Belmont University

Christopher Pilny, Abbey Moss, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

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 122nd epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 121, I repeat … 121, 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 recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 122. Let us begin, again.

Our first featured artist of the evening is a man of many words, many stories, and many great things to come. He is a writer out of Hope Valley, Rhode Island who now calls Nashville home. He is a producer for Rated Red, a digital media network here in Nashville, where he writes a weekly series called Strange Heartland History. I first met him via another outstanding writer and performer and East Side Storytellin’ alumnus in Melanie Vare via their work together with the award-winning storytelling show titled That Time of the Month. His essays and interviews have been featured on publications such as Salon, AskMen, British GQ, Business Insider, The Travel Channel, and more. After I secured the booking for his participation in this show, he promised me that he would share something that is somewhere in between a PG and R rating. As always, this guy never disappoints on stage. It was truly an honor to finally work together with this phenom who usually spends most of his time spotlighting others’ work, I’m talking about the one and only Christopher Pilny!

Christopher approached the podium with his tablet in hand and his confidence filling the friend-filled room. He later mentioned that he uses the tablet out of tradition of when he was too cheap (and didn’t have the money while in school) to print out pages of his work to read for others. Either way, like his writing, it works. There are layers upon layers of work that has been revised and rehearsed within the prose and the voice of this artist, and his final product and performances are delivered with a brilliance similar to an A-listed comedian. He lets the material do the magic that it has been created meticulously to do, and the crowd takes it from there (usually with ample amounts of belly laughs that are perfectly spaced out so that you can catch your breath for dramatic pauses and moments to connect even more with the points of Christopher’s stories). Y’all, he is that good (and will only keep getting better, with his creative process, routines, and dedication to his craft, on and off the stage).

Christopher opted to spend his time reading from a selected original work that was based on journal entries that later developed into a piece that was published in Salon (To read the published form, click HERE). In his classic personal narrator tone, he seemed to enjoy looking down and around his personal odyssey for how he found his voice and a professional foundation of creative writing by methodically detailing the ups and downs of his notes via his journal entries (written by a soon-to-be college graduate but with an air of a school girl finding out what love is and means to her through the mishaps of puberty). You didn’t have to be a guy working in women’s fashion or stressing over life plans after graduating from college to relate. Christopher has a gift of not only taking the less travelled road and enjoying it, he also has a knack for making plans that are larger than life and odd on purpose because he knows it will always add to and become part of a more interesting story in hindsight after it is experienced, written, and shared for others to incorporate that lesson into their own lives. Seriously, I love the way he chooses his life decisions of jobs and everything because I’ve tried to do similar things on my own journey. I haven’t done as many blatantly random choices for the sake of my story in humorous ways, but Christopher’s work reminds me that I still have time.

So yeah, Christopher’s story involved shout outs to David Sedaris, Eminem, Artie Lange (and who the F is Artie Lange, LOL), Forrest Gump, Christopher’s mom, and many others). It detailed the hilarious moments of school kids making fun of Christopher’s shoe fashion, the dark comedy of retail robbery and the possibility of becoming a martyr for the sake of Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, and more … I’m not starting to sound like an infomercial that is selling Christopher Pilny’s work like I’m his agent. But I am not his agent. I am just a big fan, and I’m not alone. Go ahead and take the time to explore his published works on the links above and below, and enjoy the full reading that he shared with us at The Post East in the recording below. In this day and age, we need all of the humor and intelligence that we can get. Lucky for all of us, Christopher Pilny delivers all of that every chance he gets.

Our featured music of the night is a singer, songwriter, and a composer like you’ve never known. Her style is sort of like apocalyptic, but in the best of ways. She is also a dear friend of our friend RJ Bracchitta. She creates an eccentric musical identity desperate to make its way into the mainstream music. She draws from a theatrical past and a brooding alter ego while combining melodies and lyrics in ways that are quite bewitching. Her music usually falls within the ranges of Indie Rock and Cinematic Pop. She has self-proclaimed her music insightful, unapologetic, and downright spooky. We figured she would be the perfect start to put 2017 behind us and really hit the ground running for 2018. Thanks to RJ Bracchita for sharing the love for his fellow friend to be spotlighted and more known because from the first note of sound check, I was completely in awe and floored by the talents of Abbey Moss.

