Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Now You See the Light Mix

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By the way, the #E2TG Facebook Page is approaching 500 “Likes”.  I would love to reach that milestone by the end of the year.  If you have not done so, give us a “Like”.  Limited time offer: We will waive the normal $0.00 Annual Fee!

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Sending Birthday wishes to 2014 Ear to the Ground Artist of the Year, Darrin Bradbury who just wrapped up his first ever West Coast tour. 

The 2015 “Earie” Awards roll onward. 

TODAY’S AWARD:  The “Middle-Aged America” Award The Premise: No premise – just an inside joke.

The Award goes to:  Drew Kohl and Taylor Alexander
Young America was a band from Georgia that had a long run. They released an EP early in 2015 shortly before deciding that with two members in Georgia and two in Nashville, it was no longer viable to continue as a group.  The award goes to the two members of Young America who are now living in Nashville.  Time flies when you are having fun, thus my joke about Middle-Aged America…

Drew Kohl:  Drew is a super talented singer, songwriter, and player.  He released Sweetheart, an EP filled with songs that explore different aspects of the theme of Love, earlier in the year, and he has been touring and playing throughout the year, sharpening his sound.  His trademark is his high-lonesome bluegrass inspired songs which often feature mind blowing sustained vocal notes.

Taylor Alexander:  Taylor has been recording his solo album which is due in 2016.  He is a regular performer on Lower Broadway, and he often backs up other musicians.  He and fellow “Earie” award winner, Lindsay Ellyn frequently perform as a duo (which I have dubbed: #Tindsay – which Taylor hates so let’s make that hashtag trend!).  He has an impressive repertoire of classic country tunes and his own compositions have a classic country feel to them.

Congrats, Taylor and Drew!  The “Earies” march on for the rest of December culminating in the naming of the 2015 #E2TG Artist of the Year.

By the way, before we jump into the shuffle, I had the great opportunity to head out to the Stone Fox in West Nashville last night to see Chris Scruggs and the Stone Fox 5 play some amazing classic country music.  They will be there every Sunday throughout December and most of January.  Highly recommended.


“Willie McBroom” by Tom House

A good old-fashioned Appalachian murder ballad from the album Winding Down the Road which was produced by Brock Zeman.  Tom House will be performing his latest album, Songs Like Dreams…More Like Blood, tonight at The Basement (the original one).

“Someday” by All The King’s Men

All the King’s Men are an Indie Rock band from Manchester, UK.  They combine a classic rock sound with the classic Manchester attitude.  This song is from the band’s new EP, Making My Escape.  I dig it!

“Get Up, Stand Up” by Peter Tosh

From his 1977 second album, Equal Rights, we have Peter Tosh’s version of a song he wrote with Bob Marley. The song was first recorded in 1973 by the Wailers. 

“That’s All” by The Train Set

We have another song from Never California, the recently released compilation album for this UK band.

“Mary Ann and One Eyed Dan” by Shovels and Rope

Shovels and Rope recently made their 2014 album, Swimmin’ Time awailable on Noisetrade.

“It’s Alright” by ’77

’77 are a band from Barcelona who play aggressive, high energy rock music reminiscent of the year from which their name derives.  Their latest album, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us was released back in October.

“Nettles” by Circus Propaganda

From the one and only Circus Propaganda album, Botany. 

window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”; “Ed Ruscha” by The Transcendents

From Lay Where You Collapse EP by the Christchurch band, The Transcendents.  The band have already released a new EP called Common Ground.  This song is named for an American Pop-Art artist.  It is a great example of the band’s signature blend of experimentation with pop music sensibilities.


Monday Morning Music Shuffle- Use Ya Blinkahs Mix

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Well. here we are on a  Monday. I’m posting this late because I have been in a conference for work all day and will be tomorrow and Wednesday.  In addition, being a Monday, my bluetooth earphones decided to act all weird.  That along with the fact that we have a very long song in the shuffle means only four songs.

But first, time to hop back into the 2015 “Earie” Awards.  To recap, last week we handed out virtual statues to Darrin Bradbury, Paul Zografi, Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau, Mark Robinson Band, and The Foresters.

I couldn’t decide what to call this award, but I knew who the winners would be… three way tie on this one…  How about we call it, the New York State of Mind Award.  All of winners are excellent songwriters on the Nashville “scene” who moved her from New York, and who to me represent the best of “New Nashville”.  By that I mean, they really seem to “get” what this town is about and they bring a fresh perspective and new voices.

The “New York State of Mind” Award goes to:  Lindsay Ellyn, Sara Syms, and Jeremy Nash.

