Attitude of Gratitude

I probably don't tell people often enough how much I enjoy being married to Matt.

Here's a good example of why:

Thursday night, Matt showed me a website -

Basically, they're taping all these shows for PBS here in Nashville - each show features four artists - a "Rising Star" and three people in who have done their time in the songwriting world.

Last night the three pros were Marc Cohn (who wrote "Walkin' in Memphis"), Barry Mann (who with wife Cynthia Weil wrote the most played song on American radio of all time - "You Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"), and Lamont Dozier (of Holland/Dozier/Holland Motown Fame).

We signed up to go (for free) and it turned out Matt had to work late, but urged me to go without him.

So basically, these three guys got onstage and talked, sang and played for two and a half hours while a crew filmed, and we watched. And by we, I mean me and about 300 of my best friends in Nashville. They had an audience wrangler who helped keep us entertained while they did set changes, re-set the cameras, etc. I even enjoyed watching the jib cam operator and the Steadi-Cam operator do their thing.

But the music was pretty amazing too. Before they played their songs, they would tell us a little story - my favorite - Barry Mann mentioned that many artists used to bristle at having their songs used in advertisements. He and his wife have relaxed on this over the years, but sometimes you have to put your foot down - for example - a company in London wanted to use one of their songs for a condom ad - and then he launched into the Dolly Parton hit - "Here You Come Again". Fantastic. Lamont Dozier actually compared Diana Ross' high vocal range to a chicken choking. Marc Cohn talked about growing up in Cleveland, his fateful trip to Memphis and sang beautifully. I have to say, it was a free show, but I'd have paid good money for that experience.

I enjoyed it so much that Matt and I signed up for a second taping today. We saw Glen Phillips (from Toad The Wet Sprocket), Guy Clark (who I'd never heard of, by name or by what he wrote) and Roger McGuinn (of The Byrds) - this show was all guitar, no piano - and the tone was totally different, but all three performers were terrific and funny and fun. I get the feeling I'd hang out with Glen or Roger at the bar. And Guy was a grumpy old cuss who played as though he was in pain (we suspect chronic back issues or arthritis), but his lyrics were gorgeous and he told terrific stories - to wit - his friend wrote the Crystal Gayle vehicle "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" - and it was inspired by the writer's dog, who had glaucoma. Maybe it's not true, but it's still funny.

So, I'm grateful to Matt who exposes me to new and interesting things every day, and without whom, I'd be bored to tears.

Once these gems start to air on PBS - I'll let you know.

And here's something truly funny - one of the crowd manager ladies said to me today when I walked in, "Hey - you were here last night!" And when I left, she asked if I was coming to other shows.

I might. Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) is tomorrow. And that's what I told her.

I tend to think I blend in - but I guess not.