Wednesday, March 8, 2017

More than 400 Songwriters to Take Stage at Tin Pan South from March 28-April 1


            NASHVILLE - Organizers of the 25th annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival presented by Regions Bank pulled out all the stops for the Silver Anniversary, and the 100 shows and more than 400 writers have been announced and are now available at TinPanSouth.com.

            Set for March 28-April 1, 2017, writers representing virtually every genre will perform at 10 of Nashville's top music venues.

            CMA Vocal Duo of the Year winners Brothers Osborne will entertain at 3rd & Lindsley, and "Nashville" television show stars Charles Esten, Sam Palladio and Clare Bowen will appear at the Hard Rock Cafe and The Listening Room Cafe, respectively. Grammy Award-winner Keb' Mo' will bring his unique Blues style to The Country, and Rock legend Jim Peterik returns to perform at Whiskey Rhythm.

            Country hit-makers Jake Owen, Craig Campbell, Maddie & Tae, Danielle Bradbery, Mo Pitney, Kristian Bush, Love and Theft, Mickey Guyton, Luke Combs and others will hit various stages, and legends like Larry Gatlin, Lee Roy Parnell and Mac Davis will tell fascinating stories behind their biggest hits.

http://www.TinPanSouth.com


            After a two-year absence, BMI Pop Songwriter of the Year, producer, music publisher, author, Broadway performer and TV personality Kara DioGuardi is set to perform. Dove and Emmy Award winner Brandon Heath will delight with his story telling, and former Sixpence leader Leigh Nash returns to Tin Pan.

            To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on April 1, 1967, the museum is offering Fast Access Pass holders free admission on Saturday, April 1. 2017. The Tin Pan South Fast Access Passes permit patrons to bypass the cover charge at the door and allow advance entrance, space permitting. Most venues offer cash admission for individual shows not already at the posted capacity, and single show tickets will be available at the door and range from $10 to $20.   

            The free Tin Pan South Festival App is now available for IOS and Android devices and features:

            * The ability to add individual events to a personal schedule.
            * News and social media feeds to stay informed of festival happenings.
            * Real-time notifications on the status of show changes.
            * Festival map and venue information.
            * Explore Music City with a list of landmark recommendations.

            Tin Pan South is set to run March 28-April 1, 2017 at 10 of Nashville's top music venues. Produced by Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Regions Bank returns for the 10th year as the presenting partner of the Festival.

            For up-to-date lineups, tickets, venues, schedules and other festival information, download the Festival App or visit tinpansouth.com. Updates can also be found on the Tin Pan South Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. The Tin Pan South program will be published in the March 22, 2017 issue of the "Nashville Scene."

            Organizers of the 25th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival would like to thank the following Platinum and Gold Corporate Partners: Regions Bank - Presenting Partner; Southwest Airlines - Official Airline Partner; News Channel 5 - Official Broadcast Partner; Vident Financial; Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.; ASCAP; BMI; SESAC; Ford; Jack Daniel's; ole.

            About NSAI: The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) celebrates its 50th year as the world's largest not-for-profit songwriters trade organization. Established in 1967, NSAI is dedicated to protecting the rights of and serving aspiring and professional songwriters in all genres of music. Its membership of more than 5,000 spans the United States and 10 foreign countries. For more information, visit nashvillesongwriters.com.

            About Regions Financial Corporation: Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $126 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation's largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, mortgage, and insurance products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,500 banking offices and 1,900 ATMs. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com


Jazz-Americana Artist Bryan Cumming Releases New Jazz CD

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 2017) -- Bryan Cumming, a jazz-Americana artist who has recorded with popular acts such as Al Jarreau and The Pointer Sisters, has released a new CD that pays tribute to the classic songs and legendary jazz artists of the Silent Generation.

            "Come Out Swinging" celebrates the spirit of swing with a lively mix of traditional jazz classics and originals. Highlights include covers of standards written and/or performed by legendary artists such as Nat King Cole, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Dorothy Fields, and Irving Berlin. The album, which was recorded at Java Jive Studio in Nashville, features Kelli Cox on keyboards, Adam Mormolstein on drums, and John Vogt on bass.

