Ciona Rouse

Shane Tutmarc, Dave Eastman, Dana Malone, 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 5th anniversary and 118th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 117, I repeat … 117, 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’ 118. Let us begin, again.

Our first featured artist of the evening is as Nashville as you can be without being born here. She has been living and writing here since 1990. After a full-time career as a publications editor, PR director, and speechwriter, then teaching writing at TSU and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, she has produced podcast series before it was the cool thing for everyone to do, and she has been one of the biggest supporters of all local writing programs and writers alongside Chance Chambers. She currently co-hosts Writings on the Wall with our fellow favorite muse in Ciona Rouse, and she was featured to share some of her original work for a change. I could talk for days about her accomplishments, but I just let her work do the talking. I’m talking about my very talented friend, Dana Malone!

photo by @davidrobertfarmerie

Dana knew what she wanted to get across and she dove right into her words. She explained that she would read from parts of a personal creative essay and then finish with an excerpt from a poem. The passage from the essay she threw us into was all about her Appalachian roots. She painted such a bright and vivid and original painting of her life with characters and scenes that literally came alive after being spoken and lit up the room like Christmas. Some of my favorite lines were when she talked about digging her hands in the Appalachian mud and having that provide the fuel for divinity school and other things left undone and also when she compared the movie Carrie and being covered with pig’s blood with that of religious cleansing … something obviously written by a man.

photo by @davidrobertfarmerie

Seriously though, it was a biographic escapade like view I’ve seen with my eyes and mind open. The pace was fast and frantic but perfect at the same time. She kept us on the edge of our seats with imagery, action, and personal depth & grace. There were lessons to be shared and learned, and who can’t relate to the thought that no good mother wants her child to burn in hell? I mean, this girl was on fire. She closed her set with a poem that relayed the fact that love is enough. Again, my words can’t really give Dana’s words justice. Take a listen to the recording below.

Our featured music of the night is a Seattle born Nashvillian who is a singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist who has already appeared once on the East Side Storytellin’ stage alongside his life muse Tanya Montana, but was primed to help promote his latest creation of awesome. He is someone who, like Dana, is always smiling and helping others become better artists, friends, and humans in general, by being supportive and himself. His most recent creative project was brought forth from a painful place, like most great art, it seems. After grieving the loss of his best friend, this guy found solace in creating these new songs. Most people know him as Shane Tutmarc, but this night we referred to him as Solar Twin.

photo by @davidrobertfarmerie

To preface this music and this set, the original Solar Twin project is filled with multiple layers of sounds, melodies, instruments, loops, and vocals. For this given set, it was just Shane and his guitar. He told the crowd that he had put off my invitation to be on this show and this format for months because he didn’t know if he could pull it off just right in his heart and mind. I’m telling you right now, he did. He started with a song about being tired of waking up, and on the 5th anniversary that not only marked a time before the chaos now when we started our first show 5 years ago on a very different US Election night … it matched the mutual feeling a lot of people are having right now with politics and world news in general. It’s been a tidal wave of a year so far. I was thankful to have Shane and Dana begin the transition of 2017 into the next year.

photo by @davidrobertfarmerie

Shane spoke in detail about the way he wrote each song in this project versus prior records. He made things simple and relatable. As I sat and heard the way he gently sank his vocals into small scream-like melodies to emphasize the words and the melodies, he reminded me of two legends who I musically appreciate more than most. Take a listen to the sounds of Shane’s voice, and you too may be able to hear the song-child of a young Kurt Cobain and young John Lennon. It takes a skill that few have to change their voice in that tone to reach that emotion and frailty but at the same time coming through as a life force to be reckoned with and noticed. Shane has that magic about him and his music. He is thoughtful, articulate, passionate, and skillful enough to make his wondrous ideas into beautiful and fragile realities. One big example, as he discussed for the final song, was writing and performing a song for a documentary about the heroine epidemic in his hometown of Seattle. It will make you cry sad tears for the subject matter and happy tears for the beauty of the song at the same time. Again, Shane has that magic.

