East Side Storytellin’ 16- When THE BOOK was read and Carolina Story and East Side Story done done it again! WOW!

Tom Eizonas, Ralph Murphy, Chuck Beard, Emily & Ben Roberts (Carolina Story)

Tom Eizonas, Ralph Murphy, Chuck Beard, Emily & Ben Roberts (Carolina Story)

Wow!  I can’t say it enough after experiencing what I experienced on Tuesday, June 18th, at Fat Bottom Brewing Co.  If you weren’t there, I’m not sure that words can put it all into context.  I shall try.

Yet again, the random Tuesday morning showers cleared the skies for a beautiful evening to be seen and had by all who came out.  This specific show, even before the rain, was going to be EPIC- I knew it and everyone who read about it knew it too!  How often do you get together a Nashville writer who has been a big success for over 5 decades around the world with a more-than-promising married couple who are about to  have the same type of career and effects in different creative outlets for the next 5 decades to come?  The answer is not very often, if at all.  So you can somewhat understand why I had about 100 butterflies in my stomach due to excitement for the experience that everyone in the crowd was about to experience.

I took to the stage as usual, the intro music kicked on, and the people in the courtyard welcomed me and the show on such high spirits and volume of gratitude.  You can listen to the recording below if you don’t believe me (you will probably listen to the recording of THIS show on the link below more than a handful of times by the end of it).  As always, I didn’t want to waste much time with my words so the featured guests could share as much as they could in the short time we have them.

The featured author of the evening has been a successful songwriter & musician in Nashville so long that he literally wrote THE BOOK on it.  For over 5 decades, he has constantly churned out charting songs around the world amidst an ever-changing music industry.  He’s produced Platinum albums, been inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, and lectured on songwriting at universities, colleges, and professional songwriter organizations around the globe.  He has served as the President of The Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy and The Nashville Songwriters Association International.  Not to forget his serving as the Vice President of the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (or you might know it better as ASCAP).  I was truly humbled to welcome, to the show and stage, Ralph Murphy.

I gave him a copy of his book, “Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting, The Book,” but he didn’t need it.  He lives it.  He jumped right into his talk while making the crowd feel totally at ease as if they had known him all their life, and he also went to an amazing depth of knowledge, experience, and insight into what creating any sort of art should look like to be successful to the masses.  I immediately was struck at how everything he was saying totally related to everything I am in the middle of while studying at Sewanee University’s School of Letters at the moment and beyond.  I am not a songwriter, but his speech spoke to the core of what I am and a lot of the others in the crowd.  You can’t hear it on the recording, but there was an overwhelming sense of calm and learning going on all around.  As you will hear, and be able to apply to your own creative outlets, Ralph’s honesty and heartfelt message is not to be missed.  I’m pretty sure, from this event alone, I could write a book down the line called “Tuesdays with Murphy” and make a bestselling list just from transcribing his words of wisdom.  It was truly an honor, and he did it all with so effortlessly.

After that creative culture shock, in the best of ways, I was then doubly amped to introduce two of the best people, best singers, and best songwriters around this town or any other.  I really can’t say or write enough positive things about these two people.  Like I mentioned on the recording, right alongside Kim and Scott Collins of The Smoking Flowers (the first musical guests on East Side Storytellin’ 1), these two people make up the most talented, most authentic married musical duo playing music anywhere in the world today.  I am not exaggerating here.  Since moving to Nashville, East Nashville to be specific, a few years ago, they have played over 400 gigs in over 32 states and are just getting started.  They have had a long road of more ups than downs lately, and trust me when I say that you will be hearing them on radio, television, and billboards everywhere you go sooner than later.  They are that great.  They are Ben and Emily Roberts, and together they are called Carolina Story.



Ben and Emily took to the stage and jumped right into their natural state of being (which is making beautiful music and making everyone smile at the same time).  They make you feel more and better about the day, present, past, and future.  Each one of their songs comes from reality, life experiences, empathy for others, and a will to be a better person each day.  It might not be blatant in each word or verse, but to me that is the overall effect of their music.  Don’t believe me, take a listen below and share with everyone you know.  Again, they are that great.  Just think, you can tell all of your friends that you heard Carolina Story before they got really big.  Trust me, it will happen.

