R E V I E W S : C H R I S S TA P L E T O N • K E I T H U R B A N • J E A N N I E S E E LY
NOV. 5, 2 P.M. ON ZOOM MEMBERSHIP AND
NOMINATIONS MEETINGS OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF AFM LOCAL 257 OCT – DEC 20 20
A PRODIGAL SOUTHERN SON LIGHTS THE WAY TO MUSIC'S HEART AND SOUL
OCT – DEC 2020 1
2 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
CONTENTS Official Journal of the Nashville Musicians Association, AFM Local 257 | OCT — DEC 2020
6 7 8 9 10 12 16
ANNOUNCEMENTS Details on the agenda for the fourth quarter membership meeting to be held Thursday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. by Zoom teleconference. On the agenda: reports from the president and secretary-treasurer, a resolution to amend the AFM Local 257 Live Performance Wage Scales, approval of the 2021 Annual Dues, and other important business of the local. The general membership meeting will be followed by a nominations meeting for Local 257 officers, boards, delegates, and the election committee. STATE OF THE LOCAL Dave Pomeroy discusses the ongoing AFM - TV network negotiations, efforts to push Nashville Symphony management to do more to take care of the furloughed orchestra, ongoing workplace safety concerns, and more. IN THE POCKET Secretary-Treasurer Vince Santoro talks about Local 257 response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a local charitable project to which many of our members have brought their time and energy.
MISSION OF MERCY FOOD SORTING
RECORDING Where’s my money? Steve Tveit shares some tips on how to make sure you’re paid for your work promptly. NEWS An update on financial assistance available to musicians affected by the pandemic, and an update on the ongoing issues with Tennessee Unemployment Insurance. HEARD ON THE GRAPEVINE The comings and goings of Local 257 members. GALLERY We recognize member milestones as well as other events and honors. COVER STORY: DAVE COBB The acclaimed producer talked to Warren Denney about growing up Southern, and why simplicity is at the heart of his creative process.
22 REVIEWS New releases from Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban,
and Jeannie Seely.
24 SYMPHONY NOTES Bassist Kevin Jablonski talks about the
Musicians of the Nashville Symphony’s new charitable entity, and member efforts to remain engaged with the community and the larger network of orchestras across the country.
25 JAZZ & BLUES The pandemic has put most gigs on hold, but
the jazz and blues community is still finding ways to reach out to their audiences. Updates on venues, schools, and how to market your band.
26 FINAL NOTES We bid farewell Charlie Daniels, Bill Pursell, Tom Prince, Steven Morrison, Dan Kelly, Kenny Ingram, and Robert Ricker.
33 MEMBER STATUS 34 DO NOT WORK FOR LIST
COVER PHOTO: BECKY FLUKE OCT – DEC 2020 3
The next Local 257 General Membership Meeting will be held virtually OFFICIAL QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF THE NASHVILLE MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION AFM LOCAL 257
PUBLISHER EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR ASSISTANT EDITOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Dave Pomeroy Vince Santoro Kathy Osborne Leslie Barr Austin Bealmear Warren Denney Kevin Jablonski Olson Johnson Kathy Osborne Dave Pomeroy Vince Santoro
Rick Diamond Tripp Dockerson Donn Jones Dave Pomeroy Vince Santoro
ART DIRECTION WEB ADMINISTRATOR AD SALES
LOCAL 257 OFFICERS PRESIDENT SECRETARY-TREASURER EXECUTIVE BOARD
TRUSTEES SERGEANT-AT-ARMS NASHVILLE SYMPHONY STEWARD OFFICE MANAGER ELECTRONIC MEDIA SERVICES DIRECTOR ASSISTANT RECORDING/ELECTRONIC MEDIA DIRECTOR, LIVE/TOURING DEPT. PENSION ADMINISTRATOR AND MPTF COORDINATOR MEMBERSHIP ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS AND RECORDING ASSISTANTS
Lisa Dunn Design Kathy Osborne Leslie Barr 615-244-9514
Dave Pomeroy Vince Santoro Steve Hinson Jerry Kimbrough Andre Reiss Laura Ross Steven Sheehan Tom Wild Jonathan Yudkin Michele Voan Capps Tiger Fitzhugh Teresa Hargrove Kent Goodson Dave Moody Kathy Shepard Bruce Radek Biff Watson Steve Tveit Kevin Jablonski Laura Birdwell
Steve Tveit Christina Mitchell Paige Conners Teri Barnett Leslie Barr
Sarah Weiss Dalaina Kimbro Savanna Ritchie
@ 2020 Nashville Musicians Association P.O. Box 120399, Nashville TN 37212 All rights reserved. nashvillemusicians.org
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using the Zoom teleconference platform, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 at 2 p.m. On the agenda are a bylaw proposal to add a new lower live scale for educational performances (see below) and a vote to approve the 2021 Annual Dues amounts. Bylaw Proposal to Amend Section 1B: Concerts, as follows: Add an Educational and Community concert scale of $75 per player, (double for leader) for a 50 minute or less performance in schools or other educational institutions. This cannot be used for any other purpose. AFM 257 Executive Board Recommendation: Favorable Immediately following the general membership meeting, a special nominating meeting will take place. Nominations will be taken for: President, Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Board (seven positions), Hearing Board (seven positions), Trustees (two positions) and Sergeant-at-Arms. Following the nominations, an Election Committee will be elected by the members present. Ballots will be sent to all Local 257 members in good standing, and the votes will be counted no more than 30 days after the nominating meeting. We urge all Local 257 members to attend, and to consider running for office if so moved. Please note the applicable election Bylaws below: From our Bylaws: Article XV, Section 2: “The term of office for all elected officials shall be three years.” Section 3: “To be eligible for nomination, a member must be in good standing and have held full membership in the Association for not less than twelve (12) months prior to the election.” Also from our Bylaws, Article XV, Section 4: “To nominate a member who is not present, the member nominating such member must present a signed statement stating his/her willingness to accept the nomination.” Section 5: “An Election Committee of five members and two alternates shall be elected by the membership after nominations are complete.” Our complete Bylaws are viewable online at www. nashvillemusicians.org. Article XV deals with Elections.
2021 Dues Breakdown
(must be approved by membership at Nov. 5 meeting) $170.00………………Local Dues (Life member Local Dues $70.00) 66.00………………AFM Per Capita (Life member Per Capita $50.00) 42.00………………Funeral Benefit Assessment 3.00………………Emergency Relief Fund 3.00………………Emergency Relief Fund (voluntary) 2.00………………AFM Tempo Fund (voluntary) $286.00………………Total 2021 Dues Regular Members (including $5 voluntary) $170.00………………Total 2021 Dues Life Members (including $5 voluntary) Executive Board recommendation: Favorable
CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES FOR 2020 ELECTION The election packet mailed to all members in good standing of Local 257 will include biographies of all candidates who wish to submit them, so the members may make a more informed decision when voting for officers. The biographies will be limited to up to 250 words. A photo may be included, if desired. The deadline for submission of biographies will be determined and announced by the chair of the Election Committee to the candidates.
Nashville Musicians Association | AFM Local 257, AFL-CIO Minutes of the 3rd Quarter Zoom Membership Meeting Aug. 20, 2020 PRESENT: Bill Wiggins, Byron House, Ryan Link, Lee Armstrong, Rich Eckhart, Chuck
Bradley, Paul Tobias, Patricia Tobias, Richard Wineland, Lee Wineland, Rattlesnake Annie, Matt Davich, John England, Max Dvorin, Scott Metko, Scott Ducaj, Deborah Loach, Joe Hudson, Clare Yang, Bob Mater. EXECUTIVE BOARD PRESENT: JY, TW, JK, SS. HEARING BOARD PRESENT: Teresa Hargrove, Kent Goodson. PARLIAMENTARIAN: Ron Keller (absent) OFFICERS PRESENT: Dave Pomeroy, Vince Santoro, Steve Tveit.
President Pomeroy called the meeting to order at 2:08 p.m. MINUTES: Minutes from the May 22 membership meeting were displayed and discussed. PRESIDENT’S REPORT:
• SRLA negotiations are ongoing. • Symphony furloughed for 15 months. We have begun a 30-day process to renegotiate contract.
• Home studio bill passed. Legal to have clients in your home once licensed. • Single Song Overdub Scale has been slightly reworked. To be valid employer must • • • • •
actually sign – no “X”. A video component has been added. Instructional video will soon be available. Lower Broadway audiences have been misbehaving making discussions and progress difficult. Treasury Department has declined submission of plan to cut AFM pension benefits. Trustees will reapply for restructuring with current financial data. Unpaid work dues are excessive. Nonmembers owe $97K and members owe $70K. Staff full-time/part-time changes due to bottom line during the pandemic. Salary cuts may become necessary, but only time will tell. President of RFD-TV has become combative with federal court case approaching.
Nashville Musicians Association AFM Local 257, AFL-CIO Minutes of the Executive Board Zoom Meeting July 24, 2020 PRESENT: Vince Santoro(VS), Dave Pomeroy(DP), Laura Ross(LR), Tom Wild(TW), Jonathan Yudkin(JY), Steven Sheehan(SS), Tom Wild(TW), Jerry Kimbrough(JK), ABSENT: Steve Hinson(SH), Andre Reiss(AR). President Pomeroy called the meeting to order at 11:09 a.m. MINUTES: Minutes from June 30, 2020 Zoom EB meeting were approved as amended.LR, SS. PRESIDENT’S REPORT The following issues were discussed: • Local 257 office still closed to public. Split staff (a.m./p.m.). • Staff lowered by two from full-time to part-time. • Symphony furlough impacts members and local. • Recording sessions remain limited but fairly steady. • Single Song Overdub agreement revamped to include video component and updated for signatures. • Lower Broadway in disarray over pandemic guidelines. A Lower Broadway Committee has been established with members John Root, Sasha McVeigh, Colin Poulton and Merna Lewis. • HEROES act dead on arrival in Senate. Lamar Alexander does not care. • Quarterly printing of Nashville Musician magazine has been limited to save money. It will also be viewable online. SECRETARY-TREASURER REPORT: Santoro distributed financial reports and fund balances. •
• New office phone system has been installed by Murfreesboro Telecom. • Two staff members have been converted to part-time from full, saving the local salary and health care expenses.
• We no longer use a dumpster for trash removal. We are now using free Metro pickup. • Rehearsal hall use is problematic. Once the city moves into an opening phase we will figure a way to open up for members’ use of the hall.