photo by Chance Chambers

I forgot to mention that my main man, the original voice of WAMB, Sir Dave Eastman, was on hand in the crowd to open this special occasion and to witness another round of awesome that we’ve put together. I can’t say enough great things about the 5 years and over 250 local artists who have shared the stage with Tom and me … sharing their creative gifts, stories, and doing it all with fearlessness and honesty seldom matched in any other show I’ve ever been to in person. This special night and round was no different. Shane and Dana took the time to follow up their reading/singing with a few candid moments of answering some personal questions I dished their way. There was a common theme of salvation between the art that both of them shared, and that same message of salvation was evident when they spoke to me beyond the page and guitar.  I don’t want to spoil the answers and art for you, so go ahead and listen to the show in the link below so you know what I’m talking about. Again, as always, I felt humbled and blessed.

I hope to see y’all at the next 5 years of shows coming up. We are just getting started with this idea.

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

Here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 118, the night we featured Dana Malone & Solar Twin at The Post East on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Please feel free to listen to and share it with everyone you know, over and over again.

You can listen to more of Solar Twin’s music here – solartwinmusic.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



And speaking of other shows, here is a special compilation compiled by Tom Eizonas that features at least one song from each show we produced in the 5th year of this show’s being (shows 97-117, to be exact). As before, feel free to explore each of these tracks and shows from hence they came, over and over again. Many thanks to each and every artist who has donated their time and talents to this idea so far. Like I said before, we are just getting started. 

photo by Chance Chambers

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 like to give one huge shout out to Tonya and Chris for making The Post so welcoming and positively life-changing for the East Nashville community at large.

But how can I forget the include a picture of my trusty roadie crew of Steve Simpson and Chance Chambers. They have made more shows than anyone not named Chuck or Tom, and they are not only always engaged and supporting us by recruiting countless friends on and off-line to attend these shows too, they also help me break down the set so I can get more quality time at home with my family than if I had to do so by myself. They are as kind and true of friends as a person could ever have, and I get to call them my own. They are like brothers, and they are amazing. I just wanted to give a special thanks to them as well. The show is what it is because of you two too. Here’s to many many more, together.

Chance, Steve, and Chuck = the crew.

Our next show will be

East Side Storytellin’ 119
Tuesday, November 21st
at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm
reading- Ashley Roth
singing- Dale J. Gordon

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 118 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

one more shot of Solar Twin and me for the road, because we finally made it happen.

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Molly Parden, Chuck Beard, Patricia Alice Albrecht, and Tom Eizonas

Molly Parden, Chuck Beard, Patricia Alice Albrecht, 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 95th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 94, I repeat … 94, 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’ 95. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is a writer whose fiction and poetry has appeared in more literary anthologies and publications that I could list in an hour. She never pigeon holes her prose or ideas into one particular concept. Her chapbook The Value of Sacrifice deals with the theme of healing from breast cancer. In The Shade of A Forest deals with young motherhood. She’s had CD’s of her poetry recorded and one, A Touch of Pizzazz was recorded for fans of the internally syndicated cartoon series JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS (which she played the antagonist, Pizzazz). She has read at Writings On The Wall, Poetry in the Brew, Lyrical Brew, the Global Education Center, Poetree with The Porch, and now she can add East Side Storytellin’ to the growing list. I’m talking about the one and the only Patricia Alice Albrecht.

