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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

The Luke Foley Interview

Luke Foley / Farewell Flight at The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley / Farewell Flight at The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Farewell Flight showcased new music off I Was A Ghost to a packed house at The High Watt last Thursday night with a strong bill that featured The Joy of Painting and Lorien marking the first release after reaching a decade as a band with a March drop date.

Farewell Flight at The High Watt, Feb. 2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Farewell Flight at The High Watt, Feb. 2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley, looking like a happier version of Jim Morrison’s “LA Woman” final Doors sessions era poet,  has developed into a full fledge Songwriter / Performer veteran that was at ease and ready to express fresh autobiographical lyrics about his “Quarter Life Crisis” that make up the new release.

farewell flight i was a ghostCITGO has featured the song “Places We’ll Go” from I Was A Ghost in their recent “Fueling Good” national ad campaign and Farewell Flight has become a favorite on Lightning 100 since moving from Pennsylvania to Nashville over two years ago.

Rabbit Campbell, Farewell Flight at The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Rabbit Campbell, Farewell Flight at The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

The band is now built solidly around the core of Luke Foley as well as Caleb Allensworth [drums, samples] and “Rabbit” Campbell  on lead guitar in much the same way Genesis became and ”then there were three” after Peter Gabriel’s departure.

Before the show, The Nashville Bridge spoke with Luke Foley about overcoming the anxiety of being an independent band with the realization of how strong their core fan base is after a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: The lyrics seem like a mini storytelling Opera about events you have gone through. Is it really personal?

Luke Foley - Farewell Flight, photo - Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley – Farewell Flight, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley / Farewell Flight: Yeah I think it is. The stories pretty much stretch over the last three years, but also are reflecting on the previous ten.  So, it’s  very nostalgic in a sense since it is about me for the last few years, but it’s about myself for a good ten years leading up to that moment.

TNB: Two themes I really like are from “Breaking My Heart” where it talks about being 25 and “Quarter Life Crisis” which is a term I have never heard before. Also, “I Was A Ghost” where you are looking into the past then changes pulls you into the present.

Luke Foley, Farewell Flight at The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley, Farewell Flight at The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke:  I think everything, every person you meet is for a season and sometimes a season is for a really long time perhaps it is for your whole life. I think that even though you have people that come into your life for a short period, you can become incredibly close to people in that short period of time. It’s still in the natural and normal progression for them to move out of your life.  People end up kind of doing it eventually and that song is about that, no matter how natural and normal it is, it is hard to do.

TNB: As far as the recording congratulations because Farewell Flight has been together for over ten years now.

Farewell Flight, The High Watt, Nashville, TN, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Farewell Flight, The High Watt, Nashville, TN, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke: It’s been quite a while. I was actually looking it up last night because I was trying to remember how long we have been a band like when was the first show or something.  But, I think 2003 is a ballpark. That would be my best guess.

TNB: I know you guys have gone through a lot of personnel changes. How long with have you worked with the two other members of the current lineup?

Caleb Allensworth series of 3, Farewell Flight, The High Watt, photos - Brad Hardisty

Caleb Allensworth series of 3, Farewell Flight, The High Watt, photos – Brad Hardisty

farewell flight 02201412farewell flight 02201411Luke:  My guitarist, “Rabbit” Campbell has been with me since the end of 2008, I think. My drummer, Caleb Allensworth currently started with me at the end of 2011 and we are currently a three piece. We just parted ways with our bassist who was willing to come back when my drummer did in 2011-2012. He still lives here in Nashville. He is actually a roommate of the other two guys in the band. He wanted to do some different stuff.

TNB: I know you had been with Mono vs Stereo, but I guess there were financial problems and they got around to releasing your album in 2011. This time around you are Independent and financed this album with a Kickstarter campaign. Was that kind of a gut wrenching thing, realizing that you are going to have to do it on your own?

Luke Foley, Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley, Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke: I had really mixed feelings. So, yeah, Kickstarter… you know it was really hard and really easy to do at the same time.  We signed with Mono vs Stereo actually twice. We signed with them once and then the guy that ran the label, that signed us, left the label and we were left without a champion there and it gave us the option of: if you want to leave you can and so we decided to leave and then we were independent for a while. Then, the label was revived by these two guys. They really wanted to sign us, but they wanted to release an old record which we kind of fought against for a while, but I don’t know, we rolled the dice. We thought it would be a lot better having a connection with them, but it ended up turning out to be, you know, they are great guys, but it probably was not a great fit. So, once we left that label we went back to square one, although we are not just a band that just formed yesterday. We don’t have a record label, but at the same time it’s freeing to know that after six months [there was four months of planning and then executing Kickstarter] you don’t have other people involved and you are just able to do it all on your own timeline. It’s just really freeing and we really enjoyed doing that. It felt we were back to square one, but we really weren’t because over the years we have toured so much and we really had a great network of friends and fans that were able to get behind us and really help make the record happen. It is amazing to see how many people are still interested in what we are doing after all this time. It’s very humbling.

