Urban Guy on the Road: Songwriter’s Showcase, Auburn, Alabama

Who knows where Urban Guy will turn up? I recently found myself in Auburn, Alabama. I’ve been there a few times before, but it was always in the fall and I was always wearing colors that elicited certain choice comments. Most of my memories there are painful.

Poisoned trees at Toomer’s Corner, Auburn

I’d never heard of Toomer’s Corner which apparently is home to the ritual of papering your own trees, which seems like an odd way to celebrate or blow off steam but, as I said, my colors are different, so what do I know? I did hear of them this spring when they were poisoned by the fan of another university ( Plea deal nixed for alleged Auburn tree poisoner ). To me, that seems even more stupid than papering your own trees, but what do I know?

War Eagle Supper Club, Auburn Alabama (drunk bus out front)

Supper Club, Auburn, Alabama

After checking out that now famous site I headed over to the Supper Club. This too is, apparently, a famous place of which I have never heard. When Playboy magazine ranked the top one hundred college town bars, this was one of them. I’m told it’s right there in one of the fine articles which attract a large male readership.

Kevin Clements introduces the opening act, Supper Club, Auburn, Alabama

Reid Manning sings, Kevin Clements plays a Clements composition

Kevin Clements, a songwriter from Monroeville (home of Harper Lee) organized the event to run the weekend and a certain Urban Woman and myself caught the Saturday action. Kevin introduced the acts and then took the stage himself playing guitar for his contemporary country songs while Reid Manning provided vocals.

Sugarcane Jane, The Supper Club, Auburn, Alabama

One act that set the house on fire (and I invited to come to Knoxville: Urban Guy Promotions?) was Sugarcane Jane. Comprised of Anthony and Savana Lee Crawford, the couple performs original music written by Anthony who has performed with everyone from Neil Young to Steve Winwood. They remind me of Blue Mother Tupelo, who I really enjoy. If anything they bring a higher level of intensity to the stage than that duo, but the off-kilter harmonies and traditional sound are very similar. I loved them enough to buy their latest CD Alright With Me, which I’ve been playing to death for the last few days. I’m putting a video up that was recorded the night they opened for Randy Travis. The video quality isn’t great, but the music is clear and you’ll get an idea of how they sound – and come see them when I bring them to Knoxville!

Dirty Guv’nahs Sticker inside The Supper Club

It was during their set that I noticed a couple of bumper stickers that connected me right back to the hometown: The Dirty Guv’nahs was here! And I’m sure they kicked out the jams. It would be a fun place to see them. They are definitely taking over the world.

Jon Byrd performs at the Supper Club, Auburn, Alabama

Also playing, and a real attraction for me was Jon Byrd who currently lives in Nashville, is from Alabama and about whom I blogged when he played Preservation Pub right here in Knoxville. Got all that? It was great to see him, again, and to hear his pure country classic sound coupled with his intelligent lyrics. I’ve got his most recently released CD, plus one that’s not out, yet, that he passed to me in Knoxville. It’s very much worth checking out. I’m going to try to get him back to Knoxville, as well. Tony Lawson, are you reading? Blue Plate? I think so.