#E2TG Band of the Year – IV (2014/) is….

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Let’s face it, 2014 has been a hard year for a lot of people…  As long time readers of this blog know, Ear to the Ground took a bit of a hiatus during the first part of year so that I could deal with some shit.  When I came back, I declared it the beginning of Ear to the Ground v2.1 and I haven’t look back since. When it came time to decide upon a Band of the Year (keep in mind for me “Band” has always been a term used for both Bands and Solo Artists – whether or not they have a band) the choice stood out like a sore thumb and there really wasn’t a choice to be made.  So, congratulations are in order for Mr. Darrin Bradbury currently of East Nashville, Tennessee!

A little history…  So I can’t find this anywhere, but I think back in 2012 Don Ryan suggested I check out some friends of his called Big Wilson River, and anyway, in July of that year they were one of my Featured Artists of the Month.  Darrin was the front man of that band, but I really didn’t get to know him that well.  Flash forward to November 2013, and I get a missive from the esteemed New Jersey music scene personality David Horton who informs me that one Darrin Bradbury was making the move to Nashville and that I should take good care of him.  

It touched base with Darrin, but we didn’t get a chance to meet, and then he embarked on a massive tour, and I got embroiled in my beginning of the year situations… anyway, in the meantime, I downloaded some of his music, and he has a lot out there, and he soon began making frequent appearances in the Morning Shuffle – including a run during the spring and summer where there was a Darrin Bradbury song or two or three in the shuffle everyday for a couple of weeks.  The shuffle did it, but I was perfectly fine with it. His songs were original and often funny, and they had some of the most amazing turns of phrases that I have ever heard.

Since August of this year, I think I have seen Darrin play live at least a million times or more.. okay maybe a slight exaggeration, but one average I see him two or three times a week, and I have not once gotten tired of seeing him. (Although our friend James and I did decide that four times in a week is about all we can handle – you have to know your limits.)  I especially love seeing a new audience hear his songs for the first time. 

As important for me as the music has been the friendship that has grown and the important part he has played in this new beginning for me.  I have met so many great musicians/songwriters and friends through him.

But, this isn’t a Friend of the Year award….  What has been most amazing has been seeing Darrin through hard work, determination, and force of personality become a virtual fixture in a very crowded and talented East Nashville music scene.  A quick check of his Bandcamp page shows he released four albums in 2014 (two were collections of Demos that were good enough to be called albums in my book), he has been featured by Daytrotter, American Songwriter Magazine, and as you read about here first a review of his album Motel Oatmeal was featured by No Depression.  Not bad at all…

I could go on for a little bit more before I got distracted and started naming items on my desk and then started misquoting Shakespeare… but I’ll leave you with the music of Mr. Darrin Bradbury – the Ear to the Ground Band of the Year for 2014.  Oh yeah, and as of right now he has a band… an awesome band, a Super-High band that features Tim Carroll on guitar, Cameron Carrus on upright bass, and David Strayer on drums.  Look for an amazing new album in 2015. 




http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2109611882/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=122699770/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2744121549/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3616042433/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Stumps Mix

A great Monday night at The Basement with Sadler Vaden opening for American Aquarium.

Sadler Vaden has a great gig – playing guitar for Jason Isbell, and he makes some pretty awesome music on his own, too.  Opening for American Aquarium at The Basement in Nashville, Vaden was backed by a fellow Isbell bandmate on keyboards, Steelism’s drummer, and the bass player for Sheryl Crow, and they heated up a cold, dreary Monday night.

Headliners, American Aquarium were the artist with most tour dates in 2014 according to Bandsintown app.  I understand they are expected to play even more dates in 2015.  They have a new album, Wolves, due out in February, and they treated a sold out Nashville crowd with a healthy dose of their signature high energy Alt-Country/Rock and sad songs.  If this ends up being the last live music I see in 2014, it was a heck of a way to end the year!

This year seems to be winding down.  It has been a year of changes and challenges and growth of the kind I thought I was incapable of experiencing let alone surviving.  I have good feelings about 2015, and I hope you will join me for what is sure to be an interesting year.  There are tons of new albums on the immediate horizon and as always new and old music to be discovered/rediscovered. This is the last proper shuffle of 2014, but I think maybe the year isn’t over yet.  There may be a surprise shuffle and maybe even a “Band of the Year” post coming up.  Peace!

“5ive Gears in Reverse” by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

When Elvis says, Get Happy!…

“Trope” by Charles Rosen

Pianist Charles Rosen takes on French composer Pierre Boulez in pretty nifty example of 20th Century “classical” music.  Trope is from Boulez’s 3rd Piano Sonata which was first performed in 1958.  Charles Rosen died in 2012 at the age of 85.  Besides his career as a pianist, Rosen was also known for his writings on music.  And with that I’ve reached the limits of my time to look up stuff on Wikipedia.  I may not know much about this type of music, but I know I like it.

