Featured Friday Morning Shuffle – Wrecks the Body and Destroys the Mind Mix

Visit Our Events Page Ear to the Ground Events!

Last night, I made my first visit to Little Harpeth Brewery (I love their beer) which located just about five minutes from where I park for work.  It was a fun night of good beer, cheap friends, and music (to paraphrase an obscure Darrin Bradbury song lyric).  Speaking of which, the music for the evening was provided by the aforementioned Bradbury and Hushabye Baby (who I saw for the first time and really liked).

It is Friday! Time for some Featured music… via the shuffle function…

“Too Close to Home” by My Life in Black and White

My Life in Black and White are from Portland, Oregon.  Their latest album is called Columbia.  I can’t remember how or where I came across this, but I’m glad I did.  I happened to notice that they are playing a show tomorrow night in Hood River, Oregon with The Harmed Brothers (with whom Darrin Bradbury toured in December). Always with the connections at E2TG.

“Glassy Eyed” by Brian Keenan

Another nice one from Fits and Starts.  Brian Keenan is from Brooklyn.

“The Dangerous Kind” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

It’s hard to go anywhere in East Nashville these days and not see or hear Aaron Lee Tasjan.  He is on the cover of the current issue of The East Nashvillian – with a great article and last night they were playing his music over the PA at Little Harpeth.  Believe me, this is not a complaint, and I am happy to jump on that bandwagon.  Today’s song is a stand out from In the Blazes. 

“Conversation at the Funeral” by Jon Latham

After our conversation last night, Darrin Bradbury is going to think I purposely posted a Jon Latham song today, but I swear it’s all random.  I think if you read this blog, you know how I feel about Jon Latham.  This song is the closing track from Jon’s debut, Real Bad News.  Inspired by his late grandfather.  It is filled with the kind of emotionally honest truth-telling that make me feel like I do about Jon’s music.

“Settle the Score” by Freaks for Geeks

Freaks for Geeks are a Chicago band whose music combines rock and hip hop in a very effective way.  They recently released their third EP, TIN. 

“Schadenfreude” by Mellor

Schadenfreude is a German word. Mellor is a band from Reading, UK.  Their EP Damage/Joy is out now.  This song is on it.  They refer to their genre as Pop Smack.  I dig it.  Up beat, power pop music.

“The Test of Time” by Some Kind of Illness

The lead track from the self-titled album by UK band Some Kind of Illness.  A kind of atmospheric indie rock track.  Like it.

“Jubilee (Land of The Free)” by Andrew Adkins

We close out the week with another song from Glass Castles by Andrew Adkins. Andrew organized Wednesday night’s amazing round at The Country.  Andrew is joining the throngs (including many of my musician friends) who are heading down to Austin for SXSW.

 
 
VIDEO PLAYLIST

window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Something Nobody’s Ever Seen Mix


!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”); Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

There was fog this morning, and for once, it was not all in my head…

Let’s shuffle, shall we?

“Judee Was a Punk” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

E2TG is and has long been all about connections.  I try not to overstate it, but rather let the connections express themselves in a variety of ways. Sometimes, something I post – a song or an artist or an album or my reflection about a one of those – will lead me to a deeper connection with someone I know – through a shared experience or emotion.  I have made some wonderful connections due to writing this blog. Big picture, I believe that we are all connected, and that life’s big illusion is one of separation, and that our primary purpose in life is to work on breaking through that illusion to find the real. Unexpected reminders of our collective connectedness are the source of some of my greatest joys, 

All this to say, the first time I was made aware of Judee Sill and her tortured life and her beautiful music was through my friends in Valued Customer. Very shortly after reading about Sill on Patrick and Justus’ Peacefork blog, I heard Aaron Lee Tasjan singing this song in Nashville at The 5 Spot.  The song and the unexpected connection brought me great joy.  It is an awesome song, and I am glad ALT included it on his latest album, In the Blazes – which is a much buy album – by the way.