• Proposal to change name of Nashville Musicians Association, AFM Local 257 • • •
Miscellaneous and Steady Engagement Wage Scale and Price List to the “AFM 257 Live Performance Scale Sheet.” MSC A proposed change to the proposal was to make the name change to “AFM 257 Live Performance Wage Scales” Bill Wiggins, Rich Eckhardt Proposal as amended unanimously approved. Proposal to amend Section 1B: Concerts by adding a more affordable Educational and Community Performance Scale. The proposal calls for a scale of $75 per player (double for leader) for a 50 minute or less performance in schools and educational community institutions, and cannot be used for any other purpose.
Local 257 Executive Board Recommendation: Favorable MSC to postpone decision on proposal #2. TW, Chuck Bradley. Unanimously approved. MSC to approve Secretary-Treasurer report. Bill Wiggins, Scott Metko. MSC to adjourn. JK, Rich Eckhardt. Meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.
• • • •
New “Premise” type phone system has been installed by Murfreesboro Telecom at a cost of $6450.00. We will continue using ATT internet and Windstream phone service for one more year and look for better deals/ service as that contract nears its end. Our old phone system was more than 20 years old and didn’t allow for remote access to general messages, which during the pandemic is necessary. Supply chain upheaval is holding up our plans for entry door security but we will keep shopping both approach and financial deals. We have lowered our full-time staff by two employees which will lower our health care premium by nearly $1700.00/mo. Tree damage in our parking lot has impelled us to ask around for quotes on new installations. A discussion was held about the possibility of acrossthe-board staff pay cuts in case our bottom line for 2021 becomes endangered. No decision has been made at this point.
MSC to approve Secretary-Treasurer report. JY, JK. MSC to approve extension of Pandemic Waiver Form for 3Q. DP, VS. MSC to create committee headed by JK and LR for community engagement. DP, VS. MSC to adjourn. LR, JY. TNM Meeting adjourned at 12:18 p.m. OCT – DEC 2020 5
STATE OF THE LOCAL
BY DAVE POMEROY
ooking back, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since I was first elected president of Local 257 in 2008. In some ways it seems like yesterday, and sometimes, especially times like these, it feels like it’s been a lot longer than the calendar says! Either way, there is no denying that 2020 has been a year no one saw coming, and that most of us will be glad to see end. COVID-19 has changed so many things about the way we live, work, interact, travel and the ways we take care of business, yet it still defies any previous measure as to its long-term impact on our business. The political divisiveness of this election year has heightened conflicts within our country at a time when, more than ever, we need to find common ground and work together. Please make a plan on how you can vote safely, if you haven’t already done so. No matter what the outcome of the presidential election, I hope we as a country can move beyond the left/right stereotypes that have divided us and work towards doing what is best for ALL Americans.
On the national front, the AFM has been in protracted negotiations with the major TV networks via Zoom. We have yet to reach agreement, but are slowly getting closer. It is an obvious fact that musicians do not get the same treatment as other creative contributors when streaming is involved, and this must be addressed. On our side of the table, our team, including representatives from the AFM members of the late-night TV show house bands, is very focused and engaged. Our side is unified and it is understood that we are not only looking out for the house bands, but also guest musicians as well, which is where many of our members come into this equation. The networks continue to minimize the drastic negative economic impact that “streaming only” shows have on musicians 6 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
This is not the first crisis we have faced in the past 12 years, and it may not be the last. We will get through this by sticking together. In the long run, it’s all about solidarity. under the current parameters. We are waiting on a meaningful counteroffer that will represent a significant move on their part. Locally, the Nashville Symphony continues to be on furlough until Fall 2021, and the immediate and long-term effects of the closure on these world-class musicians has been devastating on many levels. We are continuing negotiations to discuss how and what Symphony management intends to do to help these musicians make it through these unprecedented times. We have been meeting with management weekly. The musicians have taken on a lot of new challenges, and are doing a good job of keeping the music alive and creating financial alternatives for themselves. I want to extend my appreciation to all the NSO musicians, and especially our NSO Negotiating Committee, who have really stepped up to the plate. This is a very difficult situation, and we are prepared to do our part to bring the music, and the musicians, back. Symphony management has an obligation not just to the musicians of the NSO, but to our city and community, to not let the Nashville Symphony simply fade away. Our symphony musicians need to be treated with respect, and our priority is to bring them back to the front and center of Music City once again. It will take some out of the box thinking on many levels, and innovative and creative fundraising efforts to find the way to that goal — but we are prepared to do whatever it takes to get management to understand how important the Nashville Symphony is to Music City.
Adjusting to the new normal
Studio work continues to come back, but the danger of Covid-19 infection has not gone away. Almost everyone has adjusted their behavior accordingly, but there are still those who continue to ignore the risks. We all need to urge those people to do the right thing and wear a mask, be sensible and stay safe. The same applies to live performances. The closeness, interaction, and enthusiasm that make for a great live gig or studio session now can have serious and deadly consequences if everyone does not follow the safety protocols. We continue to help our members work through the convoluted and confusing Tennessee Unemployment Insurance system, and are also connecting them with various fundraising and assistance options, including our friends at HOPE-20. org who set aside $250,000 to help AFM 257 members with paying their bills. [See page 9 for details.]
Thank you for being part of Local 257
This is not the first crisis we have faced in the past 12 years, and it may not be the last. We will get through this by sticking together. In the long run, it’s all about solidarity. On that note, thanks to those of you who have served AFM 257 as elected officers, and to those of you who may run for office in our Local 257 elections in November. Last but not least, I am pleased to note that for the second year in a row, the annual dues amount is going down due to the adjustments we made several years ago to our Funeral Benefit Fund. It means a lot to be able to reduce the cost of being an AFM 257 member during these challenging times and is an indicator of how important YOU are to who WE are. TNM
IN THE POCKET
Local 257 is soldiering on through this pandemic with our doors closed to the public. At one point earlier in the year we had some staff members who’d either come in contact with the virus or their family members were diagnosed, so we are vigilant in mask-wearing and social distancing. During this time, we constantly look for ways to get back to normal without endangering anyone — our staff or our members. That’s the main idea behind how we’re distributing checks at this time. We ask members and nonmembers alike to call in advance to pick up a check and when they arrive our receptionists will meet them outside with the necessary paperwork and their checks. Still operating at all during the coronavirus is remarkable but Local 257 has had to put on ice one of the most popular benefits of membership in our organization. The rehearsal hall we offer to our members, with backline and P.A. system, has not been used since early in 2020, before it became clear what types of services would not be in the best interest of our membership, concerning health. We’ve tried to come up with ways we might be able to resume letting folks back into the room at Cooper Hall. There are several issues that crop up in trying to envision that scenario, and these issues have left us stymied in realizing that it is still quite problematic. We’ll be taking steps toward this part of reopening for certain but I simply want our members to understand that any moves toward that reopening are not taken lightly. We are acutely aware that the months ahead are certain to be touch-and-go due to the fact that cold weather will undoubtably force much of our community’s activities indoors as opposed to open air. I also know that our rehearsal hall’s HVAC system is “ventless” and that means even less fresh air replacement in case the virus was to make
an appearance. Knowing that this contagion is aerosol — suspended in air — a closed space is a perfect stage for its incubation. We will be very careful on that front. If you’ve seen recent emails of mine from here you may already be aware of the Musicians Mission of Mercy free food distribution at SoundCheck Nashville. I attended one of the volunteer packaging days there and found what’s happening to be very impressive. Catherine Steele has spearheaded a partnership with Ben Jumper of SoundCheck Nashville, Music Health Alliance, Crew One Productions and the Saluda Shoals Band to put Musicians Mission of Mercy on the map big time!
We ask members and nonmembers alike to call in advance to pick up a check and when they arrive our receptionists will meet them outside. The plan is for this aid to be a monthly effort and 100 percent of all financial support goes to the expenses incurred, i.e., the food itself, the tractor trailer deliveries of the food and supplies like boxes, tape, etc. Every volunteer receives five boxes they can then give to people they know in the music industry who cannot be at distribution PLUS $100 vouchers which are redeemable at the nearby farmers market and select grocery stores. These $100 vouchers are also given to anyone attending the distribution days! The first day of volunteer work was an overwhelming success with 30 volunteers (many AFM Local 257 members) filling up 500 boxes with food that will help out
BY VINCE SANTORO music industry folks who are in need. The process ran as smooth as duck down and should make the continuing practice more and more efficient. If you need more information you can email Steele at catherine@ MusiciansMissionOfMercy.org Stay tuned to learn about the monthly Mission events as they will need volunteer help to provide the preliminary preparation for each distribution day. Partnerships like Musicians Mission of Mercy and the selfless folks who make them work are what give our community hope and the wherewithal to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Local 257 has a history of similar cooperation and seeing how many of our members have joined the effort makes me proud. Not everyone has been affected to the same degree as others in this pandemic, but we do have the ability to lift up those worst hit and provide the essential edge necessary to get us all through times like these. Members of Local 257 and nonmembers alike who are fortunate enough to be working can demonstrate their compassion for those not so lucky by staying current on their work dues. The session cards that are turned in now not only get folks paid, but the associated work dues they generate are what fund our work here at Local 257. Every value we provide to our members is based on relationships that must be kept intact even when times are tough. These relationships and their benefits to membership must be nurtured — and that takes partnership. TNM Let’s pull together!
General Membership and Nominations Meetings on Zoom Thursday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. OCT – DEC 2020 7
Please call with any questions or concerns. The sooner we know about a potential problem the sooner we can try to sort things out.
Where’s My Money? Here’s a session to-do list to help you get paid faster. BY STEVE TVEIT
Please make sure the session is on the card and that a signatory is in place. An employer becomes a signatory by signing the required agreements and making pension payments. Without a signatory, we have little leverage with the employer. A signatory also means the pension payment will be allocated to each musician properly along with new use and upgrades in the future. Having the proper paperwork has the potential to create multiple sources of income: Special Payments, AFM SAG-AFTRA, New Use, etc. For example: Because a contract was filed in 1969, we recently got musicians paid for a song they recorded over 50 years ago that was used in a current TV commercial.
Get paid direct at the session
If the project is for an independent artist — especially one from out of town — don't
8 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
be afraid to ask "the question" about working on the card. You can use the Recording Scales Summary on our website to make sure you are all getting the right amount, especially if you are getting paid direct at the time of the session, which we suggest, as there can be issues after the fact. If they don’t have the money at the session they probably won’t have it later. Trying to sue people from out of town is both difficult and nearly impossible. If the call to book players is instigated by a studio or producer, they ultimately are responsible for getting everyone paid. We’ve had multiple issues with the blame being passed around for the session not being paid on time or at all.