            "I grew up listening to the music my father loved, including recordings by jazz artists such as Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, and Glen Miller," said Cumming, who also performs as a member of the Grammy-nominated Beatles tribute band The WannaBeatles. "As my music career has developed, I've found myself gravitating toward swing. It has a life-affirming tempo that expresses optimism, enthusiasm and energy. I hope my new album will inspire motion, inviting dancers to sway together, bounce, and enjoy the moment, just like in my daddy's day."

Bryan Cumming (Photo by Johnathan Pushkar)

            "Come Out Swinging" is available at major online retailers including CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon. To download, order or hear tracks from the album, visit http://www.CDBaby.com/CD/BryanCumming2 or https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/come-out-swinging/id1206565869 .

            Among the covers are "Sunny Side of the Street," a standard recorded by Tommy Dorsey and The Sentimentalists in 1944. Other covers include "Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Had to Be You," and "Blue Skies."

            The album's title track, "Come Out Swinging," swings to life with the sounds and lyrical images of the '30s, '40s and '50s.

            "I wrote the song in 2008 to honor the classic swing music I learned from my parents," said Cumming. "'Come Out Swinging' is a nostalgic look at yesterday. It is presented as an imaginary epiphany,
where the singer hears the phone ring and mysteriously hears the sounds of old swing tunes. He gets inspired and preaches the message 'it's time to play' to his listeners."


Download songs from "Come Out Swinging" at iTunes
            According to music critic Chuck Davis, '"Come Out Swinging' is a fluent expression of a musical maturing... delivering swing-inspired original tunes for his father's generation and re-distributing 'that thing called swing' to the next generation."

            Cumming is receiving positive reviews from top music industry professionals.

            Hit songwriter and author Jason Blume says the project "offers a refreshing blend of original and traditional swing tunes that are both fun and exhilarating."

            "Honest and unflashy singing with wit and joy, and refreshingly relaxed playing makes these songs well worth hearing," raves Nashville musician William "Tiger" Fitzhugh.

            "Veteran musician Bryan Cumming has come up with a very good album that should appeal to the same audience as Steve Tyrell, with Cumming's charming vocals and the added attraction of his Sidney Bechet-influenced soprano sax playing, along with a solid combo," notes hit songwriter Billy Vera.

            Harry Stinson of the Marty Stuart "Fabulous Superlatives" praises Cumming's project for its "tight arrangements, innovative solos, and finger-snapping right-in the pocket rhythms."


Bryan celebrates with fellow musicians Kelli Cox, Adam Mormolstein and John Vogt (Photo by Chuck Whiting)

            A Georgia native, Bryan Cumming grew up in a musical family playing Dixieland and classic jazz and singing harmony on Beatles songs. After serving a year in the U.S. Army playing saxophone, he toured and recorded with Martin Mull. He moved to Los Angeles in 1976, playing sax on sessions with artists such as Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Maria Muldaur, Al Hirt, and The Ohio Players. He later joined Billy Vera and The Beaters, performing at the Tokyo Music Festival and on the number one single "At This Moment". He performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as a member of the Los Angeles Jazz Choir. He toured Japan and South America with David Soul, and toured four years as the lead guitarist for ShaNaNa.

            Since moving to Nashville in 1988, he has performed and/or recorded with artists such as K.T. Oslin, Cleve Francis, and the Grammy-nominated Beatles tribute band The WannaBeatles. In 2009, The WannaBeatles received a Grammy nomination for the CD "Fab Fan Memories - The Beatles Bond." Cumming also produces and records artists at Studio 23 Nashville.

            For more information about Bryan Cumming and his new album, "Come Out Swinging," visit http://www.BryanCumming.com.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bryan Cumming to Celebrate Jazz Legends at 'Come Out Swinging' Concert in Nashville

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 2017) -- Jazz-Americana artist Bryan Cumming will celebrate the release of his new album, "Come Out Swinging," with a concert and CD signing from 6-10 p.m. on Feb. 17 (Friday) at World Music in Bellevue.

            Cumming, who has recorded with popular acts such as Al Jarreau and The Pointer Sisters, is launching his solo career by paying tribute to the classic songs and legendary jazz artists of the Silent Generation. Joining him on stage will be keyboardist Kelli Cox, drummer Adam Mormolstein, and bassist John Vogt. Admission is free; complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be provided.



https://soundcloud.com/bryan-cumming/come-out-swinging

            "I grew up listening to the music my father loved, including recordings by jazz artists such as Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, and Glen Miller," said Cumming, who also performs as a member of the Grammy-nominated Beatles tribute band The WannaBeatles. "As my music career has developed, I've found myself gravitating toward swing. It has a life-affirming tempo that expresses optimism, enthusiasm and energy. I hope my new album will inspire motion, inviting dancers to sway together, bounce, and enjoy the moment, just like in my daddy's day."