Patricia is like dynamite. She is petite in size, but she blows up the joint with awesome words and ideas when she is on fire. Right from the first word, she was on fire. Patricia gave some love to the show and everyone in the crowd before diving into a plethora of powerful poems that resonated heavily with her father’s influence. It wasn’t mentioned out loud, but Patricia told me before the show that it was serendipitiously the anniversary of the passing of her father and that she rarely publicly shares some of the more meaningful poems inspired from her father’s relationship … but she planned on it for this special occasion. We were all honored by the gifts she shared. Whether the poems had originated from creative prompts about owls, abundance, the last of the toothpaste, famous quotes (like “What is the poem underneath the poem” or Joseph Campbell’s, “When the world is falling apart, keep to your own trajectory, hang on to your own ideals and find kindred spirits”), Patricia was spot on. Without talking about the election, she, like most artists in this city so far, spoke with her actions. By sharing her work, she embodied JFK’s eulogy for Robert Frost, “When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” Point being, I wasn’t alone in the room feeling cleansed by the original work by Patricia.

Our featured music of the night is a mutual friend of one of our favorite alumni in Erin Rae and we were over the moon excited to hear her do her thing. Her 2011 release, Time is Medicine, like all of her music, reveals beautifully crafted melodies and angelic refrains that attract followers from fans and fellow musicians near and far. Like the publishing record of our featured author, our featured musician has had more impressive creative collaborations than I could list in an hour. Hailing from Georgia, we are proud to call her a Nashvillian and finally have her be a part of our East Side Storytellin’ show. It didn’t matter if she forgot her guitar strap at home, she was ready to get on her high stool and share her songs. I’m talking about the extremely talented songbird Molly Parden.

Molly is very shy by nature. She told the audience that she is everything Southern … she writes songs slowly, she processes life slowly, but she knocks the socks off everyone she sings in front of immediately. On this specific date, songs like Kentucky Eye, Weather, and I Know You Can hit me right to the core. They reminded me of my home state formative years, with past friends and memories living and dead. Molly has an extraordinary gift of taking simple words and melodies and transforming them into something so beautiful it could bring anyone to tears. And, more striking than anything else, she sings so eloquently so easily and seemingly effortlessly. You need to go see her perform live to know what I’m talking about. In the end of the set, Molly smiled as she said that she saved her saddest song for last. That made everyone laugh. Then, when she sang it, everyone was silent and in tune with her message. It was really something to behold.

I was grateful to yet again have the opportunity to casually talk to both featured artists to shed light on their background and motivation for creating art and doing their things. We made Molly laugh. We got stellar insight into the fan world of JEM and The Holograms (“Shut up, pigface!”). We had a great time with great company of friends and family and new people all around.

I must say something else. I know that this election was hard for everyone. The election and everything surrounding it has left us all in a daze and quite a funk. Sure, the super moon didn’t help with that feeling, but I feel like I wasn’t alone (being redundant here) when I say that the combination of Patricia and Molly’s art soothed the nature of the ill vibes circulating and permeating our worlds online and off. It certainly was a cure for all that ailed me recently. And if for that reason alone,  I’m so excited to be able to share it with you below in the recorded form.

So here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 95 that featured Patricia Alice Albrecht and Molly Parden  at The Post on Tuesday, November 15, 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 Patricia and Molly for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more of Patricia’s writing here – http://patriciaalicealbrecht.com

You can listen to more of Molly’s music here – www.mollyparden.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

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.

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 95 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

Our next show will be

East Side Storytellin’ 96

Tuesday, December 6th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading-Leanne Smith (www.leannewsmith.com)

singing- The Arcadian Wild (www.thearcadianwild.com)

a candid shot of Patty directing fan traffic caught by our good friend and artist Patrick Shaffner

a candid shot of Patty directing fan traffic caught by our good friend and artist Patrick Shaffner

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Chuck Beard, Drew Kohl, Kiely Schlesinger, Matt Johnstone, and Tom Eizonas

Chuck Beard, Drew Kohl, Kiely Schlesinger, Matt Johnstone, 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 87th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 86, I repeat … 86, 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’ 87. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is a poet and an artistic activist (meaning he helps spark inspiration in others to not only talk but to do things creatively all over town and beyond). Online, he articulates his thoughts on poetry and Nashville and where the two intersect, on a blog titled hemouthsmewrong.blogspot.com. Offline, he coordinates and hosts the monthly poetry readings that are at least one visiting poet and one local poet reading an hour’s worth of poetry called E t A l Poetry Readings. But he doesn’t stop there. He co-edits the sporadic web-journal ‘Pider, and does his own thing too. He is the author of the full-length collection Let’s be close Rope to mast you, Old light’ and chapbooks ‘o n e’ and ‘Note on Tundra’. I’m talking about the word maestro of Nashville himself, the one and only Matt Johnstone (exclamation mark)!

