Americana Music Festival – Part III – Delta Spirit Live on the Green

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After The Dunwells’ set, the sun went down and it was dusk or so when the next band took the stage.  I had been pumped to see Delta Spirit since the show was announced, and apparently, I wasn’t the only one.  A mostly young (most everyone is young to me…) and enthusiastic crowd was electric as the stage was set.  

 I was still pressed up against the barricades in front of the stage.  Delta Spirit are a remarkable band.  The band formed in 2005.  I was a little late getting on board with them, in fact I first became aware of them in 2010 when I heard about Middle Brother the band that features John McCauley of Deer Tick (who I was already into), Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes (who I dig) and Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit.  That was what prompted me to really give them a listen, and I’ve been a fan ever since.  They have made some amazing records, but seeing them live was a revelatory experience. 

I was impressed by the energy and the passion evident in the music. You had to clap along to the songs. No I mean, you literally didn’t have a choice – it seemed like Matt Vasquez was going to leap off the stage, hurdle the barricade and throttle you if you didn’t clap along.

This felt like a punk show, but Delta Spirit is not punk. They play Indie Rock with a soulful and (appropriately) Americana spirit. What struck me is that it was interesting to see – over thirty years later, how the punk spirit has infused all kinds of music.  For Delta Spirit, who in a pre-punk world, would have probably been a folk-rock act with a CCResque soul streak, punk added an aggression and power which quite frankly make them so remarkable.  

I was bummed that my pre-arranged schedule for the night meant I had to bail before the set was over, but at least I got to hear another song and a half while I bungled my way through a crowded that filled the large park.  I was also bummed to miss The Wallflowers set which closed the Live on the Green portion of the evening… such is the life of a singular music blogger with places and people to experience… 

So yeah, I really dug Delta Spirit.  If you get the chance to see them live, do it.


Americana Music Festival – Part II – The Dunwells Live on the Green

We’ve written about Live on the Green the annual six week long free outdoor concert series put on by our favorite local commercial, independent radio station – Lightning 100.  This weeks show was officially listed as part of the AMA Fest, and it started off our weekend on a swell note.  

Live on the Green brings together some of my favorite things about Nashville. Lightning 100, the amazing Public Square Park – a large public green space on the roof of a parking garage where there used to be a big ugly parking lot and great live music.  Oh yeah, and my favorite morning DJ, Mary Brace introduced the first band!

The Dunwells kicked things off.  Shortly after I saw they were playing this event, they made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and impressed me.  I’d been looking forward to this show ever since.  The Dunwells are from Leeds, where I hear The Who once played live… The band is made up of two brothers, two cousins and a long-time friend.  The brothers were easy to spot.  Joseph (great name, by the way) and David  front the band.  They play an infectious blend of folksy pop music.  I managed to sneak my way to right in front of the stage and got some decent pictures.  The crowd was enthusiastic and it was a great, fun start to what would turn out to be an epic night of music.


Featured Friday Music Shuffle – Thank You Friends Mix

Well, well, well… I had the musical experience of a lifetime last night, and I am still trying to wrap my mind around the awesomeness of it all.

First of all, the evening started at Live on the Green which is a free live concert series put on by Lightning 100.  The Dunwells took the stage around 6:30.  I made my way up to just behind the barricade in front of the stage.  The Dunwells are young band, that included the Dunwell brothers, from Leeds in the England.  The sunset while the Dunwells were playing, so it grew darker as Delta Spirit hit the stage. I was really impressed by the energy this band has live. I had to bale at the very end of the Delta Spirit set to get to the Basement for an Americana Music Association Festival showcase.  This was no small task since during the Dunwells set as Delta Spirit was setting, a seemingly endless crush of humanity. 

So, I eventually pushed my way through the crowd and made my way over to The Basement in time to see Angel Snow’s set.  We wrote about Angel Snow last year.  She has an incredible and unique voice and along with her usual musical partner, Viktor Krauss (Allison’s brother), she writes great songs.  Viktor wasn’t present for this set because he was playing with Jerry Douglas. Angel Snow has a new album due out in a couple of weeks.

