Show Reviews

Show Review: Lucky Money Writer's Round ft. Leaving Austin, Mark Taylor, Macy Dot, and more!



Ft: Leaving Austin, Mark Taylor, Seth Michael, Macy Dot, Brent Anderson, Jordan Rager, and more!

Monday September 26, 2022

@ Virgin Hotel in Nashville, TN

There’s always a lot of chatter and opposition whenever something on the famed Music Row experiences a change to its rich tapestry and shakes the foundations of its tradition. However, when the change is done correctly, the most important asset of what makes the town tick is not only left well intact but is elevated to new heights.

Though the Virgin Hotel is a fairly new addition to the corner where 17th Ave S intersects with Music Sq West, by welcoming the Lucky Money Promotion team and their weekly writer’s round to their ambient front patio area, they continue to put a bold focus on the songwriters who are the lifeblood of Nashville and built the very street corner the boutique hotel now occupies.

With lightbulb styled string lighting overhead, a top shelf bar occupying the window like space that separates the indoor area from the outdoor, and the aroma of classy, souped up versions of your favorite foods whisking through the air around you, the venue did its part to set the vibey atmosphere while gifted singer/songwriter Sarah Morey emceed/hosted the evening’s festivities with an enthusiasm that pulled you into each songwriter that took the stage across the three rounds on this Monday night.

Opening the night with “One Time Girl,” emerging artist Seth Michael, who has recently found success with his latest single “Bout to Be,” used his time during the first round to give us a full spectrum view into who he is over his 4-songs.

He provided a strong glimpse into the future through several exciting new songs including “Repeat” and “Neon Union,” as well as giving us a nostalgic look back to the one that really started it all for him with “She Got a Thing,” which had several of the early arrivers singing along with him as he ran through a list of all the different things she likes from Jeeps with no tops on them to 7th inning stretches, culminating in the memorable hook of the song, “she got a thing for me!”

In what was the most unexpected surprise of the night, Katelyn Paige delivered an attention-grabbing set on what was her first ever writer’s round since her recent move to Nashville. Wrapping a soulful vibe into “Over” that immediately allowed her to hit all the registers of her vast range, she quickly then slid into her comfort zone as she blurred the lines between hip-hop, rap, and country while skillfully showcasing each side of what she’s brought with her to Music City’s vibrant songwriter scene.

The gritty, swampy, country tilt of “Hick Hop” perfectly painted the picture of the emotions packed into her move to Nashville as she outlined the trials and tribulations of growing up, getting older, and navigating chasing after a dream, while “Daisy Dukes” saw her bringing us through a rap-country edged anthem that had people in the crowd bopping along as she carried a sassy “I know who I am” attitude within’ the lyrics.

Mark Taylor corner stoned the opening round with his clean, modern country sound, pulling from his back catalog with his first-charting single “I’m Down,” but keeping most of his 4-songs focused on his here and now.

He grabbed the crowd’s attention as he opened his set with the mid-tempo “Picture Frame,” singing a relatable lyric about taking a leap of faith in a relationship to bring it from the place that it’s at in the current moment and up to the next level status of making it official, while hitting the 90’s country lovers heart with “Brooks & Done,” a song which cleverly namechecked several of the iconic duo’s songs to describe the flurry of emotions as he weaved us through a “can’t get over her when I hear these songs playing” type of lyric.

“This last one I’m gonna play was my first major cut that got everything moving for me,” shared Taylor. “Amii Stewart, if you remember the song “Knock on Wood” from the 1970s, recorded this song and released it to radio earlier this year, which has been really exciting,” he finished as he closed out the first round with the pop leaning “Perfectly Beautiful.”

While the first round opened the night with very strong vocals, the second round saw both Macy Dot and Gloria Anderson lean into stellar softer performances that really helped them encapsulate their lyrical prowess and solidify the chilled vibe of the corner patio as the sun began to set over Nashville.

Macy Dot highlighted her performance with her breakout song “Texas, Tennessee,” while Gloria Anderson ended the round on her up-tempo bop “Radio.”

But in the middle of the round, the crowd got an extra treat when emcee/host Sarah Morey - who wasn’t on schedule to play on this night - crashed the round and offered “Harley,” a very well-written song about a childhood friend from the other side of the tracks who helped shape the confidence that she still carries her with her today, which she delivered with all the proper attitude and swagger to perfectly uphold the feel of the tempo and lyric.

Somewhere during the second round a familiar face unassumingly showed up in the crowd and blended right in; hit making country superstar Dustin Lynch. And his appearance made perfect sense when songwriter Brent Anderson kicked off the incredible third round with “Back Road TN,” which he introduced by joking about his friend who now sat front and center, “Some guy named Dustin Lynch recorded this one…he’s got a fantastic smile”; something that Brent would also do again later in the round when he played “Back On It,” another of Brent’s song’s that Dustin recorded, which kept the whole crowd bopping along with its catchy groove.

“I’ve been trying to get a Keith Urban cut since I moved here,” confessed Anderson. “And I finally got one,” he finished as he delivered “I’m A Liar,” all before rounding out his set with the poetically lyric driven, “You and the Sun.”

Jordan Rager was a man of few words when it came to introducing his songs and telling the stories behind them, mainly just allowing them to speak for themselves as he opened with “The Wrong Ones,” followed by “Broken Bottle,” the latter which he said to be the “saddest drinkiest” song he had written lately before playing it.

He tugged our heartstrings with “Memory Lane” as he creatively flipped the script on the common theme in country lyrics of how too much is changing in a hometown and it’s a bad thing that it is, to being a song about his excitement in seeing them tearing it all down and paving over his broken-hearted memories of the girl that got away.

After telling the story of how he and his wife got engaged, and candidly sharing that he really didn’t put any thought into what they were supposed to do from there next, Rager elevated the entire round with the incredible, “Never Thought Much About That,” leaning mostly on simplicity in the guitar strum to allow his voice, mainly a cappella, to carry all the right power pack of emotions to encompass the flurry of all that he was feeling in this specific moment.

With crisp harmonies elevating the chorus of “Battle Scars,” Leaving Austin, the featured act of the night, quickly introduced their signature sound to the audience as they then pulled us through the sway a long groove of “Break It in A Bar” and struck a chord with the couples in the audience on “Only One Her,” their most recently released single.

However, as they had to follow Jordan Rager’s incredible performance of “Never Thought Much About That,” Leaving Austin closed the entire night by completely elevating their own performance with “Kids in a Truck,” a song that took a very familiar “truck” theme in country music and flipped it on its head as they pushed into nostalgic heartfelt territory, singing about looking back on how they were raised from their today perspective of those childhood lessons learned that they’re now applying to how they’re raising their own kids. 

There are songwriter rounds in every pocket of Nashville on any given night, but then there are the rounds that Lucky Money Promotion hosts on Monday’s. Their extreme wealth of knowledge of what’s going on within the emerging songwriting scene of Nashville brings freshness to each Monday night, while their perfect combination of those newer talents with established hit makers offers an all-encompassing view of what makes Nashville’s song writing community so vibrant.

 Do you like what you're reading on Today's Country Magazine? Donate today by clicking HERE


Copyright © 2022 Today's Country Magazine. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.