Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

We decided to spend our last day in Nashville (November 11th) in the downtown district on Broadway. While walking down the street we heard some great country vocals coming out one door and walked in. At the time we had no clue we were walking into famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge - we were just drawn in from the music of Westley Butler and Patrick Owens. Four hours and several beers later we learned the significance of the spot. I won't bother recounting the history - it's available here. But I do want to describe the great music we heard that day.

Westley Butler and Patrick Owens are based out of Muscle Shoals Alabama, but spend Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and in this case, Sunday morning, playing at Tootsie's. Westley has the pure country voice - a great voice - which makes you sit and listen. While listening we were amazed he was playing on a Sunday morning - for tips - why hasn't someone signed him. Don't take my word visit his myspace page - listen to Sad Country Song and Every Time It Rains. Patrick compliments Westley with his outgoing personality and vocals. The two harmonize perfectly, whether Pat is lead vocal or Westley. Their time on stage flew by as tourist after tourist wandered in, snapped a few pictures, then decided to stay a little longer to listen to the pair.

After their set, on came Jimmy Snyder, who plays several days during the week at Tootsies. A local legend, Mr. Snyder has been playing with country greats from Richmond to Nashville, to North Hollywood for the past 30 years. I've been listening to his Hillbilly Hollywood for the past week. Two that I like in particular is his hit, The Chicago Story and David Allen Coe's If This Is Just A Game. Back to Sunday, we listened to his band play a few old time covers, Hollered and Swallered', and learned that Mr. Snyder is very generous with his time. Over the years, he has allowed future performers appear on stage with him and lately he has been partnering with rising 13 year old sensation Tyler Dickerson. Tyler, A.K.A. The Outlaw Kid, has been singing at the age of five, and has progressed to earn Florida’s Male Vocalist and Male Entertainer of the Year. After singing on stage with several great artists, his family has relocated to Nashville. We heard Tyler sing Folsom Blues and a fast paced Jambalaya. Johnny and Hank would be proud. Mr. Snyder also shared his stage with Carla Maria Downs, a newcomer who had arrived in Nashville that previous Friday. For the first time at Tootsie's Ms. Downs song Son of a Preacher Man and Something to Talk About. Sadly our cab to the airport arrived. During the ride we wondered if maybe one day we can brag that on the same stage we saw the great Westley Butler, Patrick Owens, Tyler Dickerson, and Carla Maria Downs.

Jimmy SnyderWestley, Pepe, & Pat

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great place! You should try during the local "Summer Lights Festivel" They set stages up all over town and have free country concerts. I was there in the 80s and had tickets to see Loretta Lynn,and Tom T. Hall. Stopped in to kill some time at Tootsies, like you I knew nothing about the place. Some cowboy was sitting in a chair by the front window playing a guitar and singing by himself. My current girlfriend at the time and I went in to grab a cold one and some shade. While I was ordering a lady approched my girl and started a conversation. We found a table next to a wall and was looking at pictures of country singers. A few moments later the same lady asked to share our table with her husband Merril Haggard. :)
We never did make it to see Loretta, I still have the un-used tickets. We partied until well after 4:00 AM (the bar across the street closed at 3:30). Never got an autograph, other than Merril signing the side of my black Kenworth on the side of the sleeper. Oh and the cowboy that was playing and singing when we walked in was David Allen Coe. :)