Music on my Mind – maybe a #tbt post????

The other day, I posted a rag tag collection of music called Fine, Fine Music.  I kind of liked that so I decided to do it again. Song sometimes enter my head – either through hearing an old song on the radio, reading a mention, or just a random, unexplained earworm.  Over the past few days, I have been collecting some of these as they pass through, and I created the video playlist which will be posted below.

I was going to just post without comment, but well, you know me (or you don’t…) so… just quick, self-indulgent observations:

1.  “Boys Don’t Cry” by The Cure (I’ve had a thing for this song for a long time. I am a fan of The Cure (mostly early period stuff), and this song in particular has always spoken to me.

SXSW 2014 Lou Reed Tribute:  My close personal Facebook friend, Richard Barone and Alejandro Escovedo put together a Lou Reed Tribute show at SXSW which was not only truly epic, but which also highlighted the width and depth and breadth of the man’s music. Video’s from that show have begun to surface so us schleps who couldn’t be there can witness the glory.  I posted three here,

2.  “White Light White Heat” by the forementioned Mr. Barone and Mr. Escovedo and featuring their legendary house band which included Lenny Kaye, Clem Burke, and others.

3. “Satellite of Love” by Spandau Ballet (always one of my favorite Lou Reed songs  – I even wrote a short story borrowing the title. Again demonstrating the impact…. I started trying to imagine what music today would be like if The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed had never existed… truth is, I couldn’t even imagine – or don’t want to… Spandau Ballet sound great, too.)

4. “Run, Run, Run” by The Black Lips (another favorite song of mine.  Great band and a great cover).

end of Lou Reed tribute videos

5. “Poolside” by Webb Wilder (so I’ve been seeing Webb Wilder posting on Facebook quite a bit recently.  Which made me think back to the days when the Webb Wilder credo was plastered across my back on a regular basis.)

6. “Hopeful” by Spencer Livingston (Spencer Livingston is in a group called The Alternates which was one of the first bands featured on E2TG. He put out a solo record last year, and I wanted to add one of his songs which shows off his incredible voice and great songwriting.)

7.  “Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke?” by The Alarm (I’m not sure what brought this to my mind. I was a big Alarm fan back in the day.  I don’t know how many times I listened to the whole Declaration album. Urgent, passionate, and ooh that hair!)

8.  “Gloria” by U2 (believe it or not, but I was kind of a late bloomer when it came to music.  Some friends were talking about U2 all the time, and I didn’t know anything about them.  Then I saw this video, and I was hooked.)

9.  “One Time, One Night” by Los Lobos (always dug this song)

10. “The Conductor Wore Black” by Rank and File (Alejandro Escovedo was in this band along with the Kinman brothers. This was the part of the “movement” from punk to alt-country. Somebody called it cowpunk, but I never did.)

11. “Just Friends” by Beat Rodeo (I was introduced to quite a bit of music – including Beat Rodeo featuring my close personal Facebook friend Steve Almaas –   thanks to IRS Records Presents The Cutting Edge on MTV – when the M stood for music.)

12. “How to Rob a Bank” by Those Mockingbirds (Those Mockingbirds were the band that first got me connected to some of the great music being made in the New Jersey and New York areas these days.  They’ve gotten some good responses to this video, and I want them to get more – so check it out!)

13. “Watusi Rodeo” by Guadalcanal Diary (Another band I originally “discovered” on MTV back in the day.  A became a big fan and got to see them live a couple of times.)

14. “Fade Away” by Bodeans (I don’t know how many times I saw Bodeans live back in those heady days of youth.  The vocals and sound always blew me away.  Someone had posted about the Robbie Robertson album and I remember Sammy’s contribution to the song “Somewhere Down the Crazy River”)

15. “Jesus Everyday” by Treat Her Right (The late Mark Sandman was in this band before he was in Morphine.  I got to see them live.  This song is one my favorites.)

16. “Dead Letters” by Sealight (Originally when I started writing Ear to the Ground, I decided I wasn’t going to “review” albums. I would feature music, comment on it, but for some reason I didn’t think I could write a decent review.  I guess I thought there was a magic key that I didn’t possess. Then, Sealight went and mailed me a copy of their then new CD from France… this was the very first CD I got as a blogger, and I felt I “owed” them a review.  I ended up writing about this incredibly moving and atmospheric album – just writing my feelings and observations as I listened. I don’t know if it was a “real” review or if any of the “reviews” I’ve written sense possess  that elusive magic review key, but the fact was that the music inspired me, and so review or not, I felt what I wrote was real and true.)

