Houston

JP Lilliston, Tom Eizonas, Jerry Hager, Joe Nolan, Chuck Beard, and Joel Lain

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 recap and recording of the 115th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 114, I repeat … 114, 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’ 115. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is a Houston, Texas native who now is a Nashvillian inside and out. He is a devout student of short long form, reads and writes and works in various times and spaces aggregating around Nashville. He has several cats, most of which have dirty, unrepeatable names, but he is not a crazy cat person. That said, he said that the cats often talk to him in his sleep and often read old recipes from various Franco-American cookbooks published in the 70’s. His parole officer’s name is Jeff. That said, this man gave one of the most inspiring readings I’ve ever witnessed inside and out of East Side Story. Inside and out, put your hands together and give a big round of applause for the one, the only, Joel Lain.

Joel was fairly and appropriately amped up just right after bringing a few cold brews and some really hot takes with him to The Post on such a special occasion. We spoke before the show about his recent changes in writing goals in terms of style, time, and taking a stab at his first full-length novel adventure. Hot off the first draft press, Joel had the first two chapters in tow. And wouldn’t you know, Joel also had his fancy character accents and passionate expressions on hand too (as seen in the photos below).

Whether it was a spot on Cajun accent or an older man or something I couldn’t even catch the reference because I was laughing so hard WITH him and the others fully enjoying this story and trip he was taking us on, Joel knows how to captivate a crowd and connect with anyone he is around. He has so many gifts with words and stories, and I always love listening to whatever he shares with us.

The first chapter was set in a hospital with a multitude of characters who were searching answers, truth, trust, and the lighter side of life in the middle of chaos and a major rush of urgency. Sound exciting? Well, yes it was. The words were read at a pace that kept you running closely behind every syllable that Joel dropped for us to follow. Then, taking a hard right turn into chapter 2, Joel jumped head and voice and accent first into an interview in the country with the likes of one of the most original characters I’ve ever heard. This is one of those times in the recap where I will defer to the pictures of the facial expressions and the audio from the recording below for you to truly grasp the magic Joel is creating. That said, I can’t wait to hear and read more as soon as he shares more with us. I’m fairly certain you will love it all too.

Our featured music of the night is a Motown native who moved to East Nashville and recorded the first of four CDs on the “right side of the Cumberland River” 13 years before Rolling Stone named the neighborhood the “Best Music Scene” in the country. Born in Detroit, this guy has brought an element of soul and art appreciation to everything he has written or recorded since moving here in 1992. His music has been featured on Late Night with David Letterman, he has gigged all over the US and Europe, and he still gives off the impression that he’s just getting started. We’ll talk more about everything he brings to the Nashville creative scene, but let’s first sit back and take in some of his original songs. Alongside his friends, JP Lilliston and Jerry Hager, it was awesome to finally give a warm welcome to the East Side Storytellin’ family to the talented Mighty Joe Nolan.

Joe Nolan is one of the handful of people in town that has seen the many changes of Nashville first hand, but he is also one of the few that you can find various impressions of his creativity at every single color change of the timeline (if you were a rock expert examining the open cliff facade of the artistic history of Nashville for the past 25 years). He is not just a musician, he is an excellent storyteller, poet, photographer, journalist, and person who supports other artists via his writing and attendance as much as anyone else I know. So it wasn’t surprising to me when he kicked off his set with an epic spoken word original called SERENADE alongside the musical accompaniment of his talented band of brothers by his side. It was a perfect transition between Joel’s characters and the layered stories within stories found in every single one of Joe’s songs.

Joe, like Joel, uses different tones and emotions expressed physically with his entire body and through his sounds when he performs his original tunes (again, as you can see in the following pictures above and below). Point being, there was never a dull moment and it all totally hit us just right. I think I decided to put several of these pictures in black and white because you really can’t fully grasp how amazing his gold jacket was if you weren’t there in person. It was shining as bright as the motifs in every track.

