I am Napoleon Dyanamite and a buttload of gangs are trying to recruit me.

Which Napoleon Dynamite character are you?

(Props to Summer for this cool quiz.)

And... OKAY... OKAY... I admit it this is the result of my second time taking the quiz... the first time I was a plate of tater tots. Funny.

Dreamin' of Sandy Beaches

It's my dream to someday be a part of the Sandy Beaches Cruise (an annual cruise put on by Delbert McClinton and friends). On Saturday, several friends and friends-of-friends set sail from the port of Tampa on SBC 12.

So... in an effort to pretend I am actually there instead of here in cube-land... I spent some time looking through the photos from the past few years. It looks so beautiful... so incredible... so MUSICAL. I love seeing friends like Bekka, Steve C, JC, Jeffrey Steele, Lucy Angel and others kickin' bootay and bein' on a gig that gives them an excuse for some R&R. Check out the list of performers this year... more of the best.

It looks like soooooo much fun. I'm definitely going to have to make a plan to get there one way or another in the next year or so.


Kentucky Thunder @ 3rd

Friday (tomorrow) Kentucky Thunder, made up of four of the most powerful female voices in Nashville, plays 3rd & Lindsley at 9 p.m.

Jonell Mosser, Vicki Carrico, Shelia Lawrence and Etta Brit will knock your socks off... AND, the band is usually made up of some notables as well. Bob Brit on guitar (plays with Wynonna, Dixie Chicks and most recently is touring with John Fogerty), Dan Baird on the other guitar (of Georgia Satellites fame) and Doug Kahan (plays bass with Paul Thorn... and an excellent songwriter).

See you there!

VOTE for Scarlet Haze

My friend Kat is in a band in Minneapolis called Scarlet Haze. She's an amazing singer and the band is thumpin'.

They're in the running to open for Bon Jovi when they perform Giant's Stadium in NJ this summer.

The catch is, the contest has come down to an online vote to get the spot. Voting starteded MONDAY (Jan 23) and ends on MONDAY (Jan. 30)

SO...please, please, please...
give the band a hand...

Sticking my neck out...

...for the Nashville Zoo.

John and I are members and absolutely love the Zoo... and all its potential. One of the things we've been hoping for since we moved here is the addition of giraffes. Well... it's lookin' good. If all goes well raising money to get them here, we should have three giraffes in residence at the zoo sometime in April.

Remember back in September when I blogged about the St. Louis Zoo wristbands (you'll have to scroll down to the bottom of the post to see them... they're zebra striped.) Well... now the Nashville Zoo has jumped on the bandwagon... and I'm planning to get one for all my friends. ANYTHING for the giraffes! So... even if a $1 is all you can afford... please help bring the giraffes to Nashville. Get your very own "Stick your neck out!" wrist band!


The heat is on...

...well almost on. $516 later... our heat/air unit is being fixed as I type this. The fan motor and blower wheel went out on our main unit, so let's just say it was a little nippy at the Richardson's last night. Oh well.. we kinda like it that way anyway. We had a five year warranty on the repairs... that ran out six months ago. Typical. Oh well... rice 'n' beans for us the rest of the month.

Good news is that our friend Melvin works for Maynard Fixturecraft, so I was able to talk with him last night to troubleshoot. Today, when I called to set an appointment, they sent someone out to look at our situation right away. Great service and very diligent. I'd highly recommend them if you need help with anything like this... they are very trustworthy and aren't just out to see how much they can get you to spend!

Anyway... with this and the fridge incident... I'm starting to worry that all of our stuff is going to go kaput at the same time since everything was purchased at the same time.
**fingers crossed**
I hope I'm wrong.

Updating JTC's site...

JTC and I spent some time updating his site last night. So, if you wanna know what's going on in the world of my better half... check it out.


Reader's digest version of weekend happenings...

OK... let me just say it was an AMAZING weekend of music at 3rd & Lindsley.

Saturday night I was literally there from 6:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. to see Ken Johnson and Jeffrey Steele play. Isn't that crazy?! Let's just say it was the best Steele show yet. He was on fire... PLUS... Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts sat in on "What hurts the most" (written by Jeff... of course. ) He was great. Then, later in the night, Jonell Mosser sat in... it was excellent... and it was her birthday, too. And... the place was absolutely packed. At around 9 or so, 3rd had to start restricting entry to the club. Jeff and the guys played non-stop until 2:30. Of course, Jeff spent another hour talking to every last person that wanted to talk to him. Isn't that cool?! After 3rd, Lala, Karleen, Tim, Jerrek, Cat and I went to the Hermitage Cafe. (Yeah... it's a dive... but it is also an experience.) Finally got home at 5:45 a.m. Good times, good times.

