Has there ever been a more perfect evening for a Grammy Block Party?
The Tuesday soiree (5/8) at Owen Bradley Park at the head of Music Row was blessed by balmy breezes. The newspaper predicted thunderstorms, but the Grammy mojo evidently vibed them away.
The park was set up like a welcoming patio bistro, with café tables and umbrellas scattered beneath its trees. Barbeque, weenies, cole slaw, chips, cookies and libations were stationed back by the ASCAP side of the green space. The stage was opposite on a closed Music Square East/16th Avenue South on the BMI side.
Recording Academy members checked in on that same street (the Musica/Roundabout side was fenced off). Not a member? No problem: There was a sign-up table right there. Cough up the dough, and you, too, could hang with Nashville’s groovesters. Plus, you could chit-chat with charming sign-up booth volunteers like David Corlew, Pat McMakin, LeAnn Phelan, Dan Hill, Chris Farren, Scott McDaniel, Jeff Walker, Woody Bomar or Lisa Harless.
Once inside, you could schmooze along with Anthony Martin, Jon Randall, Harold Bradley, Trent Summer, Victoria Shaw, Marc Beeson, Larry Weiss, Eric Paslay, Rich Fagan and Deborah Allen.
Spring zephyrs caressed the brows of such fabulons as Al Bunetta, Ben Fowler, Doug Howard, Chuck Ainlay, Ronna Rubin, Robert Frank, Blake Chancey, Kira Florita, Scott Siman, Walter Campbell, Thomas Cain, Andrew Kintz, Ralph Murphy, Clay Myers, Debbie Linn and Melinda Scruggs Gales. There are about 2200 members of the Nashville chapter of the Recording Academy, by the way.
The talent line-up had to have been at least as much of a draw as the weather and the fellowship. The party began with Music City’s tuneful indie/pop duo Elenowen (husband-and-wife Josh & Nicole Johnson) and the CCM band Tenth Avenue North. In between the acts, the music piped in by “Nashville’s premier electronic artists” KDSML and Sham Shacklock was totally excellent. Keep these guys next year.
The headliners booked for the five-hour extravaganza were bluesman Keb’ Mo,’ the reunited Mavericks, soul diva Wynonna (busting out her harmonica chops) and country’s Luke Bryan. The always-bopping Storme Warren hosted. WSMV’s Jimmy Carter and WTVF’s Chris Cannon gave the gig TV exposure.
This was the 14th annual Grammy Block Party. For Nashville musical diversity, you can’t beat it.