Archives for category: Ernest Tubb Record Shop

Courtesy – John Richards Music

The Nashville Bridge sat down with John Richards at Fido in Hillsboro Village just before the one night only viewing of Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day at The Belcourt to celebrate John’s forthcoming release My Jazz II.

A lifelong resident of Nashville, John Richards is a guitarist’s guitarist having made the transition from Rock and Roll to Country sideman to accomplished archtop wizardry. The former President of The Nashville Musicians Union, Harold Bradley says, “Exciting would be a good way to describe John Richards. His technique appears to be born of necessity to fulfill his creative imagination…along with his musical riffs, his voice doubles the musical lines…he plays a variety of music from “Cherokee” to “Night Life” and I recommend you listen to John Richards.”

Courtesy – John Richards Music

John Richards is a Nashville native and lifelong musician who was a child protégé of his father, his musical hero. John started his musical journey on the stage of the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree in Nashville and has toured with and backed on radio, television and for live audiences: Tanya Tucker, Johnny Bush, Carl Perkins, R.W. Blackwood, Billy Ealker, Ferlin Husky, Bobby Bare, Barbara Mandrell, Mac Wiseman, Bill Anderson and many more.

He has been compared to Django Reinhart, George Benson, Lenny Breau and Chet Atkins while also winning a PBS Award for his part in the Ken Burns Jazz Series.

John was recently awarded the prestigious “Nashville Jazz and Blues Award for 2012 Guitarist of the Year” from the elite Marion James Blues Society.

My Jazz II was recorded at the famous Gene Breeden’s Studio and Produced by the well known Lloyd Townsend and Imaginary Records. The CD will be released this week.  The CD Release Party will be held at World Music Nashville, Friday November 30th at 7PM

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: Why My Jazz II?

John Richards: It’s called My Jazz II as opposed to my Jazz 1 which was my first CD and the reason why it’s called my Jazz II is because the first one never got pushed anyway. It never had any PR.

TNB: When was Jazz 1 released?

JR: That was like 10 years ago or maybe more.

TNB: So this was a whole different period of time.

Vassar Clements

JR: Yes, but, I’ve always played Jazz so, you know it’s the reason why I carried over some of those older cuts; because they’re invaluable, for instance Vassar Clements playing on it. It was Vassar’s last session.

TNB: Did you write some cuts? Do some covers?

John Richards and Victor Wooten at Bass Camp

Richard Smith

JR: On the new CD there are some covers, but, mostly because Vassar Clements played on it and Victor Wooten played on some of the cuts too. Victor is an old friend of mine. Plus, some surprise guests as well. Richard Smith is from England, he’s playing on an impromptu version of …I was on Tom Brash’s guitar actually. I was just sittin’ there with it and we launched into “Cherokee” so we just went with it, just two players, trading bass lines and playing behind each other.

TNB: Victor can play about anything.  He plays with Bela Fleck. What’s he doing on your cut?

JR:  Victor is playing on my instrumental. It’s called “Twilight Moon.”   I have been fortunate. Victor came and played on that for me and I’ve since been at his Bass Camp and we jammed up there and played some shows and it’s like we are getting to know each other even more. It is really neat. He’s an incredibly nice man and if you wanted to know, we really come from the same head in a lot of ways.

TNB: You are both from Nashville.

JR: The Wootens; they were like army brats, they traveled all over the place. They were in California,but, I think, originally,  they are from North Carolina. I was born and raised here.

TNB:  Did you write anything on this from your own personal life experiences?

Moe Denham

JR: Well, “Pookie Is A Dude” has a lot to do with my life. A dear friend of mine kept on coercing me. He wanted me to sing about his cat. I finally gave in. He said,”Hey man you gotta write a song about my cat.” I said what’s your cat’s name and he said “Pookie!” I was like “Pookie?” ”Yeah you need to call him that, like, Pookie’s a dude” I was like “Pookie’s a dude?”  So, I gave in and wrote this song and it’s a fun thing. Also, you got the great Moe Denham playing the Hammond Organ.  He’s played with a lot of great jazz players. It’s a full cast man.

TNB: Is it all over the map as far as jazz goes?

JR: It’s everything from original stuff  and stadards, but,all of them are my arrangements. There is even a Beatles song.

