Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Roundup 10/17-18

The Fillin' Station - Kingston Springs, TN

I'm not one that's real comfortable with going to bars a lot unless there's someone I really want to hear play. I don't even drink and bars are not the place I would go to find the guy of my dreams who would have my non-negotiable ideal traits. But the Fillin' Station in Kingston Springs, just a couple of stops over from my other favorite area hangout, Red Tree Coffee, is a bit different. It's a nice bar, as bars go. It has a friendly, "Cheers"-like atmosphere, small, intimate, and features a lot of great music 4 or 5 nights a week. In fact, the owner, Patrick Weickenand, played harmonica with the group War during the 80s and you can catch him filling in on harmonica behind the bar now and then when someone's playing.

On the previous week there, my friends and I caught a great crowd-pleasing set by Mark Elliott and Gary Culley, and the first of two gigs George Adams played in the area since being back in town after five months of performing on the Carnival Legend cruise ship. This weekend, we made a special trip out to the Fillin' Station to hear more from a group with a regular Friday gig there: the Mohawk Slim Band, a blues power trio led by guitarist/vocalist Sandy Blair (sporting the mohawk!), with Terry Browne on bass and Mark Willoughby on drums. Sandy's an awesome guitarist who likes to wander through the crowd playing and when the spirit moves he'll even jump up on the bar and play. This evening the group was also joined by friends sitting in for a few numbers, one being blues vocalist Miranda Louise, who impressed us a lot. We had such a great time that we stuck it out till the end of the evening... a little late for us but a lot of fun!

Doak Turner's 3rd Sunday

As I normally do, I headed for Doak Turner's 3rd Sunday songwriter potluck get-together. This month Doak celebrated 7 years in Nashville and being an encourager and positive influence on songwriters and those who love them (my kind of person!). Even the weather cooperated for this one...the sun came out and a lot of us were able to enjoy food and friendship outdoors before evening. Many people I know that I haven't seen there for a while also showed up...which meant lots of hugs to and from me. I love it.

Usually my mode of operation there is to jump restlessly from room to room and try to catch as many people play as possible. But this time my buddies Sam Cooper and Mary Hartman were both here, so I decided to follow them to whatever room they were playing at. Before long, we were joined by Don and Karen McNatt, Patti Higgins (debuting her first completed songwriting collaboration with Karen--a special moment for her and us), our buddy Anyta and other talented folks whose names I didn't get but they know who they are (and will of course if they see this!). There's always a great chemistry when friends and collaborators Sam and Mary team up to play. This time, though, there was such a special spirit in the room with all of us coming together and really getting into what was happening that I wasn't going anywhere.

Speaking of debuts, this was also my debut as a round-playing musician. Some time ago I picked up one of those percussion "rhythm eggs". I've been having fun playing it along to songs. (I did make an earlier appearance playing the egg while on stage with my radio buddy T.J. Kirby when we emceed the band intermission at Music in the Park at Pegram Park. We played CDs for the kids to hula hoop to--T.J. sang along on stage and I played percussion.) Sam, Mary, Karen and Don were very encouraging to me to take out my egg and play percussion. Also, special thanks to Jack Boucher for the rhythm sticks he gave me. You know worked and it sounded good. I also felt I sort of understand the rush my musician friends get while playing. Do I have a future here? Who knows! :)

Only in Nashville can a gal who claims to have no musical talent find a place in the band. I love this town.