TNB: I remember when Mono vs Stereo wanted to change your name to Indian Summer and your fans fought it. That showed me that you had a strong base so that later on when you did this Kickstarter campaign you had somewhere to start.

Farewell Flight, The High Watt, Nashville, TN, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Farewell Flight, The High Watt, Nashville, TN, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke: Yeah, It’s definitely been very good. It’s cool. We don’t have a ton of fans, but our fans are very loyal and very fierce.  I think they really love what we do. I think it is because the music really connects with them on a very personal level. I think a lot of our fans relate to a lot of things that I have experienced. It’s like biographical tools for the people that listen to it. A lot of people have kind of adopted it as their own, kind of like, music for a movie. It’s like a score for their own personal life. I think that most people that listen to it kind of have that experience. I think that is why people are so fiercely loyal about our band even if there are not a whole lot of them.

TNB: “Places We’ll Go,” that reminds me of a Farewell Flight song, but you also took a lot of chances on this album.

Rabbit Campbell / Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Rabbit Campbell / Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke: Yeah, I think one of the biggest influences for me was the movie Drive.  I just love that movie and the soundtrack and then listening to a lot more “late 80’s” and “early 90’s” pop hits: the stuff I listened to when I was growing up. I didn’t know who the artists were. I just listened to the songs and I was just a little kid. There are songs by Phil Collins and Cyndi Lauper, even Springsteen stuff, you know, when you are growing up that you hear, but you don’t know who the people are. The songs are like a soundtrack to your life when you are little and so I think in keeping with the whole nostalgic thing, I think I was listening to the songs of my childhood and just a lot of that kind of music. I think that has a big play in what we do. I really wanted to lean heavily on synths and keyboards and drum machines on this record. I think that my own path is actually very acoustic stuff, so it‘s very hard. It was very difficult to get the emotion and the passion of what I was trying to say or get across with this new record. I think we accomplished trying to just get that rawness across.

TNB: It kind of has a little Prog or complexity in some of the songs.

Luke Foley - Farewell Flight,  The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley – Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke: Yeah.

TNB:  You relocated to Nashville in 2012. What brought you to Nashville?

Luke Foley, Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley, Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke:  I wanted to try something new. We toured for a good seven or eight years and we never had a booking agent. We did around 800 shows or something like that, completely independent and we always thought that was what was going to get us to the next level. It’s always a tough picture. We were working really hard, but it didn’t vacillate into anything happening.  I just kind of viewed that as “I can’t just keeping doing this over and over and expect different results to occur.” I was losing my mind. I had tried everything I could possibly do. What could I do differently? I thought; we have never tried relocating to a new area.  I made connections and built relationships, kind of like, you know, being in the right place at the right time or at least being in the right place all the time. That was our goal in moving to Nashville and I think it is already paying off. I think that a lot of the friendships and relationships that we are building have been very comfortable and helpful to our career.   A couple of things have happened here. I got our first placement on the CITGO ad. I got it from a person that I waited table on.  She just asked me what I was doing further than just living in Nashville. She was like, “So what are you doing here in Nashville other than wait tables?” and I said I write songs and play in band and stuff and she said, “send me your best track.” So I sent her “Places We’ll Go” and she placed it in a CITGO commercial. That doesn’t happen every day and I don’t really bring stuff up like that as a waiter like, oh well, I have a band check me out, you know, but I think that could never happen anywhere else except maybe L.A. or  New York maybe Seattle or Austin, but that never would have happened back in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The move was just to make connections with people.

Caleb Allensworth - Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Caleb Allensworth – Farewell Flight, The High Watt, 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

TNB: You are right. The thing that is interesting is Nashville is evolving into where some of the things that would happen in L.A. or Seattle are starting to happen here.  You came at a good time.

Luke Foley, Farewell Flight, The High Watt, Nashville, TN 2/6/2014, photo - Brad Hardisty

Luke Foley, Farewell Flight, The High Watt, Nashville, TN 2/6/2014, photo – Brad Hardisty

Luke: I am very glad to be here. It is such a cool place to live even if you are not doing music. My wife is not a musician, she is an artist and there are so many creative opportunities here for someone like her or anybody who does something creative. It is a very creative place to be and I am happy to be living in Nashville.

