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Jacksonville...Homestead...Back Home

Mar 18 | Posted by: Bill Whyte |

Monday morning in Homestead Florida.  Packing for the flight home.



Our “Evening In The Round” trio with Linda Davis and Lang Scott was in Jacksonville Friday night for a great show at the Mudville Grille that had several highlights. 


Our opening acts were 6 young artists from the Jacksonville area who got up and just impressed the heck out of all of us.  From the age of 13 to maybe 17 or 18 at the oldest.  It’s the kind of stuff that makes the three of us flash back to when we were that age and how exciting it felt to get up on a stage and be an opening act for someone of Linda’s stature.  So good.


The place was just packed thanks in Juanita Hotard our friend who works so hard to make these kinds of evenings happen.  My thanks to Dale & Peach Hench who drove over from Flagler Beach to see this show for the first time.  Dale & Peach became friends through the “Trop Rock” movement but they love music of all kinds.  In fact they will join me later this year with our mutual Trop Rock friend Brent Burns on our Rhine River trip from Amsterdam, Germany and Switzerland. 


And then there was the moment that Linda asked a young lady…Destany Nicole to come up (and her little girl came with her) and she sang the song I helped write “Safe Haven” that’s on the "Love Remains" album by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family that won a Grammy award.  And that’s about as good as it gets having someone love your song that much and then sing it in front of a great crowd.  Thank you Destany.


The temperature in Jacksonville Friday?  Mid 80’s.  Yep…we loved that a bunch.


All in all a great start to our Florida music run.



It was a day of classes where Linda taught her “Performance” class and I taught a songwriting class to some young talent who wanted to learn more about the right things to do on stage (with Linda) and how to write better songs with me.  It’s always our hopes that those who sign up for our workshops take something away with them that they can really use as they move forward singing-writing. Thank you to all who signed up…and thanks to the parents we met who are helping provide the tools for their kids that want to know more.  I’m sure Linda and I will be hearing more about these kids down the road.


Our classes wrapped about 4 pm Florida time and we had a long drive from Jacksonville to Homestead that passed quickly partly because we enjoy each other’s company and partly because of our common love of music that we’d share.  “Have you heard this”? kind of thing.  They can play me songs I’ve not heard by artists I may or may not have heard of…and vice versa.  So between hearing those songs and singing along to Willie's Roadhouse on XM?  It do help make the miles fly by faster. 



We played a concert on St. Patrick’s Day that was part of the Homestead Community Concert Series at South Dade High School Auditorium.  Turns out it was the last concert in their series forever and though that made us feel a bit sad hearing that news…we were also kind of honored that it would be our trio that helped close a door on what’s been a long long running music concert series in south Florida


Folks were just so incredibly warm and nice.  My son in laws Mom Anissa and his stepdad drover down from Miami to catch the show and that was a treat to have them in the house for sure.  That also put me in the St. Patricks celebratory mood as our daughter Heather and Anissa’s son Casey got married on the north coast of Ireland last year and Anissa made the trip over to see Ireland for the first time as we did.  All of us agree…we’d go back.


My thanks to Red and all those in Homestead for choosing to have us as your entertainment yesterday…AND thank you for providing such a wonderful stage for so many entertainers for so many years.



Our trio celebrated with dinner…Italian style on St. Pats evening with some old friends of Lang Scott’s and his wife Linda.  Alan Reid was an executive producer for the old TNN (Nashville Network) and produced MANY of those shows you may have watched including the “You Can Be A Star” TV show hosted by Jim Ed Brown.  Lang wound up working for Alan for years, working up to a “line” producer before going out and playing guitar and singing in Reba’s band along with Linda.  Alan and his wife Mady are from New York with a second place down here on the coast that they frequent quite a bit and happened to be in town.


And of course...there was a "connection".  Alan also produced the old "Fandango" country music trivia show that was on TNN hosted by Bill Anderson.  Lang Scott...also worked on this show long before I ever knew him.  And the connection?  I was a contestant during a "DJ" week where several radio guys competed and somehow I managed to win the whole thing.  My wife and I went on a free cruise for the first time ever because of winning that show. 


So all these years later I'm having dinner with the producers and one of my best friends ever over wine sharing this story.  Unreal.


Gosh…just to sit and hear the STORIES about the artists and shows Alan and his wife Mady produced was just priceless.  These days they are mostly retired and travel the world…just back from India.


So…again…I have to take time every once and again to remind myself how blessed I am to get to do what I do.  What a great Florida trip this has been.



My family’s little favorite basketball team Belmont, where my daughter graduated surprised a lot of folks and heard their name called yesterday by the NCAA selection committee so they’ll be playing a little more round ball this year in March.  We’ll be rooting big time for our Bruins and coach Rick Byrd who’s a class act here by all accounts. 



Now that my little mid-major basketball team is in the March Madness dance…maybe I should buy a Powerball ticket.  It’s worth 550 million this week.  And I have a feeling I’ll be writing a parody song about this later this morning for my New York folks. 



I have no idea how WalletHub determines this…but here’s their list of “happiest cities” to live in in America.  The number one happy place?  Plano, Texas.  Followed by Irvine CA, Madison WI, Fremont CA and at number 5 Huntington Beach CA.  190 larger cities were part of their study. 


And let the record show that Cheyenne, Wyoming has the shortest commute time.  14 minutes.  NYC?  40.8 minutes.  Of course when you’re commuting from cow to cow…ya get their quicker.



Time to head to the Fort Lauderdale airport where I’ll be jumping a bird to fly home today.  I’ve got a guitar and a suitcase full of memories to take back with me.


Have a great Monday!





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