East Side Storytellin’ 96 – the night Leanne W. Smith and The Arcadian Wild combined Lipscomb University and Beyonce and made the world right again

Tom Eizonas, Leanne W. Smith, Lincoln Mick, Sarah Wood, Isaac Horn, and Chuck Beard

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 96th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 95, I repeat … 95, 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 (or 3) 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. So, without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is the recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 96. Let us begin, again.

Our first featured artist of the evening is a writer and business professor at Lipscomb University. She teaches courses in business communication and mentorship. In business communication, they specifically study job search skills, presentation, people skills, and business writing. She is featured tonight, not because of all of those skills, but because she recently published her first historical fiction/inspirational novel by the name of Leaving Independence, based in the times of the Civil War and published through Waterfall Press. There are copies here for sale tonight and also at East Side Story later. I’m sure she’ll dive into that work as soon as I get her up here. A teacher, blogger, published author, and this night she is the featured reader. I’m talking about none other than the one and only Leanne W. Smith.

Leanne is a true professional. She had an air of confidence that she has earned, after completing her various 10,000 hours of practice in everything she puts her heart towards. Thankfully, for us as a listening audience, she had already put in the time to pretty much perfect public speaking, engaging a crowd, and sharing her original stories in an enlightening and entertaining manner. Seriously, I’m not sure if anyone has had more fun with various character voices in their reading since the lovely Ann Shayne reading in the very first East Side Storytellin‘ in November of 2012.

Even before she did a wonderful job at reading and enticing everyone to go out and purchase and experience the character driven wagon train and trail out West in olden times, Leanne gave us a cool tutorial of inspiration and what it takes for artists to strive for and attain success with their craft. I advise everyone who is wanting to do anything, creative or not, to listen to the first part of this show and recording below to help map out what they need to do in their own lives to find joy in creating new things. Point being, whether it is helping others find their way, sharing her own personal story, or entertaining all listeners with introductions to some of the most unforgettable fictional characters you’d ever want to meet and camp with, Leanne is such a delight and treasure for Nashville. You can hear her for yourself below, but I highly recommend grabbing a copy of her book and following her blog. You’re welcome.

And speaking of feeling welcome, our featured music of the night is brought to you by a folk trio based in Nashville with one of the coolest band names I’ve ever heard. They’ve proclaimed that choir class is where all great things begin. Two connections that brought together this pairing of featured guests, one of the members is the son-in-law of Leanne, and all three members connected with each other via the choral program at Lipscomb University. They tend to explore the vulnerability and purity of experience achieved through the use of acoustic instruments. They layer thoughtful texts expressed in rich, three-part harmony overtop arrangements of guitar, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, and more. Last year, they released their first full-length, self-titled album, and they are preparing to make another amazing album in the near future so stay tuned. If you know them already, you love them. If you don’t, you will love them soon enough. I’m talking about Isaac Horn, Lincoln Mick, and Sarah Wood. Together, they are The Arcadian Wild! I told you it is an awesome name.

After tuning up just right and checking with each other to make sure they were ready, they were ready. I don’t know if I was ready or prepared enough, even after sound check, to fully grasp the beauty and wonder of the harmony these three singers bring to life every time out of the gate. I kid you not, after two songs, I was struck with the thought (and I couldn’t get it out of my head) that the musical style resembled that of one of my favorite bands, Nickel Creek, but with better vocals and arrangments. This group is that talented (Again, you can listen to the recording below, if you doubt me). They reminded Tom of a young Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the way they effortlessly orchestrate sounds that instantly get you closer to fine. And just when you thought they were at the top of their folk game in the middle of their set, these guys go and cover Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and totally blow your mind (That remix was cut from the recording because of copyright issues and because it was too awesome for you to take in right now. A short video clip of one of the choruses may or may not circulate on the internets.).

But that’s what you get when you experience The Arcadian Wild. They blow your mind, heart, and soul. Their lyrics are like short stories. Their arrangments are like that of classical music genius. And I’m sure you’ll be heard pressed to find a team of people that are as selfless with egos and efforts when joining creative forces to work together as if they have been working together for decades. Point being, these guys are just getting started and all the cliches of the sky being the limit come to mind and is a reality here. Don’t believe me? They had other professional musicians and poets coming up to them after the show and being fanboys and girls. That doesn’t happen every night in Nashville. I saw it happen.

When the music did stop, I told the crowd that it would be practically impossible for anyone to listen to Leanne and then The Arcadian Wild and not be in a wonderful mood and mindset going forward. I asked them some questions about their passions, their journeys, and their futures, and they were all four the most thoughtful and articulate people I have ever heard speak about themselves in public. Obviously, I can’t say enough great things about these people. I’m already looking forward to seeing them all perform again sooner than later and hearing what they churn out next in both of their respected creative fields. Books or albums, I’m buying and promoting them all.

photo by Chance Chambers

I need to stop vomiting compliments on you and let you experience the show we beheld, so you don’t think I’m a liar. Again, you’re welcome.

So, here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 96 that featured Leanne W. Smith and The Arcadian wild  at The Post on Tuesday, December 6, 2016. Please listen to it and share with everyone you know, over and over again.

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

You can read more of Leanne’s writing here – www.leannewsmith.com

You can listen to more of The Arcadian Wild’s music here – www.thearcadianwild.com

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 some extra love to Clay Brunton, for the beautiful artwork online to promote the show and being an all-around amazing human being, father, husband, brother, and friend. If you have time, please send extra positive thoughts and prayers to Clay and his family right now while one of his closest relatives faces a recovery from surgery and some other complications.

art design by Clay Brunton

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’ 97

Tuesday, December 20th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- TJ Jarrett (www.tjjarrett.com)

singing- Matt Siffert (www.mattsiffert.com)

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 96 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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