Archives for posts with tag: Mike Farris

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

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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

All photos © Brad Hardisty

nashville bridgeThe Nashville Bridge was rolled out in 2010 at the suggestion of my sister who said that I needed to share my rock and roll and country and rhythm and blues Americana post punk California life with the rest of the world. My first blog printed photo was a portion of a shot I took of The Cumberland River and the bridges crossing into downtown that I took with a 5 mg Fuji auto focus while visiting Nashville in 2006 and wondering if I would ever move here. It is a picture that means a lot to me. I visited Nashville quite often from Birmingham before deciding to move up here and make roots in January of 2008.

Although I did want to just editorialize and conjecture my thoughts on all things music since becoming a music conduit starting at the age of four when I saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show and then cemented when I banged on garage doors beginning at age five to get in and listen to Count Five (“Psychotic Reaction”) and other San Jose area bands practice their next hit singles. Now,with the blog, I knew I needed pictures to tell the story.

back then, yy eyes were wide open and my neuro senses were in overdrive at age five and six watching a bunch of teenage guys hammer through guitar amps making loud music with girls hanging out until the cops would arrive and shut the whole thing down. I got to get mad at having to quiet down with the rest of the band and older kids.

Well, that’s how it started and this is where I am at right now: Nashville! There is a story behind of every picture that means anything to me.

mike farris 100102 bwWhen I started the blog, I just had a Nikon 12 mg auto-focus camera which was difficult sometimes, especially on band close-ups with lots of lights. Mike Farris was kind enough to let me shoot him down by the Cumberland River after talking about the Nashville Flood and his then current album. Mike Farris & The Cumberland Saints project to benefit flood victims at Crema  in 2010 with the Nikon.

Needless to say, I had to rely on kind contributing support of great photographers in and around Nashville and Birmingham for photos when possible for the blog and my articles in Performer Magazine.

jeff beck ryman 03 smallNext, I got an HTC Evo 4G phone that actually got some decent shots now and then. Sometimes, it was the only camera available and it would have to do.  The pics I took of Jeff Beck at The Ryman actually turned out fairly interesting.

record store day 2013 069Finally, it was time to get a reliable camera to get some decent concert shots, so, I gathered my limited budget and bought a Canon EOS Rebel T3i about six months ago. It really paid off on Record Store Day this last April when I was shooting multiple bands at several locations.  The photo of Tyler Davis of Chrome Pony at The Groove was all you could ask for. The red hair contrasting with the blue sky was superb.

nbn 2010 Peelander Z 02The Nikon camera could be difficult with a lot of action, this shot of Peelander Z at Exit/In during Next Big Nashville 2010 made the best of the cameras limitations,  tracers and all, while Peelander Red crowd-surfed, bass guitar in towl.

paul mccartney coachellaOkay, here was a tough one for the Nikon. Paul McCartney in Palm Desert, California at Coachella 2009 from 30 yards away, my only usable shot of a real Beatle so far. I wish I was the guy shooting that picture down front.

Ray Wylie HubbardThe Americana Festival 2010 was a real eye opener seeing fans traveling from as far away as Australia to see Hayes Carll play a set at The Basement.  Ray Wylie Hubbard was hot that year and the Nikon played with the light a little bit and this photo only worked with some grit in it. I figured it was an “Americana” picture. Maybe it’s just all the facial hair, but, he looks like a smiling Jerry Garcia to me.

inf cat 10 2nd heavycream 02Infinity Cat Records had a 10th Anniversary celebration last year and Heavy Cream headlined the second night at The Zombie Shop. The HTC Evo did some kind of funky light thing when a flash went off at the same time from another camera across the room. There is no photo editing. You can’t duplicate that. That’s a real motha fo ya!

ibma 2010 rodney dillard 01IBMA fans and musicians are absolutely some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Rodney Dillard was one of The Darlings on The Andy Griffith Show and is still laying it down on the Martin Guitar with The Dillards as he did here at the 2010 conference taken with the Nikon.

mike farris grimeys 02Kenny Vaughan is probably one of the most iconic guitarists in Nashville today with a portfolio of work includes Marty Stuart, Lucinda Williams and other varied projects including his recent solo record. Mike Farris had one of the biggest bands ever at Grimeys for this in-store with Kenny Vaughan on guitar. I was standing right next to him holding the care above and behind my shoulder to get this one with the Nikon. He kind of reminds me of Angus Young’s other brother from a different mother the way he is holding that SG.

tristan dunn 01Tristan Dunn is a musician from Birmingham, Alabama that I have known for several years now. He can play guitar, keys like his favorite – Billy Powell and blows harp like Topper Price. I got some great shots of him in front of the Johnny Cash wall before it got damaged and then updated. He is autistic, but, he doesn’t use that as a conversation piece or to get sympathy, he just lets the music do the talking. I have ran into so many big name Country Artists when I run around with him when he visits that I am beginning to think he has a high profile Guardian Angel like Hank Williams or Buck Owens.

