“Music is what life sounds like.” – Eric Olson
And in 2010, life sounded GOOOOOOD! After going through the monstrous list of incredible songs for the year, I also got to re-experience some of the best shows of 2010.
There are 32 total shows that left a mark this year and made the list. There were many others that were incredible in the past 12 months as well. These were just the best of the year…the ones I remember vividly for numerous reasons.
These are shows that happened in Nashville as well as cities all over the country. That is proof you can find great music anywhere y’all! Right Chuck Norris?
There is a short rundown of all 32 shows. If you want to read more in depth about these incredible concerts, click on the “REVIEW” links to see the complete review. To all the artists who continue to make a positive difference in the world with their music…thank you! You give life sound.
PREVIEW: “It all started on a cold, Monday evening here in Nashville. Are you intrigued yet? For the very, first time I went to Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre to see a show. And what a show it was!”
Keith Anderson’s fundraiser for the YMCA was a huge hit. It was the first show I attended in 2010 and it set the bar incredibly high for the rest of the year. Somehow, all of the music felt like home. Most of these guys have been singing to me through my radio for many years.
PREVIEW: “Reality is real when…some of the best singer/songwriters in town (and the world) come together to create amazing sounds. That is what happened last Monday night.”
Some nights are just special. This was one of those nights. I was able to sit and listen to many incredible artists sing amazing songs. Only in Nashville will the entire audience be persuaded to sing along to songs they’ve never heard and step up to the challenge…in perfect harmony. These guys always leave me smiling with the heart and soul found in the music. AND only in Nashville will Jonny Lang pop out of the crowd to sing a tune for us.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 – Healing Haiti One Song at a Time Benefit – (Matt Ridenour, Heidi Rojas, Melinda Doolittle, Matt Wertz, Dave Barnes, Josh Hoge, Jonny Lang, Tommy Sims, Marc Broussard) – 12th & Porter – REVIEW
PREVIEW: “The show ended after midnight (that’s over 5 hours of great music people!)…To sum up the night…WOW! I know. That’s a lame description, but you had to be there.”
There are about five shows in the history of my life that I will remember with overwhelming emotion and gratitude. This is one of them. My words could never do it justice. Over five hours of some of the greatest talent in the world was unimaginable. Thank you to all involved.
PREVIEW: “John, you give me something extremely important. You give me music that matters…music that I connect with because it feels like I know it. I feel like the music knows me.”
There was such a dramatic difference in the opening act and the headliner in the way of music and I adored both. Michael Franti and Spearhead got everyone up and moving. Their music was movement. John had the crowd awed by his talent. It was a last minute decision to go to the show. I rarely regret those decisions.
PREVIEW: “This show was a benefit for Clay Walker’s Foundation “Band Against MS.” The singer was diagnosed with the disease in 1996 at age 26. Since that time, he started the Foundation and has raised over $2 million in the fight against MS. This man is a fighter and an inspiration. The most impressive thing is that he has lived with the disease all of this time and refuses to give up. He keeps performing and writing and chasing his dreams. He shows everyone with the disease that you can fight and LIVE.”
This was such an incredible show from beginning to end. I was totally focused on every act all the way through the event. There was a chance to relive great songs from the past as well as hear new ones. The fact that I got a guitar pick handed to me by Hank Williams, Jr. didn’t hurt my opinion of the night either…long (and embarrassing) story.
PREVIEW: “The three people I heard sing, you will more than likely know. They aren’t unknown and they all ROCK.”
These guys are incredible with just a guitar and a song. This was a fundraiser for Cumberland Heights here in Nashville. Keep in mind, most of the audience fell into the 14- to 18-year-old age range. Some of these kids weren’t even born when Sister Hazel and Tonic were big. However, true artists can still wow a crowd and they did. My favorite point of the day? When Jeffrey saw the kids might need a slightly different style of music than what he was playing, he quickly adjusted. One of the teenagers looked at his buddy excitedly and said, “DUDE! Did you hear him bust into Zeppelin?!”
