Back in 2001, in Franklin TN, I was sitting next to Annelise, and heard her beautiful singing voice. We talked about starting a band, and boom – COYOTE BLUE was born. That’s a picture of us playing in COYOTE BLUE at Ethel’s Halloween Party in Franklin TN fall of 2001. From left to right in the picture, there is Barry on bass, Ted on drums and vocals, Annelise on vocals, acoustic guitar, and percussion, and me on electric guitar and vocals. We had ourselves a band!
Earlier, I had met Ted, our drummer. He was getting married and needed a place to store/move his drum set. I had an extra room in my house, so we set up his drum set in the “jam room”. Annelise, Ted, and I got together on a Saturday and worked through some songs. We still hadn’t found a bass player. One weekend, my neighbor’s boyfriend, Barry, knocked on my door and introduced himself. He said that he had heard some music coming from my house. We chatted and I thought that it was more than a coincidence when he told me he was a bass player. Only in Nashville do things like that happen. Barry had been a drummer for years and then switched to the bass. He was happy to join us, and we were happy to have him.
We jammed together for several weeks, and then I thought it was time to get serious. We had a band meeting in my kitchen, sitting at my kitchen table. I had printed out some of the songs that we were playing and Annelise had made us all a CD. I gave everyone a binder so we could get down to business. Barry had never been in a band that had taken such a formal approach to getting organized. However, he by far had the most band experience between the four of us. At one point when we were working through things Barry asked “Mark, you don’t happen to have a pencil do you?” When I reached in the drawer and pulled out 4 sharpened pencils, he said the funniest thing – “Mark, I feel like I’m at some kind of seminar”. We all laughed. But, with all of our busy schedules we had to make our practice time efficient.
It was fun playing together. We did some blues tunes, and some classic rock n roll. I got us a Halloween gig and we made a whole $250 and split it four ways. After we got done that night, all of our schedules pulled us in different directions. I was traveling a lot for work and didn’t have the time I did earlier in the year. I was at a gathering and someone mentioned that they were looking for entertainment at an upcoming Singles Dance in Nashville. Since it hadn’t been to many weeks since we had done the Halloween Party, I committed us to play. Ethel’s Halloween Party had been outside at a Polo Farm in Franklin TN. I remember that it was down the road form Alan Jackson’s house, and it was pretty chilly when we played. The Singles Dance, however, was inside under better conditions.
I’m glad that we got that one last chance to play together. We could hear each other so much better at the Dance, than we did playing outside at the party. A lot of people complimented us after the dance, and we felt it was a great success. That was pretty much it for me in Nashville. By the end of 2002 I was moving for work back to my home state of Virginia, and it would be years before I would play again in a band.
– Mark Salyers