Folks its been a hell of a long week of music here in Tennessee and Kentucky but I did manage to get to the Spillway Bar And Grill for the first songwriter series that has ever transpired here. I wanted to say outright I have seen many fine shows here at the Spillway and I love the food and atmosphere here. But I have never witnessed such a sincere and fine attempt at appreciating the songwriting aspect of the music business.
I have been reiterating this for nearly two decades now in my studies of Country Music and this hypothesis even trickles into Bluegrass and Roots Music and other genres in various cases, it has three staple core pillars. The Producer, the songwriter and the Steel Guitar. If a Country album has all three you have a classic album the likes of Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger which in my opinion is the greatest Country album of all time. You have another fine example in Wanted the Outlaws which became the first platinum selling Country album of all time and became a thorn in the side of Music Row which at that pinnacle of history was pushing the Nashville Sound and Chet Atkins movement, not saying I didn’t enjoy pop country of that period of time…I did.
Basically getting back to my original subject, this was in some ways a typical writers night with a few small different twists, as the televisions were turned off and the tables were furnished with waitress lights that light up when you need service. NO talking is allowed during this event and the tables were moved onto the dance floor so we could get up close to the stage. One negative thing I had was I used my light and didn’t get anyone’s attention, make NO mistake the service is always beyond stellar and I think they were reluctant to approach tables during the music. That I can ascertain as a negative turned into a positive. I had NO problem going to the bar to order my food, if I miss a song I can contact the artist and they know I’m not perfect although I strive for it as best as I can.
Mr. Robert began the entire event with explanations on how the event was going to happen along with the opportunity to ask each individual singer questions. Each picker took turns playing one song just like The typical round fashion which is prevalent in Nashville. The stories and origins of most of them abounded in prominent fashion here at the Spillway tonight. This was indeed one of the finer songwriter nights in this area, and honestly it even rivaled the iconic Bluebird Cafe which is heralded as one of the nation’s finest.
I enjoy writing these articles that swap out turns in a fashion of focusing upon one artist at a time so that is indeed what I shall adhere to in this article as well. So with that being stated let’s focus upon a fellow I haven’t covered since and his name is Rye Davis.
Mr.Rye has been playing local music here for many years, but he was also a minor league pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and stated one of his fastest pitches was 98 miles and hour. People asked him many questions today, and that was one of them. His first song was one called “Make It Through The Night” As he introduced us to his style and the personality of his vocal delivery.
He was influenced by Waylon and Dwight Yoakam which is vividly present through his vocal presentations, he possesses a rare comfort of being on a stage at the focus of attention here tonight and I can easily see how much fun he is having with no tensity at all. His next song was called “No Wings” , and the video I have included of his on this article was a song called “She’d Know”. There is some brief dialogue at the beginning of this video which explains the song better than I could.
One of the more personal songs he played for us tonight was called ” This Side Of Heaven” which is what I am enjoying right this very minute, as I write this article portion before I enjoy these wings, currently he is reminiscing about how he got started playing at the Spillway. Miss Mary Jo asked Mr Rye to tell the story behind his song “Blue Jeans” which pretty much every young man my age can relate to.
Man when I was a young man I used to throw my dirty clothes all over my floor and my mom (like many moms) would so they could look in your dirty jeans pockets to find guilty clues to what you have been into. Skoal rings, condom wrappers, love letters…etc.
He closed his turns out with songs called “Love You Till Morning” and his last one was called “They All Know My Name”. Both of those were equally good songs in their own right, and I would highly suggest catching one of his sets sometime in the local area..you will NOT be disappointed.
Mr. Pat Haney is one of the Bowling Green areas local Legends who I have never had the opporuntiy to witness until today. He is quite possibly one of the most cut and dry and entertaining individuals I have ever encountered in my tenure as a journalist. I mean he emanates a “been there done that” ambiance that rivals the passel of writers with thousands of cuts playing the Bluebird or Douglass Corner Lounge.
He opened with a small tale of growing up in Detroit,where a place called “Little Kentucky” existed. His grandparents taught him about the place that even the mail carrier was afraid to embark into..it was that rough. So the mail carrier would deliver the mail to the tool room at the local factory, and often the intended recipients aquired their mail too late. In one instance the person which the song “Adeline” is about indeed did get his letter too late.
He continued his set with a song called “I’m Alright And You’re Somewhere Turning 62”. He wrote that song about an old dishwasher he met in a green room which was a dish washer area. He was in Bend,Oregon and had ear problems from the altitude where he had to rest.
His next song was called “I Should’ve Danced With You”, and he followed that with an eclectic subject song called “Hwy 40 Ain’t No Place To Be”. Folks you just need to go see him and ask about the house sitter named Emily and the kennel for kids that had a sandbox so refereed to himself as a cat. Don’t go into the woods because the wild animals eat children and a little girl named Sue that came out of the woods who taught him how to spit….to an old GTO he was rebuilding his father said would never run..and did.
“Songs are like viruses, they have a thirteen day incubation period and you throw up from the flu, and that’s a song”.
He sang a song called “The Nursing Home Song” which Mr. John King said he once played a nursing home and a resident was knitting and he played fifteen of his own, then played that song and she finally said “good song”. John King complemented the trio quite amicably. The three were very friendly and respected each other as peers. I wanted to say the BEST song of his set in my opinion was one I didn’t capture on video and it was called “It Wont Be Over No Coal”. He closed his set with a song called “Licts” as in “derelicts”.
The third artist in this trio was one of my 2015 TOP 50 albums, John King who leads the Mud River Revival played a truly stellar set. In fact I was so busy writing and editing this I forgot to capture video of him until his last song which was “Man On The Mountain”. I AM going to include his promo video for his NEW song called “Free To Leave”.
He began his set with “Heaven Gained Another Angel”, and the ever popular song he includes in just about every set called “Veteran”. I shall close this article with the official video for his new upcoming song called “Free To Leave”. His band The Mud River Revival has developed their own distinct sound that is clearly recognizable within the local scene in this area.
One of the new songs he performed was one of his songs that I related to called “Ghost”, see my own father suffers from Alzheimers and Dementia. He doesn’t honestly know things going on around him or who we are, however his soul still lingers somewhere in that body of his. He was inspired to write this by a lady in church that delivered a vicious stare to his son, and later was informed she had Alzheimers. He also played “Nowehre Kentucky” and one that was requested called “It Ain’t Easy But It’s Honest”.
In closing I must stress my interest delving into further installments of this event, and how much of an impact this can have on his community. It brings together fans and artists that perform REAL music, and it won’t always be Country. In fact the next installment will feature some Rock acts in an acoustic fashion, and to the best of my knowledge will be of the same fashion as this one was.