Melanie Vare

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

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to the recap and recording of the 122nd epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 121, I repeat … 121, previous shows East Side Story has put together, we all decided to take a break from our busy schedules all over town in order to sit back and relax and get everyone cultured up just right in the form of a Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing and talking about their original music, and then a round-up creative conversation with all featured guests of this event to talk about their individual journeys and personal ties to Nashville. Without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 122. Let us begin, again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can listen to this show, edited, soon, alongside the previous shows too, on our website, www.eastsidestorytn.com, at our In Our Own WordsTab – see here – www.eastsidestorytn.com/in-our-own-words

I’ll keep the gratitude going for Tom Eizonas, my lovely wife and most talented artist in Emily Harper Beard (efharper), and everyone that came out live to support the show … and to everyone who has helped continue to spread the word and support the show online afterwards.

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to give one last shout out to Tonya and Chris for making The Post so welcoming and positively life-changing for the East Nashville community at large.

Our next show will be

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

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 122 and another fabulous event at The Post with East Side Story at the helm. Thanks for coming out and sharing the good word and giving some love to all of these great Nashville artists and our creative ideas. Please remember to be nice to one another out there.

Much love,
mE

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Tom Eizonas, Austin Manuel, Chuck Beard, and Kathleen Cosgrove

Tom Eizonas, Austin Manuel, Chuck Beard, and Kathleen Cosgrove

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration and the 2015 grand finale 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 73rd epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 72 previous shows East Side Story has put together, we all decided to take a break from our busy holiday schedules all over town in order to sit back and relax and get everyone cultured up just right in the form of a Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing and talking about their original music, and then a round-up creative conversation with all featured guests of this event to talk about their individual journeys and personal ties to Nashville. Without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 73. Let us begin, again.

The first featured guest of the night is a writer currently living on the outskirts of Nashville in Murfreesboro, TN. She has said that rubbing shoulders with some of the most creative and talented people on Earth while in Music City has nourished and helped her growth as a writer more than she could’ve ever imagined. Her style is filled with wit and humor along with snappy dialogue and offbeat characters. She can be found on-stage in venues in and around Nashville reading her always funny and sometimes touching memoirs, as evident in her recent featured spots in the Nashville Scene’s Vodka Yonic, That Time of the Month’s second anthology compiled by East Side Storytellin’ alumnus Melanie Vare, and also in the last show of That Time of the Month this past month at their new Zanie’s quarterly location. I’m bias speaking about this ESS’ occasion but this lady was my favorite storyteller of that 1st TTOTM event at Zanie’s. She’s also collaborated with the good folks at Blackstone Brewing Company with her involvement with the Nashville Noir crowd and the Nashville Adult Literacy Council and the new storytelling series Life Out Loud, but tonight we are lucky to have her here sharing her fun stories to close out the holiday season in style. Ladies and Gentlemen, author of the two books Engulfed and Entangled (both of which you can purchase at East Side Story and, I’ll add, both have some of the best cover art images around), it was an honor for me to introduce and give a spotlight to the woman of the hour in Kathleen Cosgrove.

photo & positive energy by Chance Chambers

photo & positive energy by Chance Chambers

Kathleen was dressed very nicely for the night and was ready to take the stage by storm. She had skipped out on reading from either of her published books or the TTOTM anthology and decided to read something new for the captivated audience on hand. Not only did Kathleen bring something fresh to read, but she was ready to use all of her voice skills as well while bringing her characters to life. It has been 72 shows in the making for me on this note because no other featured author on East Side Storytellin’ had provided such a plethora of different voices to punctuate and articulate distinctive and unforgettable characters like Kathleen did since the very first East Side Storytellin’ with author Ann Shayne reading from Bowling Avenue.

To say that Kathleen was a treat would be the understatement of the year. Kathleen’s story, Sam Heart and The Case of the Pinned Up Kickers, was a most interesting period piece set in the 1940’s and in Nashville and the Grand Ol’ Opry. There was a main detective trying to solve a crime that was no typical crime. He was surrounded by ghosts who were coming forth to help solve the mysteries that took them down in the first place. It was a lot to take in but it was a lot of good characters, great lines, and even better vocabulary and voice inflections brought to the table by Kathleen. It was totally original but it had fun hints, at least for me, of Dragnet, Dick Tracy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Beetlejuice. You’ll just have to take my word for it again on the above and listen to Kathleen read her story on the recording link below to get the full picture of what I’m trying to relay. All in all, it was an absolute hoot of a story and time on a Tuesday night in December. Thank you, as always, Kathleen!