Then, on Sunday after going to see Karleen at the Bluebird, we went to 3rd to see the last half of the Lightning 100 show with Whitey Johnson (Gary Nicholson) and his band. Besides "Whitey's" incredible songs / guitar pickin'.... Delbert McClinton was sittin' in blowin' the harp most of the night, Dave Roe was slappin' the upright bass, Tom Hambridge was hittin' the skins, Reese Wynans was makin' the organ hum and Colin Linden was resonatin' the guitar. It was incredible.

(ChezBez... how was Bob Delevante's show? I need the scoop so I can put off that cloning operation!)

CDs bought this weekend:

"Hell on Wheels" - Jeffrey Steele
Been looking forward to the new Jeffrey CD for some time now. And... let me tell you... you need to get it. It is amazing.

"Whitey Johnson" - Whitey Johnson
Wasn't expecting to get this CD as it has many of the same songs on the Fortunate Sons (Gary's other band) on it... but somehow they were able to keep them from sounding completely the same. Good stuff.

Both are EXCELLENT. AND, I even got a free bottle of "Worry be gone" with the Whitey CD. It's hilarious.


Hooked on a feeling...

... that I'm about to toss my cookies over this video.
David... you're a cheese ball and you're scaring me.
Ooogah oogah ooogah cha cha!

So MUCH to see... only ONE me.

Wow... if you've been looking for an excuse to get out and see some great live music, look no farther than this weekend. There's tons to choose from.

Here are my top picks:

FRIDAY (1/20/06):
  • 3rd & Lindsley -
    7 p.m.
    Kelley Lang: My friend Gwen has been telling my about Kelly for months now... so I'm finally going to get to hear her. She's been around the biz a long time and is supposed to be fabulous.
    8 p.m. Jimbo Mathus: According to the Scene, Mathus is a former member of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and toured as the second guitarist in Buddy Guy's band. A native of Mississippi, he's now back touring with his Knockdown Society band, playing old-style vaudevillian blues.

  • BB Kings -
    8 p.m. - All Fired Up w/Jimmy Hall: Jimmy Hall is an incredible singer, harmonica player, sax player and all around musician. He was a part of Wet Willie, has played with Jeff Beck and blows harp in Hank Williams Jr.'s band while also fronting his own group, Prisoners of Love. He and some friends also just released The Mighty Jeremiahs. It's incredible.

  • Douglas Corner Cafe
    9 p.m. Steve Seskin: Good stuff... writer of country hits like "Life's a Dance," "Don't Laugh at Me" and "Grown Men Don't Cry"
SATURDAY (1/21/06):
  • 3rd & Lindsley -
    8 p.m. Ken Johnson & band: A friend who is a Windswept writer and soooo on his way up.
    10 p.m. Jeffrey Steele & band (Tom Hambridge on skins, Tommy Mac on bass, Rusty Golden on keys and Erik Halbig on guitar... because Steve C is on tour with Van Zant... whoohooo!): Jeffrey Steele has written all the top country songs you know and love. Help Somebody, When the Lights Go Down, Speed, Chrome, My Town, I'm Tryin, The Cowboy in Me, Unbelievable, These Days... I could go on and on and on. He's got so many hits that the unsuspecting audience member might think they're watching a cover band... but they're NOT. PLUS, he plays for four hours... non-stop. Once you see one show, you'll be addicted to his energy, spirit and whooeeee... that voice. And... once you see the show, those huge songs will never sound the same to you (in a good way, of course).
  • Family Wash
    9 p.m. Bob Delevante Combo
    Bob Delevante (According to the Scene) likely would be enjoying a higher profile had the Garthification of Capitol Records in the '90s not short-circuited the considerable momentum for The Delevantes' Postcards From Along the Way, but he's neither stymied nor bitter, as evidenced by his critically acclaimed solo album Porchlight.
  • Bluebird Cafe
    9:30 p.m. In The Round with James Dean Hicks, Taylor Rhodes, John Schweers and Rob Crosby, A Benefit for Alive Hospice. Hits across the decades and the genres including Goodbye Time, Jesus And Mama, Grandpa Told Me So, Blind Man, Cryin’, She’s More, Concrete Angel, Do Me With Love and Day Dreams About Night Things.
SUNDAY (1/22/06):
  • 3rd & Lindsley -
    Lightning 100 Sunday Night Live Shows
    8 p.m. Colin Linden - Amazing musician. An accomplished singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, Colin has played on over 150 albums and produced more than 30 CDs. He's worked Bruce Cockburn, Colin James, Leon Redbone, T-Bone Burnett, and The Band, just to name a few. Good stuff.
    9 p.m. Whitey Johnson (aka Gary Nicholson) w/special guests. This should be good... and you never know who you're going to see when someone like Gary Nicholson has special guests sittin' in. Should be a great night to see Whitey Johnson and "friends".
  • Bluebird Cafe
    8 p.m. Writers Night hosted by Jeff Pearson with special guest Nicole Witt.
    About a dozen songwriters who have passed an audition to play the Bluebird are featured on Sunday Writer's nights... my friend Karleen is one of the writers this Sunday. Each play three songs, followed by a 20-30 minute set by hit writer, Nicole Witt wrote "She Didn’t Have Time" for Terri Clark.

