Archive for March, 2012

Acklen Park’s “Great American Song” hits the Music Row Breakout Charts

March 27, 2012

By Dave Carew

Acklen Park—the country/pop duo featuring Marcum Stewart (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and Andrea Villarreal (lead vocals)—has hit the Music Row Breakout Charts for the first time with “Great American Song.”  The song was co-written by Marcum Stewart, Shantell Ogden, and Bill DiLuigi.

Commenting on the significant of this development for his band, Marcum Stewart said, “The Music Row Breakout Chart is the ‘stepping stone’ for any emerging artist coming out of Nashville in country music.  It’s the first true credible chart to be recognized on as an artist within the industry.”

Stewart said hitting the chart has long been one of his dreams.

“And after this, I would love to get some action on the Billboard and Mediabase charts,” he said. “One of our biggest dreams [now] is to be able to hit the road for a Radio Tour so we can personally thank every single radio station that is playing us.”

Co-writer Shantell Ogden is equally appreciative and enthusiastic.

“’Great American Song’ is also my first Breakout Single as a writer and it’s definitely a dream come true,” she said. “When we wrote the song, we felt it was special. Seeing it played on radio is incredible. I’m truly grateful to Acklen Park, their fans, their fantastic promotions team, and country radio for believing in it.”

For more information, visit AcklenParkonline.com and ShantellOgden.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.

 

 

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Concert Review: The Burritos light up Kimbro’s

March 26, 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

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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.

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Concert Review: The Burritos light up Kimbro’s

By Dave Carew

This past Friday night—on a stage at the intimate Kimbro’s in Franklin, Tennessee—the ghost of Gram Parsons was coaxed out of the mystic and asked to bestow its musical blessings on a room of devoted followers and fans-in-the-making. The occasion was a rare Nashville-area performance by The Burritos—the local, Gram Parsons-esque band signed to an English record deal last year—that is, arguably, doing more than any other group of musicians anywhere to keep Gram’s music and memory alive.

Featuring Walter “Magnet and Steel” Egan, Chris James, Rick Lonow (who co-wrote “Call It Love” for Poco), and Fred James (Chris’ brother), The Burritos kicked off their set in the same manner as on their stellar debut album Sound as Ever, playing first “For the Sake of Love” and “Beggars’ Banquet.”  Both songs are original compositions (as are “Angeline” and “Song and Dance Man,” performed later in the show) that not only would have fit perfectly into the original Flying Burrito Brothers’ classic The Gilded Palace of Sin but that—in fact—would have been stand-outs on that record.

Coursing through their 14-song set, The Burritos—all of whom are in their 50s or 60s—wove together youthful, joyful renditions of original songs, solo Gram Parsons’ tunes, and Flying Burritos Brothers’ classics, treating the audience to such gems as the Walter Egan-penned “Hearts on Fire,” “Wheels,” and “Devil in Disguise,” before wrapping up the night with the euphoric orginal composition “Build a Fire” from Sound as Ever.  As the last power chords of “Build a Fire” faded into a newfound case of ear-buzz, the audience jumped to its feet to offer The Burritos the standing ovation they so richly—and, seemingly, effortlessly—had earned.

Driving away into the night after the show, I reflected, with deep appreciation, on how these gifted, middle-aged musicians keep the spirit of 26-years-old-when-he-died Gram Parsons alive.  The Burritos are the very embodiment of a wrinkle on the old aphorism: You’re only young twice.

For more information, visit TheBurritosBand.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.

Chad Warrix steps back from Halfway to Hazard to release debut solo single, “Rain on the Roof”

March 19, 2012

By Dave Carew

Chad Warrix is best known as one of the founding members of Halfway to Hazard, whose Mercury Records single “Daisy” was a Top 40 hit. Another of Chad’s songs, “Die by My Own Hand” was just released on Tim McGraw’s nationally acclaimed Emotional Traffic album.

Chad is currently on a nationwide radio tour promoting his debut solo single “Rain on the Roof.” Last week, he interrupted his tour just long enough to host a telethon for Kentucky tornado victims that raised more than $180,000.

Underground Nashville recently caught up with Chad Warrix for this exclusive interview about his new solo project:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  As a result of the hit single “Daisy” and your extensive touring, you had developed a significant fan base with Halfway to Hazard.  What do you want H2H fans to know about your solo career and its relationship to H2H?

CHAD WARRIX: My solo project is a basic extension of what H2H was doing musically before we decided on a hiatus. I love mixing and bringing all my musical influences out in my songs—like Bluegrass, Southern rock, Appalachian folk, and country subject matter. I enjoy being on both side of the glass during the recording process—as a writer, musician, singer, and producer.

UN: Your debut single “Rain on the Roof” is fairly sexual for country radio. Why was it selected as the song to launch your solo career?

CW: I believe that 90 percent of all music is spawned from a relationship in some way, i.e., either a falling-in-love story, a falling-out-of-love story, a wanting-love-from-someone story, or a keeping-the-love-alive-between-two-people story. Making love has always been a common theme in country music; and not just the country genre but all genres. This song just happens to be the way I wanted to talk about it at this time in my life as an artist.

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What is the #1 most important thing you want to communicate—right now—to your present and future fans about this stage of your career?

