Archives for category: Music City

The Tony Gerber Interview

debbie bond cbb_soulshiningcdcov_med_hr-2The Cotton Blossom Band sets a new bar in uncharted waters by mixing true Space Music with old time tunes and Hill Country Blues lead by Tony Gerber, Nashville’s true Space music pioneer for three decades and Mason Stevens whose ability on anything with strings lends to the crossover technique that demands everything from cigar box guitar to electric guitar with multiple effects.

The two are joined by Michael Doster who played bass for B.B. King for over fifteen years on upright bass as well as Roy “Futureman” Wooten [ of Flecktones fame] on acoustic and electric percussion.

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

An interview with Tony Gerber can go in any direction since he has proven to be the Renaissance man of Nashville’s music underground. You may not have even known that Nashville has its own Space Music epicenter but Gerber’s Space for Music project began in 1985 as a listening group following the weekly radio broadcast of Music From the Hearts of Space. The space music genre was just beginning to take shape, influenced by the groundbreaking ambient works of Brian Eno, Krautrockers like Kraftwerk, and electronic artists like Cluster.

As a member of the trailblazing electronic music band SPACECRAFT, owner of the Internet-based Space for Music record label and most recently as his premier Second Life music mogul, Cypress Rosewood, Gerber has helped popularize space music across the United States, Canada, Europe and far reaches of the globe through his prolific musical releases and hundreds of live internet broadcast concerts online and into the virtual world platform.

The Cotton Blossom Band is keeping busy since their first release came out this year. Upcoming events include a taped performance on March 16th at The Old Time Pickin’ Parlor followed by a performance at Noteable Blends on March 21st.

Brad Hardisty/ The Nashville Bridge: What was the genesis of starting the Cotton Blossom Band?

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

Tony Gerber / the Cotton Blossom Band: It was almost like there were a couple because there’s a radio show here in town, The Mando Blues Show.  When Whit Hubner started Mando Blues, it happened to be real close to where I live. I’ve known him for almost thirty years, so he is almost kind of like family. He asked me in the very beginning when he started the show, “You ought to come up with something so you can play on the show.” This was after we [Nashville] had flooded out from the 2010 flood so I am kind of like, Wow! I can actually play blues with that real life event but the truth of the matter is when I was about seven or eight years old, I started guitar with the fingerpicking styles of Leadbelly and stuff like that.

TNB: So, you started out on guitar and with early blues music?

Mason Stevens, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mason Stevens, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG: I was attracted to that kind of old style blues, but over the years I have just been doing electronic music. I was pretty excited by the idea of putting together a blues project.  The first incarnation was actually with my good friend Doug Dillard from The Andy Griffith Show [The Darlings] and the real life Dillards and Tom Shinness who plays here in town and so the three of us originally played as a trio on the Mando Blues Show without any official name. At the end of year, I believe, Mason Stevens, who plays diddly bow and guitar in The Cotton Blossom Band got together with me. We’ve known each other since about 1986 and we have been playing together and staying in contact all these years. I really love his guitar playing, so we got together and just kinda tested out this new recording setup that I had.  I had my synthesizer and I had my Native American Flute in my hand and I just started singing an R.L. Burnside song called “Jumper on The Line.” When I did that, we stopped and looked at each other and got real excited about what we had just done and we said you know that really had a hybrid sound that was real exciting. We ended up starting the band as a result of doing that song. Mixing the synthesizers with the flutes, voice  was the actually the genesis point doing “Delta Space Blues.”

TNB: So R.L. Burnside has a hand in this new interstellar form of the blues?

Michael Doster, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Michael Doster, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG: That song is the signature part of what the sound is, but to take it one step further, during our concerts and on our album we kind of start out acoustic and we get a little more spacey as the concert goes with a mix of space blues/space jazz. You know it takes people into a little different realm and then we bring them back at the end with a couple of songs that are more space blues that we wrote.

TNB: What got you interested in Space Music?

Roy "Futureman" Wooten, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Roy “Futureman” Wooten, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG: I built a synthesizer when I was about fourteen years old and recorded sound on sound. The problem with Space Music is people just don’t know about it. There has never been like a real popular group other than maybe The Grateful Dead who had their own space out sessions.  Lots of times people comment that it reminds them of that a little but nobody has really brought Space Music into the forefront.

TNB: How does that tie into The Cotton Blossom Band project?

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG: One of the by-products of The Cotton Blossom Band is to introduce people to what Space Music or Ambient music is. So, that is exciting to me on a couple of levels you know.

TNB: One of the things that I noticed that really hit me was the Burnside song “Jumper On The Line” because of conversations I have had with Mississippi Blues musicians. They talk about where exactly the blues comes from; obviously the 7ths, well that comes from Egyptian music going back to Egypt. Also, the progression of how the blues feels.  A lot of them talk about their ancestors being scared because the Native Americans would be chanting and they played drums, of course. Black Americans played their drums hidden out in the Grove or whatever. They said that Indians actually scared them because of the Indian chants and that was also part of the blues and how it felt. When I heard you on the Native American flute, I thought of Othar Turner and the fife and drum African stuff. Did you think of that Native American aspect?

Michael Doster, Futureman,The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Michael Doster, Futureman,The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG: To be honest with you, no I didn’t because at that moment that we did that I had been playing Native American Flute, heavily, for the last twelve years or so. It is a natural thing for me to blend it in. They are pentatonic instruments so when you play the blues on the Native American Flute it is very natural.  I have studied a lot about Black Native Americans and it’s really a complicated “Pandora’s Box” that we are opening up surrounding that stuff. I mean a lot of people were going back and forth and Native Americans were going over to Africa and Vikings came up here and were picking up Native American women and going back over there to where you have Nordic roots music that sounds like Native American music. You’ve got teepees and different dwellings on the West Coast of Africa. People were travelling back and forth and sharing music for a long time.

TNB: Nobody knows where it all starts because even in Mississippi they have pyramid mound cities all up and down along the Mississippi and they don’t know who those people were.

Michael Doster, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Michael Doster, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG: Last year, I was with the Washitaw tribe. The Washitaw tribe goes back to ancient America like 4000 years ago. The mound dwellers, just like you said they were the mound builders.  The Washitaw were a very dark skinned tribe and they pretty much had the Louisiana Purchase. That was their land. You can look at old maps and you can see the name Washitaw. It shows up all over the place: mountains and rivers and all kinds of stuff. There are mountains that have been called that for who knows how long, you know I mean?  It’s an interesting kind of thing to think about for me, I guess, partly to because I am a mix. I am a true American. I am a mixed bag. I’m part Native American, there may even be some African American, I don’t know about the genetics thing but it is interesting how some of the music comes out. For me, I have just had this inner pulse thing that music, someone said I had, well you definitely have some African in you. I know that I am part Native American but it would ring true if how I feel music and how I am able to express it. 

TNB: The Cotton Blossom Band is a real change up for you.

Mason Stevens, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mason Stevens, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG: The first album is Soulshining. We are trying to decide how to even release it or what to do with it. I mean it is not even officially out there yet because we are trying to decide if we want a label or how we are going to treat it, so before we do a blast of sending it out to radio stations and stuff, we want to make sure it is aggregated out there so people can buy it when they hear it. The Soulshining album is the first album that I have replicated and put out that has me singing on it.

TNB: Really.

Futureman, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

Futureman, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG:  I started singing on the radio at nine years old. I have been writing music all these years but I have never really went that route with the music. There have been a couple of projects that I did where we have the masters but they have never been released.  I have heard the “man’s” voice being optimum in your Fifties. I feel that, so I am enjoying using my voice and singing some of these songs that have been with me like “One Meat Ball” or “Summertime,” Some of these songs have been with me since I was nine, ten, eleven years old. The covers songs we did were kind interpretations that have been inside of me for all those years and now coming out to where I can see a passion.

TNB: You worked with Mason before and he also plays with some Delta musicians. Michael Doster worked with BB King so he has a solid blues background and then of course Roy “Futureman” Wooten who does about anything. How did you decide who to work with?

The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Brad Hardisty

The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Brad Hardisty

TG: Ok, well Mason and I started working together first and we did a few rehearsals and kind of came up with a few songs. We wrote a couple, two or three songs and worked up some arrangements on some of these others. I think I had posted something about that work on Facebook. I posted a song or things I was just working on, some blues pieces and Michael Doster commented on it and was really interested. When I talked about The Cotton Blossom Band he kept commenting and of course, I live on Cotton Blossom so that is where our name comes from because we rehearse here and that is where it was conceived.

TNB: Did you play with Michael Doster before?

TG:  Doster and I played together on a blues project called Aashid Himons’ Mountain Soul Band so I had known him since the late 80’s.

TNB: When does Roy “Futureman” Wooten come into the picture?

