Archive for September, 2010

Josh Jackson and friends “cover” great rock/pop/country territory with Yes Dear

September 29, 2010

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

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Middle Tennessee was devastated by flooding in May from which it will take months—in some cases, years—to recover. Please join the recovery effort by contacting Hands on Nashville at Hon.org or by calling (in Nashville) 211. Otherwise, please call 800-318-9355. You can also support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts by going to Salarmy-Nashville.org of calling 800-725-2769.  Thank you.

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Josh Jackson and friends “cover” great rock/pop/country territory with Yes Dear

By Dave Carew

For the past decade, Josh Jackson has been known as the lead singer of the widely acclaimed Josh Jackson Band. In 2002, The JJB was named “Best Local Rock Band” and “Best New Band” in the Nashville Scene Readers Poll. Soon after, Rolling Stone’s contributing editor, David Wild, hailed the band as one that “makes great, uplifting rock & roll with a lot of heart and a lot of craft.”

I have very fond memories of seeing The JJB play to packed houses around the city, particularly at The Sutler, the band’s favorite stomping grounds for years, and a venue sorely missed by everyone in Nashville who cares about great music and irreplaceably funky ambiance.

The current project of Josh Jackson—along with his former JJB bandmates Joey Boone and Locke Sandahl—is Yes Dear, which allows these gifted musicians to explore their “covers” side. Josh recently granted this interview about Yes Dear to Underground Nashville:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:   If you had an elevator ride to tell someone what the basic “musical idea” of Yes Dear is, what would you say?

JOSH JACKSON: Well, if the Eagles met Van Morrison and went bowling with Jimmy Buffett who was on a 3-way phone call with James Taylor and John Mellencamp backstage at a concert where Tom Petty was opening for the Beatles…that’s what we sound like.

UN:  Where does the band’s name come from?

JJ: We got our name due to the fact that we are three middle-aged, married men (Josh Jackson, Joey Boone, and Locke Sandahl), each with two daughters. “Yes, Dear” was something we all seemed to say quite a lot, and so it stuck as a name.

UN:  Yes Dear mostly performs cover tunes.  How do you select which tunes to cover? To what degree, if any, do you cater songs to a specific audience?

JJ: We tend to go for songs that are heavy on melody and harmony, which are the two things we seem to do the best. Joey has a great country voice and I’m more of a rock ‘n roll guy. So it is neat to explore the vast catalogs of each genre, searching for the things that together we do best. We seem to have gravitated towards the songs of the Eagles, due to the fact that there are two (or three) lead singers in that band and they have outrageous harmony that we aspire to re-create. As far as catering songs to a specific crowd, we have approximately 40 songs that we [can] cover at just about any event, but we are always up for learning a new song for a specific crowd. And of course, we are always willing to perform requests at shows, especially if there is a $20 bill attached.

UN:   I understand that Yes Dear mostly does corporate gigs, weddings, and that type of thing. Is that going to remain the “model,” or are you going to branch out a bit more into club performing?

JJ: We have found that it is easier to make money, especially in Nashville, doing private events. However, we did a very well-attended event at 12th & Porter a few months back. So, you never know. We love to play and anytime we can get together and do so, we will.

UN: How can people sample your music online, and contact you for gigs?

JJ: People can contact us best through email at:  thejjb@bellsouth.net. To hear music samples and to learn more about us, visit www.myspace.com/yesdeartheband

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.

How Americans are undermining their own economy

September 24, 2010

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

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Middle Tennessee was devastated by flooding in May from which it will take months—in some cases, years—to recover. Please join the recovery effort by contacting Hands on Nashville at Hon.org or by calling (in Nashville) 211. Otherwise, please call 800-318-9355. You can also support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts by going to Salarmy-Nashville.org of calling 800-725-2769.  Thank you.

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How Americans are undermining their own economy

By Dave Carew

I have a pet hypothesis that I think explains part of why the U.S. economy is so tanked right now. It has nothing to do with tax rates or regulations or the efficacy of stimulus packages.  It has to do—shocker of shockers—with our personal character, or lack thereof, and how that translates into bad business practices.

Case in point: I recently had to buy a new (for me) car.  This was the actual experience I had while dealing with various new and car dealerships around town:

* Called the brother-in-law of a friend of mine, who sells new and used cars. Left two voice mail messages. The guy never returned my call. Couldn’t be bothered.

* Went to  Crowne Ford in Nashville, told them the type of car I was looking for and the price range . . . whereupon the salesman immediately showed me a car costing FOUR TIMES the price range I’d just quoted him.

* Called Carnival Kia in Hickory Hollow, so desperate for a new vehicle that I would have bought virtually anything they showed me. The salesman never returned my call.

This kind of shameful incompetence does not arise out of the physical inability of someone to make a phone call or listen to what a customer wants.  It arises out of a lack of personal character—and the lack of caring for others that goes with it—which acts like a cancer within any business environment, stripping away customers and chasing away prospects.  Couple this with everything else big government and big business have done to participate in the Poor Character Follies, and no wonder the U.S. isn’t nearly what it used to be.

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.

Lynda Lucas dazzles on new demo recordings

September 21, 2010

Lynda Lucas dazzles on new demo recordings
By Dave Carew

Several weeks ago, I received in the mail the new, 13-song demo from Dublin, Ireland-based singer-songwriter Lynda Lucas. Lynda had absolutely knocked me and hundreds of other people out when she opened the Gram Parsons Tribute Concert held last September in Nashville at The 5 Spot.  After that, I asked her to send me anything she might record in the future.

