Ever since the pandemic began, Middleman Burr has showed up online every Wednesday night to share music and stories. Please join Gary and Georgia on Wednesday, Sept. 15th at 8:30 pm CDT! It says 6:30 p.m. on the link but that’s Pacific time!
Please join us for our FB LIVE performance on Sunday, Sept. 26th at 2:00 p.m. CT! We’ll be playing songs of ours you requested through the week. To request, please email us at: email@example.com. We play every Sunday afternoon and you can find the show over at our Middleman Burr Facebook Page 🙂
Click HERE to go to our page and if you hit LIKE, you’ll be notified when we go live.
People write songs for many reasons. You might want to hear your song on the radio. You might want to tell someone how you feel with your guitar instead of telling them in person. You might have to bury your mom or dad and writing that song was closure for you.
I’ve been a professional songwriter for 23 years now and this is one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had as a songwriter. I had just finished reading the book “I Know My First Name is Steven.” It was the story of Steven Stayner, a child who was abducted at seven years old and finally escaped after seven years of abuse and torture. His story was so heavy on my mind that I started wondering about other missing children: what if there is a missing child out there right now just waiting to be rescued? What is he/she thinking? How have they been able to hold out hope when they’re in the darkest of circumstances?
It was 2006 and I had a writing appointment the next day with Sam Tate and Annie Tate and told them about my idea. They jumped on board and were so amazing. We had no idea what we could do with the song once it was done but we knew we had to write it. It’s called “Take A Good Look At My Face.”
Fast forward 11 years later, and I was telling my friend Alyssa Factor Saito about the song and how I wished I could do some kind of video to bring awareness to the cause but didn’t know how. She did some research on the internet, called me back and said “I think I know how. You should contact The Polly Klaas Foundation. They’re trying to bring kids back home. On their website, they have a page where they list pictures and pictures of missing children out there. There’s your video.”
So I reached out. The amazing people at The Polly Klaas Foundation wrote me right back and the following video is what transpired.
One of the first boys I ever dated was a talented, beautiful, tall, muscular young man who gave me butterflies every time I was alone with him. Only problem was he did everything in his power never to be alone with me. Sometimes when he picked me up for a date, he’d have another friend in his truck to accompany us. I would get so mad until finally one day, he revealed to me that the reason he was scared to be alone with me was because he was gay. And he didn’t know what to do about that. He couldn’t come out. His dad was a hardcore Christian cowboy who ran a ranch who would never accept having a son like that.
It was so brave of him to tell me that. In realization of that fact, we ended the “boyfriend/girlfriend” thing immediately and became fast friends. Understanding what Jeremy (I changed the name because it’s not my place to out him) had to deal with, I became one of his confidants and we stayed close friends through the years. Once he could now (at least around close friends) be who he really was, he was even more fun to be around. Made me laugh all the time.
He eventually did come out to his dad and true to Jeremy’s fear, his dad disowned him. Cut him off from any financial help whatsoever. Jeremy would lament to me how cruel his dad could be. “You know what my dad used to call you, Georgia, back when we were dating? The Jew. That’s all you were to him.”
Jeremy had to deal with his father’s cruelty for years. Then one day, Jeremy changed the game. He told me: “My dad calls and leaves me disgusting messages sometimes just to bully me and make me feel small. I couldn’t take it anymore. So the last time he left me a message that said ‘I just want you to know, Son, you’re a big ZERO. A NOTHING. And I’m so ashamed that you’re my son…’ here’s what I did: I called him back and when he didn’t pick up…instead of leaving him a message, I hit play on my voice message machine and played his message back to him over his machine. Then I called and did it again. And again. And again. I was so mad, I must have left him ten messages with nothing but the sound of his own voice to listen to.
“Then the strangest thing happened. He called me back and said ‘Do I really talk to you like that? Do I say things like that to my own son?’ He started crying, he was so ashamed.”
