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Bill Whyte / Blog

Good Friends Move Home

BILL BLOG Monday January 26, 2014 Don't look...but it's already the last week of January boys and girls. Geez. WEATHER Stepped outside this morning...colder than I was expecting...34 degrees with a nice little wind-chill. I was all set to complain until I saw the blizzard getting ready to dump on the northeast and decided this ain't half bad. THE WEEKEND Friday night my wife and I hung out at the Station Inn late to say goodbye to my friend Lisa Shaffer and her husband Kevin. This morning...they are waking up back home in Northern Kentucky. Lisa, who many of you heard in our "Hits and Grins" trio for years had a baby with her husband...of course...and they are back in the hills Kentucky near Cincinnati to raise their family. Friday night we got to see both of them one last time before the move with their adorable baby who managed to fall asleep in my arms while I held her...and Larry Cordle and friends made great music on stage. Larry who wrote "Highway 40 Blues" and "Murder On Music Row" MADE Lisa get on stage and sing one more time...so Kevin and Lisa's daughter got to hear that for the first time. I know...just a baby...but still pretty cool. Lisa of course wowed the audience with her voice as she always has and I will certainly miss hearing that. But...I know what great parents they are going to be...and will be surrounded by a ton of family back home so I'm happy for them. I'll probably see them next at a Reds game in the Queen City. UPCOMING My friend Tom Kaper was in town this weekend from Cincinnati...good musician...and he's been involved with an organization called "Play It Forward" that I was on the board of when it originated and conceived by my Hall of Famer radio pal Gary Burbank. The organization helps raise money to give to local musicians who need the help. I felt lucky to have come up with the name for the organization...my biggest contribution for sure. Tom is no longer involved as much...but the organization is still playing it forward...so we spent some time talking about bringing our trio "Hits and Grins" up to Cincinnati for one of those fund raising shows That's probably going to happen...so to my friends up there...stay tuned. I'll tell you when and where as soon as we firm it up. Tom's boy graduated Belmont recently and is doing well in the music biz....happy to hear that for sure. ALSO AHEAD It looks like I'll be making a trip over to Gatlinburg the weekend of March 20-21 to co-write with some local writers. The Smoky Mt. Songwriters Festival...held in August...brings some Nashville writers over to sharpen the craft of those writers in East Tennessee. My friends Wil Nance and Steve Dean have already filled up their class...so they've added a second that will include me...and one other writer to be determined. Certainly I'm looking forward to spending time in the beautiful Smokies and writing with some talented folks on that side of Tennessee. I DID SEE Blake Shelton host Saturday Night Live. I thought he did okay. I'm a fan. I personally would have stayed away from cowboy hats and straw bales...even comedically...but he was till entertaining. The "Wishing Boot" song was just flat our strange, bizarre, weird, uncomfortable...and pretty stupidly funny. TODAY Off to write with Linda Davis and Tony Stampley today...Tony being the talented son/songwriter of Joe Stampley. It will be our second time together as a writing trio...and we'll not write a song called "The Wishing Boot"...pretty sure about that. This Friday morning Linda, Lang Scott and myself hit the road with our "Evening In The Round" show for what looks to be a sold out concert in Brooksville, Florida. Over 350 seats are already sold....so we're looking forward to entertaining those folks at the High Point Community Center. More on that later this week. Have a great Monday.

