ABC RadioThe New Faces show at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville typically boasts the five most promising new acts in country music, as voted on by the radio community. But for the event’s fiftieth anniversary, they added something extra: Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.
Tim started the Friday evening banquet by surprising the crowd with his hit “Don’t Take the Girl,” while Keith honored the organization’s outgoing leader. Superstars aside, it was back to the business at hand: giving five of country’s outstanding acts the chance to shine.
Russell Dickerson delivered his number ones, “Blue Tacoma” and “Yours,” after starting with his latest single, “Every Little Thing.” The album cut “Girls Night Out” borrowed sections of both Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
Lindsay Ell began with her Canadian number one, “Criminal,” followed by “Castle,” and a brand new song, likely titled “Go To.”
Jimmie Allen’s set began with an adorable intro by his son, before seguing into “County Lines,” his new single “Make Me Want To,” and his multiple week number one, “Best Shot.” The Delaware native then sang one for the “Underdogs,” before reminding the audience “All Tractors Ain’t Green,” a clever reminder that black men can have a vital place in 21st century country music.
LANCO started with “Born to Love You,” building toward their number one, “Greatest Love Story,” while also offering a couple new songs.
Dylan Scott had the audience “Hooked” from the beginning, and then explored his options in a “Nothing to Do Town.” The Louisiana native sat down at the piano to play “Nobody,” while strongly suggesting the tune as his next single. He proved his true country roots by doing Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes” before closing with his number one, “My Girl.”
Throughout the night, CRS reminded the crowd how successful a predictor of long-term success the New Faces show is, showcasing videos by past honorees like Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, and Blake Shelton.
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