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Well, E2TG doesn't have Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, or Sarah Palin, but we do have a hell of an impressive line-up for our May Residency at The 5 Spot in East Nashville. May will mark the 6 Year Anniversary of the beginning of Ear to the Ground. That fact blows my mind. The decision to start writing the blog was something that evolved over time - from posting my morning shuffle on social media and as a result beginning to connect with people through the power of music. The actual decision to start the blog was (as I recall) pretty spur the moment, and to be honest, the name just popped into my head. There are, as I have alluded to, other music sites and blogs that use the Ear to the Ground name - it is a good name. I think I came first, but whatever. Over the last couple of years, I have been really pushing the #E2TG brand.
Anyway, the first four events have been created on Facebook. The event for the fifth and final show is coming soon. I excited to announce it. If you've been to The 5 Spot since Wednesday or if you go this weekend, you can get a sneak peek at the Week 5 line-up.
All of the shows will be fantastic, plus as an added bonus (sarcasm only slightly intended), I am going to start each show by reading some short selections of my fiction - including my novel The Drift which will be self-published soon.
Here are the announced shows so far. I hope you can make to some or all of these.
Week 1 May 3 - Mark Robinson Band
Week 2 May 10 - Jon Latham (Full Band) with special guests
Week 3 May 17 - David Olney (Band) plus special guest opener Sergio Webb (Band)
Week 4 May 24 - Cafe Rooster Records Night (Sally Jaye, Brian Wright, Darrin Bradbury, and Jon Latham)
Week 5 May 31 - TBA (a long time East Nashville favorite plus a special out of town guest with long time ties to E2TG).
Well, I don't know about you, but for me this has been a long arduous week, and today is FRIDAY! Tomorrow is Record Store Day. I am going to be hanging with my daughter, so I'm not sure what, if anything, I will be able to participate in, but there is a ton going on around Nashville and everywhere else. In Nashville, my favorite radio station will have a presence at several of the venues. I remember when RSD in Nashville was only Grimey's and even then was not that big a deal. It seems to get bigger every year, and the number of record stores in Nashville seems to get growing every month. If you go, remember to pace yourself and stay hydrated.
On to our Featured Friday Shuffle:
"Elysian Fields" by Kristin Hersh
Today's shuffle begins and ends with tracks from the latest release from Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses). Her album, Wyatt at the Coyote Palace, was released last year, and just recently was reissued on vinyl. As part of the vinyl release, I was fortunate to get a review copy of the album to present to you. To be honest, I remember when I had to go out and find music to write about, and so I do not take it for granted that I am being sent some of the amazing albums that come my way every week. The Elysian Fields are a mythological locale from ancient Egypt.
"Dead Wax" by Weird.
Among the, pun intended, weird things that have happened is that I have begun getting concentrations of great music from far-flung places. Sometimes this is coincidental and sometimes this is circumstantial. I never worry too much about that. That being said, over the last couple of years, I have "discovered" (been sent) some incredible music from Italy. Weird. is pretty much a one man band (as near as I can tell), and he (they) are from Rome. The album we are featuring is called A Long Period of Blindness - which came out a couple of years ago, but which just found its way to me last October with the release of a single and video.
"Suburban Kicks" by Swain
Next, we have Swain - which is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine. I ever played a song my radio show Double Shot which I co-host with Sue Havlish, and which is another unexpected opportunity as the result of starting this blog.
"Speakeasy" by The Transcendents
Next up, we have another track from Dirt Songs by the prolific band from Christchurch, New Zealand - The Transcendents. I've been featuring their music for the last year or so (time gets away from me), and if you haven't had the chance to check them out, I highly recommend it.
"Big Man" by The 81's w/ Luella
Moving on, we have the title track from the recent album by The 81's w/ Luella. This album really is one of my favorites of the past year or so. The lyrics are off-kilter in the best possible ways, and the music is pure Tim Carroll. Carroll does most of the singing (almost talking) on this track, but Luella contributes to most of the album with her distinct and wonderful voice. The album also features Cameron Carrus on bass. Thanks to his association with Darrin Bradbury (and Tim Carroll and Luella) Carrus holds a special place in the E2TG oeuvre. This song is about the tragically short lives of some of the "big men" of basketball.
"The Wild" by Mr. Kind
Brian Bergeron was a featured artist on E2TG back in July 2012 (the same month that Darrin Bradbury's band Big Wilson River was featured). At that time, while Big Wilson River was ending their long run, Bergeron was forming a band, Mr. Kind, that continues to this day. The EP The Wild was released at the end of 2016, but just recently got added to my playlist. This is the title track of that album. One of the joys of doing E2TG is to follow certain artists and bands and watch them develop and grow.
"Shotgun" by Kristin Hersh
And, as I run out of time, we close things out with our second track of the day from the most recent album by Kristin Hersh. I dig this track.