The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Steven Wilson

The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Steven Wilson

TG: I have known “Futureman” for a long time as well. When we originally conceived the project, I said we need to have a Cajon player in this project. It wasn’t till a year after, when we did a couple of gigs and stuff that I just kind of re-acquainted with Roy. We had a lot of weird stuff happen anyway and we just started to do stuff together. He would come over to my house and we would do Space Music together. Since The Flecktones have broken up, he has had a lot more time to do other projects. I did a black history month project for him.  I did a recording of his last broadcast for the virtual world and the recording turned out absolutely phenomenal. We recorded on this system that I am using based around an iPad and Presonus Mic pres and Auria. When I am onstage, I am actually mixing and multi tracking while I am doing all this stuff.   I have just been blown away by all the stuff that we record so I am just going to keep on doing it.

TNB: Roy could have overplayed, but it was like he tapped into what you are trying to do and he fit it right in there.

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Patrick Sheehan

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Patrick Sheehan

TG: Absolutely. Well, part of it is the simplicity of the Cajon. I mean he added a cymbal which he didn’t have the last time we did the show and of course the Wave Drum.

TNB: Are you going to add anybody else into the mix?

Tony Gerber and Futureman, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Patrick Sheehan

Tony Gerber and Futureman, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Patrick Sheehan

TG:  I am hoping that an old friend of mine Billy Robinson who is a lap steel player who played with Hank Williams back in the 40’s and 50’s and has been playing with Chris Scruggs will be with us for a gig or two starting with The Old Time Pickin’ Parlor on March 16th.

TNB: Any International plans?

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo - Patrick Sheehan

Tony Gerber, The Cotton Blossom Band, photo – Patrick Sheehan

TG:  I would like to take the group to Europe but it has to financially work for everybody because everybody is working and doing their own thing. I know that they would really dig it over there because Europe is into my electronic music more than in the United States and they love the Blues.

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

The Joel  Schneider Interview

My Goodness, photo - Jason Tang

My Goodness, photo – Jason Tang

The Seattle duo My Goodness , Joel Schneider and percussionist Andy Lum, make their first appearance in Nashville at The High Watt on February 23rd with Augustines in tow and a bass player!

My Goodness recently recorded a cover of Seattle’s early garage rock pioneers, The Sonics, “In The Sun” while on a tour stop in San Diego and had the event pressed to vinyl in time for fans during this cross country jaunt that brings the band through Texas before ending up in Tennessee.

While the band had been to SXSW in the past, they never made it to Nashville until now.  Joel Schneider took a few minutes with The Nashville Bridge to talk about the bands roots in Seattle and the opportunity to spend some time here in Nashville.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: Is this the first time in Nashville?

Joel Schneider / My Goodness: It will be. Yeah.

TNB: You will like the High Watt.

My Goodness, photo - Hayley Young

My Goodness, photo – Hayley Young

JS: Nashville is actually one of the places I am looking forward to be playing at on this tour.  When we looked at a map the first time, I said I really want to play Nashville and then also I would like to go to Montreal. Those are the two places I can’t wait to play.

TNB: If I’m right, you have about 25 dates scheduled this tour?

JS: We had 30, but now we have 29 because we had to cancel Salt Lake City.

TNB: Cancelled! That sucks because even Salt Lake City is starting to have a little bit of a scene.

JS: Yeah.

TNB:  The thing that interested me when I was hearing your music is that it was not like  what some of the other two man bands are doing, I mean I hear a little bit of Jeff Buckley, a little bit of Blue Cheer. Can you kind of define what you are after?

JS: Something came up about Jeff Buckley before. I actually write the majority of songs on acoustic guitar at home. They kind of start off as more mellow tunes usually and then once I take them into practice and, you know, this whole band setting definitely changes things. We get a lot more heavy.  We add parts and what not.  I started playing back in high school. Andy [Lum] and I were really big into the all ages hard core scene, so we kind of have a background in pretty heavy music. A little later on, I got into a lot of soul and blues music and stuff like that. A lot of my writing is kind of a mash-up of the two and whenever I start writing at home it’s a different technique, but with the band it starts to get pretty heavy.

TNB: Are you out of the Seattle Hard Core scene or did you start somewhere before that?

JS: We started in Seattle. I started when I was a teenager and that was what the particular scene was at the time. We are definitely out of Seattle.  We have played together for a couple years now.

TNB: What’s it like in Seattle now?

JS: It’s pretty eclectic.  There are a lot of different little communities there. You can be between scenes which is what I like. You can be in a folk band and can still be friends with a heavy band. You can still support each other, which is really cool. There have been a lot of scenes that have come out of the city, but there has also been kind of a heavy scene that is starting to come up and there is a record label which just started up a year or so ago. They are really giving an outlet for heavier bands that have been around for a while to get the recognition that they are getting now, which is really cool, but, there is definitely a variety music in Seattle.

TNB: We kind of have our own collection of two man bands here, like Jack White moved here a few years ago and The Black Keys followed a couple of years ago and we have had Jeff The Brotherhood around for I think probably 6 or 8 years.

JS: Yeah.

TNB: Do you know any of those guys?

JS: No. As bands for sure, but, I have never met any of them. We already have met a lot of people on this tour. Our good friend Cody [Votolato] is playing bass with us. He is gone for a few dates so we are playing as a two piece for a few dates and then he will meet up with us. He will be with us in Nashville.   I think the addition of bass playing has added a lot to what we do.

TNB: Does Cody normally play in another band?

JS: He was playing in a band called The Blood Brothers for a long time. They are out of Seattle. He has been on tour with a couple of other bands, Telekinesis and Old Cave. He is just a really accomplished musician and he helps out a lot. He was our first choice and we are just lucky that he said yes.

TNB: What do you find is the biggest challenge of doing a cross country club gig tour as opposed to a regional tour?

JS: Just being away from home, bro! It’s definitely the longest I have been away. It will be almost two months since I have been home and we have girls back home so, just keepin’ that going, it gets a little tough but we are making it work.  I am having a good time trying to keep it light, you know?

TNB: Are you doing any in-stores while you are here?

JS: In Nashville, I am not a 100% sure, I’ll have to look. I can always check on that for you.

TNB: I saw you pressed a vinyl seven inch about the time you hit L.A.?

JS:  We came down and played a few dates last winter and there was a studio [Lost Ark Studio]in San Diego that invited us in to do a song for their singles compilation. We decided to do a Sonics cover and they decided they wanted to press us 500 copies of the song and they had us do a second song too. We just picked up the vinyl copies two days ago. It was really, really nice of them. They didn’t charge us or anything.  They sound great.

TNB: Hopefully you will still have some of them when you get to Nashville.

JS: They gave us a lot more than I expected them to give us so we should have some of them for sure.

TNB: Are you doing this around the same time as SXSW or are you going to come back?

JS: We played SXSW the last couple of years, but we are going to be in Austin a week or two before so we are going to miss it. We just signed to Votiv Records. If there is not a reason for us to go, I’d rather not.  It’s pretty chaotic, you know, down there. We went for a couple of years and it’s always a good time. It always feels a little stressful.

TNB: What are you looking forward to the most when you come out here?

JS: I think we have a day off after the day we play, so I just want to walk around Nashville a little bit. I hear the music scene around Nashville is amazing.  I want to check out a couple of clubs and listen to a little music.

TNB: There is definitely a lot of clubs here now. One of the most interesting things is over at Third Man Records they have an antique restored make your own record booth. And it’s from the 1940’s and Jack White restored it. It sounds like a 78 when you record on it. It looks like a telephone booth.

JS: Oh wow.

TNB:  Neil Young just got threw recording an entire album in there. You can walk in there and for $15 you can press straight to vinyl in the booth. If you have an acoustic guitar or something you might want to try that while you are here.

JS: That would be awesome.  It sounds really cool.

TNB: I hope you have a good time and looking forward to the show.

JS: Thank you.

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN    thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

Live Show at Third and Lindsley and Christmas Interview

Mike Farris and son, Christian first public performance together, Third and Lindsley, Dec. 21,2013, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris and son, Christian first public performance together, Third and Lindsley, Dec. 21,2013, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

“It was very special that my son Christian wanted to do “Let It be Me” by The Everly Brothers and doing it as a duet. It turned out to be the most memorable part of the show for everybody.” – Mike Farris

Miike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Miike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris and The Fairfield Four brought Nashville the Spirit of Christmas last Saturday night at Third and Lindsley to a sold –out crowd pulling out all the stops with special guests and great arrangements of standards and a few surprise guests at the end of the night.

The Fairfield Four, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

The Fairfield Four, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

The Grammy Award winning group that has a heritage going way back to 1921 beginning at The Fairfield Baptist Church, The Fairfield Four started out the experience with a strong accapella set of Gospel standards. The group was featured in the movie “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” as well as the John Fogerty album Blue Moon Swamp on “A Hundred and Ten In The Shade.”

