Archive for September, 2012

How would Democrats change Tennessee?

September 27, 2012

by Dave Carew

Although Underground Nashville is not a political blog, we believe it’s very important during this election season to respectfully and thoughtfully present the views of as many different political parties as possible. Recently, we ran our interview with Justin Owen of the conservative/libertarian Beacon Center of Tennessee. Now, to present another perspective, we offer our exclusive interview with Brandon Puttbrese, Communications Director of the Tennessee Democratic Party:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:   What is the central, over-arching message of Tennessee Democrats this election year?

BRANDON PUTTBRESE: We’re all in it together. Putting Tennesseans back to work at good-paying jobs and restoring middle class security has to be our top priority. It’s time to rebuild a fair economy that protects the middle class AND rewards hard work and responsibility with opportunity. Our state economy grows strongest from the middle out and bottom up. The special-interest-dominated governor and legislature not only failed to create high-quality jobs, but they have focused all their efforts on an irresponsible, top-down economic agenda that punishes working families to reward the wealthiest and most privileged Tennesseans.

UN:   If Democrats were to control the General Assembly in Tennessee after this election, how do you believe the economic situation of the average Tennessean would be improved over the ensuing two years?

BP: The special-interest governor and legislature are creating a huge mess that is shortchanging our families, our children, and our future. The damage they’re doing to working and middle class families will take years to fix. With Democrats in charge, you would finally see a meaningful focus on protecting our families and workers who are still looking for jobs through no fault of their own.  Democrats proposed a dozen jobs bills in 2012, and Republicans killed nearly all of them. Instead, the Republican agenda was: more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; big money privatization that drains funding from our kids’ schools; and radical reforms like removing 800,000 Tennessee seniors from Medicare and forcing them into a TennCare-style state department.

UN:   Why do you believe Tennessee has become such a solid Republican state over the past five years?  How do you plan to turn that around?

BP: President Barack Obama earned more votes in Tennessee than Governor Bill Haslam. There are plenty of Democrats in Tennessee to win most state elections. Our challenge—which has been made more difficult by Republican voter-suppression tactics like the voter ID law—is to register, engage, educate, and turn out Democratic voters for our elections. Tennessee is almost dead-last in voter participation. If we increase participation in our elections, Democrats are not only competitive — Democrats win. Republicans know this. Is that why they are attacking our basic freedom to vote, and citizens are being robbed of their right to participate in our elections?

For more information, visit TNDP.org.

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, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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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 Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

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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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

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New Gram Parsons biography officially released

September 25, 2012

by Dave Carew

Here at Underground Nashville, we avidly support “all things Gram Parsons.” So we’re excited to let you know the (already highly acclaimed) new book about GP has now officially been released. In Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock, award-winning journalist Bob Kealing sheds eye-opening new light on GP’s groundbreaking contribution to American music and culture. Mr. Kealing draws on dozens of new interviews, uncovering information that even Gram Parsons’ most rabid fans will find fresh and revealing.

In a brief, exclusive interview with Underground Nashville, Mr. Kealing shared his feelings upon his new book’s official release:

“I’m quite proud of the reaction and reviews I’m getting, especially from those already familiar with Gram Parsons’ story,” Mr. Kealing said. “Even they are finding new revelations in this attempt to cast his story in a decidedly Southern context.”

When I asked Mr. Kealing how people may order his book, he replied, “I always urge people to support your local brick-and-mortar independent book store.” We do, too.

But if you prefer to order online, please visit UPF.com (the web site of the University Press of Florida) or Amazon.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, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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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 Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

Rhino Books vs. McKay’s

September 20, 2012

by Dave Carew

I bet you’ve been in this situation before: You’ve got tons of old books lying around in closets, or stacked up to the ceiling in rooms you hardly ever venture into, and you suddenly think to yourself, “Man, I should sell some of these, to see if I could get anything for them.”

These days, you have far more options than you did before (think Amazon and Internet what-have-you), but if you’re Retro Man like me, you tend to think in terms of, “I wonder which used bookstore would give me the most for these old books?”

So I put it to the test. After cleaning out several closets teeming with dust-laden (but valuable) books, I found myself with exactly four, roughly-suitcase-sized boxes of books. And that’s when my experiment commenced. I thought to myself, “I’m going to take two of these boxes of books to McKay’s, and two to Rhino Books over by Lipscomb. Let’s see which fair enterprise gives me more cash for my books.”  I realized I wasn’t exactly abiding by the scientific method (the boxes contained different books, after all).  But the result was telling nonetheless.

