For most songwriters that city is Nashville, TN. It's known as the home of country music, but it's also the residence of ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and Sony, as well as many other major and independent record labels (including Jack White's Third Man Records), artist management companies, music publishers, NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) and countless music business heavy hitters (and not-so heavy hitters).
Industry professionals in all genres of music recognize the significant contribution Nashville makes in the multi-billion dollar world of music and entertainment.
Therefore, when a songwriter gets a chance to play his or her songs at a live music venue in Nashville it's a big deal, right? Well, it may look great on their resume, but there's a lot more to making it as a songwriter than just playing a gig in Nashville.
Of course, it's an honor and a bit of an achievement to perform in Nashville. The competition is monumental (everyone wants to play there) and there are LOTS of extremely talented songwriters already living in and around Nashville.
So how does a songwriter get a show in Music City? "Hannah sent me a text and asked if I wanted to play at The Rutledge," said Chattanooga songwriter A Man Called Bruce (http://facebook.com/
Bruce was referring to Hannah Thomas, a seriously talented singer/songwriter based in Atlanta. Hannah's voice is powerful and full of soul. According to her website (http://hannahthomasband.com) "Hannah Thomas has a style that is hard to define, too rock and roll to be country, too country to be rock and roll, and that is just what makes people love her!" Her original songs, as well as her big voice, belie her short time on this planet (Hannah is barely 22). She writes and sings like someone who has really lived and loved.
Of course, A Man Called Bruce is no slouch, either. Steve Bogard, president of the Nashville Songwriters Association Int'l has said that Bruce is, "obviously a talented writer." Although, most of Bruce's songs are more gritty Americana than "Nashville Country," their appeal is easily recognized by his fans and fellow songwriters.
Steve Bogard recognizes Hannah's talent, as well. He asked her to play at the famous Bluebird Cafe (one of Nashville's top songwriter venues) with him earlier this year.
Hannah Thomas and A Man Called Bruce are performing in Nashville this Friday (June 1, 2012) at The Rutledge (410 4th Avenue South) along with fellow Chattanooga singer/songwriter Ryan Oyer. All three met last year during the Writer's Night fall series sponsored by the Chattanooga Songwriters Association (http://chattanoogasongwritersassociation.org).
Bruce has since shared the stage a few times with Hannah, during the Songwriters Festival in Chattanooga last year, and most recently at the Relix Variety Theatre in Knoxville, TN. It was shortly after this show that Hannah invited Bruce to play on the bill with her and Ryan at The Rutledge. Bruce and Hannah are also scheduled to perform live on the radio on August 24, 2012 for the popular Blue Plate Special on WDVX 89.9FM at the Knoxville Visitor's Center (301 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN).
So, is performing a concert in Nashville going to change the lives of these three songwriters?
Hannah Thomas is currently on tour throughout the southeast. Check her website for more info.
A Man Called Bruce performs regularly at venues in and around Chattanooga, as well as in north Georgia and elsewhere in TN. Visit www.bit.ly/AAAEPK or check his Facebook page to find out when and where you can see him perform.
Check Ryan Oyer's website www.RyanOyer.com for his current schedule of events.
Photo courtesy of Frederick Walker Photography.