Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Recent Roundup

Where have I been? Well, the truth is, winter and I don't get along very well. When I lived in St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN I pretty much hibernated between November and April. There, the winters average about five months. For my first couple of years here in Nashville, winter was, for the most part, just time on the calendar. Snow? If there was a sprinkling of it, it was a big deal. But now, this year's snow frequency and temperatures is almost giving the Twin Cities a run for its money (well, okay, no, so we haven't had the below zero wind chills). Like it did in the Twin Cities, it's gotten old. My snow driving rule has been in effect: ice or snow, the car don't go. (Perhaps the only advantage to being unemployed...I'm not forced to risk my life and my little old car to dangerous driving conditions).

Where I'm going with all the above is to make the point that this year's winter has not been conducive to me doing much of what I came here for and keeping up this blog of late. However, I did venture out now and then.

It had been a while since I'd been to Tunesmithing, regularly hosted each month by Chuck Whiting, out at Edgehill Studios Cafe. February's edition had a very strong lineup. There were some excellent songs and vocal performances by Gary Gulbergh (backed vocally by wife Susan Shann) and Melissa Javors. My friend Randi Perkins did one of his finest sets ever, with his warmth and honest stories, songs and vocals charming the crowd. Closing the evening was noted singer/songwriter/author Lisa Aschmann. I could have listened to her sing all evening. I've been blown away by her acapella singing in past gigs, but this time backed with guitar and percussion, she was just as impressive.

I also got out to see for the first (and sadly, maybe the last) time the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. It was quite a wonderful display of artifacts and memories paying tribute to some of the unsung heroes of the music we love: the session musicians and writers. The biggest highlight for me was the screening of the film about "The Wrecking Crew". There was so much history there, filled with music and interviews with hit making artists and the people who made them sound great. It was hard for me to pull myself away from the screen, but I didn't want to miss the ceremony honoring the 2007 Hall inductees. I'd hoped to have been able to buy a DVD of the film (and resolved to do so if I could have, job or no job!)...but unfortunately, one wasn't available (you can go to the film website to help make that happen).

It was a thrill for me to see some of the noted honorees, such as Harold Bradley, Pig Robbins and many others. It was also great to see so many singer/songwriter friends of mine there (and to meet those for the first time who happened to recognize me!). I'd missed a lot of the networking and camaraderie being so danged cooped up.

I also got back out to Red Tree Coffee in Kingston Springs--hadn't been there since before the first of the year. The house was packed for the increasingly red-hot Calico Trail. Their songs, vocal harmonies and performing skills are first rate. They are currently recording their first CD. Watch these guys...they're going to do something big in town.

Spring is coming...right?