Midnight Blue(bird Cafe)

Last night, after attending a really fun celebratory supper at a friends house to honor a three girlfriends (one's got a new job, one's got a new baby and one's got a new husband) and taking time to pack for our trip to IA this weekend, I decided to head over to the Bluebird Cafe to catch the last half of the late round: Al Anderson, Leslie Satcher and Tim Johnson. (Al Anderson is one of my favorite writers... YAY!)

So I get there at around 10:30 or so... and within ten minutes of my arrival... Big Al is calling someone named Melissa to the stage. As I looked around to see who this mysterious Melissa was... I about fell off my bar stool.

It was Melissa Manchester.


Can't tell you how many times I listed to "Midnight Blue" and "Don't Cry Outloud" when I was growing up... just wishing I could sing like her and write like her... her words resonated with me... moved me. I used to drive my family crazy plunking out versions of them from my big purple cover gold lettering "Dan Coates Easy Piano Book". And, they'll tell you... I wasn't no Melissa Manchester... but I sure wished I could be.

Anyway... Al Asked the fourth writer in the round if Melissa could use his keyboard (I can't remember his name... but he was GREAT, too.) and then she proceeded to play... you guessed it... "Midnight Blue". It was all I could do to not rush the round to sing background vox with her.

Only in NashVegas.

Afterwards, I was so inspired by my trip to the Bluebird that I went home and wrote for a while. Then I listened to the recording of my gig the night before... trying to hear all the things I can do to become a better singer / writer... like the talented writers I'd just seen in person.

Have I ever told you that I LOVE NASHVILLE?!?


REQUEST "Daddies & Daughters"

Please, please, PLEASE...
Call your radio stations and request LRP's "Daddies and Daughters".

Universal has released this song as a single... and anything you can do to help get the word out about it and "Back to the Well" is sooooo appreciated!


Lee Roy plays the Grand Ole Opry and MORE...


It's official... Lee Roy Parnell and the band are playing the Opry on Tuesday, 7/11.

I'm so stoked... John's parents are coming from Iowa and it sounds like we're going to be able to go back stage. It's defninitely going to be one of the many highlights of 2006 for us... and I'm sure it will rank right up there at the top, too.
Can't wait!

If you can't make the Opry (or if you just can't get enough of LRP and want to experience his music twice in one week... I'll be there!), make plans to come see Lee Roy and the guys at 3rd & Lindsley on Thursday, 7/13. It's an XM radio taping and it looks like you can purchase tickets in advance if you want to guarantee yourself a seat.

“Potentially Hazardous Asteroid”

According to the report I heard on Paul Harvey (audio link) this morning, a half-mile wide asteroid will come uncomfortably close to the Earth during the early morning hours of July 3rd.


According to the article I found on MSNBC, "...the latest calculations show that Asteroid 2004 XP14 will pass closest to Earth at 04:25 UT on July 3 (12:25 a.m. EDT or 9:25 p.m. PDT on July 2). The asteroid’s distance from Earth at that moment will be 268,624-miles (432,308 km), or just 1.1 times the Moon’s average distance from Earth... Due to the proximity of its orbit to Earth and its estimated size, this object has been classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are currently 783 PNAs."

Hope scientist's calculations are correct... otherwise, I have visions of "Deep Impact" in my head.

Hmmmm... guess there's not much I can do if they aren't right.

Oh well.


UPDATE 07.03.06:
It didn't hit us... but it came close though...
Within like 293,000 miles or something like that.


Weekend of rest?!

OK... maybe not.
But it was spectacular nonetheless.

Friday night, JTC and I went to see Stacie Collins (early show) and Jonell Mosser (late show) at 3rd & Lindsley. Both were spectacular. If you haven't had a chance to catch either of these fine women perform... I highly recommend you make the time to do so!

