Graceland: A Step Back in Time – or History

music musings, beaverdamusa.comFirst, I must apologize for the delay between blogs. I could blame it on the Russians, the time change, or the March snow-pocalypse we just had.  But then again, I could tell the truth and let you know I had writer’s block.  My web host has docked my pay accordingly.

(Photos at the end!)

A few weeks ago, my beautiful bride and I went to Memphis for a quick overnight getaway.  Since I live in Middle Tennessee, it takes a lot to get me to Memphis.  I will muse about the primary purpose in the next blog (that is called a tease), but I want to devote this installment to a by-product of our trip.

We took a step back in time and history before we left Memphis – we went to Graceland.  Yep – went to Elvis’s house.  Plopped down about $50 each and it was worth it.  The whole tour was very organized and easy to navigate.  At first, we took a shuttle bus across the street to the actual house itself and were given iPads with headphones to listen to John Stamos narrate your tour, along with pictures and additional photos and visual aids. After the house tour, you could tour a museum with his cars and even go on his two planes.  Below are the quick hits on the whole experience:

  • The house was not overwhelming in size.  It was probably big for its time, but compared to today’s McMansions, it was small.
  • It was like stepping back in time.  The furnishings were exactly as they were as the day he died in 1977 from the green percolator to the shag carpet.
  • The upstairs was considered private when he was alive, so the tour did not go upstairs out of respect.
  • The kitchen was small.  Really small.  
  • The grounds were beautiful with horses and a huge barn.  Elvis loved riding horses when he was home.
  • He built a large building in the backyard just to house a racquetball court.
  • The jungle room lived up to its reputation – maybe the missus and I could convert one of the kids’ room into a jungle room when they move out.
  • The largest plane included a dining room, bedroom, den, and galley.  Everything was covered in plastic.  Creepy.
  • The car museum was great.  It contained some of his original cars, including the Stutz Bearcat he drove the day he died.  It also contained a lot of “toys” like golf carts, tractors, and a snowmobile that had wheels instead of tracks so he could use it in the yard.
  • They had converted one of the buildings into a room with all sorts of memorabilia like receipts for building the pool, Lisa Marie’s (daughter) crib, Elvis and Priscilla’s wedding outfits, etc.  
  • The house and grounds were right in the middle of a neighborhood with houses right next to it.  Wonder if Elvis’s neighbors hollered across the fence “hey, want to snag a beer and grill?”
  • The graves were right there in the back yard.  The area around his parents and Elvis’s graves was very solemn – not a lot of talking.  
  • Throughout the tour, it was obvious that Elvis loved and revered his mother.

I was 13 years old when Elvis died.  I remember watching some of his specials on TV, but his mainstream popularity was waning and he was probably destined to a residency in Vegas and then maybe even Branson.  The number of people who remember Elvis is dwindling and it made me wonder how much longer the crowds will go to Graceland.  The mobs of girls who swooned and screamed when he shook his hips are dizzy for different reasons now.  

If you ever get a chance, I would recommend taking a step back in time and visit Graceland.  Who knows, you may like shag carpet.

As I mentioned, the next musing will be about the primary reason for the Memphis visit – “g” is your clue.

Musing about Memphis

Zach

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The Grammys – My Take

music musings, beaverdamusa.comLike a wreck on the interstate, you try not to look, but you just can’t help but stare.  That is the way I am with the Grammys.  I know I will come away from it saying “Damn, music has gone to hell” or “Who?” in my best curmudgeon voice.  So, I watched. 

