The East Nashvillian 10.1 Sept-Oct 2019

Page 1

K N O W Y O U R N E I G H B O R : Val Hoeppner

A R T I S T I N P R O F I L E : Kevin Gordon





2 September | October 2019

September | October 2019



Same Day or Next Day Appointments No Referral Required

All Health Plans Accepted

7 Springs Orthopedics is committed to exhausting all non-surgical measures to ensure that no one is rushed into a treathment plan that they are not comfortable with pursuing. 4 September | October 2019

East Nashville’s High-Quality Muscle, Bone, and Joint Care Provider

Make a same day or next day appointment today!

(615) 375-3079 1214 Gallatin Ave # 105, Nashville, TN 37206

September | October 2019


C ALL US FOR A RO C K I N G WA L L . NEW LOC AT I O N : 13 07 D I C K E R S O N P I K E N A S H V I L L E T N 37 2 07 615.4 5 4 .3 817 | G O O DWO O D N A S H V I L L E . C O M | m a i l @ g o o d wo o d n a s h v i l l e . co m 6 September | October 2019



Reignwolf with The Blue Stones




Minnesota with Pigeon Hole Managing Editor


Zoso: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Tribute Copy Editor


Neck Deep

Leslie LaChance


half•alive with Sure Sure

Calendar Editor


Lacey Sturm with The Unexpected


Warren Denney, James Haggerty, Joelle Herr, Brittney McKenna, Lauren Turner, Tommy Womack

Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute


Eptic: Flesh & Blood Tour with Tynan

Creative Director


Loud Luxury with Dzeko

Founder & Publisher Lisa McCauley Editor-in-Chief

Chuck Allen Randy Fox

Emma Alford Contributing Writers

Chuck Allen

Layout & Design

Benjamin Rumble Photo Editing

Travis Commeau


Lali: Brava Tour 2019




LSDream x Shlump with Shanghai Doom


Charlotte Lawrence: Navy Blue Tour with Goody Grace


Benjamin Rumble, Dean Tomasek Contributing Photographers

Travis Commeau, Chad Crawford, Stacie Huckeba, Kate York Social Media Manager

Liz Foster Advertising Marketing Consultants

Jamie Rubin, Coral Sherwood Ad Design

Benjamin Rumble


Todrick Hall: Haus Party Tour


Vintage Trouble


Ganja White Night: The One Tour with Jantsen, SubDocta


Tobe Nwigwe: The Ivory Tour


The Mowgli’s, New Politics & Plain White T’s: The 3 Dimensional Tour

The East Nashvillian is a bimonthly magazine published by Kitchen Table Media. All editorial content and photographic materials contained herein are “works for hire” and are the exclusive property of Kitchen Table Media, LLC unless otherwise noted. This publication is offered freely, limited to one per reader. The removal of more than one copy by an individual from any of our distribution points constitutes theft and will be subject to prosecution. Reprints or any other usage without the express written permission of the publisher is a violation of copyright.


©2019 Kitchen Table Media P.O. Box 60157, Nashville, TN 37206

September | October 2019


8 September | October 2019


PEACHY 56 Pool party tonight, well alright!

BUDDY & JULIE MILLER 42 Love, and other special powers

By Lauren Turner

By Warren Denney

DARA TUCKER 58 Going in between on The Seven Colors By Leslie LaChance


WALKER 60 InSETH the current

STUFFY SHMITT 34 Wild and free and one of a kind

By Leslie LaChance

By Randy Fox

IAN FERGUSON 36 Discovering a State of Gold in the basement By Randy Fox

DREW HOLCOMB 38 Wielding music to slay the Dragons By Brittney McKenna



TIM GENT 40 Home is where the life is


By Brittney McKenna

THE MINKS 54 Nikki Barber keeps it Light and Sweet

Vinyl Skyline

By Randy Fox

By Chuck Allen


September | October 2019



15 20 Envision Cayce Updates Council Passes New Regulations for Airbnbs 23 Metro ‘Rock Block’ Dodges a Bullet 23 The Matters of Development By Randy Fox By Randy Fox



12 Editor’s Letter 24 Astute Observations 97 East of Normal

Y our N eighbor 27 KValnow Hoeppner

By Chuck Allen

By James “Hags” Haggerty

By Tommy Womack

By Randy Fox

By Leslie LaChance

rtist in P rofile 28 AKevin Gordon ByTommy Womack

ookish 71 BSparking (Bookish) Joy By Joelle Herr

By Randy Fox

79 East Side Calendar By Emma Alford

Visit for updates, news, events, and more!

10 September | October 2019


Family Portrait

Photograph by Travis Commeau


September | October 2019




Your mind ain’t YOU


ust as this issue was going to press, I heard the tragic news of Neal Casal’s death. No specifics, other than the gut-punch: He took his own life. I didn’t really know him other than having interacted with him on a couple of occasions but have more than a few friends who knew him well. He graced our cover as a member of Hard Working Americans and had been scheduled to perform with Todd Snider at Live on the Green Saturday alongside former HWA members Chad Staehly and Jesse Aycock. The news reminded me of what I went through one year ago this week when I abruptly stopped taking a psychotropic antidepressent known as Effexor, which threw me into a complete emotional breakdown. Had it not been for Lisa, I’m not sure I’d still be here. The experience left me with real concerns about the efficacy and availability of mental health treatment. To paraphrase what Tommy Womack often says, it sucks having a brain that lies to you. To this I’ll add: It sucks living in a society in which we’re relentlessly bombarded by hopelessness. Even the most well-adjusted among us seem to suffer from low-grade

PTSD. God help those who suffer from depression, or addiction, or any number of mental health issues. I can barely look at Facebook anymore, and it’s not because I don’t want to. Keeping up with the goings on in the lives of my friends is important to me. But the never-ending reminders of how fucked up things have become hits me like hot air from blast furnace, scorching my brain and searing away whatever positive energy I might’ve otherwise had that day. So, I can only imagine how others feel, and it breaks my heart. Yeah, life isn’t fair and yadda-yadda-yadda but, if you care about anyone other than yourself, you know what I’m talking about. There’s been a seismic shift in our collective consciousness, and not one for the better. I have to force myself to resist the urge to withdraw, to disengage, and I consider myself very fortunate to be surrounded by people who recognize when I am and push me out the door into life. I can’t do it alone; of this I am sure. No one will ever know why. Not really. Even at our most vulnerable, we still hold back. We end up starving in the very citadels we build to protect ourselves. Maybe one day we’ll quit building them.

Neal Casal 1968-2019

Photographed by Stacie Huckeba Hard Working Americans cover shoot July 6, 2016

12 September | October 2019

September | October 2019


14 September | October 2019


Matters of Development NEW & NOTEWORTHY In July, Music City Roots, the weekly live musical variety radio show of roots and Americana music, announced its forthcoming new home in Madison. Scheduled for a grand opening in the Fall of 2020, Music City Roots will relocate to The Roots Barn, a new, mid-sized music venue to be built next to the historic Amqui Station and Visitors Center. The venue will feature a capacity of 750 seated or 1,000plus standing with state-of-the-art audio by the Nashville-based audio company Sound Image. The facility will also feature bars, food service, and ticketing areas isolated from the music hall, with a timber and barn wood design esthetic inspired in part by the Washington D.C.-area music venue The Barns at Wolf Trap.

The Music Barn will be part of a larger Madison Station development, with new housing and street plans designed to solidify Madison as a destination for arts and tourism. In addition to hosting Music City Roots on a weekly basis, The Music Barn will host ticketed shows and private events. A separate building, adjacent to the venue, will house a remote studio for Music City Roots’ broadcast partner, WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM, the 100,000-watt Americana-format public radio station of Middle Tennessee State University. Music City Roots is also partnering with local non-profit Discover Madison, which administers Amqui Station and Visitor’s Center, as well as the nearby FiftyForward Madison Station community center, which will share their existing parking lot with the Roots Barn.

Nashville State Community College (NSCC) recently began offering evening classes at Hunters Lane High School at 1150 Hunters Lane in Madison. The classes are the first step toward the new Madison campus of Nashville State, set to open in 2021. According to a press release from NSCC, seven evening classes, including courses in English, Business, and English for speakers of other languages, are being offered at Hunters Lane High School with plans to add more based on demand. Classes will be held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. The new Madison campus will be located on property that was the former home of Rivergate Toyota, 1520 Gallatin Pike. Scheduled to open in 2021, the 36,750 square foot facility will be the seventh satellite location for Nashville State. For more information about the NSCC Madison campus or classes

September | October 2019


Open for drinks and winks ... seven days a week! Mon-Thur: 12pm-12am | Fri-Sat 12pm - 1am | Sunday 12pm-10am 615.730.5023 • 105 S. 11th Street, Nashville, TN, 37206 • • Instagram @vandykenashville 16 September | October 2019

East Side B U Z Z at Hunters Lane, call 615.780.2760, or email New Madison transplant, Yazoo Brewing Company, is now open at 900 River Bluff Dr. in Madison. The taproom serves Monday - Thursday 3-9 p.m., Fridays 2-10 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. It is also open Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for to-go beer and merchandise. Tours are available at 5 and 6 p.m. Wednesday - Thursday and at 5, 6, and 7 p.m. on Fridays. Reservations are required for tours. For more information and to reserve brewery tour tickets, visit The new Dive Motel and Swim Club at 1414 Dickerson Pike opened in August. The creation of designers Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks, the revamped 1956 motor inn features 23 custom-designed rooms, a bar and restaurant, and a large swimming pool open to locals by membership. Annual swim club memberships are now available for $365, monthly passes for $95, and daily passes will soon be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, contact them at 615.650.9103 or Living Waters Brewing, the new East Side location for craft beer and coffee, recently opened their doors with an emphasis on small batch brewing. Located at 1056 E. Trinity Lane, Living Waters is open Monday - Thursday 7 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and closed on Sundays. For more info, visit them online at Need more flexibility in your life (and body)? Ashtanga Nashville recently opened in the Woodland Presbyterian Church, 211 N. 11 St. offering classes in ashtanga yoga. “Ashtanga yoga is the system from which most other yoga originated,” owner and head instructor, Cory Bryant says. “Our Mysore program offers individual instruction in group settings and is very different from most other yoga classes. Even though it’s a group class, everyone is practicing independently. I work directly with each student to develop their own practice.” Ashtanga Nashville is currently offering a variety of morning, lunchtime, and evening classes. For a full schedule and information visit or call 202.957.4570. Local catering service In Good Company recently opened a store and food-to-go eatery in The Shoppes on Fatherland at 1006 Fatherland St. They offer goods from several other local businesses and are planning pop-up dinners for the near future. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 10 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, follow them on Facebook @ingoodcampanynash. News of property sales involving local favorites are usually met with apprehension,

but the recent sale of the building occupied by Five Points fave Batter’d & Fried Boston Seafood House at 1008A Woodland St. is very good news considering the purchaser was Batter’d & Fried owner Matt Charette. The $2.8 million purchase means Charette now owns the property occupied by all three of his Five Points eateries — Batter’d & Fried, Drifters, and Beyond the Edge.



CLOSING & MOVES Hot chicken aficionados were saddened by the recent news Prince’s Hot Chicken’s flagship location at 123 Ewing Drive will not be re-opening. The Nashville culinary icon has been closed since Dec. 28, 2018 after a car hit the front of the restaurant and the resulting fire damaged the structural safety of the building. Although

1900 Eastland Ave, #105 615/454-2731

September | October 2019




18 September | October 2019

East Side B U Z Z Prince’s owner, Andre Prince, announced plans to reopen as soon as possible, the needed repairs have not been made and Prince is now looking for a new location. Prince’s South Nashville location at 5814 Nolensville Pike and the Prince’s Hot Chicken food truck stationed at Yee-Haw Brewing at 423 Sixth Ave. S. in SoBro continue to operate. Prince’s will also operate a new location inside the soon to be opened National Museum of African American Music in downtown Nashville. For updates, follow Prince’s Hot Chicken on Facebook @princeshotchicken. The East Nashville location of The Local Taco closed at the end of July, slightly over a year since the closure of the locally-based chain’s Sylvan Park eatery. In a post to their Facebook page, the owners said, “After five wonderful years at this location, we regretfully announce that The Local Taco — East Nashville is closed for business. We’re grateful to our employees and guests, and we’ll miss being part of the neighborhood.” The closure leaves Local Tacos in Brentwood and Huntsville, Alabama as the only remaining locations. COMING SOON The newly renovated Hunter’s Station complex at 975 Main St. is nearing completion and a slew of business are expected to open in September and October. Former home to Hunters Custom Automotive, the new retail and restaurant campus is managed by the Nashville-based Fresh Hospitality. The line-up of businesses will include Citizen Market, The Grilled Cheeserie, Hugh Baby’s, The Picnic Tap, Tacos Aurora, and Vui’s Kitchen. For updates and more information, visit

The Art & Invention Gallery building at 1106 Woodland St. had a brief re-opening for this year’s Tomato Art Fest, but the beloved East Nashville location has a more extensive make-over in the works. According to plans filed with the Metro Historic Zoning Commission, new owner Christian Paro is planning a facelift for the property with new windows and doors, a change in the exterior color scheme, decorative wood slats designed to wrap around the front northwest corner of the building, and a new boardwalk to run along the west side of the building covered by a new, metal awning. The redesigned building will include three or more units aimed at attracting creative businesses. The plans for the makeover were prepared by Design 615. Andrew Maxwell of Foundry Commercial will be handling the marketing and leasing of the property. Paro bought the property, along with the adjacent Idea Hatchery business incubator from former owners Bret and Meg MacFadyen in June for $2.5 million. Paro plans to continue the operation of the Idea Hatchery, which offers small retail spaces at below-market rates. Another East Side makeover was announced in July, Stadium Inn — the long-decaying hotel at 10 Interstate Drive, just inside the downtown interstate loop — was vacated of all tenants and is currently undergoing renovation into a boutique hotel. According to a story published in Nashville Scene, the most recent tenants were forced out by extreme rent increases (from $250 per week to $650 per week in one cited example). Opened in June 1967 as the Dobbs House Quality Courts, the seven-story hotel was part of wave of new construction along the then recently completed interstate corridor through East Nashville. With 150 guest rooms, several

meeting rooms and suites, 170-seat restaurant, and a roof-top pool, the hotel attracted many mid-sized conventions through the 1970s. By the 1980s, the hotel was on the decline, a trend which continued over the next two decades. The hotel briefly enjoyed some attention in the early 21st century for its “dive bar” appeal and was used as a location for several music videos and as a venue for professional wrestling run by the local United States Wrestling Organization. The steady decline of the facility continued, however, and it became a last stop for many low-income individuals before homelessness. In a 2018 lawsuit, it was referred to as a “hotbed of criminal activity.” The renovation is expected to take a year. The Portland, Tennessee-based sports bar, Brewster’s Bar & Grille, announced in July they will be opening a second location in East Nashville at 1000 Woodland St. The building was formerly home to a location of the Family Dollar variety store which closed in November 2018 following the sale of the property to the Nashville-based Magnolia Capital Investments for $2 million. According to plans filed with Metro, renovation to the 6,750 square foot building will include interior demolition and remodeling; the addition of a bar, tables, and gaming area; and the preplacement of windows and exterior doors. A planned 528 square foot covered patio will be added to front of building. A projected opening date was not announced. The makeover of East Side favorite Edgefield Sports Bar & Grill recently began at 921 Woodland St. Michael McIlroy, Sam Ross, and Brandon Bramhall (owners of the nearby cocktail bar Attaboy) recently purchased the lease to the venerable Nashville watering hole from longtime owner Charlie “Buzz” Edens.

local eyecare. independent eyewear. September | October 2019


East Side B U Z Z The trio promised minor improvements to the building and say the new Edgefield will retain the same welcoming atmosphere. For a history of this East Side institution, check out the “History Channeled” story from our November/December 2018 issue. From the department of Food You Didn’t Know You Were Craving comes the soon-tobe-opened Coneheads. Imagine an ice cream

parlor setting but with hot waffle cones full of fried chicken and savory sauces and you’re on the road to what will be served up soon at 1315 Dickerson Pike near Cleveland Park. Owned by Nashville-native and former Vanderbilt and Chicago Bears linebacker Marcus Buggs, the unique eatery is set to open this fall. For more information follow Coneheads on Facebook or Instagram @coneheadscw.

A summer 2020 completion date has been announced for the renovation and expansion of the Boedecker Foundation-owned building at 1600 Riverside Drive according to a story in Nashville Post. The Nashville-based foundation — co-founded by former Crocs shoe company CEO and philanthropist George Boedecker, Jr. — plans to make the location into a nonprofit community hub called the East Nashville Community Collaborative with an event space available for use by local nonprofits and a culinary skills and a kitchen training program. The arcade bar chain Up-Down will be opening a Nashville location at 927 Woodland St. this fall. The location will include a rooftop outdoor seating area and bar. For more info, visit The owners of Marathon Village-based Safe House Tattoo Studio recently bought the retail/office space at The Volta mixed-use building at 4303 Gallatin Pike in Inglewood for $750,000. Safe House Tattoo Studio plans to open its new location in the near future. A new, four-story housing and retail complex is planned for the former Mrs. Winners Chicken and Biscuits site at 826 Dickerson Pike, according to Nashville Post. The proposed development calls for retail on the ground floor, 36 residential units on the upper stories, and a pool, deck, bocce court, and restaurant on the rooftop. The property is currently owned 37urban but is under contract to be sold to an unnamed development company. In an interview with Out & About Nashville, local event planner guru Ron Sanford discussed his plans for The River’s Edge, a new event center and music venue off Davidson Street on the Cumberland River. Phase one of the projects calls for the opening of a mid-sized concert venue and bar with phase two to include a double ballroom event space with a dedicated restaurant and lounge. No definite opening date was discussed in the story. —By Randy Fox

Have any Matters of Development you'd like us to consider? Send us an email:

Envision Cayce Updates The ongoing Envision Cayce project, which seeks to build over 2,000 new rental units in order to dramatically transform the Cayce Homes neighborhood by creating a mixed-use, mixed-income community in the East Nashville, recently marked off several important milestones. 20 September | October 2019

East Nashville Architects

historic renovation | custom design 6I5.76I.9902

September | October 2019





WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM WMAROCKS.COM 615-782-4030 is the official online source for buying tickets to War Memorial Auditorium events.