Robert Hamlett, The Fairfield Four, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Robert Hamlett, The Fairfield Four, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

As The Fairfield Four finished up their set, everybody backstage had their eyes glued to the television monitor as the weather front was coming through downtown Nashville just as Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue were getting ready to take the stage. Nashville had a warm front come through the last couple of days and the weather was getting ready to drastically change with possible tornadic conditions on everybody’s mind.

Mike Farris, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

After reviewing the weather conditions, the decision was made to hold off about thirty minutes to let the storm pass and see if there were any possible power interruptions.  After an all clear, Mike Farris and Company hit the stage with “What Christmas Means To Me.”

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm  Revue, Third and Lindsley, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue, Third and Lindsley, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

This was the first time Mike Farris had put on a full Christmas Show and he seemed to have as much fun as the packed house. The arrangements were Jazzy, Bluesy and downright soulful.  The night proved to be a down home, all about Nashville Gospel and Christmas in the snow with a full roster of  Music City guests.

Mike featured Samson White and Hayley Reed on “White Christmas” which is one of the songs that Mike has done before and had the opportunity to develop even further this go around.

Angela Primm, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Angela Primm, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

John Primm, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

John Primm, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

There were special guests like well known Gospel Singer, Angela Primm who has sang with Andre Crouch, Patti Austin, Bill Gaither and Gretchen Wilson who was joined onstage by her husband John Primm that got everybody going with his Louis Armstrong impression on “Wonderful World.”

Mike had a first singing with his son, Christian on The Everly Brothers, “Let It Be Me” that amazed the crowd. Christian has a strong voice that will no doubt show off his own style and approach as time goes on.

Mike E as Prince, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mike E as Prince, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Things got hilarious when Mike E did a strong Prince all in purple who had showed up at the wrong venue on accident and decided to own the place with a strong version of “Purple Rain” right before Morris Day [Samson White] got everybody on their feet to do “The Bird.”

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythm Revue finished off a jubilant night with “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” complete with Santa throwing candy at everybody before bringing in the spirit of the real reason for the season with “O’ Holy Night,” as a spirit of joy permeated the whole scene.

Mike Farris, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

It was one of those moments that should have been captured on DVD so that it could be shared with everybody else. As far as local shows go, this was the Christmas show to be at this year. After a couple of days of reflection, Mike Farris talked with The Nashville Bridge.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: That was really wild when the storm front passed right through Nashville after the Fairfield Four performed and right before you were going to go on.

Gale Stuart, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Gale Stuart, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris: Yeah, we were watching it on the big screen in the back and trying to decide what to do.  There wasn’t any tornado activity and it looked like it was just straight line winds. We were trying to decide if we needed to get people out of the balconies but then it looked like we just needed to wait for the line to blow through before we started our set and make sure the power was going to stay on. It worked out okay. When I got home, I had tree limbs down and stuff was blown around in the yard.

TNB: How long ago did you start working on this Christmas show?

Steve Roper, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Steve Roper, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

MF: We did a show with a couple of Christmas songs including an arrangement of “White Christmas” a few years ago and have been thinking about doing a full Christmas show ever since. We really decided that this year we were going to do a full show. I have a great band and they are able to see my vision and that is really a great thing to have. They are able to catch on to the arrangements and see where I want to go with that. They also came up with a lot of great ideas for the show.

Samson White as Morris Day, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Samson White as Morris Day, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

TNB: What about the comedy bits, Prince and Morris Day?

MF: Angie [Angela Primm] does a show called Still Waters, Christian Light Club. It’s kind of like the Cotton Club where she has people playing different characters and she does a swing set with Cab Calloway and others. After that, she does a set with tributes to Prince, Morris Day.  I got to be a part of that.Angie asked me if I wanted to have Mike E do Prince and we came up with the idea that he showed up at the wrong venue and it kind of went from there.

TNB: Did the show exceed your expectations? It did mine.

Oscar Utterstrom, Chris West, Jon-Paul Frappier, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Oscar Utterstrom, Chris West, Jon-Paul Frappier, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

MF: It sure did. We have already started planning on next year and it is going to be even better.

Paul Brown, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Paul Brown, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

TNB: You have great support here in Nashville and that filled that Christmas season void of the Blues/Gospel/R&B Community, especially with guest performers.

Derrek Phillips, Third and Lindsley, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Derrek Phillips, Third and Lindsley, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

MF: I really appreciate that. I am hoping to do more than one show next year.

TNB: Was that first time you have performed with your son Christian onstage?

Christian Farris, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Christian Farris, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

MF: It was and it was very special that my son Christian wanted to do that particular song, “Let It Be Me” by The Everly Brothers and doing the duet. It turned out to be the most memorable part of the show for everybody.

TNB: I hope you got a board mix of the show?

MF: I didn’t think about doing that, but that is something we will think about for the future. I’d really like to do a Christmas album.

TNB: Are you all ready for Christmas?

Gale Stuart, Samson White, Angela Primm, Hayley Reed, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Gale Stuart, Samson White, Angela Primm, Hayley Reed, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

MF: I had such a hard time with Christmas when I was a kid, but now I have my family around me and we actually listen to Christmas songs all year. It’s our favorite time. You now it’s all about Christ the Savior and that is important to me.

TNB: The band just sounded so great.

Michael Rhodes, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Michael Rhodes, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

MF: All the money went to benefit the musicians in my band. Whenever there is a benefit they always call musicians to come and play and they always do, but nobody ever stops to think that maybe the musicians could really use the help. I do a couple of benefits a year with my band and who knows how many they do besides working with me because they work with other people too.  That is the way that I want to do this in the future. I want this to be for my band.

TNB: It sounds like you really enjoy this time of year.

Gale Stuart, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Gale Stuart, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

MF: This is a special time of year, my wife and I celebrate our Anniversary on New Years as well. It’s a big time of year for us.

Mike Farris, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

TNB: I guess the new album should be coming out in 2014?

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythym Revue, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythym Revue, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

MF: Yeah, it will be out before the summer tour. Merry Christmas everybody!

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythym Revue, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Mike Farris and The Roseland Rhythym Revue, Third and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, 12/21/2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

MODOC Selected as FOX Sports Artist of the Month, iTunes “New and Noteworthy” Artist

MODOC, Soulshine Pizza, Nashville, TN, 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, Soulshine Pizza, Nashville, TN, 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Music to be featured across all FOX sports programming during the month of December, including college football and NFL coverage

MODOC, Soulshine Pizza, 2013, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, Soulshine Pizza, 2013, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

MODOC returned to Nashville and was caught Live in the act at Soulshine Pizza by Brad Hardisty playing to a packed house out on the deck all sealed up from the extremely cold weather after getting major local radio airplay.

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

MODOC, Soulshine Pizza, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, Soulshine Pizza, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

(Nashville, Tenn. – Dec. 10, 2013) Nashville rock band MODOC has been named FOX Sports’ Artist of the Month, with the television network currently airing the band’s music in a variety of its December sports programming.

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

Following Pearl Jam as FOX’s featured November artist, MODOC’s music has been licensed to appear across all FOX Sports properties in December, including College Football on FOX, College Basketball on FOX, NFL on FOX, MLB on Fox, FA Cup on FOX, UEFA, UFC, NASCAR on FOX and Fox Sports 1. “Fortune and Fame,” “My Way” and “Runnin’” are among the songs from the band’s most recent release that have been licensed for use.

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

Additionally, MODOC has been selected as one of iTunes’ “New and Noteworthy” Alternative artists, beginning December 10. The band is currently offering its new self-titled album via iTunes for only $7.99 as a special promotion through the end of the year.

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

“We’re really excited to finish out 2013 with these feature placements with FOX and iTunes,” says MODOC manager Eric Hurt. “This has been a big year for the band in its growth, and we’re really starting to open people’s eyes to the next big rock band coming out of Music City. I’m absolutely thrilled with how things are shaping up for 2014 and where MODOC is headed.”

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

“Joe Rangel from Hitcher Music called me and said, ‘I have a band you are going to love’ and sent me MODOC’s music,” says Janine Kerr, VP/FOX Sports Music. “I listened, loved what I heard and called him back immediately to let him know that the band definitely has a cool, unique sound. We are very excited to showcase MODOC as our December Artist of the Month.”

IMG_2361 small

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

The band released its first Daytrotter session on December 2 and will be issuing a limited edition run of MODOC on vinyl LP in January. MODOC was also selected as the featured daily artist on the worldwide music discovery app Band of the Day on October 24.

