East Side Storytellin’ 15 – Where Mr. Mojo Risin’ finally found a brain and the Watkins lady too

Tom Eizonas, Chuck Beard, Joshua Payne, and Susanna Felts

Hello again and welcome back to another recap for another amazing East Side Stortyellin’ show that was experienced on the evening of Tuesday, June 4th, in the most lovely of Nashville weather with some of the coolest people around.  To preface a lovely evening without stress, I should let you know why I changed my outfit besides the fact the I didn’t want to be any kind of person or animal in sheep’s wool clothing in the new Nashville humid heat.  One day before the show, and one week after paying off one of our cars (not that we have 50, we have 2), our trusty RAV4 decided to slap us in the face and stab us in the wallet with a broken radiator out of the blue.  I can’t say I was feeling very cool in the midday summer heat of pre-CMA downtown on a Monday at noon with everyone, including a metro bus a time or two, and their mother honking at me every 5 minutes when the car quit every 5 minutes on the way to a repair shop.  We are good now, but it was a rollercoaster ride … tis life.

Now, back to the change of attire and show.  I opted for a t-shirt and MY shoes … a solid pair of CHUCKS.  Fast forward to the skies clearing up on Tuesday afternoon with a certainty that the show was yet again going to be outdoors at Fat Bottom Brewing Co. and the artists arrived early and ready, the show was set.  Oh, did I mention that their wasn’t an empty table or seat outside this go round?  I just did.

Before we got started or recording, I let another Nashville native author take the stage and share information about her recently published book and event across town the coming weekend at another bookstore.  The author’s name is Rosemary Zibart and her website is- www.rosemaryzibart.com.  She was very sweet, and great for the crowd.

After Rosemary sat down, we started the radio introduction to a heartwarming opening applause from the crowd before I even said a word.  It was very touching and endearing.  I took a moment, as usual, to introduce the show quickly under the time constraint, and then I was honored to bring to the stage the 2nd half of the most delightful dynamic literary duo in Music City.  She is a fiction writer, freelance writer, teacher of aspiring writers, and the author of one novel (so far) called This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record.  The novel is sold at East Side Story and a couple ended up buying a copy on site at the show after the reading.  The author that was featured was none other than the talented Susannah Felts.


Susannah took to the stage like a pro.  She jumped right into telling the crowd about what she was about to read and went to it.  She read a passage from her novel, a book that is set in 1989 Nashville.  You know, when teenagers actually lived life in real time and places rather than on smart phones and the internet.  I don’t mean to sound like I’m 80, but I’m a proud child of the 80’s, and I was not alone in thoroughly enjoying Susannah’s prose and delivery.  The crowd was captivated the entire time.  Then, just when you thought she was finished, Susannah pulled another original piece out of her notes and shared a story inspired by the Watkins lady.  It was perfect.

Susannah sat down to a round of applause and I jumped up at the chance to introduce one of the most true artists that I am so fortunate to know and call a friend on and off of Facebook.  This guy has been in 6 movies, recorded several albums, sang in operas professionally for a decade, paints, takes beautiful photographs, and does pretty much everything his creative heart tells him to do every moment of every day.  With a beautiful, classically trained voice that is both fragile and extremely powerful, this guy is a widely accomplished singer who is also a lyricist, a poet, a composer, an arranger, and producer in his “spare” time.  He is often accompanied by a full orchestra or band, but he took the time to come correct with a solo performance for the ages as you will hear below.  This artist that I write about and speak of is a name that you need to remember for some time.  It is Joshua Payne.


Joshua took a seat, and casually began to tell the stories behind his songs and strum out some of the most pleasant sounds I’ve heard in a long time … like forever.  He worked his volume and microphone with ease, and he worked the smiles on the crowd of everyone that was present (I saw it … fact).  He combined humor with a deep sense of humanity in every lyric that he shared.  One of my favorite moments was when he did a cover of one of my favorite Wizard of Oz songs in that of “If I Only ha a Brain.” (hence the art poster below designed by Alex Smith).  Another instant classic moment that made everyone smile AND sing was when he had everyone join along with his Jesus and Cornbread ditty.  Listen to the recording below and learn it for the next show.  You never know what fun and spontaneous, instant classic moment you’ll experience at East Side Storytellin’.  You just need to show up and enjoy.  You really have no excuse at this point.

I’m serious, the combination of Susannah’s Nashville based stories and Joshua’s sounds couldn’t have been a better fit for the evening (the people, the weather, the environment, etc. collectively).  I really enjoyed having a few moments to talk with both at the same time about their Nashville experiences, journey to and around town in the time they have both spent here, and goals for the future.  These two are great talents in their respective fields of creativity and they both seem to have a sense that they have a lot more they want and will accomplish before all is said and done.  You can hear pretty much all of it below in the recording.

All in all, I was/am yet again feeling very humbled and fortunate to have had the opportunity to share such a wonderful experience with some extremely beautiful human beings (the artists and the crowd).  Thank YOU!


art by Alex Smith

art by Alex Smith

Before I share with you the edited recording below, I’d love to take a second to thank some special people that helped make East Side Storytellin’ 15 happen the way it did.

-My wife, Emily Frances Harper Beard.  Without you in my life and your support, none of this happens.  I loves you.

Alex Smith, YOU sir are an ARTIST in every sense of the word!

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.

Fat Bottom Brewing Co., 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.

Susannah Felts (www.susannahfelts.net) – Thank you for taking time to read out loud what so many other people I know will be reading at home and around town very soon.  Your style is right on point, and you are a main reason why this city is on the rise with its literary scene.  Please continue to teach the way you do, write the way you do, and support others all over with the creative writing dreams and goals you have in store for many years to come.  You are an inspiration.

Joshua Payne (www.joshuapayne.com) – I can’t honestly thank you enough for coming out and sharing the amazing talents and person that you are.  You are a great artist and an even better friend.  Keep building that epic catalogue of goodness all around and don’t ever stop doing what you do.  Thanks for being YOU.

WAMB Radio, thank you for saving us a spot on air and for allowing us to be a small part of your treasured history.

NOW, without further ado, here is the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 15 that we recorded on June 4th, 2013 and aired on WAMB Radio (1200 am/99.3 fm) at 2pm on Saturday, June 8th, 2013.  Listen, post, and share as many times as you wish!


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, June 18th, 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.

Who will be featured- Ralph Murphy (author of Murphy’s Laws of Songwriting – The Bookhttp://murphyslawsofsongwriting.com) and music by the East Nashville rising star duo called Carolina Story (www.carolinastory.com).

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

joshua payne January 12, 2015 at 6:09 am

love you chuck beard. thanks for creating this amazing platform!


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