17 May 2014

Thom & Coley

Thom, Coley and I. May 16th 2014.
Ever since moving back up north, I've missed out on live music. I mean, I'm sure that a lot of bands have come to my general neck of the woods, but I've not felt the desire to shell out oodles of money to see a band I like in some huge impersonal arena. I crave Nashville, and its amazingly intimate shows in bars on 2nd Avenue. I miss artists knowing me by name. I miss so much about the music scene in that town.

One of my absolute favorite singer-songwriters is Thom Shepherd. For those who are unfamiliar, he wrote "Riding with Private Malone" which was a number one song released by David Ball, as well as "Redneck Yacht Club" which went number one for Craig Morgan. Truth be told, those aren't even my favorites of his stuff. I think so many of his songs are even better than those two.

I met Thom in June 2003 at Fan Fair (the most amazing country music festival ever), and thought he was fantastic. In the few years before I moved to Nashville and would make annual Fan Fair trips, and the few years I lived there, I saw Thom a dozen or so times, in divey little bars, at Opry Mills once. I saw him once in Maryland when I was living in New Jersey in 2005, as well. He's a super-fun entertainer and just a really decent, genuine guy.

Leaving Tennessee, I figured I would never get to see him again, especially once he then relocated to Texas. Most of his shows are in Texas.

This past November, I was lucky enough to see him here in Maryland, at possibly the most random gig I've ever attended. It was in someone's basement - I kid you not. I dragged my friend Adele along, because, you know... stranger danger. But it was fantastic, and when he saw me, his eyes lit up and he yelled "SID!" Seriously, coolest feeling ever. I hadn't seen him in five and a half years. He remembered me? Awesome!

And because my luck is apparently shifting and my life is becoming ever more amazing, I noticed that he had a tour date this month about three hours from here in Ashland, Virginia. WHAT?! I of course had to go! "Adele. Thom Shepherd. Virginia. LET'S FREAKING GO!" That was the basic conversation. And of course Adele was in, because we're besties and that's what we do. Originally, I had to work the day, and didn't think I would be able to switch to get the day off. I had given up hope, until one of the other managers at work called me. "Can you work for me on May 17th?" "Yeah. Sure. I have nothing going on. Waaaait. If I pick up the 17th, can YOU pick up the 14th?! You CAN! Oh my!"

I kept checking tour dates, and POOF! Another one popped up in my area - even closer! May 14th in Ashland, Virginia; May 16th in Chester, Maryland. WHAT?! My luck is never this amazing. I worried about the Maryland date, since it was at a yacht club, but I sent an email and found out that it was open to the public. And, Coley McCabe was set to be at this show!

So basically, my life is getting more and more amazing.

Adele and I headed down to Virginia on Wednesday. There were literally ten of us in the audience (still not the smallest Thom show I've attended, though!). The show was fantastic, of course. We sat right next to the stage (though, so did everyone else there). Our conversation after the show cracked me up, because Thom talked about when we met, and rattled off the names of every other singer that had performed at my first Thom show (I have no idea how these people do this! How do you remember MY first show?!).

On Friday, Adele had to work, so I dragged Buzz along with me - he was excited! Another terrific show, this time made even better by the fact that he brought the amazing Coley McCabe with him. I had never seen Coley, though I had hoped to in the early 2000's, when she had a song on the radio. I was horribly disappointed with myself, though, for forgetting Coley's SHeDAISY connection (she co-wrote "Lucky 4 You." For those who don't know, SHeDAISY was my favorite group ever for years. I absolutely adored them. They were also my first concert). Had I remembered, I would have brought the most AWESOME thing for her to autograph, but my mind wasn't working apparently.

The Thom/Coley show was AMAZING. I was a little annoyed about the venue (read: loud drunk people), and didn't get to hear all of their stories very well, but they put on a great show. They're so cute together, too! Their voices are great together, and I FINALLY got to see Coley McCabe!

During their last break, Buzz and I went up to say hello. I bought a CD and the CUTEST poster to have them sign. Thom introduced me to Coley. Best introduction ever "Coley, this is Sid - the girl I was telling you about the other night that came down to see me." Yup, that's me! I told Coley that I was mad at myself for forgetting about her SHeDAISY connection, because I would have brought my "The Whole SHeBANG" platinum record to have her sign. "You have a platinum record?! Why?!" Which launched into a story about a yard sale, which they thought was hilarious. I got them to take a picture with me, citing the excuse that my last Thom Shepherd picture was over a decade old. See above. I love it.

I wish I had thought to write out set lists, but I just wasn't even thinking about it. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and am thrilled that I got to see Thom twice, and Coley once. The only bad thing about seeing them is that it makes me terribly homesick for Nashville. Terribly, terribly homesick. Is it sad that I don't get homesick for my real home, but I get homesick for a place that was my home for less than three years of my adulthood?

If you like country music, check out Thom and Coley on facebook. They're fantastic!

Songs you should try to check out by Thom Shepherd: "Ghosts of New Orleans," "Last Letter Home" and "What I Tell Myself." Songs you should check out by Coley McCabe: "I Am a Woman" and "Grow Young with You." Songs you should check out by the two of them together: "I'm With U" and "Another Like You."


  1. I'm still not a huge country fan, but I'll check out those songs just for you. ;-)

  2. Aww. You are the best!

    Just a warning though: They are pretty country. Like, twangy country.