MMA Co-Write

BILL BLOG Thursday January 22, 2015 On my second cup of java...getting all jacked up for a Thursday. YESTERDAY I got to write a little bluegrass song with my friend Shawn Hammonds. He and his wife Carolyn are both from Northern Kentucky and used to listen to me when I was on the radio up there before they moved to Nashville. So we have that connection. Shawn is a great country singer...but has turned his attention to making a bluegrass album...which I think is a great move for him...because his voice transfers easily to that genre. He's been writing with the Trick Pony group members for awhile...so I was tickled that he invited me to write something for the project too. Plus...it gave us a chance to catch up a bit at his massive MMA gym which I had not seen. Ton of room...boxing ring...mats...weights... On top of his musical talent Shawn is a champion MMA fighter...so I was very nice to him yesterday. His wife was there...who sings too...and was a former Titan Cheerleader for a few years before she and Shawn had their first child. Yep...like me...Shawn married up too. Got to see the boy too who's going to be a chip off his Dad's block...and able to knock a chip off anybody's block before we know it. And the bonus was...we got a great bluegrass song done before I left his gym from an idea Shawn had already started. Good day at the office. FOOTBALLS I also spent some time writing a song about the under-inflated New England Patriot football scandal still going on for my syndicate in New York. I wrote a parody of the Alan Jackson hit, "Who's Cheatin' Who". You can imagine where that went. I have an odd job for them. Somebody screws up...they request that I write a song about it. Happy to be of help. MAKE A BID e-Bay is going lay off 2,400 employees. When did we stop buying other people's junk online? Meanwhile...Starbucks is getting ready to report big earnings again in their latest quarters. I see ex e-bay employees trying to fill a "quad split shot piping extra hot grande peppermint mocha with chai and chocolate sauce drizzled on top" order. To go. NUMBER ONE That "All About That Bass" song I referenced earlier in the blog? It's working for Nashville native Meghan Trainor who's album just pushed Taylor Swift off the number one slot this week. Note to self. Write more booty songs. Heck...it will be fun to rhyme with "booty". TODAY My Missouri friend Becky Blackaby is back in town we'll hook up and write something this morning. And then tonight...my daughter's alma mater Belmont has a home basketball game...and she's in town. Maybe a Dad daughter combo screaming at the refs at the same time this evening. Nothing like bonding that way with your kid. Have a great Thursday!

American Sniper

BILL BLOG Wednesday January 21, 2014 Over the hump we try to go. YESTERDAY My writing appointment cancelled out yesterday when one of the writers woke up with a migraine. I've been there...felt that...threw up with that...so there were no problems with the cancellation on those reasons for sure. So I caught up a bit...and it gave me a chance to go see American Sniper with my wife Kathy. Great movie. I've been a Clint Eastwood fan since he was Rowdy Yates back in the day...and this movie he directed is riveting with truth...and should make everyone proud of those who serve who see it. Bradley Cooper is just amazing in this true life story about American's best sniper ever....an American Navy Seal named Chris Kyle. For the idiot pundits like Michael Moore and others who want to throw stones at the cowardice of hiding behind a scope and shooting long distance....how about the number of American lives he saved in the process? We have freedom of speech in this country. So...anyone can pretty much say anything they want...even if some of us think it's stupid. I would hope that those folks remember who's putting it all on the line to give them the freedom to be idiots. Great movie. SPEAKING OF BASEBALL The college baseball season starts in February! Always fun to go see our National Champ Vanderbilt Commodores at their cracker jack baseball park on campus and watch the players field grounders while wearing coveralls and long-johns. Ready for baseball though...and with any luck I'll be back in Arizona this year in the sun watching the Reds play Spring baseball getting ready for the 2015 season. I'm soon to be in toleration mode. The Super Bowl will wrap up the NFL season in a couple of weeks...and then I'll tolerate basketball and hockey on TV until the boys of summer start playing. And yes...I'll admit that I'm just like you. When I sit in the sun in early March...I look at all the places where it's cold...like back home...and smile. KIM K Miss Kanye West is at it again. I truly don't get the fascination and how she manages to be on a front page of something every day. This morning...they posted pictures of her in a little fur lined bikini...and several publications of course displayed her in that. Thank God it was a thong. Because if it were a full sized bikini bottom...we would have lost several herds of animals in Africa to cover THAT. TODAY Off to write with my friend Shawn Hammonds who I have not seen in awhile. Great COUNTRY singer from near Cincinnati...so we have that connection. Besides his music career...Shawn trains MMA fighters. This is why I'm always very very nice when I'm around Shawn. It keeps me out of the Octagon. Have a great Wednesday.