I haven’t talked to Jeremy in years. Life went really wrong for him and instead of being a loving force in my life, at some point, he became a dangerous place for me to visit. I have always been a believer that how we’re raised influences who we become but doesn’t ultimately seal the deal on who we end up being as grownups. I’m a big believer that if you have at least one adult championing you when you’re growing up in a dysfunctional household, you really do have a chance at changing your outcome. But I’ll always wonder how Jeremy’s story could have been different. Jeremy started out with the most loving heart and tried so hard to overcome his demons, but as of my last hearing about him, he hasn’t been able to do that yet.
I have never forgotten the story of the voice message. It makes me wonder: if only we could all stop talking for just a minute and listen back to the words we put out in the universe. To know that what we say lands on someone’s ears and can do one of two things: hurt that person or help that person. Devastate them or elevate them. Discourage them or encourage them. If we could only step outside our own insecurities and urges to lash out for just one minute and think about what we’re really doing: either making the choice to give something of value to someone other than ourselves or choosing to take something away from someone else in order to serve ourselves…I’m guessing if we were a little more conscious of that, the world could be a better place.
Some might say, I have no right to do that because I’m a happily married woman. How dare I give one ounce of my attention to someone else other than my husband? Here’s the thing. I used to feel shame about this. That’s why it took me 44 years to get married. I didn’t think it was possible to be with just one man for the rest of my life. So I ultimately got out of every relationship I was in. Better to stay companionless so that I can enjoy all the different people that God created and stay within the comforts of “societal boundaries.”
But that’s not fair. I like being in a relationship. I like having someone to go through life with. I also like spending time with people who aren’t my husband so that I can enjoy others’ glorious takes on life and as a result, be lifted, confused, exhilarated, anxious, thrilled, angry and everything in between. I could shame myself for those feelings or I could say: “Interesting. Interesting that your heart is feeling that way. You know all feelings are temporary, right, Georgia? You know just because you’re feeling this way right now doesn’t mean ____(you fill in the blank) or that you’re always gonna feel this way, right?”
If I’ve learned anything about life it’s that you can take the craziest, saddest, most shameful view you have of yourself and FLIP it on a dime. Any time you want.
That’s what I do.
When I’m feeling shame about feeling a certain way, I flip it. I say “Wow! That’s really interesting.” I replace the word “shame” with “curiosity” and suddenly I’m not such an awful person. I’m simply human. I realize that to act on everything you want is another story but to shame yourself for simply having feelings about it? Nah.
Isn’t being “human” about experiencing the gamut of what life has to offer? Within the boundaries you make for yourself?
Being married, I have certain rules that are important to me. But a big part of why I can have any feeling I want and not be ashamed of that, is because I chose my mate well. I chose someone who doesn’t feel threatened by whom I choose to go have coffee with and is comfortable in his own skin. His lack of need to control his wife just makes for a happy wife who gets to go out and explore life and come home and want to do nothing more than honor this precious human who encourages her to live life to the fullest.
Curiosity is what parents foster in their children so that they can problem-solve as they get older. Play requires them to use their imagination so that they can grow up and know that anything is possible. The minute a little girl turns in a picture she colored of a green sky and blue grass and the teacher says “That’s not correct, Little Beth. The sky is blue and grass is always green” is the minute Little Beth begins to question her own imagination.
Curiosity is encouraged in functional, healthy work cultures so that people can freely (without judgement) connect dots so that they might come up with the next great idea.
One of the greatest tragedies I’ve experienced growing up, is letting the world chip away at my sense of wonder at the mystery of this great universe. Somewhere along the way, curiosity became a bad word.
I’m taking it back. I’m reclaiming that motherfucker.
