Six Shooter and the next big thing

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The photo you’re looking at dates back 20 years. It’s Six Shooter—a band you most certainly have never heard of.

Back in 1996, when I was covering music for The Tennessean, I was asked to profile Six Shooter, a six-person country band made up of Nashville-based kids between the ages of 14 and 18. They were supposed to be (everyone say it together) the next big thing …  only the next big thing never became next or big or a thing. In the article, I quoted Brian Zonn, the bass player, saying the new album is, “stone cold country. It’s all country music.” Which is a pretty awful quote. Six Shooter was a country group. Were the album “stone cold gangsta rap”—well, we’d be on to something.

I digress.

In this business of chronicling life, there’s always a next big thing that never emerges. Ryan Leaf was the next big thing. Ruben Studdard was the next big thing. Mushroom quiche was the next big thing. Gretchen Mol was the next big thing. In fact, even when next big things become next big things, they’re not really big things. That’s because, come day’s end, we’re just pieces of flesh and bone and blood and nail held together by some weird cosmic staple. Yesterday’s Robert Redford is today’s Denzel Washington is tomorrow’s Michael B. Jordan. We live and we die and we sing and we dance and … well, we’re ultimately limited by the bounds of humanity. We can’t levitate or turn lasagna into ice cream with a snap of the fingers.

The next big thing, ultimately, is the same old thing in a new package.

Done rambling.

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