Jonathan Richter

Jonathan Richter, Chuck Beard, Brian Reed, Jake Larson, Todd Greene, Randy Lancaster, DKM, and Tom Eizonas

Jonathan Richter, Chuck Beard, Brian Reed, Jake Larson, Todd Greene, Randy Lancaster, DKM, and Tom Eizonas

Once again, sitting at my desk at the bookstore, East Side Story, days after the show you are about to read about and listen to, I am still amazed at all of the fun we are having for East Side Storytellin’ two times a month!  If you haven’t been to a live show yet, shame on you.  Lucky for all of us, there is another chance to see the show- posted details way down below.

But first, let me have fun recapping the evening that made up East Side Storytellin’ 23.  I was extra excited about this particular show because it was highlighted as one of the major kickoff events to @ArttoberNash (aka Art + October + Nashville = a month long extravaganza of events to celebrate all of the wonderful art going on around our beloved city this day and age.  I wasn’t the one that highlighted this show so … it was Metro Arts in their Arts Alert email, in fact.  That said, this show was yet another first for fun’s sake.

To start the show, I had my first duo of authors in one night and collaboration.  These two guys burst onto the local literary scene not too long ago, but have been working creatively around the area for years.  I first heard about them because of our mutual friend who works in film and music who turned me onto their Kickstarter link for the featured book during the process and hopes that it would become a book.  It was hands down the best Kickstarter I have seen to date, and I wasn’t alone in thinking so.  They were successful in reaching their goal to make their books, and they haven’t stopped since.  You can see the original Kickstarter here-

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/359960129/subjects-with-objects-volume-i

The featured book is titled “Subjects with Objects,” and the featured guests who made the book are DKM and Jonathan Richter.

Although both of these guys, DKM being the poet and Richter being the painter of the group, are well accustomed to creating art in front of large groups of people, seldom has either took to a stage to talk about their work.  They said after the fact that they probably should have prepared more for the occasion, but I loved everything they said.  Being such a unique art concept, it was awesome to see the dynamic the two had already built up together naturally while playing off of each other’s words and thoughts behind the project.  Comedic potential aside, there were a few moments that I absolutely adored witnessing that one person would say something about their intentions during the project and the other was hearing these revelations for the first time and fully appreciating them as well.  It was simple, touching, and powerful … much like the overall book project featured in general.  You can hear more that the two had to say about art and the project specifically in the link below.  I don’t want to spoil your attentive appetite as you go through this post.

talking about the process and passing around an actual painting used in the book “Subjects with Objects.”

After the authors took a seat with a round of applause, it gave me a chance to reveal to the crowd (not really radio worthy) that Richter was going to do a live painting of the musical performance and evening from the back.  Richter went to work and I was honored to introduce their friends that make up the band Bulb.  Comprised of Jake Larson, Randy Lancaster, Brian Reed, and Todd Greene for the evening, and missing out on two others busy for the night in Anthony Doling and Sarah Masen, Bulb took to the stage and made the most of the small space for four to rock.

On top of being a Nashville-based rock band that has been writing and playing together since 2001, with nearly 24 self-produced and recorded albums, and recently releasing their latest album called “The Power to Charm,” I found it interesting and the cool connection between the two that Bulb’s lead man, Todd Greene, was a graduate of SCAD and a working visual artist as well as a music man.  I know that most people come to Nashville and aren’t very surprised to find most baristas and servers as full-time musicians, but I love the fact that more often than not I’m discovering so many other part-time workers and musicians being full-time painters and visual artists these days.  It definitely fits the @ArtoberNash theme for the evening and all of the great things are city is doing not on the national radar.

some, but not all, of Bulb

Back to the show, Bulb took to the stage and rocked through a handful of creative songs that blended everyone’s talents for another amazing night to be had by all present.  There were beautiful stories in between, mixed with humor, talented vocals and musicianship, and just a great group of people to be around.  I was happy to be surrounded by such positive minds yet again.

After the music stopped, we talked for a bit all together to close the night off right with conversational dessert.  I’ll once again not spoil your meal and let you take a listen to the link right here below this sentence of the entire show edited down to an hour for your delight to enjoy and share around the internets as you wish.

