"Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou" -Hank Williams
Last week, I was honored to perform for attendees of the Claims Education Conference, held at the picturesque Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel. Although I’ve played in front of beautiful backdrops before, never have I sung in full view of the mighty Mississippi River! A very special thank you goes out to Carl Van of International Insurance Institute for having me, and for providing each guest with a signed copy of my latest album, Broken In. For those of you who may not know, Carl and I go back about fifteen years. I was his personal assistant when I first moved to Nashville back in 2002 (shortly before his business relocated to New Orleans). And believe it or not, years later we would team up to make some very exciting music together.
Over his 30+ years in the insurance industry, Carl jotted down every funny work-inspired story, whimsical idea, and satirical song title he could think of. And in 2012, he decided he had enough material for a full-length album, which he wanted to call I’m a Claims Man. He just needed some "music people" to bring his vision to life. That’s where I (and another former employee/musician) came in. As part of the “Awesome Adjuster Band,” we collaborated with Carl; I co-produced five of the eleven songs, set them to music, and even sang lead vocals on four of them. With full instrumentation and some of Nashville’s finest musicians playing on the tracks, I’m a Claims Man is definitely worth a listen… especially if you’re a claims professional or know someone who works in the field (it makes a great stocking stuffer!). In all seriousness, Carl’s songs are creative, humorous, and without a doubt, entertaining... as if you couldn’t tell by some of these song titles: “Behind on Diary Blues,” “The Performance Review,” and “All I Want is the Sex Life of a Pre-Injured Claimant,”… I still laugh at that last one. If you’re wondering… no, I didn’t play it at the conference. I did, however, work up a little “Jambalaya (on the Bayou)” by Hank Williams just for the occasion. The gig was a blast, and to top it off, the banana cream pie at Chef Emeril Lagasse’s world-renowned restaurant was deee-licious. Bam!