THE REASON I WATCHED THE AWARDS WAS BECAUSE...

I don't always have the ability to stay up all night and watch the Academy Of Country Music Awards to the very end; but last night I was so pumped, I couldn't stop watching.

Was it the performances? To be honest, it was one of the best shows for performances that I've seen in many years. But no; that wasn't why I was so pumped.

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Was it that Carrie Underwood took home Entertainer of the Year with Thomas Rhett? That was cool too; but no. That wasn't the reason either.

I REMEMBER WHEN

The reason I was so excited to watch the ACM's is because one of my friends in Kentucky was performing on the show; and it's amazing to watch him and think about where he started.

KENT SLUCHER

His name is Kent Slucher. Kent is a Kentucky boy. I was headed to a club to listen to a Bass player named Darrel Ford to audition him for MY band back in the early 90's. I ended up meeting the bands drummer named Kent Slucher. I believe the lead singer in the band was Kent's Dad; so hats off to his Dad for pushing him to be such a great player.

I remember talking with a young Kent. He was so sweete. He was anxious, and asked me what he needed to do to play full time. He told me that it was all he wanted to do. I remember telling him that he just needed to move to Nashville and meet people; that he was a great player, and that's what Artists were looking for.

I had not seen Kent for many many years. My music Career changed after I had lost my voice, and I was home raising two more babies.

I visited Darrell and his wife Carol a few years back and asked Darrell what ever happened with Kent? I learned that he did indeed head to Nashville and ended up playing for Martina McBride. After that, Luke Bryan came calling, and he's been playing for Luke ever since.

I've been in touch with Kent after reconnecting a few years back, and we've done a few musical collaborations with Kent and some of the other band members in Luke's band. What an amazing experience it has been.

Last night, Luke Bryan was up for Entertainer of the Year, and there was Kent; on that stage, playing drums with Luke. It was surreal. Congratulations Kent on your success; it's exciting to see such a talented, kind-hearted guy with so much passion doing what he loves.

SONGS WE'VE PLAYED TOGETHER

If you'd like to hear Kent Slucher, and James Capn' Cook playing on my tracks, here are a few collaberations we have done over the last couple of years. One is an original song I wrote earlier this year, and the other two are gospel songs we recorded to send to my Mother in Law Nannie Howard, who has since passed away. I hope you enjoy the music, as much as I enjoyed recording it.

Click on the player below to hear the songs.