East Nashville Volume 3: More Music from the Other Side
Red Beet Records
5 stars (out of 5)
I’ve only been to Nashville once and the closest I came to East Nashville was a stroll to the end of Broadway where I unknowingly gazed at what lies beyond the Cumberland River.
Therefore, forgive me the limits of my East Nashville knowledge, most of which has been garnered from colorful Todd Snider and Steve Earle stories and interviews. Also, I missed the first two volumes of this ongoing series coordinated by Eric Brace and Mary Ann Werner.
Obviously I do know that there is more to Nashville than that offered by the modern conglomerates hiding behind the curtain of the country-pop Oz. Clocking in at more than an hour, a more than satisfying collection of inspired music is compiled here.
Assembling material from a number of labels and even more artists, Brace and Co. have provided a cross-section of Americana that is faultless. Every tune works both as a stand alone and as a component of this multi-dimensional conversation about independent music. Some songs have twang, most don’t. Some tell as story, others sketch emotion.
Previously unreleased tracks from Peter Cooper (featuring steel from Lloyd Green), Kevin Gordon, Elizabeth Cook, and Tim Carroll are nestled alongside material from Kieran Kane, Audrey Auld, Phil Lee, and Chuck Mead that may have already been heard by many finding the compilation of interest.
While I get to hear more modern Americana music than most, folks like Anne McCue, Amelia White, Taylor Bates, and Stephen Simmons have somehow escaped notice. The benefit of a finely crafted compilation such as this one is that I have now corrected the oversight and sought out albums from those performers.
Brace’s “Tranquility Base,” Matt Urmy’s “Renaissance Rodeo” and Tom Mason’s “Chano Pozo’s Shoes” are highlights, as are the Lee songs that bookend the set.
In the liner notes, the “style-blending spirit” of the late Duane Jarvis (whose exceptional “I Miss You Already” is included) is mentioned as typifying the album and the musical community it attempts to represent.
Also included is an invitation to visit the area; if I again make the 2,200 mile journey to Nashville, I think I’ll be calling Brace for a personal tour of his East Nashville.
by Donald Teplyske