Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mike and Linda Curb Join Gail McDaniel for 'Building Bridges' Event in Franklin

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 2013) – Artist/instructor Gail McDaniel (center) welcomes student artist Linda Curb (right) and music industry professional Mike Curb to the "Building Bridges Through Art" exhibition and silent auction at CharacterEYES Boutique in downtown Franklin, Tenn. The Oct. 12 event helped raise more then $4,000 for the non-profit Bridges Domestic Violence center. The exhibition of original artwork will continue through Oct. 31 with an elaborate presentation of original watercolor paintings by McDaniel and student artists Chris Burns of Nashville; Linda Curb of Nashville; Judy Howell of Columbia, Tenn.; GiGi Mallory of Brentwood, Tenn.; Vikki Nordstrom of Nashville; Billie J. Osborne of Whites Creek, Tenn.; Iris Rotker of Franklin, Tenn.; Terri Tyler of Nashville; and Sandy Weddle of Nashville. The paintings feature breathtaking images of landscapes, animals and people using various watercolor painting techniques. Proceeds from art sales will benefit the Bridges Domestic Violence Center, a domestic abuse shelter in Franklin. Each artist is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of at least one painting. "Building Bridges Through Art" is part of an ongoing series of exhibitions established by CharacterEYES Eyecare and Optical. McDaniel, who lives in Franklin, has served as an associate member of the Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network in London, England. From 2001 to 2012, she helped raise more than $90,000 for the arts in area public schools through the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards". Workshops and classes led by McDaniel have drawn students from 36 states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the District of Columbia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea.  For more information about the exhibition, call (615) 599-1800.  To view Mcdaniel's artwork, visit (Photo By Chuck Whiting)


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Americana/Roots Artist Chris Beall to Celebrate 'The Gin Mill Hymns' with Austin Concert

By Scott Johnson
MCAU Assistant Editor

AUSTIN, Texas (November 2013) – Americana/Roots singer-songwriter Chris Beall will celebrate the release of his second solo CD, "The Gin Mill Hymns", with a special concert in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 7.

Beall self-produced the roots rock-oriented “The Gin Mill Hymns” and wrote five of the nine tracks. His musical style is often compared to artists such as Tom Petty, while his lyrics brim with Springsteen-like storytelling sensibility. The album, which is being distributed by Gin Mill Records, is now available at iTunes, Amazon, and other online music retailers.

“This album is me being comfortable with all these different facets of the Americana genre -- even the songwriting,” said Beall, whose album is airing on Americana-formatted radio stations across the nation. “With any human being, there are certain things we give up and certain ones we hold onto. There are times in our lives where maybe we traded something that we should have held onto. Later, we realize what the cost really was.”

The artist's imagery-filled musical stories "fit back together" music and family, creativity and making a living, life and religion, and whiskey and church. Beall says that he enjoys the juxtaposition of putting two unlike things together and creating beauty out of it. For example, gin mills are a slang term for bars, while hymns are sacred songs.

“I go after authenticity," he added. "In my stuff, most of the time you hear ideas that are accessible, approachable and authentic. I think part of what makes anything beautiful is the combination of the limitation and the accomplishment. The juxtaposition, side by side, makes it work. Part of the reality and the real beauty is lost in the quest to be perfect.”

 “The Gin Mill Hymns” is a deeply personal album, with songs such as “Half a World Away” illustrating defining moments in the artist’s life. Beall says he started out writing the song thinking about people that were far away from him. By the time he sat down to write the second verse, the song broadened into a way to express feelings about his brother’s death from cancer.

I think in analogies and am always processing something," noted the artist, who restored and sold a 1970s Corvette Stingray to finance the project. "I can’t remember a time when I didn't do that. If I’m not wandering or processing or asking some type of question, I’m not healthy.”

Beall is the son of a retired motorcycle racer from a small town in West Texas. He writes about his father’s career-ending crash and miraculous recovery in the song “Dug Down Deep”. The story resonated with him throughout life, but he finally decided to put it all on paper after his fellow songwriter friend Rodney Black moved away. He admits that the first section of the song was actually written about his friend and feeling stuck. As he wrote, there was a nagging feeling that a bigger story needed to be told, and that led to writing about the motorcycle accident.

Jimi Jean of “Jimi Jean’s Sounding Off on Sounds” says artists like Beall love making music.

Chris is the quintessential independent artist," Jean said. "I would probably go as far as to say that he is the poster child for the new ‘alternative music industry’ that has developed.”

