you guys have had the opportunity to get the Grand Ole Opry house; but they refurbished and renovated the whole thing after the May floods and it’s just AMAZING.  Each dressing room has its own theme and of course, loving this man next to me, I immediately went into the “Friends and Neighbors” dressing room and that the title on the door and there are pictures that grace the wall of the artists that have played there, the artists that have visited and people that have visited and friends of the Opry.  And there is a perfect picture of Kevin standing there in the six foot circle of the original Ryman wood and the WSM microphone and I thought, “Wow, I can’t wait for him to see it”.  I’m assuming you did?
KC: I didn’t get to but I’m going back, although I don’t recall that woman coming out and asking me back.  That’s fine! (Laughter)
SA: Performing on the Opry you told about the song “Angels Came Down” and I know John inspired you to write that and asked you to play at the original Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, to bring that full circle and to perform those words back on that stage must be emotional on so many levels.
KC: It’s important. Everybody’s trying to write a hit. Everybody’s trying to write a “catchy” tune and the thing I’m most proud of with this band is that the music has driven us. I don’t know that we’re a record band, maybe will be, but my whole desire was to play live. And wherever I was making movies at in the world, I was playing music again. So our desire was to play live and I guess we are just singing to the choir here, because that’s what we do.  How I have this connection with people the last 20 years is a mystery to me, but a lot of people have gotten their first kiss at a movie they saw that maybe I was in, so it’s been great for me to connect with audiences all over the world that have actually seen movies and the curiosity goes away after about the first minute of the song and then we get to what an event wants to be all about, us playing music, original music, for them.
SA:  We’re going to be opening up for questions, but for those who may not know your background, your passion for music started with, really along with your passion for film.  It was just the film and the acting kind of took off first, but really if people look back at I think maybe the “Postman” in 1997we heard you sing a duet I think maybe of “Rain”, so it’s always intertwined.  
KC: I think music has always been in our household, probably very similar to your own. I grew up in a Baptist church and I my grandma was always head of the choir, and my mom and her sister sang and I was made to play classic piano. Music was always something that was a part of me as was performing.  And then the movies started to work really well for me and I got a bad critic on this one time for playing music from one particular person, so I just thought, “I don’t need this headache” so I dropped it.  It was my wife 8 years ago saying “I don’t think you should let these people scare you away from what you love, you know you enjoy the movies, but you enjoy music more.” She goes, “Those people who think they know you have a better chance of knowing what your personality is when they see you onstage playing music than when they see you on Jay Leno giving interviews.” 
SA: The tagline on your latest album is called “Turn it On” and I interviewed you for “Untold Truths” for that first CD and it really played into the man I got to know through a lot of your movies and westerns that you have and it so reminded me in “Untold Truths” of this expanse of freedom and of loving and traveling.  But with the new album, it really speaks to you on, you know, “get it on”. (Grinning)   It’s sexy!  But when you look deeper into that, yes, the title cut is about relationship, but it also speaks to maybe metaphorically of you “jumping in” and doing it without fear. Of taking the stage and pursuing your love of music blindly without fear.
KC:  I think there are a lot of things that hold us back in life.  You know, for as much as my parents loved me, when I announced that I was going to go into acting it, the reaction was “Oh no! No, how are you going to do that?”  And then my dad’s concern was, they didn’t want me to be embarrassed, they didn’t want me to be humiliated.  I think we all have that in common for our children in that we want them to succeed MORE than ourselves and in our lives, especially as men, I can’t speak for women, but as a man there is an overwhelming feeling that your son has found his way.  That he is somehow happy.  So when I told my dad I was going to play music and do movies, he was like “Oh my god.”  And then I realized that  I was going to Direct, he was like “Oh my god.” He said, “the acting is going so good…” (Giggles)  So,  the people that love you have a tendency to maybe hold you back, not on purpose but because they love you so much.   If I have learned anything, it was not telling my dad about going into music.  But we do, we are scalded in our lives, were all connected.  You all have the right to reverse the direction and take that fork in the road. I hope if it’s something speaking out loud to you, that you do that.  For a lot of things, it’s for a lot, not just one thing, I’m really happy that the people that love me said “go back and do music”.  I am glad to have done it.  I had no idea that it would lead to a stage like this tonight. 