TNB: What Beatles song?

JR: “Norwegian Wood,” it’s pretty cool. It was done some with a trio and some with Vassar. Some with just you know I like the trio or sometimes four or five pieces.

TNB: Did you have a main guitar that you used on the sessions?

Courtesy – John Richards Music

JR: Pretty much it was my Epiphone Joe Pass Emperor. I just plug it in and go. I don’t have a bunch of pedals.

TNB: How did you get started playing guitar in Nashville?

JR: I always had an interest in music. My Dad and my Uncle used to have these jam sessions three or four times a year.  My Uncle lived in Florida and he would come into Nashville and the families would get together and my grandmother and all the women would cook up this great food and we cooked up a bunch of this great music and every year when they would do one of these things I would be wanting to play and I’d want to get right in the middle of it, but, I didn’t have a decent enough guitar until I was about eleven. It was a decent flat type. I was like strumming along with them and my uncle turned to my Dad and whispered, “You’ve been showin’ him some chords, haven’t you?” Dad said, “No, I haven’t been showin’ him anything.”  My Uncle says, “Well, he’s playing the right changes for what we are doing.” So, my Mom saw that I really loved it and everything and told Dad, “Ok. He wants it. Now, you know he doesn’t want to go play baseball.” Dad didn’t want me to get involved in the business unless he saw that it is what I really wanted.  And I’ve always appreciated him letting me find my way. He was a great guy and a great mentor for me. He was a jazz lover too.  I mean, he knew people like Hank Garland, Grady Martin and he ran a shoe shop. He would call me to the back where he had his little radio going all day long and he’d be like “John!  C’mon here and catch this lick.” I learned a lot of licks that way. Jerry Reed, Grady Martin licks. He had me back there as fast as he could to have me learn that way. I mostly got ear training, but, it served me pretty well.

TNB: What was your first professional gig?

JR: Probably, with a combo after I had been playing three months. We had a group called The U.F.O.’s and we were doing Ventures music and “Louie, Louie,” all the songs of the day. We opened Madison Square Shopping Center, right in front of the marquee for the movie theater. That was my first big gig.

TNB: So, did you get into Rock and Roll for a while, or did you get into Country?

JR: My trail started with Roger Miller who was a doing that “bluh, bluh, duh, duh.”  He would play a little lick at the same time. I was always looking for a little lick because everything was always so new to me. I was open to hear what I could hear and learn. That Roger Miller lick grabbed me and I started doing that little lick and it wasn’t very long after that when I heard Jerry Reed. I was a teenager when I started hearing Jerry Reed and Dad started doing the same thing, he said “Come here! Check this out. Check out this guitar player.”

TNB: Jerry did a lot of nylon string guitar stuff.

JR: There is a big story with all of that. Because, I got really voracious into Jerry Reed stuff, but, I didn’t know that he tuned for a lot of stuff that he played. I didn’t know if he was overdubbing or what, so, I learned how to play verbatim in standard tuning. I would be in the same key. One day I had heard, I always had my ear to the ground, about some new music shops and somebody I knew told me about this new music shop that opened up. They had all these handmade guitars and stuff that were way beyond glorious. These were like the finest handmade classical guitars and flamenco guitars made. The ones you only hear about and I was sitting there and I was getting to play these things. They kept bringing them back, bringing them down. They would have them way up on the wall, like Ramirez; beautiful handmade guitars. I used to love the work on flamenco guitars. They had beautiful knobs.  They weren’t even knobs. They were works of art and pearl sometimes, I mean just gorgeous. They had all this gold work that went up on the side and around the sound hole. Jerry Reed got me hooked into playing classical guitar.