HERE is the show in its edited form.  ENJOY!

https://soundcloud.com/eastsidestorytn/sets/east-side-storytellin-23-10-1 

Now, with that show in the bag, get ready for our next show to be had.  I’m over the moon excited to announce that the next show is going to be our 1st Annual Halloween-ish themed show so you can all dress up in your best costumes if you really want to be a part of this special occasion.

a creepy, excited look ahead to the next show with Betsy Phillips!

a creepy, excited look ahead to the next show with Betsy Phillips!

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

Date- Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Time- 7 pm sharp (Central)

Location- Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland Street)- http://maddonnas.com

Need information or details about Mad donna’s, call 615-226-1617.  Otherwise it is first come, first available seats.

Who will be featured- music by Old Hazelwood (http://www.misterhazelwood.com/old-hazelwood/) and the author being the best spooky storyteller/writer in Nashville in that of Betsy Phillips (author of “A City of Ghosts” – http://betsyphillips.net).

art by Clay Brunton

art by Clay Brunton

Before I let you go for now, I’d like to give a quick set of THANK YOU’s to a few people who helped make East Side Storytellin’ 23 happen.

Emily Frances Harper Beard (www.efharper.com), I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without your heart, help, and support … I can’t say that or that I loves you enough.

Tom Eizonas, for recording these shows and helping make everyone, especially me, sound great to everyone who comes to the shows and listens to the links afterwards.  You always put a lot of heart and soul into the shows too.

DKM & Jonathan Richter (www.rabbitroom.com/2013/070rr-interview-subjects-with-objects-co-author-dkm/), for sharing your thoughts on art and creativity, your mad-poet skills, your mad painting skills, and for showing people to think outside of the typical creative canvas to make your ideas a reality.  I am truly inspired by your collaboration and individual works.

Bulb (http://bulbband.com), for taking time out of your busy lives to give our show your music and love for entertaining others.  You played like a band of brothers and I enjoyed every second of it.  I look forward to the next collaboration with Bulb & East Side Story sooner than later if willing.

To the people of Mad donna’s, thank you for giving us the perfect setting for the growth of this show.  I foresee great things and events happening in the near future due to this new relationship.

That is all for this round.  Hope to see y’all soon!

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Megan Palmer, Ben Burr, Chuck Beard, Tim Easton, Tom Eizonas

Megan Palmer, Ben Burr, Chuck Beard, Tim Easton, Tom Eizonas

Beyond being that it was the 22nd East Side Storytellin’ show, the second show at Mad Donna’s, and the second show that featured a local poet, I knew ahead of time that it was going to be something special.  Pretty much every show has some kind of coincidental connection that happens the night of the show that makes it truly something spontaneous and unplanned and amazing.  This time it happened before the day of the show.  You see, I book these shows with just the talent and nature of the featured guests in mind.  Most times they don’t even know each other or have ever read or listened to any of the other’s stuff before the event.  I have had one or two know each other, that being said.  But, this was extra special in that regard because both of these guests were the first people from Ohio that either one had met after they moved to East Nashville!  I didn’t plan that at all ahead of time.  After finding that fact out, and seeing the smiles on both of the featured guests’ faces when finding out about the other sharing the stage and the evening in public, I had no doubt this show would be perfect (as perfect as perfect can be).

Also before the show began, before I made it to the venue, I found out that a legend had passed away.  Mr. Bill Barry, founder of WAMB radio and countless other radio stations, passed away from natural causes.  After being a beacon for WAMB, big band music, and so many people in the music business, I had a moment of silence and respect for such an innovative, brilliant, generous, and respected man by so many in Music City.  Bill Barry was one of a kind, will be missed, and I feel fortunate to have gotten the chance to meet him and help bring a quality program to his most influential radio station for a time being.

art by Alex Smith

art by Alex Smith

I was really REALLY excited to once again have the chance to introduce one of my absolute favorite poets in town and anywhere around.  As mentioned, he hailed from Ohio.  What you may not know is that he is one of the hardest working people at one of the finest Mexican hot spots in town in that of Mas Tacos.  By night, he is one half of the most excellent creative couple that perform as Panama Reds Arts (mixing dance and prose most often, among other things), and he also spends a lot of time piecing together some of the most prolific poetry this side of the Mississippi.    He is the author of 3 books, so far, all sold at East Side Story, called The Nashville Poems, feeling nuthin but stoned, and the latest being jesus christ for now maybe satan later.  His name, if you didn’t already Google it by now or see him live, is Ben Burr.