Matt had his cell phone in one hand and a cold beer in the other. He knew exactly what he was doing. He declared that he had some poems that he wanted to read and others that he needed to read, and he told the crowd to figure out which were which. Nothing like an artist who lays down the bravado and a contest for all to get involved with their art before they start the show. I loved it.

One funny thing that happened from reading from his phone instead of from memory or papers on the podium, nobody had a good idea of when to show some love and clap in appreciation for sharing each individual poem because we didn’t know if he was finished with the poem or making dramatic pauses while scrolling on his phone. It wasn’t a flaw in the performance nor did this fact take away from his wonderful words. On the contrary, the major solo applauses that Tom Eizonas dished out during every secondary pause in the reading totally made Matt feel appreciated as he smiled and told the crowd, “Thank you, YOU.” I know Tom and everyone around us loved it.

But yeah, Matt spoke about truths and current events all-life encompassing. He talked about cops, LeBron James needing to revitalize the Akron University Press, the depth of responsibility and connectedness within the current use of the word “I” in modern poetry, and many other things that made me feel smarter in general and more aware of how someone who has a skill of articulating just the right words at the right time can honestly change everything. Matt Johnstone has those skills, and we are all better off for being around him and listening to what he has to share.

In an attempt to follow the magic of Matt’s words, we went big. I’m talking about bringing out the figurative cake and candles and decided to feature someone with a big birthday. Quasi-sponsored by our fine, mutual John friends who own and run The Beer Pale and Wingfield’s Cleaning Service, respectively, this birthday gig was also one of the first major literary/music events for the likes of my son’s dear friend Colin Wesley Craver. As you can see, he thought the show was finger-lickin’ good, taking it all in with his mom and dad. We are grateful for kids of all ages who attend our shows.

Our featured musician and man with a birthday this show day is a folk singer-songwriter from Athens, Georgia who does way more than play a guitar and sing a few songs. Drawing influences from some of my favorites in The Avett Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show, to name two, he writes and performs an acoustic blend of bluegrass, folk, and country music. Last year, he recorded an EP titled Sweetheart-a bluegrass driven folk record of twangy love songs. Playing alongside a very talented friend and singer by the name of Kiely Schlesinger, it was perfect timing to give attention and love to the likes of my good buddy Drew Kohl.

Drew and Kiely wasted no time getting everyone in the mood to put on dancing shoes with a tune that was literally called Dancing Shoes. Luckily, before most of us could get out of our chairs to dance and try to keep up with their beat, Drew and Kiely slowed down the next few songs to some of the most poignant and introspective ballads I’ve heard in quite some time. Each song had a ton of raw emotions and backstories mixed into lines and melodies that we could all relate with in our own lives and personal backgrounds. Most of them had a knack for leading with general lines that involved sadness, but Drew turned everything around by the end and made those initial, simple lines into something with more depth than first imagined. Plus, it sounded great.

Between Drew’s lead vocals and the way Kiely lifted up the material and added a beautiful fierceness and grit to the stories, the pairing of them both together just fit so nicely. Whether it was a funky cover of The Ramones with a country twang, or a love song that hit you straight to your heart, these two know how to make a song come to life.

So after the music ended, Kiely took a seat and let the three amigos take to the two mics on sight and talk about some things. It was a fun, flexible interview where I enjoyed listening to each of their takes on their journeys so far and also mixing things up while asking each other questions when they were looking for tangent lines to connect between their two highly creative worlds. And as much as I enjoy and admire both of these artists as artists, I also love to hear more about how each of these people spend so much time and energy to help others in the short time they call spare time in their everyday lives. There are many reasons why people like Matt Johnstone and Drew Kohl have such dedicated fans and friends who go to great lengths to support their art. We were lucky to recognize several of those reasons by experiencing their craft and insightful conversations firsthand at The Post.

