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In Changing Times Debi Champion Remains a True Champion of the Nashville Music Scene

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Debi Champion is a singer and songwriter who has been on the scene for some time racking up recognition for her talents over the years including the Mark Allen Critic's Choice Award for "Best Female Vocalist" and the South Florida Music Award for "Best Rock/Pop/Blues Female Vocalist". Debi has appeared in concert with such diverse artists as Spyro Gyra, Bob James, Leon Russell, Dan Seals, The Dirt Band, Gary Morris, Kris Kristopherson, Restless Heart, Suzi Boggus, Dave Mason, Marshall Tucker Band, Ronnie Milsap, Three Dog Night, The Bama Band, and Mark O'Conner.


Debi Champion and the extensive weekly Songwriter's Night schedule.

Now residing near Nashville, she is best-known here for her work in supporting the never ending stream of hopeful songwriters and upcoming musicians who find their way to Music City by hosting Debi Champion's Songwriter Nights now held on multiple evenings every week at midtown's world famous Commodore Grille.

In recent months it hasn't been easy. Like most venues in Nashville, The Commodore Grille was shutdown for some time due to Covid-19 restrictions and is now slowly returning with social distancing measures and pandemic related procedures in place. For Champion, that means additional work as she needs to tend to the performance space in between each of the nightly six sets to clean chairs and wipe down equipment. Still, she's a champion and didn't seem to mind the additional responsibilities.


Mike Shipley at the Commodore Grille.

On Monday, October 26, 2020 we were on hand specifically to show love to our two friends Mike Shipley and Darren T. who were sharing the 6:30 to 7:00 PM slot. Both men are veteran songwriters with rugged life experience finding its way into their musical tales. We enjoyed Darren's patented approach to love songs that he seems to be perfecting as of late with "The Next Wave" serving as proof that he hasn't crested yet. Mike was drawing on recent events in life and love with a helpful reminder that if you don't watch your back, and clean up you act, you might be left "Alone".

On this night some of that famed Music City magic was glimpsed in the house. Spotted in the back of the room was bass player extraordinaire Billy Sheehan. The relatively new Nashvillian known for holding down the bottom end for David Lee Roth, Mr. Big and The Winery Dogs moved to town three years ago and he reported to us that he is loving it here - and, why wouldn't he? Billy said he was just out on a Monday night to support the local musicians and that statement in itself was particularly uplifting. Because, things have been a bit weird in Nashville and throughout the nation since March as we have all been experiencing "The New Normal". Could it be that life is beginning to return to business as usual in Music City? We can only hope.


Darren T. at the Commodore Grille.

Related Links: For more information on DEBI CHAMPION and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Debi Champion | Mike Shipley | Darren T. | Billy Sheehan

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