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And The Night Went A Little Something Like This…….

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Twenty days and too many hours to even count have been spent in preparation for this one night. It all came about when Paul and I were having a conversation during a newscast when the hot topic was all of the looting against the tornado victims. How sad! But God above knew something else was going to come together for these people and all starting with us.  

The mood is being set. The greeting of incoming artist who look around and frantic runs from the sound check booth to the “Artist Only” area to prepare snacks. Hair pins being removed and hands being shaken. Last minute guitar tunes and warm up notes being sung accompanied by smiles of twenty one artist that came together for a cause.  This night will hopefully turn into one of new and lasting friendships and generous amount of money raised for people who will soon see that we all care. It has come to be known as the SuperCell of Giving Benefit Concert. 

Paul King of NashvilleHype!, was giving directions for those of us who were there for support as well as assist in being the backbone for helping the night run as smoothly as possible. Glenn Sweitzer, Fresh Design + Film, was smiling, setting up cameras as he would be feverishly filming the event all night and greeting artist. I have said it before and I will say it again, that he must invest in a great set of knee pads! I was running back and forth to see that every artist was at the stage at the right time, and I cannot forget saying, “I now proclaim thee “Queen of Sharpie!”  Nixa Country had already begun to  set up in the corner to bring this awesome show to so many that were not able to be there with us in person.  And the guests? Well they have now started to show up, anxious for the night to begin.

William Ferrarini, began the night with a prayer for every artist involved to have a great time, the instruments to be blessed, all things to go well, and for God to literally have his hand in this. It was important that every artist have fun and realize that this was a benefit and know that we were doing this for the people and it was evident throughout the night. Throughout each introduction there were laughs and giggles and reminders that we are all human, and this could happen to any one of us.

After everyone taking in a deep breath the show was now beginning to birth at 7:00 o’clock sharp. Whew off to a good start! After now meeting a few new fans of his own, I gently guided the ever so handsome Aaron Tippin up to the stage. He gave a performance that made me feel like I was sitting in his living room. He is such a down to Earth fellow and he kept smiling the whole time. You could tell where his heart was, no question about it.

Next was a singing duo who definitely make marks on their own. Mary Sue England, who frequently plays with Pam Tillis, and Victoria Banks who just this last week got in from playing in Ireland, sang in beautiful harmony and literally had the crowd eating from their hands. These two ladies are absolutely stunning to look at as well as listen to. 

Kristen Kukta and Cliff Down’s  representation of I Love You, I Hate You had me rocking on the side.  I love that song, talk about kiss me-smack me!  That Kristen is one of the funniest girls I think I know.  She really had a light that was glowing tonight and the crowd loved her. Who couldn’t? She has a great personality that I totally admire.

Next, we have Veronica Ballestrini. I tell you this young lady was just as sweet as you could imagine. No wonder she has well over 4 million plays and 55,000 friends  on her myspace page! She has a very energetic sound and was so spunky onstage. Throughout the night we had been asking all artist to sign the banner for a raffle.  Guess who won? Veronica! I thought it was very humbling to know that you have a participating artist throw money into a raffle pot for a banner! She has mega kudos from this corner!

Now it was time to kick it into a different gear. We now present our band that drove down from West Virginia. Kelly Ray Davis and the Rodney Crisp Experience! Woo hoo! Let me just tell you it rocked the house and “Superstitious” was second only to Stevie Wonder! Did I mention that Rodney was sick? What a great  job he did. No, scratch that-guys you literally rocked! They truly went above and beyond in helping us spread the word in radio and newspaper interviews in the weeks prior. What more could we ask for?

After a little bit of country rock and roll we had one of the sweetest young ladies perform, Rachel Farley. All the way from Georgia, this “peach” took command and I loved her performance, but I have to say, when Paul said he was going to save the best for last he meant it. In that he was saying that he was going to tell the crowd a secret about her. After hearing her sing they applauded and when Paul let out “and you would not believe that she is only 12 years old”…..you could literally hear a gasp in the crowd. I just went into giggly mode. I thought to myself, she is like this now and you just wait, this little lady has got some really big things ahead of her!

After recovering from the “Is he telling us the truth” shock, Paul then brought on The Hewitt Sisters. It was nice to hear them. Unknown at the time of performance to any of us, they shielded themselves from literal “Life”. The girl’s father would be leaving the very next morning for his third tour in Iraq.  To put on a performance like that and knowing in their heart that their daddy would leave yet again, is not a place I would have wanted to be. I had a hard enough time as my very own daddy wanted to leave the show for dinner and I luckily talked him into staying and having sandwiches in the back. Those girls have a strong family bond, what a blessing.

Josh Newcom. All I can say for a minute is nothing. I have to laugh.  I did it from the moment I met him and his beautiful wife in the parking lot through most of the night. It was fun seeing artist cut loose and have fun and he did. He is one of my new favorites! His music started out with the crowd literally being commanded by his mere presence. He is a tall cowboy, of which was the only of the night who wore the hat, with some serious tunes! In essence the hat was worn true and well Josh!

