Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Buy Her Coffee Mix

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Wow, we've reached the last day of August.  We are approaching Labor Day weekend in the USA. Here in Nashville, the live music possibilities for the coming days is mind-blowing and overwhelming. Bottom line, get out and see some live music.  For tonight, my eye is on The 5 Spot for the Grand Finale of David Olney's 4 out of 5 Wednesday Residency.  Recommended if you want to hear one of the best songwriters this town (known for songwriters) has ever seen. A man praised by his peers who have included Townes Van Zandt, Rodney Crowell, and more.  Also, recommended if you want to hear top rated musicians and the occasional burst of dramatic poetry.

After David Olney, I will be sticking around for a late show line-up that includes Jon Latham, Don Gallardo, and Stuffy Shmitt.  Birmingham's The Burning Peppermints open the night.

And the great music continues throughout the rest of the week and weekend.

Now, it is Wednesday.  After slogging through the first two days of the work week, we reach mid-week and feel the need to get "Wild"!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Ain't Got Time To Spare Mix

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It is almost September, and I am starting to get anxiety about all of the great music at Americana Fest that I will have to miss (because I am just one man without the ability to manipulate time and distances).  Truth is, though, I am still have a lot of weekly anxiety over the same issue.  Truth is, though, it is a pretty rad problem to have.  Truth is, though, I have other things I could (and maybe should) be worrying about, but this problem is more pleasant to deal with.

Let's see what the old shuffle has brewing for this Tuesday morning....

Monday, August 29, 2016

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Wait Here Mix

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ICYMI:  Please see my preview of the upcoming September Residencies at The 5 Spot!

I am short on time so I will jump right into it.  Mondays we take a moment to celebrate the amazing and diverse musical output of the city known for music. No "bro-country" here folks...

September in East Nashville - Residencies at The 5 Spot

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I make no secret of the fact that The 5 Spot is my absolute favorite venue/club in Nashville. Don't get me wrong, Nashville has many fine venues of various sizes, styles, and purposes. The 5 Spot is not the biggest venue or the fanciest or the most prestigious. To be perfectly honest, some of my reasons for saying The 5 Spot is my favorite are personal. It is a place that I can go, and almost without exception see a bunch of people I know.  Even if it is just the people who are working that night. But, there are plenty of more objective reasons for my opinion. For one, the sound is just about always exceptional. For another, it hosts two of my favorite weekly events: $2 Tuesday which is hosted by Dekek Hoke and Tim Carroll's on-going weekly residency - Rock and Roll Happy Hour.

Another big reason for why I love The 5 Spot so much are the monthly residencies. Over the past couple of years, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy some truly amazing shows on Wednesday and Thursday nights - featuring some of absolute best musicians in the world. The cool thing about these early shows is that you can be headed home or out to another show by eight o'clock.  Some highlights of previous residencies:  Kevn Kinney, Kevin Gordon, Fats Kaplin, Jason Ringenberg, Paul Burch, Tim Easton, Aaron Lee Tasjan, David Olney, Rod Picott, Campfire Propaganda, and bunch more that I will probably kick myself for not mentioning...

September 2016 will bring two incredible weekly residencies to the Forest Avenue venue.  Wednesday nights, East Nashville singer-songwriter Amelia White holds things down while with a core band that will feature Dave Coleman, Parker Hawkins, Paul Niehaus, and Fran Breen.  On Thursdays, guitarist, bandleader, and producer extraordinaire, Mark Robinson brings his showband revue. His core band will feature the red hot rhythm section of Dan Seymour and Rick Schell.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - Let Your Freebird Fly Mix

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Hey, it is Friday, ya'll!

Last night, I attended a house show with performances by Kent Eugene Gooslsby and Micah Schnable (Two Cow Garage).

I really love Kent Goolsby's songs and hearing him sing with his wife Anna Leigh was wonderful.

If you have seen Two Cow Garage live, you know how awesome they are, but if you have not seen Micah Schnable solo... He writes brutally honest songs about the human condition, and although he and I look very different on the outside, his writing and performing are so direct and personal, that I cannot help but "get" every word his sings.

A really fun night.

Well, we have a Featured Friday shuffle that I listened to as I slugged my way into the office for this final day of a brutal work week... Here in Nashville, we got this little hint of a tease of autumn weather, and to be honest, I fell for it - even though logic and historical evidence should have told me that it is still August... well, summer is back and with it the heat and humidity.  Sweating is inevitable.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday Morning Shuffle - Some Sign of Pursuit Mix

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It was one of those early shows at The 5 Spot in East Nashville where you could have put together one hell of an all-star band just from the people in attendance. But, truth be told, there was no need for that because David Olney was on the stage, and he was, as I have come to expect, out of this world. Where else could you hear The Bee Gees and Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the same set? Backed by Ward Stout, Justin Amaral, and Daniel Seymour, it was captivating and amazing.  Olney has one more Wednesday to go in his month long residency, and I highly recommend your attendence next week if at all possible.

The week rolls on, and suddenly, we find ourselves at Thursday.  This week we throw things back with an interesting collection of songs... check it out...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Gin and Tonic Mix

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Well! Made it to the mid-point of the week.  Being off Monday has thrown everything off for me...

Last night, I had a great night at The High Watt.  Seeing Todd Farrell perform for the first time in I don't know how long - it was great to be reminded of what an incredible songwriter he is. Heard some old favorites plus some songs which will be on the next Benchmarks album whenever that comes out. Saw Arliss Nancy from Denver for the first time last night. Really dug their music and energy.  Then, I got to catch the first part of Bill Eberle's set - same band as I saw at the Basement a few weeks back. Still awesome.

Then, I had to dart across the river to catch the last part of the Family Wash set of Sean Quinn and the Tremblers (featuring Jon Latham on guitar).  Man these guys sounded so good. Kind of a power poppy vibe - think Big Star/ Beatles and and... Great songs - can't wait for the album!

Well - we have a pretty wild shuffle for a Wednesday.  Note - I could not find several of the actual songs for the video playlist, but I made some strategic substitutions. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Crybaby Mix

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I am back. I was a bit under the weather yesterday.  Time is short - so let's jump right into the Trending Tuesday Shuffle.  First of all disclosure:  I have been receiving so much new music lately that I decided to create a new playlist featuring a bunch of that new music.  I will be using this playlist in place of the Trending Tuesday and Featured Friday playlist for the foreseeable future.  Readers will not detect any changes - but I did want to let you know about the change...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - Wish That I Could Hate You Mix

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My oft repeated phrase is "Music Heals".  I say it because I believe it to be true.  Last night, still feeling sad about the death of my first best friend, I headed down to The Family Wash. There, surrounded by friends, I took one of those once-in-a-lifetime nights of music that seem to happen around  this town on a frequent basis.

Nathan Bell - a singer-songwriter who I first saw earlier this year at The Bluebird Cafe played first.  His songs are soooo good. He was joined by Annie Mosher on several songs and then by legendary Nashville songwriter Don Henry on one song.

After that, the always mind-blowing Sergio Webb made a rare appearance as a front man and an even rarer appearance leading a full-band.  The Cremonatones - a one-off super-group featured Julie Christensen, Dave Coleman, Parker Hawkins, and Fran Breen.  The set opened with a rocking cover of Lou Reed's "New Sensation" - a song I had heard Webb do solo at Bobby's Idle Hour - and continued through a set of songs including several written with John Hadley and David Olney.  It was one of those magical nights of insanely good music and an audience of some of the best musicians in the world.  It was just what I needed.

A ton a great music upcoming.  I wanted to highlight Richie Owens and The Farm Bureau making a rare appearance at my favorite venue - The 5 Spot on Saturday at 6:00pm.

We have a Featured Friday Shuffle...

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday Morning Shuffle - Old Time Feeling Mix

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I need to report on last night's music.  Scott Miller at The 5 Spot was so far beyond amazing.  He was accompanied by Bryn Davies on upright bass.  Miller was a member of the Knoxville band, The V-Roys.  He (fairly) recently moved to Virginia to help tend to his parents and their cattle. His songs are moving and rocking and touching. His stage presence is humorous.  Bryn Davies is brilliant!

After that I walked over to The Basement East for the second in a series of Ryan Adams album tributes by some East Nashville artists.  It was a really entertaining show.  Once again, Jon Latham lead the band (which included Andrew Leheay, Rob Crowell (Deertick) and others) and introduced the guest (Allen Thompson, Peyton Parker, Sean Quinn, Carolina Story, Brian Ritchey, and many more).  Plus some cool folks did some non-album R.A. songs before the album part of the show including the always awesome Don Gallardo.  Thanks to a particular drummer friend for the ride back to my car.

Just before I headed to work this morning, I received word that a friend, who I have known for almost my entire life, had passed away.  This was heavy on my mind as I drove and walked to work and listened to the following songs... It is throwback Thursday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Always Carry a Purse Mix

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A few things on my mind:

1. My mind has been on my parent's home state of Louisiana and the devastating flooding which has affected several different parts of the state. One of my cousins had to be rescued from her home and essentially lost everything.  One story out of many.

