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Songs On 2nd Pulls on the Heartstrings at the Wildhorse Saloon

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Songs On Second is a new monthly songwriter series that raises money for Heartstrings Foundation. The team here at MCN had the extreme pleasure of attending their second ever branded event on September 7, 2022 at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, Tennessee. The festive showcase put this group's important mission as well as a ton of great music from this town's top songwriters on display in the familiar performance round format all in noble support of military veterans and first responders.


Songs On 2nd was well lit and sharply branded at the Wildhorse Saloon.

Heartstrings Foundation was created in 2017 by two brothers, Rowan and Aaron Pickering. They grew up in a family with a long tradition of military service, community involvement, and late-night family jam sessions. Rowan has worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years and Aaron spent 17 years as both USAF Enlisted Aviator and a civilian contractor. These combined experiences and their shared passion for music inspired them to launch Heartstrings and begin changing lives.


Clockwise from top left: Wynn Varble, Brice Long, Kevin Denney and Chancey Williams.

The initial idea behind the non-profit sprung from the form of Nashville's most popular musical instrument - the guitar. So, five strings represent each branch of the military (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy). The Sixth String is the "Heartstring", representing the loved ones of those service members and the millions of Americans whom have been effected by issues related to not just PTSD and suicide, but issues such as addiction and mental health issues.


Songs On 2nd - the September edition begins in Nashville.

Each year in Music City over 1.5 MILLION enter through the doors of the Wildhorse Saloon and the fans in attendance on Wednesday were in for a real elite treat. The featured round included four songwriters who all apparently got the memo with each adorned in denim, cowboy boots and a matching white hat. The incomparable Brice Long got things rolling and eventually played the track he penned for Jon Pardi called "Heartache on the Dance Floor" that currently has over 55 million views on YouTube alone. On the other side of the stage Wynn Varble showed off the humorous side of the craft with "Take One For The Team" that had us laughing the most we can ever remember in a concert setting.


Clockwise from top left: Harper Grace, Greg Pratt, Ethan Payne and AJ Gatio.

Chancey Williams - the reigning Rocky Mountain Country Music Entertainer of the Year - impressed hot off of his Bridgestone Arena feature slot showcasing for the PBR's new bull riding franchise known as the Nashville Stampede who were also a named sponsor of the Heartstrings Foundation event. Their CEO and founder Rowan Pickering was even on hand to award a team autographed guitar to one lucky raffle ticket holder.


Heartstrings Foundation founder & CEO Rowan Pickering and show closer Skyelor Anderson.

The opening set was impressive as well as Georgia native Ethan Payne was busy winning new fans with his sometimes sad songs that paid homage to his momma and grandmother. Greg Pratt reminded us of a young Garth Brooks which bodes well for his career choice as he left college one degree short of graduation to the initial chagrin of his highly educated family. But, all's well that ends well and Pratt seems well on his way. Also, well of her way was the young Texan Harper Grace - the lone lady on stage this evening from the Lone Star state. She is prepping to drop a record with some amazing industry support behind her so you will be hearing more from this knockout very soon. A full band performance by Skyelor Anderson wrapped up a great night and proved the the sky is the limit for the Heartstrings Foundation and we can't wait to do it all over again next month on Second Avenue.


Songs On 2nd will return to the Wildhorse Saloon in October and November.

Related Links: For more information on SONGS ON 2ND and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Heartstrings Foundation | Wildhorse Saloon

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