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CMA Music Festival 2017: 26 Best Things We Saw

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

CMA Music Festival 2017: 20 Best Things We Saw

Miranda Lambert and Luke Combs were highlights of the 2017 CMA Music Festival in Nashville.

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The atmosphere was especially electric for the 2017 CMA Music Festival, thanks to a perfect storm of abundant country stars and the Nashville Predators’ appearance in the Stanley Cup finals. While the Preds ultimately didn’t come away victorious, country fans won big, catching concerts from mainstream A-listers like Eric Church and Keith Urban, rising stars Luke Combs and RaeLynn, and slightly under-the-radar acts like Lillie Mae. Here are the 26 best things we saw at this year’s CMA Fest.

Jacob Davis

Hunter Airheart

Jacob Davis

It doesn’t seem like there would be much opportunity for edge at the Radio Disney stage, but newcomer Jacob Davis – a native of Shreveport, Louisiana – played songs about getting it on (and that morning-after breakfast) with a big smile on his face and a dynamic, velvety croon. With tracks like “What I Wanna Be” and “James Brown,” he showcased his blend of pop-country soul, which is at its best on his new tune “Back Me Up,” inspired by the music of Meghan Trainor. Like a softer, more polite version of Eric Church’s “Wrecking Ball,” it’s about those moments when you’re struggling to open the open the door and undo the buttons to get down to business – not exactly Disney material, but the best rides boast laughs for the kids and thrills for the adults, anyway. M.M. 

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