             Cumming's 10-song project, which will be released on Feb. 17, will celebrate the spirit of swing with a lively mix of traditional jazz classics and originals. Highlights will include covers of standards written and/or performed by legendary artists such as Nat King Cole, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Dorothy Fields, and Irving Berlin. The album was recorded at Java Jive Studio in Nashville.



            Among the covers will be "Sunny Side of the Street," a standard recorded by Tommy Dorsey and The Sentimentalists in 1944. Other covers will include "Straighten Up and Fly Right," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Had to Be You," and "Blue Skies."

            The album's title track, "Come Out Swinging," swings to life with the sounds and lyrical images of the '30s, '40s and '50s. Jazz and Americana music fans can hear the preview single at https://soundcloud.com/bryan-cumming/come-out-swinging.

            "I wrote the song in 2008 to celebrate the timeless swing music I sang and played with my dad," said Cumming. "'Come Out Swinging' is a nostalgic look at yesterday. It is presented as an imaginary epiphany, where the singer hears the phone ring and mysteriously hears the sounds of old swing tunes. He gets inspired and preaches the message 'it's time to play' to his listeners."



            According to music critic Chuck Davis, '"Come Out Swinging' is a fluent expression of a musical maturing... delivering swing-inspired original tunes for his father's generation and re-distributing 'that thing called swing' to the next generation."

            A Georgia native, Bryan Cumming grew up in a musical family playing Dixieland and classic jazz and singing harmony on Beatles songs. After serving a year in the U.S. Army playing saxophone, he toured and recorded with Martin Mull. He moved to Los Angeles in 1976, playing sax on sessions with artists such as Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Maria Muldaur, Al Hirt, and The Ohio Players. He later joined Billy Vera and The Beaters, performing at the Tokyo Music Festival and on the number one single "At This Moment". He performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as a member of the Los Angeles Jazz Choir. He toured Japan and South America with David Soul, and toured four years as the lead guitarist for ShaNaNa.



            Since moving to Nashville in 1988, he has performed and/or recorded with artists such as K.T. Oslin, Cleve Francis, and the Grammy-nominated Beatles tribute band The WannaBeatles. In 2009, The WannaBeatles received a Grammy nomination for the CD "Fab Fan Memories - The Beatles Bond." Cumming also produces and records artists at Studio 23, a production company he founded in Nashville.

            For more information about Bryan Cumming and his new album, "Come Out Swinging", visit http://www.BryanCumming.com. World Music is located at 7069 Highway 70 S. in Bellevue (at Old Hickory Boulevard).



The WannaBeatles to Celebrate Nashville Beatles Day with Jan. 30 Performance

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 2017) – The Grammy-nominated Nashville band The WannaBeatles will attempt to relive history on Jan. 30 (Monday) when they perform in the second floor lounge of Soulshine Pizza in Nashville to celebrate the 48th anniversary of The Beatles' legendary rooftop performance in London. 


            Like their idols, The WannaBeatles will take the stage at exactly 12 noon, performing songs The Beatles played live that day: "Get Back," "Don't Let Me Down," "I've Got A Feeling," "One After 909," and "Dig A Pony," as well as some of their other hits. Former Mayor Karl Dean and the Metro Council named Jan. 30 Nashville Beatles Day in 2009. 

          Admission to The WannaBeatles' "A Cold Day's Night" concert is free. Beatles fans can enjoy the concert inside the club. The Beatles' 42-minute show occurred at noon Jan. 30, 1969 on the fifth-floor roof of Apple Records' London headquarters. The performance has passed into history as the band's last live appearance. Nashville's premier oldies station, Hippie Radio, will co-sponsor the event with on-air personalities serving as hosts. Soulshine Pizza is located at 1907 Division St. near Music Row.


          The WannaBeatles earned a Grammy nomination for "Fab Fan Memories - The Beatles Bond," a CD that includes an interview with Ken Mansfield, U.S. manager of Apple Records, who was on the roof of the Apple building alongside The Beatles. 

