Third Annual Alzheimer’s Research Raffle at Turtle Bay Raises $1650

Turtle Baybes Didi Stovall and Mardi Johnson.

Turtle Baybes Didi Stovall and Mardi Johnson.

The fundraiser raffle at Turtle Bay on Sunday netted $1650 for Alzheimer’s research.

This year was the third annual raffle to raise money for  the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Association, which was organized by “Turtle Baybe” Mardi Johnson. For those who do not know, Turtle Bay is the sister bar to Spirits on Bourbon.

See Also: Spirits on Bourbon Owners Help Raise More Than $8,000 for Breast Cancer Awareness

Mardi is a long-time patron to Turtle Bay. She along with several of her friends have named themselves as the “official” Turtle Baybes krewe here at the bar.

Numerous prizes were awarded to raffle winners. Several prizes were to be won, including Turtle Bay merchandise and gift certificates. Several people came to show their support for Alzheimer’s research and gratuitously donated their hard-earned money for a good cause.

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease and there is no known cure. The disease is not very well understood, but the disease eventually leads to death, although it can take years. Researcher’s estimate that one in 85 people globally will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s by the year 2050. One of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s is long-term memory loss.

Mardi was extremely grateful. “It is because of people like yourselves that an answer to the riddle called Alzheimer’s will be solved much sooner than later,” she said.

Turtle Bay owners Steve Smith and Brad Bohannan were equally as grateful for the turnout, which included several dozen patrons. Smith and Bohannan–who matched 20 percent of the raffle earnings–both champion causes such as this.

A grand total of $1,200 was raised from the raffle itself, plus $150 from her donation page, and then add another $300 contributed by the Turtle Bay owners.

“Thanks to Mardi Johnson and her Krewe of Turtle Baybes, everyone had a great time for a very worthy cause,” Smith said. “This is the third year Mardi chose Turtle Bay to hose her fundraiser and we are proud to help in raising money for Alzheimer’s. Mardi works hard all year long and collects prizes from area businesses to support her efforts. Thanks to Mardi, and our generous neighbors and patrons, this was another very successful charity event. We are just proud to be a part of it.”

Brad weighs in. “We have been blessed with the ability to help raise money for some great charities,” he said. “Not a day goes by with me not realizing how fortunate I am. I feel it’s an obligation to give back.” The money raised–$1,650-may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the grand scheme of things. However, this is one of many charity events that raise money for Alzheimer’s research. Because the disease is still much of a mystery, every penny sent to research helps.

More work needs to be done. And even though the raffle has ended, you could still donate towards Alzheimer’s research by going to Mardi Johnson’s donation page.

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo.

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo. – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=637#sthash.ZyTfGncx.dpuf

 

 

Spirits on Bourbon Owners Help Raise More Than $8,000 for Breast Cancer Awareness – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=637#sthash.y132sQeI.dpuf

Spirits on Bourbon Owners Help Raise More Than $8,000 for Breast Cancer Awareness

Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith (far right) and Brad Bohannan (second from left) raised more than $8,000 last Saturday for Michelle's Place Breast Cancer Resource Center.

Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith (far right) and Brad Bohannan (second from left) raised more than $8,000 last Saturday for Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center.

Much of the money raised to battle cancer is thrown at research to help us better understand and eradicate such an illness. But until medical advancements become commonplace, organizations like Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center help patients fight the more day-to-day ordeals by providing practical support.

The fight extends to Spirits on Bourbon owners Brad Bohannan and Steve Smith, who hosted a fundraiser at Bohannan’s house last Saturday evening. A myriad of songwriters and performers such as Jim Moose Brown came to the benefit. A silent auction was held. All total, the benefit raised more than $8,000 in donations for breast cancer support.

See Also: Spirits Owners Help Raise Over $5,000 For Breast Cancer Awareness at Reality Rally

Earlier this year, Bohannan and Smith were invited to Temecula, California to participate in Reality Rally, an annual event that pits reality TV stars against each other in an obstacle course-style race. The event is organized by Gillian Larson, a contestant from the hit series Survivor: Gabon. Because of Bohannan’s and Smith’s appearance on Spike TV’s Bar Rescue, they were invited to attend in April. Other contestants included stars from TV shows such as Big Brother and The Biggest Loser. At this event, Bohannan and Smith helped raise $5,000 for the Michelle’s Place.

