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