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And just like that Darrin Bradbury's January Residency at The Basement East is over. And what a residency it was. The four weeks were a showcase for the music and the community of East Nashville, and they clearly demonstrated the role (whether he acknowledges or not) that Darrin has played in building the community. The openers: Jon Latham, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Zach Schmidt, Tim Easton, Megan Palmer, Michaela Anne, Erin Rae, Rorey Carroll, and Steve Poltz (along with the amazing musicians backing them). Guests: Margo Price and Todd Snider. And Darrin and his truly out of this world band (who got better and tighter each week).
Last night.... last night! Erin Rae has an amazing voice... this is country music how it should be done. Steve Poltz (ex of The Rugburns) had some dates cancelled due to the weather (for which I for one am grateful)... I had begun following him on Instagram some time back (I think via a post from Megan Palmer), but this was my first real exposure to his music. The strength of his songs and the power of his presence and energy made me smile and made me want to be a better person. Rorey Carroll writes amazing songs and her cover of a Linda Ronstadt cover backed by Todd Snider on the harmonica was magical.
As of Darrin Bradbury - as I said, the band (Aaron Shafer-Haiss, Cameron Carrus, Megan Palmer, and Larry Walnuts (aka Little Joe from Sturgill Simpson's band) started strong and got better - bringing out new elements in songs that I have heard upwards of fifty or more times over the last couple of years. Last night, they were joined by Jeff Crowe (also from Simpson's band) on keyboards, and it felt like he added a missing piece that was not even missed until it was added.
Lately, this feeling of being in a special place at a special time has been palpable, and last night felt like a perfect microcosm of that feeling. It made me very proud to have been an advocate for Darrin's music for these last couple of years.
Next a shuffle that defies expectations... or whatever...
"Nothin' Left to Lose" by Dan Baird and Homemade Sin
Former Georgia Satellite front-man Dan Baird has never stopped rocking, and his current band which features Warner Hodges on guitar is proof. Get Loud is their latest album. The band will be making an extremely rare Nashville appearance at The Basement East on Valentine's Day. Something to love!
"Pilgrim (You Can't Go Home)" by Dave Rawlings Machine
I have to say a big thank you to my friend Russell for giving me Nashville Obsolete for my birthday. This is the nearly eight minute final track from that album. A masterpiece. This is music that will be listened to and talked about for years to come. Pure genius. To connect an thread running through the post so far - when I saw the Americana super-group Traveler at The Basement East - Dave Rawlings joined the band on one song.
"Safe Side" by James McMurtry
This one goes back to McMurtry's second studio album Candyland (1992). It still sounds fresh today. Great songs tend to do that.
"Bah Humbug Ramadan (Pad Thai/Cool Rap Tune About Donald Trump)" by Discount Ravioli
Okay - so Dan Baird, Dave Rawlings, and James McMurtry back to back to back is not too far of a stretch. You might see those names together on any number of cool Americana/Roots blogs. As you may know by now, though, E2TG is not like those other admittedly cool blogs. So, where as one of those blogs might follow those three with Isbell or Sturgill or Rodney Crowell, we pivot 795 degrees (wait do get undizzy) and then bring you this epic track from the first Discount Ravioli album, Robin Schultz and the 21 Prayers. First of all, I have to apologize for the offensive phrase in the title.. I normally do not use words like D****d T***p, but it is in the title of the song which was recorded well ahead of the current wave of overexposure. And if it helps, it is used in an appropriate context here... I think. This one is over six minutes long, but time flies when hyped-up young people are singing about Pad Thai and whatnot.
Where do you go from there? How about a slice of pure pop songwriting heaven from Nashville singer-songwriter Daphne Willis from her latest EP Get it. By the way, I also saw Daphne Willis at The Basement East.
"Run to Me" by Jesse and Noah
Jesse and Noah Bellamy cover a song by another band of brother (Gibb) - and once again showcase their incredible harmonies. From the EP Brethren.
"Trail of Tears" by Guadalcanal Diary
We close things out with a song from the debut album, Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man by Marietta, Georgia band, Guadalcanal Diary. Jason Ringenberg has played this song a couple of time during his January residency at The 5 Spot which wraps up Wednesday night. Regular readers will note that I have been featuring this album for several months - thus the appearance of this song at this time is purely happy coincidence. The Scorchers and Guadalcanal Diary were two of the bands that brought together the non-mainstream music I had recently "discovered" with my reality of growing up in the South.