MODOC, photo, Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo, Brad Hardisty

MODOC is: Clint Culberson (vocals, guitars), Kyle Addison (lead guitar, vocals), Caleb Crockett (bass, vocals) and John Carlson (drums, vocals).

MODOC, photo - Brad Hardisty

MODOC, photo – Brad Hardisty

The Nashville Bridge – Darrell Marrier Interview

Darrell Marrier with Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, photo - Brad Hardisty

Darrell Marrier with Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, photo – Brad Hardisty

Rose water brought their conceptual Americana style Country – Rock hybrid Opera, Shotgun Wedding to Third and Lindsley  in Nashville, Tennessee with a six piece band  that featured duet vocals by lead singer Darrell Marrier and Jenika Marion that kicked off with a mock shotgun wedding with the “father” leading Darrell to the stage with gun pointed letting him know that he better marry his daughter after apparently taking things a little too far in a Romeo and Juliet type love affair.

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Jenika then comes onstage in a short wedding dress with a bouquet and begins singing duets with Darrell reminiscent of the Robert Plant / Allison Krauss project with a visual straight out of real American life in the 1930’s with music and a story line rooted in times gone by when the parents got involved to make things right and make sure the young man married the daughter after taking advantage of a situation as they saw it.

Through the songs and music, you can really tell these kids are in love and want to tell the story from their perspective. There are hints of everything from Johnny Cash and Tom Petty to reggae type inspiration in the actual orchestration.

Chancey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Chancey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Each song has its own tale but the production is strung together in kind of a Sergeant Pepper meets Tommy sort of way where Jenika finally tosses the bouquet to an audience that comes from today’s world where marriage is a big question mark that many don’t want to deal with.

Adam Box, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Adam Box, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

A shotgun wedding was a way to demand a young man show honor and respect and was usually answered in the affirmative. The concert itself was a benefit to Room In The Inn, transitional housing for homeless families and individuals. Attendees were requested to dress in 1930’s shotgun wedding attire and bring an item to donate to Room In The Inn.

Carl Torgerson, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Carl Torgerson, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Rosewater is a side project built out of song concepts that lead singer/ songwriter Darrell Marrier started formulating a few years ago and consist of members of the rock band Fragile, a band from Wisconsin and Minneapolis area with ties to Nashville.

Ryan Jasurda, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsely, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Ryan Jasurda, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsely, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

The Marrier Brothers, Darrell and Chauncey have worked with their parents and friends to build, restore or work on  well over a hundred homes in the U.S. and Mexico through their 501c non-profit known as the Hands Foundation. They decided to turn their attention to the homeless Veterans this time around and their shows now feature a benefit aspect that give fans an opportunity to participate in giving. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the show in Nashville went to a local homeless transitional housing project, Room In The Inn.

Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

The Nashville Bridge caught up with Lead singer and instigator of this new project Darrell Marrier backstage after the show.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: When you started writing this project, you were thinking about how Cash wrote?

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashviille, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashviille, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Darrell Marrier / Rosewater: It started way back with a buddy of mine, Bret Spears, who’s here at the show and came all the way from Tulsa, Oklahoma tonight. He and I were involved in a shotgun wedding of sorts.  We were involved in that situation and it stuck to us that day standing outside this little chapel [laughs] and we said to ourselves, “We need to start a band called Shotgun Wedding.” It was he and another buddy and I. I knew they were not really serious about it. It was just kind of joke. But, in my mind something clicked. So, from that day forward I started working on songs just here and there. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it or if anything was going to come of it. I thought that just down the line I would just try it out. It was “roots” kind of music. As I developed it, the idea for the story came first of what these two people would go through, where they might be from, what might happen in the story then I started writing lyrics. It kind of developed from there.

TNB: Do you think that the Country Music aspect came out because of the storytelling?

Christopher Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Christopher Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: It did.  That is why I wanted to set it in that time period. We set it in the “30’s.” That was kind of the era we wanted to be in with this project. Now, the music doesn’t always sound like it’s from that time but that’s when the story takes place, during a time when a shotgun wedding would have happened with an actual shotgun. It was that idea that got me thinkin’. The first sound I wanted to reference on the project was Johnny Cash. It was those old simple “train” songs as you call them, I just wanted to go back to telling stories. I hadn’t heard enough of that, you know, recently in modern stuff. It [Modern Country Music] doesn’t tell enough stories. It’s more about being “poppy” and trying to come up with some new beat.

TNB: Like “Red Solo Cup.”

Matt Osowski, Rosewater at #rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Matt Osowski, Rosewater at #rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Yeah. Exactly, a lot of this Pop Country is not doing anything. They are losing the “roots” you know.  So, the thing is there are some people doing it [real storytelling] but in my mind I wasn’t hearing enough of it. So, Cash was the first thing that was on my mind and that’s the first few tracks. The first track that I wrote was “Shotgun.”  It was based on that “train” beat.

TNB: The snare.

DM: Yeah, that shuffle with the Bass.

TNB: The only time outside of a Cash type thing that you hear that was probably on Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz.”

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: [laugh] Exactly, that was the thing. So, that was the first song that I ever tried to put together. I was writing kind of wherever I could write. I would just try to demo songs out then one day..

TNB: You came here three years ago and you had no “Tennessee” in you.

DM: No.

TNB: It was good Rock and Roll very reminiscent of some Hard Rock bands from the “70’s.” Did you ever in your wildest dreams think you would have a connection with Tennessee?

Adam Box, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Adam Box, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: No. Not at all. At that point, three years ago we were doing that Rock thing. We had that record out with Fragile. It was just at that point that we took a break from that. It was not a hiatus or anything. All the bands use the hiatus thing, “We are on a hiatus” but, we just thought it was a natural break. You play for and try to push the thing as far as it can go and it comes to a stop and this time we had a longer break than usual. So, I was getting kind of restless and just sitting around and I decided it was time to try this thing outand demo some songs At first, I was just doing it for fun, to see if it would go anywhere. As it developed I decided it might be time to show it to some people. I showed it to the boys [from Fragile] to see what we could put together and that’s when it started. They all jumped on. I was lucky enough that they wanted to try this thing out with me. That’s how it happened. I pitched them five demos and then we got the band together and put a show together in our hometown at a local placed called Munson Bridge Winery, a nice outdoor show. As we developed the sound it became a theme and the record was going to be a concept record.

TNB: What is interesting about that is there are not a lot of Country concept records.

DM: Right.

TNB: I’m trying to think and it’s really hard to think of one.

Ryan Torgerson, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Ryan Torgerson, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Yeah, not right off the top of my head. I know concept records are not the most popular thing right now. Complete records are not very popular right now. Everybody wants a single and done.

TNB: But the whole thing is this project is very cohesive.

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Right, I knew it had to be that way.  So, whether it was the popular thing to do or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s what is going to happen. It’s what the story is meant to be. So, I started writing in an “Arc,” which is not real easy because you have to fill in all the pieces of the music but not make it sound like it is just telling the one story. I wanted each song individually to be its own thing. So, I tried to do the best I could. It was really difficult but a great challenge. I was really excited about it and then it started coming together and I would just pick out a title from somewhere. I would pick out a title like we need a song about this and I would just write the song based on the song title. Once I got inside the story, you know, just inside the character, this wave of creativity just hit me and I couldn’t stop writing songs. I still can’t.

TNB: Do you feel like it is a path now?

Christopher Marion, Rosewater at 3rd and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Christopher Marion, Rosewater at 3rd and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: It is. I think so.  We haven’t stopped or quit the other band [Fragile] we are in, I just feel like we are all pretty committed to try this thing out because it just kind of blends everything together that we have always wanted to do and adds the storytelling element and the thread of the story that we are telling and it is pretty exciting to play. Also, adding some of these “roots” elements is exciting to us.

TNB: I still hear Rock influences, a little bit of Robert Plant…

DM: Oh yeah.

TNB: A little bit of reggae in there.

Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Always Plant, another thing that was a big influence on me was the Robert Plant and Allison Krauss project Raising Sand.

TNB: How did you decide to do the duets?

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: That was something right away that I figured out right after the story came to me. It was like when we’re doing live shows we gotta be able to play it out that way so I knew we would need a female singer and Jenika was the first choice.

TNB: Now you have Robert Plant & Allison Krauss going on.

Jenika Marion, Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashviille, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Jenika Marion, Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashviille, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Yeah, it was that early on during writing that that record [Raising Sand] was hitting me at the right time. All of that album is so good, you know and the way they blended that; he’s a rock and roll man and they blended his vocals with hers and that sweet bluegrass voice of hers is unbelievable and then of course, T Bone Burnett [producer, Raising Sand] is a mind blower on that. He set the foundation for all of that.

TNB: He has done that for a lot of Artists. I didn’t know if you knew that he is the Music Director for the Nashville TV series.