Alert us immediately before or after a session with any potential concerns
We’ve seen and heard it all: the financial backer goes missing, producer ends up in
the hospital, a 20- year-old artist claims she’s too young to understand that musicians need to be paid for their services. The father of an artist goes bankrupt immediately after the session and claims he will pay everyone once his son sells enough CDs — still waiting.
Remember who initially called and booked you on the session
If the session is for a major label or publisher, then we know payment will be forthcoming. Making sure the time cards are turned in within 72 hours of the session really helps. We now email most of the label and publisher contracts and that speeds up the process a lot. We hope this information is helpful and as always please call with any questions or concerns. The sooner we know about a potential problem the sooner we can try to sort things out. TNM
Pandemic assistance for musicians and Tennessee Unemployment Insurance update Representatives of HOPE-20, a new charitable organization, met with Local 257 President Dave Pomeroy in October to offer a new program to help musicians who are struggling through the difficulties of the pandemic. The nonprofit organization set aside $250,000 for union members which will be disbursed to approved applicants. The help will go to pay housing and utility bills, and will also include free assistance geared toward helping musicians expand their opportunities for generating income. The first round of applications have been accepted, and membership will again be notified if the organization reopens for a second round. Local 257’s own assistance entity — the Crisis Assistance Fund — is still accepting donations at our website — nashvillemusicians. org. Local musicians will be notified when the fund begins to accept applications for assistance. The Musicians of the Nashville Symphony have also set up a nonprofit for those who wish to contribute directly to the furloughed orchestra members. Symphony Steward Kevin Jablonski has complete details on this new charitable entity in his column on page 24. Go to musiciansofthenashvillesymphony.org or their Facebook page to donate or for more details on this fund. The charitable arm of the NARAS organization — MusiCares — is also accepting applications for assistance to individuals who have
been in the music business for five years or more. For information go to grammy.com/musicares/get-help. Music Health Alliance is also still accepting applications for financial assistance related to COVID-19. And although the ACM has paused applications for assistance, its website still offers a host of resources for help at acmliftinglives.org/covid-19-relief. In Tennessee Unemployment Insurance (UI) news, since the first week of October some members have reported that they have been asked to provide weekly job search details in order to obtain UI money. Local 257 lobbied for an exemption to this policy when the assistance to self-employed musicians first became available at the beginning of the pandemic. When filling out your application, you must list Nashville Musicians Association when you see the following question on the application: Do you get your job exclusively through a hiring Union? Although Local 257 is not specifically a “hiring hall” this is how Tennessee UI has said it will allow union members to avoid the job search details requirement in order to receive UI. All of the aforementioned assistance links and information on Tennessee Unemployment Insurance are listed at nashvillemusicians. org/covid-19-resources-and-information-musicians. TNM
OCT – DEC 2020 9
HEARD ON THE GRAPEVINE
Rich Redmond is the longtime drummer with Jason Aldean and has worked with many other artists throughout his career. He’s played on thousands of songs along the way, including over 25 No. 1 records. Redmond is also an actor, author, producer and educator. Now he’s launched a podcast — The Rich Redmond Show — featuring candid conversations with musicians, actors, comedians and authors. His guest list has included several Local 257 members, including producer Dann Huff, fellow drummers Eddie Bayers and Paul Leim, Garth Brooks’ bandleader Johnny Garcia, and bassist Dave Pomeroy. "I love creative people of all types and this show allows me to shine a light on them as they share hard-earned life lessons about their craft and journey. It's just one more extension of my commitment to ‘edu-tainment.’ The feedback has been so positive and my cohost Jim McCarthy and I are so happy,” Richmond said. Visit www.richredmond.com for information on where to listen to the podcast.
Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks 10 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
Local 257 member Kix Brooks and his duo partner Ronnie Dunn are the focus of a new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Brooks & Dunn: Kings of Neon tells the story of their early solo careers, how they became the best-selling country duo of all time, and their innovative approach to stage production and touring. On display are awards, custom-built instruments and personal artifacts. Guitars include Brooks’ Les Paul electric guitar featuring rope shaped binding and ornamentation; mother-of-pearl cowgirl inlays, a hand-painted and hand-carved cowgirl on the lower bout, and a sterling silver engraved pickguard. Among the many other artifacts are early song lyric drafts and racing suits worn by Brooks and Dunn when they drove 5/8th-scale Legends race cars in the 1990s. The exhibit will run through December 2020.
HEARD ON THE GRAPEVINE
JIMMY BUFFET AND MAC MCANALLY
Local 257 members Jimmy Buffet and Mac McAnally are among several musicians who were inducted into the Mississippi Songwriters Hall of Fame Sept. 17. The two guitarists have performed together on stage for years, and have also been frequent cowriters. This year’s ceremony was held online. Buffet, famous for multiple No. 1 hit records including “Margaritaville” and “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” has had an incredible run as a performing artist, and toured regularly for decades. He’s also well known for his magnanimous charity work to benefit an assortment of causes. Buffet talked about joining the hall of fame. “It’s a long way from the Pascagoula run, and my early days growing up in Mississippi certainly had an impact on the way I wrote songs and what I wrote about. So, thank you, Mississippi, for that,” Buffet said. In addition to his performances on the road with Buffet, McAnally has had chart success as a solo artist, with 10 studio records to his credit. His latest, Once in a Lifetime, was released earlier this year. He has received an amazing 10 CMA awards for Musician of the Year and continues his work as a session player, which he started while still a teenager, as part of the Muscle Shoals players in Alabama. Additionally, McAnally has produced Sawyer Brown and Restless Heart, and in 1990 he had a minor hit with "Down the Road", a composition he re-recorded in 2008 as a duet with Kenny Chesney for the artist's Lucky Old Sun album. The single was McAnally's highest charting record — reaching No. 1 in February 2009. McAnally, who was raised in Belmont, Mississippi, noted the impact of the state’s rich tradition of storytellers. “I don’t know that I’m particularly smart, but I was smart enough to shut up and listen” and the tight-knit community of his childhood. “You can see, in a small town, how we sort of need one another. A community figures out a way to get along with everybody, because it’s your community,” McAnally said. Other artists who were inducted this year include Tommy Barnes, Reggie Bates, and the late B.B. King. The Mississippi Songwriters Alliance sponsors the Hall of Fame.
AFM life member Margie Singleton (Walton) has never stopped making and writing music throughout her seven-decade career. Last month the beloved artist celebrated her latest release, Never Mind, and her 85th birthday the week of Oct. 12. Born in Coushatta, Louisiana, she took up guitar and songwriting as a teen and has never looked back. She was releasing singles by 1957 and the following year debuted on the Louisiana Hayride. Her first hit record, “Eyes of Love” was released in 1959 on Mercury Records. She has had success as a solo artist, and duet partner with George Jones (“Did I Ever Tell You”) and Faron Young (“Keeping Up with the Joneses”). Her songs have been recorded by Tammy Wynette, Claude King, Charley Pride, Lynn Anderson, Trini Lopez, Jerry Lee Lewis, David Houston, The Newbeats, Dave Dudley, Brian Hyland, Red Sovine and “The French Elvis,” Johnny Hallyday. Singleton said her new five-song EP has come at the perfect time. “This is an incredible time in my life. I’m blessed and excited. It’s like I’ve come up for air one more time. We all need to be doing what we love to do — for me, it’s writing songs, making music and recording. This has been a labor of love for my son Steve and my bonus son Dexter Mathis for the past nine months. I hope that all of you will check this out,” Singleton said. Go to margiesingletonmusic.com for more information, or to purchase Never Mind. TNM
OCT – DEC 2020 11
Musicians Mission of Mercy
Musicians Mission of Mercy teamed up with SoundCheck, Crew One Productions, and local musicians in September to sort and distribute food to Nashvillians affected by the pandemic. Many Local 257 musicians volunteered in addition to those pictured here, including John Mattick and Mike Joyce. The event will be held monthly going forward, so if you missed it thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still time to get involved. Watch for an email from Vince Santoro for details on when and where you can help.
Erik Gratton and Bill Woodard
Food sorting 12 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
Delaney Baker, Cassie Verhaeghe, Henri Gates, Catherine Steele
Vince Santoro continued on page 13
OCT â&#x20AC;&#x201C; DEC 2020 13
GALLERY continued from page 13
NSO musicians continue community involvement with Accelerando program for local students despite furlough
Pictured in group photo above: (r-l back row) NSO musicians and AFM 257 members Leslie Fagan, Chris Farrell, Jessica Blackwell, Julia Harguindey (Local 406), and Paul Jenkins, with their Accelerando students.
Nashville Symphony principal oboist Titus Underwood and oboist Angelina Bautista
New World Symphony fellow Dean Whiteside with bassoonist Xayvion Patterson
"Got my American Federation of Musicians 25-year pin today. Apparently I have been in continuous “good standing” with Local 257 ... for two and a half decades, which is an accomplishment in any of life’s arenas. I deeply miss playing live, and all the living that comes with it. May all those glories return soon. So, here’s to 25 more years." — Gillian Welch 14 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
The Accelerando Program for Young Musicians will continue this fall thanks to an agreement reached between AFM Local 257, representing the furloughed Musicians of the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Symphony Association. The program provides intensive musical instruction for young musicians from underrepresented ethnicities in classical music, and helps prepare them for a professional career. NSO musicians value their role as a vital part of the Nashville community, and the opportunity to mentor gifted students is just one of the ways they continue to give back to Music City.
Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch TNM
continued on page 14 OCT â&#x20AC;&#x201C; DEC 2020 15
BY WARREN DENNEY
Dreams of life are often built on sound. The sound of emotion in a voice. The resonating chord cast by a lonesome guitar. Some cultures believe the origins of the universe began with a single sound cast as a vibration throughout the great void, pushing back the darkness.