Kathleen was so excited that Austin showed up so she could stick to the reading instead of singing

The featured musician of the night is a Tennessee native, born and raised between Nashville and Greenbrier, TN. His birth location has influenced him tremendously while he has spent much of his life exploring the duality of country and city, and the two run deep in him and are scrupulously reflected in the music he creates. Hypnotic and ethereal but still fixed in its earnest engagement of traditional country themes, this man’s upcoming record Up the Ridge is a sincere exploration of family and place in the style that he aptly terms dream country– having nothing to do with bro- or pop- country so don’t you worry or think you are in the wrong place to enjoy this show and this man’s music to the fullest. Another near and dear friend of East Side Storytellin’ alumnus and favorite Erin Rae, it was so good to let in another friend of a friend into the East Side Storytellin’ fold who is so talented at what they do as much as our special musician guest of the night … Austin Manuel.

photo & positive energy by Chance Chambers

photo & positive energy by Chance Chambers

Austin was fresh off of playing a grand holiday show around a handful of friends new and old the night before this particular show but he was still feeling the Christmas love from his sweater to another room filled with compassion and good vibes. He grabbed a water and a beer from a friend in the crowd and put them aside to grab his acoustic guitar and sound box and set sail in a new territory of sound for him to try and experiment. I was kinda bummed that he didn’t play the Casiotone MT-40 that he pulled out of his backpack and sat on the couch during sound check, but we can’t have it all, right? He was ready to rock the intimate coffee shop like he never thought possible before (Side note, for personal reasons that I told to Austin, the Casio keyboard hit close to my creative home for a project I’m currently working on in which I added such an instrument into the mix just this past week = yet another serendipitous sign for our East Side Storytellin’ pairing of the night, but that is another story altogether. I digress.).

73 casio

Austin’s lyrics and sounds were very personal and ethereal and included such instant classic lines as “life like a kite” and “I just want you to love me” and “I can see me needing her” that hit right to my head and my heart. The way he combined and repeated lines and certain chords not only matched the mood he was trying to create but it also made everything more heartfelt than I’d experienced in quite some time. Sure, it didn’t hurt when he mentioned that several of his songs were inspired by his grandparents’ relationship with each other and dementia and life and death and then he came out swinging with a song that was inspired by his grandmother’s pumpkin pie and her changing up the ingredients on accident close to her passing. Not only was that the only song I’ve ever heard about pumpkin pie, but it was immediately my all-time favorite song inspired by a family dessert and that says a lot from this music-loving sweet teeth amigo typing this down. I’m serious, you have no idea how much I love sweets and this particular song until you listen to it below. Like everything Austin played, it was so so good and you’ll want more servings just when you think your plate is full.

Austin finished his set with two more songs that he said would appear on his upcoming album to be released in the spring of 2016. Both were close to home for him and hit close to home for all of us in the room. Just as the reverb went out on his sound box hooked up to his guitar, the sound was stripped down and allowed Austin to emphasize his songs about family love. He ended with “Love will last forever” but not before he laid down the lines about “between two heart love will find a way.” If you need any help getting into the perfect mood of appreciating your family, young and old, at this time before the holidays are upon us, look no further than Austin’s music and stories to get you just right. You can get a taste of the recordings below, but I encourage you to look on his website and/or contact him to buy the two CD’s that he had on site at the show and has more to sell you when you ask. For reference, the titles of each are Through the Night and then Love That’ll Last Forever. You welcome.

