Archive for April, 2013

Judy Rodman, the singer’s best friend

April 25, 2013

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When you ask musicians in Nashville, “Who is the best vocal coach around?” the answer you’ll get—immediately and before any other—is “Judy Rodman.” Many people will remember Judy as the beloved, award-winning recording artist voted “Best New Female Vocalist” by the Academy of Country Music in the 1980s, who went on to write and record numerous chart-topping singles.

Today—along with continued songwriting and performing with her band Judy Rodman and 6Play—Judy specializes in teaching her trademarked vocal-training method “Power, Path and Performance”™ to singers and speakers nationally and internationally.

Underground Nashville recently caught up with Judy for this exclusive interview:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What is the #1 reason why most of your students come to you for vocal lessons?

JUDY RODMAN: I believe most people come to me because I bring decades of professional success and practical experience, not just academic theory, to my work as vocal coach, studio producer, and vocal producer. That’s why they come in the first place; the reason they return is that my training truly works for them!

UN: What are the top two or three benefits singers derive from working with you?

JR: I’d say the top three benefits of my training would be:

1. Rapid improvement of your vocal control (resulting in new levels of vocal ability in general);

2. Elimination of vocal strain (and techniques that aid in healing of vocal damage);

3. The ability to deliver a much more impactful performance . . . one that gets an emotional response from the listener.

UN: What is the principal reason why a person who is vocally gifted in his or her twenties may see his/her voice diminish as he approaches, say, fifty?  Is this inevitable?

JR: Our voices don’t have to diminish with age. I’m 61, I’ve been singing for decades, and I have more vocal ability right now than I’ve ever had.

The principal reason why a person would see vocal ability diminish would be the habitual use of bad vocal technique . . . primarily that of pushing the breath too hard through a tight throat. Otherwise, the cause would be some kind of organic disease such as cancer, spasmodic dysphonia (SD), or other conditions that diminish overall physical health and stamina.

For more information about Judy Rodman and “All Things Vocal,” please visit:

http://judyrodman.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

 

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Book review by Roy E. Perry: “The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed” by Lee Smith

April 23, 2013

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Editor’s Note:  Roy E. Perry wrote book reviews for The Tennessean and Nashville Banner for more than 30 years. Recently profiled in The Tennesean/Brentwood Journal, Mr. Perry recently has been “reading his way” through the works of Southern novelist Lee Smith. Here is Mr. Perry’s latest review:

BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY:

The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed is Lee Smith’s first novel, published in 1968 while she was a 24-old student attending Hollins College (now University), in Roanoke, Virginia. The story is narrated in the first person by nine-year-old Susan Tobey, who struggles to comprehend her parents’ dysfunctional marriage.

What exactly are “dogbushes”? Susan finds a very sick dog cowering under the bushes along a fence by her home. In her child’s inventive mind, she calls them “dogbushes.”

Susan’s mother is “the Queen”; her older sister, Betty, is “the Princess”; but her father, Max, is not “the King.” Whenever her daddy is out of town, “the Baron” pays undue attention to “the Queen”—a scenario that cannot end well.

The main action of the story involves a young ruffian, Eugene, visiting from the city, who claims to have a “leader,” the nefarious (and imaginary) “Little Arthur.” Ostensibly inspired by Little Arthur, Eugene founds a club attended by other children: Susan, Robert, Gregory, Sara Dell, and Baby Julia. Whatever Little Arthur says, the children, joined by a blood oath, are commanded to do—and Little Arthur’s commands become increasingly sociopathic.

The chronicle of a disintegrating, deteriorating family, The Last Day the Dogbushes Bloomed is also a disturbing coming-of-age tale—of a young girl subjected to rape and having to grow up too soon in a world she doesn’t understand. Lee Smith’s first novel is not as complex or sophisticated as her later works, but by describing puzzling events that are seen through the eyes of a child, it rings true.

Lee Smith, one of the best “Southern voices” writing today, is the author of 12 novels and four collections of short stories. Her 13th novel, Guests on Earth, will be published on October 15.

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

 

 

Gram Parsons concerts to honor pioneer artist 40 years after his death

April 18, 2013

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Great news for all Gram Parsons fans . . . and for everyone (like me) who has THOROUGHLY enjoyed the Gram Parsons concerts held each year in Nashville since 2008. The concert is returning in November—this year for TWO big nights!

