Sending the Crowds Home

I was wondering of this economic downturn was going to affect attendance at the CMA Music Festival this year and I just read a report in the Business Journal that this year’s attendance was a record crowd. We had an average of 52,000 music fans here each day, almost a 10% increase over last year.

I think the fact that the artists performing were some of the top acts helped draw a lot of people. The festival is an excellent entertainment value and the fans proved again that country music has the biggest loyal fan base of all the genres.

CMA Music Fest

If you live here, we don’t care that the name was changed to “CMA Music Fest.” To us, this week will always be “Fan Fair.” There are rock music festivals all over the U.S. every summer, like the infamous Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. But this festival is about country music and the fans that buy the records and support their favorite singers and bands.

This is the week that the country music industry thanks their fans by posing for pictures, signing autographs, giving concerts in the clubs and stadiums all over town, and meeting with their fan clubs for picnics, bowling tournaments, and cruises down the Cumberland River. The other music industries don’t do anything even close to this week long festival, and we don’t care that the industry is trying to bring in non-country acts. That’s fine. But the jist of this week is that the country music artists give a little back to the fans. And that’s the way it SHOULD be.

Beach Weather

Summer is definitely here and I’m ready for some beach time. I really need to feel the hot sand between my toes and smell the salty ocean air at least once each year to keep my sanity.

My family has always gone to the Jersey shore and we’ve spent hundreds of weekends on the beach at Atlantic City. I love everything about it – from the boardwalk to the carnival rides to the mini golf and the fishing on the pier.

If you know anything about Jersey Shore hotels you have probably seen the Morey Resorts at Wildwood. They are famous for their collection of hotels and the variety of accommodations from beachfront luxury to family budget properties within a block to the boardwalk or beach. If you are looking for things to do in New Jersey, the beach is one of the top family destinations.

This year there are going to be free concerts at Morey’s Piers throughout the month of July featuring the Radio Disney Summer Concert Series. There are lots of events scheduled for families with kids of all ages, so if you have a chance to go you should check out the Wildwood events and enjoy the beach this summer with all it has to offer.

Driving in the Dark

The trip home was uneventful, thank goodness. We deliberately left Mother’s summer house late so that the traffic would not be so bad. When we drive in the dark the kids usually fall asleep quickly and the drive is nice and quiet. Even the wife fell asleep, so I just drove along listening to my new Eagles CD and enjoyed the peaceful drive.

“Long Road Out of Eden” is a classic, mature, and long overdue collection of the Eagles with new songs and some of the best of the older ones. Each one of the guys has his moment to shine and when they sing together their harmony is awesome.

One of my favorite new cuts is “Waiting in the Weeds.” It sounds like it could have been written 10 years ago or 10 days ago – a classic Eagles song. Another one that I really like is “You Are Not Alone.” That one is very soothing and brings up all those deep thoughts that we should examine every once in a while.

Poor Man’s iPod

I love the Coby stick MP3 Player. It’s the poor man’s iPod.

I paid $19 for mine and it holds enough music for me to listen to a different song all the way from home to work, and from work to home again without repeating any of the songs. I don’t know how many Gigabytes or whatever that it holds, but it holds enough for what I want.

I picked up 3 of the Coby sticks and put different types of tunes on each one. They run on a single AAA battery and you can plug it directly into your PC to upload more tunes.

It doesn’t have to hold just tunes – you can use it as a flash drive or jump drive and carry home that big file you need to work on at home for the big meeting the next day. Very handy gadget – love the Coby stick.