Archive for January, 2013

Upcoming “virtual conference” from Indie Connect promises life-changing music-career guidance

January 31, 2013

By Dave Carew

Over the past couple of months, we’ve mentioned Indie Connect’s upcoming “Virtual Music Conference” several times. (Please note that this is a “virtual conference” focused on music. It’s not—as some people have amusingly thought—about “virtual music”!)  

The idea of a musician or music pro being able to confer with kindred spirits around the world . . . get world-class music-career guidance . . . and/or promote his or her music-related business to a worldwide audience . . . and do all-of-the-above from the comfort and convenience of your own computer . . . is truly amazing.

Recently, Underground Nashville caught up with Indie Connect’s CEO Vinny Ribas to learn more about the upcoming, February 26 – 28 event:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: In some of the promotional materials for your upcoming online Virtual Music Conference, you say one benefit will be that artists can get all their most pressing questions answered. How will this be accomplished?

VINNY RIBAS: We’ve recruited over 60 true music-industry experts to either give a presentation or be part of a panel. The topics they are covering are all centered on helping indie artists improve their chances of success. They range from marketing to management, from song-plugging to getting gigs, and from vocal tips to video-game music. The majority of the speakers will also be available during the event to host or participate in live Q&A chats based on their areas of expertise. They are speaking from China, New Zealand, Russia, Germany, Great Britain, and other countries around the globe.

UN:  Who, specifically, are some of these experts and speakers?

VR: The superstar lineup includes marketing experts such as Ariel Hyatt, Bob Baker, Madalyn Sklar, and John Oszajca. We have noted speakers such “Mama J” (Jan Smith), Justin Beiber’s vocal coach . . . Khaliq Glover, a Grammy-winning engineer . . .  Judy Rodman, country star and hit songwriter . . . Andrew Apanov, founder of Dotted Music . . . Hessel van Oorschot, founder of Tribe of Noise . . . and Brian Felton, President of CD Baby. Bram, founder of IndieHitMaker, is leading eight industry panel discussions, and Eric Defontenay, founder of Music Dish, Music Dish China, and MI2N, will be leading a panel of music executives from China.

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What is the #1 most important way a singer-songwriter will benefit from attending (via his or her computer), your Virtual Music Conference?

VR: The key to success in an event like this, or any group event, is to initiate relationships that may play an important role in your career, either right away or in the long run. Of course, you might find team members such as a booking agent or a manager. But even if you don’t, if you walk away with an address book filled with open doors, you’ve accomplished more than you could in a year packed with cold calls. Follow up after the event with a very short and courteous email thanking everyone you met (and had a discussion with) for their time, expertise and/or help. Chances are they will welcome your calls or correspondence any time in the future.

For more information, visit:

http://www.virtualmusicconference.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

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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

 

 

 

 

Catching up with Jim Callahan: Part II

January 28, 2013

By Dave Carew

Last week we began our exclusive Underground Nashville conversation with singer-songwriter Jim Callahan.  In this conclusion to our interview, Jim talks about some of the highlights in his career, and what lies ahead.

UN:  Of the musical goals you’ve accomplished so far, which are you proudest of?

JIM CALLAHAN: I suppose I would lean on the songs on [my recent album] The Poet. I am really proud of “Feeling Sorry,” which tells the listener a whole lot about who I am and what I believe. “Harmony Don’t Live There Anymore” has a technology-based background, being about two people I “met” on Facebook, who split up after being lovers and songwriting partners for 12 years. And most recently, Michael Boris and I helped Taylor Dukes ask that question; “What If It’s Love?” It’s a beautiful song and a real life question many people ask.

One other thing I’d like to say about accomplishments. Very likely, the most powerful moment for me was way, way back. We had recently moved to Tennessee, I was working my 70-hour-a-week day job, and I felt like there was no end to this conflict between the artist inside me and the responsible adult I needed to be. My wife and I went to a party at someone’s home. Shortly after we entered the door, the host introduced me to one of the other guests: “This is Jim Callahan, he’s a songwriter.” That is all I ever wanted.

UN:  What will 2013 hold for Jim Callahan?  What do you most hope to accomplish this year?

JC: We are getting off to a good start with two more songs in the works for Taylor Dukes, as well as a couple of new songs I am working on for myself. I am certain we will get a new album released this year, although I’m not sure about timing. My major goal for the year is to expand performance locations and opportunities. I really want to do more house concerts and/or private performances. Words and music can be so very powerful in an intimate setting, and I feel like most of my songs and my style lend themselves to that concept. Anyone interested can contact me through email at jim@jimcallahansongs.com.

