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5-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

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IDEATION IDEATION •• PRODUCTION PRODUCTION •• POST POST •• VFX VFX web: revolutionpictures.com web: revolutionpictures.com insta: @revopictures insta: @revopictures contact: 615.327.2100 contact: 615.327.2100 2 / // / / / / / / / / / / / / /////

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NASHVILLE’S NEWEST OBSESSION

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CONTENTS JULY 2017

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THE GOODS 19 Beer from Here 20 Cocktail of the Month 24 Master Platers 77 You Oughta Know 81 Animal of the Month

FEATURES 28 Vadis Turner 38 Cale Tyson 48 Five Years of Fashion 58 TÃ nsuo 68 Fine at Five: NATIVE Five-Year Anniversary

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DEAR NATIVES,

I can’t think of a more exciting time to be mayor of Nashville than right now. Nashville is experiencing an explosion of creativity and talent that is making our community a destination for people from around the world. We have enormous economic strength in our healthcare, higher education, and back-office industries that create jobs and prosperity for many Nashvillians. But it is our creative spirit that drives national and international eyes toward Music City and makes this such a unique place to call home. Some of the most famous names and legendary talents in the music industry live and work here. But we also have thousands of singers and songwriters who are offering new, funky, unique, and interesting sounds. No matter what night of the week, I know that I can pop into one of our many music venues, clubs, or bars and hear some amazingly talented men and women I might never have heard of but will want to hear again and again. Not many of our peer cities across the United States can say that. But Music City is also quickly growing a reputation as a food city, with nationally acclaimed chefs expressing their talent through food and drink in a way that makes Nashville an even more enjoyable and interesting place to live. We’ve not only nurtured great homegrown chefs like Tandy Wilson at City House but also attracted nationally renowned talents, such as Sean Brock and Maneet Chauhan, who are expanding our culinary landscape. And our growing fashion scene is getting national attention due to the great work being done by so many innovative designers like Eric Adler and Cavanagh Baker. As mayor, I know that Nashville must be intentional about creating opportunity for creative entrepreneurs. We must foster artistic expression and make it easier for artists, songwriters, and other creatives to live and work in Nashville. One great way this is happening is through a proposal by music legend T Bone Burnett to rehabilitate the Greer Stadium property in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. Where an old baseball park and surface parking lots now lie empty, T Bone has reimagined the area to be more open, green, and filled with artists, makers, and creatives who want to express themselves in a community atmosphere. The talent and creativity that have made Nashville unique cannot be taken for granted. We must continue to do our part as a city to foster and promote that creative spirit in a way that expands opportunity and embraces the new and interesting. That’s just what I plan to continue doing, and I know that you, as a reader of NATIVE, will join me in that effort. Kind regards,

Megan Barry

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president, founder:

publisher, founder: 

ANGELIQUE PITTMAN JON PITTMAN

creative director:

MACKENZIE MOORE

editor in chief: 

CHARLIE HICKERSON DARCIE CLEMEN

art director: 

COURTNEY SPENCER

operations manager:

JOE CLEMONS

copy editor:

community

representative: production:

KELSEY FERGUSON

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          writers: CHRIS PARTON JONAH ELLER-ISAACS COOPER BREEDEN photographers:

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founding team: founder, brand director:

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for all inquiries:

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SWEET PEA by Ben Clemons of No. 308 photo by Angeli n a Me l ody

This year I decided to bust out my green thumb and do a proper garden. I planted all the veggies and am now reaping the rewards of fresh produce. One of my favorite things to grow (and eat!) are sugar snap peas. I remember eating them off the plant as a kid, and the taste reminds me of youth and happiness. This drink is clean, refreshing, and easy to enjoy.

THE GOODS 1 1/2 oz Fords Gin (or your favorite gin) 1 oz sugar snap pea syrup* 1/2 oz lime juice club soda

F Shake all ingredients except club soda and pour into a freshly iced highball or rocks glass. F Top with club soda and garnish with a basil leaf and a sugar snap pea.

*Sugar snap pea syrup:

1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar snap peas Combine the sugar and wate r in a medium pot. Chop the snap peas into quarters and add to the pot. Bring the mixt ure to a boil and cook until the sugar is dissolved . Reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the snap peas to sit in the syrup for an additional 30 minutes. Strain the syrup into a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

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# NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E ///// / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 2006 BELMONT BLVD - @HOUSEOFNASHVILLE - WWW.HOUSEOFNASHVILLE.COM

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MASTER PLATERS

PICKL ED

PEACHES B Y M A R G OT M c C O R M AC K O F M A R C H É A R T I S A N F O O D S A N D M A R G OT C A F É A N D B A R PHO TOS BY DAN IELLE AT KIN S

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THE GOODS Yield: 1 quart 3–4 large, firm, peeled peaches 1 cup water 1 cup apple cider vinegar 1 cup sugar 1 cinnamon stick 1 bay leaf 1 star anise

DIRECTIONS FSlice the peaches and place them in a quart canning jar. Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, bay leaf, and anise in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture over the peaches. Allow the peaches to cool. Eat them right away or cover and store them in the refrigerator. FPeaches will last for two weeks at least—longer if you actually go through the process of canning them. Chef McCormack recommends them on salads, cheeses, pizza, pork, duck, or chicken.

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GET YOUR TICKETS AT WWW.DEEPTROPICS.ORG

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Live&INTERACTIVE ScreenPrinting

Bring Us To Your Next Event! # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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ARTIST VADIS TURNER DISCUSSES HOMECOMING AND THE WORK BEHIND HER NEW FRIST SHOW BY NATIVE STAFF | PHOTOS OF VADIS BY ANDREA BEHRENDS

VADIS TURNER IS A NASHVILLE-BORN PAINTER AND MIXED-MEDIA ARTIST. Her work has been featured in exhibits around the world, from The Brooklyn Museum of Art to the Egon Schiele Art Centrum in the Czech Republic to the Tennessee State Museum. Turner’s work re-examines and challenges gender roles, rites of passage, and the creative output of women throughout history. In 2014, Turner and her husband, Clay Ezell, moved back to Nashville from New York, where Turner had lived and worked for roughly a decade. Turner’s latest exhibition, Tempest, is now showing at the Frist Center for Visual Arts. The pieces in Tempest are divided into three rooms and relate to three different chapters of a woman’s life: The Wild Woman, The Mother, and The Elder. Through these chapters, Turner compares the life of a woman to the life (and effects of) a raging storm, examines the value of heirlooms, and questions the expectations surrounding femininity and domesticity. Fresh off of setting up the exhibition, Turner talked to us about her return to the South, her family, and the heirlooms that inspired Tempest. In a past interview, in reference to when you were a young adult, you said, “I wanted to take a major break from Southern culture at that time.” What made you come back in 2014, and how do you think things have changed here since your childhood? I really had a wonderful childhood here. As a teenager in the ’90s, I measured Nashville by what we didn’t have. We didn’t have a Gap. We didn’t have a Starbucks. I wish that hadn’t been my matrix for “cool,” but it was the era of mall culture when American cities were seemingly trying to homogenize. I wanted to leave my comfort zone and study painting elsewhere. After living in Brooklyn for fifteen years, I observed that Southern culture was making Brooklyn increasingly hip . . . so hip, in fact, that many of us were getting priced out. I really wanted a dishwasher and a second child too—in that order. Both seemed easier to make happen here. Nashville has a pulse that I don’t recognize from growing