Abbey embodies everything of how she presents herself on  her website bio and, like Christopher, much more, in the best of ways. She approached the stage with just a ukulele in tow and a world of stories and melodies to share, bright and loud. And with all of the doom and gloom surrounding our world in the news these days, it was nice for Abbey to kick things off in her set with the happier side of her song collection to date. She smiled and said that she would go from happy to sad throughout her time at The Post, and we were sitting, thankful and ready to listen.

Abbey sang songs about Mr. Right Guy (where love is everywhere if we look because it’s as simple as just being an animal instinct), taking chances on me (a sweet but not so sweet song because it was about an ex-boyfriend), and then she dove into the dark. I don’t necessarily mean total blackness though. When I say dark, I just mean that she dove into her songs involving death. Actually, it was more light and illuminating, as she broke out with concepts of what it may be like on the other side of life and relating it specifically to a bar on the river Styx that you can’t leave once you get in (but the drinks are forever flowing and your pretty bones will be just fine). Entrancing stuff, to say the least.

She then dove into a beautiful song about laying a lover down and layering the lyrics with the story of the metaphor of putting things to rest. She explained it better than I will now, before she sang her songs, but the meaning and wonder of life lesson cycles totally reminded me of the beautiful documentary I saw recently by the name of Samsara (you can check the trailer HERE). Abbey pushes the boundaries of thoughts and volume within the words she sings in ways that allow you to appreciate the singular moment we live in but at the same time reflect and feel the deeper meaning beyond the surface of the present. Marinate on that for a moment.

Before Abbey closed her set with an unfinished song about love letters in the works, she belted out a vision of a song titled Phoenix. Inspired by the story of her good friend battling Cancer, she did what only a best friend could do to help a trying situation and inspire the friend being tested by reminding them of their purpose and strength. Again, like most of these songs, I cannot give them the justice they deserve as much as just you taking the time to listen to Abbey sing them so great for yourself. You can check them out in the recording link below of the show. Side note, if you or anyone you know is battling Cancer at the moment or did before or just got diagnosed, please refer everyone to Gilda’s Club Nashville. It is FREE support, and it is a magical place for those who need magic. And who doesn’t need magic in their lives? Check out Gilda’s Club Nashville HERE.

But before I get to the recording, I would like to say that once again I felt blessed to take a few candid moments of the artists’ and crowd’s time to talk a little more about the passion and practices behind the show curtain and what has made these guys inspired enough to make the decision to live their lives as artists. It’s not an easy road, even for the most well-known artists out there, so we all need a reminder that we are not alone in this deal. Like those who came before, Abbey and Christopher shared their hopes, fears, lessons learned, happy times, battles with adversity, all the while being completely honest by saying that they are still just literally making things up as they go. Lucky for us, they are doing exactly what they need and want to be doing, and they see the signs and realize that the learning and the process is all happening when it is supposed to be happening. Nothing was more evident of this than when Abbey made a comment post-show that she was at one of Christopher’s first public readings of his work across town years before this particular paring came into fruition. It’s stuff like that that reminds me everything we are doing here is worthwhile and makes a positive change in the world beyond our immediate comprehension. So, here’s to more positive signs and changes in the New Year together!

So here it is, after writing and talking about it throughout the text above, this is the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 122, the night when Christopher Pilny and Abbey Moss brought light, life, death, humor, and a good heart to a New Year. This was recorded at The Post East on Tuesday, January  2, 2018. Feel free to listen to this link and share it with everyone you know, over and over again. You’re welcome.

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

You can read more of Christopher’s writing here- christopherpilny.com

You can listen to more of Abbey’s music here – www.abbeymoss.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.

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’ 123
Tuesday, January 16th
at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm
reading- John Winston Heacock
singing- Madison Pepper (Peppersaid)

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 122 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,
mE

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A very special photobomber, Phil Madeira, John J. Thompson, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. And thanks to Dave Eastman for saying such nice things about the show, about me, and about several insightful meanings behind the significance of the number 100. We were sorry to miss you at this show, Dave, but we wish nothing but the best for health and happiness in the coming year and beyond.