Farewell Flight, photo - Brad Hardisty

Farewell Flight, photo – Brad Hardisty

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

rhonda vincent only meRhonda Vincent decided to make it easy on all her fans by releasing a Double EP package entitled Only Me available on Upper Management Music toward the end of January with one disc of Bluegrass and another Country separated like The Hatfields and McCoys in different pews in the same church on a Sunday morning with more in common than they want to lay claim on.

Rhonda’s voice is strong and clear throughout the two discs that not only separates genres, but were recorded also with two different lineups showing contrast between fiddlers Hunter Berry on the acoustic filled Bluegrass set and Tim Crouch on the Trad – Country with a twist of the best of Texas approach to disc two.

Willie Nelson shares vocal duties as well as trading licks on the break with his old Martin on the title track, “Only Me” well into the middle of the Bluegrass CD.

photo courtesy Webster PR

photo courtesy Webster PR

Rhonda shows her ability to take different approaches on different songs with some strong George Jones meets Patsy Cline torch meter over the slow rockin’ “I Need Somebody Bad Tonight” which could have easily fit on the Country side with a little more bass, drums and some steel guitar.

The second duet comes after with Daryle Singletary and Rhonda on “We Must Have Been out Of Our Minds” again showing that Bluegrass and Country are just a stones’ throw apart with more than enough Blues and Country on the Bluegrass side of the fence.

photo courtesy Webster PR

photo courtesy Webster PR

While the Bluegrass disc does not disappoint, the Country disc seems to be the stronger cousin of the two with an all-star lineup that also features a prominent Mike Johnson on steel guitar sharing space with Catherine Marx and Michael Rojas on piano giving a nice bed for fiddler Tim Crouch and Mike Johnson to spar over. The Country disc is all about fiddle and steel.

This is definitely not AC/DC or Fleetwood Mac inspired Country that instead has a feel of an RCA Studio B Session of maybe the mid 60’s or early 70’s underscore going on. Fans of traditional Country are the big winners here especially on track two, “Once A Day” with a driving Buck Owens country rockin’ swing that features Gospel Quartet inspired back-up vocals supporting Rhonda on what would be the radio track on this set.

There is plenty of weeping steel guitar and strong vocals on “Teardrops Over You” and “Beneath Still Waters” that would fill up quarters in a jukebox alongside “Behind Closed Doors” and “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and reminds one how cool brown naugahyde and low amber lights are with a glowing Seeburg jukebox by the back door that keeps playing music until morning comes.

The biggest jam takes place on the Bob Wills Texas Swing Honky Tonk flavored “Bright Lights & Country Music” with a lead- in fiddle fill sojourning into some jazzy guitar licks by James Mitchell before  the fiddle and steel shiver some notes together. A whole CD could have been built around this song.

Rhonda slows it down on “When The Grass Grows Over Me” before throwing on some more Bob Wills inspired fiddle and jazz guitar licks while Rhonda takes off with “I’m just drivin’ nails in my coffin, drivin’ those nails over you.”

This collection could have been divided by “ready-to-cut-a-rug” dance tunes and then a CD of tear jerkers which would have worked as a disc to wake up to in the morning or for dancin’ boots down at Robert’s and another for when the lights are low and the feel of melancholy has set in.

photo courtesy Webster PR

photo courtesy Webster PR

Rhonda proves that she didn’t have to decide on one or the other genre as her voice soars and ebbs and flows through brilliant dynamics but the backing band on the Country CD leaves one wanting more Time Jumpers style outings. One can only hope that when it comes time to cut it up live they get the chance.

The strongest cuts prove to be the jam filled “Once A Day,” “Bright Lights & Country Music” and “Drivin’ Nails” where Rhonda just cuts loose with a hot band.

Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

debbie bond that thing called loveDebbie Bond’s third release, Blues Root Production’s That Thing Called Love, takes a bold step not only stylistically, but, recognizes the hot band, The Tru Dats  led by multi- instrumentalist bandleader and partner in crime and love, Rick Asherson as a full reckoning burning house of sound.

Debbie Bond and The Tru-Dats into a groove udring taping at Mando Blues, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Debbie Bond and The Tru-Dats into a groove udring taping at Mando Blues, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Recorded originally as a live recording at Omegalab Studios in the hills outside of Nashville for Radio Free Nashville’s Mando Blues Show after capping off an exhaustive Nashville weekend where Debbie Bond & The Tru Dats were featured at The Nashville Blues and Jazz Awards Show, the recording turned out to be magic with Debbie Bond & The Tru Dats in top form with a pristine live recording vibe that featured a few never recorded songs that were on par with Austin City Limits or England’s BBC In Studio productions.