17.  “Appetite” by The Grimm Generation (Another E2TG favorite – and a new song. When I interviewed this band I understood that we had very similar musical tastes and came from the same time in music, and it all made sense why I connected so much with their music. That and the fact that they are freakin’ brilliant!)

18.  “Get Into My Car” (Billy Ocean cover) by GWAR (RIP Dave Brockie.  GWAR made music for a long time and were so over the top and wild and crazy… I don’t know who else would mash-up this Billy Ocean song with  (NO SPOILER) the way they did here.)

19.  “Election Year Blues” by Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray (in anticipation of this past Tuesday’s show here in Nashville, I watched this video from the last time they were here. They did this song again and if anything it sounded better)

20.  acoustic blowout – The Minutemen  (Punk rock changed by life.  I was remembering an acoustic performance from The Cutting Edge, but I found this instead.  D. Boon has been gone almost thirty years, but his legacy lives on.  The Minutemen changed my life)

21. “Ghosts” by The Jam (This is one of favorite songs of all time…. it got into my head yesterday, so I added it to this playlist.)


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March 25, 2014 – The Basement – Nashville

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One is tempted to draw conclusions….

I don’t get out to see live music as often as I would like.  So lacking adequate empirical evidence, I can only offer anecdotal proof of my theorem that on any given night at any given venue in Nashville (and probably elsewhere, but I don’t even have first hand anecdotal evidence of that), there is a ton of great music to be had – played by people you’ve heard of and people you are hearing for the first time.

Case in point:  The Basement New Faces Night – Tuesday March 25, 2014. 

I went out to see my friends and E2TG faves, Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray make a triumphant return to The Basement, celebrate their recent nuptials, and celebrate the release of their brand spanking new and awesome album Lean Into the Wind.

There were six artists on the bill, and each brought a unique and ultimately satisfying set of music to the stage.

I wish I had time for a full review, but I’ve created a handy You Tube playlist of all the artists.

Included:  Owen Danoff of Washington DC, Regan Lorraine from Nashville by way of Indiana, Kyle Adem from Knoxville, Geoff Koch from Nashville by way of St. Louis (which I must point out in my head I am pronouncing like the French do), Keelan Donovan from Nashville by way of Portland Maine, and the aforementioned Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray from California and DC. 

Just a couple of notes in lieu of a full review:

Owen Danoff sounded like he was going to start of with a cover of John Mayer’s “The Real World” and then actually said, “This is not a John Mayer song”, and it wasn’t.  Combining a variety of styles into a sound that his own – a bit a of trivia – Danoff is the son of the writer(s) of “Afternoon Delight” and “Take Me Home Country Roads”.

Regan Lorraine was joined by Jason Goforth, whose name was so familiar I had to look him up, and I saw where he played with Angel Snow – so I’m thinking that’s where I heard of him.  For the last song, Regan spent a lot of time tuning her guitar (and imploring the audience to talk while she did it).  The tuning was worth it as the song sounded amazing and Goforth played a harmonica through a modified old telephone receiver (forgive my ignorance if this is a common thing) which sounded otherworldly and amazing.

Kyle Adem writes really great songs and has a unique and very listenable voice.  I wanted to hear more.

Geoff Koch I really liked a lot and only wish I had something cool to say. Good songs, nice sound. It’s not faint praise, I’m just lacking an interesting factoid.  Maybe if he had fallen of the stage…. but I’m glad he didn’t. Oh yeah! He closed with and epic song that was really cool!

Keelan Donovan was backed by a great sounding band, has a great charming stage presence, and he writes some evocative and at times humorous and human lyrics. It sounds like music you will be hearing everywhere sometime soon.  I will definitely keep my eye out for other shows around town.

Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray.  What to say?  With awesome change of pace songs, powerful in both the quieter stanzas and when they blow out your eardrums and the walls. They are true road warriors and the near constant touring has served coalesced this bi-coastal band into a tight unit.  Ace drummer Ben Tufts and bassist Derek Evry (a talented singer-songwriter in his own right) provide the rhythm for newlyweds Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray (Erin and Chris) who play and sing with power, passion, and purpose.   They are also two really kind and generous people, and I’m glad I’ve gotten the chance to get to know them.  They are touring and if (when) they come to your town, I urge (nay implore) you to go and see them.


Fine, Fine Music (Cavalcade into Spring)

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Just a cavalcade of Fine, Fine music (some old and some new) – (heroes, friends, madmen, geniuses, and the like) – to herald the beginning of spring!



Couch by Couchwest 2014 rocks on!


Day four ended with a pair of videos of two of the absolute gems of my town.  Gretchen Peters and Dave Olney

Day five ended with music from two of the amazing musical couples I’ve had the good fortune to meet as a result of writing this blog.

The End Men ROCKED!!!!!! a brewery and provided more evidence (as if it was needed) as to why I named them Band of the Year for 2013. I’m a sucker for the saxophone – so yeah!

Day five ended with Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray offering up five songs from their recent wedding.  They will be swinging through Nashville in a week and half or so on their triumphant honeymoon tour.  I’ll be there.  Will you?

One of the highlights from Day 5 was a Talking Heads cover performed in a lovely backyard living room by Atlanta’s Sans Abri.

Finally in non-CXCW news – Last week, I had the good fortune of meeting Marla Mase and Tomas Doncker. I already wrote about that.  Marla and Tomas returned to New York and on Tuesday, they joined the rest of the True Groove All-Stars for a celebration at The Cutting Room.  True Groove Global Soul is the artist run record label founded and run my Tomas Doncker.  When I met them, I took home a stack of True Groove CDs and I am really impressed at what they are up to.  The All-Stars included the newest True Groove signee, legendary No Wave saxophonist James Chance.  Here’s a review of the show.

#E2TG is not at SXSW (This is a CXCW plug by the way)

If, like me, you are not at the South by Southwest confab (conflag?) (whatever), you probably have some good reasons.  Can’t get off work, lack of funds, the beer is too expensive, too many damn hipsters, it involves putting on shoes — the list goes on.

For the last four years, there has been a great alternative to SXSW.  I hope by now, you are familiar with Couch by Couchwest -where the beer is cheap and the only hipster is you.  CXCW is an on-line music festival featuring a staggering number and variety of talented folks who submitted specially made videos specifically for the festival. Often, the videos feature couches. Often they don’t. They may be filmed in bathrooms, kitchens, garages, on front or back porches, or in wide-open fields.  Jonny Fritz when he still went by Jonny Corndawg recorded one from the inside of a drainage pipe.

The atmosphere !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”); around Couch by Couchwest is low-key, laid back, and light-hearted.  Tacos are a popular food, beer is the drink of choice (often), and most importantly, the music is mind-blowing. 

If you are a regular Ear to the Ground reader you probably already know about CXCW and I hope you’ve been keeping up.  The festival is on day four, and if you haven’t tuned it yet, you have some catching up to do.  Go now to

Ear to the Ground favorites like:

The Foresters

Sci-Fi Romance


Tim Lee 3

The Imperial Rooster

Tipi Valley

Todd Farrell, Jr.

Jeanette Lynne

(And probably some I’m forgetting (sorry!))

have already made an CXCW’14 appearance. Plus – we’ve been introduced to some amazingly talented folks who will more than likely grace our pages soon. 

We expect to see The End Men, Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray, and much, much more the before the festival wraps up. 

Among the most buzz-worthy moments so far has been Jamie Painter’s cover of Jason Isbell’s Cover Me Up which has earned a recommendation from Mr. Isbell himself.  Oh and Two Mule Blues set shit on fire

So, in conclusion, I get why you’re not at South by Southwest. I’m not there with you, but why the heck aren’t you at Couch by Couchwest?  Shoes are optional and probably not encouraged.

Filled Up at The Fillin’ Station

As a direct result of writing this blog, I have been fortunate to meet some incredible people….

Last night, I made the short drive from Nashville west down I-40 to Kingston Springs home of an awesome bar called The Fillin’ Station which hosts a weekly Performing Writer Showcase

More after the jump….

