Even if you’re not into adult-alternative roots/jam-rock, you have to respect bands like Carbon Leaf. Though the genre experienced a renaissance in the ’90s with the rise of names like Blues Traveler and DMB, it remains perhaps the most “blue-collar” domain of popular music. Blue-collar not necessarily in terms of the genre’s audience, but in terms of the work-ethic of the bands that occupy it. At Carbon Leaf‘s stop tonight at the High Watt, the Richmond, Virginia natives will be drawing on material from 15 albums (the last five of which were independently recorded and released), will be showcasing their prowess on the tin-whistle, bouzouki, bodhran, uilleann bagpipes, mandolin and fiddle (in addition, of course, to the guitar, drums, and bass), and will be coming off of 22 prior performances in October alone. So, ask yourself, 1: What have I done today? and 2: Who deserves my $10 more than Carbon Leaf?
We East Nashvillians begin the process of dragging out the boxes of flip-flops and beach chairs during the first week of June. Living in old houses, it’s very difficult to find storage space. Part of the celebration includes dusting off skeletons of last year’s brown recluse spiders–while discovering a few live ones.
School is over. Produce is arriving. Vacations are here. New albums are dropping. Ah, Summer activities. Ships begin their ocean voyages of summer by busting a bottle of champagne against the bow for luck. Nashville’s version of this traditional public christening includes a lovely crowd with two giant kegs of beer in the back of a beat-up truck. That’s what was happening at this house concert Sunday night. The fact it was also a giant birthday gathering, with kick-ass bands, made it even better.
I found out about this ridiculous concert while digging around last week. I believe that houses are the most unique and fun out of all performance venues in Music City. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate our well-known local venues, but the raw experience of being inside a random house, rubbing elbows with great artists, and the horrible smell of body odor and dried beer stains on a Goodwill shirt add artistic pizzazz unlike anywhere else. It’s intoxicating—in more ways than one. There isn’t anything more real than getting in a small, LOUD room with like-minded people. Yeah, what do I know..I just wrote about the Nashville Symphony and I play classical music….blah blah blah..but check it: 21st century chamber musicis what these F**KIN house concerts are, regardless of the genre. Music is the artwork and the venue is what frames it. Sizzling guitar and true grits are SOULFOOD. You are gonna love all the shitty pictures I took….sound was abundant and light was scarce. READ MORE ABOUT THIS HOUSE CONCERT OF CHAMPIONS
This entry will launch a new series of blog entries dedicated to the musical people and places of my home-‘hood, East Nashville. Stay tuned. There will be interviews, stories, legends, rumors, and more! Tia
I think the most fascinating fact about them is that they are both the most romanticized and despised individuals in the world. Classic Literature and Opera provide examples. Sigh, Erik and Heathcliff. Esmerelda and Carmen! Gypsies have been labeled everything ranging from “’dangerous rogues” to “glamorous folk-artists”. Fascination and suspicion makes for some hot-ass music.
A typical Gyspy-music (also called Romani) ensemble includes violin/mandolin, accordion, bass, and most important: the guitar(s). Occasionally you’d get a clarinet in there when a violinist was absent: Hubert Rostaing! The legendary Gypsy-jazzer, Django Reinhardt certainly belongs in the guitar-god category with Page, Hendrix, Richards, and Van Halen. He was born in Belgium and raised among a tribe of Manouches in the town of Paris in 1910. At the age of 18, he was injured in a fire mishap that permanently damaged the ring finger and pinky of his left hand which forced him to create a new technique using his remaining two fingers in a time span of only 18 months. (He played all of his solos and chords with the index and middle finger). In 1934, he met the famous violinist Stéphane Grappelli, and formed the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. Thus, Gypsy-jazz was born. Many cities all over the world have Hot Clubs of their own—San Francisco, Detriot, and New York, etc. East Nashville is no exception.
Black is so HOT right now. Can we thank those two men responsible, The *bleep* Keys? Even when I go to work, this is the only wardrobe color allowed. My instruments happen to be black and I carry them in a case that bears this same color. When the warm light surrounds me on stage, darkness is all I can see when facing the audience. The notes I read and the sky when I drive home…are black.
Secretive and deep, black is the absorption of all color and absence of light. Slinky, sultry, sexy, sable. Turn the damn lights off and let yourself be enveloped by the sound of a spinning vinyl disc of black.
I could talk for days about this color’s significance in music. For now, I’ll take you down this path. I see a red door… and I want to paint it…