The winner?  Rhino Books, in an FDR-style landslide. For roughly the same number of books, McKay’s gave me just $18 for two boxes, Rhino, $46.

Thought you’d like to know that, the next time you go to sell your old books.

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, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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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 Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

Judy Rodman and 6Play earn standing ovation at 3rd & Lindsley

September 18, 2012

by Dave Carew

Wow . . . what an amazing time you had if you were at 3rd & Lindsley last night.  As you waited for Judy Rodman and 6Play to perform their debut showcase, you couldn’t help noticing the people pouring in to join you—virtually every one of them sporting an affectionate smile and an air of confidence that this show was going to be something special indeed.

And the band absolutely delivered. Hitting the stage just minutes after 6 p.m., they obviously sensed the crowd’s good will and sense of appreciative expectancy, and immediately started riding with it to a peak level of performance that never wavered throughout the set. Fueled by Judy Rodman’s top-level voice, sparkling back-up harmonies, and the stand-out lead guitar work of Eric Normand, the band took its audience on a consummately professional, thoroughly engaging ride through many of the new Americana songs it has crafted for its forthcoming debut album, along with two of Judy’s classic country hits.  From the R & B-laced “Blindsided” to the gorgeous, end-of-show ballad “When the Day is Over,” Judy Rodman and 6Play launched itself in a top-tier showcase that its thoroughly appreciate, all-in audience rewarded with a prolonged standing ovation at the show’s end.

One final memory from a very memorable show: Toward the end, John Rodman—the band’s drummer and Judy’s husband for decades—wiggled his index finger in the “come here, I want to talk with you” gesture. When Judy bent over the drum kit to hear what he had to say, he promptly kissed her.  It was emblematic of the deep affection so many people feel for Judy Rodman—and the augury of a lot of love and great music to come.

For more information visit JudyRodmanand6Play.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, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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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 Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

Judy Rodman to launch new Americana band at 3rd & Lindsley on Monday

September 12, 2012

by Dave Carew

Judy Rodman—one of Music City’s most beloved singers, songwriters, and vocal coaches—is launching her new band, Judy Rodman and 6Play, at a free showcase at 3rd & Lindsley this Monday, September 17, at 6 p.m.

Many Nashvillians know Judy via her recent (excellent) vocal workshops, but her ties to Music City go far, far back.  In 1985 she was named “Top New Female Vocalist” by the Academy of Country Music. And she’s had a distinguished and award-winning career ever since.

So what kind of music can you expect at the showcase Monday evening?  According to the band’s web site, Judy Rodman and 6Play are all about this:

“If you like Adele, John Mayer, James Taylor & Carol King, Crosby Stills & Nash, Doobie Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, killer vocals, monster musicianship and masterful songwriting, be prepared to add the new music of 6Play to the top of your playlist.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.  And I’ll definitely be there.

Editor’s Note: Look for our review of this special showcase next week in ‘Underground Nashville.’

For more information visit JudyRodmanand6Play.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, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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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 Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

Exclusive interview with Justin Owen of the Beacon Center of Tennessee

September 7, 2012

by Dave Carew

What impact are free-market, limited-government solutions having—right now—in Tennessee?  How would the political and cultural landscape shift if even MORE of these solutions were enacted?  In this exclusive interview with Justin Owen, President and CEO of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, Underground Nashville probes these and other questions:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: Your web sites states, “The Beacon Center of Tennessee promotes personal freedom and limited government . . . The mission of the [Center] is to change lives through public policy.”  So far, what do you feel have been the Center’s two greatest accomplishments? How have these accomplishments benefited the average Tennessean?

JUSTIN OWEN: Our two greatest accomplishments thus far have been the enactment of tort reform and the repeal of our death tax, both of which Beacon played a crucial role in achieving. Lawsuit abuse and high taxes have hampered our state’s economy, keeping many Tennesseans out of work. By enacting tort reform, small businesses can prosper without the fear of being shut down by frivolous lawsuits. The repeal of the death tax will keep retirees and investors in Tennessee, which will spur job growth. The benefits of these public policy changes will impact every Tennessean looking for a good job in a stable economy.

