Show Reviews



Tuesday September 12, 2023

@ Scoreboard in Nashville, TN

(Review Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis/Photo by: Marisa Taylor Photography)

Outside the hustle and bustle of downtown Nashville, sits an area steeped rich in country music tradition, legend, and venues that uphold the thought of “if these walls could talk.”

The Music Valley area of Nashville, just 10 miles Northeast of Lower Broadway, sits boldly in the iconic shadow of “The Show That Made Country Music Famous,” The Grand Ole Opry.

While Scoreboard Bar & Grill might be one of the newer hotspots of the Music Valley area by comparison, their stage has become the place to catch the hottest emerging talent, their legendary Oyster Fest and Crawfish Boils have become foodie havens, and finding a seat on football Sunday at Nashville’s designated Green Bay Packers bar is next to impossible.

On a night of joyful celebration for the new music from on the rise act Old Hickory, Mae Estes kicked off the festivities with her traditional branded style, quickly transforming the atmosphere of the corner stage at Scoreboard into the famed wooden stage across the street, gripping the country loving crowd with her modern kissed throwback vibe that beckoned comparison to the legendary feel of the music synonymous with the Grand Ole Opry.

“I’m so absolutely honored to be at this show tonight, much less playing it and opening for my friends in Old Hickory,” Estes gratefully stated to a rousing ovation as she punched into her set with the groove-laden “I Quit Smokin’,” instantly getting the whole house rocking as she pumped an insatiable grit into the hip shaking rhythm of the chorus, accenting every word with the proper bite to satisfy the stick to your guns, kiss off lyric.

Proudly gushing about releasing her debut project earlier this year, Before The Record, she continued into her set with a second selection from it, “Run,” sliding into her purely country mood while tilting her voice through the addictive melody to allow the kiss of dobro from renowned player Josh Matheny to entrance the crowd as she sung straight at the one holding her heart, pleading with him to give her a reason to run toward him instead of falling back into her normal ways of running away.

Pumping a touch of bluegrass flare into “Honky Tonk Angel,” the crowd immediately popped their hips in perfect timing with the irresistible rhythm as Estes blasted through the bar-soaked anthem that seemed tailormade for Scoreboard and the enthusiastic crowd that inhibited on this night.

Softening the pace with “Make Babies,” Estes then transparently opened her diary to weave us through a classic country storyteller fueled by a chorus that captivated the otherwise rowdy crowd to hush as she lamented on what she learned from inside the walls while growing up in a broken home; “ain’t gotta be faithful to wear a ring,” “ain’t gotta be committed to be crazy,” and “ain’t gotta make love to make babies.”

Hitting the toe-tapping 1-2 rhythm of “With a Twang,” Mae leaned into the unbridled honky-tonker, namechecking Tanya Tucker to a rousing ovation while raising a nod to a long neck, a whiskey shot, and good ol’ country music as she sang over the hoots and hollers of liking her fiddle with a saw, the pedal with a steel, a voice with a drawl, and as suggested by its title, guitar with a twang.

“I feel so lucky to be here in Nashville and working with the best of the best,” Estes humbly said as she plugged her fellow songwriters before slapping us with the two-stepped infused “Die In A Bar,” pumping her voice through the ultra-catchy melody as she painted a bar inspired funeral daydream, telling cleverly of how the bartender will give her eulogy and that in lieu of flowers we should tip the cover band, while gleefully embracing her honky-tonk heaven as she instigated in the chorus that’ll she be washed in the glow of the neon lights as she flies away down whiskey river.

“Well, I’m gonna be a buzzkill,” Estes shrugged as she slowed the pace into the broken-hearted “Good Ol’ Boys,” tugging heartstrings through the hurt of how the one she gave her heart to mishandled it, resulting in her perception of the moral standard that she once thought a good ol’ boy carried, now forever being altered because of him.

Grooving back into the spirited upbeat anthems, Mae held the crowd in the palm of her hands with the sassy punch of “Shouldn’t Done It (But I Did),” grabbing hold of her mischievous bad girl streak as she slyly held to the truth that while she knew better than to get involved in certain situations, she did it anyway with zero regrets.

After encouraging a rousing sing along with an incredible version of Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis,” she then closed her 45-minute set with her breakout hit, “Thinkin’ Bout Cheatin,” captivating the traditional loving crowd by capping her night with the first song she played on stage at the Grand Ole Opry during her debut.


1) I Quit Smokin’

2) Run

3) Honky Tonk Angel

4) Make Babies

5) With a Twang

6) Die in a Bar

7) Good Ol’ Boys

8) Shouldn't Done It (But I Did)

9) Maybe It Was Memphis (Pam Tillis cover)

10) Thinkin’ Bout Cheatin’



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