One of our longtime favorite local artists and a Nashville staple for many years, alt country and folk punk laced singer-songwriter Cory Branan is set to return to The Basement East tonight, May 23, still riding high on the buzz from his excellent and dark 2017 fifth full-length, ADIOS. Joining Cory this time around is Lauren Morrow, a recent local transplant best known for fronting Atlanta’s The Whiskey Gentry, who stepped out on her own with an excellent, timeless, self-titled debut EP last fall. Tickets are still available here, and we’d suggest snagging them now, then read on for more about the show!
CORY BRANAN AND THE LOW STANDARDS
Memphis born, Mississippi raised, and Nashville based alt-country singer-songwriter Cory Branan has been honing his chops since youth, raised by a musical family and influenced by church and gospel music, before gravitating towards rock and performing in metal bands in his teens. Later inspired by artists like John Prine, Branan began to adopt a more folk and county infused style as a solo artist, releasing a string of records in his 20s throughout the early and mid-’00s, all the while achieving cult fame, acclaim from friends and collaborators like Jason Isbell and Craig Finn, and a reputation for being an earnest, hardworking, constantly touring artist’s artist. Though he rose to prominence in the rootsier scene, for years now we’ve thought Cory still had more of a punk streak than he let on. Not just in the raw structure of his songs, the earnest and unfiltered way he presents himself, or the artists he seems to be palling around with, like Dashboard Confessional and Brian Fallon, Branan has always had a seamless ability weave between scenes and crowds, just as comfortable playing folk songs in a bar, or turning up loud and rowdy for a rock crowd. With his 2017 fifth album, ADIOS, a followup to 2014’s fantastic The No-Hit Wonder, out through Bloodshot Records, Branan really navigates a different side of his artistry than we’ve heard in recent years, and the result is pretty captivating. Described as his “death record,” not only is ADIOS raw and personal, but it also features contributions from Deer Tick’s Robbie Crowell, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace, and Dave Hause; not to totally abandon his country side, though, Amanda Shires also makes an appearance, and Branon self-produced the whole thing in Mississippi. We ought to be due for new tunes before long, but, regardless, any chance to see Cory Branan live is a guaranteed great time, especially in a more intimate space like The Basement East where he really shines.
Though still a relatively new resident of Nashville, and having only released her eponymous debut EP last fall, classic country and Americana infused singer-songwriter Lauren Morrow is definitely no newcomer, having spent the last decade forging a respectable career with her Atlanta based group The Whiskey Gentry. Along with her husband Jason, a bandmate in Whiskey Gentry as well as a key collaborator in her new musical chapter, Morrow decided to relocate to Nashville on a whim, after years of being encouraged to do so by friends and peers, after performing at a benefit for Jessi Zazu, and realizing how incredible and tight knit the local music scene is. With a newfound musical support system, Lauren recruited a team of great backing players like drummer Jerry Pentecost and Deer Tick’s Robbie Crowell, and teamed up with producer Parker Cason to craft her introductory batch of songs, forging a new sound that certainly still harbors some of the style of her former group, but finds Morrow diving into even more personal (and, occasionally, fascinatingly fictional) themes and timeless, layered, and classic instrumentation. You’ll definitely want to show up early!
Cory Branan and The Low Standards and Lauren Morrow will perform tonight, May 23 at The Basement East. The show is 21+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $17.