Nashville , TN
Lee Rascone and his son Lee Rascone Jr., are the hosts of a weekly songwriter show from the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. These shows take place every Wednesday and Thursday night. During CMA Festival week in downtown Nashville, TN, they are hosting extended hours and they are adding a Friday afternoon show around the pool under the Pavilion.
I sat down to talk to Lee Rascone about him being a writers host for nearly 20 years, what motivates him and what keeps him going after all this time? I learned that this is one interesting man. He is a Vietnam Veteran who married straight out of the army. He was on the road with the legendary George Jones for many years playing Bass. He also played Bass for Kitty Well, and Johnny Wright and several others. He had cuts by Little Jimmy Dickens, Jack Green and Charlie Louvin. He has co-written with Eddie Rabbit, Keith Whitley, Don Wayne and Whitey Shafer. Lee has seen more and knows more Nashville secrets than most of us could even imagine and he is the biggest fan and supporter of the up and coming songwriter.
Lee started off hosting songwriter nights almost 20 years ago in a little place called Bogey’s. From there he helped build the front porch stage for what was known as the Broken Spoke Songwriters Café in Nashville, TN. It was in the Spoke that he watched, supported, guided and mentored young writers coming to town. Many a hit song was born in that room and many long lasting friendships, relationships and even marriages were created there too. Lee tells Yahoo that the songwriter Café had a magic that has not yet been recreated at any other songwriter venue in Nashville to date. A special Broken Spoke Songwriters Reunion is planned for July 23rd and 24th and is being held at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. I asked Lee why he has been doing this all these years and this is what he had to say:
A I like to help songwriters. I do it for the songwriter and because I love music. I love helping people. The Hotel wanted us to have a special show during CMA Festival Week so we are adding an extra day and extending the hours of our regular shows. I like to help give exposure to the new writers coming up.
Q You like to book in the new writers and help give them exposure to the music pro’s that come into writers nights looking for new hit songs but I know you also celebrate and honor the hit songwriters that you have known and worked with for years, right?
Q And aren’t you also going to be doing a Broken Spoke Songwriters Reunion Show in July?
A Yeah but I think we are going to change the name to the Toke and Spoke.
Q Stop. Okay, do you want me to say that?
A Toke and Smoke? Yeah.
Q Well then people who know you will know I really interviewed you if I put that in there. You were host at the Broken Spoke for how many years?
A From 1995 to 2001.
Q Wow, if it was only from 1995 to 2001, that’s only 6 years. Doesn’t it seem like there was so much filled into those six years?
A Oh yeah. Everything happened there. So many hit songwriters came out of that room.
Q It is amazing to think of the amount of hit music that came out of that place in 6 short years.
A Yes. Lots of great songs.
Q You have hosted at a few other venues in Nashville over the years. You spent a lot of time at Hotel Indigo and the Commodore as well?
A Yes. We were at Indigo for 5 years.
Q I want to say thank you for your service. You were in the Army for 3 years?
A From 1962 until 1965. That was the Vietnam Era.
Q Thank you again and I look forward to seeing you during CMA Week.
Lee Rascone told me about the special poolside show they are hosting under the Pavilion on Friday afternoon that is kicking off at 11:00 a.m.
The schedules for the following shows during CMA Week are:
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
6:00 p.m. Billy Lee, Jane Bach, Elizabeth Marlowe and Jason Eustice
7:00 p.m. Bernie Nelson, Lee Steven James & Friends
8:00 p.m. Ashley Robertson, Kenny Foster, Matt Bednarsky and Cross Canyon (Duo)
9:30 p.m. Briana Tyson, Mitch White and Patrick Thomas
Thursday, June 5th, 2904
6:00 p.m. MTS Management Group Presents Amy Rose, Doug Briney, Marshall Dane, Matt Williams with Alyssa Morrissey
7:00 p.m. Sasha Arron, Bruce Miller and Melissa Miller
8:00 p.m. Karen Wheeler & Brother Danny, Gerald Smith and T/B/A.
9:30 p.m. The Gene Cook Band”
MILLENNIUM MUSIC & FOOD FESTIVAL
Friday, June 6th, 2014 Day time show Poolside at the Pavilion
11:00 a.m. MTS Management Group presents Doug Briney, Matt Williams and Alyssa Morrissey
12:00 p.m. CJ Watson with Asteria Lux – Jazzadelic Pop
1:00 p.m. Tamy McDonald, Keith Walker, Dustin James and Michael Fabrizo
2:00 p.m. Ashley Robertson, Kenny Foster, Matt Bednarsky, and Sean Kennedy
3:00 p.m. MTS Management Group presents Jiggley Jones, Josey Milner and Special Guests Jessie Snyder & Jamie Meyer.
4:00 p.m. MTS Management Group presents Marshall Dane closing out the show.
This hotel has a huge parking lot and parking is free. There is no cover charge but Maxwell’s does have great food on their menu and nice cool beverages. Try and remember to order something to eat or drink or both during the night time shows. Keeping the kitchen busy helps keep the doors open and venues like this booking in talented singer/songwriters.
The Millennium Maxwell House Hotel is located at 2025 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37228