It was perfection.
It is also official: Tuesday’s Grammy Block Party was the music biz’s social event of the year to date.
Staged at the mini amphitheater in Cumberland Park (May 2) on the East Nashville riverbank, this annual Recording Academy fiesta is now in its 19th year. On every level, it achieved nirvana.
“Who did you have to pay off to have perfect weather the second year in a row?” asked Julian King, one of the many Grammy winners in attendance. “This park is the perfect setting,” commented Martha Moore. “I think this is the kind of thing they had in mind when they built it,” added MusicRow owner/publisher Sherod Robertson.
As always, the event showcased a thorough diversity of genres that blossom in Music City. From the Americana talent pool came singer-songwriter Anderson East. Soul rockers Muddy Magnolias blasted girl power.
I am a huge fan of Moon Taxi, and the homegrown Nashville band did not disappoint. Their bright, jangling, pop-rock set was absolutely addictive.
CeCe Winans is the best-selling female gospel star alive. She took no prisoners as she commanded the stage with horns, backup soul sisters and a blazing band. The event booked the superstar trio Lady Antebellum to represent Nashville’s country world.
The 70-degree weather was super balmy, with a lovely breeze blowing off the water and puffy clouds drifting overhead. Some folks brought blankets on which to lounge on the lawn. Others had portable folding seats. Those on the upper rim of the amphitheater enjoyed café tables and chairs.
But most of us mingled on foot. And there was plenty of mingling to do, since the Recording Academy represents the crème de la crème of the city’s music professionals.
Brett James, Trent Summar, Gary Burr & Georgia Middleman, Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra, Mark Bright, George Flanigan and event host Shannon Sanders were among the creative types assembled in the crowd.
From Atlanta came soundtrack composer Brandon Bush. From L.A. came Grammy organizer Nick Di Fruscia. That’s how cool our little Nashville event is considered.
Such industry greats as Rod Essig, Steve Lassiter, Becky Harris, Doug Howard, Fletcher Foster, Debbie Linn, Pat McMakin and Daniel Hill mingled. So did media mavens Hunter Kelly, Ed Morris, Beverly Keel, Jon Freeman, Lisa Konicki, Dan Daley, Eric T. Parker, Haley Crow and Suzanne Alexander.
It was wall-to-wall fabulons, folks – Julie Boos, Diane Pearson, Jeff Balding, Neal Spielberg, David Macias, Christy Walker-Watkins, Chris Keaton, Ben Fowler, Shannon Hatch, Karen Clark, Shanna Strassberg, Hank Adam Locklin, Ellen Truly, Dolly Chandler, Edie Emery, Tracy Gershon, Michael McAnally Baum, yaddada, yaddada, yaddada. If you weren’t there, you should have been.
The Grammy Block Party celebrated Cinco De Mayo a few days early with catering by Moe’s Southwestern Grill. The build-your-own soft taco stations were heaped with spiced ground beef and/or chicken, plus all the black beans, brown rice, lettuce, sour cream, peppers, onions, shredded cheeses, salsa tomatoes, queso sauce and jalapena you could want.
The bars rocked, too.