Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tin Pan South: It 'Wasn't' Just Another Night in 'Nashville'

Just Another Night in "Nashville"

The Country

Thursday Night (Late Show)

Report from MCAU Editor Chuck Whiting

         Every year, Music City Arts Network's team heads out to the various clubs for "Tin Pan South". This year was better than ever, celebrating the works and accomplishments of legendary songwriters and emerging professionals who are on the verge of something special. We've already posted details about four shows. Here are highlights of "Just Another Night in 'Nashville'.

Songwriters share tunes they wrote for the TV show "Nashville". (Photo by Chuck Whiting)

         It was packed to the gills at The Country as songwriters and actors for the popular TV show took the stage. The fun camaraderie and outstanding performances lifted our musical senses to a new level.

         Fred Wilhelm kicked things off with the upbeat "Little Victories", followed by the Faith Hill cut "Dearly Beloved" ("not" meant for newlyweds), and the ticking-time-bomb song "Got Me Thinking Like a Criminal". He closed with a moving tribute song to his parents, "I Don't Want to Lose You" (with beautiful, heartfelt vocals). His dad died two years ago.

Fred Wilhelm (Photo by Chuck Whiting)
         Sarah Siskind started out with one of her oldest songs, "Keeps Me Alive". Wynonna recently discovered the aching, bluesy number for a new album. So far, Sarah has contributed 18 songs to "Nashville". "It's been an oasis for me to have my songs listened to, appreciated and integrated into the story," she told the audience. Her soaring vocals and introspective, well-written tunes prompted "oohs and aahs" after every performance.

Sarah Siskind banters with the audience. (Photo by Chuck Whiting)
         What can you say about Charles Esten that hasn't already been told or written. He is a true showman who relishes in the spotlight with amiable charm, expert vocals, and excellent songs. He showed his love for traditional country (and Johnny Cash) with "Cold, Cold Comfort", a tune he co-wrote with Gary Nicholson. Charles decided to pursue acting stints first, reasoning that would eventually lead him to songwriting. He ended his set with "Don't Cry Alone", a song dedicated to the grandparents who helped raise him (with the memorable line, "He don't give us more than we can carry.")

Charles Esten (Photo by Chuck Whiting)
         The Stellas (Brad and Marylynne) brought Canadian-rooted warmth and laughs, along with rich vocal harmonies. Mom and dad put on quite a show, delighting the audience with "It Wouldn't Be This" (encouraging us to believe in our talents) and "One of Us is Crazy" (about an eccentric relationship). Their daughters Lennon and Maisy took the stage for a closing number. Then everyone joined in on "A Life That's Good" (showing appreciation for what we have).

The Stellas (Photo by Chuck Whiting)
         Afterwards, dozens of fans of all ages gathered around the stage to meet or catch a glimpse of the stars who contributed to the TV show. It "wasn't" just another night in "Nashville".

         Music City Arts Network is posting coverage and tweeting out messages about this year's Tin Pan South songwriting festival. Follow us and Please share your TPS experiences with us.

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