Jason Aldean is still on a losing streak at the CMA Awards, yielding Male Vocalist of the Year to Blake Shelton.
But Aldean isn’t alone.
Little Big Town beat the Zac Brown Band for Vocal Group of the Year, thus denying the Atlanta guys yet another trophy (they were shut out at last year’s ceremony and have one more chance tonight).
Brantley Gilbert lost to Hunter Hayes for Best New Artist, but the Jefferson native got a spin in the spotlight to perform a gravelly-voiced rendition of “Country Must Be Country Wide.” Gilbert started as a songwriter (Jason Aldean is his primary customer) and truthfully, he’s better behind the mic than on it.
Zac Brown also returned to the stage, this time to duet with Keith Urban on “Georgia Woods.” Unfortunately, Urban’s voice still sounds rough, but his guitar playing was as beautifully fluid as ever. Brown provided the high-end vocals, but it wasn’t as memorable as it should have been.
Brad Paisley, though, nestled nicely into his “Southern Comfort Zone,” complete with choir and endlessly impressive guitar solo.
His co-host, Carrie Underwood also shifted gears to turn performer for “Blown Away,” it, too, an off-key screamfest that someone in the early stages of her career most definitely would have defined as pitchy.
Jason Aldean also got a second turn to perform, churning out a decent “Take a Little Ride,” from his new album, “Night Train.” But his voice doesn’t possess a ton of range to control.
Kelly Clarkson sounded sublime with Vince Gill on “Don’t Rush,” the two ace vocalists proving that there was nothing wrong with the sound system. So what was everyone else’s excuse?