Backbeat: BMI Tailgate Party Features Kristen Kelly, Florida Georgia Line, Pat McLaughlin at CMA Festival
Backbeat: BMI Tailgate Party Features Kristen Kelly, Florida Georgia Line, Pat McLaughlin at CMA Festival

bmi BMI Nashville assistant VP, writer/publisher relations Clay Bradley talks songwriter issues with a willing audience. From left are recording artist Darryl Macquarrie, Big Yellow Dog owner Kerry O'Neil and Bradley.

BMI filled one of the few remaining empty time slots in a packed CMA Music Festival by sponsoring the first Tailgate Party during the event June 7-10.

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Located outside the entrance to the stadium shows at LP Field, the venue offered a mix of ace songwriters, new country acts and at least one group that combined some of Nashville's best-regarded musicians. New artists Kristen Kelly and Florida Georgia Line played the venue, as did alt-country performer Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys and ace guitarist Kenny Vaughan. Also entertaining were the Peach Pickers -- songwriters Rhett Akins and Dallas Davidson, whose collaborations include "Honey Bee," "Put A Girl In It" and "I Don't Want This Night To End."

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Wrapping it all June 10 was the World Famous Headliners featuring songwriters Al Anderson ("Love's Gonna Make It Alright"), Shawn Camp ("Would You Go With Me") and Pat McLaughlin ("Firecracker").

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