SA: You mentioned that your wife, Christine, and by the way, Kevin and Christine just had a baby girl!  Little, Grace, how old now?
KC: Yea, now I have three in diapers so if you want to feel really bad for me then you can start right now.  (Laughs) and my wife has never seen anything like boys.  She desperately wanted a girl, but she looked at the boys and they were jumping from everything and breaking almost everything and just can’t quite believe the DNA of a boy.  But we’ve got a lot of pink going on in the house right now so that’s good.
SA:  You mentioned this and Christine probably said “Honey, go do that”, but when are you going to  get home though? (laughing)
We are going to open up the questions for the audience now, so if you have a question please come forward to the microphone.
Q:  Thank you, this is a life or death question for Kevin.  Suzanne, my name is Daniel Rice, I’m a member of IEBA and my wife happens to have watched “Message in a Bottle” over 50 times! 
SA: Do we love Garret or what?
Q:  She’s such a fanatic over this and she said, “Please let me come today!” and I said, “No way, there’s no way you’re going to get within the length of a football field of that guy!”  and she’s home right now and  she said, “ Well, will you at least give this message to him?”  So this is the message with really a question to you, Kevin.  She is undoubtedly your #1 fan and if you don’t read that and hopefully respond positively to it, I am dead! (Laughter) [hands Kevin the note]
KC: I have your life in my hands…
Q: I told her that there was no way I was going to be near you at all ,so I thank you for taking this question…her question is “Do you plan to do a part II of “Message in a Bottle”?” 
KC:  Number one, I’m not going to let you down, buddy.  Number two, I don’t think that you should have to watch another 50 episodes of me!
Q: Well, let me tell you, I didn’t say WE watched it. (Laughter and clapping)
KC: Good point!  I was going to remind you that I die in that movie, so I don’t think that will happen unless we go back to the early years or something.
SA: Going back to your live performance, and I’ve had the opportunity to witness Kevin live onstage at several opportunities,  I see that one of the refreshing things with you is that “kid in a candy store” and that is no where else you would rather be and that includes your band members.  You guys seem like you are having a blast.  Do you feel like that? Do you feel  WOW! This is cool.
KC:  Yea, it’s given me a chance to have a real, what I call “authentic” relationship with the music, because a lot of times there’s too much distance with the big screen that goes up between us.  I spend life being observed and the truth is that I like being a part of the party and music has given me a chance to be in a room and have an experience and a real authentic one.  And I do love that.  I think whenever you are with people, there is an opportunity for great things to happen. 
I tell you what, I’ll tell you a little story.  And maybe I’m going to eat up the time here, but just to let you understand that fame is an interesting thing.  You know when we had the first song out, there was a call to go out to and sing one of those songs.  I remember I was with 50 or 60 of my colleagues and we were in a soundstage all day and now the end of the night came and I felt like I had met everybody coming in and met the families and those that were in the war and I’d met everybody going out.  And I was tired and I think you can all relate to being tired.  And I walked out of the soundstage and I started heading towards my car.  And I heard a voice, “Kevin” and I selfishly realized that I was at a kind of distance that I could ignore it. Actually I was far enough away, that it was a reasonable thought that I maybe could just not have heard.  And I heard it again, “Kevin”.  And I just felt that I had met everyone, and I was done, and I was really, really done but I heard, “Kevin”.  I could tell that the voice stopped at that point and had accepted that maybe the distance was too great,  but I knew at that moment that it wasn’t and I stopped.  And I turned around, and I said, “Yes?”  And it was a woman and she said, “Can I talk to you for a second?”  I said, “Of course.”  So we closed the distance and she came to me and said, “I need to thank you.” And I said, “Why?” and she said, “Well, my husband is missing in action, I think he’s a prisoner of war.”  Right away I was glad I had stopped.  She said, “In your movie “Dances with Wolves” I remember when you were captured too.  And you were in chains and your friends came to save you in that movie, and they did.  And they brought you home, and there was a woman “Stands with a Fist” and I’ll never forget how you got off your horse and how she ran up the hill and you began hugging and kissing and falling into the snow and never stopped kissing.” She goes, “I want that for myself.  And when I see that for him and when I watch that movie, I think of him.  And I think, will we ever have that moment? “ So I was, as you can imagine, I was really glad that I had stopped and heard that particular story.  I went home and got the negative of that movie and I cut out those three frames of that image and sent it to her.   I’ve had so much and I do love performing and out of that, sometimes, these stories come.