Stacie is a high energy, foot-kickin', ball of fire performer. She's got a great band and plays the harp like a... well... you know. And, just when you think it can't get any better, you figure out that she's a down-to-earth, nice person, too. Yay.

Jonell... as you all know... is my buddy and one of my favorite singers in town. Friday night she had a kick butt line-up backing her: Reese Wynans (Keys / B3 - Double Trouble), Tom Britt (Guitar - Vince Gill), Craig Krampf (Drums - Kim Karnes / Melissa Etheridge) and David Santos (Bass - Billy Joel). PLUS... Valerie Carter was there swappin' songs with Jonell. She's an incredible singer / writer who's toured with the likes of James Taylor.

The entire night was like goin' to church... wait... I think it was better than that even! It was so moving. And, toward the end of the night, Jonell asked me to get up and sing background with her... we had a blast singing Wet Willie's "Keep on smilin'" together. Felt so good.

Saturday, John and I ran a couple errands in the AM (after only about four hours of sleep). Then, we had lunch with our friend Jenn. Then, we went over to Steve C & Cat's house to record. And then, we went to 3rd to see several incredible writers in the round: Hillary Lindsley, Sherrie Austin, Dave Berg, Karyn Rochelle, Will Rambeaux, James Slater, etc. It was incredible. Bekka was there, too. She got up and sang a song she and James wrote, "Used," a truly amazing song. Then later on, she grabbed my hand and the two of us got up and sang background vox on one of James' songs. (I love that woman!)

Yesterday, JTC and I went to the Davinci Code. Not having read the book, I really enjoyed the movie. And, now that I've seen the movie, I'm definitely gonna read the book. I can't even imagine how much detail they must have had to leave out to make it!

Last night, we watched the first part of "Broken Trail" on the AMC channel. It was pretty good.

Then, at about 9 p.m., we crashed hard.
It was a crazy weekend... but so worth being tired.

Tonight... we're watching the second half of Broken trail... and then we're gonna go see my friend Lisa Carver perform at Ga'Dang (In Sole Mio's old location... love the venue but the name really bugs me. I feel like I'm takin' the Lord's name in vain every time I say it. Arrrgggggh.) Oh well... they've got great music and the food is affordably yummy, too.


David Lee Roth = Bluegrass?

OK... I've been meaning to post about this for a couple weeks... but life has been getting in the way of my blogging lately. **sorry**

A couple weeks ago, John and I were flippin' through the channels and ran across a very cleaned up David Lee Roth being interviewed by Leno. The "gee whiz" curiousity meter went off and we stopped to see what the rocker is up to lately.

Well... after a few minutes of listening to his experiences over the past few years as an EMT... in NYC I think... the topic turned to his new musical direction.

David Lee Roth is featured on a bluegrass CD of VanHalen songs.


You read correctly.


And, soon he would be performing a preview of his new musical endeavor... a bluegrass version of "Jump".

This of course prompted us to continue watching through the commercials.

First let me say... the band was incredible. And... I'm not sure, but I think I know the bass player (Charlie) from gigs in Nashville. And, believe it or not... the arrangement of "Jump" actually sounded great as a bluegrass song.

But then, David began to sing. It was really kind of strange. Imagine his voice over bluegrass music... singing a stiff version of his 80s power rock song. Now, multiply that by 100.

It was awful.

Besides that, he was just tryin' too hard to be straight. It was uncomfortable to watch (this is link to the Leno performance on YouTube).

All this said...

While the songs may lend themselves to bluegrass arrangements... David Lee Roth is NOT bluegrass.

Mystery solved.

But... that doesn't mean the entire album sucks.

Remember: When loading your iPod / MP3 player, you can skip the tracks of "Strummin' with the Devil" that have David on them.

After listening to the album tracks online, the rest of the songs sound pretty kickin'. It's got some stellar, legitimate country / bluegrass musicians like The John Cowan Band (of New Grass Revival), John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band, Iron Horse, Larry Cordle... and more... performing the rest of the VanHalen hits.