22 September | October 2019

East Side B U Z Z On Tuesday, July 16 the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency hosted a grand opening celebration for the new Kirkpatrick Park Apartments. Nashville Mayor David Briley, representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, state and local officials, Cayce Place residents, and other stakeholders joined in the event marking the opening of 94 townhome-like apartments along Sylvan Street, between South Eighth and Ninth Streets. The one and two-bedroom apartments are evenly divided between subsidized PBRA (project-based rental assistance) housing, low cost “workforce” housing, and market-rate units. All of the subsidized units will house current Cayce residents, many of whom contributed feedback during the design process, such as Geraldine Watkins. “My new home is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. I am just overjoyed,” Watkins said in a press release from MDHA. “Thank you to everyone involved in making Envision Cayce a reality. And to MDHA, thank you for keeping your promise to not only provide us with a new home, but also allowing us to help design a home we could be proud of.” Workforce and market-rate homes are now available for leasing. For more information, visit or call 615.780.7071. On Aug. 5, the new Explore! Community School facility at 711 S. Seventh St. officially opened for classes. Operated by the anti-poverty non-profit Martha O’Bryan Center, The Explore! Community School is a project-based charter school located in the heart of the Cayce Homes neighborhood. The new three-story facility rang in the school year with approximately 500 students in grades K-4. Launched in 2015 with a kindergarten-only program, Explore! Community School has been adding grades each year, and will continue do so, eventually operating as K-8 school. For more information, visit On Tuesday, Aug. 20, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for Red Oak Flats. The four-story development will include 102 apartments, with 45 set aside for current Cayce Place residents and the other 57 units divided between low-cost workforce housing, and market-rate units. Red Oaks Flats will be located along South Seventh Street and will feature covered parking, a computer room, a large courtyard, and a playground. Each apartment also includes an outdoor space such as a balcony or porch, and several mature trees will remain onsite to add to the appeal of the neighborhood. Red Oak Flats is expected to be completed in early 2021. MDHA plans to break ground on the next two Envision Cayce residential construction developments in summer 2020. —By Randy Fox

Metro Council Passes New Regulations for Airbnbs At their Aug. 20 meeting, the Metro Council passed, on third reading, new regulations for short-terms rentals, such as Airbnbs, in many residential neighborhoods. The bill sets a deadline of Jan. 1, 2022 for issuing permits to non-residents property owners. After that date, short-term rental permits in residential multi-family zoning districts (RM Zones) will only be available to property owners residing at that address. The bill was prompted by the growing trend of outside investment firms buying property in residential areas to exploit as short-term rentals aimed at tourists, bachelor parties, and other groups. Such non-resident owner shortterm rental units have led to record number of complaints from nearby residents, along with reducing the amount of affordable housing in Nashville neighborhoods. The full text of the bill — “Substitute Bill BL2019-1633 (as amended)” — is available on the website. Complaints concerning short-term rentals in your neighborhood can be reported to Metro Codes by calling 435-STR-HELP (435-7874357). Immediate concerns, such as noise

complaints, should be reported to the Metro police department’s non-emergency number 615.862.8600. —By Randy Fox

The ‘Rock Block’ Dodges a Bullet A rezoning proposal that could affect Nashville’s “Rock Block” (the row of businesses along Elliston Place between 21st and 24th Avenues South) was withdrawn by the sponsor of the bill, District 21 councilmember Ed Kindall, at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Metro council. Kindall took the action after protests from citizens in his district and others. Opponents to the proposal expressed concerns over it altering the character of the area, leading to the demise of many long-established businesses. In comments accompanying his withdrawal proposal, Kindall noted that the historic Louise Douglas Apartments could still be demolished under existing zoning regulations — a similar situation to the row of business on McGavock and Riverside, former home to Fond Object, that were demolished earlier this year despite the defeat of a rezoning and redevelopment proposal. —By Randy Fox

September | October 2019


Astute O B S E R V A T I O N S

Living With Delight In Hagsbrook Heights B Y J A M E S “ H A G S ” H A G G E R T Y


Hags is a a full-time bass player, part-time bad influencer©, and goodwill ambassador for The East Nashvillian.


Illustration by

elcome to the music issue, friends. I will give you three guesses as to the content of this edition’s “Astute Observations.” Geometry, you say? Don’t be obtuse! Is it fly fishing? There’s no angle in it. Is it the merits of the half Windsor? No, that is simply knot the case. I’ve always been an ascot man. Well then it must be music, right, Hags? Why yes, it is! You guessed it! What can I say? Obvious is obvious because it’s obvious. Am I right? As it says in the well-written blurb below, I am a working bass player here in East Nashville, Music City, U.S.A., but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? It was August 8, 1997 when I stepped off that Greyhound bus from Brooklyn and set my gaze upon the sparse Nashville skyline for the first time with nothing but my hopes and dreams tucked up in a beat cardboard case and an old Fender P-Bass slung over my shoulder in a rugged, James Dean-esque fashion. Would you like to see my creative license, officer? That fateful August day did indeed find me traveling from New York to Nashville, but I was not watching the small towns roll by from a Greyhound window like some bespectacled but dangerous extra in a Bruce Springsteeninspired movie. I was instead a member of a rolling caravan (the soundtrack to which was the book-on-tape version of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), which included a Volkswagen van and a formerly yellow short bus painted blue and white that was to become our touring vehicle. I was beyond excited and a bit nervous to be joining my musical brothers, Joe and Marc Pisapia, in their band, Joe, Marc’s Brother. My worldly possessions were whittled down to a bed, a dresser, the aforementioned bass, and an Ampeg SVT amplifier. What more does an idealistic young dreamer out to change the world need? September | October 2019

We got straight to work in our band house basement rehearsal space. Playing and singing together, we became a band and then we hit the stage. Every gig was played as sharp as possible and no quarter was given. We worked restaurant jobs to pay the rent and devoted ourselves to the mission. Those years will live in my memory forever as some of the most fulfilling of my life. As this entry for my column enters its twilight, I find myself searching for a clever and poignant summation to all this ruminating, but I can’t find one. Thankfully, the story of our community is still being written. I can tell you with certainty music is being created within a stones throw of my doorstep as I write to you from the comfort of my Inglewood cottage. Please allow me to paint a picture of my humble home in your mind’s eye, dear reader. Think aluminum-sided, short and fatty. Looking back over these 22 years, I must tell you moving to Nashville has been a great and serendipitous decision. Moving to a sleepy city full of music nerds who also happen to be among the best in the world at the craft of music making has been a continuing and enlightening education. The best players, singers, producers, engineers, techs, club owners, promoters, and luthiers are all here. We also have pretend cowboys who shoot captive bears in cages, but that is a horse of an entirely different color. Lots of people have dreams of fame, fortune, and adulation in the music business. Those are not my people. My people are the tone junkies, the liner-note readers, the obsessive record collectors, the lovers, the creators, the art-for-art sakers and East Nashville has always provided a safe and welcoming haven for such weirdos. The landscape is changing — and it definitely takes longer to get across town, but this city and my neighborhood still charm me. For me that charm has always been about community and creativity. Those are the resources that sculpt us, and they are constantly renewed. I am grateful to be a part. In closing, I will just say, “Thank you! I am glad to be here.”



Learn more at



September | October 2019


26 September | October 2019




have this saying at the station: if we take care of our artists and we take care of our community, they’ll both take care of us. And that has proven to be one-hundred percent true.” — Val Hoeppner


and ride 40 to 50 miles without getting on the highway, and by the way, I have a wife [Beth Shroeder, a school counselor]. And the agent was like, well, of course it’s East Nashville. I was just enamored with everyBy Leslie LaChance thing about the neighborhood. Two of our kids are Native As Executive Director American, two of our kids are of public radio station Hispanic, so we wanted a place WMOT-FM, it’s Val where we felt comfortable, our Hoeppner’s job to make kids felt comfortable, where sure all that caretaking they could go to school with gets done. From mentoring kids who looked like them student interns and buildand talked like them and ing playlists with Program were being raised like them, Director Jessie Scott, to so all that just kind of came running live events and together. And the creative vibe fundraisers, and taking here is so good. photos to creating digital “[Seigenthaler] was kind content, Hoeppner’s days of like a grandfather to me; are more than full, and she he stood for so many of the wouldn’t have it any other things I believe in. At the end way. “I get to do all of the of the day, I’d stop by his office things I love, really and to say good night, and from truly,” she says. “I love the time to time, he’d invite me music; I love to be a part of to sit down and have a drink that day in and day out. I with him. He drank Irish love the digital side of things whiskey, Redbreast. I’d get and reaching people in to hear his stories about the new ways.” freedom rides and Nashville Hoeppner takes pride in during Civil Rights days.” the community of listeners After Seigenthaler died in and artists that has devel2014, his secretary saw to oped around 89.5 Roots it that Hoeppner inherited Radio since the Middle his office cache of premium Irish whiskey. Tennessee State University When The Freedom station flipped its programming from a mix of classical Forum, which operated and jazz to an Americana The First Amendment format in September of 2016. Center, shifted most operations to Washington D.C., “Our three pillars at the Hoeppner didn’t want to station are music discovery, leave Nashville. She credits music experiences, and building community,” she says. Seigenthaler with connecting her to MTSU, where “The most rewarding part, I in 2013 she signed on as Director of The Center for think, is building community. Media Innovation and then was approached by Ken Paulson, Dean I know a ton of our members; when we see each other on the street, of the College of Media and Entertainment, to helm the WMOT or at WMOT events, they hug me because we’re family, a family of format switch. It was an easy sell. “I’ve been passionate about this people who love this music.” music since way back in college,” Hoeppner says. “I love the diverIt was that sense of community and a love of diversity that drew sity, the inclusion of female voices, the musicianship, and dedication her to settle in East Nashville when she moved from Indianapolis to craft.” in 2008 to work at The First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt She also relishes the opportunity to give women artists more University. A photojournalist by training, Hoeppner worked for airplay and female students more opportunities to work in radio. Gannett newspapers in the Midwest. She’d also been volunteering “Jessie Scott and I have made it our mission to amplify female artwith The Freedom Forum, which promotes First Amendment ists and give them an even playing field,” she says. “We also want to education, when John Seigenthaler — famed journalist, Nashville encourage women to work in production, and some of those stunative, and First Amendment Center founder — invited her to work dents are now producing our shows. It’s good for them as students; with him as a specialist in diversity and multimedia training. it’s good for the community, and it’s good for the artists. Diversity is “When we came to town, I was big into biking,” Hoeppner says. truly changing this industry.” “I said to our realtor, I want some place that I can get to a bike trail


September | October 2019


Artwork, clockwise from top left: Edwin Jeffery, “Coretta Scott King”, ca. 2006; Mary T. Smith, Untitled (Three Figures), ca. 1987; Herbert Singleton, “Totem”, ca. 1980s; Charlie Lucas, “Unchained Spirits”, ca. 1990s; Joe Light, “Birdman”, ca. 1987; Luster Willis, untitled walking stick, 1980s. 28 September September || October October 2019





Gordon Art for art’s sake

B y To m m y W o m a c k


hat attracted me to folk art when I first encountered it was, I think, the same thing that attracted me to Robert Johnson and Junior Kimbrough and artists like that. There was something genuine about it. Something real.” So sayeth the poet laureate of the swampy groove, Kevin Gordon. In addition to being a steadily — if glacially, over 30-plus years — rising figure in the Americana world with his worldly wise lyrics and deep bluesy feel, Gordon is also an authoritative collector, curator, buyer, and seller of the often deceptively simple expressions of usually untrained, often-impoverished artists who paint pictures on wood or metal and use all manner of found materials scavenged from any and all places one might find them. Speaking by phone from a poetry-writing retreat in New Hampshire, Gordon, who has a Master’s in poetry from Drake University, provides the lowdown. “I knew even back in college about Howard Finster, from the album covers he’d done for R.E.M. and Talking Heads, among others, and I discovered other artists kind of coming from the same place. At the time, though, I really wasn’t interested in much beyond playing the guitar and chasing women and drinking beer. But when I was in graduate school, I started wondering if there was something analogous visually to what was some of my favorite music — music that came from some rural sensibility but transcends that, simply because it’s so fucking good. →

P h o t o g r a p h y b y Tr a v i s C o m m e a u

September | October 2019




Leroy Almon, “Mr. and Mrs. Satan Fishing”, 1991

Mary T. Smith, untitled Christ figure, ca. 1985

Edwin Jeffery, “Christ on the Cross” and “From Birth to Glory”, ca. 2010


Herbert Singleton, “Get It On Up, Lazarus”, ca. 1990s September | October 2019

Jimmie Lee Sudduth, “Tutweiler Hotel”, ca. late 80s



Jimmie Lee Sudduth, “Alabama State Capitol”, ca. 1990

Jimmie Lee Sudduth, “Mad Toto”, 1988.

Woodcarvings by New Mexico artists (L to R): Leland Holiday, Robin Willeto, Johnson Antonio, and anonymous

September | October 2019




Top: Jimmie Lee Sudduth, untitled (Mansion), ca. 1987. On floor: “Artist Chuckie” Williams, “Bell Biv Devoe”, ca.1990. 32 September | October 2019

“When I met my in-laws, in Iowa, they were collecting similar art from the southwest, a lot from the Navajo people,” he continues. “But they were into a lot of different kinds of art. Not just from one bag. … And after I moved to Nashville, I came across a display catalog in Davis-Kidd [Nashville’s sadly demised Madison Square Garden of a bookstore]. It was a catalog from a display at the New Orleans Museum of Art. This was 1993, I think. And it was a broad overview of different kinds of self-taught art made by artists from the Southeast. I was immediately fascinated. Finster was in there, of course, but there were all these other people: Mose Tolliver from Montgomery, Alabama and Jimmie Lee Sudduth from Fayette, Alabama. I got to know both of those artists personally as I got more heavily into this, because they didn’t live very far away.” Gordon’s father-in-law saw how he was “getting eaten up with this stuff” and wanting to learn more about it. “We saw that I couldn’t really afford to make my living just being a so-called ‘collector’, even in the comparatively low-cost world of contemporary folk art, plus given how I was spending most of my time playing music,” Gordon says. “But he gave me some seed money around 1998 or ’9 — $4,000 to be exact — to start a little business. And I started going to see these artists who were still alive, like Mose and Jimmie, and buying from them directly, getting to know them as people. They were fascinating. To have an 85-year-old African American man tell you about being pulled over by a white cop not so long ago, and to learn about that terror first-hand, was as important to me as these objects that these people were making. “I learned that Jimmie used about 35 different shades of clay and mixed them with a sugar-based liquid like molasses or Coca-Cola and made a ‘paint’ that was adhesive and would stick to the board he was painting on. And he did these very textured paintings of houses, the local courthouse, and other buildings. I was really impressed with the ingenuity, and the sense that he was not so much concerned with the selling of the work as the making of it. I was not only fascinated by the work but inspired by it as well.” There isn’t much time for art exploration during his travels as a musician; trips to secure artwork are done on other days, either to exhibits, galleries, personal visits to the artists themselves (when they’re still alive), and the occasional stops at flea markets and antique malls, which he says are hit-and-miss affairs, heavy on the miss. When he meets with the artists themselves and they name a price, he makes a moral point of never trying to talk them down. And in the end, he can either afford a piece or not. Over the years, Gordon has amassed an impressive collection by folk luminaries such as the aforementioned Tolliver, Purvis Young, and Thornton Dial, among many others. Since

his gallery is his home, viewings are by appointment, naturally. He sells — and on occasion, buys — online, but he’s constrained by the fact that his budget is humble compared to the big boys. “I can’t compete with the prices the New York Galleries offer,” he admits. He says that only in the past few years has folk art come to be accepted as more or less legitimate art by monied collectors, museums, galleries, and the like. “I think it makes a much richer conversation when you take the best of this work, like the best of any art, and let these things be seen together. It makes it so much more interesting to me, as opposed to seeing another show of impressionists, or hiding the folk-art collection in the back corner. Seeing it together with other genres shows that there’s more common ground there than you might think.” As for his collection — much as he might love certain pieces more than others — Gordon has learned to regard it with a limited degree of sentiment, making what he calls “a Zen bargain”, an acceptance of knowing what comes in might well have to go back out. Turning to his music, Kevin has, as already mentioned, steadily risen in the ranks over a long career. His work is redolent of his native Louisiana: deep, bluesy, swampy, and subtly intelligent; try imagining the sound of dirty fingernails. It includes such great recent albums as “Tilt & Shine” and “Gloryland”, and classic songs like “Blue Collar Dollar”, the epic “Colfax”, and the classic Gwil Owen co-write “Deuce and a Quarter” which was recorded for the Elvis tribute record, All the King’s Men as a duet by none other than Keith Richards and Levon Helm. He’s earned praise from Rolling Stone, who called him the poet laureate of Americana, plaudits from esteemed music historian Peter Guralnick and artists like Lucinda Williams and Todd Snider, the latter of whom takes Gordon on the road as an opening act. After coming home from New Hampshire, Gordon was scheduled to fly to California for two shows; and when two shows can pay for a flight, that means people like you. And then he was bound for here, and there, and within all that, sandwiching his pursuit of the art made by people with as much honesty and grit as his own music. Does he enjoy it? “I’m so very lucky to have this little micro-business in my life, and just to have all this art around me, and to write about it in the form of songs, and think about it, and look at it,” Gordon answers. “And, as in the music, I’m very lucky to be able to do what I do.” For more on Kevin Gordon’s collection of Folk Art, visit ~ And check out, where you can listen to his music (the perfect soundtrack) while viewing the collection.











10 10/9









Wine delivered right to your doorstep. JOIN VINOFILE RESERVE.


September | October 2019


When he doesn’t have his hands full keeping his mom (Stacie Huckeba) out of trouble, Earl enjoys taking Stuffy for terror-filled rides down Gallatin Pike.

34 September | October 2019

Stuffy Wild and free and one of a kind story Randy Fox image Travis Commeau story Randy Fox image Travis Commeau


tuffy Shmitt’s eyes brighten and a big grin fills his face as he leans across a table at 3 Crow Bar. “You like great stories?” he says. “Wanna hear about my first gig in Nashville five years ago?” “It was at The 5 Spot,” Stuffy continues, as if the answer “no” was ever an option. “Nobody knew me of course, I’d just got here. It was pouring, one of those torrential Tennessee flood rains. So I walk in and the place is packed, but the youngest person in there was probably 80 years old. They’re all soaking wet. I’d told my neighbor, who’s 80, about the gig and he called up all his friends. “I went to the bartender and said ‘How you like my crowd, man?’ He looks around at this room full of soaking wet octogenarians and says, ‘Well, they’re drinking!’ So that was my first Nashville gig, thanks to my neighbor Don!” Stuffy punctuates his story with a hearty laugh. It doesn’t require much time with Stuffy to realize he’s the sure-fire source of some of the best bar conversations you’ll ever stumble into. He’s also an accomplished singer-songwriter with decades of experience doing it the “Stuffy way.” A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Stuffy shared his high school days with future Talking Heads guitarist Jerry Harrison and blues picker Jon Paris before Stuffy “ran like a rabbit to New York City.” “It was something to do with the Newport Jazz Festival that got me to New York, but I don’t play jazz so I don’t remember how I even got there,” he says. “I wound up playing at [the renowned folk club] The Bitter End, got a production deal right away recording at Electric Ladyland Studios, and just happened to get an apartment a block away for 279 bucks a month. It was like, ‘This rock star shit is easy, man!’”

