Show Reviews


Friday February 9, 2024

@ Cahoot’s Dancehall and Honky Tonk in Lebanon, TN

(Review Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis)

Whenever you relocate to someplace new, especially to Nashville, it’s easy to initially engrain yourself in the downtown music scene. The neon lights of Lower Broadway flash like enticing arrows that point in the direction of the most happening 5 blocks of town; a spot where familiar songs that you already know and love are continually radiating the atmosphere from the dozens of bands lining the windows of the bars, each delivering their take on your solid country gold favorites in hopes of earing a coveted tip for a job well done.

But as time wears on and you get settled into your new home state, you naturally find yourself yearning for something so much more than this. You want a place where the locals hang; somewhere you can meet someone who can become a friend and not just someone who’s visiting town for the weekend…and if you’re anything like me, then you want somewhere that embodies the very identity of “country.”

Enter Cahoot’s Dancehall and Honky Tonk in Lebanon, TN.  

Just 25 miles East of downtown Nashville, this Wilson County hotspot lights up with locals every Friday and Saturday enroute toward a night of boot-scootin’ line dancing within an addictively engaging aura that holds very tightly to the notion that a stranger is just someone you haven’t met, yet.

In what was akin to stepping into the music video itself, as he recently shot his “In Walked You” inside these walls, neo-traditional country artist William Michael Morgan headlined the stage at Cahoot’s this past Friday night with a stellar performance that spotlighted the full gamut of who he is as an artist, injecting his set with a healthy offering of fan favorites, shining a spotlight on his influences, and projecting clear focus on the very near future with selections that previewed his forthcoming EP, Onto Something.

Surrounded by a crowd decked out in their best country chic, scuffing the shine off their boots on the dance floor long before each of the two opening acts – Bitty James and Ty Gregory – would warm everything up, there was already an electric vibe circulating the venue in heightened anticipation of the memorable night that the clock was now ticking closer to igniting.

Showered in an enthusiastic roar and swirled in a mix of fiddle, steel, and guitar slinging, Morgan hit the stage with the swampy, hip swerving melody of “Workin’,” earning admiration from the female contingency through its flirty lyrics as the couples flooded the dancefloor, pulling into one another as their boot heel clicks accented their counting out of the seven days of the week alongside Morgan as he pulsated through the drive of the chorus.

Rolling right into “Missing” with an appreciative tip of his cowboy hat, the dancefloor continued to pop in perfect rhythm with the two-step laden backbeat as William aptly grabbed hold of the Friday night feel, pulling in the crowd note by passing note on what was the first of 8 songs that he’d play from his uber-popular, debut album, Vinyl.

“Whew! I’m loving all this dancing,” he exclaimed while he encouraged through his smile, “let’s keep that up” as the vibey fuel of “Gone Enough” took his otherwise traditionally honky-tonk branding into a more modern infused feel that walked the edges of the current top 40 sound while still masterfully retaining the pieces of his signature flare.

“We love us some country music and can tell that y’all do too,” he knowingly stated amongst a bevy of cheers as a rousing sing along ensued during King George’s “Check Yes Or No”; something he’d space several times throughout the night with other well-placed covers including Strait’s “Blue Clear Sky,” Hank Jr’s “Dinosaur,” and Merle Haggard’s “Are The Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver).”

"We’ve got a lot of new stuff coming out," Morgan excitedly told as he stayed firmly in the aura of his George Strait influence, even song checking “Easy Come, Easy Go” in the lyrics of “Pour A Little Whiskey On It,” which craftily allowed proper room in its backing music for the prominent steel guitar to match the ache of each word as he metaphorically drank away his heartache, transporting us to sit alongside him on his lonely barstool night.

With the packed dance floor having caught the swayed buzz embedded into the melody of “Vinyl,” Morgan commented again on how good the dancers looked as he then invited us out to his hometown and into his formative, growing up years.

“Back where I’m From in Mississippi, there wasn’t a whole lot to do! “We’d hang out at Sonic and that’s about it,” he said as the small-town crowd clearly resonated with this. “But I’ll always remember getting that first car; that old rust bucket,” he laughed as he reminisced on how that girl in it with him always made it look so go as he smiled his way into “You Look Good In My Truck,” swooning his way through the heartbeat flutter of the purely appreciative lyrics showering his back then, better half.

While the earlier mentioned “In Walked You” presented a full circle moment, “People Like Me” barn burned its way along the bounce of rhythm, connecting strongly with the living hard, loving fast, backwoods country crowd as rowdy cheers rose up and they lifted several drinks into the air as each passing lyric vividly connected with descriptions of their own personalities.

As he then officially announced that his new EP ‘Onto Something’ would be dropping on March 15, 2024, the opening notes of his brand-new single “Not Letting Go” captured the essence of the dance hall venue and offered the couples a moment to make a snapshot memory as the glided softly, side to side.

The honky-tonk addictiveness of “Brokenhearted” perfectly slid up against the slowed down pace of title track of his forthcoming EP, “Onto Something,” as the richness of vocal permeated its neo-traditional edge, sliding through the steamy, falling in love lyric.

With the dedication of “Backseat Driver” to his daughter and to his father providing a heartfelt moment, after the earlier mentioned covers of Haggard and Hank Jr. provided segue, Morgan then toasted the first responders, veterans, military, and all the good ol’ boys and girls, earning hoots and hollers as he slapped into the ultra-catchy, unofficial theme song of the night, “Beer Drinker.”

With the Friday night party in full swing on the back of Strait’s “Blue Clear Sky,” “Cheap Cologne” kept the country crooner in the throwback realm of a King George type style, earning a murmur of laughter when he introduced the song as being one for the cheaters in the crowd even though they wouldn’t make themselves known.

We lost a damn good one this week…an icon,” Morgan solemnly stated as a fitting tribute to Toby Keith rang out in a deafening blending of voices during “Should’ve Been A Cowboy,” providing a showstopping moment that placed the bright spotlight on the impact that Toby has made on the heart of country music.

Humbly thanking all the fans for their support and offering a grateful nod to the big man upstairs for making “I Met A Girl” reach number one, he then stamped a lasting impression with one final tip of his hat as he closed the night with the up-tempo anthem, “Somethin’ To Drink About.”

With his down-home appreciation holding pure honesty, William Michael Morgan connected with the crowd through an open invitation into who is, both through story and song, flipping metaphorically through the Polaroid filled pages of the photo album of his life in what felt like an hour and a half hangout with an old friend as you relived your small-town memories, heartbreaks, falling in love, and good ol’ country music.


1) Workin'

2) Missing

3) Gone Enough

4) Check Yes or No (George Strait cover)

5) Pour A Little Whiskey On It

6) Vinyl

7) You Look Good In My Truck

8) In Walked You

9) People Like Me

10) Not Letting Go

11) Brokenhearted

12) Onto Something

13) Backseat Driver

14) Are The Good Times Really Over (I Wish a Buck Was Still Silver) (Merle Haggard cover)

15) Dinosaur (Hank Williams Jr. cover)

16) Beer Drinker

17) Blue Clear Sky (George Strait)

18) Cheap Cologne

19) Should've Been A Cowboy (Toby Keith cover)

20) I Met a Girl

21) Somethin’ To Drink About




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