Inside Zach’s iPod – Vol. 4 (and Maybe the Last)

music musings, beaverdamusa.comPlease – stop your crying.  I know this Musing’s title sent you into an emotional come-apart, but you will survive and make it to tomorrow.

Why possibly the last?  Well, we combined my old PC and my wife’s PC onto a new PC at home.  First, Apple doesn’t make it easier to transfer songs on an iPod to a new computer if you don’t use the cloud.  Ironically, my wife was paranoid about losing the pictures and I was worried about what else – the music.  Now the new combined iTunes library has over 5,000 songs.  I am still having trouble synching the new library with my old iPod, so I think I am going to have to reset the iPod to make it synch – thus the possibility of this being the last blog with the current iPod.  So, if you are still with me, I will hit “shuffle” one last time and write about the first five songs that pop up –

zach's ipodSomeday I Will – Jimmy Buffett – This newer Buffett song is from the Far Side of the World album.  Anytime I hit shuffle, chances are there will be a Buffett song in the first 10 songs because I have so many of his songs.  This song is about setting your mind on doing something and taking that first step.    Someday I will exercise…..  Well, that could be a long way off.

Hear About It Later – Van Halen – This deep cut on the under-appreciated Fair Warning is a classic.  From Michael Anthony’s great backing vocals to Alex’s cowbell in the middle of the song, this is truly a great song to crank up, roll the window down, and cruise.

Rhiannon (Piano Version) – Stevie Nicks – This different take on the Fleetwood Mac classic is basically an “unplugged” version with a piano as the primary instrument.  Stevie could sing the white pages or the Marshall Andy Waffle House jingle (old school Knoxville peeps know) and I would think it was great.  She is definitely one of rock’s royalty.

End of the Innocence – Don Henley – From his monster album of the same title, this is a favorite Henley song of mine.  Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, this album received a lot of airplay in my apartment.  Henley has one of those distinct voices that you recognize right off the bat.  Like everyone else, he has a “country” album coming out this month (September).  Of course, the Eagles’ music would definitely be country in today’s world.  I remember seeing Henley at Starwood around that time and appreciated his devotion to his roots – on any Eagles’ song, he would play the drums.

Born to Fly – Runaway Home – As I briefly mentioned a couple of blogs back, Runaway Home is a local band from Kingston Springs, where I live.  This particular cut is from their sophomore album There’s A Paradise.  Like most of their songs, the harmonies and violin sounds are out front .  You should check this band out online and snag their CD.

Well, even if I get the iPod reformatted and synched, I wonder if there is room for the additional songs added to my library?  Maybe the next version will be from my iTunes vs. the iPod.

Until next time –


Top 5… Make that My Top 7 Concerts

music musings, beaverdamusa.comA song came on the other day while mowing and it caused me to think about seeing that artist in concert.  I told myself (I do that while mowing) that it was definitely a top five concert.  I went “Ah Ha!” – not because I ran over a stump, but because I had my next Musing topic.  I started accumulating them in my mind and quickly got to seven.  The thought of going on until I got to ten ended because I was finished mowing, so I kept it at seven.  So in no particular order, here are my top seven concerts of all time –

