OFFSTAGE: Lunching With Martina McBride and Trace Adkins Was in Top 10 of ’10

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I like to think my life is full of spontaneous dinner dates with Kid Rock and chats with Gwyneth Paltrow. But the reality is, it’s not, although that may be why I appreciate those really special moments so thoroughly. And why my personal Top 10 country music moments of ’10 list is made up of those times when I was thinking, “Is this really my life?” One such hour was when I had lunch with Martina McBride and Trace Adkins back in March. Not at some fabulous white-tablecloth hot spot, though. We were in the unglamorous catering room of a venue in Green Bay, Wis. , eating cheese curds and pasta and salad and soup and burgers along with McBride’s husband John, her daughter Ava and a few others. It was just the casual nature of it all that I loved. The banter about the past few shows, the way McBride talked about her plans for the day and night and the non-stop adorableness that is Ava McBride. I was so honored to be sitting at that table, even just for a quick lunch before sound check. (This lunch, by the way, was tied for its spot on the list with the time I spent drinking Maker’s Mark on the rocks with McBride at the after party. We talked forever about which jeans had the best fit. I said True Religion, and I think she said Taverniti. Then again, I’d put my notebook away at that point and my memory was kind of soaked in bourbon.)

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.