E2TG Takes on Americana Fest 2015 – Part I

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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.

Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – My Dark Sense of Humor Mix

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How goes it? A bit overcast here in Nashville with some cooler temps on the way…

Tonight is week 2 of David Olney’s month-long residency at The 5 Spot in East Nashville.  Interested to see what he has up his sleeves this week after last weeks excellent start.

Let’s jump into the shuffle—

“Long Way ’round” by Fendrick and Peck

First up is the opening track and our second listen to Lucky Penny the new album my Nashville-based folk duo Fendrick and Peck. A great way to start my morning commute.

“XXX-Mas (Empty, Hopeless, Irritable, Anxious, Guilty, Tired)” by Bashful Hips

We have another track from Too Old for a Coming of Age Story. This too is the opening track.  An uplifting song… that I can relate to way too well…

“Mardi Gras in My Town” by Batkhi Dahn

Another Batkhi Dahn song to brighten our Thursday shuffle… This one goes back to the 4 song EP called 4 Song Delinquent EP.  Continuing a mini-trend of the day, this, too, is the opening track of that release.

“American Bigfoot” by Fangs and Twang

Ear to the Ground favorite Black Jake is about to reboot things with a new set of Carnies (or at least that is my understanding).  The most recent group of Carnies have a new project called Fangs and Twang.  If you, like me, always wondered what these particular Carnies would sound like without Jake, we have your answer.  This is the kind of heavy rock and roll that made this country great! 

“Ay Manzanita” by Susan James

We dig deeper into Sea Glass the stunning newish album by another long time E2TG fave…  this is just a gorgeous California Pop song…  

“R.L. Burnside (Sleight Return)” by Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen

From Love and Life (and also available on the Noisetrade only EP, Stink Eye), comes a blues infested dream about an encounter with the late blues legend.  Drozdowski actually did spend some time with Mr. Burnside, so this is a dream with some basis in reality.

“Hair of the Dog” by Megan Palmer

One of East Nashville’s best.  Megan Palmer frequently backs up Tim Easton, she has also backed up Darrin Bradbury on occasion, and she is currently backing Amy Speace.  She does a great job backing all these folks, but if you get the chance to see her doing her own songs, please do not miss it.  I have fortunately had two opportunities recently (including Tuesday night’s round at the Bluebird).  This one goes back a ways, to a record she put out called Take You Away.

“Hot Freaks” (GBV cover) by Blitzen Trapper

You know what we have never had appear in a shuffle here at Ear to the Ground? A Guided By Voices cover by Blitzen Trapper.  Happy to say that we can cross that one off our hypothetical #E2TG bucket list…

“Lonely Without You” by Carolina Story

Last but certainly not least, we have Nashville duo, Carolina Story with a song that was on their 2013 EP called Chapter One.  Right now, you can go to Noisetrade and get Chapters One and Two and pay what you like.  


Wednesday Morning Music Shuffle – Swallowing the Ocean Mix

#CXCW15 rolls on… Day 3 brought tons more videos including some of E2TG’s all-time favorites… Among the many great clips were some from old friends like Sci-Fi Romance, MAKAR, and Imperial Rooster.  Plus an explosive clip from relatively new friends Two Mule Blues.  Head to the couch and visit couchbycouchwest.com  to get in on the fun.  By the way, they are still accepting submissions so get to videoing and get it done!

“Lost and Found” by The Naddiks


From my inbox via Australia (or vice-versa) come The Naddiks with a track from their latest release, a mini album called 21CB.  I haven’t had a lot of time to dig into the full release yet, but I dig this track. So good high energy punk, pop, and roll!

“(I Have) Everything I Need” by Beat Rodeo

Some time in the 80s, a bunch of punk rockers discovered or rediscovered country and/or roots music.  A lot of the music that came out of that influenced not only my budding musical tastes, but also played a large part in the development of what is called Alt-Country, Americana, and one of several other names.  Living in a kind of small town in the days before the internet, I was a child of MTV and college radio. I first came across Beat Rodeo on an episode of IRS Records Presents: The Cutting Edge.  Steve Almaas had previously been in the Minneapolis punk band Suicide Commandos.  He then worked with The Bongos and shortly after that worked with lead Bongo Richard Barone and producer Mitch Easter on a solo EP called Beat Rodeo before forming a band of the same name.  Home in the Heart of the Beat was their second album.

(me holding the Steve Almaas solo EP Beat Rodeo on vinyl) 

“Friends” by Whiskey Shivers

Whiskey Shivers are from Austin and from their Facebook Page they seem to be staying busying down there with whatever is going on this week.  They will be in my hometown come September for the Muddy Roots Festival.  This great song is from their self-titled third album which is available currently on Noisetrade (as a free download (tips and shares encouraged)…

“Standing on the Moon” by Lera Lynn

Lera Lynn is a Nashville singer/songwriter.  I got turned on to her music when my New York friend Ben Arthur co-wrote a song with her on a drive from Nashville to Memphis for the Premier episode of Songcraft Presents: Songs from the Road which was hosted by Rob Reinhart from Acoustic Café and videographed by Matthew Hendershot of The End Men and Matt King’s Killing Streets.  This song is from Lera Lynn’s most recent album called The Avenues.

“7 Chinese Bros.” by R.E.M.

A favorite track of mine from Reckoning (but aren’t they all..).  If you haven’t check out Voice of Harold on Dead Letter Office and then try to listen to the opening of this song without expecting to hear Michael Stipe reading the liners notes of a gospel recording called The Joy of Knowing Jesus…

“Richland Woman” by Megan Palmer

East Nashville’s own Megan Palmer from her 2007 album Take You Away.  I dig this song.   I always love when I get to hear Megan play whether it is her own stuff or with Tim Easton or even one of her rare performances with E2TG Artist of the Year Darrin Bradbury…

(Megan Palmer with Darrin Bradbury at Foobar 3/15/2015) 

“Twin Hometowns” by Beat Rodeo

A second and more rocking track from Home in the Heart of the Beat….

“Last Man Standing” by Bark

I remember a Facebook post when Susan Bauer Lee said she was taking Drum lessons.  Next thing I know, her and husband Tim Lee of Tim Lee 3 are forming a side project duo called Bark and releasing an EP under that name (along with a full-length TL3 album).   This is from the Bark EP and it rocks.

“Wind” by Artur U and the New City Limits

From Finland and off their debut EP, Turn Off the Light which was recorded at Bill Laswell’s studio in New Jersey.  I’ve been digging on this album since I got hold of it.


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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.