Southwest Airlines Brings The BlueBird Cafe to New York City, With Performances by Charles Esten, Striking Matches and Kim Richey

Striking Matches, Charles Esten and Kim Richey at the Southwest Porch at
Bryant Park in New York City. Photo courtesy of the Bluebird Cafe.
Southwest Airlines brought Nashville's legendary Bluebird Cafe to new heights on Monday with a Live at 35K performance onboard a Southwest flight from Nashville to New York City. The in-flight performance featured songwriter Kim Richey, country music duo Striking Matches, and actor/musician, Charles Esten.

Both Richey and Striking Matches have penned tunes that were featured on ABC's Nashville, a primetime serial renowned for its musical soundtrack. Esten plays Deacon Claybourne in the hit drama that highlights Music City and the Nashville music community.

Once the Nashville-inspired flight landed in New York City, the three acts took to the stage at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park, to give New York fans a taste of a Bluebird Cafe “In the Round” performance, the format made famous at the club where the performers take turns playing their original music, sharing the stories behind the songs, and accompanying each other instrumentally and with backing vocals.

Each act performed four songs "In the Round" with a group finale to close out the show. Esten, whose Nashville character was left battling for his life at the end of Season 3, didn't reveal much about what's head on his hit TV show, but did admit he loved writing songs based on his alcoholic character's experiences.

"It's fun writing from Deacon's perspective because he has issues," Esten told the enthusiastic Southwest Porch crowd. He sang "Lost & Found," "Whiskey Lips," "Scars" and the Nashville song he co-wrote with Deana Carter, "I Know How to Love You Now."

The duo Striking Matches has had eight of their songs used by the series, including "When the Right One Comes Along," a Scarlett and Gunnar duet from Season 1 they performed during the show.

Richey opened with her 1995 hit, "Those Words We Said."

It was a fabulous evening to be outdoors listening to music in NYC.

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