2.  Reflecting on my post yesterday about seeing so many good friends and how their dreams are coming true, and realizing that in the midst of all this, there are people who are struggling to hold on to their dreams (or struggling just to get by and survive)... which got me thinking of the unprecedented growth that Nashville has seen over the past few years, and that while some people have thrived and benefited from that growth, others have suffered.  No answers to any of it, just thoughts.

3.  On a completely different note, Facebook told me that one year ago today, the E2TG Facebook Page hit 300 likes.  Today, the count stands at 834 and countig. I am humbled and mystified and grateful for all of the support.

4.  I feel like I need to acknowledge that there is another (at least one) music blog/website whatever that uses Ear to the Ground has their name.  From what I can tell, we started at about the same and apparently, just coincidentally came up with the same name.  It isn't really that big a deal yet, but as I look to expand and grow my site, I see the need to address it.  As you have probably noticed, I have been heavily emphasizing the "E2TG" designation.  This will likely continue and eventually the E2TG title may replace "Ear to the Ground" on-line and in print.   This blog will always be "Ear to the Ground" as long as it continues.  And for the record, if you are talking about "E2TG", it is pronounced, "Ear to the Ground". :-)

5.  Three events tonight that I want to highlight. I do not think I can physically do all three but not saying it is not possible...  1. Scott Miller (6-8) at The 5 Spot.   2. Steve Poltz with special guest Megan Palmer!!!! at City Winery. (7-?)  3.  The star-studded tribute to Ryan Adam's Cold Roses album at The Basement East. (8-?)

Todays Wild Wednesday shuffle contains several songs from new and newish releases (and future releases).  Plus some of the usual "Wild Wednesday Wackiness".

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Wild One Mix

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I have been so inspired of late, watching friends having their dreams come true in so many ways....  The Americana Music Association announced their final group of artists for next months festival, and I was so happy to see some good friends on the list (many of them making their debuts as official showcase artists). Several people who may have read about on E2TG are on the list including the most recent two Artist of the Year!

Seeing the Foresters and others from the Dord Music Group - absolutely killing it at Athens PopFest and getting an amazing opportunity to play alongside their heroes from the Elephant 6 collective.

See friends releasing new albums and getting the opportunities to play "big" shows...

It moves me to do more with the opportunities I have been given.

Hey ho! Let's go! Tuesday - what's "trending" at E2TG?  Find out!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Choo Choo Mix

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Another work week is upon us.  Monday.

A few interesting events coming up (off the top of my head):  Scott Miller (The V-Roys, etc.) will be making a rare early show appearance in Nashville Wednesday at The 5 Spot.  6:00pm.  Later that night, an all-star cast will be recreating Ryan Adams sixth studio album, Cold Roses - that show is at The Basement East.

Thursday night: Sergio Webb and Nathan Bell will be at The Family Wash at 8:30pm.

There are tons of other great things happening around Nashville every night this week and pretty much every week.  The ones I mentioned just came to my mind.

We call it Music City Monday - because we shuffle up songs from our locally oriented playlist... songs connected to Nashville, Tennessee aka Music City USA.

Here is today's shuffle:

Friday, August 12, 2016

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - New Age of Aviation Mix

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Well - the work week is finally over!  It is Tomato Art Fest time in East Nashville - if you are able head over there for music and art and tomatoes.

It's been a hard week in many ways... but the shuffles have been good, I posted an album review and a successful video premiere.  I saw some awesome live music (not as much as I would have liked) and got some things done that needed to be done.

For our Featured Friday, we have some old friends, some new music, and more...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Throwback Thursday Morning Shuffle - I Can't Tell You Mix (Pt. 2)

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In case you missed it, please read my review of Jason P. Krug's album, The Zen of Losing.  More importantly, please check out the album.

Week 2 of David Olney's residency at The 5 Spot was outstanding.  Nothing too fancy, just flat out great music...

Today, we throw it back - and get a little "wild" even if it is not Wednesday.   Strap yourself in and let's see where the shuffle takes us...

For the Benefit of Others - The Zen of Losing by Jason P. Krug

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"Zen emphasizes rigorous self-control, meditation-practice, insight into Buddha-nature, and the personal expression of this insight in daily life, especially for the benefit of others."(Yoshizawa 2010, - The Religious Art of Zen Master Hakuin Pg 41)  (Sekida, Katsuki (1989), Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy, Shambhala)

'Certain records you make with a clear goal in mind, an audience , a genre. A kite to sail the wild winds of the market. Others you make to keep from losing your mind. This is of that second variety.' JpK

Songs about losing are nothing new.  Country music is filled with them: my girl left and she took my dog and my truck.  Heck, maybe songs about loss can be a theme on my radio show.  If we do that show, I really hope I include something from The Zen of Losing by Jason P. Krug. The theme of loss runs throughout the album, - heck it is right there in the title -  but as the title implies,  this is not another recitation  on loss.

