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Cordovas

Georgians, unite. Nashvillians, gas up your cars. If you’ve seen a Cordovas show, this is probably already on your calendar if you live within a four-hour radius. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, do yourself a favor and make it a point to be there and you will become a life-long fan. No exaggeration. For my money, this is the best live act touring these days.

Their latest album, That Santa Fe Channel, was produced by Kenneth Pattengale of Milk Carton Kids and I have been listening to it daily since before it was released. The first single, “This Town’s a Drag,” has been getting love from terrestrial radio stations as well as those emanating from outer space.

Just noticed the boys will be at the Georgia Theater tomorrow, so I wanted to get this quick announcement out into the ether. Stay tuned for a more in-depth article about the band and their sound in the coming weeks. Joe doesn’t know it yet, but I’m scheming away on a sort of then-and-now follow-up to the story behind a song or two on his first album.



Cordovas 2018 Fall Tour Dates

Oct 3 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre (Free show)
Oct 4 – Mobile, AL – Saenger Theatre#
Oct 10 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre (Free show)
Oct 15 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre (Free show)
Oct 19 – Knoxville, TN – Barley’s Taproom
Oct 29 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works*
Oct 30 – Charlotte, NC – The Underground*
Nov 2 – Washington, DC – Lincoln Hall*
Nov 3 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall*
Nov 4 – Philadelphia, PA – TLA*
Nov 5 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw*
Nov 8 – Toronto, ON – Opera House*
Nov 9 – Columbus, OH – Newport*
Nov 10 – Chicago, IL – The Vic*
Nov 12 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theatre*
# with Blackberry Smoke  * with Elle King


Cordovas are: bassist/vocalist Joe Firstman, drummer Graham Spillman, keyboardist Sevans Henderson, guitarist/vocalist Lucca Soria and guitarist/vocalist Toby Weaver.


Get That Santa Fe Channel here.


I am honored and excited to have the first opportunity to share Nina Ricci’s latest single with you. The inspiration for “Southern Goodbyes” comes from a special ritual when she would depart the family homestead in north Georgia for the return to Nashville. Nina’s grandmother remained on the porch waving goodbye until the taillights disappeared around the bend.

The power of that story and this song lies in how relatable it is to so many of us, independent of geography. My southern goodbyes with my Mamaw and Papaw in Mississippi were very similar to the ones described in verse here. When we left my Uncle Chuck’s place outside New Orleans, we had to drive a block in the opposite direction, make a U-turn and drive back on the other side of the neutral ground (that’s the median, for all of y’all who aren’t from New Orleans). For the entire duration of this detour, Chuck and his family remained in the driveway waving until we were on the main road.

Nina had been toying with this song concept for some time. She wrote the song this February, shortly before the March release of her debut album Designs on Me.

With the lyrics basically done and dusted, August rolled around and the composition still remained closer to a poem than a song as it hadn’t been fully set to music or arranged. Two weeks later, it was definitely a song. Nina placed sheet music in front of her band and one sight-reading session and rehearsal later, this ethereal concept that had been floating around in her head was given shape and form and came to life.

The song was recorded on September 6th at the East Nashville studio of fellow Berklee alumnus Marc Lacuesta. Marc actually coached and trained Nina for her Berklee audition, so it came full circle when he engineered this single. (Marc is also a great friend of FTNB and has very comfortable trees.)

Nina’s father was songwriter Robert James “Bob” Ricci and she enjoyed exposure to music ranging from Greenwich Village folksingers to the Beach Boys to the Beatles preceding her earliest memories. This unique musical incubation simmered in the background as Nina grew up. She took a few piano lessons and a bit of music theory here and there, but neither captured her interest. 

This changed when 14-year-old Ricci picked up and fell in musical love with her Dad’s Alvarez guitar. Her aspirations rapidly transitioned from a Brian May-style guitarist, to lead singer, to a songwriter. After formal training in performance, theory, a bit of engineering, and music business at Berklee, she returned to Nashville in 2015 on a mission. Her driven efforts and constant support of mother/manager/partner-in-crime Teresa Ricci are paying off. Through talent, ambition, and sheer force of will she has written and recorded her debut album, performs around Nashville, and now adds this song to her catalog.

Without any further adieu, FTNB humbly presents “Southern Goodbyes” for your enjoyment. Listen here exclusively this week and purchase your own copy when it goes on sale October 5th.


FREE PREVIEW STREAM ENDED. 

Voice: Nina Ricci
Acoustic Guitar: Nina Ricci
Harp: Olivia Fortunato
Violins I and II: Patrick Monnius
Upright Bass: Brandon Cantwell
Drum Set: Stewart Newman
Mixed by Marc Lacuesta
Mastered by Harold LaRue


Nina would like to extend a special thanks to Tony Gillespie and his Facebook group “The Village – Folk Music, History and Memorabilia” for financing the recording of this single.