So the next time you’re curious and feeling something you’re not sure about…look at it from a distance with intrigue, not judgement. Pat yourself on the back for feeling something – anything – and then let that curiosity lead you to places you never even knew existed. You might be amazed 🙂
At a dinner party many years ago, I sat next to a woman who happened to be married to one of the most beloved gentlemen in town. She told me the story of how they met and then said “Out of all the men in this world, can you believe I got to marry x!” Being single at the time, I was a bit jealous. After all, he was quite the catch. And apparently she was too, since he chose her.
A week later, when I got to write a song with x at his house, this same woman came into the writing room and berated him with no mercy in front of me. He couldn’t do anything right. I remember being so confused. If she loved him as much as she claimed to the week before, how could she treat him that way? And in front of a stranger, at that?
Needless to say, that couple ended up divorcing a few short months later.
Gary and I went to South Africa last year on safari. I had never experienced those kinds of animals in real life before…elephants, lions, rhinos. It was jaw-dropping and mind-blowing to see them for the first time. But by the third day of safari, the awe was starting to wear off…I had already seen the elephants, lions and rhinos…where were the hyenas? Where are the leopards? I want to be in awe again!!!
When that thought hit me, I turned to look at my husband in the jeep next to me whom I’d been with for ten years at this point. At what point do we forget that when we first meet our spouse, they are the most exotic, wild, one of a kind animal we’ve ever laid eyes on?
At what point, do we start thinking “I’m bored. Everything he does annoys me.”
At what point, do we forget how all those funny quirks of his used to be the things we loved about him?
Because I know how fickle the human mind can be and how it needs constant stimulation (at least mine does), it’s very important for me to stay conscious when it comes to love. I don’t believe love is a given. I believe we have to nurture and feed it on a daily basis. And some days, it’s harder to do that than others. But forgetting that love is a choice is a great way to take it for granted and to lose it.
Borrowing the words of that woman at the dinner party, I can currently say: “Out of all the people in this world, can you believe I got to marry Gary Burr?” Now my job for the rest of my days is to never forget how lucky I am. And as long as he’s doing the same, we should be just fine 🙂
I saw a bumper sticker recently that really spoke to me. It said “CRITICAL THINKING – The Other National Deficit.”
That brought me back to my days at New York University. In one of my liberal arts classes, I remember taking an essay exam that would greatly affect my grade for the semester. The essay question had an obvious answer that had been covered in class but because of the weight of the grade and the fact that the exam was only one question, I read it with new curiosity that sparked new thoughts and ideas on the matter. I remember getting very excited as I handed in my exam. I felt like my professor would read my answer and appreciate the original thought that went into my response. I assumed she wanted my take on the matter.
I assumed wrong.
When I got my paper back, it had a big “C+” on it with a note that said “This is not what I taught you in class.”
A couple of invaluable lessons I learned that day:
Her “what I taught you in class” were memorized facts that she wanted regurgitated back to her. I had misunderstood and thought her intention was “to teach us to think for ourselves based on the facts we were given.” I was wrong.
I’ll never forget the excitement running through my body of stumbling upon a new idea and formulating my own take on it. I felt so alive and wanted to do that again and again so I decided to make a living at that and become a songwriter. That way, I could put words and ideas together to create brand new worlds within the construct of a 3 minute song. What a fun challenge.
The rejection of sharing my ideas and not having them received or heard made me realize the importance of “reading a room.” When people ask you for your thoughts, sometimes they don’t REALLY want to know what you think. They want you to just confirm what they already believe. When I meet someone who honestly DOES want to know what I think, it’s such a pleasure and always a much more interesting conversation. The dialogue goes both ways and we get to explore new ideas together. New ideas spur action and creativity.
How many of you out there have ever experienced a Jerry McGuire moment? When you had such clarity about something that you put it out there in the world, got no response and then immediately started doubting the very thing that spoke such truth to you? Vulnerability. That’s a tough one…especially in such polarized times. But let’s keep being vulnerable anyway. I could try to be someone I’m not and have a thicker skin but it’s probably not gonna happen. I’m just gonna have to be okay with knowing that life hurts sometimes. And isn’t that a gift? To sit in the uncomfortable for as long as it takes and to keep in mind that one day, this too shall pass? The key is to hold on long enough until it does.
