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From Little Big Town to Luke Bryan, Universal Music Group’s lunchtime showcase at the Ryman Auditorium gave attendees more than two hours of entertainment from 17 different acts this afternoon (Feb. 19). The event at the historic Ryman in Nashville was part of Country Radio Seminar week.
The show, featuring artists from the UMG roster, kicked off with Little Big Town harmonizing beautifully on their current hit, “Sober.” Throughout the afternoon, guests were treated to a variety of acts performing one song each, including Lady Antebellum on their current single, “Compass,” Gary Allan with “It Ain’t the Whiskey” and Eric Church delivering a solid R&B-inspired effort on “Like a Wrecking Ball” from his No. 1 album The Outsiders. Dierks Bentley played the title track from his new album Riser while Easton Corbin performed his current single, “Clockwork.”
All drew great vocal responses from the crowd, but the loudest ovations came on country classics by a couple of veteran stars.
Josh Turner, after confiding that he wasn’t sure what to play for his set, remembered some advice he once received. “When in doubt, play George Jones,” Josh said with a grin.
At that, Josh lit into a rousing version of George’s “One Woman Man,” which had folks rocking along in their seats. Later in the show, Vince Gill and steel guitar player supreme Paul Franklin collaborated on two songs from their current album, Bakersfield—Buck Owens’ “Together Again” and the Merle Haggard tune “I Can’t Be Myself.” Vince reminded the crowd that “Together Again” was released 50 years ago. He also joked that since he has been with the label for 25 years, he was allowed to perform two songs.
Luke Bryan, who was also given two songs, closed the afternoon show with his latest No. 1 hit, “Drink a Beer,” and “Play It Again.” On the final tune, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum provided some laughs when he entered the stage and turned his backside to the crowd, proceeding to mimic Luke’s butt-shaking stage moves. The perfect end, so to speak, to an afternoon of wonderful music.