The CMA Songwriters Series may have just had a high profile show in Boston, but it all started 9 years ago in NYC. The fantastic series continued for four shows on July 23rd and 24th at Joe’s Pub. Host Bob DiPiero
was back with guests Steve Wariner, Tia Sillers, Mark Selby ad Brett Eldredge.
If you used social media, you knew that Brett Eldredge was not going to make it even before the songwriters emerged onto the stage from behind the curtain. He tweeted: Been
circling around Newark airport for a while...now have to go get fuel in
Albany...I feel like Im on a Frodo journey tryin to get to NYC. When Bob DIPiero made the announcement
there were a lot of rumblings from the crowd, in a fact a few people stepped
out. But they should have waited because they missed another great show full of funny stories and great music.
Bob DiPiero, who told the audience he received an “A” in a Modern Dance class in college, has written a pretty impressive catalog of songs. But he stuck with some of his big hits for the two shows Tuesday night. He told the story of how a few “dadadas” in his head turned into Easton Corbin’s “Loving You is Fun.”
He played “Southern Voice” after telling a story about a $20million farmhouse that was none other than Tim and Faiths. He also did “If You Ever Stop Loving Me” and “Gone” (performed by Montgomery Gentry). He thanked everyone, as always, and said even though he has taken the CMA Songwriters Series all over the world, being “musically promiscuous,” those other cities “didn’t mean anything” when
compared to NYC. The audience, of course, responded with much applause. He spoke
about the Boston show, when a shocked Miranda Lambert learned that Bob was the
writer of a song she and Blake drive around singing: “Mirrior, Mirror.” Bob said he told her to “give me a
dollar” (for the royalties). In addition to those songs, he sang “Cowboys Like
Us” & “You Cant Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl.” Finally, he thanked
the Hillbilly Mafia: Sesac, BMI and CMA for having them in NYC and for paying
the royalties of the songs. Apparently the “A” in modern dance comes in handy
here because Tia said they all have a “mailbox dance” when a royalty check comes
in the mail. Steve said his wife has a dance, but the songs he records don’t get
as elaborate of a dance as the songs he has written for others.
Steve Wariner is an amazingly talented singer, songwriter& guitar player. He played a song he wrote with Chet Atkins when he was 18yo “I’m Already Taken.” That song went to “90 with an anchor” on the charts when it was first recorded, later it was re-recorded in 2000 and went to #3. He talked about his new album coming out September 10th and treated the audience to songs off of that including one about a father and a son he co-wrote with Bill Anderson and Tom Shapiro. He played a medley of his hits including “Longneck
Bottle,” “Blue Kentucky Highway” and “Where the Blacktop Ends.” He threw in a little “Smoke On The Water” and “Stairway To Heaven” for good measure and the crowd wildly applauded every time it was his turn in the round.
Grammyand CMA winner Tia Sellers was the lone female in the group. She brought along her guitar player who happens to be not only her spouse, but an accomplished songwriter on his own, Mark Selby. She talked about being proof that as a writer you can slip into someone else’s skin and write songs that are for another’s voice. She then went on to perform a song she wrote that was sung by Alan
Jackson: “That’d Be Alright.” She also sang her award winning song performed by Lee Ann Womack “I Hope You Dance.” This was her first time in NYC and when the subway rumbled underneath the Joe’s stage she thought it was an airplane, which had everyone laughing. She won the audience over with her charm, wit and stories of hatberry trees, her parents & a restaurant called “alamode.” In fact, she was so well received Bob had her close out both shows.
Mark Selby would co-write every Tuesday with Tia prior to them becoming a couple. He said they
tried to write a power ballad, which had to have certain requirements: the words breath, air and death as well as a soaring guitar solo. They admitted they just couldn’t do it and instead wrote a song recorded by three blonds from Texas—the Dixie Chicks-- “There’s Your Trouble.” He and Tia said that fourteen people cut that song and the Dixie Chicks finally recorded it even after admitting that they didn’t like it. He also played a song David Nail performs “Half Mile Hill” that he wrote with Rich Brantley and Tia. Tia told the story of
how she loves to go to Love Circle near their home. It is that place that inspired not only “Half Mile Hill” but also “Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love” by Trisha Yearwood which she performed even though she “didn’t have a three octave range” Like Trisha. Mark Selby showed his skills on the guitar and sang a song by Pin Monkey “Barbed Wire and Roses.” He also performed a song he wrote with Kenny Wayne Shepherd in a hotel room in New Orleans and that was recorded by Wynonna “Don’t Throw That Mojo On
Around 8pm, just about when things were starting to wrap up, Brett Eldredge, who did a spot on “Fly Me To The Moon” for the crowd, finally arrived. He sang “Don’t Ya” and told us that he can’t watch the
video with his mom because of the awkwardness of kissing scene at the end. He also performed “One Mississippi” &“Raymond,” a song about his grandmother who had Alzheimers. He talked about
how thankful he was to be at Joe’s & to have the opportunity to play with the talented songwriters. He told a story of how he remembered once playing for two people in a room: the sound guy and his guitar player’s dad. He also relayed a story about how he went to a singing exercise where Bob wrote to him that “if
you really want to do this you need to move here.” It was evident that Bob was a fan even before he said “we need more singers in country like Brett Eldredge.”
Brett also sang “Tell Me Where To Park”, a fun uptempo number and “Mean to Me” a ballad. His album Bring You Back is available for pre order and comes out August 6th.
For more information on the CMA Songwriters Series visit: http://www.cmaworld.com/events/songwritersseries