  • Adele opening the show – noticed they didn’t use just a piano.  Guess they didn’t want to a repeat of last year.
  • J Lo – she almost joined the F (fast forward) club with her political speech.  Shut up and sing/present the award.
  • Best new artist – They chose Chance the Rapper over Kelsea Ballerini?  Please.  Kudos to Chance though for the God shout-out multiple times.  Still like Kelsea better.
  • Paris Jackson – who is that?  Google tells me that is Michael Jackson’s daughter.  Looks like the weirdness gene was passed on.
  • The Weekend and Robots.  I feel the curmudgeon rising up.   
  • John Travolta – presenting, and I love the dig at himself regarding his bad eyesight.
  • Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood – Mercy.  If she drops the mic and she picks it up, they will have to switch to HBO.  Momma C chimes in from the couch – “Wonder if the people in the front row can see up her dress?”
  • Nick Jonas – Did he join the Army?  Grow that hair out. Momma C with another zinger – “He doesn’t need to have that short hair with those ears.”
  • Best pop/duo award – award went to Twenty-one Pilots who stripped down to their underwear and accepted the award.  I started to go curmudgeon, but I listened to why they did this.  They said they were sitting around last year watching the Grammys in their underwear and said if they ever got one, they would accept it just like they were then.  Great story.
  • Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham- why is that dude out there?  She doesn’t need someone else.  Don’t like the mashup of the two songs
  • Beyoncé – Weird stuff.  I didn’t drop enough acid for this to make sense.  
  • Best country solo -  Maren Morris – Miranda should have won.  Did I ever mention that Miranda wore spurs last year?
  • Best urban contemporary album – Huh?  Hush Beyoncé. Why isn’t she shushed by music like others were when they ran long?  
  • Maren Morris and Alicia Keys – what the hell did Alicia Keys do to her hair?
  • Adele tribute to George Michael – Kudos to her for starting over. Also, proof that they were live.  They could have picked a different song. 
  • Metallica and Gaga performance.  James Hetfield’s mic didn’t work for the first half of the song.  What is it with sound and awards shows?  
  • Sturgill Simpson – sounds a lot like Dwight Yokam.
  • Bee Gees tribute – can’t believe it has been 40 since Saturday Night Fever.
  • Song of year – Adele.  Deserved.   Better than green haired dude that was nominated.  
  • A Tribe Called Quest – Oh please.  No comment.  
  • Prince tribute – Morris Day still has the moves.  I love Jungle Love and The Bird.  Bruno Mars killed it.  Great guitar at the end.
  • Tribute to those who left us – Very long list this year.  Way too long.  Damn allergies. 
  • Tim McGraw & Faith Hill – Faith’s lips were as red as her dress.  
  • Record and Album of the year – both to Adele.  Not a huge fan, but deserved.

Thanks for indulging me again while I go curmudgeon on the Grammys.  

Until next time, I’ll be trying unsee that Beyoncé number.  

Musing in Nashville

Zach 

It’s 5150 Time!

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI’m headed to Memphis in the next couple of days for a concert that you will hear about in the next installment of Music Musings.  While I was thinking about this upcoming excursion, my mind went back almost 31 years to the last time I journeyed down I-40 west to Memphis for a concert.

The year was 1986 and Van Halen had just released the first album with Sammy Hagar at the mic -5150.  For the uninformed, 5150 (pronounced 51-50), is the police code for the criminally insane.  My fellow VH enthusiast Joe and I bought tickets for the March 29th show in Memphis at the Mid-South Coliseum.  I can’t remember how we purchased the tickets – keep in mind this was pre-internet.  But, nonetheless, we had them and off we went.  We were young and was going to go down and back in the same day/night.  We miraculously found the Mid-South Coliseum (no GPS, Waze, etc.), rocked, and then made it back home.  

The excitement to see the new Van Halen was over the top for me.  I was curious to see how this incarnation would be.  While I wasn’t the biggest DLR fan back then, the jury was still out as to how Sammy would fit in the lead singer role.  From the opening note, there was no doubt with me that he had taken the band to the next level.  Not only did he bring energy, he also played guitar which allowed him and Eddie to swap licks on stage.  I remember thinking that it took …… guts to strap a guitar on and get on the stage with Eddie.   Here are a few memories from that night:

  • The sound – my ears hurt for two days.  There was a rawness about the sound that was hard to describe – it was like they said “acoustics? We’ll just overpower them with our amps”.
  • During Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love, Sammy sings the song from the catwalk high above the floor – even standing on the top rail and leaning out over the crowd.  Believe it or not, Eddie joined him up there as well.  Funny thing, about a month later in Nashville – Eddie stayed on the stage while Sammy went high.  Always wondered why the change – did Valerie or management pull that plug?
  • Sammy was all over the place and constantly establishing himself as the anti-Dave.
  • During Best of Both Worlds, I remember Sammy getting Eddie and Michael Anthony lined up at the front of the stage and start this crazy marching thing.  You could tell it was the first time they had done that, but they did it every single time they played that song in the years to come.  
  • The opening act was Bachman Turner Overdrive (BTO).  These classic rockers were a departure for VH who typically had no-names in the opening slot. 