Back Home...and Back To Texas

BILL BLOG Tuesday January 20, 2015 Back home in Nashville.... YESTERDAY I attended the funeral for the Mother of a best friend...Steve Dean who plays in my trio "Hits and Grins" and is my most frequent co-writer. My wife, myself and Victoria Venier...the third member of that trio were there for graveside services and the memorial for a wonderful lady who leaves behind a wonderful family. It was moving at times as my friend spoke as did his wife Lori...and their two children who got up and spoke about their grandmother...and her memories. I'm not big on funerals. Who is? Churches and the music I hear in the old traditional ones move me so much and bring back a flood of memories for me that it's hard for me to sit still. My friends Mom played piano in the church where we honored her. She instilled the love of music in Steve. It's amazing how similar we are in that regard. My Mom did the exact same thing. Played the piano in church...sang...and without me knowing it at the time...instilled my love of music that continues today. So these days when I'm in that kind of church...a wave of memories wash over me as I'm sure they will for my friend now. I felt for my friend...and I'm glad the three of us made the trip to Little Rock to embrace him and his family. And I know it will bring him even closer to his Dad who's 86 years young and carries on. THE THINGS YOU LEARN On a much lighter note now....the trip home with my wife Kathy and Victoria was filled with conversation and laughter...and music. I had a chance to hear some new songs that Victoria has written under her new publishing deal...pretty amazing. And she in turn listened to some of mine. But the stop you in your track moment happened when out of nowhere she revealed to me for the first time that she was a NATIONAL Taekwon-do champion! Good Lord. The things you learn on the highway. I learned on the road in a nonchalant way one time that my friend Steve Dean had Johnny Cash walk up on his stage at the Nashville Airport and broke into "Ring of Fire" with Steve and his friend. Apparently Victoria is a 4th degree black belt...and ran a studio for awhile. She got her face cut open in a bout against a Korean once...and she re-evaluated her plans and started concentrating a little more on her music. Me? I've decided to try very hard not to make her mad at any time while we're on the road...and to load some boards in the car that she can break instead of my nose if she has a fit of anger at anytime. A NEW TEXAS DATE I got word on the way home that I'll be part of a very cool day June 26 when I'll have the opportunity to play a show and judge a contest at the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage, Texas. Our "Evening In The Round" show with Carthage native...and a member of the Hall of Fame...Linda Davis...her husband Lang Scott and myself will play a concert...in the museum! How danged cool. Lang and I will have double duty that day...as there's a talent competition with some of the best young Texas country music talent competing that Lang and myself will be helping to judge. What a fun trip this will be. TODAY I'm off to write with Linda Davis and Curtis Wright today. Curtis has written a string of hits and is a great country singer in his own right. He was a member of the group Shenandoah and Pure Prairie League at one time and led a band that played a lot "Live' on air when I was the morning show host for WSM-FM in Nashville during a time where we went out and did full blown "live' morning shows that featured Ronnie Milsap, Clint Black, Alison Krauss, Ricky Skaggs and a host of others. He wrote the big Shenandoah hit..."Next To You, Next To Me" to name just one. So...looking forward to that...and hoping a little magic will happen later this morning. Have a great Tuesday!