Lindsay released her Out of Road EP earlier in the ear.  Surrounding herself with some of Nashville’s best, she made one of my favorite records of the year, and her live shows are always amazing.

Sara released Way Back Home recently.  The album was recorded in New York, but here in Nashville, she has also embraced some great local players and has become a fixture on the local music scene.

Jeremy, like Sara Syms, recorded his recent album, Getaway Driver in New York, and I think he may be the freshest face of the three in Nashville.

The three albums are among my favorites, the three songwriters are, I believe, net gain assets for the Nashville music community.   I am happy to let them fight over the one, invisible award.

Moving on…

Finally, I have to say that I learned a lesson this weekend.  When you post something on the internet about how you don’t dance, you are just setting yourself up.  This weekend, I found myself dancing not once but twice at two different venues on Saturday night.  Thanks to the person at the Basement East who I don’t know who convinced to dance during Sadler Vaden’s set and Mary Sack for convincing me to dance during Ballhog! (I think).

It was another amazing weekend for live music kicking off with Jon Latham who killed it opening for the out of this world Malcolm Holcombe. Holcombe’s band included Darrell Scott and Ken Coomer, and Mary Gauthier joined in for one song.  After that I got a good reminder of the awesome friends I have made over the last year or so.  Helping some friends celebrate their new house, singing loudly and badly to Bob Seger, and being a part of a conversation that moved naturally from the lack of necessity of the powder on Doritos to the films of Werner Herzog,,,,

Saturday, Sadler Vaden was amazing and Drvin’ ‘n’ Cryin’ were every bit the legends they are – with Warner E. Hodges on guitar, they played for around 2 1/2 hours including playing nearly an hour long encore that included Warner leading the band through “Absolutely Sweet Marie”.  Then, I made it to the 5 Spot very late to catch the tail end of the Get Behind the Mule: Tom Waits Tribute and Benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank.  I know the whole night was fabulous, but at least I saw Shane Tutmarc, Bone Machine, and Ballhog!.

To the short, sharp, shuffle:

“Hand Me Down Heart” by Jon Latham

Fresh off his triumphant opening slot on Friday, Jon kicks off the strange short shuffle with one of my favorite songs of his.  From Real Bad News… this is one of those songs that just kind of grabs you by the heartstrings and pulls until you beg for mercy.

“Untouchable” by The Train Set

From Never California, The Train Set emerged in the mid to late eighties from the UK. Although, I missed out on them the first time, I am very happy for the rerelease of some of their music.  I can tell I would have loved it had I heard it back in the day. This song was the b-side to the band’s first 12″ single (according to the caption of a 1988 live performance video on You Tube.

“Slipping From Your Heart” by The Deadline Shakes

Another track from the new album, Zealots, from Glascow band The Deadline Shakes.  This one starts as an emotional ballad before settling into one of the band’s signature catchy grooves.

“Pak Ya Cah” by 100% Beefcake window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”;

We close things out with the epic sixteen minute long tribute to all things Bastin.  100% Beefcake are one of those many side project bands on the Dord Music Group label.   Dig it and use yer blinkah.


Monday Morning Music Shuffle – Just Like My Mama Said Mix

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To be sure, I see a bunch of great live music here in Nashville, and I probably miss at least as many if not more than I get to see.

Last night was one of those great shows that I did get to see, and it was a show that made me really happy that I live in Nashville. It was the Aaron Lee Tasjan Release Show for In the Blazes at The Basement (the original one) last night.  Zach Schmidt opened the show back by Adam Kurtz on pedal steel.  Zach Schmidt looks like a Country music star should look, and he has the songs and voice to back up the look. He is the real deal, and he easily kick the ass of any one of those “bro-country” posers, but he is probably too nice a guy to do that.

Aaron Lee Tasjan is a one of a kind artist, and he seems destined to as hugely famous as he deserves to be.  Seeing him live under any circumstances and in any configuration (band or solo) is always a must-see event.  When he assembles the kind of band he did last night, the show is one for the ages.  Backed by drummer Aaron Shafer-Haiss, legendary bassist Keith Christopher, the always amazing Brian Wright and Jon Latham on guitars, and on two songs backed by vocal powerhouses Sally Jaye and Sarah Potenza – Tasjan’s incredible songs were delivered with precision and power.

In short, the night was a demonstration of what I love about this city.  Great songwriters, talented players, mutual admiration, and incredible music.  The Basement was packed out and everywhere I looked were awesome songwriters and players taking it in.

In the Blazes is hands down one of the best records of the year, and you should definitely check it out.

We have a shuffle to put out….