Frank Fairfield 02Frank Fairfield did an in-store at Grimeys in 2011 and I kind of pushed the HTC Evo as far is it could go with antique sepia tones being the theme. I think Frank is from California’s Central Valley where I grew up. His music is best heard on vinyl 78’s. I have yet to talk to him about Fresno’s famous Di Cicco’s Pizza. Okay…now I’m hungry.

uncle dave 2012 blind boy 01 expJeron “Blind Boy” Paxton made the cover of Living Blues Magazine even before any kind of real record release and just a lot of You Tube buzz. He specializes in music from the early 1900’s and is a master on old banjos, guitars, ragtime piano and just about anything he touches. He was hanging out in Murfreesboro at Uncle Dave Macon Days last year jamming with people that had no idea who he was. I guess they thought he just wandered in from some boxcar in a train yard. The photo was taken with the HTC Evo.

metro 50th marion james 01Okay, here is backstage with my newer phone, the Samsung Galaxy S III. This is Marion James, Nashville’s “Queen of The Blues” getting ready to go onstage at Nashville’s Metro 50th Celebration downtown. Marion had a top 10 Billboard hit back in the 60’s with “That’s My Man” on Excello Records. She has multiple connections to Jimi Hendrix. Jimi played guitar for her when he lived in Nashville in the early 60’s. Also, she recorded two more singles back during that time with Hendrix tie-ins. One song was written by Billy Cox, bassist for Jimi Hendrix and Marion as well as another song written by Larry Lee who was the second guitarist in Jimi Hendrix’s band, Gypsies, Suns & Rainbows that played at Woodstock. She knew and knows them all. Marion works hard to keep the Rythm & Blues scene alive in Nashville.

rev peyton show 032013 062 smallOkay, back to some newer shots with the Canon.  Reverend Peyton at his recent show at Exit/In provided the opportunity to learn more about the camera’s capabilities. The Rev’s management contacted me after seeing the post to email photos for their use.

rose pink 03 smallRight before Christmas, when I was just breaking the Canon in, I met Mississippi Rosealee aka Rosalind Wilcox who lives in Clarksdale, Mississippi i.e “The Crossroads.” Rosealee is well known in the community as both an artist with her space called Sun House right near Ground Zero and as a musician that includes playing drums for two historic Mississippi Blues musicians, L.C. Ulmer and Robert Belfour. In fact, L.C. Ulmer wrote a song for her called “Rosalee” and is on the M Is For Mississippi soundtrack. She let me set up a shot of her at Hopson’s Commissary that reminded me a little of the first Crosby, Stills and Nash album.

record store day 2013 053 smallOkay, I personally think this is the best candid of Tristen, that I just happened to take at The Groove, Record Store Day 2013 with the Canon. The most important thing is that she liked the picture too. Man, I want to shoot Nikki Lane. Wait, I did get a couple before they closed the set a couple of nights before Record Store Day.

record store day 2013 023 smallThere it is…man, I could do better, Nikki thinks about what she is wearing, the shot, everything, I would love to do a couple hours of shooting with Nikki. Well, Nikki, if you e-mail me, I’m there! Nikki, your neo-classic country meets retro cool thing is sublime.

bang ok bang jan 2012 08Okay, the earliest shots with the Canon were the Bang Ok Bang set at the High Watt in August of 2012. I was still learning how to work with the frame speed and all that. Now, just for knowledge of the game: I did shoot 35 Millimeter on a Canon back in the day. This photo was taken in auto-mode and it caught some drum moves all in the same frame from drummer Abby Hairston. I still think it’s cool, in an art crawl kind of way.

debbie bond mando blues 04082013 028 smallOkay, I have been out to a couple of tapings of the Mando Blues Show. That is an adventure in itself, most notably, talking to Futureman about Return To Forever’s Romantic Warrior album and the merits of Lenny Williams’ drums on that. It is one of the famous Wooten’s favorite examples of drums. He said Lenny’s drums sound like a Timpani. Alabama drummer, Dave Crenshaw played drums for Debbie Bond that night and it looks like I set up this shot, but, I didn’t. The Canon again.

tyler bryant exitin 070 smallOkay, one more and I will let you go. There is a story behind this one too. I ran into Tyler Bryant at Cafe Coco before Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown were going to play at Exit/In. We talked about when he opened for Jeff Beck at The Ryman and he knew I was going to be down front shooting some photos. When I arrived at The Exit/In, Brad Whitford from Aerosmith was talking to his son Graham Whitford, the other guitarist in the Shakedown near the merch booth before everybody started showing up. He was wearing a baseball cap and being very incognito. He looked at me and realized I knew who he was. I could tell he was there just to support his son and didn’t want to draw any attention to himself. So, I just gave him the “Nashville” nod of recognition and didn’t approach or say anything. I kept his cover for him. You see, that is how we do it in Nashville. We let each other relax and feel at home. I got some great shots of the band and got one of the best color shots ever with the Canon of Graham on stage.

I’m happy with the pictures I am getting with the Canon T3i and so is my Editor at Performer Magazine. Even the bands and artists have given me kudos. Maybe next year, I’ll go for a full frame Nikon or Canon.

Well, The Nashville Bridge is almost three years old. I have been writing for over two years for Performer Magazine and a few other scattered published articles. Thanks for indulging me with my lifetime passion for music. Thanks for reading The Nashville Bridge on your laptop, iphone, ipad or droid. I make it as easy to view and read as possible.

“It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll!” – AC/DC

All photos © Brad Hardisty

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