At some point on the tour, the band released the video Live Without A Net.  It captures a great deal of the energy from the tour.  You should watch it at some point.  The one thing I saw that night and the video captures it is that they acted like a band.  They were excited to be there.  They were having fun playing music.   

Isn’t that what it should be like?

Zach, Musing about Memphis

Tonight’s the Night We’ll Make History

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI saw something on Twitter today that made me feel old.  No it wasn’t a picture of Maureen McCormick or a list of who’s performing at Bonnaroo.  It was this:

styx tweet

On January 19, 1981, Styx released Paradise Theatre.  That’s 36 years ago.  That album has seen six (almost seven) Presidents.  Jimmy Carter was on his way out the door when this album was released.  Hard to believe.

If you aren’t familiar with the album, it was Styx’s first concept album which was loosely based on the life of the Paradise Theatre in Chicago.  It spawned the popular hits Too Much Time on My Hands (never been a favorite), Snowblind, and The Best of Times.  The latter was the “theme” song of my senior prom (1982) – how you lived without that piece of information, I will never know.  In my opinion, this album shows the diversity of Styx’s contributors with rocking songs (Half Penny, Two Penny and the aforementioned Rockin’ the Paradise) and the softer ballads of The Best of Times and She Cares.  While diverse, it still plays well today. 

Believe it or not, I did not buy the album as it came out, rather I bought it after I saw Styx on this tour.  My friend Joe gave me a ticket to the show as a birthday present.  If you have read my musings previously, you might recall that this show made my top concert memories (favorite concert experiences), you know this show is in my list of all-time favorites.  

Back in the carefree days of general admission, you would get to the venue at least two hours early so you could stand up front by the stage.  Joe & I did just that and wound up right at the rail on Tommy Shaw’s side of the stage.   As the lights dimmed, a lone janitor came across the stage with a broom as A.D. 1928 was played.  There was piano, dry ice, and I was beginning to zone out and then BAM!  The curtain dropped, flashpots flashed, things went boom as Rockin’ The Paradise kicked off.  As the show literally wound down with A.D. 1958 and State Street Sadie, it truly was a downer.  Whether it was the music, the fact that I had never seen Styx, or the fact that I had never been that close to the stage, it was truly a memorable show.  

If I remember correctly, I went and bought the album the next day on the way home from school.  When the occasional Paradise Theatre song pops up, it takes me back to one great show filled with lots of memories – Will it go down as a classic album?  Nah, but it is still a classic in my mind, as old as it is.

Mariah’s NYE Disaster – My Take

music musings, beaverdamusa.comWell, by now you have probably seen or heard about Mariah Carey’s colossal foul-up on New Year’s Eve, either live or on YouTube.  If you have been away in Siberia and missed it, you can see it here -  Mariah – NYE.

While there have been accusations flying from both Dick Clark Productions and Team Mariah – it is simple – I believe she was impaired, smashed, high, stoned, tore up, or any other word you choose.  

How do I know this?  Look at what she is wearing and compare it to the crowd.  Folks are wrapped up like Nannook of the North, but MC has on the equivalent of a French-cut one-piece bathing suit.  She has to be out of her mind to wear that little amount of clothing in that cold weather.  

I won’t even get into the fact that she shouldn’t be wearing that outfit, regardless of the temperature.  It appears there was a constant battle between certain body parts and the elastic.  Just sayin’. 

News flash – she was lip synching and she would have been lip synching even if she was not hammered.  Here is another news flash for you – the people on the floats in the Thanksgiving parade are not singing either.  If you are old enough to remember American Bandstand, I hate to burst your bubble, but they were lip synching also.  How do I know? The fadeout at the end of the song was my first hint.  

