Clay Walker Showing How It’s Done At 3rd & Lindsley

Put one classic Nashville venue and one classic
country music hit maker and artist to throw a benefit show together, and
you’ll have a night guaranteed to end up in the music history book of
perfection.   That is what happened Wednesday
night at 3rd & Lindsley when Clay Walker held his
seventh annual benefit for Band Against MS and Multiple Sclerosis
research at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
The once quarterback football player gave everyone
caboom for their greenbacks with his entertaining showmanship – or may I
say cowboyship – from beginning till end.  Before his segment of the
night started though, there were two not so
unknown openers for him themselves in the shapes of Craig Campbell and
Joe Nichols.  Nichols was the first to enter the stage along with two
guitarists and singers who also blended high pitched harmony very well
accompanying Nichols’s smooth baritone.  It
was an unplugged and intimate feel to the performance, which started
with his hits “Yeah” and “That Girl”, and the living room concert
feeling in its broader sense carried all the way to the expected and
beloved “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” – all to
the crowd’s sing-a-long contentment.  He also gave us all a special
treat with his new single “Undone”, which is being released to radio
this coming Monday.
Country music fans care about not only hearing
songs about the genre typical two L’s (liquor and love), but also about
topics discussing divine matters and that was proven when the famous pin
could be heard dropped during Craig Campbell
the one-man band-with-only-a-guitar performance of “Outskirts Of
Heaven” – a song about where he wants to live when he dies.  He also had
another crowd pleaser in “Fish”, which plays with metaphors that plant
themselves in your imagination.

the main attraction of the night nothing was spared in visuals and
musical and entertaining excellence.  Clay Walker is high energy
personified and gave 3
rd &
Lindsley’s music lovers a show leaving everyone feeling they just went
to an arena concert complete with background videos and all.  His
musicians had fun on stage too and looked like they were playing each
song for the very first time.  

Walker was rockin’ da house is a clear understatement, because there
was not a soul in the room whose attention he did not get.  Walker
started his high powered one and
a half hour set out with “Little Miss Whiskey” and “Live, Laugh, Love”,
which turned the party up seven notches in an instant.  Then the crowd
did not miss a beat singing the entire chorus of “If I Could Make A
Living”, because even when the band completely
stopped playing, the audience was on time and in tune.  An audience by
the way that was comprised of mostly Nashvillians, but Californians and
Buckeyes (Ohioans) cheerfully acknowledged their presence too when the
hosts Tige and Daniel from the radio station
The Big 98 asked before the show started.  Many of the attendees were
huge Clay Walker fans which was proven when the Beaumont, Texas native
started throwing merchandise out and one lady caught a t-shirt and held
it fondly – hugging it as if embracing a loved
one.  Another gentleman by the front of the stage was rewarded with a
towel after he emphatically sang along with and distinctively waved his
arm to reinforce every word of “What’s It To You”, Walker’s first no.
one hit song.  The entire show felt like one,
big chain of hit songs – and was too, because he has so far had eleven
songs that have reached number one.  Not one hit can be mentioned above
the other, really, but when Walker sang “Live Until I Die”, that song in
its MS benefit context took on a deeper
meaning, especially since Walker himself was diagnosed with MS in
1996.  He had some special, invited VIP guests as well, where one was a
doctor from Vanderbilt.  Vanderbilt’s MS research is one of the
beneficiaries of the benefit.  All in all, the night of
Texas showmanship ended with everyone in a great mood and I could even
hear voices singing Clay Walker songs out on the streets of Nashville as
the crowd went to their respective cars, taxis, shuttles, homes or into
the buzzing Nashville night.

Shelley Ridge for Country Music News International Magazine

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