Country Christmas Welcomes New Faces & Old Friends
For the second year in a row, Reba McEntire had the honor of hosting the CMA Country Christmas special, which aired on Monday night (December 10). And what a spectacular special it was!
The show featured an extraordinary lineup, with the perfect mix of traditional and modern country artists on the bill. Even 92-year-old swing and jazz icon Tony Bennett turned out to perform!
?? WOW!!! … Tony Bennett belting the tunes at 92 years young on #CMA Country Christmas
— CheckYourTown (@CheckYourTown) December 11, 2018
By now, a few of the artists at CMA Country Christmas are pros at performing for the special. Artists such as Martina McBride, Dan + Shay, and Brad Paisley have all stepped on the festive stage to sing in past years.
In Paisley’s case, a few years ago he delivered one of the most rockin’ CMA Country Christmas performances ever. The singer and skilled guitar player was joined by the one and only Steven Tyler for a fiery rendition of “Run, Run, Rudolph.”
Turning Back To Tradition
But Paisley turned things down several notches when he returned to perform for the 2018 CMA Country Christmas special. This time he traded in his hard-rocking electric guitar for the gentle sounds of his acoustic, and opted for a more traditional Christmas tune.
The song he performed was “Away in a Manger,” which was first published way back in the 19th century. While the song was long believed to have originated from Germany, in more recent times it has been attributed to the United States.
Just A Man & His Guitar
Paisley previously recorded the song for his 2006 Christmas album, Brad Paisley Christmas. So it’s a song he had in his wheelhouse long before the 2018 CMA Country Christmas special.
Standing alone on stage, surrounded by the twinkling lights adorning nearly a dozen Christmas trees, Paisley poured his heart into “Away in a Manger.” With nothing but the gentle sound of his guitar to back him up, Paisley’s delivery was soft and tender…the perfect approach to take to such a treasured tune.
While the CMA has yet to release a full video of Paisley’s performance, you can enjoy part of it in the clip below. Even that small snippet is sure to take your breath away.
Hats off to Paisley for performing such a splendid rendition of this long-loved Christmas classic.