From the beginning, I would’ve had my money on Eric Church to repeat and cut down the metaphorical nets of country music victory again this year, but just like your NCAA bracket, everything pretty much goes to hell from the very beginning.
We saw an incredible Cinderella run from Tyler Childers, who advanced all the way to the Elite 8 during his first year in the tournament. With impressive victories over Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen and Brooks & Dunn, it was ultimately the King of Country, George Strait, that was able to take him down. No doubt, he’ll be back next year, bigger, faster, stronger. We saw 4 women (Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert), all advance out of the first round this year, which unfortunately, we did not see in years previous. We also saw veteran stars like George Strait, Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson all ride deep into the tournament, which wasn’t the case in previous years as well. At some 90,000 votes, it paints a small, but important picture of the direction that country music is heading in, one that on its face, appears to be for the better.
Massive upsets, incredible comebacks, crushing defeats, and dark horse victories, Whiskey Riff Madness had all of it, but at the end of the day, only one artist can emerge victorious and make their rightful claim on the country music crown.
The people have spoken, and for the second consecutive year, your two-time Champion…
Mr. Eric Church
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Rock the South Festival)