CMA Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Trahern, along with the Executive Producer of public television’s critically-acclaimed concert series “Front and Center,” Don Maggi, announced the dates that public television stations across the country will start airing two, hour-long concert specials leading up to “Country Music’s Biggest Night™”, “The 48th Annual CMA Awards.” The announcement was made today in New York City during a press conference to announce the final nominees for the 2014 CMA Awards.
The first of the two shows will be available to public television stations beginning Tuesday, Oct. 14 and will feature a special 10th Anniversary CMA Songwriters Series celebration with CMA Award winner Dierks Bentley. Capturing the authentic in-the-round experience, Bentley is joined by Jim Beavers, Ross Copperman, Brett James, andJon Randall.
The second show, available to public television stations beginning Tuesday, Oct. 28, features the music of CMA Award winner Lady Antebellumperformed in an intimate setting. The trio will showcase their signature hits and offer a first taste of new music from their upcoming, fifth studio album, 747. The group shares personal stories from the road, the writing room, and the events that inspired their music, and are joined by songwriters Rodney Clawson, Tom Douglas,Josh Kear, Luke Laird, and Abe Stoklasa for some special collaborations.
Rolling Stone Country recently said this about the partnership between CMA, “Front and Center,” and the CMA Songwriters Series: “With its new CMA partnership, ’Front and Center‘ becomes an outlet for the true backbone of Country Music — the songs and the people who wrote them — to be laid bare.”
The episodes, which were taped this summer in Nashville, will air nationwide (check local listings).
“Country Music is a genre based on the foundation of great songs,” said Trahern. “Announcing the ‘Front and Center’ shows the same time we are recognizing our CMA Awards nominated songwriters for the CMA Song of the Year was a natural fit and a great way to build excitement leading up to the Awards broadcast on Nov. 5.”
“We were privileged to be able to work with as prestigious an organization as the CMA, to bring these compelling shows with Dierks (Bentley) and Lady Antebellum to public television,” said Maggi. “They were truly special shows that we hope have laid the groundwork for future programming with the CMA.”
The Songwriters Series kicked off the 10thAnniversary season with standing-room-only shows at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and has performed shows in Chicago, New York City, London, and Paradise Island, Bahamas, as part of the Paradise Music Festival Presented by CMA partner HGTV already in 2014. Other planned performance locations this year include Austin, Nashville, and New York.
For more information on the CMA Songwriters Series, visit CMAsongwritersseries.com.
About Front and Center: Front and Center is a music performance series that launched in Spring 2012 on public television. The one-hour broadcasts present an eclectic mix of Grammy-winning, multi-platinum selling industry veterans and chart toppers, including Cyndi Lauper, Jack Johnson, Keith Urban, The Fray, Train, James Blunt, The Goo Goo Dolls, Richie Sambora and more.
“Front and Center” is a production of Front and Center Entertainment, LLC in association with WLIW LLC for WNET, and distributed by American Public Television.