Past Interwined With Present

Traveling back to about 11 years ago, I was just shy of turning sixteen, super excited and very nervous to be interviewing for a entry level position at the Overton County News. You know, "the sweep the floor, deliver the papers, and take in the world of writing going on around me" kind of position. Never the less, I was excited. So there I was sitting across from Carson Oliver(Chief as we called him) owner and operator of the award winning weekly publication in Livingston, TN. By the end of the interview I was smiling with the knowledge that in a couple of weeks, when the paper settled into their shiny, and much roomer new building located on West Main Street, I would be employed by the Overton County News. I am sure that working for the newspaper only fueled my desire to overcome dyslexia and write to the best of my ability. I have to say that my first job was by far the coolest first job, I mean it sure beat flipping burgers for gas money. I continued to work at the paper for the next 3 years up until I married and moved away to Nashville in May of 2000. It was a sad day telling Carson I was leaving…I actually loved my job and all the people that I worked with, but I was off to Nashville to chase after a dream with my husband.
So you may be asking what does working at a paper in my past intertwine with here and now and the theme of this blog mostly being music??…Well besides the Overton County News giving me so many of the skills I use to blog,  while I was employed there I met Darren Oliver whom  has become a huge supporter of my husband’s music career. Often times he and his ever so beautiful fiancee, Pat Gore, make trips to come out and support the music. Whether that’s  a late night trip to Nashvegas or bringing us in to Livingston for a little home town support!
Most recently Darren put together this amazing 40th birthday party bash for Pat at a local dance studio located on the square in Livingston, TN, which included  food, cake, candle light, good friends, and music. Stephen and I where both so honored when Darren approached Stephen about performing at the the party which would include the Birthday girl living a dream and performing  for a live audience.  I have to say the party was wildly successful and so very much fun to be apart of. Pat’s performance was priceless.  In other words, she did an amazing job!!!
Photo Credit Darren Oilver
So all that to really just say that I have been blown away by the support we have received from my old co-worker, and I just want to say thank you for all of it. All the support is so appreciated, and it’s always so good to see a familiar face in the crowd when Stephen performs. A face that reminds me of the best job I ever had, and a face that reminds me that people really do get excited and they really do connect with the music. So thank you for being such a loyal and supportive fan and friend Darren!

House Show

It’s a house show, Stephen Garrett style! You might be asking, What is a house show? Well, a house show is about bringing an acoustic concert to you. These types of concerts have been more popular on the European music scene, but they are gaining popularity, mostly among indie songwriters, in the American music community. So, here is the explanation of a Stephen Garrett House Show, in a nut shell. We provide the music via Stephen Garrett, and his trusty acoustic guitar, and you provide the party space, and friends. The effect has been a more intimate coffee house style concert right in your very own living-room. Giving listeners a chance to ask questions, and hear the stories behind the songs.

So far we have done a few of these concerts, all them a smashing success with yummy food, good friends, and, in my biased opinion, splendid music. It has been an inspiring journey getting to meet with new and old fans in such unconventional way organizing and executing concerts. We have been pleasantly surprised at the encouragement and support we have received when bouncing around and trying out this new method of performing. I admit, on a personal level, I have loved hearing the opinions and interruptions of the songs from the people we have performed in front of. All around, it has been an enjoyable part of this musical journey we are on.

The first of the house shows turned out a little bigger than expected and morphed into more of a bonfire party at a private boat club in Knoxville, TN, which was hosted by the ever so sweet couple of Josh and Abby Copeland. This concert featured a guest appearance by Stephen’s, also multi-talented younger brother, Russell. I always love when the two of them get the chance to perform together. There is just something about the way that brothers sing together. Maybe it’s because these two have been doing it their entire lives or perhaps, as many have suggested, it's something in their DNA that allows them to harmonize so well, but whatever it may be it just adds a whole new tone to the shows. One I personally enjoy!

Knoxville, TN

For the second house show we stayed local, and turned this show into a celebration of Russell becoming a home owner here in Nashville, TN. Doesn’t everyone celebrate by having concerts in there living rooms? This party featured a couple of other uber talented songwriters/musicians which included Jeremy Yurek and Marc Scibilia. A good majority of the friends surrounding Stephen at this party were very familiar with the record, some of the guests even contributed to the work put into making “Four Letter Word”. This helped turn this house show into a sing-a-long with people calling out requests and Stephen obliged! How fun is that, when people know the songs well enough to request their favorites and contribute by singing along!

Most recently, we found ourselves in Chattanooga, TN for a house show in the cozy and very welcoming home of Kathlina and Lee Alford. The party took place right before Christmas and the spirit of Christmas was in the air, including all the decorations which made for such a fun setting. Kathlina also cooked up some amazing food to treat all the guests with yum! My favorite part of the show had to be 2 ½ year old little Lucy, a niece of the host family. Little Lucy chiming in with some of her fabulous dance moves and her own special request  including “Old McDonald Had A Farm” and “It’s A Grand Old Flag”. I am pretty sure she stole the show right out from under Stephen, leaving a super sweet and personal touch on this house party experience!

Chattanooga, TN starring Little Lucy

I would like to give a big thank you to all the hosts so far. Thank you for lending us your home and your friends and thanks for supporting this crazy new little adventure of ours. Thank you for sharing in the music and the dream with us! All these could not be possible without people like you! Cheers to you, each and every one.

Side note, if you would be interested in hosting a Stephen Garrett House Show, feel free to contact me or checkout the Stephen Garrett{music} website for information about the music. There is also a contact form on his website to contact him directly.