On the bill was #E2TG favorite Marla Mase – making her first Nashville appearance.  She was accompanied by Tomas Doncker who heads up Mase’s label True Groove Records and who is an amazing artist in his own right.  It was so awesome meeting the two of them after “talking” on the internet. 

The Showcase is hosted by Cathy Kent and David Gordon Tygart who opened the show with a few of their own songs.  Great music and bad jokes about drummers made me realize I was in the right place.

Next up was Sonny Reneau joined by Steve Payne (who met on the set of the television show Nashville) and by Erica Sunshine Lee.  I have one of the songs which was played last night by the three of them in Video Playlist posted at the end of this post.

Templeton Thompson was next.  She played some really cool songs about Horses.

Doc Holladay was the next to last performer.  He has a amazing larger than life presence and writes some incredibly great songs.  I was just reading his Facebook page, and he is hilarious.  Check him out.

Last on the bill was the aforementioned Marla Mase and Tomas Doncker who performed some tracks from Mase’s most recent album – Half Life including the title track, one of my favorites from her Speak album “Dance the Tango” and her song “Piece of Peace” which was written for her invitation to play in China as part of the UN’s Global Peace Day celebration (I may have the name of the event wrong but I couldn’t find it quickly enough and have to finish this post).  It was so cool hearing this songs come to life. 

I went home with a great experience and a handful of True Groove CDs to peruse. I listened to Tomas’ album Power of the Trinity album this morning and it made a hectic commute down right groovy. 

I also wanted to give a heads up that Marla and Tomas along with the whole True Groove Records family will be playing a special show at the The Cutting Room in NYC on March 11.  Here are details for my New York readers.  I understand the show will be live streamed on-line for us who aren’t in New York.  Check out the True Groove website (linked above) for details.  The show will feature No Wave/Punk legend James Chance.

I’ve created a little You Tube Playlist featuring the artists mentioned into today’s post.  Take some time give a spin and go support the music you dig.

For my Nashville readers, some Wednesday night really soon make the short drive to Kingston Springs to check out the Performing Writers Showcase at The Fillin’ Station.

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E2TG Dustin’ off Cobwebs…. Part I

Ug.. it’s been a month or more since I posted… due to circumstances yada yada…

I hope to be back up to full speed ahead soon, but I need to dust off the cobwebs to share some things – some long overdue. 

First of all – time is getting short (and I’m talking you bands and artists):  CXCW ’14 runs March 9-15, 2014 – location to be determined by you.  There is still time to submit you video – check out the details here:  Couch by Couchwest 2014

Jump —-


On February 14, still relatively new Nashvillian, Darrin Bradbury released his full length – True Love.  Previously, I’ve called Darrin the best pure songwriter I’ve heard in a long, long time. True Love solidifies that claim, and if I must say, makes me look damn prophetic.   Give it a listen, download, and name a good price.

If that wasn’t enough, just five days after the release of True Love, the prolific Mr. Bradbury released a live album produced by Spader Music.

Next up, I have a big congratulations to send out to E2TG favorites Miss. Shevaughn and Yuma Wray who officially became Mr. and Mrs. Shevaughn-Wray.  Kidding about the name, but they Erin and Chris did tie the knot and will be embarking on a humongous honeymoon tour that will take them coast to coast – which is what they like, and includes a return trip to Nashville later this month.

In fact, the Nashville date March 25 happens to correspond to the release date of the highly anticipated new album, Lean into the Wind which will be released on Seven Dead Arson Records.  Here are a couple of tracks from that album. 

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In other news, the new Taco Land album is due out soon  between writing and posting – I saw that Home Sweet Home is out now!, and we have a preview of the title track for you:

Next: It’s been a little since we heard from Ear the Ground Featured Artists – Dogs of Oz, but they are back with a new single ahead of one of the band’s long anticipated full-length album.  The single is out on Cassette and Digital Download from Unruly Factions.  Get it HERE and take a listen below:

I got to hang out with and see E2TG friends, Year of October (look for a new album from them in the summer.  They are sounding better than ever and I can’t wait for the album.  On the bill that night were a rocking Nashville Blues/Rock band called The Static Trees who sounded great and did a pretty sweet Stones’ cover (“Shake Your Hips” from Exile on Main Street), and a folksy/americanaish Murfreesboro band called Island Wren who are awesome and just released an EP called Fountain which you can get from iTunes and other places.