After I received her new demo, I asked Lynda via e-mail what her plans are for it. She responded: “I am not sure what I am doing with the CD yet, but I have a few gigs lined up in Dublin. As you know, performing live is what I truly enjoy. I am still sending copies of the CD around to people, and hopefully I will get around to recording with a full band. I am on the lookout for a producer . . . hopefully T Bone Burnett will come to my rescue. Ha!”

Lynda may be kidding about ole T Bone, but the legendary record producer could certainly do a lot worse. When I think back on live performances I’ve seen over the past few years in Nashville—including from Conor Oberst, Mindy Smith, Mary Gauthier, and others of that ilk—the performance by Lynda Lucas at The 5 Spot last year easily ranks beside those of those much-better-known artists.

I also asked Lynda about various songs she performs on the demo CD, which includes cover and originals. I found particularly interesting her personal connection to the Gram Parsons-associated tune “Image of Me” (which you can see Lynda performing at The 5 Spot on YouTube).  Lynda responded:

“I first heard Gram Parsons sing this song, and [at first] thought he had written it. In 2007 I was in Crete, Greece at a songwriting seminar. There was a band there with Kevin Montgomery from Nashville. Kevin’s father is Bob Montgomery, who sang with Buddy Holly. Tommy Allsup, who also played with Buddy and who is 77years old, was with Kevin, and one night during a session singing around the pool, I was asked to sing a song. I sang “Image of Me,” and, afterwards, Tommy told me he had played on that track. That’s how I found out it was not a Gram [-written] song.”

Well, no matter who wrote it, it’s certainly never in better hands than when Lynda Lucas sings it. Which can be said of a heckuva lot of other songs, too. Here’s hoping someone in Dublin or London or Wherever wakes up to the amazing talent we saw last year in Nashville, and signs Lynda Lucas.

For more about Lynda Lucas, and to hear three new songs from her demo, visit  Myspace.com/lyndalucasmusic

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.

CD REVIEW: Pat Anderson takes us down “Magnolia Road”

September 9, 2010

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

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Middle Tennessee was devastated by flooding in May from which it will take months—in some cases, years—to recover. Please join the recovery effort by contacting Hands on Nashville at Hon.org or by calling (in Nashville) 211. Otherwise, please call 800-318-9355. You can also support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts by going to Salarmy-Nashville.org of calling 800-725-2769.  Thank you.

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CD REVIEW: Pat Anderson takes us down “Magnolia Road

By Dave Carew

Pat Anderson is a roots-rock/Americana singer-songwriter based in Nashville. Over the past few months, Pat has showcased his music at the world-famous Bluebird Café and at other Nashville venues. (To see Pat performing at the Bluebird, as captured by BBC World News America in July, go to PatAndersonMusic.com.) Although Pat’s prime focus these days is building his local fan base, he’s also busy capturing accolades beyond Nashville’s city limits. Roots Revival Radio in Belgium hailed Pat “a very talented young artist who deserves highlight attention.”  And GreenManReview.com said of Pat: “This is a singer who is going to be BIG . . . . You will be hearing a lot more of Pat Anderson.”

After hearing Pat’s new album, Magnolia Road, I couldn’t agree more. This is a young artist of unusual passion and dedication—one following the path of artists like John Hiatt, John Mellencamp, Steve Earle, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd—but forging his own unique footprints on it.

Stand-out tracks on Magnolia Road include “She’s the One” (which Pat performs part of in the BBC World News America video) and the opener “Follow Me Down.” The latter solidly sets the tone for the entire album, by riveting your attention immediately and telling you, “The 11 songs you’re about to hear have nothing to do with plastic; nothing to do with schlock; nothing to do with Music Row soullessness.” When Gram Parsons said “I dream of . . . Cosmic American Music,” here’s what he was talking about.

When I interviewed Pat for Underground Nashville last spring—when he was still recording Magnolia RoadI asked him what his dream for his music is.  He replied, in part, “I just want to make music good enough that it affects people in the same way that music I like affects me. There’s something comforting and strengthening in the best music, and it makes the world a little bit more habitable place to me.”

After listening to Magnolia Road, I sense that Pat Anderson’s dream—thanks to his unique talent and vision—is quickly coming true.

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.

The Iraq War: Endless Costs, Endless Idiocy

September 2, 2010

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

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Middle Tennessee was devastated by flooding in May from which it will take months—in some cases, years—to recover. Please join the recovery effort by contacting Hands on Nashville at Hon.org or by calling (in Nashville) 211. Otherwise, please call 800-318-9355. You can also support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts by going to Salarmy-Nashville.org of calling 800-725-2769.  Thank you.

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The Iraq War:  Endless Costs, Endless Idiocy

By Dave Carew

This is not a political blog (thank God), but sometimes even I have to weigh in on the shameful exercise called “American politics.”  I’m on record as opposing the Iraq War even before it began, and I still believe it was one of the most immoral and strategically idiotic wars ever fought by the U.S.

This morning I got a press release from Wes Benedict, a Washington, D.C.-based libertarian, who offers some right-on-the-money insights about the war. I’ll step out of the way now, and let Was speak for the rest of this post:

“President Obama needs to stop lying. In his speech, he repeated the ridiculous and false claim that the U.S. combat mission is over in Iraq. He seems to think that if he keeps talking about the war in a nice way, the war isn’t really happening . . . .

“This war has been a shameful failure from the beginning. But even if the U.S. military could impose a sustainable modern democracy on Iraq, it would in no way be worth the hundreds of billions of dollars, and thousands of American lives, lost in the process. The Bush-Obama War in Iraq has done nothing to safeguard the rights of Americans—on the contrary, it has probably made Americans less safe, and certainly poorer.

“The purpose of the U.S. armed forces is to defend the territory of the United States, not to re-engineer foreign societies.”

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.


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