Veterans Day Blasts Off with the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show!

Music City Cares Benefit Show at Texas Troubador Theatre

The Veterans Day routine got a jolt of adrenaline as I geared up for an extraordinary twist in my future plans. The buzz? The imminent explosion of the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show at Texas Troubador Theatre on Music Valley Drive, promising a sonic onslaught featuring multiple music artists, all rallying behind the cause of supporting veterans through Operation Stand Down TN. This event was a music pilgrimage for fans and a soul-stirring anthem for veterans like myself.

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The Organizers

Karen Fitzhugh and Eric Byford - Music City Cares Benefit Show at Texas Troubador Theatre

Karen Fitzhugh and Eric Byford

At the helm of this audacious musical mission is the maestro himself, Eric Byford. Known not only for his filmmaking prowess with Beardforce Films but also for orchestrating previous Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Shows and the Southern Gentlemen Beard & Moustache Competition, Eric’s commitment to the cause of empowering veterans echoes loudly in the music halls. Byford orchestrated this extravaganza as a heartfelt tribute to his beloved “Grandbuddy.” This year’s show, a colossal event fueled by sponsors like Virgin Hotels, Titan Motoring, and Pennington Distilling Co, was a testament to the enduring spirit of Music City. In cooperation with Karen Fitzhugh of Operation Stand Down TN, the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show was born and in it’s 4th year.

Operation Stand Down TN - Music City Cares Benefit Show at Texas Troubador TheatreAs the amps hum and the guitars wail, the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show becomes a battlefield of sound, with all proceeds marching proudly toward Operation Stand Down TN. This organization, dedicated to engaging, equipping, and empowering veterans, becomes the heartbeat of the night – a rhythm that echoes through every note played and every soul touched.

The MC

Cowboy Calvin for Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Cowboy Calvin

MCing this event was the ever-entertaining Cowboy Calvin who kept up the organization of artists and schedules as well as the overall pace of the event and added plenty of levity to the evening with regular banter with the audience and the live stream cameras. Including his army sing along that he and his brothers-in-arms created back in the day, Cowboy Calvin was a welcome guide through the musical day and into night.

So, gear up for a story of Veterans Day like never before, as the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show became the anthem of a music revolution, leaving an indelible mark on the heartstrings of veterans and music enthusiasts alike. Get ready to be part of a crescendo that not only rocks the stage but also reverberates with a resounding salute to those who’ve worn the uniform.

Early Performers

The electrifying odyssey commenced with a burst of energy from a lineup that personified the soul of Music City. First to grace the stage was Hadley, whose ethereal presence and soulful vocals transported the audience to another dimension. Her magnetic performance set the tone for the night, leaving the crowd in awe of her musical prowess.

Following Hadley’s mesmerizing act, Lindsay Carver took the spotlight, infusing the atmosphere with her unique blend of passion and artistry. Carver’s stage presence was a force to be reckoned with, as she seamlessly navigated through her repertoire.

Judy Paster, a musical virtuoso in her own right, then took center stage, weaving a tapestry of sonic landscapes that ranged from heartfelt ballads to foot-stomping anthems. Paster’s ability to connect with the audience through her music created an electric atmosphere, inviting everyone to join in the sonic celebration.


Paige Davis brought a sweet yet dynamic edge to the performance, captivating the crowd with her energetic stage presence and genre-defying sound. Her fearless approach to music left an enduring impression, showcasing the multifaceted nature of Nashville’s musical tapestry.

Closing out this stellar opening act was Ross Flora, whose soulful melodies and evocative lyrics resonated with the audience. Flora’s performance not only demonstrated his technical prowess.


Collectively, these artists didn’t just set the stage on fire; they ignited a musical inferno that illuminated the city’s vibrant and varied musical landscape. Each performer brought a unique flavor to the sonic banquet, ensuring that the Music City Cares Benefit show was an unforgettable celebration of Nashville’s musical legacy.Evening Performers

Brei Carter at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Brei Carter

But the intermission was only the calm before the storm, as the electrifying Brei Carter took the stage. A veteran herself, Carter infused a strong country vibe, accompanied by family members who ignited the dance floor with some down-home line dancing, leaving the audience craving for more.


Scott Levi Jones and the Holy Cow Band at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Scott Levi Jones

Scott Levi Jones and the Holy Cow Band brought the troubadour spirit to life with their Americana tales, weaving gut-wrenching stories and love ballads into the very fabric of the night. Their guitar-driven melodies elevated the musical experience to unprecedented heights, a must-see for aficionados of this genre.