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 100th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 99, I repeat … 99, 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 East Side Storytellin’ 100. Let us begin, again.

I must preface the formal introductions by making the point that I broke tradition in simply throwing two Nashville artists together and to see what would happen, based upon good vibes alone and waiting for something serendipitous to come out of the pairing (which hasn’t failed in 99 attempts, miraculously). To commemorate the century mark of shows, I wanted to ask two artists and friends of mine who I have gravitated to more than ever on social media and other outlets during the past few months when the entire world (but especially our country and those who so-called are elected and qualified and are “Christian”) have lost more than their fair share of marbles. Point being, the choice of this specific pairing had me more jazzed to share the spotlight and our platform with others who probably needed to celebrate and remember the goodness that is evident and shining at the heart of the Nashville creative community. Now, back to the special evening.

Our first featured artist of the evening is a 25 year music industry veteran, which seems impossible to imagine because he looks like he just turned 33. He’s also a songwriter, artist, producer, teacher, and author who currently serves as a Creative Director at E One Publishing, is Associate Dean at Trevecca Nazarene University, and leads a small group ministry out of his Nashville home. I asked him to be a part of this 100th show because his work and life embodies the sense of community of which East Side Story and East Side Storytellin’ strives to be. This man’s abiding passions for authentic, spiritually alive art, transformative community, innovative business practices, and artisanal living means everything to me and probably to a lot of people listening to this right now as well. I could go on and on about this guy, but he can more than speak for himself. The author of Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate: Crafting a Hand-Made Faith in a Mass Market World, I was honored to introduce the talented author and musician and my friend by the name John J. Thompson.

photo credit to efharper

Having already performed at countless readings and workshops and talks about this particular gem of a read, John took a copy of his book and dove right into a section that perfectly explained the mission statement of said book. It immediately set a tone of honesty, deep conviction to the truth and faith in the good of people and our world in general, and put everyone in the building in a mood of love and acceptance to appreciate the moment (something that seems to escape a lot of us while surfing the net as of late). Again, point being, John reminded us all that we were at a safe place with East Side Storytellin’.

Like only a handful of the total 100 shows, John and our featured musician actually knew each other and have been dear friends for quite some time. Beyond their friendship, which I didn’t know about when first contacting them to commit, these two artists have crossed paths in musical and friend and religious and creative circles in and out of Nashville for decades. There was no doubt that the feeling of serendipity within this pairing was going to shine in several themes for me and others. In fact, when all was said and done for this show, I pretended to joke about it but I was serious when saying these two guys should come together every other Tuesday and do the same thing with different words and we’d write that off as everyone’s new church in this day and age. I know I’d attend religiously.

All that said, John recounted a story about Buddy Miller, a mutual friend of both artists, and a very cool story about finding the special twang in life, searching for something deeper and truer than ever imagined. John then went into one of the most delightful stories I’ve ever heard about asking for a father’s permission to marry a daughter and his first cup of coffee on the side (fitting for the family audience and The Post). As John read, I envisioned snapshots of the time I asked a father for permission to marry his daughter and I laughed, belly-laughed in fact, alongside other guys in the crowd who either have asked similar questions or might in the next year. It felt like a strong community meeting of like-minds and souls. It felt like baby bear soup, just right. And just like that, John was finished teasing his book for the night.

I first met our featured music of the night the night of the grand release of East Side Story’s Based On anthology project over at Belmont University. I had asked him, from the recommendation of a mutual Nashville creative, and he said yes and jumped on board through blind faith and the rest is part of my lucky history. This guy, like John, is also more than a musician and friend. He is a songwriter, producer, painter, published author, and all-around wonderful human being. He is a behind the scenes mover and shaker, as a band member for two of my favorites in Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller, along with many other respected artists as well. He has been a stellar, go-to session musician and songwriter for the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show, Garth Brooks, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and many many more.  Seriously, if I listed everyone who this guy has worked with or inspired, we’d be here for another 5 years. You ain’t got time for that. I was over the moon excited to finally introduce one of the best musicians in Music City, my compadre, the one and only Phil Madeira.