I was so thankful to have each of the guests stick around and talk about their creativity and journeys to Nashville, as I do for every show. There’s not much more I can say that we didn’t talk about in the recording below so I’ll just share that with you so you can get it all from the artists’ who shared it with me in the first place. Before I post that very link, I want to say thank you to both Kathleen and Austin and the family and friends they brought to the show because it was one for the ages. There was an overwhelming sense of honesty, openness, family, personal creativity, and love that I felt covered The Post and all who were there to witness this evening to close out this very special year even if nobody originally was trying to make that happen before we got started. Point being, I felt very thankful and engulfed (play on words?) by the holiday spirit despite the fact that the recent weather outside tries to make me feel otherwise. Thank you, Austin and Kathleen (and all who came out to support the show in person and online = I cannot say this enough)!

photo & positive energy by Tony Wetherington

photo & positive energy by Tony Wetherington

So here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 73 with the talented Kathleen Cosgrove and Austin Manuel leading us into the light at The Post on Tuesday, December 15th, 2015. Enjoy and feel free to share this link and overall blog recap with all of your family and friends. It may not be the biggest wrapped present under the tree this season for them, but it is quite the gift nonetheless.

https://soundcloud.com/eastsidestorytn/sets/east-side-storytellin-73
Before I say goodbye for this round of fun, I’d like to give one more big round of thanks for Kathleen Cosgrove and Austin Manuel for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us.

You can read more about Kathleen’s writing here- www.katcoz.com
You can listen to more of Austin’s music here- www.austinmanuel.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.

artwork by Clay Brunton

artwork 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’ 74

Tuesday, January 5th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street)

at 7pm

reading- RashadThaPoet (www.rashadthapoet.com)

singing- Eric Dozier (www.ericdozier.com)

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 73 and the best year ever of 2015 until the next 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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Pete Lindberg, Amanda Elend, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

Pete Lindberg, Amanda Elend, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to the recap and recording of another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to the 66th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 65 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’ 66. Let us begin, again.

The first featured guest of the night was someone who moved from Los Angeles over three years ago to start the baby-making process closer to her Southern-very large family in Florida. With a dog, two cats, and a healthy toddler to make their plans to build that family zoo complete, she currently stays busy working at home in East Nashville where she writes and produces web shows (for money) and young adult fiction (for love and possible future money). She has said that she gets stupidly excited about books, cool breezes on hot days, and anything that makes her son laugh with his entire body. A graduate of Eckerd College with a double major of Creative Writing and American Studies, we already knew she is wicked smart. She is a steady contributor for Nashville Mom’s Blog and has participated in five That Time of the Month shows (alongside being a featured author in the most recent That Time of the Month anthology released last month). She arrived read to share some of her original prose from that book and more. That Time of the Month founder, Melanie Vare, and many others in her close and extended family dropped everything and gave a rumbling applause for one of their favorite people and writers in that of Amanda Elend.

Amanda stepped up to the microphone and immediately made us laugh and feel at ease by introducing her contribution to said anthology with some classic lines describing several things that her husband, also in the crowd, told her on the side when she was pregnant with her son, also in the crowd. I’ll let you read the book and listen to the recording below to find out some of these gems that he can never take back, but I will say that I was belly laughing from the word go. Amanda read an endearing story about the first night the married couple spent in their then new home in Nashville and how one of them got themselves locked out of the house in the middle of the night while the other slept through every attempt of the person locked out to get their attention. Again, I won’t spoil the ending for you so you can drop by East Side Story to purchase this story and several other instant classics in that anthology.

Amanda split her time between the anthology story and another that she has been working in progress as a young adult novel. It was a quick switch in time and tone, but you could tell from her delivery and point of view that she is on the right track for where she wants to go with it. I believe by the time she finished the excerpt she decided to share for the event that she had everyone in the crowd wanting to hear and read more. That is all any author can ask for in the end.

The featured musician of the night was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and session musician who came highly recommended to me via our good mutual friend, the talented musician with a new release coming out this same week’s end in that of East Side Storytellin’ alumnus Erin Rae, also in the crowd. Originally from Gloucester, Massachusetts, it hasn’t taken him very long since moving to Nashville the first and second time to find his place among other bright stars on the music scene such as Cale Tyson, Luke Bell, the Western Swing outfit Johnny Appleseed, and another East Side Storytellin’ alumnus in Caitlin Rose. A member of a group of Nashville musicians known as Santa’s Ice Cold Pickers who perform every Sunday night at Santa’s Pub, we are more than lucky to finally have this guy on stage with us and welcome him to our East Side Storytellin’ family. He’s a picker like few you’ve heard in some time in this town, and a man who plays anywhere from straight-faced to smiling on a dime as he always takes just the right amount of serious for whatever the occasion calls for. Erin Rae was far from alone when putting her hands together to help put a smile on this guy’s face as we all enjoyed some real good pickin’ and singin’ from the likes of Pete Lindberg.