The Midnight Hour arrives

Wilson Pickett passed away yesterday. He was only 64. You know him best for his songs "Midnight Hour," "Mustang Sally," "Land of 1,000 Dances" and "Funky Broadway." (Can't tell you how many times I've sung these songs.)

A 60s R&B legend and member of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, he experienced a resurgence in popularity when the movie "The Commitments" came out in the early 90s. He was always on tour until health problems caused him to slow down last year. He's someone JTC and I always wanted to see but never got the chance.

Rest in peace, funky man.
Thank you for sharing your spirit in your songs.


Will power to the people

Cut Out the High-maintenance People in Your Life
--Advice from Keith Ferrazzi

According to a recent survey by Kraft South Beach Diet, the average New Year's resolution dieter gives up and returns to old eating habits by early February. Here's a tip to help you stay on your diet and manage your relationships for maximum success and joy in your life -- from Dr. Mark Goulston*, author of Get Out of Your Own Way at Work.

Don't spend too much time and effort on worrying about what you should and shouldn't eat or do. Instead, cut out the high-maintenance people in your life.

Most people fall off new diets or exercise routines (or for that matter light up a cigarette) after they have had contact with people who frustrate or exasperate them. When that happens, you'll reach for a quick fix like carbohydrates or a thick piece of meat and the last thing you'll want to do is go exercise.
  1. Take out a sheet of paper and draw a vertical line down the center.
  2. On the left side, write down the names of all the negative people that suck the life out of you and whom you dread seeing.
  3. On the right side, write the names of all the people who give you energy and motivate you.
  4. Make a 30-day commitment to minimize the time you spend with the energy drainers and maximize your time with the energy suppliers (and then continue this strategy for life.)
* Adapted from Get Out of Your Own Way at Work, Chapter 28: "Fear of Confrontation" and Mark Goulston's "Usable Insights" newsletter. Learn more about both at http://www.MarkGoulston.com

So THAT'S what I'm doing wrong!
I wonder if there is anyway to get rid of myself... well besides the obvious.
**she laughs hysterically**

Kristen Hall ROCKS y'all

Kristen Hall has been one of my favorite performing songwriters for a long time. I discovered her music in 1994 at one of those local listening sections in the Best Buy of Lexington, KY. If I hadn't visited a friend after playing a gig in Louiville, I'd have never known about her. The CD was "Careful What You Wish For" and it has been in my CD player ever since. And, over the past few years, I've watched her site hoping that I would get to hear her live and maybe even meet her. But... there's been no luck in that area.

Obviously, I haven't looked for her in the last year or so (what with all the distractions of going out to see other songwriters and writing my own songs). If I had, I would have realized that she was part of Sugarland. Of course, I noticed that she was the co-write /writer on their songs... but I was an idiot and just didn't make the connection that she was in the group. HA!

So, when I saw a press release on Tuesday, announcing Kristen's departure from the group, I was both sad and elated at the same time. Sad, because I'm sure that was a hard decision for her and I can only guess about what factors surrounded the decision. Elated because I knew where she was and that she's in Nashville! Yay!

For the record, I've been thinking for more than six months now that it is only a matter of time before Jennifer Nettles (lead vox) does her own thing. While I'm sure there is no malicious intent on Jennifer's part, from what I can tell from watching the videos and publicity about the group, it looks like "the biz" is putting all the focus on her... not the group. No surprise... that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes, but I don't blame Kristen for "wanting to get off the road". My guess is that Kristen was a driving force in the group on many levels, but was getting pushed to the side... and that's too bad. I hope that isn't the case... I hope I'm absolutely 100% wrong. But if I'm not, I hope that it doesn't derail Kristen Hall's own music path. (Hear that Kristen?! E-mail me... LET'S WRITE! Or at least get together for a cup o' joe or something.)

