I spent over 30 years of my life in the spotlight's fringe performing for country music's elite on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry--playing piano for some very famous backsides. When circumstances changed, I was at a loss. I wondered what I should do next. Then it came to me. Change the view!
So, here I am. After all these years, I've recorded my own album Buy This Piano A Drink. I played the music I wanted to play; the way I wanted to play it. It felt good, and I make no apologies. There is something for everyone on this album. I guarantee it.
Thank you to the people I've met along the way on this musical journey of mine who believed in me and encouraged me beyond belief....a very special thank you to Springer Mountain Farms and Two Rivers Campground who made this album possible through their sponsorship. Without their help, this music would only be in my head. I am a very blessed man...and I am so, so grateful.
Thank you for taking the time to come to my website and learn about my music, and if you purchase a copy, I hope you enjoy listening to this album. I gave it my best shot. It's who I am. It's what I do. It's how I roll.
Two Rivers Campground | www.TwoRiversCampground.com
1. Buy This Piano A Drink
When I told my friend Dennis Morgan I was about to record my first CD, he said, “Son, we have to get together and write!” I wasn't about to argue. Dennis is a member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame and has written hit songs for Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and Aretha Franklin; as well as, #1 singles for Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, Sylvia and many, many other country greats.
We discussed the fact that through the years I played piano for just about everyone in the business. I was blessed. And while I played most of that piano on The Grand Ole Opry stage, I played a wide variety of music for artists of all genres including Barry Gibb, Lisa Marie Presley and Michael McDonald. I've played hurtin' songs, cheatin' songs, gospel songs, honky-tonk songs and boogie-woogie songs. It only seemed right that the PIANO is the real star of this album. Since I was a young man, the piano has been the real star of my life.
As I selected the rest of the songs for this project, it became apparent that Buy This Piano A Drink was the title cut of the album, because the piano breathes life into the variety of music you'll find on this project...music for every emotion..
This song is one of two songs that I co-wrote for this album.
2. One Bad Old Mem'ry
Grand Ole Opry legend Jeannie Seely has been an amazing friend to me over the years. Recently I was over at Jeannie's house, and we were rehearsing for an “intimate evening show” that we were performing together—just Jeannie, me and a grand piano.
Out of the blue Jeannie says she had a song she wanted me to hear; it was a song she had written years ago, and no one had ever recorded it. When she started to sing it to me, my jaw dropped open, and my eyes just about popped out of my head. It was a country shuffle...a GREAT country shuffle!
I had already chosen the songs I was going to record for the album—the only thing that was missing was the kind of music I grew up listening to...reminiscent of those good ole Ray Price classics.
Well needless to say, I found my country shuffle, and when Jeannie agreed to sing harmony on the recording, well, that was just the icing on the cake.
3. Bottle of Tears
Many years ago, I heard this song on a Gene Watson album. It has such a great line in it: I'll battle my way to the top, and I'll bottle my way to the bottom. Although Watson never made the song a single, and years later confided to me that the song wasn't one of his favorites, this song spoke to me. I knew from the first moment I heard it, that I would one day record it...and I have. I hope it speaks to you too.
4. All I Ever Need Is You
This song was a top ten record for Sonny and Cher in 1971, but it took Kenny Rogers and Dottie West to take it to the top of the music charts in 1979. Dottie West was one of Jeannie Seely's best friends, and since Jeannie agreed to sing a duet with me on my new project, I thought it would be nice if we recorded a song in honor of her dear friend.
As we recorded this song in the studio, words can't describe how cool it was to see Jeannie in the vocal booth next to me. I knew I was in tall cotton. I was recording this song with a Grammy Award winner who just happened to be a great friend of mine.
5. Ol' What's His Name
The music business can be one of two things to a country artist: It can be glorious, or it can be cruel. Too many times, I've seen shining stars fade into obscurity, and once you've caught a piece of that spotlight, fading can be a painful process. It can break your heart.
This instrumental might appear to some to be an interesting choice for this album. But I cut my teeth on country music during a time when most country shows featured an instrumental or two. Although this song has lyrics written by Leon Russell, it has a jazz feel...and that's the way I played it. In fact, I asked the drummer to cut off the click track when we recorded Masquerade. I wasn't striving for perfection on this piece, I was striving for “feel” and for remembering a time in music where we weren't so worried about commercial success. We played for the sheer joy of playing.
What can I say? This song hits closer and closer to home every day. I believe every album needs some comic relief, and this is that relief.
8. Route 66
When I played Ralph Emery's Morning Show on television, Ralph would ask me to sing this song...a lot! This Nat King Cole classic kind of became my signature song for that show. I like it because it allows me to stretch out on piano. I rarely play this song the same way twice.
9. That's How I Roll
I co-wrote this piano scorcher with Brent Ronen who co-produced this album with me. I've always marched to the beat of a different drummer. Whenever I approach life a little left of center, I make no apologies. Instead I say, “That's who I am. That's what I do. That's how I roll.” This song has been writing itself from the day I was born.
10. The Clown
The Clown is probably my favorite song of all time. It takes a lot out of me to sing this ballad with emotion. Probably the greatest compliment I've ever received was from a fan who wrote: This song used to be a Conway Twitty song. It's a Tim Atwood song now. All I can say to that is...wow!
11. Don't The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time
Every piano player worth his or her salt, has played this song one time or another. When I was 18 years old, I was asked to play piano on this song for Mickey Gilley while he sang in a club in Peoria, Illinois. Years later, I played for Mickey here in Nashville—on several occasions. The thrill is still the same. I hope you enjoy my rendition. It's a lot like Mickey's. There's no since messin' with perfection. I have more FUN playing this song than any other song I play.
12. Since I Fell For You
Love the classics of all genres...always have...always will. This is the kind of song you play when you want to make babies—or at least practice making babies!
13. What A Great Day That Will Be
When I was growing up, I idolized my Uncle Tommy Atwood. Uncle Tommy is a member of The Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame. When I was a boy, Uncle Tommy sang tenor for The Florida Boys. I'd sit in the wings and watch him perform. It was the first time I realized you could make a living playing music. I knew that I wanted to do that too.
I believe EVERY country album should include a gospel number. I knew that if I ever recorded an album, I'd record one of Uncle Tommy's songs. A finer Christian I've yet to meet. Uncle Tommy wrote What A Great Day That Will Be—an uplifting get-up-and-get-it song of praise. Whenever I sing it, I think of him and his love for God and Jesus Christ—a love we share.
14. You Are So Beautiful
I recorded this song bare bones—just me and a piano. It is a gift to my wife Roxane. I sang it to her on our wedding day. Hey, I'm a lot of things—including a romantic.