Archives for category: Gwyneth Paltrow

2010, Corb Lund, Hayes Carll, Lucinda Willianms, Hayes’ parents.

September used to be back to school month, now that school starts early, September is not only when the CMA’s hit Nashville, but, when the world comes for Americana, Bluegrass and where Next Big Nashville morphed into Soundland and moved to October.

While Nashville may be known for the CMA’s , Eric Church and Taylor Swift, it is also known for what Rolling Stone called the “coolest music festival in the world”, The Americana Music Festival hits the city for the ultimate pub crawl from September 12th-15th.

Dan Baird with Brad, 2010, Cannery Ballroom, Stones Tribute

Past years have seen everybody from Don Was to Robert Plant to Nashville’s Own, Justin Townes Earle put on some great showcases.  Last years’ awards show mashed up Gregg Allman, Robert Plant with The Avett Brothers, The Civil Wars and Mumford and Sons (sorry, the name reminds me of Sanford and Son). In fact, it seemed like a hybrid MTV awards show where music mattered and all sugar pop was left at the end caps in Wal Mart.

This year proves to be no exception, some notable sets will be Memphis night at The Rutledge featuring sets by Jim Lauderdale and the Mississippi All-Stars, okay, yes, I’ll say it again, Jim Lauderdale and The Mississippi All-Stars also a late set featuring an all-star jam playing the music of Big Star.

For those with a traditional view of what is “Americana”, Corb Lund will be at Mercy Lounge this Wednesday followed by a tribute to the late Levon Helm. In fact the line-up seems to be all inclusive with The Wallflowers, Mindy Smith, Chris Scruggs, Rodney Crowell among others playing all over the place for several nights.

As far as Americana goes, the easiest party route is to hang between Mercy Lounge and The Cannery Ballroom with an occasional run to The Basement for some harder to find sets.

Don Was, photo – Brad Hardisty

The problem is, this year, there are some great line-ups at The Rutledge and the Station Inn that will make that shuttle route a little difficult and may necessitate borrowing somebody’s 20-speed bike to get around each night.

Peelander-Z at Exit/In, NBN 2010 – photo – Brad Hardisty

The awards show at the end of the event, always proves to be a magical evening at The Ryman. This year should be no different. I am rooting for Alabama Shakes in the Emerging Artist category as well as Jason Isbell (Alabama represent!) & The 400 Unit with Album of the Year, Here We Rest.

The Dillards, IBMA 2010, photo – Brad Hardisty

Not to be outdone, IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Week runs from 24th-30th at, for convenience, The Nashville Convention Center and Renaissance Hotel. The IBMA Convention is not just about showcases, but, people are encouraged to carry around their guitars, fiddles, mandolins  and join in the jam sessions that run almost till the sun comes up every night.

You could say Ricky Skaggs is our local Bluegrass patron Saint, with yearly residencies at The Ryman and a new album, Music to My Ears coming out this month, but, there are many new young artists playing traditional bluegrass as well as pulling in some modern ideas and pre-war non-bluegrass styles.

This is the real rebellion. While the music industry is finding a million ways to make computers sing and dance and auto-tune any Disney character into stardom, both the Americana Music Festival and the IBMA World of Bluegrass celebrate real musicianship, communal collaboration and a reason for a Luthier to keep honing his skills in search of the perfect tone wood.

This recipe continues to build both communities with younger generations every year.

After all, how many times can the music business reinvent the 70’s and the 80’s?

Mike Farris hanging at Mercy Lounge, Americana 2010, photo – Brad Hardisty

So, while commercial Country is now going to be shown every week in the night time soap, Nashville, basically re-spinning the movie Country Strong, “Americana,” which can claim anything from pre-war anthems to Red Dirt scene country and Bluegrass, New Grass and all its modern heirs are really the new cool. These two celebrations are really the underground cool.

As far as Soundland? What happened? Well, it’s now on October 6th and after a peak year three years ago that featured major music business players talking about the next generation of music delivery and several days of new music, it is now one day down by the river with bands that already play Lollapalooza and other big festivals.

Wanda Jackson signing autographs at Mercy Lounge after Jack White produced album showcase, Americana 2010.

There are only a few locals, when Nashville could really do a Next Big Nashville with such a burgeoning Indie Rock and other type Music Scene, we get Soundland with just a couple of token Nashvillians, PUJOL and Nikki Lane.  I guess we are going for national respect and now start-ups like Secret Stages in Birmingham are filling in the gap. Can I just say…huh?

– Brad Hardisty, Nashviille, TN

Filming "Country Strong" at War Memorial

When Gwyneth Paltrow was in Nashville months ago filming Love Will Find a Way, I got the call to be an extra at the War Memorial where Gwyneth was filming sequences that featured her “comeback” in the movie that will be released now with a new title Country Strong.

Gwyneth was singing live with a band of Nashville natives to canned tracks for the actual film. She really did work the audience and was “in the part” enjoying herself as a send up of something in between Shania Twain and Taylor Swift.

It’ s hard for me to remember the words to the songs but, the upbeat song was kind of a Country version of “Shake Your Booty” got the crowd going and we were having a good time running through the song several times for several shots.

Gwyneth in Nashville

When Gwyneth did the ballad “Country Strong” we were cheering even after the filming stopped the first time she did the shot. We didn’t stop. I think we were all in shock at how good the song was and how good her voice was.  Gwyneth was surprised too and while the Director was talking to her about her next shot they finally stopped collaborating.  Gwyneth walked back out to the runway and took a bow to the thousand of us that were there. We didn’t stop cheering for probably 10 minutes while the cameras were turned off.

The Director finally walked out and talked to us about who wrote the song. It was an all star team. It may be the old formula, but, picking a great song made all the difference. I will not be surprised that it will be a huge hit and could even get Best Song at the Academy Awards.

If you get the chance, watch her performance of “Country Strong” at the CMA Awards on November 10th.  I don’t write about stuff I don’t believe in. Gwyneth made me a believer. In reality, Nashville is full of people from all over the world that come here to sing Country just like there are plenty of Blues musicians that didn’t grow up in Mississippi or the wrong side of Chicago.

Gwyneth and Tim McGraw

If you haven’t noticed, Gwyneth loved Nashville and talked positively about her experiences while filming Country Strong including the food and the lifestyle.  Gwyneth was absolutely polite, warm and she won a lot of fans who worked as extras while she was in town. This film also stars Tim McGraw and features Nashville in a big way with a lot of city venues and vistas. I am looking forward to seeing the finished work and hope you will too.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN