I know, I know. Family, friends and faith. Those are the true blessings we’re all counting on Thanksgiving Day this year, and every year.
But come on. If we’re being brutally honest, aren’t there some country music moments from 2014 you’re really, seriously thankful for, too? I know I am. I counted my blessings, and came up with my top nine. Did I forget any?
1. Garth Brooks. I’d had just about enough of his retirement. And Brooks and I are not getting any younger, you know? So I feel grateful that he came back in a big way while I was still young enough to go see a show (or 11).
2. Bob Seger singing Jason Aldean songs. And vice versa. I went to my very first CMT Crossroads taping this year and fell in love with both their voices all over again. (Also fell in love with Franklin, Tennessee, that night, too.) You can watch for yourself when the CMT Crossroads airs on Friday (Nov. 28).
3. The release of Maddie & Tae’s “Girl in a Country Song.” That took balls.
4. Kenny Chesney’s year off. He probably appreciated the breather he got in 2014, but so do I. It’s one of those if-you-love-something-set-it-free things. I’m sure his 2015 tour will blow our minds, especially since we had to do without for an entire summer.
5. When the Academy of Country Music announced that their 2015 awards show would be in Dallas, my heart kind of skipped a beat. Because Las Vegas damn near kills me every time I’m there.
6. Saying goodbye to Taylor Swift. She crossed over to pop this year. Or was it last year? Who were we kidding? She’s been so pop for so long, it was kind of a relief when she made it official.
7. Carrie Underwood’s baby bump. I’ve treasured watching her belly grow bigger and bigger with each appearance she makes.
8. Brittany Kerr. If Aldean was going to find love the second time around, I’m so happy he found it with Kerr. As a chronic Instagrammer, she will continue to give us nonstop glimpses inside their lives.
9. Luke Bryan finally winning his first CMA Award, and it being the award. There was no ladder of CMAs he had to climb. No prerequisite new artist award to make him eligible. He just did his thing, waited patiently, and then voila: entertainer of the year.