Saturday, April 07, 2007

Tin Pan South 2007 (Saturday, 3/31)

On Saturday I was especially looking forward to seeing Kenny Loggins at 12th & Porter, along with Richard Marx and Gary Burr. I am especially a fan of Loggins’ music from the 70’s, and his talents as a writer and recording artist are known worldwide. The latter is true for Marx. Given this, the size and location of the club made chances of a seat almost nil for any given attendee. I could have put all my eggs in one entertainment “basket” and staked out a place in line at a ridiculously early time, but common sense and the desire to see my friends Tim Buppert and Jerry Vandiver in their early show prevailed.

So it was dinner at the French Quarter, with the round made up of Buppert (“She’s Sure Taking It Well,” Kevin Sharp), Vandiver (“In A Little While,” Tim McGraw), Canadian Victoria Banks, and newcomer Misty Loggins. Buppert and Vandiver (known to some as “The Tim and Jerry Show”) were in typical form, jabbing and heckling one another in a friendly competition for laughs. Tim performed a somewhat uncharacteristically sweet love song and introduced the woman he’d written it for, and shared how meeting her had provided the needed inspiration to pull him out of a slump a couple of years ago. Such a better story than “I sat down with my friend to write and we couldn’t think of anything else, so we came up with this.” Though no less true in some cases, no doubt.

Jerry introduced his special guest and protege/cowriter, Jesse Lee, who made up for her admitted beginner-level guitar skills with her singing talent, her charm, and well, let's just say she reminded us why they make red cowboy boots.

So then it was off to see the Wizard. After circling the blocks around the club, including some very dodgy areas, looking for a legal place to park, I finally found a space that provided assurance I would not be towed plus an opportunity for exercise and fresh air, and walked to the club. I joined a line of about 50-75 people (though I’m not confident of my crowd-estimating skills) and hoped for the best, thankful I was at least in the Fast Pass line which would receive priority over those paying at the door. People were in generally good spirits, and I had a nice chat with a couple from California in front of me. He is a songwriter who has managed to figure out a way to work at a hospital in southern California and also spend significant time in Nashville to write.

By the time we got through the doors there was already quite a crowd, and I at least managed to find a place to lean. Opting not to give up an early show for a place in line turned out to be a good decision; a woman standing near me said she had been in line for Loggins at 5pm, and she didn’t fare much better than me. The small venue was Loggins’ choice, and if it was intimacy he was going for, he succeeded. “I’m sweatin’ already” Marx declared after his first song.

And he also succeeded in pleasing the audience, along with Marx and Burr, playing a set of one great “assisted solo” after another, including the hits (“Footloose,” “House at Pooh Corner” by Loggins; “The River” by Marx; “What Mattered Most” by Burr). They also presented some new ones, including one (“I’ll Remember Your Name”) that, as Loggins explained, had demanded to be a collaboration with Marx. As the audience giggled after Loggins announced his new album was “available now at Target,” he demanded in mock protest “why do people always laugh when I say that?”

After a nominal amount of time at the TPS after-party, where I made repeated trips to the bar for o.j. and water before moving on to the hard stuff (Coca-Cola, straight), and chatting with friends (and hearing nearly all of what was said), it was time to call it a night, and a week…until next year. Y’all come see us.

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