Martin Luther King Day

BILL BLOG Monday January 19, 2014 Awake...early in Little Rock Arkansas. YESTERDAY My wife and myself jumped into a car with Victoria Venier from my "Hits and Grins" trio and made out on 40 West to Little Rock. The other member of our trio...Steve Dean....lost his Mom after a long bout with Alzheimer's. I officially hate that disease. Graveside and funeral services are this morning...yesterday was visitation and our friend Steve and his wife Lori..as well at .Mr. Dean (Frank)...Steve's Dad were surprised...but grateful to have us. Mr. Dean is 86...and I swear to you...he looks 60 at the oldest. He took care of his wife for years..by himself... until the very end when he needed a little help. Quite the amazing story to say the least. I visited with him a lot yesterday. His wife was a schoolteacher and helped run a school...so she touched a lot of young lives. We talked about her...and he's seems strong and promises to travel some now...and I hope he does. I hope I see him in Nashville some. He talked a lot about Cardinal baseball. I grew up with the Cards...so we shared memories of favorite players all the way back to the "Gashouse Gang" my Grandfather used to talk about...Old Sportsmans Park...Stan The Man...and more. He shared with me that his wife could not sit through a movie or most TV shows as they were home together....BUT...for some reason would sit still for longer periods to watch the baseball games...or football games. Don't ask him or me why. Don't ask me why there's even a disease called Alzheimer's . There are many many things to big or to absurd for me to comprehend. I like many...just hope and pray for a cure one day. Later at the house many gathered for dinner...us too. I've gotten to know Steve's sister who's marrying a wonderful guy in a few months...and certainly we know Steve and Lori's boy Harrison who flew in from Dallas...and their daughter Bethany who will be there this morning driving in from Nashville. Certainly as you age...you start to understand priorities. We all have to make a living...and we work hard to provide for our families and make life a bit easier if we can. But...in the long run...you start to understand the value of great friends. I felt this at my Dad's funeral....but Mr. Dean put it best when he told me that so many people came up and said "I don't know what to say." His response to that is..."there is nothing you can say. Just being here tells us how you feel." Glad we were able to come. Right back to Nashville after the funeral. AT THE MOVIES I can't wait to get to the theater to see "American Sniper". It shocked everyone this weekend to shatter some box office records taking in over 105 million dollars. First...I love Clint Eastwood as a director. Bradley Cooper? Bout as good as they get. And apparently this movie has hit a nerve with the American public. Seemingly every person that sees it posts a rave review about the movie. HAPPY BIRTHDAY I just saw a picture of actress Betty White with her birthday cake. 93 candles. Here's to that. And still relevant...and still funny...at 93. Betty white quote: "I may be a Senior...but I'm still hot." Gotta love her. TODAY Off to pay my respects...some of you may have the day off for Martin Luther King day. If so...enjoy. Back in Nashville tomorrow. Have a great Monday.

Good Friends Gather...And WSM Today

BILL BLOG Friday January 16, 2015 Warming up today...and you'll hear no complaints from the writer of this blog. YESTERDAY I had lunch with a couple of former members of a band I sang with back in Missouri when I was young...part of the Shortline Express for those back at home that remember. I can't believe how long it's been since David Powelson, Randy Wright and myself were all together. So good to catch up with them and their lives...and always good to hear everyone is doing so well. I was tickled to hear that David is playing a lot of music again and writing...and has a wonderful new bride. Dave wrote for Acuff-Rose when he was young...and had a few cuts...Eddy Raven, Barbara Mandrell, Johnny Cash, Wynonna, all cut songs he wrote. So after a long absence away from being a writer...I was glad to hear that he's doing some more of that these days. Randy Wright as I mentioned runs "Integrity Events" booking shows all around the world. Working on a couple of Kelly Clarkson concerts at the moment as well as booking a huge outdoor festival in Dover, Delaware. His company has done awesome since he launched it after leaving his position of band leader with Barbara Mandrell after Barbara pulled the plug on her own career and flat our retired. Truly...some of the best days of my youth was making music with these two guys. So great to catch up again. HARD TO BELIEVE That Ronnie Milsap turns 72 today. Still sings great. I remember playing his first single on a 45 back in the KPCR Cowpasture Radio days in Bowling Green, Missouri. It was a double-sided radio hit. "I Hate You" on one side..."That Girl Who Waits On Tables" on the other. One of my radio highlights was the morning Ronnie talked to my Dad about being blind on the radio....as both were. Happy Birthday Ronnie. AN OSCAR NOD Glen Campbell's last song..."I'm Not Going To Miss You" got an Oscar nomination. Good for him. The song is about his own battle with Alzheimer's that's going on. It should draw awareness to something we need to find a cure for. I'll root for it to win. TODAY Off to a demo session with writer/guitar player/producer/teacher...Max T. Barnes who is one talented dude. I co-wrote a song with Max and my friend Steve Dean that Max is going to lay a vocal down on early this afternoon. We're blessed to have an up and coming star lay the vocal down with us...Carly Pearce so I know this is going to be great this afternoon. Very much looking forward to it. THIS AFTERNOON I'm back on air at WSM from 3-7 pm filling in for Mike Terry today. If you'd like to listen in...just go to wsmonline.com Have a great weekend!

