Marathon Music Works

Full Moon Full Life feat. Jamey Johnson, Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings, Chris Stapleton, Jerrod Niemann, & Nashville Friends

Full Moon Full Life feat. Jamey Johnson, Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings, Chris Stapleton, Jerrod Niemann, & Nashville Friends

Nashville Friends

Wed, July 9, 2014

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Marathon Music Works

Nashville, TN

$25 GA/ $35 Golden Circle

Off Sale

This event is 18 and over

A Night of Influence celebrating Waylon Jennings and Hank Cochran benefiting the Nikki Mitchell Foundation to prevent, detect, and the eventual cure of Pancreatic Cancer.  Live and Silent Auction items. 18+.

Jamey Johnson
Jamey Johnson
When word got out that acclaimed Nashville artist Jamey Johnson was recording a tribute album to beloved songwriter Hank Cochran, musical superstars clamored to participate.

“When we were talking about who to call, people just kind of presented themselves,” Johnson says. “I think the word got out after awhile, and we were getting phone calls from people wanting to do it. There weren’t a whole lot of arms that needed twisting.”

The resulting cast, plus the brilliant and timeless Cochran songs, make this recording one of the musical events of the year. From the ranks of the Country Music Hall of Fame came George Strait, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price and Vince Gill, not to mention Cochran’s oldest and truest friend, Willie Nelson. Veteran stars Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, Bobby Bare and Asleep at the Wheel perform on the album alongside contemporary artists such as Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack and Ronnie Dunn.

“Everybody got to pick their own songs, so for me, it was just as much a journey as it was for anybody else involved,” Johnson reports. “I thought I’d heard all of Hank’s songs, and I hadn’t heard anything.”

Johnson is quick to praise the efforts of co-producer Buddy Cannon, who worked with co-producer Dale Dodson to recruit artists and explore Cochran’s vast catalog. “By the time Buddy was done with it, it was the easiest thing in the world. I can’t give him enough credit.”

Johnson grew up singing gospel harmonies in church and believes this is why he was able to sing so capably with so many different stylists on the album, as well as in Cannon’s various musical settings. Johnson performs Cochran’s Keith Whitley hit “Would These Arms Be in Your Way” as his only solo on the tribute album.

Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Hank Cochran died in 2010, but he left behind a song catalog that the world reveres. Masterpieces such as “Make the World Go Away,” “I Fall to Pieces” and “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me” merely scratch the surface of his genius that produced hits on the country charts for more than four decades.

Cochran was also widely loved for his generosity of spirit, charming personality, easy-going humor and boundless kindness. During the final years of his life, he became a mentor to Johnson.

The two met when Johnson was celebrating the Gold Record success of his 2008 CD That Lonesome Song (which eventually achieved Platinum certification) as well as the Song of the Year trophies he collected for “Give it Away” and “In Color” from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. Johnson’s renown continued with the 2010 release of his ambitious double album The Guitar Song, which also became a Gold Record winner. In addition, he picked up five Grammy Award nominations along the way. But throughout his rise, he remained close to Hank Cochran, who was slowly dying of cancer.

“Hank loved Jamey’s music, and Jamey just latched onto him,” says the songwriter’s widow, Suzi Cochran. “Jamey always wanted to hear Hank’s stories. Shortly after they met, Hank was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. So for the two years he lived after that, Jamey would get off the road, pull his bus right up to the hospital, run up and see Hank and raise his spirits.

“Hank adored Jamey. Jamey was there when a lot of people weren’t coming around. A lot of people are afraid to be around sick people. They don’t know what to say, or they don’t need you anymore. But Jamey was a constant in the last chapter of Hank’s life.”

“Hank influenced me, not only as an artist and a songwriter, but also just as a person,” says Johnson. “If I had to dream up someone to influence songwriters, I couldn’t do better than Hank. For Willie and for a lot of people, he was such a helpful friend. If he knew you needed help with something, he was there. And that’s what I want to be for the people in my life, the same kind of friend that Hank was.

“Buddy Cannon was the one who told me that it was getting to be about time, that if I wanted to say goodbye, now was my chance. So I met him at Hank’s house. Billy Ray Cyrus was there. Merle Haggard called. We did what we knew we could do. We just sang Hank songs and hung around with our friend.”

