This Road Of Music

By Alan Rhody

It's April again and we all know what that means, right? Well okay, besides "Derby Fever" starting to set in, it's the fifth year of Tin Pan South, the five day songwriter festival hosted by the Nashville Songwriters Association International. It's the largest songwriter event I know of, running from April 15 through the 19th this year and will feature some returning legends as well as some new faces.

The opening "Jam Night" promises many special guests sitting in and tends to be more "plugged in" than "unplugged," as are the rest of the shows. As in the first four years, :the finale will be the Legendary Songwriter Acoustic Concert, held at the Ryman Auditorium this time around. Jimmy Webb ("By The Time I Get To Phoenix", "MacArthur Park") will play host to Michael McDonald ("What A Fool Believes", "Minute By Minute"); the great team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ("On Broadway", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin"');and other greats as yet unannounced.

Gaining more success and organization with each year, this wonderful gathering which I was proud to be part of in '94 and '95, will showcase approximately 250 songwriters in 58 shows at 11 different venues. There will be added theme shows this year such as "Piano Night," "Big Guys In The Round," and "Muscle Shoals Night." One particularly enjoyable appearance will be by the threesome of Gordon Kennedy, Wayne Kirkpatrick, and Tommy Sims, who collaborated on the Grammy-winning "Change The World" recorded by Eric Clapton. Nashville, as those of you who follow these things know, was handsomely represented this year at the Grammies and the Song Of The Year award given to these guys put the icing on the cake! Other highlights include Gretchen Peters and Hugh Prestwood.

If you want to hear some of the best songs ever written sung by the people who wrote them, it doesn't get any better than this! For a schedule (unavailable at press time) or further details call (615) 251-3472.

If, after all that or if you can't make the trek to Nashville, or if you just feel the need for a Rhody fix, come on down to the Rudyard Kipling 422 West Oak Street on Saturday, April 26 and help me celebrate my 25th year in the music business!

See you soon one way or the other.

(Alan Rhody is an award-winning songwriter and painter who has made Nashville, TN. his home since 1977. He may be reached at P.O. Box 121231 Nashville, TN 37212.)