Concert Review: Judy Rodman and 6Play at Douglas Corner


by Dave Carew

If you live in Nashville for any length of time, you get positively spoiled by the caliber of live music here. You also—just as a matter of pure time management—have to get really selective. Your inbox gets drowned by invitations to shows, and you’re forced to prioritize . . . with most concerts shoved in the mental file labeled “I’d like to if I had the time” and a few into the “I refuse to miss” file.

One show in my “I refuse to miss” file is the every-other-month-or-so concert performance of Judy Rodman and 6Play. What makes this band so special starts with the obvious: top-level Americana music sung and performed by an ACM Award-winning artist and the other consummate professionals in her band. But it goes beyond that. A Judy Rodman concert is not purely about music; it’s about the deeper things music can lead us to: love, deep ties of friendship, the caring and mutually-nurturing community that envelops the artist and her audience. To go to a Judy Rodman concert feels like saying yes to the beauty and power of music, but also to the beauty and power of friendship and to the singular form of grace that radiates from this artist.

In song after song—which, on this night, moved effortlessly across the musical spectrum from country-folk to gospel to Dylan cover (Judy’s hit version of “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”) to 6/8 blues to a Steely Dan-esque jazz-pop number—the engagement level and sense of affectionate fun never wavered. In a night of stand-out performances, Eric Normand’s slide guitar solo on the 6/8 blues tune masterfully separated the halves of the show, and signaled compelling and surprising things likely to pop up on the band’s debut album, due in the spring of 2014.

When Judy Rodman accepted her “Best New Female Artist” award from the Academy of Country Music in 1985, few probably envisioned that now, nearly 30 years later, she’d still be in such fine voice, still writing songs that touch people so deeply and that make them—time after time—want to come back for more. But that’s exactly what occurs . . . and why this artist’s shows will be in my “I refuse to miss” file for a long time to come.

For more about Judy Rodman and 6Play, please visit:

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 and Dave is also 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/or the page on Facebook:

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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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