Georgia will be playing in the round with Gary Burr and Jim Photoglo at The Bluebird Cafe this Thursday, Jan. 7th at 7:30 pm CST as a fundraiser for Alive Hospice. Please help us support this great cause…all proceeds from ticket sales will go to Alive Hospice.
Songs have changed the world and songs have lifted us up when we’re down. Kid Pan Alley’s Because We Have Music free livestream concert series continues with some of the finest songwriters Nashville has to offer on March 14th at 7pm EST with Georgia Middleman, Tom Kimmel, and hosts Paul Reisler and Cheryl Toth.
Georgia Middleman is an award-winning Nashville songwriter who has had songs recorded by Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Joe Nichols, Martina McBride, Sheila E., Radney Foster, Maia Sharp and many others. In 2011, she watched her song “I’m In” climb to the top of the country charts, courtesy of Keith Urban. Her song “When The Right One Comes Along” was featured in the ABC T.V. show “Nashville.”
Georgia has sung with Carole King and Ringo Starr and has recorded five solo CD’s of her own. She has also recorded with her trio Blue Sky Riders (featuring Georgia, Gary Burr and Kenny Loggins.)
A soulful, funny and inspiring singer-writer-poet, Tom Kimmel has released seven solo albums, three trio records, published a book of poems and toured across the US and in Europe.
An artist’s artist and writer’s writer, his songs have been covered by a host of Grammy winners, including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt, Levon Helm, Randy Travis, Dianne Reeves and Shawn Colvin… as well as by Joe Cocker, and dozens of other artists. His work has also been featured in a number of films and television shows. Writing successes notwithstanding, Tom’s fans and critics agree that he remains his own best interpreter—a unique artist in his sixth decade of music making who continues to create, perform and inspire at the highest levels.
Paul Reisler has written more songs than the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Stephen Foster combined—somewhere north of 3,500 compositions thanks in no small part to his army of 70,000 short collaborators in Kid Pan Alley residencies as well a handful of Grammy-winning co-writers. Artists including Sissy Spacek, Raul Malo, Darrell Scott, Cracker, Corey Harris, Jesse Winchester and many others have recorded his songs. He’s been recording, performing, and writing for the last 45 years. He’ll be joined by Cheryl Toth.
Come hear the songs performed by the people who know them the most intimately—the writers on March 14th at 7pm EST. Join in the zoom living room where you can talk with the performers and come as close as possible in these times to the magic of a house concert.
Event is FREE but you must register for a ticket. You can do that HERE
When we heard that their Australian fans were waking up at 5 a.m. to catch our Middleman Burr U.S. online show…we thought “Can we at least do one show JUST FOR THEM at a decent hour?” So that’s why this show is happening! 8:00 p.m. CT Friday night, May 22nd. It says 6:00 p.m. on the link but that’s Pacific time in the U.S. and in Australia, depending on which city you live in, this show will actually be on May 23rd around 11:00 p.m.. 😉 People in U.S. are also invited to come watch!
Georgia will be doing a livestream with hit songwriter, Dave Berg (If You’re Going Through Hell, Stupid Boy, Moments, Somebody) on Apr. 23rd. Come join us while we talk about life and swap songs back and forth! This livestream will be on Georgia’s Musician Facebook Page at 3:00 p.m. CST
Gary Burr and I will be doing a very special Facebook Live on the Songwriting With Soldiers Facebook page tomorrow, June 3rd at 7:00 p.m. CST where we will be featuring songs we’ve written with Veterans through the Songwriting With: Soldiers program
Every three months the “best of the best” Nashville songwriters join hosts Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman in the round at The Cutting Room in New York City to perform their original music and to share rare, behind-the-scenes details of the songs and songwriting. The next show will be April 7, 2020 and we will be joined by hit songwriters Jim Vallance and Mark Hudson!