“Hannah” by Darrin Bradbury

A live recording of a rareish Darrin Bradbury song.   From a live record called Tur-Lyfe: A Live Recording of Unfortunate Events.  I think I’ve only heard him do this one live once or maybe twice which makes it rare in my book.

“Revelator” by The Boy From the Crowd

We first heard UK rockers The Boy From the Crowd a while back.  They have just released a new EP called Where the Bees Come to Die.  And our first taste of that is a song, we’ve heard before.  It’s a damn good song, so I’m not complaining. 

“Straight to Hell” by Hard Working Americans

I was fortunate enough to see Kevn Kinney live here in Nashville on a number of occasions over the past summer.  He did this song of his several times and every time it was incredible.   Here is a cover of the song by the supergroup Hard Working Americans.

“So I’m Told” by J.R. Wyatt

I can’t believe this song is still in my playlist.  I picked up J.R. Wyatt’s solo record, The Empty Room Sessions, when I saw him live – I want to say almost a year ago????  This is one of my favorite songs on that record. 

“Joliet Bound” by Memphis Minnie

I’m not even sure how many times Memphis Minnie’s name has come up for me in the last several months.  Born Lizzie Douglas, she was an incredibly prolific songwriter and singer who made a name for herself in a field and time dominated by male performers. When I saw the Heritage Blues Orchestra last month, they did a version of this song which prompted me to seek out the original.

“Beautiful Monster” by The Train Set

We have another track from Never California by the resurgent 80s UK band, The Train Set. I continue to be grateful for a second chance to “discover” his band.

“Three Poisons” by Jet Black Factory

It seems fitting and proper to follow up a song by a 80s UK band that I missed the first time around with a song by a Nashville band that I have been fan of for almost 30 years.  Jet Black Factory were dark and brooding and there was nothing even remotely “country” about them.  This one comes to me by way of an incredible compilation of early Nashville Rock Music called, Return to Elliston Square 1979-1989.  The compilation includes some of the great music of that era.

“Spanish Harlem” by David Schnaufer

We have another instrumental cover from the late mountain dulcimer master. The song was first recorded by Ben E. King (written by Leiber, Stoller. and Phil Spector) and later famously covered by Aretha Franklin.

“Seventeen” by Silverbird

And we close out the shuffle with our second listen from the new album, Pureland, by New York band, Silverbird.  Digging the original sound of this music.


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Thursday Morning Music Shuffle – Ding-Dong Mix

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First of all I have to give a huge shout out to everyone who helped make the inaugural The Finger and Ear to the Ground Presents: The Most Dangerous Game Show a huge success! Big props go to John McCollum and Darrin Bradbury without whom this would not have been possible.  Thanks to everyone who came out.  Thanks to The Building. Thanks to DJ Warbles for spinning great tunes between sets.  To Russell Thompson, Lindsay Ellyn, George Terry McDonald, and our very special guest Bob Dylan I mean Darrin Bradbury.  Let’s do this thing again!

We have a short but sweet shuffle. Only five songs thanks to the seventeen minute opening track… Jump

“Sister Ray” by The Velvet Underground

Coincidently, this song came up in the shuffle on The Velvet Underground’s drummer, Mo Tucker’s birthday!  There are only a handful of songs that I can tolerate for 17 minutes.  This is one of them.  Around the time that my passion for music was really starting to broaden and expand, Polydor Records released several of the Velvet Undergrounds classic albums along with VU a “new” collection of outtakes.  Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” had been one of the songs that hit me early in my musical journey, and although I knew he had been in a band called Velvet Underground, I had no way (from my small-medium sized town in the middle  of Tennessee) to hear that music.  The saying is that not many people bought the Velvet Underground albums, but that everyone who did formed a band or something like that.  I did not form a band, but nothing was the same for me after I heard The Velvet Underground. They were and to me still are a burst of fresh, dank, dark air. Their subject matter often shocked my suburban sensibilities, and they could be tender one minute and brutal the next.

“Used to Call Me Baby” (Split Lip Rayfield Cover) by The Blind Owl Band

The Blind Owl Band Saranac Lake, New York.  The released the 3 song EP Professionality (COVERS) which in addition to this Split Lip Rayfield song, also contains covers of songs my Man Man and The Devil Makes Three. The EP does a great job of showing off the diverse influences which help to make The Blind Owl Band who they are. This is our final song from the EP… it is delightfully raucous and catchy and fun.  For fun, I included the original Split Lip Rayfield version followed by The Blind Owl Band doing an original song (I could not find a video of them doing this one.

