On Saturday afternoon, September 10th, 2016, we combined a Music at the Mansion event with the Annual Vintage Market. The weather was perfect and the music was stellar. Check out Them Rubies at http://themrubies.com.
Robert Bagwell, McGavock High School graduate and MTSU student, asked me to be the feature of a personal profile project for one of his classes in film production. I was quite honored to be asked and very touched with how it turned out. Of course my favorite part is how Joey is featured.
Richard Griffin, who plays tenor sax and sings a few numbers with the Lynn Beal Big Band had the crowd dancing and having a good time at the Larry Keeton Theater. Donelson neighbor Sherry Bentley showed Joey Syracuse a few moves on the dance floor.
Nashville was the host of the 2015 Congress of Cities, the National League of Cities annual conference. At the NLC Board of Directors dinner, Emmylou Harris gave a wonderful performance including this classic song from Neil Young, "After the Gold Rush".
The Memphis Music Hall of Fame 2015 Induction ceremony at the Cannon Center was an incredible night honoring Justin Timberlake, Al Jackson, Alberta Hunter, Memphis Slim, Sam Moore and other amazing musicians. Here is Mr. Sam Moore, 80-years young, performing with Justin Timberlake, Steve Cropper and an amazing band.
The Larry Keeton Live Music Series continues with new shows for the Fall of 2015. Tim Gonzalez (harmonica) and band kept the house rockin' while folks of all ages danced the night away. Terry Downing on guitar takes the lead on this tune.
My neighbor Jack stopped by to fill me in on a neighborhood watch issue and we had a great visit. He sat down to play my piano and we chatted about playing music through the years. 93-years young, Jack is a WWII vet and a wonderful neighbor.
On August 22, 2015, just before the 5th Anniversary of Music at the Mansion featuring the Nashville Blues Society began, I had the honor of surprising Councilman Claiborne with a presentation of a special artist proof of Phil Ponder's "The Capitol", donated by Friends of Two Rivers Mansion board members Joe & Laura Carrillo. This is a piece CM Claiborne has always liked and this artist proof is a special edition of one of Phil Ponder's iconic portraits.
Judge Randy Kennedy administers the Oath of Office and makes it a very memorable and humbling experience by prefacing with his reflections on those that have preceded me and about how wonderful the Donelson community is. Many thanks to Judge Kennedy and his staff for helping make this a special day.
The Moonlighters were featured for a third year in a row on July 18, 2015 at the Two Rivers Mansion. Here is the band performing one of Glenn Miller's signature compositions, In the Mood. (Note: I was finally able to pull focus at around 1:15 into the video.)
The final event as part of the inaugural Larry Keeton Live Music Series featured a packed house with a great patriotic show from the Nashville Community Concert Band. They were founded in 1973 and are a volunteer, non-auditioned ensemble that performs 10-12 concerts each year. Featured here in this clip soloing is my Donelson Hills neighbor and friend, Laurie Ford, on trumpet. Her husband Scott is in the back on tuba.
Fernando Jones created the Blues Kids Foundation 25-years ago and has organized blues camps in seven U.S. cities and London over that time. I met Fernando in Memphis a couple years ago and we discussed adding a camp in Nashville. We finally made it happen this year after a lot of preparation and planning. Fernando does a great job and the kids have a variety of performance opportunities, instruction and education. BMI was proud to host one of the days and I shared BMI’s history and deep ties to the blues community. I was thrilled to have Gil Gann, a regular performer in Nashville’s blues clubs for over 20 years, and Michael Doster, who spent 17-years on the road with BB King, to perform for the kids and share stories of being professional musicians. After Gil and Michael performed, the kids had the opportunity to perform for them as well. Best of all, Blues Kids Camp is free for kids 12-18. Visit www.blueskids.com for more information and to sign up for next year!
The Nashville Symphony kicked off Music at the Mansion's 2015 series in grand style. Here is a portion of their performance of Brahms Hungarian Dances No. 6 & 10.
