Playing at The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville
Well, as I sit here and start to put my thoughts into words you can all read, I am kind of taken aback a bit. The band has been together less than a year, and SO MUCH has happened. But, for now, I am going to just put a few things down that are on my mind.
First of all, to be nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year for the Texas Country Music Awards is sincerely one of the coolest things that have ever happened to me. When I began this Texas Country adventure, I didn’t know where I would land as far as how the community itself would accept me. As I have said 100 times since, I am blown away by the acceptance, interest, and love the entire Red Dirt community has shown me.
Many of you know the story of my trying to break into the Nashville songwriting world. It didn’t go all that well for me. In fact, I swore I would never try again. That may have changed this past weekend.
If you are unfamiliar with The Bluebird Cafe, you should google it. Maybe watch the documentary. For me to try and explain it to you would be a novel in itself, and I am trying to stay focused here. Let’s just say, playing there is a HUGE deal, and not everyone gets to do it.
Zac Maloy, you have heard me say his name, is a friend and colleague I have known for almost 30 years. We have written together for Bowling for Soup, the Jonas Brothers (when they were the Jonas Three), and several other artists. But most recently, Zac co-wrote and produced JUST WOKE UP.
After playing the Blue Bird 5 times, a songwriter is granted their own night to curate an in-the-round night. Zac chose well. He picked me, a writer by the name of Jon Mabe (you know that little song by Miley Cyrus called “The Climb” - that’s him!), and for the 4th chair, his son Jude Maloy and a name some of you will recognize, Liv Haynes, would share the duties.
Let me tell you why this is so freakin cool. I have known Jude Maloy and his brother Ben (Zac’s kids) their entire life. Liv and her sister Gigi were in a band I started working with when they were 11 and 10 respectively. Liv and I wrote her first songs together. I took their band Not Your Girlfrenz on tour all over the US and the UK. There was a time they referred to me as their second dad.
Zac is someone I started out as a fan of. I was intimidated by him for the first few years. For the last 20 years or so, I would say Zac is one of my best friends and someone I consider to be a brother.
Anyhoo, this was a big deal!
I was anxious walking in. Not nervous. I just don’t like the unknown. But Casey and I walked in and we were the first ones there.
Luckily for me, the staff are SUPER nice. Not what I was expecting! I think I am sort of used to being treated like shit at “historical” places I have played. Normally treated as though I am lucky to be there and they could do whatever without me. And most of the time that is probably true. But in certain areas of my life (Bowling for Soup) I can clap back with the same attitude if I need to. But in this case, I was a new guy. And they for sure didn’t NEED me.
I do suggest you read a little about the Blue Bird. 5 chairs and a piano in the middle of the room. Every square inch of the rest of the place is a table or a place for people to sit. It is actually amazing the way they can keep it together. The wait staff has to be some of the least anxiety-ridden folks of all time because trying to navigate that place seems like it would suck! But they do it!
We took turns playing songs. I was pretty funny. And I have to say I was super surprised to see so many people know me and the songs I chose. It was sincerely one of the best nights of my career. And I am so glad I got to share it with a few peeps from my “Royal Family.”
Until next time!