Chez needs help!

A fellow blogger is moving and needs help.

Chez is one of my favorite Nashville bloggers. While I won't be able to be there (the clock and I will be on our way to see his family in Iowa after I finish work on 6/30) I thought I'd help him spred the word.

Afterall, it is a holiday weekend... and he is offering free beer and pizza!
It will be FUN.
Sparklers anyone?!

Back from DC... got a gig!

Got back from my work trip to DC yesterday afternoon.
Wow... what a whirlwind.
It went so fast, but we all had a blast.

The whole trip really kicked my butt, though... yesterday, I slept all afternoon (I usually don't do naps well) and then went to bed early and slept really hard last night.

And... sorry for the short notice, but with all the DC excitement, I neglected to send out invites to come out.

Here's the scoop:

TONIGHT at 7:30, I've got a gig at the Hall of Fame Lounge in the Best Western just down from the Music Row Roundabout. JTC and Shawn Byrne are gonna be there backin' me up... givin' my stuff that little extra somethin' somethin'.

Come out!
I'd love to see your smiling faces.


Rex rocks my world...

Rex blogged about me today... how cool is that?! I was asked to sing the National Anthem at the opening session of the NFIB National Small Business Summit in DC this morning... and he was there to witness it.

Thanks for the props, brothah!
Now... back to the all fun in the NFIB Internet Cafe.


Take it to the Hill

Been in DC since Friday setting up the NFIB Internet Cafe at the NFIB National Small Business Summit. IKEA provided all the furniture (Emily and Lynn... I can now hook you up! HEH!) and Dell sponsored the cafe along with providing several computers and a couple flat panel TVs. It's ROCKIN.

As of today... the conference has started. Members are trickling in and registering. It's really cool and something we do every two years for our members to help keep our small business voice energized. It's pretty incredible. I love getting the opportunity to meet our members and better understand what we're fighting for on their behalf.

This year's theme is "Take it to the Hill". We've got speakers like Meg Whitman from ebay, Mary Matlin and plenty of political heavy weights.

Each night of the Summit there is a great event. Tonight it's an all mixer with a region "picnic" with food from all over the country. Monday, we've got the Smithonian National Air & Space museum all to ourselves. Tuesday is the final gala at the National Building Museum.

Wednesday morning... we tear down and go home. It's gonna be fun and it's gonna go fast... but I'm looking forward to being home again.

If I get a chance... I'll post more in the next couple days.
I'll catch you on Thursday.
Have a GREAT week.


Catch Karleen...

9 p.m. TONIGHT.
Karleen Watt.
(The cute one in the middle.)
In the round.
At the Bluebird Cafe.
With hitmakers Anthony Smith, Chris Wallin and Tony Mullins.
It's gonna be a rockin' show.
She's on her way, baby.
See you there.

What the...?!@#$?

OK... JTC and I watched "Last Comic Standing" last night.

There were some HILARIOUS comics on the show. Only five were going to be picked to move on to the next round... and they ended up choosing seven because there were so many good ones.

We laughed our asses off... I literally thought I was going to pee in my pants at one point. Unfortunately, I didn't write down any of their names and I can't find them on the Last Comic Standing site... but I can describe them:
  • The guy with the guitar... FUNNY.
  • The guy with the segue introduction... FUNNY.
  • The woman with the stair master imitation... FUNNY.
  • The chick with the lisp and the duct tape... FUNNY.
  • The tall guy with the glasses who talked about sleeping too much... FUNNY.
  • The big Hawaiian lookin' guy... FUNNY.
  • The former school teacher guy... FUNNY.
I think I may be missing a couple... but that's all I can remember for sure. Here's the deal though... only two of the people we laughed hysterically hard over was selected to move on to the next round. (the stair master chick and the Hawaiian shirt guy)

What the...?!@#$?

