Archives for category: Nashville
Denny Strickland 01 - photo_Brad_Hardisty

Denny Strickland 01 – photo_Brad_Hardisty

“We hit the green light and we were about dead even but when I caught second gear, I start pulling away from him and I look in my rear view mirror and I see him. He starts coming unglued! He’s slappin’ the steering wheel. He’s getting’ all upset. His wife’s slappin’ him and he’s slappin’ her.”Denny Strickland

When Denny Strickland showed up in Nashville a few years ago he brought the 1968 Camaro Super Sport that he had owned since high school. It’s only natural that his first release “Swerve On” had to do with the open road with a modern take on the trucker life.

Denny will soon be releasing a fresh road tale, “How Far You Wanna Go” that not only features the trucks again, but, will feature his own bright red and chrome fire breather. Denny enjoys the nightlife of Lower Broad, especially behind the wheel of his barely street legal hot rod.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: What made you decide to use your Camaro in the new video?

Denny Strickland 07 - photo_Brad_Hardisty

Denny Strickland 07 – photo_Brad_Hardisty

Denny Strickland: In “Swerve On” we catered to the trucks and we did drag racing with the pick- up truck. My next single is “How Far You Wanna Go” and it does deal with a diesel truck but I’m going to put my Camaro in the video too as a little tease for eye candy. I’ve had it forever. It was my first car. I have been wanting to put it in a music video and I feel that it will definitely add to this one.. The song talks about you and your girlfriend and her taking control of the wheel and her deciding whether she wants to go to Memphis or Mexico.

TNB: Your songs definitely rock a lot.

DS: It’s more simplified. It’s rockin’ and it definitely shows that rock side of me but we’re going to give it the club element, that’s my persona. It starts with my jeans and that’s my country side and my rock elements you know, I wear graphic T’s and I got my bracelets on and I got my rings and that stuff, is my 80’s rock influence and I wear my hat and my boots. You know, that all ties in with the clubbin’ thing.

TNB: Where are you shooting the video?

DS: We’re scoutin’ out locations in Memphis and we’re looking at Mexico and another location. We’re definitely going to push the envelope.   The video is definitely going to be high energy. We just now decided on the cover art and it is dark and edgy. You know, we’re keeping it real modern and rockin’.

Denny Strickland 02 - photo_Brad_Hardisty

Denny Strickland 02 – photo_Brad_Hardisty

TNB: What’s the story line?

DS: Well, this song is going to basically be a cross country road race from Memphis to Mexico. We are partying along the way and I’ve got my girlfriend with me. We’re goin’ out and we’re hittin’ these spots where we’ve got this much time to do it and we’re pushin’ the envelope.

TNB: Does that come from life experience?

DS: I’ve travelled all over and you know I’ve been on many road trips. It’s gonna be a journey and a trip across the bottom half of the United States down into Mexico. Everybody talks about escaping to Mexico and head to the border. It always seems to be a big element in Country Music. Memphis has such a big music scene too. But, “How Far You Wannna Go” is a driver’s song but it’s focused on where we’re headed. I have been workin’ on the treatment for the music video and the picture is just now comin’ together. You have to be able to tell that story and tie it all in and I definitely feel like this next video is going to fill the gap and paint the picture for the audience.

TNB: Tell me a little bit about some of your experiences with your 1968 Camaro SS around Nashville?

DS: I will tell you the truth. I knew just about every tow truck driver by their first name. I haven’t been stranded in a while. I take that back. I was stranded a couple of weeks ago. I ended up getting stuck and had to call a tow truck service. Yes, I’ve been stranded all over Nashville. When I first moved here, I kind of just parked it for a while. You have to be able to work on them cars. I can pretty much take care of everything on it. But, you get in those situations when you do have to call. You have to break down and you have to call somebody. The tow trucks have definitely saved my tail many times. They’re definitely a life saver. I’m actually going this week to get a fire extinguisher. I’m keepin’ that car!

TNB: A fire extinguisher? What brought that on?

Denny Strickland 06 - photo_Brad_Hardisty

Denny Strickland 06 – photo_Brad_Hardisty

DS: My air cleaner caught on fire the other day. The timing was off on the motor and it caused it to back fire and I have one of those Edelbrock low profile air cleaners and it has the foam that you keep in the grill and it caught on fire for about five minutes. It was quite an experience. My friend ran across the street and ended up getting a rag trying to get it put out. But, it wouldn’t go out right then. We sat there and it took us quite some time. You know, that’s part of hot roddin’. You’re livin’ on the edge, you know.

