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To be sure, I see a bunch of great live music here in Nashville, and I probably miss at least as many if not more than I get to see.
Last night was one of those great shows that I did get to see, and it was a show that made me really happy that I live in Nashville. It was the Aaron Lee Tasjan Release Show for In the Blazes at The Basement (the original one) last night. Zach Schmidt opened the show back by Adam Kurtz on pedal steel. Zach Schmidt looks like a Country music star should look, and he has the songs and voice to back up the look. He is the real deal, and he easily kick the ass of any one of those "bro-country" posers, but he is probably too nice a guy to do that.
Aaron Lee Tasjan is a one of a kind artist, and he seems destined to as hugely famous as he deserves to be. Seeing him live under any circumstances and in any configuration (band or solo) is always a must-see event. When he assembles the kind of band he did last night, the show is one for the ages. Backed by drummer Aaron Shafer-Haiss, legendary bassist Keith Christopher, the always amazing Brian Wright and Jon Latham on guitars, and on two songs backed by vocal powerhouses Sally Jaye and Sarah Potenza - Tasjan's incredible songs were delivered with precision and power.
In short, the night was a demonstration of what I love about this city. Great songwriters, talented players, mutual admiration, and incredible music. The Basement was packed out and everywhere I looked were awesome songwriters and players taking it in.
In the Blazes is hands down one of the best records of the year, and you should definitely check it out.
We have a shuffle to put out....
"Hannah" by Darrin Bradbury
A live recording of a rareish Darrin Bradbury song. From a live record called Tur-Lyfe: A Live Recording of Unfortunate Events. I think I've only heard him do this one live once or maybe twice which makes it rare in my book.
"Revelator" by The Boy From the Crowd
We first heard UK rockers The Boy From the Crowd a while back. They have just released a new EP called Where the Bees Come to Die. And our first taste of that is a song, we've heard before. It's a damn good song, so I'm not complaining.
"Straight to Hell" by Hard Working Americans
I was fortunate enough to see Kevn Kinney live here in Nashville on a number of occasions over the past summer. He did this song of his several times and every time it was incredible. Here is a cover of the song by the supergroup Hard Working Americans.
"So I'm Told" by J.R. Wyatt
I can't believe this song is still in my playlist. I picked up J.R. Wyatt's solo record, The Empty Room Sessions, when I saw him live - I want to say almost a year ago???? This is one of my favorite songs on that record.
"Joliet Bound" by Memphis Minnie
I'm not even sure how many times Memphis Minnie's name has come up for me in the last several months. Born Lizzie Douglas, she was an incredibly prolific songwriter and singer who made a name for herself in a field and time dominated by male performers. When I saw the Heritage Blues Orchestra last month, they did a version of this song which prompted me to seek out the original.
"Beautiful Monster" by The Train Set
We have another track from Never California by the resurgent 80s UK band, The Train Set. I continue to be grateful for a second chance to "discover" his band.
"Three Poisons" by Jet Black Factory
It seems fitting and proper to follow up a song by a 80s UK band that I missed the first time around with a song by a Nashville band that I have been fan of for almost 30 years. Jet Black Factory were dark and brooding and there was nothing even remotely "country" about them. This one comes to me by way of an incredible compilation of early Nashville Rock Music called, Return to Elliston Square 1979-1989. The compilation includes some of the great music of that era.
"Spanish Harlem" by David Schnaufer
We have another instrumental cover from the late mountain dulcimer master. The song was first recorded by Ben E. King (written by Leiber, Stoller. and Phil Spector) and later famously covered by Aretha Franklin.
"Seventeen" by Silverbird
And we close out the shuffle with our second listen from the new album, Pureland, by New York band, Silverbird. Digging the original sound of this music.