Pete, as all who know him already, is such a natural. He picked up his guitar, grabbed a stool to sit down comfortably, and then took us all to a place far beyond the walls of East Nashville. His first song was a ditty called “For Holy” and was about cats and what cats and men do and don’t do, like you do. Somewhere in the repetitive line of it being a “beautiful day under the Mexican sun and it’s a beautiful day to be on the run” I personally was swept out to a North American Southwestern frontier setting with Pete as my guide and soundtrack. He went from cats to describing a very personal and deep tale called “To Get a Feeling Back” inspired by rough times and friendships back in Gloucester (again, you really need to listen to the recording to hear the backstory to its fullest). But then, maybe combining my visions of the Southwest and then personal tales of chasing memories and people, he dropped the bomb of the night with the song inspired by Chuck Jones’ character of the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote. With a unique sound effect ending and all, this was one of the coolest songs I’ve heard in quite some time.

In the end, Pete finished up with a few other songs that were equally as awesome as what came before and he completed his set with a final song where he mentioned Erin Rae had covered at a recent event where a lot of great local musicians who are all friends (including some of the names listed above in Pete’s introduction) each covered the others’ favorites. I’m looking forward to checking out the next round of this fun before all of these talented musicians take their skills to the masses and world at large and we don’t have the chance to see them play so close to home so often.

After the music, I yet again had the chance to talk to the featured guests about their experiences that brought them both to Nashville and the people that have made their Nashville experiences so special to each of them. I don’t mean to keep saying listen to the entire recording for the whole truth and big fun we had, but listen to the entire recording below for the whole truth and big fun we had. We talked about college, teenage pregnancy pacts, heroine, Mt. Everest, Santa’s pub, and so much more. I can’t tease the recording any better.

That said, HERE is the edited version of East Side Storytelln’ 66 that featured Amanda Elend and Pete Lindberg at The Post on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015. Enjoy and share it over and over … because you can:

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

You can read more about Amanda’s writing here- @amandaelend

You can listen to more of Pete’s music here- @peteontheipad

You can listen to this show, edited, soon, alongside the previous shows too, on our website, www.eastsidestorytn.com, at our In Our Own WordsTab – see here – www.eastsidestorytn.com/in-our-own-words

I’d also like to show much love to Clay Brunton for the beautiful artwork online to promote the show.

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’ 67

Tuesday, September 15th

At The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Nancy Vienneau (nancyvienneau.com)

singing- Kat Milk Blu (facebook.com/katmilkblu)

Well, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 66 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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Chuck Beard, Dave Coleman, Tom Eizonas, Mike Pentecost, Dave Ray

Chuck Beard, Dave Coleman, Tom Eizonas, Mike Pentecost, Dave Ray

I must admit that it is quite a treat for me to have the chance to sit back and reflect on these shows just days after they take place.  It’s not like these are just the run-of-the-mill shows either, in case you haven’t been paying attention.  If you haven’t been paying attention to East Side Storytellin’ shows so far, after nearly a year, shame on you and I might have to de-friend you on Facebook or friend you just so I can de-friend you on Facebook.  Seriously,  you are seriously missing out on something extraordinary that won’t last forever and only has so many rain checks for you to take advantage of experiencing such amazing shows … I stress the word seriously here.  Don’t believe me, check this show out below.

August 20th, 2013 marked the 20th edition of East Side Storytellin’.  I’m not one too much for numerology, but 20 seems like an A-okay number to me.  Aside from the number 20 all around, it was also the mark of a unique Blue Moon – also the Full Sturgeon Moon, the Full Red Moon, the Green Corn Moon and the Grain Moon.  What all these moons had to do with East Side Storytellin’ and the people involved, I do not pretend to know.  What I do know is that it was one hella time had by everyone there.