While one could argue Stuffy was born a rock star, he had no tolerance for the accompanying bullshit — publishing deals, industry mixers, and corporate control. He just wanted to write songs, play music, and make friends. And on those terms, Stuffy’s a walking, talking success story. He’s been writing, producing, and releasing his own records for years. His songs have appeared in multiple movies and TV shows, and he’s worked with such heavyweight musical talents as David Johansen, Levon Helm, Gordon Gano and Willy DeVille, to name a few. Stuffy continued forging bonds with fellow musicians when he and his wife moved to Nashville five years ago. Striking up a friendship with guitarist and producer Chris Tench, Stuffy assembled a band including Tench, bass player Parker Hawkins, and drummer Dave Colella. With a new album ready for release in the near future, Stuffy doesn’t have time to rest on laurels, he’s too busy playing music and winning over new fans — whether they’re wet or dry, 8 or 80. “I have this whole attitude of ‘I don’t care,’” he says, “but that’s not a negative thing, it’s a positive thing. I asked Chris what we were going to do with the album after we were done, and he said. ‘Who cares, let’s just MAKE ART!’ That’s what we’re doing. If you don’t like it, screw you! If you like it, let’s dance!” Stuffy suggests you visit and buy all of his CDs and keep your eyes peeled for the new one coming out soon ... or he’ll make you go for a ride with Earl.

September | October 2019


Ian Discovering a State of Gold in the basement


he path to Ian Ferguson’s debut album, State of Gold, didn’t begin with a flash of inspiration or a deliberate choice of recording venue. It began with Ferguson locked in his basement. “I was living with my mom at the time,” Ferguson says. “I was downstairs recording. I didn’t have my phone with me, and my mom wasn’t home. I don’t know what happened, it could have been my dog, but I heard the door slam and I was stuck in the basement for several hours until my mom came home. I had nothing to do but work on recording and at some point I was working on a song and thought, ‘This could turn into an album, and I could record it at home.’” While Ferguson’s debut solo album, State of Gold, began with an underground revelation, he was already a recording veteran. Born in Los Angeles but reared in the small town of Kingston Springs, Tennessee, Ferguson began his musical career in his teens with the indie blues/folk rock combo The Kingston Springs. National tours and critically-acclaimed records (2010’s The Vacation Time EP and their 2012 self-titled album) followed, but by 2013 the wild ride that propelled Ferguson through his teenage years and early twenties came to an end, and Ferguson retreated from the spotlight for a while. “I was working a bunch of jobs I hated — everything from washing dishes to cleaning houses — but it allowed me to come home and focus on writing and recording. My inspirations went really crazy at that point. As much as I loved being in a band, it was heaven on earth being able to go down in my mom’s basement and record all by myself.” Although Ferguson enjoyed unrestrained freedom to experiment and explore musically, he found himself with technological boundaries. Working with a 1990s era computer and an outdated version of the recording software Cubase, Ferguson recorded the Check out for the latest, or saunter down to your local record store for a copy of State of Gold.

s t o r y R a n dy Fox i m a g e C h a d C r aw f o r d basic tracks, ultimately mixing the record himself. There were frustrations along the way, but the benefits far outweighed the stumbling blocks. “It was definitely a pain in the ass at times,” he says, “but there’s nothing better than working with something you’re comfortable with. I had worked in professional studios before which may have been a lot easier, but I had also been in the position of blowing money on studio time and not liking what I got out of it. The amount of happy accidents I had recording this album never would have happened in a professional studio.” The results of those happy accidents are spread across the grooves of State of Gold. Mixing Southern-fried folk and blues sensibilities with a heaping ladle of glam-rock goodness and power-pop sheen, the album delivers with Marc Bolan-inflected stompers like “State of Gold” and “Love Crime,” while displaying George Harrison-esque pysch-shimmer on tracks like “All My Days” and “I Do Not Mind.” Riding alongside is a Kinksian turn for clever pop song subversion as on the album’s recent single release, “Tyrants Waltz.” It’s an album that wears its influences on its sleeve while infusing original wit and charm to the music — never succumbing to the musical fashion faux pas of confusing imitation for inspiration. After spending almost two years writing, recording and mixing away from the public eye, Ferguson was ready to return to performing, but reintroducing himself to former Kingston Springs’ fans and building a following for his new sound proved challenging. “It was like starting all over again,” he says. “Some of my old band members came back and played with me, but I also began working with other musicians. I’m very stoked about my current band.” With a recent knock-out in-store performance at Grimey’s and tours scheduled through the fall, Ferguson will have little time to spend in the basement over the next few months. However, it won’t require another locked door to return to recording. “I have songs that have been locked away for years,” he says. “I’m constantly writing new material, and it’s hard sometimes to keep up with the songs I’ve recorded. My dream is to finally close that gap. Get to the point where I’m writing, recording, and releasing material almost immediately, but I have a few records of material I have to knock out before I’ll get there.” As for locale, Ferguson is not limiting his options solely to the basement. “The ultimate goal is bringing what you hear in your head to life,” he says, “Whether it’s on a record or a live show, what matters is finding the way that works for you.”

36 theeastnashvillian.comSeptember September| October | October2019 2019

Ian Ferguson seems to be shadowed by watchers wherever he goes.

September | October 2019


Drew Holcomb wielding his dragon slayer.

38 September | October 2019


Holcomb Wielding music to slay the Dragons


feeling as good as I’ve ever felt about new music,” singer-songwriter Drew Holcomb says. He’s sitting at a coffee shop on Dickerson Pike, reflecting on his time making the new Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors album, Dragons. It’s a couple weeks before the album’s release in mid-August via Thirty Tigers. Dragons follows Holcomb’s 2017 album Souvenir, a critically acclaimed LP that came out just after Holcomb was hospitalized for eight days with a dangerous bout of meningitis. That experience cast a pall over the release of Souvenir. “I didn’t even have the physical or emotional capacity to be excited about the release [of Souvenir],” he says. “It feels really good to be healthy, honestly. I feel really grateful for that.” On first listen, fans of Holcomb’s will note that Dragons is a major step forward sonically, as the album’s 10 tracks infuse the acoustic Americana of his earlier releases with electric flourishes, unexpected arrangements, and sonic touchpoints that connect the dots between bare-bones folk and anthemic arena rock. The record also boasts a murderer’s row of co-writers and collaborators, including Lori McKenna, Natalie Hemby, and the Lone Bellow, as well as Holcomb’s wife, Ellie Holcomb. In April, Holcomb announced Dragons with a single release of its opening track, “Family.” Opening with infectious vocal harmonies and a handclap beat, it’s just one of just several songs on the LP that could easily inspire a sing-along. As such, it sounds tailor-made for the live stage, preferably one situated outside on a warm summer night. “Some of these songs I’ve been playing live for a little while, specifically ‘Dragons’ and ‘Family,’” Holcomb says. “Probably more than ever in my career I’ve felt like people are connecting to songs more before a release than I’ve ever experienced. It feels good. I’m getting older. It’s not my first rodeo. I think it would be easy for me to be cynical by this point but honestly I feel as ambitious and hopeful and excited about the release and tour as I’ve ever felt.” Part of the joy Holcomb feels comes from the album’s collaborative approach. Despite his roots in Nashville, he’d resisted co-writing for years, finding that the process often felt “like a bad blind date” instead of a wellspring for creativity. Once he found a handful of trusted collaborators, though, he realized that co-writing could indeed be another essential tool in his creative repertoire. “I wanted to get in a room with people I already trust, like Lori McKenna,” he says of writing Dragons. “We did a songwriter in the round event in Memphis three or four years ago. She didn’t really know my music going into that and afterwards she pulled me aside like, ‘Hey Drew I really love your songs and if it ever makes sense, I’d love to write with you.’ I’m not a fool. She’s a respectable artist, not just a good songwriter. When she said that, that was sort of what spurred me on, in terms of co-writing. If people like that want to write with me then I should take them up on it and see what happens.”

Holcomb spent three days with McKenna in Boston, and their collaboration “You Want What You Can’t Have” made it onto the final tracklist for Dragons. McKenna sings harmony vocals on the track, which, with its pedal steel and twangy licks, veers more closely to country than any other track on the LP. “Writing for this record was a really different experience than I’ve ever had before,” Holcomb says. “I usually write as many songs as I can in a three-to-five month period of time. Then I start recording the record and preparing for the tour. I don’t write again until like a year and a half later when I have time to do it again. This time, I decided I was going to start writing with a lot more regularity. I wrote two or story Brittney McKenna three times a week for image Eric England almost 18 months.” Accordingly, there are still several solo writes on Dragons, including the album’s emotional centerpiece and its penultimate track, “You Never Leave My Heart,” which was the final song written for the record. Holcomb wrote the song about his late brother, who died when he was a teenager. “Almost 20 years since the last time we spoke / We were eating at the airport, I was laughing at your jokes,” Holcomb sings, as spare piano gives way to a gentle, swelling rhythm section. “When my brother died, the only thing that helped me make sense of life was music,” Holcomb says. “I grew up in a religious, Christian background. A lot of the canned answers about heaven didn’t make my grief any better. In some ways, it actually made it more complicated. So, driving around in my car listening to David Gray or Van Morrison or U2, those songs made me feel less alone. That was what initially made me want to make music.” C O N T I N U E D O N PAG E 7 5 Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors’ Dragons is available at ~ They’ll be playing Ryman Auditorium during AMERICANAFEST Tuesday, Sept. 14.

September | October 2019





Home is where the life is

Tim Gent released Life Away From Home in late summer of 2018, the Nashville-via-Clarksville hip-hop artist had no idea how many doors that new mixtape would open. In the past year, Gent has hosted headlining shows in and outside of Nashville, entertained potential publishing deals and writing opportunities, and received critical acclaim from national outlets like NPR Music — to name just a few of the young MC’s recent accomplishments. He’s also learned a lot about both his own artistry and the workings of the broader music industry, as he explains over dinner at Las Fiestas Café on Gallatin Pike. He’s joined by collaborator and fellow artist Jamiah Hudson, who appears on several tracks on Life Away from Home, and Zack Cobb, a member of Gent’s management team. “A lot has changed [since then],” Gent says. “Like my perception of what I want and what I’m working towards. Life Away from Home taught me a lot about myself and how I was doing things, things I needed to change and learn from and grow towards. From last year to now I’ve learned a lot that I didn’t know when I dropped that project. I’ve opened story Brittney McKenna for some people and done some dope i m a g e C h a d C r aw f o r d shows. A lot of opportunities came from Life Away from Home as well. I feel like the biggest thing that sticks out is just, like I said, my perception of what I want out of my career and what I’m working towards.” Gent self-released Life Away from Home to considerable buzz. He was already a local favorite, thanks, in part, to his 2016 song “Lady America” (featuring vocals by Drisana DeSpain), which landed praise from outlets like OkayPlayer thanks to its frank criticism of hot-button issues like racial injustice, police brutality, and the obvious, deadly intersection of the two. The tape is a compelling collage of hip-hop, jazz, R&B, and pop, with cleverly chosen samples, live instrumentation, and an overarching narrative — complete with skits and interludes — giving the project something of a concept album vibe. Opening track “Intro (The Yarn)” whets listeners’ appetites with spacey saxophone, atmospheric sound effects, and what sounds like a recording of an actual voicemail. Throughout the tape, Gent shows himself to be a versatile vocalist, as he easily transitions from his quick, agile flow to more than a few singing parts, the latter of which he handles with equal skill. Gent released the tape with the support of his tight-knit group of friends and collaborators, many of whom — like Hudson (who performs as Jamiah), Case Arnold, Bryant Taylorr, Bammie Davis Jr., and others — appear prominently across Life Away from Home. Gent marked the release of the tape with a celebratory show at Exit/In that also made plenty of room to celebrate his friends’ talent and creativity.

40 September | October 2019

While Gent’s accomplishments around the mixtape are plenty, the Exit/In show is perhaps what he’s most proud of. In addition to giving him and his collaborators a prominent platform for their music, the show helped Gent maintain the momentum from his mixtape and opened some crucial doors for him. For example, he’s now exploring offers for publishing deals, which he hopes will give him greater freedom to plan his upcoming projects. One example Gent mentions is the official lyric video for closing track “Pain Pills,” which he began teasing in the summer of 2018 but didn’t actually release until late spring of this year. While the final product — which was directed by visual artist Ben Wade and features impressive custom artwork — was certainly worth the wait, Gent wishes he could have released the video closer to the tape’s actual release. “It would have been cool to roll that out differently, as opposed to putting the tape out and then playing catch-up on certain things. Like I said, [the tape] still opened up a lot of doors and it worked out, but there’s definitely some things I’ll change the next time I release anything.” That song is one of Life Away from Home’s most powerful moments, bringing together the essential pieces of what makes Gent such a compelling artist: his deft flow, lyrical vulnerability, and an ear for arrangement, combined with a collaborative spirit (Hudson, Davis, and Taylorr all feature on the track). Collaboration is at the heart of Gent’s work. He’s one of several artists who anchor Nashville’s hip-hop and R&B community — which, it’s worth noting, gets only a fraction of the attention it deserves, particularly considering the sheer level of talent on display. He explains he met Taylorr C O N T I N U E D O N PAG E 7 5 Keep up with Tim Gent’s latest on Instagram @tim_gent while streaming his musical offerings on Spotify.

Tim Gent sees collaboration as fundamental to his work, and his smooth-as-silk vocal stylings belie a fearless lyrical style.

September | October 2019


Buddy&Julie 42 September September || October October 2019


LOVE, AND OTHER SPECIAL P OWERS story Warren Denney images Kate York

September | October 2019


44 September | October 2019

Nashville has emerged from its elemental roots to flourish today, expressively, as the tip of the American tongue. It is a writers’ town unparalleled, and a diverse musical cauldron in spite of itself and its own history. The city lives at the natural intersection of songwriting, music, and poetry — a marvelous reality of fiction and non-fiction. There is truth in the unseen when artists roam the streets. It is a gathering place, and people and animals have been drawn here for centuries, dating to pre-history, along the banks of the river, to hunt and sustain. Nothing has changed. Feed yourself. Feed your head.


uddy and Julie Miller, or Julie and Buddy Miller, depending on who’s running point, instinctively knew to come here in 1993, after a lifetime of chasing the spirit animals. Now, established paladins of the Nashville music scene, on the heels of a powerful musical reunion with the summer release of Breakdown on 20th Ave. South, they are able to reflect on their place in the city’s sprawling, rhythmic history. “I think we never really thought [we’d live here],” Buddy says, sitting with Julie in the downstairs studio space at their home. “When we finally ended up moving to Nashville, we moved here from L.A. We lived in San Francisco before that, the Seattle area before that. After Austin, after New York. “And we thought Nashville was always the end of the line — the bottom of the barrel — where bad music came from. And when we moved here — we didn’t have high hopes for our music career. We thought basically it was over.” But it was with a random practical logic the two turned their attention south to the heart of the Bible Belt and the seat of country music. “We thought ‘let’s move there,’” Julie says, laughing. It is her essential state. “We’d wasted so much money in San Francisco and L.A. on rent, we thought we better do something — buy a house or we’re going be too old. So we moved here to buy a house. It’s why we came.” Buddy expands on the practical thread. “We moved here for economics,” he says. “I was playing guitar with [ Jim] Lauderdale. He’d showcase for new deals every six months because he’s been on every single label that’s ever been. He’s maybe one of the reasons that they aren’t anymore, some of them. “We’d showcase, we’d get in. I picked up one of those [real estate] magazines in the store. It was the one that’s not there anymore, off Music Row. I think they called it the ‘Murder Market.’” →

September | October 2019


He took the magazine back to Los Angeles and gave it to Julie. “There’s a picture of this really cool house,” Julie says. “Now, of course you’d find out that they’re all falling apart and in a dangerous place, but they looked so great. We thought ‘God, we’ve got to go there.’” “But we also found out, within a very short time of moving here, that it was not what we thought,” Buddy says. “It was such a great community of like-minded musicians and songwriters. And then our friends started coming, Lucinda [Williams] and Lauderdale, they moved out shortly after.” Buddy is leaning back against the sound board. These are people who hold the sense of one another in high esteem. They’re happy. They talk about their punk rock dog, and remember scenes that led them here; led them to this most recent record. They are humbled still by the attention they receive, and may be the most unpretentious of hillbilly rock stars in town.


Buddy & Julie Miller’s latest release, Breakdown on 20th Ave. South, is available now on New West Records.