up here. The city had started to take pride in and capitalize on what made it unique. I attribute some of its vibrancy to the many creatives who left New York and L.A. in search of greener pastures and standard-size dishwashers. I went to Germantown the first time in 1995 to work as an assistant at Alan LeQuire’s studio. It looked like a ghost town, other than Homey’s and the original Monell’s, which only attracted locals, not tourists. Alan had just designed a gorgeous mosaic floor that I mortared wearing my high school volleyball kneepads. Now it’s the patio at City House restaurant, and people eat artisanal pizza on the floor I mortared. It has never gotten me a free drink, though I have tried. One of the few things I miss about old Nashville was how few people went to the honky-tonks. Everyone had a seat! And you could have a dance with a cowboy for the sake of having a dance. They would walk you right back to your seat without trying to chat you up. Then again, maybe I wasn’t a good enough dancer. Has the return to Southern culture informed the work in Tempest? After college, I moved home briefly before moving to New York. I was still making art but wanted to take a break from painting. I remembered an inspiring professor, Peter Hoss, had always told me that my subject matter was right under my nose. I considered the roles Southern women play and the expectations that fall upon them. I started making work with rolls of wax paper and other kitchen supplies from my mother’s kitchen. The world of mixed media opened up from there, but I always gravitated toward materials representative of women’s work and the domestic sphere. I continue to work with and develop this “palette” but have broadened the content to other female-centric narratives and rites of passage. The second and third rooms of Tempest are comprised of work I created since moving home. The work in the Elder room is based on a series of interviews I had with over twenty female elders from greater Nashville. The influence of Southern women has come full circle in Tempest as it directly informed my very first, and latest, body of mixed

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media work. Your work attempts to redefine the definition—and importance—of heirlooms by converting feminine objects into “agents for social commentary.” What do you think this generation’s heirlooms will be? Our heirlooms are in plain sight but possibly invisible to us. I think it’s the job of the next generation to discover what we are making that is relevant to our time. But it’s not an heirloom if the next generation doesn’t appreciate or value it. I think that younger generations are inventing new heirlooms by reclassifying things that their elders wouldn’t have deemed precious. One woman I met with brought her grandmother’s sewing box that she opened with me for the first time since her grandmother had passed away. It was a delicately organized time capsule. Another woman cherishes her grandmother’s recipe box more than the fine furnishings that came her way. I learned about a group of adult siblings who cheerfully fight over the cinnamon bear they used to shake over their toast every morning. I recognized a thread of repurposing commonly used items into sacred objects. Are your tangible “heirlooms” in part a reaction to the way we digitally chronicle our lives through social media, which obviously isn’t tangible? I used to think that our culture is defined by what we create, but now I think it’s more about how we spend our time. Several seniors I met with discussed how pastimes like needlework, reading, and raising flowers are disappearing because people don’t have time anymore. We have the same number of hours in each day (possibly more), but we are working or entertaining ourselves on electronic boxes of different varieties. When I considered digital media to be one of my pastimes, I wanted to change tack. Especially because most of these time-sucks du jour become obsolete in a year or two. Every single woman that contributes to the compositions in Tempest tends to the earth or contributes to their landscape in some way. From Ophelia, to Eve, to my mother, to Mary Sharp. My reaction to making this show is to rework my own pastimes and make more with my time. Your textile paintings in the Elder room are grouped into four categories of heirlooms: object heirlooms, place heirlooms, ritual heirlooms, and spirit heir-

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looms. How did you arrive at these distinctions? This is the most challenging body of work I have ever created. I have never used first-person interviews as my subject matter before. I was profoundly moved and completely overwhelmed by what was shared with me. I had to problem-solve how to best present what I learned in abstract works. I re-listened to the recordings and distilled their stories down to the most essential element, wisdom, or heirloom. Their life experience and self-reflection enabled me to reimagine heirlooms beyond traditionally valuable objects. I grew to realize that an heirloom can be a public place (like Lake Michigan), pastimes (like flower arranging), a religion (that can move you around the world), or a storied object (created from the hat scraps of a milliner’s studio). The more I listened, the categories revealed themselves to me. I created simple compositions, like Moonlight on a Shimmering Rock, that represented each family’s heirloom within that category. In short, I took the lead from the women who so generously shared their stories with a stranger. You’ve mentioned that Tempest’s Place Heirloom 1, Sunrises and Lakes is inspired by your grandmother, Vadis Pierce. How did she inspire the piece, and are any other works from Tempest inspired by women in your life? I lived in my grandmother’s house for two years after I moved back from New York in 2014. It was also the first place I went to from the hospital after I was born in 1977. It still looks the same as it did when she moved there in 1968. Her house is where I know to go. To start a life. To celebrate. To mourn. To be together. My studio is still in her house. I go there almost every day to work. My mother obviously plays an instrumental role in the Mother room. I created that series when I was pregnant with my second son. It was the first time I introduced my own rite of passage into the work. Merging my physical state with my landscape involved my mother in several ways. She manages and directs the landscape of my grandmother’s property through her love of trees. She collects fallen and washed-up limbs and unintentionally creates these magnificently turbulent and hive-like burn piles. So I partnered my womb with her burn piles to tell a story. The final work in the series, Pairs, incorporates charred sticks and breast milk. I thought a lot about the ways generations of


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women are connected. The last work I made for the show, Siren Swing, has the sweat and tears from twenty-two ovulating women, many of whom are Nashvillians, sealed into the piece. So, to their delight or distaste, I asked a lot of friends to collect their waters for me. I was dropping off plastic vials and onions all over town.