“It was a group effort with help from our great friends, family and vendors,” Bohannan says of last Saturday’s event. “Without them we could not have did this. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Both Bohannan and Smith got to visit Michelle’s Place last year to see the kind of impact it made to the community.

On the event Smith said: “We had a chance to meet the staff there and Michelle’s family. It inspired us to do whatever we could to help. Saturday night’s event was all about helping and giving to a worthy cause. Thanks to the incredible musicians, volunteers and enormous generosity of our guests as we were able to raise over $8,000 for Michelle’s Place.”

Larson got wind of the results of the event and was blown away. “I bow in gratitude to them and their donors,” Larson said. “Thank you, thank you.”

Below are some photos from the event last Saturday night.

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michelles-place-benefit3-560pxThe fight against breast cancer does not end or begin with us. Anyone can make a difference no matter how large or small. Please help with the fight against breast cancer and other forms of cancer and donate to your favorite charity.

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo.

 

Spirits Owners Help Raise Over $5,000 For Breast Cancer Awareness at Reality Rally – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=308#sthash.RWkTmy6N.dpuf

Turtle Bay Makes the Cover of PMQ Pizza Magazine

We always knew that our pizza would be recognized for greatness. Owners Brad Bohannan, left, and Steve Smith, right.

We always knew that our pizza would be recognized for greatness. Turtle Bay owners Brad Bohannan, left, and Steve Smith, right. Picture courtesy of PMQ Pizza Magazine.

Spirits on Bourbon‘s sister bar, Turtle Bay, made the front cover of PMQ Pizza Magazine, the leading publication on the pizza industry in the U.S. Our story will be published in the upcoming October issue.

We always knew that our pizza was special. When you take a look at our new menu, our pizza says “world famous”. Why? Because it is. But now we made the next month’s issue of PMQ. Validated.

See Also: Check Out Our New Menu at Turtle Bay

Customers who come in often ask: “what’s good here?” The pizza of course. People have been coming here for just that prior to owners Brad Bohannan and Steve Smith.

“To have a magazine that is so well respected in the industry say you are the king of New Orleans is big and an honor,” said Brad.

Steve knows a thing or two about pizza. Growing up in Freehold, New Jersey (about 50 miles south of Brooklyn), he comes from high expectations for a quality pie.

“I grew up in New Jersey where people are very picky about their pizza. I knew if I was going to have pizza on the menu, it had better be good or I was going to sure hear about it from my friends and family from home,” Steve said.

The dough is hand-made and the sauce is made completely from scratch. Everything else, of course, is a secret.

Based in Oxford, Mississippi, PMQ Pizza Magazine is the pizza industry’s leading magazine started by Steve and Linda Green in 1997. Now the magazine publishes 10 times per year and maintains a large readership on their website, according to its Facebook page.

A sneak peek at the October issue of PMQ Pizza Magazine. Recognize anyone?

A sneak peek at the October issue of PMQ Pizza Magazine. Recognize anyone?

PMQ first paid us a visit in March but our story comes out next month in print and online. Do us a favor and check it out when it gets published. If you’re ever in the French Quarter and looking for good pizza, why not give us a try? We’re located at 1119 Decatur Street and we are open 24 hours a day.

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Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/#sthash.CnbEDp8o.dpuf

 

Check Out Our New Menu at Turtle Bay

Turtle-Bay-David-Minsky-560pxAll eyes may be on Spirits on Bourbon, but things are happening at our other bar. Some of you may have noticed that we have made some changes to the menu at Turtle Bay, our sister bar on Decatur Street.

It’s been nearly three years since we made the last change, adding a few items to the menu but otherwise kept it the same. This time we added a lot more items to the grub selection to the menu. Don’t worry, though, everything else we have had on the old menu is still there.