DM: I do. I have kind of followed him ever since. I mean I kind of knew about him before Raising Sand.

TNB: Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.

Matt Osowski, Carl Torgerson, Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Matt Osowski, Carl Torgerson, Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Yes, that was another one that was on my radar but that Raising Sand was a big thing at that point and I started hearing the way the duet thing would work. It was perfect, that’s it.

TNB: It also had electric and the acoustic thing blended up.

DM: Exactly, it’s got all of it and that was what I was after and that was the perfect timing. I heard that record backwards [Raising Sand track listing]. My buddy imported that way by accident, which changes the whole record.  I’ve heard it both ways but I like it better backwards opening with “Your Long Journey.” I’m not sure if it would have had the same impact if I’d had heard it in the right order.

TNB: Did you listen to the Band Of Joy album at all?

Jenika Marion, Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, photo - Brad Hardisty

Jenika Marion, Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: I did. Another one I really liked.

TNB: Buddy Miller was the bandleader. Darrell Scott, who is a phenomenal songwriter, is like the Utility player.

DM:  Carl, our lead guitar player is a huge fan of Buddy Miller.

TNB: Buddy Miller can do anything from Gospel to Rock.

DM: He’s one of those guys. So, I was listening to that and watching what was going on. It was with those kinds of things in mind that I started setting the tone of what I wanted this thing to sound like, definitely the duet vocals, the blend, the man and woman duet thing. You know, whatever was right. A lot of this record is going to have that.

TNB: Did you work with Chauncey [brother, guitarist] on the songwriting or instrumentation? Who did you work with?

DM: I did  the songwriting on these tracks. I would put the demos together the best I could structurally and then send them to everyone. For instrumentation, I would go through Chauncey and Chris.

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashvillle, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashvillle, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

TNB: You got your brother on the mandolin.

DM: That is when I started adding those guys. I said this is what I am after.

TNB: Do you think it’s interesting that your keyboardist / violinist, Christopher Marion, is living down here now?

Adam Box, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Adam Box, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Yes, and so is his sister. Our drummer Adam Box that we have had since 2010, is from here as well. As quick as I could, I brought the demos to these guys and we basically had the trio with my brother who is always the guy I write with and Chris the Fiddle man.

TNB: That is the core of the songwriting right there.

Christopher Marion, Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Christopher Marion, Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: That is the core. It is the orchestration. In the rock and roll project [Fragile] it’s the three of us. The project happened to be something that I was cooking up on the side. So, songwriting  was done by me on this. But, as far as instrumentation and production goes, those are the guys you want.  It’s hard to say enough about Chris and Chauncey, they are incredible players.

TNB: They [Jenika and Chris] are from up there, right?

Matt Osowski, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Matt Osowski, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: They are from up North and they just moved here. Those were the two I immediately wanted for the project. In fact, all the people in the band are people I knew I wanted. It’s basically all the guys from Fragile with the addition of three more. I wanted Jenika to sing, no doubt about it, because she did some stuff with us in Fragile. When we were playing, she would come up on stage and we would cover that song, “As Long As I Can See The Light” and she would just blow everybody away, you know.  We all kind of grew up together. I’m a bit older than they are but I grew up knowing Chris, Jenika, Ryan and Matt. Carl is part of my family. He married my wife’s cousin, you know what I mean? So, it’s just all a family thing.

TNB:  You have great vocal range and are able to do a lot of things but what I notice that is different from Fragile is the challenge of the melodies, having enough distinction between songs. Do you feel the same way?

Ryan Torgerson, Rosewater at 3rd and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Ryan Torgerson, Rosewater at 3rd and Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Oh, definitely. It was a welcome challenge to create those melodies like you are talking about. It was very important, because sometimes you are relying on the same kind of chord structure and they can come across as simpler sounds underneath. You’ve got to come up with a melody over the top of that thing to make it interesting.

TNB: How do you feel your songwriting process evolved through this project? Has it helped you improve your songwriting process?

rosewater gig posterDM: Yeah, big time. I got into more storytelling. Fragile was kind of the same way. There was some storytelling going on but not to this depth and type.

TNB: There was more of an esoteric poetry approach with Fragile.

BH: Yeah.

TNB: In other words, you would sit down with Fragile and think about what you were writing instead of this style, where you are actually telling an American story.

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: That’s better than I can say it. Fragile was actually more abstract. That’s exactly right and this is meant to be things that you can relate to. Things you know immediately. You don’t have to hunt and fish around for what it means. It’s right there for you and that’s what I liked about it because it changes the whole way you write so it wasn’t only a challenge but it frees’ you up to just anything. So now, going forward, I think it’s definitely becomes easier. It’s like this: I got this musical section. I need a verse over it and click it just happens.

TNB: I  could see that the way you are doing songwriting  now that it is going to be easier to say” I’m thinking about this story,” and on you go. It is just a natural process, like; next year is another album of Rosewater.

Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: I’m thinking ahead already. In my mind, it kind of opened the floodgates. I am about an album and a half ahead. I have an EP planned.  A side story. This story could go and go. So, in my mind it just keeps going on.  So, I have an EP planned and a second record that I am already working on: A full length thing. I know full length things are not popular, but who knows about that. Who can explain how to release music or how to make it in music?

TNB: It’s like if it’s collectible vinyl it’s put out on Record Store Day, who knows. Things like that.

Ryan Jasurda, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Ryan Jasurda, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: We are going to release this on vinyl. It will have the download thing with it but vinyl was what this was meant for so maybe we are going back where this probably isn’t the best thing to do in modern music.

TNB: Who cares?

DM: Exactly, this is what it is suppose to be. We don’t want people to lose the roots where are all this stuff came from and that’s what this project is about. You know, we put together a little family band and making the music that I think is really important; the history of music. The stuff that set up all the stuff that is happening now and we can’t just all forget that stuff. So that is what is important now.

TNB: Obviously  you are from Wisconsin and the band has some Minneapolis roots and you have all of that support up there and you have this thing going on with Tennessee now for about three  years and now you have a couple of band  members down here …

DM: I know.

TNB: When are you guys moving down here?

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashviille, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashviille, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Little by little, man! Piece by piece, it seems like people just get drawn to Nashville. Our bassist, Matt Osowski is drawn here. He’s like “I don’t know, every time we come down here, it’s like, what are we doin’? Why don’t we just stay?” I don’t know. It’s very possible because this is a great town. We always have a great time when we are here. Amazing things happen when we are here. The people you run into. The people you meet.

TNB: I could really see you guys really fitting in down here with what you are doing now.

DM: Yeah.

TNB: It would work very well.

Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Darrell Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: We are going to try to be down here as much as we can. This is where we wanted to kind of send this thing.

TNB: I was talking to your Mom and I told her you need to get a Condo down here.

DM: [laughs] You talked to Mama?

TNB: Yeah, you need to move down here for at least a year.

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Chauncey Marrier, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DM: Yeah, no, I agree. I think to make this thing work we are going to really have to, we are going to push it and we are going to need to be down here a lot. That is definitely our target. This is the place for this sound to be at.

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Jenika Marion, Rosewater at 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

SONY MASTERWORKS TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM BY
COUNTRY MUSIC ICON DOLLY PARTON

Dolly Parton Blue Smoke cover artBLUE SMOKE WILL BE RELEASED INTERNATIONALLY
IN CONJUNCTION WITH WORLDWIDE TOUR

NEW YORK, NY (December   9, 2013) – Iconic singer, songwriter, musician, actress and philanthropist Dolly Parton is proud to announce her latest recording   endeavor, a partnership between her own label Dolly Records and Sony Masterworks. The label deal will launch her new album Blue Smoke in New Zealand/Australia on January 31, 2014,   to coincide with her international Blue Smoke World Tour which will hit New Zealand, Australia in   February. In addition, Blue Smoke will be released in the United States and Europe in May 2014,   in advance of the Blue Smoke World Tour hitting England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Norway   and Sweden.

“We at Masterworks think that Blue Smoke sits with Dolly Parton’s very best recorded work, as global   audiences will discover when she begins her world tour in January 2014. We’re   very happy to be associated with this great American music artist,” says Bogdan Roscic, President of Sony Masterworks.

photo courtesy Webster & Associates

photo courtesy Webster & Associates

Dolly is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25   RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs   reach number 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist.   She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has   110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of   singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation   usage during her Hall of Fame career have reportedly topped a staggering 100   million records worldwide. She has garnered 7 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music   Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music   Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music   Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.

As a zenith crown to the dreams of country music that originally brought her   to Nashville, Dolly was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of   Fame in 1999. And the litany goes on.

