Article: Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum going ‘Front and Center’

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Added by June 19, 2014

From USA Today

By Brian Mansfield, June 19, 2014

Country acts Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentleywlll tape performances for the PBS show Front and Center next week in Nashville.

The episodes will air this fall, in the weeks leading up to November’s 48th Annual CMA Awards, as part of the music series’ fourth season.

Bentley’s episode will be modeled after the Country Music Assocation’s Songwriters Series shows, with the singer performing his hits with collaborators Jim Beavers,Ross Copperman, Brett James, and Jon Randall. The songwriters also will perform hits they’ve written for other artists.

The CMA launched the Songwriters Series with a show at Joe’s Pub in New York in 2005, the same year the organization held the CMA Awards at Madison Square Garden. “Since then, we’ve done more than 75 shows in 13 cities, including international shows in Belfast, Dublin, London and Paris,” says Sarah Trahern, the CMA’s chief executive officer.

The Lady Antebellum episode will feature music from the trio’s forthcoming fifth album, and the group will perform with its full band, as well as some guests.

“It will focus more on their repertoire, both songs they’ve written themselves and the music on their new record,” Trahern says. “They’ll talk about the importance of songs and songwriting, both what they’ve written and that others have written for them. The plan is to have some of their outside songwriters join them, to talk about the songs.”

Bentley and Lady Antebellum will be the first two mainstream country acts to appear on Front and Center, which has also scheduled performances by Counting Crows, guitarist Joe Satriani, singer-songwriter John Hiatt and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers for its fall season.

The bookings came about after Front and Center executive producer Don Maggi attended one of the CMA’s Songwriters Series shows in New York.

“It was all about seeing these musicians playing the guitar and telling stories,” Maggi says. “We like to film in intimate ways and show how special musicians are, so I was sold on that.

“We create our own events, so it’s a very relaxed atmosphere for the artist. It’s about giving an artist that kind of uninterrupted time on PBS in which they can tell their story. That’s what we try to do: Create intimate shows and let musicians tell their stories.”

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