Sunday, May 31, 2009
What a fun night playing with the FolklahomaAppalachi-Groovetrain at a very hip venue called the Fiddle & Pick. The Fiddle & Pick is a school, a performance hall and musical heritage institute - all rolled up into one. With it's spacious main room, with wood floors - it's great place to play and listen to music. Think of it as a big living room concert. To make it even more fun - it was my birthday tonight. It's been awhile since I've had a gig on my actual Birthday - pretty cool!
We met at the farm for a pre-show rehearsal around 4pm. We had several new songs and new arrangements worked up, so it was nice to solidify these just before the show. We arrived at the venue around 6pm. for load-in and sound-check. The show was produced by our friends Marilee and Chip Chipoletti of Chipstar Music. Chip ran sound tonight and made it easy for us.
We had a nice crowd, a great combination of my family, old friends and folks who had never seen us before. Everyone was enthusiastic and gave us the extra energy we needed to really crank up the show.
Half way through the show everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to me. My folks brought in a bunch of cupcakes and Will McJ (our drummer)gave me my birthday present, "an electronic whoopee cushion" - that will come in quite handy on the road with this band!
We did a 90 minute show that seemed like it only lasted about 5 minutes. We ended with the big sing-along, "Stars in Their Eyes" and had the crowd sing it acapella back to us for the finale chorus - a perfect ending to the show.
We all met back at Kim & Devon's farm after the show for a few hours. Some of us made it back to the farm before others of us did - as others of us got pulled over by the Kingston Springs cops in their favorite little speed trap! No, as hard as it is to believe - it wasn't me this time!
All in all a great birthday, a great time with friends and family and always a ball playing music with the groovetrain.
Read Wendy V's Blg about the night
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The FoklahomaAppalachi-Groovetrain headed back down to Centerville, TN last Saturday to headline a benefit concert for the Hickman County Humane Society. The gig was held at a great local venue on the square called The Farmhouse Cellar Dinner Theater. Will and Mark headed down a little early to set up the drums and the stage. Our new friend Damon Wherry(a Centerville Musician) was slated to run sound and helped us pull things together.
The band sound checked about 6pm. and then headed upstairs to the restaurant for a nice pre-show dinner. The dining room was long and narrow, with high, wood ceilings, old wood floors and a great, old country store vibe to it.
The show kicked off just after 7pm. downstairs in the Cellar Dinner Theater. We had a strong turn-out. Everyone was enthusiastic about the music and the cause. The event was spearheaded by a wonderfully passionate supporter named Charlotte Staggs,but had a lot of volunteers were there to make it all happen. It was inspiring to be around folks who not only love and value animals, but put their money and their labor where their mouths are. Animal care and animal rights have been a principal charity for the band as well as all of us individually. It was quite meaningful for us to support a community's growing efforts at protect and care for the animals in their county. We were thrilled to raise nearly $3,000 that night!
Thanks to Charlotte Staggs, Damon Wherry and the Farmhouse Cellar Dinner Theater for making it all possible.
The FolklahomaAppalachi-Groovetrain headed down to Centerville, TN to KIX-96 Radio to promote their upcoming Saturday night show benefitting the Humane Society of Hickman County.
Kix-96 is located just a few blocks off the city square, in a small 4 room building. They are known for their focus on traditional country music, as well as local sports and news. They are a great, independently run station with their own playlists and programming control. Those kinds of stations are very important to us indie artists, and so far have been very welcoming.
Mickey & Sheila Bunn were great hosts. Mickey interviewed us for about 20 minutes and played Kim’s new single. We finished off the show by playing “Bye Bye Baby Jane” and “Cracks in the Concrete” live.
One other important aspect of this station is the Saturday morning, live concert series they produce called the Grinder's Switch Hour. It is an Opry-type music show held in the Grinder’s Switch Center (hometown of Minnie Pearl), just down the road. The FolklahomaAppalachi-Groovetrain is slated to be the featured guests on that show on October 10th.
Thanks again to Mickey & Sheila for all their support!
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Had a great little gig tonight, just a mile from the house at the famed Norm’s River Roadhouse. Norm’s has become quite the beacon for songwriters, bluegrass bands and roots music in Nashville. With it’s basement, stone walls and old time hootenanny feel – it’s a great room for performer and listener alike.
Tonight I put together a trio show with my friends Cary Stone and Aaron Till. They are both fabulous instrumentalists and songwriters and singers to boot. Cary and I met years ago writing for Alabama’s publishing company called Maypop Music Group. We’ve canoed Canadian waters, wrote songs and now doing some shows together. He plays guitar for Mark Chesnutt, but really shines on his own as a player, artist and writer. My friend Aaron Till is a virtuoso player on the fiddle and mandolin, having played for everyone under the sun. Tonight he also stepped out front and did some of his own songs, really adding to the night.
Most of my life as an artist has been a solo, road warrior – troubadour type. As much as I’ve enjoyed that life, the nights I get to play music in a band (whether it’s in my old duo Culley & Elliott, The FolklahomaAppalachi-Groovetrain or in this trio with Cary and Aaron) really brings me an energy and joy for the music that’s hard to feel after so many years travelling solo.
Many thanks to the crowd tonight. I always worry about drawing a crowd mid-week in Nashville (the hardest city to draw crowds) but it was a nice full night! We had the perfect combination of old friends, other musicians and new fans. Their energy helped us put on a real fun show (we were having a blast anyway) and I look forward to working with those guys again.
Check out Wendy V's blog about the night.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I’m not usually up this early (6:30am) especially on Sundays, but I’m up and headed to do a radio show at WRFN, just outside Nashville. My friend Wendy V runs her “Never Too Old” show from 8-9am. on Sunday mornings and invited me on to talk about music and play a little bit.
Radio Free Nashville is a LP (low power) FM station located up in the hills of Pasquo, just west of Nashville. It’s a beautiful drive up McCrory Lane to get there – even passed a few dear on my way. The station runs several music programs plus a whole bunch good independent talk and issue programs (the lefty political fare that I love anyway)!
Wendy was already there when I arrived at 7:30am. She is more the professional morning person than I, but I was proud to have both eyes open and speaking intelligibly by the time I got there.
We spent most of the hour talking about the role music has played in my life and those that have influenced me along the way. It’s nice to be interviewed by someone who not only has done their homework about your music but someone so enthusiastic about music and musicians in general. Sometimes a radio show can be so dry and uncomfortable that it never seems to end and then other times like today, it seems to go by all too quickly.
I have had several radio show appearances in the last few months, both big and small, in country and out of country. My appearance at UVA-Radio in VA helped to fill the room I played in Charlottesville and the same was true of all the UK-BBC Radio I did. We had many people come up to us saying, “I heard you on the radio and now I’m here”. What a great reminder of how powerful radio can be and that it is not just for the major artists and focus grouped – playlists.
Here’s hoping all of you heard the show and will turn out to some gigs, especially my birthday gig with the FolklahomaAppalachi-Groovetrain May 30th. At the Fiddle and Pick in Pegram TN – 7:30pm.
Thanks so much to Wendy V for having me on the radio today. Here is an MP3 of the show if you didn’t hear it live. To read more about this show and many others produced by Wendy V, check out her blog site at the link below.
WFRN RADIO SHOW MP3 (128) - 5/17/09
FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ WENDY V'S BLOG ABOUT THIS SHOW: Never Too Old with Wendy V: 5/17/09 Blog/Playlist: In-studio guest Mark Elliott