Nashville songwriters present their ‘babies’ to adoring ‘family’

Nashville songwriters present their ‘babies’ to adoring ‘family’
Special Features Editor
Every song gets born out of somebody’s experience, I think.
And it matters who its daddy is. ’Cause he makes it an “X” song or a “Y” song — a guy song or a girl song —  before he donates anything else remarkable.
It makes a difference who catches that baby — who “delivers” that tune — ’cause bad hands can doom a future fast.
Bottom line, though … sometimes it all comes down to who’s willing to love it. To kiss it and hug it and walk the midnight floor with it and dance through the noon time sun with it. ’Cause the one who embraces a song gives it length of days.
And the ones that last, I believe, are the ones nurtured with love.
There’s a song in there somewhere, boys.
You’re welcome to it.
Songwriters shine
Some daddies showed up Tuesday night at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Union City. They did double duty and delivered their offspring to a full house. And they made those babies as loveable as possible, showing them off like the proud papas they are.
Nashville songwriters Lee Brice, Rob Hatch and Lance Miller were featured at the songwriters’ event benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee. They brought their musical offspring out on stage and told their birth stories for the benefit of those already committed to the cause but delighting in the details, nevertheless.
Brice, who can claim two chart-toppers among his credits and who midwifes his own tunes on the road these days, talked about fielding a phone call from country music legend and strong musical influence Garth Brooks as he tried to get through security in a busy airport. Although he had to hang up on the superstar, they connected again and agreed that Garth could, ultimately, deliver “More Than a Memory.” The song peaked immediately and has been well-nurtured ever since.
Hatch said his top hit’s birth took a while — eight years, in fact — but “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” has done him proud as a No. 1 song for Justin Moore.
Miller tapped in to every good ol’ boy soul when he sang, “George Jones and Jesus are two heroes of mine. One is only human but the other one divine. When I could not find a friend I found out that I had two. George Jones and Jesus pulled me through.”
And several mamas snatched up that baby.
The trio, who often share paternity of a song, are friends on-stage and off. They are also tight with Union Citian Portis Tanner, who invited them for the local gig. Tanner worked for Curb Records in Nashville before returning to his hometown and the family business a few years ago. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northwest Tennessee.
Former BGC board chairman Brad Thompson and Heard Critchlow, along with Selle Shanks and Amy Jenkins, helped make the evening an event to remember.
“Songwriters get to write half truth and half made up,” Brice noted as the fun wound down, and he illustrated his point with “Upper Middle Class White Trash.” The hit had its genesis in an experience a friend had shared with him, but Brice donated some characteristics that sprang entirely from his fertile mind. The result was a baby nobody will ever be tempted to abandon on a door step.
It all ended with “Love Like Crazy.” Brice’s baby celebrating enduring love favors a long line of other country hits and seems destined to become a standard all its own.
“Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you. Go to work, do your best, don’t outsmart your common sense. Never let your prayin’ knees get lazy. And love like crazy.”
Who could help but love a crazy song like that?
Published in The Messenger 1.11.12

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