IAEM Concert - Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN on December 1, 1998

Here's a review on the private show that Marty did at the Ryman on December 1 for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Actually, the audience was IAEM. They were having an annual conference this year in Nashville. As far as we (Ryman Ushers) could figure out, it is the International Association of Event Managers....people who plan big events and conferences all over the world. So they were being wined and dined by the Nashville Convention Center, Visitors' Bureau and the Renaissance Hotel...BIG TIME! Marty, being the International Ambassador for Nashville, was the logical choice for entertainment.

The conference attendees had several choices for the evening and it's too bad that Marty only ended up playing for around 400 people. We were expecting 2,000. I don't know how many people were attending the conference, but I'd guess about 5,000. Anyhow, Marty and the guys played for an hour.

He opened with "Hey Baby" then went into "Red, Red Wine and Cheatin' Songs." (A BIG hit with the half-lit crowd that had probably been drinking all day and then came to a concert with an open bar!!!). The house really got into him then...enough to sound like a bigger crowd than they were.

Marty hit them next with "Tempted" and "Blue Train." Then he pulled out the mandolin and slowed the tempo to "Oh, What A Silent Night" and encouraged them to sing along to "I Can't Help Falling In Love." (Can't you just picture 400 snookered people trying to sing a beautiful love song!).

Marty did his job as Ambassador and plugged Nashville every chance he got. He asked them if they liked everything so far and if Nashville had been treating them good. That brought thunderous applause from the group. He closed the show with "Southern Accent" and then "Hillbilly Rock." Mike signed him off and everybody went off stage--then the most amazing thing happened. That little crowd went so berserk that the main honcho begged Marty to come out and do one more song. So, he came out and sang the one song that kind of crowd could really relate to....."Whiskey"! I mean, it set them in a frenzy!

When it was over, a man leaving my section turned to me and said, "GREAT SHOW!" I smiled and beamed, "Oh, I've been a fan FOR YEARS!" To which he replied, "Well, I am now!" "Glad to hear that," I called after him. Each of the concert goers had a copy of the "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best" CD in their seats. Some of them left with several....I hope they give them to their friends.

I was really glad that that little crowd came through for Marty and the guys. I was assigned to Section 9 up in the balcony, which is great because there's a little half wall to stand behind and lean on or dance behind (and not get caught by the supervisor). Just kidding! I think I'd have to quit if she wouldn't let us enjoy ourselves once in a while. Anyhow, I was up there making a bunch of noise and starting the clapping for the first couple of songs because I didn't think that the audience was aware there was a concert going on. But they did really good and I hope that Marty picked up a few more fans because of it. He's definitely one of those people who is addictive after you've seen him in concert! Don't you all agree?

Review by Leslie Anne Rawlings, Nashville, TN

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