I left The Basement after Angel Snow’s set and there my night took it’s first and only hiccup.  I was intending to go see Mary Gauthier and Richard Thompson at The Station Inn. Unfortunately, two things happened. My mind did a timewarp thing, and I totally spaced on where The Station Inn is located.  See, up until a few years ago, The Station Inn was located right inside ‘V’ where 12th Avenue South and 11th Industrial split off. At that time, the area was pretty desolate otherwise.  The Station Inn has not moved, but the area is totally transformed. Anyway, by the time I finally made it to the club, a line had formed indicating the building was at capacity.  I figured the odds of enough people leaving between Mary and Richard Thompson for me to gain admission was not good, so I decided to head straight to The Rutledge, and truthfully, I’m really glad I did.  I got to that club just in time to see The Bo-Keys take the stage for some authentic Memphis Soul. The band is made up of people who helped shape the Memphis sound including folks who played with Isaac Hayes and Al Green including members of the Hi-Rhythm section, plus a truly awesome vocalist named Percy Wiggins who has a long and storied career of his own.  

Oh yeah, and while waiting for the Bo-Keys to play, I started seeing some familiar and famous faces….

The night ended (and the morning began) with a star-studded tribute to Big Star.  This set deserves and will get a post of it’s own, but suffice it to say, this was a musical high-light of my entire life. It was enough that as billed, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Chris Stamey of The Dbs, and Jody Stephens of Big Star were part of this bill, but that was really just the tip of the iceberg.

Needless to say, I’m running on just over 2 hours of sleep and a 1/2 bottle (so far) of 5 Hour Energy that I got at Live on the Green.


And yes, even with all that, we do have a shuffle this morning.  We’ve skipped the last couple of weeks of Featured Friday simply because we’ve had a bunch of Featured Artists show up throughout the week, but that has not been the case this week, and I kind of feel like I’ve been neglecting my Featured Artist… so I decided to shuffle up a playlist of songs from these artists.

First up we have Nashville’s own Korby Lenker with Lovers and Fools.  

Next, we have Florida-based singer/songwriter Alex Bennett with Jesus Blues off his fantastic One Way Train album. 

Couldn’t find a video for Jesus Blues…

And finally, we have And the Giraffe who were kind enough to explain the Nashville connection we alluded to on the Featured Artist page. Josh Morris who is 1/2 of And the Giraffe now lives in Nashville – so there you have it..  We have Magic 8 from 2011s Something for Someone.

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Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – So… yeah… Mix

I hope you enjoyed the premiere of the brand new song from Cosmonauts and our interview with the band… in case you missed it – go here. I heard yesterday and Mike Watt is bring his Missingmen to Nashville in October. The Americana Music Fest is just a few weeks off, Live on the Green is starting soon, and Musician’s Corner should be kicking off their Fall series very soon.  Plus news yesterday that Grimey’s is going to open an extension (Grimey’s Too) which include a cafe, bookstore, more music and possibly an expanded area for events like Record Store Day???  

Okay – let’s dive headlong into this morning’s shuffle.  I bit of a rough morning so I needed some sweet tunes to get me settled into my day, and the shuffle beast did it’s job.

First up we have Band of the Month for May (and our last ever Band of the Week) South of Ramona with The Lonesome Soul off their new Step Inside EP which we reviewed. I am still massively digging the band’s haunting folksy rock sound.

South of Ramona so far have only released videos of covers – here is their version of the Jefferson Airplane song, Somebody to Love

Next up we have Bonnie “Prince” Billy (William Oldham)  – a Louisville, Kentucky native who makes some incredible music which contains elements of punk, folk, Americana and Indie Rock. Today, we have the title track to his 2011 EP, The Mindeater which was a collaboration with the Louisville-based The Phantom Family Halo.

And finally, we continue to reap the fruits of our surfing of the ReverbNation site. Friday Night Music Club are “a handful of song writers who came together on a project and never left.”  Today we have Why?  a tasty bit of laid back folksy flavored goodness which definitely eased my transition into work mode.


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Schedule | Line Up | Live On The Green

Live on the Green is an awesome free live concert series put on every late summer and early fall.  It takes place on the truly amazing Public Square Park which is a green space on the roof of the parking garage for the Courthouse.  It’s a great setting and a great series.  I know some people expressed disappointment at last year’s line-up, which was actually pretty good, but in any case, the folks at Lightning 100 who just upped the ante on what Independent Radio sound like, have upped the ante on what a great free concert series looks like.
We have the full lineup and schedule (so far) linked below:  For us, some of the highlights include Alabama Shakes, North Mississippi All-Stars, Dr. John, Apache Relay, Moon Taxi, The Delta Saints and Delta Spirit.  Please note, that Delta Spirit are set to play September 13 and the opener and the headliner for that night are still TBA.  In my book, Delta Spirit could be the headliner, so I can’t wait to find out who will play with them.
 Here’s a video from Band of Horses playing Live on the Green in 2010
And here’s Tyler James from last year’s show featuring Ten Out of Tenn