“Inertia Fire” by Calming River

We move on with another track from The Ones That We Left Behind by this singer/songwriter from Denmark by way of the UK.

“Central Park” by Brian Wright and The Waco Tragedies

Man oh man, any shuffle that has Aaron Lee Tasjan AND Brian Wright is alright in my book.  From Brian’s album Bluebird with the Waco Tragedies. I love this song. Brian Wright’s songs speak truth – like all the best music does.

“Bought and Sold” by The Graveyard Kids

The Graveyard Kids were a Brooklyn band and part of the Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen family (which I dig so much). They released their swansong, It’s Been a Wonderful Evening, and then called it quits.  This is an awesome song, and I hope some people will look them up and follow rabbit holes to stay up with what the band members and the rest of MCFK are up to in the Big Apple.

“Waiting for the Sun” (Live) by The Jayhawks

Another thing I dig – also related to connectedness – are happy coincidences. Just like I trust in the power of randomness, I also believe in coincidence. Anyway, just yesterday someone posted something about The Jayhawks, and today this song shows up in the shuffle.  This is from that live recording that I grabbed off Noisetrade.  A solo Gary Louris live version of this was included on the Bonus CD of Rainy Day Music – called More Rain.

“Bluebird” by Don Gallardo

ALT, Brian Wright, and Don Gallardo!  A good day for Nashville music. Another coincidence, this song shares a title with the Brian Wright album from which today’s posted song was taken. Don Gallardo has jumped into my consciousness over the past several months, and I cannot wait to her is brand new album. This is from his 2012 album, The Art of Troublesome Times and features Jill Andrews.

“Laurel Canyon” by The Church

Yet another coincidence!  Yesterday, I heard that The Church will be making a rare Nashville appearance in April at the Mercy Lounge.  I have been a fan of The Church since the early 80s – when I heard “Electric Lash” on a compilation that was released on cassette inside a field rations can.  Laurel Canyon has a storied musical history dating back to the sixties and seventies. I once wrote a short story with a character named Laurel who another character called “Laurel Canyon”, but I’m not sure if that counts as coincidence or is just evidence of my weirdness.  Anyway, the recording I listened to, came from one of those many World Café Sessions that I downloaded some time ago. The song was on the band’s 24th and most recent Studio Album Further/Deeper.

“Down So Low” by Mother Earth

And we close things out with an iconic song with connects with my recent interest in late 60s/early 70s Nashville. Mother Earth formed in San Francisco, but later moved to a farm just outside of Nashville and became an integral part of the burgeoning scene around the West End area.  This song is from the band’s debut album Living with Animals and is easily one of the band’s best known songs. I got to see Tracy Nelson perform twice last year.

I will close out this post, by encouraging each of you to be open for unexpected moments of connection.  They – like the truth – are out there.

 

 
 
 
 
VIDEO PLAYLIST


     window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”;       http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js    

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Tune from a B-Side Mix

!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”); Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

It’s been a rough day.  I have a very late and very short shuffle.

First of all, I had the very wonderful opportunity last night to attend an early round at the legendary Bluebird Cafe which featured David G. Smith (who I have featured here on E2TG), a  couple of wonderful singer-songwriters named Anne E. DeChant and Nathan Bell, and a very rare and delightful appearance by my friend Karen Leipzinger (backed by Andy Ellis on guitar).

Now to the short shuffle,,,,

“At Least I Loved” by The Silent War

The duo of Garrison Starr and AG (Adrianne Gonzalez) make some wonderful music.  This track is from a sampler they put out of Noisetrade some time back.

“A Thousand Miles of Bad Road” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

Perhaps a rare ALT song.  This one comes from a benefit album called We Make Peace.  The song references Billy Joe Shaver and the debut album by Drivin’ n Cryin’.  Plus, it gave me the opportunity feature Aaron Lee’s new video for his song Don’t Walk Away in the video playlist. And that video is bad ass.