TNB: So you learned how to do that style?

photo – Brad Hardisty

JR: Yeah, I was playing one guitar in particular and this tall gentleman comes by and I noticed he was kind of coming by now and then. I was just sitting there probably playing for like an hour. Finally, he came by and said, “Man you sound like Glen Campbell!” I was like doing Jose Feliciano, “Light my Fire” and all that stuff.  And he said,” Yeah, you sound like Jose Feliciano too.” I said, “Thank you sir, but, my real idol is Jerry Reed.” He said, “Well yeah? Hit me a lick!” I went into a lot of it and I was doing it in standard tuning and he just cracked up and he said, “You know, Jerry is a friend of mine.” I was like “Jerry’s a friend of yours, huh.” He was like, “I’m going to call him and tell him about you.” That’s when I found out for the first time that I doubted someone’s word, because, that was like me being Elvis for some teenage girl or something. He got on the phone for like a fifteen minute conversation with this man so I played a little bit louder just in case it was Jerry. I wanted him to hear what I was doing somewhat. Then, he gets off the phone after just having a “bang-up” conversation. He said “It’s settled, Jerry wants to meet you.” I was like, “Jerry wants to meet me? That’s terrific.” Then he says, “Yeah and he’s going to call ya.” I said,”He’s going to call me.” I kept saying this in my mind… okay. He convinced me enough that when I got home from school, I would sit by the phone. In those days there were no coda phones. If you didn’t catch the phone, you just missed the call, period! There was no way to know who called you ever. So anyway, this one particular day my Mom was going down to Madison Square Shopping Center, going to Shoney’s which was the highlight of my… I mean Shoney’s was it in those days as a kid. If she mentioned Shoney’s my ears lit up. But, I said, :”Mom you know I normally would go with you, but, I think I better stay here and wait for a call from Jerry.”

TNB: How old were you?

photo – Brad Hardisty

JR: I was fourteen. Anyway, I didn’t want to do anything that would keep me from being able to race to that phone. At the time, that was back when they had these long, long chords so you could put it in any room in the house, but, you had to have a really, really long chord. And it went all the way down the hallway to my parent’s door where their bedroom was. I could just race down the hall and I was like, “Oh shoot! I got to go to the bathroom!” I was like ready then the phone rings so I go running down there to grab the phone and you know how when you have been around someone for so long you  kind of pick up their mannerism and there speech? I had never heard this voice in my life. He said, “John?” I said “Jerry?”  He said, “No this isn’t Jerry, but, this is Jerry’s manager and Jerry wants to speak to you.” So then he puts Jerry Reed on the phone and Jerry said, “Well son, I hear you sound like me.” I said, “Well, I try to Jerry.” Jerry said, “Well hit me a lick! Do you have something on tape where I can hear it?”  I said “Well, I just happen to have a little reel to reel.” I had recorded “Oh What A Woman” or “Guitar Man” or something. Jerry said, “That will do. Let me hear that!” So, I put it on and it sounded like Jerry Reed on a 78 because my voice was like three times higher and anyway I played this thing and I heard him on the other line and he was just cracking up! He was like, “Son, I gotta meet you. You gotta come down to my office.” Jerry’s office was at Columbia Records. It was called Vector Music. That was his publishing company. I got into Jerry so much that I went down there, I had just bought a guitar that was like a three quarter size Decca that I bought with paper sales, because, I used to be a paper boy when I was a kid and I wore these kind of hats when I was a kid. That’s why I brought it back. That is another story. Anyway, I brought this guitar and I didn’t have a case for it. I had on sneakers, blue jeans, A Hooker Header yellow racing jacket with big red stripes with embroidery that said, “I love my Hooker Headers.” Also, a fishing hat like Jerry wore. The guitar was thrown over my shoulder and his manager came to the door and said, “You gotta be John.” I said, “Yes sir! That’s me!” He said, “Well, Jerry’s there so go on in.” It was really an amazing thing because something happened later that would make me never forget meeting him that day. I will never forget he had on this turtleneck with a very low collar and he had sleeves rolled so they kind of “belled” out. It was kind of a light blue sweater and then he had on electric blue pants. He was putting when I came in he had his set up in there. He said, “Well son, come on in here.”  We sat down. He said, “Well, play me something. Let me hear ya.” So, I started playing one of his tunes and he said, “Well, son, that was really good! I like that, but, this is the way I actually play it and he tuned down my little Decca and played his tune on it and then he would give it back to me and he would say, “That s the way I play that.”  I was like, “Oh! You tune for those things.”  “I tune for a lot of the stuff. “ We spent, like, I mean it seemed like forever, like, three hours together doing that back and forth, me playing him a song and them him showing me how to do it right. Before I left that day, they gave me practically all of Jerry’s albums.  The last one that he gave me had the same exact outfit that he had on the day I met him, so, I will never forget it. And he signed it, “Keep cookin’ Jerry Reed.” The name of the album was Cookin’.