Jenny Tolman performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Jenny Tolman

Jenny Tolman, fresh from a feature in People Magazine for her song “Timbuktu,” graced the audience with her sweet voice and a deep connection to veterans. Her heartfelt stories and the pledge to donate sales to Operation Stand Down Tennessee made her performance not just a musical delight but a touching tribute.


Siena performing the National Anthem for the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show


The patriotic fervor reached a crescendo with a soul-stirring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the incredible Siena Paglia. Her flawless vocal delivery and respect for the anthem left an indelible mark, calling for a raucous cheer in the end.


Injecting a healthy dose of rock ‘n’ roll attitude, Sheyna Gee stormed onto the stage, a force of nature with gritty vocals that cut through the air like a sonic chainsaw. Her performance wasn’t just a set; it was a fiery declaration of musical rebellion. With a charisma that could set the night ablaze, Sheyna Gee owned the spotlight, belting out tunes with a raw type of intensity.

Sheyna Gee performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Sheyna Gee

The stage wasn’t just a platform; it was a battlefield where Sheyna and her accompanying guitarist waged a musical war, each chord and riff a weapon in their arsenal. The symbiotic connection between them was palpable, as they navigated the ebb and flow of the performance with an uncanny synchronicity. The guitarist’s fingers danced on the strings, creating a tapestry of sound that perfectly complemented Sheyna’s powerhouse vocals.

Together, this dynamic duo wasn’t just playing music; they were conjuring a sonic storm that reverberated through every corner of the venue. The audience was caught in the crossfire of their musical prowess, swept away by the unbridled energy and passion emanating from the stage. Sheyna Gee wasn’t just a performer; she was a sonic sorceress, weaving a spell that left the crowd spellbound.

Sheyna Gee performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Sheyna Gee

The stories she shared between songs added another layer to the performance, giving the audience a glimpse into the heart and soul behind the gritty facade. These weren’t just lyrics; they were chapters of a rock ‘n’ roll memoir that unfolded with every note. The venue became a sanctuary for those hungry for authentic, unapologetic music, and Sheyna Gee delivered with a swagger that resonated long after the final chord faded into the night.


Every Day Nashville, a musical collective that transcends boundaries, took the stage by storm, unfurling a sonic kaleidoscope that painted a vivid portrait of the diverse musical landscape thriving within the city’s beating heart. As the spotlight shifted to this assembly of versatile musicians, the air crackled with anticipation, knowing that something extraordinary was about to unfold.

Bella On Bass performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Bella On Bass

Led by vocalists Bella On Bass, Shawn Mayer, and Mike Applegate, the collective embarked on a musical odyssey that showcased the very essence of Nashville’s sonic spectrum. Bella’s eclectic trippy vibe transported the audience into a realm of sonic exploration, setting a tone that was both fresh and invigorating. Shawn Mayer, taking the reins next, unleashed a vocal powerhouse reminiscent of the legendary Melissa Etheridge. Mayer’s gritty and powerful vocals injected a surge of energy into the venue. 


Shawn Mayer performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Shawn Mayer

The spotlight then turned to Mike Applegate, a storyteller with a guitar, who brought back the Americana vibe with narratives that touched the heart. Applegate’s impressive vocal range, coupled with the added guitars on stage, created a rich, immersive experience.

Mike Applegate performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Mike Applegate

Each artist within Every Day Nashville was a unique brushstroke, contributing to a musical masterpiece that encapsulated the myriad sounds echoing through Nashville’s streets on any given day.

Taking the stage with an unmistakable aura of authenticity, Ritch Henderson, adorned in Willie Nelson braids and a laid-back trucker hat, immediately seized the attention of the audience. His clean, evocative vocals cut through the air like a knife, accompanied by the soul-stirring resonance of emotional storytelling. Henderson’s performance wasn’t just a set; it was a journey into the heart of his narratives, each lyric a brushstroke painting a vivid picture of life’s highs and lows. The connection between the artist and the audience was tangible, with every note forging a shared experience that transcended any confine.

Ritch Henderson performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Ritch Henderson

As Henderson strummed his guitar, the room transformed into an intimate space where the raw honesty of his music resonated. Each carefully crafted song became a conduit for the emotions that Henderson poured into his performance. As he left the stage, the lingering applause was a testament to Ritch Henderson’s ability to not only captivate but also to leave an indelible mark on the hearts of those fortunate enough to witness his performance.