The 6th annual Gram InterNational is again coming to Douglas Corner Café to honor Gram Parsons’ life and trail-blazing “Cosmic American Music.” For the first time ever, the event will be held on both Friday and Saturday night, November 8 and 9.

In a statement released on Facebook, Executive Director of the event Will James said, “This year we are honoring 40 years since Gram’s death, as well as 40 years since the release of his groundbreaking album GP.” Gram Parsons died on September 19, 1973 at the age of twenty-six.

The Friday November 8 show will feature bands. The following night’s show will be acoustic, offering a “Gram unplugged” feel.

Admission on Friday is $10 at the door. On Saturday it will be $5 if you have a Friday-night ticket stub, $10 otherwise.

A complete list of bands and artists will be posted (here and elsewhere) by early summer.

The Gram InterNational series of concerts—held in Nashville, Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Dublin (Ireland), and other cities—are offered for the musical enjoyment and enrichment of the attendees and artists, and also to publicize the petition effort to induct Gram Parsons into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
To sign the petition online, please visit:
http://gramparsonspetition.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

 

 

Kimberly June hosting new writers’ night at Taps

April 11, 2013

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I’ve known Kimberly June since she was a baby (she is my sister’s niece), and have always admired and respected her musical talent and drive. It’s a real kick for me to see someone I first saw play writers’ nights in obscure clubs in rural Maine now making a name for herself in Nashville. Kimberly signed a publishing deal with Tom-Leis Music in 2011 and now is hosting a great new writers’ night at Taps.

Underground Nashville caught up with Kimberly June for this exclusive interview about her new event:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  Why were you interested in establishing your writers’ night at Taps?

KIMBERLY JUNE: Hosting a writers’ night gives me the chance to play my new songs on a regular basis and keeps me accountable with my performing. That way, I never get “rusty.” It’s for selfish reasons, actually . . . he-he. I also think it’s good promotion for my career and my friends’ careers. We get to hang out and play our new songs for each other, get feedback and create new relationships. I chose Taps because it’s a great intimate setting, laid back, and the woman who is in charge of booking asked me if I wanted to host a weekly night. I thought weekly would be too much of a commitment, so I am doing bi-weekly.

UN: What is the single most important thing you’ve learned to date about the craft of songwriting?

KJ: One thing I’ve learned is that you never stop growing. I am a “freshman” in the songwriting career, and already I can look back to a year ago and see a huge improvement in my writing. My publisher told me I had to write at least 100 songs before I really learn what I’m doing. I also have friends who have been writing songs for 40+ years with lots of radio hits. One in particular, Bob DiPiero, never stops educating himself by reading books, watching TV series and movies, and listening to new music. He keeps up with the times and changes with it, and I think that has a lot to do with his continued success. No matter how long you’ve been writing, you keep learning, changing, and improving.

UN: What is your “dream for your music” for the next five years? What do you MOST hope to accomplish?

KJ:  In the next five years, I hope to have a #1 song on the radio. I know that’s a big dream, but I have no doubt that it’s possible. I also hope to have released an album or two of my own on iTunes/CDBaby/etc.

For more information about Kimberly June, please visit:
http://www.kimberlyjunemusic.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

 

 

Indie Connect announces upcoming “Virtual Songwriter Showcase”; seeks sponsors

April 10, 2013

by Dave Carew

Fresh from the success of its Virtual Music Conference & Expo, held this past February, Indie Connect has decided to host its first-ever “IC Virtual Songwriter Showcase” in September. The event will be held exclusively online. So anyone in the world with a computer can “attend.”

Indie Connect is the Nashville-based networking and empowerment organization for singer-songwriters, other musicians, and music pros.

Plans for the event include:

* 30 speakers

* A business trade show

* A songwriter trade show

* Numerous networking opportunities

* Song pitches to publishers, producers, and artists

* Song evaluations

Indie Connect is actively seeking sponsors for this one-of-a-kind event. Any business that deals with songwriters and artists is appropriate. Ideal companies would include demo studios, song plugging/shopping individuals or companies, anyone who offers song evaluations, companies that manufacture songwriting software, and songwriting organizations.

