I’m just back from a never-to-be-forgotten trip to Nashville. I was invited to perform on the Country Music Association’s Christmas Special which was recorded in the Bridgestone Arena, Downtown Nashville. It’s a hockey arena, sits 19,000 people, that’s a lot of folk, and when the lights aren’t full on it’s pretty cold…hence the fleece.
I invited my Mum & Dad along for the trip as I’ve always wanted to take them to Nashville, I knew it would be a town they’d enjoy and Mum is a big country fan.
We arrived in the afternoon of the 6th November, which was really the middle of the night for us as we’d been up since 5am GMT, a little frazzled but very excited. That night the Country Music Awards ceremony was taking place at the Arena so about 7pm I tucked myself up in bed, pinned my eyes open, and watched Nashville’s great and good and glamorous take to the stage. Highlights being Kenny Rodgers and actually Taylor Swift’s performance with Vince Gill and Alison Krauss. I’ve long been a fan of Vince and Alison but Taylor settled in there nicely.
Thankfully it wasn’t too early a start the next day and I left my folks to wander about town as I headed to the Arena for sound check. It was some set. Christmas had arrived! I was honoured to be asked to sing with Trace Adkins. I sang on his Christmas release The King’s Gift (Tiodhlac an Righ) and we performed one of those tracks, I saw three ships, for this special. Also featured on the album are The Chieftains, Kevin and Lily Costner, Kenny Aronoff, Emma Stevens and The Issacs. Lily also sings with Trace on the TV show. She’s a lovely singer and a charming young lady.
There was great excitement back stage. A host of star’s were there. I met Mary J. Blige and Sheryl Crow to name drop a few and was very well looked after by Trace’s management team JW and his wife Debra and also soundman Jake. Debra did my make up – she’s a little wonder woman!
Singing with Trace was thrilling he has an incredible voice. Standing out on stage in front of such a big audience was thrilling too especially as I was singing in Gaelic unaccompanied. Who’d have thought?! So on the 2nd of December 2013 coast to coast in America on the ABC network a host of Americans will hear our native Scots Gaelic celebrating Christmas. That will be a first for many. I’m really proud of that and I am delighted my parents where there in the audience to take it all in.
Trace and his team were fantastic, so generous with time and talent. They’re heading off on tour tomorrow so I wish them all the best with that. You can catch their Christmas Show here and if you’re very lucky (and I am too) I might just see you for the filming of their DVD in Clearwater, FL.
I almost want to say Merry Christmas!!