“Find the Beauty” by James Tomberlin

I am absolutely wild about this song.  It is so filled with joy and wonderful word play.  From the record called, Still Life with Orange, which was produced by Josh Morris.

“Blackstar” by David Bowie

What can I possibly say about this song. Bowie was so far ahead of the rest of the world even in his final days on this planet.  Blackstar is weird and complex and challenging and wonderful.

“Independence Day” (live) by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Springsteen’s song about fathers and sons from his album The River – takes from the January 19, 2016 show in Chicago.  A poignantly fitting closing song for today’s shuffle.  

VIDEO PLAYLIST

window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Hit the Right Spot Mix

!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”);

Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

The 1st Annual E2TG Awards (The Earies) continues… Today’s award ended in a tie (expect several to end up this way).  Today’s award is “The Better Late Than Never Award” (aka “The Anti-Hipster  Award”.

About the Award: As a respected music blogger (ahem!) and journalist (ahem!), I do pride myself on “discovering” new artists early on in their careers.  However, I also recognize that there is (and has been) a ton of great music out there, and that I went through periods where life and all kept me from being on the cutting edge like I am today (ahem!).  I also remember the days of trying to outdo people by claiming to have been a fan of (some band or artist) since before they had even played their first show or whatever.  So, these days, when I “discover” music that is new to me or that I have been aware of but not really checked out thoroughly, I just proudly admit that fact and move on.

The two winners of this award are both Nashville artists who released albums prior to 2015, but that I did not get my grubby little hands on until this year. Do I wish I had heard the heard the music sooner? Sure, it’s good stuff, which is why I am handing out the awards (again, no actual trophies will be exchanged). 

Winner #1:  Paul Zografi – Bright (Released 10/2014)

I met Paul at Bobby’s Idle Hour through Tim Carroll which is when I copy a copy of this album which I fell in love with.  Found out he shares at least one band member with Joe Nolan who was also playing at Bobby’s that night.  Zografi’s music has clarity and understatement and really good songs. 

 
 
 
Winner #2: Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau – Tennessee (Released May 2014)
 
 
There was a even longer interval between the release of this album and my getting hold of it, and in this case, I really don’t have a good excuse. I first saw Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau late in 2014 at Rocking Roots Guitar Showcase during Americana week.  (I have been a fan of Richie’s music for over 30 years).  I have been fortunate to see them live on a number of occasions since then, but I didn’t get a hold of the album until a chance encounter with Farm Bureau bassist John Reed downtown over the summer. The album offers a rootsy, rocking history of the Volunteer State through familial and public stories that span the state.  Owen’s besides being an amazing instrumentalist and songwriter, is able to provide an authentic and honest voice to the stories.  Plus, he has more first hand stories of the beginnings of Nashville’s independent music “scene” than just about anybody I know.
 
 

Congratulations to the winners!  More to Come….

“Die Traurige Grammel” by Balu and Die Surfgrammeln

So, I was thinking to myself… Joe, I asked myself, “have we ever had Viennese Surf Music is the shuffle?”  And, not knowing the answer or having any willingness to comb the archives to be sure, I decided to play some just to be sure.  So, now we have!  This is from that Continental Magazine sampler of Surf and Instrumental Rock music. For some reason the name of the band was misspelled in my music play which made it a challenge to find the video, but I did.    

“Burning Fires” by Nellie Clay

Nellie Clay is a part of the loose collective known as Campfire Propaganda. She came to Nashville by way of Alaska, but at her heart she is a red dirt girl from Oklahoma. This is real deal Country Music with authentic drawl and twang.  The song tells a heart breaking tale so beautifully that it actually warms your heart like the burning fires.

