Shawn Mullins & Chuck Cannon- The Backstage View
I haven't been able to sleep since I had the opportunity to sing on stage with one of my all time favorite Singer/Songwriters, Grammy Award Nominee Shawn Mullins.
As Drew and I approached the dressing room door, A bright eyed and smiling Shawn was there to greet us,inviting my son Drew and I backstage about an hour before the show. Shawn's big breakthrough song "Lullaby" skyrocketed him to fame in the 90's. He had several other big hits, including "Beautiful Wreck", and "All In My Head" which was featured on the television series "Scrubs."
He gave us the royal treatment, offering beverages, introducing us to his fantastic band, and speaking candidly about the music industry, and past experiences. I still can't get over how down to earth he was, how he told us interesting stories about being on the road, spending time with his son, songwriting, and the life of the modern day songwriter.
Shawn introduced me to his great band. Tom Ryan, Bass player,songwriter and vocalist, otherwise known as "Panda". Panda had an infectious smile, and was full of energy. A powerful vocal performer and what about that Bass!
Radoslav Lorkovic, otherwise known as Rad, Keyboardist, Squeezebox, Songwriter and vocalist, was also an amazing performer. I sat and talked to him quite a while backstage about the heavy tour schedule over the next couple weeks, and how we both shared the keyboard experience.
Then Shawn introduced us to Chuck Cannon, A name I've been familiar with for many many years, as an amazing songwriter out of Nashville. Chuck said on stage, chuckling, "I'm a world famous songwriter....That's why nobody knows who I am."
As a fellow songwriter, I gave them each a CD of mine from 1998, and before I left, I had purchased a CD from each of them as well.
We talked about the music industry today, how songwriting used to be a profitable business, and how streaming has changed the face of the music industry. They talked about touring, and just about people we may have known in common. We talked about how to keep your voice as a performer. We talked about meeting other artists...some that you wish you never met, and some that are as kind and down to earth as these guys were to us.
Shawn then asked me what I wanted to sing with him. I said, "Beautiful Wreck"...He said "You know Beautiful Wreck? Awesome! Let's do it." There was no rehearsal, just a quick chat about it. Then Shawn sat down at a table and started writing out his set list, showing me where I would be singing towards the end of the show, and told me when to be ready.
I felt so comfortable backstage with this kind group of guys...All experienced...all my age....Yes...they've had much more success than I, but at heart, we all share the same feelings towards our art...there's something about that backstage time...that onstage feeling of participation with the crowd...the feeling that we all know what it's like to sit for hours...trying to write your feelings down on paper...something you can only share with others who embrace the same experience.