Entertainment roundup

Various Artists - Ten out of Tenn Volume 2
Ready Set Records
Grade: A+

For the past twenty plus years Nashville has been struggling to break out of it’s typecast as being a strictly country music town. Even though it is well known by locals that Nashville is the secret hiding place of a sprawling Indie music scene, there still is a pervading misconception by the world at-large that Nashville is all honky-tonks and ten gallon hats.

The problem arises every time Nashville makes strides to outgrow that stale image and another crappy pop culture expansion (like the god-awful tragedy that was “Nashville” and the various dubious tries at “Nashville Star”) comes along to reinforce the association once more. On top of that you add more and more mainstream celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Sheryl Crow crossing over to country music and it doesn’t take a mathematician to add that up to a skewed image of Music City as far as the rest of the world is concerned.

That’s why compilations (and the accompanying tour) like Ten out of Tenn are so important. They put quality artists from Nashville in front of a much wider audience than they might normally have and they help expand people’s minds about what Music City is all about. This compilation collects the cream of Nashville’s crop including Butterfly Boucher, Eric McCarley, Matthew Perryman Jones, K.S. Rhodes, Jeremy Lister and several others in one place providing nearly an hour’s worth of great tracks from talented musicians. Don’t take my word for it. Check out the tour kickoff and CD release party at the Mercy Lounge on Saturday, July 19th. You won’t regret it!     

Listen Up!

If you haven’t checked out Chris Mitchell’s showcase series yet this is the week to do it! Chris Mitchell Presents is a regular series showcasing local artists and revitalizing live music in Nashville.  Like Chris, it’s always changing, always fun, and always something to remember.
This week, get on over to the east side and get down with East Side Soul— school will be starting sooner than you think! Chris Mitchell Presents: East Side Soul returns to the 5 Spot on Saturday, July 19, so come on out and celebrate your freedom while you can.
On the playlist this time:
Z Soul — the name says it all. Classic grooves and lead singer Zipporah Banyay’s soulful voice have earned this smooth-flowing ensemble a growing following of dedicated fans. Look for them to be breaking out of their 5 Points base as summer winds down.
The neo-soul sounds of Mindy McQ and Love Pudding are proof that white girls get the blues, too. Tight harmonies and lean arrangements leave audiences wanting more.
Strawberry Deluxe … if you haven’t seen this time capsule from the 1970s, make it a priority. Long after Donna Summer went mainstream and moved to Franklin, The Deluxe continues to revive and keep alive the days of platform wedgies, man purses, leisure suits and stagflation.
Tying the night together will be DJ Spellplay. His mash-up style weaves songs together, recombining the old and new in unexpected ways. A testament to the power of caffeine and energy drinks, his infectious enthusiasm keeps the place jumping and grooving well into tomorrow.
The 5 Spot is located at 1006 Forrest Ave in East Nashville. If you’re 21 or older, eight dollars will get you in for an unbeatable soul music experience. Doors open at 9 p.m.
Shout Outs!

*Congratulations to country music heartthrob Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman on the birth of their first child together, Sunday Rose Urban Kidman. Sunday made her first appearance on planet Earth early Monday morning, July 7. Mother and child are both reportedly doing well. Daddy Keith was so befuddled the morning of the birth that he blew his cover at Baptist Hospital by parking his very conspicuous Bentley in the no parking zone prompting someone to page him over the hospital intercom to move it. So much for subtle.

*Following the massive critical  and commercial success of Yoko Ono’s ambitious remix collections –  Yes, I’m A Witch and Open Your Box (Mindtrain/Astralwerks)  which paired the seminal performer with the 21st century underground --  Ono readies for the digital release of “Give Peace A Chance” (The  Remixes). The new release (available at Beatport.com and now at the  iTunes Music Store) commemorates the 39th anniversary of the world peace  anthem's historic June 1, 1969, recording.  Already the Hot Shot Debut and #1 Breakout, The Give Peace a Chance remixes now enter the Top 10 (#10 with a bullet) on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart. The releases thus far are part of a series of three digital-only, environmentally-friendly “green” singles, the third of which will feature a diverse assemblage of international dance/electronic music innovators, galvanizing the familiar and timeless rallying cry: “All we are saying is Give Peace a Chance!”

*Congrats also to sensational teen phenom Taylor Swift who added yet another accolade to her growing list of honors. This week Swift became the only solo female act in the 44-year history of the Billboard Country Chart to score FIVE Top 10 singles from a debut album. “Should’ve Said No,” the fifth single from Taylor’s self-titled debut CD, entered the Top 10 on Billboard’s Country Singles chart this week, only eight weeks after its release to radio. Taylor wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the disc, including her four previous hit singles: “Tim McGraw,” “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Our Song,” and “Picture To Burn.”

*Nashville mainstay Jen Foster premiered her new video “Closer To Nowhere” on Logo’s “New, Now, Next” July 13. “Closer To Nowhere” is the lead single off Jen’s forthcoming LP “Thirty Nine,” due out this Fall. The song achieved international prominence when, earlier this year as the winner in the Triple A category at The International Songwriting Competition.

*Austin, Texas based rocker by way of Nashville Cheryl Hill has just released her new “best of” CD “Transitions” is available for sale now!  Order your copy at http://www.cherylhill.com.  The collection includes the new hit single “Get Your Green On”, a rocking cover of Rage Against The Machine’s “Guerrilla Radio” as only Cheryl could deliver it, and ten songs from her first 5 albums all re-mastered for your listening pleasure. You haven’t been rocked until you’ve been rocked by Cheryl Hill!

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Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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I had the opportunity to visit Mexico for an event José Cuervo was putting on, the unveiling of their premium tequila brand, Reserva de la Familia. The trip was all about tequila, how to drink it properly, how to pair it with food, and of course, visiting various points of interest in Guadalajara while tasting tequila along the way.

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