          Fans can listen to The WannaBeatles coverage live on Hippie Radio at http://www.hippieradio945.com/events/rooftop-concert/. Members of the news media are welcome to cover the event.  For more information, contact Dennis Scott at (615) 300-4668 or dsmusic1@me.com. Learn more about the WannaBeatles at http://www.TheWannaBeatles.com.

 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bryan Cumming to Celebrate New Jazz Album on Feb. 17 with Nashville Concert

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 2017) -- Jazz-Americana artist Bryan Cumming will celebrate the release of his new album, "Come Out Swinging", with a concert and CD signing from 6-10 p.m. Feb. 17 (Friday) at World Music, 7069 U.S. Highway 70 S. in Bellevue. 

            Cumming will be joined on stage by drummer Adam Mormolstein, keyboardist Kelli Cox, and bassist John Vogt. Cumming's 10-song project celebrates the spirit of swing with a lively mix of traditional jazz classics and originals. Highlights include covers of standards written and/or performed by legendary artists such as Nat King Cole, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh, and Irving Berlin.

            "I’ve always gravitated toward optimism, enthusiasm, energy, and music that conveys those qualities," said Cumming, who has performed with popular acts such as Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Al Hirt, K.T. Oslin, and The WannaBeatles. "Swing is a life-affirming tempo. It inspires motion, invites dancers to sway together, bounce, and enjoy the moment." 

            Among the covers is "Sunny Side of the Street", a standard recorded by Tommy Dorsey and The Sentimentalists in 1944. 

            Admission to the Bryan Cumming concert on Feb. 17 is free; complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be provided. For more information about Bryan Cumming and his new album, "Come Out Swinging", visit http://www.BryanCumming.com.

Jazz-Americana Artist Bryan Cumming Releases Preview Single for Upcoming Album 'Come Out Swinging'

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 2017) -- Jazz-Americana artist Bryan Cumming has released a preview single for an upcoming album that pays tribute to the classic songs and legendary artists of the Silent Generation.

            The album's title track, "Come Out Swinging," swings to life with the sounds and lyrical images of the '30s, '40s and '50s. Cumming recorded the song at Java Jive Studio in Nashville with drummer Adam Mormolstein, pianist Kelli Cox, and bassist John Vogt. Jazz and Americana music fans can hear the song at https://soundcloud.com/bryan-cumming/come-out-swinging.




https://soundcloud.com/bryan-cumming/come-out-swinging

            "I wrote the song in 2008 to celebrate the timeless swing music from back in my daddy's day," said Cumming, who is launching his solo career after recording with popular acts such as Al Jarreau, Al Hirt, and The Pointer Sisters. "'Come Out Swinging' is presented as an imaginary epiphany, where the singer hears the phone ring and mysteriously hears the sounds of old swing tunes. He gets inspired and preaches the message 'it's time to play' to his listeners."

            Cumming's 10-song project, which will be released on Feb. 17, will celebrate the spirit of swing with a lively mix of traditional jazz classics and originals. Highlights will include covers of standards written and/or performed by legendary artists such as Nat King Cole, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Dorothy Fields, and Irving Berlin.

            Among the covers will be "Sunny Side of the Street," a standard recorded by Tommy Dorsey and The Sentimentalists in 1944.



Bryan Cumming (left) records "Come Out Swinging" with fellow artists (clockwise) pianist Kelli Cox, bassist John Vogt, and drummer Adam Mormolstein. (Photo by Ashley Green)

            According to music critic Chuck Davis, '"Come Out Swinging' is a fluent expression of a musical maturing... delivering swing-inspired original tunes for his father's generation and re-distributing 'that thing called swing' to the next generation."

            Cumming also is a member of the popular Beatles tribute band The WannaBeatles. The Nashville act received a Grammy nomination for its album "Fab Fan Memories" in 2011.

            The artist will celebrate the release of "Come Out Swinging" with a concert and CD signing at World Music in Nashville on Feb. 17.

            For more information about Bryan Cumming and his new single and upcoming album, "Come Out Swinging", visit http://www.BryanCumming.com or write the artist at Bryan@BryanCumming.com.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

AJ Bigler to Celebrate New Album With Concert on Dec. 9


         NASHVILLE, Tenn. (December 2016) -- Americana/pop/inspirational Singer-songwriter-guitarist AJ Bigler will celebrate the release of his new album "AJ and Friends" with a concert and CD signing from 7-8:30 p.m. Dec. 9 (Friday) at Radio Cafe', 4150 Gallatin Pike in East Nashville. 