Kelsey Skaggs is the next performer of the eveing and she is one of the purest sounding performers of the night. As she sang I closed my eyes and took myself away. The words to her music are so real, so easy to relate to and that was a true message of the night. She has a way about her . I wish young teens, even some adults today, would take note of her music and literally live by it. Very positive, very influential.

As CloudChase was gearing up, I was the most excited as this was the group I had done my first article on. I felt almost boastful as I was actually involved with them in doing something so great .  They put on a wonderful set. It is always a joy to me when anyone can be exposed to God’s love and word through music. Some people generally expect a lowly “elevator type” sound, but let me be the one to shout how fun it is for them to express it in rock form! Even if “sweating like a pig” gives some people new meaning. That would be an inside joke with Erin!

From the very minute I met Lee Hilliard, he had a smile on his face and never once complained about anything. What a true joy it is to be able to work with people like this. His wife Victoria gave total support even down to stage set up with the keyboard. True love has no boundaries! Lee’s music is just awesome! His appearance and style go hand in hand and when you tie that up with his music of this night being able to say you know someone like him is truly a joy.

Boy oh boy do we have a surprise in store for Dustin Bogue! When I found out there was going to be a birthday in the house I went into secret mode. I talked it over with Paul and we knew ”Happy Birthday To You” was inevitable. We got a birthday cake and a card and had all the artist secretly sign it. When he went on to perform some of the coolest music of the night we all knew what was in store for him. Dustin is one of the most caring and down to earth guys I think I will ever meet. He helped me to understand a couple of things that night and how to humble yourself no matter how “dirty the job” was certainly one of them! I hope that the flame-less cake, and the serenade by the crowd is one you will never forget buddy!

All night it seemed as if I kept running into one of the most beautiful girl’s in this show. It is so amazing to me how Sarah Kaine seemingly admired  many of the performers at a distance. When she took charge of her reigns on that stage it was almost as if you could close your eyes and feel like you were a part of her family digging into some fried chicken and mashed potatoes at the family reunion. With a personality that is as sweet as candy, she probably could have sang all night and not one person complain. What a sparkling gem she is, in every sense.

Kelci Paige went up and took literal command of her performance. Talking about having a tough job, in the Pop genre. She made it seem effortless as she belted out some attitude. Paul and I were doing our karaoke version of ”Back Up” acting like a bunch of kids. I think one look over her right shoulder and the laughing would have begun! She is so fun!

Class Act. I am talking about non other than the incredible Buffy Lawson. Even with things trying to go bad for her early in the night with a guitar string breaking,and her accompanying player Eric Pittarelli coming down with the flu, luck would have her to borrow another artist instrument and Buffy would still prevail.  She pulled off an incredible performance. She introduced a song written by her and good friend Miranda Williams called “Tired”. To be able to see Buffy in that atmosphere was so nice. She seemed so relaxed, almost rejuvenated. You could see how important it has been for her in taking the time to write and reflect these last few months.

At this point of the show we then asked Jill and Glen of The American Red Cross to come up onstage and Paul and I presented them with a check for the night. It was nice to be able to know that all of us put ourselves aside no matter how much recognition may have been desired at this point. You could see by the smiles on both of their faces and how thankful they were to accept the donation on behalf of the victim’s from everyone in that room.

I see Stormy Montana as a young lady within reach for so many girls. Her songs seem almost to effortlessly be played as she too struck the audience with the wow factor. Though we had a scare that she might not be able to perform, we were so relieved to know that  they had overcome some bad circumstances throughout the previous week and were ready to raise money for others. How awesome is a heart like that?

We now have Kerry Harvick who had the assistance of Cliff Downs and David Kersh on stage. It was really good to see how she is doing in these days since “The Bad Girls Club” .

David Kersh performed a song that was much anticipated in the eyes of his fans. We had fun with him throughout the night.

Both of these artist are well established and together they have just the most amazing chemistry. They even had one of their fans drive all the way up from Atlanta. That is what I call a Super Awesome Fan!

William Ferrarini I felt is who I would award him as “Most Patient One of the Night”. I will say I wish this world a a million more of him. His music was so inspiring and it only shown through even more as we had gotten to know him previously in the night. “Send Me A Miracle” should be a theme song for life in general and maybe should have even been for this benefit. Everything William is about is genuine and it is nice to know there are still great things and people in life.

Mason County became the finale for this concert. These guys sat patiently and enjoyed their time here in Nashville. They traveled the farthest, all the way from California. These guys were a riot all night long. They laughed and cut up and were still able to perform “Fresh Start” as if it were just that. This song should be a theme song for these victims of these storms as they pick up the pieces of their lives. Truly they were here to give these families just that and how refreshing it was! When they finished it almost made you feel like you could take a deep breath and stand up after all.

Our night concluded with many more hugs, smiles and laughter in the parking lot with some last minute photos. This night is one I certainly will never forget and Paul and I are in hopes that many families will be helped with the money that had been raised by some of the people of Nashville. We thank everyone who had a part in this and God Bless!

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