Here is a basic run-down of what’s new. We added two more types of cheese (Swiss and American) and added a Signature Specialty Burger selection. We even added a vegetarian option:

  • Swishroom Burger with Swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms
  • Three Cheese topped with American, Swiss and cheddar
  • Jalapeño and Cheddar Burger
  • Sweet Bacon and BBQ Burger with cheddar, bacon and BBQ sauce
  • Bacon Bleu Burger
  • Chili Cheeseburger Classic with chili and cheddar cheese
  • Buffalo Wing Burger topped with hot wing sauce and blue cheese dressing
  • Veggie Burger

We also expanded our wing flavors, adding Honey BBQ and Thai sesame seed sauces. And salads? Yeah, we have more salad options, adding Caesar salad and buffalo chicken salads to the menu.

One more thing: we added beignet bites to our dessert options. For only $3.95, one order comes with three beignets topped with powdered sugar.

We didn’t make any changes to our pizza menu, but then again we didn’t need to! It’s just fine the way it is, for now.

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo

T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle Films an Episode at Spirits on Bourbon

Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith and Brad Bohannan get a visit from the cast of T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle earlier this week.

Spirits on Bourbon owners Steve Smith and Brad Bohannan get a visit from the cast of T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle earlier this week.

Last week we told you how busy we’ve been at Spirits on Bourbon over the summer with show business and all. Earlier this week we received a visit from the cast from <i>T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle</i> when they came to Spirits to film a portion of a new episode.

We can’t say much about what was filmed–as is par for the course with upcoming film projects–but it’s always humbling to know that TV shows want to film here. After all, who could resist our crazy shot chair?!

See Also: Spirits on Bourbon Summer Update

T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle is a reality TV show that follows the personal lives of rapper T.I., his wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle-Harris and their six children since T.I.’s release from federal incarceration in 2010. First airing on December 5, 2011, the show is already filming its fourth season.

Both T.I. and Tameka are singer-songwriters the entertainment industry. Both hailing from the state of Georgia, T.I. made his breakthrough with his second rap album <em>Trap Musik</em>–widely considered to be a heavy improvement over his first album, <em>I’m Serious</em>–release on August 19, 2003. Tameka herself is best known as one of the members of the multi-platinum R&B female group, Xscape. Both T.I. and Tiny have won several Grammy Awards throughout their careers.

Check out some more photos from T.I. and Tiny’s visit to Spirits.

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Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo

 

Watch a Saints Game at Turtle Bay, Get Free Beer–Until Points Are Scored

Free Bud Lights during any Saints games at Turtle Bay until either team scores first.

It’s time for another season of the New Orleans Saints at Turtle Bay.

There is nothing that makes you feel more incomplete than not having a cold beer in your hand while watching the New Orleans Saints. We have a solution: free Bud Light drafts during every Saints game at Turtle Bay until either team first puts points on the board.

The deal applies to only Bud Light and only during regulation play–beginning at kick-off–until either team scores the first touchdown, a field goal or safety.

Why are we doing this? Well our theory is the more beer you drink in the beginning before a point is scored, the more you will enjoy watching the game. But take heed: the deal could last a few only a few plays, the entire quarter or maybe until half-time or beyond. It happens.

This deal applies during the entire pre-season, regular season and (hopefully) post-season. We haven’t even finished celebrating the Saints’ win over the St. Louis Rams on August 8 and already we have another game this Friday with the Saints v. Titans. Check out the Saints official website for more information on their schedule. The pre-season has barely started; you have a long road ahead of you.

Whether you’re chilling out in the front bar, or kicking back in the courtyard, there will be free beer. And the brews are unlimited, in case if you’re wondering. But there is one catch: you have to finish the one you’re drinking to get the next beer. We’re not telling you how fast or how slow to drink, but proceed with caution and please drink responsibly. Bring a friend, bring all of your friends and have them bring their friend’s friends. Can we get a Who Dat?!

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo

 

 

 

 

 

Spirits on Bourbon Summer Update

Photo by David Minsky

Photo by David Minsky

Bourbon Street is a wild and crazy place. Equally as crazy is show business and that’s what has been keeping us on our toes for the entire summer here at Spirits on Bourbon. Here is a quick recap on what the summer has brought us so far.

It began in April with the return of Bar Rescue host and our friend Jon Taffer. It was just over a year since the debut of Spirits, so he came to check on us and see how we were doing. Taffer just released his new book titled Raise the Bar: An Action-Based Method For Maximum Customer Reactions. Of all places, he chose to do a book signing at Spirits on April 18. There is a reason why: because Spirits has been one of his most successful “bar rescues” since the show began.