PREVIEW: “There are very few singers/duos/bands I will cross state lines to see. This is because they have to be worth the trip. Time is precious. There is one group who I’ve seen/heard in numerous states because it is ALWAYS worth the trip.”
I’ve said a lot about the Locash Cowboys because the live show is so incredible. They put stock in making every performance count and audiences appreciate it AND them. Chicago was no different. The city with not many country bars, became country lovin’ that night. Great side story…A guy ran past me through the bar (he was actually polite about it) to elude the police. I think they got him.
These next few shows all occurred within a two week period and the review was done a little differently. Here is a preview…
PREVIEW: “I am going to do this one a little differently. You’ll get the picture in a second. ‘I said Dr. (Dr.). Mr. MD (Dr.). Now can you tell me what’s ailing me? In the words of Ronald Reagan, “Life is one grand, sweet song. So start the music.”
There is nothing like going to another state to a little festival to hear an artist play in front of a new crowd. I really get a kick out of watching people react who aren’t used to seeing live shows all the time (we are spoiled when we live in Nashville). Keith has a great way with people. While on stage, he talks and sings to people like a conversation is taking place. Everyone had a great time and the celebration of the Cherry Blossoms ensued.
Ben has this amazing voice that can stop traffic. Kyle writes songs that make you ponder not just your life, but the lives of others. Kylie has a way of gently tearing your heart out with the feeling she weaves into song. Rachel has the sweet, real and direct method of songwriting communication. They all write these incredible tunes that make you stop and pay attention.
I had heard Lee Roy and James sing before and both of those men make me smile. James has a bear hug of a voice that makes you feel safe. Lee Roy provides real life songs that remind you to live the good life. Chris just made me stop breathing when he sang. The depth of his words and the power of his voice were staggering.
Like I was gonna miss this one. Shows like this are the reason I buy a pass to Tin Pan South every year. It was shoulder-to-shoulder at the Hard Rock for this show. The reason that many people show up is because they know there will be a grand musical pay off. My face hurt…from smiling too much. I can literally get lost in the music of these men.
Actually, THIS is the reason I buy a pass to Tin Pan South every year. If I am in town when these guys play…no matter what else is going on, I am there. This year I got to take many friends along and they were floored by the talent in the room. It put a smile on my face to watch them react to the wonder that is Wendell, Jason, Neil and D. Vincent. Always a great show…always.
PREVIEW: “These ladies sing intoxicatingly catchy songs that make you move. The show is seamless and they are prepared to a fault. The hard work is evident. Every note, movement and segue is right on cue.”
This was an accidental show. A friend of mine asked me to come see another band and these girls were performing as well. Even though I jumped to the wrong conclusions when I first saw them, I was quickly impressed. They are a whole lot of fun and the songs are catchy. I LOVE being proved wrong when it comes in the form of a glorious, musical find. Go listen to these women.
PREVIEW: “I adore the man’s voice and ability to craft a song. Being able to hear him sing with just a guitar was more than a treat for me.”
The one true way to figure out if an established artist is really as good as advertised, is to hear them sing live with nothing but a guitar. When that happens, they have nothing to hide behind and the voice is all that separates them from normal. Rob Thomas did not disappoint. This guy is the definition of artist. It was an honor to see him perform his craft. Added bonus…he’s pretty hilarious.
PREVIEW: “I have always been impressed with this band for many reasons. One of the most important reasons is this. Although it’s rock music and that usually focuses much of the attention on what is being played musically, November does not abandon the lyrics.”
The combination of the crazy-fun Villebillies and the always amazing November made for an excellent night. When in need of some rockin’ good times, I tend to throw Novembers music on the iPod. When in need of a SHOW, November always delivers. AND it is never the same.
PREVIEW: “SMILE in awe of talented singer/songwriter/entertainer after singer/songwriter/entertainer in one room at the same time. I experience huge smiles when I get to hear such great talent. Sometimes it makes my face hurt. That is what happened last week at a place called Mount Richmore.”