But keeping with the visual takes of this veteran trio, you can see in these pictures, color or black/white, that they are perfectly symmetric in style, energy flow, and giving each other enough space to each do their thing superbly while all the while being close enough to give subtle looks or gestures to change a beat on a dime. It felt like they were a poetic troupe straight out of the beatnik scene. But instead of just words, Joe brought poetic stories to life while JP sounded like a sober Keith Richards and Jerry reminded me of the local stand-up bass legend in Hags. Look. Enough about me ranting about these guys. You can take a listen for yourself below and let me know what you think after you share it a few times over.

After Joe ended the set with a song with the actual word story involved with it, his partners took a seat and we brought up Joel to the microphone to start a conversation that I’m sure could’ve easily had lasted 4 hours without us trying. It was filled with laughs, more accents, big hand gestures, easy transitions between the guests to relate on so many creative levels, and it was another beginning of what is sure to be the next story of two artists becoming good friends after being on this show. Joel and Joe are two writers I admire more than most, and it is fairly obvious to me that they should know each other because they spend so much of their time and energy helping other artists become greater at their craft, promotion, and life in general. I’m honored to call both friends, but I’m even more excited to know I’ll get these two together sooner than later on another idea that I haven’t even asked them about yet. So before I get that crazy cat out of the bag, I’ll leave you with one more group photo of the three of us and then some bold words and thanks to follow.

Here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 115: the night when Joe and Joel shared original stories and energy with a very happy room at The Post East on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Please feel free to listen to it on repeat and share it with all of your family and friends.

Before I say goodbye for this round of fun, I’d like to give a big round of thanks for Joel and Joe (and JP & Jerry) for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more of Aaron’s writing here –

www.aprilgloaming.com/staff.html, mysteriummagnum.com, waxingandwaning.org, @aaron.jl on Instagram, and @aaron_lain on Twitter.

You can listen to more of Joe’s music here –

 www.joenolan.com, mightyjoenolan.bandcamp.com, souncloud.com/joenolan, @pikesproject or @mightyjoenolan on Instagram, and @mightyjoenolan on Twitter.

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.

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’ 116

Tuesday, October 5th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- James Collins

singing- Abigail Flowers

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 115 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 belly laugh for the road with Joel because … why not? To be continued.

 

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Joshua Dent, Kira Hooks, Christina Stoddard, Chuck Beard, Tom Eizonas, and Ally Brown (Abby Flowers pictured in spirit … again)

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 112th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 111, I repeat … 111, 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’ 112. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is the author of HIVE … a work which won the 2015 Brittingham Prize in Poetry at the University of Wisconsin Press and was a finalist for the 2016 Washington State Book Award. More importantly, it had one of the coolest book covers we ever showcased at East Side Story. This artist grew up in Washington and has worked in both the Czech Republic and Japan teaching English as a foreign language and has said that they all speak better English than anyone down on Broadway any day that ends in day … I’m kidding about the last part, but the rest is true. Another truth, she earned her MFA from UNC at Greensboro, where she was the Fred Chappell Fellow. I’m not sure what that is but I know it’s important. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, storySouth, Tupelo Quarterly, and Spoon River Poetry Review, to name a few. She is super smart, an excellent writer, a supporter for everyone and everything literary everywhere she goes, and we were darn lucky to have her to save the day. You already know who I’m talking about, but I’m talking about the legend herself, Christina Stoddard!

Christina took a stand beside the tilted podium and jarred our minds right off the bat with some historical facts about serial killers from her hometown. A few names that inspired a few of her poems in HIVE, I won’t give them more credit than what they already have received but I will say that the combination of Christina’s background stories mixed with her prolific skills as a wordsmith pretty much slay anything most of the people present had heard in a hot minute. Christina’s poetry is pure fire.

