MUSIC BOX: Crying ‘Tennessee Tears’ in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole, Wyo. – Having moved from Jackson Hole to Nashville in 1986, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brent Moyer makes a pilgrimage each year to reconnect with the Jackson music scene. Known to many as the Global Cowboy, which is also the name of his 2008 release on the Swiss-based Brambus Records, Moyer has released a total of 13 albums.
Upon landing in Tennessee, he established himself as a go-to guitarist as well as an accomplished trumpet player. That led to breakthrough opportunities like playing guitar for country music legend Lynn Anderson and being cast as a member of the hit Broadway Show, Ring of Fire, featuring the songs of Johnny Cash. Moyer has arrived in Wyoming with a new release, Tennessee Tears, displaying honky tonk, pop-country and a flamenco tribute to his father.
Planet Jackson Hole: What has enabled you to sustain a career in the music industry in Nashville?
Brent Moyer: I think being able to wear many hats has been a key factor in sustaining a career in Nashville … writing songs, playing and producing, being a good side guy, it all helps.
PJH: There are a lot of co-writes on Tennessee Tears. Are these songwriters that you have met in the Nashville songwriter scene? Why do you co-write?
BM: I guess everyone I’ve co-written with on this CD are writers that I’ve met and become friends with over the years. For instance, Peter McCan is a guy I met when I first got to town. I was involved with producing some songs for my friend Claudia Appling of Montana Rose, and we were looking for songs. I think Claudia might have found this song, “We’re Talking Tears,” and it was great so we cut it along with some others. Peter was a pretty established writer with many cuts including the big hit “Right Time of the Night” by Jennifer Warnes. Anyway, I’d see Peter every now and then over the years and got to know him a little. I had mentioned writing together a few times which never amounted to anything, but one day at Brown’s Diner last fall after a few beers I told him an idea I had and he liked it so we got together and wrote it – “Love Don’t Care.”
I think co-writing is a good way to learn and it gives you another perspective. Also, some guys are better lyricists and others might have better musical ideas. I think I have great musical ideas and I enjoy getting together with guys that know how to write great lyrics.
PJH: With Tennessee Tears and your other recording projects, do you aim to shop your songs to the industry in Nashville, or are they more personal outlets for your music?
BM: For me it’s a way to document my songs as well as having product to sell when I tour. I pitch my songs as best as I can but it’s a tough go in Nashville and it’s getting even harder.
PJH: What can people expect, music wise, for your upcoming shows?
BM: I’ll be doing quite a few songs off the new CD as well as some of my others. I like mixing it up, some instrumentals, some covers, but over half the songs I’ll do will be original.
Brent Moyer, 9 p.m. on Thursday (and September 11) at Town Square Tavern. Free. 733-3886.