What began as a way to introduce some of Nashville’s finest songwriters to New York City in advance of the CMA Awards in 2005 has been extended into 2006 with the CMA Songwriters Series returning to Joe’s Pub for four nights of concerts over the next five months.
The incredibly talented writers and recording artists who are part of these shows have had numerous, chart-topping hits and contributed on a wide scale to the success and popularity of Country Music. The CMA Songwriter Series will take place over four nights at Joe’s Pub (July 15, Aug. 29, Sept. 23 and Nov. 18).
“This is exactly the sort of inroads we were hoping to make when we launched the Songwriter Series last year,” said CMA Chief Operating Officer Tammy Genovese. “Hosting the CMA Awards in New York generated enormous interest and support for the format and the songwriters are the foundation of that success. What we discovered was that New Yorkers are a willing and enthusiastic audience for our music in its most basic form – unplugged and intimately delivered by the singer/songwriters who created it.”
Each night will feature three to four successful songwriters from Nashville, who will line up on stage and guitar in-hand take turns telling the stories behind their hits and then performing the song, often with added harmony from the other songwriters.
In addition to the artists and songwriters, there is always the possibility of special guest appearances by additional Country artists, who may be in town.
“Our mission is to bring eclectic programming to the masses, which for years has included some of the best Country artists working today,” said Kevin Abbott, General Manager of Joe’s Pub. “And now with the help of CMA, we are hoping to broaden our audience and continue creating a home for Country Music in New York City. The songwriters shows produced at Joe’s in the fall of ’05 were truly some of the best performances we have had on our stage in over eight years.”
Country songs in New York City go back to 1922 when fiddler Eck Robertson and Civil War veteran Henry Gilliland recorded “Sallie Gooden,” which is considered the first Country single, pre-dating the famed Bristol recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers by more than four years. The first million-selling Country record (“The Wreck of the Old ‘97” and “The Prisoner’s Song”) was recorded by Vernon Dalhart in NYC in 1924. And Patsy Montana’s “I Wanna Be A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” was recorded in New York City in 1935 and went on to be the first smash hit, by a female solo Country artist.
Songwriter and CMA Board of Directors member Bob DiPiero, will once again assist in identifying and securing songwriters for the series.
“The CMA is the friend of the songwriter and with their help, I have been able to get the very best songwriter/artists Nashville has to offer to sing their songs and tell their stories at the Joe’s Pub series,” DiPiero said. “I’m honored to be part of such a very special series that will help keep alive the Nashville/New York City music connection.”
Songwriters scheduled to appear include:
Saturday, July 15, 6:30 and 9:30 PM/ET
Bob DiPiero (“Blue Clear Sky,” “Take Me As I Am,” “Cumberland Road”)
Tony Mullins (“How Forever Feels,” Something’s Gotta Give,” “Me And My Gang”)
Rivers Rutherford (“Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You,” “Real Good Man,” “When I Get Where I’m Going,” “When the Lights Go Down”)
Jeffery Steele (“Gone,” “These Days,” “What Hurts the Most”)
Tuesday, Aug. 29, 6:30 and 9:30 PM/ET
Lori McKenna (“Fireflies,” “Stealing Kisses”)
Jo Dee Messina (“It Gets Better,” “Life is Good,” “Love is Not Enough”)
Jamie O’Neal (“There Is No Arizona,” “When I Think About Angels,” “Somebody’s Hero”)
Saturday, Sept. 23, 6:30 and 9:30 PM/ET
Gary Burr (“Empty,” “Before Your Love,” “A Thousand Times A Day”)
Don Henry (“Whole Lotta Holes,” “Beautiful Fool,” “Don’t Let’s Talk About Lisa”)
Victoria Shaw (“The River,” “Nobody Wants to be Lonely,” “I Love The Way You Love Me”)
Saturday, Nov. 18, 6:30 and 9:30 PM/ET
Tickets for July 15, Sept. 23 and Nov. 18 cost $20. Tickets for Aug. 29 cost $30. For information about Joe’s Pub, visit www.joespub.com or call (212) 539-8778. The CMA Songwriters Series official sponsors for July 15, Sept. 23 and Nov. 18 include ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and American Airlines, the official airline of the 2006 CMA Awards. The Aug. 29 date, which leads into the Aug. 30 announcement of the final nominees for “The 40th Annual CMA Awards,” is presented by CMA.
“The 40th Annual CMA Awards” takes place Monday, Nov. 6 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) live on the ABC Television Network from the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tenn. The 2006 CMA Awards are hosted by Brooks & Dunn.