Christina introduced us all to a yearbook signing of one said serial killer before he was known as a serial killer, the suicide of a veteran sibling post Gulf War drama, her immense hatred for wearing rings in general, and specific haircuts to get her going in the right place. And speaking of getting things and people going, there were two poems that were more declarative and poignant, again, than anything I’ve heard in awhile. First, she did a brilliant original remix of the Lord’s Prayer that was slanted in honor of a true feminist pledge. Then she gave an opus of seizing the day and charging action in her homage of Ides during the month of July. You really have to listen to the reading below and buy a copy of HIVE as soon as you can to understand the truth I’m talking about (some of those poems will be on her next book as well). But, before I end my love fest for Christina’s poetry, I must single out the poem about her thinking about salmon. It was the major connection between the featured guests of the night and a theme of making a family, and Christina nails it. The imagery of fishing salmon as a child and learning one of her catches was pregnant after the fact and then the linear relationship of her life years later is both heartbreaking and beautiful all in the same light. Point being, Christina tells it how it is, tells it so eloquently, and doesn’t hold any punches. You feel her words in your gut, heart, face, and tears. She’s powerful … and wonderful.

Our featured music of the night is a Nashville based musician who was born in Houston, shout out Texas, but raised overseas in The Netherlands, Nigeria, Scotland, and China. This young artist is always in search of what brings us together and what feels like honest work. A gentle, but powerful, woman and a scholar, she graduated from the Los Angeles College of Music in 2013 and has since gone on to release one album, 3 EP’s, and four singles. She’s an active member of Concerts In Your Home and spends a lot of days performing on the road. Maybe most importantly, she is very close friends with several of our East Side Storytellin’ favorites. This girl is close friends with Joshua Dent, Abby Flowers, and Ally Brown. Alongside these talented local musicians, it was an honor to set up the stage and share the spotlight on the tremendous star on the rise in Kira Hooks!

Kira took a seat on a stool, hooked up her guitar, crossed her legs, acknowledged her side harmony in Ally Brown, and started her set like a needle to a vinyl on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Her voice was like a vintage jazz star from another day and time, her melodies instantly put everyone at ease, and then she set sail for awesome in the middle of her ocean of dreamlike material. In a town that refers itself to music in its nickname namesake and has a million and one singers living inside the city limits, I’ve never heard a voice as unique and fitting her her material as Kira. It’s almost as if Sade and Diana Krall mixed together with the absolute best of every R&B soul singer of the 90’s and churned out this majestic muse and conductor of awesome on a stool for all of us to enjoy for years to come.

Kira gave mad props to every person she brought up to the stage and constantly referenced new respect and love for the art that Christina had shared with the same crowd. Kira was equally as open and honest via her backstories and dreams of someday moving to New York (she will conquer it when she is ready and leaves … hopefully years from now for Nashville’s sake though) and her song about creating a family in Labor of Love. She admitted to being a bit sappy and lovey-dovey while trying to Waltz with an Angel and When I Ran Into You, but I was not alone in thinking that we all could use a lot more lovey-dovey if that’s the case. The classical sounds that Joshua Dent adds to any songs, mixed with the modern take of doo-wop and Motown-ish licks from Ally and Abby having a blast alongside an alternative folk Beyonce, was simply perfect for the occasion and week in general. It all made me think of that phrase, “If the Love doesn’t feel like a 90’s R&B song, then I don’t want it.”

This was actually one of the only shows where I was sad to be the host for a second. When Kira asked us how much more time she had left, and I could see in her eyes that she would have played a few more and was thinking about choosing the next one, I succumbed to the moment and told her we only needed one more. Truth be told, the crowd and I would’ve stayed there in our seats for another week for sure. I guess it’s better to keep the staff at The Post on our side too. It all works out for the best.

Speaking about working out for the best, this pairing was simply phenomenal. Nobody would have known that we had to change a thing or two a mere 24 hours before showtime, and my buddy Steve would call me out for saying serendipity again if I said it another 50 times during the show in the making. It honestly blows my mind how well everything comes together just as it is supposed to when you are doing something that needs to be done.

After Kira’s final track titled If You Got A Dream, a song that to me resembled Christina’s charge the moment poem, I was yet again fortunate to have both of the artists back on stage to talk about their lives beyond their art. I’m always amazed by the honesty and forthright of the guests who take my questions and answer them in ways that if you already call them friends you learn something new and if you didn’t know these people then you feel like you’ve known them forever. Both Christina and Kira were/are so gracious with their personal responses and so professional in everything they delivered from the stage all night long. It was an honor to host the show that paired so much talent and love for words and positive personal growth. I was humbled to be in the crowd.

