26th Annual Alive at the Bluebird Raises Funds for Alive’s Community Services

Alive’s annual benefit concert series, Alive at The Bluebird, returned this January for its 26th year. Partipants included old friends like Kathy Mattea, Kent Blazy, Steve Wariner, Pat Alger, Don Schlitz, Vince Gill, and Amy Grant along with newer friends like Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, and Charles Esten.

These intimate gatherings are a reunion for the artists who have been participating from the very beginning like Pat Alger (“Unanswered Prayers,” “The Thunder Rolls,” “Small Town Saturday Night”). “I began participating in Alive at the Bluebird after they took such loving care of a dear friend and colleague who passed away in her prime. It became the place where friends and family could remain connected to her,” said Alger.

“Musicians are willing to support Alive because they want to make sure everyone can receive not just hospice care, but the special loving care that Alive provides.”

The series is unique in that it is the only fundraising partnership
of its kind in which The Bluebird Café participates. Each year, The Bluebird and the performing songwriters donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the month-long series to our nonprofit services such as education and grief counseling for the whole community and financial assistance to hospice patients when insurance doesn’t cover everything.

“Seven years ago, my very first Bluebird round was part of this amazing Alive Hospice benefit concert series,” said actor and musician Charles Esten. “Since then, I have seen firsthand the incredible work done by the wonderful people at Alive. They are an immeasurable blessing to countless patients and family members at their time of deepest need. I’m very honored to again be able to play a small part in supporting this extremely special and vital organization.”

Auctions Add to the Fun

Enthusiastic fans help boost the fundraising by bidding on memorabilia. This year we received a second guitar to auction from Kent Blazy. He gave a Takamine to Steve Wariner who autographed it and wrote out the lyrics to his hit “I’m Already Taken” on it. The final night’s auction included a Taylor guitar signed by all participants, a framed and autographed show poster, and the original art work, which was created by Pat Alger.

Hit Songwriter Pat Alger Debuts Art Work, New Song

Although he is best known for writing hit songs, Alger is also a talented visual artist. Both of his parents received hospice care, and when it came time to create something for Alive at The Bluebird he decided to pay tribute to his loved ones who have passed away.

In his deeply personal collage, he weaves together peaceful images and songs that recall their presence. A delicate water color flower adorns a guitar on which a bluebird has lighted for a moment. Well-thumbed sheet music with handwritten notes and an old copy of Country Song Round Up magazine evoke the Nashville era when he was just starting out on the journey that would eventually bring him to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
Performing, donating original art, and helping with the marketing of the series were not Alger’s only contributions this year. He kicked off our opening night show with the debut of a beautiful new song he had written just for the occasion, “Morning Dew.”

A special thank you to presenting sponsors Bass, Berry, & Sims; Hub International; Jackson National; Tennessee Oncology; and WSM Radio.

Morning Dew (Until I’m Once Again with You)

– Pat Alger

It was bright as morning dew
The way it sparkles in the sun
There was only me and you
One summer day when we were young
Gathering clouds soon filled the air
A burst of showers on the breeze
The hint of rain still in your hair
Remain my favorite memories
And with the last breath I’m breathing
I hope this feeling
Appears like a wonderful dream
And your hand will be leading me home
As I’m leaving this world
Finally free
I brushed your hair till it was silk
The tempest mellowed to a mist
Your skin was pale and cool as milk
Moonlight caressed us as we kissed
I close my eyes and feel you near
The treasured scent of rain’s bouquet
Bittersweet now as a tear
Carries my ancient heart away
And with the last breath I’m breathing
I hope this feeling
Appears like a wonderful dream
And your hand will be leading me home
As I’m leaving this world
Finally free
It’s been a year now since you’ve gone
I’ve done the best that I can do
To face this world alone
Until I’m once again with you
It was bright as Morning Dew…

Photos by: Don Claussen, Trap the Light Photography