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E2TG began in May 2011 on a wing and a prayer and on the now defunct website Posterous. Milestones and anniversaries are always a good time to look back and reflect, and as I do so, at the beginning of this anniversary month, the word that comes to my mind is gratitude. At the risk of being cheesy, it is almost inconceivable for me to think about how my life might be if I had never started Ear to the Ground. During some of my darkest times, this blog and more importantly the friends I have made and the people I have met because of E2TG have realty helped to keep me going.
So, I think through this month, I will take every appropriate opportunity to express that gratitude...
"Leaky Pipes" by James Tomberlin
I met James Tomberlin on his birthday at Fran's Eastside at a Darrin Bradbury/Tim Carroll gig. Darrin introduced us. If it were not for E2TG, I might never have met Darrin and thus I would not have met James. This is the final song we have to feature from the EP he recorded during his all too brief time in Nashville. The EP is called Still Life with Orange which was produced by Josh Morris and Fort Dakota Studio and features Josh, Jon Latham, and Cameron Carrus among others. All fine folks and good friends that I would not have met if it were not for E2TG.
"In the Morning" by Hugh Mitchell
I posted a song by Hugh Mitchell (who also met through Darrin) last week, and I mentioned that I had not seen him for several months (as he has been touring a whole bunch). The good news that followed that post is that I heard from Hugh and (if the fates allow) I may see him this week. Anyway, the shuffle brought up another track from his forthcoming record, and it gave me the opportunity to post a wicked cool video featuring Mr. Mitchell.
"They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To" by Will Hoge
I have been a fan of Will Hoge's for several years. I remember when he had a near fatal scooter accident in East Nashville back in 2008. I am glad he recovered. His latest album (released in 2015) was called Small Town Dreams. This is a track from that album which proves once again that he is one of this town's best writers.
"60 MPH (Junk Queen)" by Brian Wright
Because of Ear to the Ground (and once again Darrin Bradbury), I can count Brian Wright among my friends. Besides being one of the best songwriters I know, he is also a very kind and generous soul. This song is on his Café Rooster Sessions Vol. 1 album, and it is one of my all time favorites of his.
"Philadelphia" by Hugh Mitchell
Okay, yes, this is the Hugh Mitchell song I featured last week, but he sent me an updated mix of the song, and I added this new mix and low and behold it came up in the shuffle today. I am not complaining.
"The Song That Made the World Cry" by Andrew Adkins
I think I met Andrew Adkins indirectly through Darrin (liking Instragram posts - if my memory serves me well). In any case, it seems unlikely that I would have met him if it were not for E2TG... He recently released an album called Glass Castles which is getting a lot of well deserved attention. Andrew has released several projects under different names, but this latest (under his own name) is absolutely stellar.
"High Road to Linton" by The Barefoot Movement
I met The Barefoot Movement and got a copy of their EP called The High Road while attending an event at the Cash Cabin on the grounds of Johnny Cash's estate. I dare say, that I would not have had the incredible opportunity to visit such an historically important place if it were not for my having made the decision to begin writing Ear to the Ground. As I result, I would not have met The Barefoot Movement nor gotten a copy of this EP. Traditional music played with youthful energy...
"Comb-Over Blues" by Tommy Womack
I have been a fan of Tommy Womack and his old band Government Cheese for a very long time. In the late 90s, his son was attending (in a younger class) the same pre-school as my daughters. It was at this school that I first met Will Kimbrough (who I had also been a fan of for year) whose daughter was in my daughter's class. So, I had an opportunity to meet Tommy Womack at that point, but I was too shy and afraid to sound like an idiot - "I'm a big fan...ah.. you're awesome... Government Cheese were... ah... awesome..." So, anyway, I finally got to meet Tommy a couple of months ago, and having slying and subtly mentioned that I wrote a music blog, I was lucky enough to get hold a copy of his new album, Namaste, which will be released soon. This album is Womack's first since his own near-fatal accident. And damn, it is a good one.
"All Along the Watchtower" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
While covering Woodstock for E2TG, I... wait no... so yeah, I would have been aware of and a fan of Jimi Hendrix with or without E2TG... If you are wondering why Jimi Hendrix is showing up in this Music City Monday shuffle... well, he belongs. In 1961, Hendrix joined army and trained as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell, KY which is located just north of Nashville. He moved back to the area following his honorable discharge, and some of his earliest playing was done along Jefferson Street in Nashville. This is his version (arguably the definitive version) of the Bob Dylan song.