Music City Monday Morning Shuffle – Marshall Tucker on My Stereo Mix

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Back at it on a Monday!   Had a good time Friday at The Country (after checking in with Tim Carroll and company at The 5 Spot) – Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau  + Saint Luke’s Drifters.  Richie and company have a new album out now.  Saint Luke’s Drifters are finishing up their new album.  If you get the chance to see either one or both of these bands, I highly recommend it.

Tonight: My recommendation is Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic from 7-9p.m. at Charlie Bob’s on the eastside.   Here is the Facebook event, if you Facebook.

This is definitely prime season for new music – look for some awesome new albums coming up in the next few months – I think I got at least 5 albums to listen to and possibly review over the last four or five days.

Shuffle:

“Down The River” by Ben Lowry

Another track from Somnium, the solo album by Ben Lowry of the band Bang OK Bang.  For some reason  (the banjo and vocals and lyrical content) this song reminded me of Hallowed Ground, the much maligned sophomore album by Violent Femmes.  In the face of widespread criticism, I am a proponent of the Femmes album. No, I do not think it is better than their seminal debut, but it is bold and in its own way subversion.  That being said, even if you aren’t a fan of the Femmes album, you will probably dig Lowry’s album.   

“I’m Gonna Love You Forever” by Carolina Story

From the Chapter Two EP.  Carolina Story are about as damn good as it gets.

“Theme from Crazy Aces” by Crazy Aces

Instrumental Rock from Nashville’s Crazy Aces… it’s their theme song!

“You Could Be My Baby (Samuel Stewart Remix)” by SHEL

The remix of the first single from SHEL’s forthcoming album, Crazy Enough. We featured the unremixed song earlier.

“Jesse” by Tom House

From Winding Down the Road – an album that was produced by Brock Zeman.  Tom House is a Nashville treasure.  Check out his music.  

“40 Miles” by Zachariah Red

E2TG debuted this song when it was released. It was the first single off of Zachariah Red’s EP Backbone. A driving, roots rock song of the highest caliber.

“WHIP” by Ricca Vita

Okay – this right here is why I love Nashville (and love my random shuffle function).  Ricca Vita’s music could not be any different  than Zachariah Red’s music.  So, that in and of itself, makes the transition here really cool – showcasing the diversity of music being made here in the home of the Grand Ole Opry… but wait, there is more.  Timothy Ryssemus – the mastermind behind Ricca Vita – also happened to have co-produced Zachariah Red’s record. Any way, I love the Ricca Vita album, and this track is just so damn good.   

“Promise Me Beautiful” by Lori Kelley

Moving on, another awesome song from songwriter Lori Kelley’s album, More.  Gorgeous vocals and great songs – a great combination.

“Swimming New Orleans” by The Grey A

Okay smartypants!  The Grey A are a Washington DC band.  But Grey Jacks used to live down here, and this album was recorded in Middle Tennessee and features a lot of local folks including Kelly Smith, William Tyler, and the Nashville Horns.  You may recall, I reviewed the My Country album when it was released in late 2014. “Swimming New Orleans” was released as a single (a wonderfully packaged vinyl 45) in 2015, and ahead of the forthcoming release of the next single (watch this space), I thought we would add this song to the playlist.  So, yeah, I stand by it’s inclusion in the Music City Monday playlist.  E2TG trivia gurus already know that Howard Rabach (who was probably one of the first ever readers and supporters of this blog) plays bass with The Grey A, who have some great shows coming up in support of their new single – including a date  with Austin Lucas +  Joey Kneiser and Kelly Smith (who Grey Jacks played with in Glossary at one point).

VIDEO PLAYLIST

Tuesday Morning Music Shuffle – Shortnin’ Bread Mix

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Once again, I am back with another Morning Music Shuffle! 

I was a little under the weather – so no shuffle yesterday….

So, here is a recap of some live music I experienced since the last post:

Friday – After venue hopping on Thursday, I decided  to stay put in one place (not that there weren’t ample opportunities to venue hop), and it was nice because there was so much great music in one spot (Bobby’s Idle Hour).  Three rounds of three singer-songwriters featuring: Round 1: Joe Nolan, Renee Wahl, and Daryl Dasher; Round 2: Jeremy Nash, Lindsay Ellyn, and Sadie Hart; Round 3: Jeremy Staubus, Lori Kelley, and Lori’s sister Michelle Nielson (in town from Iceland).

Saturday – Another one venue night (Douglas Corner) for Charlie Whitten (who has been featured on E2TG), Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau, and Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen. 