TNB: I’m sure you get some guys that want to race you.

DS: Well, I was down on Broadway one night. This was a couple of years ago now. I had parked in front of the Hard Rock and I had my Uncle with me and I had went in to get a bite to eat. I had come out and I was workin’ on my car. I was settin’ the timin’ and makin’ sure everything was good. My Uncle was holdin’ the wires to my timing light and I had just gottin’ my timin’ light adjusted and got my timing all fixed and right when I did that he had just got the wires all caught in the alternator and broke it right after I got it all tuned. Luckily, I just got it tuned. If it had broke before that then that would have been it and I would have been in trouble. As we were workin’ on it, this couple walks out and they must have been from up north somewhere. They were real “Yankee.” They come out and they were drivin’ a 66 Cobra. It was one of those kit cars. It was fire engine red. Of course, my Camaro is red too. I guess he had been drinkin’ a little bit. The first thing he said was, “What you got there? A little 350?” I said “No sir, it’s a 383 stroker, forged. Dark pro 1 engine!” I had dark pro one heads on it. It was a hydraulic roller motor. I mean it’s popped up. I mean it wasn’t stock. Of course, he had some toys of his own in the Cobra that he was drivin’. He had a big block in it and after his little smart ass remark he jumps in his car and he cranks it up. He had those electric cut outs on his muffler where he could flip a switch and it was like he was runnin’ open headers. He didn’t realize it, but I had electric cut outs too. So, he flips his switch on and he’s got his car loud and what not. Well, I flipped mine on and mine it is just as loud or louder. He’s turnin’ his head and all shakin’ up and getting his game face on and telling his wife to buckle up and he takes off and we follow him. Well, he pulls out into the wrong lane and he is oncoming traffic.

TNB: Not a good way to start.

Denny Strickland 03 - photo_Brad_Hardisty

Denny Strickland 03 – photo_Brad_Hardisty

DS: He had apparently been drinkin’ and didn’t know where he was. He had never been to Music City and he had got his car down behind this bus. I told him, ‘You’re takin’ a chance bein’ in a place you’ve never been before with a Hot Rod. Those things are undependable and you never know when you are going to be broke down.” He said, “Ah, hell, we’ll be alright.” I told him, “Yeah, well I know every tow service in town if you do break down or somethin’.” Anyway this is right before he took off.

TNB: Just trying to be helpful, right?

DS: I was being friendly and he was the one being kind of a smart ass. Us guys down here are all about southern hospitality. Anyway he pulls out and he is in the wrong lane and we laid back a little bit just to see where he was goin’. Well, I was still testing everything on my car making sure everything is okay. I was checkin’ my gears and I had it down in first. I have a converter down in my car. I can rip ‘it up to about 1300 before it starts pullin’. It’s an automatic. I put that stall in there .He has a standard transmission in that Cobra. So, we follow him and he gets on Hermitage Street and we kind of play a little bit on the road. Well, I motioned for him, “Just stop, let’s do a dig. Let’s do a different stop.”

TNB: I’m sure he was paying attention.

DS: We get up there to that first light on Hermitage Street across from the railroad tracks and we line em up and we’re sittin’ there waitin’ for the light to turn green. I’ve got my stall. I revved up to about 3200 and I’m sittin’ there brakin’, you know, power brakin’ and we take off. I got Mickey Thompson A/T streets on my car and it don’t take much of a burn out to get them things hot. I was ready. He had some trick of his own. I mean, his car wasn’t stock by no means. We hit the green light and we were about dead even but when I caught second gear, I start pulling away from him and I look in my rear view mirror and I see him.

TNB: He probably didn’t like that.

DS: He starts coming unglued! He’s slappin’ the steering wheel He’s getting’ all upset. His wife’s slappin’ him and he’s slappin’ her. I tell you what, he’s pissed off and we beat him through the 1/8 mile and I’m stopped. He keeps on goin’. I tried to get his attention because you know if you keep goin’ down Hermitage, you end up in the bad part of town. I mean not many lights and he was in an open coupe and he had no top on his Cobra. I told him, “Go back toward the light!” He couldn’t hear me, so, they end up driving into the dark. I looked at my Uncle and said “ Hey, we’re goin’ back to civilization. I don’t know where they’re goin’ but, we’re goin’ back to town.” So, we never saw him again. I mean that was it. We ended up going back home.

TNB: Would you like to race on a drag strip?