If you remember Bandstand, you remember the king of all lip synchers – Milli Vinilli.  For the younger crowd, this duo put out a top selling album, won a Grammy, and sold out shows across the world.  Then it came out that they didn’t sing on the album and lip synched during their shows.  

Actually, a lip synch foul-up at a show was the start of their undoing.  Reminds me of the Johnny Bravo episode of the Brady Bunch (sorry, you must do your own research).   

All this to say that lip synching has been around for several years and will probably continue as long as more emphasis is placed on the presentation than the actual music.  Sadly, there are bands that use pre-recorded vocals and music in their “live” shows which I can’t stand – not that they asked me.   

I guess as “consumers” of music, we must decide what we like – the show or the music.  Personally, I feel you should never record anything that you can’t play live without help.  I’d rather hear an imperfect performance that is real than a perfect recorded performance.

Musing (live) in Nashville

Zach

2016 – What a Year

music musings, beaverdamusa.comChristmas is just a scant two days away and as usual, I keep telling myself that I must start shopping earlier – like maybe on December 20th.  I intended to make this a Christmas Musing, but life got in the way and the Musing didn’t happen when I had hoped.  Since this is a week late, my blog host told me I could just work the rest of the year without pay.  Yikes!  Guess I had better get to writing.

As we approach the end of the year, we tend to reflect on the past year, and musically it is no different.  On a broad scope, 2016 will be remembered as the year the music world lost several icons.  January came in like a storm with the deaths of Glenn Frey (Eagles) and David Bowie.  While I’ve never been a big Bowie fan, his impact on the music world isn’t lost on me.  

When Gary Richrath died in 2015, I realized that the time was approaching when a lot of the musicians I grew up with would soon start passing.  I guess that is why Glenn Frey’s death hit me hard.  The Eagles’ Hotel California was the first “rock” album I ever purchased.  It was the finality that one of the greatest bands would never be whole again – Don Henley pronounced the death of the Eagles with the passing of Frey.  

As the year progressed we lost even more – Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Merle Haggard, Greg Lake and several more.  The tribute section of the Grammys will be long this time.  What’s the lesson?  I guess it would be to go ahead and see that group or musician when they come around – because you never know.

On the positive side, 2016 was a great year musically for me.  I got the privilege of seeing several shows and checked a couple of “I’ve never seen them” artists off my list.  

Leading the “never have seen them” list was Pat Benatar and Meat Loaf, in addition to Sheryl Crow.  I would put Meat Loaf in the “better hurry” category.  Another first was attending one of the stadium shows at Fan Fair (CMA Fest) after all these years.  Two words sum up that show for me – Miranda, spurs.  ‘Nuff said.

 In the old favorites category were Cheap Trick, Heart, Styx (with the Nashville Symphony), and John Waite.  Waite was my favorite small show in the intimate Franklin Theatre while the Styx/symphony show was the favorite “large” show.  While on different ends of the spectrum, they both blew me away.   As for the Heart show – I learned that Nancy Wilson can still kick her leg waaayyyy above her head.  

Even though I don’t get compensation from Apple, another positive for me was Apple Music.  It enabled me to listen to Leon Russell or Leonard Cohen songs – when I wouldn’t have otherwise.  I typically use it for looking back – in 2017, I need to use it to look forward and discover new music.  This would definitely please my wife and children who uttered probably the comment of the year on a long trip where I was in charge of the music – “we’ve haven’t heard anything past 1990 in the last three hours.”  Ouch.

In closing, I want to thank my regular readers for letting me invade their cyberspace every couple of weeks.  As you know, I run the gamut from serious to humor.  I love music and writing about it and I will continue assuming that you anxiously wait for the next installment of Music Musings.  Also thanks to my blog host and great friend, Barry, for providing this outlet to me.  

As we stand on the edge of ’17 (see what I did there?), I hope you will continue reading and wish you nothing but the best.