Again, because I could ramble on about how great these people are and how much fun the show was in person, I’ll just cut to the part where I share with you the edited version of East Side Storytellin’ 112. You know, the show we recorded at The Post East on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017, that featured Christina Stoddard and Kira Hooks (alongside Ally Brown, Abigail Flowers, and Joshua Dent). Here it is, enjoy and share it over and over again. Thank you!

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

You can read more of Christina’s writing here – www.christinastoddard.com

You can listen to more of Kira’s music here – www.kirahooks.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’ 113

Tuesday, August 15th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Susan McBride

singing- Mary Bragg

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 112 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 out there.

Much love,

mE

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Tom Eizonas, Erica Wright, Daniel Seymour, Luke Amelang, Chuck Beard, and Jeff Blaney

Tom Eizonas, Erica Wright, Daniel Seymour, Luke Amelang, Chuck Beard, and Jeff Blaney

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 recap and recording of the 89th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 88, I repeat … 88, 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’ 89. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is gentlewoman and a scholar. She studied at Webb School, NYU, and Columbia University, to name a few. Her debut novel, The Red Chameleon, was one of O, The Magazine’s Best Books of Summer 2014, so you know this girl can write. She is also the author of a crime novel called, The Granite Moth, and the poetry collections Instructions for Killing the Jackal and All the Bayou Stories End with Drowned. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Crazyhorse, Drunken Boat, and Spinning Jenny, again, to name a few. She is the poetry editor and senior editor at Guernica Magazine and has taught creative writing at Marymount Manhattan College and NYU’s continuing studies program. Yes, she is quite the slacker. Born and raised in Wartrace, TN, I was beyond excited to introduce another great Tennessee girl done good in Erica Wright.

Erica was the first featured writer that has come to East Side Storytellin’ having been majorly published for her poetry and fiction work. There were a handful of fans of her poetry in the crowd, fellow local poets who have been featured on our show and others yet to come. That said, there was one fan of hers, one on crutches, who didn’t care what she read. She was her woo-hoo fangirl who excitedly awaited whatever Erica was bringing to the podium. I won’t reveal names or pictures of said fans, but I will say that the energy was perfect.

Erica chose to read from her latest novel, The Granite Moth. It is a novel set in New York, and it is a detective doozy. It begins with a float exploding during the famous Halloween Parade. Erica set the intro up with the backstory of the protagonist, an undercover police officer, who sees the explosion while her friend and his fellow drag queens from The Pink Parrot are performing. Let me just say, with Elton John cover songs and jugglers, it was quite the teaser for anyone and everyone to get her book (you can buy it at East Side Story, today, by the way).

Our featured musician is more than a unique voice in modern country music. He is also a mutual friend to one of my all-time favorite Nashvillians and artist, Carl Carbonell. We miss you, Carl. May you rest in Utah, your new home. Now, back to the musician at hand. This guy’s writing is based in the traditions of southern folk, blues, and traditional country. You can check out his albums, two and growing, called The Farm and In the Garden, respectively. From ballads of love and loss to swinging numbers about sasquatches and aliens, this guy is sure to fit in nicely with our East Side Storytellin’ family, always searching for the common thread of life that bonds us all together. Alongside his talented friends, Jeff Blaney and Daniel Seymour, it was an absolute honor to introduce the the new dad (father of one very special audience member, Emilia, experiencing her first concert outside of the womb), the one and only Luke Amelang!

Where Luke and the boys began the set with a song that was written by Luke as a message for himself and Nashville, his second song, I’ve Got It Made, is officially my new favorite jam and personal philosophy. You can hear the track below. Seriously, it is amazing and just what I needed to hear these days. But they didn’t stop there.

Luke and Daniel and Jeff, played songs about family farm dogs named Leroy, a beautiful and moving song written about Luke’s mother, God rest her soul, and then went into the less serious but just as poignant song about media not covering the sasquatches and aliens in his backyard (more stories to come from that in the future for sure). It was a set that was filled with love, family, dogs, the unnatural and unbelievable, and everything in between. And, not only did it sound like a mix between the best jazz you’ll hear in this city and the best old country music sounds that once put this city on the map but randomly finds its way on the country radio these days, it was perfect.