Tempest compares three phases of a woman’s life—the Wild Woman, the Mother, and the Elder—to phases of a storm. What inspired that metaphor? I generate abstract compositions by partnering materials women use to adorn themselves or their spaces with different agitations. I like the idea of female characters influencing their environment so that the weather becomes a feminine force, creating a beautiful fury. A tempest is a disturbance, and I introduce a different disturbance to the characters in each chapter/room. The Wild Woman meets the storm, the Mother meets the burn pile, and the Elder meets silence. What are you working on now? What’s inspiring you? The greatest shift in my work, so far, was when I decided to make paintings from the feminist materials I had been creating sculpture and installations with. The challenge was to transform ribbon and collections of bedding into brush marks and stains. After re-engaging with the wall and making paintings for the past seven years, the last two works I made for the show, Siren Swing and Inverted Bouquet Heirloom, are sculptures. Inverted Bouquet Heirloom resulted from my frustration with a red piece intended for the wall. I cut out layers and wadded them up in the corner of my studio. When I could look at it again, I realized it was meant to leave the wall and live on the floor. So I am starting again from there. Tempest is now showing through September 10 at the Frist’s Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery.

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FOR HIS FULL-LENGTH DEBUT,

CARELESS SOUL, CALE TYSON BREAKS UP WITH CLASSIC COUNTRY AND MOVES ON TO A SOUND STRAIGHT OUT OF MUSCLE SHOALS

BY CHRIS PARTON | PHOTOS BY CHRIS DANIELS

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IN NASHVILLE, IT’S A FAMILIAR ENOUGH TALE: Boy moves to town, falls in love with classic honky-tonk, and sets to work chasing a neon dream. But musical romance doesn’t always have a happy ending. Relationships aren’t easy, after all. In the case of Cale Tyson, the love affair came on strong and heavy, lasted a few good years, and led to a string of acclaimed EPs. But for his debut full-length, Careless Soul, Tyson started shacking up with Muscle Shoals soul . . . and now there’s no going back. “Here’s what made me kind of tired of it,” he says, sounding like an ex who, at this point, is just trying to keep things civil. “I don’t want to talk shit on country music, because I love country music with a passion. But I got tired of going out and seeing bands play the same songs that sounded the exact same as other people playing those songs, or even writing a song that was completely derivative of another song. And I did that. I’m as guilty as anyone.” Just returned from a lengthy European tour, Tyson seems at ease as he sits in an East Nashville cafe. After a two-and-a-half-year wait (due to label complications), Careless Soul will finally come out July 14, and although longtime fans might lament his evolving sound, he’s satisfied in the knowledge that he’s moved forward creatively. Careless Soul features twelve original tracks that sway rather than shuffle, colored by horns and strings and all recorded at the historic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (host of classic sessions by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and many more). It’s not 100 percent pure soul—there’s some New Orleans jazz in there, some melodic Delta rock, and even a few lingering remnants of good ol’ country music—but it’s enough of a change to set Tyson on a brand-new path. “I just didn’t want to get pigeonholed as this honky-tonk outlaw dude, because I don’t feel like that’s who I am,” says the Fort Worth native. “For a while I thought so, but I’m in my twenties and I feel like every year of my twenties I’ve changed drastically. “I went all the way down the hall of country music history and learned to emulate it,” he continues. “I love it, I truly do love it. But I think with this record I was able to draw on that and also throw in some other influences, and start to bridge the gap between that and a little more modern sound.” Part of an old-school Texan family, Tyson arrived in Nashville to study entertainment law at Belmont University—he was encouraged to become either a lawyer or a doctor, and he figured Belmont’s Music Business program would let him respect those wishes while also playing music on the side. He wasn’t initially interested in straight-up country, but Nashville has a way of converting folks. “Whenever I started writing music seriously, I was listening to bands like Vetiver, Bright Eyes, Bon Iver, and all that stuff was folky but not really country,” he explains. “Some of those records had pedal steel in them, but it took me moving here to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can embrace this sound.’ I never thought I would go full traditional country—like nail-on-the-head—you know?” But he certainly did. With a trio of twangy EPs—Cale Tyson, High On Lonesome, and Cheater’s Wine—Tyson struck the nail square and true. Tall, slim, and blessed with the weary facial lines that let him wear a cowboy hat without irony, he looked like a modern-day Hank Williams. He sounded kind of similar too. Songs like “Fool of the Year” and “Can’t Feel Love” placed him

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“It was so cool because it was a bunch luckier than you,” he sings. firmly in the revivalist scene with ris“That’s Nashville, completely,” says ing stars like Margo Price and Joshua of Nashville musicians who are big sesthe songwriter. “I look around at my Hedley. High On Lonesome and Cheater’s sion players or play with bands around friends and we’re all playing the same Wine were repackaged as the album In- town,” he said. “If we would have done exact shows, then suddenly someone troducing Cale Tyson and became a sur- the record in Nashville, once they were will get lucky and they’ll move up to the prise hit in the UK. Then Rolling Stone done in the studio, those guys would next level—like Margo. She’s still a good called him one of their “10 New Artists have gone out and played a gig. This way friend of mine and we were on the same You Need to Know,” and soon Tyson we were all staying in the exact same booking agency for a long time. But I was riding shotgun on what felt like a place, and we didn’t have anything else will never forget we played this show in to do but work on this record. So everyhipster-roots bandwagon. Memphis to absolutely nobody, and then “It’s funny to look at it now,” he says. one got into that environment and just like a month later she was signed with “When I started playing country music, let it completely engulf them.” Third Man.” In an accidental parallel to Tyson’s there really wasn’t a huge young scene. Some of Tyson’s previously unreOf course Broadway was going with shifting sound, he says many of the corded country tunes help bridge Carethe Robert’s crowd and all that, but it songs were inspired by his quest to find less Soul’s stylistic gap between Nashville wasn’t like it is now. I look at the Ameri- lasting love. “I think I’m the kind of guy and North Alabama—songs like “Railcan Legion Tuesday nights thing and see who jumps into another relationship road Blues,” “Easy,” a crowd of people in their early twenties right after the previous one and “Gonna Love a dressed up in Nudie suits and shit, and ends,” he admits. Woman.” And The The title track recalls early I’m like, ‘This was not cool whenever I Watson Twins sing started doing this.’ It wasn’t a hip thing.” rock ‘n’ roll with the addition harmonies on what Classic country suddenly becoming of a full string section. But feels like a descen“hip” might be great for the Legion— with its wounded-heart stodant of Memphiswhich provides genuine tear-in-your- ryline, the song reveals his style R&B, “Pain In beer fun, deserving of its hype—but it country roots. My Heart.” But at the “I was dating someone who partially drove Tyson into the arms of very end of the record, another. He began dissecting albums by I could never truly have,” he one song shows what country-soul maverick Jim Ford, discov- says. “It fucked me up menTyson suspects is the ered a compilation filled with ’70s-era tally, and I found that whenfuture of his music. strings and horns called Country Funk, ever I started dating the next “Ain’t It Strange” and got turned on to the rural R&B of person, I would pick up the was the very last song negative attributes. It’s a Dallas Frazier. written for Careless After talking with producer Michael song about telling someone Soul, coming in just Rinne, Tyson decided to write some straight up, ‘Hey, I’m damweeks before the soulful new songs of his own, rework aged. I’m not gonna try to tracking sessions bea few older honky-tonkers, and book wear my heart on my sleeve gan. Slow, strained, and using strings time in a studio where soul is the one anymore, and I’m over taking anything and steel in a way that feels more like and only focus of every recording. For seriously.’” The album begins with another love indie-folk than country-soul, it was writthe surprisingly low price of $300 a day, they headed down to FAME in Muscle song, “Staying Kind,” this time featuring ten from a new perspective. Instead of Shoals with engineer Ray Kennedy, the a harpsichord-hooked intro and blast- thinking about the song’s protagonist as Grammy winner behind Lucinda Wil- ing horns. But to be sure, Careless Soul is a fictional character, Tyson was deternot hung up on romantic relationships. mined to uncover something real about liams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. “Traveling Man” pairs sweeping strings himself . . . and not just whether or not The band was made up of young with touches of melancholy steel guitar he was currently fit to be in a relationNashville cats like Steelism’s Jeremy as Tyson sings about the double-edged ship. Rose contributes a moving (and at Fetzer on guitar and indie-roots chansword of a musician’s life. It feels great times almost dissonant) harmony line teuse Caitlin Rose on backup vocals, to follow your dreams, he explains, but that became a sonic highlight of the alplus legendary Swampers bassist Dait can be hard to deal with watching your bum. vid Hood and alt-country darlings The “I started to have anxiety a little bit,” friends find the success you crave. Watson Twins, creating a truly unique, Tyson says about the song’s inspiration. “Well it hurts like hell / But you know honky-tonk–soul mix and a vacation“It didn’t really hit me until the last few it’s the truth / Some of us folks are just like atmosphere.

