Swallow at the Hollow in Roswell, Georgia

I got to experience another music road trip this weekend! Rachel Proctor invited me to join her and Casey Kessel for a performance at Swallow at the Hollow, a restaurant/bar in Roswell, Georgia, on the outskirts of Atlanta which has become a popular place for weekly in-the-round shows by top-billed Nashville songwriters. The walls are lined with autographed 8x10 photos of some of my songwriting heroes. Last week's featured writer was Matraca Berg, and next week's is Jeffrey Steele, so it was an honor to be there, both as a performing writer and as an acoustic guitar accompanist for Rachel. I had worked with both Rachel and Casey before, but I had no idea how much fun I was in for. We drove down there together, and we didn't shut our mouths for the entire trip. Once we got there, we were put up in a hotel and got to enjoy anything we wanted to order off the Swallow menu. The chocolate chip banana puddin' was the best! We played 2 shows, Friday and Saturday night, and by Saturday's show we knew each other so well that the banter on stage was almost as good as the audience, who were highly supportive, and the songs, which were really fantastic.

You may be familiar with Rachel Proctor if you heard her hit "Me and Emily" on the radio when she was signed to RCA, but she has also written a great set of songs for pitching to other artists, including Martina McBride's hit "Where Would You Be". Rachel delivers it on stage with just as much intensity as Martina, so it's really worth catching her live. You can purchase her new EP, "Only Lonely Girl", at her myspace site www.myspace.com/rachelproctorsongs where she has posted a blog about our trip (and also a blog about a cowrite of ours called "Remember That" which she has posted as downloadable, so check that out too).

Casey Kessel is also a writer/artist who has written some songs for other performers - she wrote the current Danielle Peck hit, "Finding a Good Man", she's a well-known demo singer in Nashville, and she has also recently released her own independent record called "Ripple in the Water" which is now permanently stuck in my CD player.  Both of these girls have great talent and a fantastic personality. What a treat for me to get to know them both.

My family is arriving to spend Christmas here in Nashville with me soon, and then I'm heading up to Canada to get my snow fix before hitting the pavement running again in the new year. Happy holidays to everyone, and see you in 2007.