“Meredith Moonshine Land Trust” by Discount Ravioli

So, “Sister Ray” was over 17 minutes long… this one clocks in at around 0:45 seconds. Yet another from the Dord Music Group and their subsidiary(???) Discotime Records. I am not entirely sure what is going on here, but you know what? This and all of the music coming out the Dord compound is helping to restore my hopefulness of the kids of today (in the most weird and twisted way possible).  No video, so I added a Bandcamp widget of this track.  Do listen.

“Sink or Swim” by The Train Set

Another track from Never California.  This album came to me through e-mail, and I am so glad it did.  It is a very tasty slice of 80s era Brit-Pop.  There were so many great bands that came to my attention in that formative phase of my life, and even though I missed out on The Train Set the first time around, hearing it now is like discovering a long buried treasure.

“The Morning in Her” by Raging Fire

Besides The Velvet Underground and Brit-Pop, one of my major musical passions during the 80s was the vibrantly chaotic local music scene bubbling up in Nashville.  The whole thing seemed on the verge of bubbling over in the best way, but for a variety of reasons it never did. Nevertheless, some really awesome bands and music came out of that era.  Raging Fire were one of the best of that time.  I was happy to see recently that they are rereleasing much of their back catalogue and playing a reunion show at the Exit/In on October 3.  Melora Zaner has one of the most original and amazing voices in rock and roll.


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Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – #300 Tim Carroll Mix

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We’ve teamed up with The Finger to put on what we hope will be the first of many showcase events… it’s going down tomorrow (Wednesday August 19, 2015) at The Building in East Nashville.  Details can be found at the Event Page on Facebook!

Yesterday, our Facebook Page crossed a milestone yesterday when we reached 300 followers.  Thanks to a groundswell, we are a mere 94 away from 400! Seriously, it means more to me than you will ever know.  When I started E2TG in May 2011, I honestly didn’t know if anyone would read it.  Anyway, I promised surprises for the lucky 300th Follower…. in an incredible stroke of luck – the awesome Songwriter/Guitarist Tim Carroll was the lucky one!  It’s kind of funny because when we reached 200, another great Songwriter/Guitarist, Richie Owens, was the one! 

So… You can see, that the Tim Carroll’s name graces the post title.  I think this is the first time a real person has had that “honor”.  Who knows, now that I am big time, maybe I will start selling naming rights…. or maybe not…

It would have been cool if a Tim Carroll song had come up in the shuffle, but alas… still, I know there are some songs in today’s shuffle that Tim will dig.

“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” by The Byrds

From Sweethearts of the Rodeo, comes The Byrd’s version of a Bob Dylan song. “Down into the easy chair…”

“She’s Gone” by The Train Set

The Train Set were a UK band from the late seventies/early eighties.  Their music is getting some renewed interest with the release of the compilation, Never California. “She’s Gone” was an early single by the band.  We will have more by The Train Set coming up… this is an amazing slice of a great era in music and for me a second chance to hear something I missed the first time around.

“Tell Me Cosmo” by Susan James

More awesome fresh original Paisley Underground inspired Pop music from the fantastic album Sea Glass!

“That Horse” by Tomas Doncker Band

Big Apple Blues is a fantastic achievement for New York No Wave veteran, Tomas Doncker.  It is a powerful, bluesy ode to the greatest city in the world.  “That Horse” delivers a brutally powerful message.

“Cindy Vedantam” by Batkhi Dahn

Batkhi Dahn, as I have share before, is a side project of The Foresters Hayden Nork.  It is delightfully weird in the best possible ways.  This song comes from the Four Song Delinquent EP (which was released back in November 2014).  Many things have been released since this one… those The Foresters kids are nothing if not prolific.

“Letter to Shreveport” by Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon is flat out one of the best songwriters and performers working today.  I’ve had the great opportunity to see him several times over the last few months, and every time he impresses me more and more.  He has been at this music thing for a while now, and his latest album Long Gone Time is set to be released in September.  This song is from that album, and showcases some of the things that makes Gordon such a powerhouse.

“Dead Man’s Shoes” by Brock Zeman

Pulling Your Sword Out of the Devil’s Back is a pretty long album title, and it is also a damn fine record.  If you have yet to hear Brock Zeman, correct this oversight right away. 

“Watermelon Kid” by Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen  

We close out today’s shuffle with track from Love and Life, the brand new album from Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen.  This is the story of a real life man called Watermelon Slim, who besides being a bluesman is a member of mensa and used to drive trucks.  This song was one of the highlights of the Album Release Party last weekend for Love and Life.  By the way, I ran into Tim Carroll at that release show, and I guess that brings this post full circle back to the beginning.  window.amznpubstudioTag = “eartothegro00-20”;