Debbie Bond at Mando Blues Live, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Debbie Bond at Mando Blues Live, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Under the guiding hand of Rick Asherson with engineering, mix and mastering by Rob McClain this first official release from the Mando Blues Show kicks off with a tribute to The Holmes Brothers on Tracks one, “You’re The Kind Of Trouble” and three “Feed My Soul” which helps to define that there really are no boundaries within the definition of where the Tru Dats and the blues can go with it rootsy funky, swampy, Curtis Mayfield meets Stax Gospel vibe and compelling vocals by Debbie Bond.

 

Dave Crenshaw with Debbie Bond at Mando Blues, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Dave Crenshaw with Debbie Bond at Mando Blues, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Dave Crenshaw has enough space in between each drum hit to keep the groove swinging that wants to make you move, but Dave really shows his full spectrum on “Steady Rolling Man.” This is one of Debbie’s most adventurous tracks yet. Hard to believe that there are only four people playing when this could be a Preservation Hall Jazz track out of New Orlean’s French quarter with enough air to feel humidity drenched Creole food rolling out to the tables.

Debbie Bond transforms into a Ragtime Chanteuse, with interplay between Rick’s speakeasy piano, Dave Crenshaw’s straight up 1920’s style drums and Tom Pallardy’s ability to play sax like a trombonist or Pete Fountain without hesitation makes this unbelievable.

Rick Asherson and Debbie Bond meet up LLoveless Cafe prior to taping, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Rick Asherson and Debbie Bond meet up LLoveless Cafe prior to taping, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

I like It Like That” most closely resembles Debbie and Rick’s days with Willie King, ‘The Sweet Potato Man’ who just passed away in 2008 with its call and response lines between Debbie and Rick sounding very much ‘Sweet Potato Man.’ Rick’s piano updates the Alabama soul groove with a sixties Aretha Franklin in Brooklyn strut then at 2:37 right after Debbie says, “maybe we can get the audience to clap their hands” he starts jamming bass and Musselwhite harp at the same time. There ought to be an award for this because when you see this live it is going to blow your mind.

The Alabama Sunday afternoon “Still Missing You” showcases Debbie’s Alabama blues style vocals that bring to mind the Muscle Shoals era and the heart of Alabama soul, Eddie Hinton.  Debbie’s mellow Telecaster lines are some of the best on the album and kind of spread around like butter drizzling over a stack of hotcakes.

Debbie Bond and Tom Pallardy at Mando Blues taping, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Debbie Bond and Tom Pallardy at Mando Blues taping, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Tarragona Blues” comes in two versions, one that goes right into a bossa nova blues soul groove with reference to both Spain and Alabama with”a long way to go” and the other with a big afro centric introduction that takes a different route, paying tribute to the fans in Spain who have welcomed Debbie with open arms and a place that she cannot wait to return to.  The Tru Dats changed up on this track with Ray Robinson on drums, Jonathan Blakney on background vocals and side percussion and Dave Crenshaw taking over on Latin percussion.

 

Rick Asherson checking the back line at Mando Blues taping, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Rick Asherson checking the back line at Mando Blues taping, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

Rick pulls off a serious Charlie Mingus bass intro on “Falling” against Debbie’s difficult melody drop-in to set up “Move a little closer baby, I have a message for you” while, “That Thing Called Love” finds Rick doing the impossible by being Mingus yet again with one hand and Isaac Hayes with the other as Tom Pallardy slides in on sax in another corner of the room. Debbie enters in reverb drenched Tele that sets up a smoky groove and a preacher’s daughter throwing down thunder and lightning vocals.

Debbie Bond and The Tru-Dats, it's a wrap at Mando Blues, Nashville, TN, photo - Brad Hardisty

Debbie Bond and The Tru-Dats, it’s a wrap at Mando Blues, Nashville, TN, photo – Brad Hardisty

That Thing Called Love really has no boundaries within Southern Music whether it be Blues, Soul, Funk, Ragtime or Swamp Pop; Debbie had a good reason to change to Debbie Bond & The Tru Dats because of the serious musicianship that has been gathered for this recording. Every corner of the blues and every musician has a chance to shine on this exquisite live recording that everybody will want to take home to listen after a great show. –

Debbie Bond and Rick Asherson in Nashville, photo - Brad Hardisty

Debbie Bond and Rick Asherson in Nashville, photo – Brad Hardisty

Brad Hardisty, Nashville, Tn     thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013 photo 1, photo - Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013 photo 1, photo – Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days took place in Murfreesboro, Tennessee between July 12th & July 14th, 2013 and my photos and whatever memories of a possible article were lost for several months.

Uncle Dave Macon Days, photo 3, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days, photo 3, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 2, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 2, photo by Brad Hardisty

After leaving the festival, my car broke down on the freeway with major transmission problems and had to be towed. Within a week, I had major allergic reaction health problems, a car on the shop and a computer messed up with malware and unable to load photos.