photo credit by efharper

I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard Phil play live, but if you have then you are already a big fan. To me, he sounds like your grandfather singing songs about life and death and everything in between on a Sunday afternoon from the front porch of an old farmhouse that he built (if you grandfather was one of the most authentic and prolific blues artists of our generation). His song, an old song, like John’s first story, was another perfect way to set up his set at hand. Everyone has an old friend, has had an old dog, and known their own version of love. Phil struck a chord and it resonated throughout the rest of his set.

After a trip down his own creation called Mercyland and a road trip about finding truth on a motorcycle and then changing his heart when it came to discovering a higher purpose in americana music, there came a time in between songs where Phil had to change his tune. Specifically, he had to tune his old guitar up to snuff. We were lucky John came to the rescue with an app that helped smooth that process and keep everyone in time. That’s what friends are for, right?

Phil told stories and prefaced the rest of each of his songs during said tuning. He dipped into a little bit of inspirational backstory in regards to a song he wrote about his “Christian” friends and hatred they had against Obama before he even took office back in the day, the beginning of a big personal change in his own life. I can’t say it enough how this evening of honesty and compassion displayed and relayed by Phil and John renewed hope and faith in more people than just myself in the crowd. You’ll hear it for yourself if you take a listen to the recording below.

Phil ended the session with two stellar songs that were different in content but similar in how amazingly good they are, like Phil always does.   From this Valley, Phil wrapped up a set that just two days prior he didn’t think he was gonna make it through. He, like many of us, had gotten sick from the change of weather and other things as of late. And timing would have it that because Phil found a way to prevail and come through with this gig, we are all better because of it.

When Phil put down his vintage guitar, I was fortunate to have he and John share the stage to discuss their personal journeys, individually and collectively, and how they came to make Nashville their home. The moments and lessons they shared went well beyond family, religion, politics, and everything else you’re not supposed to talk about at the dinner table, but it was perfect. I had a permanent grin throughout the interview because they are equally as comical as they are genuine and intelligent. And I’m pretty sure that everyone in the crowd went up to me and then Phil and John after the show to let them know that everything they said and sang hit close to home and was, and I quote, exactly what I needed to hear right now about EVERYTHING.

photo credit by Chance Chambers

This show was more than #100. It was an instant classic and a perfect representation of what I envisioned these nights could and should be even before we put together #1. I couldn’t have paired a more perfect pairing for this specific day and show. Again, I can’t say thank you enough to both John and Phil for sharing their time and talents and doing so so selflessly.

So before I give proper thanks to a few others, let me share with you the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 100, a show that featured the likes of John J. Thompson and Phil Madeira on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 at The Post. A night to remember, don’t forget to share this link with any and all friends and family and strangers you think would love this recording even half as much as I do. Thank you for sharing and caring.

You can read more of John’s writing here –  www.33andathird.net

You can listen to more of Phil’s music here – http://philmadeira.net

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’d like to give a shout out to Tonya and Chris for making The Post so welcoming and positively life-changing for the East Nashville community at large and to the compassionate staff who continues to stay open and work late so we have the time and place to have this kind of fun on Tuesday nights.

I’d also like to show much love to Clay Brunton for the beautiful artwork online to promote the show (as seen below).

art design by Clay Brunton

And speaking of prints and art designs, Clay has made about 90 designs for our shows so far. Another friend, Alex Smith, who made several of the first prints before putting his heart and soul into The A-Frame in our hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, had a very special February 7th, 2017 as well. He and his wife welcomed their first child, a mighty son by the name of Oliver Smith. Greatness will follow.

And speaking of following, I can’t help but call out a few other special friends who have made East Side Storytellin’ what it is to date. Whether it has been the likes of Jay Murphy and Steve Simpson who have attended the majority of shows so far and contributed photographs and recruited other friends to show up, or the alumnus and almighty Chance Chambers (we can’t start a show at this point without Chance in the crowd = fact). And I can’t forget to give a very special shout out to Meg and Bret. As I said in the very first show I hosted, they are the creative godparents of East Nashville. Without their love and support, nothing would be happening East of the Cumberland these days worth anything = another fact.