Here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 87, featuring Matt Johnstone and Drew Kohl (with Kiely Schlesinger) at The Post on Tuesday, July 19th, 2016. Enjoy and share over and over again, as you wish:

So before I say goodbye for this round of fun, I’d like to give a big round of thanks, once again, for Matt Johnstone and Drew Kohl and Kiely Schlesinger for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more of Matt’s writing here – hemouthsmewrong.blogspot.com

You can listen to more of Drew’s music here – drewkohl.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.

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’ 88

Tuesday, August 2nd

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Barry Jones (www.barryjonesstories.com)

singing- Woodferd – aka Peter McKeown (woodferdmusic.com)

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 87 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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Tom Eizonas, Jon Latham, Joshua Moore, and Chuck Beard

Tom Eizonas, Jon Latham, Joshua Moore, 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 85th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 84, I repeat … 84, 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’ 85. Let us begin, again.

You may not know this but our first featured artist of this show is Black Batman. I’m not kidding, but let’s keep that secret … or not. He is also a 2014 graduate of Eureka College where he studied creative writing and biology pre-med. Recipient of the Ronald W. Reagan Fellowship, he had a brief stint as an oncological researcher at the legendary Tuskegee University, but decided to put his med school goals on hold in order to follow his heart … and his passion for creative writing and poetry specifically. He is not only a member at the Porch Writers’ Collective, he’s also the head facilitator of their Poetry Book Club. He typically spends most days working, writing, reading, and prepping his grad-school applications and his post grad self. A world traveling poet and professional, we are honored and ecstatic to finally introduce this man to the East Side Storytellin’ family. Please give your attention and a big round of applause for the likes of Joshua Moore.

photo credit by Chance Chambers

photo credit by Chance Chambers

Joshua took to the mic without any pages to read from. He wore his original words on his heart and his heart on the sleeves of his traditional attire. His clothes, his words, his tone, and his stories were all beautiful. It’s not every day when Tom Eizonas is sitting next to me and mentions that this writer really has a wonderful speaking talent, but it happened on this night. It’s true. You’ll hear Joshua’s voice and smooth delivery in the recording below, but it had me thinking of how to describe his reading experience while I was listening in the front row. The best way I could come up to describe it was that he had a voice of a dream. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not speaking in cliches and saying Joshua’s voice is dreamy and leaving it at that. What I am saying is that the smooth delivery and depth of emotion and personal stories involved within the layers of Joshua’s poems are like what I imagine traveling through dreams would be like. I may be rambling, but take a listen below and let me know how you would describe the reading.

Joshua prefaced each of his five poems with detailed accounts of where they came from and what he believed inspired him to write them. The first couple were about family, history, and society. None of them were happy or cheery, but all were very insightful into how this artist views and connects the world.

Before leaving the stage, Joshua talked a little bit about his work with The Porch and also about his fun with poetry on demand. Again, I’ll let him explain himself in the recording, but I thought everything he shared, inside and out of his creative writing, was simply amazing. They way he presented his material and the material itself, is something quite extraordinary to experience and behold. I suggest you read more of his stuff and make it a point to hear it read live as frequently as possible.