I Remember When and Where – “There Will Come A Day”

music musings, beaverdamusa.comThis “Musings” is going down Memory Lane under the new series title of – I Remember When & Where.  This may be the only post or it may be the start of several installments – we will just have to see.

We all have those songs or moments that are tied to a particular song.  You can pinpoint the exact time and place where you heard the song.  You remember vivid details about what was going on such as where you were, who you were with, or even what you were doing.  Now, can I remember to take the garbage out every Wednesday?  No, but I sure can remember musically related things.  So, these installments will focus on those special songs for me.

My bride and I were at the second JDRF Middle Tennessee Gala in 2002 at the Country Music Hall of Fame.  The performer on stage started introducing the next song by saying he wrote it in honor of his step-daughter who has Type I diabetes.  He took a folded piece of paper out of his pocket and placed it on the stand in front of him.   He proceeded to sing about how he wished he could trade places with her and how there will come a day when the pain and heartache ends and there won’t be a need to sing this song.

You could have heard a pin drop.  His step-daughter, Holly, was seated at the table right behind us.  I looked back at her and then the allergies hit, if you know what I mean.  You could tell that he was singing the song from his heart.  It truly was an amazing evening and a time that will always hold a fond memory for me.  

The artist was Steve Wariner and he sang There Will Come A Day for Holly, but I also know he sang the song for the children and adults who pray every day for a cure for Type I diabetes.  Steve has done so much through the years for JDRF from Public Service Announcements (with Holly) several years ago about the warning signs of Type I (pic.twitter.com/g3OgaWqE0v) to singing with the kids at JDRF’s Children’s Congress.  About a year later, Steve included the song There Will Come A Day (Holly’s Song) on his album Steal Another Day (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DL-UYRbatw).  While the final product includes full instrumentation, there is still something special about hearing it stripped down and raw – straight from the paper it was written on.  

As I look back on National Diabetes Awareness month, I truly appreciate the work that people have done to get closer to a cure because one day, hopefully soon, There Will Come A Day. 

Musing and waiting on the day in Nashville 

Zach

The Rock-n-Roll (?) Hall of Fame

music musings, beaverdamusa.comI saw a Tweet the other day that indicated if I wanted to vote for a particular band to enter the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Hall), I should click the link and vote.  I did.  As I started going through the nominees for the 2017 class, I realized again that the Hall needs to change its name.  Maybe it should be called the “We Have to Put These Folks in So Folks Will Wonder Why We Have Them Hall of Fame”. Maybe it should be the “Folks Who Impacted Music (Good or Bad) Hall of Fame.”

Either title would work.  The first class was inducted into the Hall in 1986 with the actual Hall itself opening in September of 1995.  Hats off to the Hall for having different induction categories – performer, early influence, sidemen, and non-performer.  Of the 310 inductees, 209 are in the performer category.  

The early classes were filled with you would expect – Led Zeppelin, Buddy Holly, Ike & Tina Turner, blues performers, and some R&B folks.  Then the crack developed in what I will call the Rock Wall during the 1997 class – the Bee Gees.  Yes, the high pitched harmonies that reverberated throughout discos was in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Huh?  While they sold more records than I will ever have dollars, they weren’t rock & roll by any stretch.  Once this floodgate opened, then these folks were inducted:

  • Bob Marley – eh, maybe.  
  • Donna Summer – I mean, if you are putting the Bee Gees in, might as well put the Queen of Disco in.
  • Madonna – sold a bunch of records, but really didn’t change music except to bring cones to wardrobes.
  • Michael Jackson – I’ve put him on a lot of lists, but rock & roll isn’t one of them.
  • NWA – at first I was trying to figure out how wraslin’ fit in with rock, but then I saw a picture of NWA.  Sorry guys.

Through the years, there have been some obvious ones they got right, such as Cheap Trick, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith, Heart, KISS, the Who, and of course, Van Halen. 

During the induction ceremonies, it sometimes provides an awkward situation as former members have to stand on stage with the ones they fought with or trashed in the media.

So, back to voting.  I went to the website and looked over the 2017 nominees and the same holds true for this nominee class – some obvious and some head scratchers. 