Volk Party Tonight

Doors for the show were at noon. Music starts at 9:00 Laurel and the Love-In kick things off. Then a little burlesque followed by the main event VOLK show. After that, the Flying Buffaloes will be closing out the evening.

You may recall, VOLK was my favorite duo I saw at Americana

Chris and Eleot met at an open mic in Europe while living abroad and teaching English. They started jamming, and experimenting, and playing out a bit across the pond. 

After the extended Eurotrip, they resettled in Nashville and this little project continued to grow. Eleot actually learned to play drums specifically for the execution of this vision. 

The obvious comparisons include the White Stripes, Shovels & Rope, and Hymn for Her. They are a high-energy, technically-proficient duo with solid tunes. Go to the Springwater tonight for the EP release of Average American Band. Four fun and engaging tracks. I won’t let the cat out of the bag quite yet about the tunes, but once the album drops, expect to hear more about these guys and their great songs. Until then, just go check them out in person yourselves!


Tim Carroll
Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll is playing a few songs live on WMOT Roots Radio today at 12:30pm. So, tune in or, even better, go to The Nashville Palace to watch and listen live!

Stream the performance live, online from anywhere in the world.

UPDATE: Looks like they went live closer to 1:00 pm. Additional artist on the live show include:  Lillie MaeBen Danaher, and Carey Ott & The Hard Ways with Whit Hubner hosting & broadcasting live.

Maggie Rose & Them Vibes @ the BEAST Tonight (9/26)@8:00

Maggie Rose’s Change the Whole Thing is coming out today and we’re having a party! Well, Lightning 100 is throwing them a party, but you’re all invited.

This much-anticipated album is full of epic, funky, soulful, rocking tunes spanning the broad range of Maggie’s musical tastes and influences. Larry Florman & Alex Haddad have been friends and fans of Maggie since moving to Nashville and forming Them Vibes, but it was only last year that the three of them sat down to write a song together. The trio penned “I Won’t” in their first writing session which ended up on Maggie’s Dreams > Dollars EP.

Apparently, they enjoy writing together, because the three of them co-wrote half the songs on Change the While Thing together. Maggie was around when Bobby Holland was producing Them Vibe’s Electric Fever last year and dug what he was doing. She teamed up with him for this record and Maggie’s band joined forces with Them Vibes to have ten musicians recording live in a room. No overdubs. Just taking it from the top until you capture the magic, like the good old days.

Come on down to the BEAST tonight to see them tear it up. I will be updating this post soon with all the pertinent download links, social media,  and touring info.

Megan Palmer (Photo: Stacie Huckeba)

We at FTNB have been friends and fans of Megan Palmer for quite some time. Known by many as that awesome fiddle player who plays with the likes of Darrin Bradbury, Tim Easton, and Amy Speace, Megan is an outstanding songwriter and singer in her own right.

Just about two years ago, we covered the release of her debut album, “What She’s Got to Give,” at the Basement East. While most artist tour behind their album releases, fate had different plans for Megan. Before closing the evening with an incredible version of John Hartford’s “In Tall Buildings“, she stood on the middle of the stage of the BEAST, got on the microphone, and announced she would be taking a hiatus immediately following that show to undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy.

The video we are sharing this week is one she wrote while recovering. I remember she had several different looks while undergoing chemo with various wigs and hats. She managed to sneak up on me a couple times in her assorted disguises, but I quickly learned to look past the hair to her warm smile which remained unchanged throughout it all.

I recall discussing her experiences at the time: the good, the bad, and the ugly. With her characteristic grin, Megan leaned over and shared that one unanticipated side-effect was an improvement in her peripheral vision. Took me a minute. No hair to get in the way. Get it?

Today we are listening to “Stetson.” The premise of this one is straightforward, but powerful. It was written after Megan lost her hair to chemotherapy and was regaining her strength and confidence to return to normalcy. This transition required a number of props in the wig and hat department. This song describes the search for the perfect, killer hat—a talisman that would provide the strength and confidence needed to get back on the horse. What better hat than a Stetson for that?

Stacie Huckaba, East Nashville photographer to the stars and all-around kick-ass human being, was with Megan throughout her recovery. As ever, her camera was close at hand. She documented many intimate moments over these last two years, several of which appear in the video.

Megan released “Stetson”  through Blue Rose Music, an artist collective and charitable organization. Proceeds from the song and the “Stetson” T-shirt will benefit Gilda’s Club of Middle Tennessee. They provide free cancer support to those diagnosed as well as their family and friends.

Without any further adieu, please enjoy. And stay tuned for a podcast of my interview with Megan about this project.


