In this edition of Overdrive Radio, we’re talking music, and the Capitol Christmas Tree haul, and a recording session that happened November 23 in Nashville, as regular readers will be familiar with from my early-week pictorial tour through it with Kingsport, Tenn.-based owner-operator Taylor Barker.

Barker won this year’s edition of Overdrive’s own Trucker Talent Search, held annually at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. Part of the prize for the big win is a recording session at Jay’s Place in Nashville on Music Row, with longtime producer-engineer and session player himself Jay Vernali. “It’s Saturday night on Music Row,” as Jay set the scene — where the magic happens, as it were. A window here into Taylor Barker’s history in music and trucking, and the singer-songwriter’s plans for the recording, a little of that early magic. Take a listen:

Bonus: “Cherie’s Song” was one of the originals Barker recorded this past Saturday, and my talk with him, as you’ll hear in the podcast, reveals the close bond he and his wife, Cherie, hold today. As my colleague detailed in our feature story about Barker in the November issue of Overdrive, Cherie runs a boutique in the old downtown specializing in upcycling old furniture, refinishing, Taylor’s own woodworking, and more. Following, a bit of a before-and-after example of just how good Cherie is at what she does, with a bit of tale Barker told early on in the Saturday session that illustrates just how close the two have become in the decade they’ve been together.

The Barkers found this run-down piece by the side of the road one fine day not so long ago on their way in separate vehicles — Cherie and her in a car, Taylor Barker and another friend in a box truck behind them, on the way toward downtown Kingsport, where Cherie’s Boutique is located (130 Broad St.). As they approached it, Taylor hadn’t noticed it until Cherie hit her brakes and slowed just enough, passing it, that Taylor knew just what he had to do.

Taylor came to a complete stop alongside the piece as Cherie and friend motored away. “Is she going to come back?” his friend said. Taylor: “Nah, we’ll catch up with her. I’ve got to pick up that vanity right there.” What you see above: What the piece looked like after Cherie was through with it.

Also in the podcast:

Brumbach Stephens details his experience piloting the final third of the haul of this Capitol Christmas Tree in a specially wrapped KW W990. Stephens, a former small fleet owner-operator now principally in sales with Wilbanks Trucking, spelled out some of the details of his and others’ piloting of the tree clear across the nation, making numerous tour stops for public viewing along the way. We caught up with him a week ago at the stop outside the Bridgestone Arena here in Nashville. Songwriter Lindsay Lawler and a crew of Nashville local songwriters entertained the assembled with a bevy of Christmas songs, as you’ll hear.

Stephens and company arrived this past Monday where this was scene at unload in the nation’s capitol.


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