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Tin Pan South From an Aspiring Singer/Songwriter’s Point of View

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Last week Tin Pan South took over Nashville with various performances and writer’s rounds throughout the city, inspiring seasoned veterans, newcomers and dreamers to tell stories with melodies and lyrics. We sent Sydney Shayne, an aspiring young musician of the ripe old age of 13 to The Bluebird Cafe, to get the perspective of the dreamer, and she wasn’t disappointed.

The Bluebird Cafe has such a great environment. As they say, “SHHHHHHHH!” You should stay quiet during the performance so people can listen closely to the song and singer’s performance. If you are not familiar with the concept at the Bluebird Cafe, the songwriters sit in a “round”, or circle, and take turns singing their songs while the others either listen or join in. They sometimes jump in and harmonize or add some riffs to the guitar music. The group of writers there on Friday night were amazing! They included Josh Mirenda, Gordie Sampson, Erik Dylan and the leader of the night, Steven Lee Olsen.


Josh Mirenda gave us a sneak peek of a few of Jason Aldean’s new music being released on his upcoming album, “Lights Out”. Josh wrote 2 of the songs that will be included on that album, “Lights” and “They Don’t Know”. He also performed his original song, “Somewhere On a Beach”, which Dierks Bentley recently recorded. He told us how amazing it was to watch Dierks perform it on the ACM Awards in Las Vegas just last week.

Gordy Sampson sang “Jesus Take the Wheel”, Carrie Underwood’s first single, “You or Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban, and “Storm Warning” by Hunter Hayes. He also sang “My Favorite Picture of You” which was a song that he wrote with Guy Clark about his ill wife. It was so interesting to hear how he came up with the idea of writing that song by just looking at a picture hanging on the wall and coming up with a title.

Erik Dylan started off by singing a song the Kip Moore recorded called “Comeback Kid”. He also debuted 4 other songs that will be included on his new album that he will be releasing next month. He has a sound that reminds me very much of Eric Church. My favorite song he sang was “Pink Flamingos”. It was so original and had a interesting sense of humor about it.

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Steven Lee Olsen led the round and did an awesome version of “Cold Like That” recorded by Garth Brooks. It was amazing to hear his story about how it came to Garth to record and his experience getting to sing back up with him on the recording of it.

The concept of the Bluebird Cafe is something that I love. The singer songwriters that appeared there blew me away. I look forward to hearing their music on country music radio….I hope real soon. Their talent is unbelievable! I would love to sit and write with them someday.

Performers Mentioned In This Article

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