Photo credit: Peyton Hoge
Last night, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium was packed with a sold-out show. Within the hallowed walls was the 12th Annual Stars For Second Harvest Concert, hosted by acclaimed songwriter Craig Wiseman.
The show featured performances from Blake Shelton, Chris Lane and Kane Brown, with a special songwriters round featuring Wiseman, Josh Osbourne and Shane McAnally. The mission of the show was simple… to raise as much money as possible for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee.
“You know, in the music industry, you’re exposed to all charities and there’s some really good ones. But I got around them. The first time I went down there, Jaynee Day, the lady who runs it, she’s down there in t-shirt and sweats, throwing cans of green beans and stuff,” Wiseman told Sounds Like Nashville of his choice to support the food bank. “It’s not a bunch of overpaid executives sitting in a high-rise somewhere that spend half their money raising more money. It really is about their mission. Their mission is to feed people, run everything has efficiently as possible. They’re smart. They started canning their own soups instead of throwing things away.”
The show kicked off with Wiseman, Osborne and McAnally playing a round of songs they had each had a hand in writing. Osborne sang Sam Hunt’s “Leave The Night On,” Keith Urban’s “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go Round.” McAnally performed Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” after talking about how his sister and mom inspired the track. He also covered Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids” and a song he had written with Osbourne and Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen called “Fuzzy,” after a night out drinking.
The round was filled with numerous stories from the three songwriters, with one of the best coming from Osbourne. He told the packed crowd about how he, McAnally and Jennifer Nettles flew to Los Angeles to write with Jennifer Lopez (who is the “nicest person” and cooked the crew dinner herself). The writing session concluded with the creation of “My House,” featured on Nettles new Playing With Fire album. He ended his story by saying that not many people know the song yet so he wasn’t going to play it and that he just wanted to tell the story. He then played Urban’s “John Cougar.”
After the conclusion of the writers round, newcomer Kane Brown took the stage. He began with the song “Wide Open,” from his Chapter 1 EP. His three-song set wrapped with his debut single, “Used to Love You Sober.” The crowd, who seemed to be unfamiliar with the rising star, sat in amazement as they listened to his deep, crooner voice and many later Googled his name.
Chris Lane then took the stage to perform his songs “Saturday Night” and his Top 15 hit “Fix.” Just as he was saying goodbye to the audience, Wiseman joined him onstage and encouraged Lane to perform a medley he does in his normal set – once laced with numerous boy band and current pop songs. Handed a glitter, light-up fedora, Lane happily obliged and covered songs including *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye,” Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” and The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.”
The night’s headliner Blake Shelton finally emerged onstage for his acoustic, one-man show. He briefed the audience by joking, “I’ve been drinking and there’s a chance some of these songs will be screwed up. But oh well, I’m playing this show for free.” His set included hits “Ol’ Red,” “Sangria,” “Home” and “Austin.” After playing numerous ballads, he asked “Are all my songs slow? I’m getting depressed singing my own songs.”
The Oklahoma native went on to thank Wiseman for inviting him out to the show and for penning some of his biggest hits, including his most recent No.1, “Came Here to Forget.” After his thank yous, he invited Wiseman out on stage for his final song of the night, “Boys ‘Round Here,” another song penned by the famed songwriter.