Two wonderful night’s of music with wonderful company at two venerable Nashville institutions.

#ICYMI:  The WXNA Radio Show that I am hosting with Sue Havlish, Double Shot with Joe and Sue,  has a Facebook Page for you to like.  After you “Like” that page (if you want to), it might be a good time to double check to make sure you have liked the Ear to the Ground Facebook page (link up top).  Hope to be able to announce the date of our first show, soon.

Now to the shuffle:

“My City” by Zachariah Red

E2TG Favorite, Zachariah Red kicks off today’s shuffle with the opening track from his album Backbone.  A rocking tune to kick off my first work day of the week.

“Shortnin’ Bread” by Neal Pattman

The late great Blues musician Neal “Big Daddy” Pattman via the Music Makers Relief Foundation. A wonderful organization that supports many wonderful music artists in many ways while also preserving the music for countless generations to come.

“Pipeline” by Agent Orange

We have been playing quite a bit of surf rock in recent months – here is a punk rock cover of an early surf rock song (originally recorded by The Chantays back in 1962). Agent Orange are a long running punk band from Orange County, California.

“When I Was Just A Boy” by Carolina Story

The Nashville-based duo Carolina Story are up next with a beautiful song from their EP Chapter 2.

“Oh My Sweet Cantankerous Baby” by Leland Sundries

Next a live version of one of my favorite songs by the Brooklyn Indie band Leland Sundries.  Connection alert: Nick Loss-Eaton of Leland Sundries is also a Board Member at Music Maker Relief Foundation which you may recall put out the Neal Pattman song way back, three whole songs ago.

“Rockin’ Chair” by Paul Zografi

Bright came out back in 2014, but we didn’t “discover” it until part way through 2015. Hence, Zografi winning one of the coveted “Better Late Than Never” “Earie” awards. Here is another great tune from that album.

“Open Passageways” by All Them Witches

We close out this shuffle with a song from Dying Surfer Meets His Maker – the latest album from this Nashville band. 

VIDEO PLAYLIST

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Featured Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Still a Human Being Mix

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Got to make this quick – I’m running late.  Saturday is another one of those impossible choices (musically-speaking in Nashville):  The Foobar is holding a multi-act afternoon show that features: Jeff Shepherd, Year of October, Susie Oleson, and Adrian + Meredith, and more!  Intersecting with the Adrian+Meredith part of the show will be some other awesome options:  David Olney returns to Bobby’s Idle Hour, Jon Latham opens for The Whistles and The Bells at The Basement.  Aaron Lee Tasjan returns to Nashville for a full band show – and his band include the also recently returned Brian Wright at Soulshine Pizza, and then later on Zach Schmidt + Patrick Kinsley & A Fistful of Dollars open for Cataline Crime at The 5 Spot.  And probably tons of other cool stuff…  get out and do something… you cannot go wrong with any of these selections…

Tonight: Tim Carroll Happy Hour 6-8:30 at The 5 Spot, and later on Kevin Gordon and his band are at The Family Wash.  If you have tickets, Those Darlins are playing their final show (a sell out) at The Basement East.

“How the West Was Won” by Ashleigh Flynn

Another cool song from A Million Stars. This one is a toe-tapping number.  Janie doesn’t have a gun.

“Separate Ways” by Carl Anderson

It’s hard to believe, but we still have songs to feature from Risk of Loss – one of 2015s best albums.  Carl Anderson is from Charlottesville, VA, but Nashville is happy to claim him now.   (and yes, I do speak for Nashville).   This is not the Journey song by the way.

“Defining Deviance Down” by The End Men

2013 E2TG Band of the Year from their excellent 2015 album Terms and Conditions. Man these guys rock so hard, and they are sounding so good on this record. 

“Lay My Head” by Angela Easterling

Another of my favorite albums of 2015, Common Law Wife.  A gorgeous song.  There are deep Nashville connections on this album.

“It’s a Beautiful Morning” by Tommy Womack

Certain to be one of the best of 2016. A new album from Tommy Womack is always a cause for celebration, and there is a lot to celebrate on Womack’s return following a neat fatal automobile accident last spring.  A powerful and lovely song for my morning walk, and a good reminder.  This song connects well with “I Almost Died” which we featured yesterday (I think).  It is a message of the hope that is possible on the other side.

“Let You Down” by Zachariah Red

And we close out the shuffle and the week with a track from Backbone.  This one features the vocal accompaniment of Lindsay Ellyn who also co-wrote the song.  I am pretty sure Backbone will be on my best of 2016 list.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

Featured Friday Morning Music Shuffle – Snow Day Mix

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A rare snow day off work, but the shuffle must go on….