16 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
By respecting the song, and its heart, Cobb fundamentally respects the singers and musicians he has produced.
ashville is fortunate to have Dave Cobb, the celebrated producer who prefers to stand behind the music, letting the sound and veracity of the song lead the way. Simplicity leads the way. “When I go in, I just, I like to capture things really quickly,” Cobb said recently, from his Nashville home this summer. “I’m not into when it starts to become ‘let's look for the perfect ambient noise in the background. Let’s spend two days on that. And let’s put the singer off from singing until we get that. “It’s more like the singer’s right here, and I want to capture that vocal. I want to make sure we get that. Don’t miss that. I think that leads to simplicity. And a lot of times when you have the right vocal performance, what else do you need? I mean, honestly—does somebody go ‘I only liked that song because of that abstract piano note.’ I think it’s more about if I got that, I’m trying not to cover it up.” For the record, Cobb is a six-time Grammy winner for his work. He is known to move from country, to Americana, to rock with ease — witness those Grammys for Chris Stapleton’s bombshell Traveller and Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free, Country Album of the Year and Americana Album of the Year, respectively, in 2015; the double play again with Stapleton’s Country Album of the Year From A Room: Vol. 1 in 2017, and Isbell and the 400 Unit’s The Nashville Sound in 2018; and the two earned last year with Brandi Carlile, one for co-writing and producing the Best American Roots Song “The Joke,” and as producer of her Best Americana Album By the Way, I Forgive You. He was the Country Music Association’s Producer of the Year for his work on Stapleton’s From A Room: Vol. 1, has been named the Americana Music Association’s Producer of the Year twice, and earned AMA Album of the Year awards for Isbell’s Southeastern in 2014 and Something More Than Free. But perhaps most importantly, Cobb produced John Prine’s powerful storybook Tree of Forgiveness, nominated for a Grammy itself in 2018 — an album that punctuated the indelible career of the workingman’s poet. And, Cobb is the last man to record Prine, who the world lost to the coronavirus in April this year. His poignant last recording “I Remember Everything,” was captured
by Cobb, and engineer Gena Johnson, last fall at Prine’s home. It was a sign of trust. The song, released after his death, became Prine’s first No. 1 — shockingly — on a Billboard chart. By respecting the song, and its heart, Cobb fundamentally respects the singers and musicians he has produced. “[That song] felt like a classic, absolute peak-period Prine song,” Cobb said. “And, that’s just amazing. It’s just — I know how he put so much time into his songwriting, and how he worked hard at it — but when you hear that song, it feels so effortless. And, he was excited about making a new album and that was one of the songs that was going to be on it. He was in talks about doing a documentary. And, so he wanted to get it [the song] done. He had been on tour and had to come back because he had some health issues. He wanted to get it documented — we would have put it down in the studio this summer. We just decided to go to his house instead of him coming to us — it’s not that hard to show up with a couple of microphones. And I felt like he was comfortable.” Prine chose late night, fittingly. “We went there around 10:30, I think,” Cobb said. Gena set it up, and we went over there and he ran it a few times, and we laughed and it just felt like we were doing a song. Just to document it. It didn’t feel by any means like his last song, because that guy was full of life. He was just — I’ve never met somebody that lives life the perfect way like John Prine does. “I mean that guy, every day he wakes up, and he smiled. And, then he had his whole life planned around food. It’s like, he went to Arnold’s for meatloaf, and this place for this, and that. He just had it all figured out. He woke up every day with a smile. And, so I certainly didn’t think that song was going to be his last song. We’re supposed to be making a record right now in July. We had time held, and it breaks my heart thinking about it.” It’s hard to underestimate just what Prine means to Nashville. An insightful, ephemeral songwriter, he’s been hailed by everyone from Dylan to Haggard (Dylan has referred to him as “pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the ‘nth’ degree.”) That he chose to stake ground in a town known for its songwriting machinery is testament to his own belief in the simple power of the song. On the surface, it might have seemed a poor match, but Prine was country from the get. While recording Tree of Forgiveness, Cobb, who didn’t know Prine very well, talked to him about his approach. He likened it somewhat to Sam Phillips. He came at producing with an open mind, and didn’t always want to know the song on the slate, or continued on page 18 what was coming up. OCT – DEC 2020 17
"I grew up in a Pentecostal family — and we did have country music in our house — we definitely had hymnals. I love that music still to this day." continued from page 17
“I was just telling him [Prine] how I always felt kind of like that,” when I was growing up,” he said. “When I was a kid, that’s all we Cobb said. “I found out Sam Phillips does it, so I guess I’m not half ate. We didn’t have any other choices. We just had pork chops and crazy. And then John says, ‘Well, Sam Phillips produced one of my pot roast, and just classic Southern dishes growing up. Green beans, albums.’ Man! Then I talked about Phil Spector on something. He okra, and black-eyed peas — stuff like that growing up…So it’s says, ‘Well, Phil Spector and I wrote a couple songs together.’ The funny. I would say music was like that for me, too, because I grew guy obviously had done everything. There was a point on the phone up in a Pentecostal family — and we did have country music in our where I just shut up. house — we definitely had hymnals. I love that music still to this day. “Feeling, you know. John was an incredible singer. When John That’s all I heard was hymnals. sang a lyric, you knew he was speaking the truth. That’s hard to do. “But we had country music, and it was whatever was the most I mean, there are a lot of incredible singpopular country music at the time. Comers and people that can sing the phone mercial country music. And, as a kid, I “I was at a dinner at my house book. And they have great voices. But I thought the Beatles were the coolest band with this band, and they played a love it when you hear someone so idenof all time, or Led Zeppelin, and the Rolltifiable — you know it’s them immediing Stones. That’s the stuff that was my Drive-By Truckers song that Jason ately. You know it’s John Prine, because Isbell had written. And, I heard that. music. The other was my parent’s music.” you can hear his personality in his voice. Cobb’s ears, and a calling for rock Every lyric in that song reminded “There are a lot of great singers, but & roll, led him first to New York with his me of how we grow up, and the way band, The Tender Idols, then to the West not a lot of John Prines.” we’re taught. Don’t get too big for Nashville, sometimes in spite of itCoast. He was escaping the weight the your britches, and all that. It made South often carries. He had no idea he self, attracts writers and musicians who know how to translate the emotion of a me really homesick — it was kind of was actually finding home again. song. Hank is responsible. Felice and “When I moved to Los Angeles, I the beginning of it.” Boudleaux are responsible. Kristofferwanted to produce rock & roll records,” son. Willie. Guy Clark and Townes. The he said. But, I got out there and I startlist goes on. Cobb understands this dynamic and leans into it. ed missing all those things that I grew up with. All of a sudden, The story of country music can be equated to those found in many I liked okra. It was my favorite thing in the damn world. All of a Southern novels — bizarre, hard-working magic found in the people sudden, I like butter beans, and I started really missing home and and routines of daily living, touching on guilt, love, sin, and yes, food. missing the Southern way and the gentleness of the South. The Raised on a small island off Savannah, Georgia, Cobb’s first immersense of family and a community, it just evaded me for a long sion into music was through his church. time. I started getting homesick. “Yeah, I think country music particularly, was like Southern food “And I had a daughter when I lived out there. Now she's 11, living 18 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
here. I never forget driving in L.A. and thinking she would never know was. And, Shooter is like an encyclopedia of country music. I mean, what it’s like to grow up in the South. Those are the things I want her he obviously grew up around it and knows it well. And when I heard to see. I want her to experience how I grew up, in a way. the edgier stuff, that’s when I got it. It was like an epiphany.” “I was at a dinner at my house with this band, and they played In retrospect, Cobb had it inside him all along. a Drive-By Truckers song that Jason Isbell had written. And, I heard “When I was a kid and wanted to be loud, and you want to turn that. Every lyric in that song reminded me of how we grow up, and the guitar up and play drums loud,” he said. “Rock & roll definitely the way we’re taught. Don’t get too big for your britches, and all that. resonated with me, but I didn’t know it for a long time, how much I It made me really homesick — it was kind of the beginning of it.” was into country. But, I just didn’t put the links together. I listened to Cobb produced records with Shooter Jennings in L.A. — Put the The Rolling Stones and Keith Richards stealing from Southern guitar O Back in Country, Electric Rodeo, and The Wolf between 2005 and players quite a bit, and listened to Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page was 2007 for Universal South. certainly stealing from that ...” “I produced Shooter Jennings when I was out there, and he was Jennings also connected Cobb with others of a like mind. from Nashville,” he said. “We just hit it off. And it was like two idiots “Through him, I met Jamey Johnson, and wound up doing a couple hanging out ordering, again, back to KFC. Stupid stuff, too — I of records,” he said. “I started coming to Nashville, and every time I mean, we’d go over to his house and have plates full of pigs in a came over, I just really loved the community here. I don’t think there’s a blanket. Just things that reminded us both of home, and that made better music community in the world.” me homesick, too. He picked up his family and moved to “I just didn't realize how much of that Tennessee. It is Nashville’s gain — it is “He (Jamey Johnson) found himself the world of roots music’s gain. He found I really loved and finding the truth that I surrounded, of course, by many really love country music that way. He himself surrounded, of course, by many was responsible for it because Shooter of the greatest songwriters and musiof the greatest songwriters and turned me on to so much. I didn’t grow cians on the planet, a virtual land of endmusicians on the planet, a virtual up listening to the rare cuts of Johnny less opportunity. land of endless opportunity.” Paycheck, Jerry Reed, or whatever it “L.A. is so very competitive,” Cobb said. “You have to compete to survive continued on page 20
OCT – DEC 2020 19
“There are a lot of great singers, but not a lot of John Prines.”
continued from page 19
because it’s so expensive. And here, every time I came, anybody was just happy to drop by and do something. They didn’t care. This is the welcoming family community of Nashville. I just adored it. “People in the industry, the labels, and everyone, were just so incredibly kind. It just made me fall in love with the city. It definitely wasn't the thunderstorms.” Cobb has never looked back, making music that resonates and presses boundaries. His work with Prine, Isbell, Stapleton, Carlisle, Jennings, Johnson, Sturgill Simpson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Amanda Shires, Lori McKenna, Brent Cobb, Colter Wall, and so many others, is provocative and simple simultaneously. He shines a light on the sound they all carry within. “I’m really proud, honestly, of just the musicianship in this region of the world,” he said. Nashville is a true gathering place, a crossroads in the heart of the country, that still relies on common threads. Rock & roll, country, and blues find purchase here. Music, religion, literature, and race all play a part in the city’s history. Roots run deep here, and beneath the layers of corporate sheen beats a heart waiting to be explored. “This is the beauty here,” Cobb said. “The beauty in the South, and the beauty in Nashville. The fact that so many cultures came and mixed together, and brought so many great attributes to make American music what it is. I think American music is the heart of popular music for the last one hundred years, maybe more. And it all comes from here in some form or another.” “I think it goes right back to hymnals and church, for 20 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
me. My grandmother was a Pentecostal minister. At my grandmama's church, my aunt and uncle were in the band. There was a family friend who played pedal steel, and another friend who played bass. That was the church band. I was at church Monday, Wednesday, Fridays, Sunday night, vacation Bible study, revivals. Just hearing that music. “I mean, there was always a pedal steel my whole life. I don't remember life without one. It was just part of where I grew up. And it’s interesting how that came full circle later to record making. I never thought twice about it.” Cobb hasn’t thought twice about making music, period. He didn’t know how he would make it, but he never considered anything else. “I never set out to be a producer,” he said. “I always wanted to be in a band, signed. And I definitely was in a band that toured and got signed, but that wasn't my destiny. When I started to produce the records, I realized I always loved being in the studio the most. And then, secondly, I get to be in whatever artist’s band that I'm working with a lot of times. I can kind of be in that band for that month. It’s such a fun thing. “I think things are simple, maybe. I don’t think I’m very complicated. I like the satisfaction of making something feel good. Think about it. I just want you to feel it.” TNM
RIG "I have a couple favorite boards but I’m really impressed with the custom Chandler EMI console I’ve been using this year. Favorite outboard is my Fairchild 670 and EMI TG limiters. I love lotsa guitars for different things. There’s a 1931 Martin 0018 — a gift from Jason Isbell — that I’ve been tracking a lot with this year." — Dave Cobb
“There are a lot of great singers, but not a lot of John Prines.”