Denny Strickland 04 - photo_Brad_Hardisty

Denny Strickland 04 – photo_Brad_Hardisty

DS: You know, I have never raced my car at the drag strip. I would like to just pull up to the track and get staged and just run it and see what it will do. I have never had a successful run at the track with my car. I have always had problems. I went to Union Hill drag strip up here in Goodlettsville. I was already to go and I was staged and right when I gave it gas when it turned green, my throttle cable broke. The guy that was lighting me up flipped out! He said, “what are you doin’?” I said “I can’t move. My throttle cable broke.” I put it in neutral and he pushed me out of the way. I rolled out of there and I had people stop and try to give me a lift. I ended up calling a friend of mine. I went to the parts store and I fixed it right there at the track and I drove it home. If it would have been somethin’ else, I would have had to call a wrecker or somethin’. For the most part, I can take care of anything on it.

TNB: One more thing. If there’s anybody you could work with in town, who would it be?

Denny Strickland 05 - photo_Brad_Hardisty

Denny Strickland 05 – photo_Brad_Hardisty

DS: You know, there are so many people in this town. I hate to say one person and then upset somebody else for me not mentioning them. That’s such a tough question. It’s like a family affair with the music business. You almost have to have your hand in every part of it to be successful.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN

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Shantell Ogden just released ghosts in the field

Shantell Ogden, photo - Angie Miller

Shantell Ogden, photo – Angie Miller

Shantell Ogden continues her partnership with Producer John Willis on ghosts in the field [Hip Farm Chic Records] after the acclaim of Better at Goodbye which garnered Americana Album of the Year by the International Music and Entertainment Association.

The seven tracks featured on ghosts in the field show continuity although Shantell continues to evolve as a songwriter and a vocalist.

Track one, “Ghosts In The Field” brings Shantell back to her roots of the three generation dairy farm that she grew up on. The most poignant reference is about her grandfather. A touch of old Tom Petty style riffage makes one feel like time travelling back twenty to thirty years while walking the north forty.

So much for day drinking and being drunk on a plane, “Who Comes First” could be a call and response song to all the bro-country drunken anthems about the significant other that is left at home while the person she loves goes off honky-tonkin’ and carousing. The slide guitar definitely brings to mind the drinking on a plane theme of last fall. In the song, the person says “if you reach for me when you’re hurtin’, I’ll be your glass of top shelf bourbon.” It might be something that an alcoholic can relate to and I am sure the theme touches a lot of people that have to deal with a partner’s alcoholism.

shantell-ogden_ghosts-in-the-fieldWhile the seven songs touch on a lot of themes, the most inventive ones of the bunch are “Blossom In The Dust” that reminds one of a lot of people. It can be a reflection on how people view themselves physically or emotionally, especially coming out of a relationship where there may be some emotional scars and baggage. It may take the right partner to see through all the emotional scars and be able to help heal an individual and restore self image and awareness through channeling their original inward beauty.

The other track that really shifts gears for Shantell is the final track, “As Long As You’re Mine” with an arrangement reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready.” The feel grooves like a Dan Penn tune out of Muscle Shoals or maybe a Memphis Stax Gospel cut.

The background gospel choir brings to mind Gladys Knight or maybe something Aretha might go after. Shantell goes from the very Patty Griffin – Emmylou Harris Americana arrangement of “Blossom In The Dust” on track 5 to the soulful “As Long As You’re Mine” two tracks later.

The amazing thing is they are both great songs with two very distinct arrangements just minutes apart.

Shantell Ogden, photo - Chuck Eaton

Shantell Ogden, photo – Chuck Eaton

More than anything, it shows that Shantell is capable not only as an interpreter of her own creations but she could possibly be another Jeffrey Steele writing all over the studio walls of many Country Artist sessions finding her spark of genius climbing up the charts.

Songs like “God Counts Every Tear” could be another page of Little Big Town as much as it could be for this recognized independent Country girl’s muse.

  • Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

JIM ED BROWN Returns To Grand Ole Opry® On January 30 & 31 Following Four-Month Absence

photo - Anna OConner

photo – Anna OConner

With Cancer in Remission, Legend Celebrates New CD With Opry Store Signing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 28, 2015) – Living legend JIM ED BROWN returns to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry on Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31, following a four-month absence for treatment of lung cancer. Brown will appear both nights during the 8:45 p.m. CT segment, and will sign copies of his new CD, IN STYLE AGAIN, at the Opry Store on Saturday from 9:15-10 p.m. Fans can listen to the performances live as they stream on wsmonline.com.