Our featured musician, like everyone we’ve had on this show before, is a very talented singer/songwriter. Unlike everyone else who has been on the show before him, he was born in Greenwood, South Carolina and raised in Marietta, Georgia. He believes that a song is more important than the singer and the audience is the judge, jury, and executioner who decide a song’s fate. Let’s pardon this guy and give his music a real chance to be fully appreciated and loved, shall we? I was tremendously honored and humbled to introduce the one and only Jon Latham.

photo credit by Chance Chambers

photo credit by Chance Chambers

Jon jumped right into his ballad about a classmate in 5th grade named Katie Rutledge. What sounded like a short story of an introduction turned into a killer tune that reflected just how cool the combination of love and love loss and rock ‘n roll can be. But that kind of embodies what Jon Latham is about. He mentioned at one point that his songs resemble books by Nicholas Sparks – meaning every Nicholas Sparks book is a Nicholas Sparks book. But, although Jon is a fan of Mr. Sparks’ work, I don’t think I’m alone in being a huge fan of Jon and thinking he is much better than the former mentioned. I know, at the very least, that Darrin Bradbury would think so because he has been parading around town for quite some time declaring Jon Latham the greatest songwriter in Nashville today. I wouldn’t object.

Jon’s stories before and during the songs perfectly matched the tone of Joshua’s poetry, in my mind. Jon made cultural references to other song titles and performances he has been lucky to experience and transformed them into something new and fresh and songs that felt like they were instant hits and yet old classics at the same time. My personal favorites were when he made the comment about “that was audience participation” and also the Billy Ocean reference. There is not enough references for Billy Ocean these days.

But seriously, Jon eventually did get the audience to participate with his final song, singing together and chanting in rhythm as if we were in the middle of Ascend Amphitheater singing along with The Lumineers. Beyond Jon talking about his experiences of trials and tribulations with his past in love in regards to bad dating and bad health, the golden ticket with Jon is the bright light of humanity that shines through from his endurance, honesty, and ability to transform any shitty experience (i.e.- cheating death in the hospital and dreaming of an ex-girlfriend singing Bob Dylan that turns out to be his dad playing Bob Dylan tunes beside his bed when he finally wakes up) into brilliant music and stories we can all relate to and deeply appreciate. Point being, he walks the walk, talks the talk, and sings the truth like few I’ve encountered.

Before I let these two great artists leave the stage, I had them articulate a little more about what makes them tick with their creativity and their creative journeys and friends and family within Nashville. I particularly loved Jon’s quote about how now he feels more like Nashville has become his home when he’s away even more than his original hometown. Again, I can’t object to that because it is the same for me in a lot of ways and I have many people like Joshua and Jon to thank for said feeling. Both of these guys will continue to make an indelible mark on Nashville’s creative scene for many years to come, but I am beyond thankful I had the chance to see them do their thing at the same bat time and the same bat channel. Take a listen below and check it out for yourself.

So here it is, the edited version of East Side Storytellin’ 85, featuring the poems of Joshua Moore and the songs of Jon Latham at The Post on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016. Prepare to have your mind, body, and soul blown away and put back together again better than ever. Trust me. You’re welcome. Enjoy the ride:

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

You can listen to more of Jon’s music here – www.reverbnation.com/jonlatham

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 print by Clay Brunton

art print 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’ 86

Tuesday, July 5th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay (www.facebook.com/lagnajitam)

singing- Matt Walberg (thelivingsituation.com)

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 85 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

one more of Jon shining bright for the road

one more of Jon shining bright for the road

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Joseph Powell, NIck Flora, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

Joseph Powell, NIck Flora, 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 71st epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 70 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 the East Side Storytellin’ 71. Let us begin, again.

Special side note- Gotta love the first appearance for the annual new introduction to our East Side Storytellin’ series. You may catch a small CHUCKle with this show’s intro in the recording below because I was totally taken back by the sitar solo. Anyone who comes regularly to the show knows about the ongoing conversation between Tom Eizonas and Chance Chambers and their mutual love for the sitar (and George Harrison). That said, on with the show!

