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Bluegrass Convention...Super Snooze...Highway Singing Hero

Feb 4 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

And Groundhog Phil says, early Spring!  I’m starting to like that varmint.



Friday I got out to a huge Bluegrass convention that’s held every years in Nashville at the Music City Sheraton.  I went to hear three songwriter friends perform in an intimate room.  Jerry Salley, Irene Kelley and Billy Droze.  And yes…it was amazing.  Just the three of them singing their original songs…no mics…that’s how small the room was.  Jerry and Irene I write with a lot…both have recorded songs we’ve written together.  Billy is on my short list.  I’m sure a lot of not most all of you don’t know that name so let me share his country VOICE here with you this morning.  Real deal stuff here.


I don’t know why I’ve never gone before.  The entire hotel is filled with bluegrass musicians, noted ones and those making their way.  And the lobby has music going non stop 24-7 over the entire four days.  Just walk in and get an earful.  I’ll be back…and I’ll most certainly be writing more songs like these talented folks are singing.  It takes be back to my small town roots in Missouri every time I hear these kinds of melodies and lyrics.



The temps jumped enough here (like it did in a large part of the country)…enough so allowing me to get out and walk some…which I need more than ever.  I tried hiring people to exercise for me…but I never saw any difference in my body so I think I’m going to make more of an effort to walk myself.


I did spend some time on the couch though this weekend as my daughter Heather came and spent Friday night insisting that Dad and Mom watch Lilo and Stitch the Disney movie that was on Netflix.  She’s a bigger Disney fan that I am…and that’s saying something.  And then Saturday Heather and I went and cheered on the Belmont basketball team to complete some great Father-Daughter time.  So those kinds of things kind of make your weekend if you’re a Dad…and a lot of you know what I’m talking about.


Add to that Super Bowl Sunday.



The half time show was really awful.  Remind me to never take my shirt off when I’m singing in front of people…no matter what shape I’m in or how many tattoos cover my skin.  If I did what Adam Levine did…many folks looking would be in rehab trying to recover.  Can’t they just book Bruno Mars every year?


Gladys Knight did a GREAT job with the anthem.  Classy…interesting.  No-one will ever top Whitney but that was pretty good.


Credit to CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson for hanging tough in a big ole scrum of reporters and nabbing her interview with Tom Brady.  I thought she might get trampled or just give up.  Neither happened.



I did not have one that just really blew my socks up.  Pre-game…the gathering of all those ex football stars and players doing their thing?  My favorite…and it wasn’t particularly a commercial.  If you missed it…HERE ya go.  And if you wander who the girl football player is?  That’s Toni Harris.  She wants to be the first female NFL player.  Never say never.  She has a college scholarship to play right now at a small college in Kansas.  And keep reading this blog if you want to hear about a female with tenacity who learned to fly high.


For the record the Bud Light Commercial-Game Of Thrones spot won as “best” according to those reading the rating numbers.  The odd Andy Warhol commercial of him eating a “Whopper” from Burger King came from actual old footage of him doing that.


And I thought it was interesting to use Tom Hanks as the spokesperson in the commercial for the Washington Post newspaper as he was in the movie about the Washington Post chasing down Nixon alongside Meryl Streep in that movie.


And lastly…I’m thinking the farmers who grow corn for a living won’t be happy with all those “corn syrup free’ ads that Bud Light aired.  I see a guy wearing bib overalls on his front porch at the end of the day drinking Miller Lite.



Some are saying “worst” of all time.  Boring.  Low scoring is why after we’ve spent a year watching tons of points being put on the board.  I didn’t think that..mostly because it was close until the end.  And…because Tony Romo kept it interesting.  That guy is entertaining in a John Madden kind of sense and is awesome at predicting what plays might be coming and why.


All in all as always…I had a good time sitting on the couch watching it all unfold.



If you read my blog you recently read that I played a show in New Orleans with a couple of great Trop Rock artists Brent Burns and Matt Hoggatt.  Matt is the guy who wrote “Dear Jimmy Buffett” and got Jimmy’s attention…enough so that Jimmy had him on a couple of his big show and signed him to his Mailboat Record label.


Matt is also in the Police department in Mississippi…a detective.  And a few days ago he was the negotiator in a tense situation where a trucker had gone rogue.  Matt spent 5 hours talking the driver out of his cab on a Mississippi interstate and by all accounts saved what could have been a tragic situation.  Way to go Matt!  Here’s the STORY.



Do you know the name Rosemary Mariner?  I didn’t know it either until this weekend.  Rosemary was the first ever female combat flyer.  She was in the Navy.  She was terrific and was a groundbreaker for sure.  The latter part of her life she taught over near Knoxville.  She passed a few days ago…cancer.  At 65…way way too young.


At her funeral on Saturday for the first time in history,..the Navy sent an all female flyover to acknowledge her contributions.  If that kind of stuff doesn’t get young girls to dream big…I don’t know what will.



Jennifer Garner the actress got a divorce from Ben Affleck.  She downsized her home she says.  The downsized home cost 7.9 MILLION.  Uh huh. As she says in her credit card commercials, “what’s in your wallet”?  My answer would be…less than what’s in hers apparently.



I’m a sucker for these kinds of articles.  “Most Beautiful Small Town In Each State”.  In my home state of Missouri it’s Westin…and I’ve never been there.  Gonna have to look it up.  Here where I live now in Tennessee?  Gatlinburg.  Framed by the Smoky Mountains…I get it.  A bit commercial for me these days…but it is beautiful.  How bout your state?  Here’s the ARTICLE.



The floods in Australia?  So bad the snakes and crocodiles are washing up on the banks and shores. For those visiting…you might want to tour the Outback and take your chances with the koalas and kangaroos until things calm down.



I don’t want pancakes made from French Onion soup.  And someone has come up with that recipe that garnered a great review in at least on article.  No.  Call me when the Mac N Cheese small stack is ready for my table.



“Man Wants To Sue Parents For Giving Birth To Him Without His Consent”.  And you wonder why we have so many lawyers?



I’m writing with a young lady named Amanda Daughtry who’s about to open a couple of big shows for Alan Jackson.  Amanda sings at Alan’s place on Lower Broadway here in Music City AND sells real estate on the side.  Just part of being a struggling artist in this business we love.  So…we’ll be able to try and write a song for an album she wants to record and take on the road with her…and I’ll be able to check property prices all at the same time.


Have a great Monday!

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