“I JUST DIDN’T WANT TO GET PIGEONHOLED AS THIS HONKY-TONK OUTLAW DUDE.”

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New name, same great people and services!

We are thrilled to announce that we are merging with our sister skincare experts at Ona Belle Meade and

changing our name to Ona Skincare East Nashville. We look forward to the year ahead and continuing to serve your skincare needs!

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Belle Meade:

6592 Highway 100 Suite 1

years, but I started to wake up some days and nothing felt real. It’s kind of about how weird it is that some days you wake up and look at your accomplishments in life, look at everything you have going for you and feel good about it. And the next day you can wake up and look at everything you have going for you and be like, ‘It’s all bullshit, it doesn’t mean anything.’ I think a lot of people have that.” The song reveals the artistic struggle that brought Tyson to Careless Soul in the first place, while all but admitting that he’s already looking ahead again. “So much of me when I was writing country music was like, ‘What’s a clever hook?’” he goes on. “I was writing ‘Fool of the Year’ like, ‘I’ll accept the town key / ’Cause I’m the fool of the year.’ It’s cool and it’s a cornerstone of country music— so many songs are like, ‘How can I put a twist on this common idiom?’ But to me, I want to write stuff that’s actually personal and a little more meaningful than just a cheating song.” Like the relationships he used to bounce between, Careless Soul and his country-soul days may have only been a brief stopover. Tyson admits that from here on out, he wants every record to be a departure from the last, something that reflects his current stage of life. Right now that means going back to the sounds that first inspired him: indieroots bands like Bright Eyes and experimental folkies like Bon Iver. His current band isn’t even made up of country musicians, and they’re putting a different spin on the tunes his fans know and love, which comes with some pushback. But just like any other breakup, he’s learning to do what’s right for himself. “This last Europe tour, people were coming up to me like, ‘Where’s the twang? Where’s the pedal steel? What’s happening?’” he says. “And I said, ‘Well you know, I’m just doing new stuff.’ “I just want to do something that excites me . . . I’m gonna keep doing what I want to do and making the music I want to make, because I make music with myself in mind, not other people.” Careless Soul is available July 14.

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TO VIEW THE FULL LINEUP VISIT WWW.MUSICIANSCORNERNASHVILLE.COM # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E

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REVOLUTIONIZING THE MALE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

NOW OPEN IN THE GULCH 1008 DIVISION ST.

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WWW.RUCKLEANDRYE.COM


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PHOTOS BRETT WARREN HAIR AND MAKEUP AÑA MONIQUE MODELS APPEARING COURTESY OF AMAX TALENT AMIYA, CHRISTIAN, DYLAN, FARAN, MOLLY PRODUCTION CHELSEA BEAUCHAMP

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O v e r t h e p a s t f i v e y e a r s , N AT I V E has had the honor of publishing profiles, fashion editorials, and gift guides featuring some of N a s h v i l l e ’s f i n e s t f a s h i o n designers. We’ve also been fortunate enough to cover local restaurants, businesses, and venues with incredible merchandise—t-shirts, pins, and hats that are now fashion statements in their own right. So for our five-year anniversary, we decided to combine the two. We’ve mixed pieces from Nashville designers with merch from beloved local businesses in an effort to thank a few of the folks that keep our city looking good.

(previous page) ON FARAN: Hat, Fanny & June | Earrings, Portmanteau Jewelry | Ring, Seraphine Jewelry | Blouse, OPIUM (this page) ON DYLAN: Earrings, Margaret Ellis Jewelry | Dress, Amanda Valentine ON FARAN: Earrings, Margaret Ellis Jewelry | Dress, Amanda Valentine | Leather Pants, Amanda Valentine ON CHELSEA: Dress, Amanda Valentine | Shoes, Ceri Hoover

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ON FARAN: Earrings, Margaret Ellis Jewelry | Cuff, Portmanteau Jewelry | Bracelet, Margaret Ellis Jewelry | Sweater, Savant Vintage | Dress, Ona Rex ON DYLAN: Ring, Seraphine Jewelry | Shoulder Guards, Ona Rex | Dress, The Basement East, The Belcourt, CREMA, Robert’s Western World

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ON CHRISTIAN: Hat, Little Harpeth Brewing | Jacket, # NAT I V ENAS HV I L L E ///// / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 5 1 Any Old Iron


ON DYLAN: Top and Pants, Ona Rex | Shoes, Nisolo 52 52 ////////////////////////////////// //////

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ON CHRISTIAN: Earrings, Margaret Ellis Jewelry | Jacket, Savant Vintage

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(clockwise from top left) ON AMIYA: Coat, Atelier Savas | Belt, Emil Erwin | Dress, Cavanagh Baker | Skirt, Cavanagh Baker | Shoes, Nisolo ON FARAN: Earrings, Portmanteau Jewelry | Rings, Seraphine Jewelry | Dress, Ola Mai | Bathing Suit, Black by Maria Silver | Shoes, Nisolo ON AMIYA: Earrings, Portmanteau Jewelry | Bathing Suit, Black by Maria Silver | Bags, Emil Erwin ON MOLLY: Earrings, Margaret Ellis Jewelry | Coat, Atelier Savas | Jacket, Jamie + the Jones | Marbled Top, Jamie + the Jones | Jeans, Savant Vintage | Shoes, Nisolo

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ON MOLLY: Sequin Suit, Any Old Iron | T-shirt, Jackalope Brewing Company

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ON MOLLY: Coat, Savant Vintage | Necklace, Margaret Ellis Jewelry | Dress, Amanda Valentine ON AMIYA: Earrings, Margaret Ellis Jewelry | T-shirt, Rolf & Daughters | Dress, Savant Vintage | Shoes, Ceri Hoover ON CHRISTIAN: T-shirt, Five Points Pizza | Overalls, Savant Vintage

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LUNCH SPECIALS

Have your event catered with Nashville's best Puerto Rican food. Call the number below for details!