OCT – DEC 2020 21
Chris Stapleton Chris Stapleton’s new record is aptly titled, both for the times we are going through and his desire to push himself artistically. Recorded just before the pandemic hit in March, every song on this record is chock full of passionate performances and unexpected sounds. The album was recorded with his longtime bandmates, bassist J.T. Cure and drummer Derek Mixon, and producer Dave Cobb on acoustic guitar, with an array of special guests including Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fame. The record opens with the title track, and the lyric sets a mood of restlessness and anticipation. Driven by acoustic guitars, shakers, and Stapleton’s distinctive voice with its shadow — his wife Morgane, right there beside him — sets the stage for the journey to come. Over the course of 14 songs, Stapleton demonstrates an ever-increasing stylistic range, and sounds totally comfortable in every setting. “Cold” is a riveting R&B ballad complete with a wonderful string arrangement by Kris Wilkinson, Cobb and Stapleton, that brings to mind Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield. Somehow, it effortlessly segues into “When I’m With You” which is straight up Waylon Jennings-style country, immediately followed by the big dirty guitars of Stapleton and Campbell on “Arkansas” that up the ante with slide and bluesy riffs and show off the great rhythm section of Cure and Mixon, who navigate the wide range of styles effortlessly. The sweet ballad “Joy of My Life,” written by John Fogerty, is followed by “Hillbilly Blood,” with a dark, swampy groove and a no-holds-barred lyric that pulls no punches. Stapleton sings and plays every instrument on this powerful track except the rhythm section and Cobb’s acoustic guitar. “Maggie’s Song” is a well-deserved tribute to a dearly loved one, and the bittersweet lyric will resonate with anyone who has been through that journey. “Whisky Sunrise” rises and falls dynamically and leads perfectly into the first of two Guy Clark cover songs in a row, “Worry B Gone,” which features a wild guitar solo by Stapleton — who plays a lot of excellent electric guitar throughout the record. This boogie groove is followed by “Old Friends.” This classic Clark tune‘s spoken verses show a 22 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
Starting Over Mercury Nashville
gentler side of Stapleton’s considerable vocal prowess. Cure’s melodic bass, producer Cobb and Stapleton’s acoustic guitars, and Mixon’s tastefully understated drums underpin the deeply personal lyric. Not many artists would dare to cover such an iconic tune, but Stapleton pulls it off. “Watch You Burn,” written with Mike Campbell, addresses the Las Vegas shooting of several years ago head on, with the kind of gritty sincerity that few could pull off, but he does so magnificently. The All Voices Choir lend an otherworldly quality to the huge crescendo that closes the track. “You Should Probably Leave” is a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ story with a sweetly sincere vocal. The album closes with “Nashville,” a heartbreakingly perfect bookend to the opening track, with Paul Franklin playing beautiful pedal steel. This is a great record that bears repeated listening and will definitely stand the test of time. – Roy Montana
An American Classic Curb Records
Jeannie Seely has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years, and still remains a vibrant artist and songwriter who has a lot left to say. She has also raised a lot of money for the AFM 257 Emergency Relief Fund with her Dottie West tribute concerts over the past few years. Her new album, An American Classic, produced by Don Cusic, captures her unique energy in a big way and shows that real country music is alive and well. The musicians on the record include Glen Duncan on acoustic guitar and fiddle, Jerry Roe and Mark Beckett on drums, Gary Prim and Mike Rojas on keyboards, Chris Scruggs on electric guitar and pedal steel, and Dave Pomeroy on bass. The classic western swing feel of “So Far So Good,” cowritten by 257 member Penn Pennington, kicks things off. Fellow Opry members The Whites are featured on background vocals, and Duncan’s twin fiddles and Rojas’ piano drive this arrangement. The impossibly sad “If You Could Call It That” features Steve Wariner, who cowrote the song with West and Bobby Tomberlin, and his guest vocal blends in perfectly. “To Make A Dream Come True,” coproduced by Ray Stevens, tells the story of a mythical country singer who makes her way to Nashville and hits it big. Seely breathes new life into the jazz classic “Teach Me Tonight,” accompanied by tasteful playing by the band. “Can I Sleep with You Tonight Mister” again touches on subject matter that could be interpreted as being too suggestive, but Seely delivers the lyric with a sincerity that defuses any further debate. Rhonda Vincent is featured with Seely on vocals on “I’m All Through Crying Over You,” and Duncan’s fiddles are the perfect foil for their excellent vocal chemistry. “When Two Worlds Collide” features Bill Anderson, who cowrote this hit for Kenny Rogers and West, and is followed by “There’s Not A Dry Eye in the House,” a gorgeous duet with Willie Nelson with some beautiful steel playing by Scruggs. The duets continue with Waylon Payne joining in on the classic “Old Flames,” and “That’s How I Roll,” cowritten by 257 member Tim Atwood, featuring Lorrie Morgan on vocals and Vince Gill on red-hot electric guitar. She revisits one of her classic hits “Don’t Touch Me,” and shows she still has the magic, and her vocal is beautifully heartbreaking. The Paul McCartney song “Dance Tonight” is an unexpected pleasure and brings a Celtic flavor, with Ray Stevens featured on guest vocals. “Peaceful Waters” continues the Irish vibe and closes the record with an uplifting lyric written by producer Cusic, who does a great job of bringing out the best of Seely, for whom we should all be grateful. She was, and is, a groundbreaking female artist and songwriter who still has a lot to say. This is an aptly titled album, as she is definitely an American classic. — Roy Montana
Keith Urban’s latest record incorporates a wide range of styles and sounds, and presents an artist who is comfortable in his own skin and not afraid to take chances. He collaborates with a variety of cowriters, producers, instrumentalists, and singers, including Nile Rodgers of Chic fame, pop star Pink, and country icon Eric Church. Audio trickery abounds throughout the record, but always in service of the song, which gives the album a depth and variety missing in many contemporary projects. Urban’s voice and guitar remain front and center as the sonic universe spins around his performances. The album kicks off with a bang with “Out the Cage,” a bone rattling rave-up about being trapped in more ways than one. “One Too Many” features Pink and combines an old school R&B vibe with a creeping eight note groove and dynamic group vocals. “Live With” is an uplifting tome to reconciling reality with aspirations. There’s a killer groove from the rhythm section of Jimmie Lee Sloas on bass and Evan Hutchings on drums. “Superman” blends high tech programming with a big groove by Jerry Roe and Nathan Chapman on drums and bass respectively. The pleading “Change Your Mind” is another example of Urban’s ability to write concise hooks that describe complex emotions. “Forever” is an anthem to the power of letting go that features coproducer Dann Huff and Urban on dueling electric guitars, Roe, Sloas, and Dave Cohen on keyboards. “Ain’t It Like A Woman” has a soulful feel and a great vocal by Urban, and “Tumbleweed” features a distorted banjo riff and a pulsing programmed groove. The lyric reinvents Western imagery in ways John Wayne could never have imagined. One of the few outside songs is the hit single “God Whispered Your Name,” which effortlessly combines pop sensibility with the sincerity that makes Urban’s music appeal to a wide audience. “Polaroid” is a clever lyric with a catchy acoustic guitar-driven feel. “Better Than I Am” is a yearning ode to trying to live a good life and features some very soulful guitar playing by Urban. The hit single “We Were” is presented in two versions, one featuring cowriter Church. Keith Urban has come a long way from Jack’s Guitar Bar, the dive bar on Nolensville Road in Nashville where he honed his craft long before he became a worldwide celebrity. “The Speed of Now Part 1” demonstrates that he still has a lot to say — and play – and he certainly knows how to present his music in a way that will appeal to a large audience without selling out or repeating himself. That is the sign of a true artist, and Urban has certainly proved he is exactly that. — Olson Johnson
The Speed of Now — Part 1 Capitol Records
OCT – DEC 2020 23
BY KEVIN JABLONSKI
the furlough continues for the Musicians of the Nashville Symphony. All musicians have been without a paycheck since July 1, and the drought could extend into next summer. But we have been busy getting organized on our own, and our efforts have revolved around two main goals. We want to raise money to distribute directly to the musicians to get everyone through this time, and concurrently, we still want to keep performing, teaching, and engaging with our community. People need music now more than ever to be a beacon of positivity, comfort, and hope, so we believe it is essential to serve our community with our talents. While the trajectory of the pandemic will necessarily dictate exactly how we share our music, the virus will not stop us from doing so completely. We will do whatever we can in whatever form is necessary to continue our mission.
