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[NEW RELEASE]

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!

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.


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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