Entertainment, On A High Note

A Week of Great Songwriters: Tin Pan South 2018 in review

Photo by Jessi Maness

Tin Pan South is something we all look forward to every spring. It’s as if with the freshness of spring, comes the greatness of song, all chiming in with the birds who are feeling equally enthusiastic.

Speaking of birds, there is a relatively new singing/songwriting artist we were privileged to hear this year – who is really making waves and is already signed with Reviver Records. Have you heard the name Tenille Arts? If not, hold onto your hat! We predict you’ll be hearing lots from her very soon! With songs to her credit like “Run Out of You,” which she explains was written based on her own long-distance relationship, she is sure to soar to the top. Her new album, “Rebel Child,” is currently for sale on her website.

Arts was just one of many talented writers to take the stage in Nashville for the annual songwriters festival. Along with Arts, Adam Wheeler’s round at the Station Inn included Janelle Arthur and Marc Narmore. Arthur is another amazing female vocalist with an incredible range for both singing and songwriting – stretching from the comedic with a song called “Drunk Girl,” to the more serious and now-movie-track song titled “Runnin’ from my Roots.” Narmore was the self-proclaimed soul man of the hour (or two) and enthralled the audience when he performed “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” a song that had been a hit for Craig Morgan. And we can’t forget Wheeler, who inspired tears from a few folks in the room when he sang songs like “That Night Was As Clear As Day,” and “The Grace of God/The Grace of a Woman.”

Chris Wallin, who’s penned several hits including Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Blink” and “That’s Something To Be Proud Of” by Montgomery Gentry, performed during Tin Pan South 2018. Photo courtesy of Chris Wallin

Additionally, songwriter greats like Chris Wallin, Jennifer Hanson, Mark Nesler and Phillip White were also part of the festival. Wallin, famous for his hair – oops, I mean for his hits – like “Don’t Blink (Kenny Chesney) and “That’s Something To Be Proud Of” (Montgomery Gentry) garnered the attention of all, but his song “Hate Me If You Want To, Love Me If You Can” (Toby Keith) was probably a fan favorite. Nesler broke out “There’s a Difference In Living and Living Well,” (George Strait) and White sang “I’m Moving On” made famous by Rascal Flatts, then the beautiful Hanson sang “I’ll Wait for You.” Hanson was once a signed artist with a Top 20 hit titled “Beautiful Goodbye,” and co-writer of “Country Strong” for Gwyneth Paltrow, for the movie of the same name.

On the last night of Tin Pan South, incredible groups of songwriters appeared all over town for one last hoorah! At the Commodore lounge, four guys took the stage who had way too much in common, the saddest being that they’ve all lost their moms in the relatively recent past. Long-time musician, singer/songwriter Marc-Alan Barnette and his famous songwriting friends, Jimbeau Hinson, Ray Herndon and Paul Jefferson, were nothing short of fabulous. If you went to see great entertainment and hear incredible songs, they did not disappoint. Songs that made Barnette famous in town include “Too Much Blood In My Alcohol Level,” (also made famous by David Ball) and “Can’t Blame Nobody But Me.” Hinson, who has had hits by the Oakridge Boys, Steve Earl and others, delighted listeners with songs like “Fancy Free” and “Hillbilly Highway.”

Marc Alan Barnette, Ray Herndon, Paul Jefferson and Jimbeau Hinson performed at the Commodore lounge during 2018 Tin Pan South. Photo by Jessi Maness

The fun was running rampant. Jefferson pulled out songs like “That’s As Close As I’ll Get to Loving You,”(Aaron Tippin) and “You’re Not My God” (Keith Urban) that Jefferson co-penned with Urban. Herndon performed a Lee Greenwood cut titled “You’ve Gotta Get Your Heart Right,” and brought out a tear-jerking song when he played a song for his mom (whom he has lost) and talked about how that was his least favorite thing the group had in common. The song was “An Ordinary Woman Defying Gravity,” which talked about how no matter what seemed to befall his mom, she always took it in stride and never let it bring her down.

So – if you didn’t make it out to Tin Pan South, you’ve missed a lot this year

If you’ve been to Tin Pan South in the past, you know nearly every music club in the Nashville area plays host to songwriters Tuesday through Saturday night for the entire week Tin Pan South is running. If you have not ever been to at least a night or two of Tin Pan South shows, we recommend you watch for next year’s dates and join us in 2019. You will be so glad you did!