Blue Sky Songtellers’ Gathering — check out these songwriters!

| September 30, 2018 | Reply

Dean Dillon

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Giants — every one of them are giants. These giants took the stage in shifts, at Kidd-Key Auditorium in Sherman on Friday night (Sept.28, 2018), in a fundraising concert for both the Sherman Police Association and the Sherman Fire Association. These are non-profit groups that do what they can to make lives better all around — from educational programs to providing school supplies for those who need the help.

It was the Sherman Police Regional Bagpipe Band who opened the concert, three on bagpipes and four on drums. They opened with a newer song named “Back The Blue” and then played the standard “Amazing Grace,” as one bagpiper walked off stage and faded the song away as he left.

It was a great, giant mix of local, Texas, and national songwriters.

Phillip Wildman

Phillip Wildman opened with two or songs of his own, including one about the naming of his dog. He served as Master of Ceremonies following his short set.

Up next were Texas songwriters, both of whom have had hits on the Texas music charts over time — Doug Moreland and his fiddle and Jason Allenalong with Moreland’s long-time bandmate Randy Roberts, who gave the crowd an hour of songs, the stories behind them, and a few laughs along the way. For instance, Roberts had a dog song, too, one that said he wished his wife loved him like his dog does, and then went on to say the dog never asks where he’s been, never declines to be petted, and such.

Allen talked about having written the Kevin Fowler hit “Beer Season” with Thom Shepherd, a song that Fowler took to No. 1 on Texas music charts. He also kicked off an upbeat “Holy Moly Guacamole.” He talked about a trick his radio promoter pulled on him when, on radio tour for “Lucky Arms,” he was sent into the radio station managed by a one-armed man, who it turns out was in on the charade. John Michael Montgomery recorded “Lucky Arms.”

Morelandwhose easy smile and laugh were contagious, talked about a trick his radio promoter pulled on him when, on radio tour for “Lucky Arms,” he was sent into the radio station managed by a one-armed man, who it turns out was in on the charade. Moreland also played one on his fiddle that he said a Red Dirt longtimer, Randy Crouch, had written in the early 1970s. And talked about learning to play the fiddle like Davy Crockett played it.

Jason Allen

Moreland, also, is a chainsaw wood-sculpter. H presented a bust he had just finished of a mustached old man that he auctioned off for another $3,000 for the associations.

Then, from Nashville, it was multl-country-hitmakers Dean Dillon, Chris Wallin, and Scotty Emerick. Oh, my — between the three of them, there must be 75 hits out there in the country music world. George Strait, Vern Gosdin, Toby Keith, Sawyer Brown, Trace Adkins, Kenny Chesney, and so many others.

Wallin‘s songs include, and he sang a couple of these, include “Don’t Blink,” and “Love Me If you Can.” He told the story on that second one, saying he was writing in a hotel room with another guy, but neither one of them had a thing to start out with. Then, he saw a guy on Jerry Springer Show who commented, something like ‘Hate me if you want to, but love me if you can,’ and that got them started creating the song that Toby Keith took to the top of the charts. Another apparent crowd-pleaser, and all three of these men had Christian-based songs they shared, was the one about Satan knowing his grandmother, but Jesus knowing her better.

Chris Wallin

Emerick didn’t sing one of his songs that hit the tops, “I Love This Bar,” which singer Toby Keith has used as the basis for a small chain of bar and grills in casinos… I Love This Bar & Grill. There’s one in Oklahoma’s WinStar. But, Emerick did sing a lot of other ones. He bring the crowd to laughter with his “(I’m Not) As Good as I Once Was” and his new song about “some infidelity” and all the burned down barns in that neck of the woods. You gotta listen to it on Spotify or Apple Music, it’s worth the listen.

Dillon played more of his earlier songs, after telling the story of getting is first guitar as a little redneck and playing it still. His Christian song, and he qualified this by saying it hasn’t been a hit, was “The Key to Heaven is Hanging on a Nail.” Little known fact about the man who may be the best-known songwriter in Nashville, thanks in large part to George Strait, is that he has also cut his own CDs and released his own singles to radio. And he’s got the voice to do just that. Emerick, who, like Wallin has written with Dillon, picked up a lot of the lead guitar in Dillon’s songs. He sang, to the crowd’s delight, “Easy Come, Easy Go” and “Marina Del Rey.”

This writer doesn’t know how in hog-heaven this concert came into being, and that might a story of another telling! I do know one thing for certain, as long as there are songwriters in Nashville, in Texas, and in country music like these at the Blue Sky Songtellers’ Gathering, there will always be great country music!

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