In the 1990s, Little Texas, featuring singer Tim Rushlow, released more than a dozen country hits, including “God Blessed Texas,” “Amy’s Back in Austin,” “What Might Have Been” and “My Love.”
Rushlow launched a solo career after Little Texas’ breakup. More recently, he’s been hosting “Rushlow in the Round.” The intimate, singer and songwriter performance features Rushlow and a pair of major Nashville, Tennessee, songwriters.
Rushlow is bringing “In the Round” to Baton Rouge Saturday for a show-plus-dinner at the River Center Ballroom. He’ll be joined by Jimmy Ritchey and Chuck Jones.
Ritchey, a singer, songwriter and producer, co-wrote Jake Owen’s No. 1 hit, “The One That Got Away.” His writing credits also include Owen’s hits “Startin’ With Me” and “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” and George Strait’s “I Gotta Get To You.”
Jones’ writing credits include recordings by Patti LaBelle, Ronnie Milsap, Shelby Lynne, Chris LeDoux, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Charlie Daniels, Deana Carter, Reba McEntire and Peter Cetera.
Country hits penned by Jones include a trio of No. 1 songs, John Berry’s “Your Love Amazes Me,” Diamond Rio’s “Love a Little Stronger” and Billy Dean’s “It’s What I Do.”
The roots of “Rushlow in the Round” date to about five years ago, Rushlow said from Nashville.
“I had a show where I couldn’t have a band,” he said. “There was no way to physically get them there. The only one who could get there was me.”
Before he walked on the stage alone with his guitar, Rushlow had some ideas about making the show less bare.
“I said, ‘Guys, I can throw a couple of Persian rugs up here. Maybe a couch. If it’s just me by myself, I want it to feel like I’m in my living room.’ So I borrowed some furniture from a hotel that was close by. It was an incredible night, probably one of the best nights I’ve ever had onstage.”
Afterward, Rushlow thought that a performance done in an acoustic setting featuring songs combined with the stories about the songs’ origins could make a great show.
“Because, inevitably, the songs that are the soundtrack of my life are the soundtracks of other people’s lives,” he said. “So I did a bunch of solo shows, one man, one guitar.”
About three years ago, Rushlow decided to expand his one-man show.
“I have great relationships with a lot of songwriters in Nashville,” he said. “They live here and make a living writing awesome hits on the radio. So I asked them if they would be part of a night that I would host, where they share their stories behind the songs. They were like, ‘Absolutely.’
“There’s a place for a band,” Rushlow said. “There’s a place to turn it up and get rowdy. But there is something about this (“In the Round”) that you do not get with a band.
“A band is more about a show, a performance, choreography, a PA and lights. That whole deal. We have elements of that, but it’s much more unplugged and intimate. That’s the best part of the show.”