At the annual "Phil the House with Art & Friends" open house, the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion had a special dedication of the restored 100-year old boxwood garden and fountain. This project was made possible by William Bransford Blundin, a cousin of Mary Louise Bransford McGavock, the last member of the McGavock family to live in the 1859 mansion. Thanks to Councilman Phil Claiborne, the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion founder, for his leadership in restoring this historic treasure and with support from Metro Parks Director Tommy Lynch and Metro Historic Director Tim Walker.
The Nashville Old Time String Band always adds a perfect touch to the charm of the Buchanan Log House and makes you feel like you're back in the 1800's. Their Annual Fish Fry and Silent Auction is a wonderful community event that I look forward to every year.
After 35 years of honoring the legends, The Blues Foundation finally opened the doors to a physical Blues Hall of Fame. Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau President & CEO Kevin Kane addresses the crowd with several Hall of Fame inductees in attendance.
I've known Gary Crouch in BMI's Information Services Group (ISG) for all of my 16+ years here at BMI and is a great guy. He works very hard to keep everyone in the building up and running with all our technology needs. It's probably no surprise that many of my co-workers are musicians. Gary recently came to swap my laptop out for a new one and while we waited for a program to run, he picked up my Gibson EL-00 (that was a gift from the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce), tuned it up and played the intro to Stairway to Heaven.
The classic sounds of the Andy T - Nick Nixon Band kept people on the dance floor and brought great music and good times to The Larry Keeton Theater at FiftyForward Donelson Station.
Markey Blue does a sound check prior to kicking off a sold-out packed house show for the first ever Larry Keeton Live Music Series at The Larry Keeton Theater / FiftyForward Donelson Station.
About 3-4 inches of snow fell around Nashville and made for a fun snow day. There are some really great spots for sledding in Donelson. Joey's favorite is at McGavock Elementary.
Since opening their new location in the heart of Donelson, Phat Bites Open Mic Nights have been growing in musical diversity and popularity. It was a full house and I was especially impressed with Pierson's selection of tunes he performed, including "My Funny Valentine" that I recorded here.
Travellin' Brothers from the Asociacion Musical Blues Hondarribia at The Blues Foundation's 31st International Blues Challenge finals at the Orpheum Theater on South Main Street in Memphis. They are from Spain and showcase what an incredible influence American roots music has had on the world.
It was a special time at my parents house on Saturday, December 20 when Mom and Dad hosted Markey Blue for lunch before their gig that night at Darwin's Burgers & Blues right down the street from where I grew up. This was a real treat to hear Jake Hill play the piano my parents bought for me 30+ years ago and what I grew up learning to play on. The old Chickering never sounded so good!
I had a special opportunity on Tuesday, December 16th to preside over the installation of the 2015 Board of Directors of the Barbershop Harmony Society, Nashville Chapter at McNamara's Irish Pub & Restaurant. My friend and colleague at work, George Reynolds, will be their President in 2015. Congratulations, George and thank you for the wonderful evening. Here's a video of the group closing out the evening with Auld Lang Syne.
Where else but Music City can a Blues guy preside over the installation of a board for a Barbershop Harmony Society chapter in an Irish Pub in a city known for Country music? Only in Music City.
The weekend of October 17 was Homecoming at my high school and 20-year reunion for the Class of '94 at Walton High School in Marietta, GA. Mike Back, who was also one of my band directors 20-years ago, asked me to conduct the fight song. I still remembered! Except I went to the second ending when Mike gave first. Ha. Good times! Thanks to my friend, classmate, and drummer Ian Hadfield for taking the video.
It was also the 36th Music City Invitational hosted at McGavock High School in Donelson. My music education experience in high school can't be overstated. It meant the world to me then and I know it does to the kids and parents at McGavock. I remember well how hard the parents and families work on behalf of the program. Mine certainly did and it became a good bond for the family.
Thanks to Jamie Jean and Train Productions for putting this video together from the campaign kickoff at the historic Grand Ole Opry House Studio A.
I was honored to receive the Nashville Emerging Leader Award for Arts, Entertainment, & Music Business for 2014. This was an interview with 12th & Broad's Knight Stivender just after receiving the award.