ANYWAY... please send Kristen Hall some blog love! And, goodluck to "Sugarland". For Kristian's sake (mandolin / guitar player) I hope I'm wrong about the solo thing, too.


Oldie but a goodie.

You're welcome.

A spankin' good time...

Last night Karleen, Lala, Brooke and I went to 12th & Porter to see Lauren Lucas and Randy Houser.

Lauren's set was incredible. She had Rob McNelley on guitar (from Delbert's band) and Nick Buda playin' the skins (excellent). Her voice is so soulful and sweet. She's the real deal. Lauren is definitely someone to watch... her second album on Warner Brothers is coming out soon. You may want to check it out.

And Randy Houser... well... my friend Randy totally blew me away. I knew he was a fun songwriter (he co-wrote "Honkytonkbadonkadonk") but I hadn't gotten to hear him with his own band until last night. Nick was on drums and he even had Rachel Proctor singin' background vox. Let me tell you this... Randy has "it"... seriously. He's got a great voice, great attitude, great songs and he just loves to be up there makin' people feel good. Rockin' country to soulful ballad, he delivers. The last song of the night was a song he co-wrote with Karleen... and it kicked bootay. While the title may be a little shocking ("Good boys need spankin's too") the song is really ROCKIN'. It brought the house down. Let's just say you may hear it on the radio sometime soon.

**finger's crossed**


What's your life's theme song?

What was the number one song on your birthday? That is the theme song of your life... well... according to this site anyway. AND, if you were born before 1952, your theme song is actually the date of your 18th birthday... which may actually work better anyway.

My actual birthday theme song:
Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In - 5th Dimension

My 18th birthday theme song:
(I Just) Died In Your Arms - Cutting Crew

There you have it... just one more insidious time waster that I have the privilege to pass along to you.



Dean Hall Rocks Y'all

Went to see Dean Hall at 3rd last night. The place was packed and the show was great... Rockin' blues. John left at about 11 p.m. and while normally I'm a "stay til the end" kind of gal... Lala and I also decided to take off at 11:30 or so to go say "hey" to Karleen. Which was, of course, fun.

Then, this morning, when I woke up John says to me, "So, Gretchen Wilson sat in last night, huh?"

And I was like, "What?"

And he was like, "Yeah... I went to Starbucks to read the paper and have some coffee and over heard this guy talking about it. So I asked him about it and he said she sat in on a song at about 12:30."

And I was like, "Aaaaawwwwwwwwwww... man... we MISSED it."

Seriously, I'm bummed. We had a table at the front of the stage... dang nab it.

Should have known something cool like that would happen... after all, Dean is her guitar player. I guess she was sitting upstairs at 3rd most of the night. Which is cool. Hope she had as much fun as we did... if only we'd have stayed!


Four-year-old Trumpet Prodigy

Saw a story about this little boy on the news a couple days ago... and the story blew me away.

Geoffrey Gallante is only 4-years-old but plays the trumpet like it is part of his cute little being. According to his parents, while they were visiting family, Geoffrey saw a trumpet on a table, picked it up and started blowing in it. He giggled and kept blowing in it because he thought it sounded funny. They took the trumpet home with them and he would just walk around the house playing it... so they found him a teacher (which wasn't easy). Then they tried to enroll him in a band camp... but it took a little convincing for people to take them seriously. Now, he's in jazz band (it looked like he was even sittin' in at a jazz club in the video) and his skill level, after only starting his journey eight months ago, has reached an eighth or ninth grade level.

From the package I saw on CBS, I really think this kid is a true prodigy. His parents were supportive, encouraging and seemed to be well grounded. They were very impressive. AND, Geoffrey genuinely seemed like a normal four year old who just happens to have a gift for playing the trumpet.

If you click to read the story, there is also an option to watch it in the right column of the page. If you're able to watch the clip, you'll see him playing on this high chair. His little feet just dangle from the chair while incrediblly adult, non-pitchy sounds are coming out of a little pocket trumpet... just the right size for his teeny hands. During the interview, the CBS reporter asked him to play "Mary had a Little Lamb" and he told her he wouldn't because that song is for "babies."

What a hoot!

Anyway, you got to read the whole story... it's a trip!


Back to the Well

It's official.
LeeRoy Parnell's new CD is set for release on March 7.

