Archive for December, 2012

Wonderful new Christmas music from Valerie Larsen

December 15, 2012

By Dave Carew

If you have a special place in your heart for Christmas music, I urge you to check out Valerie Larsen’s wonderful new Christmas collection at ValandtheBluecap.Bandcamp.com.  You’ll find there gorgeous, distinctive arrangements of beloved Christmas songs—and a couple of originals—each rendered with a classic touch of refinement and good cheer. 

Asked what she feels is most distinctive about her new Christmas music, Valerie Larsen replied, “The instrumentation.  I just moved home to Salt Lake City for a bit of a sabbatical from New York, and I have a harp here.  So having that as a primary influence has pushed this album to a folksy, Celtic feel, which has been a really fun push from what I’ve been doing songwriting-wise this last year. I chose and wrote songs that fit into that old English, traditional carol, musty cathedral place, and it’s just been a blast.”

It will be for you, too—and a wonderful Christmas gift for yourself or those you love.

To listen to and/or purchase Valerie Larsen’s new Christmas music, visit ValandtheBluecap.Bandcamp.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,” both now available at XLibris.com. Dave also is a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.
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Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit and “like” the page on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/EverythingMeansNothingtoMe?ref=ts&fref=ts

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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

 

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Dreams of Nashville: An Interview with Mark Morsfield

December 11, 2012

By Dave Carew

Like many talented young musicians in nearly every American city and town, Mark Morsfield dreams of creating and performing music in Nashville. Currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mark has been playing music in churches for four years. A songwriter since the age of 16, he believes passionately that “songwriting is a craft, and music should either inspire or die.”

Sometime in the next three months, Mark will be acting on his dream and moving to Music City. Here he’ll try to build on the positive feedback he received from Grand Rapids fans and journalists for his debut EP A is for Adventure.

Underground Nashville recently conducted this email interview with Mark Morsfield:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  How would you describe your music? Who has most influenced it?

MARK MORSFIELD: Melodic, progressive, honest, well-crafted, and big!  While I have a handful of artists I greatly admire and respect, I don’t seek to sound like them. I want to craft my own sound. What is more important to me is incorporating the shared pillars that all great music has, regardless of genre. Things like strong melodies, resonance, and avoiding formulas. But, since you asked, a few of my favorites include The Goo Goo Dolls, The Beatles, Guster, and U2. I love jazz and classical, as well.

UN: Why do you plan to move to Nashville, as opposed to some other “music mecca”?

MM: It is quite simply a great music city, any way you slice it. There are tons of talented writers, musicians, and artists living and working in the city, which creates an environment that encourages creativity and collaboration. The city has a proud musical heritage ranging from gospel to country to rock to blues. Beyond that, Nashville is diverse, affordable, and has a great arts scene. Oh, and nice weather and good food too!

UN: What does your “dream for your music” look like? What do you want to accomplish with it?

MM: I want the world to hear it, and I want to make a living doing it. Perhaps most importantly, my aim will always be to make great music. Whether or not I achieve that is not for me to say . . . I wouldn’t be that pretentious. Making a great product just for the sake of making a great product will always be the aim, and is perhaps the highest of ideals. For the artist to be truly satisfied, the quality has to be there, in every single detail, even the ones most people don’t notice.

To check out Mark Morsfield songs and videos, visit Mark’s YouTube page at youtube.com/user/markmorsfield.

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,” both now available at XLibris.com. Dave also is a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.
************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit and “like” the page on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/EverythingMeansNothingtoMe?ref=ts&fref=ts

***********
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

 

 

 

Book Review: Bob Kealing’s “Calling Me Home: Gram Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock”

December 7, 2012

By Dave Carew

The phrase “literary documentary” is most commonly used to describe a documentary film about a famous writer. Yet as I was (very happily) wending my way through this outstanding new biography of Gram Parsons, the phrase kept coming to mind. That’s because Bob Kealing’s singular accomplishment here is to have created a biography that FEELS like the freshest, most engaging documentary.

Refusing to simply rehash the details of Gram Parsons’ meteoric, 26-year-long life, Kealing goes deeper and wider, offering—in his “literary documentary” style—dozens of fresh new interviews with people whose lives touched and/or were affected by GP. Their feelings, observations, and memories add up to the most well-rounded, most multi-dimensional picture we’ve ever had of the visionary yet maddeningly complex musician.

It’s a cliché, but I’ll go with it anyway:  If you read just one biography of Gram Parsons, make sure it’s this one. Quite simply, it takes you on the fastest, best ride to the heart of an endlessly interesting life.

For more information, visit the University Press of Florida’s web site at upf.com or visit 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,” both now available at XLibris.com. Dave also is a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit and “like” the page on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/EverythingMeansNothingtoMe?ref=ts&fref=ts

***********
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

 

Interview with Chuck Beard, owner of East Side Story bookstore

December 4, 2012

By Dave Carew

East Side Story, located in the heart of East Nashville, is Music City’s first all-local bookstore, selling ONLY books by local authors.  According to its Facebook page, this vision enables the bookstore to be “a blank canvas for all local literary ideas, to help make Music City more of a book town.”

Underground Nashville recently had an email conversation with Chuck Beard, owner of East Side Story, about his unique bookstore. Here’s how it went (edited for space):

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What compelled you to open a bookstore at the very time when so many others, unfortunately, are closing?

CHUCK BEARD:  I was compelled to open East Side Story because I had the idea and the opportunity, thanks to several other doors opening [nearby] at the same time. Luckily for me, East Side Story is what I define as a bookstore at the moment, from day to day. It is an ever-changing business, probably at a higher rate than most others because of the obvious issues with technology and economic changes, but all of that affords me to make it whatever I want it to be and become . . . kinda like an ongoing artwork with words. So far, [the bookstore has been] an open canvas for all local literary ideas, connecting dots and thoughts with other artists, authors, and all creative types.

UN: East Side Story just opened in August. What has the experience been like for you so far?

CB:  Eye-opening and a blessing, all at the same time. I feel like I have opened the door and tons of creativity has flown inside of the store and website, and tons of people are loving the concept and chance to share novel ideas with everyone who has a passion for stories in general. I am the sole proprietor and employee at East Side Story, but I truly feel like everyone who comes in—and who is a part of it on our walls and shelves and projects—have ownership in it, too.

UN:  If you can achieve your dream for
East Side Story, what will that dream look like?

CB:  I hope it continues to be an idea that helps inspire others to do whatever they are inspired to make, create, write, tell, or share creatively with others. One of my favorite things so far is that I write stories about customers to each artist/author who sells something from our store. [This] really does make the creatives happier, knowing where their work is going to their new homes for enjoyment. I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to get a reply from the artists/authors after receiving my sale email, and how good it makes them feel.

I’m new at running a business, but I think that if I’m doing something every single day to help make others happier about the hard work they are already doing to have a positive influence on others, then it makes me happier day by day, too. And it reminds me that I’m on the right path.

For more information, visit EastSideStoryTN.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,” both now available at XLibris.com. Dave also is a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit and “like” the page on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/EverythingMeansNothingtoMe?ref=ts&fref=ts

***********
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