Monday, September 28, 2009

Orleans and Friends 9/25/09-Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb 9/26/09

Back to back concerts on a weekend in Nashville = late nights with little sleep = one very interesting Sunday morning radio show with a host running on fumes. But hey, it was worth it.

I went to the Orleans and Friends "Rock The Power" concert at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville. All of the net proceeds from the show went to support You Have the Power, Nashville's Crime Victims' Support and Children's Advocacy agency. We were royally entertained with hits galore from Orleans (who served as house band along with other stellar players), Jimi Jamison of Survivor, John Cafferty of the Beaver Brown band (who really rocked the house and got the crowd engaged, Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult, Wayne Nelson of the Little River Band and a surprise appearance by Tommy Tutone (of 867-5309 fame). Linda Davis, Kathie Baillie and Jonelle Mosser sang vocal backup and each got a solo turn (though I do wish they each could have done more than one song). The dance floor by the stage, and occasionally up in the balcony, was jumping. I had forgotten about a lot of those songs the performers did, so it was great to hear tunes like "Tender Years", "Take It Easy on Me", "The Night Owls" and others you just don't hear much anymore on radio these days. Good stuff!

I also had an unexpected opportunity to attend the last evening of a three-night concert series by Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Seeing them together performing those songs that Jimmy wrote made famous by Glen ("Wichita Lineman", "Galveston") was a thrill. Let me just tell you that Glen Campbell still has it -- great singer, awesome guitar player (even played with the guitar on top of his head!) Jimmy Webb in his solo segment was also quite charming, sharing stories about "Mr. Sinatra" recording his song "Didn't We", and performing other hits like "All I Know" (recorded by Art Garfunkel). The Nashville Symphony opened the evening, conducted by the charismatic Albert-George Schram. I also had a chance to go backstage and meet Glen Campbell, who was very nice and friendly.

The cool thing was that now it seems whenever I go to these events, I'm bound to run into at least a couple of friends of mine and the same was true on both these nights. I also got to attend both concerts with some dear friends. Special thanks to Lance Hoppen of Orleans and Mark McCormack of the Nashville Symphony for making this possible.

I love this town.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A "Birthday Bash" To Remember: 9/9/09

I looked back at my blog entry from my birthday last year when I wrote about spending my birthday at the Commodore Grille writers night. I'd forgotten about the fact that it was my first time at one of Debi Champion's writers nights and met her initially then. But I'd never forgotten her kindness to me that she gave me a piece of chocolate cake for my birthday and had the crowd sing happy birthday to me.

This year, Debi took things a step further by indulging my crazy idea of booking some writers friends of mine on her calendar for my birthday—she gave me an hour to send up a round or two of writers. With all of the dear talented friends in this town, it was for the most part a difficult choice. But I settled on some who didn't have a chance to play often at the Commodore and others who were significant in that I'd heard them there for the first time.

The lineup I chose was Brandon Maddox, Beth Browne, Dr. Jay and Miss Diana, Randi Perkins, Louise Mosrie and John Velora. As luck would have it, 9/9/09 just happened to fall on the regular monthly spot for the Wild Oats Records round, which would precede my round. My good friends and fellow Radio Free Nashville DJs Steve Haggard and Kimberly King were kind enough to indulge my pleadings to book themselves for that round and included with them talented labelmate Joel Alan Lehman and an impressive guest they had on their show earlier that week, Kenny McGeorge, in town recording a CD. The artists were very sweet to plan their playlists around the birthday gal.

I expected that many would have the same dilemma that I face most evenings in Nashville: too many events all happening at once. Would anyone come to my birthday bash? Happily, people did. The place was full of dear friends of mine and fans of those who were playing. I was very glad that all three of the rounds had a good attentive audience. Of course, there were some who weren't there who were noticed and missed...but that's how it is in a town full of choices. It was as perfect an evening as it was possible to be. I wish everyone could have at least one evening in their lives like I did. We should strive to show our love to our friends while they are surrounding us.

Love you, Debi, love you Commodore, love you my friends, and I love this town.