Thoughts from the shadows of a great American city

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As we move toward the Thanksgiving season, please do not forget those less fortunate than you. For decades, homeless, lonely people have been able to find warmth, shelter, and a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at the Nashville Rescue Mission. In a letter I just received, the mission writes, “About 5,000 people will find their way here on Thanksgiving Day alone.” To make sure they receive love, friendship, and a nice meal, please call (615) 255-2475 or visit Nashvillerescuemission.org.  Thank you.

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Paul Simon’s son disappoints at 3rd & Lindsley

by Dave Carew

It’s not every day that a singer-songwriter featured that very week in Rolling Stone plays at one of your favorite local clubs, so I was pretty jazzed when I heard Harper Simon (son of Paul) was coming to 3rd & Lindsley on Sunday to promote his debut album.

Come to find out (according to Rolling Stone and several local papers), Harper’s ties to Nashville are substantial. His mother moved here in 1975 after she and Paul Simon split, and Harper’s first album was recorded here at The Tracking Room in December 2007 with assistance from his father (who co-wrote three of the tracks) and the legendary Bob Johnston, the genius producer behind all of Dylan’s greatest work, and most of Simon & Garfunkle’s.

So it was with that kind of buzz that Harper Simon took the stage at 3rd & Lindsley Sunday night. But sadly, to say he failed to deliver would be an understatement. Singing in a sleepy-coarse voice reminiscent of Dylan on “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” Simon led his folk-rock band through a thoroughly uninspired set of folk-rock (at times country-tinged) tunes that simply never demonstrated why anyone should pay him serious attention as a singer or songwriter. (At one point he dedicated his song “Tennessee” to his mother, then delivered a lyric so indecipherable it was impossible to determine how the song related to her…except that, evidently, she was born in East Tennessee.)

Anyway…it’s not my intent to trash Harper Simon or to go on and on about this; only to offer some honest feedback on a much-anticipated local club show that, I felt, was more memorable for what it failed to deliver than for what it did.

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.”

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