Uncle Dave Macon Days, photo 5, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days, photo 5, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 6, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 6, photo by Brad Hardisty

I simply lost over a month of my life trying to get things back together again. After all the doctor visits and down time, the festival became a distant memory and a reason to write an article or track down some of the artists became futile since the new tide of events and artists had already rolled in.

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 7, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 7, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 8, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 8, photo by Brad Hardisty

I recently received an email request from one of the artists for the photos that I took and I was now able to retrieve those photos.

Uncles Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 9, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncles Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 9, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 10, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 10, photo by Brad Hardisty

It has been a cold winter here in Nashville and I decided to publish some of the photos to warm things up a bit and maybe put a smile on a few people and get them thinking about this year and summer in the park, jamming together, drinking Sweet Tea and checking out who has the oldest Martin Guitar or who looks the most like Uncle Dave Macon.

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 11, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 11, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 12, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 12, photo by Brad Hardisty

Here’s to Smoked Turkey Legs and old time music! Cheers!

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 13, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 13, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 14, photo by Brad Hardisty

Uncle Dave Macon Days 2013, photo 14, photo by Brad Hardisty

–          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

Tristen performing at The Groove, Record Store Day 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Tristen performing at The Groove, Record Store Day 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

2013 proved to be a year where Nashville didn’t make as  big an impact nationally as it should have with no major album from either Country or Nashville sub-genres making any real impact on any national or international best-of lists from Rolling Stone Magazine [other than Keith Urban noted] to Mojo or anything else in-between.

It’s not that there were not any releases with big expectations from our region, but apparently they didn’t catch on nationally or internationally for that matter. Missing in action on the best of lists were Kings Of Leon, Paramore, Jack White, The Black Keys, Taylor Swift and pretty much every record that Nashville Scene listed as the best this year including releases by Tristen and Diarrhea Planet.

Zac Brown continues to chart his own path in the Country music scene with his Southern Ground Festival, Southern Ground group of artists that is now headquartered in Nashville  and charting records that have more to tell; just recently putting out the Dave Grohl Sessions Vol. 1, the problem is, can one list a four song EP as an album? As an artist, I definitely can give Zac kudos for songwriting, performance and outright tenaciousness.

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

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

It’s not to say that these were not good records, but it shows the deepening divide between well crafted music and the ability to get it out there in some way where it becomes part of the collective consciousness and not just affect the local pub crawl or mini festival.

Most stateside best-of lists had Vampire Weekend at or near the top of their lists whereas in the rest of the world they might have made the Top ten in one major publication and barely scratch the Top 40 in other important music rags and blogs outside the United States.

Luther Dickinson, North Mississippi Allstars, Cannery Ballroom 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Luther Dickinson, North Mississippi Allstars, Cannery Ballroom 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Rolling Stone probably had one of the most bi-polar lists that included everything from real music artists to “entertainers” such as Miley Cyrus – Bangerz in their Top 40 list whereas Miley Cyrus isn’t on any major serious list outside the United States. Henry Rollins had a polite way of putting it this way: there is a lot of stuff that Rolling Stone writes about that isn’t on his radar.  Rolling Stone has gotten so far away from its original intent that the 360 label controlled deal signed Entertainers make the front cover regularly as well as politicians and a great amount of type space is spent driving home the Editors personal political point of view. I can’t fault them completely; there is the occasional Ginger Baker or Merle Haggard interview perfection. They even have a great local Nashville writer, Adam Gold, who doesn’t really get to write that much about the real Nashville. In a town where a 1600 word piece could be written every week about records being made and shows being played by regional Artists, nine out of ten articles are reviews of the previous Nashville TV Show plot.  Why don’t they give Adam free reign and really show what this town has to offer?

Tim Easton & JD Simo at Grimey's 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Tim Easton & JD Simo at Grimey’s 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

As far as America’s perception of Nashville, I can’t fault the Nashville TV Show. There are some great aspects that I enjoy such as the cityscape backdrops and watching the “Live” performances to see who is playing in the band as well as T Bone Burnetts choices for locally written music. I always like to see folks like Colin Linden or Jim Lauderdale on the small screen!  I am still waiting to see JD Simo, Kenny Vaughan or maybe Dave Roe. Of course, if they put Joe Fick on there, he would probably steal the thunder away from the movie star. Honestly, Hayden Panetierre does really well playing a damaged girl that is trying to do her best to be good / bad at the same time. She has a heart of gold and a heart of stone that makes yin and yang seem as normal as Corned Beef Hash and Shrimp and Grits on the same plate. It just seems that when she tries to do something good she ends up screwing it up. I’m not sure if she is suppose to be bi-polar or her Mother smoked crack while she was in the womb but she sure does need the reassurance of her fans.