I love introducing Ben as a person who has a stage presence like Barry White and words and thoughts that are simple and profound like Hemingway because that is just how I see him when performing.  I was never one big into poetry for the longest time.  I was raised on “Roses are red” kind of bull, but it honestly wasn’t until I heard Ben’s work and especially the one called “rural america” when I finally started to really click with poetry and what it’s truly about.  I’ll take this time to thank Ben.  Thank you, Ben.

Ben is a gregarious performer.  He mixes a deep voice with humor and honesty to a point that it entrances everyone in the crowd to listen and think hard about every word he says.  It all sounds great, and it all went as good as ever once Ben got up in front of everyone and started at his own pace.  For about 15 minutes, Ben went through several poems from a variety of his books, and didn’t stop until the last page he had marked.  Side note, because this was for radio and there were a few kids in the crowd, Ben didn’t read some of his more lyrical poems on this evening.  Even without those different adjectives and catch phrases, it was all brilliant.

a different perspective in between acts, between lights

As soon as Ben sat down, I stood up and got to say a few things about the music of the night.  A mutual friend and fan of Ben Burr, this guy has made quite a name for himself with his own words and music.  I loved that this show was going on the same week as the Americana Music Week here in town because this guy fits that bill to a T.  He had been in bands before, like Kosher Spears, The Haynes Boys, and Easton, Stagger, Phillips, but he was sort of solo alongside his talented friend and collaborator Megan Palmer on the violin for this show.  Fresh off his most recent release of his album called “Not Cool,” this guy and his music are anything but not cool.  Yes sir, I’m talking about the music of the evening in that of Tim Easton.

Tim got up and said some nice things about the crowd, the evening in general, and the absolute admiration and inspiration that Ben Burr has given him in his own creative journey because of the way Ben spits out so much quality without fear or fuss.  Truth be told, the same is probably said from Ben towards Tim as well.  Again, it was just that kind of magical match and night.

The weather held off just right and Tim kicked it off with one word that we had to edit with an organ sound before he hit his stride.  Actually, he hit his stride right from the first note, but you understand what I mean.  Tim and Megan were, for a lack of better words, perfect.   I sat back, relaxed, and took it all in.  The stories were heartfelt, the music was as easy to listen to and appreciate as the cool fall breeze that blew in the patio area, and the combination of everything that Megan and Tim brought to the stage was simply impeccable.  From start to finish, these two were on the same page and sharing a tremendous story our way.  Several of the people that came from across the river and from out of town said it was one of the best shows they had seen in quite some time.  I think that pretty much says it all.

After the music, I talked with the guests for a minute or two.  Ben brought the comedy while Tim and Megan followed suit.  It was a delightful conversation about their similar journeys from Ohio to Nashville, and yet they both had their individual paths they had to take to get to where they are today.  Everyone, just like everyone who came to this show, was better now for it.  While shutting down and loading up the stage after the fact, I couldn’t help but smile and feel very satisfied from all of the positivity surrounding this particular night and group of people that came together.  It was, for a lack of better words if there are any, perfect.

Before I get to the recording of the show to share your way, I’d like to give a quick set of THANK YOU’s to a few people who helped make East Side Storytellin’ happen.

Emily Frances Harper Beard (www.efharper.com), I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without your heart, help, and support … I can’t say that or that I loves you enough.

Tom Eizonas, for recording these shows and helping make everyone, especially me, sound great to everyone who comes to the shows and listens to the links afterwards.  You always put a lot of heart and soul into the shows too.

Alex Smith, for creating a one-of-a-kind print of artwork to represent such a one-of-a-kind show, idea, and platform for such amazing local artists.

Ben Burr, for sharing your words, thoughts, and mad-poet skills.  Your work always forces me, pleasantly, to view my world from a different angle than before, and I appreciate that very much.  You are just getting started, are already so talented and inspiring to others, and I look forward to watching your poems and prose grow beyond Nashville and Ohio.

