Last year’s Georgia on my Mind was such a cool event, with surprise guests and being at the Mother Church, I thought we should make it an annual thing. However, this year, Stacy was unexpectedly out of town, and with the Predators playing in the playoffs across the street, I ended up going solo with a less than sold out crowd.
We could and should have a whole blog about our camera travails. Getting a camera that takes consistently good pictures of the changing lights with singers dancing on stages near and far and not wearing out the zoom and lens is a challenge. So I got a new Canon (Powershot 610), and was first night taking it to a show. Only problem was I didn’t charge it, and then my phone died too. Luckily the woman next to me took some good shots on her Nikon and shared those with me, so at least I had some pics from the night.
Anyways, so I went over to Bridgestone to watch the start of the Preds versus the Ducks game, and got into the Ryman just before show time at 7:15. There was basically no line to get in, and once inside probably only half full.
As with last year, they started off with an acoustic set from Trea Landon, Jon Langston, and Cole Taylor. They each did only 1 song, Trea “Drag Around Town” (great lyrics), Jon “Right Girl, Wrong Time,” which Cole co-wrote with him and did backing guitar and vocals on stage made it sound great, and Cole a slow song called “Prayers aren’t Pretty.”
The Peach Pickers (Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins, and Ben Hayslip) came out for the first of their two mini sets. They did songs they’ve written for Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.
The highlight for me came next. After they talked about the importance of what the Georgia Music Foundation and it’s sponsors, including Gretsch Music do, they introduced a band from grant recipient school, Dahlonega’a Georgia Pick & Bow who played a medley of bird songs in a traditional Appalachian sound. After the finished they brought a surprise guest, Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls. Stacy wouldn’t have cared, but this made it worth me going just for the one song she did, More Pills, off her recent solo country album. I’ve listened to Indigo Girls since I was a kid, so this was a cool moment, she sounded incredible and you could feel every word. Kinda reminded me of going to see Brandy Clark.
Otis Redding’s sons came out next. They had been awesome last year, they have amazing voices, so evocative of their dad’s, and when they did “Try a Little Tenderness,” really transported me back to the first time I heard it, ironically in “Pretty in Pink.”
Two older artist came out next, Jimmy Hall did an old rock song form 1974 called “Keep on Smiling,” and then T Graham Brown did his hit “Tell it Like It Used to Be,” which he said coincidentally was released on that day in 1986.
Lauren Alaina, Michael Ray, and Kip Moore each came out and only got to do one song each, that probably worst part of the show since they were the “biggest” stars for me. Kip sang a really stripped down “That Was Us,” one of my favorites off of “Wild Ones”, and was awesome. I think Kip was like me and a bit miffed he only got one song. Somewhere in here is when my phone died, so the rest of the night we’ll see how my memory was.
Chris Janson, not a Georgia native, came out and managed to make “Buy Me a Boat” and his new “Fix a Drink” as one long song with a harmonica solo in the middle. He was very subdued for Chris, maybe only a 10 Mountain Dew day!
They brought up Governor Nathan Deal who is in his last term and gave him a foundation award for all he has done to promote Georgia music. He mentioned that Georgia now the third largest film producing state, and he has pushed the movie producers to include more Georgia musicians.
The Peach Pickers came back out and did a few more songs, finishing with everyone joining in on Rhett Akins “That Ain’t My Truck.” Rhett also told a cool story about meeting Ben when they were in middle school, always wondered how they knew each other.
The had two other surprises for the night, Jon Pardi who sounded really good and Thomas Rhett, who had just become a dad that week with his adopted girl, Willa Grace, finally coming home. He did his two songs about his wife Lauren, “Die a Happy Man” and “Star of the Show.”
All in a all a great night, full of different sounds showing Georgia’s influence in modern music, both country and other. Can’t wait for next year.