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CHEF CHRIS CHEUNG WANTS TO TEACH NASHVILLE TO LOVE CANTONESE CUISINE. W I T H T À N S U Ŏ , H E ’ S G O T O U R AT T E N T I O N . AND OUR APPETITE

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I’VE NEVER HEARD OF THE NORTH GULCH. I’d heard this general vicinity downslope from the Capitol called Hell’s Half-Acre, named for the jumble of makeshift homes that popped up here after the Civil War. Still, here I am, at the intersection of 12th Avenue North and Grundy Street. In the North Gulch. At the crossing sits Chauhan Ale & Masala House, the award-winning establishment from restaurateur and chef Maneet Chauhan, which has become a local favorite since opening in late 2014. Just a few months ago, Chef Chauhan’s restaurant group completed building out the space next door to the Masala House and opened Tànsuŏ, handing the kitchen to Brooklynbased chef Chris Cheung. With a sumptuous interior and a menu that employs its chef ’s encyclopedic knowledge of Cantonese cuisine, Tànsuŏ has immediately elevated the status of Chinese food in Nashville. When entering the dining room, my eyes are pulled in countless directions. Floating high above, hanging from wires that look too small to hold the weight, are long, thick beams, recalling the extended eaves of ancient Chinese temples. The railing that runs along the edge of the mezzanine level is strung with lemon-sized wooden spheres; it takes me a moment to realize that they turn the railing into a room-sized abacus. I sit across from Chef Cheung in an aquamarine leather booth and ask how he got here. He starts from the beginning. “I grew up on Mott Street,” Cheung tells me, referring to the street that is the heart of New York City’s Manhattan Chinatown. “That was really the only Chinatown that I ever knew.” The shops and restaurants that Cheung knew as a child had been there since the 1920s and were still owned by first-generation immigrant families. “Wow, how things have changed and grown and expanded,” he recalls. “Chinatown is so close, near and dear to my heart . . . In hindsight, looking back at the Chinese culture, I took it for granted so many years. Because [when] you’re part of the community, you don’t really see the beauty of things until you step away from it a little bit.”

Many of the eateries from Cheung’s childhood have closed, but it’s not a sad story of mom-and-pop shops losing out to multinational chains. “The last ten to fifteen years, most of those restaurants are now closing, little by little. Why? Basically because the families made it. They made the American dream. They came here from China, dead broke, opened a business, cultivated that business, made that business wildly popular within the community. That money that they made went to sending their kids to college, and they became doctors and lawyers and accountants—” Here I interrupt. “And chefs?” I suggest. “No!” Cheung replies. “No. In the Asian community, the poor worked in restaurants . . . They sent their kids to college so they wouldn’t have to work in restaurants.” After college, he suggests, the educated children weren’t interested in taking over the family business. “The kids come back and are like, ‘Uhhh I live in Long Island now, and I’m a doctor. There’s no way I’m going to run a restaurant in Chinatown!’ And so eventually they close. What you see is an era gone by, a generation gone by, and a type of restaurant that you’ll never see again.” With Tànsuŏ, Chef Cheung is paying homage to the food of his youth. The first wave of Chinese immigrants to settle in New York were from the Toishan region of Guangdong, a southeastern province of China. In migrations from Toishan, first across the South China Sea to Hong Kong and then to the United States, Cheung’s relatives brought with them the cuisine of their homeland. Food was an important source of comfort as these immigrants struggled to establish a new life, working long hours in challenging conditions or facing discrimination. “Some really good meat cooked on rice and vegetables, something that kinda reminded you of your homeland. That was what you hung on to and clung to as far as getting through the day. The week. The month. The year.” The food of home, Cheung explains, “lit a light of hope for a community to keep going.” Tànsuŏ’s menu is steeped in nostalgia for that time. “Basically, it’s painting a picture of the old ways,

“WHEN YOU’RE PART OF THE COMMUNITY, YOU DON’T REALLY SEE THE BEAUTY OF THINGS UNTIL YOU STEP AWAY FROM IT A LITTLE BIT.”

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and what I grew up with as far as the Chinese community, and how they had a dedication to food which is different than today.” Some of Cheung’s recipes have roots going back more than a thousand years. Many of those recipes ended up Americanized to appeal to a broader audience. You know their names: General Tso’s Chicken. Beef with Broccoli. Chicken Chow Mein. More bland, less adventurous, and ultimately, hugely popular. Among today’s leaders in Chinese cuisine, there are two ways of working with these recipes. One is to look to the past, a throwback movement that attempts to recreate the authentic dishes that predate the Chinese-American classics. The other takes a more avant-garde approach, looking for creative ways to transform Chinese cuisine into something new. Bridging these two distinct paths are chefs like Cheung. “I’ve been taught the authentic, traditional ways over the course of my career, which I deeply honor, and feel privileged to be able to practice this type of cuisine. But I’ve also been trained by some really great chefs in New York City, and that allows me to translate some of my [knowledge] of Chinese food into more visionary, creative, and modern takes.” I really want to like Chinese food, but it’s too spicy for me. I really can’t eat it. This, Cheung relates, is a statement that he’s heard a number of times from American diners. It’s shocking to him, because Cantonese cuisine is, generally, not spicy— but the cuisine of Szechuan (or Sichuan) is world-renown for its fiery flavors and peppercorns that impart a numbing sensation. The Chinese province of Szechuan is also nearly a thousand miles from Guangdong. It’s similar to eating a rich, buttery Maine lobster, then refusing a

