Tag Archives: Hard Rock Cafe

My week at Tin Pan South 2013

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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 Nashville.com 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

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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.

Tin Pan South Week Nashville, TN Special Edition

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I attended this  Nashville event regularly for a number of years back when I was interested in becoming a hit songwriter.  It’s fun to see some of the hit makers who have been playing it for years, some who were slugging away when I was and are now successful songwriters and those who have become my local favourites regardless of whether anyone has cut their song or not!  

I’ll list my top pick for early and late show but I’ll tell you some nights (mainly the weeknights) it was hard to pick just one.  Pick up a copy of the Nashville Scene for a full listing or go to the official Tin Pan South page here.

4/2/13   Radney Foster, Jon Randall, Bruce Robison, Wade Bowen  6:00 pm   3rd and Lindsley

 Radney Foster is just cool and great, Jon Randall wrote”Whiskey Lullabuy” which will tear you apart and I discovered  Bruce Robison when the Dixie Chicks were making the best “country” albums to ever come out of Nashville since the good ole days.  I am not familiar with Wade but how could he not be great with this lineup.

4/2/13   Colin Linden, Buddy Miller, special guests tba  9:00 pm   3rd and Lindsley

I have a few reasons I’m picking this show.  First because I love Buddy Miller and Colin Linden (my first Canadian mention of the week.) Second,  because I will already be at 3rd and Lindsley (although  I’ll probably have to eat there and if you’ve read this blog before you know how I feel about their sub par food)  and lastly because their “special guests” may include some of the artists from the TV Show Nashville which I will freely admit is a guilty pleasure of mine, I wouldn’t mind getting a close up view of some of the hotties from that show.

4/3/13     Victoria Banks, Phil Barton, Jaron Boyer, Emily Shackelton    6:00 pm Bluebird Cafe

This is my second Canadian mention of the week.  Victoria Banks was the 2010 CCMA winner for Best Female Vocalist.  She is also a great songwriter, super smart and a really cool person. It also would be a shame to not spend one night at the Bluebird Cafe and this would be my only pick there this week. 

4/3/13    Kristen Kelly, Ashley Monroe, Striking Matches, Trent Williams.  9:00 pm  Hard Rock Cafe

These artists and songwriters are a little newer to the scene than my previous mentions but great nonetheless. Google them to find out more or just trust me on this one. 

4/4/13   Ruby Amanfu, Trent Dabbs, Emerson Hart, Deniss Matkosky     6:00 pm The Listening Room Cafe

If you are really interested in hard core songwriter’s than just park yourself at the Rutledge for the night which is where we are heading next.  However, I will not pass up a chance to hear Ruby Amanfu sing and I like to mix up the traditional with a little more of the pop/alternative writers you will get in this set.  

4/4/13  Greg Barnhill, Gary Nicholson, Lee Roy Parnell, Mike Reid     9:00 pm     The Rutledge

The Rutledge has a great sound system, decent food and good seating.  The line up is not only full of hit songwriters but great guitar players as well.  

4/5/13     Marc Beeson, Paul Jenkins, Anthony L. smith, Matt Warren    6:30 pm  Winners

Friday night’s lineups everywhere are full of hit songwriters, new and old, and it’s a hard choice. Since I’ll be sending you to Winners at 9:30 you might as well just start the night off here and avoid having to find parking twice on a Friday night.  

4/5/13     Jen Foster, Granville Automatic, Nicole Witt 9:30 pm    Winners

I not only work with Jen Foster but I was a fan of her music long before I knew her personally. She is a great singer and writes melodic and heartfelt songs. Granville Automatic writes interesting songs that harken back to Civil War times and Witt has had cuts with everyone from Rodney Adkins to Point of Grace.  

4/6/13    Adelee & Gentry, Charles Alexander, Alyssa Bonagura, Gabe Dixon  6:30 pm  Hard Rock Cafe

Adelee & Gentry are fairly new but are making quite a smash and are a nice change to the usual radio friendly country.  I first heard about them through my friend Charles Alexander who I believe is a brilliant person and I look forward to hearing him perform live for the first time.  Alyssa has a beautiful voice and is also not a typical “Nashville” artist but part of the “new Nashville order” that I love so much.  Gabe Dixon is a great pianist and one of my favourite local artists.  His Christmas show at 3rd & Lindsley was one of my top ten concerts of 2011.  

4/6/13     Aaron Barker, Lee Thomas Miller, Chris Wallin, Camille Wallin 9:30 pm  The Rutledge

I would go to this show purely just to hear and see Chris & Camille Wallin.  Great singers, great songs and I expect they wouldn’t do a round with anyone who doesn’t measure up to their standards.