Show Reviews

Show Review: Jacob Bryant & Hayden Coffman at Cahoot's

 

JACOB BRYANT & HAYDEN COFFMAN:

Friday May 13, 2022

@ Cahoot's Dancehall and Honky-Tonk in Lebanon, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis/Jacob Bryant photo by:Todd and Sara McPhetridge)

Cahoot’s Dancehall and Honky-Tonk in Lebanon, TN (just about 30 miles east of Nashville) is widely recognized as one of the weekend hotspots for country folks to come together and line dance, hear a DJ spin great country music, and enjoy free beer until 11PM with your paid admission.

However, the club would transform on this night into one of the premier concert halls in the Nashville area to deliver a high-octane show that saw droves of fans begin to gather an hour before the start time, stake claim to their tables, order up their drinks of choice, and converse with friends in anticipation for what was just ahead as the clock ticked closer and closer to show time.

Autographed guitars and photos of the various acts who’ve played the venue previously lined the upper part of the wall (stage left) just above the Tennessee Titans banner, while the PA system set the tone of the night by playing songs that ranged in styles just as each act on the bill does within their music; Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave,” Riley Green’s “There Was This Girl,” Jamey Johnson’s “High Cost of Living,” The Allman Brothers Band’s “Ramblin’ Man,” AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” and more!

Officially dubbed as the ‘Bar Stool Preacher Tour’ after Jacob Bryant’s latest album release, it was actually Bryant who took the stage as the opener on this particular night of the tour; much in part to this being a Hayden Coffman homecoming show of sorts (he attended nearby Cumberland University) as was clearly evident by the number of his t-shirt’s that his fans were wearing throughout the crowd.

2022 has been a tremendously busy year for Georgia native Jacob Bryant.

Bar Stool Preacher released earlier this year, he made his Grand Ole Opry debut on February 18th, and is getting ready to officially bring “Amen” to country radio as his next single.

The crowd surged forward as he bounced out onto the stage and blasted into his one hour and ten- minute set with “More Than One Year,” a boot-stomping country rocker from his 2019 Practice What I Preach album that acted as the perfect set up for the energy level that he’d bring to the stage throughout the first third of his performance as the guitars shredded while the rhythm section pounded the beat straight into your chest.

Reading the Friday night, honky-tonk crowd perfectly, Bryant namechecked several outlaw icons including Jennings, Cash, Paycheck, Haggard, and Whitley as he pushed forward with “Country Went to Hell,” another tempo driven boot-stomper that slid perfectly into his muddy, outlaw country inspired style; something he would continue doing as he allowed his honky tonking outlaw rhythms to radiate across the hardwood dancefloor during “Can’t Say No to You” and the Bakersfield titled sound of “Well Whiskey (Discount Cigarettes),” both lifted from his Bar Stool Preacher album.

As the final notes of “Well Whiskey” were played, Bryant immediately started to clap along with the rhythm being pounded out by the drum, enticing the crowd to do the same, as he lit the place up with “The Bottom (Raise ‘Em Up),” before slowing the set down for the first time with “Buzzards,” which he introduced as being a song about love that died.

“I want to thank God for this next song right here because it probably saved a lot of things for me; my life, marriage…” Bryant confessed before delivering the grittier tones of the incredible “Can’t Take an Angel to Hell,” which he then perfectly led directly into a sing along with the crowd on “This Side of Sober.”

“This is a song about going to jail,” Bryant exclaimed. “I wouldn’t really advise going to jail, but I definitely don’t advise doing it on your damn birthday,” he finished as he drove the crowd straight back into his modern branded outlaw style with the autobiographical “25 In Jail,” a song which had the crowd bopping along and raising fists in the air while Bryant played off his strong Merle Haggard influences, referencing several of the country music legend’s songs within his lyrics while singing through the memorable hook, “I didn’t turn 21 in prison, but I turned 25 In Jail.”

Bryant stayed bent towards his outlaw country influences with a great cover of Charlie Daniels’ “Long Haired Country Boy,” and proudly wore his American pride on his sleeve as he delivered “Practice What I Preach,” which reached directly into the hearts of the true country crowd by sending a very strong message of sticking to who you are as a true American despite what’s going on all around us right now.

“This is the one slow song that we do in the set, so take your chances now and grab that pretty lady next to you for a dance,” Bryant persuaded as he played “Heartbeat,” which aptly brought several couples to the dance floor to hold each other close as the steamy song resonated with them.

“This next one is for the people out there like me who walk right back into a burning house,” Bryant introduced as he played “Things That Hurt,” before delivering a show-stopping moment that came toward the end of “Save My Soul” when he preached a strong message that enhanced the lyrics and power of the song that much more; “where two or more are gathered in His name, it’s church. It doesn’t matter where that is, and it could be right here in this bar tonight!”

This similar sentiment would also carry into “Amen” just two songs later, before he closed out his portion of the night with “Pour Whiskey on My Grave.”

With half his set dedicated to his newest release Bar Stool Preacher, and the other half to mostly fan favorites from his back catalog, Jacob Bryant not only effectively delivered a set that made people run to his merch table and grab a copy of his new album, but he also set the bar very high for Hayden Coffman to have to follow!

FULL SET LIST

1) More Than One Year

2) Country Went to Hell

3) Can’t Say No to You

4) Well Whiskey

5) The Bottom (Raise ‘Em Up)

6) Buzzards

7) Can’t Take an Angel to Hell

8) This Side of Sober

9) 25 In Jail

10) Long-Haired Country Boy (Charlie Daniels cover)

11) Practice What I Preach

12) Heartbeat

13) Things That Hurt

14) Save My Soul

15) Wash It Down

16) Amen

17) Pour Whiskey on My Grave

With an enthusiastic crowd who already had their engines revved up by a stellar performance from Jacob Bryant, Hayden Coffman immediately connected his modern country style with the crowd of blue-collar, “Good Ol’ Boys” by delivering his up-tempo, down-home anthem that’s perfectly designed to strike a chord with that specific demographic.

“Lebanon, TN,” Coffman excitedly said as he was met with cheers. “We’re gonna have a party in here tonight!” he exclaimed as he continued to deliver that party by introducing who he is through the danceable groove of “That’s Just Me,” before sliding into a rollicking cover of Toby Keith’s “Should’ve Been a Cowboy,” which saw several line dancers hitting the dancefloor to get their boot heels clicking on the hardwood.

“This right here…Cahoot’s! This is where I first start playing at many years ago when I was at Cumberland University just down the road from here,” Coffman gratefully said.” This is a bit of a full circle moment for me to come back here and play now,’ he finished as the guitar lick punched into the catchy melody of “Might Be” and immediately had hips popping as the crowd swayed along.

“Do we have any Chase Matthew fans in here tonight?” Coffman asked as the crowd cheered in response. “I’ve known Chase for a couple years now and he asked me to come sing with him on his new album Born For This. This is the first track on that album,” he said as he delivered the country swagger of “Raised in a Hollar.”  

Sliding back and forth between different emotions, Coffman then drove through the middle part of his set with the heart-tugging “Lose Somebody You Love,” before acknowledging an anniversary in the crowd and playing “Last First Date,” and finally pulling the crowd together as family with a Coffman kissed version of “Friends In Low Places” that saw people in the crowd with arms around each other as they sang along and raised their bottles of beer into the sky.

“So, this is your chance right now...if you’re trying to find someone to go home with tonight, then this is the moment,” Coffman smiled as brought couples to the dance floor when he slowed things down with “Take It Slow,” before delivering “Same Ole Song” and a great cover of Morgan Wallen’s current radio single “Wasted on You.”

With “Ain’t From Here,” the first song that Coffman said he wrote when he was fresh out of college, he paid heartfelt homage to the state of Tennessee, before completely changing things up to show off his band’s individuality and skillsets when they dove into a cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.”

“Everybody put your drinks up into the air one time for me,” Coffman encouraged as several beer bottles were raised up high as he did a toast the crowd while the guitar riff of “Here To Drink” immediately had them dancing along with it, before slowing it down one last time of the night with “Tennessee,” a song which Coffman introduced as being about “missing home and missing a girl.”

Claiming that the last two songs he was going to play were the best two that he has, Coffman first leaned straight into the radio friendly catchiness of “Good as It Gets” before he put on the orange construction vest and hard hat ala its music video to close with his biggest hit “Better Off.”

With a tough task at hand to follow Jacob Bryant, Hayden Coffman delivered a fantastic set that reached that bar set before him. His catchy brand of modern kissed country is absolutely built for today’s top 40 as he delivers high on the energy, but also brings lyrics that are meaningful and strike the listener in the exact ways they need to.

As it stands right now, Coffman has already built a tremendous following that’s continually growing underneath the mainstream radar. However, the real question that one must wonder when seeing performances like this, is how much longer until he’s not under the radar anymore but instead, becomes country music’s next buzzed about artist to watch.

FULL SET LIST

1) Good Ol’ Boys

2) That’s Just Me

3) Should’ve Been a Cowboy (Toby Keith Cover)

4) Might Be

5) Raised in a Hollar

6) Lose Somebody You Love

7) Last First Date

8) Friends In Low Places (Garth Brooks cover)

9) Take It Slow

10) Same Ole Song

11) Wasted on You (Morgan Wallen cover)

12) Ain’t From Here

13) No Diggity (Blackstreet cover)

14) Here To Drink

15) Tennessee

16) Good as It Gets

17) Better Off

 

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