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Strings & Stories features hit songwriters, surprise Barenaked Lady visit

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High Hopes Development Center hosted its 13th annual fundraiser Strings & Stories recently at the Franklin Theatre. The event featured three local hit songwriters — Ed Hill, Cameron Bedell and Kevin Griffin.

The highlight of the evening was a special surprise appearance from Ed Robertson, the lead singer of the Barenaked Ladies, who was in town writing songs with his friend Kevin Griffin.

“I just invited him to come along since he was in town,” Griffin said to the crowd. Robertson performed several songs including hits “Pinch Me,” “One Week” and the theme for the hit TV show the “Big Bang Theory.”

Ashley Roberts was one of those in attendance who was excited that Ed Robertson was in attendance.

“Everyone knows that song … Chickty China the Chinese chicken,” said Roberts, referring to the Barenaked Lady hit song “One Week.”

Hill has had an illustrious career that has spanned more three decades, bringing multiple awards and a string of hits to his credit. His first single in 1989 with Reba McEntire was “Til Love Comes Again” and most recently wrote “Most People Are Good” by Luke Bryan. The highlight of the evening was Hill performing hit song “Be My Baby” sung by John Michael Montgomery. 

Bedell is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter from Wichita, Kansas, who moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University. An “American Idol” alum, he has collaborated with the likes of Chris Lane, Jimmie Allen and Lauren Alaina, to name a few.

Griffin is best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Better Than Ezra and is known locally as one of the founders of the Pilgrimage Music Festival. As a songwriter, his work has been performed and recorded by artists such as Taylor Swift, Train, Sugarland, James Blunt, Dierks Bentley and more.

“We had another successful event with four talented singer-songwriters,” said Brandy Blanton, High Hopes director of Development. “It is amazing the talent we have living right here in Williamson County and it was so cool to have Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies join us.

“Year after year, community involvement ensures that we can continue to provide education, therapeutic services and loving support to families who depend upon us for care.”

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