Row Writing and Florida Gig Ahead

BILL BLOG Thursday January 15, 2014 Ready for Spring already...anytime. YESTERDAY I spent the morning tweaking a song on Music Row with a couple of buddies...Paul Bogart and Steve Dean. We wrote at Sony...in the "Willie" room. Yep...that Willie. No...we did not get "high" while writing the song. But our room was next to the Kristofferson room...so it's amazing we did not at least get a contact high...as the head of Sony pointed out to us when he dropped by...Troy Tomlinson. First it was nice to meet Troy for the first time...second...it was cool he had a great sense of humor to point out the odds of us NOT getting high were...well...high! Fun morning...and we got a great commercial song to add to all three of our catalogs. CUPCAKES There goes the healthy food. My daughter Heather is home...and one of her skill sets is she can make these ridiculous cakes...and cupcakes that look like those artistic one's you see on TV sometime. She's here til Friday...and was asked to do something creative for a wedding for some friends of hers...so she made this mountain of cupcakes and then delivered them for taste testing to the couple. The good news for her Dad is...there's always leftovers. Or maybe it's the bad news...dunno. I do know they taste great...and that the couple will be thrilled. I can barely boil a hot dog...much less do what she can do creatively with cakes. But...if you hear of a couple getting married who would like a boiled hot dog wedding cake...I'm your guy. THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA Miranda Lambert is getting ready to hit a ton of cities with her "Platinum" Tour. She wanted to do a quick run through in Nashville...so she put up one "Tweet" letting folks know she'd be playing the Exit In here the other night. Fans lined up around the block to try and get in. One tweet...packed house. Beats the heck out of running all over town putting up posters on telephone poles and in the A&G Grocery store window like I did when I was a kid with a band. Of course seeing the "Bill Whyte Band Show Poster" in a window next to "50 Cents Off On Ham Hocks" was a thrill back in the day. DRUM ROLL... And the music joke of the day is...What do you call a musician without a girlfriend? Answer: Homeless NEXT SHOW? That would be with Linda Davis and Lang Scott when our Evening In The Round show plays in Brooksville, Florida January 31. They've already done a great job of selling a ton of tickets...but there's room if you want to go. Here's the INFO LINK for more information. TODAY I'm off to have lunch in the middle of the day with two great friends from Missouri...Randy Wright and David Powelson. Both played in my band in Missouri as we were all growing up...some of the best days...and most fun in my life. Both went on to play with Barbara Mandrell when she was at her peak and had her television show that both of them were on. Randy runs Integrity Events these days and produces huge shows around the world...and still plays drums a little...especially in church. David plays guitar...has been on the road with Crystal Gayle...and most recently around the world a time or two with Brenda Lee. It's hard to believe...but this is the first time the three of us have been together...maybe since those band days that also included bass player Mike Herndon...who's still back in Missouri. His ears will be ringing today. Old friends...and it's about time. FYI Tomorrow...on the air from 3-7 pm on WSM Radio. You can listen from where you are at wsmonline.com Have a great Thursday!

Loss Of A Great Man...And Writer

BILL BLOG Wednesday January 14, 2014 Woke up with a dusting of snow on the hood of the car...the roof...and the lawn. Looks pretty outside my blogging window...maybe we'll leave the Christmas tree up til March. YESTERDAY At the last second my writing appointment cancelled so I switched gears and caught up on other stuff...and did get a little writing done for my New York folks who needed a contest jingle for a radio station client. And then we got word that our daughter Heather was flying in....so that kind of made my day. She's asleep upstairs right now...and once again it's just nice to know she's safe and under our roof. Because she literally flies around the globe these days...and her Mom and I have to not think about that a lot...it always feels good to have her where we can hug her and feel like we're protecting her again. Pretty sure most parents feel that way. They never ever stop being your kid do they? No matter how much they grow up. A MUSICAL LOSS A great songwriter and friend to many here in Nashville passed away at 64 from prostate cancer. His name was A.J. Masters...and was as nice a man as you'll meet in this town...and a friend of many...and a mentor to a lot of young songwriting kids. I had the extreme pleasure of meeting and writing with him one time. Another older writer friend....Billy Henderson invited him to write with the two of us around Billy's kitchen table one day. The song idea was "Your Mama's So Country". The song turned out so well that we decided to go in studio and demo it. The studio turned out to be the one that Michael McDonald owns...yes...the same Michael in the Doobie Brothers. So I got to see a few Grammy's in his collection case. Anyway...A.J. played almost everything on the track that day. I sang...he did harmony party. I wound up liking it so much that I included it on my "Leave Em' Laughing" CD...and today I'm feeling really great about that...to have something he did on one of my albums. A.J. was an artist too. Nominated for best new male act by the Academy of Country Music one year...that good. His songs were cut by several artists...his biggest came through the Oak Ridge Boys with "Change My Mind" which won an award for over a million air-plays. Gosh...what a nice nice man. So sorry he's gone. RAZZIES Worst movies came out..the Razzies. "Tammy" was the only one I saw with Melissa McCarthy. I went because I like her...and she made me laugh out loud in "Heat" with Sandra Bullock. It was bad. It was one of those where I kept rooting for her to be really funny...and it never got there. Weird how actors and actresses can hit or miss or projects. Sort of like the songs I try to write. TODAY Off to write with Steve Dean and Paul Bogart on Music Row. A cowboy and a Beatles freak. This should be an interesting song coming off the table today. Have a great Wednesday!

Buckeyes and Music Row

BILL BLOG Tuesday January 13, 2014 Good to be a Buckeye fan this morning for sure. And with a 3rd string QB? Wow. YESTERDAY A complete day of catching up after being on the road last week. My wife is patting herself on the back...and me too...after she figured out how to order the arm bar for the hood on our car that was failing to hold the hood up and then fix the problem. Once again...I was a great flashlight holder for her...it's what I do. A skill set not many shoot for. It worked...probably saved us a couple hundred bucks in the process. Nothing quite as sexy as a blonde head under the hood. I may go break the hood arms on the rest of our cars. We've now fixed our refrigerator...and car. We've got a fireplace problem too. If you see a poof in the sky from Nashville...you'll know what happened. OHIO STATE I caught a lot of the National Championship game last night. But when I went to bed...it was a one point game and I had a feeling that Oregon might get on a roll. This morning I find out just the opposite happened. Congrats to the Buckeyes! Coaching job of the year or maybe past several years for Urban Meyer when you consider they won with a THIRD string QB. Amazing performance by that kid...and the coach. So I'm sure the debate will begin in earnest. Best college football coach. Urban Meyer....or Nick Saban? And to think Ohio State could have easily been passed over by the committee for TCU. The committee is feeling pretty good about their decision this morning. The play-off system works...and is a huge success. Why they waited so long is anyone's guess. Now...the NFL Playoffs....and then I'll start counting days til Spring Training! GREAT NASHVILLE NEWS The National Trust For Historic Preservation stepped up and has made Music Row a "National Treasure". Voices were heard. Ben Folds had a lot to do with this...but a ton of supporters lifted their voices against making the music corridor the latest place to be bulldozed for condos and business. It's nice to see that the little houses and alleys and studios where all the magic happens for country music will be preserved. It was mind boggling to think they could just wipe out most of that history. I'll be writing at Sony tomorrow morning right in the middle of Music Row. Nice to know I'll be able to write there as long as I want. ANOTHER MUSEUM The George Jones Museum will open in Nashville April 24. 44,000 square feet of Possum stuff. Don't know if the infamous lawn mower will be on display...but one can hope. They will also coordinate the release of "White Lightning" Moonshine at the same time. That news made me smile. George said he might as well control what controlled him for so many years...and now...in his grave...he will. Lots to see here in Music City. Johnny Cash Museum...George Jones Museum..and of course the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I'm legislating for a miniature house to be filled with Little Jimmy Dickens memorabilia for his museum too. TODAY Our "Hits and Grins" trio gets together for the first time since the holidays. We try to gather every Tuesday to take care of bizness....write....practice...try to books shows...take care of whatever needs to be taken care of. Have a great Tuesday.

The Arkansas-Texas Tour

BILL BLOG Monday January 12, 2014 Back home in Twang Town. THE ROAD Miles...food stops...sound-checks...hotels...venues and shows...pretty much the way a road trip goes when you're playing music. But man did we have fun on this run with our "Evening In The Round" show tour with Linda Davis and Lang Scott...that I'm blessed to be a part of. I'm fortunate to be able to share some of Linda's spotlight that she shares so graciously. HELLO TYLER Thursday night we were in Hot Springs which I blogged about on Friday. Friday night we returned to the Liberty Theater in Tyler, TX and the place was almost full...and a lot of that with Linda's friends and family and fans in that region where she grew up. Linda's hometown is Carthage which is about an hour away...so they showed up in droves...and I got to spend some time getting to know them better. Great folks. Her brother Troy who's into "fracking"...and I bring that up because I love the word "fracking"...and his wife Sonia. Great fun folks as were the rest of the Uncle's, Aunt's cousins, etc that I met. OFF TO McKINNEY Saturday night we played McKinney, TX...a suburb north of Dallas. I had NO idea McKinney was in the suburbs of Dallas until I pulled up Wikipedia in my hotel room early Saturday morning in Tyler. My old GM at WMIL in Milwaukee lives in Dallas...Brian Ongaro...and I quickly sent him and his wife an invitation to the gig. Turns out that his house was only 10 miles away from the venue we played at and he and his wife Barb did come to the show which made it special for me. One of my most favorite guys I've ever worked for in radio...now an investor in Dallas. It just put icing in the cake for this tour. And the performance venue were were in Saturday night was just off the hook. It's one of those mammoth churches....that they lease out for the the McKinney Concert Series they've been throwing for 41 years. First class in every sense...lights, production...they had us up on a big screen on stage while we performed, catering...the whole 9 yards...and the sound crew just nailed it! Truly an awesome place to be and play...to over 700 folks on Saturday night. THE TRIP HOME An 11 hour drive back to Nashville yesterday flew as all three of us agreed on how much fun the trip had been. Lang and I listened to the NFL Playoff's to help kill time during the rainy drive home. Lang and Linda's youngest daughter Rylee Jean made the trip with us...got up and sang her hero's song every night....Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter". Yep...she made some fans too. And Rylee sold our merch and provided the sound of crickets off my cell phone in the audience for my song Joe Nichols recorded called, "Cricket". So she earned her keep! It was odd...that Rylee's older sister Hillary was in Dallas too with Lady Antebellum as they had a gig just 30 minutes south of us. But no...there was no time to hook up with them. However...do look for Lady A tonight...they sing the National Anthem at the College Football Championship inside Jerry Jones' huge palace. Just way too much fun...and I can't wait for the next road trip...which is slated for Florida at the end of the month. I never get tired of sitting on a stool next to Linda and Lang and listening to them sing and play...and ENTERTAIN folks. Just the best. THIS WEEK A full week that starts tomorrow with songwriting sessions...I have some studio recording this week too...and I'll be on WSM from 3-7 pm this Friday. So...back at it we go. Have a great Monday.