After Ben and Emily blew us all away with a few songs from their soon to be released new album, they knocked off the night with a cover of The Band’s “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down.”  It always makes my heart smile and it did again.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I looked like a young Stevie Wonder dancing in my seat without standing up the entire set.  Yes, I am that ridiculous, but I love it.  When it’s this good (meaning the featured guests and not me), it’s THIS good!



So, after the music ended, I had a chance to talk with all of the featured guests as usual.  Carolina Story told us about how they came up with the name, how they arrived in Nashville, and about the personal factors and people that helped them choose not to give up on their dreams alone their long journey that is just beginning.  Ralph followed up their story by relaying his grand beginnings, why Nashville is so special to him and others, and then he gave the ultimate advice for anyone coming to Nashville to do their own thing … You gotta have fun!  I totally agree.  If it’s not fun and productive to you as a person, why do it?

I won’t get too sappy here, but I must say that I felt so good all-around after this particular show.  There was a certain buzz in the air and I felt so fortunate to be in the company of such amazing artistry on the stage and in the crowd.  This show never gets old, and we have had such a great run so far.  Guess what?  We aren’t planning on stopping either!!

Shame on you for not taking time out of your busy schedule (I’ll let you check with me to see if you think yours is busier than mine at the moment and I was present) to attend East Side Storytellin’ 16 with the likes of Ralph Murphy and Carolina Story.  I’ll let you off the hook this time and let you listen to the edited version of the recording over and over and over again while sharing it with your friends.  This edited version of the recording aired on WAMB Radio on Saturday, June 22nd, at 2pm on 1200 am and 99.3 fm.  Take a listen, share it with everyone and your mother, and then make it a point to come to the next show (the details are below).




The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

Date- Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Time- 7 pm sharp (Central)

Location- Fat Bottom Brewing Co. (900 Main Street)- www.fatbottombrewing.com

Need information or details about Fat Bottom Brewing Co., call 615-678-5895.  Otherwise it is first come, first available seats.

Who will be featured- Kathryn Williams (author of Pizza, Love, and Other Stuff That Made Me Famous- among several others too– http://kathrynswilliams.com) and music by The Allen Thompson Band (www.allenthompsonmusic.com).


I hope to see you all there!  Remember, it’s FREE, bring a friend or 3!

Before I go here for now, I’d like to thank a few people for making East Side Storytellin’ 16 so unbelievable.

-My wife, Emily Frances Harper Beard (www.efharper.com),  For sticking with me and always being by my side (unless the NEW KIDS come to town of course).

Tom Eizonas, you do everything on the fly to make this guy sound as professional as the guests.  Without your help, nobody would listen to the show after the event.  THANK YOU!

Fat Bottom Brewing Co., you provide such a pleasant home for heartwarming performances to happen in your backyard.  I am very grateful we have crossed paths and look forward to the shows to come.

Ralph Murphy (http://murphyslawsofsongwriting.com) – Thank you for taking time to out of your tremendously busy schedule (okay, so YOU are busier than I) to drop some very inspirational advice and lessons that everyone doing art in this day and age should listen to and apply in their own ways.  I was truly honored that you joined the party.  You are awesome, and your book is too.

Ben and Emily Roberts (www.carolinastory.com) – I can’t honestly thank you enough for being the amazing people you two are individually and together.  Emily and I feel so blessed to have you in our lives as loving friends and to have a front row seat to watch you guys live out all of your successes today and tomorrow that will be even better than your wildest dreams.  You are SOOOOO talented and the best of what music is about.  Thank you for continuing to inspire and amaze everyone who meets you.  YOU rock!

WAMB Radio, thank you for saving us a spot on air and for allowing us to be a small part of your treasured history.

NOW, I gotta run (literally).  See you soon, I guess.




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