My Favorite CMA Fest Songs 2019

CMA Fest 2019 was just massive to me. So many artists, so many new people – I was just overwhelmed! Similar to my country music picks (here is the latest one) and my favorite songs of the Country 2 Country festivals (2019 and 2018 selection), I selected 15 songs, which are still in my head, one week after the festival.

I only selected songs which I really saw live on stage in Nashville. Thus, some artists like Dierks Bentley or Carly Pearce are not part of my selection, which would have been part of this list very likely. Hope you enjoy my selection – especially if you are not too much into country music. I feel it is quite a wide range of songs, classic and new tracks, party and melancholic ones. This list does also cover some songs, though, which have not been part of the official program, but of side events.


15. Jo Dee Messina – Heads Carolina, Tails California

Legendary Jo Dee Messina was the first act in Nissan Stadium on Friday evening, after Lindsay Ell’s performance of the US national anthem. She absolutely made me sway and dance – and this patriotic one was just the song I remembered best. Great song, great performer.


14. Stephanie Quayle – If I Was A Cowboy

Regarding performances, Stephanie Quayle was one of the most memorable ones for me definitely. She even had a small “fanclub” at the Maui Jim Broadway Stage, the linedancers of the nearby Whitehorse saloon. The live on stage version of If I Was A Cowboy was an absolute blast!


13. Lainey Wilson – Workin’ Overtime

Lainey Wilson was another artists I saw on the Maui Jim Broadway Stage. She was incredibly powerful, dancing all the time in a hippie-like outfit. So much power. Great to see her in Germany soon!


12. Jarett McAlister – Human Jukebox

You can discuss a long time about the best honky-tonk on Music Row – one of the bars I like is definitely the Nudie’s. Jarett McAlister is one of the residents there – and the people love his originals and covers. I liked his interpretation of Alabama’s If You’re Gonna Play In Texas, but this one is a nice autobiographic one.


11. Kelsea Ballerini – Legends

I am a huge fan of Kelsea Ballerini and felt so happy to see her again at Nissan Stadium. There are a couple of great songs like Peter Pan, but Legends was my favorite one during the CMA Fest 2019.


10. Chris Janson – Good Vibes

Chris Janson is just an awesome perfomer. If there wasn’t Luke Bryan, whom I absolutely admire, his thirty minute Nissan Stadium set might be the most memorable of the CMA Fest 2019 to me. While Drunk Girl is a lovely and thoughtful ballad, Good Vibes just did not get out of my head.


9. Cassadee Pope – If My Heart Had A Heart

Cassadee Pope is an amazingly friendly person and lovely songwriter. I absolutely enjoyed her fan party – not just because I also love her latest album StagesIf My Heart Had A Heart is an awesome ballad she also played in the tiny comedy club. Memorable!

8. Sarah Darling – Call Me

Languages often contain very special and characteristic words which you cannot really translate to other languages. If I translate the German Ohrwurm to English, the literal translation would be ear-worm. However, this strange animal just means a song, which is so catchy, it just does not go out of your head. You sing it again and again. Sarah Darling wrote this wonderful Ohrwurm to me. It is also the second track of her new Wonderland album.


7. Luke Bryan – That’s My Kind of Night

Summer 2013, Florida. I somehow decided to switch on the country music channel in the rental car’s radio. There were some songs which just demanded for more. I came back home with some 20 new CDs. One of the most admired artists of that new love was Lukas Bryan – and this song was just my first Luke Bryan love. I saw him live in Nashville for the second time (after the Red, White and Boom in Lexington, KY, two years ago). To me, he is the god of country music onstage. Hope there is some chance to join one of his next tours.


6. Christina Taylor – Settin’ Myself on Fire

Meeting artists in person, who you just followed on YouTube or Instagram before, was one of my key beloved experiences at the CMA Fest. Even better if I was gifted to see them live on stage. Best, of course, if they do songs like Settin’ Myself on Fire – what a great song by Christina Taylor. She is just an amazing upcoming artist, what I also wrote in more detail in a designated posting.


5. Lauren Jenkins – Maker’s Mark And You

I just cannot find anything negative about Lauren Jenkins: I love her album No Saint, she is great on stage, she is a lovely person and, finally, she will even play my home town in September. It is even hard to select one of her songs as her best, but I personally go for Maker’s Mark And You. Wow!


4. Carolyn Miller – What You Can’t Have

I just knew Carolyn Miller from Instagram and followed her, knowing some of her songs a bit. As I wrote in my posting about her and Christina Taylor, I just felt to go to her concert at the BB King’s instead of going to Nissan Stadium. I originally aimed to see Dierks Bentley there after Miller, but Carolyn just impressed me that much, I wanted to have her sound in my head when finishing the day. Wow, this girl is good, this song is good – miss these moments deeply (though I feel I remember any second).


3. Keith Urban feat. Carrie Underwood – The Fighter

Though I saw Keith Urban three weekends in a row in early 2019, at the NHL Stadium Series, the C2C in Berlin and the C2C in London, I still looked forward to have him at Nissan Stadium. Though Carrie Underwood was just on the screen and not on stage during his performance, I love this powerful duet, which just gets you melted. What a guy, what a song!


2. Jenn Bostic – Jealous Of The Angels

I did not know Jenn Bostic’s Jealous Of The Angels at all before I was gifted to see her live at the Kenny Foster & Friend Songwriters Round right before the CMA Fest. Not just due to my personal background, but also due to the story she is telling about her father who died when she was ten, this song touched me massively. If you have the chance to see her live, don’t doubt and do it!


1. Eric Paslay – Friday Night

I could more or less paste the text about That’s My Kind Of Night to my very favorite one, this Eric Paslay classic. In 2013, it was one of the first songs which attracted me to country music. However, I saw Eric Paslay live for the first time at Nashville in 2019 and thus, seeing him at a Songwriters Round in CMA Theater and on Riverfront Stage was just very special to me. So grateful he will visit Germany soon! Thank you Eric for this great song. about Country Music

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