A Night at the Grand OL’ Opry and SEX(they tell me sex sells, so…)


2-27-2011

A night at the Opry

No, not the Marx Brothers movie…the Grand Ol Opry here in Nashvegas.

My old bandmate, John McFee, lead guitarist for the Doobie Brothers, called me yesterday to tell me he was in town and playing at the Opry with Vince Gill, Alison Krause, Keb’Mo and of, course, the Opry regulars…

I have never been to the Opry, believe it or not. I don’t get out enough! In any case, because I am a 40+year veteran of the music biz and therefore an entitled snob , I like full access, which is what the Opry is all about. If you’re on the guest list, you can just wander around the mostly open-door dressing rooms, the lounge area and the sides of the stage. There even a couple of rows of pews behind the stage area itself, though I stood in each wing as the show progressed.

The band people and singers are all family; many of them have a few grey hairs (silver and coiffed). We missed the opening by a few minutes but got there in time to hear Jim Ed Brown (“All the chapel bells were ringing…”-“Little Jimmy Brown”) sing a couple of his hits. Jim Ed is an older gent, through still in very good shape. He’s a tall guy, very fit. He wore a Red Manuel Jacket and a really nice neo-southwest bolo tie. My wife Lisa used to sing with Charlie Louvin on the Opry about 20 years ago, before she went to sing with the great Eddy Arnold. Jim Ed told her that he would have asked her to sing with him, and maybe she will in the future. He still is out there doing 40 shows a year.

Of course, it was great to see the Doobs again. I only know those guys a little, but we do go back almost forty years. The Doobie Brother I knew best was the late drummer Keith Knudsen, who did so much to help me in my career. It’s in my book- buy it in October! Tommy Johnston, Pat Simmons… met John Cowan, who I knew only by reputation (New Grass Revival). My old friend Ed Fletcher was there, in good shape, still doing the road manager thing. Bruce Cohn, wine-maker and olive oil impresario, the Doobs manager, was there too, I first met Bruce way back in maybe ’69?

The Doobs played an ‘acoustic band’ version of three songs, including Blackwater and Listen to the Music. Crowd ate it up…they sounded great…

Alison Krause did a couple of understated but lovely numbers…

Vince Gill, who I finally got to shake hands with, hosted the final segment of the show and brought out a young female singer and then Keb’Mo, the Americana-blues man, who was outstanding. I get to play on a show with Keb’Mo next Saturday at the Limelight here in Nashville. It’s a benefit for the school our kids go to (including Keb’Mo), Abintra Montessori School. Victoria Shaw, songwriter to the stars, hosts the night. Chuck Cannon, Gary Burr and others will play. It’s a fun annual event…Limelight, Saturday March 5 early..7PM..lots of talent, y’all come now…

 

Vince sang,”Look at us”, and closed the evening with, “Go rest high on that mountain”, the moving song to his brother.

 

When I decided to move to Nashville, it was partly because I thought Nashville was all about Vince Gill and his kind of music. I found out otherwise. It’s all a bit more complicated than that. I’m back to my who-knows-what-it-is-kind of rock music. But to me, Vince is one of the greatest singers and writers of the age. That man’s voice is a gift from heaven. To hear him in that setting was a real treat and made me remember what I love about music.

Sometimes I forget that I love music – that it’s been my life……well, the biz makes me want to run away from music…but that’s another blog…this was ust a nice night at the Opry

I’ll be back to knocking over some garbage cans next blog….

Please forgive typos..I do my blogs early in the morning…

 

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