Brown was given an “all clear” by his doctors on January 19. “I am in remission,” he stated. “There are not enough thanks for the prayers, well wishes, and support I’ve received during the toughest time of my life. I am so grateful.”

The gracious star was invited to join the Opry in 1963, when Ernest Tubb asked Jim Ed and his sisters Maxine and Bonnie, to join the august establishment as The Browns. As a 50-plus year member, Brown considers the Opry his “second home,” and can think of no better place to re-launch his remarkable stage shows.

The excitement Jim Ed feels at returning to the road is matched by reviewers’ enthusiasm for his new CD:

Dead Fingers, photo courtesy Jonathan Purvis

Dead Fingers, photo courtesy Jonathan Purvis

This year saw the further disintegration of album sales and disgruntled musicians receiving a pittance from Spotify or other streaming services. Okay, on the bright side there were still great albums to be heard and musicians kept up the pace like the scene with the shrimp boat in Forrest Gump. “Storm?” “What storm?”

Taylor Swift made a home base move from Nashville to New York City and went from making Country Music that was really crossover to making a complete crossover to Pop Music. Albeit, the songs are catchy and she has become the reigning sales queen by CD through placement that saw 1989 on Diet Coca Cola pop up displays in every major supermarket in the United States plus a lot of hard touring and tabloid press.

Scott Borchetta is still on my amazing label head list. If it takes every supermarket in the United States to make Taylor’s new album a million seller, he’s going to do it. Scott shows sheer tenacity and anybody who has heard him talk about the original Taylor Swift launch will realize that if he has the right thing to work with, he will not be denied.

One bright spot on the sales horizon was hearing that United Record Pressing was moving to bigger digs due to the ever increasing demand for vinyl. The craziest part about vinyl is that we all bought into the X and O bits as music for so long that when you hear real music frequencies on vinyl, it’s hard to believe how real it sounds.

Nashville continues to diversify as Country Music starts to sound more like Twisted Sister and Motley Crue starts to sound more Country. What’s interesting is just as Country was starting to hedge the crossover bet towards EDM, the big money making songs had guitar tones from REM to Malcom Young.

Just when you thought all was lost to what classic country sounded like, Ray Price delivers an instant Countrypolitan classic and Sturgill Simpson shows a path to the future for real Country. There are many performers who would like to see “Real” Country make a comeback by Artists like JP Harris and Joe Fletcher.

Jack White continued his Nashville years as the hardest working rocker in the business. Next up, Bridgestone Arena just blocks from Third Man Records. Neil Young became not only the first person to record straight to vinyl in the refurbished 1947 Voice-O-Graph booth at the initial unveiling on Record Store Day 2013, he also recorded an entire album in the time machine, releasing A Letter Home on Third Man Records.

The Black Keys kept pretty busy not just by touring arenas but producing solid efforts by Lana Del Rey [Ultraviolence] and Nikki Lane [All Or Nothin’].

Debbie Bond & The TruDats and The Cotton Blossom Band at CD Release Party, photo- Brad Hardisty

Debbie Bond & The TruDats and The Cotton Blossom Band at CD Release Party, photo- Brad Hardisty

If Nashville is not collecting the creative spark of the world like an ACME magnet in a Roadrunner cartoon than I don’t know how one can explain the laundry list of musicians of every genre moving here by the droves. There are so many more professional musicians than what you read about in the local rags.

East Nashville is becoming “gentrified” with its traditions like The Tomato Festival and The Hot Chicken Festival and has a laundry list of musicians living in the vicinity. The area is becoming much more expensive so there are other neighborhoods starting to become better known for musicians such as more affordable Riverside and Berry Hill.

The list of venues and bands that travel through town continues to grow. Nashville marches on as a Mecca for all things music as Nashville’s New Years Eve became only second in attendance to New York City in only four years of promoting headlining acts. Last year the show featured Blackberry Smoke, Brent Eldridge and headliner Hank Williams Jr.. This year it will be called Jack Daniels Bash on Broadway and feature a star-packed lineup that includes Lady Antebellum, Gavin DeGraw, The Apache Relay, and Kristen Capolino. The crowds have surpassed projected numbers in years past. Last year down on Broadway had near 90,000 party goers. This year will probably top 100,000 + for the free show.