46 September | October 2019

heir partnership was unlikely, a long shot, just considering the original geography. They began separately as raw elements, in a story well-documented, with Buddy bouncing from Woodstock to the Russian River in California, and Julie growing up from the ground in Texas with special powers. Creativity requires cultivation — big medicine can grow from the down and dirty, and the 1970s provided a Petrie dish of sorts for them both. “I was in a band, and we were in a hippie van and playing on the street in California,” Buddy says. “We had hopes of a real deal, but it fell through. We ended up playing on the street every day to get money. We were in a school bus with all our girlfriends and all our dogs. “The guy that owned the Russian River Inn heard us and dug it. He let us live there. Some of us slept on sleeping bags on a bar. But, something about the Austin music scene was drawing me there. I mean, I’d just read about it and went there solo.” The room in their house is filled with sunlight, bathing the narrative of a love story which has unfolded here, laid bare on Breakdown. Julie is talking about the Texas days when she hitched a ride back with a steel guitar player to Austin from North Texas State in Denton to play music. How she hung posters in the street for the Armadillo World Headquarters one step ahead of freefall. Of her admiration for psychedelic poster artist Jim Franklin. How she and Buddy first met there in 1976. There’s always been a crackling energy flow, a cascading spill of real magic to their work. Their songs have always possessed the bite of the real world intermingled with the unseen, emotional heart of living everyday life. You can’t buy that. It’s a gift. The Millers come from the original source — close to the battery of rock ‘n’ roll; close to the illuminating sources of American roots music; country when it counts. A closer look flips the long shot on its head, and it seems in some way the rowdy, random universe of expression meant for them to collide. There are no visible tattoos on either of them, but they are marked just as surely with their own words. Just as surely as one of Buddy’s licks can cut straight through those roots, and beyond. Their resulting union of music has been a celebration of life’s challenges. Everyone relates to fear and love, getting on or falling flat. It comes from knowing the human condition and calling it out. They left Austin, and the band Partners in Crime, for New York. They would marry in 1982. →

September | October 2019



AARON LEE TASJAN Karma For Cheap: Reincarnated



BUDDY & JULIE MILLER Breakdown On 20th Ave. South




CORB LUND Cover Your Tracks

48 September | October 2019

“I don’t know why,” Buddy says. “But I guess the Austin music scene was going down a little bit, or hit a peak and had just gone past peaking around 1980. And we moved to New York because there was a strange country rock music scene up at the Lone Star Cafe and City Limits, and other places.” The Lone Star Cafe attracted other disaffected Texans, among many searchers, who were looking for a convergence of country, rock and blues. Buddy’s sensibilities on the guitar were developing into the sound he would bring to Nashville the following decade. Julie’s songwriting had begun to speak more personally. The pair continued to earn their bones. “The Lone Star was a great club,” he says. “So we went from one great scene to another great scene.” “It [the Lone Star Cafe] really reminded me of the Armadillo in its incredibleness,” Julie says. “It had a lot of the same kind of people playing, but it had a lot more blues guys at the time. Old blues guys. And we got to open for Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters. We opened for Willie Dixon. I was so young that I didn’t know who some of these guys were. It was a great education.” And it was in Manhattan where Julie would have a spiritual awakening as the two unloaded gear in an alley behind a nightclub. It was the trigger, leading her to embark on a solo career in Christian music, producing an early version of the song “Broken Things.” She released four albums, as Buddy played lead guitar and sang with Lauderdale. They relocated to the Northwest, moved from Seattle to San Francisco, then down to Los Angeles. They refer to those years as the “bankrupt” years, though Julie says they didn’t know it. By the time they moved to Nashville, they had tempered expectations.


he Millers landed here in a time of intervention, when artists were responding to Nashville’s lost soul of the 1980s, searching for a tangible hold. Toward the end of the decade, the scene on Lower Broad began to reawaken, thanks in large part to Greg Garing, BR549, and Brazilbilly. Simultaneously, Buddy and Julie Miller began to gain traction. “My honky-tonk roots were so deep, you don’t want to know,” she says, still laughing. Buddy made some progress on the session side, and they both continued writing songs. He built a studio in that first home (located directly across the street from their present one). “I was playing guitar for Lauderdale,” Buddy says. “And we opened some dates for Emmylou in Europe, in Holland, and because of that I got the nerve up to ask her manager if she

would possibly sing harmony on Julie’s version of ‘All My Tears.’ “Emmylou, who’d always been a hero for both of us, heard it, and loved the demo and held onto it. She never told us she was going to consider it, so it was a big surprise when she cut it.” The song, “All My Tears (Be Washed Away)” appeared on Harris’s critical album Wrecking Ball in 1995, and was also recorded by storied jazz singer Jimmy Scott. “Emmylou recorded Julie’s song and then, around that same time, HighTone asked Lauderdale to do a track on a compilation they were putting together,” Buddy says. “A box set

from that record found Brooks & Dunn and George Ducas. And, the label heard Julie’s unique expression on “Hole in My Head” from Your Love and Other Lies, and took notice. Her presentation of color and tone still holds true today, the gift that keeps on giving. “They thought I was tough,” she says. She would release her own secular debut Blue Pony for HighTone in 1997, an everlasting mix of Celtic, folk, blues, and mountain music set to a rocking beat. Buddy released his second record for the label, Poison Love, also in 1997, and played guitar for Harris in Spyboy and for Earle on his El Corazon tour. Earle assisted on another Buddy record, Cruel Moon in 1999,

“It had started to feel like music was my enemy. It was like music meant Buddy was leaving, goodbye.” — Julie Miller called Points West, and he had just signed to whatever label it was that year [Atlantic] and told them he couldn’t do it. He recommended me, and I did a cut. I guess they probably had a hole in their release schedule, and they called and asked me if I wanted to do a record. Well, sure.” He recorded the straight-up country record Your Love and Other Lies (1995) for HighTone on a Studer A80 two-inch tape machine, which was missing a wheel. “We propped it up with some books and when I put that thing in rewind, it sounded like a refrigerator and a dryer combined,” he says. “And so, the amazing thing was we put that record out, and I think every song on the record got cut. I didn’t know the interest was there. They didn’t all get cut right away, but pretty much every song off that record has been recorded — so that was another big surprise.” “It was so fun to us,” Julie says. “It was like, when you don’t hope for something and then you get it … then you don’t want to hope for anything.” Heads slowly began to turn. A good song in this town has a way of finding ears, and two

also for HighTone, as Julie managed to release Broken Things for the label the same year. These were the flashes that made the Millers, and confirmed they had found their creative home, albeit quite accidentally. There are markers along the way with this town’s evolution — the strange and polished rowdiness of the 1940s and 1950s, the smooth countrypolitan sound that emerged in the 1960s, the arrival of Dylan, the subsequent Outlaw reckoning, and the wide open “Paris in the Twenties” phenomenon which brought Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Roseanne Cash, Steve Earle, and others out into the light, the days when songwriters were once again leaning into the wind. The pair was establishing another, visceral musical marker of their own. The undeniable dynamic which the label had noted earlier would prompt them to ask for a creation from the Millers together. The juxtaposition of her voice against his down and dirty carriage produced Buddy & Julie Miller in 2001. That record earned the Americana Music Association award for Album of the Year, and was nominated for a Grammy. It →

September | October 2019


Some may say that the problems facing our community are too great. That the issues are too vast, the history too deep. But where some may see problems, we see challenges. Where others may see obstacles, we see opportunities. We see a battle that we are ready and willing to fight. We are fighting for a community where every child, every person, every family thrives. We can win this fight if we live as one.

Together, we

can create



we can be

the voice,

the strength, the

path forward for those

among us who are

struggling. For those

who have been left

behind or forgotten.

United, we mobilize,

we convene, we lead.

United, we build, we

support, we transform.

We are the leaders,

the neighbors, the providers, the partners. We are the hand raisers, the game changers, the problem solvers, the moment makers. And now is our moment. Together, we can create a united community where every person–no matter their background, their circumstances or their zip code–has an equal chance at a bright future. If united we fight. United, we can–we will–win. United we win.

Join the fight at

50 September | October 2019

would be eight years before the duo would produce another. Buddy would release one more solo project for HighTone in 2002, Midnight and Lonesome, before he and the label would part ways. In 2004, Buddy released the acclaimed Universal United House of Prayer on New West, where they remain today. That record earned the 2005 Americana Music Association award for Album of the Year and also yielded that organization’s Song of the Year with “Worry Too Much.” When they finally produced a follow-up collaboration in 2009 with Written In Chalk, the effort won four Americana Music Association awards — Artist of the Year for Buddy, Duo/ Group of the Year for them both, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year for Julie’s “Chalk,” recorded by Buddy and Patty Griffin. And though Buddy would earn other awards in the following years, including a Grammy for producing Patty Griffin’s Downtown Church in 2010, his varied musical commitments would place the Millers’ collaboration in the deep freeze. He toured with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s Raising Sand tour, and as part of the Three Girls and Their Buddy tour with Harris, Griffin, and Shawn Colvin. He suffered a heart attack while out on that tour and underwent triple bypass surgery, a frightening brush with disaster from which he has recovered. He toured the U.S. and Europe with Plant’s Band of Joy in 2010, and continued working with Lauderdale down through the years. Their Buddy & Jim Radio Show on SiriusXM Radio’s Outlaw Country channel is in its eighth year. All the while, Buddy produced stellar records for a seemingly endless list of artists, including Allison Moorer, Colvin, Griffin, Richard Thompson, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Solomon Burke, the War & Treaty, Steve Earle, and others. He has co-produced records with Plant, Lauderdale, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and was Executive Music Producer for television’s Nashville for two years. And, he has worked as an instrumentalist or vocalist for everyone. Literally, everyone. So, it is no wonder that Julie began to develop some frustration, even as she battled an increasingly protracted fight with fibromyalgia. “Okay,” Julie says. “Kind of a perfect storm has happened in my life. I’ve had fibromyalgia since the late-70s, and it’s a progressively bad condition. And if you’re on the road, and you just can’t get any sleep, you’re either playing, coming, or going — if you don’t have something [yourself ] — a sickness — you really don’t know what it’s like. You can try to sympathize with someone, but you don’t know what it’s like. And, you don’t know that you don’t know what it’s like.” The condition, coupled with the sudden death of her brother in 2002 by lightning strike in Texas sent her into a spiral. Soon after they had signed with New West in 2004,

Julie found herself unable to finish the record she was working on, and Buddy stepped in to complete his Universal United House of Prayer. “He was gone,” she says. “Yeah, I was gone a lot,” he says. “And, I was going to be gone a lot. I thought I could get that record done and then do hers. So I pushed that through. And that kind of shoved a wedge between us in a lot of ways. “It was just one more time that just sent her into a spiral. And then I took every gig that

came along. I just had a broke mentality of always being like, this is the last gig I’m ever going to get and that kind of thing. But then I was wrong and all these great gigs started happening, and I was absent. At least musically, and I was gone.” Julie puts the hardest of times in perspective. “After my brother passed, I mean, for like six months — it was just so strange to me that minds can be this way — I couldn’t even remember the name of the record I’d been working →

September | October 2019


52 September | October 2019

on,” she says. “This shocking trauma. And when you lose a sibling, you’ve got two grievings. You’ve got the grief because you’ve lost a sibling, and you’ve got the mother or parents’ grief that is huge, too.” In the ten years following Written In Chalk, Julie would pick up the guitar but was disengaged. “It had started to feel like music was my enemy,” she says. “It was like music meant Buddy was leaving, goodbye. And I had gotten really emotionally weaker. Grief and trauma can take a lot longer to get over than people imagine.”

suddenly became so prolific; it was blowing my own mind. It was like I had my own radio station on in my head. They were just coming out, and coming out, and coming out. I just kept writing and writing until we had a record we were happy with. Buddy is so good — he made them all sound great.” When Julie joined Buddy onstage in June at the City Winery for their only gig in support of Breakdown, the packed house welcomed her so warmly, she seemed taken aback. With

each passing song, she gained strength and the clarity of performance illuminated the room. It was a show of surprising force, built on soul to-soul conversation. As Julie sang “I’ve got special powers coming right outta my eyes / You’ll obey everything they say / cause they know how to hypnotize,” from “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” she was telling the truth. She does have special powers, and Nashville is hypnotized.


fter Buddy left the TV show Nashville, they began to spend more time just hanging out. She began to write songs as they continued to put off making another record together, and when she eventually played “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” as a message to Buddy, he was floored. The groundwork for Breakdown had begun. “And while we were hanging out, after about a year, she started writing these songs,” Buddy says, referring to the songs that would inform the record. “She would pick up a guitar and a song would come out.” “It started when he told me that they [New West] would take the record,” she says. “They just started coming out.” Buddy began moving bits of gear to the upstairs bedroom, the space she began referring to as “Studio B.” The entire record would be recorded there. Breakdown is an emotional offering, one that rocks the foundation. These are Julie’s songs, and they both agree, this is Julie’s record. She became prolific, often waking in the morning with new, fully formed song ideas. The ones that would eventually appear lay bare the intense, personal aspects of their relationship — anyone’s relationship in reality — and leave few rocks unturned as they explore profound emotional territory, ranging from deep grief to longing and the sharper edges of love. “Everything is Your Fault,” gets right to it, and the plaintive message behind “Storm of Kisses,” the lone co-write on the album between Julie and her nephew Alisdair MacKenzie about her brother’s death, cuts right to the heart. The title cut is a rocking howler. In its completeness, Breakdown on 20th Ave. South is bone-rattling shot. “I didn’t want to put pressure on her, or a deadline,” Buddy says. “I didn’t want to get into that. Let’s just have fun with the songs, and try to record them on the head of a pin. And I didn’t spend that much time, I just brought a floor tom and an old bass upstairs, and a couple guitars, and we built tracks that way.” “We just played,” she says. “We started to call it a record after about four songs. I


Follow two green thumbed gardeners as they learn patience & perseverance from an eight-legged hero. A favorite song comes to life in this theatrical experience for the youngest of theatre goers.

AUGUST 10 – SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 Snuggery Shows are for small audiences, allowing children ages 0-5 to participate in the action of the story with the help of their adult.


By Marisela Treviño Orta Based on the novel Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez Directed by Crystal Manich Tyler is the son of generations of farmers. Mari is the Mexican born daughter of undocumented migrant workers. When Mari’s family is hired to help save Tyler’s family’s farm from foreclosure, both young people are forced to confront the complexities of immigration, deportation, and citizenship.

Buy Your Tickets: 615-252-4675 or NCT offers fun and challenging Drama Classes for ages 4-18. Class schedule and additional info at

September | October 2019


Nikki Barber rockin’ it (with a little help from hair stylist Riley Thayer).

54 September | October 2019




Nikki Barber keeps it Light and Sweet

s the leader of the Minks, Nikki Barber is living the rock ’n’ roll life every day. It’s a path she began following when she was just 14 years old and was struck by a common but profound musical epiphany.

“Right when I started high school my friend Levi Landis opened an event space [in her hometown of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania] for bands to play,” Barber says. “I had always loved rock ’n’ roll. My dad was a big music fan and we would go to shows in Philly, but it wasn’t until I started going to those local shows that I realized I could do it, too.” I-can-do-it-myself revelations have launched rock ’n’ roll careers from the moment of Elvis’ first hip-shake on stage, but as Barber found out, a local, DIY scene nurturing that sudden, powerful realization can make all the difference. “Levi had a makeshift recording studio, and me and my friends were all making tapes and sharing them. The event space and studio shut down right about the time I graduated from high school, so it only lasted four years, but it was a pivotal time for me.” Barber first fell in love with performing through dance, an interest that also inspired a love for costuming and design. After graduating high school, she pursued her passion for fashion by earning a degree from the Academy of Art University and her love of music by forming the band Static Trees with fellow Gettysburgian Dylan Whitlow. After establishing themselves on the Keystone State’s indie rock touring circuit, the group headed south in 2011 to record the EP, Necessary Risks in Nashville. “I loved my home town but I wanted to get out, travel, and live somewhere else,” Barber says. “I fell in love with Nashville, and Dylan and I moved here in 2012, but I didn’t come with a plan for how long I was going to stay.” By 2014, Static Trees had run its course. After the break-up of the band, Whitlow joined local rockers the Blackfoot Gypsies, while Barber pursued other paths, including Electric Thread, a custom stage wear and design business she launched with fellow designer Liz Earle. “Everyone kept asking me what I was going to do next with my music,” Barber says, “but I didn’t want to do something just to be doing something. I took some time for myself and learned to play guitar better and worked on writing songs. I cut some of the bullshit out of my life and tried to grow up a bit. Nashville is a tough city. You have to bring your best to make people pay attention.” Barber’s return to the stage was precipitated by a phone call from an old friend from the Pennsylvania touring circuit. “Ron Gallo called me and said his band was coming to Nashville to play a show, and did I want to open for him,” Barber says. “I said sure, got off the phone, and said, ‘Shit. I gotta find a band.’” Pulling together several friends, Barber formed the Minks, for what she thought was one show. “I just wanted to play and prove to myself that I could get back into it, but it was so fun, we kept playing,” she says. “It’s been a revolving cast since day one. I call it a rock ’n’ roll circus — you don’t know what line-up you’re going to get, but it’s going to be fun.” With her many friends in the Nashville music scene, Barber guided the Minks to an increasing number of live appearances and the self-released Sweet Talk EP in 2016. The steadiest line-up eventually coalesced to include Jamie Timm on guitar, Joe Bisirri on bass, Houston Matthews on drums, and Barber

story Randy Fox image Travis Commeau on guitar and lead vocals. With Bisirri as recording engineer, it was this line-up that cut the 10 tracks that make up Light and Sweet, the band’s forthcoming full-length debut on Cafe Rooster Records. “We wanted a full package to show people what we could do on our own,” Barber says. “It was all recorded and mastered, and my friend Bridgette Aikens shot the cover before I pitched it to Brian Wright and Sally Jaye for Cafe Rooster Records. They were looking for a rock ’n’ roll act, so we sat down in their backyard and talked about joining in their little collective. It felt like the right fit.” Kicking off with the hard rock anti-depressive rocker “I’m Okay,” Light and Sweet powers through 10 tracks of “psychedelic-bloos.” With its mix of grungy garage riffs and self-revelatory lyrical defiance, it invokes the spirit of the early Patti Smith Group, but Barber never stumbles over the rocks of inspiration as she blazes through her vision of no-bullshit rawk for the 21st century. “I never really wanted to be a singer-songwriter. I always wanted to have a band, a group of friends to have fun with, travel, and make music together,” Barber says. “I think being in a band stemmed from my own desire to build a community and share our music.” Barber’s dedication to community and the DIY ethic extends beyond the music to every aspect of the Minks. In addition to designing and sewing clothes for herself and band members, her personal touch extends to the band’s merch and even the limited-edition, lathe-cut singles, manufactured by local, custom record cutters Groove Family Records, that have presaged the release of the album. The personal curation of the band’s image, marketing, and merch isn’t a conceited hipsterish-maker culture choice. It’s drawn from that same DIY inspiration that supercharged her 14 years ago. It’s a faith that great rock’n’roll will always find its audience if the people who make the music work hard enough and the people who love music simply come together. “Just being able to make music for a living is the dream now,” she says. “By yourself you may not have the power, but working with others you can do it. People still want to come to shows to hear music, feel the energy, and leave a little sweaty at the end of the night.” Preorder Light and Sweet at and see The Minks live at the High Watt on Friday, Sept. 20

September | October 2019


Sometimes even dedicated DIY punk bands can use an extra set of hands.

56 September | October 2019

Peachy Pool party tonight, well alright!


all Rachel Warrick of local post-punk trio Peachy for a press interview and you’re just as likely to receive an invitation to an afternoon pool party. “Bring your swimsuit!” she texts. Even if your schedule doesn’t allow time for a holiday in the sun, the invitation is a sincere one, emblematic of the way Peachy mixes fun with more serious concerns.