Upcoming live performances by Jim Callahan:

February 9th ~ 8:00pm ~ Back Alley Diner ~ on Arcade Alley, Nashville. (With Tim Rowland, Taylor Dukes, and Michael Boris)

February 26th ~ 6:30pm ~ Hotel Indigo ~ on Union & 3rd, Nashville. (With Mark Vikingstad, Taylor Dukes)

For Part I of ‘Underground Nashville’’s exclusive conversation with singer-songwriter Jim Callahan, please see below.  For more information, please 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,” 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

 

Catching up with Jim Callahan: Part I

January 25, 2013

By Dave Carew

When I reviewed Jim Callahan’s recent album The Poet, I said of it, “No fan of Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, or Guy Clark should miss this record.”  Jim’s work has an authentic, homespun, real-deal feel to it that is often sadly lacking in today’s Music Row songwriting.

Underground Nashville hadn’t talked with Jim for a while, so we sought him out for a quick catch-up session. Here’s how our conversation went:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What have you been doing lately?  What have been two or three highlights, in terms of your career as a singer-songwriter?

JIM CALLAHAN: I’ve spent the last few months concentrating on the two most important facets of my music: my writing skills and my performance skills. I try to read a little about other writers every day, trying to understand their insights, approaches, and inspirations. I also practice a few of my songs everyday, usually in front of a mirror, sitting on a high stool, with a live mic, replicating a songwriter-round setting. And for the past four months The Essential Bob Dylan is the only thing that plays on my car radio.

I try to keep those highlights dimmed a bit. In the past I have fallen from those personal highs to the darkness of mediocrity; it’s a very long and painful fall. Too many seek grandiose dreams and become disappointed when they miss the mark. I try hard to aim at the next step, not the end of a journey. I still have those down moments, when a song idea falls apart, when a co-writer cancels an appointment, when the audience is sparse or they choose not to listen. Having said that, my recent highlights would include:

* The completion and release of The Poet;
http://www.reverbnation.com/store/view_item_album/artist_337473?item_id=1437823 )

*
Performing at The Listening Room Café to a crowd of about 125;

* Being invited to co-write with some incredible talents, including Beth Marie Anderson, Tanya Sue Pollard, Alicia Michilli, Michael Boris, and Taylor Dukes.

Part II of ‘Underground
Nashville’s” conversation with singer-songwriter Jim Callahan will be posted next week. It will include a schedule of Jim’s upcoming live gigs. In the meantime, we invite you to enjoy this new song from Jim, called ‘Downtown.’
http://www.reverbnation.com/jimcallahan/song/15965926-downtown

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

 

Jasmine Cheri to record debut album; seeking support

January 21, 2013

By Dave Carew

I’m excited to report that Jasmine Cheri—daughter of the incredibly gifted harp-guitarist Tom Shinness—plans to record her first album. On several occasions I’ve seen Jasmine lend her amazing vocals to Tom’s live performances at Bicyclette and Two Old Hippies, and the effect is riveting and unforgettable.

Jasmine, who granted Underground Nashville the exclusive interview presented below, is seeking support from friends, fans, and the indie community at large to help her pay the costs of recording her album.  We urge you to check out her Indie GoGo link here:
www.indiegogo.com/jasminecheri/x/1851159

Then please enjoy this exclusive interview:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: How would you describe your music? What do you feel is most distinctive and/or affecting about it?

JASMINE CHERI:  I like to call it electro-acoustic world beat pop.  It has both electronic and earthy, ethnic sounds combined for an interesting soundscape including cello, stacked ethereal vocals, exotic hand drums, Native American flute, synth pads, Spanish-style guitar, and more.  About half of the album will be down-tempo with very relaxing ethereal qualities about it.  I like to call it “bubble bath music,” or something that you might hear on a compilation album titled something like Chill, Vol. 7.  The other half of the album will have more of a dancy feel.  Whether super chill or upbeat, I would say that my music overall has a dreamy quality about it, but with a solid, powerful expression that moves the heart.

UN: Why are you drawn to musical expression?

JC:  I was raised in a musical family and was exposed to all kinds of interesting instrumental music growing up.  Regardless of the musical influence in the home, music has always captured my attention in a way like no other art form.  I remember as a little girl wanting nothing more than to listen to music all day.  Enya was one of my favorite artists as a small girl, and my dad used to set me up with a microphone with reverb and I would sing into it for hours, attempting to emulate those same heavenly vocal stylings.  To me, sounds express things that words cannot, sometimes straight to the heart in ways that cannot be explained.  Music has the ability to excite, heal, relax, and inspire.  Listening to music can connect you with the beauty and the mysteries of our existence shared through and with each other.   The rhythm of music to me is like the heartbeat of life and that’s why I’m so drawn to it!

UN: You’re been writing songs and recording demos for nine years. Why do you feel 2013 is the right time for you to record and release your first album?

JC:  I feel this is the right time for me to finish my first album because I have finally found what I believe is “my sound.”  Through all of my recording the past nine years, I have experimented making many types of music.  I feel like this was a time for me to put my musical feelers out there and discover the sounds and expressions that resonate with me the most.  It wasn’t until recently that I felt with a strong sense of conviction that I have arrived at a point where my music is truly an expression of my creative identity.  In addition to that, I realized my music shared the story of my journey through loss and rediscovery of love, laughter, and hope.  I feel compelled to share my story, that others might be inspired by my journey and where it has taken me.

