Tuesday, July 23, 2019

From humble beginnings ... Avenue Beat Freaking ROCKS!

July 23, 2019

Dear Savanna, Sami and Sam,

Geesh. You are THIS big already? You've just signed a major deal with a major label with the same group that has Sheryl Crow? You are releasing new music soon? You've already been in Nashville for .... three years?

Big things already. With massive potential ahead. Three girls from little old Quincy, about to hit the big-time, about to unleash to the world what we've known for a long, long time - Avenue Beat is a massively talented force of nature.

But. Take a deep breath. And remember all the little people who helped you along the way, like the 6-foot-7 guitar teacher and wife at that music store in downtown Quincy. And his drummer and keyboard friend, and his roadie friend, and his pilot friend, and a bunch of others.

Remember the first time we met? It was at the Adams County Fairgrounds. It was ... holy shit. FIVE YEARS AGO? Or maybe it was six. I can't remember what I had for breakfast or how we got home from the last Cheeseburgers gig, though that's another story.

Remember how there were a bunch of karaoke singers at that fairgrounds country showdown contest? You guys and Liz Bentley were the only ones who didn't sing to tracks. I think you guys won but I had Liz and you tied for first. Wait a second ... I was a judge at that danged thing. Now I remember. I think.

Remember how we played for the first time one Halloween night at One's open mic night (Monster Mash. Epic. There is probably still a YouTube video around). Remember how I told Sami to point the mic at her mouth, not her knees? Remember when Savanna put her capo on the 12th fret at a show and I had a heart attack?

Remember the time we went to Nashville and I actually got to play with Avenue Beat during CMA Festival week in a bar that is now closed? How I slept on the hotel floor? How Sami's mother laughed when I suggested she wear cowboy boots? Flip flops or death, baby.

Remember when we got to the bar and got ready and there were like 10 people in there, and Sam looked up at me with that sweet innocent face and said, "Mr. Hart, I forgot my capo at the hotel. Can I borrow yours?" Every song has a capo somewhere and I had to do the math for an hour and I GOT TIRED. But it was fun. And remember how the room was packed by the time you got done? Not bad, for a noon show on a Friday.

Also, we didn't eat inside Panda Express on the way home and we wrote a song, and Sam showed me the wonders of SnapChat. Which I still don't do. Or ever will.

Remember when you played at Second String Music, your first paid gig? It was at Christmas, if I remember right. Remember when The Quincy Country Club asked you to play and they didn't pay you and how I freaked out and said, "Never again. For now on, you get at least this much to play." Do you? It still took a while to realize what you were worth.

I know you are humble and you know your roots. I know you will never have a problem with forgetting where you came from. But know this - if you ever do get too big for your britches, Captain Tim Smith and his three amigos are flying down the Nashville immediately and setting you straight.

Anyway, we are beyond proud and grateful we know our girls from the Q-Town. You are destined for great things. Maybe Adam Yates and I can open for you some day - our little band 1/5 & Maine just got done making an album at 505 Studios on the second floor of our building, eight original songs, and it's going to be waaayyy cool. Adam wrote a country song and I even played my Telecaster country style, but don't say that too loud because I do have somewhat of a reputation, shoddy as it may be.

And I hope you come back to Quincy at some point and hang out. Not that you being 21 now has anything to do with it. Ahem. Also, you wouldn't want to come back on Saturday, Nov. 23, my 55th birthday, when we have our annual Saturday Before Thanksgiving party at Second String Music. Nah. That wouldn't be fun at all.

If you do, maybe you can show me how to use a capo and sing into the microphone, just for old time's sake.

Remember your last ever show in Quincy? What fun!

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