After the music ended, I was yet again granted the opportunity to gather the featured artists on stage together to have them share some fun stories of inspiration and connections. As always, there was another unexpected and serendipitous factor to the pairing. Luke had lived in Houston, Texas and Erica is moving there with her boyfriend in a week. So, on top of amazing stories and songs shared on one stage, they have that going for each other moving forward. But seriously, you’d be hard-pressed to find two artists so talented and yet so humbled about their craft and willing to share the love with their friends and creative counterparts. Do yourself a favor and listen to the recording of the show below and then click their official links to check out more of their art (as well as Carl’s too).

So, here it is. The edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 89. Tuesday, August 16, 2016, the night that Erica Wright and Luke Amelang and gang impressed us all, like we were children like Emilia taking in good art for the first time. Feel free to share and enjoy, over and over again.

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

You can read more of Erica’s writing here – ericawright.typepad.com

You can listen to more of Luke’s music here – www.lukeamelang.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 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’ 90

Tuesday, September 6th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Jennifer Justus

singing- American Watermelon

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 89 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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60 group

Matthew Leavitt Brown, Dave Eastman, Chuck Beard, Jonathon Dewveall, and Tom Eizonas

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to the recap and recording for another epic collaboration with East Side Story and The Post that took place on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to the 60th spectacular edition of East Side Storytellin’! That’s right. I did not stutter. By my calculations, we are just a few shows shy of social security and growing and rolling like moss down a hill! Like the 59 previous shows East Side Story has put together, we’ve all decided to take a break from our busy schedules all over town in order to sit back and relax and get y’all 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’ 60. Let us begin, again.

The first featured guest of this particular evening is a writer, activist, editor and educator. His work has been published by literary presses and journals across the United States. He has been a featured lecturer and performs readings in community arts forums and at academic conferences throughout North America and Europe. He currently teaches writing and literature at Middle Tennessee State University (go Blue Raiders!) and resides in Nashville, Tennessee. One half of the artists’ list behind the images, sounds, words, and action of the project called The River Sonnet, I was honored to be able to introduce some new friends to the art of Matthew Leavitt Brown.

Matthew made his way to the stage, walking past the table of extremely inspiring  photographs taken during The River Sonnet experience, and found his comfort level in front of a listening crowd on the edge of their seats and willing to take another literary trip with him. Before he got started on his actual work, he prefaced his words with a little background tale about the project and also about the history of the sonnet. Once again, like I do so many times during these East Side Storytellin’ shows, I felt enlightened by the newfound knowledge and experiences bestowed upon me and the rest of the crowd from the featured guests. Matthew talked about what called him to begin The River Sonnet with his brother-in-law, Justin Orlowski, and then he figuratively jumped right into that river again.

Matthew mentioned that a sonnet typically has 14 lines and that for his project he got greedy and ended up making 14 sections for his work. During the first part he shared, I was completely spellbound by the imagery of the fridge floating in the water and live along the banks. Matthew has a tone with his voice and the tempo of his writing that flows as naturally as the river he’s reporting on. It was very easy to sit back and float along the sections he shared. In between several sections, Matthew took a moment to set up the scenes and explain the why’s and where’s for everything. I particularly loved the moment when he explained the topic of “ruin porn” and trying  to record the accents and dialects of the people he and Justin interviewed and met but without making fun or coming across as trying to define the interviewees’ lives and worlds through the filters of the ones doing all of the questioning and recording. He made a cool notation about other people doing that to Nashville from time to time more frequently these days and how unfortunate that is for everyone involved. That said, Matthew finished off his set with a powerful poem and reflection on Da Da and shared a moment or two on the river he and the audience won’t soon forget.