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bright, acidic ceviche in Miami because you’ve already tried seafood. Szechuan cuisine’s popularity has exploded in recent years after coming to America with subsequent waves of immigration from China. Nashville has limited options in either style, but Cheung does point out that he’s looked to Szechuan cuisine for inspiration after a surprising discovery. “Nobody told me this, so I had to learn this on my own: Nashville has a tongue for spice. They enjoy their spicy food. A lot of my opening menu was not spicy at all. I had to adjust the menu somewhat . . . They need some spicy dishes. They need that to make their day. We need to make people happy.” Regardless of a few Szechuan touches here and there, Tànsuŏ’s menu provides Nashvillians with a taste of all that Cantonese cuisine has to offer. There are generally three pillars of Cantonese food: first, there’s dim sum, finger foods that include a wide range of dumplings, pastries, wontons, and steamed dishes; second, seafood; and finally, barbeque, with classics like spare ribs and roast duck. “Within those dishes,” Chef Cheung explains, “you have a nuance of unctuous meat and savory flavors that are enhanced by soy sauce, enhanced by seafood products, enhanced by fermented bean pastes. That’s really where the magic of Cantonese cooking comes out.” After my history lesson on the long journey of Cantonese cuisine (from small Toishan villages to Hong Kong to Chinatown to virtually everywhere in the United States), I’m ready to stop thinking theoretically about all this food and actually try some for myself. My wife and I return to Tànsuŏ in the evening. Just a few minutes into our meal, our table is already piled with some of the best dim sum I’ve had in my life.


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I didn’t know where to look upon first entering this lavish space, and now it’s my stomach that doesn’t know where to head first. There are Toishan sui mai: open-faced dumplings with pork and salted fish. Here are lamb dumplings, redolent with cumin. Maybe I should try the sesame golden eggs: ovals of rice dough stuffed with shiitakes and silken tofu? Or the Shanghai scallion pancakes? While I’m considering, a bowl of Hong Kong congee arrives, a rice porridge that includes a preserved egg, a rich blend of mushrooms and garlic, and a long stem of youtiao, a fried dough that’s popular across Southeast Asia. The plates continue to land faster than we can eat, but we soldier onward. Numerous staff members and online reviewers have recommended the char sui black cod, and I’m grateful we follow their advice. It’s a stunning creation: the cod is blackened on top and neon pink on the sides from the barbeque marinade. Underneath the fish, a bed of bok choy, ginger, and scallions are swimming in XO sauce, a classic Cantonese condiment typically made from dried shrimp and scallops, Jinhua ham, chili peppers, garlic, and oil. The Chinatown of my hometown in San Francisco was, for many years, nearly as important to the Chinese-American community as Chef Cheung’s home in Manhattan. This meal takes me back to dim sum on Sundays after church, to our delight when the pot stickers would arrive, to family feasts celebrating countless occasions. I recall something Cheung said earlier. “Every now and then—it’s great when it’s a Chinese person, but sometimes it’s even greater when it’s a non-Chinese person—[people say], ‘Yeah, this food reminds me of when I was a kid, it brings me back to that.’” Here, Cheung smiles wide. “As a chef, those are the kind of moments that you hope for when you’re cooking, to have people experience that and take them back in time.”

CLEAN, C O H E S IV E PRODUCT PHOTOS Q U IC K D N TU R N A R O U

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ONE features a spacious layout with polished wooden floors, exposed brick walls, and details dating back to the building's early years. While most popular amongst clients looking for a wedding venue, ONE can also be perfectly utilized for hosting more casual events. 1 CANNERY ROW, NASHVILLE, TN 37203

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W h e n w e b e g a n N AT I V E , o u r g o a l w a s t o g r o w a n d u n i t e N a s h v i l l e ’s c r e a t i v e community through local writing and p h o t o g r a p h y. N o w , f i v e y e a r s l a t e r, we’ve told the stories behind hundreds o f t h e c i t y ’s b e s t m u s i c i a n s , c h e f s , artists, authors, and more. For us, these stories have been insightful, hilarious, heartbreaking, and—perhaps most of all—inspiring. They’ve encouraged us to take a leap of faith, to t r y s o m e t h i n g n e w , t o m a k e t o m o r r o w ’s d r e a m h a p p e n t o d a y. A n d w e h o p e they’ve done the same for you. To c e l e b r a t e t h e s e s t o r i e s a n d t h e people behind them (and because we’re feeling a little sentimental), we asked p a s t N AT I V E f e a t u r e s t o w r i t e s o m e t h i n g b a s e d o n t h e f o l l o w i n g p r o m p t : “ W h a t ’s the most inspiring moment you’ve had in Nashville in the past five years?” T h a n k y o u , N AT I V E s , f o r y o u r c o n t i n u e d s u p p o r t a n d c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h i s c i t y. H e r e ’s t o f i v e m o r e y e a r s o f i n s p i r a t i o n .

I L L U S T R AT I O N S B Y M A C K E N Z I E M O O R E

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THAXTON WATERS: I decide to walk home from work. It’ll take me roughly forty-five minutes, but instead of taking the bus, I take a stroll. As I come out of the Nashville Public Library, I immediately get a good mash-up of what is now “It City.” I see colorful murals on walls, homelessness around sculptures and fountains, tourists with cowboy hats, and Mercedes parked in front of Morton’s Steakhouse. I think about the conversations I had with my Dad when I was a kid. On Saturdays, we used to park on Broadway and pick up dog food or chicken feed at Acme Seed & Feed. He would tell me, “The city has changed so much.” I know I’ll tell my now-five-year-old son the same thing. I’m on a hill as I come to Charlotte Avenue, so I can see my North Nashville neighborhood and the sun setting in the west. I take a deep breath and pick up the pace of my trek. As I walk past sites of major historical significance and Civil Rights

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activity, like First Baptist Capitol Hill, I witness more change: cranes perched above me from the HCA building; street congestion from people scrambling to get home; New Nashville hipsters heading to the Gulch for happy hour. I always appreciated the big Mayberry feel of Nashville, but I’m starting to question that feeling. As I approach Jo Johnston Avenue, the streets are calmer and the air is quieter. I’m looking at what used to be a halfabandoned factory. Once upon a time, I went to rave parties there. Now it’s Marathon Village, a bustling area with antique shops, galleries, music venues, and distilleries. Who would’ve known. I get deeper into my North corridor and a sense of familiarity washes over me. On three different occasions, neighborhood friends recognize me and pull over to see if I need a ride. I get into bench conversations with elders of the community about gentrification, Jefferson Street


Joe, and our purpose on earth. The sun has pretty much set, and I’m now at 28th and Jefferson. I make a beeline through the TSU campus, and man, does it take me back. I’m thinking about Africana Studies class conversations about Malcolm X and John Coltrane, experiencing my first real heartbreak, sketching my first nude model, and dorm conversations that cemented lifetime friendships. I get home, and my neighbor—who is an antique collector and African art dealer—says, “I hear you’ve been playing a lot of Prince over the past few days. Take this.” He hands me a record draped in five vintage bow ties. “Yeah, I found those in the closet. You can keep ’em.” I’m smiling from ear to ear as I discover a promotional copy of Prince and Madhouse’s 1987 album 8. As I loosen my tie, pour two drinks, and drop the needle, it all begins to make sense. I had a sense of connection while walking— connecting my feet to the pavement, connecting with the history of the neighborhood, connecting with the people and their stories.

