here are some concerts i saw at the Ryman in Nashville; very intimate setting ..shows i will never forget
Neil Young at the Ryman in Nashville last night (this is in 2010 i think)
His voice was pristine.
Perfect light delivery, keeping it fresh sounding, but somehow the punch was still deadly.
Neil was like a little kid in a sandbox. It made for an intimate peek. He was enthralled and his energy was extraordinarily beautiful.
However, he didn’t really pay attention to who was out there.
He just drew the energy innocently like it was simply nature. But his perfect absorption also meant that when his die hard grunge fans raised the roof, he was thrust over towards his electric guitars a little too often, and with more and more reckless abandon, was drawn into the throngs of seat shaking volume.
He was a one man band, complete with intuitive dynamics, spot on hook lines and solos, and eloquence was just flowing from him. He had the stage arranged hap-hazardly with his favorite pianos and guitars, like the dingy inside of a bar. And, between songs would wander around following the lure. He’d rub his chin in contemplation, and quickly decide “yes, this is good”. Then would come the next offering. Just as patient and deliberate as you please. He sunk into every song, whether it was a popular one or not. He showed loyalty to all his lyrics.
He didn’t speak much. But his entourage (the audience) thrilled to every nuance and stood up cheering at every opportunity. I marveled at his huge talent. And his tall frame wisping and groovin like a boy of twenty. You are really something neil, you know..
AN EMAIL DESCRIBING "PAUL SIMON -AT THE RYMAn"
well, i can try to describe it.
he came walking out and the whole place stood up and cheered and cheered. they wouldn't sit down.
he was so humble and great.
he had a 10 piece band or more, and did lots of percussive stuff. he was in bliss.
his band bent over backwards for him..every little gesture was supported devotedly by them ,
and the energy kept soaring higher and higher in a very subtle but powerful slow burning surge.
they were like kids wondrously exploring.
he played a Chet Atkins medly, with that charming old Nashville instrumental "Wheels" at one point, talking about how he was so honored to be in the ryman.
the guys had on cowboy shirts and they even had a price tag dangling off one of the guitars.
he brought up don everly to sing bye bye love, and willie's harmonica player, and jerry douglas to do the boxer.
the crowd stood and danced in the isles for most of the concert, but instead of making outward bashing noise,
they were rhythmic and melodic in complete reverence to the music.
there were tears in many eyes. People reaching to the sky..
he got about 6 standing ovations. they finally let him leave out of courtesy, still cheering softly.
his guitar playing and voice were impeckable and there was such sweetness and beauty in every song; each one so fresh..and
intricate modulations into other songs..
his hands were very expressive, and he acknowledged everyone in the place throughout the night;
hands folded in prayer form bowing to every section, making eye contact with everyone.
nashville welcomed him as their very own son, young and old alike. the whole night was one big hallalulia moment.
the sax solo on still crazy was so sizzling it sent the audience into hysterics..
the guy's leg was pumping like he was starting a harley--and he poured into it every thrill you could possibly feel.
this concert was life altering..simple as that. everybody was blissfully vibrating, and hugging each other.
he is an angel here on earth i recon.
ive attached a picture. (a good one)
that's our boy
Gordon Lightfoot at the ryman in 2010
An email to a friend: I saw Gordon Lightfoot at the Ryman.
His delivery is so much what we have all learned from him in the Canadian Northwest,
and the place his focus comes from..
is vast and beautiful.
He makes your heart ache for the little kindled sparks; treasured rememberances that seem to burst through the very seam of our northern skyline to adorn his song..
I left a revue at Ticketmaster that said this:
I was so proud to live in Nashville, as the crowd warmly cheered Gordon Lightfoot at the offering of every gem.
How wonderful these artistic people see what this man is.
The voice was a little weak, but so sweet.
But his magic was the life of every song;
that far off enchanted inspiration he let swirl like a dream around his thin frame.
Each song had its precious presence there. All you had to do was gaze upon him.
All fell into wondrous pathways of timeless inspiration.
- Sat, Mar 6, 2010
i saw him transcend where he was; a gleam in the eye and swept up above all,
where he penetrated that powerful heart that is his masterpiece.
The story of James Taylor
(my favorite song -copperline)
I wrote about Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, and Neil Young playing at the Ryman in Nashville. Just lately in life I have partaken of these special evenings because the Ryman is a mixture of a big old church and your living room. Acts that have meant a great deal to me growing up, I have made the Pilgrimage to see. Joni and Cat, of course haven’t been there. But the first of such visits for me was the most profound by far. It was James.
Some of you know that I’m a meditator. I have found a path in my later years that was forged for me by an inherent alienation to this world, and a helplessness in not being able to find my way home. Music has been a great comforter for me, for I was somehow kin to that.
And, now my heart rests at the feet of a saintly Guru.
(Some of you must think that anxiety must have somehow driven me off the deep end and i fell off the turnip truck.. well, (chuckle..) maybe it's so. Still, others of you know what i have found..)
He channels God perfectly for me, and his music is the most beautiful to me in the world.
But before I gained a foothold in his love, there was James. And there always will be James.
I first heard JT at about age 15, which is in itself a definition of a confusing time. I was trying to fit in in a new place, and overcome a shy backwardness I've always had. I heard ‘Sweet Baby James’ playing softly in the background of a teenage house party. I clung to him that first chance meeting and never have let go. In his eyes and voice I found the same longing I had, and the sweet introspection I too needed, to deal with that deep yearning.
By the time I was in my early 30’s in Nashville, I was an established musician, and the spiritual event that was to proceed the meeting of my guru by 20 years, was what sustained me through many a hardship in the wabbly world I was immersed in. There was a huge outside amphitheatre named ‘Starwood’ in the early 90’s, and he came there, supporting his 'Never Die Young' album.
Due to our many contacts in the business, we were sitting as close to him as some of the band members. Beverly had somehow gotten us (Trinity Lane) seats in about the 4th row!
All the memories I held so dear came gushing back as this slim beautiful man emitted a flowing healing river of hit after tender hit. He sang ‘Fire and Rain' and went right into’ Carolina on my Mind’, and I felt tears pouring down my cheeks. I became aware too, of a warm halo..a vibrating glow around my whole head, just like you see in Saint’s pictures. And James was floating in that glow too. My friend Jack looked at me, and looked at James, and stated “He’s looking at you..”
It was a contact that cemented me to this plane of existence I had to live in and make my way through. Oddly enough, there was a kind of gentle reminder in the back of my mind, of a theme in the scriptures.. if there was one good man in the city, then it wouldn’t have to be burned down. As long as James was here in this world, I could find a haven here. He came to fix broken hearts. I know that he truly can.
And so, when these folk artists of the 70’s started coming to the Ryman, James was the first I ventured out to see. Much older now, he is still the same. I wanted so to show my appreciation for him so I cheered too loudly. Silly little old middle aged lady making a spectacle of herself..never mind..He twitched his head in my direction; hearing the deep heart-felt thank you in my energy.
How though, could I ever really say thank you..