Tales from the Road and Titles to Inspire
Sunrise, Sights, and some must see music films to make you feel good right now.
Dylan and I have arrived safely in our temporary hub on the gulf coast. It felt like some of our hairiest travels to date. But, our friends and family had our backs as usual. Thank you to the fine folks at Meet Me in Memphis as well as Kimbro's Pickin Parlor in Franklin, TN, those that tuned in and came to see us in person. We have video snippets from those acoustic/electric performances currently on Patreon and more coming on Youtube. Please subscribe if you haven't <3
Nashville/Franklin and the nuts and the reality of the music business
We spent our Tuesday morning with Adam Fluhrer, guitarist extraordinaire for Lee Roy Parnell who we had met at a show in West Texas about a year and a half ago. We had immediate appreciation for his playing, professionalism as well as his down to earth attitude. When discussing the music biz, he asked if I knew what our job boiled down to and I correctly answered, "alcohol salesmen".
To anyone that may think that is depressing or inaccurate, don't feel bad. We know this is a tough business yet feel privileged to be a part of it. Beer and booze just happen to be major patrons of the arts these days and if venues aren't selling it, we don't have much of an occupation.
We had a great time with Adam, talking about what it takes to hang in during the covid era and how we are managing. Its so great to spend time with kindred spirits. He directed us to Bolton's for Nashville hot chicken - evidently the chef from Prince's moved over there a while back. More on that later.
Scroll down to the bottom for some great movie recommendations to get your through the next month.
Above ^^^^ shopping guitars in Nashville and swinging by Stax in Memphis
^^^^^Above Hernando's Hideaway and Mud Island on the Mississippi. Hernando's is a new club owned by Austin's king of the honky tonk, Dale Watson. We did a show with him in Miami once and he was super cool. He also is founder of the Ameripolitain Awards, which moved to Memphis a couple years ago. We had to swing by to check it out as we were headed out of town the day after our second show in Memphis.
Above ^^^^ Did I tell you how much I love Memphis? And there's our Nashville hot.
We decided to go with medium which we were told was very hot. Considering there was an extra hot and extra mild category we felt pretty safe going for the medium, in spite of a warning from the woman behind the counter.
The medium was very hot. I will say Dylan's looked hotter than mine. He was sweating and had tears running down his face and said he couldn't eat it. I wiped some of the cayenne off mine onto a slice of white bread and utilized the accompanying ranch dressing, which is something I never eat. Dylan ordered some mild and we finished our meals thinking that was done, live and learn, next time we will just get extra mild.
The spicy food connoisseur often over estimates themselves in these instances and our gastronomical adventure was far from over. After a nap in our van, Betty White, I intuitively thought we might want to make our way a bit closer to a bathroom. Thank god for common sense, even if it kicked in a couple hours late. Instead of traveling to Memphis we found some lodging just outside of Nashville with a clean, comfy bathroom for the night.
IF you want to read up on the history of Nashville Hot Chicken along with an expanded dose of history - see HERE. It's essentially lover's revenge chicken.
Below - we drove to the gulf and parked at Gulf Shores National Park to catch some winks and enjoy the sunrise. It was spectacular.
MUST SEE - Inspirational music movies to get your through
I thought I'd share a list of movies I have enjoyed this year - especially for you that are looking for some good feels right now.
RUMBLE - The Indians Who Rocked the World - Man - I LOVE this film. It goes beyond Link Wray and Jimmy Hendrix. Great music and artists I had no idea had Native American Roots as well as the influence Native American music had on blues, roots, rock, jazz, and American music in general. Incredible. We are truly a creole nation!
ROCKETMAN - Its on Hulu right now. Its a great musical biopic about Elton John, his music, and his personal struggles. The actors perform the songs. All his songs have been swimming in my head since.
Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub - I hope every music fan, every fan of independent artists, every independent music venue owner, and everyone that cares about culture watches this move. Saxon Pub is an amazing small venue in Austin that was facing some changing times pre-covid - just as many cities have been changing. Development comes at a price, and the price is often local culture.
With the double whammy of Covid and its fall out still happening, its estimated 90% of venues in Austin will permanently close their doors. And, the outlook is grim for independent venues in many cities, especially those who have been facing rising taxes, rent, etc. I know some will move forward and find ways to re-invent the independent music scene. I hope it puts some fire in the belly of music fans, bands and venue owners to fight for grass roots music and infrastructure before our options become any thinner.
Other Perennial favorites - Super Mensch, Searching for Sugarman, A Band Called Death, Muscle Shoals, Bad Reputation. I'll post more favorites next month.