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Charles Esten & Friends Come Alive for Alive Hospice at the Green Door Gourmet in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Another edition of Alive & The Bluebird Songwriter Series took place on April 22, 2021 - this time fronted by actor/musician Charles Esten. Many know "Chip" as Deacon Claybourne from the TV series Nashville and in some ways this benefit show was a walk down memory lane for Deacon. Traditionally, this concert would be held at The Bluebird Cafe but because of Covid the intimate space has remained shuttered relying on live streams to reach audiences but it is a room that Charles aka Claybourne has performed in many times. Deacon could tell you that The Bluebird Café is located in a small strip mall outside of downtown Nashville. The 90 seat venue is unassuming in appearance yet some of the most significant songwriters have performed there. The club has a "Shhh" policy which encourages folks to really listen to the songs and stories as told by the artists. The Bluebird's legend grew when it was featured for the first time on Nashville and it would be seen often on the music centric soap opera.

The barn at the Green Door Gourmet was lit up for a sold-out show.

The other Nashville connection is that the event was held at the Green Door Gourmet (Nashville, TN) which is where Rayna and Deacon finally tied the knot on the show. Before Thursday's concert tasty appetizers and drinks were served on the spacious grounds of the farm. A trio from Wake Forest University played an impressive list of covers ranging from the Grateful Dead to Stevie Wonder along with the country anthem "Will The Circle Be Unbroken". This young group who are still working on a band name presented a solid set of music that set the tone for the rest of this special night.

The evening's performers - Chris DeStefano, Charles Esten, Charlie Greene and Taylor Noelle.

A bell was rung and guests filed into the welcoming barn. After a few words about Alive Hospice, Charles kicked off the show with a song about hard times spiked with humor. Later, Esten served up the witty "You Can Always Find A Bar" which fans clapped along to. Chip also played "Somewhere in the Sunshine" a moving track that was also relatable to those in hospice care. It presented the perspective of the deceased by saying that it's beautiful here so there is no need to worry. Esten - who has performed often for the organization's patients - was sensitive and engaging while serving as an enthusiastic host.

Fine catered food and selections from the farm were on the menu.

The round also featured Taylor Noelle (Esten's talented daughter), Charlie Greene from the alt rock band Betcha and Chris DeStefano a multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer and songwriter who has worked with Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and many more. As Chris performed "Something in the Water" he got emotional sharing that he had lost his voice which has since been restored thanks to surgery. DeStefano declared that he was grateful to have his voice back and to be playing again for an audience. A sentiment articulated by all who indicated that this concert was their first time back in a live setting since the lockdowns started. Later, he sung "From The Ground Up" an emotional story about family and finished with "Kick The Dust Up" a hit that was a co-write with Luke Bryan. Both Taylor and Charlie proved to be strong songwriters also. During their sets, Greene presented "July" a visual slice of summer (pre-pandemic) and Taylor had a song about better days of staying out late and going to a diner. "Blackout" was a tasteful tune that Charlie and Taylor had penned and performed for us as a duo.

This trio from Wake Forest University played an impressive list of covers.

The artists also supported Alive by participating in an auction. Some of the items included lyric sheets that were personally autographed by the musicians. The biggest draw of the night was the script from the Nashville wedding episode. As the numbers heated up Charles came out with a second script offering to sign both at the second highest bid - a win-win for the two fans and Alive. The 28th Annual Songwriters Series had it all - a scenic setting, stellar rounds and a strong opening act-all coming together for a great cause.

Alive Hospice President and CEO Kimberly Goessele thanks the crowd and performers.

Alive & The Bluebird was a smashing success thanks to The Bluebird Cafe, the musicians and the volunteers. Along with generous support from Green Door Gourmet who provided the venue. Beverages were supplied by Lipman and fine catering by The Corner Market. The Green Door Gourmet located at 7007 River Road Pike is a 350 acre farm and agritourism destination in Nashville, Tennessee. Nestled along the Cumberland River they sell local produce and have an event space so that just like the characters on Nashville folks can have their ceremony or other special occasion there.

Attendees arrive for the show at the Green Door Gourmet in Nashville.

Alive Hospice was founded in 1975 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering comprehensive care for terminally ill patients and their families including comfort for those who are grieving. They are also a center for research. Alive Hospice provides free education, financial assistance and support to the Nashville community. They currently serve more than 430 people daily. In addition to giving loving care to those with life-threatening illnesses they also train tomorrow's caregivers. Be on the lookout for more Songwriter Series benefiting Alive and if you can please donate to this non-profit hospice.

The evening's performers and dignitaries gather for a pre-concert photo shoot.

Related Links: For more information on CHARLES ESTEN and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Charles Esten | Chris DeStefano | Taylor Noelle | Charlie Greene | Alive Hospice | The Bluebird Cafe | Green Door Gourmet | Lipman Brothers | Corner Market Catering Company | Charles Esten at the CMA Theater


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