Matt Ferranti performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Matt Ferranti

Matt Ferranti and his entourage took the stage by storm, infusing the atmosphere with an electrifying fusion of musical genres. Their performance was a vibrant concoction of sounds and rhythms that transcended traditional boundaries. With the seamless blending of acoustic guitars, syncopated drum licks, slapping bass, and the rhythmic wizardry of a DJ at the turntables and a master of rhymes, Ferranti’s crew created an immersive auditory experience.

The energy emanating from the stage set the room ablaze with a contagious enthusiasm that had everyone surrendering to the groove. The eclectic mix of rap lyrics added another layer to the performance, infusing a dynamic urban flavor into the overall musical tapestry. Matt Ferranti and his crew were orchestrating a musical carnival that had every spectator grooving in their seats, caught in the rhythmic whirlwind of a performance that celebrated the boundless possibilities of musical fusion.


Kelsey Hickman performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Kelsey Hickman

The grand crescendo of the night was ignited by none other than, Kelsey Hickman, and her powerhouse band. Commanding the stage with unwavering strength, Hickman unleashed a performance that pushed through musical boundaries. Her vocals, a perfect blend of cleanliness and sass, became the catalyst for an electrifying atmosphere that reverberated through your head.

As the band dished out hits like the unforgettable “Novocaine,” it became evident that Kelsey Hickman and her ensemble were architects of an unforgettable musical experience. Their mastery of instruments created an intricate symphony of sounds that would leave an indelible mark on the night. The room pulsated with the infectious energy of Hickman’s performance, each note a testament of the sheer joy of live music. Hickman and her band left the crowd on a high, proving that their rock-solid performance transcended the ordinary and etched its place in the annals of memorable performances.


Travis McReady performing at the Music City Cares Veterans Benefit Show

Travis McCready

The spectacular climax of the evening unfolded with the emotional presence of Travis McCreedy, whose magnetically charged songwriting struck a profound chord. Renowned for his poignant contributions to Bishop Gunn’s “Alabama,” McCreedy stepped into the spotlight with a performance that went beyond the superficial layers of entertainment. His music was a journey into his heart and soul, an intimate exploration of the human experience conveyed through poignant lyrics and evocative melodies.

As McCreedy began to weave his tales, the room transformed into a sanctuary of emotions, with each note carrying the weight of his storytelling prowess. The audience, captivated by the sincerity and authenticity of his performance, was transported to a realm where music became a vessel for shared experiences. McCreedy’s impact wasn’t just heard; it was felt, as the audience absorbed the emotional resonance of his performance. His contribution to the night was a testament to the enduring power of genuine, heartfelt music that goes beyond mere entertainment, leaving an indelible imprint on the hearts of those fortunate enough to witness the culmination of the evening’s musical journey.

Recognizing Veterans

In the midst of the dazzling musical extravaganza, a poignant interlude unfolded as the event paused to pay tribute to exemplary veterans. The spotlight shifted from the stage to the heroes who have served their country with unwavering dedication. The organizers, with a heartfelt gesture, bestowed custom gratitude awards from Pennington Distilling Co upon these deserving individuals, creating a moment that resonated with gratitude and respect. This solemn recognition not only underscored the importance of honoring those who have sacrificed for their nation but also added a profound layer of meaning to the evening’s festivities. The custom awards, crafted with care and presented with sincerity, became tangible symbols of the patriotic spirit that fueled the entire event.

As the applause filled the venue, it was evident that this pause for reflection added a deeper dimension to the evening. It served as a reminder that, beyond the pulsating beats and electrifying performances, the essence of the night extended to the celebration of service, sacrifice, and the unbreakable bond of camaraderie among veterans. The custom gratitude awards became beacons of appreciation, casting a warm glow on the heroes in the room and fostering a collective sentiment of pride and unity. In this heartfelt gesture, the Music City Veterans Benefit show not only celebrated the power of music but also paid homage to those whose valor and commitment form the bedrock of the nation’s strength.

As the echoes of the Music City Veterans Benefit Show reverberate in ringing ears, keep an eye and ear out for these incredible artists in the coming year. Download their music, visit their websites, and join the rock ‘n’ roll community in showing respect for their unwavering support for veterans. Until next year, keep the spirit of music and veterans alive and kicking!

Photo Gallery From The Event

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