Donations are needed
Several exciting developments have been announced in recent weeks on these fronts. In September, the Musicians of the Nashville Symphony established a financial aid fund to provide direct financial assistance to the furloughed musicians. One hundred percent of the donations will go directly to the orchestra musicians to provide some relief in this time of crisis. The collection and distribution of funds is being overseen by the symphony musicians’ 501(c)5 organization — the Nashville Symphony Players’ Assembly (NSPA) — but the Assembly will not receive any funds from these efforts. Since the NSPA is a 501(c)5, unfortunately donations are not tax-deductible. “The musicians are already facing hard choices when looking at their future,” said Brad Mansell, ICSOM Delegate and NSO cellist. “There is an unprecedented amount of financial uncertainty since the ability to 24 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
“There is an unprecedented amount of financial uncertainty since the ability to return to work in a normal manner is simply not yet known. As the prospect of a long furlough looms large, we are calling on the generosity of the community to support us through this challenging time.” — Brad Mansell return to work in a normal manner is simply not yet known. As the prospect of a long furlough looms large, we are calling on the generosity of the community to support us through this challenging time.” Donations can be made to the financial aid fund by going to www.musiciansofthenashvillesymphony.org. There will be links to the fund on the Musicians of the Nashville Symphony social media platforms. Also, checks can be made out to Nashville Symphony Players Assembly - Financial Aid Fund and mailed to Nashville Symphony Players Assembly; P.O. Box 40812; Nashville, TN 37204. Another exciting announcement was made in September that gave symphony musicians their first live performing opportunity since the pandemic started. A new monthly concert series, made possible by St. George’s Episcopal Church, began Sept. 19. This new series, titled “Play On at St. George’s,” features Musicians of the Nashville Symphony performing in chamber ensembles. St. George’s generously donated their space and streaming capabilities for the series, and we are grateful for their support. The events are livestreamed and subsequently available for streaming on St. George’s website. These concerts also function as a way to raise funds for the Financial Aid Fund. You can visit www. stgeorgesnashville.org/inexcelsis for more information.
Accelerando continues despite pandemic
The Musicians of the Nashville Symphony are pleased to be able to continue educational initiatives during our furlough as well. In August, AFM Local 257 on behalf of the musicians of the symphony, reached an agreement with the Nashville Symphony Association to continue the important work
of the Accelerando program, which serves young musicians from underrepresented ethnicities. Despite the furlough, orchestra musicians will still be able to teach their students and mentor them along their musical journey. Ten new local students were accepted into the program this year, bringing the total enrollment for the first time to a full capacity of 24 students. A grant from the Mellon Foundation supports most of the funding for the program, and program partners Choral Arts Link and the Blair School of Music played a crucial role in ensuring Accelerando continues this year. The Musicians of the Nashville Symphony are also maintaining their online presence, keeping the momentum going on social media with new videos and stories. In August, we held a virtual Bach festival, where many musicians submitted videos of pieces by the great composer. Selections ranged from solo repertoire to the first movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, which concluded the festival. Our violinists began a similar festival in September dedicated to the works of Fritz Kreisler, with videos released weekly. There is much more content to explore, and you can find all our videos on our website, YouTube channel, and social media outlets. We have also been keeping in contact with our colleagues in other orchestras around the country, and there have been some great dialogues and ideas about how to adapt to our new reality. In July, ICSOM held their annual conference online, and there were some fascinating sessions with lots of pertinent information. It was inspiring to hear from musicians in many other cities who are thinking creatively and finding a way to share music with their communities. We celebrate their successes and are eager to show that we, too, can keep the music TNM playing in Music City.
JAZZ & BLUES BEAT
BY AUSTIN BEALMEAR John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band
ere we are at the end of 2020, and musicians are still wondering when we will get back to why we got into this in the first place — live performing. While the COVID-19 pandemic affects us all, I venture to say that the jazz and blues musician is suffering even more than musicians in other styles. Well, you say, if jazz and blues isn't that popular why don't you just play something else? You might have asked Julia Child why she didn't just stay in the backyard and barbecue. I don't have to tell anyone reading this that music means more to the individual musician than how many records can be sold. Jazz and blues have been here a long time, from the Francis Craig Orchestra at the Hermitage, to the jam sessions in Printer's Alley with Boots, Floyd, and Gary Burton, to the Jefferson Street scene, to the annual jazz festivals of the 2000s. And after two jazz albums, who knows what Hank Garland would have done if not for the accident? The scene keeps changing so fast, maybe by the time you read this, it will have changed for the better.
The Nashville Jazz Workshop, while still working on remodeling its new location, at press time planned to hold their annual fundraiser, Jazzmania 2020, virtually, on Oct. 24. This online jazz party will be an evening of streamed jazz performances celebrating NJW's 20th anniversary as a nonprofit. Donors who miss the streaming event will still be able to donate after the fact. For more information on how to support this great organization go to www.nashvillejazz.org.
Music means more to the individual musician than how many records can be sold. Middle Tennessee State University has resumed classes, but there is no word on the fate of its Jazz Artist Series. However, there are some terrific faculty and student concerts scheduled for live streaming this fall. I particularly recommend saxophonist Don Aliquo, and the MTSU Salsa Band. Go to www.mtsu.edu/music/calendar.php.
Rudy's Jazz Room has reduced its streamed video performances to two nights a week, Friday and Saturdays 7-8 p.m. Their website has a gig calendar, but no longer says anything about their menu being available for takeout. They are still asking for donations to keep going. Go to www.rudysjazzroom.com. B. B. King's downtown is open for business with music every night, but the online calendar only lists three different bands for the current month, and nothing beyond that. For more info check out www.bbkings.com. City Winery seems to have its act together, currently operating under the city's COVID-19 regulations, with a complete list of new dates for postponed shows. The calendar is spotty and there's no jazz or blues for the rest of the year. But, dig this: Virtuoso guitarist (and about 10 other instruments) John Jorgenson has put his hot Django- style quintet aside for a while to do bluegrass with the John Jorgenson Blue-
grass Band (aka J2B2). If they attack bluegrass the same way his quintet attacked jazz, it should be something you shouldn't miss. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, Dec. 9, 8 p.m.
Bands are increasing their use of the Internet for promotion. Besides an artist's own website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. there are websites set up as marketplaces where musicians can post themselves as a solo, a band, whatever, with a video clip, commentary, anything you want to include. Local 257 musicians can build profile pages for themselves and additional profile pages for side projects groups at www.nashvillemusicians.org. There is also www.gigsalad.com/ Music-Groups/Jazz-Band/TN/Nashville, which seems to be mostly younger bands — except for vets like Jerry Tachoir and Denny Jiosa. There's a gallery of video clips, and most bands offer virtual performances to clients. Similar is www.thebash.com/search/jazzmusic-nashville-tn, which was formerly called Gigmasters. There is a gallery of bands and individual jazz and blues musicians. It shows which ones offer virtual performances, and there is a self-listing link. And finally, Robert's Western World and Third Man Records are offering their stages to bands wanting to record videos for streaming. See you in the Zoom room. TNM OCT – DEC 2020 25
Charlie Daniels Oct. 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020
ountry rock pioneer Charlie Daniels, 83, died July 6. He was noted for his genrecrossing singles including “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “Uneasy Rider,” and “Long Haired Country Boy,” his hugely successful and long-running musical event the Volunteer Jam, and his decades of charitable endeavors. He was a multi-instrumentalist and life member of the Nashville Musicians Association who joined the local Dec. 14, 1967. Daniels was born Oct. 28, 1936 in Wilmington, North Carolina, to the late William Carlton and LaRue Daniels. He was raised listening to a wide variety of music, including bluegrass, gospel, and country, and learned to play guitar and fiddle as a teenager. He and some friends formed his first band — the Misty Mountain Boys — and he wrote his first song while a member. After he graduated from Goldston High School in 1955, Daniels moved and the band dissolved. In 1959 he formed a rock & roll band called the Jaguars, and in 1964 had his first important success, when he cowrote a song with Joy Byers — a non-deplume for songwriter and producer Bob Johnston at the time — called “It Hurts Me,” which became a Top 30 pop hit for Elvis Presley. Daniels moved to Nashville from California with his wife and 2-year-old son in 1967 to become a session player at the urging of Johnston, who introduced him to Bob Dylan. Dylan used the multi-instrumentalist on his album Nashville Skyline, in which Daniels played electric guitar, bass, and acoustic guitar. In an interview with The Nashville Musician in 2015, Daniels talked about what it was like to be one of the Nashville Cats during the ‘70s. “The producers would turn it loose and let it go here in Nashville,” Daniels said. “There were so many great musicians who worked well together. I never felt a lot of ego. Everyone did their parts and played what was there. Leonard
26 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
Cohen. Al Kooper. It was the creativity of the guys. Take a raw song and make something of it.” Daniels played on Leonard Cohen’s Songs from a Room, Songs of Love and Hate, and Live Songs, and toured with the Canadian poet and songwriter. He also played on Dylan’s Self Portrait and New Morning, and Ringo Starr’s Beaucoups of Blues. Daniels also produced recordings for the Youngbloods, including the album Elephant Mountain. The Charlie Daniels Band was signed by Epic in 1972 and scored the chart-crossing hit “Uneasy Rider” in 1973. The pioneering southern rock band placed 34 songs on the Billboard charts. In addition to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and “Uneasy Rider,” other Top 10 hits included “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye,” “Boogie Woogie Fiddle Country Blues,” and “The South’s Gonna Do It Again.” Top 30 successes include “In America” and “Still in Saigon.” The band was also featured in the film Urban Cowboy in 1980. The platinum record “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” won CMA Single of the Year in 1979 and also earned a Grammy that year for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group. Daniels was named CMA Instrumentalist of the Year in 1979, and the band won CMA Instrumental Group of the year in ’79 and ’80. In 2008 Daniels became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and he was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016. In 1974 Daniels founded the Volunteer Jam, initially a live recording session for two songs for the band’s Fire on the Mountain album. It was held first at War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, and in succeeding years grew to become a musical extravaganza showcasing southern rock bands as well as artists from other genres. Performers over the years included Dickey Betts, Dobie Gray, Papa John Creach, Bobby Bare, John Prine, Ray Price, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Alabama, Vince Gill, Tammy Wynette, B.B. King, James Brown, Billy Joel, Little Richard, Steppenwolf, and Don Henley. The Volunteer Jam XX was held in 2018, and at press time a tribute show was being planned for February
“He was one of the good ones in this business, and a devoted Christian who lived the Golden Rule." 2021 at Bridgestone Arena. Daniels was also known for his generous and extensive charity work. Over the decades he helped fund research for cancer and muscular dystrophy, physically and mentally handicapped people, farmers, and the armed forces — his Journey Home Project for veterans was founded with his manager David Corley in 2014. His charity Christmas concert benefiting children was a Nashville holiday tradition. In recognition of these many efforts he was honored as a BMI Icon in 2005. Charlie Hayward became Daniels’ bass player in 1975, and talked about the impact of his loss. “Charlie’s passing stunned all of us in the CDB organization and it is still difficult to imagine life without Charlie. I owe my physical life to him for bringing me into the band back in 1975. I was literally rock bottom when the offer came. Charlie Daniels was one of the good ones in this business, and a devoted Christian who lived the Golden Rule, and was committed to the love of his life Hazel and their son Charlie Jr.,” Hayward said. Survivors include his wife of almost 56 years, Hazel Alexander Daniels; one son,
Charles William Daniels; two grandchildren; and the CDB family. A memorial service was held July 10 at the World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; burial followed in Mt. Juliet Memorial Gardens. The family has requested that donations be made to The Journey Home Project at thejourneyhomeproject.org or by mail to 17060 Central Pike, Lebanon, continued on page 28 TN, 37090.
Hazel Alexander Daniels and Charlie Daniels Charlie Daniels on stage during his 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame induction, while Jeff Cook, Charlie Pride, Joe Bonsall, Randy Travis and William Lee Golden look on.
OCT – DEC 2020 27
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William W. Pursell June 9, 1926 – Sept. 3, 2020
istinguished composer, arranger, and keyboardist William W. "Bill" Pursell, 94, died Sept. 3, 2020. He moved to Nashville in 1960 on the invitation of Eddy Arnold, and became part of an elite group of musicians, producers, and arrangers present at the inception of what would become the “third coast” of the music business. He brought his gifted musicianship, gracious intellect, and inimitable style into the mix, and his contributions cannot be understated. He was a life member of the AFM who joined Local 257 June 17, 1960. Born June 9, 1926, in Oakland, California, Pursell was raised in Tulare. He studied composition at the Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore, Maryland, and arranged for the U.S. Air Force Band while serving in the military during World War II. After his service he studied classical composition at the Eastman School of Music and earned a masters in composition in the mid1950s. His initial musical award came quickly, when “Christ Looking Over Jerusalem,” the first movement of “Three Biblical Scenes for Orchestra,” was the recipient of the Edward B. Benjamin Prize in 1953. Pursell toured with a jazz trio and also played R&B on the road before his move to Nashville. Two years later he had signed as a solo artist with Columbia Records, and released the title track single “Our Winter Love,” which reached the Billboard Top 10 in 1963. The album and follow up single — “Loved” — also charted, but Pursell soon transitioned into session and live performance work — which included what he termed a career highlight of playing with Chet Atkins for President John F. Kennedy in the White House. He played on a plethora of recording sessions for Owen Bradley and others in the vibrant formative days of the Nashville Sound, and his session work reads like a who’s who of the era. The list includes Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash,
Boots Randolph, Joan Baez, J.J. Cale, Willie Nelson, Marty Robbins, Dan Fogelberg, Bob Dylan and many others. In addition to his frequent live appearances and studio sessions, Pursell also worked with the Nashville Symphony, and taught at Tennessee State and Vanderbilt University. In the ‘70s he was nominated for two Grammy awards. The first was his performance on the album Listen for the singer Ken Medema in 1974. The second was for his 1978 arrangement of “We Three Kings” for a National Geographic album.
“Bill Pursell was one of Nashville's greatest stars! Not only was he an amazing composer and arranger, but Bill could play ANYTHING on the piano. From classical, country, pop to jazz — he could do it all." — Lori Mechem 28 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
Steven David Morrison Feb. 25, 1965 – June, 2020
Steven David Morrison, 54, died in June, 2020. He was a guitarist and singersongwriter who joined Local 257 Aug. 19, 2019. Morrison was born Feb. 25, 1965, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. He had only recently relocated to Nashville, but had quickly become a favorite at open mic nights and other venues across the city. He was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include one sister.
Bill Pursell and his daughter Laura.
Pursell’s symphony, Heritage, which was commissioned by the Nashville Symphony and Victor Johnson, debuted in 1989. Along with all his other notable skills and talents, Pursell was passionate about music education. He became a member of the faculty of the School of Music at Belmont University in Nashville in 1980, where he taught until his retirement in 2017. His lifelong devotion to teaching and his long friendship with fellow musician W. O. “Smitty” Smith resulted in him being invited in the 1960s to join an integrated men’s discussion group. The members dealt with issues of racial inequality and the need for music lessons for underprivileged children. These talks helped lead to the founding of the W.O. Smith Music School in 1984, which has helped many children discover the joy and the power of music. Pursell was named the Composer of the Year in 1985 by the Tennessee Music Teachers Association, and in 1991 he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Eastman School of Music. Pursell continued to record albums after his first Columbia release in 1962, Our Winter Love. His records include The Nashville Sweat Band and Aides (2013), Millenium (2016) and My World’s a Blur World, (2017). As late as August he was working on a new release to be titled Lilacs with his daughter, singer Laura Pursell, when he fell ill. Friend, fellow pianist, and Director of Education and co-founder of the Nashville Jazz Workshop Lori Mechem talked about the significance of Pursell’s work. “Bill Pursell was one of Nashville’s greatest stars! Not only was he an amazing composer and arranger, but Bill could play ANYTHING on the piano. From classical, country, pop to jazz — he could do it all. I always loved hearing him play classical because he was so passionate about it. Bill was a great man and always had something new to share — even at 94! I am grateful for our 30-plus years of friendship. We have lost a vital part of our Music City history and we ALL will miss him greatly,” Mechem said. Pursell was preceded in death by his wife, Julie Crow Pursell; and one daughter, Sharon. Survivors include three daughters, Laura Pursell, Ellen Spicer, and Margaret Pursell; two sons, Bill and Arthur Pursell; and four grandchildren. A funeral mass was held Sept. 17 at The Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville, with interment following at Calvary Cemetery. Those interested may make a donation to the Belmont University School of Music William Whitney Pursell Scholarship in Composition. For information call (615) 460-6408.
May 15, 1953 – July 25, 2020
Thomas Prince, 67, died July 25, 2020. He was a bassist, and life member of the Nashville Musicians Association who joined Local 257 April 11, 1979. His professional associations included membership in the Country Music Association. Prince was born May 15, 1953, to Edwin and Mary Prince in Zanesville, Ohio. He worked as a crane operator for AK Steel in Zanesville for many years, but was drawn to music early in life. Prince later became the touring bass player for the Johnny Carver Band. He worked with the band on the road for 14 years. He was also the best man at Carver’s wedding, and remained
“He called me about once a week, and when he came up to Tennessee, he would spend the night with us. He missed Nashville and all his buddies so much. I loved him, and I’ll continued on page 30 miss him.” — Johnny Carver OCT – DEC 2020 29
FINAL NOTES friends with the family. He moved to Cape Coral, Florida from Dresden, Ohio in 2014. Carver commented on Prince, who he called one of his lifelong best friends. “He called me about once a week, and when he came up to Tennessee, he would spend the night with us. He missed Nashville and all his
continued from page 29
buddies so much. I loved him, and I’ll miss him,” Carver said. Childhood friend Randy Lincicome also commented on Prince’s passing. “I have known Tom from first grade to now. Tom was a good friend, great talent in music, and one of the kindest men I have ever met,” Lincicome said.
Dan K. Kelly Aug. 26, 1965 - July 22, 2020
Prince was preceded in death by his parents; and one sister, Gloria Jean Sensabaugh. Survivors include his wife Debbie; one stepson, Jason Foster; and three step-grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for a future date at The Rock Church in Fort Myers, Florida, and The Anchor Church in Zanesville, Ohio.
Championship, which is considered the most famous and coveted award for fiddle playing in the United States. It wasn’t long afterward that his talent was noticed by Roy Acuff, who brought him into the band to replace the ailing Howdy Forrester. Kelly would remain a Smoky Mountain Boy until 1992. “The highest compliment or achievement I have ever received is the fact that Roy Acuff, the ‘King of Country Fiddlers,’ liked my fiddling. That’s always been a huge deal for me,” Kelly said. Acuff encouraged Kelly to stay in college, and he graduated from Belmont University with a degree in music business.
“Dan Kelly’s memorial service was beautiful and very moving. When more than a dozen fiddlers who were his friends and protégés played ‘Sally Goodin,’ it was a heavenly sound and a perfect send off." — Dave Pomeroy
Beloved fiddle player Dan K. Kelly, 54, died July 22, 2020. Kelly was a multi-instrumentalist who also played mandolin and guitar. He toured with a plethora of artists, won multiple awards for his fiddle playing, worked as a session player, was a member of the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, and taught many students as well. He was a longtime member of the Nashville Musicians Association who joined the local March 5, 1986. Kelly was born Aug. 26, 1965 to Ken and Gloria Kelly, and was raised in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. He began playing fiddle at the age of eight, and started to enter contests early on — he won the Canadian National Open Fiddle Championship when he was 12. This initiated a string of other championship honors around the nation, including two wins for the Mid-America Championship. At 17 he won the Grand Master 30 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
Over the years Kelly worked with a host of artists — most recently he was on the road with Clint Black, and also played with Alan Jackson, Steve Wariner, Faith Hill, SheDaisy, Pam Tillis, and others. He’s performed on a variety of TV shows and award shows, as well as Carnegie Hall, which he called “a dream come true.” Kelly talked about the importance of becoming a multi-instrumentalist. “Over the years, because of economic pressures, it has become a necessity for the fiddle player to be a utility musician who also plays mandolin and acoustic guitar. Now the trend is for the fiddle player to also be able to sing harmony. For young players who want to pursue work with touring artists, it’s important to expect that you will not just be playing fiddle. The more versatile you are, the more valuable you are to potential employers,” Kelly said. Guitarist Mike Armistead talked about Kelly, who he considered a good friend. “He had many passions, and one that he was most proud of was that of music instructor, teaching people of all ages how to play guitar, mandolin and fiddle. He loved spending time travelling and antiquing with his wife, Cheryl. Dan would always greet you with a smile and was generous with his time and talent to anyone in need.” Survivors include Kelly’s wife, Cheryl. A celebration of life was held Aug. 26 at Spring Hill Cemetery in Madison, Tennessee. Local 257 President Dave Pomeroy attended Kelly’s service. “Dan Kelly’s memorial service was beautiful and very moving. When more than a dozen fiddlers who were his friends and protégés played ‘Sally Goodin,’ it was a heavenly sound and a perfect send off,” Pomeroy said.