Here are my Top Ten from Nashville and a couple of Alabamans and a Texan thrown into the mix.

debbie bond cbb_soulshiningcdcov_med_hr-210 [tie] – The Cotton Blossom Band – Soulshining [Self release]

Tony Gerber put together the truest Alternative project heard all year in Nashville. The Cotton Blossom Band features members of Bela Fleck & The Flecktones [Roy Wooten aka Futureman] and BB King’s [Michael Doster] rhythm section and they manage to blend Mississippi Hill Country Blues with Space Music and other assorted world tones. Imagine Junior Kimbrough backed by Tangerine Dream and you might be close but, no banana. I know there are other projects in town that are somewhere in this realm but Tony Gerber’s realization turned every live gig [which were almost invitation only events] into meditation on another plane without the need for Meds.

“See My Jumper Hangin’ Out On The Line”

justin townes earle single mothers10 [tie] –Justin Townes Earle – Single Mothers [Vagrant Records]

Justin is back in town! Well, after the New York sojourn, it was great to hear a great Nashville lineup playing some Southern inflected bluesy Muscle Shoals soul. Simple arrangements and to the point, this could have been a writer’s night at The Commodore Grill with a minimalist four piece band. The lyrics are important, timely and reflect more facets of his life, especially “Single Mothers” and his own feeling of being raised by a single mother. Justin changes it up again and always manages to upset somebody. This time, it’s “where is Justin’s finger style in the mix?” If you don’t know by now, Justin has made a stretch assignment on every album since Yuma. The predictable quality with the unpredictable line-up or mix is what keeps one looking forward to seeing what he is up to next.

“Single Mothers” “Picture In A Drawer”

debbie bond that thing called love9 –Debbie Bond & The TruDats – That Thing Called Love [Blues Root Productions]

Although completed in 2013, the official release date was in 2014 for the first Live recording to come from Radio Free Nashville’s Mando Blues Show as an official release. Much of the songs played by Alabama’s Queen of The Blues, Debbie Bond, that quintessential night were meant for a future project. After hearing the playback of the recordings done deep in the Tennessee woods in a MASH style tent, Debbie and her band decided it was a great sound and ready for release after some solid mixing. The album features an eclectic mix of tributes to the fans in Tarragona, Spain, New Orleans as well as the influence of Alabama Blues and Soul.

“Tarragona Blues” “Steady Rolling Man”

st paul8 – St. Paul & The Broken Bones – Half The City [Single Lock Records]

You could say this is Eddie Hinton 2.0 or maybe Alabama FAME soul was bubbling under the surface just waiting to get out. What is true is when you take away Country Music, Birmingham and the surrounding areas have an Indie Scene that rivals Nashville. You could file this under The Daptones and the G.E.D. Soul catalog and it fits really well but with something really special with great vocals by Paul Janeway and instrumentation that kept the band busy all year long.

“Call Me”, “Grass Is Greener”

dead fingers big black dog7 – Dead Fingers – Big Black Dog [PIPEANDGUN / Communicating Vessels]

Alabama’s Dead Fingers have developed a copacetic duality in their harmonies and their approach. Taylor Hollingsworth [Conor Oberst, The Spider Eaters] is a monster on the guitar and is able to approach the instrument in whatever way the song needs to be tickled. His wife Kate Taylor steps it up this time and her vocals are stronger than ever. You could call this a Southern She & Him but their pedigree goes even deeper into the history of Birmingham music. The Taylor family is involved in more projects than can be named while Taylor Hollingsworth’s brother has his own stuff going on. This couple represents the bread and butter of the modern day Birmingham scene from The Nick to over the mountain.

“Big Black Dog” “Shoom Doom Babba Labba”

jack white lazaretto6 – Jack White – Lazaretto [Third Man Records]

The depth to where Jack White takes his muse never ceases to amaze. The second solo release shows him in top form and now he is ready to take on Bridgestone Arena from his own backyard, which is no small feat as any Nashvillian will attest. Jack takes the James Brown motto of “the hardest working man in show business” to a third power.

“Lazaretto”, “Would You Fight For My Love”

ricky skaggs sharn white5 –Ricky Skaggs & Sharon White –Hearts Like Ours [Skaggs Family Records]

Long time happily married Ricky and Sharon decide to change it up from their day jobs with Kentucky Thunder and The Whites and make a great duet album with a classic Country almost Americana edge. Although this is their first, hopefully it will not be their last. Ricky is always up for a challenge and has worked with everybody from Bruce Hornsby, Jack White and Barry Gibb over the last few years. Sharon White is the real surprise stretching beyond traditional Bluegrass to be a real charmer in almost a Steve Earle Texan Country meets Blues type way as well as some sweet Christian couple stories of faith that would have been commonplace in Country of the 50’s and 60’s. If one had lost faith that marriage could be a faith building partnership this might bring the possibilities that can exist.