Taffer’s return did not go unnoticed, but then again it wasn’t like he was trying to be incognito. During the book signing, almost the entire 600 block of Bourbon Street was swarmed with fans and passersby who wanted to catch a glimpse of the man himself. The media took notice and the news was widely circulated. From that event alone, we made the Broward Palm Beach New Times, The Gambit, The Times-Picayune and WGNO. It was a blow-out night and Taffer was pleased to see how far we have come in one year.

See Also: Jon Taffer’s Book Signing Last Friday Was a Huge Success

Shortly after Taffer’s return, Wrestlemania 30 came to town and we hosted a live podcast of the Chair Shot Reality Show with special guest and WWE star Matt Striker on April 24. We were honored to have both CSR and Striker choose us to host their show.

See Also: An Interview With WWE Wrestler Matt Striker: “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.”

Things got a little weird for a minute when WGSO AM radio hosts David and Mark Laville did a live broadcast of their show, The Paranormal Talk Show, from the Spirits courtyard on May 10. In a surveillance video recording an incident in the kitchen during the broadcast, some unseen force can be seen knocking a bottle of soda off the counter. Needless to say Ryan, our kitchen manager who is seen in the video, was a bit spooked.

Later that month, we had a brief visit from TLC’s Gypsy Sisters who wanted to film an episode at Turtle Bay, our sister bar on Decatur Street. They got word of our delicious crawfish boil and decided to pay us a visit. We can’t say much about what happened while they were here, but take it from us that things got a little crazy.

And speaking of crawfish, we are just about done with them. The season has been over for awhile but because we’re such ballers, we’ve had been able to extend the season–at least here at our bar–for an additional month and then some. Check out the mention we got from Vanessa Bolano’s piece she produced for WGNO.

We are also honored have a group from Entrepreneur’s Organization who were in town and decided to visit the bar in late May. The organization is composed of members across the globe who earn more than one million dollars in annual revenue. Members are not easily accepted. To become a member of such a prestigious group, one must be voted in. But we were nonetheless humbled when they came to see us. We want to thank John Macdonald, who runs a digital marketing firm thegood.com; Robb Crocker from Funnelbox Production Studios; Kevin Keljo from Security Signs; John Watt from Stout Tanks and Kettles; and Augusto Carneiro from Nossa Familia Coffee for dropping us a line.

Taffer dropped us a line incognito in mid-June. A couple of weeks later, we made number four in his “Taffer’s Top 10: Toughest Rescues” episode. “Turtle Bay was transformed into Spirits on Bourbon and is one of Bar Rescues greatest success stories with sales $1 million ahead of last year,” writes Kristen Santoro in her article for Bar and Nightclub Magazine.

Gambit listed us as one of their top 100 bars in New Orleans. “There are dueling pianos, motorboating shot girls, Cajun eats and a signature drink, Resurrection, served in a flashing, skull-shaped goblet at this rowdy hotspot of Bar Rescue fame. It bears traces of its former life as a barbershop: a light-up barber’s pole and chair.”

In late July, we received a visit from the Discovery Channel, which sent producers to film an episode of Next Round at Spirits. Check out some slow-motion footage of the show posted by Robbie Flair on Facebook.

And most recently, Taffer named us as his top achievement in his business of rescuing bars in an interview published in DList Magazine. We could not be more humbled, but the thanks goes to Jon for giving us this opportunity.

To top it all off, we were featured in Wynn Varbles’ music video for his song “Freakshow“.

The summer has been good to us in 2014 and so far there is no end in sight. Thanks to everyone who makes Spirits on Bourbon an amazing experience. Let the good times roll.

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo

Paranormal Talk Show on WGSO 990AM Did A Live Broadcast from Spirits, Then This Happened… – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=550#sthash.OF5ypu1v.dpuf
David and Mark Laville
An Interview With WWE Wrestler Matt Striker: “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.” – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=389#sthash.ZigdtfY8.dpuf
Jon Taffer’s Book Signing Last Friday Was A Huge Success – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=356#sthash.ae8CYENU.

