Music Industry News Network [10-27-2017]

Bluebird Cafe Kicks Off Documentary Campaign



In the midst of celebrating its 35th anniversary, Nashville's iconic Bluebird Cafe is kicking off an ambitious Indiegogo campaign to fund Bluebird: The Movie, an in-depth documentary about the influence the tiny 90-seat venue has had on singers, songwriters and popular music in general. The campaign began Tuesday, October 17, 2017 here and will run through November 20.

Known for originating the songwriter "In The Round" concept, the careers of numerous artists and songwriters have been launched from the small stage. Budding songwriters view the Bluebird as a "field of dreams" of sorts, traveling from all over the world and waiting in line for hours to audition for the chance to perform one minute of one song on a Monday open mic night.

Garth Brooks, Kathy Mattea and Taylor Swift were discovered playing there, and producers, artists and A&R folks heard countless songs performed for the first time that became huge hits for many artists. The club still has the original audition applications filled out by Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban and others.

Brooks was back at the Bluebird Monday night with songwriters who wrote or co-wrote some of the megastar's biggest hits. Pat Alger, Tony Arata, Kent Blazy and Victoria Shaw shared stories and traded verses and harmonies with Garth on songs like "The River," "Ain't Going Down," "The Thunder Rolls," "The Dance" and more. Garth made a challenge to the packed room that he and the songwriters would match any donation to the documentary campaign made during the show.

Hit songwriters Casey Beathard ("How 'bout Them Cowgirls," "Find Out Who Your Friends Are," "Like A Wrecking Ball,") Liz Hengber ("For My Broken Heart," "It's Your Call,") Mark Irwin ("Here In The Real World," "Highway Don't Care," "Redneck Crazy,") and Kim Richey ("Every River," "Just My Luck") all worked as servers, bartenders and/or hosts at the Bluebird while honing their crafts.

Fans from across the globe pack the well-worn seats two shows a night virtually every night of the week to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars, hear stories behind popular songs and see "the next big thing." The line of music lovers waiting hours for overflow seats is often equal to or greater in number than those fortunate enough to have reservations.

"The Bluebird Cafe truly is one of those 'if these walls could talk' venues, where history is made," said Bluebird GM Erika Wollam Nichols, who worked as a server and bartender in the club during her college years. "The room is small and it's crowded - but that proximity creates an intimacy where the writers and the audience are all 'in it together.' It's an emotional experience to be that close to the song, and both the writers and the audience can feel fact, that energy is captured in the very walls of the venue. For songwriters, the fact that the audience listens is inspirational. For the audience, the chance to hear the soul and the story behind the song is life changing. We hope to capture all of that magic on film through this campaign."

Talent confirmed to appear in the documentary includes Garth Brooks, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Jason Isbell, Kathy Mattea, Brothers Osborne, Hunter Hayes, Maren Morris, Pam Tillis, the cast of "Nashville" and almost every hit songwriter imaginable.

Nichols is producing the movie with director Brian Loschiavo and DP Jeff Molyneaux of Riverside Entertainment. Shanna Strassberg, Kathryn Schwarz, Retta Hatfield and Katie Kauss are co-producers , and Brian Kaplan, VP Marketing at EM.Co, is managing the Indiegogo campaign with Sarah Moore and Emily Levin of Solo Media.

For additional information on The Bluebird Cafe and the various events celebrating the 35th anniversary, visit
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