Dolly’s career has spanned nearly five decades and is showing no signs of   slowing down. An internationally-renowned superstar, the iconic and   irrepressible Parton has contributed countless treasures to the worlds of   music, film and television. Some of her hit films have included Nine to Five, Steel   Magnolias, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Rhinestone. Parton received two Oscar® nominations – one for writing the   title tune to Nine to Five   and the other for Travelin’ Thru from the film Transamerica.

 

KENNY ROGERS & DOLLY PARTON NOMINATED
FOR THE THIRD TIME TOGETHER
AT THIS YEAR’S GRAMMY AWARDS

photo courtesy KRDP

photo courtesy KRDP

“You Can’t Make Old Friends” Nominated
For Best Country Duo/Group Performance

NASHVILLE, Tenn (December 9, 2013) – Is the third time a charm for Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton? Kenny & Dolly received their third joint Grammy nomination on Friday night, December 6th for “You Can’t Make Old Friends” for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. The song is featured on Rogers’ latest Warner Bros. album of the same name.The nomination is the third for Kenny & Dolly as a duo. They were previously nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1984 for “Islands In The Stream,” and then again in 1986 for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for “Real Love.”

Kenny Rogers, the newest member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and recent recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s CMA Awards had this to say about the nomination: “I’m excited and very flattered about this opportunity and am convinced I should work with Dolly more often if we’re getting these kinds of results,” remarked Rogers.

Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton added, “I was so excited and proud to hear that the Grammys have nominated Kenny and I for Best Country Duo/Group Performance on ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends.’ I am also very proud to hear that ‘Jolene’ made the Grammy’s Hall of Fame. Thank you everyone!”

“You Can’t Make Old Friends” and the 30-year friendship between the two Grammy Award winners is showcased in Kenny & Dolly: An Intimate Conversation, which premieres tonight (Monday, December 9) at 9:00 p.m./ET on Great American Country. In a relaxed setting, the two stars chat about memories they’ve shared over the years and the chemistry they share that has led to one of the most enduring partnerships in popular music.

Open House and Interview with Danny White and Ken Broad

Sixteen Ton Studio adds Norman Petty Room, 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Sixteen Ton Studio adds Norman Petty Room, 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

“The kinds of things that Norman Petty brought to music were recognized by Paul McCartney with what he says…the technique and the quality that came along with the recording of Buddy Holly in his time.” – Ken Broad – Curator of the Norman Petty Recording Studio

Sixteen Ton Studios  on Historic Music Row held an Open House to show off The Norman Petty Room, know as Studio Two which features some of the most important vintage gear that has been brought up to spec by Danny White.

Buddy Holly Gold Record recorded at Norman Petty Studio, photo - Brad Hardisty

Buddy Holly Gold Record recorded at Norman Petty Studio, photo – Brad Hardisty

Norman Petty’s Studio in Clovis, New Mexico is well known as the place where Buddy Holly recorded most of his classic hits as well as music by Roy Orbison, The Fireballs, Buddy Knox, Waylon Jennings and scores of other Artists.

Danny White at vintage 1969 API Console at Norman Petty Room, Sixteen Ton Studio, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Danny White at vintage 1969 API Console at Norman Petty Room, Sixteen Ton Studio, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

At the center of the room is an API board custom built in 1969 by API founder Saul Walker for Chet Atkins and was used in a mix/overdub room at RCA Studio B in Nashville during that time.  The console had been out of service for 35 years before being restored along with the original late 50’s early 60’s gear from Norman Petty’s Studio by Sixteen Ton Studio Owner/Manager, Danny White.

The original Altec, Fairchild and Pultec tube rack gear used by Norman Petty during the early Rock and Roll era has been restored and can be used in conjunction with the vintage API board or anything else at Sixteen Ton Studio.

Norman Petty's Ampex 401 now at Norman Petty Studio, Nashville, TN, Sixteen Ton Studio, photo - Brad Hardisty

Norman Petty’s Ampex 401 now at Norman Petty Studio, Nashville, TN, Sixteen Ton Studio, photo – Brad Hardisty

During the Open House an example of the original Buddy Holly mix of “That’ll Be The Day” was played on the exact  machine it was recorded on – the original Ampex 401 ¼ inch mono tape deck owned by Norman Petty.

Ken Broad and Lyle Walker who worked with Norman Petty and are Curators of The Norman Petty Studio in Clovis, New Mexico worked with Sixteen Ton Studios to bring the gear to Nashville were on hand to demonstrate and answer questions.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: It looks like all the vintage gear in this room is operational.

Scully, Ampex, Fairchild, Altec and Pultec vintage gear, restored at Norman Petty Studio at Sixteen Ton Studio, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Scully, Ampex, Fairchild, Altec and Pultec vintage gear, restored at Norman Petty Studio at Sixteen Ton Studio, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Danny White, Studio Owner/ Manager: Both the Ampex 300 and Scully 4 track are ready. You could come here and record an entire record with this console recorded to tape, mix it to tape and press it to vinyl without touching a computer. So, the answer to your question is both. The vintage stuff can be used as an outboard piece of gear or as a standalone.

BH: Does the Ampex work as well as the Scully?

DW: Oh yeah. Everything is running.

BH: Did you have the head re-lapped and all of that?

Original Ampex 401 used for early Buddy Holly material restored at Norman Petty Studio, Nashville, TN pphoto - Brad Hardisty

Original Ampex 401 used for early Buddy Holly material restored at Norman Petty Studio, Nashville, TN pphoto – Brad Hardisty

DW: Heads re-lapped. Electronics completely recapped and re-tubed. The heads on the Scully 280, everything in here is operational, even this is Norman Petty’s original Ampex 401. This is the “Buddy Holly” machine that had tracks recorded to tape.

BH: It’s a mono machine?

DW: It’s Mono.

BH: The API board: did you find this from a collector?

Danny White shows features of 1969 API Consolte originally built for Chet Atkins at RCA Studio B, nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Danny White shows features of 1969 API Consolte originally built for Chet Atkins at RCA Studio B, nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DW: No. I bought this from my very good friend, Dave Copp who is a Producer here in town and he got it from a guy out in Hollywood, California that had ended up with it many years ago. It was ordered by Chet Atkins during 1968-69 [RCA Studio B] eras and it was finished later on in 69-70. It was installed in Studio B. What they called Studio D which was a small room right across from the main tracking room.

BH: It was a mixing room?

DW: Mixing room and overdubs. But, they also tracked…now my friend Tom Pick brought these Monitors in because whenever they closed RCA in 77 he was the Chief Engineer and he got these Monitors and a bunch of the other gear out of there.

BH: Are they Altecs?

DW: Altec 604 E Super Duplex and that’s what is in them now.

BH: You matched what was in them originally?

DW: They are the same speakers that were in RCA Studio B.  I had them re-coned.

BH: That’s really cool.

vintage Ampex 4 track, Norman Petty Studio at Sixteen Ton, nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

vintage Ampex 4 track, Norman Petty Studio at Sixteen Ton, nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DW: This is the RCA set-up right here.   But, the cool thing is that you can have this in conjunction with the Norman Petty gear so, anyway, you got the best of both [50’s and 60’s analog] worlds.

BH: was the API board made out in California at that time?

DW: This was made in Farmingdale, New York. This is the one of the oldest intact API’s in existence. This was a very early console.

BH: It’s got Automated Processes Incorporated right across the top.

DW: That’s it.  You have the original 512’s, original 550’s not 550 a or b and you have the big meter 525 compressors. Everything in this console is still the way…in fact it has the master control from RCA Studio B and the monitor control.

BH: It’s amazing how the API design was kept almost the same this whole time. This looks almost identical to the API lunch box modules.

DW: Absolutely.

BH: Have you done any recording on it yet?

DW: We actually ran this API Console, for a little while as a side car in Studio A while we were building this room. It sounded amazing. But, we haven’t done anything in this room. This is our Open House. We will do some more tuning and we will get ready to record toward the end of the year.

BH: What about The McIntosh tube power amps?

DW: They all came from Clovis, New Mexico. 

BH: Is that a 50 watt?

DW:  The original is Norman Petty’s and that is a 50 Watt. It’s a McIntosh 50W2. That’s his original amp that he used for all the Buddy Holly stuff as well as, Buddy Knox or Roy Orbison. He was the first one to work with Roy as well. The 70 Watt amp is a 60’s amp that Norman went to and that is mono also. We are running mono in here today but obviously we will have stereo. We decided to run mono just because of the open house.

BH: That is a tracking room right off of here.

Sixteen Tow Studio, main room, converted house on Music Row, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Sixteen Tow Studio, main room, converted house on Music Row, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

DW: Yes, these are all tracking rooms. Studio 1 is over there and this is Studio Two or The Petty Room. But, all these rooms are independent. We have an independent headphone system for this room and that room but, we can also tie both the rooms together through the patch bay. So, if you want to get a mix going on in here and you want to go through the Altecs and you wonder what they would sound like through the $20,000 ATC’s then we go in that room and patch them in and pull them up and see what they sound like.  We can A/B them and you can put them through the compression rack over there or vice a versa and that’s kind of nice.  But, Ken and his partner Lyle have been the reason why this has happened. I just got it and put it together.