Mojo is probably the best music major publication in the world and they managed to have a list that was almost devoid of pop schlock and had an Artist, Bill Callahan – Dream River at number one that didn’t even make a stateside list.

In Mojo, Memphis inspired Mavis Staples – One True Vine sat at number 21 whereas it was not featured on any lists in any major American publications. What used to be true is still true, foreign music fans seem to appreciate real American Artists more than we do ourselves. Guy Clark’s My Favorite Picture Of You  as well as Jason Isbell’ Southeastern cracked some great lists without making a whisper on any stateside lists outside of Americana specific publications.

lorde pure heroineOkay, the Artist that probably really got the short end of the stick in all the lists was Lorde. Lorde’s Pure Heroine probably had more impact than any other record this year whether I like it or anybody else does. Lorde has already been ripped off by K-Tel style sound-a-like commercials for Boss and Victoria’s Secret.  They ripped her off as blatantly as if somebody had tried to write a commercial that sounded like “Honky Tonk Women” or “Brown Sugar” back in the day and just call it advertising Muzak. Lorde definitely brings more to the table than Lady Gaga’s “Fashion” going after David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” instead of previous attempts at Madonna’s eighties catalog.

Okay, as far as local goes. I think Nashville Scene got it right for the most part, but, what about Ricky Skaggs or Modoc’s new albums?  There is a much larger alternative scene in Nashville than even where Nashville Scene went with its own list.

DeRobert & the Half Truths at The High Watt 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

DeRobert & the Half Truths at The High Watt 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

Although regional albums didn’t seem to impact national lists this year, there are prospects coming up in 2014. For one, Nikki Lane has those Dan Auerbach produced tracks still waiting for a drop date. GED Soul is putting out their first full length vinyl, De Robert & The Half Truths – I’m Tryin’ on January 14th. Jack White is putting out new music by The Dead Weather.  One could hope for a new Kenny Vaughan album or even a revolutionary new Country album like Miranda Lambert’s Revolution  or how about a historical Live recording like Jerry Lee Lewis Live at Third Man from a couple of years ago.

Probably my biggest anticipated Nashville area release will be the new Mike Farris album which has been a couple of years in the making and should get a release date some time in 2014.

With the prospect that album buying is an ever shrinking source of revenue and has started to become a vanity project for almost everybody but a major label 360 signed Artist / Entertainer /  Dancer / Avatar, will the “best of” album lists start to disappear and be replaced by the “best live” performances since that is where the hopes for revenue are? I can’t answer that one. I still buy CD’s and vinyl and I don’t buy shrill sounding MP3’s. That is my line in the sand. I like liner notes, credits and photos so downloads don’t do much for me.

Doyle Lawson at Simply Bluegrass, Nashville, TN 2013, photo - Brad Hardisty

Doyle Lawson at Simply Bluegrass, Nashville, TN 2013, photo – Brad Hardisty

It seems that music in people’s lives is as important as ever, yet twenty million views on You Tube might only translate into 80,000 units sold.  In this kind of environment, an Artist might be safer to build a following in a sub-genre such as Americana, Blues or Bluegrass and tour on that specific festival circuit rather than to try to get a grass roots following on some new angle of Indie music and try to build up from the clubs. The prospect of never getting bigger than the clubs and eternally couch surfing are enormous in the current all-music –should- be- free- to- listen- to conundrum.

I have to admit that bands are becoming creative.  The Cult talks about sending out “capsules” of music in the future such as three new songs every quarter. Jack White has printed different band names on the CD’s he has taken on tour to sell to make collectibles out of “tour bought” merchandise. Infinity Cat has put out different covers or changed up colored vinyl to keep its catalog collectible among label followers. Creative marketing is as important as creative songwriting nowadays. A limited quantity of whatever seems to be a “buy” even though it may only bring in a limited amount of money.

Will there ever be a big budget grandiose masterpiece like Rumours or Dark Side of The Moon in the future? Maybe not but, if so, it would probably come out of a big budget Kickstarter campaign for a complete vanity piece that may only sell 20,000 units due to current radio formats and the free listening or subscription services now available. If there are less units of such a great masterpiece out there than the original Ramones album, will it be found and enjoyed 20 years down the road?

I can’t give up on the fact that somehow the music business will survive in some fashion that will keep creative people out there producing something new. I love going to see a band live but, will there ever be a budget for Quincy Jones style production on real music and not the flavor of the month?