          Bigler will be joined on stage by vocalist/keyboardist Jake Hill. The 12-song CD features performances by Bigler and noted musicians such as vocalists Frankie Statton, Tia McGraff, Elizabeth Capel, and Sean O'Shea; keyboardist Josh Rosen, bass player Jared Palmer, and drummers Lis Ficalora and Lois Hess. 



          Highlights from the album include the upbeat pop song "Love Is The Reason", the romantic ballad "Inside Job" (performed by vocalist Tia McGraff), and the inspirational anthem "You're The Reason" (performed by vocalist/keyboardist Sean O'Shea). 

          Admission to the concert is free; complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be provided. For more information about AJ Bigler and his new album "AJ and Friends", visit http://www.AJ-Bigler.com.

Big Shot Records Launches 'The Business of Music' Radio Show


            WASHINGTON (December 2016) – Big Shot Records and Washington Entertainment Connection are premiering the new bi-monthly radio show "The Business of Music" at www.TBMRadioShow.com

          The show, which is co-hosted by veteran drummer Brian Choper and music photographer Mickie Hill, provides insights for members of the general public who are interested in bands and/or live music, reviews and where bands will be performing. For their second episode, Choper and Hill discuss how a band's first meeting can result in success or failure. 


             "When a band's in the basement (or in someone's home), they are performing and listening to each other for the first time," said Choper. "They try to see if the chemistry is there, if the music sounds good together, and if everyone's on the same level musically and plays in the same style. Until you put musicians together, you don't know what you have." 

            Other show highlights include music industry news, music career tips and insights, and reviews of Mid-Atlantic area bands and live shows. WEC is an artist management, recording, video and booking firm based in Beltsville, Maryland. Its Big Shot Records division signs, develops, records and books musical acts of all kinds. Company founder/CEO Brian Choper is an internationally known percussionist who performs with popular acts including The Brian Choper Jazz Project with Peter Cannella, Nexus Rock Band, and Kol Haruach Orchestra. 

            For more information, visit www.WashingtonEntertainmentConnection.com, www.BigShotRecords.com, or www.BrianChoper.com.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Songwriters to take Stage for Holiday 'Tunesmithing' on Dec. 14

         NASHVILLE, Tenn. (December 2016) -- "Tunesmithing" will celebrate the holiday season with a special show from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 14 (Wednesday) at The Well Coffeehouse, 690 Old Hickory Blvd. in Brentwood. 

          Attendees will enjoy original and classic holiday songs and/or stories by AJ Bigler, Katie Brooks, Everette Brown, Butterfly, Kelley Cline, Wil Comstock, Gordon Ellis, Dar Frantz, Donna Frost, Lisa Hannah, Mark Horwitz, Paul Nielsen, Candy Paull, Angel Pontier, and Chuck Whiting



          Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Publicist Chuck Whiting will emcee the show. Songwriter/audio engineer AJ Bigler will handle sound. "Tunesmithing" songwriters showcase is sponsored by Music City Arts Network and Shine Time Books and Music. The monthly show was founded in 2003 to spotlight emerging, professional and hit songwriters, as well as artists of all kinds. The event offers mentoring, career growth and networking opportunities for artists at all levels. 

          For more information about "Tunesmithing", call (615) 423-9857, write Info@Tunesmithing.com, or visit http://www.Tunesmithing.com.
 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

'Feels Like Home' Bluegrass EP Under Consideration for Several Grammys


            DENVER (November 2016) – "Feels Like Home", a bluegrass EP by award-winning folk-Americana artist Mary Beth Cross, is under consideration for several Grammys.

            The EP, which includes original songs and classics, hit the Top 40 on five separate charts compiled by Roots Music Report. The eight-song project celebrates the importance of home in the lives of average, everyday Americans

            Nominated in various American Roots Music categories are 

            * Best Bluegrass Album - "Feels Like Home".
            * Best American Roots Song - "Threshing Time".
            * Best Americana Roots Performance - "Kathy's Song" and "Long Long Time".