“Ain’t That Tough” by Soul Asylum
“Lone Rider” by Soul Asylum

A couple more from the Soul Asylum album Made to be Broken. Made me remember one of the best shows I ever saw.  Soul Asylum, fIREHOSE, and Nashville band Clockhammer at 328 in the early 90s (probably 1991). Good times…

“Brownsville Girl” by Bob Dylan

Only seven songs in the shuffle today, and here is the main reason for that… from Dylan’s 1986 album Knocked Out Loaded.  “Brownsville Girl” clocks in at 11+ minutes, and was co-written by playwright Sam Shepard.  What a great 11 minutes of music. 

“Killer Angel” by J.R. Wyatt

Another cool song from The Empty Room Sessions… kind of a nice follow up to the Dylan song and for good measure, since I couldn’t find the video for this song, I included a video of Wyatt doing a Dylan cover.

“Torsos of Murdered People” by Neighborhood Texture Jam!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);

I honestly can’t remember what lead me to pick the CD of Funeral Mountain when I found it in a used CD store in the early 90s. I’m not sure if I had read about them or if the cover intrigued me, or if I made the purchase based upon the song titles. The latter reason is a bit disturbing but entirely possible… I was young what can I say.  Neighborhood Texture Jam were abrasive, offensive, and pretty darn brilliant.  Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you can deal with subject matter… I’m not sure what it says about me… don’t answer that! But, I loved this album at first listen and 20 some years later, I still dig it just fine.  It isn’t punk per se or metal exactly… the album has some pretty catchy tunes that just happen to be about some pretty subversive topics.  (I couldn’t find a video for this song, and I haven’t heard the song that I included).

VIDEO PLAYLIST


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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Move over Captain America Mix

I would like to preface today’s shuffle by saying that a big pet peeve of mine are people of a certain age who loudly decry “music these days” and who pine for some different era. They usually “prove” their point by referencing some trendy pop act of today and offer up for comparisons sake some legend of a different era who has stood the test of time.  It is not only the logic that is faulty, but such statements are a sign of laziness. There is a ton of great music being made “these days” – far more than even this music blogger than cover.  So my advise to those who would rant in the manner mentioned above is either 1. Seek out music – there are far more ways to do this than there ever were or 2. Shut up and admit that you are unwilling to do so and that you prefer the music of your younger days.

All that being said,  music has a special power to evoke… music which was an integral part of the formative years of our lives does hold a special place.  It is in that spirit that I offer up today’s shuffle which a total throwback to my days of yore.

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Count me among the legions who truly discovered Big Star and Alex Chilton thanks to The Replacements. This song comes from an Alex Chilton compilation which gave me a crash course in all things Chilton. It was originally on the legendary album Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers.

“Bottle O’ Tears” by The Georgia Satellites

I know they are the Georgia Satellites, but I have always considered them a Nashville band.  I first heard “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” on WRVU several months before it became an international hit song, and I first read about the band in the legendary Metro magazine. This comes from the 1989 album In The Land of Salvation and Sin. I have always considered  that album an underrated classic or at least an under-heard classic.

“Shake That Thing” by The Georgia Satellites

Another great song from In the Land…. I think this song is about shaking something, but I’m not sure… Seriously, this is what Rock ‘n’ Roll is all about.

“Whoa!” by Soul Asylum

Soul Asylum released three albums in 1986.  This was the first. A glorious loud and fast punk inspired ode to joy called Made to Be Broken.


“Six Gallon Pie” by Meat Puppets

An instrumental from their 1989 album Forbidden Places – this was a few years before Kurt Cobain and Nirvana helped make the band household names.  I love this album, and it’s a good time to tell about the extremely hot and sweaty Meat Puppets’ show at 328 Performance Hall when the band took pity on the crowd of hot and sweat moshers and started handing out beers from the stage.  So, I can say that one of the Kirkwood brothers gave me a beer.  I know I’ve told this story many, many times, but if you give me a beer from the stage, I’ll tell the world about it, too. I’m easy that way.

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We have a pair of songs from the debut album, Big Lizard in Your Backyard, by everyone’s favorite punk brats.  I guess I could always relate to The Dead Milkmen because I was a bit of a punk brat myself….

“Beach Song” by The Dead Milkmen

Who hates the beach?  The Dead Milkmen hate the beach!

“King of the Mountain” by Midnight Oil

From their 1990 album, Blue Sky Mining.  I’ve always loved this song.  The interesting twist of time and circumstance is that these days, I get to see Midnight Oil bassist Bones Hillman just about every Friday in East Nashville helping the hold down the bottom for Tim Carroll.

“Caped Crusader” by Phranc

A song about a comic book based upon the life of Pope John Paul II from Phranc’s solo debut album Folksinger (1985).  Phranc was previously a member of the band Catholic Discipline and the band appeared in the landmark film about the L.A. punk scene, The Decline of Western Civilization.