“The Gin Mill Hymns” was engineered, mixed and produced by Beall. The multi-talented artist is featured on lead vocals; acoustic, electric, and baritone guitars; mandolin, banjo, and resonator. Rodney Black co-wrote several songs and is featured on electric and acoustic guitars, as well as lap steel. Scott Roberts plays electric and stand-up bass, while Gray LeGere can be heard on drums, percussion and background vocals.

Beall’s artistic journey began as a child growing up in Abilene, and he says music has always been a part of his life. At 6 years old, he was picking out four-part choral pieces to sing in church and recalls singing Air Supply songs with his mother as they drove around in their ‘70s station wagon. He began playing the guitar after he broke his ankle in a 1986 national championship BMX race. His two half brothers played the guitar and helped teach him chords.

He began playing professionally for regional acts in the ‘90s. In 1996, he moved to Nashville, Tenn., where he produced independent artists and signed a development deal with Millennium Records. By 2000, he was back in Austin working as a sound system designer and recording engineer, collaborating with artists such as Citizen Cope, Augustana, and Aqualung.

Beall made the decision to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter in 2008. He released his first folk-oriented solo CD, “Brand New World”, two years later and toured China as part of the Austin Sound Exchange.

Beall’s second release, “The Gin Mill Hymns”, is distributed by Gin Mill Records in Austin and available at online music retailers, including Amazon and iTunes. Upcoming promotional activities include a television appearance on “Songwriters Across Texas.” The project is being promoted to radio nationally by Nashville-based Bill Wence Promotions. The artist is represented by LeGere Productions and Whiting Publicity & Promotions.

He will celebrate the album's release with a special concert from 7-10 p.m. Nov. 7 (Thursday) at Threadgill's, 201 W. Riverside Drive in Austin. Admission is free.

To learn more about Chris Beall or his new album, “The Gin Mill Hymns,” call (512) 293-6705, send an e-mail message to, or visit or


Monday, October 7, 2013

Arts Town Travel: Tynette Lynch Joins Aldridge Gardens as Chief Executive Officer

      BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 2013) -- Tynette Lynch, a 26-year hospitality veteran and founder of Hospitality Business Solutions Inc., has been named Chief Executive Officer of Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, Ala.

     In her new role, Lynch will be responsible for all operations of the gardens while creating an awareness of the popular Birmingham area attraction to tourists throughout the Southeast. Aldridge Gardens once was the home of Eddie Aldridge, a noted nurseryman who discovered and patented the acclaimed Snowflake Hydrangea. The 30-area woodland garden is known for its many varieties of hydrangeas, camellias and other native Alabama plants.

     "I'm delighted to join Aldridge Gardens as its Chief Executive Officer," said Lynch, who served as general manager of the award-winning Wynfrey Hotel from 2007-2009. "The attraction offers a serene garden setting with multiple venues for weddings and social events, as well as corporate meetings and outside activities."

     Aldridge Gardens features an event venue and gallery in the Aldridge couple's former home, an outdoor pavilion, a six-acre lake, and a half-mile walking trail. The Gardens also stages a wide range of public events throughout the year, including plant sales, art exhibits and shows, classes and seminars, bird walks, fishing days, and concerts. The attraction is open daily to the public from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit

     Lynch founded Hospitality Business Solutions in 2003. The Birmingham native took leave from her company in 2005 to become the Wynfrey Hotel's director of sales and marketing. She was promoted to general manager in 2007. The Wynfrey won the AAA "Four Diamond Award" each year of her tenure.

     Hospitality Business Solutions, which is located in Birmingham, offers a wide range of consulting services to hospitality-related businesses, including customer service training, hotel pre-openings, franchise compliance, sales and marketing, event planning, and team coaching. Her firm has served hotel brands such as Comfort Inn, Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, and Sheraton Four Points, as well as several private-brand casino hotels.

     Before founding Hospitality Business Solutions, Lynch was general manager for the Mountain Brook Inn and the Holiday Inn Homewood in Alabama. She began her hospitality career in 1987 as a sales manager for the Mountain Brook Inn. The following year, she won the property's "Sales Director of the Year Award" after being promoted to director of sales and marketing.

     Lynch has held prominent leadership positions and received awards from a wide range of organizations in business, government, hospitality and tourism.

     She currently serves as chair of the Alabama Tourism Partnership and the Alabama Travel Council. She also serves on the Advisory Board of the Alabama Department of Tourism, and the boards of the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance and the Central Alabama Hospitality and Business Association. She is the former chair and a current board member of the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.

