Saturday, September 29, 2007

Music Row Mixer

This month I attended another monthly music industry get-together. The Music Row Mixer takes place on the last Thursday of the month from 4-6 p.m. at The Longshot Sports Bar, located in the same Music Row strip as Tin Roof and other places. Like Doak Turner's 3rd Sunday gathering, you'll see many singer-songwriters and perhaps a few music business people...except at this event, no one's playing. It's a networking social often leading to co-writes among those attending. Very tasty wraps, wings, pizza, and free drinks are courtesy of SunTrust Bank. If you're on the shy side, no worries--people are very friendly, just have a seat and you'll find someone to chat and network with in no time. For me, it was another "small world" event--I met someone related to a musician I know in Minnesota and I also met the NSAI coordinator in Minneapolis.

The first mixer was in February. Some of the people attending the event included Gary Hannan (Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off – Joe Nichols), Tony Stampley (writer of several Hank Jr. cuts and son of music legend Joe Stampley), and Rich Furtner of DISCMAKERS. Some came from Charlotte, NC, Green Bay, WI and Australia, along with many other locals of the Nashville music community. Host Jeff Jones from SunTrust Bank and Derek Sanders of SunTrust also attended the event.

(Thanks, Doak, for the additional background information!)

Monday, September 17, 2007


Technically not a Nashville event, but one that does bring together many artists based here: I had the opportunity to attend the National Quartet Convention in Louisville KY for three days. For those unfamiliar, it's the big annual event that brings together a multitude of Southern Gospel music artists, music industry folks, and fans. As it has changed with the times, it's not just for quartets. You'll find soloists, trios and mixed groups among the artists.

I was there to work a booth so I didn't get the chance to hear as much music as I normally would have. However, these three days afforded me a great learning opportunity as to how things happen in the music world. As I noted in my most recent "Ponderings" post about my "birthday concert" featuring Buddy Greene and Gordon Mote, most fans who enjoy a music event on the surface level probably have not much idea of just what goes into the making of an event. Indeed, the same applies to the product tables which are an integral part of NQC. I learned that it's not as simple as unpacking CDs and putting them out on a table. Behind the scenes there are decisions about what to bring and how much, how to best display items, loading up and tearing down efficiently and how to hang in there when you're on your feet on a concrete floor for 8 or so hours.

For a play by play of NQC, I refer you to search the many Southern Gospel blogs and websites out there. But here are a few personal highlights of mine:
- Finally meeting some of the artists and industry people in person that I got acquainted with on MySpace or other cyberspace means.
- Mark Lowry and LordSong wowing the crowd on Friday evening and getting some glowing reviews.
- "Pianorama" on Saturday afternoon (the only music event I was able to attend in full). My favorites: Roy Webb, formerly of Signature Sound, off to a great start in launching a solo career and earning a standing ovation. I finally got to hear Kim Collingsworth, and fully got why there's such a big buzz for her piano playing. She was incredible.

Yeah, I'm thinking about going back next year.