CMA Music Festival 2017: 26 Best Things We Saw

From Miranda Lambert's fiery main-stage return to Luke Combs' star-making turn

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Johnny Rodriguez

Johnny Rodriguez

While the Lukes, Blakes and FGLs may get the lion's share of publicity at CMA Fest, the backbone of the festival are the veteran artists who connect today's Nashville with its roots. Bobby Bare, Jeannie Seely and T.G. Sheppard all turned in nostalgic sets on the Fan Fair X concourse, with the appearance of Johnny Rodriquez a rare treat. Although the 65-year-old Texas singer sported a cast on his right hand that prohibited him from playing guitar, he was in excellent voice during a heartfelt performance on Friday afternoon, offering hits like "Ridin' My Thumb to Mexico" and "You Always Come Back (To Hurtin' Me)." But it was his beautiful rendition of his 1973 Number One "That's the Way Love Goes" that reminded fans how important Rodriguez was to Seventies country. J.H. 

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