WOW! That’s about the only word I could come up with after leaving Rumours East on the night of Tuesday, February 5th, 2013, and experiencing the first-time meeting between Alice Randall and Jonathan Sexton. If you weren’t lucky enough to be in the crowd sharing that wonderful evening with me, you are lucky to be here reading this post with pictures and edited audio of the event below.
I knew long before the strike of 7pm, the time when we always begin our East Side Storytellin’ shows, that it was going to be another amazing meeting between unique Nashville creatives. As soon as the very morning of February 5th, after I posted a reminder for people to RSVP for the show with limited seating still remaining, I was immediately bombarded with many friends on and off Facebook continually asking me how I got the tremendously accomplished Alice Randall to be a part of my fun idea. My reply, as usual, was that I simply asked her directly and she liked the idea enough to be a part of it. With that said, I was buzzed all afternoon to get the show going.
Unfortunately, right before the show began, I discovered that there would not be a special art print to commemorate this lovely evening as I have had for all the other East Side Storytellin’ shows up to this point and plan to in the future. My always dependable and very talented friend and artist Alex Smith, had been very sick since East Side Storytellin’ 6 and just couldn’t find time and energy to pull it together. Everyone was more hopeful that Alex would get better sooner than anything else or thoughts about the prints in the end. We wished him the best and let the show go on.
Alice and Jonathan met each other cordially for a minor sound check with Tom and then relaxed as other friends and excited fans took their seats. Everything lined up just right and we began another special evening.
I introduced Alice and it was a huge honor. Alice was one of the very first well known published authors to answer the initial East Side Story call for authors back when we first opened that dream in August of last year. That, along with the East Side Storytellin’ call, was something she did not have to do at all if she didn’t feel like it would be a treat for her and her fans. Think about it. Alice is a New York Times Bestselling author, an award winning Nashville songwriter, and multi-talented tv/radio/movie talent. Basically, she is very well known and very talented with everything she is a part of along her extraordinary journey. She has many titles under her belt to choose from for such a reading, and she chose an excerpt from her novel “Rebel Yell” because of the timing significance of the 50th anniversary of some of the actions in the book and what inspired her to write it. You can listen more to what she said about it in the below link, but I just want to write again that it was an honor to have her with us at East Side Storytellin’.
After Alice’s second round of applause, I was again honored to attempt to match her talent and energy with that of someone I was/am very confident in everything he is about. Jonathan Sexton has been a friend for a few years now, and his musical talents and genuine care for everyone he meets continues to amaze me on a daily basis. As recent as the last 2 years, he has stepped aside from a promising musical career to launch a business called Artist Growth with several friends in order to help the musicians find their way easier and better. Lucky for all of us, he is ready to jump back into the musical side of his passions and we are all better for it. I appreciated the fact that he accepted the opportunity to share the stage with us and Alice, and I also appreciated the fact that the setting of our show seemed to fit his return to music just right. As you will listen below, Jonathan’s new words, notes, and messages reveal the latest version of Jonathan’s growth as an artist and a person.
Without further ado, here is the link of the edited version of the East Side Stortytellin’ show as it was aired on WAMB Radio (1200am/99.3fm) on Saturday, February 9th at 2pm Central.
Now I’d like to take a second to give thanks to everyone that helped make this show happen.
*To my wife, Emily Harper Beard. She is the best visual artist I know and she is the most caring, giving, humble, and the main reason behind anything wonderful in my life. I love her and obviously I don’t care who knows it.
*To Tom Eizonas and the WAMB Family. Without your help, nobody outside of the people that came to the show would ever get to appreciate the magic that is East Side Storytellin’. With your help, everyone that came to the show and those who couldn’t are now able to listen and appreciate what we’ve put together over and over again. I want to say thank y’all over and over again.
*To Alice Randall. Your talent is obvious. Your words go beyond the page and straight to the core of who we all are. Your energy is contagious, courageous, and boundless. Thank you for being a part of East Side Storytellin’, East Side Story, and Nashville in general. Nashville is a better place because you are here doing everything you do and calling it home. Thank you for all you do!
*To Jonathan Sexton. Big Love Choir or solo, you are superb. I am proud to call you friend, honored that you call me friend, and always amazed by everything you put your heart and mind towards. You always do what you are going to say and you always make good things better. I am very excited to follow along your next step of your journey to see how many people are touched by your music, words, message, and life. You are awesome.
*To Ali and the Rumours East family. Thank you yet again for opening your doors and time to help our idea meet reality. The setting, the employees, and the refreshments helped make another great night happen. Thanks for everything y’all do for us and the East Nashville community.
The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …
Date- Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Time- 7 pm sharp (Central)
Location- Rumours East (1112 Woodland Street)
Get your RSVP on- call 615-262-5346 and tell them how many friends are coming with you.
Who will be featured- Kevin Wilson (www.wilsonkevin.com)and the musical stylings of Amanda Shires (www.amandashires.squarespace.com). This show will be sponsored by The University of the South: Sewanee’s School of Letters (www.sewanee.edu/SL/SLHome.htm).