By Janice Malone
NASHVILLE, TN — Just when fans thought CMA Fest couldn’t get any better, each year it continues to outpace itself from previous years. This year’s event was filled with plenty of highlights from Lower Broadway, all the way to Uptown. Among the many places to be ‘seen on the scene’ was at the grand opening of superstar Blake Shelton’s new 5-story bar/restaurant Ole Red Honky Tonk Bar located in the Lower Broadway area of downtown. The lines were long, but nobody cared because this place was “hotter than fish grease” with excitement for CMA Fest 2018!
To further speak of libations and such, John Rich, one half of the country music rocking duo Big & Rich, introduced CMA Fest fans to his brand new Red Neck Riviera Whiskey, during a tasting, and an autograph session at Frugal MacDoogal Wine & Liquor’s 8th Avenue location. Rich opened his own bar and grill (Red Neck Riviera Nashville) in the Lower Broadway area about two years ago. Last month country music legend Charlie Pride celebrated his 25th Anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member. At age 80, the country music trailblazer continues to be a big draw with fans, as he performed on the big stage at Nissan Stadium, alongside of powerhouse performers Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and Old Dominion. The crowd went wild when he belted out two of his classic biggest hits, ‘Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” and “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin.’
Darius Rucker introduced CMA Fest fans to his brand-new music video, “Straight to Hell” featuring pals Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Charles Kelley, during Rucker’s Nissan Stadium appearance. Rucker and friends brought the house down earlier that week at the close of the CMT Awards with their fiery rendition of the song.