Recalling the night before Cochran died, Suzi Cochran says, “They all sat and sang Hank’s songs to him. Hank was very weak by this time. He couldn’t talk, but he’d kind of hum along. I think they left about 11 o’clock that night, and it was about five o’clock the next morning when Hank passed away.”

Johnson says it was Cochran’s passing that kicked off the idea for this project. “Willie Nelson was the first person I knew I wanted to include. Bobby Bare introduced me to a bunch of Hank’s songs that I didn’t know. Having Merle on it meant a lot to me, too. Bobby introduced me to him. Elvis Costello flew to Nashville [in 2009] when they had an event to honor Hank, so I knew he would want to be a part of this.”

On Living For a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran, Johnson and Nelson sing “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me,” and the duo is joined by Leon Russell and Vince Gill on “Everything But You.” “When you start talking about songwriters, you’ve got to say his name first – then you start talking about everybody else,” says Nelson of his departed friend. “Hank had a lot to do with me getting started. He was responsible, really, for me going to Nashville.

“I thought this [tribute record] was a great idea, that if it had never been done before, it was about time, “Nelson says. “I think also that he should be in the Country Music Hall of Fame. That’s my nomination for the next guy they put in there.”

Bobby Bare, who joins Johnson on “I’d Fight the World,” is delighted that his dear friend (and best man in Bare’s wedding) is being honored in this manner. “It just makes my heart warm to see all the great names who are on this album for no other reason than they respected and loved Hank’s songs. I still think about Hank. I hear Hank throughout all his songs. Hank was his songs, and the songs were Hank.”

Johnson teams with Haggard on the Patsy Cline 1961 hit “I Fall to Pieces.” “It’s important, historically, for people to know who Hank Cochran was and what he did,” Haggard believes. “He always wanted to be the Hemingway of country music, and I think he did it.”

Johnson, Nelson, Haggard and Kris Kristofferson sing “Living for a Song,” a poignant recording that includes Cochran’s voice. “Hank’s ability to perform comes across right there,” Haggard says of the song he describes as “our life on paper, music.” He says, “I mean, he’s in there with some of the best singers in the world and he gets it across better.”

“He wrote a kagillion classic songs,” adds Ronnie Dunn, who duets with Johnson on “A-11.” “It’s stunning when you look at the body of work that he was able to accomplish. He stayed relevant for so long.”

“Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?” says Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel, who joins Johnson on “I Don’t Do Windows.” “Hank Cochran is, without a doubt, one of the greatest songwriters ever on earth. His songs transcend time because they’re based on emotion. I think the collection of artists on this album shows the respect that we all have for Hank’s artistry.”

“Hank’s songs bring out the best in anybody,” Johnson observes. “You don’t go on auto pilot and skip over the words. He’s going to make you focus in on a song. That’s the beauty of a skilled songwriter. A good song just inspires you. It makes you want to do better. The songwriter puts the spirit in it. That’s why everybody had the desire to make something great.

“It doesn’t make the Hall of Fame worthless that Hank Cochran is not in there, but it certainly makes it worth less that he’s not in there. It’s a matter of just recognizing good country music.”

Suzi Cochran pays perhaps the highest compliment this album could receive. “I wish Hank had been here to see it. He wouldn’t believe it. He would have cried. He’d be happy. It’s exactly like Hank would have done it.”
Jessi Colter
Jessi Colter
Jessi Colter is one of modern music’s singular talents, a singer, songwriter, and entertainer whose influence continues to echo across musical genres. An artist talented and versatile enough both to top the pop charts and to be part of the groundbreaking Wanted: The Outlaws album, she is assured a place in the history of both formats. With the release in 2003 of An Outlaw..A Lady: The Very Best of Jessi Colter, in which No Depression magazine called “one of the more important and plain necessary releases of the year”-and the 2006 release of “Out of the Ashes” – her legacy has been showcased again both for those who were part of the magic as it happened and for a new generation. In 1975, Colter notched a sizable country and pop hit with the self-penned “I’m Not Lisa,” a song that became a number one hit in every English speaking country. That was followed a year later by the success of Wanted! The Outlaws, a collaboration with Jennings, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser and the first Nashville album to sell a million copies. Her best-known duets with Jennings are “Suspicious Minds” and her soothing composition “Storms Never Last.”
Shooter Jennings
Shooter Jennings
The only son of country legends Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings literally spent his childhood on a tour bus. Born Waylon Albright Jennings, Shooter was playing drums by the time he was five years old and had already begun taking piano lessons, only to break them off and follow his own path to an understanding of the instrument. He discovered guitar at 14
and enjoyed a six- or seven-year run on the L.A. circuit before Jennings rediscovered his outlaw country roots and dissolved the band.

