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Strumming her way to Nashville

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— Some teenagers dream of Hollywood, but Chelsea Cavanaugh of Latham has her sights set on Music City, better known as Nashville.

“I asked my parents for about a year or two so my Dad agreed to go,” said Cavanaugh, 15.

She left for Nashville on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and will spend five days in the heartland of country music. There’s no set itinerary for the long-awaited trip—except, of course, a gig and the 2011 Country Music Awards.

“My dad sent out my demo CD to a few places down there hoping to get a show and we got called back for one of them,” said Cavanaugh.

She’ll take the stage at The Listening Room, a hotspot for country music in Nashville, on Friday, Nov. 11.

“I was really excited and happy because a lot of people thought it wasn’t possible for me to get a gig in Nashville because I’m out of town but we tried anyway,” said Cavanaugh.

But before she and her guitar set out to win over some Tennessee fans, Cavanaugh will get to be part of “Country Music’s Biggest Night” at the CMAs, broadcast on ABC Wednesday, Nov. 9. It’s hosted by country superstars Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley and brings together the who’s who of the country music world, with performers like Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Keith Urban and a plenty more who currently dominate country radio.

“I’m really looking forward to going to the CMAs,” said Cavanaugh. “I’m not sure what to expect. I know it’ll be really big and a lot of my favorite people will be there so it’s going to be a really good show.”

Cavanaugh played her first show at 13 and has steadily moved up in venue, performing during the pre-party for this summer’s Keith Urban concert and at the WGNA Barbeque Nationals.

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