“Florida Man” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

I don’t know if ALT is an official member of Campfire Propaganda (or if there is such a thing), but I would think he is at least an honorary member, and one of the brightest spots on the East Nashville music scene.  Besides his obvious talents as a guitarist and songwriter, he is also a tireless champion of other artists and really a very nice guy. His new album, In the Blazes is rightfully getting some amazing coverage.  “Florida Man” received a nice write up from Rolling Stone. The song offers a bit of comfort to the state which has received much negative attention due to the actions of some of its residents, but which has made some amazing contributions, too. 

“Tailspin” (Live) by The Jayhawks

Noisetrade recently released a live album by alt-country pioneers The Jayhawks. This is a track from the band’s 2003 album Rainy Day Music.

“Skalle” by Smokey the Firebear

Another very brief track from Smokey the Firebear.  (“Remember kids, only you can start forest fires!” ????)  Skalle (according to my haphazard internet search can either mean “headbutt”, “roach”, “peel, flake”, or “skull”). This 30 second track is included on the BNGFKR which was released back in May.  The album is a collage of sounds and noises and stuff. By the way, a limited edition CD version of the album is available on Bandcamp (only six remain!) for $420.00.  I ended up posting  video of the defunct band, Circus Propaganda of which Cade Williams (Smokey the Firebear was a member).

“Don’t Own the Right” by Uncle Lucius

During the middle of a very crazy American Week this year, I got to hang out for a few hours in a small Artist Co-op building in East Nashville (the “Purple Building”), and I saw and heard some incredibly great music including a performance by Uncle Lucius from Austin, Texas.  Really like this song a bunch. The song is from the band’s most recent album, The Light. 

 

“Fiat 500” by Discount Ravioli

From the late night July 4 (early morning July 5) outdoor tent session recordings… the opening track from the album, Robin Schultz and the 21 Prayers. Unfortunately, I could not find a Discount Ravioli videos on You Tube, so I posted instead a Neutral Milk Hotel cover by at least one or so of the people involved here.  Appropriate because this track name drops, Jeff Mangrum.

“Hittin’ Where It Hurts” by Webb Wilder

The opening track of Webb Wilder’s Hybrid Vigor.  The video performance is from the short lived Pat Sajak show.  Sajak got his start in Nashville television and Wilder is a long time fixture on the Nashville music scene. Coincidently, Facebook showed me that a year ago or so, I saw Webb- solo in the round with David Olney and Kevin Gordon – that was quite a lineup!

“We Have No Problems” by The Unravelling

Another track from the experimental Metal band from Canada – from their record, Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision.

“Smile” (Live) by The Jayhawks

And we close out today’s shuffle with another track from that Jayhawks’ Live album (via Noisetrade).  This song was the title track from the band’s 2000 album. 

VIDEO PLAYLIST

window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

Featured Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – At the Crack of Noon Mix

!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”);

Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Rolling on toward Thanksgiving.   Keep an eye out for the 1st Annual E2TG Awards – 2015 – which I calling “The Earies”. (Tagline: “The Earies, it sounds strange but it’s really not”). 

About “The Earies”:  I will begin announcing the awards around the first of December and continue on and off throughout the month.  There will not be nominees – because no matter how much people say that it was an honor to be nominated… well, you know.  Also, we will have recipients and not “winners”.  This is for two reasons, 1. Calling someone a winner may imply that others are “losers”.  2. The recipients may think there is some sort of cash reward, which there is not.  Nor are there actual awards.  It is an honorary honor.

The awards will culminate with the naming of the 5th Annual Ear to the Ground Artist of the Year.

There will not be fan voting, sorry.  Although we had fun in 2011 and 2012 running Readers Polls, I decided at the end of 2012 to suspend the practice. 

Bribes will be accepted and the awards will probably go to the highest bidder. 

Anyone caught taking the awards too seriously, will be severely teased.

All the awards are not all that serious, what I am serious about is taking another opportunity to recognize some of the great music that came my way in 2015.