“I Run To You”, “Love Can’t Ever Get Better”

sturgill simpson metamodern4 – Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music [High Top Mountain / Thirty Tigers]

Sturgill Simpson reminds one how cool stripped down Country Music like the Bakersfield sound is. It’s like the third coming of Buck Owens. I think he has a little more Texas in his groove. Dwight Yoakum was kind of the same thing back when “Guitars & Cadillacs” hit MTV instead of Great American Country. Dwight made it with the LA Punk Rock crowd and Sturgill is hitting it big with the Alternative Festival scene. The great thing is Nashville likes Sturgill too. So, maybe this kind of Country does have a chance in this Twisted Sister era of Country Radio.   A great voice, great songs and a cracker jack band will not be denied.

“Turtles All The Way Down”, “Living The Dream”

steelisn  615 to fame3 –Steelism – 615 to Fame [Single Lock Records]

Okay, this may not be number one on the list, maybe because you can’t put an instrumental album there? This has got to be the coolest album on the list. I first heard Spencer Cullum [Jr.] and his brother after I found out that The Deadstring Brothers were playing at The Basement a half dozen years ago. Their album Sao Paulo had just come out and it was the best thing this side of Exile On Main Street. I figured not many people had heard of The Deadstring Brothers but The Basement was packed. I talked to Spencer at that show and found out the band had moved to Nashville. After seeing Spencer craft about any tone on his pedal steel into liquid gold, I thought they better never let this guy leave for Britain. We need him here. What a great band! What a great musician! Watching this band on YouTube play “Linus & Lucy” like a countrified Ventures project is pure Nirvana. I want to hear Steelism plays Zappa. I want to hear Steelism play Ventures. I want to hear them any chance I get.

“The Landlocked Surfer”, “Marfa Lights”

derobert and the half truths im tryin2 –DeRobert & The Half Truths – I’m Tryin, [G.E.D. Soul Records]

This GED Soul gem came out early in the year and may be a little lost in the shuffle as we tend to remember summer through fall as new releases. This album solidifies GED Soul as a major player in the retro Soul stack that includes Broken Bones, Daptones and even Back to Black Winehouse. DeRobert proves to have great vocal chops and solid pitch. There is something soulful but very sunny about DeRobert’s grooves. GED Soul gets together solid engineering and mixing that sounds great on the turntable. I personally like this over the much more publicized and still great St. Paul & The Broken Bones material. Just keep pouring on great arrangements and songs and DeRobert will not be denied.‏ Bonus- The Batman Building featured prominently on the cover.

“Ooo Wee”, “Get On It”, “I’m Tryin’”

???????????????????????????????????????1 –Ray Price – Beauty is…The Final Sessions [Amerimonte LLC]

Ray Price worked with studio veteran Producer Fred Foster to put forth true blood, sweat, tears, money, guts, glory…I could go on. This was a love letter mostly to his wife, but, it was the final effort of a man in his 80’s with cancer known as one of the greatest voices ever laboriously getting the best take and building a Countrypolitan opus with strings and everything great about the Country crossover hits that come out in the 60’s. Ray may have been honored by Oxford American in their Texas issue this year, but this album is pure Nashville as Ray made several trips to Tennessee to complete Beauty is… Ray was a man on a mission to make one great final album and he succeeded.

“An Affair To Remember”, “I Wish I was 18 Again”

  • Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

LOCASH Signs to Label; Key Team Members Announced

Pictured: (L-R back row) Sony Red's Dewayne Brown, Webster PR's Kirt Webster, Paradigm's Brian Hill, Butch Waugh, Star Farm's Matt Corbin, Conway Ent. Group's Tony Conway, Paradigm's Bob Kinkead and Star Farm's Michael Powers.  (L-R front row): Chris Lucas, Reviver President/CEO David Ross, Preston Brust

Pictured: (L-R back row) Sony Red’s Dewayne Brown, Webster PR’s Kirt Webster, Paradigm’s Brian Hill, Butch Waugh, Star Farm’s Matt Corbin, Conway Ent. Group’s Tony Conway, Paradigm’s Bob Kinkead and Star Farm’s Michael Powers.
(L-R front row): Chris Lucas, Reviver President/CEO David Ross, Preston Brust

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (December 1, 2014) – What do you get when you take one of Nashville’s biggest all-star lineups of music professionals and partner them up with one of the hardest working acts in the business? You call that Reviver Records, which opens up its’ Nashville operation today.