BH: It’s great that you have some of Norman Petty’s original staff here today.

DW:  Ken Broad and Lyle Walker came in from Clovis, New Mexico.

BH: Tell me a little about Norman Petty’s legacy.

Ken Broad: Well, we like to make a point that Norman Petty is one of the greatest engineers of all time. Not only that, but, Producer, Songwriter and we’re lookin’ forward to letting that be more known here in Nashville for people to come and visit. We want to keep his legacy available to the public. Musicians for their appreciation of it and also for just a tribute to him for what he contributed to music. He turned things around in ‘57 with the way he recorded Buddy Holly.

BH: He brought High Fidelity Recording to Rock and Roll.

Ken Broad, Norman Petty curator, demonstrating Scully 4 track, nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Ken Broad, Norman Petty curator, demonstrating Scully 4 track, nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

KB: The kinds of things that Norman Petty brought to music were recognized by Paul McCartney with what he says…the technique and the quality that came along with the recording of Buddy Holly in his time. He didn’t record by the clock. He didn’t believe that creativity came by the clock. He recorded by the hour to keep his Artists relaxed and comfortable so that they could contribute with their very best in the expertise with which they are recognized and he had a respect for the Artist. However, he was a great deal older than some of those that he recorded in ’57, ’58,

BH: How old was he at that time?

Ken Broad turning up vintage Altecs playing location recoding form the '50s of Tommy Dorsey Big Band, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Ken Broad turning up vintage Altecs playing location recoding form the ’50s of Tommy Dorsey Big Band, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

KB: Well, he was older than Buddy Holly by about seven years which wasn’t very much. He was in his 30’s when he worked with Buddy Holly.  He recognized the talent in them and there were 12 major hits that came out of the Norman Petty Studio on West 7th Street in 15 months time which was pretty phenomenal. They were coming out on the Coral and Brunswick labels as well when Decca didn’t take him [Buddy Holly] on with “That’ll Be The Day.”  After Buddy Holly was dropped by Decca he came back and with the recommendation of a disc jockey in Lubbock, Texas he came out to no-man’s land in Clovis, New Mexico and matched with somebody who could really take his music and work together. He and Buddy Holly worked together. They collaborated on a lot of the songs that they did and look where they went.

Danny White:  I want to add something to that just to go along with Ken. There are two big bangs in Rock and Roll as far as I’m concerned. The minute that Elvis Presley walked through the door at Sam Phillip’s Studio and the minute Buddy Holly walked through the door at Norman Petty’s studio. You look at those two things and right down the street here just one block is where Buddy Holly recorded for Decca and he was dropped off of Decca. How fast? Less than a year.

Ken Broad next to original Norman Petty Ampex 401 now in Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Ken Broad next to original Norman Petty Ampex 401 now in Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Ken: Oh, Yeah. In months and then he was done. But, he went to Norman and without that work he did in Clovis…no Beatles like they were, no Rolling Stones like they were. I mean the early Beatles; the early Stones were heavily influenced by the work of Buddy Holly.

BH: The difference between Elvis and Buddy was Elvis was a great interpreter but Buddy Holly was a singer/songwriter like Little Richard. He did his own stuff.

Danny:  Right. So, you look at the first Beatles, “Listen To Me”, “Words Of Love”. I think one of the first Rolling Stones releases was “Not Fade Away.” So, that all came out of Clovis, New Mexico so that is pretty interesting to think about.

Ken: These many years later, 50 some years later the interest is still strong in that music. It is much stronger in England than any other place that I know of.  The people have held high the banner of Buddy Holly.

BH: I think that is true of all early Rock and Roll, Gene Vincent on down to Eddie Cochran.

Danny: Eddie Cochran yeah!

Vintage Seeburg jukebox fille dwith Norman Petty recordings at Sixteen Ton Studios, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Vintage Seeburg jukebox fille dwith Norman Petty recordings at Sixteen Ton Studios, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Ken: We do tours of the old studio in Clovis, New Mexico at 1313 West 7th on the original gear that was used in that studio and there are people that come every several months. Groups that want to measure the studio because they want to re-create one in London or some part of England so they can have a studio like Norman Petty.

–          Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

Big Kenny Alphin Electroshine Press Conference

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“I have listened to so many different types of music my whole life. So, it started to hit me that here at the University of Creativity which is what we call this whole place. We are experimenting with new things, heck that’s what I do. Ever since we came into this town it was Musik Mafia and Musik Mafia is about, you know just takin’ the doors down.That is, to be able to expand what I know of as Country Music and my love of Country Music.” – Big Kenny Aphin

Big Kenny gathered some key media individuals at his home studio in Nashville and laid it on us all at once.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“Music City is a beacon of creativity for the world right now if you all have noticed this. But, there is just so much varied talent that comes in and out of this place. Sometimes, people just show up on my doorstep and then all of a sudden you find out that they’re brilliant at something musically and that, in my world, I’m just kind of “why don’t you go take a room and stay a little while and let’s make some music.”

“This talent just started showing up in my world including two amazing organic players. A group called ChessBoxer, it’s Matt Menefee, who plays banjo in our band right now and Ross Holmes who plays fiddle in Mumford and Sons. We put the two of these guys together for a year. I had them up in the bell tower and they just opened the windows and were just putting in all these riffs at the same time.”

“You have a whole crowd of people in EDM,  Electronic Dance music, that’s  producing music and synthesis right here on a computer on a screen and I thought ; why we could just jam all this acoustic great instrumentation here in Nashville into these kind of beats and I mean as soon as you start doin’ it, it makes you want to dance!”

Big Kenny's API Plus console in Home Studio, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big Kenny’s API Plus console in Home Studio, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Anybody who visits Lower Broad any time of the year will notice that bands at Tootsie’s upstairs as well as other venues have already began mixing up modern Country like “Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy” with a medley of Rock and Roll like AC/DC’s “Back In Black” and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” prompting waitresses to jump on the bars and strut their stuff.

“So, this first piece I’m goin’ to show you, actually, it came about as I was working here and then I would have to fly to LA for another event and I ran into some of the most amazing producers out there and one of them being specific is Chebacca. “

“The next week, I flew him to Nashville and we started workin’ and he was upstairs in creative mode and we were goin’ back and forth. We just had to do this music if we had time so we would be on the road and off the road and work everything out. So we decided we would smash it together. We just kind of laid out a vibe and also laid out the feeling. We just put visuals with it to lay out the feeling of what we were feeling when we were doing this, right? To kind of give out a vibe of the kind of people  that ,you know, we also see that love this stuff so it’s fresh, it’s new and this is danceable.” – Big Kenny

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Big Kenny has put together a creative team called Electroshine involving everybody from West Coast EDM Artist Chebacca to members of Mumford and Sons, Dave Stewart and others to work on creating EDM worthy Country mash-ups of not only Big & Rich hit songs, but, original material as well as possible re-mixes of Merle Haggard and other possible classic material and taking the music on the road.

Rolling Stone magazine recently published an article about Swedish DJ-Producer Avicii and his major international hit “Wake Me Up” that mashes EDM and bluegrass featuring vocals from Dan Tyminski best known for the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou  track “I Am a Man Of Constant Sorrow.”

Big Kenny describes life on the road, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big Kenny describes life on the road, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

“ John and I, we are music lovers and in half or more of the cities we play in America we either end up…there’s nowhere to go and we end up putting big speakers up outside between our busses and just DJ and just jam to this kind of music. Dance music across all of what we love; there’s popular and then we will bust into a little Haggard in there too.”

“That’s kind of how it got started, right? So these people are showin’ up and then that song was actually one of the first things we released. We knew we had to just start putting some music out and so we created Electroshine TV, aYou Tube Channel, aFacebook,Twitter.  We kind of just let it grow organically, build organically like everything we have ever done in our lives.” – Big Kenny

Big Kenny's guitar rack at home studio, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big Kenny’s guitar rack at home studio, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

The idea has been on a grassroots level over the last year and couldn’t be timed any better. One of the best examples of this idea was the success of Daft Punk’s hit “Get Lucky” which dropped a couple of months ago and began to be covered by all sorts of DIY artists one of which was East Nashville Banjo man,  Charles Butler who was trending twice as many hits on you tube as the original Daft Punk version. Charles’ version was featured as a hot video on the android app as it continued to outpace and inspire online mashups of the Charles Butler and Daft Punk versions.