Had a blast last night before the winter weather descended… a night at The Family Wash for a pair of CD Release shows by two of my favorite East Nashvillians.  Amelia White and The Blue Souvenirs (tonight featuring Sergio Webb, Justin Amaral, Megan Palmer, and Ron Eoff). Amelia’s new album is called Home Sweet Hotel.  Stone Cupid (Julie Christensen, Sergio Webb, Chris Tench, Bones Hillman, and Steve Latanation). Stone Cupid’s new album is called The Cardinal.  Amelia and band were wonderful as always, and Julie and Stone Cupid rocked the house.

To the shuffle:

“You Left the Water Running” by Amy Black

Amy Black kicks off our Snow Day shuffle with a classic Muscle Shoals song from her Muscle Shoals Session album.  This song has been recorded by many people including Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.  The song was written by Dan Penn, Rick Hall, and Oscar Franks.

“The World Belongs to You” by Indigenous Engines

Andrew Adkins has a new album out under his own name, and we will get to that very soon, but this is another track from one of two EPs he released in 2015 under the Indigenous Engines name.  This song is from the EP Werewolves.

“St. Sinner” by Exedra

Some newer music from our a E2TG favorite Jeremy Gluck.  Exedra features Gluck along with Darrall Knight and Mark Elliott.  The album is called Elemental, and the music is ethereal, dreampoppy, shoegazey, and all kinds of awesome.

“Sorry” by Youngstrr Joey

Our second listen to London based Youngstrr Joey from Grilled Wiig.  Really digging this music.

“Exotica” by Exedra

An instrumental tune from Elemental… takes me to a different place….

“Promise” by Leapfrogtown

Our second listen to London based Leapfrogtown from Dreaming in Public.  I like this band a bunch.

“Columbus Stockade Blues” by Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau

Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau are getting ready to release the follow up to Tennessee (from which this track comes) which will be called Dia de los Azules. If the first single (which was recently released) and the recent live shows are any indication that album is going to be a great one. This track is a civil war story about a Tennessee boy being held in a Union prison in Columbus, Georgia.

“Elevator” by Artur U and the New City Limits

This is, I think, our last track to feature from Holiday  From Eternity.  The “Earie” award winning Finnish band have promised some big plans for 2016.  “Elevator” is one of my favorite songs from the current album, and it has a pretty infectious groove to it.   

“Backbone” by Zachariah Red

Hopefully you read my recent review of Backbone. If not, it is now up on No Depression so give it a read.  This is the title track from the album which is now available on iTunes if that is your preferred outlet.  The live video (for a different song)  features Zach along with some of favorite Nashville folks, Taylor Alexander, Drew Kohl, and Lindsay Ellyn.

“Ode to a Friend” by Jon Magnusson

And we close out the shuffle with a moving song from a singer-songwriter from Stockholm.  His 3 song EP is called Dina drommar (with umlauts over the o that I do not know how to type).  This is the only English song on the EP. It is a tribute to a childhood friend who died at age 15.  It is extremely moving to me because I lost a friend at close to the same age – 35 years ago this month.

VIDEO PLAYLIST

The Importance of Framework – Backbone by Zachariah Red: The E2TG Review

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The backbone is  literally part of the skeleton or framework of the body. A carpenter by trade, Zachariah Red, knows about the importance of framework.  On his aptly titled new album, Backbone, he frames the album with a solid mix of Midwestern County, heartland rock and roll, and solid songwriting skills that he has sharpened to a fine point during his time in East Nashville.



As an album, Backbone features the aforementioned strong songwriting, along with  effective production and solid supporting players.  On “Let You Down”, a piano and solid background vocals from red hot Nashville singer-songwriter Lindsay Ellyn builds upon the framework of the song creating an emotionally powerful statement. Neither Zachariah Red nor Lindsay Ellyn are from the South, but this is more pure country music than anything being made on the border between Georgia and Florida.


“My City” is a rocker that brings to mind Springsteen and Mellencamp.  The wall of sound production ( the album was engineered by Zack Zink and produced by Taylor Alexander and Tim Ryssemus)  is happy surprise in contrast to Red’s often spare songs. “Sons of Sons is a solid toe-tapping country rock song, and the album’s first single, “40 Miles” is the kind of song you want to play loud while driving down a country road with nowhere in particular to go. Zachariah Red is backed by an outstanding cast of players and singers that includes the albums two producers and the aforementioned Lindsay Ellyn plus Drew Kohl and drummer Raun Shultz.



A backbone is also used as a symbol of strength and courage.  Many of the characters in Zachariah Red’s songs are deeply flawed individuals, and yet song after song their strength and courage shine through.  It takes a special measure of courage and strength to push forward in the face of one’s own shortcomings and failings. This kind of courage and strength is often downplayed by society, but it may be the most important and most common kind of strength and courage.

“Achilles” and “The Bottle” both represent this strength and courage in the face of adversity – even adversity brought on by one’s own poor decisions. Fortunately all of the poor decisions on Backbone are contained in the songs and characters.  The album itself is solid and an excellent representation of one of East Nashville’s most talented songwriters.

Backbone was released January 15, 2016.

Building a Dream – E2TG Song Premiere: "40 Miles" by Zachariah Red

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The classic Nashville story – I mean the real one not the fantasy – is this: talented musician moves to Nashville to pursue his or her dream – only to be chewed up by the big machine, disillusioned, and sent packing.  That is the “old Nashville” and maybe it is all too often the “new Nashville”, but there are new stories being written and word is getting out.

Many of these new stories are being played out on the east side of the Cumberland River.  The East Nashville mystique is far from a new thing, and to hear some tell it, it may be in its dying days.  But the new stories are still being written and new songs are being sung, and people are listening.

Zachariah Red is one of those new Nashville stories.  Zach came to East Nashville a little of a year ago with not a little talent and some pretty solid music credentials from his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin.

East Nashville is not a place that is short on talent.  Take a walk to the corner bar, and you more than likely will see someone who played on a record you love. Go to a coffee shop – pretty much any coffee shop – and chances are pretty good that 90% of the people in the place are musicians and that includes the baristas.

The old Nashville story was about competition, but it seems like this new Nashville story is more about cooperation and collaboration, and in the midst of those two things it is more importantly about creative people pushing each other to be better.

Zachariah Red is a carpenter by trade – from a long line of carpenters. Building things is in his blood. Music is in his heart. So how does a carpenter from Racine, Wisconsin go about building a dream in music in East Nashville, TN?

Now, this writer does not know much about building things, but what I do know is that to build something of quality you begin with quality parts and you build brick by brick, board by board. I also know that it takes well crafted skills and it usually takes more than one person.

Zachariah Red is releasing a brand new single today called, “40 Miles”.  Having followed Zach for a bit over a year, when I first heard this song, the word that came to my mind is growth. I have been impressed by Zach’s songs and voice since I first heard him, but listening to “40 Miles” it became clear that he has been hard at work and he has been building something remarkable adding parts and working with skilled people.

Ah yeah, that East Nashville story… over the last year or so, I have met some incredibly talented people who have been doing some amazing things. But, I have seen something else, I have seen these talented people get even better at what they do. I’ve seen it happen for everyone from veteran musicians with long, distinguished careers to young people just beginning their musical journeys. And, I have seen it happen for Zachariah Red.  “40 Miles” is pure Mid West, Blue Collar American Music. It drips with the blood sweat and tears of its characters and of its creator. This is not manufactured Country/Rock music – it is as real as it gets and it has been built brick by brick, and to that point, it is a brick in and of itself, and I for one cannot wait to see what Zachariah Red will build next.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=3803807348/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

A Very Ear to the Ground Christmas

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To tell the truth for a variety of reasons, my Holiday spirit has been lacking this year, but nothing gets me pumped up for the Yule Season more than hearing some brand new Christmas songs from some of my favorite artists.

Now, these songs may still come up in a Shuffle soon, but with the number of posts before Christmas dwindling fast, I thought I would dedicate a special post…  so jump past the break and listen to Christmas Ear to the Ground style.

First up comes my man Zachariah Red with a very Zach Red sounding version of the Ramones’ Christmas Classic, “Merry Christmas (Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”  Insider scoop, I was there when Zach took the picture that ended up being the cover art for this single.  Give it a listen and go grab yourself a download.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=1384884666/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/transparent=true/

Zachariah Red is one of the newer Ear to the Ground favorite artists.

Pony Boy has been an Ear to the Ground favorite for a couple of years, and since we first featured her music, she has moved to East Nashville (where Zach also lives by the way) and has done quite well for herself. I was so glad to finally get to meet her during Americana Week, and I hope to get to see her perform again soon.  Pony Boy also dropped a new Christmas tune this week. The track is produced by Cosmic Thug, It premiered over at Elmore Magazine, head over there now to check it out….

More Ear to the Ground Christmas goodies probably will show up in the days ahead…  in the meantime, give a listen to these great new tunes and have the best holiday season you can….