“King of Fools” by Social Distortion

The most recent release in today’s shuffle from the 1992 Social D album Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell.  I dig just about every song on this album.

“Another Chance” by The Georgia Satellites

We shall close this shuffle with one of my favorite songs on In the Land of Salvation and Sin…. I think this song is a more elegant expression of the sentiment behind YOLO. 🙂

VIDEO PLAYLIST

 

#E2TG Christmas Closeout

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So, I ended up with 21 Christmas songs left on my playlist and since I’m out of shuffles, And since, I don’t want to have Christmas music left over after the Holiday is over,  I thought I would post a special Evening Shuffle of music from my commute home.  This will take care of 13 songs.  Special thanks to PopaTunes aka David Horton for thinking of me – as he often does and sending me the mixtape of vintage Christmas songs.  A most interesting collection – I must say.

I’m not going to comment on these songs, I’ll just post the playlist since i managed to find all 13 songs on YouTube and let you listen at your leisure.  These songs range from the sublime and spiritual to the silly and groovy,  Something for almost everyone.  Enjoy! And Happy Christmas and Peace on Earth to all no matter what you do or don’t celebrate.

I intend to post the remaining 8 songs over on the Ear to the Ground Facebook page in a little bit.  So if you haven’t, now might be a good time to head over and give the page the old “Thumbs Up!”

PLAYLIST

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Mambo and Lasso Santa Mix

This is the last morning shuffle of the week, I am taking a few days off wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a joyous time…

“Santa Do the Mambo” by Big John Greer

Because Santa should do the Mambo. From 1954.

“Yardsale” by Darrin Bradbury

A song about looking for a lost love at a yardsale… “Tacky knick-knacks on a shelf, thought of your Mom, I hope she’s well…”  — In the playlist is the video for the crowd favorite, “Let’s Get Stoned and Go to the Zoo”. Warning: Professionals, do not attempt any of  the activities described here. From the collections, When a Car Becomes a House.

“Aimless Breath” by The Torn Images

Another great song from the California Alt-Rock band, The Torn Images. From Reviver.

“Bitter End” by J.R. Wyatt

I always dig discovering new music. A couple of weeks or so ago, I went out to hear some friends play and was introduced to the music of J.R. Wyatt. This is from his release called The Empty Room Sessions which was recorded in an empty room.  I really dig his music, and I hope to see him play around town more in the future.

“I’m Gonna Lasso Santa Claus” by Brenda Lee

Little Brenda Lee was twelve years old when her second single was released.  What a great song and a great sentiment.

“The Wolves” (Live) by The End Men

One of the best performances for this past years Couch by Couchwest and a killer live version of a stand out track from Odds and Ends.  Featuring the Sax work of Matthew Elia who manages to make one of Ear to the Ground’s favorite bands sound even better.  I regret that I missed (by a day) seeing him play with the band here in Nashville. (what a horrible sentence that I am too lazy to rewrite, but will take the time to explain – I saw The End Men in Nashville, but Matt Elia had to go back to New York that morning.)  This version is on the latest Built4BBQ sampler.

“Cat Bowl Blues” by Stacy Mitchhart

A great Blues instrumental from the Nashville Blues master. From Live My Life.

“Life On Standstill” by The Torn Images

#2 of the day for The Torn Images.  I really dig the sound on this track. Another from Reviver.

“Deal and Hand” by J.R. Wyatt

One of my favorite songs from when I say J.R. Wyatt live, and I really dig the echo-y sound of this recording. Empty Room Sessions indeed.

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“Glamour” by The Lucky Jukebox Brigade

We close out with what was one of my favorite music videos of the year.  I even showed it to my Mom which I don’t do all that often.  The song captures much of what I love about this band. From Familiar Fevers.

****VIDEO PLAYLIST****


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Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Endings for Beginning in Dm Mix

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So, it’s the penultimate post before Ear to the Ground takes a few days off for Christmas. I’m just saying this because I like using the word penultimate. Anyway, today’s shuffle is a good one, and I hope you enjoy.

“Epilogue” by Ben Arthur (featuring Rachel Yamagata)

Following in E2TG’s long tradition of including concept albums in our shuffle and letting the results be what they may, we begin today’s shuffle with the Epilogue to Ben Arthur’s brilliant album If You Look for My Heart.

“Father and Son” by Cat Stevens

I posted a new Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens song a few weeks back, now we have a song from Cat Steven’s 1970 album Tea for the Tillerman.

“Lateness of Dancers” by Hiss Golden Messenger

Deservedly, North Carolina band Hiss Golden Messenger have been getting some favorable attention from some of the folks whose musical attention I favor.  I love this (title) song from their album Lateness of Dancers which came out back in September.

