Tin Pan South 2016 took Nashville by storm last week. We were all over Music City, covering a variety of the amazing shows the event had to offer. From legendary songwriters to promising up and comers, here is part two of our many highlights to come out of Tin Pan South.
Natalie Stovall, Jack Ingram, Ray Scott and Joe Denim – Listening Room Café
While the entire show was filled with good camaraderie and even better songs, a particularly special moment came when Stovall told the story of a young man from Ireland was in the studio watching the Bobby Bones show when the radio show host asked if he could sing. He said yes, picked up a guitar and started playing live on the air – much to the excitement of the listeners, who were rampantly calling into the show to relay their approval. He was so impressive that Stovall asked him to perform on stage at the event (news that made his mother cry), a request that was followed by an amazing performance from the burgeoning star, who sounded like an Irish version of Garth Brooks. It was the perfect example of how dreams really do come true in Nashville.
Jonathan Singleton, Jessi Alexander, Cary Barlowe and Josh Thompson – The Country
Fans lined the street along 28th Ave to get into The Country, one of Tin Pan South’s newest venues, and it was standing room only once the show started. Special guest Maddie & Tae rocked the house with their hit song “Girl in a Country Song” during the early show at The Country. Cary Barlowe did not disappoint fans, performing hits like “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum and “Untouchable” a song on Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” album. The rest of the line up was just as exciting. Jessi Alexander performed her Lee Brice hit and Song of the Year at the 2013 CMAs and ACMs “I Drive Your Truck” and many others, while Jonathan Singleton performed hits like “Don’t” and “Redlight.” It was a great night for country music stars and hit songwriters.
Bobby Bones, Lee Thomas Miller, Chris DeStefano and Ashley Gorley – 3rd and Lindsley
Though all the guys did a phenomenal job, the real standout of the night was Chris DeStefano. He’s the writer behind some of country music’s biggest hits today including Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl,” “Don’t Ya” by Brett Eldridge, Chris Young’s “Aw Naw” and countless more. But it was his incredible voice that blew me away, causing many to wonder how he’s not a superstar himself. His impressive ability to write No. 1 hits, coupled with his sensational vocal ability, makes him a worthy candidate as a solo artist. Other standout moments of the night include Gorley’s sweet story about his daughter, an avid country music fan, and the time he was at Gillette Stadium surrounded by almost 70,000 fans, prompting him to text her and say “you should be here” – and a song was born.
Let’s not forget Bobby Bones, who had the audience laughing all night long with his amusing anecdotes. A highlight performance for him came when he sang the latest single off The Raging Idiots’ album, “The Critics Give it 5 Stars,” a duet with Carrie Underwood titled “We Can’t Stand Each Other.” Though Underwood herself did not make an appearance, the lovely Mikita served as a fine stand in. Her stunning, angelic voice singing lyrics like “now we can’t stand each other, you leave your dirty dishes in the sink and you’re always peeing on the toilet seat” showed off Bones’ silly writing style and had the crowd laughing.
And speaking of funny songs, Lee Thomas Miller may have written the most powerful ode to the infamous statue down on the circle at Music Row (you know the one). The audience was in hysterics as Miller sand lyrics such as “the women look chilly, the men sure do look proud” and “songwriters drive by every day, at 10 we all crack a peek.” I’m not sure if anyone has written something so poetic about Nashville’s most confusing work of art.
Jenn Schott, Alex Hall, Jennifer Hanson and Mark Nesler – Blue Bar
The show began with hit songwriter Mark Nesler performing some of his mega hits like ” I Miss My Friend,” a hit by Darryl Worley, and “Just To See You Smile” recorded by Tim McGraw. His wife Jennifer Hanson performed just as many with songs like “Country Strong,” which the couple sang together and is the theme for the 2010 movie of the same name, and “Let Me Down Easy” recorded by Billy Currington. Jenn Schott performed her hit she wrote with Hanson, “Better Than You Left Me,” which was recorded by Mickey Guyton and she also performed her song recorded by McGraw, “Two Lanes of Freedom.” Last but not least was Alex Hall, who is signed to Parallel Music and performed many of his future hits and I’m sure we will see a lot more of him in the near future.
Corey Crowder, Jeremy Stover, Jared Mullins and Randy Montana – The Country
One of the last show of the week, this showcase at The Country was a solid way to end Tin Pan South. Mullins brought the laughs with the clever “Dwight Trashed,” a song that paid homage to ‘90s country music. In a song that takes the listener to a fun dive bar for a night of drinking, lyrics like “Aaron Tippin on back” and “when King George comes on we get carried away” had the audience laughing. In addition to the stellar singing, perhaps the best part of the evening was the genuine friendship expressed between these four writers, a theme that was prevalent throughout the entire week.
Another highlight came from Stover and his story behind Justin Moore’s hit “Small Town USA.” He told the touching tale of how he got to a point in his life where he began “attaching” himself to real people and realized that the fans gravitated toward topics and memories they could “hold on to” like grandparents and small towns, serving as the inspiration for the 2009 song.
Overall, it was a wonderful week of powerful stories, heartwarming friendships and some truly incredible songs. Check out our photo gallery from shows all around town.