Tim Easton (and Megan Palmer), for taking time out of your busy tour and regular lives to give our show the time of day (and night).  Your songs hit everyone to the core, had people tapping their feet in their seats, and made everyone feel better about themselves via your art.  Can it get any better than that?  Oh, and thank you for putting to melody that feeling everyone in East Nashville has dealt with in terms of the Gallatin Pike Blues.  As always, well played, good people!

To the people of Mad donna’s, thank you for giving us the perfect setting for the growth of this show.  I foresee great things and events happening in the near future due to this new relationship.

Here is the edited (one-hour) recording of East Side Storytellin’ 22, featuring Ben Burr and Tim Easton (& Megan Palmer too).  Feel free to enjoy and share with everyone and your mom too!

https://soundcloud.com/eastsidestorytn/sets/east-side-storytellin-22-9-17

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

Date- Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Time- 7 pm sharp (Central)

Location- Mad Donna’s (1313 Woodland Street)- http://maddonnas.com

Need information or details about Mad donna’s, call 615-226-1617.  Otherwise it is first come, first available seats.

Who will be featured- painter Jonathan Richter and poet DKM (authors of Subjects with Objectswww.rabbitroom.com/2013/070rr-interview-subjects-with-objects-co-author-dkm/) and music by Bulb (www.reverbnation.com/bulbthemusic).

the lights on

the lights on

 

 

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Tom Eizonas, John Minichillo, Chuck Beard, Monica Campo, and Tommy Womack

Tom Eizonas, John Minichillo, Chuck Beard, Monica Campo, and Tommy Womack

 

On Tuesday, July 16th, I was close to going crazy.  I’m not talking about putting me in an all-white jumpsuit without finger access, tied up in knots, toss me in a padded room and throw the key away kind of crazy.  But, with the 6th week of a 6 week Masters program semester at Sewanee, with final papers and presentations on the near horizon, AND with an epic surprise mission/adventure under wraps in my head for my wife two days after this particular show, it’s not surprise to me now that I can’t find my notes from the show after the fact.  The show, unlike my notes, was truly unforgettable.  It was original as all get out, and the people that weathered the humidity really got a treat of an evening with two Nashville originals.

The show began with me introducing it and our first guest.  The featured author of the night was one of the very first people that everyone kept on telling me that I should have in my bookstore (East Side Story) when it first opened last August.  He was the recipient of a fiscal 2012 Tennessee Artists Grant.  His short fiction has appeared widely in literary magazines all over the internet.  He has taught at Middle Tennessee State University in the past and currently is teaching at Tennessee Tech.  He lives in Nashville with the writer, Katrina Gray, and their son (both who had big smiles in the crowd for the show).  His name is John Minichillo (pronounced Mini-Kello for those who of you like-minded spanish-speaking people who have yet to meet John in person and be blown away by his prose and thoughts on writing in general) and he was on hand to talk about and read from his first novel, The Snow Whale.

John took to the stage, appropriately checked my introductory facts, and hit the ground running with his stories.  He read a few parts of the book; a modernized twist of Moby Dick.  As Atticus Books put it, it is a book that re-examines identity, race, and our connection to nature, all while poking fun at our contentment with heated socks in an era defined by global warming.  The event had a relaxed, appreciative to something original and refreshing atmosphere, and I think it was mainly because of John’s tone, story, and relatability with the crowd that was present and ever so attentive to every single word that he shared.  It was just a swell time and story to listen to on an easy night.  I wasn’t alone in being excited to jump into the book after the night was over.

But the night wasn’t over after John, the featured musician was on hand and was also a man of prose himself.  An extraordinarily talented character like no other in Music City, our featured musician for the night was none other than Tommy Womack.  He was first known around town as the lead for the post-punk band Government Cheese back in the day.  After they disbanded, this guy went on to make a great record for John Prine’s Oh Boy! Label and brought together this guy with the local great Will Kimbrough.  Then, he immortalized Government Cheese’s story in the cult classic rock bio Cheese Chronicles: The True Story of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Band You’ve Never Heard of. After the book was released, a compilation of their hits was made and a reunion tour was put into effect.  It put a stamp on the important songs and influence that Government Cheese had over the creative community of our region.  Since he put that chapter and book to rest (soon it will rest on East Side Story’s book shelves mind you), Tommy has been touring as he pleases, here, near, and everywhere really, and churning out hits with Kimbrough and everyone else you can think of around town.  We were lucky to have him in between international gigs actually.  About the only other time you can catch him on the go is either in his monthly contribution to The East Nashvillian magazine or his weekly video blog on his website titled Monday Morning Cup of Coffee.