Anyways, my best of list is based on a couple of criteria. I like it and it is regional, as in, from the south or with ties to the south and not necessarily middle Tennessee. I’ll keep it to ten because there are 20 and 30 and 40 lists; why not just make it essential?

andy t nick nixonNumber 10: The Andy T Band and Nick Nixon – Drink Drank Drunk

Andy T has been a regular guitar slinger on the blues scene all around town after arriving here via California and Houston, Texas. Nick Nixon is a native son following in the tradition of the Jefferson Street scene. This mix of a stew of standards produced and mixed by Texan Anson Funderburgh was the strongest Nashville Blues record out this year with a definite Gatemouth Texas Swing Blues influence and got the two with their band on Blues Festivals nationwide in 2013. Stand-out tracks: “Midnight Hour” “Drink Drank Drunk” “Have You Seen My Monkey?”

ricky skaggs bruce hornsby coverNumber 9: Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby – Cluck Ol’ Hen Live

Ricky Skaggs has been an Ambassador of Bluegrass to the world and his collaboration with Bruce Hornsby on piano turned out to be one of the greatest live events of the past few years. This recording captured from a couple of those shows features some great jamming with Bruce Hornsby kind of going to the roots after having toured with The Grateful Dead years ago. The in-between banter gives the feel of really being there. Stand-out tracks: “How Mountain Girls Can Love” “The Way It Is” “The Dreaded Spoon.”

MODOC_AlbumArtNumber 8: MODOC

MODOC has had great song placement in the last year or so that has put their music on television.  MODOC just plain rocks and “Runnin” has been all over the local airwaves. This album still has some legs after its release in August and will get a vinyl release after the first of the year. The Indiana natives have really stuck to their guns since arriving in Nashville about three years ago and have really improved their song craft and play every date they can.  A solid album is the pay dirt. Stand – out tracks: “Runnin” “Coward” “I Want You”

patty griffin american kidNumber 7: Patty Griffin – American Kid       

You could say Patty Griffin is from Austin and you could say that Robert Plant is from England, but let’s be real, they spend a lot of time here in Nashville and therefore are just as much Nashvillian as most of us who come from everywhere from California to Australia and spend perhaps a good majority of our lives here in pursuit of musical nirvana.  This may be Patty’s current album as the reigning Queen of Americana, but Robert makes enough guest appearances to let you know he is there without calling it a duet album. The North Mississippi Allstars make an appearance as well. Stand-out tracks “Don’t Let me Die In Florida,” “Ohio” and “Highway Song.”

jason isbell southeasternNumber 6: Jason Isbell – Southeastern

215 reviews and this album is still five stars on Amazon. Southeastern should be on every Top ten list this year.  Unfortunately, this was mostly shunned by American media while in Britain and Europe, where The Drive By Truckers were treated like The Rolling Stones, this gets what it deserves. Muscle Shoals will live on forever and Jason is definitely one of the favorite sons.  There are guest spots by Kim Richey (“Stockholm”) and Amanda Shires on “Travelling Alone.” There are a couple of southern rockers but most of this set would go over well at The Bluebird Cafe. Stand-out tracks “Flying Over Water,” “New South Wales,” and “Super 8.”

tim easton not coolNumber 5: Tim Easton – Not Cool

Tim encapsulizes everything cool about Nashville in one album that includes members of Robert’s regulars from The Don Kelley Band, Joe Fick [The Dempseys} on bass and JD Simo on guitar. The recording puts you front and center listening to real new Nashville Honky Honk music. What a concept! People travel from all over the world to hear it, so why not put it out to the airwaves.  If you missed the in-store that featured JD on guitar at Grimey’s, you missed one of the best in-stores of 2013. The songwriting has some gritty stories and moves things out past toney East Nashville to Riverside.  The old plywood acoustic sits in the middle of the mix. This one sits somewhere between Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and John Mellencamp’s Sun records effort a couple of years ago.  Stand out tracks include “Little Doggie (1962)” and “Four Queens.” “Troubled Times”

north mississippi allstars world boogieNumber 4: North Mississippi Allstars – World Boogie Is Coming

What can you say when the first two tracks start out with Robert Plant on harmonica recorded at Royal in Memphis? The Dickinsons along with Lightnin’ Malcolm are taking us for a ride through Holly Springs on this essentially covers album that plays out like a Midsummer Night’s Dream where R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough are still alive and Junior’s Place is still open for all night jams and ribs. Although Blues can let out your frustrations, this one puts on a smile and gets your groove going. Stand-out tracks

“Snake Drive,” Meet Me In The City” and “Goin’ To Brownsville.”

diarrhea planet artwork 2013Number 3: Diarrhea Planet – I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

