nashville encore

Three Nashville musicians will perform Saturday, Oct. 2, at Northwest High School in Cedar Hill for a benefit concert to raise money for scholarships.

Two of the performers are brothers and NHS graduates – songwriter Wil Nance, class of 1975, and bassist Gary Nance, class of 1976. They will bring along songwriter and musician Steve Williams, who’s also from the St. Louis area.

The show will be held in the lecture hall at Northwest High, 6005 Cedar Hill Road.

Doors will open at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $10 apiece in advance and $15 at the door.

This will be the second time the Nance brothers will put on a show at Northwest High to benefit its students. The first was in 2019.

Julie Bobbitt, former high school receptionist, organized both shows. She said she wanted to bring the Nance brothers back because people enjoyed it so much the first time.

“It was great watching people interact and their happiness during the performance. People were so pleased, and I want the community to have an opportunity to enjoy entertainment close to home,” Bobbitt said. “These guys are fantastic, not just good people but fantastic musicians.”

Most importantly though, proceeds from the show will fund scholarships for Northwest High students.

“This matters because of the kids,” she said.

Wil Nance, agrees.

“It’s for a good cause,” he said. “We’re going to raise some money for scholarships.”

Wil Nance, a renowned songwriter, created Brad Paisley’s No. 1 hit, “She’s Everything,” George Strait’s No. 1 hit, “Round About Way,” Joe Nichols’ “Cool to be a Fool” and Mo Pitney’s “Clean up on Aisle Five” and recent release, “Local Honey.”

Nance’s songs also have been recorded by artists like Tracy Lawrence, John Michael Montgomery, Craig Morgan, Diamond Rio, the Oak Ridge Boys and Easton Corbin. 

His brother, Gary Nance, is a Nashville live and session bassist who has played with Colt Ford, Johnny Rodriquez and Woody Lee.

The brothers, originally from House Springs, both had their start in a band called Zane Grey that played the St. Louis circuit at Spanky’s and Mississippi Nights back in the day.

Stephen J. Williams is a songwriter, too, and wrote the popular 2005 release, “Redneck Yacht Club,” which rose through the ranks to the top of the country charts.

The Nance brothers share a common history in the St. Louis music scene. At one time, the Nance brothers band, Zane Grey, was the house band at Mississippi Nights. After they moved on, Steve Williams’ band, Arrow Memphis, took over the house duties, Wil Nance said.

Later, Gary Nance and Williams formed a band together called The Blast and left for Nashville, Wil Nance said.

He said it will be nice to be home and again play for his alma mater.

“We’re going to see some friends, play some music, raise some money. It’s good to go back to your roots. It’s like anybody else’s hometown; it’s just good being there,” Nance said.

During the concert, the audience will get to hear some old tunes, as well as some of the Nance brothers’ original material, he said.

“There will be songs that help you reminisce, songs to make you laugh, songs that make you cry, songs that move you, songs that remind you of the good ole days, a good night of music,” he said.

Bobbitt, who recently retired from her position as high school receptionist after 26 years, said she she’ll be at the Nance brothers’ upcoming concert.

“I love that place. I love the people there – the parents, the kids,” she said. “It was great to finish my career there. It was a good ride. “

Bobbitt encourages others to come out for the show.

“I’m urging people in the district – people from the businesses, faculty, staff and parents to come on down and support the kids,” she said.

To buy tickets in advance, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Northwest High, Attn. Julie Bobbitt Brakefield, 6005 Cedar Hill Road, Cedar Hill, 63016. Make checks payable to Northwest High School. After Sept. 24, advance tickets will not be mailed but held at the door.