  • Bad Brains – who?
  • Chaka Khan – really? 
  • Chic – more R&B 
  • Depeche Mode – heard of them, but seriously doubt their influence.
  • Electric Light Orchestra – Long line of hits and took stage sets to a new level
  • J. Geils Band – not worthy in my book.
  • Jane’s Addiction – heard of them, but again – what did they contribute?
  • Janet Jackson – please.  
  • Joan Baez – folk singer.  I can see it.
  • Joe Tex – not sure what he did
  • Journey – deserving – really set the stage for arena rock.
  • Kraftwerk – during my first year of college, a guy across the hall had their album.  Remember a bunch of synthesizers, etc.  Don’t think that qualifies them for the Hall.
  • MC5 – huh?
  • Pearl Jam – yes, they probably should be there.  
  • Steppenwolf – no issue with the band getting in, but this might be one to watch if they make it.  Bad blood between John Kay and original members.
  • The Cars – different, but no problem letting them in.
  • The Zombies – not familiar, but at least I’ve heard of them.
  • Tupac Shakur – guess if he gets in, the whole rap wars thing would be brought up.
  • Yes – yes.

You get to vote for five a day.  I voted for ELO, Journey, Joan Baez, Pearl Jam, and Yes.  Go to www.rockhall.com and vote. 

Until next time

Zach

My Take on the 50th CMA Awards

music musings, beaverdamusa.comAs usual, watching music award shows brings all sorts of emotions – awe, sadness and, “What the hell were they thinking when they picked them to play?”  The 50th CMA awards were no different.  I recorded the show and started watching about an hour into it, so here is my take on the show – for what it’s worth.

  • Opening video was nice retrospective on past shows.  The stroll through the songs was a treat for the most part.  It included folks like Vince Gill playing Haggard and Brad Paisley sharing the stage with 80 year old Charlie Daniels.  Reba came out in a dress that matched her hair. At the end, they brought out Randy Travis to watch them sing his song Forever and Ever, Amen.  
  • Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley as co-hosts always bring some great comedy.  Their take on the Presidential debates was a nice nod to current events.
  • In the “know where you are” category, the record exec who tumbled off the stage behind him while up there with Thomas Rhett, takes the prize.
  • Excited to see Kelsea Ballerini perform her hit Peter Pan.  Could have done without the ballet dancers on strings behind her.  Sound was off a little bit on her number.  It never ceases to amaze me how bad the sound is on these shows.  
  • They had long-time crush Olivia Newton-John as a presenter for Song of the Year since she won a CMA in 1974.  Really wanted Cam’s Burning House to win.
  • Jason Aldean and Brooks and Dunn performed some song – They were the first ones to bring out the F factor.  The F factor is how quick can I hit fast forward on the remote.  They scored 2F.  Did Ronnie Dunn lose a bet and have to have his hair styled liked that?
  • Maren Morris is evidently the new “favorite artist” this year.  Sounds like she has some pipes, but not my cup of tea.
  • Jennifer Garner came out to present something.  Doesn’t’ matter what she presents – she can present me with anything she wants.
  • New artist went to Maren Morris over my pick Kelsea B.  I did like her line about watching last year’s awards at a bar across the street and now she has killer seats.
  • Barbara Mandrell – didn’t like you back then and still don’t.  
  • Nice set by Garth & Tricia.  Showed what I think was Lorie Morgan during the Keith Whitley song.  YIKES!  The miles have not been good to Lorie.
  • Carrie Underwood’s number (Dirty Laundry) wasn’t my favorite, but I love the fact that they always have her walking down steps when she sings.  My sweet wife chimes in for the first time with “how’d they find that many girl guitar players?”
  • Glad Fatih Hill has long hair again.  Keep it that way.
  • Glad to see Eric Church get album of the year.  Not really a fan, but he recently donated $1 million to JDRF – need him to keep making money.
  • Miranda – sigh.  She gets every award in my book.  Where is her sparkly pink microphone?  Also, where are those spurs she wore at Fan Fair?
  • Circle of kids around McGraw during Humble and Kind reminded me of Children of the Corn.
  • Vocal duo – Why did they switch the Osborne Brothers’ name around?  Really surprised they didn’t do Rocky Top.  At least it wasn’t Florida-Georgia Line.
  • When Brad was talking about Wal-Mart’s Green Light for Vets, my bride chimes in with “he got that jacket at Wal-Mart”.
  • Come back from commercial – it’s Beyonce in some sort of white space suit with other ladies on stage – wait – oh crap – they’re back.  Dang Dixie Chicks.  Didn’t like them before they killed their career.  You don’t cover a Stevie Nicks song (Landslide) and get love from me.  This earned the highest F factor – F infinity.
  • Good lord there’s Peyton Manning – in a tux.  Wife – “he could be President”
  • Camera shows the crowd – good Lord, Jennifer Garner is sitting next to Olivia Newton-John.  I need a cigarette. Way too much hotness in one spot.
  • Something about Luke Bryan’s songs I just don’t like.
  • Lee Greenwood – has anyone ridden a single song more and longer than him?
  • Crap – it’s Florida-Georgia Line with Tim McGraw – he must have lost a bet or they have photos of him.  F factor of three.
  • Lily Tomlin intros the Dolly tribute – damn – the recording shut off and I was about 10 minutes behind.  Missed her speech and Stapleton winning male vocalist.  
  • Thought Taylor Swift put Nashville and country in the rearview mirror?
  • Entertainer of the Year – Garth.  Who else? Sells multiple shows out everywhere he goes.  Highest number of shows in a single city was 11 on this tour.  It was like Garth said “step aside – Daddy’s here to take home the big prize.”  

