ONE of the absolute highlights of our American trip last year was being at the Station Inn to see the legendary Time Jumpers play their final gig after a 14-year weekly residency.
Every Monday night for years hundreds of people had been turned away as the seating was limited at the historic Nashville venue so the time came to move on to a new place, 3rd and Lindsley, where more Time Jumpers fans could be accommodated.
On our first Monday night in Nashville we were delighted to have secured tickets to see the band in the new venue, with a special bonus – Marie was honoured to have been chosen to sing a song with them.
This is the gig all the fans – and the musos – feel blessed to attend as their music is simply timeless.
The 11 people on stage have impeccable pedigrees. They’re among Nashville’s finest session musicians who formed the band in 1998 to play songs and tunes that are often forgotten in this music-driven city.
Fifteen years and four Grammy awards later, they’re still as popular as ever and many stars “drop by” and sit in with the band, or simply sit out in the audience enjoying the ambience.
When Marie sang Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, the spontaneous applause during the song and at the end proved she was more than worthy of the honour of playing on their stage.
It’s a night Angela, Marie and I won’t forget in a hurry as we also got to share it with our wonderful Nashville friends Kalii Palmer, Patti Mitchell, Sonya Wood and Barbara Wilkinson, which made it even more special.
Sitting next to the sound man, Alberto, was a bloke I started talking to, asking permission for Angela to sit beside them and film Marie’s part of the show.
He looked up with a grin and said: “Sure, if she’s an Aussie, that’s okay” in a distinctly Australian accent.
It was Colin Street, who’d moved to Nashville with his musical partner Bruce Holloway to pursue their careers.
Tragically, Bruce was killed in a motorcycle accident in April 2009 at the age of 49,
cutting short a career full of promise and leaving behind
a grieving fiancée and stepchildren.
Colin, originally from Tasmania, continues to live and work in Music City, USA, and one of those gigs just happens to be at 3rd and Lindsley.
It was lovely catching up with him and just another pleasant surprise to discover on our Nashville adventure.
VIA Facebook I also learned from my star boarder, Wendy Broome that another Aussie was in the house that night – Seamus O’Sullivan, a member of the Bakersfield Glee Club, a Melbourne band that plays the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
We didn’t meet up until we got to the next venue that night, Robert’s Western World, where Monte Good and his Honky Tonk Heroes were holding court.
As I walked through on my way to the restroom Seamus stopped me and said g’day.
That was another cool gig, as Monte got Marie up on stage to sing a few tunes, which went down well with the country-loving crowd.
Seamus was leaving the next day to head home to Australia, so our catch-up was only a brief one.
TUESDAY was a pretty low-key affair due to our late night and (on my part), a little over-
indulgence in the good things in life.
A sleep-in was the order of the day, with a fair bit of rest and recreation followed by some retail therapy close to home (our home-away-from-home, La Quinta Inn and Suites Nashville Airport).
That night we met our friend Patti Mitchell at a venue in Murfreesboro, about 40 miles from our motel.
I drove, Angela navigated and Marie was nervous (as usual).
We arrived safely at Rooster’s Lone Star Bar-B-Que and Steakhouse where 2Country4Nashville was already on stage.
Former Tamworth boy Perry Bolin was playing bass with this husband-and-wife band, along with a pedal steel player and drummer.
My “Chicken Texas salad” was bigger than Texas. Could have fed a family of four! And I made the mistake of ordering an entrée. Oh dear … the neighbourhood dogs would have had a great feed with my leftovers.
Perry went to Tamworth High School and has lived in the States for 23 years and said it was great to be around Aussies, so he could comfortably talk like an Australian. He’s still got an Aussie accent even after all this time.
He wanted to pass on his regards to all his Tamworth mates, including the Jetsetting Barry Gorringe.
Special concert for Nev Parnell
A SPECIAL concert in appreciation of Nev Parnell and this band, Country Gold, will be held at West Tamworth League Club on September 15.
All proceeds from the day will go towards the Tamworth hospital and North West Cancer Centre and the all-star line-up is bound to attract a large crowd, with the promise of a special surprise guest as well.
The concert will feature Rex Dallas, Bobby Howson, Lindsay Butler, Lynette Guest, Lawrie Minson, Rodney Walker, Brian Letton, Andrew Clermont and Sally-Anne Whitten.
Doors will open at 1pm for a 2pm start with tickets available from the venue at $10 for adults, $5 for children or $25 for a family.
There’s no reserved seating.