Saturday, August 29, 2009

3rd Home Happenings

If the Commodore Grille is my "second home", then the area of Pegram/Kingston Springs has to be my third. Pegram is, as many know, the home of Fiddle and Pick and its great old-time and acoustic music programs, and Friends of Pegram Park writers nights. In the early part of this year, I was led to Kingston Springs via Red Tree Coffee and its great music lineup and homey atmosphere. I discovered that the area had its own very rich music scene going on and met more people who kindly took me into the fold and accepted me as one of their own.

I had a last minute invite this past Friday to go to the Just Plain Folks awards shows. Since I was a judge for the JPF awards process for the better part of a year, I ordinarily would have gone, and at first thought perhaps I should. But I had made other plans. Sometimes you need to be at the smaller bashes, and those many times end up having a more important impact.

I had no doubt that whoever showed up to play at Jon Conley's birthday bash at Red Tree Coffee would be musically awesome. Jon is an extraordinary guitarist, singer and songwriter, husband and brother in law respectively to Red Tree co-owners Katie and Amy, and dad to an up and coming budding teen talent, Savannah Conley (who he called "his future retirement fund"). I think he's right about that. As I noted the last time I heard Savannah sing, you could hardly hear a pin drop in the audience. She had the audience on background vocals for an acapella song she wrote, "Tick Tock", which was quite remarkable.

Some of the others who entertained were a few of the members of Calico Trail (including Jon and brother in law Cole Bruce, drummer David Racine), guitarist Todd Woolsey, Linda McRae (performing at Red Tree on September 11), singer/songwriter/keyboardist Vic White of the Pitchmen (a group I raved about last time they played here), the duo Carolina Story, Chelsea Bills, a singer from Paragould, Arkansas (who was a huge hit with the folks who were sitting with me!) and sisters Amy and Katie themselves. All these people just tore it up in a packed house.
I have more or less become an "honorary resident" of Pegram. Thanks to the Fiddle and Pick writers nights, Facebook and my WRFN DJ friends T.J. Kirby, Steve Haggard and Kimberly King, I've come to know many of the folks who are active in the Pegram community and have made me feel a part of it all. In fact, I'm now part of the Pegram Special Events Commmittee. One of the events we're doing is a series of concerts in Pegram Park. The series kicked off last week with the band Alchemy 3 and Ronnie Lee Twist and the Future Cats. Ronnie is a rockabilly enthusiast and a very solid entertainer.

This past Saturday's show featured the band Craggie Hope, who were victims of a thunderstorm during the 4th of July festivities and forced to shorten their set then. This time, the weather cooperated and they had lots of time to entertain the families who turned out to hear them and enjoy the park. In between sets, T. J. emceed a segment for the kids, getting them up and dancing and hula hooping. Yours truly got in on the act as the music spinner (once I figured out how the boombox worked) and "Action Kid dancer" (Remember them? I always wanted to be one). The rest of the schedule:
Sept. 12 - Caught Looking Back
Sept. 19 - Pipe Dream
All shows run 7-10 p.m. in Pegram Park--cheap eats and great fun.

I love this town, and all three of my homes.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

9/9/09--coming soon!

So what is so special about this date besides it being 9/9/09? Just a couple of weeks away, but for those in the Nashville area, mark your calendars now...I'll be having a "birthday round" at the Commodore Grille( on Wednesday, September 9. Debi Champion so very kindly allowed me to have some very fine writers to be in a round to celebrate my birthday.

Festivities start at 6:30 with the regularly scheduled Wild Oats Records round with my dear friends Steve Haggard and Kimberly King and guests. My birthday round follows at 7 p.m. with Beth Browne, Dr. Jay and Miss Diana, Brandon Maddox, Louise Mosrie, Randi Perkins, and John Velora. Other great rounds to follow throughout the evening!

Hope you can make it for all or part of the evening!

Roundup recap

Holy cow! Has it really been almost a month since I've written anything here? Between being busy and dealing with a sprained foot (which really didn't stop me from getting around), I just haven't had much time to write. But I'll try to recollect a few notes from some things going on recently:

Did a double header night recently, first a Bluebird round with Steve Craig, Katha Harris, Tom Shinness and Roxie Randle. Some great songs and singing as you can usually expect from Steve and'll find a couple of the songs done that evening posted at

Then it was off to Red Tree Coffee at Kingston Springs to catch the Folklahoma Appalachi-Groove Train--who are in the studio working on their first collective release. I for one am looking forward to hearing the recorded version of an awesome song Mark and Kim (and Mark in some solo shows or duo with Gary Culley) do called "Tell You Goodbye".

Also happening recently at Fiddle and Pick was a showcase with new trio Braided Chord (Amber White and the McCarter Sisters, Lisa and Theresa). They pleased the crowd with their tight harmonies, new original songs and lots of humor. They are very down to earth people and if you weren't already a friend of theirs before you came to the show, you probably were by the time you left.

As always, there were lots of great rounds happening at the Commodore Grille (and one big one coming up next month--see additional post!). I'll talk more about those in my "Blog Spot" for September at the Commodore Grille MySpace blog page.