In other news, after Thanksgiving, pending my getting in a bunch of seasonal music, I am thinking of having a once-a-week shuffle from a playlist filled with such songs. I am debating what to call the playlist.  Christmas is too specific as their may be songs that have nothing to do with Christ’s birth.  Holiday Playlist will probably piss off people – since apparently Holiday is a nasty word or something.  I may just call it the Red Cup Playlist.  We shall see.

We have another featured music shuffle today – featuring some favorites (old and new) and some artists hitting the shuffle for the first time.

“Coolin’ Out” by Rich Robbins (prod. OnGaud)

One my favorite young hip hop artists is back with another track from his Nimbus debut album.  For the video – I reached back to Rich Robbins’ first mixtape and the track, “Suburban Trap Rat”.  This was a nice groovy tune to ease me into the morning drive.

“Where the River Bends” by Brian Carpenter and the Confessions

The new album is called The Far End of the World – it is one of my favorite albums of 2015.

“Lucinda’s Room” by Aaron Lee Tasjan

It is no mean trick for an album to be both highly anticipated and a pleasant surprise, but that is what Aaron Lee Tasjan has done with In the Blazes. The album contains some of Tasjan’s best songs and the record sounds amazing.  ALT is already starting to appear on some “best of” lists.  Expect more.  Maybe he will even will an “Earie” award….

“Home You Built” by Ali Holder

Careful, #E2TG readers will remember this Austin singer/songwriter from the tracks we posted of her with Raindogg.  Holder has a new album called, From My Veins Will Fall.  I am really digging this album. This is the first song to appear in a shuffle. More to come.

“I’ve Got a Feeling” by Eight O’Five Jive

Award winning, Nashville Jump Blues band, Eight O’Five Jive return to the shuffle with another track from their excellent, “Too Many Men” album.  Expect to hear more about this album as The Earies progress.

“Oppenheimer’s Sister” by Zaibatsu

So called Pregressive (sic) Rock from Italy.  Zaibatsu have a new album called Zero, and this is our first listen to that album. More to come.  

“The Actress Pt. II” by Calming River

The opening track from The Ones That We Left Behind  EP by the Danish singer-songwriter who records and performs as Calming River. This is our first listen to this record, and I like what I hear so far.

“No Change There” by Katie Mac

Our second listen to Liverpool singer-songwriter Katie Mac.  I did not find a video for this song, but Katie Mac did recently upload a video for another song.

“Cia” (Reprise) by Tom Schreck

And, we close out the shuffle with the reprise of a song we featured a week or so ago. From the Added Glory EP.  Tom Schreck is a Nashville singer-songwriter that you should get to know.

VIDEO PLAYLIST


window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js

Featured Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Usually From a Can Mix

!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”);

Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

Had a good time last night celebrating Andrew Leahey’s birthday at The 5 Spot.  Darrin Bradbury was on point with a set that featured some old favorites and some excellent new (and newish) songs.  Lauren Farrah was most excellent – I have been fortunate enough to catch her a few times recently, and she kills it every time.  And the birthday boy rocked this house with his incredible band, The Homestead – playing several songs from his record which is due out in April.

On to the shuffle: Almost every Friday is Featured Friday on #E2TG.  Which means, I shuffle songs from a playlist (a subset of the regular playlist) loaded with songs from artists/albums that I want to spotlight.  Here is the latest….

“Making My Escape” by All the King’s Men

All the King’s Men are a Manchester band who offer a kind of modern take on classic rock (in the best sense of that term).  This song is the title track from their new album which I believe will be released at the end of this month. 

“Your Own Best Friend” by D.L. Duncan

We have another song from D.L. Duncan’s awesome self-titled album. I really love this song.  It is “feel good” music of the highest caliber. I can’t remember if I mentioned it yesterday, but Sonny Landreth also contributed some awesome slide guitar on this album.

“Franklin Town” by Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau

Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau released Tennessee well over a year ago, but I really wanted to feature it now, because I want more people to check it out.  This is the second track on the album – which is a history lesson about the Volunteer State set against a grooving roots rock soundtrack.