Five of the seven people selected to move on sucked big-time. We were literally booing at the TV when they we're announcing them. Nothing against them personally... but I just really think they've got a long way to go. Their comedy was sophmoreish and they didn't deliver it or convince me. I was NOT entertained.

So, basically, JTC and I aren't planning to watch any more of the episodes. Somethin' isn't right with the process... I'm not going to support the show. It is inconceivable to me that Gary Marshall, Kathy Griffin and Tim Meadows picked the people that were selected.

Remember last season? Drew Carey and Red Butler stood up and walked off in one of the episodes because they compared who they voted for and realized that the producers picked their own people.

I smell somethin' fishy again this year.

Blah blah blah... nuff said.
Just in case you're wonderin'... I ain't watchin' it anymore.


Father's Day gift idea

OK... just wanted to give all you daughters out there a great Father's Day gift idea.

Lee Roy Parnell has a song called "Daddy's and Daughters" (mp3 audio link) on his "Back to the Well" CD that brings me to tears everytime I hear it. AND... I almost forgot... Lee Roy's daughter, Allison, is singing the background vocals on the song. How cool is that?!

So... if you really want to turn your Dad into a mushy pile of love, give him the CD and make him listen to track #6.

And, Dad... if you're reading this... just act surprised, okay?

Daddies And Daughters
Written by Lee Roy Parnell and Tony Arata

I held you and I saw you and still
I could not believe
Face to face with an angel
There staring right back at me
Placed in these working man’s arms
By the hands of the Father
Oh, Mary full of grace, blessed the love
Between daddies and daughters

Tucking you in
Reading “good night moon” every night
Then kneelin’ down saying our prayers
Side by side
Down on my Knees with you I swear
I never stood taller
Oh, Mary full of grace, blessed the love
Between daddies and daughters

And every time I see you now
I can’t remember nothin’ ‘bout anything before
More and more I realize
Yours was not the only life
That began on the day that you were born
Bless the angels that brought you and the love
Between daddies and daughters

You will always reside in my heart’s most sacred place
Safe from all time and all distance
There you will remain
The faith you’ve had in me
Made me and my faith so much Stronger
For the blessings you’ve brought me
And the lessons you’ve taught me
Oh, Mary full of grace, blessed the love
Between daddies and daughters
Bless the angels that brought you and the love
Between daddies and Daughters

Hell's Kitchen is back!

JTC and I love this show.
Yeah... Gordon can be a real... well.. you know.
But it is great reality TV... if there really is such a thing.
We watched all two hours last night.
Good times.
Good times.


Look at me... singin' with LRP!

Went to the birthday party of our friend Jon last night. It was so much fun... and it was at Sambuca.

Anyway, at the end of the night, Jon wanted to play so he hijacked JTC and LRP... they took over the stage and just jammed. Then... Lee Roy asked me to hop up and sing a couple with him and the boys.
What a trip.
Made my entire year.
Love that man.


Come out Thursday night!

We'd love to see your smiling faces... or make your faces smile... whatever works!

7 p.m.
French Quarter
Jack Scott's Writer's Night
ITR w/ Johnny Microwave (Cat Miller and Steve Cirvencik), Evie Nicole and Jeanne Richardson.

Come out!
It's gonna be a BLAST.


Oh yeah... not home.

JTC got home at like... 3 a.m. Saturday and we had a blast together Sat, Sun and Mon (since I had the day off!) We packed as much time in together as we could (zoo, shopping, movie, eating and lots of talking about all the things we had done for the past five weeks while we were apart... yummy.)

I was jammin' at work Tuesday because Wednesday I took off for Santa Barbara... it's another songwriter expo and I'm stoked to be here...

so... that brings me to the title of this post...
I'm gonna be out of pocket again for a few days.
Sure... I'll miss you... but just maybe I'll have something cool to say and/or report when I get back! And... who knows?! With the free wireless access here in the hotel... I just might take time to post while I'm here, too.

Catch you soon.