Paranormal Talk Show on WGSO 990AM Did A Live Broadcast from Spirits, Then This Happened…

WGSO's Mark and David Laville did a live broadcast of Paranormal Talk in the Spirits on Bourbon Courtyard on Saturday.

WGSO’s Mark and David Laville did a live broadcast of Paranormal Talk in the Spirits on Bourbon Courtyard on Saturday.

The Paranormal Talk Show on WGSO 990AM in New Orleans, with hosts David and Mark Laville, conducted a live broadcast from the courtyard at Spirits on Bourbon Saturday night.

The show was just business as usual, then something weird happened in the kitchen:

This was captured on the kitchen’s surveillance camera as the Laville’s were broadcasting their show. At 10 seconds into the video, you can see the bottle of Sprite fly off the counter just as Ryan leaves the kitchen. Weird, huh? Is it a real ghost? You tell us!

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo

Do It For the Cause: Help Raise Money for the NOLA Barman’s Fund May 18 with Spirits Bartender Aja Reign

Aja Reign

Aja Reign

Not all bartenders are undeserving arrogant snobs who do nothing but pour liquid into a cup. Some see the big picture and want to make a difference in the world, such as newly-minted Spirits on Bourbon bar manager Aja Reign, who will be donating all of her tips to the New Orleans Barman’s Fund on May 18.

The Barman’s Fund is group of bartenders, barbacks, servers and other food service industry professionals who raise money for good causes, selecting one night each month to donate 100 percent of their tips to local charities.

See Also: Spirits Owners Help Raise Over $5,000 For Breast Cancer Awareness at Reality Rally

Bartender Brian Floyd founded the Barman’s Fund in 2011 while bartending at the Vanderbilt in Brooklyn, beginning as a simple “tip jar fund”. Since then, chapters have sprung up in four more cities around the United States, including Austin, New Orleans, Charlotte and Palm Beach.

The way it works is pretty simple. Any bartender, or service industry worker (usually one who earns tips) can join a chapter in the selected cities. Then the chapter selects one shift out of each month where they donate all of their tips to local charities.

“They don’t just throw money at the problem,” said Aja, who came to New Orleans from Los Angeles. “They try to be as tangible as possible. The city is still rebuilding itself. I would feel selfish not helping.”

Some local charities include Habitat For Humanity, or local food banks. Sometimes, according to Aja, members of the chapter will pool circumvent the charities and buy materials for people who need them the most, such as school supplies for children.

David Naser aka “Catfish”, director of the New Orleans chapter and bartender at Jimani on Iberville and Chartres streets in the French Quarter, says the Barman’s Fund is a simple and streamlined method for bartenders to donate their tips to charity.

“We work night to night, shift to shift. We don’t get a paycheck,” Naser said.

To date, The Barman’s Fund has donated $184,725.48, according to its Facebook page.

Also happening on May 18, the rubberduck derby and race, where the Nola chapter of the Barman’s Fund will be launching a mass of rubber ducks into Bayou St. John. Their goal is sell 250 ducks by Sunday (the 18th). The winners of the derby win cash and other prizes.

For more information about The Barman’s Fund and rubberduck derby, contact David P. Naser at 504-982-3788 or email him at thebarmansfundnola@gmail.com or on Twitter @Barmancatfish.

Get to know what’s happening at Spirits on Bourbon by following us on Facebook and Twitter @SpiritsonBourbo

Spirits Owners Help Raise Over $5,000 For Breast Cancer Awareness at Reality Rally – See more at: http://spiritsonbourbon.com/blog/?p=308#sthash.HHawFhbx.dpuf

Q&A with Country Music Artist William Michael Morgan

William Michael Morgan

William Michael Morgan

William Michael Morgan is an up-and-coming country music singer based in Nashville. Originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, Morgan grew up listening to and emulating the styles of traditional artists such as Keith Whitley and Merle Haggard at a very early age. Now at age 20, Morgan is signed to Warner Brothers in Nashville and has begun working on his first album. Expect a single to be released in the coming months.

