Tuesday, January 21, 2020

E2TG 1/21/2020 - Recent Live Shows - Wasted Saturdays Mix (Lavender Child Remix)

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To be honest, every since we got the news Saturday night about David Olney, that has been the most on my mind. I did want to check in about a couple of live music shows that I caught over the weekend.

Friday night, I caught another Tim Carroll Rock N Roll Happy Hour at The 5 Spot. He does this every Friday from 6-8:30 (with no breaks) and done so for several years. I was trying to remember the last Friday he missed, and I had to go back to somewhere around 2014. The remarkable thing is that the show is all originals (I think "Uncle John" which he does sometimes is a traditional song), and every show is different.  Friday's show featured several of what I consider "classic" Tim Carroll songs plus some new ones. It is all good, all loud, and a great way to spend a Friday evening.

Saturday, I headed back to The 5 Spot for another rock and roll show. This one featured Hannah Fairlight Group, Nashville Non Prophets, and The Truehearts.  Hannah Fairlight Group rocked hard. Nashville Non Prophets featuring Mitch Laney came out with a high energy assault and never let up. The Truehearts remain a favorite of mine. They rock, but in a more subtle way and together it was a great show.

I posted my review of Sunshine Boys opening for Juliana Hatfield at Basement East.

Sunday Night was the CD Release Show for John Dennis' Mortal Flames. I referenced that show in my piece on David Olney yesterday.  To expound, just a little because I am short on time.  John Dennis'  Mortal Flames is a concept album about Life and Death and everything in between. It is a bit about our immortality being tied to the light we leave with others. It is heavy at time, but it is ultimately a life affirming work, and I suspect it will be among my favorites of 2020 when the year is said and done.

Monday, January 20, 2020

E2TG 1/20/2020 - Goodbye to a Legend - Music City Monday Mini Shuffle - Pop Tart Mix (Newark Remix)

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I have been sitting here staring at my computer trying to think about what I wanted to say about David Olney...

In case you have missed the news, David Olney passed away on Saturday - on stage at the 30A festival. By all accounts, it was a graceful and peaceful exit befitting the man himself. 

It has hard to imagine how my life worked out that I had the true blessing that my orbit crossed with such a legend.  I owe that almost entirely to Mary Sack - his long-time manager and my friend. I send my love and thoughts to Mary and of course to David's family and many friends and fans. 

David Olney came to Nashville in the early 1970s - as part of the wave of songwriters influenced and inspired by the burgeoning "Outlaw" movement. Whatever you think of "Outlaw"country in the modern sense of the term, the original outlaws were all about carving their own path outside of the control of the Music Row establishment. The Exit/In was a center and West Nashville was their stomping grounds. Among this group, Olney quickly gained respect and admiration for his songwriting prowess. 

In the 1980s, Olney was best known as a a rocker and leader of The X-Rays. That group signed to Rounder Records and made a  notable appearance on Austin City Limits (which is available on YouTube).  After the X-Rays ended, Olney began a storied solo career that would last the rest of his life.  I know the term is overused, but David Olney really was the total package. Obviously a great songwriter, he was also a consummate entertainer, a poet, an actor, and so much more 

Although, I was aware of David Olney for some time, I first began seeing him on a regular basis about five years ago. His live shows were always spectacles. He surrounded himself with great musicians: Daniel Seymout, Justin Amaral, Sergio Webb, and Ward Stout. But, at the heart of his performances was the man himself. At one larger than life and down to earth. 

There are many who are better qualified to write his biography, but I wanted my readers who didn't know him to have some sense of who he was. 

Some of the highlights of my interactions with David Olney:  

In 2017, he agreed to appear as part of the first ever E2TG Residency. Thanks to Mary Sack, this show marked his reunion with the great guitarist Sergio Webb - after about a year and half of not performing together. I had the pleasure to introduce him. I have no idea what I said, but from the pictures I used big hand gestures. 

A year later, David took part in a reading event that I help to put together. He read some of his sonnets which were incredible and a haiku or two. He and Rod Picott both expressed that they were initially uncomfortable standing on stage without a guitar in hand, but I think they both enjoyed,  Leading up to that show, David said that I had one of the "great names in Rock n Roll", which is something I will never forget. 

A humorous moment was the time that David went to Bobby's Idle Hour for a show that was scheduled at The Family Wash.  He made it on time and played a hell of show - as always. Both those venues are gone and now so is David.  

I remember running into David a few years back at the Southern Festival of Books - this was right after he survived a frightening fall down the stairs at his home. He was in a neck brace, and all he could talk about was how bad he felt that he had to drop out of a show that was scheduled for that night. 

As is often the case when things like this happen, I thought I would have many more opportunities to interact with David Olney in this world. I take solace in knowing that his legacy will live on in the artists whose work he inspired and the people whose lives he touched. 

Last night, I went out to the John Dennis CD Release Show, and John - who didn't know David personally - did a great job acknowledging his passing. Anana Kaye and Irakli Gabriel opened the show by playing some songs they had been writing with David Olney. It was a beautiful moment. John Dennis' own set - playing his album in its entirety - likewise brought up heavy feelings. 

I do have to acknowledge that losing David Olney about a month after losing my father has had an effect on me. My father's passing was far less sudden and so in some ways, it has been harder to access my feelings. Somehow, the sudden loss of someone I didn't know well but whose spirit and art touched my life, has allowed me access a lot of feelings about my father's passing. Yet another gift from this great man who is gone too soon, but who is also very much still with us.

E2TG Live Review: Sunshine Boys at Basement East 1/18/2020

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Sunshine Boys wasted no time establishing themselves as a formidable power pop force. This should not have been a surprise given that their combined credits include Blake Babies, Poi Dog Pondering, The Slugs, Big Hello, and more.

The trio featuring Dag Juhlin (guitar), Freda Love Smith (drums), and Jacqueline Schimmel (bass) powered through a set opening for Love Smith's old bandmate Juliana Hatfield at The Basement East in Nashville.

They featured songs from their previous album, 2018's Blue Music, a few new songs, their latest single "Infinity Girl", and a choice cover of R.E.M.'s "Sitting Still" which served as a wonderful showcase for the band's sound.

Highlights of their set included the aforementioned R.E.M. cover, the powerful new single, "Schoolyard Bully", "Billy Boy", and "Tripping Through Time", but the whole set was solid - the three musicians forming a tight unit. Dag Juhlin's humor helped keep the audience engaged, and the trio performed as a tight unit: noting his mostly bald head, he joked that the R.E.M. cover was obvious since his haircut resembled Michael Stipe. Later, he joked that he and Schimmel had just learned about Love Smith's connection to Hatfield on the drive down to Nashville. Then, he mentioned a surprise (apparently not a well-kept secret).

Following the Sunshine Boys' set, Freda Love Smith and Juliana Hatfield were joined by now Nashville resident John Strohm for a two song, impromptu reunion of the trio's band Blake Babies. It was a nice treat.

Juliana Hatfield played an entertaining set with her own band. Drawing heavily on her Police and Olivia Newton John cover albums and well as her extensive solo catalog.

Sunshine Boys - Basement East - Nashville 1/18/2020

Sunshine Boys - "Infinity Girl"

Friday, January 17, 2020

E2TG 1/17/2020 - Featured Friday - Goodbye Dave Hogan - Sunshine Boys - Time of Her Own Mix (Known Enemy Remix)

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It is with a heavy heart that I let you know of the passing of long-time E2TG favorite and friend Dave Hogan on January 14th after a short illness. We featured both his solo work and his work with Grimm Generation. In fact, he was the first Connecticut musician that I met in person - thanks to Jason P. Krug - when Hogan played a songwriting festival in Nashville several years back.  In addition to being a musician he was also a DJ on WPKN in Bridgeport, CT.  E2TG Artist of the Year Jason P. Krug wrote a remembrance of David Hogan which you can read here.

Event Alert:

This Saturday at The Basement East - Juliana Hatfield and Sunshine Boys 

Chicago’s Sunshine Boys (featuring Freda Love Smith of Blake Babies, Dag Juhlin of Poi Dog Pondering and Jacqueline Schimmel of Big Hello) released the politically-charged single “Infinity Girl” on Friday, Jan 10.  The band will then embark on a short tour with Freda’s former Blake Babies band mate Juliana Hatfield and there is a show confirmed for The Basement East on Sat, Jan 18.

Please check out, enjoy, and follow the newly updated Featured Friday Playlist.

    Featured Friday Playlist Updated 1/17/2020

Thursday, January 16, 2020

E2TG 1/16/2020 - Birthday Aftermath and more - Aussie Relief - Rockville Mix (Dumb it Down Remix)

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Great event tonight for a great cause.

