Saturday, April 07, 2007

Tin Pan South 2007 (Thursday, 3/29)

Thursday saw the traditional round featuring Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick and Phil Madeira, with special guest, Aussie Melinda Schnieder, joining them under the lamp at Douglas Corner. I skipped the early shows just to make sure I had a good seat for this one, and the plan was a success. The usual genuine air of camaraderie among the three men (GK: “Wayne, do you have any…songs?”) was extended to include Schnieder. Having a mother was a yodeler and a father who was a cop has given her a unique take on life; she shared one song that included just enough yodeling to be fun without being obnoxious. Two things that are sure crowd pleasers at the Grand Ole Opry are yodeling and patriotic songs; this is at least partially the case at Tin Pan South (though for the latter the politics seem to lean the opposite of the Opry crowd).

I shared a table with Jim and his daughter Alyssa from Wisconsin. In town to check out Vanderbilt University for Alyssa, they had come to see Michelle Shocked in the early round, and since they had missed it they stayed for the late show. I told them they were about to have the quintessential Nashville experience. Their nods and smiles throughout the show told me they were far from disappointed.

Madeira played his song “Come On Out With Your Hands Up” (a metaphorical reference to surrendering to a higher power), and shared the story Kennedy’s introduction of the song while performing at a women’s prison: “I guess most of you have heard this phrase before.” And of course, there were the hits; Kennedy led the group in his and Kirkpatrick’s Eric Clapton cut “Change the World” and Kirkpatrick played a solo rendition of “Boondocks” (Little Big Town). I was ready to help out on the last bit (“You get a line/I’ll get a pole…”) so he could add the harmonies for the big finish…no such request was made. Maybe next year.

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