For more information, please visit:

www.indiegogo.com/jasminecheri/x/1851159

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: “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville”

January 15, 2013

By Dave Carew

I’m very excited that “Dish Magazine”—the international online magazine—just published a very positive review of my novel Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville. You can read it here:

http://dishmag.com/issue141/lifestyle/14411/all-booked-up-/

I’m particularly grateful to Rachel Gladstone and Raeanne Rubinstein (book-review columnist and publisher/editor of Dish Magazine, respectively) for running this review first when the hardcover was published in 2007, and now that the paperback is available. God bless people who appreciate the attempt to create a Nashville-based American literature.

For more information, please visit and “like” the page on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/EverythingMeansNothingtoMe?ref=ts&fref=ts

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

 

 

Record Review: Adlai Waxman’s “Circumstance and Dreams”

January 9, 2013

By Dave Carew

Piano-centered pop is a lonely step-child in Nashville. For every outstanding practitioner living here (Gabe Dixon, Ben Folds), there are many also-rans. And that, I think, contributes to a dearth of enthusiasm in Music City (generally) for a genre that enjoys such rabid popularity in places like New York, L.A., and even Austin.

That’s why it was such a delight to hear of Adlai Waxman, and to get the chance to listen to his new, six-song record Circumstance and Dreams. Originally from Toronto—and already with several songs having hit Canada’s CBC radio charts—Adlai is exactly the kind of musician who could ignite a piano-driven scene here, and provide a satisfying musical outlet to fans of Marc “Walking in Memphis” Cohn, Chris Martin, Billy Joel, and even Gabe Dixon himself.  The six songs on Circumstance and Dreams could provide the fuel for that.

Pervasively catchy and engaging, these songs explore a wide array of emotions (and circumstances and dreams), all with outstanding craftsmanship and an eye to the make-it-memorable. From the infectious, hook-happiness of “Can’t See Straight” to the jazz-inflected “Heavy Sound” to the poignancy and weary hope of “Tomorrow,” Adlai has fashioned an album you’ll find so instantly engaging, well-crafted, and heart-felt that you’ll (if you’re like me) be chomping at the bit to hear more.

A note to fans of Bruce Hornsby: One of the co-producers of Circumstances and Dreams was George Marinelli, one of the founding members of Bruce Hornsby and The Range and a current guitarist for Bonnie Raitt. Marinelli is an excellent ingredient to the musical mix, as his considerable talent proves to be just the right spice for this savory new record.

For more information visit AdlaiWaxman.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

Could Brian Davis become a break-out country artist?

January 7, 2013

By Dave Carew

In the music underground and within inner circles on Music Row, Brian Davis is being lauded as one of country music’s potential new break-out artists. About to embark on the 2013 “Hell On Wheels Tour” with CMA Award nominee Brantley Gilbert (Best New Artist), Brian also has been steadily building his own following with headliner shows that have resulted in steadily rising digital sales. Refusing to conform to stereotypes, the high-energy performer reveals a panoply of musical influences in his concerts—everything from Matchbox Twenty to Waylon Jennings to Counting Crows to Hank Jr. to Dwight Yoakam to Bob Marley. And there’s a bit of Garth, AC/DC, and Tom Petty in there, to boot.

This month, Country Weekly is publishing a full-page article about the fast-rising new artist. To see what all the commotion is about, Underground Nashville recently caught up with Brian Davis for this exclusive interview:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: What drove you to become a country music artist?  Why did you choose that path in life rather than something more conventional?

BRIAN DAVIS: My grandpa played honky-tonks, my dad played honky-tonks. I wanted to be just like them.  At age eight, I was my dad’s guitar tech, tuning his guitars and changing strings.  I’d do anything to be near the music.  I picked up my own six-string and started singing and writing my own songs. So I’d say my dad and grandpa’s drive is what drove me.  Music has taken me to a lot of real cool places, and I’ve met a ton of awesome fans along the way. So I’m gonna ride this thing till the wheels come off!

UN:  What do you hope fans most enjoy or appreciate about your music?

BD:  I write songs for our fans and about our fans. The cool thing is that, through our music, they find out that we are the exact same.

UN: What are your major career goals?  What do you want to accomplish with your music over the next two or three years?

BD: One major goal is to play the Opry and the Ryman. The historical value of those stages is overwhelming, to say the least.  I’d love to walk out there and stand where so many amazing artists have stood.

Also, in the next few years, I’m looking forward to hitting the road and hanging with our fans cause that’s what this is about. We will be out with “The Hell On Wheels Tour,” opening for Brantley Gilbert and Kip Moore, starting in February.  I want to reach the hearts and minds of people with my music, and staying true to what I know will allow me to do that.

For more information, visit BrianDavisLive.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