Nobody respected a song more than Kent Finlay. The first time I met him was in 1999. He’d just recently reopened his famed Cheatham Street Warehouse and was in the process of reaffirming the atmosphere and dynamics that he’d fostered for so many years. Weekly songwriter nights were a blend of professional and amateur. But, each lyric, note and artist received the same bent ear from Kent. He didn’t care who you were or what you were about as long as you respected the song. It was always for the sake of the song. He’d nearly driven himself bankrupt for the sake of the song. It was all that mattered.
Watching Kent reign over CSW as a young college student first immersing myself in Texas Music on a large scale made a deep impression on me. Being quiet at a concert had never occurred to me until Kent tutored us by example on how to be reverent during a songwriter round. Through my expanding prism of Finlay proximity, I was able to watch Kent tutor a slew of young singer/songwriters. Guys and gals my age. Randy Rogers, Mark Sanders, Ryan Turner, Brandon Wayne Jones, Micah Harris, Angie McClure and many others from this time period come to mind. We all knew his George Strait resume, but not because he told us about it. We were witnessing how he worked first hand. It was a magical time. Kent always made people feel that way though.
Closing out each songwriter night with … Keep Reading