February 1, 2018 – 6:00 pm

Music at the Frist: Songwriter Ronny Criss and Friends

Cafe ~ FREE

  • Shawn Byrne performs his original song, Andalusia, at Fontanel's Back Porch concert series.

  • Ronny Criss sings North and South

Singer-songwriter Ronny Criss gathers his talented songwriting friends and co-writers for evenings of original music.

Born in Arkansas and raised in Chicago, Criss is a talented tunesmith with Southern roots and a Midwestern sensibility. Join him and some of Nashville’s newcomers as well as established writers in the Frist café.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tonight, Ronny will be trading tunes with Shawn Byrne

Originally from Middletown, CT, Shawn's earliest influences were his father, a part-time musician and his eclectic music collection in which Cash, Willie, and Waylon played nicely alongside The Stones, The Beatles, and The Who.

Shawn's father kept his Gibson Les Paul Goldtop under his bed.The classic guitar found it's way onto a school bus and to the stage of a 3rd grade talent contest where the young Shawn horrified his music teacher as he wrestled the weighty guitar while rocking out to Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane." His father only discovered the "loan" of his guitar when, at a gig, he found all his guitar picks missing from his case. Shortly, Shawn had his own guitar, $150 Fender Squire Strat.

Shawn's journey to Nashville took him through the prestigious Berklee School in Nashville and soon to Nashville's Bluebird Cafe...as the famed club's dishwasher. Shawn scrubbed lightly as to not drown out the songs being shared just beyond the kitchen wall by some of Nashville's most successful songwriters.

During this time Shawn honed his writing and playing skills and not only became one the town's most sought after guitar slingers (touring with Rodney Atkins, Mark Collie, Ashton Shepherd and Kelleigh Bannen, to name just a few) but also became an in demand demo singer working on sessions for Mark Knopfler, Mary Gauthier, Gary Louris and Kristen Hall under the guidance of Grammy winning producer Nathan Chapman. In time it was Shawn's talents as a writer that got the attention from publishers and major artists alike, garnering Shawn a SESAC writer's award and around 20 cuts to his name.

Now it's Nashville where Shawn straps on his Dad's old (and now road-worn) Goldtop Les Paul and takes the stage.


Admission is free for college students with valid school ID on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. (with the exception of Frist Fridays).











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