Diarrhea Planet is probably the best live show in Nashville right now, especially if you like guitar. They one up Lynyrd Skynyrd with four guitars. I repeat, FOUR GUITARS!  Watching them is like watching a Jack Black music skit on SNL, but the guitar work is pretty good and they are always entertaining and have some strong music that is designed for live consumption. Stand out tracks:  “Separations” “Ugliest Son” “The Sound Of My Ceiling Fan”

guy clark my favorite picture of youNumber 2: Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture Of You

Guy Clark pays tribute to his wife and wears his heart on his sleeve and his favorite picture of his wife on the cover. My Favorite Picture of You is an introspective soul searching masterpiece that makes one stop after every song and process the lyrics they just listened to. If Nashville is about songwriting then this is this year’s litmus test. Stand-out tracks, “My Favorite Picture of You” “Cornmeal Waltz”“Heroes”

tristen cavesNumber 1: Tristen – Caves

Tristen proves a point that you can follow your muse no matter what style in Nashville and create something cohesive, beautiful and unique. If this doesn’t become the huge record it should then it will become a cult album that everybody will want to show their friend and turn them onto. If Mojo ever gets a hold of this one, Tristen will be over in England and Europe playing to sold out crowds for the next year and it will be tough to ever see her play in the backyard at The Groove on Record Store Day again.  Tristen comes from the world where Pop means great songs like The Beatles, The Smiths, Fleetwood Mac or Blondie. Stand out tracks: “No One’s Gonnna Know” “House of War” “Dark Matter” “Monster”

–          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

Multi-Instrumentalist Extraordinaire Dirk Powell Readies
Sugar Hill Records Debut, Walking Through Clay

 

 
Dirk Powell walking through clay

Nashville, Tenn. (Dec. 9, 2013) – Considered one of the finest Americana musicians performing today, with a musical voice grown directly from roots in Appalachian and Louisiana soil, Dirk Powell is set to release his fourth solo album and Sugar Hill Records debut, Walking Through Clay, on February 4, 2014. The album finds Powell, whom Steve Earle calls “the greatest old-time banjo player alive,” uniting the hard-hitting drums of guests like Levon Helm with homegrown electric guitars, fiddles, amplified fretless banjos and Creole accordions. Barriers between styles are cooked off and what remains is a fearlessly emotional portrait of rural American music presented as only Powell could. Throughout the 12 tracks on Walking Through Clay, the longtime Lafayette, La., resident speaks many musical languages with amazing fluency, bringing in guests like Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, and Mike McGoldrick to help with the task.

“This is my life and what I love and what moves me,” Powell says. “It’s time to share it without any limitations.”

Powell’s musical identity shapes every note of his craft: He’s plucked his share of strings in Kentucky, where his grandfather passed down Appalachian fiddle and banjo tunes in the great aural tradition, and absorbed Cajun bowing straight from Dewey Balfa. But it’s his ability to unite those traditions with more modern sensibilities, while maintaining a deep commitment to     expression as the goal of any artistic endeavor, that has led to work with artists such as Jack White, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Linda Ronstadt, Kris Kistofferson and Joan Baez, who says of Dirk, “God gave this one an overdose of talent.”

On Walking Through Clay, Powell has created a project that is the definition of  Americana — a quilt that stitches together the past and present in a way that honors both. The project carries generations of stories, including those of Powell’s own family roots. In fact, his great-great grandmother, Eliza Davis, shares the album dedication with Levon Helm and inspired the title     track, an upbeat song, on which banjo and fiddle step aside for an assertive electric-guitar solo.

The track “That Ain’t Right” stakes bluesy territory somewhere between Cajun and zydeco, and the Celtic-tinged traditional, “Goodbye Girls” aches with a dirge-like tempo. Another cut, the hymn “Abide With Me,” features the late Helm on drums and his daughter, Amy, on gospel harmonies, with New Orleans jazz horns in the procession. They recorded it at Helm’s Woodstock studio.

Powell’s film soundtrack credits range from Ang Lee’s Ride With the Devil to Spike Lee’s Bamboozled. Powell collaborated with Cold Mountain author Charles Frazier to create a musical companion to the bestselling novel, which led to Powell’s work on the Academy Award-winning film and the T Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack. Powell very recently teamed up with Burnett again for a concert to celebrate the early-60s folk era depicted in the Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis. Taped in New York as a benefit for the National Recording Preservation Foundation, “Another Day, Another Time” features Powell performing with Joan Baez, Elvis Costello, Gillian Welch, Patti Smith and Marcus Mumford.

Dirk Powell doesn’t see tradition as a re-creation of the past or something to be preserved like a museum artifact; to him, it’s a map to help future generations navigate their own roads of expression. On Walking Through Clay, Powell invites listeners on his own unique journey through the highs and lows, past and present.