Warrick (guitar/vocals), Leah Miller (bass/vocals), and Benji Coale (drums) are all Nashville natives who orbited within the same DIY/punk scene while attending Middle Tennessee State University. They’ve had separate stints in a variety of local acts, such as Pujol, Mom and Dad, The Shadowtones, and Roman Polanski’s Baby. When two of the bands broke up around the same time, Warrick and Miller found themselves casually making music together in early 2018. “We were just hanging out — jamming for fun,” Warrick says. “Benji was upstairs in his bedroom, and he could hear us in the music room jamming. He came down and asked, ‘Can I jam with you guys?’ That’s how the band got started.” “Punks with a sense of humor!” reads the shortand-sweet on their current bio, but Peachy is quick to point out their music explores some heavy subject matter. This light/heavy dichotomy carries over to their live show, which is often peppered with sarcastic banter between catchy, ferocious songs performed with an incisive tightness. Warrick and Miller’s shared vocal parts swing between straight-ahead punk cry and anthemic belt, all while riffing in time to Coale’s deft, driving drums. The band’s fun, fiery delivery of songs from 2018 debut EP Squirt (engineered by Shibby Poole and released on local label Budding Romance Records) has a way of disarming


story Lauren Turner image Travis Commeau the listener and ultimately creating more of a conversation than a diatribe on topics like consent, toxic masculinity, and objectification of women’s bodies. Warrick explains the serious themes are intentionally captured through a lighthearted lens. “I don’t want someone to hear our song ‘Rich Boy’ and be afraid to come up and talk to me,” Warrick says. “So I think it’s good to be funny and playful with it too. These songs are real and talk about real stuff, but we can also be friendly, make jokes, and be real people.” “We pretty much write all the songs half and half,” Warrick continues, “If you hear Leah singing lead on a song, she wrote it; if you hear me singing lead on a song, I wrote it. Then we each write our own parts and Benji plays a huge part in arrangement. He can take the bare bones of our songs and bring them to the finish line.” As a group, they draw upon diverse musical roots. One can certainly trace late ’70s punk and early ’80s post-punk/new wave traditions informing what they do. However, beyond displaying a staunch DIY ethos and belonging to that community, they aren’t sure they identify with any precise genre. Miller points out it’s partially because of their evolving sound. “I don’t mind labels,” Miller says, “but I just know as soon as we release the new stuff, it’s not going to sound like our first record.” That’s in part due to working with someone new: engineer and musician Alicia Bognanno (of local band Bully). Bognanno worked at the late and much-beloved haunt The Stone Fox, where she frequently ran sound for each of Peachy’s progenitors and got to know Warrick, Miller, and Coale as artists and friends. The band is enthusiastic to return to the studio with Bognanno within the next month to finish their new EP. Peachy’s sense of community within the local scene is another badge they proudly wear. They are effusive with praise for other local bands (like psych-pop duo Twen, whose album release party they’re playing on Sept. 27) as well as nonprofits like Youth Empowerment through the Arts and Humanities!(YEAH!). The band recently performed at one of YEAH!’s Rock Camp events, where Warrick teaches guitar and Miller previously served as co-director. Peachy has worked hard since that fateful, formative jam in 2018. Their unflappable work ethic and surefire sense of fun are what allows them to make the best of any situation. For no matter how serious the matter, the pool party is never too far away.

September | October 2019


Dara Tucker


Going in between on The Seven Colors

story Leslie LaChance image Chad Crawford

f one were to consider Dara Tucker’s appearances at clubs like The Blue Note in New York City or Rudy’s Jazz Room in Nashville, or give her early albums a listen, “jazz vocalist” would be the safe way to describe what she does. But ever since deciding to pursue her love of song professionally in the early aughts, Tucker has been developing a more nuanced view of genre, one that comes from working in a variety of musical traditions over a lifetime. “I enjoy talking about genre and thinking about genre, because I think it’s important to understand where you fit,” Tucker says. “Especially if you’re dealing with gatekeepers and people who can let you in, you’ve got to be able to talk about what you do, so I don’t resent that conversation, while at the same time, I definitely have to acknowledge that I exist between a few genres.” Her fifth and most recent album, The Seven Colors, from the Watchman Music Group, explores those places in between genres and where they overlap. Tucker believes this new collection presents a fuller vision of her musical influences than previous albums like The Sun Season (mostly jazz) and Oklahoma Rain (mostly singer-songwriter). That fuller vision includes a variety of song styles and broadens how a listener might think about genre. “I’m really straddling a line between a few things on this album,” Tucker admits. Those “few things” are original songs drawn from her interest in jazz, but also from blues, musical theatre, R&B, gospel, and other Americana and singer-songwriter traditions. The resulting collection is vocally adventurous, joyful, and eclectic. Listeners can tease out the influences from ’70s female singer-songwriters like Carole King or Carly Simon on the title track, which happily coexist with the country-gospel harmonies of another cut, “A Place Like This.” That gospel sensibility also slides into the opening bars of a keyboard arrangement accompanying Tucker’s show-tune stylings on “Mantle.” “I feel like on The

58 September | October 2019

Seven Colors, we’ve been able to make that all live together a little bit better thanks to [producer] Charlie [Hunter] and some maturity on my part,” Tucker says. Hunter’s guitar work and production on The Seven Colors breathe with airy, open arrangements that leave plenty of room for Tucker’s vibrant, full vocals. “His whole concept was to streamline my sound, to strip away a lot of the artifice, a lot of the things that tend to make some contemporary albums sound a little bit cluttered and don’t really let your voice come through,” Tucker explains. “He’s really a minimalist, and he’s all about creating a groove and just putting some very simple melodic concept or harmonic concept on top of that.” Tucker developed her ear for harmony around the time most kids start kindergarten. As a child, she and her six siblings sang gospel as part of her parents’ Christian ministry. She cites gospel artists like The Winans and The Hawkins Family as early influences. Her father’s work as a pastor and music minister took them around the country until they settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Tucker attended college, majoring in international business. Though gospel singing had been a major focus in the family’s life, Tucker’s parents, both of whom died in 2014, didn’t envision a musical career for any of their seven children. “My father discouraged us from pursuing music as a career or from studying it formally,” Tucker explains. “My parents didn’t think a lot of the music business and didn’t want that for us.” Nevertheless, Tucker began to explore songwriting in earnest while living in Switzerland after college. As her interest in making music professionally grew, her desire to meet other songwriters and performers brought her to Nashville in 2004, where she’s been based ever since. Her parents ended up being supportive of her career. The Seven Colors is inspired by their legacy, and by the seven siblings who carry it on, says Tucker. Since coming to Nashville, she’s shared the stage with diverse artists, including Vince Gill and The Time Jumpers at 3rd & Lindsley. A YouTube video of her cover with them of Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” has the highest number of views of all her videos, says Tucker. “I like what I’m doing. I like where I’ve landed, and I feel like it’s an investment in who I am because while there is always somebody who can out-sing me, no one can say what it is that I have to say.”

The Seven Colors is available at Follow her on Instagram@daratuckerb and

Dara Tucker radiating the full spectrum.

September | October 2019


Seth Walker swings the blues around.

60 September September || October October 2019

Seth Walker


story Leslie LaChance image Chad Crawford

n his way home from a series of gigs in Colorado this summer, musician Seth Walker made an artistically important stop in Custer, South Dakota. It wasn’t another gig or recording session, but a visit with his 95-year-old great aunt Jan Conn, a famous rock climber and spelunker, as well as a musician and author. “She was the first woman to climb Devil’s Tower in Wyoming,” he says proudly. Jan and her husband Herb Conn also explored and mapped over sixty-five miles of the Jewel Cave system near Custer. Herb died some years back, but Jan still lives in their house, off the grid outside of town. “She’s always inspired me,” Walker says. “It’s like going to see the Dalai Lama or Yoda or something. She doesn’t see life in just human terms; she sees life through nature. She doesn’t have all of the hangups that we have. The ego doesn’t seem to get in her way. It’s primal living in every way. When I was there this last time, and I was leaving, I realized I didn’t want to leave, and said so. And she said, ‘Well, it’s your life.’ It was so matter of fact and put so simply and bluntly, and I remember thinking, well damn, she’s right, it is my life,” he says. “She definitely inspires me to be my true authentic self and to live within my nature. That is something I’m learning every day.” For Walker, getting to that authentic self has meant shaping and re-shaping his musical style through multiple albums over a more than two-decade career. His tenth and most recent album, Are You Open?, which debuted at number two on the Billboard Blues Album chart in early March is, in Walker’s opinion, his most experimental yet. It’s his first album recorded primarily using home studios (his own and producer Jano Rix’s), and his first effort trying his hand at some engineering. “The goal was to do something different, to go to another part of the cave, so to speak, putting

In the Current

myself in an environment that I’m not used to,” he says. “I’ve always recorded at really nice studios, good sounding studios, but I’ve always been at the mercy of someone just to hit record. But on this project, I would work up there in my little studio for hours and explore and try things and experiment. And that’s something I’ve never been able to do, and it really helped.” The resulting collection on the Royal Potato Family label touches back to his early blues and jazz roots in songs like “Underdog” and “Magnolia,” but listeners will find a happy mélange of other styles, traditions, and experiments. “Inside,” inspired by a piece of art Walker acquired on a trip to Cuba, begins with an iPhone recording of the song during a sound check, which is then layered with a studio track of the same opening bars; what starts as a rhythmic stutter eventually swings onto a thick hook of funky refrain. At the other end of the spectrum, the spaciously arranged and instrumentally sparce title track shows off Walker the lyricist in harmonies blending with the light touches of lonesome pedal steel. And the song “No More Will I,” co-written with friend Gary Nicholson, takes a political turn, not typical for Walker’s catalog of blues and jazz grooves. Changing approaches to music and finding other creative outlets have kept him growing as an artist Walker says. Raised in a two-family communal household in rural Altamahaw-Ossippee, North Carolina by music-teacher parents, he started playing classical cello when he was a kid. By high school, his interests shifted to rap music and visual art, and he still paints. In fact, the cover art of Are You Open? is a self-portrait. In his first year of art school at East Carolina State University, he fell in love with playing guitar and left school to follow wherever that passion led. Music took him first to Jacksonville, Florida to spend time with an uncle who played bass and taught him about classic blues, and where Walker played his first professional gigs with a reggae band. Stints in Austin, Nashville, and New Orleans followed, each stop infusing his music with new ideas and approaches. “I’m more of a sponge,” he says. “I get influenced by all these different cities I’ve lived in, people I’ve met, places I’ve visited, producers I’ve worked with, songwriters I’ve worked with.” CONTINUED ON 77

Capture your copy of Seth Walker’s Are You Open? at and follow his adventures on Facebook @sethwalkermusic.

September | October 2019




Vinyl Skyline

ong, long ago in a neighborhood far, far away (spiritually speaking; and it was 15 years ago, to be exact) Todd Snider made a record called East Nashville Skyline, which he’s releasing on long-playing vinyl for the first time. Seems rather strange to think a vinyl release wasn’t a thing in 2004.

story Chuck Allen image Stacie Huckeba

Originally released July 20, 2004 on Oh Boy Records, East Nashville Skyline will be reissued on vinyl this fall. Catch the latest at


To clear out the headspace required to be productive and prolific and head and shoulders above the rest requires tenacity and a singular purpose. Snider’s been able to maintain his career for a very long time by adjusting his sails to deal with the headwinds. Somewhere around the middle of said career he made the album presently being discussed, which in hindsight, turned out to be a watershed moment. It was Snider’s penultimate record for Oh Boy and, subsequent to its release, attendance at his live shows began to increase dramatically. ENS was coproduced (along with Snider) by Will Kimbrough and recorded by Eric McConnell (who both Snider and Kimbrough feel deserves greater recognition for his role in the making of ENS). “Todd needed someone who understood the feel,” says Kimbrough, reflecting on the album’s production. “My role was interpreter.” One key aspect of pulling this off was working with musicians who understood musical references like, as Kimbrough puts it, ‘“This one should have the feel of Lou Reed’s New York,’ or whatever.” One of McConnell’s contributions was what could be viewed — especially in the current land of countless ProTools tracks — as a limitation: The album was recorded on one-inch 8-track analog tape. “The limitation of eight tracks was a huge part of it, and it was liberating. We’re making a record that sounds like a record I love,” remembers Kimbrough. The above would all be academic, of course, were it not for the songs, for they are the coin September | October 2019

of the realm. In this regard, Snider’s bank account was full when he made ENS. “Todd knew what he was looking for, and he had the songs,” says Kimbrough. “He knew he wanted a Billy Joe Shaver song [“Good News Blues”], and he had a reason for wanting it. Some of them he wrote during the making of the record, but he had a vision.” Bookended by the Snider-penned “Age Like Wine” and the Sigman/Magidson classic, “Enjoy Yourself ”, the songs on ENS find Snider grappling with questions of mortality in a bittersweet, sometimes poignant, and often funny way. Listening to the album 15 years on reveals aspects of both its timelessness as well as continued relevance; the incredulity of “Conservative Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight, White, American Males” and his commentary on the Columbine High School shooting woven into “Ballad of The Kingsmen” could easily be referenced from today’s headlines. Flat-out, electrified, country-shuffle numbers like “Incarcerated” — with its outro “Nobody suffers like the poor people suffer”, and “Nashville” — featuring the sum-it-all-upin-a-phrase “There ain’t nothing wrong that we can’t fix in the mix” reflect Snider’s ability to expose the irony and cognitive dissonance lurking just beneath the surface of the American psyche through storytelling. “Play a Train Song” is, perhaps, the most recognizable of the bunch, and for good reason. It embodies the heart and soul of the neighborhood for which the album was named at the time in which it was made. It doesn’t need to name-check Five Points or Radio Cafe. The magic is in the moment it captures.

September | October 2019


Your Nashville Symphony

Live at the Schermerhorn



Tchaikovsky’s Fifth FREE T-SHIRT WITH TICKET

september 12 to 14

september 15

september 29

october 3 to 5

october 6

october 10 & 11


BRAHMS’ VIOLIN CONCERTO october 25 to 27

october 18

615.687.6400 The Righteous Brothers, Jack Hanna, Boyz II Men and Ahmad Jamal presented without orchestra.

64 September | October 2019



The future is here. It lives in Madison. By Tommy Womack


ant to move to the hippest part of Nashville? Well, right now, as the world sees things, you move to East Nashville. I mean, it does have a

whole magazine devoted to it. It’s a lovely place and in many ways at the peak of its cachet as a site for living, eating, shopping, and entertainment, and is likely to

remain that way for a considerable length of time. But if you’re the type who likes

to get a jump on things — get in on the ground floor shall we say, Madison is where the zeitgeist is going. Learn it, live it, love it. The way to tell if a place is hip is to measure how few people know about it, and if you’re one of the few and the

proud who know that Madison is the future hippest spot in Metro Nashville, here’s

a newsy tidbit: It already is. Go have a beer at Dee’s on Palestine Avenue and smell the winds of change. →

September | October 2019



a nook for people who love beautiful books

Check us out FOR our DAILY SPECIALS!



Get your fix Wednesday THRU SATURDAY 11-8

1043 West Eastland Avenue • East Nashville

501 Gallatin Ave East Nashville 37206 615.521.9742

Treat your allergies. Find your voice! Relief is nearby.




Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Walk-ins welcome – or Hold My Spot™ online! Most insurance plans accepted.

3024 Gallatin Pike • 615-665-4400

CORNER OF GALLATIN & MCGAVOCK PIKE Urgent Team Holdings, Inc., and all subsidiaries and affiliates, complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. For TDD help call 1-844-355-4844. ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-844-355-4844. ‫ةظوحلم‬: ‫ةغللا ركذا ثدحتت تنك اذإ‬، ‫ناجملاب كل رفاوتت ةيوغللا ةدعاسملا تامدخ نإف‬. ‫ مقرب لصتا‬1-844-355-4844

66 September | October 2019


t’s simple, really. The bohemians are being priced out of East Nashville. Spill a glass of expensive artisanal bourbon in your front yard and watch a condo sprout up in its place. Restaurants are having trouble filling waitstaff, dishwashing, and sundry such jobs, because there are fewer starving artists and suchlike living nearby who will take those jobs. Other businesses have similar woes when it comes to filling the more menial positions in their establishments, the reason being that many of the homes that young (and old) hipsters used to rent have been sold out from under them, demolished, and replaced with two or three McMansions on each patch of land where a single proud and sturdy Southern house once stood. Those mini-mansions, “tall -skinnies” in local parlance, are now the homes of loafer-wearing professionals who listen to Ed Sheeran and sniff bourbon corks in “speakeasy” bars. As for the music and art scenes, East Nashville remains one of the envies of the civilized world. Or so it would seem. The influx of the above-mentioned urban pioneers, hither hastened by explosive growth brought on by the city’s quest for urban density, has upwardly adjusted real-estate values. Simply put, it requires more money to domicile on the East Side than it did a mere decade ago. A lot more. The artistic community is cornerstone of all hip areas, and artists traditionally have little to none of it — money, that is. They live in hovels where anorak tourists and dilettantes love to visit and stare at the patchouli-redolent performers, painters, potters, and poets like the whole place is a zoo and these are exhibits they can regard with a mixture of admiration, condescension, and more than a little envy. The assumption is being in proximity to the hip and happening rubs off; hipness via osmosis, as it were. But eventually, inevitably, the visitors move into the zoo and change the drapes both metaphysically and meta-fiscally, and the animals then pack up and leave, two-by-two, taking their élan with them. Tim Carroll is an East Nashville institution. The dark-haired songwriter and Les Paul picker with a longtime Friday night residency at The 5 Spot, and composer of treasures like “After the Hurricane” and the author’s favorite, “Grandpa’s Got the Marshall Out Again!” well … he’s jumped the parkway. This long-time, proud Benjamin Street homeowner (about as deep into East Nashville as you can get without having to get shots) sold his house, couldn’t afford to buy back into the neighborhood, and future, thy name is Madison. But moving north of Briley Parkway and having a day-to-day connection to the music in both East Nashville and Madison has not resulted in a great crisis or schism. “I love what they’re doing at Dee’s and I still love the East Nashville where I lived so long,” Carroll

says. “I’m still close enough distance-wise to get to anywhere in my East Side haunts I need to get to. I’m seeing Madison becoming more and more like an extension of East Nashville — as the music scene goes.” Todd Snider, ever the trendsetter and unofficial ambassador of East Nashville — who put the place on the map as much as anyone, says, “I hope that Madison fills up with crazies and that East Nashville should struggle to keep as many crazies where they already are right now while there’s still some crazies to keep.”

to sell 45 dildoes in the course of an evening. If you have yet to patronize Dee’s and hear great original music and experience the really harmonious feeling among the people, you are missing the epicenter of a very burgeoning and cool scene reminiscent of what the Slow Bar was for East Nashville 20 years ago, or the Family Wash’s early days deep in the bowels of the East Side. The best part is the leather easy chair halfway back in the music alcove. Sitting in that chair (which always seems to be available) makes it much more relaxing

I hope that Madison fills up with crazies and that East Nashville should struggle to keep as many crazies where they already are right now while there’s still some crazies to keep. — Todd Snider

In addition to Carroll, Madison is now home to Robert Kern, Carlene Carter, Allen Thompson, Trisha Brantly, Dan Seymour, Darrin Bradbury, Justin Amaral, Kristi Seehafer, Elizabeth Cook, among others. Then there are long-time residents, John England and Mark Robinson for example, who were musical pioneers in the land of Mid-Century Modern Ranch Houses. It’s also becoming the first choice of many who are new to town. Talented (and funny) new kid in town Ryan Sobb moved here from Alabama two years ago. Madison was his instinctive choice for a bear den. “It was closer to Dee’s” he says. Soul of brevity, that man. Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge (as it is officially christened) is directly behind a sex toy store who are snits about sharing their rear parking lot as if they’re always expecting

and enjoyable, like watching TV but with real people. It’s not like Dee’s invented cool in Madison. There was the dearly departed Pope’s, host of many a hot music night, and the wonderfully bizarre Smeraldo’s, with its curious mix of Italian food and beatnik spoken-word jams, plus free jazz in the back room. But even before those loci of live music, Madison had a deep legacy as a musically creative community. Bordered on the west mainly by Interstate 65, across the top by Rivergate, around the east and southeast by the wiggly moat of the Cumberland River, with the formidable concrete expanse of Briley Parkway guarding its southern approaches, for decades Madison was deemed a hinterland leafy suburbia where retirees trimmed hedges and channel-surfed until they died. That’s what

