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I'm on what I believe is my longest run of live music nights since my birthday a couple of years ago. I have gone out the last five nights (and six of the last seven) and seen some incredible music and hung with some awesome people.
I last reported on Thursday night's Music City Roots. So, let me pick things up on Friday:
Pylon Reenactment Society at the Basement was even better than the high expectations I had. A couple of local bands opened - Dancers and Lylas. Both were wonderful. Pylon Reenactment Society brought the energy and the fun and the audience which was mixed between people my age or older and younger folks responded. The joy from both sides of the stage was palpable.
Saturday started at The 5 Spot where David Olney once again proved why he is one of the most respected songwriters in Nashville (and elsewhere). To a good crowd which included several music luminaries, Olney stormed through a two hour set that included a nifty cover of Buddy Holly's "Everyday".
After that, I headed back to the Basement for Jon Latham's birthday show. I arrived in time to catch the end of Darrin Bradbury's set. I also saw great sets from Little Bandit (Alex Caress solo) and Brian Wright. Then Jon's band (less Sean Quinn who was out of town) took the stage and as per their usual - rocked the house. The set included a Fugazi cover embedded into "Kimberly Met Billy" and ended with a cover of Tom Petty's "Even the Losers" during which Latham invited people onto the stage (which included yours truly). A wonderful night - celebrating a wonderful man.
Last night, I headed to The 5 Spot again. Early show featured awesome sets from Bill Eberle, Becky Warren, and Jen Starsinic -three of Nashville's finest.
The late show featured Chad Mason, Evan Jenkins, and the return of Hugh Mitchell (a long time favorite of mine who is back in Nashville). Great music and great hangs with awesome people.
To be honest, I am exhausted right now, but it has been fun beyond measure.
On to our Music City Monday Shuffle!
"Plastic Jesus" by Joe Nolan
The morning commute begins with a great driving song from E2TG favorite Joe Nolan from his album Blue Turns Black. Joe is a true modern day Renaissance man - songwriter, journalist, art critic, artist, and much more.
"Coconuts" (Live) by Walk the West
Next, another live track from Walk the West - off the Return to Elliston Square Live album. I am so happy that Walk the West have been coming up so regularly on these shuffles. They were truly one of Nashville's best bands.
"If I Had a Nickel" by Eric Brace, Peter Cooper, Thomm Jutz
Speaking of Nashville's best... how about three of Nashville's finest songwriters/musicians on one album. Last year, Peter Cooper (respected songwriter and journalist) made an album with his regular partner Eric Brace, and the great Thomm Jutz. Profiles in Courage, Frailty, and Discomfort rightly earned rave reviews. Happy to have this track come up today.
"Dear Memphis" by Zach Schmidt
Next up, a great song from The Day We Lost the Floor - by the always awesome Zach Schmidt. Here he draws on a personal experience of someone he knew. Zach is one of the best of "new Nashville" songwriters (New Nashville being a relative term and Zach very much a veteran at this point).
"The Law is for the Protection of the People" (Live) by Kris Kristofferson
Based upon the things I have read and heard, I compare the current crop of great Nashville artists (Margo Price, Zach Schmidt, Darrin Bradbury, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Jon Latham etc.) favorably to the then new crop of songwriters who invaded the West side of Nashville - Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, David Olney, Rodney Crowell, John Hiatt and more). This is from Live at RCA Studios 1972. A song that is still timely some 46 years later.
"Slow Dancer" by Caroline Spence
Back to one of best "New Nashville" songwriters. From her most recent release Spades and Roses. Caroline Spence is from Charlottesville, VA.
"When the Darkness Comes" by Derek Hoke
Next up, Derek Hoke from his latest album - the most excellent Bring the Flood. Hoke hosts the popular $2 Tuesday at The 5 Spot each week. Always a great hang, awesome music, and always a great set from Hoke and his band - which always includes some of the best musicians in town.
"I'm Not Just Anybody's Fool" by Webb Wilder
Webb Wilder has been a favorite of mine for over 30 years, and it is great to see him sitll rocking and still making great albums. His latest is Mississippi Moderne. Featuring covers of some classic blues songs - and this track is a version of a song written by Wilder's long-time collaborator Bobby (R.S.)Fields. I saw Webb Wilder out and about during my run of live music.
"Last Lost Highway" by Kane Welch Kaplin
And we close things out with a track from the 2007 eponymous album from Kane (Kieran Kane) Welch (Kevin Welch) Kaplin (Fats Kaplin). A powerhouse trio of great songwriters and musicians. Not too long ago, Kevin Welch played a few song during a Fats Kaplin show at The Spot which reminded of this great trio.