This was talent from every genre of music in one room on one, great night. All of these performers were incredible with the city of Nashville as the backdrop. It was the first time I ever heard that great Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson song (sung by songwriter Andy Gibson) “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” I love it when that happens! Trevor sang one of my favorite songs ever written that night (“Marvin Gaye”). Shanna was incredible as usual. I cracked up when Matt Ramsey said, “When I sing, it’s like diggin’ a ditch…work. When Shanna sings, it’s like spreadin’ butter on bread.”
PREVIEW: “And that wrapped up one kick ass night of music. I always adore any nights of music where those guys are involved. They are singer/songwriters who leave a mark when they are done playing. You don’t just remember the songs…they affect you. That is the most important thing you can do as an artist…make an impact with your art. These men do and always have.”
That pretty much says it all.
PREVIEW: “I went to The Listening Room with my friend Macey to hear one of my favorite childhood singers. Back in the fourth grade, I wore that “Tiffany” cassette tape out! It was an amazingly fun night and was full of songs from the past as well as great new tunes from the singer.”
It was so much fun to hear one of my childhood favorites sing all those songs I knew by heart. The entire room full of people was singing along and smiling. What tends to be forgotten is that Tiffany can SAAAANG. Chris Roberts (from an amazing band “One Flew South”) is producing her now. She sang a country version of “I Think We’re Alone Now”. I was sure I would hate the change…I didn’t. It was incredible. Lindsay Lawler also sang some bad ass country music for us that had my toe tappin’ along. She was 100% energy on the stage. Plus, I always adore Chris in front of a mic. It was such a great night.
Thursday, June 10, 2010 – CMA Fan Fest – (Jason Sever, Craig Wiseman, Mac McAnally, Paul Overstreet, David Lee Murphy, Casey Beathard, Mark Tamburino, Wendell Mobley, Brett James, Neil Thrasher, Locash Cowboys, Jeffrey Steele) – Hard Rock Cafe – REVIEW
PREVIEW: “Thursday night took me and the girls to the Hard Rock Cafe for a full night of musical bliss.”
This was actually four shows all at the Hard Rock Cafe on one night. Jason Sever sang outside to wow the CMA Fan Fest crowd first. People don’t walk away from hearing this guy not impressed. He is that good. Then there was a benefit for Musicians on Call that was also a Kenny Chesney tribute. It was two rounds worth of the excellent songwriters that penned Kenny hits. It is truly impressive to listen to all of the great songs he has recorded. The man does know how to pick a tune. Finally, there was the Locash Show with special guest Jeffrey Steele. There is no way not to have a great time with that combination.
PREVIEW: “There are a few artists in this city of who’s music I cannot get enough. They are oh so very talented and the songs leave me wanting more. It’s kind of like going to Disney Land when I get to see one of their shows. I never know what I’m gonna get, but I know it’s gonna be good.”
Dear, sweet Josh Hoge delivered that night. I am constantly amazed by the soul delivered through that voice. It’s a force to be reckoned with when watching from the crowd. More often than not, I am shaking my head in awe.
PREVIEW: “PLAN TO BE ENTERTAINED: That is what happened to me this past week at the Williamson County Fair. Aside from all the enjoyment experienced above, I also got to enjoy two wonderful performers that night.”
Jordyn Shellhart is a teenage phenom…impressive in both songwriting and performance abilities. The teen has depth to her lyrics weaved into ear-catching music. Chuck Wicks is a boy-next-door performer. Everyone has a great time when he is singing. The songs seem to detail each person’s thoughts. He is ridiculously comfortable on stage and the music is enjoyable.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 – (D. Vincent Williams) – 3rd & Lindsley – REVIEW
PREVIEW: “As I sat listening to D. Vincent beautifully deliver the lyrics, I had to look at the ceiling to avoid the waterfall of tears from falling. Incredible song…amazing night…unmatched artist. Thank you D. Vincent. I owe ya one…or a million.”
