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Greetings from Tuesday!
First of all, I have to say how amazingly proud I am of Darrin Bradbury who played the first night of his month-long Monday Residency at the Basement East. I know I may sound like a broken record about this, but even at the end of last year, when I named Darrin my Artist of the Year, the idea of his playing a month-long residency at the largest club in East Nashville would have been almost inconceivable (unless you stopped to consider the trajectory he was on). And yet, here he was playing before a sizable crowd filled with some of the best songwriters and musicians in this town.
I was struck once again by Darrin's skill as a songwriter. Back in November of 2013, when a mutual friend (Popa Tune's) told me that Darrin was moving to Nashville, I checked out his music (I had written about his old band Big Wilson River a year earlier, but did not know much about Darrin's solo stuff). Around the time, I started listening to Darrin's songs, a friend of mine posted something on Facebook about how they don't make songwriters like they used to... or something like that. And, I remember thinking that Darrin may be the best pure songwriter I've heard in a long, long time. And, he has only gotten better since then.
Darrin was backed by the kind of band that may only be possible in East Nashville: Laur Joamets (Little Joe) from Sturgill Simpson's band on guitar, Megan Palmer on fiddle, Cameron Carrus on bass, Aaron Shafer-Haiss on drums.
The always amazing Aaron Lee Tasjan opened the night, playing some new tunes and sounding awesome even when he forget the lyrics to a song and sang it out of order.
2015 E2TG Artist of the Year, Jon Latham played next - confirming the wisdom of my selection. By the way, Jon was just named Local Artist of the Week at Nashville Independent station Lightning 100. His song "Anesthesia" will be in rotation this week and he will play a free show Friday at Soulshine Pizza.
For me (in kind a full circle kind of way), a highlight of the evening was Darrin leading the band through a cover of the Merle Travis song made famous by Johnny Cash, "Nine Pound Hammer". This song had been Darrin's warm-up song for all of those Wednesday night Fran's shows back in the day.
On to the shuffle....
"Ginchy" by Balu and Die Surfgrammeln
After I played a track from this Austrian surf rock band a while back, they sent me some new music. Los Chicharrones del Surf is the name of their latest album, and it is excellent.
"I'll Never Give It Up" by Richard Thompson
From the album, Sweet Warrior. Richard Thompson remains one of my all-time favorites.
"Right Next to You" by Christopher Aaron Slade
When Christopher Aaron Slade first submitted his music, he referenced sounding like AC/DC meets Scissor Sisters (my wording). That got me to listen. His songs are at times brash and suggestive in the best kind of way, and they all have a bit of groove to them. This song may be my favorite. It has a hook to die for and it sounds like it belongs on a really cool classic rock station.
"Meet a Changing World" by Smug Brothers
Smug Brothers are a Dayton Ohio rock band. This song is on their latest album, Woodpecker Paradise. I really like it a bunch!
"Better Off Dead" by Jonas H. Sjøvaag's Navyelectre
Jonas is a composer and musician from Oslo, Norway. This song is from the album, Large Ensemble which we have been featuring for some time. Every time a song comes up, I am once again intrigued and amazed by how good this is.
"All the Right Reasons" (live) by The Jayhawks
Another from that live Jayhawks album via Noisetrade. This song was originally on the album Rainy Day Music.
"Get to Me" by Amy Black
Amy Black's latest album, Muscle Shoals Sessions features some of the great song that were created in that legendary hotbed of contemporary music. In the midst, she also included 3 original tunes, including this one. It is to her credit as a songwriter, that I had to look up to see if this was a cover or an original.
"Tatiana" by Slingshot Dragster
We began with an Austrian surf rock band, and we end with an Australian surf rock band. Seems about right. Did I mention that I love surf music more than I even knew a few months ago.