So with that group of gratitude expressed, now I have to say the biggest thanks to three people who have meant more to East Side Storytellin’ so far than any others. First, this is a collective 200+ people-in-one, I have to say thank you to every single featured artist who has graced the show. Second, I give the utmost love and respect to Tom Eizonas for helping record and edit and make this entire ship of a production come off as professional. He makes me sound better and like I know what I’m doing. And, last but certainly not least, I send everything else to my wife, my favorite artist and friend, Emily Harper Beard. She not only believes in my crazy ideas, but she also lets me get out there to do them (which was harder the past year with the presence of our own miracle in Avett Otis). With the help of this team of three going forward, East Side Storytellin’ is 100 deep and just getting started.

Okay, so I forgot one. I need to thank YOU. For anyone and everyone who has attended one or more of our shows so far (or read and listened to the recaps afterwards or shared the links online to help promote them), I say THANKS! These have been 100 of the most authentic, personal, and finest intimate creative shows I’ve ever witnessed anywhere. The love and attention to every featured guests is unmatched with any other show I’ve seen. These shows have marked the beginning of special friendships (such as the Shaffner family, in the crowd for #100) and a constant renewal of lifelong friendships (like the Woodall family, also in the crowd for #100), and everyone and every thing in between. THANK YOU!

Now … Our next show will be

East Side Storytellin’ 101

Tuesday, February 21st

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Sarah Hays Coomer (www.strengthoutsidein.com)

singing- Leah Blevins (www.leahblevinsmusic.com)

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 100 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. I repeat, please remember to be nice to one another rout there!

Much love,

mE

PS- one more shot of fun for the road

 

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Tom Eizonas, Alissa Abeler, Hanna Smith, Sally Harvey Anderson, and Chuck Beard

Tom Eizonas, Alissa Abeler, Hanna Smith, Sally Harvey Anderson, 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 91st epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 90, I repeat … 90, 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 East Side Storytellin’ 91. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night sometimes goes by the name Catfire Queen, but I first met her as the cool younger sister of one of the coolest teachers/students at Sewanee’s School of Letters. The next time I met her, two years to the very date of this show, she stormed through Music City and partied on the road while punching typewriter keys alongside her good friend and Upright Citizens Brigade companion, author/publisher Traci Lavois Thiebaud. This girl, not Traci, in between school and travels, recently managed to write and publish her first book of poetry by the title Nine Lives of Catfire (you can purchase a copy at East Side Story). Taking a night off of writing and working on her Master’s thesis at Belmont University, I was happy as all get out to finally introduce the likes of Ms. Catfire Queen herself, Sally Harvey Anderson!

91-reading-two

With a packed house of family, friends, classmates, and everything in between, Sally was more than read to take the stage. She not only had her mother in the crowd, she had an assortment of spirits to share with everyone of age and spirit. She carried her fresh notes and a copy of her latest book, and she took to the microphone like a pro. She jumped right into the work and didn’t stop. One of the coolest things about Sally’s work, at least for me, she is an artist who dives into some pretty deep, dark, and personal territory (like the Devil’s wife named Mavil-spell check?- or the demon game or experiencing her first menstrual cycle while on a family vacation in Europe … you know, things we can all obviously relate to) and then comes out the other side of the prose with a level of understanding, honesty, and positivity matched by few.

Before she took a break from the limelight, Sally took the opportunity to deliver two very powerful poems and a character to grow on. One was titled Fuck the 2nd grade, a tale inspired by a teacher that tried to tell her that there was no such thing as magic. The second, The Forms, was a political rant that could’ve easily been mistaken as a new song by Public Enemy in lieu of the political shit storm that we live in these days. She dropped the lyrics with a tempo and flare that few poets have thrown down on our show so far. And then, before sitting down, she gave us a glimpse of the inspirational protagonist from her soon to be finished thesis novella. I’ll let you take a listen to the recording below to get a good picture of everything Sally said.