“Nimbus (Ta-Ku Interpretation)” by Rich Robbins

Today we have the title track from Rich Robbins amazing debut album, Nimbus.  Robbins has a way with words, and I really love what he is doing here.  I feel utterly unqualified to comment on this as a hip hop record, I just know that I love it.

“Swan Jeremy” by The Foresters

Another one from Sun Songs, the stunning recent album by The Foresters of Bethany, Connecticut.  The growth and maturity of this young band over the last couple of years that I have been following them, is nothing short of unbelievable.  Forming after attending a Green Day show and initially writing and recording some excellent pop/punk music.  The hard work and dedication they seem to be putting into their art and their craft is inspiring and admirable.  The result is that Sun Songs is at once one of my favorite records of the year and clearly just a taste of what we can hope to see in the future from the band.  

“Picture Perfect” by The Poorhouse Says

Our friends from St. Louis return to the shuffle with another track from their album As Patterns Go.  I highly recommend checking out the band and the album.  Hearing this reminds me that I am very overdue to reply to a message from these guys. Sorry and expect something this weekend.

“The Fearless Seed” by The Unravelling

Another dose of progressive metal from Tear a Hole in the Collective Vision.

“The Trouble with Drinkin'” by Aaron Lee Tasjan   

And, we close out the shuffle and the work week with the lead track from In the Blazes which upon its release transitioned from being one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year to one of the best.  There are just a handful of writers working today to write songs that are funny, intelligent, moving, and that leads you to tell everyone you know to check it out. Aaron Lee Tasjan is at the top of that list.  He will be in Memphis tonight.  His performance with an all-star band at the Americana kick-off event and more recently at his Nashville release show at The Basement provided some of the best and most entertaining music that I have ever experienced.  And this song! window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”;

VIDEO PLAYLIST

    http://ps-us.amazon-adsystem.com/domains/eartothegro00-20_3dcd3a52-1a1a-4afe-a2fd-aaba8e251afc.js   

E2TG Takes on Americana Fest 2015 – Part I

!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”); Be sure to “Like” Ear to the Ground on Facebook!

So…. I knew last night’s Sin City vs. Guitar Town event at The Basement East was going to be pretty darn incredible, but really….

Sometimes your friends and your heroes share the same stage…

Okay, I got there early to catch Paul Burch finish off the pre-show.  Let me tell you – not a bad pre-show.

Campfire Propaganda opened the set, and it was a delicious teaser for their upcoming October residency at The 5 Spot.  Campfire Propaganda are a collective of amazing songwriters working together to further their art and craft.  Founding member Tim Easton was not there – he is opening some dates for James McMurtry – but Nellie Clay, Megan Palmer, Brian Wright, and Darrin Bradbury all knocked it out of the park.

Next up was Jesse Dayton – taking a break from his current gig filling in for the ailing Billy Zoom on the current X tour.  Playing solo acoustic, he totally rocked the house.

Dayton was followed by an amazing jam lead by the one and only Aaron Lee Tasjan.  His band included Brian Wright and Jon Latham on guitars and Keith Christopher on bass. Guests included Lilly Hiatt, Allen Thompson (who did a Grateful Dead song) and Kevn Kinney!  Oh, and Brian Wright absolute killed on a Supersuckers song.

Jonathan Tyler delivered a really great set and he brought out Nikki Lane as his guest.

Keith Gattis was up next and sounded great.

And then, The Bottle Rockets just about tore the roof off the joint with an extended set.  They played several songs from their forthcoming album and also dug into their extensive back catalog.

Needless to say, the night was a blast, and it was so amazing seeing my friends sharing a stage with some of my musical heroes.  I saw a bunch of people including some I had never met in person before, and I even met a music blogger from Norway.

It’s kind of hard to believe that all that was just basically night zero of the American Music Association Festival.   I’m leaving soon for some AMA related events and trying to map out a somewhat reasonable schedule among the seemingly endless choices at hand.