Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tin Pan South: Frank Rogers, Ben Glover, Kellie Pickler, and Kyle Jacobs Bring Fun to Third & Lindsley

By Wil Comstock
Music City Arts Contributing Writer 

Wednesday, March 29 -- 9 p.m. Show at Third & Lindsley -- Frank Rogers, Ben Glover, Kellie Pickler, and Kyle Jacobs with Dave Baker on guitar.

       This was a fun show! The banter and exchange between the writers on stage was worth the price of admission. They had me laughing all night while listening to superb vocals and well-crafted lyrics.

       Frank Rogers: Music business executive, producer, and writer. Frank is one of the most successful guys in the business. He began with his Darius Rucker hit “Thank God for What I’ve Missed” telling us that if he didn’t have to stop at that light out in LA one morning, the song wouldn’t have been written. He missed the light and wrote the song!  I enjoyed hearing him play his Brad Paisley hit “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)." It always brings a smile to my face.  Rogers performed a medley that included Paisley’s “Who Needs Pictures," “Me Neither,"  “Swing," Rucker’s “History In the Making,” and Granger Smith’s “Backroad Song”. Whew! Frank said he and Darius had set out to write a positive song... the last song they wrote was about divorce. They had gone out to eat with their wives and started the song. Darius ended the session saying his knee was killing him, and promised to finish the song with Rogers the next day. The following day, Rucker called saying, “I’m in the hospital with a staff infection in my knee.” Eight months later, they were at Rucker’s home in South Carolina. They picked up working on the song and heard a crash… The girl next door accidently slid her huge aquarium off of a dresser, and it crashed into her face. She needed surgery. Frank said it evidently takes eight surgeries, four for Darius and four for the girl next door, to write a positive song! With that, Rogers launched into Darius’ #1, “Alright." Frank closed with his 2017 Crappy Award-winning song, the off-color “Playing Possum,” which he swore was about animals. Hmmm… with a line like “her beaver’s playing possum,” I’m supposed to believe that?
       Ben Glover: Grammy-Award winning songwriter and producer from a small city on the edge of the Rocky Mountains. Glover moved to Nashville in 2000, originally getting his start as an artist. He has penned 26 number one hits in multiple genres and was named ASCAP’s Christian Songwriter of the Year in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He kicked off with Lee Brice’s hit, “Show You Off Tonight,” which he wrote with stage-mate Kyle Jacobs. I loved his “Beautiful Messes,” which he co-rote with Hillary Scott, who recorded the song. My favorite line: “Don't forget God used the misfits just like us to do the most amazing things." Ben said he was at a session with Billy Montana and John Ozier and explained, "We thought we’d write a classic song about dudes saying, ‘You know, I’m kind of a pain in the ass.’ We said, ‘Let’s just talk about ourselves in the song.'" The result was the Lee Brice top-five “Hard to Love," which was produced by Kyle Jacobs. Glover wrote his last number with David Crowder and Matt Maher. He gave a stirring performance on the worshipful “Come As You Are."
       Kellie Pickler: Reality show star, recording artist, songwriter, and wife of Kyle Jacobs! Pickler rose to fame on the fifth season of American Idol, finishing in sixth place. She was raised by her grandmother and great-grandmother because her parents were in and out of prison. Writer Billy Montana asked her to talk about her life, and she told him about her great-grandmother, Selma, who never had a driver’s license, didn’t believe in bank accounts, and out-lived her husband by 40 years. She was a simple woman. Billy told Kellie, that is our song right there, and together they wrote “Selma Drye." After Kellie finished performing, husband Kyle said, “That was a goodin'.”  Kellie laughed and pointed out that Kyle’s Minnesota mother was a proper English teacher. The jokes went back and forth, with Kellie imitating Kyle’s mother, to which Kyle said, “When you do that, it takes sex totally out of the equation,” which brought the house down. Kellie told how she and Leslie Ann Satcher got together for a writing session but only talked. Satcher went home and wrote “Tough” for Kellie, and it became the first single on her album 100 Proof. Kellie later said, "Leslie really gets me." Pickler and her husband Kyle were joined by Dave Baker on guitar. Dave sat between them and was the brunt of many of their jokes. Most of them being Kellie’s mock jealously of Dave and her husband’s bromance. Dave, ever the straight man, just sat there and rolled his eyes as Kellie and Kyle sipped whiskey and cut up in between songs. For her next song, Kellie chose the Chris Lindsey, Amy Mayo, and Karyn Rochelle-penned “Don't You Know You're Beautiful." Great message, great delivery! Pickler closed with a song she, Chris Lindsey, Amy Mayo, and Karyn Rochelle wrote about Pickler’s ex boyfriend, the sassy “Red High Heels." Pickler was quick to mention, “It is not about Kyle... It was before Kyle."

       Kyle Jacobs: Producer, songwriter, guitarist, and husband of Kellie Pickler. Kyle’s first number was written with Joe Leathers and Ruston Kelly. They had all played the Bluebird that night and went back to Kyle’s afterwards. His wife, Kellie, was out of town. He lit some candles, poured some drinks, and reflectively said, “Nashville wasn’t Nashville without her (Kellie).” Keeping that in mind, they began to throw out country greats who made Nashville what it is today. Soon, the Tim McGraw cut “Nashville Without You” was born. When Kellie was on Dancing With The Stars, they didn’t get to see each other much. Kyle would write songs for Kellie and send them to her. One of them was the heartbreaking “Spend a Little Time with You." As Lee Brice’s producer, Jacobs listened to 100’s of songs. One of them was written by three writers who were inspired after seeing the father of a soldier, who was killed going into harms way to save others, being interviewed on television. The host asked him how he got through it, to which the father replied, “I drive his truck." Kyle gave a memorable performance on the Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, and Jimmy Yeary-penned number. Jacobs closed with the song that changed his life, the Garth Brooks mid-tempo ballad  “More Than A Memory," which he wrote with Billy Montana and Lee Brice.
       I love shows like this where the writers know each other and are comfortable enough to cut up and rag on each other. It always makes for an enjoyable and memorable performance.  

       Tin Pan South continues through April 1. To see the show schedule, visit

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