Archive for January, 2012

Interview with singer-songwriter Jim Callahan

January 23, 2012

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

************
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.
************

Interview with singer-songwriter Jim Callahan

by Dave Carew

For the past three years in a row, Jim Callahan has been ranked one of the Top 25 Nashville-based Alternative Artists by ReverbNation.com.

Though he cites musical influences from Hank Williams to Bob Dylan to ‘50s music, Jim’s music defies easy categorization. “A few folks have attempted to label my music,” Jim says. “It’s been called ‘Neo-Traditionalist Country,’ and it’s been called ‘Americana’ . . . . It’s just a blend of everything available musically from the 50′s through the current times. It’s my life in music.”

Underground Nashville recently caught up with Jim Callahan, immediately after the Internet release of his new song “The Poet.”  Here’s how our interview went:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What is the most important thing people should know about your songwriting?

JIM CALLAHAN: What I write and perform are songs that reflect my life and/or the life of those around me. I try to be truthful without being hurtful, as I hold up a mirror for my fans, friends, and family to gaze into. The most important aspect of my writing is that I have no particular loyalty to any style. We’ve all seen and heard artists who get “locked” into a particular style, and although we like their initial work, we become quickly bored as they become predictable. That’s not me. Mark Holden with MusicSupervisor.com said of me, “He is unpredictable; every song is an original, nothing is off the rack.”

UN:   What was the specific inspiration for your new song “The Poet”?  Why did you feel compelled to write it?

JC: I asked several different young writers to work with me on a song idea I had that would compare the difficulties of being “too old” and being “too young” in the music business. One by one, they all turned me down. Disappointed, I awoke at 4:30 a.m. one morning with “The Poet” inside me, waiting to get out. About 90 percent of it fell out of my head and onto the paper in just a few minutes. Is it autobiographical? In part, yes, but it’s also the story of hundreds of thousands of other singer-songwriters who simply want you to listen and acknowledge their work. “The Poet” has been chosen as the title track for my soon-to-be-released album, and is the subject of a (West coast) theatrical production in the works.

UN:  Where can people see you play live in Nashville–or otherwise hear more of your music–during the next few months?

JC: From my website, http://www.JimCallahanSongs.com you can find links to all of the major social sites, as well as links to music downloads, free streaming, performance dates, etc. Some of my upcoming performances include:

January 25th ~Two Old Hippies ~401 12th Ave, South, Nashville ~ 5 to 7 pm

February 4th ~ The Zlist House Concert ~ Franklin Tennessee (contact terry.seay@ItsAllAboutZmusic.Com for an invitation and details)

February 11th ~The Listening Room Café ~ 209 10th Ave, South, Nashville ~ 7 – 8:30 pm

To inquire about bookings (clubs, private parties, house concerts) email jim@jimcallahansongs.com.

For more information, visit JimCallahanSongs.com.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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 advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

Book Review: “The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide” by Eric Normand

January 11, 2012

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

************
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.

************

Book Review:  “The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide” by Eric Normand

by Dave Carew

Nashville is a weird city for professional musicians. Although we’re busting at the seams with unbelievable talent, the sad fact is not one in 1,000 actually can make his or her LIVING playing music here.  Eric Normand’s The Nashville Musician’s Survival Guide is for everyone who’d like to bump up those odds and actually make MONEY—heck yes, a LIVING—at this wondrous thing that drives us all batty: music.

The beauty of Eric’s book is that it is so damn relentlessly “Nashville-specific.”  Covering “everything you’ve always wanted to know about making a living playing music in Nashville,” it also covers LOTS of music-playing and music-career opportunities even wily Nashville vets would never think about.

This book is like having your own personal, guided tour through the Nashville music industry. Wanna get a gig at a Nashville club?  Play as a musician on a road tour based out of Nashville? Get an inside look at dozens of other music-related jobs in Music City?  It’s all here (plus a heckuvalot more) . . . all presented to you by an author/musician born and raised far from Nashville who had to learn the in’s and out’s of the city mostly on his own.

Remember that credit card slogan, “Don’t leave home without it?”  I’d say exactly that about this book, to everyone who wants to turn his passion for music into an honest-to-God, earn-a-living job.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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 advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

 

CD Review: Marty Grebb’s “High Steppin’”

January 9, 2012

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

************

Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscoft.org.  Thank you.

************
CD Review:  Marty Grebb’s “High Steppin’”

by Dave Carew

One of the great delights of reviewing new records for Underground Nashville is the opportunity to point my finger toward GREAT albums that the mainstream media may be overlooking.  That’s certainly the case with High Steppin’ by Marty Grebb. Suffice it to say that if you LOVE the blues, you’ll love this album MORE.

Why?  Because this album—as they say in the business world—“offers added value.”  Not only does Grebb lend his incredibly soulful, 66-years-young voice to all this album’s killer tracks, but—get this—he plays EVERY instrument on the album.  With MIND-BOGGLING authority. As Bonnie Raitt said of the album, “Marty is one of the very few musicians who can nail singing, keyboards, saxophone, guitar, bass, drums, songwriting, and arranging with equal passion and authenticity. He’s made another great, funky record in High Steppin’ . . . Terrific all the way around!”

I couldn’t agree more.

If you go to LunaChicaRecords.com or MartyGrebb.com, you’ll discover the stunning array of world-famous musicians who have played with and still greatly admire Marty Grebb. (Their number includes Clapton, Leon Russell, and on and on). But for my money, that hardly matters.  I’d love this record even if it had been made by someone who’d never left his bedroom. Trust me: If you dig the blues, this record is likely to “high step” its way to the top of your personal favorites list.

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/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 advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 42 other followers