I normally don’t watch much of the weather or the radar unless I hear that strong winds will keep my wife up at night because we don’t have a storm shelter. That said, I was paying extra attention to the forecast during the days leading up to Tuesday, May 7th. We had already cracked open the wondrous splendor of experiencing East Side Storytellin’ outdoors during the previous show with Robert Hicks, Eric Brace, and Peter Cooper, and I didn’t feel much like taking the show back inside any time soon. Lucky for everyone involved, I played Blind Melon’s “No Rain” all day and night in order to offer my respects to the clouds and clear the way for one of the most pleasurable shows to date. The sky was blue, the stage was set (and lit by a few Christmas lights that even Clark Griswold would have been proud of for sure), and everyone was present for the right reason … to enjoy another East Side Storytellin’ to the fullest.
Tom and I had a minor hiccup with the scheduled, pre-recorded introduction from our friend Dave Eastman of WAMB radio, but it didn’t bother us one bit. It actually got everyone’s attention and then we hit the ground running with everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) in the crowd actually there and respectful for the show at hand. Before I get started on the recap, I do want to say thank you to 98% of all the crowds so far that have attended every East Side Storytellin’ show at Fat Bottom Brewing Co. up to date. The other 2%- the inevitable passer-by, immature, mid-20’s, still getting sloppy drunk off their parents’ tab and talking so loud that not only do they embarrass the other people they came in the taproom with for the evening but they also disrupt the show for the rest of the 98% of the people that came to actually hear and enjoy this extraordinary show- well, let’s just say I was so happy to be outside and surrounded by 100% of a packed crowd that was enthusiastic about the featured guests of the evening. Now, I can get on with the recap of this wonderful show.
I introduced the show first by acknowledging that Nashville had recently lost one of its, if not THE, most influential artists, teachers, and human beings in that of Don Evans the day before. I didn’t want to take all the time in the world sharing the loss of a friend, but I did want the crowd and people over the air waves to know about the passing and possibly take a moment later to look up some of the amazing things Don did for others and this world in general after the fact. Don will truly be missed.
After a very brief moment of condolences, I jumped at the chance to introduce a man that I now, after knowing about everything he does in town and also finding out that he is a skilled musician in his own right, refer to as the quintessential music man of Music City. Craig Havighurst is the author of the book Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City. He is also a major contributor and co-host of the weekly, award-winning show of Music City Roots. Craig has been a featured speaker at TEDx Nashville in the past, and he also performs in a unique show called “String Theory: a one-man show about music.” In his one man show, Craig distils lessons from a life as an amateur musician and a professional music documentarian into a 90-minute, two-act multi-media event. So as you can read, it is no stretch of the imagination or words why I can easily call Craig Havighurst the quintessential music man of Music City.
Craig prefaced and read from two different excerpts from his book. Similar to the East Side Storytellin’ show with Bill Friskics-Warren and his book reading from I’ll Take You There: Pop Music and the Urge for Transendence, Craig pretty much laid a smack down on the attentive crowd much like a very cool professor of music culture history. He had his lesson plan on the reading stand and took us all to school in a very refreshing and innovative way that left nothing but smiles in the seats. The material was poignant to the area, prolific in its delivery, and captivating all around. You could hear a pin drop if there were any pins to drop at the time. Bottom line, it was a very special moment for all to experience.
And speaking of a very special moment for all to experience who attended the show, Craig was not finished when the reading ended. I took a second to introduce who I believe is hands down the hardest working band in a city filled with them in that of the awesome Don Gallardo & How Far West, and Craig stayed on stage to perform two classic songs from the Nashville days of ole’ alongside the band at hand. For reasons due to time and legal constraints, we had to edit said 2 songs out of the final recording of the show that you can listen to below, but let me tell you that it was something remarkable to witness. It was a perfect extension of a closing number from Music City Roots, but yet it also felt like something totally different as well if that makes any sense. I guess you had to be there!
