Sunday, September 11, 2022 at Kemba Live
Kemba Live is an indoor/outdoor multi-purpose concert venue located on the westside of the Arena District. The indoor concert seating capacity is ~2,200, while the outdoor seating capacity is ~5,200. The shows are predominately general admission, but seating is available for select shows or on a limited basis. Enjoy Mikey’s Late Nite Slice and a beer while parked on the lawn listening to your favorite band.
Megan Moroney opened up the evening with a stunning set. Megan is a young, petite, attractive, independent artist living in Nashville that is currently paving her own way through the country music scene. The singer, songwriter and guitarist, originally from Georgia, comes from a musical family. She had collaborated with her family but wasn’t quite sure about making a career out of it. It wasn’t until Chase Rice discovered her performing a few covers songs at a local sorority charity event that she new she had something special. He requested that she open up for him the following month under the condition she play at least one original song. She took the gig and her career has been on an upward trajectory since. She is currently opening up for the likes of Blackberry Smoke, Jamey Johnson and Larry Fleet. Megan is a true country star on the rise!
Seeing Blackberry Smoke or Jamey Johnson perform on any given night is a great night. Seeing them both perform in the same evening alongside newcomer Megan Moroney is just ridiculously awesome! The Atlanta based band was formed in 2000 and went on to have four albums that placed within the top 5 on the Country Billboard Chart (and four within the top 50 on the US Billboard Chart). They have toured with bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Eric Church, Guns N Roses, and Jamey Johnson to name a few. In my opinion, even with all of those accolades, Blackberry Smoke does not get the mainstream attention that they really deserve. The band has no apparent weaknesses and lays it all out there on stage. This tour is a bit notable due a tragedy that struck Blackberry Smoke back in August. Drummer and Brother Brit Turner suffered a serious heart attack. He was able to make it to the hospital in time to receive medical treatment and he is currently recovering. The band decided to continue the tour performing full acoustic sets. While this is terrible news for the band, it was special to see them perform acoustically. Personally, I do like their acoustic sound a little more than the straight-up electric guitar versions. It just never ceases to amaze me how a bunch of people jamming on acoustics can take over a person’s heart and soul. And it’s not an easy feat to throw down those southern rock electric guitar solos on an acoustic – and made it look easy. Another crowd pleaser moment was when Jamey Johnson joined them on stage to perform ‘Lonesome for a Livin‘, a song inspired by the great George Jones. If you are unfamiliar with Blackberry Smoke, I encourage you to check out one of their acoustic sessions here. Get well Brit!
Nine time Grammy Award nominee Jamey Johnson is a modern day outlaw in terms of country music. Think of country in the style of Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. However, Jamey’s style has a much larger, more modern sound built on top of that original ‘outlaw’ country sound that we know and love. In addition to writing his own material, he has co-written songs with Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Trace Adkins, George Strait, James Otto, Joe Nichols and Jessie James Decker. Jamey’s most notable song, In Color, debuted with his second album, That Lonesome Song, and has been certified gold. I’m definitely a guitar guy and the thing I enjoyed most about this performance was Jamey’s artistic, expressive acoustic guitar solos. Most often a lead guitarist is jamming/shredding by playing standard blues and rock scale patterns with nothing particularly special or signature. However, Jamey’s solos take on a life of their own. The music takes back seat and completely revolves around these expressive solos. They are incredibly authentic and raw. And a big shout out to the backing band which created that larger, modern sound. The backing band is comprised of a slide guitarist, bass guitar, two electric guitarists, drums, piano/keys, a horn section, and female backup vocals. Jamey’s last album was released in 2012. He has admitted that he has trouble writing new material following an incident in which he slipped on ice and hit his head. I genuinely hope that he overcomes these lingering effects and can put out some new material in the future. He is one-of-a-kind artist in the world of country music!