Our featured music of the night is comprised of two northern-born songwriters who met on an island called Martha’s Vineyard in 2010. I first met and saw them open at an old-fashioned East Nashville house show for Dave of Good Wood Nashville. They played alongside one of my all-time favorite musical groups, dead or alive, and no, the band is not the Bon Jovi tribute band. I’m talking about The Rough & Tumble. Anyways, these two relocated to Nashville in 2011 and came up with their own band name. They are an Indie-Americana duo like few others, drawing from inspiration for songs both from their own experiences and the lives of people they around on a daily basis. Others have compared them to First Aid Kit and The Milk Carton Kids, but I think they’re better. It was truly an honor to introduce these two fine human beings, Hannah Smith and Alissa Abeler. Together, they rock the world as The Daily Fare!

These girls immediately jumped head and heart and instruments first into a song called Runaway. It was something so beautiful I don’t want to even talk about it and demean it with my unworthy adjectives. It’s not every show when Tom looks over to me mid-recording and says, “These girls can sing.” Tom said this to me at least three times. The Daily Fare is that good.

But not only are they very talented, they share a similar wit and humor to that of their creative counterparts in The Rough & Tumble as well. The opened up the discussion with the crowd to come up with a proper name suitable for one of their tracks that they have refused to play a lot in the past because they hated the original undisclosed name. Several in the crowd spoke up with suggestions after the song was played, and I believe they will finally be able to feel confident about naming that song and sharing it more often after this show’s performance. From the playing of the song without a name came another beautiful song that was so fresh off the dock that both thought for sure they were going to mess it up while playing it in public for the first time. Needless to say, they didn’t mess it up, at least not that I or anyone else could tell or know different. Seriously, these girls can sing (and harmonize like a choir).

You can’t tell from the picture above, the The Daily Fare was up to the idea of making this an extra special show from the start. They were open to Sally’s desire to bring a typewriter on stage and sit behind the music and to type original poetry inspired by the performance. They later said the typing calmed them and felt natural since they write most of their songs amidst the commotion of everyday life. Someone in the crowd mentioned that they didn’t even notice the typewriter cranking out prose until the band mentioned it at one point. Point being, it made a good show even better for all involved. I had another chance to ask the featured artists some personal questions about their craft and their creative adventures, and I felt that everyone had a blast, from the stage to the packed house where there was maybe one seat available in the entire lot. If you were there, you know what I’m talking about, and thanks for coming out.

photo by Chance Chambers

photo by Chance Chambers

So here it is, the edited recording without any F-bombs (sorry, you have to come to the show in person to get the unfiltered magic) of East Side Storytellin’ 91 that featured Sally Harvey Anderson and The Daily Fare at The Post on Tuesday, September 20, 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 Sally, Hannah, and Alissa for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more of Sally’s writing here – whatevermom.storenvy.com/products/15445650-nine-lives-of-catfire

You can listen to more of The Daily Fare’s music here – www.thedailyfaremusic.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 much love to Clay Brunton for the beautiful artwork online to promote the show.

art by Clay Brunton

art 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’ 92

Tuesday, October 4th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Blu Sanders 

singing- Andrew Ray Adkins 

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 91 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,

mE

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Nicole Johnson, Josh Johnson, Chuck Beard, C. Williams, and Tom Eizonas

Nicole Johnson, Josh Johnson, Chuck Beard, C. Williams, and Tom Eizonas

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU and hello again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially and whole-heartedly welcome you to the 80th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 79, I repeat … 79, 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. Unlike the other 79 shows before, this was a night when I was able to plan my all-time favorite birthday show to date. That’s right, back in 1980 (see the perfect symbolism of show #80 with 1980?), I was born on this day. So without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is the recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 80. Let us begin, again.

