In radio interviews and at shows we talk a lot about how we made a commitment to being musicians at a time in our lives when some of our friends were heading off to law school and med school, or joining the Marines, or heading off into the financial industry, or whatever. If you spend 10 years working at anything, with a little talent and a lot of hard work, you are bound to ascend the ranks no matter where you start or what you’re doing. Sunday night I was watching the CMAs (Country Music Awards) and a very cool thing happened, that seems to be happening more and more these days.
We were watching Little Big Town perform with Trombone Shorty and the performance was amazing. Towards the end of the performance a cool-looking guy in great hat, and a mint condition Gibson ES-330 stepped out in front, joined the front row and ripped a guitar solo for 20k people at the MGM Grand in Vegas, (and God knows how many more people sitting on their couches at home.) I turned to my wife and said, “Hey that’s Evan Weatherford, playing the guitar, I slept on a mattress in his living room once in a while, when I was living in Nashville.” It was fun to play it down, even though the fact is, I was so ridiculously proud to know this guy, and there was something so exciting about knowing that a guy as humble and hard-working, and talented as my buddy Evan, has ascended the ranks and has made it as far as he has. There is no telling what he will do next.
I’m telling the story because we are getting to a point in our music careers where the hard work is really starting to pay-off, and the seasoned players, writers, and musicians are starting to emerge at the top of the game. Jay Joyce produced our first two records in Nashville, and its safe to say that he and Dave Cobb are probably the hottest producers in County Music right now, by far. Jay produced Girl Crush, performed by Little Big Town and has been winning awards left and right. He’s produced albums for Eric Church and Carrie Underwood, Amos Lee, Patti Griffin, and so many more. In a couple years, I would be willing to bet you won’t be able to name a top-tier recording artist who hasn’t worked with him, or is hoping to. So here’s to my buddy Evan, I wouldn’t say we are great friends or anything, but at a time when we were both scraping away in Nashville he had a mattress I could sleep on, and I texted him after the CMAs, and he shot me a message right back. Its little things like that, that keep you motivated, and make you proud to be swinging away in the music business.
Evan is on the far right in the red carpet photo, standing next to Jay Joyce, and the video of the performance is below. Bravo Fellas.