Kenneth Dale Ingram Aug. 19, 1952 - July 24, 2020
“Well, some of his licks were different. The bluesy licks and the squeezing of the third and second string, those blues licks on the waltz timing stuff. It’s a little bit different, just a bit. Jimmy Martin, he didn’t know any other way than just to say what he had to say. He didn’t sugarcoat anything! He just told you the way it was and the way he wanted it done. But he could show you things. He couldn’t play the banjo, but he could take your banjo and show you little things to do that would make your playing better,” Ingram said. In addition to Scruggs, Ingram said his influences included Osborne, J.D. Crowe, Bill Emerson, Walter Hensley, and Allen Shelton. He left the road in 1986 to spend time with his wife Kaye and their three children, and then returned to work with Rhonda Vincent from 2001 until 2008. He also performed with Larry Stephenson for 10 years. In addition to his work on the road, he played on records for a variety of artegendary banjo player Kenneth get as close to Earl as I could, as far as the ists, including Vincent, Seckler, Marty StuDale Ingram, 67, died July 24, timing and that type of tone, that would be art, Benny Martin, Ralph Stanley, and Tony 2020. Known for his preservation good…I think you have to live and breathe it. Trischka, who talked about seeing Ingram of the Earl Scruggs style of playIt’s something you have to feel inside…We play for the first time. ing, his kindness, and his humilused to play a lot of shows with the Osborne “I was shocked to learn of Kenny Inity, he was a 50-year life member of the Brothers when I was with Lester Flatt, and gram’s passing. He was one of the all-time Nashville Musicians Association who joined Sonny [Osborne] and I spent a lot of time great banjo players. Seeing him with LesMarch 26, 1970. together listening to old radio shows, just ter Flatt was like being in the presence of The native Nashvillian was born Aug. dissecting breaks that Earl did. Earl Scruggs in 1955. He was that good,” 19, 1952 to John Wesley Ingram and Hallie “Sonny helped me with my playing quite Trischka said. Jean (Fisher) Ingram. He grew interested in a bit. He said, “you’re not playing bad, but if In addition to performing, and playbanjo after watching Flatt & Scruggs on TV, you’re going to play these songs, I’d like for ing on records, Ingram was dedicated to and his parents bought him his first instruyou to play them right, the way they should teaching students, and parment when he was 12. The young ticipated in a variety of banjo musician taught himself to play by “I think you have to live and breathe camps through this past year. listening to records repeatedly and it. It’s something you have to feel Ingram was preceded watching other performers on TV. in death by his father, John A scant five years later in 1971, inside." — Kenneth Dale Ingram Wesley Ingram. Survivors he was on the road with James include his wife, Patricia Kaye (Bowman) Monroe and the Midnight Ramblers. By 1972 be played.” Little nuances and things you Ingram; his mother, Hallie Jean (Fisher) he had joined Jimmy Martin and the Sunny can do to make them sound more the way Ingram; one son, Mike Ingram; two daughMountain Boys, and in 1973 he became a Earl played them. I never heard anything he ters, Mary Margaret Hoyos, and Laurie member of Lester Flatt’s Nashville Grass played in any song that sounded bad. EveryKinnie; one brother, Randy Ingram; four band. He rejoined Jimmy Martin in 1978 for a thing he played back then just fit the song. grandchildren; one niece; and a host of two year stint, and from 1981 to 1986 worked He was a real musical genius,” Ingram said. other relatives and friends. with Curly Seckler. Ingram’s style was not simply an hom A celebration of life service was held July In a 2009 interview Ingram talked about age to Scruggs. He spoke in an interview 31 at the First Apostolic Church in Nashville. the development of his style and sound. about adjustments he made to match the Interment followed in Spring Hill Cemetery. “Lester never told me how to play the banjo sound of other artists he worked for, like when I played with him. But I figured if I could Jimmy Martin. continued on page 32
OCT – DEC 2020 31
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“Bob brightened any situation and often added much needed wisdom and perspective to about any scenario." – Jeff Hart
Robert Eugene Ricker, Jr. July 3, 1955 - July 27, 2020
Robert Eugene Ricker, Jr., 65, died July 27, 2020. He was a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and founder of Ricker Music Group. He joined Local 257 Jan. 31, 2001. Ricker was born to Robert and Lucy Ricker on July 3, 1955 and grew up in the Mount Ayr, Iowa, area. He was drawn to music early on; by grade school he had started playing drums. He took up guitar in junior high, and organized a rock band named Era of Good Feeling. The young pros were successful, and gigged throughout the area, making enough money that Ricker was able to buy a car, and also pay for a portion of his collegiate education. Childhood friend Joe Carr said in an online tribute page he remembers the naming of that first band, and playing basketball with Ricker. “I was recently able to reminisce with him online about those days and I am so thankful I was able to do so. Bob was a very special guy,” Carr said. He attended North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where he
double-majored in business and computer science. He went on to work in the telecom industry, including 15 years in the Research Triangle Park area, where he was part of design teams that helped bring internet and cell phone technologies to consumers. He also continued to play and perform. In 2000 Ricker and his wife Pam moved to Nashville, where he founded Waltzing Bear Productions. Jeff Hart, another friend who played music with Ricker, commented on his passing. “Bob brightened any situation and often added much needed wisdom and perspective to about any scenario…I could reel off countless stories of fun and mayhem that sprang out of numerous live music scenarios that Bob either instigated or was a part of in the 1990s in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. I always looked forward to his Nashville stories. His warmth, comfort and counsel will be sorely missed,” Hart said. Ricker was known as a dedicated fan of the Drake University Bulldogs, and he and his wife followed the team faithfully. Other interests included horse racing and open wheel racing. Family members also noted his great love of holiday traditions, his optimism, his infectious laughter, and his love of life. Ricker was preceded in death by his father, Robert Ricker Sr. Survivors include his wife Pam; his mother, Lucy Evelyn Ricker; two brothers, Bruce and Brent Ricker; several nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends. A celebration of life will be held in the near future in Iowa. Memorials may be made to the Ricker Endowment for the Elementary Raider and Maroon Reading programs and the United Church of Diagonal in Diagonal, Iowa. TNM
The officers, staff and members of Local 257 extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of our members who have recently passed away. You are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers. Name
Ray Daniel Pennington
William W Pursell
32 THE NASHVILLE MUSICIAN
MEMBER STATUS NEW MEMBERS Samuel Brinsley Ashworth Mark Bish Annaliese E Kowert Carl R Melberg Craig Morrison Kenny Price, Jr Melissa A Romero Steve Romero Craig E Smith Lonnie Melvin Tillis, Jr REINSTATED Kristopher Neil Allen Kenneth Wayne Anderson Michael Casteel
Benjamin T Clark Matthew M Combs James Alexander Cook Stephen John Dawson Amy Anita Frederick Ray W Herndon Bobby Hicks Kenneth M Malone Katherine Draxler Munagian Stephen Lewis Pennington Stu Phillips Gary Lee Tussing Terry Dale Wariner Bryan Shelton White Mark Wesley Winchester TNM
WHAT DO KEITH URBAN TAYLOR SWIFT
JIMMY BUFFETT CHRIS STAPLETON LARRY CARLTON DAN + SHAY
ALISON KRAUSS AND THE MUSICIANS OF THE NASHVILLE SYPHONY
HAVE IN COMMON?
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11 VETERANS DAY WEDNESDAY, NOV. 25 AT NOON THROUGH FRIDAY, 27, THANKSGIVING MONDAY, DEC. 21 THROUGH SUNDAY, JAN. 3, 2020 HOLIDAY BREAK MONDAY, JAN. 18, 2021 MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., DAY
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DO NOT WORK FOR
DO NOT WORK FOR The “Do Not Work For” list exists to warn our members, other musicians and the general public about employers who, according to our records, owe players money and/or pension, have failed to sign the appropriate AFM signatory documents required to make the appropriate pension contribution, or are soliciting union members to do non-union work. When you work without the protection of an AFM contract, you are being denied all of your intellectual property rights, as well as pension and health care contributions. TOP OFFENDERS LIST RFD-TV – We have filed a Federal lawsuit against RFD-TV for non-payment of rerun payments to musicians for the Marty Stuart Show and Ray Stevens’ Caba-Ray for the year 2019 and 2020. We have every expectation that we will win this legal challenge and obtain payments with late fees added. Nashville Music Scoring/Alan Umstead - solicitation and contracting non-union scoring sessions for TV, film and video games. Musicians who work for them are being denied appropriate wages and all intellectual property rights. Electronic Arts/Steve Schnur - commissioning and promoting non-union videogame sessions and exploiting musicians' intellectual property for his own gain. These are employers who owe musicians money and have thus far refused to fulfill their contractual and ethical obligations to Local 257 musicians. •
• • • • • • • • • •
480 Holdings Limited, LLC – More than a dozen musicians and performers were hired to play a private event in Fiji in December 2019 by Richard Waters on behalf of Bob Bishop, Patrick Scanlon and 480 Holdings Limited, LLC and were not paid, and have not been paid for more than nine months. Terry K. Johnson/ 1720 Entertainment (unpaid contracts/unauthorized sales – Jamie O’Neal project) Ed Sampson (producer) & Patrick Sampson (artist) (multiple unpaid contracts/ unauthorized sales) Revelator/Gregg Brown (multiple bounced checks/unpaid contracts) Beautiful Monkey/JAB Country/Josh Gracin Eric Legg & Tracey Legg (multiple unpaid contracts) Ray Vega/Casa Vega Quarterback/G Force/Doug Anderson Rust Records/Ken Cooper (unpaid contracts and pension) HonkyTone Records – Debbie Randle (multiple unpaid contracts/pension) Jeanette Porrazzo
General Membership and Nominations Meetings on Zoom Thursday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m.
UNPAID CONTRACTS AND PENSION Knight Brothers/Harold, Dean, Danny & Curtis Knight River County Band/SVC Entertainment (unpaid demo conversion/pension) UNPAID PENSION ONLY Comsource Media/Tommy Holland Conchita Leeflang/Chris Sevier Ricky D. Cook FJH Enterprises Matthew Flinchum dba Resilient Jeffrey Green/Cahernzcole House Randy Hatchett Missionary Music Jason Morales (pension/demo signature) OTB Publishing (pension/demo signature) Tebey Ottoh Ride N High Records Jason Sturgeon Music AFM NON-SIGNATORY PHONO LIST We do not have signatory paperwork from the following employers — pension may have been paid in some cases, but cannot be credited to the proper musicians without a signatory agreement in place. If you can provide us with current contact info for these people, we will make sure you get your proper pension contribution for your work. 604 Records Heaven Productions Stonebridge Station Entertainment The Collective TNM
HOLIDAYS WEDNESDAY, NOV. 11 VETERANS DAY WEDNESDAY, NOV. 25 AT NOON THROUGH FRIDAY, 27, THANKSGIVING MONDAY, DEC. 21 THROUGH SUNDAY, JAN. 3, 2020 HOLIDAY BREAK MONDAY, JAN. 18, 2021 MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., DAY
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