East Nashville Vol.3 More Music From The Other Side
I don’t know what the general opinion of sampler records is but I’ve always had a bit of a thing for them. It’s a pig in a poke, of course, even if you know some of the names on the track listing, but the joy that comes when even one of those new names is a revelation makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Well Red Beet Records claim that there’s more great music per square foot in East Nashville than any other part of the country and this is their third compilation to substantiate that claim. The East Nashville-ites pride themselves on a more individual, less chart-obsessed approach to music making and there’s a fair amount here to back up that view. Phil Lee has two songs here from “So Long, It’s Been Good To Know You” and even when he’s doing his best Bob Dylan impression, as he does here on Taterbug Rag, he’s worth the price of admission by himself and “So Long…” is definitely one of my favourite new albums of the last couple of years.
The other seventeen artists presented here cover a range of music as broad as the entire field of Americana – from the Lucinda- inspired blues-y thrash of Anne McCue’s Broken Promise Land through the delicately smooth mood music of Carey Ott’s Gettin’ Thru to Tom Mason’s Cuban style song, Chano Pozo’s Shoes. Occupying the middle ground, I guess, is Audrey Auld’s very enjoyable country pop, Love You Like The Earth.
Of the artists new to me, I like the sound of Jon Byrd who, on the evidence of one song, writes like Robert Earl Keen and sings with a bit of a Willie Nelson twang, and Matt Urmy brings a dose of welcome self-confident humour with his song Renaissance Rodeo.
The standout song for me, though, even above Phil Lee, is Eric Brace’s Tranquility Base. I think I’ve found a new musical hero here, after the latest Last Train Home offering and now this song. Addressing himself to Neil Armstrong and his generation-defining steps on the moon, Eric Brace proves himself one of the most interesting songwriters around. ‘Download this!’ as they say in other places.
Plenty to get your teeth into, then, even if it doesn’t always justify the ‘great’ tag and East Nashville as a label of origin is probably going to promise you more interesting listening than the Nashville mainstream.
“The Red Beet Records East Nashville Revue” feat. Phil Lee, Last Train Home, and Eric Brace & Peter Cooper. (with Al Perkins Tim Carroll and Elizabeth Cook on selective dates) is on the road with The Medicine Show this summer playing cool roots festivals, venues and radio shows dates music videos news and share links here