SA:  It’s interesting for my own sake, looking at your career, how hard it is for you to make this music, recording it, going out and touring, here in the states, over in Europe.  Recently you flew halfway across the world to play in Kazakhstan.  Is it what you thought it would be, because you have been so concentrated these last few years that you’ve been doing these interviews.  Is it what you thought this would be? 
KC: Well, it’s been greater than I’d thought.  You know, when I finally had to go back and make the fundamental decision of, do I go back into music? My wife helped me, she heard three years of earlier music and said, “Why don’t you do this? I’m so happy when I listen to your music, I think other people will be too. “  I thought, no.  Because I would remember that one critical notice and so for three years I was like a child that wouldn’t take out the garbage or wouldn’t cut the lawn.  And she kept saying, “I think you should do this music.”  And I’d say no.  She asked me, “Why?” and I said, “Oh it was a thousand reasons.”  Finally, she knew I was a little bit afraid and she knew me as a not being a person that was afraid.  So she said, “Kevin, let me ask you a question.  Are you happy when you play music?”
I said, “Yeah.”  She said, “Do you think the people that are in front of you are happy when you are playing music?” “Not the people that are writing, the people that are there in front of you?” and I said, “Yeah, I think they are happy.”  And she looked at me and she said, “Well, what can be wrong with that?”  a huge burden came off my shoulders and I said, “Yeah, I’m going to start playing again.”  And that was five years ago. 
SA: How have you changed in these last few years?  How have you changed as an artist, as a performer?  Singer? Songwriter?   Have you noticed a bit of a difference in where you were? 
KC:  Well, I’m a part of a band that really challenges each other and I feel like my life is a journey. As you must feel your life is. 
SA: Opening up to questions from the audience again …question up here in the front.
Q2:  Hi, Kevin, I’m Gary Good from Gary Good Entertainment out of Oklahoma City.  I’d like to know what your music influences were and then the second part of the question, what’s the difference when you jump on stage as a musician and jumping on stage as an actor?
KC:  The influences, it’s funny, I was born in Compton, California and so I grew up with Motown, but my family is from Guymon, Oklahoma.  My family, my grandfather lost everything in the dust bowl.  And so the stories of my own life are so rooted in America and that particular experience.   I grew up with Motown and I still make cowboy movies.  So the middle of the country is my heritage.  My family came from Germany in the 1600s to the Carolinas and married some Cherokee women and went on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma.  The influences were where I was born, but I think what is in my soul is the history of our country. 
And the difference between making movies is that making movies is very dry and you have to find the energy.  I was a little tired this morning, you were probably a little tired, but can you imagine being on stage and hearing the drums?  You just can’t stop but get caught up in the wave and the fact that you clap for me, you didn’t have to do that.  But you made me feel very welcome.  And I’ll admit that I needed that.  That made me feel welcome, so it’s kind of amazing what we do for each other.  People never realize that that smile is a kind of thank you that you give somebody.  We have such an opportunity to affect the person’s life in a positive way, what we actually have is just a way to thank them.  It just depends on what we decide to give.  So for my band, for that little clap, if you think this is all old hat stuff for me, it’s not! 
SA: Your music seems to have an arm.  It’s very all-inclusive in subject matter,  I know speaking for all these women here in the audience, that there is a sexiness  that exudes, that is so natural for you on film, it comes through in music and especially in this new album “Turn it On”.  The song that stands out called “Maria Ne” and I wonder for you, as a kind of artist, is there songs that you seem to gravitate towards when you are looking to record or looking to perform on stage?
