Bobby Karl Works The Tin Pan South Kick-off Party

BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM

Chapter 525

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Lisa Harless (Regions Bank), Christopher Robertson (Watkins Art Contest Winner), Melodie Michael (Regions Bank), Brian O’Meara (Regions Bank). Robertson was presented the bike after creating the winning artwork and logo used in all Tin Pan South 2016 marketing materials.

There are so many reasons to attend the kick-off party for Tin Pan South.

First of all, it ushers in one of Nashville’s coolest annual festivals – 10 venues showcasing hundreds of songwriters. It has a $1.9 million impact on the city, I am told.

The opening party attracts many who are performing. Loads of industry supporters attend, so you’re going to run into beaucoups fabulons. Also, the food is always excellent, thanks to Maggiano’s.

The party on Monday (April 4) was staged in the lobby of the Region’s Bank in the Music Row Roundabout. As the evening goes on, this area becomes more and more congested and more and more loudly echoey. In a good, wacky way.

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Pictured (L-R): Steve Bogard, Bart Herbison (NSAI), Rob Crosby and Wood Newton

Songwriters gabbing away included Jimbeau Hinson, Wood Newton, Steve Bogard, James Dean Hicks, Marcus Hummon, Larry Weiss, Rob Crosby, Randy Perkins, Anthony Smith, Billy Burnette and the vividly purple-ishly blue-haired and robustly tanned rocker Jim Peterik (Ides of March’s “Vehicle,” Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”). I thought it was especially nice that Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members Dennis Morgan and Rory Michael Bourke stopped by.

Irene Kelley said, “I’m in bluegrass now. I don’t know who anybody is in country music anymore.” In a similar vein, Paul Childers demurred, “I’m not a country writer. I’m more of a jazz/pop singer/songwriter.” I said, “That’s okay. There’s room for everyone.” Who wouldn’t be nice? He’s the great, great grandson of Jim Beam.

Doobie Brother Tom Johnston (“China Grove,” “Listen to the Music,” “Long Train Runnin’”) did media interviews while daughter Lara Johnston hovered nearby. Both are showcasing during Tin Pan South. Chris Robertson was there: He is the Watkins College of Art student who designed the very nice Nashville Scene cover of the festival guide.

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Pictured (L-R): Lisa Harless (Regions), Tom Johnston (Doobie Brothers), Diane Johnston, Lara Johnston, Bart Herbison (NSAI) and Brian O’Meara (Regions)

Let me pause at this point to remind you of how busy the buffet line was. There was a steady stream of party people loading their plates with mini Italian meatballs, cucumbers with herb cheese, chicken pesto sliders, imported cheeses on gourmet crackers, tomato caprese skewers and BBQ brisket sliders. There was also a dessert station containing puddings and assorted specialty cookies.

Doak Turner and his partners were on hand promoting his musicstartshere.org website. Also on the tech frontier is Nick Palladino III, who is with MOO Creative. Preshias Harris was promoting Bailey Callahan. Publicists Katharine Richardson and Lynn Tinsey had a number of clients in tow.

“My mother says great things about you,” said Presley Tucker. He is a treetop-tall smiling dude who is the son of Tanya. I almost gasped when I met him, because I remembered him from when he was a toddler.

Working the room were Regions Bank’s sparkly host Lisa Harless, plus John Ozier, Craig Campbell, Barry Coburn, NSAI’s Bart Herbison, Charlie Monk, Chris Keaton, Jim Flammia, Sherrill Blackmon, Ralph Murphy, journalist Eric Patton, Tracy Gershon, Jed Hilly, Dave Pomeroy, Mark Moffatt, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame director Mark Ford, Bill Cakmis, Deford Bailey III and Tony Brown.

MusicRow’s Craig Shelburne said he had already worked out his festival schedule. Have you? Good luck, since overall tix are sold out. But you can still get single-show admissions to Blue Bar, the Commodore Grill, the Station Inn, Whiskey Rhythm Saloon, 3rd & Lindsley, The Country (what? where?), the Bluebird Café, Douglas Corner or the Hard Rock.

Pictured (L-R): Heidi Raye, Tony Brown, and Melanie Howard

Pictured (L-R): Heidi Raye, Tony Brown, and Melanie Howard

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