UN:  If you and the Center could enact a wholesale reform of TennCare, what would that reform look like?

JO: We need reform that gives beneficiaries and doctors control over healthcare decisions while protecting taxpayers from unsustainable burdens. Congress should emulate the block grant welfare reforms of the 1990’s, allowing Tennessee to make TennCare more consumer-driven. This incentivizes more efficient use of funds, reducing the burden on taxpayers and making TennCare sustainable. In 2011, 40 percent of Tennessee’s primary care physicians refused any new TennCare patients because of the bureaucratic costs of participation. The current system, consuming nearly one-quarter of the state budget, is not only unsustainable; it increasingly fails to deliver the very care it is designed to provide.

UN:  Many Democrats and/or liberals argue that cutting state spending significantly—as you advocate—would, at least in the short term, make the jobs crisis even worse. How do you respond?

JO: Government “job creation,” while well-received in campaign speeches, is simply not a long-term solution to our problems. All government spending originates from productive enterprises. This often becomes the difference between an entrepreneurial success story and a failure. The long-run effect is to discourage many from starting or growing a business, hampering job growth. Only by cutting government spending and taxes can we maximize job creation. It’s not the perceived “wisdom” of politicians, but the power of free enterprise that—if unrestrained by high taxes and burdensome regulation—will resuscitate the fledgling economy in the short term and provide long-term viability.

For more information about the BeaconCenter of Tennessee, please visit BeaconTN.org. 

NOTE TO READERS:  “Underground Nashville” is not now—and shall not become—a political blog. We do, however, occasionally welcome the thoughts of local citizens of ALL political persuasions regarding how they believe we can make our community a better place. 

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, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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

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 Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

 

The New America: “A Tale of Two Countries”

September 6, 2012

by Dave Carew

If I were writing the political narrative of 2012, I’d probably (with apologies to Dickens) call it A Tale of Two Countries. Never in my life have I seen Democrats and Republicans so far apart, so thoroughly contemptuous of each other’s views, so unwilling to (God forbid) even listen to the other side’s viewpoint. It’s extremely disheartening to witness this happening in our country.

The core of THE BIG ARGUMENT between the two sides is a fundamental and constantly widening division regarding the proper role of government in our lives.  As the Democratic Party gathers today in Charlotte to listen to President Obama and his vision of a more activist government, Underground Nashville is launching a series of conversations (to be published occasionally) with people on ALL sides—in the hope that our readers will listen to and be intellectually enriched by various perspectives.  After all, if you don’t know—really, truly KNOW—what a person is saying, how can you intelligently affirm or refute it?

Our first conversation, which will be posted tomorrow, will be with Justin Owen, President and CEO of the Beacon Center of Tennessee.

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, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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

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 Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

“Hart of Dixie” TV series to feature songs by Shantell Ogden

September 4, 2012

by Dave Carew

Big-time congratulations to talented singer-songwriter Shantell Ogden, who just learned that four of her country songs will be featured on five episodes of the CW’s popular TV series Hart of Dixie.  The songs are “Me Before You,” “Great American Song,” “Little By Little,” and “Put it in Drive.”

“I was jumping up and down when I heard the news,” Shantell told Underground Nashville. “It’s the first time songs of mine will be featured on TV, and I love the characters and storyline of Hart of Dixie!”

Shantell wrote the songs with longtime friends and collaborators Bill DiLuigi and Marcum Stewart. The songs were recorded in Nashville at Station West Studios by Marcum Stewart and Andrea Villarreal (Acklen Park), but (with the exception of “Great American Song”) were never released.

“It’s amazing to see the journey a song takes,” said Shantell. “When we were writing the songs, none of us ever imagined they would end up on TV. We were just writing from our hearts, the best songs we could in that session. I’m very blessed to work with Bill and Marcum as writers and friends.”

Hart of Dixie follows the journey of Zoe Hart, a fast-talking New Yorker surgeon turned small-town doctor played by Rachel Bilson. The show is set in the picturesque town of Blue Bell, Alabama—making Shantell’s country songs an ideal musical backdrop.

Shantell will announce the episode air dates on her FaceBook and Twitter pages.

For more information, please visit 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, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising/marketing/public relations writer.

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

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 Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

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, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew