Show Reviews

Show Review: Hope on the Row ft. Erin Kinsey, Filmore, Maggie Baugh, & more!

 

Hope on the Row!

Ft. Erin Kinsey, Filmore, Maggie Baugh, Austin Jenckes, Neon Union, Drew Baldridge, and more!

Tuesday June 21, 2022

@ 6th and Peabody in Nashville, TN

(Review by: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Tennessee isn’t nicknamed the Volunteer State for nothing, but it’s the capital city of Nashville that certainly reaps the most benefits of that moniker, making it the place to be for any organization to find massive support for its specific causes; and the residents of Music City always benefit from great concerts that the organizations put together as part of their efforts to raise awareness and donations.

Hope on the Row, the incredible organization founded by Ava Suppelsa, always brings top talent to their songwriter rounds when they take over 6th and Peabody at the Ole Smoky/Yee-Haw Brewing complex.

Connecting the music community of Nashville with relief efforts for the unhoused, Hope on the Row doesn’t just aim to bring awareness to a population often overlooked, but also very uniquely uses these stellar songwriter nights as a collection spot for a specifically needed item; this go round they were asking patrons to bring packages of socks for the unhoused, but were also accepting any additional clothing items and toiletries.  

This month’s edition of the “Spreading Hope” songwriter rounds connected usual emcee’s Keith Griner and co-host Eryn Cooper (of Hot 106.7), who both utilized their stage time to not only introduce each incredible act, but to also educate on the needs of the unhoused, the overall cause of the event, and how one-by-one each of us in attendance and watching via livestream can play a role in helping the cause.

With temperatures rising to the high 90’s in Nashville, the cold water was certainly flowing on this night amongst the patrons who were trying to stay cool, but those temps didn’t stop a spirited game of cornhole from happening on the artificial lawn in front of the stage or a rousing foosball tournament from going on near the back on the venue; both adding to the fun atmosphere as the opening rounds participants took the stage.

“This first song is about drinking a little bit too much,” the guys in The Boat Boys appropriately shared, seeing as though the setting was at the center hub of Ole Smokey Moonshine and Yee-Haw Brewing, as they opened their set with the very vibey, beach infused “Sail Away.”

When the round circled back to them they performed the hilariously pun intended, “Johnson,” a song which they said to have written by accident over a bottle of bourbon, before closing out their part of the songwriter round with “Wasted On A Beach,” a recently released song that Rhett Akins guested on the recorded version of and which they confessed to the audience on hand before playing, “we have no idea how, but somehow he agreed to sing this one with us.

FULL SET LIST (The Boat Boys)

1) Sail Away

2) Johnson

3) Wasted On A Beach

“I got to be a part of this song earning 14 million streams on Tik Tok,” excitedly shared Royale Lynn. “We wrote this one in my one-bedroom apartment and a month later, I couldn’t even pay the rent. Now, I just got word that it’s being cut for the third time by a major label artist and if that isn’t why you move to town to be a songwriter then I don’t know what is,” she encouragingly said as she delivered “Far Boy,” a song which as it currently stands is a staple for hot rising artist Leah Marie Mason.

“I drive a 2010 Chevy Silverado,” Lynn said to hoots and hollers from the truck loving crowd. “I love my truck so much, and I think the world we be a better place if everyone drove trucks, so I wrote a song about why I think that,” she finished as she played “If We All Drove Trucks,” before ending her round with “He Quit the Country,” a song which she said was inspired by an ex who when they broke up, quit liking everything that was connected to her.

FULL SET LIST (Royale Lynn)

1) Far Boy

2) If We All Drove Trucks

3) He Quit the Country

“This song turned one year old this past weekend and I can’t believe it,” exclaimed Maggie Baugh. “It felt like yesterday, but it’s the one that changed my life,” she finished to a round of cheers from the crowd as she opened with her breakout hit “Think About Me.” 

After playing her current single “Seein’ Somebody,” she finished off her set with “That Ain’t Me,”an up-tempo, bouncy tune with a groove that makes it a surefire smash should Baugh release it as a single, which she introduced by musing, “I’ve noticed in country music how women like to write a lot about how it’s always the guy’s fault, but y’all, we ain’t perfect either!”

FULL SET LIST (Maggie Baugh)

1) Think About Me

2) Seein’ Somebody

3) That Ain’t Me

After immediately getting the crowd bopping along with the groove of “Vegas,” Erin Kinsey then confessed before playing the incredibly catchy and very memorable “Leave It Up to Me,” “I’m going to do something that I don’t normally do. I wrote this song a week and a half ago, so we’ll see how it goes!”

“We’ve all written those songs that changed everything for us,” began Kinsey. “This next song is the one that did It for me, and it’s at country radio right now so if you call and request it that would be awesome,” she plugged as she performed her current single “Just Drive,” which not only had the crowd singing along with it, but it was also so awesome to see fellow songwriter Maggie Baugh become just as excited to hear the song as she mouthed the words along with Erin in an incredible show of support.

FULL SET LIST (Erin Kinsey)

1) Vegas

2) Leave It Up to Me

3) Just Drive

It’s always such a cool vibe and a whole different feel to a writer’s round when everyone on stage is already such great friends and they are totally comfortable letting their personalities shine as they invite you to be a part of it through song and inside jokes. That’s exactly what happened during the second round as each member of the audience quickly just became one of the guys.

“I know a bunch of these guys on stage right now,” said Filmore. “And we’re all a bunch of degenerates, so playing together at a bar for us makes perfect sense,” he said with a laugh as he opened the round with “Johnny Got a Girl,” a cleverly written song that’s about losing a good friend and your best drinking buddy when he gets a girlfriend and naturally stops coming around.

“That last song was about a dude, and I know that’s a little weird,” stated Filmore. “But this next song is all about a girl,” he finished as he pulled the couples in the crowd together for a close slow dance while he played the incredible “Love That About You.”

Refreshingly, Filmore then ended his set with “USA,” a song which goes against the sad, current trend of dogging our great country, to instead stand up and boldly sing of all the things that still make it the greatest country in the world.

FULL SET LIST (Filmore)

1) Johnny Got a Girl

2) Love That About You

3) USA

After opening their set with what they described as a good old fashioned party song with “Ain’t Doin’ Something Right,” their first official single to radio, After Midtown would later bookend it with a new song that they released a few days prior, keeping the party atmosphere lit on “Party In My Hometown.”

However, sandwiched in the middle of the party anthems, they also gave the crowd a glimpse of things to come when they tried out a new song that they’ve yet to release with “Miss You Already,” which they said before they played that it was the closest thing they had to a beachy type of song and based on the Tuesday night Nashville crowd response to it, it should be a single for them soon.

FULL SET LIST (After Midtown)

1) Ain’t Doin’ Something Right

2) Miss You Already

3) Party In My Hometown

If you’re looking at the dynamic of the five guys sitting on stage during this round, then Eric Van Houten could clearly be labeled as the quiet one of the bunch.

Without doing a lot of song introductions other than to say a song was about a sh**ty ex before playing “Wanted to Know,” he pretty much just let his stellar songs do the talking for him as he opened with his breakout smash “Kiss Her,” and closed with “Girl That Got Away Comes Back.”

FULL SET LIST (Eric Van Houten)

1) Kiss Her

2) Wanted to Know

3) Girl That Got Away Comes Back


“I grew up right here in Nashville, Tennessee,” began Levi Hummon who was met with cheers from the local, hometown crowd. “I used to drive around town trying to pick up girls and that’s what this next song is about,” he finished as he took us back in time by singing of how the songs from back then will still always remind him of those youthful days, opening his set with “Songs We Sang.”

With an incredible groove that had everyone in the crowd shoulder dancing and bopping their heads, while a select few were mimicking the TikTok dance craze that came with it, Hummon delivered “Paying For It,” a song which he recorded alongside Walker Hayes, and during which he would hilariously do his best impression of the “Fancy Like” singer when his spot in the song rolled around.

After sharing an embarrassing story of a time when he opened for Tim McGraw and his voice went out halfway through the set, which Hummon did deem as a favorite memory, he closed with “Not From California,” a song he wrote that McGraw would later record for his Here On Earth album, bringing the story he told to its full circle moment.  

FULL SET LIST (Levi Hummon)

1) Songs We Sang

2) Paying For It

3) Not From California

“I was out on tour with the guys in LOCASH, and we were talking one night about America and how there’s not much patriotism right now,” began Drew Baldridge, rehashing a sentiment that Filmore had set during the previous round. “We wanted to bring some of that patriotism back and so we wrote this one,” he finished as had the crowd singing along by the second chorus of “Three Favorite Colors” to open the third round.

When the round circled back to him , he then took us straight to the Friday night, honky-tonkin’ hardwood floor to get our boot heels clicking along with the rhythm of “Honky Tonk Town,” which saw Tommy Emmanuel (who was also on this round) dropping in guitar licks that souped up the song and acted as a perfect accompaniment to keep the crowd rocking.

“I put out this last song I’m gonna play last year. I got married a year ago and we just announced that we’re having our first baby, which is pretty cool,” Baldridge excitedly shared as the crowd cheered. “But I wrote this after meeting my wife’s dad for the first time. I can remember driving back to Nashville and thinking to myself, “man, if I break her heart then I’m breaking her mom and dad’s heart too,” he finished as he played the ultra-sensitive “She’s Somebody’s Daughter,”  a song which has earned him over 10million streams on each version; the initially recorded and released version, as well as a wedding version of the song.

FULL SET LIST (Drew Baldridge)

1) Three Favorite Colors

2) Honky Tonk Town

3) She’s Somebody’s Daughter

Really using this round as a strong introduction to her music, three-year Nashville resident Jessie Wilson didn’t speak too much before playing her first two songs, “Bad Decision” and “How Bout We Find Out.” 

However, before playing what she said to be her personal favorite song she’d ever written, “That’s’ What Mama’s Are For,” Wilson paused to invite us into her personal life, telling of how last year her stepdad was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, but how when she was on the phone with her mom one day talking to her about the struggles that she was dealing with, she found herself pausing to say but “you’ve got your hands full right now taking care of my stepdad.” It was that one sentence that would go on to inspire the thought-provoking, heart-tugging song when her mom quickly responded, “baby, but that’s what mamas are for.”

FULL SET LIST (Jessie Wilson)

1) Bad Decision

2) How Bout We Find Out

3) That’s What Mama’s Are For

Like Jessie Wilson before her, Reyna Roberts chose to mostly let her songs do the talking for her.

Accompanied by a guitarist and Tommy Emmanuel feeling the groove as he tapped a beat out on the face of his guitar, Roberts pulled us through “Raised Right,” “One Hundred Percent,” and “Bad Girl Bible,” using each of her three songs to introduce the audience to her undeniable sass, sultry side, and a little bit of bad girl mixed into a whole lot of good.

FULL SET LIST (Reyna Roberts)

1) Raised Right

2) One Hundred Percent

3) Bad Girl Bible

Guitar virtuoso and certified guitar picker (CGP), Tommy Emmanuel brought a little something different than the norm to the stage in that he’s mostly just an instrumentalist, but he quickly won over the crowd with his incredible display of picking on “Mombasa” and “It’s Never Too Late,” the latter which he said to be inspired by a sign that he has hanging in his kitchen, which reads “It’s never too late to live happily ever after!”

“I thought that maybe before we finished here tonight, we could all sing something together,” quizzically said Tommy as the crowd cheered. “Something to get our frustrations out with all that’s going on with our planet these days,” he finished as he dove into Hank Williams’ “Mind You Own Business,” during which a rousing call and response happened between stage and crowd as well as getting every participant on the round with him singing along with the classic tune to end on a note of pure cohesiveness.

FULL SET LIST (Tommy Emmanuel)

1) Mombasa

2) It’s Never Too Late

3) Mind Your Own Business (Hank Williams cover)

“This song got recorded a few years back by a guy named Morgan Wallen, and then by Lee Brice,” began Season 5 contestant on The Voice Austin Jenckes as he opened the final round with “American Nights.”

When playing “Fat Kid,” a song which Jenckes himself didn’t write but did record, he spoke transparently about being the outcast and the isolation that comes with it, while you could visibly see how the song resonated with the crowd, but also with Neon Union who sat to Austin’s right as they clapped along and later slid in on harmony vocals.

“I wrote this last song about losing my dad, and I’m just gonna say that it’s a sad song,” relented Jenckes before playing the tearjerker, “If You’d Been Around,” which he dedicated to anyone in the crowd who knew what it felt like to go through losing a loved one.

FULL SET LIST (Austin Jenckes)

1) American Nights

2) Fat Kid

3) If You’d Been Around

Neon Union, a duo who is making a lot of headway in the Nashville country music scene, shared the exciting news that earlier in the day they had singed their record contract, as they then opened with “For You I Will,” a song they co-write with hitmaking songwriter Jeffrey Steele that was inspired by a walk they were on in downtown Franklin, TN when a guy behind them said the words to his girl, “No, but for you I will.”

“We wrote this next one with Bobby Pinson who wrote a song called “Made in America” for Toby Keith,” they said. “We brought in this idea of being made in Mexico and he says, “I can’t write that. I already wrote a song called “Made in America.” So, we told him, well what if you had a hit with both America and Mexico and I guess we convinced him,” they finished with a laugh as they delivered the summer tilted “Made In Mexico.”

“So, we’re a black and white duo in country music, which doesn’t happen ever….but it’s not about that…it’s all about the music for us!” the duo explained. “We recently had the opportunity to make our Opry debut, though, and we took this song to that stage. It’s not about what you look like, but who you are and that’s what this song is all about,” they finished as the brought the crowd to a standstill with the very poignant and important lyrical message of “Colors.”

FULL SET LIST (Neon Union)

1) For You I Will

2) Made in Mexico

3) Colors

“I’m turning 21 in just a few days,” gushed Harper Grace who first came into our homes via a not-so-great viral video of her turn at the National Anthem when she was just 11 years old, before completely redeeming herself with a run on American Idol that would eventually land her a recording deal with Curb Records earlier this year.

“I’ve been on the road with Jimmie Allen and Nelly and all the songs that I’m gonna play tonight will be out very soon,” she finished, opening her part of the round with a love song titled “Nowhere.”

“So, when I was 11 years old, I sang the National Anthem at a Major League soccer event, and it went viral for being one of the worst ever renditions of the anthem. It was up there next to Rosanne Barr and Christian Aguilera, but worse than that…I was bullied a lot at school after that too,” she confessed before encouraging, “but I still have a voice and I’m still singing and this song is my story in one 3-minute song,” she finished as she combatted her past head on through, “Oh, Say Can You See.”

“I love sparkles,” Grace stated as the light caught the sparkles on the shoes she was wearing. “Sparkles are probably my most favorite color other than camo,” she enthusiastically stated as she invited us into a small piece of who she is through her final song, “My Kind of Sparkle.”

FULL SET LIST (Harper Grace)

1) Nowhere

2)  Oh, Say Can You See

3) My Kind of Sparkle

Haley Mae Campbell, a wonderful surprise replacement for originally advertised Joel Crouse, was the final performer during the 4th round, delighting the crowd when she opened with the cleverly written letter from the new girlfriend to ex-girlfriend on the happy you’ve done him wrong song, “Thank You Card,” her catchy, dance along with current single.

“Do you wanna hear a drinking song…or….do you wanna hear a drinking song?” Campbell asked with a chuckle and smile. “I feel like you have to play a drinking song since we’re playing here tonight, right? This one’s not out yet, but I’m working on it with my dear friends Presley & Taylor,” she finished eliciting cheers for the mention of popular duo as she delivered “Never Not a Good Time.”

“This last song was a single that I put out last year, and a lot has happened with this song in that time. It’s reached 45 million views on social media, and just last month it reached 6 million Spotify streams,” she said as the crowd applauded the success. “I actually got engaged to this song, so I guess I’ll have to play it at every show now,” she finished as she closed the entire night with her breakout hit, “Never Been in Love.”

FULL SET LIST (Haley Mae Campbell)

1) Thank You Card

2) Never Not a Good Time

3) Never Been in Love

 

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