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For a lot of reasons, I do love the city that I have called home for the last quarter of a century. We have our problems to be sure - rapid growth without the appropriate infrastructure improvements for one and the schlock that passes for country music being churned out like fake margarine from glitzy offices on music row for another and disregarding the culture of the city in pursuit of supporting the "it" city status for yet another. But I digress...
I do love Nashville because in spite of all of that, there are people who care about music and art and words.
Last night, my evening began at a coffee shop on Fatherland Street in East Nashville called The Post East for the 85th edition of East Side Storytellin' - a series which matches a poet or prose writer with a songwriter. The poet last night was named Joshua Moore, and I absolutely loved his work and his delivery. Powerful words. Words have power. The songwriter was a guy that readers of E2TG should know. Jon Latham's profile is on the rise, and he demonstrated the reasons for that well in his short set of songs.
After that, I headed to The Basement East for a night of music with Jon Latham hot on my heels. In no time, he was doing a quick sound check - he backed up Voice alumnus Peyton Parker on her opening set of songs. A great opening for was would turn out to be an extraordinary night. Carl Anderson followed with (truly) witty stage banter and wonderful songs.
Next, Darrin Bradbury hit the stage backed by Tim Carroll on guitar, Cameron Carrus on bass, and Matty Alger on drums. What followed was nothing short of transcendent. There were people dancing! No... I mean really, there were people dancing at a Darrin Bradbury show! The band rocked - I mean really rocked. Darrin's (and Tim's) punk roots were in full view and they even did a cover of The Misfits' "Where Eagles Dare" at the end of Darrin's song, "Joey" which references the song. I have no idea how many times I have seen Darrin perform - in various combinations - but last night was one for the ages.
Adrian + Meredith (who you may recall closed the E2TG Anniversary show) had the unenviable task of closing the show and following Darrin and his band, and they rose to the occasion with a rollicking fun set.
A truly awesome night of music in Music City (East Nashville to be more specific).
Now - it is Wednesday and we call it Wild Wednesday because we shuffle up a playlist that features songs from all of the other playlists plus a few that do not really fit the other playlists at all.
"St. Christopher" by Joey Kneiser
I took advantage of Joey Kneisner's free digital downloads and so you will be hearing quite of bit of him for a while. St. Christopher was released on his Moonlight for the Graveyard Heart EP, but this live version comes from Live from Standard Deluxe with Kelly Smith. An excellent song to start our day.
"Goin' Back to Arkansas" by Ivas John
We start with our first listen to Good Days a Comin' the recent album by Illinois born, Missouri based musician Ivas John. I am digging this album expect to hear more very soon.
"Heaven Only Wants Us Once We're Dead" by Joey Kneiser
Shuffle brings up another from the Live from Standard Deluxe album. A studio version of this song appears on Kneiser's latest album, The Wilding. Amazing songwriting here.
"Dark as a Dungeon" by Ivas John
I promised more Ivas John, and I deliver (or the shuffle does). This is a cover of a Merle Travis song that was most famously recorded by Johnny Cash. I really like Ivas John's cover - it is one of four covers (along with eight original songs) on the Good Days Comin' album.
"Valium Dreams" by Smokey the Firebear
Leave it to Smokey the Firebear to break us out of the Joey Kneiser/Ivas John loop (not that it was a bad loop to be in). He does so with a very short soundscape from his Mira Leo Sun EP.
"Blues to You" by Dirty Basement Blues
Next up, some solid rocking blues music from Michigan blues rockers - Dirty Basement Blues off of their Coming Clean album.
"I'm a Ramblin' Man" by Waylon Jennings
And because it is Wild Wednesday, we move next to Waylon Jenning's version of a Ray Pennington song which Jennings took to number one in 1974.
"I Can't Hear" by Christopher Bell
And we close things out with a newcomer to E2TG. Christopher Bell is a cellist who uses his instrument in most interesting ways. This was pretty much my first listen and I am digging it. It is from an album called Rust which was released in March. The video (not of the song I heard) is a cover that shows off his unique approach rather well I think.