Saturday, September 20, 2008

Americana Music Association

My wife, Donna Beasley, was selected to perform a showcase at the Station Inn as part of the Americana Music Association conference here in Nashville. Somebody in the crowd had a camera and posted our rendition of Donna Fargo's "Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A." on YouTube.

That's me on electric guitar (occasionally lumbering into view from the left), Paul Griffith on drums, Dave Jacques on bass, and Tony Paoletta on pedal steel guitar.

He also grabbed "Cotton", a Beasley original from her album "Good Samaritan".

I'm guitar teching the stage at The Cannery, one of the other venues hosting performances this week. Tonight is a Glen Campbell tribute, featuring Glen himself!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Da Pack

So, Game Two of the post-Favre era and how does Aaron Rodgers do? After engineering a 21-3 halftime lead, he rallies the team from being down 25-24 in the 4th quarter, to win -with the help of some opportunists on the Defense - with a final score of 48-25. The Packers keep the division lead. With the Lions loss (0-2), along with the Vikings (0-2) getting Paytonized at home and the Bears (1-1) losing their close game, the fabulous Pack are 2-0 in 2008.

It's tough to watch the pressure Rodgers is under, though I think the Green Bay fans are much more patient than any other team in the NFL. I can't imagine what it would be like to replace an icon like Favre if he was a 17 year starter in, say, Philadelphia? Cleveland? Pittsburgh? Of course, those cities don't really spawn legendary players these days, but noone was more beloved by the fans than Brett.

There's a great debate - still raging - on whether the idea was a sound one or not; whether letting Favre go in favor of the good of the team was the correct or even polite thing to do. I think they made the tough choice and the right choice. I hope Brett has an amazing year, sentimentally and because if he does, we get an even higher draft pick for him. If Rodgers can win 8 or 9 more games this year, Green Bay made a deal they couldn't refuse.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

When You're Hot, You're Hot

Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed (Hubbard) died yesterday at age 71. Peter Cooper at The Tennessean has the definitive obit. Reed is probably known by most folks under 30 as an actor. He starred in a series of Burt Reynolds-Hall Needham car chase movies, including the genre-classic "Smokey and the Bandit".

Others will remember Reed as the guy who had a few novelty hits on Country and Top 40 radio in the '60's and '70s. 'Amos Moses", "Guitar Man", "When You're Hot, You're Hot", "She Got The Goldmine, I Got The Shaft".

I'll remember him as an ace guitarist. No less a virtuoso than Brent Mason calls him "my favorite guitar player ever". With a thumb-picked contrapuntal style, he sounds like a cross between Merle Travis and Fats Domino. Here's a YouTube of Jerry on "The Porter Waggoner Show". He trades cornball humor with Porter then plays a funky 'Wabash Cannonball". Check out his version of Ray Charles' "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" at 4:o5. (Porter seems slightly unconvinced at the beginning...)

Jerry Donahue (The Hellecasters) introduced himself to the guitar world with his rendition of Reed's "The Claw", a tour-de-force of funky bends and shifty double-stop phrases.

One of my favorite Country records,"Country Willie", features Reed as a session guitarist on his gut string guitar. The inherent mellowness of the nylon strings perfectly blended with Willie's voice and the classic songs on that record.

R.I.P., Jerry.