Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Brains Behind the Operation: Songwriters

I've always been a lyric person. Play me a song that's raw, real and full of emotion and you've got me hooked. Sure, the notes, instruments and incredible voices are a huge part of what makes a song a song, but the most interesting part to me has always been the words. I suppose it's because I like to feel things (you could say I'm an emotional person) especially when those feelings are familiar. Songs just seem to explain my life better than I know how to.

You may remember the time I attended my very first guitar pull (or if not, you can read about it here), which was my introduction to the world of songwriting. Since that day, I've spent a lot of time learning the 'whys' and the 'whats' and the 'hows' (and ultimately the 'whos') behind all of my favorite songs. Nothing is more fascinating than hearing the story behind why a song was written, and in my opinion, nobody can sing it better than the one who wrote it. 

Which brings me to the point of my feeling explosion... the Nashville Songwriters Series at Joe's Pub.

If you've listened to any country music at all, there's a good chance you've heard something written by Shane McAnally, Luke Laird or Bob DiPiero. In fact, take a pause right now and listen to just a few songs that never would have existed without them:

Great. Now you understand why I felt so lucky to get a glimpse into their world for an evening, let alone be in the same room. I got the chance to hear three of the best songwriters in country music tell the story behind why and how they wrote songs like Follow Your ArrowBlue Clear SkyDrink In My HandPontoon and Body Like A Back Road. How freaking cool is that?!

I could sit here and tell you stories about the music and what the words mean all day long, but what I think is more important is to share the epiphany I had that night: I belong in Nashville.

Sitting in that audience, I felt like I was amongst my future neighbors and friends, and instead of waking up the next day sad and wishing it wasn't over, I woke up motivated. Motivated by Luke Laird's story of starting out as the merch guy for Brooks & Dunn. (He now writes songs for some of the biggest names in country music). Motivated by three individuals sharing their music with a crowd of people for no other reason than because it's what they love. Motivated.

The best part of it all though, was Shane McAnally telling me that not only had he read my blog, but that it was good. Yep... I'm still waiting to wake up from that dream. Witnessing others doing what they love is quite contagious. And hearing words of encouragement from someone you admire is sometimes all it takes to keep you pushing forward... to Nashville.

There are very few days that can top April 19 in my book. It was one of those moments when you realize the universe really is on your side. And I will never forget it. 

Say what you think
Love who you love
Because you just get so many trips round the sun
Yeah you only, only live once