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Carolyn Kruse

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Last night’s ACM Awards show provided us with 3 hours of exceptional live music entertainment.

Here are of few that really stood out for me.


  1. Dierks Bentley live from the Station Inn with soul duo The War and Treaty- “I first came to this bar when I was 19 years old looking for something and I found it in the music here and I found it in the bluegrass community,” Dierks explained about why this location meant so much to him. He chose to cover  the U2 classic, “Pride (In the Name of Love” which was featured on his 2010 bluegrass album, Up on the Ridge. The mix of bluegrass and soul was magical and the energy in the performance, infectious.

Pride (In The Name Of Love) w/ The War & Treaty (Live From The 56th ACM Awards)

Dierks Bentley performs, "Pride (In the Name of Love)" from Station Inn with The War & Treaty, live at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards.Stream the l...



2. Eric Church -This performance of the new song, “Bunch of Nothing” was certainly something! Swagger, strength and a healthy dose of crazy make                           Church a one of country’s greatest performers ever, but major cred has to go to  his longtime backup singer Joanna Cotton. This song is part of his much talked about, ground-breaking trilogy project called Heart And Soul. Heart was released last Friday, which is where you will find “Bunch of Nothing.”

Eric Church - Bunch Of Nothing (Live From The 56th ACM Awards)

"Eric Church performs, ""Bunch Of Nothing"" live at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards.Listen to Eric Church's album 'Heart' OUT NOW:



3. Kelsea Ballerini with Kenny Chesney- The Knoxville, TN natives were stunning in their thoughtful, passionate performance live from the Grand Ole          Opry. The two formed a bound a few years back when Kenny texted Kelsea telling her how proud he was of his “hometown girl.” After that Kelsea reached out        to him, inviting him to sing with her on this gem from her latest album, kelsea.


Kelsea Ballerini - half of my hometown (feat. Kenny Chesney) [Live From the 56th ACM Awards]

"half of my hometown (feat. Kenny Chesney)" is available everywhere NOW:​kelsea available everywhere NOW:




4. Chris Stapleton with Miranda Lambert- Live from the Bluebird, this intimate performance of  “Maggie’s Song, which Chris wrote about losing his               dog, had us all emo! Bringing in longtime pet adoption advocate Miranda Lambert to sing with him, made it all the more poignant, and left me searching for           the tissue box.

Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert - Maggie's Song (with Miranda Lambert) | ACM Awards 2021

Chris Stapleton performs, "Maggie's Song" with Miranda Lambert live from the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. Listen to Chris Stapleton's album, 'Starti...




5. Carrie Underwood – took us to church! Amen for this powerful, soaring, unfaltering performance of a gospel medley from Carrie’s #1 album, My Savior.         Underwood was flawless on her own, but bringing in gospel legend, Cece Winans to riff with, just blew the roof off the building. These hymns in the Opry                 House had us all praying for more. And had me wondering why this woman wasn’t even nominated for Entertainer of the Year. Seriously.


Carrie Underwood and CeCe Winans - Great Is Thy Faithfulness | ACM Awards 2021

carrieunderwood #CeCeWinans #Greatisthyfaithfulness #CountryMusicCarrie Underwood and CeCe Winans perform Great Is Thy Faithfulness at 56th annual ACM Awards



There were many more… The chemistry between Maren Morris and her husband, on his latest “Chasin’ You,” had me thinking I should leave the room. So steamy! Brothers Osborne brought it, bigtime…leaving everything right there on the stage. Little Big Town dancing in the the streets of downtown Nashville with a horn section behind them was spectacular.

What were your favorite performances?










Carolyn Kruse Country 102.5 midday personality 9am-2pm Boston