Our first featured artist of the evening is truly one-of-a-kind. She was born and raised in the last bit of the Appalachian foothills in North Alabama in a town called Guntersville – which is eyeball deep in beauty and surrounded in tragic history, Roll Tide. Never a slacker, she was a double major in education and fine arts at the University of Alabama, Roll Tide, where she walked on for the tennis team. After graduating, she worked as a cave guide, suicide crisis phone counselor, photo assistant to a world famous photographer, became a professional photographer herself, turned into a respected art director, and then became a successful independent production designer for music videos, TV, and independent films. She was asked to be the featured author this particular night because she has spent a lot of her time focusing on her creative writing as of late. She writes in her tiny storefront called C. Williams Writing Studio, located within the heart of the busy shoppEEs on Fatherland. Her fiction has appeared in The Louisville Review, Motif, Appalachian Heritage, Revolution John, and Still: The Journal. She is a 3-time Pushcart Prize nominee for her short stories and she’s currently knee deep in great screenplay adapted from one of those short stories. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m talking about the one and only C. Williams!

C was a little shy before going to the podium. Although she’d been to her fair share of East Side Storytellin’ shows in the past, I agreed with her that it would be a little different to be the focus of this show compared to others. That said, I told her she was going to kill and she didn’t disappoint. She opted to share three excerpts from three different short stories within one awesome collection she is in the process of putting together. She prefaced the reading by telling the audience that the entire collection takes place around a lake, a lake with a narcissistic personality disorder nonetheless. The focus of each story is heavily character-driven and C has a unique gift of creating some of the coolest characters and worlds you’ve ever read.

photo creed by Chance Chambers

photo creed by Chance Chambers

C’s stories, so you can keep tabs and make notes to research them later, after you listen to the excerpts in the recording below, were titled “My Green Liquid Sky,” “Chicken Shit Pistol,” and “Wolf Boy of Alabama.” The “Chicken Shit Pistol” tale was actually already published in 2014 Appalachian Heritage, in case you can’t wait for the finished collection to seek that one out and appreciate it for all its worth. But yeah, C not only helped set the mood and knowledge behind the things she was reading so that everyone could follow her magical journey without feeling lost, she did it all in such a great way that everyone could fully enjoy the stories and her creative fiction skills as equally as C’s comfortable command as a narrator of her work off the page as well. Like I said, C has a gift. She is highly intellectual and worldly experienced and one heck of a writer, and that is a combination that we need more of in this world.

As usual, I’ll leave it to the recording below to reveal the excellent fiction that was gifted to us during the show. I find that I’d rather let you discover these stories through the author’s voice instead of my words. That said, if you are inspired by C’s stories on the page and off after reading this or listening to the recording, you should definitely give her a visit at her studio as soon as you can. It, like this show, is well worth your time and trip.

Our featured musical group of the night is a classic story about a man from Knoxville who married a woman from Nashville. I was first introduced to this amazing and loving couple by our mutual friends and East Side Storytellin’ alumnus in Carolina Story (who just so happened to be in the crowd on this special occasion). I can honestly say that this booking had been a long time coming and I couldn’t ask for better music on a birthday than this. You’re all welcome. Seriously, these guys are, in my opinion, in the running for the top acts in Nashville and the tied for the two most authentic and talented married couples in the business. This is not an act. This is their life. You may have first seen them on the inaugural season of NBC’s The Voice or from another live performance near or far. If this is your first time to hear them, you are in for a treat like the cupcakes that we had on the table for the taking during this show (and although the cupcakes were sweet, these guys were even sweeter). They always find a way to beautifully blend tender melodies, lyrical motifs, and incandescent acoustic sounds to near perfection. Again, as of the things that I take the greatest pride and joy in with these shows, I was honored beyond words to introduce the likes of Josh and Nicole Johnson. Together they are called great parents, but, more relevant to this show, they go by the name Elenowen!

Josh and Nicole didn’t waste any time, and that had nothing to do with their child and babysitter being at home. They did what they do and they are who they are … they are artists who live and breathe their songs to life in a way that wow you, inspire you, relax you, and put your entire day and life into perfect perspective with every tune they drop on you. Their words and messages and melodies are woven together in such a way that make them appear simple to digest and feel, but that is where their magic is- on top of being extremely vocally talented like few others around. They don’t try to complicate their music with their style (two beautiful souls who wear their flaws on their sleeves = on this evening, it was a denim jacket button hitting a guitar throughout a song that Nicole called Josh out on after taking care of the situation with her own two hands) or be something bigger than what they naturally are together. As their child would agree, they are perfectly paired to create and deliver the kind of messages and music and life that any parent would be proud of sharing with their children.