For more information, contact Vinny Ribas at vinny@indieconnect.com,
or submit information to:

http://indieconnect.com/vsc-info

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

 

Rachel Gladstone riffs on dudes, relationships, marriage, and divorce

April 5, 2013

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Rachel Gladstone—one of Nashville’s most talented comedic writers, bloggers, and novelists—has spent the past few years building a national following for her wickedly funny and poignant “The Petty Chronicles” blog.  Because Rachel now has a devoted national following—eager for her insights into men, relationships, marriage, and divorce—Underground Nashville sought her out for this exclusive interview:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What three characteristics do you think MOST women find MOST attractive in a man?

RACHEL GLADSTONE: There’s a funny movie called P.S. I Love You where one of the female characters is looking for love and she asks the same three questions of every man she meets:

1. Are you single?

2. Are you straight?

3. Are you working?

These are important questions, and ones I think all women wish we could ask the first time we meet a man we’re attracted to. The bottom line for me is whether or not the guy can make me laugh, can afford to take me out to for a meal that is at least a few notches above Waffle House, and can string more than two sentences together at a time. Intelligence is a huge turn-on for most women, but the bottom line is: Is he a good kisser?

UN: What is the most important thing a man can do to REMAIN attractive to the woman he is with?

RG: Always remain attentive to her needs. Make her feel special. Compliment her and for God’s sake, help with the housework once in a while! Also, men tend to get controlling once they’re in a relationship and nobody likes to be bossed around. And don’t forget how important it is to talk, talk, talk about everything!

UN: Statistics show a majority of divorces in the U.S. are initiated by the woman. Why do you think that is true?

RG: I think men become complacent once they’re done with the pursuit of a woman, and feel they have her where they want her. But people grow; they evolve over time. Most women remain interested in life and they want to try new things, meet new people, explore new interests. Quite often I think their husbands want to stick with the routines they’ve gotten used to, and therein lies the rub. If he’s lying around watching sports all weekend, and doing a bit of yard work, this will inevitably be the beginning of a big yawn-fest for her. Also, once again, I think men tend to become controlling about things like money and her independence, and this can become a very slippery slope. Once you head down it, it’s hard to turn back. Also, most women are far more open to this thing we call “communication.” Men are often reticent to open up about their feelings—or may not even know how to name the blasted things—but it’s paramount that they don’t discount the importance of talking to their wives.

For more about Rachel Gladstone, please visit:

http://www.rachelgladstone.net/Rachel_New_Site/Welcome.html

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 by Roy E. Perry: Lee Smith’s “Family Linen”

April 2, 2013

Editor’s Note:  Roy E. Perry wrote book reviews for The Tennessean and Nashville Banner for more than 30 years. Recently profiled in The Tennesean/Brentwood Journal, Mr. Perry is a devotee of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, and characterizes himself as “the amateur philosopher” of Nolensville, Tennessee. We are proud to feature periodic book reviews by Mr. Perry in Underground Nashville. Here is his latest:

BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY:

Near the end of Lee Smith’s sixth novel, one of the main characters says, “There’s no point hanging dirty linen on the line.” And this novel is full of dirty linen—dilly-dallying, promiscuity, adultery, and fornication. Family Linen might have been titled Dirty Family Linen or A Family’s Dirty Linen, for the family’s torrid passions are hung on the line for all to see. The novel is also a whodunit: Who killed Jewell Rife?

The final chapter of the book is anticlimactic, reminding one of the “evil” Darth Vader in Star Wars posing for a heart-warming family photo. Perhaps the best explanation of such a (seemingly) happy ending is that Lee Smith, writing with tongue firmly planted in cheek, ironically tells us that the denizens of Booker Creek, although attending a family reunion and a beautiful wedding, haven’t really changed—and, indeed, won’t change.

Another character says, “You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.” And another character muses about “this old gaggle of disparate family members, teetering here on the brink of the past.” This distressingly dysfunctional family is, in the philosopher’s words, “human, all-too-human,” and only an incurable optimist would be assured that, as Shakespeare put it, “all’s well that ends well.”

Anything by Lee Smith is worth reading; she is one of the best writers of the Southern genre. Her characters are well-drawn and, while not always commendable, consistently fascinating and entertaining. I would have given Family Linen five stars, except for the disappointing concluding chapter. However, as Nietzsche once said, “There are no facts, only interpretations.” If the last chapter is viewed as irony, rather than anticlimactic “fizzle,” one might interpret the ending as sheer genius!

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8

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