 

With all that said and written, Tommy’s music was, like John’s prose, a breath of fresh air for myself and those who witnessed it.  Sure, we had to edit a few choice words in the first couple of songs, but that didn’t deter from the fact that it was brilliant.  I was blown away by the poetic intro song and the other punk-infused folk music that I’ve never really heard anything like before.  Before he was finished with us (don’t worry, he didn’t smash any equipment), he brought all of his personal stories, guitar skills, vocal ability, and masterful storytelling together for a powerhouse of a family ballad that really hit close to home and the heart for many in the crowd.  It was just perfect.

After a great conversation with John and Tommy, we had to call it an evening.  Sometimes it can be a challenge to get a lot out of people when conversing about art and creativity.  With these two guests, I felt like I could have talked for hours and never felt like I was trying.  You can hear about it all below in the soundcloud, edited version of the show, but I must say that it was the perfect calm before the adventurous final school and mission to Chicago storm that was weighing on my heart, mind, and time at that moment and night.

 

One thing I truly love above anything else with these shows is the fact that there is always some kind of great connection between the guests even though they seldom know each other before hand (and to which I don’t plan for when pairing them together).  This night, of all nights, they both mentioned the Dalai Lama in their sets.  You might have to listen closely for the good stuff like that, but I thought that connection set the tone for just what I and others were needing (whether we thought we needed it or not).  Anyways, I thought I should share that tidbit while I have your attention.

Now, before I forget and for your own listening enjoyment (over and over again), here is the link of the East Side Storytellin’ 18 edited radio show that aired on WAMB radio (1200 am and 99.3 fm) on Saturday, July 20th, 2013 at 2pm.  Please enjoy and share with everyone you think will enjoy as well:

https://soundcloud.com/eastsidestorytn/sets/east-side-storytellin-18-7-16

 

Before I go here for now, I’d like to thank a few people for making East Side Storytellin’ 18 possible.

-My wife, Emily Frances Harper Beard (www.efharper.com), for everything.  You are my everything.

Tom Eizonas, you do everything on the fly to make this guy sound as professional as the guests.  Without your help, nobody would listen to the show after the event.  THANK YOU!

Fat Bottom Brewing Co., you provide such a pleasant home for heartwarming performances to happen in your backyard.  I am very grateful we have crossed paths and look forward to the shows to come.

John Minichillo (http://thesnowwhale.com) – Thank YOU for bringing your family to the show and for sharing your thoughts on the creative process of writing and your journey up to this point.  I look forward to reading all of your writing in the past and more that is sure to come.  I am honored to promote and sell your work.  THANK YOU for being a part of my journey.

Tommy Womack (www.tommywomack.net) – THANK YOU for taking time out of your ultra-busy schedule to share your stories and songs with the East Side Story family.  I look forward to helping sell your books in my store sooner than later, and I am so thankful you dropped your passport long enough to spend some quality time with us at East Side Storytellin’.  I really can’t say thank you enough.  So I’ll say THANK YOU one more time here and then later when I see you again.

WAMB Radio, thank you for saving us a spot on your respected airwaves and for allowing us to be a small part of your treasured history.  Without the help of Beth and Dave and the rest of the gang over at WAMB, none of this we’ve done so far would have been possible quite the same way.  We will do more shows and events in the future, I am sure.  But know you are in my heart and thoughts every time I mention East Side Storytellin’.  THANK YOU so very much for all you do.  You have the best, most original and most authentic, radio station that I’ve ever known of or hear out there today.  You have restored my faith in radio.

 

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

Date- Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Time- 7 pm sharp (Central)

Location- Fat Bottom Brewing Co. (900 Main Street)- www.fatbottombrewing.com

Need information or details about Fat Bottom Brewing Co., call 615-678-5895.  Otherwise it is first come, first available seats.

Who will be featured- writer Martha Nelson (author of the book Black Chokeberry – www.blackchokeberrythebook.com) and music by Tommy Keenum (http://tommykeenum.com & also featuring James Haggerty on upright bass and Park Chisolm on guitar).

 

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