            The EP and selected songs have received airplay on terrestrial and online radio stations around the world, including KVMR-FM in California, WIKX-FM in Florida, KXCI-FM in Arizona, WBAA-FM in Indiana, WPKN-FM in Connecticut, KRFC-FM in Colorado, WIUP-FM in Pennsylvania, WWSP-FM in Wisconsin, WFMT-FM in Illinois, and WAGS-AM in South Carolina. FolkDJ ranked "Feels Like Home" number 31 for radio airplay during the month of June.  

  
        
            "Feels Like Home" debuted at number one on the APD Americana/AAA Albums chart. To download selections from the EP, visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/feels-like-home-ep/id1097215219.

            "It's wonderful to see my music touching people as far away as New Zealand," said Cross, whose last album, "Beyond Good and Evil", was named "2014 Folk-Country CD of the Year" by the National Traditional Country Music Association. "My latest project includes cover songs that are part of the tapestry of my upbringing in Wisconsin, as well as originals that reflect my current home in Colorado. Good memories or sad memories are evoked by some of my favorite songs."

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

'The Ryman Diaries' Historical Play Adds November and December Shows at Miss Jeanne's Mystery Dinner Theatre


     NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 2016) – Actor/playwrights Tom Dolan and Debbie Mathis Watts are extending the run of their multi-media musical stage play "The Ryman Diaries" with pre-holiday matinees at Miss Jeanne's Mystery Dinner Theatre in Nashville. 

     Theatre-goers can celebrate Captain Tom Ryman's 175th birthday with the show and brunch on Nov. 13 and Dec. 11. Showtimes are 12 p.m. (dinner) and 1 p.m. (show) on Sunday. Admission is $38 (show with dinner) and $18 (show only). 

     The riverboat legend was born on Oct. 12, 1841. Mayor Megan Barry signed a proclamation naming Oct. 12, 2016 as Captain Tom Ryman Day.

     Described as a 19th Century love story, "The Ryman Diaries" is a historical drama that depicts the life and times of Cumberland riverboat Captain Tom Ryman as told through the eyes of his wife, Bettie Baugh Ryman. The story covers 70 years of the couple's lives through film media, stage acting, and original musical numbers. It tells of their unlikely romance, marriage, entrepreneurship, raising seven children on a riverboat, ultimate success, Christian conversion at a tent meeting, and the building of the Union Gospel Tabernacle. 


     The play is based on Watts' book, with additional dialog from Dolan. The actors penned seven original songs for the production. Film clips feature flashbacks of young Bettie and historical stills provided by the Metro Archives. 

     "We are thrilled to extend the show with brunch as a continued celebration of Captain Ryman's 175th birthday," said Watts, a former producer for various shows on TNN: The Nashville Network. "He and his wife Bettie were true romantics who laid the musical foundation for Middle Tennessee." 

     A veteran educator, professional pianist-vocalist, and author, Watts' theatrical roles include Mollie in "Mousetrap" and Agnes in "I Do, I Do". Dolan has received national acclaim starring as Elwood P. Dowd in "Harvey", Dr. Albert Schweitzer in "Memoirs from Africa", and Sam Clemens in "Mark Twain Live". The actors also star in a new play in San Diego based on the lives of John and Lillie Spreckels. 

     Miss Jeanne's Mystery Dinner Theatre is located at 2416 Music Valley Drive. To buy tickets for "The Ryman Diaries", call (615) 902-9566 or visit http://www.MissJeannes.com. To learn more about the play, visit http://wattsd2.wix.com/rymandiaries.

###

Americana Fest: Last Day Features Incredible Sara Potenza at The Family Wash


By Wil Comstock
Music City Arts Contributing Writer

Sunday, Sept. 25  -- Last day of Americana Music Fest

The Sixth Annual Gospel Brunch
11 a.m. -- City Winery

Hosted by The McCrary Sisters. Featuring: Cece Winans, Lori McKenna, Bonnie Bishop, Sons of Bill, and Luke Bell.

I attended this show last year and really enjoyed myself.  I guess word really got around.  My heart sunk as MCA Editor Chuck Whiting and I approached City Winery... The line extended outside into the valet parking area. “They must be starting late like last year”, I told Chuck, not yet giving up hope.  But once I heard music start up, I knew the seats were all taken.  Soon a woman came out and told us they were going to try to get us all in on Standing Room Only.  But that wouldn’t be fun. I was hungry and had skipped breakfast so I could enjoy the chicken and waffles they were serving.  I got out my Americana Fest Guide and looked for plan B. 

Sunday Morning Coming Down
12 p.m. -- Fond Object Records
Featuring JP Harris, Tim Easton, and Ariel Bui

Pulling up, we soon realized that this was not a record company.  It was a vinyl record store with vintage clothes and antiques, housed in a vintage strip mall.  This place was funky, and I liked it.
The music was out back in the yard.  Things were just starting up.  I grabbed a vodka cocktail and sat on a cinder block to watch the first act who I had already determined was damn good.  Randolph, the guy behind me, said this was “Tim Easton, had you ever heard of him?”  I replied, “No, why hadn’t I?".  Easton is a suburban blues artist.  Virtuoso guitar and killer vocals.  This is one of those guys that really should have made it big.  He played a few more songs, and his set was finished.  I made a note to check this guy out later online.   At that moment, the Mas Tacos Por Favor food truck pulled up. I have been hearing great things about Mas Tacos for years but have never sampled their gastronomical delights. Here was my chance.  I ordered a Cuban Carne for me and a Quinoa Sweet Potato for Chuck.  These tacos were the bomb!  But it was time to catch the show in East Nashville that I had been waiting for…


Sunday School Hosted By Sarah Potenza 
2 p.m. -- The Family Wash
Featuring Mary Gauthier, Christine Ohlman, Lilly Hiatt, Kimberly Nichole, Meghan Linsey, and Sarah Potenza paying tribute to the Staples Singers, Mavis Staples, Mahalia Jackson, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

After being introduced to the incredible voice of Sarah Potenza on Thursday, there was no way I was going to miss this show.  We arrived 45 minutes early to find there were no seats left.  We got on the waiting list, and just before the show started, got a seat behind a closed window that looked across the room to the stage.  Not exactly what I had in mind!  I ordered a Yazoo Sour and a Camardo Sandwich, yum, and Chuck ordered the crispy Catfish Sandwich. Once host Potenza took the stage, I was on my feet elbowing through the crowd.  What a voice this woman has, a sultry alto that will make you weep.  Back in my seat finishing my sandwich and beer, I enjoyed the soulful Kimberly Nichole, followed by the refreshing Lilly Hiatt.  Unfortunately I had lost my pen and was unable to jot down what songs were sung by whom, and I can’t rely on my memory  ; ).  The great discovery, for me, of the show was Meghan Linsey!  All of these women were incredible vocalists, but Meghan had us all in the palm of her hand.  This woman drew water from the well and poured it all over the thirsty crowd. Phenomenal!  Back on my feet and inching my way to the front, I could touch special  guest, veteran Christine Ohlman (the Beehive Queen) who brought a smile, a whoop , and a holler to everyone in attendance.  Christine began as a lead vocalist for the Saturday Night Live band in 1991.  She has provided background vocals for the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Nils Lofgren and a host of others in her long career.  Inviting Potenza up to the stage to duet with her on the closing numbers sent my soul into the stratosphere.  Hallelujah! Sunday School has never been better than this!




Americana Fest: Bruce Hornsby Plays Dulcimer During Spectacular Show

By Wil Comstock
Music City Arts Contributing Writer



Bruce Hornsby and the Noise Makers
Thursday, Sept. 22 at  11 p.m. -- City Winery

High on the mercy and love from the “Mercyland’ show, I walked across town to catch Bruce Hornsby.  I was seated at a table with two other baby boomer gentlemen who had come alone.  We were a little perplexed as the stage was set for Hornsby’s show. Where is the piano!  What are all the dulcimers and the washboard doing up there?  We soon found out as Bruce and the Noise Makers took the stage.

Hornsby played dulcimer (there were three with different tunings) holding it upright in his lap.  Next to him sat the percussionist/washboard player extraordinaire, followed by the mandolin/fiddle player.  Behind them were the drum kit, which the percussionist used on a couple of songs, electric bassist, and the electric guitarist.  Form the first chords of “New Chair”, the sound was unmistakable Hornsby!  The rhythm patterns of Bruce strumming the dulcimers to the familiar Hornsby fills carried by the mandolin/fiddle player... the sound was all Bruce!   The man next to me commented that Bruce was beginning to look like FDR. Laughing, I told him he was right. 


