There’s a joke in Nashville that goes like this. Somebody is telling a story, and the story includes a famous person, though only because including the famous person might make the story more interesting. “I was at this party the other night talking to (famous person),” the storyteller may say. At this point, you, the listener, interrupt the storyteller to point to the floor around his feet and say, nonchalantly, “Oh, hey, be careful, you dropped a name.” He’ll look down, confused and annoyed that you’ve interrupted his great story.
“A name…you dropped a name,” you repeat.
It embarasses the storyteller, makes you look witty, and entertains everyone else. It’s especially good when you’re in a group. Plus, it usually puts an end to the boring story the person was about to tell and forces him to get to the point.
I bring this up because I’m about to drop a name. Several years ago, I was working on a benefit event in the Colorado Rockies that included Kenny Loggins.
“Oh, hey, be careful…”
I was a jack of all trades at this event, doing PR, marketing, design, audio, etcetera, and somehow wound up being Loggins’ personal assistant for a few days – picking him up at the airport, getting him checked in, making his appointments and getting him where he needed to be. I also had the reputation of being a bit like Macgyver at the event, prepared for anything. So when Loggins, Suzy Bogguss, Lari White and Chuck Cannon — yes, I know, it’s getting crowded around my feet — got into a spontanteous jam in the lobby and somebody said, “I wish we had a recorder to capture this, ” well, of course, I had a digital recorder in my hotel room. And when, while driving Loggins back to the airport, he started developing an allergic reaction to the lotion in his hotel room and wondered allowed if he could pick up some wet cleansing cloths somewhere, I pulled over. I had some in my bag.
So where am I going with this? Getting to know Loggins was nice. I knew his big hits, and his work with Loggins and Messina, but I can’t say I really thought much about him much before that event. My wife is a fan, and I think a little jealous that I was giving Loggins face wipes. But it didn’t really phase me. Now here’s the thing: Loggins was fantastic. When he performed, it was a revelation. When someone’s been out of the public eye for awhile, it’s easy to forget just how talented they are. Loggins is an amazingly powerful and nuanced singer, great performer and oustanding songwriter. Hearing and seeing him perform “Celebrate Me Home” was a stellar moment.
So, if for some reason, like me before that event, you haven’t thought about Kenny Loggins much lately, the excellent new music series Legends & Lyrics, shot right here in Nashville, offers a great opportunity to get reacquainted. On Saturday, May 16, Loggins will be joined by Richard Marx and new Nashvillians 3 Doors Down on the show, taped at the Masonic Lodge downtown last year. Also coming to the series this month, which takes over the 10:00 p.m. timeslot on Saturdays, pushing Austin City Limits to 11:00, are Kris Kristofferson, Patty Griffin and Randy Owen on May 9 and Regie Hamm, Mindy Smith and Leigh Nash on May 23. I could have easily started this whole newsletter talking about Kris Kristofferson or Patty Griffin, but really, do I need to?
Legends & Lyrics is locally produced, and the closest thing we’ve got to a new Nashville music show. Let’s give it our support.
Tucked in at the end of the month, summer pledge gets off to a great start with American Masters’ “Neil Young: Don’t Be Denied.”
The Swell Season, Aimee Mann and The Hold Steady (rescheduled from last month) on Live From the Artists Den; an inside look at Tony Winner In the Heights on Great Performances; the Memorial Day concert…it’s another great month of music programming on NPT.
Be careful out there. It’s Nashville. People drop names.
Read the Rest of the NPT Music Monthly May 2009 on the wnpt.net news page. It’s the complete listing of all the music programming coming to NPT this month, including all the above mentioned artists, plus Lyle Lovett, My Morning Jacket, E from the Eels, The Dixie Chicks, Josh Groban and plenty more. Subscribe for free at wnpt.net. Tell your friends!