PREVIEW: “So out of my comfort zone I went on Saturday. Where? To Woodstock of course. It was a really cool place, but I have to be honest. I thought there would be a lot more hippies, recreational drug use and free love. Woodstock was a beautiful little Georgia town though. Yes, Woodstock, Georgia. Where did you think I meant?!”
It was so much fun to listen to the entertainer take on a new crowd. It was a cute, small town where everyone was truly happy to be at the show. There were smiles everywhere and all of the residents were swaying or dancing along to the music. The smile of a 3-year-old was as bright as that of the 75-year-old who had lived in that Georgia town his entire life. It was a really, fun road trip.
Thursday, August 26, 2010 – Producer’s Corner – (Mark Bright) – Douglas Corner Cafe – REVIEW
PREVIEW: “Mark has a very specific talent and ear for music. Many people think they can produce, but few can do it really, really well. Mark is one of those people who have a brilliance in that area of music. He has produced some of my favorite artists and my favorite album of all time.”
It is really, really difficult for me to explain how cool that night was for me. I won’t forget it.
PREVIEW: “Never, in all of my years making comments about music, have I heard more disdain than the night I left a positive comment about Nickelback. To be honest, I’m still in shock. Every Facebook comment made me smile because this band drew opinions from so many. Hey. It’s always better to have people either love or hate you then fall somewhere in the middle. Let’s just say with 21,000,000 albums sold in the U.S. alone…they have just as many people who love them as hate them.”
That’s right. I went to a Nickelback show…and I liked it. Chew on that.
PREVIEW: “Longhorns…Lee Brice. How can you get much better than that combination? Add in a great red dirt music country band named the Turnpike Troubadours from Oklahoma.”
To stand in my home state at one of my favorite college bars and watch a full house sing along with an artist who’s music I have loved since the day I hit Nashville…well, that’s just really, really cool. Plus, I got to meet two new music loving friends. Hi, Misty and Courtney!
PREVIEW: “Becka and I went to see quite a show including Jerrod Niemann, Randy Houser and Gary Allan. Told ya it was good.”
Seriously, how do you get much better than that combination? Loved. It. Plus, I got to hang out with one of my best friends. AND there was gun fire at the show. True story. You can’t bottle up that kind of excitement.
PREVIEW: “She told me this show was a must-see and I tend to listen to her music suggestions. Who was playing? Check out these four guys…Dave Barnes, Jonathan Singleton, Thad Cockrell and Matt Wertz. Ohhhh…they are so worth your time. Trust me on this one.”
These are four VOICES. I could seriously listen to them sing for hours and hours and hours. They’ve all had or do have record deals and that makes a whole lot of sense. The really cool thing is all four voices are extremely different. However, they still have immense respect for each other’s talents. Macey was correct. You shouldn’t miss these opportunities in music.
PREVIEW: “3rd and Lindsley was calling my name. When I arrived, it was to find a giant line around the building. You see, Shelly Fairchild can bring a crowd. At that point, I had only heard one song out of the woman and I understood.”
Shelly Fairchild rocking my face off was not a surprise. She is worth any money you pay to see/hear her perform. The woman is a rocker in the greatest sense of the word. It’s Joan Jett meets Big Band. Sounds like a strange combination, but oh my gosh…it works. Isaac Hayden was the performer I was not prepared for that night. He was incredible! There is so much depth to his music, but it is light on the ears. Soulful and sweet. It was a refreshing combination.
PREVIEW: “Last night, I was blessed to hear Dear, Sweet Chris Nathan. It’s like a dose of medicine for me. Every month or so, I am revived by this artist and his music.”
Towards the end of a long year of incredible music, Chris delivered the music sermon for my soul. I adore this guy both as an artist and person. His music provides movement and emotion and depth. It is a revival of sorts.
PREVIEW: “There is not, nor will there ever be another Garth Brooks.”
Until Next Time…
P.S. Happy 2011 everybody! I hope the beginning started out amazing and it only gets better from this point forward. Keep on rockin’!