The featured musician of the night is one of the best persons you’ll meet in Nashville = fact. I don’t typically like to see or talk to anyone before 6am, but one part of tonight’s band always seems to get me laughing and feeling better about life before sunrise when I see him at the Margaret Maddox East YMCA on the regular. Getting back to the music side of his life, the core members of his band are Houston, Texas natives. Like the Oilers, they moved here for a better life doing what they love. They are a unique blend of rock-n-roll and comfort blues, pouring out excellent lyrics and heartfelt melodies that will ring you to your core. Honestly, the only thing that is difficult about anything regarding this family band is learning how to spell their name when trying to find them on Facebook after you’ve seen them perform live for the first time. It’s pronounced like the actor, Robert Duvall, but spelled totally different. You can have them spell it out for you after you see them again in concert and you ask for their autographs. Again, I was completely honored to finally have the chance to introduce and welcome this guy and his one-night one-man band (with his counterpart babysitting their young child) to the East Side Storytellin’ family, I’m talking about being excited to have the chance to share a spotlight on the band Dewveall.

Jonathon began his set after making a side comment to me with slight hesitation saying, “How do I follow that up?” He recognized the powerful essence of Matthew’s poems and delivery, but I knew he needn’t worry too much because of the soul he was definitely going to bring and ring throughout The Post and beyond. Dewveall had already cleared out a small group of people who had not come to the show for anything other than a cup of Joe during sound check so he was ready to go whether he knew it fully or not. Standing solo, he belted out his first song, the title track from his record titled Word, and all ears and hearts were just as focused as they were when listening to the poems before the music began. Word was a perfect reflection of the transitions currently going on in all of East Nashville. You can hear a taste of it in the recording below, but trust me when I say that hearing Jonathon’s voice in person is transcendent like his song writing.

Fitting to the bill of the night, it was perfect that Jonathan shared a song with metaphors of a river and floating home in the middle of the set. I don’t plan these things, but life tends to make coincidences happen to remind us that everything is happening for a good reason. After the music ended, Jonathon told Matthew and me that he had another song that strongly related to the featured poems of the night, but hadn’t planned on including it so he forgot on the fly. What he didn’t forget was finishing with two epic Texas inspired rock opera-like songs that told fantastical stories of an imaginary world in The Wild Wild West. The latter of the two was described as a lullaby version of a tale for his two-year old daughter that involved vigilantes, love, death, and a whole lotta livin’. Take it from me, listen to the recordings below and take the trip for yourself before you jump to conclusions. My conclusion = it totally rocked!

Before I let these two guys leave The Post, I gathered them together one more time for them to share some personal stories about how they got to Nashville and began doing what they love to do. Despite coming from very different political territories, both of these artists shared a mutual passion for life, wanderlust, and appreciation for good people and great creativity. Both are leaders in their respected jobs and communities, wherever they call home. Basically, these are two fine young gentlemen who you are stellar fathers, good-hearted connectors between valiant causes, talented artists in their own rights, and both seem to have a bright future wherever the grand river of life leads them.

Special note, I did not get a picture of how red my face was nor did I pay Matthew one dollar to say the extremely nice things he mentioned at the beginning of the interview about East Side Story and all of the creative ventures we are trying to make happen in the Nashville creative community. I was blown away by the kindness on the spot, and I’m pretty sure my wife shed a tear or two from the back although I didn’t look out into the crowd to check. It was yet another very special evening in my life and I know that I wasn’t alone. It was truly an honor to share some time with these two featured artists of East Side Storytellin’ 60.

 

Now, whether you were in the crowd for the diamond show or not, here is your chance to listen to East Side Storytellin’ 60 that featured the poetry of Matthew Leavitt Brown and the songs by Dewveall. Please feel free to listen and share it with all you know who love the arts over and over again:

 

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

You can read and watch the movie for more information on The River Sonnet and Matthew Leavitt Brown here- riversonnet.org

You can listen to more from Dewveall here- dewveall.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’d also like to show much love to Clay Brunton for the beautiful artwork online to promote the show tonight.

art by Clay Brunton

art by Clay Brunton

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.

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

East Side Storytellin’ 61

Tuesday, June 2nd

7pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street)

reading- Buchanan Moncure (http://www.lostandfoundfiction.net)

singing-  Lance Whalen (www.lancewhalen.com)

That’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 60 and another fabulous event here 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. Thanks and good day your way.

much love,

mE

one more group shot before the road … or the river as it is

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