Let me tell you brothers and sisters, "Back to the Well" is EXCELLENT. For reasons I'm not going to get into right now, I've been listening to it for several weeks and can't wait until it is available for all y'all to get a copy of your own. It's soulful, musical and so sincere. The album breathes and the songs are incredible. He's definitely got something to say... and it's good.

In the meantime, check out the tracks at CMT and save March 5 in your calendar. LeeRoy and his band are kicking off the tour with a Sunday night Lightning 100 radio show at 3rd & Lindsley.


Like a moth to a flame...

That's me when it comes to the incredible live music that can be found EVERY SINGLE NIGHT all over Nashville.

In the past ten days, I've been in the studio helping JC with background vocals, have written or co-written (w/Lala and Karleen Watt) 2.65 songs and have seen some incredible musicians / songwriters perform: Keith Anderson with Bob Hatter and Pretty Boy, Jedd Hughes, Pat Buchanan (twice... once with the full band at third- Greg Morrow, Tom Bukovac and Allison Prestwood - and another in the round at the Bluebird), Blue Mother Tupelo, Will Kimbrough, Wendell Mobley, Neil Thrasher, Jason Sellers and a couple boys from Dirt Pharm.

I'm wearing myself out... but just can't help it. YES... OK... I admit it... I'm a music junkie. But, even after five years, I'm still discovering songwriters and bands here that just blow me away. It's so inspiring as a musician, a performer and a writer... for that matter... as a human being.

So, I'm sorry if I've been neglecting you my blog peeps... I'll try harder to keep you in the loop on all of the juicy nuggets Nashville has to offer... no more slacking off in 2006. And, if you ever want to join in on the fun... just say the word and hang on tight for a wild ride! Wwwwwwhhhoooooooohhhhoooooooooooooo.


Flight Attendant School

Have you ever wondered what happens during flight attendant training?

Well, now you can find out. On Thursday, 1/12, at 8 p.m., the Travel Channel is airing a reality show, "Flight Attendant School" featuring Frontier Airlines training staff.


Katie's first song...

It has come to my attention that my 7 year-old niece wrote her first song this past week. According to Brenda (her mom), she caught the bug after listening to a demo CD of a few songs I've written that I gave out to family when I was home for Christmas.

Katie's Song:
I can't believe I came home and found you on the floor with that other girl
I can't believe you did that after all the things you said to me
You told me you loved me...
you told me you liked me more than your cat.

Ladies... can you relate?!

I think we've got a budding songwriter on our hands here!


New Hendersonville residents

Check it out... Barry Gibb and his wife bought Johnny Cash's digs.

FYI: The BeeGees Greates Hits was the first album I ever owned. My parents gave it to me for Christmas one year. The album cover folded out to reveal three photos of each BeeGee. Maurice was my fav but Barry will do.

Now you know... the rest of the story.


Ankle biters...

Alison just shared this story with me: Pack of Angry Chihuahuas Attack Officer

While I'm sure the chihuahua bite is painful... the visual of it all still cracks me up just a little.
Ok... well... maybe a lot.

Crapola translator

I was googling to try to find the "Magic 8 Ball" lunch predictor (anybody else know what I'm talking about and/or have a link to it?) and ran across this in the process. It translate's sites into pig latin, valley girl, etc. and it is a scream.

Consider it my insidious timewaster contribution for the week.

BB's back...

Wow. Time flies when you're having fun.

We came back from our trip a day early (because both my mom and I contracted some tiring stomach virus)... but all in all, we had a great time.

On Friday, John and I went to see King Kong. Definitely intense and suspenseful. Friday night I spent time loading my new iPod... whoohooooo.

Saturday, John had a gig with BMT at Brackin's in Maryville (over by Knoxville) so I tagged along. We had a blast. Can't believe it is already 2006.

Sunday we returned from Maryville. I went to a songwriter get-together with Karleen at Lisa Torres' home. What fun! Lisa's parents had whipped up some very yummy Mexican... with homemade guacamole, enchiladas and salsa. MmmmGood.

Yesterday, I slept in until 9:30 and then spent the day domesticatin. Got alot cleaned, but still have a lot to do. Karleen came over mid-afternoon to write, but we ended up just hanging out and catching up... which was nice. Last night we had supper with JC, Shannon and JC's twins (Tatum & Jonah, who were visiting their Dad from Nebraska.) His kids are so cool.

Now... back to work. Feels good to be back and I'm proud of myself for not looking at my blackberry or calling in while I was out. Hopefully doing that gave me the opportunity to be fully recharged and ready to jump into 2006.

I'll keep you posted on that as the week goes on.

Missed ya!
Happy New Year!