  • Jimmy Buffett (A.O. Smith benefit) – A.O. Smith school in Nashville provides musical instruments to underprivileged children.  This fundraiser was held at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville.  Jimmy had his acoustic guitar and a band of two – former Coral Reefer Josh Leo on guitar and the great Mac McAnally on piano and guitar.  The opening number was Mac’s “It’s My Job” for which Buffett walked out, sat on the edge of the stage (barefooted) and proceeded to sing.  The rest of the night was a trip acoustically through his hits and other deep cuts.
  • Styx with the Nashville Symphony – I recently blogged about this show (Styx with the Nashville Symphony), so I won’t go into great detail.  This show was really a once-in-a-lifetime deal.  I really wish I had a recording of this show.
  • Van Halen – Atlanta (September 2004) – This was the last show Sammy Hagar played with Van Halen and based on recent media mudslinging, it will be the last.  If you have been around me or read my blogs, you know I am a Sammy fan, so I was disappointed when he left the band in 1996.  He rejoined the band in 2004 for a tour which provided me a chance to see him and the band together one more time.  Ironically, they closed the show with one of my favorites – When It’s Love.
  • Moody Blues – Edwin Warner Park (circa 1993).  Back in the day, there was a fundraiser in Edwin Warner Park (Nashville) which featured a couple of days of hot air balloon rides, food, and hot air balloon races.  On the closing night, an outdoor concert was put on in the park.  My girlfriend at the time (now wife) worked at a local bank and volunteered at the event for the bank, so I tagged along like a good boyfriend.  The show that night was the Moody Blues with the Nashville Symphony.  We stayed for the show thinking “why not – it’s free?”   The combination of the symphony, the Moody Blues, and the cool evening under the stars proved to be a great environment.  Maybe it was the surprise factor, but anyway, it was a great show.  This was my first “rock” concert pairing with a symphony.
  • Styx – Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium (circa 1981) – My friend Joe bought tickets to this show on the Paradise Theatre tour for my birthday.  We were able to get to the show early and stand down front at the stage.  We were about two people back from the stage which gave us a great view of the stage.  The show opened with A.D. 1928 (slow, short piano introduction) and then Rockin’ The Paradise kicked in with flashpots and lights that I swear took some off the top of my head (maybe that’s what happened).
  • Stevie Nicks – Starwood Amphitheatre (circa 2000) – Lori & I had tickets to this show and a co-worker also had tickets but couldn’t go, so she asked me to sell her tickets if I could.  When we got to the venue, we noticed her seats were on the third row!  Needless to say I didn’t have any takers on trying to sell her tickets.  Maybe the fact that I stood in front of a speaker and whispered “who needs two?” had something to do with it.  Anyway, about halfway through the show, we got to go to the front of the stage and even got to shake Stevie’s hand (sigh).  As always, that lady delivered.
  • Van Halen – Memphis Coliseum (1985) – This was the first tour with Sammy as the lead singer and the second stop on the tour.  The volume was out of sight so much that my ears rang for two days.  There was a raw energy between the band members and they were having a blast.  If you have ever seen the video of that tour – Live Without A Net, you know Sammy climbs upon the catwalk and swings off it as well as stands on top of its railing.  Well, in Memphis, Eddie did the same thing.  Funny thing was that a week or two later when we saw them in Nashville, Eddie didn’t follow Sammy up there – my hunch was that Val (wife at the time) had something to do with that.  The only other time I saw that type of energy was when I saw them on the opening night of a tour in Atlanta.  While there were bumps in the show, it was a natural feeling without any polish.

Well, I am sure there are others that could challenge these if I thought long enough.  Thanks for reading and hope you have a safe Fourth of July.

Zach, Musing in Music City (home of the largest fireworks display)


Inside Zach’s iPod and Mind, Vol. 1

musings 250_edited-1My wife has told me many times that I have the most varied tastes in music and it is true.  From country to rock and from vocalists to pop; my tunes also cover many years.  My iPod contains 3,874 songs as I write this musing.

While trying to come up with an idea for a musing last week, I had a crazy, random thought – why not write about some songs on my iPod.  I could write about the artist, what I associate the song with, whether I like it or not, and why I have it.  Here are the rules I came up with:

  • iPod is set to shuffle all songs.
  • I will write about the first five songs that play.
  • I am not allowed to skip a song, unless it has previously played.

So here you go, your first peek inside my iPod and my brain:

  • Calling Dr. Love (Hayseed Dixie) – Yes, you read that right.  The song is from a KISS tribute album (Kiss My Grass) by Hayseed Dixie.  The album includes KISS songs played in bluegrass fashion by some great Nashville bluegrass musicians.  I discovered this on a syndicated radio show – Rick & Bubba out of Birmingham.  Small world is that I later discovered that their “manager” that went with the band on the shows was none other than friend and Mr. Music Row – Billy Block.
  • Take Another Picture (Quarterflash) – Title track from their second album.  I have been a Q’flash fan since their blockbuster debut album.  I got to see them a couple of times at Opryland theme park and once at the Volunteer Jam.  Ironically, in the early days of Internet and e-mail, I found Marv Ross’s e-mail and he & I have carried on correspondence through the years.  Current information, including new albums can be found at   A cool tidbit regarding this song – when the band would do this song, they would have Polaroid cameras (Google it) and snap pictures of the audience and give them out.
  • I Go Crazy (Paul Davis) – Yes, I purchased a Greatest Hits album by Paul Davis.  While I knew a couple of his Top 40 hits, I really didn’t appreciate Paul’s talent until I got to see him in a songwriters’ round several years ago.  The line-up included Paul, Skip Ewing, Paul Overstreet, and the great Mac McAnally – some serious Music City heavyweights.  Paul had basically become a recluse and rarely performed, so this was a treat.  I later stumbled upon a Yahoo group dedicated to Paul and realized how lucky I was to have seen him live.  Sadly, he died about a few years ago.
  • Fast Company (Eagles) – From the Long Road Out of Eden double CD.  Honestly, this is probably the second time I have listened to this song.  If I wasn’t typing, I would have hit “next” already.  Reaching for the button now…..
  • Planets of the Universe (Stevie Nicks) – From the Trouble in Shangri-La album (2001); however, this cut is playing from the Crystal Visions (Best of Stevie Nicks) album.  I have been a huge Stevie fan for years.  As I listen to this song, I am remembering seeing Stevie at the old Starwood Amphitheatre.  My wife & I wound up on the third row and got to stand up at the edge of the stage.  Probably up there in the top ten concert experiences.  Stevie could sing the phone book & I would probably buy it.

