Stars for Second Harvest @ the Ryman

Last night, after my round at the French Quarter, LaLa and I headed over to the Ryman to catch most of "Stars for Second Harvest" with Craig Weisman, Tim McGraw, LeAnn Rimes, Phil Vassar, Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn, Randy Owen of Alabama, Joyful Noise, Dann Huff, and songwriters Jeffrey Steele and Tony Mullins for a night of music to benefit Second Harvest.

We got there about half way through JS singing "Gone". From there, the night continued to be amazing.

Randy Owens sang "She's a Lady..." and gave me chills. He got a deserved standing ovation. I wish I'd have gotten there in time to hear the other songs he performed. Tony (my older brother) and I used to wear our Alabama cassettes and 8-tracks (yes... 8-tracks) out. It was very cool to be in the same room with someone my older brother and I grew up listening to. Good stuff.

Then, Randy left the stage and out came Phil Vassar. He sounded great and I love his energy. He plays piano well, but his songs all sounded alike to me. Not sure if it is because I saw him in the acoustic setting or what. It would be cool to see his live show to see if that helps.

After Phil Vassar left the stage, Craig said to Dann Huff, "Hey Dann, bring your friend out here to sing a couple..." . Out walked LeAnn Rimes. Let me tell you, she's the real deal. What a voice. So much sincerety when she sings and she really seemed appreciative / humbled by the crowd. Another standing ovation. Very cool.

The best artist to perform all night was Ronnie Dunn. Seriously. He was amazing and so good with the crowd. He had such a presence on stage and his voice was flawless. He sang a song that he and Craig Weisman wrote ("Believe" - track 8 on this page). It almost brought me to tears... and must have had the same effect on everyone else as well. Ronnie received a rousing standing ovation from the Ryman audience.

Tim McGraw was the headliner of the night. He's cut a few songs written by Craig (Live Like You were Dyin'), Jeffrey (The Cowboy in Me) and Tony (Aint that just like a Dream). Unfortunately, he didn't do any of those. He chose to do a couple of songs off of his new album. They were okay, but pretty blah. Overall his performance was just average compared to the rest of the night. Of course, he had to follow Ronnie, but still. I guess I just expected more out of a huge country star.

Anyway, at the end of the night, Tony Mullins came out dressed up like "Faith Hill" and totally gave McGraw a hard time. It was HOOT.

I love Nashville.

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