“Aos Pes da Cruz” by Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Gil is a Brazilian musician whose music embodies a diverse range of styles from Samba, Rock, African, and Reggae. He was the Minister of Culture in Brazil from 2003 to 2008.  I came across this in the New Release section on Freegal, and I dig it bunches.  I am so glad I don’t allow myself to be forced into the narrow confines of genres and shit.  This is from his latest album Gilbertos Samba.

“Henry Died in Dm” by Joe Nolan

Another song from his Plain Jane album, and this is a good one. Inspired by the Sam Shepard play, Suicide in Bflat (sorry I don’t have time to figure out how to type the flat sign).  

 

“Henry! Oh, Henry! You don’t look so well!

Are you risin’ to Heaven, or writhin’ in Hell?
Are you bound to play a holy harp or blow a hellish horn?
Henry you been dyin’ since the day that you were born”


“Christmas in Jail” by The Youngsters

Some 1956 Doo Wop Christmas.  Not to be confused with the John Prine song Christmas in Prison which is also great.

“Twinkle (Little Christmas Lights)” by JD McPherson

Keeping the Christmas theme going with a nifty fun song. We have a JD Mcpherson single from a couple of Christmases ago.  This is included on a recently release set of music on Noisetrade.

“Chano Pozo’s Shoes” by Tom Mason

Tom Mason and his band of rowdy pirates, The Blue Buccaneers, are one of East Nashville’s greatest treasures. This is a rollicking fun song from Tom’s pre-Blue Buccaneers’ days. I found it on a East Nashville compilation from a few years back.  The latest album from the band is called The World is Ablaze.  I got to attend the CD release party for that album and Avast ye! it was a good time. 

“The Mixture” by Ike Reilly

I swear I think I keep saying this, but this is one of my favorite songs on the recently released megadownload from Ike Reilly via Noisetrade. It is off of the 2005 album Junkie Faithful by The Ike Reilly Assassination.

“Christmas Party” by Eddie and De Havelon

More Christmas.  I couldn’t find a video for this song, nor could I find much about the song or the artist. It came to me from an Aquarium Drunkard mixtape via David Horton.  My Google search mostly linked to the Aquarium Drunkard site and few other references on music websites with very little details available.  It’s a cool song though.  If anybody has information about this, please feel free to share in comments or privately.

“Santa Claus Boogie” by Hasil Adkins

One final Christmas tune to close out today’s shuffle. This is one sure to leave you dancing your way into Monday afternoon.  Hasil Adkins was from West Virginia and it seems as though his life was as colorful as his music. 

***************VIDEO PLAYLIST*******************

Friday Afternoon Music Shuffle – What’s So Funny Mix

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I took the day off work and barely saw the morning….  so no traditional shuffle but I did run an errand earlier and shuffled a few tunes…. Plus I had some other things to share:



First off though, to me whether you are nuts for all things Christmas or a bit of a Scrooge, whether you are Christian or Pagan or whatever… I’d like to think the honest desire for true Peace is something all of us can agree on in principle.  So, if there is one message of the season that the world needs as much if  not more than ever, it is a message of Peace.  Ear to the Ground favorites, The Tomas Doncker Band have just released a bit of Christmas card in the form of a fantastic cover of the Nick Lowe song made famous by Elvis Costello.  “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding”.  Below is a link to the song.  We have also included a video of the song at the beginning of our Video Playlist.  If you Spotify, the song is also now streaming on that site.


Last night, I attended the Lockeland Springsteen Christmas show which served as a benefit for St. Jude’s.  It was a great show and a lot of fun.  Music was provided by Boom Forest, Elenowen, Blackfoot Gypsies, Cory Branan, and Alanna Royale.  Of course. I took pictures:

To the Shuffle:


“Frank is Gone” by David Olney


The Nashville Scene published a nice feature about the incredible guitar player Sergio Webb. The Video Playlist features a version of this song with David Olney and Sergio.


“Do Not Go Gently into that Good Night” by Dylan Thomas


Besides his amazing music, David Olney is known for his ability to offer amazing renditions of poetry. So it seems in good order to follow up, David Olney with Dylan Thomas reading one of his own poems.  Plus that is what the shuffle decided to do.


“Lemonade” by Megan Palmer


Yesterday, I wrote a bit about Wednesdays at Fran’s Eastside.  Among the special guests who have appeared over the weeks I have been a regular attendee as been the amazing fiddle playing of Megan Palmer.  Here is have a refreshingly tart treat from Ms. Palmer.


“Proud and Dangling” by Hugh Trimble


Hugh Trimble joins this abbreviated shuffle with a different version of the song that first turned me on to his music.


“Better Off Dead” by Stacy Mitchhart


And we close out the shuffle and the week with Nashville’s own Stacy Mitchheart doing a cover of a Bill Withers song.




VIDEO PLAYLIST