Two Stories for the Music City
Nashville is filled with stories. It is filled with veteran musicians who have been doing what they do many years, and it filled with emerging talents chasing their particular vision through the miasma of hype and noise and “the industry”. And sometimes, it is both of those things at the same time. That is Nashville and that was the overarching story of the late show on March 19 at 3rd and Lindsley.
Hugh Mitchell walked away from a successful career as a sideman and began writing and recording earthy, honest songs which served to show off his stunning vocal abilities. He has a very clear vision of the music he wants to make, and he is in the process of making that vision come fully to life. Hugh envisions his earthy songs set against a backdrop of electronic music which he considers modern orchestral music.
Hugh’s band is new and by his own definition it is still a work-in-progress, and so his set has to be seen as a snapshot of a step along the path to his fully realized vision. By the mere presence of the aforementioned earthy, honest songs and stunning vocals, the show did not come off as a dress rehearsal or work-in-progress. Great songs, well played, but maybe just not yet the experience that Hugh Mitchell is trying to create. For his last song, Hugh dismissed his band and brought up Country and Pop singer (and America’s Got Talent runner-up) Emily West for a duet that brought chill bumps.
Darrin Bradbury, who closed the night with The Fran’s Eastside Super High Band, moved to East Nashville a little over a year ago with a seemingly mythical backstory, a guitar full of songs, and a decade or so of experience as a travelling musician both as the leader of the popular New Jersey band Big Wilson River and on his own as modern troubadour.
Darrin’s songs are funny and tragic and catchy as hell. Whether singing about junkies in love, comparing true love to a meth lab, or telling the tragic story of a carbon monoxide leak, there is an underlying kindness and compassion that came through clearly from the 3rd and Lindsley stage.
Darrin’s quirky charm and almost bashful demeanor was accentuated by his tight and talented backing band which includes guitarist Tim Carroll (The Gizmos, The Blue Chieftains, and his own long and prolific solo career), stand-up bassist Cameron Carrus, and drummer David Strayer. Darrin is completing work on an album and preparing for some touring in the spring.
Singer-songwriter David Newbould kicked off the night with a solo set of gritty, bluesy Americana music.