     In 2009, Lynch received the "Award of Excellence" from the Alabama Travel Council for outstanding leadership and dedication to the tourism industry. In 1996, she earned a Certified Hospitality Administrator (CHA) designation through the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

     Aldridge Gardens is located approximately 11 miles south of downtown Birmingham off Interstate 459 at 3530 Lorna Road in Hoover, Ala. For more information about staging an event or visiting the Gardens, call (205) 682-8019, send an e-mail inquiry to, or visit


Sorority Helps United States Blind Golf Association Land 177 New Partners

By Chuck Whiting
MCAU Editor

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 2013) – Members of Delta Gamma Sorority at the University of Memphis are changing the lives of blind and visually impaired golfers around the world.

            A telephone campaign by coeds volunteering their time helped the United States Blind Golf Association single-handedly land 177 new partners, making it more possible to stage national and regional tournaments, junior golf clinics, and Hall of Fame inductions for blind athletes.

            "It is the first time a university-based organization has volunteered to support the USBGA," said Survey Chair Diane Wilson, 2013 USBGA Ladies Division National Champion.

            Former USBGA President David Meador noted that the "high-flying" results occurred when the coeds manned phones between classes during a very busy week in April. Thanks to their efforts, the organization has boosted its mailing list for the Midnight Golfer Partners Quarterly newsletter, while landing national exposure and resources. The newsletter tells the organization's story with heartfelt articles and photos about the world of blind golf.
            "We are very proud of what Delta Gamma has done," Meador added. "Their philanthropic work brought unprecedented support -- a life-changing development for our members, as well as other aspiring blind golfers across the United States, Canada and Europe."

            The United States Blind Golf Association was founded in 1953 by blind golfer and lawyer Bob Allman.  Today, the 501(c)3 organization conducts three annual tournaments and holds more than a dozen clinics for blind and vision-impaired children through its junior blind golf program. The USBGA also has a Hall of Fame that honors legendary players and contributing organizations.

            "Every place we go, people tell us they had no idea blind people could play golf," said USBGA President Jim Baker of Hermitage, Tenn.  "Playing national and international championships gives us the great opportunity to break stereotypes and demonstrate the power of partnership and doing what most might consider impossible.

            To make participation in the blind golf tournaments possible, the organizing committee has to raise more than $40,000 annually from businesses, organizations and individuals. The funds pay for the players' green fees, lodging, and meals.

            "Yes, we're about golf, but what we're really about is demonstrating for adults and children alike that absolutely nothing's impossible through partnership," Meador noted.

            For more information about the USBGA National Championship tournament or to sign up to receive the Midnight Golfer Partners Quarterly newsletter, call (615) 385-0784, send an email inquiry to, or visit

Amy Allen's 'Someday Is Today' Hits Top 30 of STS Main Country Chart

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (November 2013) – Country-pop-Americana artist Amy Allen's new single, "Someday Is Today", recently hit the Top 30 of the Spin Tracking System Main Country Chart.

            In related news, the single also has landed in the Top 20 of the STS Country Indie Chart. The song, which is airing on approximately 100 radio stations across the United States, received almost 1,000 "spins" in one week.

            "I'm thrilled to see my song, 'Someday Is Today', climbing the singles charts," said Allen, who is represented by Bill Wence Promotions, Whiting Publicity and Promotions, and Music City Artist Management. "We recently had a wonderful CD release party and concert in Nashville, and we're looking forward to playing a host of music venues in the coming year."

            The singer-songwriter has performed at venues ranging from the White House to the Ryman Auditorium. Her new album, "Someday Is Today", features 11 original songs inspired by real-life experiences. The artist describes her sound as a versatile mix of blues-accented country, pop and Americana with hints of Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Elton John, and Patsy Cline. She has opened for country acts such as John Conlee, Patty Loveless, and Brooks & Dunn. The album was named "New and Noteworthy" on the iTunes country music page when it was officially released on Sept. 24.

            Recorded in Nashville, "Someday Is Today" offers heartfelt ballads, mid-tempo crowd pleasers, and rock-accented dance numbers. Allen is joined by an all-star cast of Nashville session musicians, including guitarist Scott Neubert, background vocalists Jaimee Paul and Vickie Carrico, electric guitarist Jason Roller, and keyboardist Steve Peffer. The album, which retails for $15, is distributed by Wormwood Records. Selections from the album are available at iTunes and other online retailers.

            For more information about the CD or booking Allen for an upcoming event, call (870) 918-4403, send an email message to, or mail correspondence to Wormwood Records, 736 Bodenhamer Drive, El Dorado, AR 71730. To learn more about the artist, visit Media and management-related inquiries may be directed to or by calling (615) 423-9857.