TNB: That was the outfit he was wearing when you met him?

JR: Yeah, so, I never, never, ever forget what he had on that day.

TNB: So, from then on you were hooked.

JR: Oh yeah! I got voracious on Jerry Reed! I used to play at Ernest Tubb Record Shop and if I wasn’t doin’ some kind of Country rebellion then I was like, just playing Jerry’s stuff. He influenced me so much. Now, earlier, I mentioned Roger Miller, so, when Jerry Reed started the scatting, he used to scat, but, he wouldn’t he be doin’ it while he was playin’ his licks. I learned to do that from Jerry Reed and then it came in handy when I got into George Benson, because, I was already scattin’.

TNB: George Benson was doing the Wes Montgomery thing.

JR: Except, Wes Montgomery didn’t sing or scat.

TNB: He didn’t, but, style wise, he had a lot of Wes Montgomery.

JR: Oh yeah, Wes influenced a lot of people.  Wes was just a monster jazz guitar guy. The octave thing was great, but, his bebop was just amazing. He was great; a great player.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

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Junior Sisk getting award as wife, Susan Sisk looks on.

Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice Celebrate at IBMA’s World Of Bluegrass with Two Nominations and Appearances on SirisuXM, WAMU and WSM

Chesterfield, VA (September 21, 2012) — Virginia native, Junior Sisk was honored by his home-state and colleagues during a ceremony in Chesterfield, Virginia on Friday, September 14th. Sigrid Williams of the Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame presented Sisk with a plaque during a performance by his band, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, officially honoring Sisk as the 2012 Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame Inductee. The Virginia Folk Music Association was formed in 1943 for the purpose of preserving the history of country, bluegrass and gospel music. In 1973, the “Hall of Fame” was established and since that time has inducted many well known musicians such as Roy Clark, The Statler Brothers, Jimmy Dean and bluegrass legends Jim & Jesse McReynolds.

photo credit – Anthony Ladd

 Also during the ceremony, Edwin Esten, Vice President of the Virginia Folk Music Association presented another plaque to Sisk on behalf of Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, in recognition of Sisk’s dedication to preserving and fostering bluegrass music not only in Virginia, but world-wide as well. “I was deeply honored to be inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Hall of Fame and also to receive the plaque from Governor McDonnell,” stated Sisk. “I play traditional bluegrass music and never think about receiving any awards for it. But when you are recognized by your home-state for what you do, it sure does mean a lot.”

 The Hall of Fame induction is among several newsworthy items as of late for Sisk and Ramblers Choice. The band learned in August that they are nominees for this year’s International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Awards in two categories; Album of the Year for their latest Rebel Records release, The Heart Of A Song and Song of the Year for “A Far Cry From Lester And Earl”. Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice will spend next week in Nashville, Tennessee to attend the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Conference and have several personal appearances lined up including radio interviews and performances in addition to attending the IBMA Awards at the historic Ryman Auditorium. Here’s a complete list of their appearances (all times are CST):

 Tuesday, September 25th

2:00pm SiriusXM Radio’s “Bluegrass Junction Live from IBMA” – Admission is free and open to the public. Guests should arrive at the Bridgestone Arena lobby no later than 1:30pm as seating is limited.)

3:30pm SiriusXM Studio Special – Private hour long performance to be aired at a later date on SirisXM’s Bluegrass Junction

7:00pm Martin Guitar’s Showcase at Robert’s Western World, 416B Broadway

10:00pm WAMU’s Bluegrass Country Showcase Nashville Convention Center Room 107

 Wednesday, September 26th

8:00am WSM 650AM “Coffee, Country and Cody” – http://www.wsmonline.com

6:30pm Mountain Music Entertainment/Rebel Records Showcase at Jack’s BBQ, 416 Broadway (Free Admission)

9:30pm Bluegrass on Broadway at Ernest Tubb Record Shop, 417 Broadway (Free Admission)

 Thursday, September, 27th

5:45pm IBMA Red Carpet Media Event

7:30pm IBMA Awards at the Ryman Auditorium

 Friday, September 28th

9:30pm California Bluegrass Association Showcase

11:00pm Fan Fest 

 Junior Sisk will be part of the Bluegrass talent that descends on Nashville next week at IBMA World of Bluegrass.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Kenny Vaughan at Mercy 2011

This would be the year that Indie makes more news in Nashville than Country; what Music City is known for. There seems to be much more going on with the ever developing spider web of Funk, Rock and strange magic underbelly from the Gulch to East Nashville.

Before, we get into this weird year, 2012 with its three Friday the 13ths exactly 13 weeks apart, the intrigue of political discord, 12/21/12, which lines up with Rush’s “Temples of Syrinx” released in 1976, prophecy being realized, “Our great computers, fill the hallowed halls, We are the priests of the temples of syrinx, All the gifts of life, Are held within our walls,” ha! Computers, what a blessing and a curse as all the creative occupations occupied by humans are eliminated by this gift we call knowledge at our fingertips. Remember, when Rush wrote “Temples of Syrinx,” a computer took up a whole room. Well, Steve Jobs, one of the great Priests of the digital age has passed onto the spiritual realm.

The Mayan calendar ends shortly after the election, maybe the world won’t come to an end, but, probably a lot of music will be written about end times and there will be an uptick of heavy dirge and Metal music. This may be the year to contemplate life listening to Dark Side of The Moon again or about sinister underlying forces in Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime.

Before we move through this “L” shaped recovery, one of the most mentally difficult times I can remember in my life, let’s rewind.

 As far as music, 2011 was a “run for cover” year as the “360 deal” pop artists keep spinning their “larger-than-life-80’s-on-ecstacy” fluff with the bands that happen to still be signed to major labels sounding not too far off the Katy Perryesque mark. I think the bands were put on warning, “Rock radio is dying so you better have “Moves Like Jagger.”

Okay, before I get to something positive, there were some disappointments. Janes Addiction, while preparing to release their newest album, The Great Escape Artist, put down their last effort, Strays  as not being that good, when in fact Strays did have a couple of great guitar hooks, while this dark piece, weak on guitar, ended up being more reminiscent of Porno for Pyros.  There was not one solid hook on the entire album.

Red Hot Chili Peppers were able to put together a solid if not remarkable effort with new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, who may be capable of taking on some Frusciante and Slovak, but not as innovative. Frusciante was a trailblazer; this is like replacing Eddie Van Halen.

So, with FYE the last major chain in Nashville closing its doors at the old Tower Records site, you got your choice, you have major league fluff, really not much different than the cotton candy days before The Beatles and The Rolling Stones crashed the party or you can go outside the box, think for yourself, show up at a Grimey’s in-store or a showcase at The End.

Hello Kelly at The Rutledge, photo courtesy- Jeni George

As far as bands go, Jeff The Brotherhood, joins the two member band fray that goes nationwide, well deserved with great shows locally and at Bonnaroo and beyond. As far as other local rock acts, Hello Kelly always put on a solid show when I saw them this year as well as The Onethroughtens that played solid sets at both the Third Man Vault show and some fashion meets art consortium at Mercy Lounge.

Kenny Vaughan at Ernest Tubb Record Shop

As far as favorite shows, Kenny Vaughan’s record release at Ernest Tubb’s downtown location was the place to be this year with Marty Stuart, the Fabulous Superlatives as well as Chris Scruggs playing to a packed room with about half being friends and relatives.

Jeff Beck at Ryman 2011

Jeff Beck at The Ryman was another phenomenal show as well as the Americana Awards that saw not only The Avett Brothers and The Civil Wars, but, also Robert Plant and Greg Allman bookending appearances with Buddy Miller providing the musical proceedings.

Okay, now for my top ten of the year. Many recordings are sounding more analog in the Indie world, if not recorded analog, the attempt to match the style with the sound that would come out of the influential era a must.

10.  Jeff The Brotherhood  – We Are The Champions

Starting out with some punk rock Buck Rogers guitar laser blasts subsiding into gnarly Maestro phase shifter on “Hey Friend” clocking in with a long intro, the writing is strong, simple and effective. Jeff gets a major label deal off this one. It will be interesting to see how that goes. Their own label, Infinity Cat, being one of the major local indie labels to develop a short roster that has been hitting every club and festival that they can, Jeff the Brotherhood came up with a solid piece of work.