After a short stay in New York, where Jennings assembled material for a country project, he returned to L.A. and put together a second band -- this time with solid country roots -- which he named the .357s. Jennings and the band holed up in the studio, eventually emerging with a rambunctious country album called Put the O Back in Country, which was released in 2005 on Universal South Records. Following in his father's footsteps, but with his own feisty, scrappy sense of country, Jennings placed himself in a fine position to both explore that legacy and carve out his own. A second album, Electric Rodeo (which was actually recorded before Put the O Back in Country), appeared in 2006, followed by a live set, Live at Irving Plaza, later in the year. Jennings' third solo effort, The Wolf, was released in October 2007, featuring a cover of Dire Straits' "Walk of Life" (whose composer, Mark Knopfler, had been a longtime family friend). A month later, Jennings became a father. His girlfriend, actress Drea De Matteo, gave birth to Alabama Gypsy Rose in November. He proposed to De Matteo in 2009 on-stage in Utica, New York. He renamed his backing band Hierophant for his fourth studio album, Black Ribbons, a concept record produced by Dave Cobb. It appeared early in 2010. Later in the year, the album was re-released in a special edition entitled Black Ribbons: The Living Album. The second version was sold on a USB flash drive in the shape of a tarot card. It featured the studio record and live performances by Hierophant. In early 2011, Jennings and blogger Adam Sheets came up with the idea of creating XXX, a new radio format that would focus on insurgent country, rock, and hybrids of both, from new and established artists, that fell far outside the narrow conceits of mainstream radio and were thus ignored. It gained traction and a channel on Sirius/XM where both men served as program hosts. Jennings also moved to New York City with De Matteo. He and pianist Erik Deutsch formed a new band, called the Triple Crown, and he became a father for the second time to Waylon Albert "Blackjack" Jennings, in April. In urgent fashion, Jennings and the Triple Crown began recording; they released the video/download-only single "Outlaw You," his screed against the country music establishment. It reached the top spot on CMT's daily audience request competition and stayed there until a dispute with his former label dictated it be removed. The first official single from the forthcoming album, "The Deed and the Dollar," again reached the top spot in the daily CMT request competition. Jennings' fifth album, Family Man, followed soon after in March of 2012 -- minus "Outlaw You." His next album, The Other Life, was released a year later on his own Black Country Rock label; it featured guest appearances from Patty Griffin, Scott H. Biram, and Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas. The Other Live, Jennings' second live album, recorded during his 2013 tour and featuring many of the songs from The Other Life, appeared early in 2014, again from Black Country Rock.
Chris Stapleton
After just one decade in Music City, Kentucky native Chris Stapleton has accomplished more than most musicians hope to accomplish in a lifetime. His voice transcends genre and stands out among the homogenized commercial product typical of Nashville. Vivid, edgy, passionate - no matter the adjective used to describe his music, no word can truly capture the depth of his prolific songwriting, soulful voice, and honest musicianship. He moved to Nashville in the fall of 2001 with a catalog of twenty songs, a suitcase, and his guitar. After hearing simple guitar and vocal recordings of the songs Stapleton had written by himself, Liz O'Sullivan was determined to sign him as a songwriter at the newly formed Seagayle Music. Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois were equally enchanted, and within two months, Stapleton had what many songwriters wait years for: his first cut. Fast forward ten years later, and he has too many successful collaborations to even count. Among those are cuts with Patty Loveless, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack, James Otto, Brooks & Dunn, Alison Krauss, LeAnn Rimes, Trent Willmon, Trace Adkins, Steel Magnolia, and Trisha Yearwood; and co-writes with Peter Frampton, Vince Gill, Bobby Bare, and Marty Stuart. "It's therapeutic and an exercise in purpose, but for me, it's more of a compulsion than anything," he says of songwriting. He writes for any number of reasons - the commercial market, his own enjoyment, because he or a co-writer has an idea, but the joy of it - and his greatest work - is born of not ever knowing what the purpose is. Left to his own devices, he is aware that he can be "way out there," but his diverse catalog is proof that he understands consistency, creativity, and the importance of marrying the two to be a successful songwriter. "I don't sit around dreaming up singles for artists - that's just not gonna happen" - these claims that he doesn't take the time to worry about what direction writing will take create co-writes conducive to creativity, resulting in chart topping singles with Kenny Chesney, Josh Turner, and Darius Rucker. In 2006, Stapleton joined forces with Mike Henderson and seasoned veterans Richard Bailey, Mike Fleming, and Tammy Rogers to form The SteelDrivers, a bluegrass band with rock, country, and soul influences. Writing with Henderson since his move to Nashville years earlier created a collection of remarkable songs, most of which were unlikely to be recorded by commercial country. Henderson expressed his desire to play a regular gig, and before they knew it, they were playing all original songs and catching the eye of record label executives. Their first record garnered the band a Grammy nomination, and their sophomore effort, praised by critics, earned them two more Grammy nods. Stapleton parted ways with the band in 2010. In 2005, what began as four guys jamming in a garage quickly became a more serious musical venture. Although Stapleton is known for both commercial country songwriting and bluegrass, he knew that working with JT Cure, Bard McNamee, and Greg McKee would be something extraordinary. Initially, their personalities meshed well, but their chemistry together as songwriters and musicians made it easy to collaborate. Stapleton describes their process as a "discovery - it's the prospect of what you might make up next." It's hard to pinpoint where The Jompson Brothers fit genre-wise in today's market, but they are rock and roll in it's most basic form - straight ahead rock and roll. The Jompson Brothers self-titled debut is available on iTunes.
Jerrod Niemann
Jerrod Niemann
Jerrod Niemann is not a typical country artist, and the audacious, groundbreaking Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury is a far cry from a typical country album. With the first track, which is a humorously hyperbolic movie trailer, and the attention-grabbing lyrics of the opening song, "They Should Have Named You Cocaine," listeners quickly realize they're in for an extraordinary ride.