Featuring Local Music and Art by:

Carl Anderson~Jeremey Ivey
Jess Nolan~Van Darien~Tim Easton
Eric Fisher~Ryan Sobb~Jason Erie
Megan Palmer~Rayvon Pettis
Maxwell Sebastian~Sami Wideberg
Meaghan Cahill~Miranda Rose
Tree Lily Butcher~Kiely Connell~Daniel Yocum~
and more

I had a great birthday celebration at The 5 Spot.  The India Ramey Residency show was amazing with Tim Easton warming up the crowd, Wild Ponies being awesome as usual, India Ramey blowing everyone away, and a special guest appearance by the one and only Aaron Lee Tasjan.

$2 Tuesday followed.  Heard some great new music, plus Anana Kaye and her killer band, and of course Derek Hoke.

I had the pleasure of see a bunch of friends. 

I was in recovery mode yesterday, but I am back at full-strength. Remember the Featured Friday Playlist refreshes tomorrow!  Please follow the playlist on Spotify and/or check back here tomorrow.

I have added more releases to the Recent, Current, and Upcoming Release listing.  Still and probably always a work-in-progress. 

We have some classics in the shuffle today - check it out!

  Featured Friday Playlist

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

E2TG 1/14/2020 - Happy Birthday to Me and to You - True North Mix (Legs Remix)

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Annual video post!

A good reminder last night of the wealth of talent we have in this city.  Madison Guild Monday is a weekly showcase of songwriters at red hot Madison bar, Dee's Country Cocktail Lounge. Last night's edition featured Javi Jones (of The Big Dumb), Steve Knudson, Val Levine, Paisley Field, Luella (in a rare solo set), and Maynard and the Musties. 2017 E2TG Artist of the Year, Rayvon Pettis was in the house as was Rocky Bottom (and probably others).  Nice way to spend a Monday night.

Tonight, I will be celebrating my birthday at The 5 Spot beginning with the early set by India Ramey with guest Wild Ponies, Tim Easton, and more.  Followed by $2 Tuesday hosted by and featuring Derek Hoke with Anana Kaye and much more. I hope to see some Nashville folks out and about. 

On with the shuffle!

    Featured Friday Playlist

Monday, January 13, 2020

E2TG 1/13/2020 - Music City Monday and More - Side of The Road Mix (Side of the Road Remix)

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I hope everyone had a good weekend. We are back, and today mark's the return of Music City Monday.  To refresh your memory. This is a massive, every expanding playlist of new and not-so-new songs by artists with a connection to Nashville (and occasionally artist who I thought had a connection to Nashville but didn't - oops!).  The Shuffle is below.

Some notes about this new incarnation of E2TG: 

1. Show listings: I have attempted, in the past, to compile a gig guide/concert calendar, whatever, and found it was too daunting a task.  Typically, I highlight upcoming events that are on my mind. If you want an event featured, please e-mail me at e2tgmusic@gmail.com and I will do what I can. Provide as much information as you can (Who, what, when, where, how much, what time etc.) and a graphic if you have one.

2. Featured Friday: A Spotify Playlist that refreshes every week - updates usually on Friday. Please follow. Basically, a compilation of new and recently released music that has caught my attention.

3. Release listing: This is a non-comprehensive list of recent, current, and upcoming releases (singles, EPs, and LPs).  If your release is not listed (even I have know you very well) e-mail me at e2tgmusic@gmail.com with the name and release date. If you have a preferred link - send me that. 
I compiled the list from recent e-mails and then have been adding releases as they occur to me. I plan to add links (if available) soon. Eventually, I will start rotating off the older "recent" releases, but right now, I am catching up from the end of the year. I also will likely started adding some sort of commentary/mini-review (but not really)/information about some of the releases.

Events of Note: 

Tonight, Madison Guild Monday at Dee's Country Cocktail Lounge will be hosted by Maynard and the Musties and featuring Javi Jones (of The Big Dumb), Steve Knudson, Val Levine, Paisley Fields, Luella, and more.

Tomorrow night is my birthday, and I will celebrating at The 5 Spot.  The early show is week two of the India Ramey Residency with Tim Easton, Wild Ponies, and a Special Surprise Guest.  $2 Tuesday follows with Anana Kaye, Derek Hoke and ? (but it is always a wonderful lineup). Come hang with me if you are in town.

Album cover of Bob Lewis' End of an Error

    Featured Friday Playlist