Amid the rubble of what Nashville once was, lurking in the shadows of the condominium high rises and prefabricated mixed use block developments spanning across the city like a contagion, there is a thriving and vibrant honky tonk movement doing what it can to keep the old style of country music alive.
Robert’s Western World
What Joshua Hedley has done on Mr. Jukebox is compose a haunting reenactment of country music from the 50’s, from the writing, to the phrasing, to the instrumentation and approach, marked by incredible detail, inferred by studious comprehension and tireless devotion to the effort…
You may have not known his name or who he was, but it would be hard not to notice the tall, lanky, dreadheaded dude in big white glasses behind the drums backing up a dozen or so different independent country artists from Nashville over the years as they toured through your town, and doing his best to not just keep the beat, but bring the energy.
Aaron Lee Tasjan, Adam Meisterhans, Amanda Shires, Americana, BJ Barham, Brian Ritchey, Buddy Miller, Caitlin Rose, Chance McCoy, Chuck Mead, Cory Branan, Derek Hoke, Emma Swift, J.P. Harris, Jason Isbell, Jerry Pentecost, Jonny Fritz, Kristin Weber, Leigh Nash, Lilly Hyatt, Robert's Western World, Robyn Hitchcock, Ron Pope, Steve Earle, Tommy Scifres, Whiskey Gentry
After the awards, Jason Isbell did like so many artists of country music’s storied past once did after playing at the Country Music Mother Church. He ambled out of the backstage exit into the famous alley that separates the Ryman and the bars of Lower Broadway, and took the stage with his wife Amanda Shires at Robert’s Western World.
Adam Meisterhaus, Amanda Shires, Americana, Americana Music Awards, Cary Ann Hearst, Dave Cobb, Jack Ingram, Jason Isbell, Jeremy Pentacost, Josh Hedley, Robert's Western World, Ryman Auditorium, Sam Outlaw, Sam Palladio, Shovels and Rope, Steve Earle
Alright, so normally I wouldn’t post some silly, viral video such as this. But it’s Robert’s Western World—one of the last bastions of true country music on Lower Broadway in Nashville. And it’s the Don Kelley Band, which is one of Robert’s and Lower Broadway’s most legendary bands.
Germany’s Bear Family Records is releasing ‘One Long Saturday Night’—a 23-song CD and companion DVD capturing the original lineup of the band at the height of their powers as they perform classic country hits and a handful of originals live for the German TV show Ohne Filter. The CD also includes four tracks from a concert in Japan the band played the week after.
One of the last remaining bands that still holds onto that spirit that revitalized Lower Broadway and still plays there on a regular basis is Hillbilly Casino. Nearing their 10-year anniversary, the band that can regularly be seen playing Layla’s Bluegrass Inn has released a live album recorded at the Exit Inn called “Live in the USA.” I spoke to the Hillbilly Casino bass player Geoff Firebaugh about the album and Lower Broadway.
BR549, Brent Mason, Dan Huff, Don Kelley, Greg Garing, Harry Fontana, Hillbilly Casino, Jay McDowell, JD Wilkes, Johnny Hiland, Layla's, lower broadway, Nic Roulette, NIck Curran, Paul Birch, Redd Volkaert, Robert's Western World, Sarah Gayle Meech, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, The Bluegrass Inn, The Don Kelley Band, The Eskimo Brothers, Yelawolf
Acting as a guide through both the explanation of the roots of country music and the streets of Nashville, Justin Townes Earle and many others try best to define “country” for a foreign audience in the film. The Country Roads DVD also includes an entire Justin Townes Earle concert performed at Pace University on October 26th and 27th of 2012 called “The Spirit of Woody Guthrie.”
Amanda Shires, Angaleena Presley, Artic Monkeys, Ashley Monroe, Brazilbilly, Caitlin Rose, Country Roads The Heartbeat of America, George Hamilton IV, John Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Kevin Costner, Lisa Marie Presley, Liz Rose, Marieke Schroeder, Miranda Lambert, Norah Guthrie, RCA Studio B, Review, Robert's Western World, The Carter Family, The Carter Family Fold, The Pistol Annies, The Ryman Auditorium, Woody Guthrie
Last week as I was traveling through Tennessee, I took some time to visit downtown Nashville, where I hadn’t been in a few years, and I brought along one of my best friends named Pointer. Pointer goes wherever I go. Funny thing is, we don’t always like the same things. I thought it might be fun and informative to share Pointer and my pictures of our downtown Nashville trip for those who’ve never been there.
BR549, Brentley Gilbert, Colt Ford, Country Music Hall of Fame, Curb Records, Ernest Tubb, Hatch Show Print, Jason Aldean, Joe Buck, Kid Rock, Kris Kristofferson, Layla's Bluegrass Inn, Mike Curb, Music Row, Nashville, Rascal Flatts, Robert's Western World, Ryman Auditorium, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Willie Nelson
As lower Broadway became a hoping place in the mid 90’s drawing talent from all around the country, competition for choice time slots at the best bars became fierce, and if you didn’t keep the patrons entertained, there was no money in the tip jar. With so much talent and so few bars and dollars to go around, competition became hyper. In this environment, talent and originality were pushed to their limits and it created some of the most dynamic frontmen in any genre of music at any time.
Exit In, Hatch Show Print, Hillbilly Casino, Jason and the Scorchers, JD Wilkes, Jello Biafra, Joe Buck, lower broadway, Nashville, Robert Plant, Robert's Western World, The Bluegrass Inn, The Grand Ole Opry, The Legendary Shack Shakers, The Ryman Auditorium
When I went to see Joe Buck a couple of weeks ago in Denton, TX, he was billed as “Hank III’s Bass Player.” Yeah, I know; people need a context to understand why a name on a calendar is something to pay attention to, but Joe Buck is so much more. To people who know his music, there is no peer to the amount of energy and passion he brings, and his songwriting reveals great wisdom once you get past the rawness of the presentation.