BOBBY KARL WORKS THE ROOM
During the next five days, 10 of Nashville’s finest music venues will be competing for the attention of the hundreds of attendees of this year’s Tin Pan South festival.
But on Monday evening (April 2) the place to see and be seen was the lobby of Regions Bank on the Music Row Roundabout. A merry mob of creative folks mingled there at the fest’s kick-off party. Regions, the event’s presenting sponsor, tossed a first-class bash, as always.
The schmoozing was at maximum decibels at the party’s peak. Rocking the room were Levi Hummon, Marcus Hummon, Marc-Alan Barnette, James Dean Hicks, Michael Peterson, rocking Web Wilder. Pete Sallis, Dave Gibson, Jimbeau Hinson, handsome J.T. Harding, Jamie Floyd, Tony Arata and NSAI prez Steve Bogard. How’s that for a talent lineup?
Jack Daniels sponsored the bar. That was kinda cool for Miss Mary and me, since we’d finally gotten around to taking the distillery tour in Lynchberg last month. I highly recommend it as a day trip.
Maggiano’s catered. We snacked on Italian beef sliders, cucumber slices topped with herb cheese, mini Italian meatballs, chicken pesto sliders, assorted cheeses and tomato & mozzarella skewers with balsamic glaze. Yum, yum.
The NSAI puts on the event. Its exec, Bart Herbison, positioned himself near the entryway to offer greetings to one and all.
Working the room were Mike Martinovich, Fletcher Foster, Butch Baker, Craig Campbell, Chris Keaton, James Elliott, John Ozier, John Beiter, San Francisco visitor Tom Donald (among the many who travel to Nashville for the renowned fest), Preshias Harris, Larry Weiss, Sherrill Blackman, Steve O’Brien, Stan Moress, Charlie Monk and hostess-with-the-mostest Lisa Harless.
“I’m not going to do much club-hopping,” said The Bluebird Café’s Erika Wollam-Nichols with a chuckle. “I like to stay put. I don’t do so well at other people’s clubs. I don’t think they like me shush-ing people.”
Hubby Roger Nichols is manning the soundboard at The Station Inn. The other venues participating are The Listening Room Café, The Commodore Grille, Douglas Corner Café, Hard Rock Café, South, 3rd & Lindsley, The Local and Whiskey Rhythm Saloon.
If you go, and I urge you to, prepare to have your ears pinned back by the likes of Paul Overstreet, Nash Overstreet, Billy Montana, Randy Montana, Emily West, Matthew West, Brennan Leigh, Leigh Nash, Billy Dean, Barry Dean, Krystal Keith, Keith Burns, Josh Kerr, Josh Osborne, Al Anderson, Abby Anderson and Robert Earl Keen.
Not to mention Eric Paslay, Matraca Berg, Waylon Payne, Keb’ Mo’, Trent Willmon, Lance Carpenter, Larry Gatlin, Aaron Tippin, Charlie Worsham, Jerrod Niemann, Jedd Hughes, Wynn Varble, Carly Pearce, Lindsay Ell, Mike Reid, Bekka Bramlett, Post Monroe, Paul Jefferson, Eddy Raven, Lori McKenna, Dan Tyminski, Desmond Child, Radney Foster, the folks listed in the third paragraph and scads more of the nearly 300 top-tier songwriters who will be showcasing during this extraordinary week.
This is the 26th annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival. Fast-Access Passes are sold out, but at-the-door admission will be available for most shows.
Let the tune fiesta begin.