NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — In marking its 25th anniversary, Nashville's famed Bluebird Café, which has been both testing ground and launching pad for some of the biggest names in country music, is kicking off a year-long celebration beginning in May that will include recognition for the singer/songwriters that have called Bluebird “home,” a "Superstars of the Bluebird" series in June and a nationwide, 12-city "Bluebird on the Road" tour later this year.
"I set out to open a restaurant 25 years ago, but the music quickly took over," says owner Amy Kurland. "Nothing could be more special than celebrating this milestone year with some of the same songwriters who were regulars back when we first opened the doors."
Those original songwriters and many more will be invited to attend a private birthday bash hosted by performing rights organization BMI on May 24. Later, the festivities will be open to the public when a 10-day series titled "Superstars of the Bluebird" takes up residence beginning on June 1. There will also be special guest appearances by singer/songwriters who have risen through the Bluebird ranks including Capitol Nashville's Dierks Bentley, among others.
The 12-city songwriter tour, kicks off in New York’s Joe's Pub on May 31 with a few of the founders of the "In The Round" format that originated at the Bluebird: Fred Knobloch, Thom Schuyler, Tony Arata and Jelly Roll Johnson. Additional songwriters, cities and dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
Bluebird’s long list of performers include Garth Brooks (who was discovered there), Melissa Etheridge, Steve Earle, the Cowboy Junkies, the Indigo Girls and the late Townes Van Zandt and Mickey Newbury. Nashville-based singer-songwriters include Vince Gill, Janis Ian, John Prine, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Raul Malo, Radney Foster, Pam Tillis, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Case, Loudon Wainwright III, Squeeze's Glen Tilbrook, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and the Monkees' Peter Tork. — Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner