East Side Storytellin’ 108: The night Casey and The Minks blew us away with more beautiful noise over silence

John Condit, Chuck Beard, Nikki Barber, Jamie Timm, Casey Renee LeVasseur, and Tom Eizonas (not pictured, missed but not forgotten with The Minks, Jordan Solly Levine).

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to the recap and recording of the 108th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 107, I repeat … 107, previous shows East Side Story has put together, we all decided to take a break from our busy schedules all over town in order to sit back and relax and get everyone cultured up just right in the form of a Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing and talking about their original music, and then a round-up creative conversation with all featured guests of this event to talk about their individual journeys and personal ties to Nashville. Without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is the recap and recording of the East Side Storytellin’ 108. Let us begin, again.

Our first featured artist of the evening is someone who was born in LA and began her love affair with words studying and memorizing lyrics from her favorite bands. She also grew up watching her father perform his music in nightclubs and bars so this whole combining literature with music for a night is not her first rodeo here tonight. In fact, she often goes a step further and adds film into the mix. Her passion for writing and film led her to a degree in Cinema Arts from California State University. She is featured tonight because her debut novel, Silence & Noise: one girl’s journey into insanity, is a coming of age story about a girl’s struggle with mental illness that has been an important part of East Side Story since our beginnings. please join me in giving a big round of applause for my friend, the multi-talented muse, put your hands together for the one and only Casey Renee Le’Vasseur.

Before I really start this thing, I need to give some noteworthy behind the scene short stories from before the show, in no particular rank or order. First, Tom had accidentally erased the recorded intro in the sound system (if you aren’t there in person, odds are you don’t really know that Dave Eastman isn’t actually there in person most of the time as the main intro MC). So, I did what any respected host would do, I grabbed the iPhone of my near and dear friend James Martin (a man who can and does just about everything cool that you’d ever imagine = you can see one of his latest creations here- www.facebook.com/edonthebus) and he pulled up the SounCloud link of our intro from another show and blasted it as well as I could over the microphone. The crowd appreciated it mucho. And secondly, Casey asked a few of us in the circle of trust which order we would suggest her reading her three short stories that were described as 1) Love Story, 2) Story of Loss, and 3) somewhere in the middle with intrigue. We told her to go with her gut and that we’d be happy with whatever she decides to do because that’s how the show rolls.

photo by Colin Lewis

So, Casey jumped on the microphone like the pro she is and started off the show with LOVE. It was a take on romance and new beginnings that moved everyone to the edge of their seats. I’ll let you listen to the reading below instead of trying to recap details or put words into the story. Once LOVE was established, she dove head and heart first tint the LOSS. Set in the snow, the audience had a chance to sit back in their seats and feel the coldness of memories and people lost in our worlds. Then, the bring everything together and set up the perfect moment of letting everyone leave with the impression that its up to us to grab the wheel and drive wherever our impulses call, Casey told a tremendous tale called Mississippi River. With a tone of pleasure and pain meshed together as perfectly as Wednesday Addams would do on a Tuesday, Casey reminded us that she is brilliant with words and unafraid at sharing every bit of vulnerability of every character she creates to reach the truest potential of each story she shares. It was something special.

And then, speaking of something very special, we decided to invite what was sure to quickly become the loudest band we would feature to date. And we were so ready for it. Our featured music of the night is led by someone I was first introduced by way of two East Side Storytellin’ trusted connections in Erin Rae McKaskle and Kristen Reilly – both who continue to amaze us. The band itself is a bluesy psychedelic explosion, made from a revolving cast of talented members from the local scene. It originally formed just 2 years ago right here in Music City. Inspired by the old days of Warhol’s factory, Townsend’s windmills, and Dylan’s poetry, this band tries to blend into the silver lining of our remarkable history into our unbelievable current world. They’ve been called the southern Velvet Underground, but this night I was honored to introduce them and call them by the name I know them best. Individually, you may call them Jordan, John, Jamie, and Nikki, but together, like The Wyld Stallyns, they are called The Minks!

Look. There are a lot of bands around town and outside of town that write bio’s about themselves and try to hype their music beyond who and what they are. The Minks are not that kind of band. They are the real deal. They are everything they say they are and more. I had to say that right off the bat because from the very first notes and moments they amped up the show, we all were blown away with their awesomeness. The combine elements of your favorite Southern Rock n’ Roll greats such as The Allman Brothers and Creedance Clearwater Revival (not even sure if Creedance were true Southerners , but I had to give a quick shout out to our recently passed Nashvillian gone too soon in Gregg Allman) and then sprinkle all of that with what I like to call some 70’s Southern punk too. Point being, they bring the real.

Again, I’d rather you listen to the actual recording of the show to hear what I’m talking about instead of having me ramble for a few minutes over the line. I’ve gotta add another behind the scenes story that was not the band’s fault – it might have been something in the air in general – but our recording devices ended up crashing mid-way through the set and Tom lost a song and a half (“Sweet Talk” and half of “Moving On” if you’re counting) before getting everything back in line for the rest of the set and show. Some people in the audience may have heard a few hiccups, but Tom was a master at keeping the train on the tracks. Point being, I’m not certain it wasn’t the band’s sound that didn’t knock it the system out of sorts because their sound was so big and epic that I am certain they could have filled LP Stadium with that set. I’m just saying, this group is amazing and big time. It won’t be long before they do start playing those arenas. Take a listen below and get to know them better than you do now.

photo by Chance Chambers

I didn’t want to single out the band like No Doubt and Gwen back in the day, but I only had Nikki join the post music conversation alongside Casey because I already know I’ll have John and Jamie and Jordan on again with their other bands eventually (if they say yes and Jordan doesn’t have another dinner date or secondary evening gig to attend). But that said, I was able to further ask both Casey and Nikki about their creative passions, in and out of music and writing and everything else cool that they are making happen. These two are anything but slackers, giving everything they have to so many worthy causes and collaborating with some of the best quality people in any business right now. Seriously, take a listen to the following recording, go online to buy everything they are selling, and make it a point to go see these two golden individuals do what they do in person the next chance you can. You’ll thank me later.

So, here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 108 that featured Casey Renee LeVasseur and The Minks at The Post East on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Feel free to listen to it and share with everyone you know over and over. This recording will never get old. It’s an instant classic. Enjoy, and thank you for your time.

Before I say goodbye for this round of fun, I’d like to give a big round of thanks for Casey and The Minks for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more of Casey’s writing here – crlwrites.com

You can listen to more of The Minks’ music here – www.facebook.com/theminksss

You can listen to this show, edited, soon, alongside the previous shows too, on our website,www.eastsidestorytn.com, at our In Our Own WordsTab – see here – www.eastsidestorytn.com/in-our-own-words

I’ll keep the gratitude going for Tom Eizonas, my lovely wife and most talented artist in Emily Harper Beard (efharper), and everyone that came out live to support the show … and to everyone who has helped continue to spread the word and support the show online afterwards.

I’d also like to show much love to Clay Brunton for the beautiful artwork online to promote the show.

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to give one last shout out to Tonya and Chris for making The Post so welcoming and positively life-changing for the East Nashville community at large.

Our next show will be

East Side Storytellin’ 109

Tuesday, June 20th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Jenna Dorian (jcdorian.com)

singing- Alicia Michilli (aliciamichilli.com)

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 108 and another fabulous event at The Post with East Side Story at the helm. Thanks for coming out and sharing the good word and giving some love to all of these great Nashville artists and our creative ideas. Please remember to be nice to one another out there.

Much love,


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