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More than Nashville

The musicians may live in Nashville, but their music goes way beyond the city limits, past the country genre and into some universal chords.

Chris Gelbuda headlined the Fitton Center's Nashville Writer's Round April 15 with special guests Tim Fagan and Carey Ott.

All three took turns telling stories and singing about love and loss, about collaborations with big stars on commercial hits and - naturally - a song about middle school woodshop class. While one played and sang, the other two pitched in harmony vocals, rhythm guitar, percussion and piano, clearly enjoying one another's songs and the opportunity to play such an intimate room.

Gelbuda opened the second set by inviting U.S. Army National Guard veteran Josh Wilson down to the stage with his kids. Gelbuda met Wilson - from New Concord, Ohio - working with CreatiVets, an organization that pairs veterans and musicians to turn their stories into songs.

Wilson read his poem that Gelbuda, CreatiVets founder Richard Casper and country artist Drake White made into a song. Gelbuda then played a solo version of it before an emotional audience.

(White recorded "The Men That Make the Thunder" and released it last year on Veterans Day.)

Gelbuda closed the show with a touch of Hamilton, performing "The Place," a song he co-wrote for David Shaw's 2021 self-titled solo album.

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