“I wanted to kind of give you a briefing of what all this Electroshine project is. You know, it is truly just the continuation of what the Musik Mafia has always stood for which is to expand the boundaries of music without prejudice. We don’t want other artists who come into this town that are friends of ours to think that we are anything other than the most open minded musicians in the world, but “damn those boys can play banjo, fiddles and guitars and aren’t they great singers and melody makers.” So the thing we realize is missing in Nashville is EDM which is, hopefully, everybody knows this by now, it is the most exploding genre of music that we have on this planet. “- Big Kenny

While Electronica introduced R. L. Burnside’s Hill Country Blues to the rest of the world more than a decade ago this is a brand new thing for country music and could help to expose Country Artists all over the world in a new way as well as carrying on the original country melodies through time with maybe a simple Carter Family inspired bluegrass part in an EDM dance re-mix.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“It’s kind of hard to just take a sweaty race horse who has just finished a show or a couple of them and you have to walk ‘em and cool ‘em down, right? So, we found the best way was dancing.  We hit these clubs and we see what people are doing and what people are dancing too.   So, we kind of know where this thing is. We thought this could really happen so then we decided to remix two songs on the last Big & Rich Record, “Party Like Cowboyz” and “Born Again that will drop on September 3rd”

“Our radio partners out there thought “Party Like Cowboyz” was a little heavy for them to play because the songs rocked pretty hard, kind of AC/DC rock on the album.  It was the same thing with “Born Again” which we wrote and it featured, on the remix, Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora.” – Big Kenny

While there may have been a lot of resistance in the Country Music culture ten years ago, now would be the time for success since Country Music has had an influx of Hip Hop flavored tracks, AC/DC inspired guitar riffs as well as the straight up pop crossover of Taylor Swift.

Big Kenny, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big Kenny, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

“We crashed a Belmont party one night with that song and uh, Belmont, I mean they were doing a charity event in a big room and everybody was in there just glowing and any way. We put that on there and played it and everybody just started coming up and “It’ so cool. You guys keep doin’ that stuff man that’s awesome.” – Big Kenny

The most important thing is that Country Music has a devoted fan base who continues to buy product that has proven out in actual Billboard chart positions as Country Artists begin to dominate release by release in actual album sales.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“John and I were playing up  just above Twin Lakes, Wisconsin so Troy, this is where my partner Troy  Volhoffer comes in. We just bought a circus tent.  We just bought a circus tent ( Troy Volhoffer, owner of Premiere Global Productions), yeah! At the Twin Lakes Festival this year we went bustin’ in there with the circus tent and we put up visuals and I DJ’d until so many people were packed on the stage that it became unsafe. Someone was going to fall off the edge and so we just sang a song and said goodbye.” – Big Kenny

Country has seen artists from other genres cut Country albums to see if they could make the crossover and sell actual product as seen by the Bon Jovi country project as well as Darius Rucker’s current success so why can’t Country Artists go out and see if they can make inroads into dance clubs?

“With Electroshine, we are paying attention to the BPM’s, everything you know and how that makes you move. Yeah and also, just the technology we put into just the way it makes you feel. Like if you were deaf and you sat in here you would…you will feel this music. Especially, when we put it out of 6000 amps in that circus tent in full surround sound.  The kaboom, kaboom of just putting up a circus tent that is over a half an acre. People want to party. So we are here to throw the parties and get everyone dancing.” – Big Kenny

Big Kenny Alphin and his Electroshine project may actually open the roads to what may eventually be County mash-ups not only in his travelling big circus tent show , but maybe eventually as part of Country Music radio programming as well as awards during the CMA’s for best Country EDM tracks.  

“I guess I can tell you what our next steps are and what we plan on doing with this. Again, we’ve been inspired to bring in other artists, as you just mentioned there and I think we can make a lot of cool mash ups like Grammy kind of mashups, right?”

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

Courtesy Webster & Assoc.

“I know you all know that I have a couple of other careers too. One of them being pretty large and that’s Big & Rich. So, what we have come up with is this kind of stuff.  John and I are still kind of into the mentoring thing.   It just kind of happens. There are nine interns running around here at any given time amongst all my staff. They are just a bunch of brilliant open-minded creative people.  But, to be able to take this to the next step we will go and do a Big & Rich show and then we do Electroshine after-parties.”

If you visit Nashville during CMA week, the DJ’s are already mixing up Modern Country and Classic Rock with EDM beat tracks and vinyl matching up pitch and BPM’s and making their own remixes on the fly already at dance party venues that run concurrently with all the concerts all over town. Country Music fans love it and it has been going on for the last several years.  They like to get out and party and dance just like it was L.A., Miami and New York, in fact a lot of fans travel from there as well as from all over the world where EDM is already the major player.

Big kenny, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Big kenny, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

“We can take this circus tent anywhere. Now these places, like my fifth grade teacher who had been helping feed 400 kids that were homeless, she has wanted to do a festival, you know and she needs to do something with bigger awareness and she doesn’t know how to do that and now we have put together all the partners to know how to do that and in a tent we can just go, “Where is the parking lot? Get us a parking lot and Swummff!  Right? “

” I can finally go play a show in my hometown of Culpeper, Virginia so our plan is to tour this kind of music in a circus tent. Right now we have drawings of inside and outside the tent. The insanity of what will be inside this tent. It will have the extremities “Extreme- a- tees” of any international big city, big time club that you would go into. Like The Marquee in Vegas or Tao in New York.  Well guess what? We take that out to our people. They love that stuff, right? We are going to put little flying angels over their heads. We will put stages on all four sides of the tent. The design of this thing is intense. I mean it is super intense. People will be going into a multi-sensory environment. I mean dudes like me ought to be able to crowd surf too.”  – Big Kenny

screenshot, photo - Brad Hardisty

screenshot, photo – Brad Hardisty

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

AJ & The Jiggawatts, The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

AJ & The Jiggawatts, The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

GED Soul Records owned Friday night at The High Watt with a three punch line up of Magic In Threes , DeRobert & The Half Truths and AJ & The Jiggawatts delivering non-stop danceable James Brown swagger with a DJ mixing up soulful vinyl in-between the sets.

GED Soul Showcase at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

GED Soul Showcase at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

Openers, Magic In Threes set up some psychedelic soul instrumental grooves that show what GED Soul is known for. GED is at the center of a scene that has developed over the last few years after the retro soul show that was on the now defunct or actually format changed WRVU out of Vanderbilt that turned several Belmont University Music program students into late sixties/ early seventies urban soul audiophiles that carried over into bands, original songs and the GED Soul label.

GED Soul Showcase at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

GED Soul Showcase at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

Many of the same musicians play in the three different configurations which isn’t much different than back in the Stax days when Booker T & The MG’s were the backbone rhythm section to most of the recordings that came out of those Memphis days as well as touring the world as featured in the live DVD of Otis Redding in Europe that captured Steve Cropper and “Duck” Dunn locking lines together.

DeRobert & the Half Truths at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

DeRobert & the Half Truths at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

DeRobert has some solid range and a great deal of dynamics all the way from some Donny Hathaway style ballads to some hard punchy danceable grooves. DeRobert & The Half Truths were one of the main headliners on Record Store Day at The Groove where GED Soul was spinning records all afternoon and it was good to see how DeRobert came across under nightclub lights and a decent PA System.

DeRobert & The Half Truths at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

DeRobert & The Half Truths at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

DeRobert, sonically is ready to go up against any Mark Ronson or Brooklyn Daptone production with a strong voice and solid material like “Beg Me” and “Just Don’t Care” off of his Record Store Day EP.

DeRobert & The Half Truths at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

DeRobert & The Half Truths at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

By the end of hour, DeRobert had put his heart and soul into his set and had a towel draped across his shoulder to catch some sweat as needed. DeRobert seemed to capture the biggest chunk of the crowd, but, most stayed around to catch AJ & The Jiggawatts finish up the night.

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

While AJ may not have the range of DeRobert, he does manage to come across strong as a front man which is a great trait to have when you consider Otis Redding would be in that company. Otis used everything he had and is considered one of the all time greats although he only had about a 3 to 5 note range.  AJ stormed through “Hard Times” and “Don’t Mess With Me” like it was 1972 all over again and the streets were wide open and there weren’t any police cameras and drones to keep the street hustlers in line.

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

GED Soul brought along plenty of the vinyl only label releases to take home and spin on an Ortofon equipped turntable through a big vintage pair of Altec Lansings pumped up by a Marantz 200 watt per side point to point wired 75 pound amplifier / receiver.

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo - Brad Hardisty

AJ & The Jiggawatts at The High Watt, photo – Brad Hardisty

GED Soul shows a strong Nashville representation of what goes all the way back to Jefferson Street and the days of classic soul. What would be good to see is a mash up recording of somebody like AJ and Nashville’s Queen of The Blues, Marion James to really stir up some retro real sounds.

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