Oh, how inspiring a simple walk can be. CHEF JOSH HABIGER OF BASTION: I was asked to coordinate a dinner at a boot store in Germantown. I had been to the space before and knew that it was beautiful, so I said yes, not really knowing what the gig was about. We would be cooking a dinner for about twenty-five people with minimal cooking equipment, which is generally how these things go. Tom Bayless and I arrived with our mise-en-place. As guests arrived, I saw Josh Hedley, Shelly Colvin, and Nikki Lane, among others. Sitting with a cane beside him was Guy Clark, the man himself. The artists took turns popping up on stage to sing for a bit, and in a beautiful Nashville way, even the people sitting at their tables were singing harmony, being part of the moment. The crowd was full of musicians, but there was no ego—just people making music because that’s what they love to do. Tom saw Guy Clark go outside to smoke and went to go meet him. When he got out there, a wom-

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an was saying, “They want you to play tonight.” Guy replied, “I know they do, but I just can’t.” Later on, someone asked Josh Hedley, “Josh, why don’t you get up there and play a Guy Clark song?” I can’t imagine playing a legend’s song on the spot like that, but he got up and started playing with little hesitation. “I wish I had a dime . . .” he began, which is the first line to my favorite Guy Clark song, “Anyhow, I Love You.” It was the most beautiful version of that song that I have ever heard. As Mr. Hedley continued playing, Nikki Lane, who was seated beside Mr. Clark in the front row, pulled out a white square of paper, filled it with something (obviously legal), rolled it up, licked it, lit it up, and passed it to Guy. He took a couple of puffs, and as Hedley finished up his last song, Guy Clark gripped his cane and started toward the stage. Everyone’s jaw dropped. He told everyone that he wasn’t sure how this was going to go and asked everyone to help him if he got off track. The first song he played was “L.A. Freeway.” It was perfect. He fumbled a little on his second song, but everyone was there for him immediately, singing the words until he got back on track. Finally the room got quiet and he said, “A friend of mine wrote this one, but I think I do it better.” He began to sing “To Live Is To Fly” by Townes Van Zandt. There was not a dry eye in the room. I am not sure if he performed again after that. It was just a random event that I said I would help out with. As I was driving away that night, all I could think was, “Goddamn, I love this town.” Only in Nashville would something like that happen.

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LAUREN SNELLING OF OZ ARTS NASHVILLE: I have only lived in Nashville for four years, but having grown up in Western North Carolina and then shuffling between cities in the UK, Australia, and New York as an adult, it really felt like home when I arrived here. Being part of building a contemporary arts organization from scratch has certainly been no small feat, but the arts community in Nashville has a kind of camaraderie that is unparalleled. It was foretold to me that this was true, but to be honest, I didn’t believe it until I experienced it. And that happened pretty quickly. This sense of community has greatly impacted my most inspiring moments in Nashville, for which there have been many. Since our first day at OZ, it has been a priority to offer the community of artists in Nashville an opportunity to make something new and big and bold. It is the courage with which each of these artists have brilliantly created, developed, and shared their most passionate works that has inspired me most. To put yourself “out there” requires confidence. To put your most honest work in front of others to experience and interpret takes a special combination of feardriven determination and unfettered bravery. To the artists of Nashville with whom I have had the honor of working—you have created my most inspiring moments of the past five years in Nashville. Thank you. TIANA CLARK: Yes, it was a New Year’s resolution. It was raining and I was nervous. After a long hiatus from writing, I decided to join a writing group (after googling “poetry in Nashville”) called the Lucille Clifton Collective, and, as usual, I was late. To my relief, another writer arrived late with me into the Global Education Center. We walked into the room where we were greeted warmly by stayat-home moms, graduate students, nurses, profes-


sors, and therapists. We sat there under the soft drum of rain and wrote. It was such a simple pleasure: sitting in a room, writing with other badass women, continually being inspired and encouraged by each other’s poems. For me, this was one of the most inspiring moments I’ve had in Nashville, because it reignited a dream that I didn’t know could be possible, to have a community and a vocation immersed in poetry. One of my favorite poems by Lucille Clifton ends with the line, “Come celebrate / with me that everyday / something has tried to kill me / and has failed.” Poetry for me is a means of survival, and that first Saturday on Charlotte Avenue in 2012 saved my life as my Nashville poetry family began to grow. Not only did I start writing again, but the woman who walked in late with me is now my dearest friend and rock-star-poetry-sister, Ciona Rouse. Five years and an MFA from Vanderbilt (plus a chapbook) later, I still think about the lush soundtrack of rain and pens gliding across the page, the sound of women carving out a safe space to write and celebrate together.

DANIEL TICHENOR OF CAGE THE ELEPHANT: So ten years ago, there really wasn’t anything special about this city to me. I was a small-town individual who’d never left the United States until we formed Cage the Elephant. Soon after forming the band, we moved to London and embarked on a journey that opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on this world and life in general. So at the time, the only thing significant about Nashville was that it was our final destination after our stuffy American Airlines flight from London. Then Mom and Dad, Grandma, or whoever picked us up from BNA to take the final one-hour trek back to home sweet home: Bowling Green, Kentucky. Skip ahead—because this could easily become a short story—we (CTE) all eventually moved to Nashville, and I’ve lived here for nine years now. So now that we’ve done the backstory, we can get to the inspira-

tion part: the Nashville Predators! In all my years in Nashville, I’ve never felt so proud and inspired as I did while watching what this team accomplished. They unified this city and gave us something special to believe in. I took my buddy Andrew Wessen from the band Grouplove with me to Game Six. He could definitely see the pride I had in our city and noticed something special going on as we both rooted on the Preds and chanted, “Crosby sucks!” The atmosphere in Bridgestone was electric, and you could tell everyone was there, together, as one after that night. Even though we lost, I’m very proud to claim Nashville as my city. Go Preds! MANUEL CUEVAS: As a fashionista that’s lived in Nashville the past twentynine years, I find that in the last ten years, things have changed so much physically in Nashville. We have a super-city instead of the peaceful town we used to have. But fashion has really taken over this Nashville of ours. And I think—and this is what I predicted so many years back—that this town is going to eventually be a great fashion center in America. Today, I think that people don’t need to go shopping in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, because we have high quality merchandise . . . That’s what I have the most room to talk about in Nashville, because I’ve been here working day and night for forever, man. And I just love it. In my little world here, many things have changed also. We found great treasure: the students [interning for Manuel Couture] are fantastic . . . I’m just glad for them, and I hope we come together one of these days. Because we will get together one day! We’ll really get super-fashion going on in Tennessee.

