Good wines and good times with Kermit Lynch in Nashville

rick vito

Above: Last night at Kermit’s event, where I emceed, I got to hang out and chat with GUITAR HEROES George Marinelli, center, and Rick Vito. It just blows my mind to think how many hit songs these guys have played on. Top session bassist Michael Rhodes was there, too (see below).

Wow, what a week it’s been! On Monday, I presented Kermit Lynch and Ricky Fataar and we spun their new record at Vino Vino in Austin. Tuesday night I taught the last class in my series of Italian wine seminars at the Austin Wine Merchant (“Italian Wine and Civilization,” my favorite class, where we read from Italian literature and history and taste relevant wines), and then last night I emceed for Kermit again in Nashville. I can barely catch my breath…

Above: Guests were greeted last night with this fantastic sparkler, Vin du Bugey-Cerdon, a blend of Gamay and Poulsard from the Jura. It weighs in at an ethereal 8% alcohol. I loved it.

There were SO MANY famous musicians at Kermit’s listening party last night. Seems they all like hanging out with the ol’ man and drinking his vino. And who can blame them? But of all the amazing players who showed up for the event, the dude I was most geeked to meet was George Marinelli. He’s played on countless hit records but he was the guy who played on Billy Vera’s 1981 live album (recorded at the Roxy in LA) that included the hits “I Can Take Care of Myself” and “At This Moment.” I never saw George play with Billy but I used to go see Billy Vera and the Beaters play every month at At My Place in West LA when I was a freshman in college at UCLA in 1985-86. Billy’s album By Request, which features George on guitar, is still one of my all-time favorite albums (if you ever ride around the streets of Austin you might hear me and Tracie B blasting “Millie, Put on Some Chili” in the car!). Billy’s number 1 hit “At This Moment”? It’s ALL ABOUT the harmonics that George plays at the end of the song… wow… can’t believe I drank a glass of 1998 Vieux Telegraphe with that dude!

wine shoppe at green hills

Above: Ed Fryer, owner of the Wine Shoppe at Green Hills, brought a 3-liter of 1998 Vieux Telegraphe. Man, I like the way that dude rolls!

I’ve got many more tales to tell from Nashville, including some thoroughly delicious and truly authentic Neapolitan pizza we ate last night (Tracie B would have approved). I’m stuck all morning working at my computer this morning at my hotel but I’m taking the afternoon off and heading over to the Country Music Hall of Fame and I might just do me some honkytonking down on Broadway before I get on that plane and head back to my lovely lady in Austin.

Above: That’s bass player Michael Rhodes center. When you shake that dude’s hand you are shaking PURE GOLD (I’m not kidding: click the link).

Stay tuned…