Jason P. Krug is best known to my readers as a member of The Grimm Generation - a Connecticut band that helped pave the way for the long list of Connecticut artists I now follow. More than perhaps any other band I can think of, that band spoke language (musical and lyrical) that seemed to come from a place that I recognized so well.  One of JPK’s losses was the ending of that band (which he describes as a self-implosion). There were other personal losses.

Having experienced someh  pretty dramatic losses myself - at approximately the same time, I know that loss tends to make one isolate and internalize all of the complex feelings that the loss brings up.  When does choose to talk about it, it may be difficult to get passed the self-pity and self-blame and anger and ugliness.  But, Jason P. Krug is a poet and a philosopher, and as the title implies it seems likely that there was a lot of spiritual practice and discipline in getting to the point that this album could be made.

I do not think I am going to do a song by song review, but the album does begin appropriately enough with “Push Play” that employees some gypsy-like guitar work and a mellow groove to ease the listener into this sixteen song meditation on loss. “What’s so special about me?”  Brilliantly, the rollickling “Last Days of Rome” follows with an infectiously peppy groove that belies the feeling of being in a wonderful situation that you sense will be end badly.  (Even if you ignore that sense).  It is the soundtrack to this dying empire - even as it is personal and specific in its intent.

Backed on the album by cellist Julie Kay, guitarist David Hogan,and Adam Hagymasi on multiple instruments - Jason P. Krug relentlessly but patiently guides the listener through the remaining songs that are filled with beautiful music, poetic lyrics, and stunning wisdom.  Thinking on the definition of Zen with which I opened this review, I see this album as a personal expression of the insight gathered through practice and meditation and speaking for myself, it did benefit others.  If you have recently (or ever) experienced loss, I think this album is essential. If you have never experienced loss, you would do yourself a favor by having this album on hand, because I have learned that loss can strike at any time.

The Zen of Losing sits high in the upper reaches of my favorite albums of 2016 so far, and it is one that will stay with me long after this year is over.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

E2TG Video Premiere: Ben de la Cour - "(Ain't Going) Down That Road"

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From his bio:  Ben de la Cour has lived a different kind of life. After growing up in Brooklyn, he set out to see the world as an amateur boxer, bartender, and agricultural worker. He lived in Havana, Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New Orleans before finally settling in Nashville. It was at Nashville’s Greenland Sound that de la Cour recorded the eleven songs of perfectly crafted Americanoir that make up his second album “Midnight in Havana”.

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - Dogs Mix

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In case you missed it, I premiered the new video from Ben de la Cour this morning.  Check it out HERE.

I have a long overdue album review coming soon and hopefully more on the horizon... one can only hope.

Last night was another fantastic $2 Tuesday at The 5 Spot. Carson McHone, Erica Blinn, Joel Adam Russell, and more including Allen Thompson filling in for Derek Hoke and playing with Derek's band (everyone wearing Derek Hoke-like cowboy hats).  Even DJ Tim Hibbs got in on the action singing one of Hoke's signature songs, "Lonely Street".

Last Friday, E2TG 2014 Artist of the Year, Darrin Bradbury made a last minute surprise appearance on the stage at City Winery Nashville. Just last night, E2TG 2015 Artist of the Year, Jon Latham appeared on stage at City Winery Atlanta.  I wish I could say that I am prophetic, but the fact is, I am really proud of everything both of them are accomplishing.  Both Darrin and Jon are going to perform in official showcases for Americana Fest!

Now, it is Wednesday... you know... when we get Wild because we are fed up with the work week and realize we still have three more days to go... Check out the shuffle, and see if it is "wild" enough for you...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - A Different Breed Mix

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And suddenly it is Tuesday.... At E2TG Tuesdays are the day we look at what is "trending"... no memes or celebrity gossip - just cool tunes of a generally recent vintage... shall we?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Better Angels Mix

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Uggggg! Is the weekend over already?  The only good thing is that it is Monday and time for another Music City Monday shuffle - we have a good one today, and I was able to find YouTube videos for all of the actual songs from the shuffle.

Last night, I had the good fortune of being able to help my friend Gina celebrate her birthday and at the same time take in the always amazingly awesome Chris Scruggs and the Stone Fox Five.