Craig left his guitar and took a seat with the rest of the crowd while Don and the boys treated the event like a back porch, family hootenanny. Four of the five guys were singing, and every single person on stage was bringing everything they had for the show. It was excellent and beyond words. My face was hurting after a few songs because I had a steady perma-grin for the evening. Don told personal stories about travels and other musical inspirations behind the meanings of each song, and it felt like a house show more than any other concerts I’ve been to in person. Needless to day, I was almost sad when it was time to close the show with an interview.
Again, because of time constraints, I wanted to keep the interview brief in order to keep the most amount of music that we could in the end. That is a very tough task to keep when the featured guests are as busy and as talented as Craig and Don. Both of these guys are constantly on the go, creating as much as they can possibly create, and do everything at another level than most people in this town do single acts for their livelihood. You can listen to the interview and the rest of the show that made the final cut below, but I ended the show pretty much where I began the evening … with a memory of Don Evans.
I felt like the quote below that I closed the show with was not only appropriate for the evening’s special guests because they constantly push their creative envelops on a daily basis to help others better themselves and the world they live in, but this quote always perfectly reflects everything I have managed to be a part of while starting East Side Story in general over a half year ago. I guess this quote wraps up what I learned from Don and attempt to implement into my own life every single day I am here with every possible idea that I think is worthy of coming to light and life. I’ll let you read Don’s words for yourself.
Don Evans said-
I’ve always done things by accident. I’ll learn a medium because I have to, because it’s something I want to do. If I have an idea that I want to do something in a film, or a video, or with an environment with a lot of people, then I have to invent the machine or the thing and … and well, part of it’s just pragmatic. I couldn’t afford to go out and buy lasers or pay people to do anything. So you had to convince them that it was worthwhile … to be part of the project and not to do it for any other reason. And it did become, as it went along, it became my philosophy … TO DO STUFF. I don’t think a human being is here just to watch tv and spend money and get a lot of money and buy cars and stuff. He’s here to make things, or to invent things, to help mankind progress. We’re not going to go anywhere if people don’t do things and actually push the envelop.
Nice … right?! Good words to live by indeed.
Now, before I reveal the edited radio show that aired on WAMB radio (1200 am/99.3 fm) at 2pm Central on Saturday, May 11th, here is the spectacular art print that my good friend and artist Alex Smith made for this lucky number 13 show to commemorate the WSN tower and pay homage to our Old Kentucky Home Kentucky Derby race from the previous weekend before.
Again, amazing stuff, right?!
Ok, so here’s the link to the show … enjoy:
I’d love to take a second to thank some special people that helped make East Side Storytellin’ 13 happen the way it did.
-My wife, Emily Frances Harper Beard. Without you and your support, none of this happens. I loves you.
–Alex Smith, you paint the perfect pictures for this evening to really come to life and I am constantly amazed by your creativity.
–Tom Eizonas, you make us all sound better than we are and allow others who weren’t as fortunate to be at the show in person able to experience a hint of the greatness over and over again at their convenience.
–Chris Haston and the Fat Bottom Brewing Co. family, you provide such a pleasant home for heartwarming performances to happen in your backyard. I am very grateful we have crossed paths and look forward to the shows to come.
–Craig Havighurst (www.stringtheorymedia.com), you are so talented in everything you put your heart and mind into. I am honored to promote and sell your books in my bookstore, but even more so I am honored to call you a friend. Your skills and passion for recording, reporting, playing, and sharing music in this city to the masses is unmatched by anyone else.
–Don Gallardo & How Far West (www.dongallardo.com), you don’t need me to write or say it to know that you guys are well on your way. Your music, your attention to details, your efforts to practice all the time and spend the rest of the time on the road for your musical journey, is inspiring beyond belief. I hope you guys have half as much fun as everyone who hears you play.
–WAMB Radio, thank you for saving us a spot on air and for allowing us to be a small part of your treasured history.
But wait, I’m not finished with this idea and storytellin’ show by any means.
The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …
Date- Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Time- 7 pm sharp (Central)
Location- Fat Bottom Brewing Co. (900 Main Street)- www.fatbottombrewing.com
Need information or details about Fat Bottom Brewing Co., call 615-678-5895. Otherwise it is first come, first available seats.