Niemann's debut for Sea Gayle/Arista Nashville includes up-tempo cuts, heartache balladry, wicked wordplay and a couple of cool covers, all woven together with short comedic interludes. The 20 tracks constitute a progressive, album-length voyage into utterly unique territory in the country music landscape.

The lead single, "Lover, Lover," is a groove-oriented, handclap-fueled Top 15 smash that features nine vocal parts, all recorded by Niemann himself.

"My original plan was to just sing the lead vocal part," Niemann explains. "I was going to get Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser, Chris Young and a bunch of my friends to each sing a part. But I didn't have a record deal, and I realized that getting permission for all of them would have been torturous, so my co-producer, Dave Brainard, suggested that I try singing all the parts. I sang eight out of nine parts the first night. The only part I didn't have was that low bass part. I just couldn't hit those notes. So Dave and I went down to the Tin Roof in Nashville, and in the name of country music, we properly medicated the vocal cords. When I woke up the next morning, I sounded like a mix between Richard Sterban from the Oak Ridge Boys and that cartoon Grape Ape."

Listeners might get the catchy chorus of "Lover, Lover" permanently stuck in their heads — which is exactly what happened to Niemann when he heard the original version of the song, written by Dan Pritzker of the rock band Sonia Dada, and titled "You Don't Treat Me No Good."

"When I first heard that song, I was in a community swimming pool in Liberal, Kansas, in 1993," Niemann recalls. I've always loved that song, and I associate it with my childhood. I took it into the studio, played it for Dave [Brainard], and literally five minutes later we were recording it, just on a whim."

Niemann wrote or co-wrote ten of the album's dozen songs. His co-writers on "They Should Have Named You Cocaine" were his buddies Jamey Johnson and Dallas Davidson. This track's unusual production merges traditional, jazzy sounds with a space-age theremin (inspired by the Beach Boys) and just a touch of the Electric Light Orchestra hit "Strange Magic."

Niemann shows his sensitive side with "What Do You Want," the emotional centerpiece of the album. "That was the first time I had ever written a song truly from the heart," Niemann admits. "I wasn't trying to write a hit song. I just wanted to get it out of my system. I was missing an ex-girlfriend, and I would just start the process of getting over her, and then I'd hear from her. So that's how that song came about."

Niemann's compositions reflect an adherence to the adage "Write what you know." He calls "Old School New Again" his "soapbox" number because it comments on the machinations of the music industry. The song chronicles the hopes of a struggling musician, as Niemann sings, "I know times, they change / So I ain't sayin' we need to go back to Nudie suits, rhinestones and fringe / I just wanna be proud of what I'm playin' / And sing a little Lefty now and then."