9. The August – Dear Chicago Love Nashville

Jacky Dustin has one strong Country voice, this Chicago band has been down here chasing their Country music dreams for a little while, not waiting to get signed, they put this great piece of Country rockin’ song cycle out themselves.  Big labels, in their search for solos and doubles, have so far overlooked this great band. What’s wrong with a great band that writes their own songs about cranking The Rolling Stones and talking about where they came from? This is not a one trick pony going from the double-time “We Write Our Songs” to the getting more than you bargained for sultry “Love Me Like A Stranger,” this is probably the best “unsigned” country band in Nashville.

8. Graveyard – Hisingen Blues

This was a find while traveling out to Utah to do interviews, stopping it at local indie record shop, Gray Whale and picking up a recommendation. The Swedish rockers are somewhere between first album Black Sabbath and Vincebus Eruptum, Blue Cheer. The recording sounds like it was done on an old well worn 4 track reel to reel with non-Marshalls, more like full blown, old Sound City amps or something. There doesn’t seem to be anything above 8k on this album. It plays like a record found at a garage sale from an old Vietnam era stoner. They are playing this month at Exit/In on January 20th.  The early Black Sabbath slow un-blues of “No Good, Mr. Holden” and stoner boogie, “Buying Truth (Tack & Forlat)” are stand outs.

7. Mastodon – The Hunter

It’s weird to think that a Metal band that was conceived at The Nick in Birmingham and worked its way out of Atlanta, would earn its wings being lauded not only by Metallica but attendees at such indie festivals as Coachella with 2008’s, Crack The Skye, busting out everywhere. It was hard to follow up Crack the Skye which would be their Dark Side of The Moon, but Mastodon do a great job on such cuts as the “Sweet Leaf” groove of “Curl of The Burl” and the Dream Theater flavored, “Octopus Has No Friends.”  

Dedicated6. Steve Cropper – Dedicated, A Salute to The 5 Royales

Steve has the opportunity to pay tribute to guitarist, Lowman Pauling, who was one of the biggest influences on Stax soul as the great era of the Sixties would kick in full effect. The King records office, run by “Duck” Dunn’s brother in Memphis, brought in some of the strongest soul artists of the day from around the country. Booker T. and The MG’s, Otis Redding and many other artists were influenced as the music changed from rhythm and blues to soul. This has an all—star vocal cast from Delbert McClinton on “Right Around the Corner” to Steve Winwood, B.B. (Beale Street Blues Boy) King, Steve Winwood, Lucinda Williams and an A-list that contribute to this project.

5. Gary Clark Jr.  – The Bright Lights E.P.

With some gritty Black Keys meets The Burnside Exploration bluesy soul of “Bright Lights,” kicking off this four song cycle, there is a little Paul “Wine” Jones thrown in here, this Texan, all things, including a little hill country blues, is more of a promise than a full album. It was good enough to make Rolling Stone’s list for the year and earns a place on my list as well. The fact that it is on Warner Brothers makes it really twisted.

4. Tony Bennett – Duets II

With many of the classic icons now “Dust in The Wind,” it really is amazing that Tony Bennett still sings like a prizefighter. Mr. Bennett could hold up everything by himself, but, the interesting match-ups with Mariah Carey, John Mayer (yes, John Mayer), Willie Nelson, as well as Lady Gaga’s best performance to date on “The Lady is a Tramp” makes for an instant standard. The most prized track is Amy Winehouse’ last recorded performance of “Body and Soul.” The Nelson Riddle style strings make this record sit on the top shelf with the best early Sixties era Frank.

3. Kenny Vaughan – V

Kenny shows up on a lot of Nashville records, known as Marty Stuart’s guitar slinger, Kenny takes center stage with The Fabulous Superlatives providing back up, the album rocks as much as it steeps in mystified netherworld Country, blasting off with “Country Music Got a Hold on Me,” stopping mid-point with the instrumental, “Wagon Ride” before ending up in a rockin’ Country church, “Don’t Leave Home Without Jesus.”  Sonically, this has the frequencies in the right place with no high-end ADD busy bee stuff going on. Well done!

2. Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing

If I could be in a band right now, this would be it, with only a strong sense of songwriting being the guide this is all over the map with heavy 70’s influenced, “Might Find It Cheap” being probably the best structured song I have heard this year, to influences from accoustified Dylan to southern fried Tom Petty, I think there is a concept going on here, but, more than anything this is worth at least a dozen listens.

1. Amy Winehouse – Lioness: Hidden Treasures

We may never know how far Amy could have gone. She absorbed Dinah Washington, Donny Hathaway as well as The Ronnettes with equal grace. Amy not only did some great covers, but, was a songwriter on par with the best. This disc has some raw original versions showing Amy supporting herself on guitar. Amy had all three talents, great voice, great musician and great songwriter. She was a triple threat in a class of one. Amy is the best voice of the last twenty years. This collection takes us all the way from the very beginning on the demo, “The Girl From Ipanema” to mid career, Stevie Wonder influenced, Amy Winehouse penned, “Half Time” to the current torn heart on a sleeve, Leon Russell cover, “A Song For You.” This is a chronicle of a flame that burned hot and way too fast. She should be here now.

Okay, that’s it.  Watch out for Imelda May. She actually played at 3rd and Lindsley this year. Imelda would have been on the list with Mayhem except it is a 2010 release, but, watch out, there is More Mayhem coming out at a Grimey’s near you.

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis’ stripped down take on the Forties as well as some Ska and Hawaiian music on Smoking in Heaven continues where the last one left. They’re heading for the Big Day Out Festivals in Australia and while not making much of a dent in the States, the recording is a vintage gear monger’s dream. They accurately feel like recordings made in Chicago or Memphis way before Sun.  

 – Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Kenny and Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives started ripping it up a little after 8PM at the back of Ernest Tubb Record Shop like it was a Midnight Jamboree with The Buckaroos back in 62 on September 13th.

You could have been up the street at Bridgestone, listening to Journey and Foreigner playing a best of set, but, if you weren’t at Ernest Tubb, you missed what is happening now. Manuel Nudie, in a black on black striped tailored suit, didn’t miss it.

Introduction:" Kenny, it's time you put out your own record"

Celebrating the release of his first solo effort, V, on Sugarhill Records, it was Kenny front and center after an introduction by his beautiful wife, saying “it was about time.” Kenny has been ripping it up for years with everybody in Nashville from Martina McBride & The Ride to Marty Stuart, Mindy Smith and Mike Farris.

Kenny, Marty & His Fabulous Superlatives

Marty was comfortable being the supportive guitarist, boss, co-conspirator, this seals the deal.  With a frontline of nothing but Fender Telecasters, Paul Martin and his Fender Precision Bass, Fender Amps and Harry Stinson on the skins, this was a new chapter in the foundation that Buck Owens, Don Rich and The Buckaroos laid down, this is Honky Tonk at its best.

Tearin' it up!

Kenny ripped through “Lillie Mae”, “Country Music Got a Hold on Me” and other already gone classics. The delivery with a Chuck Berry story style and vocal range was as much Rock and Roll as it was timeless twin guitar attack that could have been Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West or Thin Lizzy.  

Speaking of Speedy West; Chris Scruggs made a guest appearance on Steel Guitar, already considered a Master by those around Nashville; it was pure vintage riffing almost hearkening back to that era. Chris mentioned after, that he will have a new Nashville recorded album out in the spring.

Marty!

Before finishing the set, they took off on “Country Boy Rock and Roll” from Ghost Train which left David Letterman and Paul Shaffer’s jaws dropped to the floor when Marty and Kenny  guitar shredded through their David Letterman Show promotional appearance just a few moons ago.

Kenny announced the last song, co-written with Marty, a Country Honky Tonk Rockin’ Gospel number, “Don’t Leave Home Without Jesus”. I don’t know what Church they play that at, but, I want to be there.

This is the perfect bookend to Ghost Train, this is what Lower Broad should sound like, from the Red Dirt scene of Oklahoma and Texas to the oil fields of Coalinga outside Bakersfield to Hank Garland and all that have gone before, this is the Country that puts a smile on your face.

Chris Scruggs Y'all!

While Kenny was going to continue the party at Full Moon down the street at 10PM, Marty escaped in his sleek Black Cadillac XLR Batmobile. This was the Nashville party tonight.

One of my Faves, Kenny at Mike Farris in-store

 – Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com