The featured author, Mike Pentecost, is quite the storyteller.  He’s been featured several times as a guest speaker and storyteller and token male for the monthly comedy series called That Time of the Month (http://www.that-time-of-the-month.com).  Side note, the creator of said series is none other than the wonderful East Side Storytellin’ 11 alum author and comedian in Melanie Vare (revisit her show here- http://eastsidestorytn.com/east-side-storytellin-11-laughter-the-day-after-april-fools/).  But back to Mike, he is a man of the church sermon writer turned faith on humanity and comedy non-fiction, out of this world funny, storyteller.  You can see how he captivated the audience in this one picture below, if you aren’t tripped out by the panoramic shot.

Mike Pentecost is the author of the most true, most hilarious collection of stories involving Greyhounds I’ve ever read.  It is called Bus People, and you can come get a copy of it at East Side Story today, if you don’t have one already.  Short hand, it is thirty days on the North American roads with several charismatic, stranger than strange nomads traveling on the same buses as Mike.  It is an honest, wonderful trip that Mike wrote about and pleasantly continues to share with anyone willing to get on the bus with him.  You can listen to a few excerpts that Mike shared with the crowd on this particular evening to see if you’d also like to buy a ticket to ride.  You can hear it in the SoundCloud link below, and I assure you that you won’t be disappointed for giving up a few moments of your time.

And speaking of time, it was about time that I finally got around to having two of the coolest musicians I know on this show for the first time.  I call them Dave and Dave, but they normally call themselves The Coal Men when on stage performing together.  They are both two solid guys, managers at two successful Nashville businesses (one is at Ugly Mugs Coffee and Tea, and the other is at See Spot Eat and also Dogs and Kat: Dog Training & Behavior Counseling).  As I mention in the recording, I met both of these gentlemen via their smart, also very successful better half wives, but this is what they look like when they are having fun out on the town at night playing original songs that kick are.

Yes sir (and ma’am), Dave and Dave of The Coal Men are one of a kind as a group.  Dave Ray, on the drums, is usually bouncing out of his seat with a pop usually seen in only one other happy drummer I’ve ever seen (on the internet) in that of Sir Ringo Starr.  This specific show, Mr. Ray stood up the entire time and kept the beat and back-up vocals in check while smoothing out every song as only he could.  Dave Coleman is hands down one of the finest guitar players in a city filled with people trying all day and night to do half of the things he can do in a 3 minute song.  As mentioned above, you can listen to the songs and stories in the link below that contains the edited show, but you can bet you’ll be hard-pressed to find another singer and guitarist in town that can shred away all of the nonsense dressings and get to the artistic core of every song that he sings and plays.  It is really something, for lack of better words here.

But yeah, after the songs were played, and the crowd finished clapping (that took awhile after this show), I was yet again fortunate to stand and talk with all three of the fine featured guests of the evening.  Some nights in the past, some shows have been hard to pull out answers and stories from the guests.  This was not one of those nights.  I’m not sure if this was when the Full Moon and all of the other moons described kicked in, but I’m pretty sure that we could have talked for another two hours with no problem.  I felt truly blessed to be standing by three grown adult men who have been brave enough to pursue their dreams, find a balance of family and working lives, and also just plain appear to get it.  It’s not every day when you are able to converse with such remarkable guys, and I know I was not alone for being in their presence for that time being.  The crowd and myself were better people for having listened to their art and their personal stories.

You know someone else who might be better for listening to their art and stories, it might just be YOU!  Here is the chance, on the link below, for you to take a trip back to Tuesday, August 20th, at 7pm, to experience what you either missed or want to experience again, over and over.  Be sure to like it if you like it and share this page and post with others.

 https://soundcloud.com/eastsidestorytn/sets/east-side-storytellin-20-8-20

Here’s another something that you won’t want to miss out on.  This was the art print that my dear friend and artist Alex Smith made for this show above.  It’s truly amazing, if you look closely and back at the others that he has made for each individual show, how he transforms the links of the featured guests that I send him (sometimes he only sees the websites and listens to a few songs), into something that totally captures the extraordinary events to remember it by- doing so before they even happen!  Take a moment and check it and his work out here:

art by Alex Smith

art by Alex Smith

 

And one more final round of Thank You‘s, before I tell you about the next show coming up in September.

To Emily Frances Harper Beard (www.efharper.com), you are my everything.  I can’t say anything else because everything means everything!

