May 25, 2020  (Web Review)

CMA Awards Live Greatest Moments: 2008-2015

Time Life, 139 min., not rated, Blu-ray: $16.99, Mar. 3

Reviewer rating: 3.0/4

This eight-year collection of performance highlights from the Country Music Association’s annual awards show represents an abbreviated version of Time-Life’s 10-disc set from 2017. Though the introductions remain, most provided by the engaging Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley, the acceptance speeches have gone by the wayside (Underwood and Paisley also duet on the pleasant, if somewhat forgettable “Remind Me”). Though performers pay tribute to country legends, like George Jones and Glen Campbell, the focus is on today’s stars. The sole exception: Loretta Lynn, resplendent in a gold-brocade gown, joins Miranda Lambert and Sheryl Crow for a lovely version of her signature song “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” one of the more touching moments. This set also captures Taylor Swift in the in-between years after she had graduated from child star, but before she crossed over to pop. She appears three times, more than any other artist, to sing an acoustic “Fifteen” while surrounded by a loud, adoring group of teenagers; “Begin Again” on a set tricked-out like a Parisian boulevard; and a sophisticated, sit-down rendition of “Red” alongside Vince Gill and Allison Krauss. These years also witnessed the rise of “bro country” as represented by Dierks Bentley’s “Drunk on a Plane” (a more sensitive song than the title suggests) and Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake It for Me),” a Vegas revue-style number with scantily-clad dancers using chairs as props. The extra features offer brief interviews with multiple-award winners Lambert and Blake Shelton and a more extensive Q&A-style interview with longtime executive producer Robert Deaton who emphasizes that all performances are live and not pre-recorded. Audio options: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio. Recommended. (K. Fennessy)