Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nashville on The Hill

"You should really just stop," I suggested to my friend-slash-colleague, Patrick as we stood just feet from some of Nashville's top songwriters.

He was clapping along as very serious musicians performed songs they'd written that made other people....people like Keith Urban, Faith Hill and George Straight very famous. And he was not clapping to the beat.

"But I'm really enjoying myself," Patrick said.

We did enjoy ourselves on Tuesday night!

P and P

The Nashville Songwriters Association Internationl was in D.C. this week, and I LOVE it when NSAI comes to town - LOVE.IT.  It is one Capitol Hill reception that I try to never miss.

If you've never been to a congressional reception, then grab a nametag, and let me take you inside.....

Typically the event is held inside some Committee or other meeting room where staffers nosh on free hors d'oeuvres and make frequent stops at an open bar.

And lots of people stand around doing this. 

Usually Hill receptions are kind of stuffy.

But not if the songwriters are in town. After everyone puts down a glass of wine (and their BlackBerrys) it's like a mini-concert. And, it's mega-fun.

Confession: I love songwriters. I love most clever, smart wordsmiths of any kind, but take good writing and match it with music? I'm awed. I would give anything to have that talent.

So, while Patrick may have been off beat with his clapping, it is is really I who was the biggest nerd at this party. I always stand at the closest table to the performers, and I sing along. I want them to know I know their work, and love it. If I was a songwriter, that's what I'd want people to do for me. I'm shameless. I lose any shred of cool. That's what happened last night, as it always does.

Jeffrey Steele performed.  He has so many shreds of cool I'd bet he's made of confetti. 

If, like me, you dork out and a/still buy CDs and then b/always read the CD insert to learn who wrote the songs then you've likley heard of Steele. Or maybe you saw him as a judge on Nashville Star. He's written a ton of hit country music songs, but after watching him perform I'm not certain why he's not a full-time recording artist himself. I'd pay money to see him again. I'd also figure out how to work the settings on my camera....(Sorry for the blurry shots!)

Like most of the other writers, Steele gave interesting fun facts on how his songs were born, how they ended up being recorded by a particular artist or group (he's the mind behind several Rascall Flatt hits like These Days, Every Day and Jenni's favorite, Me and My Gang).  

Patrick and I stayed til the very end. Then, on my way home, I heard a handfull of songs that had just been performed by the people who'd penned them.  For once, my commute was entertaining!


Kitchen Belleicious said...

what a fun time! I wish I could have been there. When I hear a good song sung by an awesome singer I am always brought to tears. I just love music and the meaning behind it! Thanks for sharing such a fab time with us! We watched the concert on TV last sunday- Music on City Hill or something like that. It was great! Love u!

Anonymous said...

OMG! That's Jeffrey Steele in your photos? What happened to his hair?! He doesn't even look like the same person without his mane of lovely blond hair!

Like you, I'm a fan of the songwriter and JS in particular. He's an amazing writer and an incredibly nice man in person. Thanks for sharing the show in DC.

gotsteele said...

Love love love Jeffrey Steele, but he looks so very different with his hair cut. I always read liner notes, even before I play a new CD. Interesting stuff in liner notes some times. Whenever I hear a new song on the radio, I'd rather know who wrote it than who's singing it.


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