For more information about this special show and to purchase tickets, please click HERE
I’m very excited to be part of the new PBS series “Songwriters Under The Covers with Victoria Shaw” on PBS! The series started on Oct. 16th and the next episode will air this Wednesday, Oct. 30th in New York at 8:30 EST on All Arts TV and Thursday, Oct. 31st in Nashville at 9:00 p.m. CST on NPT/PBS. It was filmed at Birdland and this week’s episode will feature me, Gary Burr and Erich Bergen telling the stories behind some of our favorite hit songs. If you don’t live in New York or Nashville, that’s okay…you can stream all seven episodes HERE!
If you missed the PBS special “Songwriting With: Soldiers” on Oct. 25th, you can catch it HERE
From Broadway World: “The concert features musicians performing original songs written with service veterans through SongwritingWith:Soldiers (SW:S), a nonprofit organization co-founded in 2012 by program director Mary Judd and creative director Darden Smith. SW:S is dedicated to transforming lives through weekend retreats and workshops that pair veterans with professional songwriters to craft songs about combat and the transition home. Songwriters performing on the special include Bonnie Bishop, Gary Burr, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Radney Foster, Mary Gauthier, James House, Will Kimbrough, Georgia Middleman, Gary Nicholson, Maia Sharp and Darden Smith.”
Through the years, people have asked me when am I going to record an acoustic record of the songs I play at my shows? Well…I’m excited to say…it’s done! The cd is called “Requests” and it’s officially for sale NOW! Check it out and let me know what you think 🙂
If you’re in Tennessee this weekend and looking for something fun to do, please join me and Gary on Saturday, July 13th as we play Wildwood’s “Newbird On The Water”! Show starts at 7:00. Tickets available on site or HERE
Have you ever wanted to go to Africa on a safari? Learn more about songwriting in a fun, natural, exotic setting? Now you can do both. From April 24-30, 2019, Gary and Georgia will be conducting a master songwriting workshop over the course of five days under the beautiful skies of South Africa. You’ll be staying in five-star tented suites, eating gourmet food cooked by a private chef, taking a safari every day and then coming back to learn about songwriting and play music with two hit Nashville songwriters.
But there’s only room for 6 participants…so sign up now!
Every three months, Gary and Georgia bring some of the greatest songwriters in the world to The Cutting Room in New York City. Their show is called “Nashville To New York” and to celebrate their fifth year in existence, for the first time, they’re bringing “Nashville To New York” to Nashville! Please join us at 3rd & Lindsley on May 21st…for tickets, click HERE
Gary and I will be back in New York City on June 12, 2019 to host our hit songwriter show “Nashville To New York” at The Cutting Room. Join us for another memorable evening of original song, story and humor as we welcome special guests Victoria Shaw (“The River”) and Jim Photoglo (“Fishin’ In The Dark”) to the stage! This special show will be in partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a portion of every ticket sold will be going to St. Jude.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m/ Showtime at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and more information about the June 12th show, go HERE
Georgia is excited to be joining Gary Burr as Middleman Burr performs at the annual Troubeliever Fest in Snow Basin, UT on Aug.4, 2018. She and Gary will also be teaching a master songwriting class. Come experience an amazing weekend of great music and songwriting with Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Troubadour 77, Shawn Colvin, Billy Dean, Monty Powell, Anna Wilson, Sammy Brue and many others! For more information, please click HERE
Gary and I are back in New York City on August 14, 2018 to host “Nashville To New York” at The Cutting Room. Join us for another memorable evening of original song, story and humor as we welcome hit songwriters John Scott Sherrill and Steve Diamond to the stage. For tickets and more information, click HERE
Georgia’s fourth solo cd is finally here! PLUM is a collection of jazz-influenced songs that Georgia wrote and produced with her friend Bill DeMain. To listen to the songs and purchase the cd, click HERE or feel free to send a check for $15 to: Georgia Middleman, P.O. Box 150763, Nashville, TN 37215. Be sure to include your mailing address!