The first featured guest of the night is a poet and writer and the author of 3 collections of poetry: Joby, Uninterrupted: Bittersweet Symphonies and Bohemian Rhapsodies (1989-2009), Poetry Man, and The Writing’s On The Wall (of which you can buy your copy of each at East Side Story later). He is the creator and author of the blog, The Joby Chronicle. Originally from sweet home Chicago, he relocated to Nashville last year via Burbank, California. He holds a BA in Communications from Greenville College in Illinois and boy does this
guy know how to communicate his art and words with the best of them. He has performed at a number of venues around the country including the Austin International Poetry Festival, The Tuscon Festival of Books, and locally at Ciona Rouse’s wonderful Lyrical Brew and Poetry in the Brew among others. Featured in the PBS/National Geographic documentary called “Skin” in 2002, I was honored to have him featured on our show at last. Ladies and gentleman, I’m talking about the likes of Mr. Joseph Powell!

Joseph was the first author that requested to put the podium to the side of the stage. He sat his set list of poems on the stool to his left and jumped right into his spoken word. Beginning with the title Riding the Coltraine, Joseph’s voice and tone was entrancing. It took everyone in the place on a journey, a powerful ride, through his personal experiences twisted with a deep sense of cultural creativity from time long past bridged to the current. Joseph did a tremendous job of articulating repetitive phrases at just the right moment to get everyone in tune with where he was guiding us and it was quite the mental trip.

Joseph followed up the powerful intro with one that knocked me off my feet in Blood on the Grass. It also combined an extreme awareness and creative twist on several current events involving race and society in general. So where do you go after delivering back-to-back powerhouse poems? Joseph went back to his original inspirations, first with a poem dedicated to Maya Angelou and then to his fiancé (his “SUN”) and then to his favorite singer of all-time in Donny Hathoway. All three of those poems were the perfect rising crescendo to his finale titled Because. Joseph explained that it is the ultimate ode to why he writes. He then went on to repeat the words I write because … and every sing reason he shared had a direct impact on me and everyone else that heard it from the crowd. The emotion even spilled out a little bit from the stage as Joseph got personal for a second and it was much appreciated from all. It was truly an amazing performance and experience. Thank you, Joseph!

photo by Chance Chambers

leaving it all out on the stage – photo by Chance Chambers

And then it was time for the music.

The featured musician of the night is someone who is part of the few and proud who actually hails from Nashville, TN. Partially true in that statement, this guest came from the small city of Arkadelphia, Arkansas (being 1 of about 10,000 to claim that label) and then literally “hailed” his way into town during a great hail storm about 8 years ago. That said, writing and recording his specific brand of alterna-pop for the better part of a decade, he is known for weaving quick wit with elemental truths in song that speak to the core of the human condition, like a great poet. Aside from performing live and recording great songs, this cat has cultivated quite the online community of fans that have come to expect the unexpected. He started the podcast called WHO WRITES THIS STUFF in late April 2011 to showcase some of the great talent that he’s constantly surrounded by living in Nashville, including artists in all mediums. Hosting several mutual friends of this show, the talented Erin Rae to name one of our favorites, I believe he has already hit our dream mark with over 100 episodes for you to peruse online after you digest this show. Back to this show though, this guy was more than ready to showcase some of his favorites from his recent release titled Futureboy and more – boasting a bold step forward with a sound that’s fresh and familiar. Everyone, please take note of this man and iconic artist in the one and only Nick Flora!

Nick, not accustomed to sitting down in a chair or being without his guitar strap to hold up his instrument of choice, was like a cat on a leash … he couldn’t sit still. That said, he managed to funnel all of his energy and spunk into his witty commentary and music. I honestly believe, and it was confirmed by my wife after the show, that Nick had the most perfect musical storytellin’ set we have witnessed to this point. Combining his insightful songs with his equally brilliant back stories to set them up in the first place, Nick would have taken us anywhere in the world and everyone would have gladly followed.