Anyway, here is that shuffle:

Friday, August 5, 2016

Featured Friday Morning Shuffle - What They Call Punk Rock Mix

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Whew! It is FRIDAY!  I have to say, I have had a pretty difficult week - only partially due to coming back from a week off last week.  I am happy for the weekend to be here, and I am really looking forward to getting back on the radio with my dear friend Sue Havlish.  Tune in tomorrow from 11-1pm (Central Time) on WXNA (101.5FM in Nashville and streaming live at world-wide.
Our theme this week in "Animal Kingdom", and you can expect to hear some music by some E2TG favorites as well as other great songs.

I caught a super hot show last night at the original Basement (located four flights of stairs below to WXNA studios).  When I say it was hot, I mean both the music and the temperatures. Darrin Bradbury opened with some favorites and some sneak peaks of an album is currently working on.  The stars of the night were definitely Andrew Leahey and the Homestead who are releasing their new album Skyline in Central Time today. Leahey and his excellent band sweated through a rocking set. Singer songwriter, Bill Eberle closed the show with an excellent set.  Eberle was backed by a stellar band that featured Dave Coleman on guitar as well as members of Sad Baxter.  I think we all lost about ten pounds in the sauna, but it was totally worth it.

Onward, to a week-closing Featured Friday shuffle

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday Morning Shuffle - It Matters Mix

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So, I told you.  Didn't I? David Olney is simply the best.  The first week of his residency at The 5 Spot is in the books.  Backed by a solid band (Justin Amaral, Daniel Seymour, and Ward Stout) - Olney played some of my favorite songs of his - "Wait Here For the Cops", "When the Deal Goes Down", and "Slim Slammy". He also threw in some songs from a couple of albums he has in the works. In addition, he did his cover of The Bee Gees, "New York Mining Disater 1941", and then surprised and delighted all with a cover of John Prine's "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" which was transformative.  If you missed it, he will be back next Wednesday.  Then in two weeks, you have one chance to catch Scott Miller before Olney returns for the last two Wednesdays of August.

Tonight is the Andrew Leahey and the Homestead celebrate the release of their record on Thirty Tigers with guest Darrin Bradbury and Bill Eberle.  Doors at 8:30 - Darrin takes the stage at 9:00pm.

It is time to throw things back on a Thursday... Dig in...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wild Wednesday Morning Shuffle - No More Drama Mix

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Robyn Hitchcock and Bobby Bare Jr. walk into a bar, and the best damned Booker T and the MGs cover band you ever heard is on stage... what? No, it's not the set up for a joke... it is just Tuesday night in East Nashville. Specifically $2 Tuesday at The 5 Spot.  As per usual, it was a great night of music up and down the bill that included Henry Wagons, Allen Thompson (who filled in for Derek Hoke who is on tour), Francis and the Foundation, Amber Farris with the late night slot filled by the the aforementioned Booker T cover band - Time is Tight lead by drummer Jerry Pendecost. $2 admission, $2 Yazoo drafts all night!

Oh and a big shout out to Eric who hosts Gilded Splinters on WXNA.  He plays really awesome New Orleans music every Tuesday from 7-9pm.  Eric filled in for Sue and I this past Saturday and he kind of dedicated his show to us by making musical connections. I don't know if they were aided by cocktails, but if so, I am assuming it was Hurricanes.  (but not on the air on in the studio...) :-)

It is mid-week... when things get wild here at E2TG. Let's see where the shuffle takes us...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Trending Tuesday Morning Shuffle - Quiet Songs Mix

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It's a day early, but tomorrow night, David Olney kicks off his 4 of 5 Wednesday night residency for August at The 5 Spot.  (By the way the 5th week features Scott Miller).  Olney's shows are always incredibly good, and his residency shows tend to be filled with epic moments of poetry, song and surprises.  Late night tomorrow, is another edition of Joanna Barbera's Songs Not Silence showcases benefiting Thistle Farms.  This time around Barbera herself will perform!  Great time, great cause. Also at The 5 Spot.

Tonight: Tommy Womack (who we featured yesterday) will be playing The Family Wash as part of the weekly Short Sets series.  It is also Pint and Pie night. So yeah!

Here we are at Tuesday when we take a look at what the Shuffle says is trending...

Monday, August 1, 2016

Music City Monday Morning Shuffle - Ghost of Dylan Thomas Mix

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Well, I can't really say that it is good to be back from my week-long vacation, but it is good to be back to blogging.  I hope followers of my Facebook Page enjoyed the throwback posts throughout the week. we are in August.  Time... thinking about how fast it seems to go got me to thinking about the Stephen King short story.  And somehow, I just found out that this exists!

Anyway, it is Monday - when I shuffle songs connected to the Music City...