Special Events



Featuring: John Berry, Buddy Jewell, John Ford Coley, and more!

Friday November 3, 2023

@ The Palace Theater in Gallatin, TN

(Written By: Jeffrey Kurtis)

One of the most wonderful things about living in the Nashville area is the true embodiment of the charitable spirit that radiates through organizations such as Music Amplifies.

Having already provided strong support over the past two years to children living in poverty at Christmastime, the organization has now set an even more ambitious goal this year that will allow them to continue their efforts of helping children while serving more than they ever have before!

As part of their fundraising efforts, the organization presented a jam-packed night of great family entertainment during their first annual "AMP UP 4 KIDS NIGHT” at the Palace Theater.

Situated in historic downtown Gallatin, just 30 miles North of Nashville, the cozy, 200-seat Palace carries the boasting distinction of being Tennessee’s oldest silent movie theater that’s still standing in its original space.

With a noticeable air of history surrounding the night, the overall aura transmitted vibes of Small Town USA as the sold-out crowd held true to the age old saying that a stranger was just someone you hadn’t met yet, adding to the already welcoming atmosphere as warm-up comedian Dan Whitehurst kept everyone in good spirits with hilarious stories of his own missteps during his time in law enforcement, how he got knocked out when trying to become a boxer with Golden Gloves, and more!

Emceed by WHIN radio personality Jeff Shannon, the main event of the night featured an incredible triple headline of John Berry, Buddy Jewell, and John Ford Coley, alongside very special guest performances from Makenzie Phipps and Music Amplifies ambassadors Brandon Lee and Steve Bridgmon.

Brandon Lee opened the music portion of the night with a stunning cover of the Oak Ridge Boys “Thank God for Kids,” instantly setting the tone with a songful reminder of the reason we all gathered, before then previewing his forthcoming project with the ultra-catchy “Lil Bit” and the dusty, western vibes of “Hurricane,” an uber popular song originally recorded by Americana group Band of Heathens.

Taking the stage with a big smile on her face after a great introduction from Jeff Shannon, rising country starlet Makenzie Phipps immediately elevated a party atmosphere with the up-tempo, autobiographical anthem, “You Bring the Beer (I’ll Bring the Noise),” quickly introducing herself as much through the lyrics as she did her incredibly big voice, causing an instant showering of applause to rain down on her.

After giving a nod to blue-collar truckers with “18-Wheels,” Phipps had the audience hooked when she spotlighted her brand-new single “Life Gives You Love,” combining a bluesy driven country flare with the absolute power of her voice, she lifted her range to its incredible heights while striking her lower register to enhance specific phrasing and masterfully grip the crowd one line at a time until a thunderous applause erupted when the final notes were strummed.

With Phipps having just provided the night with a very tough act to follow, John Ford Coley rose to the challenge. While his witty personality kept everyone laughing between songs, the fond memories that his music alongside England Dan had provided became obvious as he ran through some of their biggest hits, earning sing along moments with “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” and “We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again.”

However, just as Brandon Lee had done when he performed “Thank God for Kids,” Coley chose the perfect song to be another reminder as to why we all came together to support Music Amplifies, hushing the crowd with “Love Is The Answer” and providing a watery eye moment as the thought of kids without Christmas had really begun to sink into the hearts of the gathered crowd.   

Grammy-Award winner John Berry was welcomed to the stage with an excited ovation from the packed house. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, his incredibly gifted vocal, and flanked by his wife Robin on backups and additional rhythm, he blasted into his set with “Kiss Me In The Car” and immediately had toes slapping the cement floors as shoulders began to bounce along in perfect timing.

The defining hits of his career, “Standing on the Edge of Goodbye” and “Your Love Amazes Me,” both naturally provided snapshot moments and captured sing-alongs with the crowd. However, he brought the entire place to a quiet standstill when he honored his father with “The Richest Man.”

As he heart-tugged through lines that shared of how the truest riches come through embracing what you have and not worrying about what you don’t, the mission of Music Amplifies started to take shape as the performance became a true definition of how music could move a heart.

Like Phipps did ahead of Coley, Coley did ahead of Berry, and Berry had now done ahead of Buddy Jewell, Buddy took the stage after a very tough act to follow but quickly rose to the occasion.

The decorated, award-winning singer/songwriter showcased every side of who he is as an artist over his six-song set, hitting the crowd with his traditional country branded side on his opening songs “Abilene On Her Mind” and “Dyess Arkansas,” while satisfying with two of his biggest smashes to close it out, “Sweet Southern Comfort” and “Help Pour Out The Rain (Lacey’s Song).”

However, it was in the middle of his set that he brought the crowd to another standstill when he played “When I’m Good and Gone.” The softer paced song, which was written for his father just two weeks before his passing, wove through lyrics that spoke directly to the heart of who his dad was while providing one last moment that encompassed the depth of the cause at hand, moving hearts and leaving not a dry eye in the house (including his own).

With the current cause now having been perfectly outlined over the past two hours, Music Amplifies ambassador Steve Bridgmon closed the show with his intriguingly thought-provoking Christmas single “Bethlehem, Virginia 1bc,” before everyone turned an eye to the very near future and to the kids who would experience Christmas because of this tremendous event when Santa Claus himself made an appearance to a huge ovation, bringing a glimmer of hope through the twinkle in his eye.

As everyone sang along with their favorite hits and embraced the newcomers with tremendous admiration throughout the entire night, it was clear that the music had resonated with the audience in a way that helped cement new memories that would last a lifetime.

However, within these great new memories also now sat the fluttering of their heartbeat as they digested the enormity of the circumstances that Music Amplifies is trying to shine their light of hope into. By being an active participant on this night, and by keeping them in the forefront of consideration for your future charitable giving, you become an extension of hope and a large piece to advancing their overall mission.

Please visit their website to lend your support: https://musicamplifies.com/



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