Wyatt Durrette writes songs for a living (yeah, we’re jealous, too). Believe it or not he’s co-written most every hit song Zach Brown Band has dropped. His love for songwriting joined his love for food at Papi’s Taqueria on Wed. Dec. 5 with the opening night of Arriba Room Sessions, a private pop-up event featuring musicians Travis Meadows and Levi Lowrey.
The upstairs of Papi’s, which ZBB chef Rusty Hamlin recently opened on Ocean Boulevard, makes for a perfect intimate setting to test out Durette and friends’ latest songs.
Durrette’s goal for the Arriba Room Sessions is to have a series of pop-up shows following a dinner that not only showcase local artists, but those passing through town.
“I’ve been writing songs for forever, and I have my own studio. So I bring artists from all over the place to write songs here with me,” said Durrette.
He will take full advantage of his network of musicians to book upcoming sessions for the upstairs room in Papi’s. The pop-ups will be posted less than 48 hours before the event, and no more than about 30 people will be invited.
Durrette borrows the general dinner pop-up format from what he’s seen around the country, but builds onto it a musical element, much like you would see in a Nashville Songwriters in the Round show.
“We sit up there and take turns telling stories about songs and why we wrote them,” said Durrette. He wrote songs with Meadows and Lowrey for days before they played them for Wednesday night’s session.[location-1]
“I thought it would be intimate and cool … We sold out in about 20 minutes that first time we posted,” Durrette said of the first session. “We decided not to let pictures, videos, or cell phones in. You sit with strangers eating dinner. It’s just as much about the human connection as it is the music. We really wanted to create something different.”
The first Arriba Room Sessions raised money to support Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant’s Angel Tree for Christmas Commandos campaign this year. That charity gathers the Christmas lists of underprivileged children, and when participants draw a name from the tree, they fulfill that child’s Christmas list. Durrette pulled a few names from the tree, and the pop-up funds will go to making their lists a reality. “I like people being able to put a name and a story to where their money is going,” Durrette said.
On ARS nights, dinner is served at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets ($30) can be purchased by calling or stopping by Papi’s. Get updates on the next ARS first by following the taqueria on Instagram.