Longtime music industry executive David Ross will lead the team at Reviver as President/CEO. With a career history that began at Alpha Distributors and has flourished over the years with stops at S* Management, College Music Journal, and Vertis, Ross has helped add pages to the legendary careers of such acts as Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Alabama and The Judds.

Ross leads a team that includes some of the most successful members of the Nashville music community. Butch Waugh – who built his name during a decades-long run at Sony, will serve as strategic advisor to Reviver. Waugh has been a key player in the career story of such country acts as Carrie Underwood, Alabama, Kenny Chesney, and Martina McBride as well as Bruce Hornsby and The Dave Matthews Band. Longtime promotion veterans Michael Powers and Matt Corbin (from Star Farm Nashville) will lead Reviver’s charge at radio, while Kirt Webster (from Webster Public Relations) currently handles publicity for LOCASH.

Industry favorites LOCASH (formerly known as The LoCash Cowboys), who have already gained airplay with singles such as “Here Comes Summer,” “Keep In Mind,” “C.O.U.N.T.R.Y.,” and “Best Seat In The House,” are among the initial artists signed to the Reviver roster. Their most recent album, a self-titled effort, made it to the top half of the genre-encompassing Billboard 200 album chart. Chris Lucas and Preston Brust, who comprise the duo, have also written chart hits for Tim McGraw (“Truck Yeah”) and Keith Urban (“You Gonna Fly”). Working with LOCASH will be Nashville power manager Tony Conway and Paradigm Talent Agency’s Bob Kinkead will handle booking for the duo. Distribution for the label will be handled through Dewayne Brown at Sony RED.

Ross says that he is passionate about the music that LOCASH will soon be releasing through the Reviver label, as well as the team he has assembled. “I feel that we have put together a group of people that have the experience and the success stories to lead this team all the way into the stratosphere,” he said. “And, I think that the industry is going to be blown away by what Chris and Preston have coming down the line. We’re ready to take this town by storm.”

Reviver Records, LLC is based in New Jersey and is comprised of the record label, Reviver Music, and a Production and Management Company.

Resource Reviver Records: http://www.revivermusic.com

Resource LOCASH: http://www.locashmusic.com

justin townes earle single mothersJustin Townes Earle continues a musical dialog between his fans and his Book of Life with his most recent venture Single Mothers.

Enough has been said in interviews about the influence on songs like “Single Mothers” which talks about absent fathers and what he had to deal with on a personal basis.

Rather than do a track by track analysis, let’s just get down to what I see flipping through this new deck of cards.

Justin has had a love/ hate relationship with Nashville going back to The Good Life when I met him after the release at The Basement when Justin was doing one of those small gigs right before things really took off. It looks like Nashville is back on deck for this one and is not found lacking what it did before.

Recorded at extremely yellow Quad Studios, Single Mothers screams Nashville, particularly East Nashville with its vibe and current subject matter. This album spotlights what makes Nashville such a cool place right now; Something old, something new, something borrowed (not sure about this one other than maybe a little Jonathan Richman vocal motif), something blue.

While it sounds like a stripped down Nashville Skyline, dripping with Paul Niehaus’ pedal steel and sounding like right before closing time at Robert’s Western World after the last call, much of the actual song structure is very classic Muscle Shoals era Alabama soul ballads.

Justin seems to have found that the Nashville era of 2007 has changed for the better and is now flexible enough to become his playground again.

I have enjoyed the changes that have gone into all of his catalog as the last several years have gone by. Single Mothers seems to flow right off Midnight At The Movies in a very de-structured way. The tracks almost sound like clean demos with the lyrics loud enough to decide how the actual music will feel later. It reminds me of how Keith Richards described in his autobiography, Life, about The Rolling Stones recording process. Keith said that much of what was released in at least the middle period with Mick Taylor were actually demos and they would always talk about recording a proper version of the song later. In the end, they would decide they couldn’t improve upon the original jam and they would release it as is.

Everything about this represents the best of Nashville even down to the photos by Nashville’s very own music photographer, Joshua Black Wilkins.

There was a time when music was a true reflection of the guy who put the album on the turntable. Somehow, multitudes of people found a connection in what certain artists were saying and felt a certain rhythm in their life that flowed between their clothes, car, friends, hanging out and music. Justin Townes Earle is one of the few that really makes that happen now in the same way Bob Dylan and Neil Young did back when.