All in all, it was an entertaining three hours – well, except for FL/GA line, oh, and Jason Aldean, and the Dixie Chicks.  Did I tell you I can’t stand the Dixie Chicks?

Musing in Nashville

Zach

Singing With the Saints

music musings, beaverdamusa.comThis musing is going to be a little different from my others.  It’s is going to be more reflective or personal.  For the past 10+ years, I have sung in the choir at my church – Kingston Springs United Methodist Church in Kingston Springs, TN.  If you are interested, I sing bass and love it. 

Our choir director is Julia Rich who is a gem and performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for years.  Her late father was a United Methodist preacher who served in the Middle Tennessee area for years. 

One of his stops was Tulip Street United Methodist Church in East Nashville.  Tulip Street was founded in 1859 with the building started in 1860 and finishing after the Civil War.  The architecture of the outside is beautiful and the inside is stunning and cathedral-like.  But, like many of these old churches, the neighborhoods are changing, people are changing how and where they worship.  With an average worship attendance of somewhere around ten, the decision was made to close this grand ole church.  

Like any good Methodist, when faced with a crisis – they decided to eat.  Seriously, a Homecoming/Last Service was planned where former pastors, members, and staff were invited back to celebrate the church to celebrate its history.  Our choir director was asked to come and sing since her father was pastor at Tulip Street, and she then volunteered to bring us to the festivities.  So we grabbed our robes and music and sang during communion as shown below.  [In case you wondering, I’m the bald dude on the back row on the far left, looking at the picture.]  

tulip1How about that beautiful pipe organ!  It was installed in 1891 and has had minimal alterations to it.  The sounds that came out of those pipes were magnificent.

Sitting and standing up there in the choir loft, my mind starting to wander – not during the sermon, of course.  I started thinking about all the people who sat where I sat over the last 150+ years.  What would they think about the church closing?  Did they hear the same pipes/bellows clicking as the organ played? 

I realized that I was part of the last choir to sing at this church.  Wonder what the first choir was like?  Wonder if the saints who have gone on gathered around on October 9, 2016 to watch that sanctuary once again be filled with music and people?  I would like to think so.  It was quite an honor to sing there and I really appreciate the opportunity.

Musing and singing with the saints

Zach

P.S.  Someone recorded the service and posted it on YouTube – the choir starts at 1:22 into the video at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruQ-5ghO9wQ).  

P.P.S. – You can check out the Tulip Street UMC page on Facebook for much more information.  I am also attaching some pictures of the church my sweet wife took.

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