As a rule, I tend to avoid award shows. There's always so much awkwardness with the speeches, and I almost never agree with who wins...
But they do have one redeeming feature, which is that the after-show buzz usually reveals something I should start paying attention to. (I've fully accepted my status as a late adopter. 'iPhone', you say? Sounds swell.)
In the case of the CMA's last week, that buzz was the incredible Chris Stapleton.
My invaluable research assistant (aka: Dad) stumbled on this excellent write-up of Chris' CMA victory party, from the Washington Post
And then found this wonderful Tiny Desk (NPR) performance. (I really should give him a raise..)
In spite of the New Artist award, Stapleton's been hanging out in Nashville for a while, writing songs for folks like Alison Krauss and playing bluegrass with the Steeldrivers. (The Steeldrivers, sans-Stapleton, were just in Muscle Shoals, btw).
The album at Amazon: Traveller
But my second might be When The Stars Come Out