Nashville – Music and Ribs

Well I’m a little late in posting this Blog. Sorry. I have been literally “on tour” and off the radar for 3 weeks now. I’m just that popular,I suppose.

That aside, I really wanted to share some of my adventures with you.

I was in Nashville from 14th April til the 28th for a songwriting trip. I love my Nashville trips and this time I managed, yet again to squeeze so much into my schedule that it represented a large tin of sardines. Musical sardines. This analogy is terrible, but ok on buttered toast.

I arrived on a Thursday evening as I was booked to begin writing on following Friday and Saturday. During these first 2 days I wrote with Steve Pasch (“Stand By My Woman” for Lenny Kravitz), then on Saturday with Lisa Torres. As in my usual epic and busy  form , I then performed 2 unscheduled gigs on Friday and Saturday night at the Commodore Grille. This is one of those venues where songwriter rounds rule the roost. 3-4 artists share a stage and it cycles from one artist to another until everyone has played 3 or 4 songs. l performed alongside Phil Barton, Kristen Mcnamara (American Idol) and Alexis Ebert. I actually really love just watching the diversity that unravels on these nights from on stage, but also off stage with a can of Reb Bull in my hand. Highlight of the evening (aside from my usual snappy genius) was a song called “My Dog Jesus” written/performed by Kurt Fortmeyer. Really clever song. On Saturday night, I was put in a songwriter round with Steve Pasch who I had written with the day prior. Yes. Welcome to Nashville. Big small town. Drinking town with a music problem, most songwriters know each other and there is always a Chic-fil-a or Church’s fried chicken close by. The night went swimmingly well.

Sunday, I had the day off so I walked down broadway, tried on Cowboy hats and ate Ribs at Rippy’s. If you have never been to Nashville, Broadway is a spectacle. There is live music in every venue starting from 11am. It’s buzzing and alive, and looks/sounds like a few shots of whiskey before noon.

Back to work now. The Beginning of the first “real” week, I wrote with the very lovely, talented and awesome new friend Blake Gray (Blue Guitar Music) on Monday then had a gig at Dan McGuinness on Demonbreun street that evening. On Tuesday I wrote with Sam Brooker (from Grammy nominated band Sam+Ruby) then had a Skype interview with Myndjack radio. Wednesday it was Greg Friia and The Company. I wrote with Jordyn Mallory on Thursday who I had written with once prior. Love her. The went straight to another session in the afternoon with David Dorn from band Calico Trail. On Friday I continued my session with David Dorn and we wrote a great duet.

I had the weekend off – so why not do tourist thing? Ok!!! I did. I visited the Grand Ole Opry. Iconic Music venue. It was fully restored after the devastating floods last year. I took the tour of the venue and was in a giant group of one. Weird? Yes. Beneficial? Yes. My tour guide gave me sooooo much information and told many many wonderful stories about the venue and it’s vast history. From stories behind the individually themed back stage dressing rooms to certain artist stories that has previously unfolded at the Opry. It is very rich in stories and it was clear that this venue was all about the “live” experience. No one gets a soundcheck, and tickets are a flat price regardless of who is performing. I told the guide I was a singer/songwriter and when we hit the stage and the famous circle of wood from the original venue, she said “sing me something”. I took and moment.. then sang my song “Candlelight”. It was a wonderful dream to stand where all the great country, folk and rock artists of the world have stood.

My second week started with fireworks as I wrote with Doug Stokes and Rick Huckaby. Great guys. We laughed a good portion of the session. Tuesday came and I wrote with Keith Follese (who wrote “I Love You” for Martina McBride and “The Way you Love me” for Faith Hill), No pressure at that session at all. Haha. That evening I performed at The Rusty Nail. My last working day in Nashville Wednesday was there and I got to write with a country music legend Tracy Lawrence (Eight #1 hits including “Sticks and Stones” and “Can’t Break it to my heart”). With the help of Flip Anderson we wrote a great song.

All in all I co-wrote 10 songs and wrote and additional 3 songs on my own. Triumph!!!

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