KC: I’m not the best writer in our band, In fact if the other guys weren’t there, the songs wouldn’t be as good as they are.  I try really hard, but one of the things I do, is that I decide what we play and I insist that the cream get to the top.  It doesn’t matter if it’s my song or it doesn’t matter if somebody’s written two songs in a row, the cream will go to the top. We will write about our childhood and I think Mark Twain said it right, he said, “If you’ve lived your life correctly, you will never forget your childhood.”  And then obviously the majority of our songs are about men and women and that juxtaposition, that thing why we can’t get along, and why we ultimately have to be together.  So you know, we do bounce around quite a bit and if something strikes us, you’ll see we’ll write an historical song. 
SA: I think we have time for one more question from the audience.
Q3:  Kevin, I’m Old Mother Hubbard from Las Cruces, New Mexico at New Mexico State University and we’d like to invite you to come to campus.  I just wondered if you wouldn’t mind sitting down with some of my students and doing a workshop when you come.

KC:  Well, she kind of cornered me when she pulled that Old Mother Hubbard thing (laughter)…I know, women know how to corner men.  You know, they’re smarter…you guys are smarter and you don’t fight fair. 
Q3: But we love!
KC: Yeah. (smiles coyly) I plan on making quite a few movies in New Mexico, so I’m going to be in the neighborhood. If Old Mother Hubbard will bring me a few cookies and some COLD milk, I do like talking to students because students are hungry.  They’re hungry for the truth and you know what?  They’re not any different than us.  I mean sometimes people look at us, at our age and people think we’ve got it figured out and we don’t.  And the best thing that you can do when you are talking to students, or talking to a group of people is open yourself up so that there can be an actual exchange.  I hope that something happened here between you and I.  That last song that we sang was “something that happened to me, has it happened to you?  To my own heart I’ve tried to be true.  Hey man, what about you?” I think we, in that name of music, we should drop what we feel and let the beat carry us along and understand that we can be a part of the party.  Our lives so quickly go back to what we have to do, you know?  There are these moments where we get to kind of enjoy and when you do, take the whole moment. Anyway, if I’m close, I do enjoy talking to college students, cause I was a mixed up one.  And it’s important to let them know that.
Q3:  I will change the diapers when you come down.
KC:  You know what, I don’t mind changing the diapers.  It was always kind of a joke they tell on television or something like that, “you change diapers? Really?”  Like it’s a big deal. “You know why I change diapers?  It’s really simple, because the connection you have with your child, what you are saying to your child at that moment is; I’m willing to take care of you at your worst.  A bond forms when you are willing to take care of a child, when they are the most uncomfortable and they need you the most.  So people can make a joke about it, but I think those bonds come from that moment when you change just the way they feel.
SA:  I think in summary, maybe looking to the future , we’ve got two albums from you. “Looking To The Truths” and “Turn it On”.  What are the plans and the balancing for your film work and your music career? 
KC:  I never fail to feel how graceful an interviewer you are, how you wind things.  I’m not trying to put you front and center. No, but you really are.  I’ve interviewed with a lot of people and to somehow wind it back to home is an art form.  So thank you.  And as I try to answer that question, what are the plans? 
I want you to know that there has been no master plan for my life.  I haven’t tried to make a calculated life. I have tried to go to the things that I love to do.  And I do love making movies and I do plan on making some more, directing more. I plan on making more cowboy movies and I plan on singing more.  But at this moment, my life to me is a bit of a mystery.  I’ve gotten on this globe and I don’t know how my life is going to play out.  But I know wherever  I go,  I will be giving my maximum effort to those people I find myself in front of.  Whether it’s just a simple conversation or a woman who wants to have that conversation that I’m not sure I want to have and turn around and make that moment mean more to her.   I think when you show up in life, there is always an opportunity for something great to happen.  [looking to the audience]Thank you for helping me, because you have helped me.  You’ve helped our group when we’ve felt like outsiders, you made us feel welcome.  Thank you and I know you are all probably going home to your families tomorrow, but thank you for choosing to be here and watching “Modern West”. 
SA: The incomparable Kevin Costner, everyone!  (Clapping)
For more about KEVIN COSTNER & MODERN WEST, visit For more on IEBA  visit
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Edited by Bev Moser
Transcription by Tricia Dapelo