Went to the Bluebird Cafe tonight at the recommendation of Greg Bower (my go-to drummer for anything near Texas). He plays music with a guy named Zane Williams and Kylie Rae Harris, both writers. Wayne Kirkpatrick and Susan Ashton were also there. Zane is a wordsmith whose songs are straight forward, emotional and tricky. He pulls them off well. Harris isn't tricky, but her songs work, she can sing and there's grit in her voice. Hadn't heard Ashton since the 80s. Like her voice -- in general I'm less taken by her melodic sense or lyrical sensibilities, although she had some great tunes too.
That's the thing that strikes me about Nashville and songs (or NYC and painting) -- there is such a wealth of quality material it's ridiculous, feels almost criminal. Maybe a bit like what traveling to Rome from Gaul or Ireland during Jesus' day might have been like -- I'm struck with the volume of cultural wealth and development -- and troubled by the fact that decadence in some form seems to go hand in hand with these gluts of cultural/aesthetic treasures. Mainly, though, I'm thankful for the chance to get to hear quality songs and learn from those who forged or birthed them.