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After today, there are only nine work days left in 2015. Which means no more than nine more days of the "Earies" (unless I hit panic mode and start posting on weekends which is not out of the question).
So the next award...
I call this one the "Far From East Nashville" Award.
The premise: I had a funny moment a while back when I was introduced as someone who writes an East Nashville music blog. It was meant as a compliment, and I took it as such, but it did give me pause. When I started writing Ear to the Ground (on a lark and with no experience writing about music) back in May of 2011, some interesting things began to happen. For whatever reason, when I wrote about Nashville bands and artists, I was generally ignored, but when I wrote about band's from elsewhere, it seemed more likely that my posts would be acknowledged, appreciated, and shared. This is not a criticism of Nashville musicians. My take was, honestly, that the folks in Nashville knew that I wasn't one of the "big players" when it came to music writing in Nashville. Meanwhile, folks from other places maybe didn't know that and so they gave me a chance. I am forever grateful for the music and wonderful people I discovered and met during that period of Ear to the Ground, and my ear continues to be open to great music from any locale. But, in a very unintentional way, I have been able to meet and hear some of the amazing talents this town has to offer. Over the past year, in particular, I have noticed and maybe you have, too, that more and more Nashville artists (East or not) have been showing up in my posts. However, as I said, I still keep my ears open to wherever I am lead, and so this award goes out to International Artists who have been a big part of E2TG.
The Awards Go To:
1. Start closest to home: Brock Zeman has been on my radar for a while, but in 2015 he released, Pulling Your Sword from the Devil's Back. I also was fortunate enough to see him three times this year. Once in an amazing round at The Bluebird Café, and later on subsequent nights at The Family Wash and The 5 Spot. Shoot, I almost consider Brock and his musical partner Blair Hogan to be honorary Nashvillians. Nevertheless, they are from Canada.
2. Also from our neighbor to the north: Velodrones/Bosveld. Again, Velodrones which is Stopmo Turt Darren has been on our radar for a while. In 2015, his project Bosveld released Veldbrand a very beautiful and unique collection of songs that combine several different and divergent music styles and wonderfully original way.
3. From a bit further away, Jeremy Gluck. You may recall back in the Spring or so, I think we had a Jeremy Gluck song in the shuffle for what seemed like weeks. We were spinning tunes from Memory Deluxe: I Knew Buffalo Bill 2 which was actually release in 2014. The album was a follow up to his 1987 album, I Knew Buffalo Bill - an album that featured Jeffery Lee Pierce of The Gun Club, Nikki Sudden, Epic Soundtracks, and others. Gluck was in the band The Barracudas, and more recently has been working on a project called Plasticon (and some other projects).
4. Getting further away: Artur U and The New City Limits. From Helsinki, Finland. Artur U and the New City Limits released their full length debut, Holiday from Eternity early this year. I fell in love with the high energy grooves. They are very closely connected to some of our friends at True Groove in Brooklyn.
5. The farthest from East Nashville award: The Transcendents. From Christchurch, NZ. I first connected with this band via their self-titled debut which was released late in 2014. In 2015, they released two EPs, Lay Where You Collapse and Common Ground. I really love the way this band creates unique and challenging soundscapes that still remain rooted in the kind of awesome pop music that I grew up listening to.
Congrats to the winners:
To the shuffle (I'm low on time!)
"Winding Down the Road" by Tom House
The shuffle is really in love with Tom House's music and so am I. This is the title track and last song on House's, Brock Zeman (Earie award winner) produced album. Last night, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Tom House play his latest album with an incredible nine piece band that took up about all of the space of the small stage at The Basement. It was truly an amazing sounding show and some of the most original music coming out of Nashville.
"Your Way Or The Highway" by Blake Babies
Another from that Noisetrade released Live album my Blake Babies. This song was on their album Earwig.
"In the Meantime" by Chris Knight
The first song on Chris Knight's Little Victories album. Knight will be playing The Exit/In on New Years Eve with Aaron Lee Tasjan opening.
"Circle of One" by The Lemonheads
A song that first appeared on the band's 1989 album Lick. The version I heard this morning was a BBC Peel Session recording that was released on a four song EP called Bored on the Fourth of July.
"Maple Leaf" by Some Kind of Illness (ft. Daisy Davies)
One of the most recent albums to reach my ears... Some Kind of Illness are a Manchester band that first formed in 1999. They released their self-titled debut full-length in August and have been touring heavily in the UK and seem to be getting some excellent coverage across the pond. This track was my very first listen and I cannot wait to hear more. I really love the sound and look forward to writing more.
"Stomp It" by Crazy Aces
From the Continental Magazine Sampler - Nashville Instrumental Rock music purveyors, Crazy Aces - tell us to Stomp It, and we do and we do.
"Angelyne" (live) by The Jayhawks
We close things out with another from the Noisetrade issued live recording by The Jayhawks. This is a song that was originally released on Rainy Day Music.