Anne Wilson performing at CMA Fest

Anne Wilson Delivers Soul-Stirring CMA Fest 2024 Performance

June 13, 2024 11:33 am GMT

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Anne Wilson took the Chevy Riverfront Stage on Sunday for a spellbinding performance that showcased the Kentucky up-and-comer's ability to weave a rich, vibrant tapestry of emotions into her music. From the jubilance of ‘My Jesus’ and the encouragement of ‘Rain in the Rearview’ to the grief of ‘Seventh of June’, Wilson again highlighted why she's one of the leading figures in the country and Christian space.

Few other singers are able to place a tear in your eye at 10am in the morning, but Anne Wilson is no ordinary artist, delivering one of the most visceral sets of CMA Fest 2024.

The fast-emerging artist nimbly blends her two guiding lights on the rousing mission statement, ‘God & Country’, with Wilson serving up a wonderful flurry of lyrical contrasts (“Back row pew and front seat Ford / New King James and old King George”).

‘REBEL’, the title-track from Anne Wilson's sophomore album, released earlier this year, reverberates out into the warm Nashville air like a battle-cry, with Wilson striding across the stage with a confidence and stage presence that belies her years.

Aside from reminding attendees of her intricate songwriting skills, Anne Wilson puts on a vocal masterclass throughout the set, captured most powerfully during the closing moments of ‘Rain in the Rearview’, where the instrumental is stripped away entirely and Wilson's striking voice cascades emphatically across the titular lyric.

The most deeply affecting moment of this set, though, is when Anne Wilson confides in the crowd with the story of how she lost her brother, Jacob, in a car crash when she was just 15 - an event that inadvertently kickstarted her music career, with her performance at his funeral forever changing her plans of becoming an astronaut.

She then launched into a stunning, graceful rendition of ‘Seventh of June’, her tribute to Jacob. Both her Riverfront performance and her UMG SkyDeck set the previous day were given an added sheen of poignance from the fact that the seven year anniversary of Jacob's passing arrived on the Friday of CMA Fest - a day Anne Wilson takes off each year. This made the lucidity and rawness of her speech all the more moving, with the ‘My Jesus’ hitmaker never once wavering as she explained how God used that tragic event as the catalyst for her musical journey.

This epitomises the driving force behind Anne Wilson's music as a whole - one of transforming pain into hope and weakness into strength. With a row of young children standing proudly in the middle of her Riverfront crowd - who she kept addressing throughout the set - it's hard to think of a better role model than Wilson. It's also difficult to think of a better way to start your Sunday morning than with a series of uplifting, inspiring songs from this country prodigy.

For more on CMA Fest, see below:

Featured photo courtesy of CMA

Written by Maxim Mower
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