He returns to the music-industry theme with the lighthearted barroom anthem "One More Drinkin' Song." The track is preceded by "A Concerned Fan," a tongue-in-cheek skit addressing the notion of using demographic data as the basis for writing a country song.

The solo composition "For Everclear" is the smile-inducing tale of a hard-partying college student who winds up in bed with his instructor. A boisterous cover of Robert Earl Keen's "The Buckin' Song" features the kind of sly wordplay that Niemann has made a trademark of his own songwriting. "I didn't write that song, but I thought it was just offensive enough to put on the album," he jokes.

Puns and wordplay also are showcased in the tropical tune "Down in Mexico" and its accompanying sketch, "Phone Call at 3 A.M." This Buffettesque track proves that an episode of quasi-drunk-dialing can result in a great country song.

Other album highlights include the R&B–flavored scorcher "Come Back to Me," a poetic rumination on lost love called "Bakersfield," the honky-tonk rave-up "How Can I Be So Thirsty" (penned with John Anderson and Billy Joe Walker, Jr.) and a dramatic ballad with strings, "I Hope You Get What You Deserve."

With a single spin of the album, it's obvious that the recording sessions for Judge Jerrod were a blast. Ironically, Niemann's personal life at the time was in tatters.

Although Niemann had experienced triumphs as a songwriter — with his songs being recorded by Garth Brooks, Jamey Johnson, Julie Roberts and Blake Shelton — he yearned to be a performer himself. Things weren't going well in that regard. He had signed a recording contract, only to see the deal fall apart. Niemann signed another recording contract, but that one also failed to come to fruition. Then his life took a turn for the worse.

"I was at rock bottom," he recalls. "I had horrible depression. I ran off a girl I was dating, and she moved clear to India. I gained 60 pounds, so I looked like the Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. I didn't write a song for almost a year. That's when I ran into Jamey Johnson, at that point in my life. He said, 'Man, I can tell you're not yourself. Why don't you go cut a record? That's what I did, and it changed my life.' And Jamey was right. So I took a year to record the album, and by the end of that process, I had lost every bit of the weight. It's amazing how doing something that you love can change your inner self and your outer appearance."

After Niemann finished the album, he shared it with the heads of his publishing company, Sea Gayle Music. They wanted to shop it to Arista Nashville, and Niemann agreed, but under one condition: Not a single note on the album could be changed. In a bold move, Arista Nashville signed Niemann and agreed to release the album as is, even keeping the title (with its double entendre) intact.

Niemann says, "We called it Judge Jerrod & The Hung Jury, but it's not so much because I'm a judge. Instead, it's about the idea that everybody is going to judge me and my band for making this album. Whenever you attempt to do anything different or unique, people are going criticize it. But that's okay. I've been made fun of my whole life. Why stop now?"

Niemann grew up in Liberal, a tiny town in west Kansas. As a child, his knowledge of music was expanded at the skating rink that his parents owned. "That's where I got my street cred, as a 7-year-old, rolling in circles, looking dangerous and mysterious on eight wheels of Country & Western thunder," he recalls with a laugh. "I remember skating to Queen, to Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith doing "Walk This Way," and to the Oak Ridge Boys' "Elvira."

After graduating from Liberal High School, Niemann studied music for two years at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Then he moved to Fort Worth, where he honed his songwriting and learned how to win over tough crowds in bars. He moved to Nashville in 2000.

Today, Niemann is ready to become the full-fledged artist he always dreamed of being.

"A few years ago, my friends and I were burning up the honky-tonks in Nashville, but now everybody has matured a little bit," he reflects. "We all realized that we're representing country music whenever we leave Nashville. We still get rowdy and have fun, but we know where this town came from. We love it and we respect it. We're doing what we can to ensure that country music fans have music that not only entertains them, but that they can enjoy in any mood."

Niemann feels that he can be a distinct voice in country music, but he realizes he's standing on the shoulders of giants. "Waylon and Willie are considered hard-core traditionalists now, but they were very innovative back in the day, and they caused a lot of controversy. No one's ever going to say what they said, or sang what they sang, as well as they did. But I think there's something unique that I can contribute to the format. If I can make somebody laugh, or get someone who's never listened to country music to come over and check it out, then I've accomplished my goal."