Breckenridge Texan

Brett Taylor & Friends entertain crowd at final concert in National Theatre’s 2023-24 Performance Series

Brett Taylor & Friends entertain crowd at final concert in National Theatre’s 2023-24 Performance Series
May 06
13:43 2024

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

As Brett Taylor and his songwriting friends Richie Sessions and Neal Carpenter sat on the National Theatre stage in downtown Breckenridge, they genuinely seemed to be enjoying the show as much as the audience.

Brett Taylor, who is originally from Texas, opened up the final Performance Series concert at the National Theatre of Breckenridge with one of his songs. Click here to see more photos from the concert. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

The concert, “Brett Taylor & Friends,” was the last in the National Theatre of Breckenridge’s 2023-24 Performance Series.

The three singer-songwriters performed the concert in a songwriters’ round style with each one taking turns singing a song of their choice. At times, the other two joined in the singing, as well.

It was a casual performance for the Nashville-based musicians. Taylor is originally from Texas and had several members of his family in the audience. Sessions is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, but attended Baylor University. Carpenter is originally from South Carolina. They were added to the Performance Series lineup after Michelle Arnot of Breckenridge visited Nashville and saw Taylor perform.

The simple stage set up on April 26 included the three men and two guitars — Taylor and Sessions took turns playing the same guitar because Sessions was having “guitar issues,” he explained. As each musician took his turn at singing, he often told the story behind the song and, in some cases, who has recorded the song.

For example, Taylor’s “Hallelujahville” was recorded by Tim McGraw. “This song made its way to Tim (McGraw), and I got a text when I was at my little farm in Gustine, Texas, with my family. Tim had texted me and my co-writers and said ‘Hallelujahville, I love the song, can’t wait to cut this.’ And then three and a half, four years later, it finally came out. So that’s the journey the songs take,” Taylor said. “So songs take a long time. They get a bus ticket and you don’t know where they’re gonna go. And then when they finally reach their destination, you can’t worry about that as a songwriter. But it’s fun to see where they end up and how people get to enjoy your song.”

Richie Sessions performs one of his original songs during the “Brett Taylor & Friends” concert at the National Theatre of Breckenridge. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

In introducing his song “Good Guys,” Carpenter talked about his early, tough days in Nashville as a recording artist. After his contract as a songwriter was up with a music publisher, he decided to go out on his own. “Around this time, your mid 20s , you’ve probably fallen in love for real at least once. And maybe you’ve sabotaged it somehow,” he said. “That was the position I was in, and I took about a week and I went up to this cabin my parents had in the mountains of South Carolina. This is one of the songs I wrote. That’s on the record I made. Confession. That’s what this is, confession.”

Sessions is a songwriter, but he’s also a preacher. He talked about working with country music singer Taylor Austin Dye, writing songs. “She had come in and I asked her what was going on with her life. That’s what you do in a write-in, just kind of sit there and hang out and talk to people and figure out what’s going on,” Sessions said. “People will really open up, talk about things. She said that her daddy had just died the week before and she was estranged from her dad. And he had lived a hard life, and she had a lot of hurt around that. We talked a little bit about that. That’s probably why I went to seminary, so I could talk about stuff like that. And I told her I was working on this idea of a song about a truck. My daddy had a green Ford pickup truck that brought a lot of good memories to me every time I see it. She said her daddy had one, too. And so we wrote a song about the green truck, and it’s on her latest album.”

Brett Taylor, left, joins Neal Carpenter in singing one of Carpenter’s songs at the National Theatre. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The National Theatre board is working on the next Performance Series, which will start in the Fall. In the meantime, there are some upcoming activities. In June, the theater will host the 2024 Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “Treasure Island,” an original adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel. More details to come.

On Saturday, May 11, the theater will offer a free screening of the movie “Ordinary Angels.” The movie will start at 7 p.m., and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m.  Concessions and drinks will be available to purchase with cash or card (no checks).

The National Theatre of Breckenridge is located at 116 E. Walker St. For more information, call 254-433-8299 or visit the theater’s Facebook page or the Friends of Historic Breckenridge website.

Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery from the concert.


Cutline, top photo: The National Theatre of Breckenridge’s 2023-24 Performance Series closed with a concert by Richie Sessions, left, Brett Taylor, center, and Neal Carpenter, right. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)




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