I’m beginning to really like country music. Having a chance to see the creative songwriting process close up this past weekend only confirms how I feel.
In addition to going to see my new grandson in Nashville, I also had the opportunity to take in the “Music City” experience….walking down Broadway, where there is live music everywhere you look, to enjoying a couple of “songwriters in the round” performances.
My friend Ula invited us to one of these sessions at the Holiday Inn on the West End – I’ve played many gigs at a Holiday Inn, but none were anything like this! Four incredible songwriters, premiering some of their songs for the first time in addition to their already published music. To hear them speak of their creative process to hearing the finished work left me in complete awe. For all of the cookie-cutter pop songs that all sound the same, I could truly appreciate how these musicians strive for something unique with their music.
On Saturday, we went to The Listening Room Cafe, to see a songwriter who is friends with my stepdaughter and son-in-law. This was an experience I will never forget. The three songwriters all have had tremendous success, writing for artists such as Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire, Lonestar, and Bon Jovi, just to name a few. To hear the stories behind the songs as well as their solo interpretations was mind blowing. I listened to some of the artists’ recordings of these songs, and found the arrangements very intriguing in comparison to the songwriters’ solo guitar versions. As a musician, I had the utmost respect and undivided attention for these performances.
As I’ll be making many more trips to Nashville to see little Milo grow up, I also look forward to taking in many more musical performances. There is a definite parallel between Jazz and country music, as these are true American art forms, as they still require a tremendous amount of musicianship to be successful. I’ll be listening to more country music, with a truer appreciation of the songwriting process.
Who knows….maybe I’ll even get a pair of cowboy boots!