CMA Music Fest 2016: 30 Must-See Acts

From the big stadium headliners to newcomers on the Nashville riverfront

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Frankie Ballard
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images15/30

Frankie Ballard

With three consecutive Number One songs in "Helluva Life," "Sunshine & Whiskey" and "Young & Crazy," guitar-wielding Michigander Frankie Ballard has carved out a promising future — as well as his own niche, that of the cool Fifties country greaser. His new album El Rio arrives on Friday, June 10th, so be prepared for a little extra fire in his playing during CMA Music Festival: his lightning-quick blues guitar licks are especially enviable. If the early releases from El Rio are any indication, like the smoldering "Cigarette," Ballard has only turned up the energy (and the amps) since his first taste of success. Friday, HGTV Lodge; Friday, Nissan Stadium

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