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2 0 0 0 2 1 S T AV E S NASHVILLE, TN 615-385-3334

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ALPHONSO “BIG AL” ANDERSON OF BIG AL’S DELI: When you guys did that article on me, that was the first time that business had started going up and I got positive feedback from clients, customers, and everybody saying, “We read about you in NATIVE, so we came over.” My business, it started to—I started to make some money, should I say! [laughs] . . . The funny thing was that Linus from Yazoo Brewery was on the cover. I’ve known Linus for years, before he even started Yazoo. I was a baker at Sweet 16th bakery in East Nashville—that’s where I met him and his family. But later, Linus would come into the brewhouse where I was the operations manager, and he’d tell me: “Al, just do it. Just quit and just do it.” And I’d say, “Linus, I don’t have the money, I don’t have the . . .” He’d say, “Al, things will always work out and fall into place fine. Just do it, you gotta try.” So it was great to see him on that cover, because he was a huge inspiration. My most inspiring experience in Nashville has been the people. I’ve met the nicest people from all over the world coming to Nashville, living in Nashville, moving to Nashville, and coming into Big Al’s Deli. I tell everybody, not only do I have the best staff, but I have the best customers. Because no matter whether you live in Nashville or you’re visiting, you’re so nice, so warm, kind, loving, and caring it’s unbelievable . . . I just consider myself an average guy, and God’s been blessing me. I just try to spread love, cause it’s all about love.


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YOU OUGHTA KNOW: MOLLY TUTTLE

MOLLY T UTTLE For more info vi sit mollytut tlemusic .com or foll ow @mollytu ttlemusi c

In the singer-songwriter universe, the guitar—or piano or whatever instrument someone writes on—can sometimes take a backseat to a writer’s voice. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (when you can sing like George Jones, it doesn’t really matter if you’re playing guitar or not), but it’s still nice to see someone who can write, sing, and play. The full musical package, if you will. Enter bluegrass virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, and singersongwriter Molly Tuttle. Tuttle’s something of a prodigy: she began playing at eleven, and by thirteen, she had recorded her debut album, The Old Apple Tree. Since then, she’s remained a fixture in the bluegrass world and beyond. Tuttle won first place at the Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest in 2012, has appeared in just about every bluegrass and flatpicking magazine out there, and was even named “Best Female Vocalist” and “Best Guitarist” by the Foundation for Bluegrass Music in Nashville. If you’re still not convinced, check out her new EP, Rise, and catch her on tour all summer. NAT II VV ENAS ENAS HV HV II LL LL EE ## NAT

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ANIMALemOF THE MONTH

t s y s Eco

When I first picked up an issue of NATIVE several years ago, I was surprised—and delighted—to find a column devoted to animals. The vision of the Animal of the Month column was not merely to profile a specific species, but also to educate readers about how our actions influence that species. So in this anniversary issue, let’s step back from any one particular animal and ta take a look at the conservation scene in general. With the mighty Cumberland and its many smaller tributaries winding through Nashville, we have the opportunity to encounter all kinds of aquatic or semiaquatic animals. Though many animals featured in the column spend all their time in water, a great deal more, like the river otter or bald eagle, depend directly on the freshwater ecosystem. It’s this ecosystem that gives the Southeast a higher diversity of aquatic life than any other region of the United States. Unfortunately, unchecked economic growth can pose problems for that diversity. For instance, one of the most common threats to our aquatic ecosystems (and aquatic ecosystems across the country) is nutrient pollution. This can take a variety of forms, from fertilizers on farms to inadequately treated sewage. Whatever the source, nutrients (namely nitrogen and phosphorous) fertilize the aquatic system just as they do a garden or agricultural field. An overabundance of nutrients is referred to as eutrophication, and the result in freshwater is explosive algae growth. This is problematic for two reasons: First, once the algae dies, the decomposition process of such a large mass can use up the oxygen in the water. Second, algae photosynthesizes during the day, which means it uses carbon dioxide and releases oxygen as a byproduct. This is a good thing, but at night, photosynthesis ceases and the algae uses up oxygen as it respires. In both these cases, an overabundance of algae can mean oxygen depletion. Though some animals, like a gar, are adapted to endure low-oxygen conditions, there are many that require oxygen-rich conditions. Another common problem, especially in urban and suburban areas, is sedimentation, the accumulation of

Written by Cooper Breeden*

particles in a waterway. This can come from improperly managed construction sites, parking lots, or anywhere else where there is not a system designed to intercept sediment before it drains into a nearby creek or river. Over time, this sediment can change the underwater landscape, transforming a rocky gravel bed to a squishy, muddy bottom. This becomes a problem for the animals that need a rocky streambed—for instance some freshwater mussels prefer gravelly substrate, and many fish migrate to these habitats to spawn. These are just a few of the problems, and none of them have simple solutions. Though there are regulations meant to protect our aquatic ecosystems, the regulations are only as effective as the enforcement. Progress will depend on the efforts of everyday citizens that hope for a change and do something to make that happen. So while you may not be able to singlehandedly save a wetland or tear down a dam, there are actions you can, and should, take to protect our biodiversity. First, if you see something that you suspect might be a problem, report it to the TN Department of Environment and Conservation, the agency whose mission it is to protect our environment.1 Second, vote for politicians that prioritize the environment.2 Third, support the local nonprofits that work so hard to protect these animals and their habits.3 As a former employee of one of these organizations, I know how hard they work and how reliant they are on support from the Nashville community. Fourth, if you have property of your own, use river-friendly practices such as rain gardens and rain barrels and curb your use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Lastly, and maybe the most enjoyable: get out there and try to experience the animals and habitats discussed in this column. Go rent a canoe, go on a hike, or simply meander around your backyard and see what hidden worlds are rising and falling inconspicuously before your eyes. You don’t have to be outdoorsy to appreciate the emergence of a butterfly from its chrysalis, the dance of a dr dragonfly over a local pond, or the playful antics of a family of otters.

1 1-888-891-TDEC (8332) 2 Check this out for an overview of the environmental voting record of our legislators: http://www.tnconservationvoters.org/scorecard 3 Here is a list of some of the organizations that are doing great work in the Nashville area: Harpeth River Watershed Association, Cumberland River Compact, Tennessee Environmental Council, Nashville A Rocha, TennGreen, The Land Trust for Tennessee, Urban Green Labs, Richland Creek Watershed Alliance, Friends of Warner Parks, The Nature Conservancy, Southern Environmental Law Center, The Nashville Zoo

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NATIVE | ISSUE 61 | JULY 2017 | NASHVILLE, TN  

NATIVE's five-year anniversary, featuring Cale Tyson, Tànsuǒ, Vadis Turner, and many more.

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