Please stay seated until the ride comes to a complete stop and then exit quickly to your right.  Please be sure to let us know what you thought of your ride and come back soon.

Until the next ride through my iPod


Few Young Stars Shine Like Payton Taylor

Payton Taylor

Few artists go from the karaoke stage to the big stage.

Then again, few artists sound like Payton Taylor.

The up-and-coming country artist recently told us how an impromptu karaoke performance changed her life. “I’d been on stage doing theater productions and church choir ever since I was little,” she said. “But the first time I did country was in Printer’s Alley in Nashville. There is a little karaoke bar called Lonnie’s (Western Room), and I had gone with my show choir. It was one of the only places we could get in because of age restrictions. We all went inside, and I sang one country song.”

Her current manager and guitarist, Joe Caliva, was in the audience that night. “We had been doing some vocal training things together for quite a while, and he heard me that night and said, ‘you know, let’s try country.’ And I was all for it, so it kind of just grew from there.”

Payton Taylor

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And grown it has. Payton has released one album, is at work on the second, and has developed a killer live show that would leave plenty of Music City veterans in the dust.

And she’s only 16.

While most teenage female vocalists today emulate the Swifts and the Underwoods, Payton prefers something a little more edgy. Try Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGhee,” Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen,” and “American Woman” by The Guess Who.

“Ever since I was really tiny my mom always said I was just an old soul,” the Cherry Hill, N.J., native said. “And I guess I didn’t really understand that until I got my grandfather’s vinyl collection after he passed away, and I was very intrigued by it.

“I got his record player and just started going through all the vinyl, and I popped a couple in, and just over the years I really just started gravitating toward his Fleetwood Mac and his Janis Joplin “Pearl” vinyl. He had so many great vinyls from back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and I just fell in love with music from that era, and we try to do our best on covering them during our live shows.”

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Payton’s performance qualities are seasoned, but she had to work for it. “I did theater for the longest time, and I feel like that really brought me out of my shell,” she said. “I had pretty bad stage fright when I was younger, and I feel like doing theater really helped me overcome that. When I started singing country music and performing at fairs and festivals in my hometown, that stage fright kind of came back and it took a little while to warm up to it, but then I guess something just kicked in and I’ve felt very at home on stage ever since.”

Payton’s new single, “Small Town Paradise,” is a tribute to the communities where young country artists cut their teeth. In September for instance, she performed at the Lincoln County Fair in Fayetteville, Tenn. The show was such a success, her team produced a highlight video.

“Joe and I have had an opportunity to go to a lot of small towns,” she said, “Lincoln County being one of the cool really small-town places we’ve gotten to be. We get to see a lot of great little small towns all across America when we’re on tour, and I always feel very welcomed and at home by – you know, the mom-and-pop shops, and even the Lincoln County (High School) Falcons spirit is an example. It’s very welcoming, and we decided to write a little tribute from all the people we’ve gotten to meet, and celebrate the small town way of life.”

“Small Town Paradise” will be featured on her upcoming album, which she plans to release in Spring, 2014. She released her first album “Shine” in 2011, writing one of the five tracks.

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“I wrote “Love Don’t Give Up on Me” with Joe Caliva, and that was my first try at songwriting. Ever since then I have just fallen in love with songwriting. I really got bit by the bug. And I think that was one of the biggest discoveries I made after the release of my first album.

“Our next album project will be six songs that Joe and I wrote together, and I’m real excited to get that out there – my debut as a songwriter.”

While writing and recording are challenging, so is touring. And Payton knows a thing or two about life on the road. “We’ve done well over 75 shows this year, and we’ll probably reach pretty close to 100 before this year is out. The 2013 tour season has kind of calmed down a little bit, and we’ve got a lot of really cool shows in Nashville coming up now. Probably after the holidays until March or so we’re going to really work on trying to finish up (the new album), really work on some new material as well.”

She paused, then said with renewed excitement, “Yeah, just nail down this project and get it out there. And then next summer just go out there and do it all over again.” Finest Craft Beers from America’s Best Micro Breweries- 728x90 banner