CW: I have always and still remain committed to being creative and making music that makes me smile and feel emotions that connect with people. There are lots of people who are life-long music lovers like me out there—who just enjoy listening to whole albums and anticipating their favorite artists coming up with new recorded music and interacting with fans in a live setting.

For more information, visit ChadWarrix.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.

 

 

 

Sara Beck working on new, “stripped-down” record; to open for Kevin Costner and Modern West at the Exit/In on April 14

March 13, 2012

by Dave Carew

I’ve said many times that Sara Beck is—for my money—one of the most supremely gifted singer-songwriters in the country—and still ridiculously under-appreciated.  Sara’s 2011 album Technicolor was one of that year’s very best pop albums by ANYONE, and she’s now working hard on a “stripped-down” new project that I, for one, can’t wait to hear.

Underground Nashville recently reached out to Sara to get an update on her forthcoming new record and on the creative process involved in its making. Here is our exclusive interview:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  After creating two highly produced, R&B-flavored albums (2009’s Music for Lovers and Fighters and 2011’s Technicolor), you’re now working on a stripped-down album.  Why was this more minimalist sound interesting for you to explore as a writer and artist?

SARA BECK: Well, last year I opened about 30 shows for Kevin Costner and Modern West solo acoustic, and it rekindled my love for performing that way. There’s so much freedom when you’re the only one onstage, and I wanted to bring some of that freedom into the studio. I also believe that if the lyrics and melody of a song are truly great, it doesn’t need much in the way of production, so I’ve challenged myself to make an album of only great songs. We’ll see!

UN:  As a songwriter, what specific challenges do you face when creating stripped-down music that you don’t necessarily face when writing for a full band?

SB:I don’t really think of it in terms of writing for one or the other. It’s more that I think certain songs really lend themselves to a more stark presentation. But certainly dynamics are a different ballgame when you are only dealing with a couple of instruments and a voice. The recording process becomes less about layering and more about getting a single emotional performance. And the pacing is a little different; I want this music to invite people to settle in for 45 minutes, which is very different from the goal of a three-minute pop tune.

UN:  Does your forthcoming record have a working (or set) title yet? If so, how does that title connect with the artistic direction you’ll be taking with the album? 

SB:  There is a tune I’m recording for the project called “A Simple Thing,” which has become the working title and the mantra!

UN:  Is there anything else you’d like to convey to friends and fans, in terms of where you find yourself as an artist now . . . and why?

SB:  I’m excited! Life is good. Change is in the air. I feel so fortunate to have people interested in following my musical journey. It’s a gift, and I try not to take it for granted.

For more about Sara Beck, visit SaraBeck.net.

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.

Liahonaroo Festival Announces Artists Line-Up – – Tickets Now on Sale

March 6, 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

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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.

***********

 


Liahonaroo Festival Announces Artists Line-Up – – Tickets Now on Sale

by Dave Carew

The all-new Liahonaroo music & arts festival will feature 30 talented singer-songwriters and bands from across the U.S. at the Wilson County Fairgrounds on April 20 – 21.

Founded by Nashville performing songwriter Shantell Ogden, Liahonaroo will be a “different kind of U.S. music festival.” It will be inclusive, drug- and alcohol-free, and family-friendly.  Profanity and/or inappropriate content in music or art is strictly prohibited.

“We were thrilled to have more than 50 talented artists apply for the 30 performance slots,” said Ms. Ogden. “We are so excited to welcome a variety of artists to the stage—from country and pop/rock bands to singer-songwriters and a cappella singers.”

One of those pop/rock bands, Shakedown at the Majestic, enjoys a devoted following in its native Brooklyn, New York. Taylor Nimtz, drummer for the band, told Underground Nashville he is particularly excited about playing this type of positive, family-friendly festival.

“We applaud the event organizers for wanting to present live music in a family-friendly format,” said Nimtz, “and we look forward to adding our own voice to those of the other acts. Great live music and family-friendly messages don’t have to be mutually exclusive, and we look forward to showing that is the case.”

Nashville-based talent will be well represented at the festival, too, with popular singer-songwriter Shawn Gallaway and country artist Laura Leigh Jones, among others, performing.

Tickets for Liahonaroo are now on sale at Liahonaroo.com/tickets.

For more information about the festival, visit Liahonaroo.com.  A complete listing of artists and bands is available at Liahonaroo.com/artists.

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.

 

Sara Beck to open for (the) Kevin Costner at the Exit/In in April

March 1, 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

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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.

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

Sara Beck to open for (the) Kevin Costner at the Exit/In in April

By Dave Carew

Sara Beck—the Nashville-based singer-songwriter whose 2011 album Technicolor was among the very best releases of that year by anyone—has confirmed she will be opening for Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Costner and his band Modern West at the Exit/In on Saturday, April 14.

The announcement doesn’t come as a complete surprise, given that Sara toured major European cities with Kevin Costner and Modern West throughout much of the past two years.  Still, it is welcome news for devoted local fans who have never seen Sara as part of the Kevin Costner show package.

Look for an exclusive new interview with Sara Beck coming soon in Underground Nashville.

For more about Sara Beck, visit SaraBeck.net.

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.