Can you tell I’m a big fan of these guys? Take one listen to any of the tracks below in the recording and I’m fairly certain you will be equally as impressed. They not only blew everyone in the crowd away with their harmonies and passion, but they also have a balance of wit and humor and companionship and a realness that comes off effortlessly before and during and after they play their music. Like Carolina Story, these guys need to be heard by more than Music City at the moment. I know they’ll get there, and we are proud to do our part, but I suggest that you take a good listen to their music below. Then go to their website and buy a record for yourself. Then share the link and the records with your friends to help spread the love. This is the best way to ensure that the world is a better place.

photo cred by John Partipilo

photo cred by John Partipilo

Now, before I get off my positivity pedestal for the moment because you can obviously tell that I’ve been drunk off of all of the birthday love I received surrounding this wonderful show, I would like to thank all of the guests, from the featured artists to family and friends who packed the house for this show – for the art and artists involved, for our East Side Storytellin’ tradition, or for my birthday party, you guys and gals are the best. I was so appreciative of my wife for stealing the microphone from me and having other people sing “Happy Birthday” to me before we got started. It was my favorite intro to any show we’ve done yet and I am forever grateful for the love and support and relationships involved behind and in front of the scenes this round.

80 crowd

But before I leave you with the recording, I’ll say one more time how great it was to have the featured guests join me in the end to casually talk about their creative processes and creative journeys with their art. Josh and Nicole shared their very personal and sometimes rocky road (speaking of settings and dungeons and reality show tv hiccups and not gossipy relationship stuff, of course) that has gotten them to where they are today and primed for a positive future going forward. And C, Cyndi in my book, I think she nailed it when she spoke about the importance of creativity in the world we live in today and how it can too often be underappreciated and undervalued towards our society and progress for humanity going forward. I paraphrased a bit, but take a listen for yourself and let me know if you agree half as much as I do with her. Point being, these guys are some of the best.

photo creed by John Partipilo

photo creed by John Partipilo

So, before I let you go, know that all of the birthday cupcakes you will hear me talk about over and over again throughout the recording have been eaten at this point. As always, you should’ve been there. Sure, this show was standing room only. But, you still should’ve been there. I hope to see you at the next one(s). Because you missed this one in person, or if you were there and just want to hear it again and share with all your friends, here is the recording of East Side Storytellin’ #80 that featured the likes of C. Williams and Elenowen at The Post on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016:

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

You can read more about C. Williams’ writing here- www.facebook.com/c.williamswriterstudio

You can listen to more of Elenowen’s music here – www.elenowen.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 Words Tab – 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.

art print by Clay Brunton

art print by Clay Brunton

Also, I’d like to give a shout out to Tonya and Chris for making The Post so welcoming and positively life-changing for the East Nashville community at large.

Also, also, I want to give one giant e-hug to my parents, Roy and Mary Anne Beard, for making me happen. I could not have asked for two better human beings to call my parents.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my wife again for being her but also for bringing my new best friend, Avett Otis Beard, to this world and special occasion. He has my eyes, but he has your heart. And, as you can see from the picture below, he has great taste in the people he smiles with and the music he grooves too.

Avett Otis Beard playing it cool in the arms of a rockstar, Nicole Johnson of Elenowen

Avett Otis Beard playing it cool in the arms of a rockstar, Nicole Johnson of Elenowen

Our next show will be

East Side Storytellin’ 81

Tuesday, April 19th 

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- James C. Floyd (http://beaboutchange.org/forgive)

singing- Jadea Kelly (www.darthjadea.com)

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 80 and another fabulous event at The Post with East Side Story at the helm. This birthday party was so amazing and totally made up for any other planned birthday party that may or may not have been cancelled when Chuck E. Cheese’s left Bowling Green before one of my birthday parties as a child or any of the others when everyone was on spring break and not at my party (I know … woe is me, right?). 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,

mE

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