September | October 2019


68 September | October 2019

happens to legacies when people forget the actual history. But more than a few of the 40,000 Madisonians do remember their legacy. In the ’50s and ’60s these rolling hills were Nashville’s down-home, god-fearing version of Laurel Canyon. Picture Kitty Wells popping by Mother Maybelle Carter’s house for a cup of sugar. Patsy Cline shopping at the H.G. Hills. Hank Snow cutting demos in his knotty pine-lined home recording studio. Ira Louvin getting in a knock-down drag-out with his wife and ending up at the Madison hospital with four slugs from a .22 in his chest. (He got better.) Madison was even home to Nashville’s first built-in-a-garage, professional-grade recording studio — Wayne Moss’s Cinderella Sound. These “houses of the stars” were all pleasant but unassuming ranch houses; no Gracelands, no monstrosities with turrets like the John Rich erection on Love Circle. This is where the Everly Brothers, Ernest Tubb, Brenda Lee, and Col. Tom Parker all lived in regular middle-class houses alongside dentists, insurance salesmen, lawyers, and factory workers. They all lived in a normal suburban milieu where they all went to the same grocery stores and churches and lived normally like all their neighbors, albeit with hot hootenannies rockin’ the rafters at night. Beyond Madison’s real historical legacy as a music community, there’s another factor at work here. As “normal” folks fled the city, the bohemians and weirdos eventually staked a claim. Now that inner cities are being condosized and colonized by the people with loafers and Mercedes, the creative types are discovering the pleasures of the suburbs — adding their own unique twists to the Brady Bunch template. Nancy Van Reese serves on the Metro City Council for District 8 which includes most of Madison. She sums things up far more than this author’s poor power to add or detract. Here she goes …

we welcome development as long as it’s FOR us and not TO us.” Thank you, Nancy. Switching gears, another sign of Madison’s ascendance is the Nashville State Community College campus due to open in 2021. They are erecting their ivy walls on the 11-acre site on Gallatin Pike North (there’s no such thing as Gallatin Road, believe it or not, but that’s another story) where the Rivergate Toyota once stood. And then we have another biggie. Music City Roots. the long-running and much acclaimed TV and radio series are moving to the area known as Madison Station. Rather than renting out a building like they did successfully for years at the Loveless Café Barn and then at the Factory in Franklin, they decided to sink down permanent roots in Madison soil. Groundbreaking is imminent, and the architectural renderings depict quite the edifice, inside and out. It is projected to be open for business in late 2020. In addition, a branch location of 89.5 WMOT Roots Radio — the flagship station for Americana music in Middle Tennessee, will set up a fully functioning station adjacent to the new Music City Roots venue to broadcast in consort with the station’s current HQ in

Murfreesboro. According to John Walker, the program director of WMOT and majordomo of MCR, the studio should switch on later this year in Madison Station, a historic train station house which is also home the 501(c)3 nonprofit Discover Madison, an organization that helps people, well, discover Madison. But perhaps the best indication that Madison’s legacy is coming back to the fore, is Madison Station itself. Built in 1910 by the L&N Railroad, the Amqui Tennessee Passenger Station and Signal Tower (as it was then known), had a regular visitor in the 1970s, the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash. He always came armed with ham and biscuit sandwiches for the workers and would work the switches, entranced by the romance of the rails. When passenger service ended in 1979 and the station faced demolition, Cash had the building dismantled and rebuilt on his property in Hendersonville, with a codicil in his will stipulating the structure would be dismantled again and reconstructed in Madison after his demise. It’s one thing to move a whole building once, but twice is dedication, and a tribute to the building’s history, sturdy old-growth timbers, and Cash’s faith that Madison Station would one day be re-born. Madison is a place full of Zen carbohydrates, and a place where what goes around comes around. Past … Present … and Future, thy name is Madison.

“What I like [about Madison] is that it’s quiet, I’ve got a place I can build my garden, and there’s a creative class here that supports each other. From a business standpoint, the land is still affordable, still available, and we are banked by two major transit corridors that can be utilized while still protecting that interior suburban southern Madison environment that made us want to come here in the first place. As developers started over-developing parts of East Nashville, we began to see that the same reason I came to Madison in 1990 is why people are coming here now – elbow room, space to be creative, it’s affordable enough that the creative class can thrive, and from a real estate standpoint, developers have had to swallow hard the notion that September | October 2019


70 September | October 2019




Sparking (Bookish) Joy


have a little biblio confession. I’ve been thinking about downsizing my personal library. An as-long-as-I-can-remember book lover (slash hoarder) with a toe in middle age (gulp), I’ve purged books from my collection only once before. In early 2001, I sold about a third of my tomes at Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, to lighten my load before moving back East. Over the subsequent years, I can’t tell you how many times I scoured my shelves for a title only to remember, with a thumping heart, that it was gone. Since that regretful Powell’s surrender, I’ve accumulated hundreds more books. Freebies from publishers I’ve worked for, plus lots of books I’ve edited, and even more I simply couldn’t leave a bookstore without purchasing. I’ve packed and unpacked and repacked and re-unpacked them for more than a dozen additional moves, my bookfilled boxes always outnumbering all of my non-bookfilled boxes combined. The purging of belongings (and not just books) is actually quite de rigueur these days, inspired by the popularity of — wait for it — a book. I’m talking, of course, about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. First published in 2014, this self-help-y, lifestyle guide advises readers to get rid of possessions that don’t “spark joy.” Basically, you’re supposed to clutch an item close and ask yourself whether it brings you joy. If not, according to Kondo, it needs to go. When I first opened my bookshop in 2016, Kondo’s book had been out and on multiple bestseller lists for nearly two years. I didn’t immediately stock it, but folks started asking for it, so I did carry it — along with the parody The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place

— for a year or so before the phenomenon seemed to have waned. It popped back onto the scene, though, when Netflix released Tidying Up with Marie Kondo earlier this year. In eight episodes, Kondo utterly charmed viewers and reignited the dis-possession craze. After the show started streaming, some headlines caught my attention: “Marie Kondo Is Coming for Your Books,” “Kondo Hates Books,” “[Kondo] Is a Monster.” Yikes. Apparently, Kondo was advising folks to limit personal libraries to 30 books, and no more. Miffed that an author whose books had sold millions of copies was somehow anti-books, I decided not to order more for the shop. I mean, blasphemy, right? In researching for this column, though, I’ve discovered that the heresy-proclaiming headlines were misleading. In fact, Kondo mentioned in an interview that she prefers to keep no more than 30 books, herself. In no way, shape, or form did she ever mandate a limit for others. Book lovers are a fiercely fervent group (bless ’em). I think Kondo might have trouble escaping this biblio-phobe rap, as bum as it may be. But back, if I may, to my conundrum. There are several factors behind my urge to cull my collection. For one, as the years pass, I’m coming to terms with the reality that my time is finite and that there are books on my shelves that I know I will never read. Another reason: my taste has evolved. It may well be time to pass my 20-year-old chick lit novels on to someone else. When — or if — I move forward with a personal library edit, I will take Kondo’s lead and carefully consider each book before deciding its fate. Whether it “sparks joy” likely won’t be a determining factor — I do have an affinity for spooky books, after all — and I’m telling you right now that I will be keeping way more than just 30. →

“A house without books is like a room without windows.” — Horace Mann

September | October 2019


72 September | October 2019

New &

⟫ ⟫ ⟫ ⟫ ⟫ ⟫

The Testaments


Margaret Atwood This wildly anticipated sequel will arrive 34 years after the exquisite-if-unsettling The Handmaid’s Tale burst onto the scene. Simply can’t wait for this one.

{September 10}

Six Goodbyes We Never Said Candace Granger

This buzzy YA novel stars a teen grappling with anxiety, grief, and OCD.

{September 24}

Monster, She Wrote

Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier — just three of the women who’ve made a lasting, influential mark in spooky fiction.

{September 17}

The Water Dance

Ta-Nehisi Coates

This debut novel from National Book Award winner Coates is getting starred reviews left and right and will be heading straight to the top of my to-be-read stack upon its release.


Sean Brock

{September 24}

Queen Meryl Erin Carlson

Brock’s East Nashville restaurant compound is due to open this winter. In this, his second cookbook, he shares key recipes for Southern cuisine, along with experience-honed tips and tricks.

{October 15}

The title says it all, no?

{September 24}

Joelle Herr worked as a book editor and is the author of several books. She owns and curates The Bookshop in East Nashville. September | October 2019



NASHVILLE'S GOT IT WE PLAY IT 74 September | October 2019

D r e w H o lc o m b CO N T ’ D F RO M PAG E 3 9

“You Never Leave My Heart” isn’t Holcomb’s first attempt at writing about the grief he feels for his late brother, but he feels it’s his most honest and, therefore, potent. As on the rest of Dragons’ tracks, he tried to chart his grief using specific details, like “joy in the kitchen / sadness in the eyes” and “the reverend held court in the corner / Mom cried with all who came.” “I actually wrote one and put it on a record, but it was too universal, too melodramatic,” Holcomb explains. “Then 15 years later I’ve never written another one about him. I was looking over the songs one night — my kids were asleep; I love to write in the kitchen because the reverb in there is really great — and I just started letting myself go there. I’d had this moment with the first verse. I remember I was walking home from the post office right by Five Points and walking down the sidewalk and the grief and the memories started hitting me in waves. It took me back to a specific time and place. It doesn’t necessarily encompass my whole experience of being a brother or losing a brother, but it does take me back to that moment. There’s intense beauty and intense pain.”

A couple days after that moment, Holcomb sat down to write about his experience, finishing the entire song in less than an hour. He told producer Cason Cooley he wanted to record the track at night and in just a few takes, hoping to capture his raw emotion in what would be the final recording. “The band played through my emotion,” he says. “They could feel it, I think, when they were recording. Nathan [Dugger] played probably what is my favorite solo I’ve ever heard him play. We had this really beautiful moment where they were with me in grief, even though nobody in the room knew him.” Holcomb plans to play the song live, saying, “I’ve done the grief. I’ve let this song sort of take me down multiple times now and I’ve hopefully gotten to a point where I can perform it. The first try will probably be at the Ryman, so wish me luck.” Holcomb will begin a headlining trek with a September 14 show at the Ryman. He’ll also headline AMERICANAFEST and has plans to appear on Austin City Limits in October and on the next voyage of the Cayamo Cruise in February of next year.

Releasing music with the Neighbors is just one of Holcomb’s many projects. He heads up Magnolia Record Club, a curated vinyl subscription service that has, in the past, offered releases from artists like Judah and the Lion, Maggie Rogers, and Better Oblivion Community Center. He’s also the founder of Moon River Music Festival, which takes place each year in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This year’s lineup, taking place Sept. 7 and 8, boasts Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, and St. Paul and the Broken Bones, to name just a few participating artists. “With Moon River, my basic responsibilities are curating the lineup and hosting and playing our shows,” he says. “More than anything, I’m just preparing for the shows. Ellie and I are doing our acoustic show one day, then the next we’re doing a big set... It’s always about improving and changing. I’m spending the vast majority of my time preparing for the tour. I’ve realized over the last few years that a lot of these things I’m involved with are great, but they’ve taken time away from the things I really love — writing songs, recording records, and touring.”

I just loved it. It was produced by A.B., who executive produced my whole tape and pretty much helped me put it all together. She was in there recording and I was like, ‘Man, this is really dope. I’d like to put a verse on it.’ I wrote it in like 15 minutes and we put it out. I begged her to do it.” Gent has a new project in the works, but unsurprisingly, given his desire for a tighter rollout next time around, is reluctant to share too much of what that project might look (and sound) like. To keep people interested and engaged, he posts occasional snippets and teasers to Instagram, offering glimpses at his writing sessions and time spent in the recording studio. “I’m kind of teasing just because I’m anxious and I want to drop, but like I said, I want things to be in place before I start releasing,” he explains. “I don’t want to just be, like one of my managers, Eric, says, reactive. Like not being really rational as far as the release and everything like that. I don’t want to do that. So I’m just teasing little things here and there and getting people excited, keeping the content steady to lead up to when we drop. Right now I don’t have anything solidified.” He’s also continuing to play shows and hone his craft as a performer. A couple weeks after

the interview, Gent appeared at Marathon Music Works for Red Bull’s multi-artist show, The Underflow. The show brought together artists from across Tennessee for a one-off event designed to showcase just how much hip-hop and R&B talent we have in our backyard. Gent performed, as did Hudson, Taylorr, local rapper Daisha McBride, producer/Travis Scott collaborator Tay Keith, and several others. Gent brought a live drummer to his set and had Taylorr also join him on stage. Until he’s able to release new music, Gent is more than content to play shows, work and write with friends, devote himself to planning his next chapter, and spend his downtime with his young son, Benjamin. His ultimate goal is releasing new music by the end of 2019 with help from a publisher and a booking agent. He and Cobb also have some innovative event plans under wraps, which they hope to announce in early fall. “Since the summer kicked off, my creativity and energy just got really high,” he says. “I’ve been writing so much this summer, because that’s when I really started working with publishers. These last two-and-a-half to three months, I’ve been making so many songs and writing so much material. It’s been fun.”

Ti m G e n t

CO N T ’ D F RO M PAG E 4 0

at a show in Chattanooga a few years ago, and met the rest of the community through that friendship. “We just hit it off really well,” Gent says. “I ended up asking [Taylorr] to do a show with us and that’s when he brought out Jamiah. A.B. [Eastwood, Life Away from Home’s executive producer] was his DJ. They had Bam on the drums. It was like magic. We all hang out every day. We live on the same street. We’re always with each other, always hanging out. It’s deeper than music. What’s made it work is it’s genuine. Nobody’s hanging because they think it’s a one-up. I know I can benefit from being around [Hudson] but that’s not why I’m around her, or around them. We’re all literally friends. It’s heaven-sent.” He and Hudson work together frequently, with Gent offering a fiery verse on “L.A.”, the opening track of her most recent project, 22. Asked how the collaboration came to life, Gent laughs and says, “She begged me to get on it.” (“He’s lying,” Hudson retorts, laughing. “He’s lying.”) “She was working on her project,” Gent says. “We didn’t even know it was going to be her project, at first. She was working on new songs and working on ‘L.A.’ specifically, and I happened to be in the studio with her and

September | October 2019


76 September | October 2019

S e t h Wa l k e r CO N T ’ D F RO M PAG E 6 1

“When I first got into this stuff as a professional, I was doing jump blues. T-Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown, I just copied those guys,” Walker says. He got more serious about songwriting after a friend, drummer Mark Hays, turned him on to writers like John Hiatt, John Prine, and Guy Clark. “Mark gave me CDs and said, ‘Just pay attention to the way this is put together,’” Walker recalls. “I wasn’t a lyricist at all; I just wanted to swing. And I remember going down that rabbit hole, and I remember first trying to do something different than blues, and it was not good. I was just in deep water and flailing. “That was around 2002, and I felt really lost, like I didn’t have an identity with this, and I took three months off. and I just started painting. I guess getting back in touch with some of the first creative outlets I’d ever had before music … realigned me. I started to tap into something that was more authentic. I’ve always wanted to just kind of get in the current of music and let it take me.” That process brought him back to Nashville about a year-and-half ago after six years in New Orleans. “When I first moved here [in 2008] I was a lot younger and a little greener,” Walker says. “It was almost like I was on a mission, I had to prove something. I started writing with all these different people, great people. But at that time Nashville was not nearly as musically and culturally diverse as it is now, at least in my circles. So it just felt stiff. I had a publishing deal, and it was very productive, but I felt like I was steering my creativity instead of getting in the stream of it. I was just kind of getting caught up in my own gears. “I went to New Orleans to almost unlearn things, because that place is so the opposite of here. And it’s so spiritually charged. It really set me on a good path inside, to take some of that spirit and [combine it with the] work ethic and resources that Nashville has. I think being back here now I can see more sides of it.” Though his touring schedule stays full, Nashvillians will be able to catch Walker at some pop-up shows around town during AMERICANAFEST in September. “I’m getting to do the Jam in the Van,” Walker says with a grin, referring to the mobile studio/performance venue that will be parked outside The Crying Wolf. He’ll also appear on pal Delbert McClinton’s Sandy Beaches Cruise in January. As for the future, Walker isn’t fretting over what comes next. Following his famous Aunt’s advice, he trusts staying true to the daily discovery of his true, authentic self will make the pathway clear. “I have no idea what it’s going to be,” he says, “but Are You Open? untangled a path for me to get there.”

September | October 2019


78 September | October 2019


S E P T E M B E R | O C T O B E R 2019

F O R U P -TO - DAT E I N F O R M AT I O N O N E V E N TS , A S W E L L A S L I N K S , P L E A S E V I S I T U S AT: T H E E A ST N A S H V I L L I A N .C O M


East Nashville Farmers Market Tuesdays through October, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Amqui Station Farmers Market Sundays through October, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Looking for something a little more fresh than the usual Kroger haul and far more local than Whole Foods? Make a pit stop at one of these. Browse the locally grown organic and fresh foods. Sniff, sample, and snag the local cheeses, milk, breads, herbs, fruits, vegetables, jams, and jellies. Usually a few food trucks are in tow as well, so you can even grab a bite on site. Get out and meet the farmers who grow your food. They also accept SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Double down and visit both. First Church of the Nazarene, 510 Woodland St., & Amqui Station and Visitors Center, 303 Madison Station Blvd, Madison, 37115 ᚔ

PICK TO THE AIRPARK Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party

Select Saturdays through October, 6 p.m., Cornelia Fort Airpark It’s time to start pickin’ with a purpose again.