Nick and I briefly talked about some of our mutual friends who had played East Side Storytellin’ and who they resembled both vocally and appearance-wise, and it was such a treat to take in Nick’s performance and think of other musicians I admire who he showed glimpses of during the show. At times, his style and delivery reminded me of a young Randy Newman paired with one of my all-time favorites in Colin Hay (came to find out Colin has appeared on Nick’s podcast!) Seriously, Nick Flora is that great, y’all.

photo by Chance Chambers

photo by Chance Chambers

Whether he was singing a song about conventional relationship break-up terms being twisted into a tale of a 1920’s bank robbery pair going down or singing about another close friend who gives up music every now and then when he realizes he’s not going to be the biggest thing since sliced bread or talking about a song written in the perspective of a person who nobody likes and how they deal with that going forward, Nick was AWEsome! And as great as the first few songs were, it kept on getting better. Nobody gets out clean spoke volumes and Futureboy pretty much sealed our pop culture (movie, time travel, and battles with nostalgic memories at all times) friendship moving forward. I was not the only one who was profoundly present and in the moment when Nick decided to disregard an old song, come out for his encore as the crowd requested, and play a new holiday song called Evergreen that set the mood for the upcoming best time of the year for my household. Like Joseph’s wonderful delivery, Nick finished the night repeating the soothing phrase of repeat the sound in joy and it was definitely felt close to heart by all. Again, THANK YOU, Nick!

After the music stopped, I had Joseph and Nick back on stage and it, like the entire show in general, was so smooth and fun for all. We matched wits and laughs and even got a little bit deep without ever taking ourselves too seriously. And isn’t that what art and life is about during these chaotic times more than others? Yes. The answer is yes. I know you are going to listen to the recording below, but please take note of the middle part of the talks when each took the torch the other was passing and blended a beautiful conversation about the process of creating from the three levels of the self to the greater world at large to the other people we are fortunate to be close to in our lives who are practicing artists. Trust me. It will make more sense when you hear the below recording, but I’ll just say that once again I felt even better about the day, my life, and our world after experiencing East Side Storytellin’ with the likes of two more featured guests like this pair offered together. There is no formula for these pairings, but it feels so good when it always works out just right.

So with that, I hope you enjoy the following recording of East Side Storytellin’ 71. It all took place on Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 at 7pm at The Post with featured guests Joseph Powell and Nick Flora. It was quite the pair and quite the evening. Enjoy this recording and share with others over and over. Thank YOU!

Before I say goodbye for this round of fun, I’d like to give a big round of thanks for Joseph Powell and Nick Flora for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more about Joseph Powell‘s writing here- http://jobychronicle.blogspot.com

You can listen to more of Nick Flora‘s music here- www.nickflora.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.

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …


East Side Storytellin’ 72

Tuesday, December 1st

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Melissa Gordon

singing- Glen Martin (http://glenmartinmusic.com)

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 71 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

photo by Chance Chambers

one more for the road – photo by Chance Chambers

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East Side Storytellin’ 51: The night Tiana and Deli shared their lives and changed ours

December 28, 2014

Thank YOU for visiting this page, hello, and welcome to another spectacular edition of East Side Storytellin’. Because we are counting and we make every single one count, it’s important for me to remind you that this is our 51st show! Like the 50 previous shows we’ve put together from East Side Story, we’ve all […]

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East Side Storytellin’ 45: The night Leslie, Taylor, and the weather made us all feel better

September 24, 2014

Hello everyone, and welcome to another great round of East Side Storytellin’.  Similar to the 44 previous shows we’ve put together from East Side Story, we’ve come together here to get you cultured up just right in the form of a local Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing […]

Read the full article →

East Side Storytellin’ 44: When Ciona & Amita left every one a poet and a better person

September 6, 2014

Hello everyone, and welcome to another great round of East Side Storytellin’. Similar to the 43 previous shows we’ve put together from East Side Story, we’ve come together here to get you cultured up just right in the form of a local Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing […]

Read the full article →

East Side Storytellin’ 43: When over 40,000 screaming Nashvillians missed out on the best show in town

August 20, 2014

Hello everyone, and welcome to another great round of East Side Storytellin’.  Similar to the 42 previous shows we’ve put together from East Side Story, we’ve come together here to get you cultured up just right in the form of a local Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing […]

Read the full article →