Justin Townes Earle, The State Room, Salt Lake City, 2009 - opening for Jason Isbell  Photo / Brad Hardisty

Justin Townes Earle, The State Room, Salt Lake City, 2009 – opening for Jason Isbell Photo / Brad Hardisty

There is a small circle of current musicians that have been able to transcend all the volleys and Justin Townes Earle and Ryan Bingham are at the forefront for the same reasons that come with life experience and a fine tuned sense of balance between pessimism and optimism reflecting on what is life and what makes it worthwhile and real.

Favorites: “My Baby Drives”, “Picture In A Drawer”, “Burning Pictures”

  • Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

TANYA TUCKER: STRONG ENOUGH TO BEND

OPENS NOVEMBER 14 AT

COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME® AND MUSEUM

photo courtesy Tanya Tucker

photo courtesy Tanya Tucker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 16, 2014) – The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will explore the career of superstar Tanya Tucker with the exhibition Tanya Tucker: Strong Enough to Bend, which opens November 14, 2014, and runs through May 2015.

Tanya Tucker’s talent blossomed early, despite being born into poverty in Texas and raised in ramshackle apartments and trailers in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. She began performing on local shows at age six, and within years was a regular on a Phoenix TV program. A Las Vegas agent sent a demo recording to Billy Sherrill, who quickly signed Tucker to Columbia Records. She was thirteen years old.

At the time, few child performers had achieved success in country music. But the singer’s husky voice and audacious confidence made her seem more grown-up. She proved as much when she walked into a Nashville studio, in March 1972, and announced to Sherrill and the veteran musicians, “Well, I know my part, boys. Do you know yours?” She proceeded to belt out “Delta Dawn” like a seasoned pro, and by summer the song was a hit.

Tucker assured her success by releasing six consecutive Top Ten hits—including the #1s “What’s Your Mama’s Name,” “Blood Red and Goin’ Down,” and “Would You Lay With Me (in a Field of Stone)”—in two years, all produced by Sherrill. The narrative songs told daring stories that courted controversy, and Tucker’s mature-beyond-her-years vocal style brought out the drama and emotion in each.

Tanya Tucker on the cover of the Rolling Stone

Tanya Tucker on the cover of the Rolling Stone

Two years into her singing career, Tucker appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine—a rare national media spotlight for a country star in 1974. To her parents, Beau and Juanita Tucker, such recognition signified that their teen daughter had crossover potential that could take her beyond the country audience.

On October 10, 1974—Tucker’s sixteenth birthday—she signed a $1.4 million contract with MCA Records, a deal brokered by her ambitious father. Her seven years on MCA yielded the #1 hits “Lizzie and the Rainman.” “San Antonio Stroll,” and “Here’s Some Love.” In 1978, she recorded the rock-influenced album T.N.T. in Los Angeles.

In California, Tucker began dating singer Glen Campbell, twenty-two years her senior; their fiery, tabloid-filled relationship ended in acrimony. After a stint with Arista Records, Tucker signed with Capitol Records and reunited with producer Jerry Crutchfield, with whom she had worked at MCA.

TANYA TUCKER ©2009 photograph by Alan Messer

TANYA TUCKER
©2009 photograph by Alan Messer

Tucker’s 1986 album, Girl Like Me, featured four Top Ten hits, including the #1 “Just Another Love.” She enjoyed a long run of success on Capitol (and sister label Liberty), with a string of Top Ten hits through 1997, including three consecutive #1s, “I Won’t Take Less Than Your Love,” “If It Don’t Come Easy,” and “Strong Enough to Bend.”

Tanya Tucker heard her name called as the 1991 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year while lying in a hospital bed, watching the awards show on TV. Earlier the same day, she had delivered her second child, Beau.

Her first child, daughter Presley, was born in July 1989—a year after Tucker had checked herself into the Betty Ford Center over issues with substance abuse. Her third child, Layla, arrived in 1999.

For Tucker, the CMA award came at a time when some radio stations refused to play her music while criticizing her choice to be a single mother. The CMA award, the first of her career, proved that the country music industry at large continued to support her. The national media cited Tucker’s win, and her eighteen Top Ten hits between 1988 and 1994, as signs that country music reflected the evolving roles of women in American society.

Tucker detailed her colorful life story in her 1997 autobiography, Nickel Dreams: My Life. The singer also starred in her own reality show, Tuckerville, on cable network TLC. “Every one of us has good and bad times in our lives,” Tucker wrote in Nickel Dreams. “In my case, they have been to extremes.”

TANYA TUCKER ©2009 photograph by Alan Messer

TANYA TUCKER
©2009 photograph by Alan Messer