Running through the first Saturday in October, Cornelia Fort Airpark plays host to a pickin’ party fundraiser. Strumming and grinning will start at 6 p.m., with the bands firing up at 8 p.m. Tickets in advance are $12, or $15 at the gate, $40 will get you a season pass. Admission gets you one adult beverage of your choice. If you want to bike over, the folks at Shelby Ave. Bicycle Co. plan to have a group to ride over to the park starting at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the series will go toward supporting the restoration and maintenance of the historic airpark, so put your money where your neighborhood is and scoot. 2640 Airpark Drive Sept. 21: Sierra Ferrell, David Borné Oct. 5: Brazilbilly, King Corduroy ᚔ

COME TOGETHER Patriot Stories

Third Thursday of every month through November, 6:30-8:30 p.m., American Legion Post 82 During a time when turning on the news can spark the next World War in someone’s household, it’s nice to take a moment to remember we are all cut from the same cloth. The constant divisive rhetoric is exhausting, and we can’t think of a better way to combat that than a cold beer and fresh tunes. Patriot

Stories is a new series on the East Side. It’s bringing military-veteran singer/songwriters together for an opportunity to share their stories. The series will feature veterans from all walks of life — including musicians of all ages, races, physical abilities, and LGBTQ+ identities. The evenings will also facilitate donations to Tennessee-based veteran nonprofits. See you there at 1830 hours. 3204 Gallatin Pike ᚔ


Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7 Cumberland East Bank

Nashville’s one and only dragon boat race is returning for its lucky 13th year. The Cumberland River Dragon Boat Festival celebrates traditional Chinese dragon boat racing and culture. But let’s get to the racing. Fourboat heats race the approxiamtely 250 meter stretch of the river from the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge to the Woodland Street Bridge. This family friendly event will have a handful of tasty vendors on site and plenty of fun and educational activities for the fire breathers in attendance. The races kick off at 11 a.m. Proceeds support the Cumberland River Compact. 592 South First St. ᚔ

September | October 2019


Still in the groove (since 1984) 80 September | October 2019

East Side C A L E N D A R



Sept. 10-15, citywide

Sunday morning (and afternoon) sidewalks aren’t so sleepy or lonely with this (mostly) annual celebration of great music that also serves as the unofficial closing party of AMERICANAFEST. Hosted by Nashville honky tonker J.P. Harris, this year’s line-up includes JD McPherson’s Mid Tenn Three, Lauren Morrow, Molly Tuttle, Brandy Zdan, John R. Miller & the Engine Light, and J.P. Harris’ “Why Don’t We Duet in the Road” featuring Leigh Nash, Kelsey Walden, Kristina Murray, Malin Pettersen, Miss Tess, and Erin Rae, plus interim sets from The Music Makers Stage at Delgado Guitars featuring Cremona Strings Ensemble, Mariachi Los Potrillos, and classical guitarist Matthew Smith. Also at hand is a vintage and handmade goods market curated by Nikki Lane’s HCH Outpost, J.P.’s renowned gumbo, food trucks, drinks, and all kinds of fun. 919 Gallatin Ave. ᚔ

Americana Music Association Festival and Conference The annual festival and conference for all the branches and shoots of American roots music returns for its 20th year. The festival spans six days, offering educational panels and over a hundred artists. Check out seminars and lectures with musicians, historians, and top music biz professionals by daylight, then hit the streets for tunes by night. There is no lack of things to do throughout the weeklong event. Grab a wristband for entry to all shows or pay per showcase. If you want to attend the conference, register online. Numerous venues on the East Side will host shows for the festival. You can check out the full lineup online. ᚔ


Chuck Mead’s Shelby Bottoms Up Classic Noon to 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12 Shelby Golf Course

East Nashville’s own honky tonk hero, Chuck Mead, will host a neo-traditional 9-hole golf tournament featuring teams of musicians, music industry impresarios, and Americana music fans. Take part in the battle for each hole, prizes, and bragging rights, all while helping preserve the grounds of our beloved Shelby Park and Bottoms. Email your name and golf handicap, and indicate if you are a musician, music professional or fan to mark@14inchfringe. com to apply to play. There is a $35 fee for golf, cart, food, and drinks. Space is limited. 2021 Fatherland St. ᚔ

HELLO, HOLLY! Holly Street Rocks!

6-10 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, The Pavilion East No one ever said growing up was cheap, and Holly Street Daycare gets it. The annual event benefits local families with kiddos at Holly Street Daycare that need a little help financially. The proceeds from this toast-worthy fundraiser enable these kids to remain in a safe and supportive environment. A $50 ticket includes wine and beer tastings from Midtown Wine and Spirits, eats from Alexander’s Catering. There will be a silent auction featuring donations from over 100 local businesses, and a live auction for artwork, trips, concert tickets, and more goodies. 1006 Fatherland St. #105 ᚔ

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Noon to 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15 The Compound


National Recovery Month Class to Benefit the Trini Foundation 8:30-9:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 Ashtanga Nashville

September is National Recovery Month and yoga studios nationwide are coming together to increase awareness and understanding surrounding substance abuse and offer hope to those who are suffering. Join Ashtanga Nashville in changing the dialogue surrounding drug and alcohol addiction — from one of isolation to one of community and growth. Every dollar raised goes directly toward teaching Ashtanga yoga classes in treatment centers and providing yoga tuition scholarships for individuals in recovery. For more information: Woodland Presbyterian Church 211 N. 11th St. ᚔ

SONGSTER STOP ‘N’ SWAP East Nashville’s Musicians Swap Meet 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22 American Legion 82

If you’re among the sea of musicians and songwriters in Nashville, you might want to drop in on the Musicians Swap Meet. The musically inclined gather to buy, sell, and trade their gear, and there’s always a smattering of various musical odds and ends: guitars, drums, amps, fiddles, horns — you name it. This flea market of sorts is free and open to the public. If you’re interested in renting a booth for the swap, contact Randy Cooper at 731.298.9239. 3202 Gallatin Pike ᚔ


Southern Word Golf Classic Scramble 7:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 28 Shelby Golf Course

Southern Word drops the pen and picks up the golf bag for one of their greatest fundraisers of the year. This all ages, all skill levels golf scramble supports the folks of Southern Word, an organization that helps youth build literacy skills through workshops, school residencies, open mics, and shows. The morning will kick off with breakfast from Alexander’s Catering at 7:30 a.m. Sign up for the scramble for $50, which includes breakfast, greens fees, and a cart. Tee off at 8 a.m. 2021 Fatherland St. ᚔ

NASHVILLE CARES IF YOU WALK 28th Annual Nashville AIDS Walk 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 5 Public Square Park

It is time for an important yearly call to your sneakers, the annual Nashville AIDS Walk, sponsored by Nashville CARES. This 5k walk and run has the same goal every year: to raise $200,000 or more to end the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee. On top of the jaunt, there will be an accompanying festival, with live music, food trucks, and family activities. The funds raised will help Nashville Cares continue their advocacy, education, and preventative services to Middle Tennesseans. Register online or on race day. 3rd Avenue North and Union Street ᚔ

WE’RE ON THE CASSETTE Cassette Store Day

1-8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12 The Groove, Grimey’s New and Preloved Music, and Drkmttr For the lonely tape decks of yesteryear — this day is for you. Those rectangular tune vessels have made their way back into rotation. The brains behind the event, Banana Tapes, is a local tape label. Cassette Tape Day will have a lineup of performers across four stages at three different venues. Check in on their socials for more details about who plays what stage and when! After the spools run out, there will be an afterparty at Drkmttr. ᚔ

BREATH DEEP TO BATTLE LUNG CANCER LUNGevity Breathe Deep Stache & Lash 5K 7 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 19 Shelby Park

This combination 1.5 Mile Walk, 5K Walk, and 5K Timed Run takes aims at raising funds to combat lung cancer, celebrate survivors, and

September | October 2019


East Side C A L E N D A R honor the memory of victims. Whether you’re a runner, walker, stroller, or roller, everyone is welcome to join in (including pets!). Register online or on race day. 1900 Davidson St. ᚔ

THE NIGHT IS DARK AND FULL OF TERRORS Death Night Halloween Bash with Dirty Nerdy Burlesque 8-11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26 The Cobra

The Cobra strikes again this Halloween with a own spooky spectacular. Enjoy “horrorific” tunes from Soviet Shiksa, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, Viva Le Vox, and The Tenders, followed by a special Halloween-themed performance from Dirty Nerdy Burlesque. It’s an evening sure to drop jaws and rattle bones — both literally and metaphorically. Wear your sharpest fangs for this one. 2511 Gallatin Ave. ᚔ

The Pavilion East Spirits are whirring around The Pavilion East. Blue agave seems to be haunting the halls. The annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration has returned with its full bill of over 30 tequilas. You can expect good tunes, tasty bites, painted faces, and most importantly, tequila. A ticket gets you 15 samples of tequila and full access to the spooky premises. Ticket proceeds will benefit Fannie Battle Day Home for Children, so cheers to the cause! 1006 Fatherland St. ᚏ

Nashville Community Education Courses

Nashville Community Education is a program sponsored through Metro’s Nashville Community Education commission that offers classes to enrich the population of Nashville through professional and personal education. See the full course offerings and sign up at All events at Inglewood Elementary School, 1700 Riverside Drive, unless otherwise indicated.

MAS TEQUILA POR FAVOR Day of the Dead Festival 6-9 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1

Inglewood Sewing Projects Mondays, Sept. 9-Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m. American Sign Language I Mondays, Sept. 9-Oct. 21, 6-7:15 p.m.

Intermediate Conversational Spanish Mondays, Sept. 9-Oct. 21, 6-8 p.m. Advanced Conversational Spanish Mondays, Oct. 28-Dec. 9, 6-8 p.m. Black Women in History Tuesdays, Oct. 15-Nov. 5, 6-7 p.m. Beginning Birding Mondays, Sept. 30-Oct. 28, 6-7 p.m. Eat Smart at Home Tuesdays, Oct. 15-Nov. 12, 6-7:30 p.m. Salsa Basics Mondays, Sept.9-30, 6-7 p.m. Qigong Movement Tuesdays, Sept. 9-30, 6-7 p.m. Tai Chi Basics Mondays, Oct. 21-Dec. 2, 6-7 p.m. Stretch and Restore Yoga Tuesdays, Oct. 15-Nov. 19, 6-7:15 p.m.



DEE’S COUNTRY COCKTAIL LOUNGE 102 E. Palestine Ave., Madison

Sundays Jonell Mosser Gospel Brunch 2-5 p.m.

Mondays Worldclass Bluegrass with East Nash Grass 6-8 p.m.

Madison Guild 8:30-11:30 p.m.

Tuesdays Jon Byrd 6 p.m.

The SloBeats (Kenny Vaughan and Dave Roe) 8 p.m.

Patrick Sweany and the Tiger Beats 10 p.m. to midnight


The Hoedown with 4D Ranch 6-7:30 p.m.

Songwriter Showdown (hosted by Andy Beckey) 7:30 p.m.

The Rodeo Wranglers 10:30 p.m.

Thursdays Buffalo Gals 6-7:15 p.m.

Mark Thornton and the Sidekicks 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Allen Thompson 9-10:30 p.m.

Secret Shows 10:45-11:45 p.m.

Fridays Acoustic Happy Hour 82 September | October 2019

East Side C A L E N D A R Fine Lines 2038 Greenwood Ave.

Defunct Books Black by Maria Silver Located within The Idea Hatchery 1108 Woodland St. The Groove 1103 Calvin Ave. Toro

7-9 p.m.

Green Room Music Source And CD Baby AMERICANAFEST Day Party

Friendly Arctic 1004 Gallatin Ave.

Another Night, Another Dream

Thursday, Sept. 12 3-8 p.m.

DJ Dark Heart & DJ Gravy 10 p.m.


5:30-8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 19


THE COBRA NASHVILLE 2511 Gallatin Ave., 629.800.2518



917 Gallatin Ave.

Sundays Comedy Open Mic



Funk Night Nashville 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. =

THE 5 SPOT 1006 Forrest Ave., 615.650.9333

Sundays Sunday Night Soul Hosted by Jason Eskridge Every second and fourth Sunday, 6 p.m.


The Tiger Beats


ART EXHIBITS 1108 Woodland St. Unit G, 629.777.6965


Mike Bell “Matchmaker”

5-8 p.m., second Saturday of every month

Opening reception Sept. 9, 5-9 p.m.

Stumble on into any of our great East Side galleries and shops, which are open late during the East Nashville Art Stumble.

Noon to 5 p.m., Thursday through Sunday 6-10 p.m., second Saturday of every month

Ongoing Collection


Red Arrow Gallery Michael Weintrob Photography 919 Gallatin Ave. Raven & Whale Gallery Riveter 919 Gallatin Ave., Ste. 4, 615.236.6575

Jodi Hays

(Blues Music from Nashville’s Finest) 6-8 p.m.

Swing Dancing and Drink Specials 8-10 p.m.


Motown Monday Hosted by Electric Western Mondays, 10 p.m.


Two Dollar Tuesday Hosted by Derek Hoke 9 p.m. to close


Tim Carroll’s Rock & Roll Happy Hour 6-8:30 p.m.

Strictly ’80s Dance Party First Friday of the month 9 p.m. to close

Saturdays The 5 Spotlight

Artists vary First Saturday of the month 6-8:30 p.m.


Funky Good Time


First Saturday of the month 9 p.m. to close



THE GROOVE 1103 Calvin Ave., 615.227.5760 Backyard Shows, check online for start times:

September 11

September 18

September 25





arter intage GUITARS

Ryan Spencer Saturday, Sept. 7 September | October 2019


East Side C A L E N D A R Through September 8

Marlos E’van “Slightly Dangerous”

Every month—check the website for details

Opening reception 6 p.m., Sept. 14; through Oct. 13


Daniel Holland Opening reception 6 p.m., Oct. 19; through Nov. 28

A Red Arrow Gallery art talk series

222 Fifth Ave. S.

Outlaws & Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ’70s Ongoing This major exhibition explores the artistic and cultural exchange between Nashville, Tennessee, and Austin, Texas, during the 1970s.

Every Poster Tells a Story: 140 Years of Hatch Show Print PERFORMANC E S AT TH E FR AN C E S B O N D D AV I S T H E AT RE


Through April 2020 This retrospective focuses on pivotal periods in the history of Hatch Show Print, from its founding in 1879 as C.R. & H.H. Hatch, Printers, to its golden age in the 1920s led by Will T. Hatch, to the shop’s continued breadth and scope of work and long-standing dedication to its “preservation through production” mantra, allowing guests to experience and learn about the shop’s 140-year history through a collection of posters, blocks and memorabilia.

Still Rings True: The Enduring Voice of Keith Whitley Through April 2020 Keith Whitley’s short life cast a long shadow, influencing his contemporaries and successors, including fellow Country Music Hall of Fame members. Musician Spotlight:

Tim Atwood AUgUST 28 – 31 no, no, naneTTe Our 22nd Collaborative Musical with MBA! A delightful period romp set in the 1920’s with a great score by Vincent Youmans. The music includes Tea for Two and I Want to be Happy with a hilarious book by Otto Harbach and Frank Mandel. Flappers, blackmail, and farcical confusion abound in Atlantic City! You don’t want to miss this toe-tapping fabulous show! At Harpeth Hall. Tickets available online. OCTOBER 24 – 26 Big Love by Charles Mee Historian and playwright Charles Mee’s contemporary update of The Suppliants by Aeschylus. Funny tragic, and always insightful, this new take on an old story expands on the themes in the original because they are still so relevant. Politics, refugees, the gender wars, and family dysfunction combine with soaring language to make a fascinating evening of theatre. Tickets available online. NOVEMBER 21 – 23 cuLTuraL inFLuences Cultural Confluences — The Upper School and Middle School Dance Companies delve into the richness of our American heritage and celebrate our cultural differences that help to make us stronger. Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6:30, Friday, Nov. 22 at 6:30, and Saturday, November 23 at 3:00 p.m. (matinee only) Tickets available online. DECEMBER 9 WinTer cHoraL concerT An evening of music ranging from from classical to pop, this concert features grades 5-12 choirs and includes the Rolling Tones, Harpeth Hall’s contemporary group, and Lads & Plaid, a combined choral group with singers from Harpeth Hall and Montgomery Bell Academy. Admission is free and open to the public. DECEMBER 10 WinTer orcHesTra concerT The 5-12 orchestras will perform a variety of works ranging from classical to contemporary to modern works of the season. The progression of beginners through advanced players is amazing to witness and all are encouraged to attend. Admission is free and open to the public.

JANUARY 31 – FEBRUARY 1 Mary PoPPins Jr. Based on the iconic Disney film about a nanny who advises that “anything can happen if you let it,” this musical is an enchanting mix of unforgettable tunes and dance numbers that will thrill the whole family. Tickets available online.

Sunday, Sept. 22, 1-2 p.m.

FEBRUARY 27 – 29 THe secreT in THe Wings by Mary Zimmerman Theatrical visionary Mary Zimmerman’s challenging, dark, and often funny take on some of the lesser known tales by The Brothers Grimm and others. Original, thought provoking, and at times scary — just like a fairy tale. Tickets available online.


APRIL 15 – 16 sTudenT direcTed one acTs Harpeth Hall’s annual student directed one acts including special musical guests! Tickets available at the door. APRIL 30 – MAY 2 gLoBaL KaLeidoscoPe Global Kaleidoscope — The Upper School and Middle School Dance Companies explore global music with an appreciation of individual traditions that create a fusion with cross-cultural influences. Thursday, April 30 at 6:30, Friday, May 1 at 6:30 and Saturday, May 2 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets available online. MAY 5 sPring cHoraL concerT The Spring Choral Concert features grade 5-12 choirs, performance by the Rolling Tones, and a farewell to our senior singers. Admission is free and open to the public. MAY 7 sPring orcHesTra concerT Harpeth Hall Strings grades 5-12 will perform everything from light classical selections to high energy movements. The evening will end with a tribute to our seniors. Admission is free and open to the public.

For More Information Contact: 615.297.9543 • Purchase tickets on the website THE HARPETH HALL SCHOOL • 3801 HOBBS ROAD • NASHVILLE, TN 37215

84 September | October 2019

Charlie McCoy Sunday, Oct. 6, 1-2 p.m. 919 Broadway

Teens Take the First Through Sept. 21

Monsters and Myths: Surrealism and War in the 1930s and 1940s Through Sept. 29



Itsy Bitsy Spider

Aug. 10 - Sept. 22

Return To Sender

Oct. 10-27 Evenings and weekends are open to the public. 25 Middleton St. ∂


East Side C A L E N D A R Presents

The Bug Ball 2019

Theater Bug’s annual fundraising event Thursday, Sept. 12 4809 Gallatin Pike ∂


Second Annual Andrew Marshall Dorff Memorial Concert featuring Hunter Hayes, Lori McKenna, Jeffrey Steele, Devin Dawson, Josh Osborne, Rachel Wammack, Sam Bailey, Jonathan Singleton, and more TBA

Thursday, Oct. 3, 8 p.m.

The Second Annual Nashville Harvest Festival City Winery Nashville 5 Year Anniversary Sunday, Oct. 6, 12 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m.

Marc Cohn Presented By WMOT/Roots Radio

Tyrone Wells The Lift Me Up Tour w/ Dan Rodriguez

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 6, 8 p.m.



Madame Butterfly

Oct. 10 & 12 Season tickets on sale now 505 Deaderick St.


CONCERTS City Winery

Select shows. Full listings at: 609 Lafayette St., 37203 615.324.1010

Kaki King Monday, Sept. 9, 8 p.m.

The Midnight Hour Featuring Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Adrian Younge With Special Guests Loren Oden, Angela Muñoz, & Jack Waterson Presented By Lovenoise Sunday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m.

Ryan Middagh Jazz Orchestra Album Release Monday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m.

Sun Kil Moon Tuesday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m.

Bob Mould Sunshine Rock 2019 Solo Electric Tour w/ Will Johnson Wednesday, Sept. 18, 8 p.m.

