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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann


Songwriters to Host First True Bluebird In-The-Round Concert at The Studio at Opry City Stage

Hit songwriters J. Fred Knobloch, Thom Schuyler, Tony Arata and renowned harmonica player Jelly Roll Johnson will present the first true in-the-round performance for the Bluebird Cafe Songwriter Series at The Studio at Opry City Stage in the heart of Times Square on Friday, September 14, 2018. Knobloch and Schuyler originated the first in-the-round show at Nashville’s famed Bluebird Cafe over 36 years ago. Set in the center of the room, in-the-round has evolved into the venue’s signature format, and the two creators, along with Arata and Johnson have been dubbed “The Bluebird Cafe’s Fab Four.” 

“The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville is known for developing and presenting true ‘In The Round’ songwriter shows, where listeners are in up close and personal proximity with the writers and the songs,” said Erika Wollam Nichols, Bluebird Cafe COO/GM. “In our tiny, 90-seat room, the format creates an intimacy that is quite different from a stage show. We’re excited to bring this authentic Bluebird experience to the New York audience!”

J. Fred Knobloch has had songs recorded by The Judds, The Everly Brothers, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood and more. Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame members Thom Schuyler and Tony Arata have contributed songs such as “16thAvenue,” “My Old Yellow Car,” “The Dance,” “Here I Am” and more. The list of artists award-winning harmonica player Jelly Roll Johnson has toured with or recorded for reads like a who’s-who in music, and performs with Knobloch, Schuyler and Arata almost every time they play the Bluebird.

The Bluebird Cafe Songwriter Series at Opry City Stage kicked off in March, and all songwriter shows have been featured on the stage of the venue’s fourth floor Studio. The intimate club will seat all four songwriters in the center of the room with up to 140 patrons gathered round to hear them tell stories behind hit songs they have composed and listen as those songs are performed as they were originally written.

Tickets for the September 14 show are $30.00 and are on sale now via  

About the Bluebird Cafe:

Amy Kurland opened what she thought would be a small cafe in a nondescript strip center just south of downtown Nashville in June of 1982. Adding a stage as an afterthought, live music soon became a staple of the eatery. Recognizing the room was built for acoustic music, she offered the club as an outlet for songwriters and aspiring artists to perform original material.  Inspired by private guitar-pulls, regular performers Thom Schuyler and J. Fred Knobloch, pioneeredthe idea of presenting songwriters “in the round,” where writers set their chairs in the center of the room to play their original material, telling the stories and inspirations for their songs. 

In 2008, Kurland sold the legendary venue to the Nashville Songwriters Association International, (NSAI) a 50-year-old, not-for-profit organization devoted to the service of songwriters and the craft of songwriting. In the ensuing eleven years, little about the club itself has changed as the small room continues to focus on promoting the craft of songwriting, but the reach has expanded and the Bluebird hosts several off-site events that bear the iconic name.

Bluebird on the Mountain - a sold-out concert series at Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory in Nashville, the Bluebird Cafe at London’s Country2Country Festival, and the annual Bluebird Cafe Concert Series at Utah’s Sundance Resort. Most recently, the new Opry City Stage in the heart of New York City’s Times Square began featuring the Bluebird Cafe Songwriter Series spotlighting songwriters from Nashville, New York and across the country.

For additional information on The Bluebird Cafe and the documentary, visit

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