A Look Into Tin Pan featuring Allison Barrett


Allison Asks

A Look Into Tin Pan

A Blog Series By: Allison Barrett

Hey everybody!  Thank you for coming back for this month’s Allison Asks.  I’m taking this month off from interviewing someone so I can give you a recap of Tin Pan South and the NSAI festivities from my point of view (of course pictures included!)  I used to attend Tin Pan South with my friend, Jenna, before working at NSAI, but it’s always fun to be on the staff side now.  I hope you find this as much fun as I hoped you might!


For those who know my cat, Dinosaur, she was excited to be spending Tin Pan week with her grandparents in Kentucky.  I however, was so glad to be back to the office because I knew so many of you would be stopping by and we had the Member Hang at Bobby’s Idle Hour Monday evening.  We love going over there for Smokin’ On The Row, so I knew it would be a great spot to invite everyone to.  Over 100 members attended and it was so fun to meet so many people in person for the first time!



Giveaway slips also make great name tags! 


Tuesday was the first day of the Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival.  The weather was not the best, but it was not going to stop our party!  Quite literally, we moved a kickoff party with live music and a whole hog (thank you Peg Leg Porker for the yummy lunch!) into the building.  #NoRegrets




Then I headed over to my venue for the week, The Station Inn.  This was my second time working at this venue for Tin Pan.  I couldn’t wait – I love these people!  (Spoiler alert for Friday) I was so excited for both of my Tuesday shows.  We kicked off the week with a sold-out early show that included Tyler Braden who I have been following, so it was nice to hear some of his songs live.  Chase Beckham, Drew Kennedy, and HunterGirl also played.  They were all SO great and HunterGirl played a song called “Pretty Much” that was incredible!




The second show was really like hanging out with friends.  Mark Taylor was one of the first members I met at NSAI and he hosted a round with Jay Knowles, Leslie Satcher, and Danny Wells.  Jay is always a welcomed visitor at NSAI and Danny always makes sure to ask about Dinosaur when he sees me.  People really like when you ask about their kids, even if furry.  I am people haha!  There were so many great hits including three George Strait cuts from Danny, Jay, and Leslie.  “Check Yes Or No” was the first of many group sing-a-longs for the week.  Also, I had never seen Leslie play, but I might be a little obsessed, but don’t tell her- shhh!  Overall, it was a great way to end the first day of shows. 


Wednesday I was getting all the last-minute touches ready for the Member Awards and two more fantastic shows, both sold-out.  You’ll start to see a theme with my venue for the week.  #HumbleBrag


The line-ups were stacked, but the most fun was seeing Tony Arata for the first time, while it was his first time playing Station Inn!  Lance Carpenter, Brennley Brown, and Larry Gatlin completed that round and Larry ended by playing a song he wrote in the green room before the show after mentioning that his surroundings are his co-writers.  The late show featured Brock Butler, Kat Higgins, John Morgan, and Wynn Varble….with names like that, need I say more?? :D




Thursday was THE DAY!  I had the honor of hosting the NSAI Member Awards this year and I will speak for everyone when I say the Membership Team could not have been more excited to hand all of you your medallions.  I still don’t think I’ve had the complete excitement of the morning sink in, but of course I am already thinking of ways to top it.  I think my favorite part was the performances.  It was so great to watch Milestone recipients play their songs after having major career achievements and Song of the Year winners played the songs that were chosen after many rounds of judging.  We had a few pro performances too that were extra special surprises.  Frank Myers and Lisa Harless sing “You and I” together often so we thought it was only right to have them do a surprise duet after she accepted the NSAI Champion Award.  Jay Knowles – remember him from my Tuesday show?  Yes, this was an incredibly hard surprise to keep!  We flew in his friend Trent Summar to play and thankfully they were able to spend the rest of the day together.  Trent, if you are reading this, you were incredibly fun to scheme with!


Then there was Lisa Boullt.  She called me Wednesday and we talked about how we are both 2s on the Enneagram Personality Test and receiving praise isn’t our thing.  Well, not only did we surprise her with Jessi Alexander, who was incredibly sweet making sure she had every detail right to make this perfect for Lisa, but Lisa’s whole crew was able to come celebrate her!  She said to me, “you know 2s don’t like attention” so naturally I was looking for her in the crowd when Bart brought me on stage for recognition and I was cringing haha!




But seriously, thank you to everyone who has sent kind notes and feedback!  Also, if you have pictures of yourself/friends at the awards I would LOVE to see them!


That night I was able to sit back and enjoy the shows and thank goodness I was because once again we had a night of sold-out awesomeness.  The first round was Terri Jo Box, Jim Collins, CJ Field, and Trick Savage.  So many Ashley McBryde cuts!!  The second show was Jamie Floyd, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jamie O’Neal, and Stephony Smith.  This show was extra special to me because Carolyn and Jamie O’Neal played together on the Girls Night Out tour with Reba, Martina, and Sara Evans that I saw when I was eight years old, so things really came full circle. 




Friday things got wild when I made it to the venue.  At 4:30 Bart showed up and said I was going to be on the 5 o’clock news.  This was a first for me.  I don’t camera, but my crew of venue volunteers said I did, so alright haha!  The first show was a round of fresh talent and it was awesome! McCall Chapin, Callista Clark, Kayley Green, and MaRynn Taylor, you were wonderful!  The late show was Preston Reed, Rob Snyder, and Buddy Brock.  Buddy played “Watermelon Crawl” and it was everything I had waited for all week haha!




After the show wrapped, I ran into a small situation with my car keys missing.  The Station Inn staff was so great and helped me retrace my steps and look.  With no luck I made a plan for the night, but thankfully the keys made it back to me.  I went to let the owner know and to my surprise they had the entire staff playing music in their small back office.  They were great!!!  After it was all over and things were fine, I was kind of glad that it happened so I could see that!


Saturday wrapped up Seminar and the festival.  Lance Cowan, Irene Kelley, Fred Koller, and Buddy Mondlock played the early show and Marty Funderburk, Deanna Bryant, and Marla Cannon-Goodman wrapped up the late show.  This was fun because Marty had never played a round and Deanna had never played at the Station Inn.  The staff went for a little post festival celebration and then we all went home to sleep!




A big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped us this week!  Also, thanks to the Station Inn crew for being my venue family for the week.  And for Tallie, the intern I turned Venue Coordinator, show photographer, and friend!  One of my volunteers said “this is like Christmas for songwriters” and she wasn’t wrong.