Bruce Cockburn Presented By WMOT/Roots Radio Friday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m

Syleena Johnson The Woman Tour Presented By Lovenoise Sunday, Sept. 22, 8 p.m.

Peter Asher A Musical Memoir Of The 60’S and Beyond Monday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.

Carbon Leaf Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m.

Rumours - A Fleetwood Mac Tribute Thursday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m.

Holly Bowling Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m.

Steven Page Trio (Formerly Of Barenaked Ladies) Discipline USA Tour 2019 Sunday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m. September | October 2019


East Side C A L E N D A R Avery*Sunshine Tuesday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m.

Anthony Brown And Group TheAPy SECOND WIND Tour

Jon McLaughlin Me & My Piano Tour w/ Sawyer

Musicians Hall Of Fame Honorees & Rock Supergroup THE HIT MEN Monday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 25, 8 p.m.

Girls of Nashville Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m.

Moonchild - Little Ghost Tour

4th Annual Freeborn Jam Benefit Feat. The Outlaws & Blackhawk

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 8 p.m.

Pure Prairie League

Phil Vassar

Thursday, Oct. 24, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m.

The Cowan At Topgolf 500 Cowan St., 615.777.3007

Reignwolf w/ The Blue Stones


Friday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

PVRIS Sunday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m.

Minnesota w/ Pigeon Hole Friday, Sept. 20, 9 p.m.

Zoso - The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience Saturday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

Neck Deep Monday, Sept. 23, 6 p.m.

Half-Alive w/ Sure Sure Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m.

Lacey Sturm, The Unexpected & The Other LA Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m

Who’s Bad Friday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.

Eptic w/ Tynan Thursday, Oct. 17, 9 p.m.

Loud Luxury w/ Dzeko Wednesday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m. Lali Friday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m.

Misterwives w/ Foreign Air Wednesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m.

LSDREAM & Shlump w/ Shanghai Doom Thursday, Nov. 7, 9 p.m.

Charlotte Lawrence Friday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. ∂

EXIT/IN 2208 Elliston Place

Republican Hair CLEAN JUICE FIVE POINTS 962 Woodlands Street Nashville, TN 37206 (615) 772-1323

Saturday, Sept. 7, 8 p.m.

Kendell Marvel’s Honky Tonk Experience Tuesday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m.

Bleached Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m.

Agent Orange


Friday, Sept. 27, 8 p.m.


Thursday, Oct. 3, 8 p.m.


86 September | October 2019

East Side C A L E N D A R Tuesday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m.

White Animals Saturday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m

CBDB Thursday, Oct. 31, 8 p.m. ∂


Monday, Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 7, 8 p.m.

Trisha Yearwood with the Nashville Symphony Thursday, Oct. 3, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 8 p.m.


Halloween at Hogwarts Saturday, Oct. 5, 11 a.m.

Boys II Men

The Music of Tom Petty with the Nashville Symphony

Sunday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m.

The Band Camino Thursday, Sept. 5, 8 p.m.

Local Natives Saturday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m.

Charlie XCX Saturday, Sept. 21 8 p.m.

Ingrid Michaelson Thursday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m.

Banks Tuesday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m.

Taking Back Sunday Oct. 16-17, 8 p.m.

Lightning 100’s Halloween Bash: Here Come The Mummies Friday, Oct. 25, 8 p.m.

The Chrome Bar & House of Lux Present: Halloween Ball Saturday, Oct. 26, 9 p.m. ∂


Dwight Yoakam Monday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m.

18th Annual Americana Honors and Awards Wednesday, Sept. 11, 6:30 p.m.

The Mavericks Friday, Sept. 13, 8 p.m.

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors Saturday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m.

Dane Cook Saturday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

Leann Rimes Sunday, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m.

Sheryl Crow Tuesday, Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m.

Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m.

Catfish and the Bottlemen Monday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m.

TOTO Tuesday, Oct. 8, 8 p.m.

Maggie Rogers Oct. 15-16, 7:30 p.m.

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Residency shows throughout Oct. 18-26, 8 p.m.

Trey Anastasio Sunday, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m.

Ray Lamontagne Oct. 29-30, 7:30 p.m.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters


September | October 2019


88 September | October 2019

East Side C A L E N D A R Halloween Movie Night: Metropolis — Silent Film with Organ Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.


SHELBY BOTTOMS NATURE CENTER 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Thursday,

2-3 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10 Ages 21 and up, registration required

Ellis School of Irish Dance classes, and you’ll be dancing in the clover in no time.

Honey Bee Happy Hour 6-7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22

Talk Turkey To Me! 2-3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 Ages 4-10, registration required

Sundays: DancEast 2-2:30 p.m., Beginner Class; 2-3 p.m., Intermediate/Advanced Soft Shoe Class; 3-4 p.m., Intermediate/Advanced Hard Shoe Class


805 Woodland St., Ste. 314, 615.601.1897

& Saturday Noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday and Friday Closed, Sunday and Monday

Noon to 4 p.m., First Sunday of every month, Shops at Porter East

Mondays: Eastwood Christian Church 5-5:30 p.m., Beginner Class; 5-6 p.m., Intermediate/Advanced Class

The Nature Center offers a wide range of nature and environmental education programs and has a Nashville B-Cycle station where residents and visitors can rent a bike to explore Nashville’s greenways. 1900 Davidson St., 615.862.8539

Eastwood Christian Church, Fellowship Hall 1601 Eastland Ave., 615.300.4388 ᚔ


The Shops at Porter East open their doors the first Sunday of every month for a special parking lot party. You can expect to enjoy a selection of rotating food trucks (and usually a flower truck), fix-ups from Ranger Stitch, and often some good tunes, too. 700 Porter Road ᚔ

It is the Balm


6-7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12 Ages 21 and up, registration required

Hummingbird Happy Hour 6-7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 13 Registration required

Full Moon Hike

Sundays at Porter East

Scott-Ellis School of Irish Dance

You’re never too young — or too old — to kick out the Gaelic jams with some Irish Step dancing. No experience, or partner, required. Just enthusiasm, a heart of gold, and Scott-

ANSWER ME THIS Trivia Nights

8 p.m., each week, various locations East Siders, if you’re one of the sharper tools in the shed (or not), stop by one of these East Side locales to test your wits at trivia. They play a few rounds, with different categories for each question. There might even be some prizes for top-scoring teams. But remember, nobody likes a sore loser.

8-9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14

Sunset Soiree 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20 Registrations required

First Fall Night Hike 7-8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24

Third Annual Puppy Pageant & Parade 2-2:30, Saturday, Sept. 28

Candle Making- Citronella 12-1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 5

Totally Totes 12 p.m., Tuesdays, Oct. 8

It is the Balm 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 10 Ages 21 and up, registration required

Sunset Soiree 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 Registrations encouraged

Full Moon Hike & Campfire 8-9:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12 Registration required

Pumpkins and Pickin’ 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19 Registration required

To “Dye” For! 1-3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26

Dia de los Muertos 6-8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1 Registration required

Day of the Dead Pickin’ Party 1-3 p.m.Saturday, Nov. 2

Moonlight Mosey 7-8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 13

It is the Balm- 6 and up! September | October 2019


90 September | October 2019

East Side C A L E N D A R Monday: Drifters Tuesday: Edley’s BBQ East, Lipstick Lounge (7:30 p.m.) Wednesday: Nobles Kitchen and Beer Hall, The Mainstay (7 p.m.) Thursday: 3 Crow Bar ᚔ


Community Hour at Lockeland Table

want some adult beverages, feel free to BYOB. Check the website to see who the guests of honor will be for each performance. The event is free, but you may want to reserve a spot by calling ahead of time. The Post East 1701 Fatherland St., Ste. A, 615.457.2920 East Side Story 615.915.1808 ᚔ


Lockeland Table is cooking up family-friendly afternoons to help you break out of the house or away from that desk for a couple of hours. Throughout the week, they host a community happy hour that includes a special snack and drink menu, as well as a menu just for the kiddies. A portion of all proceeds benefits Lockeland Design Center PTO, so you can feel good about giving back to your neighborhood while schmoozing with your fellow East Nashvillians. 1520 Woodland St., 615.228.4864 ᚔ

If you haven’t heard of HOME (Helping Our Music Evolve), think of it as a little musical incubator inside Center 615. They provide everything musicians need under one roof: rehearsal, recording studio, event space, industry focused educational workshops, with 24/7 access to the location — a one stop shop for Nashville’s budding musicians. If you’re interested in learning more or becoming a member, Homies Night is where to start. It’s a laid back hang open to all who are interested in learning more. You can meet existing members and get the run down on why they’ve chosen it as their HOME. 615 Main St. Suite G1 ᚔ

Motown Mondays

BLUEGRASS FED & BRED 8 p.m., Wednesdays, American Legion 82



6:30 p.m., Every Thursday, The Groove

East Side Storytellin’

Looking for something to get your creative juices flowing? East Side Story has partnered with WAMB radio to present an all-out affair with book readings, musical performances, and author/musician interviews in just one evening. Look for this event twice each month. If you









with special guest Hayes Carll



with special guest Jamestown Revival

Bluegrass Wednesdays

For those looking to hit the dance floor on Monday nights, The 5 Spot’s Motown Mondays dance party is the place to be. This shindig, presented by Electric Western, keeps it real with old-school soul, funk, and R&B. If you have two left feet, then snag a seat at the bar. They have two-for-one drink specials, so you can use the money you save on a cover to fill your cup. Get up and get down and go see why their motto is “Monday is the new Friday.” 1006 Forrest Ave., 615.650.9333 ᚔ

7 p.m., first and third Tuesdays, The Post East


with special guest Kathleen Edwards

5:30-8 p.m., Fourth Tuesday of every month, HOME

9:30 p.m. to close, Mondays, The 5 Spot


with special guests The Teskey Brothers


4-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, Lockeland Table




Been searching for a midweek jam pick-me-up? Wander no more. Scoot and pick on down to American Legion Post 82 for their bluegrass night. The lineup changes each week, but you can check out their Facebook for the week’s grinners. Admission is free, but tips for the pickers are encouraged. Don’t forget to sign the mandatory guest log on your way in. Happy picking! 3202 Gallatin Pike, 615.228.3598 ᚔ


with Flock of Dimes



16th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour

DECEMBER 30 & 31


with special guest Yola

Open Mic Comedy Night In-Store

The Groove is good for more than just your vinyl needs these days. The needle drops for signups at 6 p.m., first comedian is on at 6:30. Drop by for some local comedy in a low key environment. Check out the latest releases between laughs. Anyone and everyone welcome to sign up! 1103 Calvin Ave. 615.227.5570 ᚔ

FEBRUARY 6, 7, 15 & 16


with special guests



116 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37219

September | October 2019


92 September | October 2019

East Side C A L E N D A R

WALK, EAT, REPEAT Walk Eat Nashville

1:30 p.m., Thursdays; 11 a.m., Fridays, Five Points

no mo’. Shake a leg, slurp down some of the drink specials, and let your true rainbow colors show. 917 Woodland St., 615.645.9174 ᚔ

What better way to indulge in the plethora of East Nashville eateries than a walking tour through the tastiest stops? Walk Eat Nashville tours stroll through East Nashville, kicking off in 5 Points, with six tasting stops over three hours. You will walk about a mile and a half, so you’ll burn some of those calories you’re consuming in the process. This tour offers the chance to interact with the people and places crafting Nashville’s culinary scene. You even get a little history lesson along the way, learning about landmarks and lore on the East Side. Sign up for your tour online. Corner of South 11th and Woodland Streets 615.587.6138 ᚔ

What could make brunch even better, you might ask? Bluegrass. For a pickin’ and grinnin’ kind of meal, join the folks at The Post East every Saturday. They’ll have a few jammers there to complement the toast (and jam). P.S.: For those just focused on snacking, brunch runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1701 Fatherland St., Ste. A, 615.457.2920 ᚔ



11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursdays, Noble’s Kitchen & Beer Hall

10 a.m., Saturdays, The Bookshop

Join your neighbors to talk about crime stats, trends, and various other issues with East Precinct’s Commander David Imhof and head of investigation Lt. Greg Blair. If you are new to the East Side, get up to speed on criminal activity in the area. 974 Main St., 629.800.2050 ᚔ

The Bookshop has a story to tell us each and every weekend. On Saturdays, they sit down for a good old-fashioned story time for young East Side bookworms, occasionally welcoming special guests (learn more about that on the shop’s website). One thing is certain: These are solid Saturday plans for wee bibliophiles. 1043 W. Eastland Ave., 615.484.5420

East Nashville Crime Prevention Meeting


2nd Annual Fright Night Friday

7 p.m., Fridays in October, The Groove All Hallows Eve is celebrated all month at The Groove and they’re keeping things extra spooky in the backyard. They’re laying off the vinyl for video instead. Every Friday through October they will be screening classic slashers. Popcorn included and the flicks are free. 1103 Calvin Ave. 615.227.5760 This year’s lineup:

Friday, Oct. 4 - Psycho Friday, Oct. 11 - Halloween Friday, Oct. 18 - Sleepaway Camp Friday, Oct. 25 - Scream ᚔ


9 p.m. to 3 a.m., third Friday of every month The Basement East On any given month, the QDP is a mixed bag of fashionably clad attendees (some in the occasional costume) dancing till they can’t dance

PICKIN’ YOUR BRUNCH Bluegrass Brunch

their next meeting and happy hour. Eastwood Christian Church 1601 Eastland Ave.


6 p.m., second Tuesday of every month East Precinct 936 E. Trinity Lane


10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays, The Post East

Weekly Storytime

6 p.m., third Thursday of every month Trinity Community Commons 204 E. Trinity Lane

INGLEWOOD N.A. 7 p.m., first Thursday of every month No August meeting. Isaac Litton Alumni Center 4500 Gallatin Pike


6:30 p.m., first Thursday of every month (Location may vary) McFerrin Park Community Center 301 Berry St.


6:30 p.m., third Thursday of every month Memorial Lutheran Church 1211 Riverside Drive


NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS Dates and locations vary Historic East Nashville Merchant’s Association (HENMA) is a cooperative formed among East Nashville business owners to promote collaboration with neighborhood associations and city government. Check the association’s website to learn about the organization and where meetings will be held each quarter.


MOMS Club of East Nashville

# 6:30 p.m., third Monday of every month Shelby Community Center 401 S. 20th St.

Monthly business meetings at 10 a.m., first Friday of every month, location varies by group MOMS (Moms Offering Moms Support) Club is an international organization of mothers with four branches in the East Nashville area. It provides a support network for mothers to connect with other EN mothers. The meetings are open to all mothers in the designated area. Meetings host speakers and cover regular business items (including upcoming service initiatives and activities), and also allow women to discuss the ins and outs, ups and downs of being a mother. Check their website for the MOMS group in your area.


Would you like to have something included in our East Side Calendar? Reach out to us at: Board Meeting 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 17, Oct. 22 Turnip Truck 701 Woodland St. Neighborhood Meeting 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 24, Oct. 29 East Park Community Center 700 Woodland St.

SHELBY HILLS N.A. Check their socials for updates about

September | October 2019



Misty Waters Petak M.S., CFPÂŽ, CLUÂŽ Financial Advisor (615) 479-6415

94 September | October 2019


September | October 2019


96 September | October 2019

E A S T OF N O R M A L To Bruce, With Love BY TOMMY WOMACK


guitar is a good friend. If you want it to be. Perhaps lover is a better word. (Lovers tend to cost more money than friends.) I fell in love with the Fender Telecaster somewhere around 1980. It seemed to be the right guitar for so many different situations. Keith Richards played one; Waylon Jennings, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, Joe Strummer, Jimmy Page, Andy Summers, Chrissie Hynde, George Harrison, Ray Davies, Buck Owens, Bob Dylan, and Muddy Waters have all played one. The list is endless. I knew I wanted to write songs, and I made up my mind that the Telecaster was a songwriter’s guitar, a troubadour’s guitar. I didn’t know that they could be trebly angry housewives in the wrong hands. I was a very angry young man. I really wanted to beat up Tommy Womack is on something, and if you really a singer-songwriter want a guitar that can take a and author. His latest beating, the Fender Telecaster book, dust bunnies: is the one you want. Lord a memoir is available knows I’ve beat on mine. at Grimey’s, Parnassus, When I got my first and Telecaster in 1983, I took it His new 45-rpm vinyl home and looked at it as much single and commentary as I did play it. It was beautiful. of the times, “We’ll Get I learned things. I learned that Through This Too”, is out now on Need to CBS bought Fender in the late Know Records. ’60s and, basically, pre-CBS was good and post-CBS wasn’t. The stock pickups in my post-CBS Tele were never going to be more than thin-sounding imitations of the real thing, so I bought EMG Tele pickups in 1986, and I had a spot routed out in the middle to put an EMG middle Strat pickup in. It was immediately a whole new guitar. Then I learned that the bigger the strings the better the tone, and the bigger the frets, the easier it is to bend bigger strings, so I had jumbo frets put in in 1987. Then I learned that if the strings were routed through the guitar instead of straight across it, the tone would be beefier, so sometime in the late ’80s or early ’90s I had six holes drilled under the bridge so it would become what they call a bottom-loader. And then I learned that even Teles break if you hit them

hard enough for long enough; in this case the bridge got damaged beyond repair one night when I was banging the poor thing onto the stage floor repeatedly out of either anger or joy (I can’t remember, maybe it was both), so I replaced it with a vintage pre-CBS Telecaster bridge that my fellow guitarist in Govertment Cheese, Viva, had, with the promise to give it back to him if he found a buyer for this precious part, which he did, which led to bridge #3, which still resides on the guitar. It’s had so many nuts (the piece with string slots at the end of the neck between it and the headstock) I’ve lost track. Nuts wear out but it’s hard to actually break one. I managed to, though. On more than one occasion. It’s beat all to hell now. There is a burn mark on the headstock from where I used to wedge my cigarettes. There is a gash in the third fret from when I fell off a table in mid-lead at the Big Apple Café in 1988 or ’89. I don’t remember ever actually chipping any paint; just one day the chips were there when the day before they seemingly weren’t. Most of them are small chips but one on the bottom curve is two inches long and looks like Cuba. On occasion it’s been flecked with blood from when I’d try the Pete Townshend windmill strum (which hurts like hell if you do it right), doused in beer, and on one occasion, vomit. (I’m the only member of Government Cheese who threw up onstage in mid-song, and I played a flawless lead while I did it. In the Cheese, puking was no excuse for slacking off.) And that’s my lover. It sounds better than ever, even if the relationship has been strained by domestic violence and public abuse. Two things I wonder about it, though, after all these years: how did it go from being off-white to tan? And why is there a neck pickup? No one ever uses it. Its name — Bruce. That embarrasses me. I wish I’d chosen something a little more exotic and less obvious, like Theophilus or something, but I was 20-years-old at the time. You do things like that when you’re 20.

September | October 2019



Family Portrait S tacie , S tuffy & E arl August 22, 2019


98 July September | August | October 2019 2019

September | October 2019


100 September | October 2019