Tag Archives: Conversations on Cub Creek

Episode 4: Johnny Neel

Tonight, I sit down with southern rock and blues legend Johnny Neel. Johnny is probably best known as a member of the Allman Brothers.

He is an exceptional piano and organ player, and his distinctive, blues-tinged voice can be heard on everything from the Allmans to Disney.

He is a fellow Creeker, living just down the road from me. We talked history, music, politics, health, and the spirituality of delivering a song.

I think you’re going to enjoy this next hour with the one-of-a-kind, Johnny Neel. Let’s get started.

Episode 1-Part 1: The Racial Divide

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Conversations on Cub Creek. I can think of no other conversation to start with, than the one all of America is having right now, the racial divide, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, individual accountability, and civic duty.

On a producer’s note: I went back and forth on whether to invite all-black guests or to mix it up. There were definite pros and cons to that decision. In the end, I decided to ask four black friends to join me. This is a conversation, a listening session, and a beer summit, with some hard questions thrown in. Thank you to those who submitted questions online this past week. I will ask many of them over the next hour.

My guests tonight include a father-son combo, Phillip Wood Sr. and Phillip Woods Jr.

Phil Sr. is from Hayti, Missouri, a small town along the Mississippi River, in the bootheel of Missouri. He graduated with a bachelor’s in science from the University of Missouri in 1995 and later, a Bachelor of Nursing. He has been a psychiatric nurse, and now a supervisor at Vanderbilt Behavioral Health for the last 16 years. He volunteers with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and is a youth football and basketball coach.

Phil Jr. was also born in Hayti. He received his Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Middle Tennessee State University and his Master of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Alabama. He’s worked as a strength and fitness coach for gyms, big corporations, and hospitals.

I’m joined on the phone by my friend Vanessa Hill. She was born in Northern Michigan but raised in southern Alabama. She is first and foremost an accomplished singer-songwriter, and recording artist for Sony-Tree, CBS Records, and New Freedom Records, a sister label of Warner Brothers. She’s had a ton of songs recorded by artists including the Bellamy Brothers. She’s been a professional chauffeur to the stars, including Danny Glover, CC Winans, and Jeff Foxworthy. She’s also been the mayor of Greensboro, Alabama, just 39 miles from Selma, Alabama. She is currently the founder and CEO of the Color of Music, a 501-C-3 organization, teaching youth the value of life through the arts

Last, but certainly not least, welcome my pal Tracye Davis, originally from Lexington, Kentucky. And not just “from” Kentucky, but she played for the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team. She’s been a federal corrections officer, a juvenile justice parole officer, and a Mental Health Specialist for Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital.

This podcast is split up into two one-hour parts. Sit back, and feel free to join us in a beer, we’ve got a bucket-full in the middle of the table. Thank you for joining me and thank you for being willing to listen. Let’s get the conversation started.