Please join Gary & me for our first ever Middleman Burr performance in Nashville on Nov. 28th! We’ll be playing at 3rd & Lindsleywith our full band and will be featuring songs off our upcoming CD “MB”.
Today, May 25, 2017 is National Missing Children’s Day. I am so honored to have collaborated with The Polly Klaas Foundation on a video they made using a song I wrote with Annie Tate and Sam Tate to help bring awareness to our missing kids out there. The song is called “Take A Good Look At My Face.” To watch this special video, click HERE and if you have seen or see any of these children, please call the number on the screen: 1-800-587- HELP.
Georgia will be heading to Belton, TX on May 19th to write with female veterans as part of Songwriting With: Soldiers. At this retreat, professional songwriters are paired with veterans to help them put their stories into song. This is a deeply transformative and healing process providing a platform for those to talk about their experiences in combat and returning home. To read more about this fine organization, please click HERE
Georgia will be one of the many artists performing at eTOWN on Nov. 20, 2016 in Boulder, CO.
“Stand With Standing Rock; Awakening the Indigenous in all of us” is a Rally and Fundraiser for Standing Rock, and all the Water Protectors on the front lines. Igniting an Indigenous Nation, honoring Grandmother Earth. Reconnecting and restoring People and Planet.
Gary Burr, Georgia Middleman, Will Nance & Steve WilliamsFriday, November 11, 2016 @ 8:00 PM
These top Nashville singer/songwriters have written a host of hit songs that have been performed by some of today’s most popular and respected musicians. They come together on The Sheldon stage to share their stories and songs. Gary Burr has 32 top 40 hits, 24 top tens and 14 number ones, and he’s been honored as Songwriter of the Year by Billboard Magazine, ASCAP and the Nashville Songwriters Association of America. He’s collaborated with Carole King, Kenny Loggins and Ringo Starr. Georgia Middleman has written songs recorded by Faith Hill, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire and Keith Urban. Will Nance has written number one songs for Brad Paisley and George Strait and received “Million Air” Awards from BMI and a BMI Award for a top ten Joe Nichols single. Steve Williams has contributed songs on three gold records and has written hits for The Oakridge Boys, George Strait, Craig Morgan and Kristin Chenoweth.
Georgia is excited to be returning to the big island for the Hawai’i Songwriting Festival as a facilitator from June 16-18, 2016. Presented by KMF (Kauai Music Festival), this event welcomes both novice and experienced songwriters to a celebration of their craft. Special emphasis is placed on education, collaboration and the creation of music for the film and television industries.
Georgia and Gary had the fantastic opportunity to talk about songwriting and write a song with McGavock High School students last month. She, Gary and the kids will perform the song they wrote “Limited Time Offer” live for the first time at Keith Urban & Vince Gill’s All For The Hall Event on April 12, 2016 at The Bridgestone Arena at 7:30 p.m. Check out this great article below in The Tennessean written by Cindy Watts about how this event came to be and to learn more about The Country Music Hall of Fame’s educational program Words & Music.
I am so excited to be part of the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival next month! I will be conducting songwriting classes with Gary Burr on March 5th and 6th and performing at The Clayton Hotel Belfast on March 4th in the round with Simon Murphy and Stephen Macartney and again on March 5th in the round with Donal Scullion, Robb Murphy and Rab Wishart. http://www.belfastnashville.com
When I’m not playing solo or in the trio with Kenny Loggins, I join my hubby, Gary Burr as one half of the duo called Middleman Burr. Neat, huh? Be sure to check out our new website: www.middlemanburr.com
And we are proud to say we just finished our first duo record called “I Like The Sound Of That.”Continue reading →
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