I loved the Celtic arrangement of “Black Rats of London” and “M.I.A. in MIAMI”“Soon Enough” had me swaying and smiling.  Ricky Skaggs joined the band, playing mandolin for the rest of the set beginning with “Rehab Reunion”...  followed by the  fun “Who Do You Love”, the exquisite “Valley Road, and the classic “Pretty Polly”.  After Ricky entered, I leaned over to the guy next to me and said, “We not only have FDR, but now we have Ben Franklin”.  We all had a good laugh.

So what if I only got four hours of sleep that night!  This show was well worth sleep deprivation. The melodies are still running though my head carrying me through the day.       

Americana Fest: Tim O'Brien, Paul Burch, Shawn Colvin, and Steve Earle Create Lasting Memories

By Wil Comstock
Music City Arts Contributing Writer



Tuesday, September 20th at City Winery:


I decided to stay put for the first night of Americana Music Fest.  I wanted to save my strength for the late nights that lie before me. This evening turned out to have some pleasant surprises.   



Tim O’Brien,  8 p.m.


I was excited to see Tim O’Brien having enjoyed his solo efforts over the years.  Tim did not disappoint.  Tim kicked off with the toe tapping “Working” displaying his fiery finger work moving across the strings.  I loved the personal “Family History” and “Not Afraid of Dying” a song about his 96-year-old father, who had recently passed on.  I enjoyed the crowd-pleaser  “Chicken and Eggs” and the touching “The Water is Wise”.  Tim sang the  eternal “Go Down To the Water” off of Billy Bragg’s Mermaid Avenue, lyrics by Woody Guthrie with music by Bragg.  He ended his set with James Brown’s “Get Up Off of That Thing” to the delight of the hand clapping, foot stomping crowd.





Paul Burch,  9 p.m.


This was the surprise show of the night... I loved it!  Paul played through his latest album “Meridian Rising”, which tells the story of his hero Jimmy Rodgers.  This is an imagined musical autobiography.  Sounds a little crazy but Burch really pulled this off.  When Rodgers was growing up, Meridian was a railroad crossroads.  He was exposed to all of the current music of his day.  Burch takes these rhythms that the rails brought to Meridian and incorporates them into this project.  Burch’s vintage 1940 Gibson L-48 Sunburst was the perfect vehicle for these songs.  The blues of “Meridian” and “Cadillacin”  had me shaking my head in agreement.  “Black Lady Blues” was reminiscent of Django Reinhart.  The dirty wail of the alto sax and clarinet on “Gunter Hotel Blues” reminded me of vaudeville on a hot steamy night.  Surprise guest Billy Bragg  joined in on “If I Could Only Catch My Breath”, supported by a soaring clarinet.  This is a show I will not easily forget. 





Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle,  10 p.m.

I was a little skeptical how this pairing might work. But they turned out to share the same magic that worked vocally for Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, silk and sandpaper.  From the first chorus of  their co-write “Come What May”, I was hooked. Then they nailed one of my all time favorite songs, We Fives’ “You Were on My Mind”. Okay, I’m in heaven... it can’t get any better…  then Shawn introduced the Emmylou Harris-penned “Raise the Dead”. I’ve got a big smile listening to this one.  Next I hear the familiar words, “She would never say where she came from."  Shawn and Steve sounded like  “Ruby Tuesday” was written just for them... they owned it!  Steve delivered “Burnin’ It Down”, and Shawn countered with her hit “Sonny” as Earle backed her up on the bouzouki . Earle explained that he started to write “Tell Moses” when he was in Israel several years ago.  It is a song about heroes, first Moses, then Martin Luther King, and since there isn’t a hero in the forefront now, it’s about the people raising up and making their voice heard.  A great catchy spiritual song. They closed the evening with a song producer Buddy Miller’s wife Julie started and handed over to Shawn who added a verse and gave it to Earle who wrote the chorus. Shawn did not know the first verse was about Julie’s father’s death when she wrote the second verse about her dad’s passing. Earle knew none of this when he wrote the chorus to “You’re Still Gone”.  These tender and heartfelt vocals almost had me crying. 



Sam Bush,  11 p.m.


It was time to go home... couldn’t find the waitress so I could pay the bill.  I ended up leaving to the driving bluegrass of mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush. What an unforgettable night!