Friday, March 31, 2006

Tin Pan South -- Rodney Crowell

Last night Hubby and I got to see one of our favorite songwriters, Rodney Crowell, in action at a Tin Pan South venue, The Basement. If you're not familiar, here's some info on Tin Pan South taken from their website: Established in 1967, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) is the world's largest not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to serving songwriters of all genres of music. For those of you who don't know Rodney Crowell, I urge you to get to know him. He writes songs for grown ups -- some are hilariously funny in an ironic, OMG I've been there way, and some are just plain poignant.

We were about 4 feet away from Rodney the entire performance, which was like heaven/torture for me. The man is HOTTTTTTTTTT! But we were also treated to the music of Will Kimbrough, who collaborates with Rodney and is a fabulous musician in his own right -- someone I know we'll be keeping up with from here on out. Kim Ritchie, another wonderful artist, plied her craft, and we'll be whipping out the albums of hers that we have to enjoy her again soon. There was one other guy there, whose name I don't know, unfortunately, but his music/lyrics/voice were also very appealing to us both. AND we had our picture taken for publishing in the Nashville Scene, so I guess we also encountered the PAPARAZZI! Quite a night to be sure.

While I'm talking songwriters, and before I go further into Rodney-praise, I want to mention a very talented artist who also happens to be a very dear friend of ours. Her name is Melissa Sigler and I STRONGLY encourage you to hear and buy her music. We met Melissa last April when we went to hear a songwriter friend of Hubby's (have I mentioned Hubby is a professional keyboard player who accompanies bands/artists in his "spare" time?) play at The French Quarter Cafe here. The French Quarter is home of Jack Scott's Writes' Night, maybe second only to the shows at The Bluebird Cafe. Anywho...we were having a bite after our friend's performance, and some other performers were on stage. This blonde girl was the last person on the stage, looking like she wanted to melt into the background. However, when she began to sing, we looked at each other in amazement at the beautiful, sultry voice coming out of this woman. She sang the blues like she was born to do it. Like in most writers' rounds, she performed 3 songs, each better than the last. After her set ended, Hubby high-tailed it over to her table to ask if she had a CD for sale. She was embarrassed to charge for her record!!! But we bought it and have worn it out listening to it, along with the other that she has out now.

Living in Nashville, I've learned that there are 1652 songwriters in Nashville. Actually, I think there are about a billion, but that number was a reference to the song "Nashville Cats" by The Lovin' Spoonful. The big thing here is "Writers' Nights" or "Open Mics", meaning that songwriters get a chance to play a few of their tunes for no money. Yes, you heard me -- NO MONEY. Unless you're an amazingly well-known artist, you don't get paid for playing here. That was a huge surprise to me, but it's because this is a saturated market. Everyone and their brother is a songwriter, and everyone and their brother thinks they're going to be "discovered" here. But the truth is, unless you're very very lucky, it ain't gonna happen. Hopefully, you'll write a song that gets pitched to a big-time artist and they'll buy it from you, but that's only a remote possibility, again, unless you're very very lucky.

But back to Rodney. :) First, he's HOT, and apparently about to become a Granddaddy for the first time. Being married to a Granddaddy, I can tell you that in no way diminishes the hottitude! Some of you might remember that Rodney was once married to Johnny Cash's daughter, Roseanne, but they divorced a few years ago. I understand they still are on decent terms, even performing on the same stage occasionally, but I digress...

Here are some lyrics from my favorite RC songs. Maybe this will explain why I'm such a big fan -- hubby too.

From the album "Fate's Right Hand":

Song: Time to Go Inward

It's time to go inward take a look at myself
Time to make the most of the time that I've got left
Prison bars imagined are no less solid steel"

" Jesus and Buddah and Krishna and Minnie Pearl knew
Do unto other the things you want done unto you

Time to go inward take a look at me
Try to make some sense of life's illusions that I see
Try to solve the riddle of what it is I have to offer to this world"

Song: Earthbound

" With each new day that passes I'm in need of thicker glasses but it's all O K
Someday I'll be leaving but I just can't help believing that it's not today
Every golden moment I have found
I've done my best to run right in the ground.....earthbound"

Song: Fate's Right Hand

" Redrum dot com dim sum smart bombs
Double cappuccino and a heart like a tom tom
Ozone long gone that's it I quit
Natural inclination says enough of this shit
brat pack black jack heart attack crack
We need another news channel like a hole in the back
There's a 187 on the 405
And we all go to heaven on a hard disk drive

Fate's right hand.....I don't under stand at all"

Song: The Man in Me

" There's a man in the mirror
I don't like his looks
His teeth they are crooked
His hands are like hooks
He speaks 4 letter language
Because his mind is so small
His voice is like venom
I don't like him at all
God, I gotta get away from the man in me"

" She says
What are you afraid of
There's no need to judge
You know I can help you
But you won't even budge
Pretty flowers surround you
but all you can smell is a rat
She says
Why do you insist on your head in the sand
Building walls all around you, you don't understand
These ways are outmoded,
but all you can change is your hat
The man in me don't wanna know nothing about that

There's a man in the closet
He wants to come out
He wants to be noticed
But he's so filled with doubt
He wants to be well known and famous
But he's so filled with pride
The keys to his fortune stay locked up inside
Can it be the man in me?"

By now you should get the idea. I would highly recommend you search out this amazing wordsmith, and fabulously talented musician as well, and listen to a few tracks. "Fate's Right Hand" is my favorite album of his, but there are many others that run a close second. Check it out, and let me know if I've turned you on to something soul-satisfying.


1 comment:

will kimbrough said...

The 'other guy' at Tin Pan South with Rodney, Kim and me was Tommy Womack (, former member of Government Cheese, The Bis-Quits, solo artist, author (the cheese chronicles), and current member of Daddy. Seek him out and ye shall find greatness.
----will kimbrough