Home Contests 2018 ACM Awards – Tony’s Notes from the Couch

2018 ACM Awards – Tony’s Notes from the Couch

2018 ACM Awards – Tony’s Notes from the Couch

My co-workers at the office lovingly (I think) tease me about my adoration for country music awards shows.  I’ve probably posted about 20 of these recaps on this site over the past 2 decades.  Honestly, I thought about skipping the recap this year, but….

This year’s ACM show showcased more variety of sound and attitude than I’ve seen in the last 5 years.

The country music format is an ever-changing one and based on the televised event in Vegas, country music will keep you on your toes…like an all-star pitcher throwing heat, curveballs, change-ups, the Eephus pitch and the Vaseline ball from Eddie Harris.

(That’s an old baseball movie reference from 1989)

Jokingly, on a Friday Night Spotlight broadcast a few years ago, I’ve said country is split up into “Bro Country, Traditional Country and Sucking up to your lady Country”

Tonight, country music became Top 40 with its own sub-genres of new classifications speaking to the expanse of the format than we’ve seen in the last 5 years.

Let me explain:

Kenny Chesney –“Island feel good country”

Carrie Underwood – “Broadway Country”   “Cry Pretty” could be a musical in NYC

FGL – “Unapologetically Pop” Country

Keith Urban – “Delilah Endorsed” Country

Kane Brown – “Social Media Driven” Country

Miranda – “Heart Broken” Country – On second thought, not a new sub-set

Blake Shelton – “Oklahoma Culture Reminiscent” Country

Little Big Town  – “Elton John” Country – That was cool by the way

Midland / Jon Pardi  –“Traditional Triumph” Country

Maren Morris “Fiesty Country”

Chris Janson – “Mountain Dew” Country


On with the recap –


The good – Loved the open.  Very classy.  Plenty of varied performances.  Enjoyed the tip of the hat to 1993.  So many positive and uplifting songs that I believe are very needed right now:

  • Get Along
  • Woman, Amen
  • I Lived It
  • Cry Pretty

Really LOVED the fact there were no political talk (unlike the CMA Awards) and it was a presentation the entire family could view.   Not many awards shows can you do that.


The bad –  The absence of performances by Chris Stapleton (justified – baby time), Brothers Osborne (c’mon, man – they are ACM duo of the year! – and they won ACM “Video of the Year”  Both not telecast?, Eric Church, Garth, Ashley McBride (shunned by most radio), Luke Combs, Carly Pearce, Kacey Musgraves and others.  Of course, that would probably lend itself to a 4 hour show.


Best performances –


“Cry Pretty” by Carrie Underwood – She defiantly belted out a song for the ages.  She spoke of a rough time after her accident, but you’d never know it by her performance.  Chills.

“What Ifs” by Kane Brown and Lauren Alaina – Two childhood friends on the big stage.  Hopefully, giving hope to some of the Show Choirs students in Siouxland.  Riveting.

1993 mash-up duets.   All three rocked!  Great to see Toby and Blake BACK on the awards show!


Things I wonder out loud –


  • How did Garth not win EOY?  What else do you have to do?
  • Miranda is definitely “in the moment” with these awards. She obviously came A LONG way from her TEC performance that left many in attendance wanting so much more
  • What will be the long term musical path for Maren Morris? Like Miranda or like Bebe Rexha?
  • What song would Stapleton have performed?
  • How lucky are we to see Old Dominion grow into super stardom before our eyes in Sioux City?

Reach out and share your thoughts!


Tony Michaels / KSUX Program Director

Sioux CIty, Iowa

KSUXTonyM on Twitter