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'Tin Pan South' Displays Brilliance and Partying on Third Night
'TIN PAN SOUTH' REPORT
Day Three: March 27 (Thursday)
"Tin Pan South" continues to fill Nashville's music venues with song, drawing
thousands of music lovers from across the nation. Covering shows for MCAU on
Thursday night (Day Three) were reporters Scott Johnson and Wil Comstock. They
decided to take in the 6 p.m. show at Douglas Corner(featuring Rob Crosby,
James Dean Hicks, Angela Kaset, and Allen Shamblin); and the 6 p.m. show at the
Rutledge (featuring Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby, and Luke Laird).
March 27 (Thursday):
DOUGLAS CORNER (Early
There is something
remarkable about Douglas Corner Café. At first glance, it seems like just
another tiny music venue, but when you walk inside, you notice it has the “It
factor.” It’s dimly lit interior with lamps hanging low establish a certain
ambience that is rarely duplicated. This would be a great place to take a date
but only if they were ready to listen and enjoy. The songwriters were gathered
in the middle of the room at eye level. No stage was needed, as this was an
intimate performance. It felt like you were having a group of talented
songwriters over to hang in your living room for a jam session.
The room was packed
with creative energy. In fact, over half of the room admitted to being songwriters
themselves. Special guests in the audience included legendary album producer
Jerry Crutchfield (Tanya Tucker, Lee Greenwood) and Hugh Prestwood
Shamblin, Hicks, Kaset and Crosby
The songwriters took
turns in the round playing some of their most popular hits and telling the
stories behind the music. A true highlight was hearing Hall of Fame songwriter
Allen Shamblin talk about the iconic Bonnie Raitt hit “I Can’t Make You Love
Me.” The lyrics ache with such vulnerability, and I’d easily put it in my Top 5
best written songs of all time. Shamblin happily shared the spotlight with
16-year-old songwriter Athena Koumanelis of Nashville. Shamblin said he met the
teen before the show, and she mentioned that the song was one of her favorites
to sing live. Koumanelis did a brilliant job singing and playing keyboards. The
performance reflected the spirit of "Tin Pan South" – songwriters
included Miranda Lambert’s CMA Song of the Year “The House That Built Me.” The
room was nearly silent as he performed the gorgeous song. He also achieved the
same effect while performing the Randy Travis hit “He Walked on Water.” During
the performance, he gave advice to aspiring songwriters.
Allen Shamblin congratulates
advice is to pray. Ask God for a good idea. I believe God’s got all the good
ideas,” he said.
Kaset also had an incredible set of songs. She thanked producer Jerry
Crutchfield for taking a chance on her, admitting that her style is a bit
different for Nashville. Her voice was reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and Carole
King; therefore, I was immediately won over! Some of the biggest applause of
the night came during her performance of the Lorrie Morgan hit “Something in
Red.” Kaset’s feminism came into play several times during the night. “Against
My Own Will” had a wonderful line about it being time to “woman up!” and “Peace
in This House” (Wynonna) talked of balancing the demands of being a mother and
night in Music City isn’t complete without a special guest or two. The
songwriters called Hugh Prestwood to the stage, and he indulged the crowd by
telling stories about how record producer Clive Davis turned down the hit
“Ghost in My House” (Shenandoah, Alison Krauss).
James Dean Hicks and Rob Crosby provided humor and infectious enthusiasm during
the night by joking about guitar solos gone wrong. Hicks performed the moving
“Jesus and Mama” (Confederate Railroad), the #1 hit “Goodbye Time” (Conway
Twitty and Blake Shelton), and “Grandpa Told Me So (Kenny Chesney). Hicks
admitted that a lot of his inspiration comes from driving and told a great
story about being persistent to achieve your dreams. Hicks said he always
wanted Merle Haggard to sing one of the lines to his songs, and he achieved
that during a Blaine Larsen recording session. Crosby also had plenty of hits
to play, including a gorgeous rendition of “Concrete Angel” (Martina McBride)
that included out-of-this-world harmonies from the entire
group. He had the biggest groove of the night with “Mile Out of Memphis.” He
explained that he co-wrote the tune with the legendary Carl Perkins, and that
Carl lifted him up during a dark time of his life. The song was recorded with
Paul Simon on his last duets CD.
Angela Kaset and James Dean Hicks
was a "Tin Pan South" show I’ll never forget, and now I have a new
favorite musical venue. Thanks to Douglas Café Corner for a great night and
fantastic atmosphere. Go see these amazing songwriters if you get a chance. You
won’t regret it.
-- Scott Johnson, MCAU
THE RUTLEDGE (Early
had decided to cover the TPS show featuring Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby, Luke
Laird and band.
turned out to be the "Happy Hour Show"... drinking and party songs
with a thundering backup band. Working both full-time and part-time jobs,
plus covering "Tin Pan South", I was looking forward to the kind
of show Luke Laird put together last year with Natalie Hemby and Brett
Eldridge: Three writers, three guitars and three wonderful voices whose every
word I could hear. I was in for a surprise.
kicked off the party with the Toby Keith hit “Drinks After Work”, a song she
penned with Laird and Dean. Barry Dean sang the uncut “Day Drinking”, a
fun number with a catchy riff that he taught the audience to whistle on the
chorus. We all sang along with Laird on the chorus of “Drink in my Hand”, the
Eric Church single he wrote with Eric and Michael P. Heeney. We were also
treated to Dean’s “Mix it with Rum” and the Thomas Rhett cut “Sorry for
Partying”, a song inspired by one of Rhett’s crew who arrived late to the bus
one night feeling way too good and looking for a fight.
introduced us to her lovely co-writer, Maren Morris, who joined her on the
beautifully haunting ballad, “Who Told You There Was No Way Out” and the upbeat
“Automatic”. Another highlight was Luke’s “Beat This Summer”, last
year’s huge hit for Brad Paisley that he wrote with Paisley and Chris Dubois.
Natalie Hemby and Luke Laird
when you first came to town and got shushed at the Bluebird for talking during
a song? No problem at this show. The back-up guitar god was playing
riffs while the writers were introducing their songs. And if you spoke to your
neighbor during one of the performances, so what? No one seemed to
mind... ‘cause this was a party!