Shane Fortner and Brad Bohannan, owners of Tavern on Vets (our sister bar in Kenner) recently invited Morgan to come play at the bar last Wednesday night. After the performance, we sat down for a little interview

See Also: Featured Spirits on Bourbon Dueling Piano Player: Sam Joyner

When did you start becoming interested in music?
I guess the first song I remember hearing, I was about five or six years old, was an old Marty Robbins song. I just fell in love right then. I got my first guitar at about eight, nine years old and I just started playing from there.

Did you teach yourself?
I did. I looked up a lot of YouTube. After school I wouldn’t do anything. I didn’t play football or anything. I would just come home and lock myself in my room and just play old Keith Whitley and Mark Chestnut songs, look them up and just taught myself that way.

Why country music?
The realness of it, the realness of the real tradition of country music, the sadness, the feelings that’s put into the lyrics and the melodies.

When did you start to think that you could make a career playing country music?
I started off doing anything I could do, from karaoke contests to opening up for someone at a bar. I’ve just always wanted to. I’ve always felt that need, that drive to do it.

When did you first start performing?
I did my first show when I was about 12.

Who or what has influenced your playing style?
Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley, Mark Chestnut, all of the real traditional artists; Singletary, the list can just go on and on.

How would you describe your particular brand of country music?
I would describe it as traditional definitely, but we always try to find a happy medium with what’s going on today and what the radio’s wanting and needing and what everyone else is wanting to hear. We try to keep our roots as much as we can, but try to blend in some of today’s music into our stuff.

How did Mississippi shape your vision of country music?
It was about eight years ago when Dierks Bentley was playing and he came down to Vicksburg and played the Riverfest down there. Me and my family went and that really opened my eyes up to what I wanted to do. That was an eye-opener seeing him play and feed off the energy of the people.

How do you draw inspiration for your songs?
Real life instances in my life. Writing everyday, you can kind of run out of ideas. I’ve been really hammering it up there in Nashville. We’ve just been writing every day, trying to get ready for this record. But you just watch the news and seeing what’s going on today, listen to the radio, listen to talk channels and you’ll get ideas.

Are you based in Nashville now?
Yeah. I was born in Vicksburg and stayed there my whole life until I was about 19, then I moved to Nashville last year in February. I turned 20 in May and I’ll be 21 on May 13 of this year.

Who and when did people start noticing your singing voice?
I met a songwriter by the name of Roger Springer when I was about 13 or 14, and we talked back and forth. When I was about 14 or 15, he invited me to come write with him a few times. I would come stay with him and his wife and he’d take me in and introduce me to a bunch of people. Through him I met another songwriter, and through that songwriter I met my managers.

How do you develop your voice?
As with any genre of music you just grow up listening to it and you find what you like to listen to and try to incorporate that into what you create.

Is there a song of yours that holds a special meaning for you? Why?
There is a song I wrote with two of my very good buddies in Nashville, Trent Tomlinson and Ashe Underwood, and it’s called “Neon Sign”. It’s just real traditional country. It’s one of my favorite songs. It’s real in that solid gold country pocket. It’s about this guy at a bar, his girlfriend left him and he’s just begging God, “I don’t know what I can do, can you send me a neon sign?”

Do established performers try to steer you in any particular direction? What advice do they offer you?
Nashville is a really small town, and if you know someone, you know everyone else. And of course everyone has their input, which is great because I love to hear everyone’s input. We take very seriously what people say and we try to incorporate that into the mix, but still keep what we do as traditional as possible.

What is traditional country music?
When I say traditional I don’t mean 60s or 70s, I mean more of when I grew up in the 90s, the Chestnut era and stuff like that. To me, that’s my favorite era of country music, the late 80s to mid-90s.

Who in the industry do you look up to for direction and advice?
I got a lot of great advice from Mark Chestnut. We’ve got the same producer. He was doing some vocals one night over at our producer’s house and my producer, Jimmy Ritchey, and Mark took me under his wing and told me the do’s and don’ts, what to say, what not to say, just stuff like that. I think that really helped.

Are you currently signed to a label?
Yes, I am signed to Warner Brothers.

Are you currently working on an album?
I am working on it right now. We should have five things done in a month or two and hopefully have a single out as soon as we can pick it. We don’t have a release date for the album yet, hopefully sometime next year, but that time could always change.

Get to know what’s happening at Tavern on Vets by following us on Facebook and following our sister bar on Twitter @Spiritsonbourbo