On Wednesday night, I found myself at legendary venue, the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, TX where owner and guiding light Kent Finlay presides over Songwriter's Night. He runs a tight ship, reminding the audience before the music gets started for the evening, that this is not the place to socialize as it is a listening night. It reminded me of auditions for Broadway or TV shows in New York. There was a hush amongst the audience members, many of them awaiting their turn to walk on stage and play their two songs. It has to be nerve wracking to bring one’s music to the public for the first time, for many the stage fright never leaves as they marshall on through long careers. I think some of the best continue to question their performance, and do not take it for granted, not ever. Songwriting is such a divine gift. When done well, it sets the mind to reeling. It can be pure communication.
One of the best songwriters, for my money, is Brian Henneman of The Bottle Rockets. The eye for detail, the way the lyrics scan; not to mention this is totally relatable stuff. You see yourself in their songs, as you have experienced moment like this, too. The Bottle Rockets are a seamless outfit; a great band, both hard rocking and truth telling. We had the honor of filming them during Americana Fest in October at Marathon Recorders in Nashville for our Fall Music Fog Marathon. They were touring behind their new stripped down release Not So Loud, doing acoustic versions of previously released songs. If you want to catch The Bottle Rockets live, they are on a run up the east coast now. Today’s tune is a classic – here are Brian Henneman, Mark Ortmann, John Horton, and Keith Voegele with the Music Fog recording of “Kit Kat Clock.”