TPS Wednesday Night

April 3, 2008

Waiting for the doors to open is usually a pretty enjoyable experience. This evening we met Canadian, Graham Greer, who shared our enthusiasm about the upcoming show. He was hoping to touch bases with Colin Linden, and we were hoping he might show up to play alongside Greg Nicholson. You might remember my post about him after our last trip South, during our encounter with Kinky Friedman. Although Linden didn’t make an appearance, it was a nice segue way for conversation that led to sharing of music. It turns out that Grahm Greer was a member of Barstool Prophets, and has a new band, Moonlight Graham. He gifted us with a CD which we are making our way through this morning. Sounds good so far!

The lineup for the first show was Donnie Fritz, Greg Nicholson – not to be confused with his other persona Whitey Johnson, Le Roy Parnell, and Dan Penn. Because we were off to the right, I couldn’t get a good shot of the full stage. Drats.

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Donnie Fritz played keyboards for Kris Kristofferson for 20 years, and among other great songs, penned “We Had It All” for Ray Charles.

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Le Roy Parnell and Gary Nicholson are always outstanding. They were together for a Tin Pan South show last year as well. All of the writers on the stage has co-written often and the stories they shared between the songs were almost as good as the tunes.

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The most enjoyable part for me was to hear Dan Penn. Two of the songs he sang were ones that I remember growing up. The Dark End of the Street, in that deep soulful voice made the fur on the back of my neck stand up. He also wrote two hits for the Boxtops, The Letter, and Cry Like a Baby. What a thrill to hear him sing.

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Delbert McClinton also made an appearance midway through the show and sang my favorite, When Rita Leaves, which was a co-write for McClinton and Nicholson.

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The second show was more subdued than the first, and a nice way to end the evening. Writers were Phil Madeira, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Gordon Kennedy, and some chick. Willi says I’m pretty tough on chick singers, and he’s right, I guess. I really enjoyed hearing Kennedy singing his song Change the World. You probably remember the recording by Eric Clapton and Babyface. All in all, a great night.

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