 Spotify | iTunes | Amazon | Pandora


Megan’s Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Artists: Jonathan Beam, Ariel Bui, Mirthe Bolhuis, Aaron Shafer-Haiss, Sally Jaye, Bob Lewis, Teilisha Williams; Doctors: Dr. Mary Hooks, Dr. Kent Higdon, Dr. Vandana Abramson; Stylist: Payton Dale; Hair & Makeup: Jill Pugh; Photo/Videography/Director: Stacy Huckeba

Tim Carroll, Cameron Carrus, Reeves Gabrels @ 5 Spot (📷: Jared Godar)
Tim Carroll, Cameron Carrus, Reeves Gabrels @ 5 Spot (📷: Jared Godar)

Anna & Co. should be thankful, as we all are, that Reeves showed up Friday because the normal Tim trio is tough to top. Who is Reeves Gabrels? He plays guitar for a little band called The Cure and was David Bowie’s guitar player before that.

Tim Carroll & Cameron Carrus (📷: Jared Godar)
Cameron Carrus & Reeves Gabrels (📷: Jared Godar)

Where else can you get a free, kick-ass rock show with no cover and drink specials from 6:00-8:30 on a Friday? Seriously, if you know, tell me. How many other living souls can say that John Prine recorded one of their songs?
He has opened for punk the Ramones.  He’s even been name-dropped in a Robbie Fulks classic “F This Town.

This has always been my favorite way to end my week. Many of you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t had the pleasure, I highly recommend you go next Friday. And every subsequent Friday. 

Anna Joy Harris (📷: Jared A. Godar)

The first few times I encountered Anna, she was playing fiddle accompanying the likes of Darrin Bradbury and Sally Jaye. While we share a number of close friends, we had actually never even swapped howdies until after her BEAST set.

Like the first time I heard Megan Palmer put her backing fiddle down and pick up a guitar to sing her own songs, I got to see an entirely different, amazing side of Anna. Head-banging, hair flipping, gritty guitar pouring out of a dirty-amp.

Those of you who saw me this week know I am currently channeling my inner Bob Ross and I’ve been growing a head of hair lately. For the rest of my life, I can always recall fondly that the first time I ever head-banged with enough hair for it to matter was to Anna Joy Harris. Rounding out the trio were Raun “I build pretty things out of wood without power tools” Swanson Shultz on drums and Griff[o] Winto[r] “of the East” on bass.

Over coffee and crêpes yesterday, I learned Anna is also an accomplished concert pianist and so much more. Stay tuned for an in depth FTNB exclusive “Get to know Anna Joy Harris” article in the coming weeks.

Two more fun facts:

1) Her grandmother started teaching her piano when she was six months old;

2) Her grandfather was the founder of Austin City Limits.

I’m still processing live audio from her set. There will be a song or two from this show posted very soon. In the meantime, enjoy some of the unbridled talent and versatility of this incredible musician and human! 

VOLK (Photo Casey Moore)

Eleot Roth & Chris Lowe take “a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll” to a whole new level with boutique western swing compositions and arrangements influenced by Dwight Yoakam and AC/DC.

They closed out a great evening of music at Dee’s hosted by Nick Nace on Americana Eve. After some relatively mellow tunes by the likes of Mercy Bell and Jaimee Harris, these guys came out and grabbed my attention with an Ennio Morricone-styled, operatic guitar solo that sounded like it belonged on the soundtrack for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. I could see tumbleweeds rolling past cow skulls propped at the base of cacti when I closed my eyes. Once they got my attention, they never gave it back until the end of a sweaty, high-energy set which was the perfect way to close out my birthday.

Stay tuned at the end of the month for the release of their EP Average American Band. Go see them at the Springwater Supper Club with Laurel & the Love In and Flying Buffaloes on September 29th. 

Label: Romanus Records |Genre: Rock N’ Roll | Hometown: Nashville, TN | Influences: The Killers, ACDC, Dwight Yoakam, Waylon Jennings | Sounds Like: The White Stripes, Shovels & Rope, JET

Facebook |Instagram |YouTube | Spotify |Bandcamp


Darrin Bradbury (Cafe Rooster Records)

Hello, there. Long time, no see. Just survived another long, beautiful week of music with far too little sleep. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old friends, make some new ones, and bask in the glow of talented performers sharing what they love.

Stay tuned this week for some of the sights and sounds of Americana 2018. I will be sharing my favorites for the week from smallest to largest act. Starting with the FTNB pick for the best solo set of the week—Darrin Bradbury.

During the Cafe Rooster showcase at the Basement East, Darrin and the engineer couldn’t quite isolate the source of some feedback. Undeterred, Darrin unplugged and jumped off the stage. The room was still and quiet. As he began sharing songs, new and old, several concentric circles of bodies formed around him.  

The loudest noise in the crowded room beside Darrin was the whirring of the fan behind the bar. Except for the occasional chuckle and the handful of folks singing along, it was just Darrin and his guitar. 

This clip below gives you a little idea of this special set, but in no way comes close to encapsulating the experience.


Darrin Bradbury (Cafe Rooster Records)

Stay tuned tomorrow to see the FTNB pick for best duo of the festival.