Category Archives: out & about

My week at Tin Pan South 2013


I’m too tired from last week to go anywhere this week, but if I change my mind I’ll let you know.  Meanwhile check out my last upcoming events entry here. 

This is a recap of my last week’s adventures.

I don’t consider myself a reviewer, I just know what I like and what I don’t. My weekly blog usually consists of what I would go see  each night of the week around town but like most everyone I have an opinion, I just don’t necessarily feel I need to share it with the whole world all of the time.

(The below pics are mainly videos, I’m not sure why they aren’t showing up that way.)

The following are a few of the brightest moments for me this week.  Thank you for supplying the press passes, it was a great week to be in Nashville.

Check out my previous blogs for information on my favourite moments from Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

On Thursday night I found myself at Winner’s Bar & Grill which isn’t where I originally started out but I found myself in need of some of the country music I knew and loved growing up and when I was still in love with country music. I found it at a couple of rounds at Winners.  I caught the second half of a set with Richard Leigh who as I walked in started singing his Reba McEntire cut “The Greatest Man I Never Knew” then in the next round “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”  and finally one of my favourite Dixie Chicks songs “Cold Day in July.”  Jamie Teachenor was also in the round and I loved his Jerry Lee Lewis cut “You gotta rock if you’re gonna roll with me”.

I stuck around for the following round because one of my favourite singer/songwriter’s was playing. Lisa Carver played a song I used to cover on cruise ships called “I’m Old Enough To Be Your Lover”.  I used to see her play at the Broken Spoke and knew she would be playing with the “big boys” eventually. Lisa said that Pam Tillis just cut this song and it will be on her next album.  It’s about time!

Marcus Hummon was also in this round and he played his Sara Evans and Darrell Scott co-write, “Born To Fly”. And the highlight of this round for me was his performance with a song he and his son Levi “Make It Love”

Jason Matthews performed his Julie Robert’s cut “Break Down Here” which was also a treat for me!

I cut out early because Gary Nicholson, Lee Roy Parnell, Mike Reid and Greg Barnhill were playing the Rutledge. I arrived just in time to hear Lee Roy play “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it” but the highlight for me was his performance of both “Love Without Mercy” and “I”m Holding My Own”.  I also enjoyed the camaraderie between these four, obviously long time, friends. Gary’s “The Upside of Lonely” was a hit and also a fun jab at Leroy and his multiple marriages.  But I can understand, the man just seems to get sexier with age…sorry but it’s true. Although I’m not sure whether I missed Mike Reid play his Bonnie Raitt hit, “I Can’t Make You Love Me’ or whether he just didn’t play it, I did get to hear Greg Barnhill play his Trisha Yearwood hit “Walkaway Joe”.

Friday night I was back at Winner’s to see Jen Foster, Granville Automatic and Nicole Witt.  Someone yelled out during Jen’s song “Taking Bob Dylan” that it was the best song he had heard all week.  Jen is a great  singer and songwriter and I found it pretty special that NSAI president Bart Herbison attended this show when there were so many he could have attended. I also really enjoyed Granville Automatic’s “Never on a Sunday”

I cut out early as I had tickets for TedX Nashville Saturday morning and I have to tell you the performance by Mike Ferris of Mary Gauthier’s “Mercy Now” at 9:30 am was absolutely stupendous.  I believe he said it will be on his next album.

I dragged my butt out to one last show Saturday night.  My good friend Charles Alexander had put together a round with Gabe Dixon, Alyssa Bonagura and sister duo Adelee & Gentry.  By far this was one of the best rounds I saw all week. I had never heard Charles live and was truly impressed by his voice as well as the unique life experience he brings to his songwriting as a Malaysian born immigrant living in Nashville with both “America” and “Immigrant”.  Adelee and Gentry had some very sweet singable songs with that delicious sister harmony.  I was, however super psyched about seeing and hearing both Alyssa Bonagura and Gabe Dixon and neither were a disappointment.

Alyssa Bonagura was all smiles through everyone’s performance, she seemed very genuine and even loaned her guitar to the two “youngins” to her left when their guitar went wonky during one of their songs.  She played or sang along whenever appropriate on other’s songs and was never obtrusive.  Alyssa’s songs were all fantastic but her performance with guest Jessie James (a duo they are calling  “Jackie Blue”) and the song she’s had great success with via a Lowe’s commerical “I Make My Own Sunshine” were definitely my favourites.

Gabe Dixon finished off the set with a request from the audience and sounded great on Hard Rock’s acoustic piano which was needless to say a little out of tune.  Straight up honky tonk but Gabe called himself a purist and I appreciate him all the more for being one. FYI all that noise in the background was Jessie James and her crew (I’m just saying…)

Striking Matches strikes more than a chord

Striking Matches strikes more than a chord

I tried to conserve my energy tonight and stay in but as I sat home watching last week’s episode of “Nashville” on Hulu I thought, “the Hard Rock Cafe isn’t that far away.” So I threw on my black jeans and found a spot for my little car nearby and ran inside to hear Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmerman of Striking Matches finish a song and although I had an idea these two were great I was sold after a few moments. Then they did a Patsy Cline inspired tune and the guitar chops and gorgeous vocals coming out of both of these Belmont grads (I think) sealed the deal.
When the duo played their Georgia Middleman co-write of the Gunnar/Scarlet love ballad from “Nashville” you could have heard a pin drop between the sniffles.

Jenny Gill & Keeley Valentino at the Rutledge



I don’t usually do reviews of shows on this blog however I am allowed to change my mind, not only because it’s my blog but because I am a woman.

Last Friday night found me at the Rutledge on 4th Avenue.   It wasn’t a show I had suggested but I often see things throughout the week that I may find more appealing or perhaps that would just fit my schedule better.  I like to act as if I go out on the town every night but the truth is I’m getting older and earlier is sometimes better.  This show started at 7 which was perfect for me this Friday night.  I had seen the show announced on my friend Charles Alexander’s Facebook feed.  Keeley Valentino  is managed by Charles and I have met her and think she is very sweet.  I was also interested to see Jenny Gill , yes because of her last name and also because I’ve heard her name around town many times and have never actually heard her band.

I walked in a few minutes after Keeley’s set had begun. (Side note the Mexican Restaurant next door has great food but don’t try to leave your car there without asking.) I had seen Keeley about a year ago at the Basement and I enjoyed her but perhaps because my head was not in it or for other reason’s I just wasn’t blown away.  Friday night I was blown away. Her songs and voice were gorgeous.  She has a great range and knows how to use it rather than just blow out every song at top volume.  Her band was awesome and I was most impressed with the fact that she not only had a back up singer (I do not think singer/songwriter’s should be allowed to play this town without one – why would they not when we have so many great singers here! ) Tangent over…so not only did Keeley have a back up singer but she had Maureen Murphy, if you don’t know Maureen just go to the page I have linked.  Overall really enjoyable set and she had a great audience show up to not only support her but really enjoy her show.

I stayed for a little bit of Jenny Gill’s set and really enjoyed her cover of Adele as well as her R&B style repertoire. She had an awesome band, which was expected. The house was rockin’ when I left and I’d definitely check her out again.

The Rutledge really struggles in the parking department, however I did find one because I squeezed my Smart Car in between a wall and a Cube but I would say, hands down, (what does that mean exactly?) The Rutledge has one of the best sounding rooms in town and probably one of the most honest and nicest owners I have ever met.