To Tom Eizonas, you make us all sound amazing while recording the show and making sure that everyone in the crowd hears every word and note as it is intended to be heard.

To Alex Smith, I think I just said a majority of what I want to say here in the paragraph above, but you are so amazing.  Thanks for sharing your talents with the world.

To Chris Haston and the Fat Bottom Brewing Co. family- www.fatbottombrewing.com, THANKS for allowing us to call your place of business our little place of home for a few nights a month since February.  We have had an absolute blast while highlighting the best of what you guys are about and sharing all of our stories and talents together.  This will definitely not be the last time we all come together and have fun for East Side Storytellin’s sake.

To Mike Pentecost- http://mikepentecost.blogspot.com, thank you for going on your bus adventure in the first place.  Thanks to your wife for letting you go and write this too.  I know it took a lot of courage to put ”normal” life to the side to make this story happen and then write about it, but you have done a tremendous job so far and I have no doubt many many more people will take note of it going forward.  You are an inspiration to your kids and wife and more people than you know.

To Dave Ray and Dave Coleman- http://thecoalmen.com, you guys are two of a kind.  Not only did the big random police raid at The Family Wash not deter you from rocking that place til’ the end of your set, but you totally made August 20th one night to not forget any time soon.  Your talents are obvious, individually and together, and much appreciated by everyone that knows and loves you.  Like Mike, this is definitely only the beginning to your creative journey, and I want to thank you for letting me and East Side Storytellin’ be a very small part of that trip.  I look forward to shows at Key West and beyond.  Basically, you guys ROCK!

But this is not the end of East Side Storytellin’, by any means.  We have a change of plans, for location only really.  We are already booked every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month through the rest of 2013 with some of the finest local authors and musicians in Nashville so don’t you worry.  The thing is, as we are always apt for change of scenery and to adapt the show where it needs to go next as long as it keeps on growing and going, we are moving it, beginning September 3rd, to Mad donna’s (1313 Woodland Street)- just down the hill and street from East Side Story bookstore!  We will have an open-air patio to play on when sunny, and we’ll have the cool upstairs event space to get out of crappy weather or the cold air coming sooner than later.  Also, the month of September will feature local poets as the featured authors for the first time in both shows.  Here is the information for the next show to take note of and attend with all your friends.  Don’t be scared, it’s FREE!

But we aren’t finished quite yet!  We’re just getting started.

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

Date- Tuesday, September 3rd, 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- Jamie Givens (author of Never Offer A Chair To A Dancing Girl) and music by Bill DeMain & Molly Felder of the band Swan Dive (http://swandive.org).

 

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Tom Eizonas, Chuck Beard, Melanie Vare, Mallory Graham-Ellison & Scott Tyler (The Rough and Tumble)

Tom Eizonas, Chuck Beard, Melanie Vare, Mallory Graham-Ellison & Scott Tyler (The Rough and Tumble).
Photo Credit – Jake Larson

I figured awhile ago that kicking off my favorite month, for personal reasons of course, of April surrounding myself with some people that would make me laugh and my heart to smile would be the best thing I could do.  It just so happened that I knew exactly who to call for said mission within the growing confines of East Side Storytellin’ and where it is heading.

I met both of the featured acts for East Side Storytellin’ 11 though other friends of East Side Story a few months ago.  On April 2nd, the day after April Fools Day, I was honored to bring together Melanie Vare and The Rough and Tumble (Mallory Graham-Ellison and Scott Tyler) for a very special show.  Tom and I got to the location so early that I found myself ready to start things over 30 minutes before start time in fact.  But we waited for everyone to fill in the seats and take their spots as usual.

art by Alex Smith

I met Melanie Vare via a mutual friend and author named Mike Pentecost (author of the book Bus People).  Mike was a guest and featured male author for Vare’s monthly show called “That Time of the Month” where she has several funny female storytellers and then one token male at the end.  The show is celebrating it’s one year anniversary in Nashville with a double show (back-to-back) on Sunday, April 14th, but Melanie’s story goes back beyond a year.

She first started out as a stand-up comic while in college in San Diego.  She graduated college and the ranks of comedy by moving up to LA and making her mark on places such as Comedy Central, The Moth Radio Hour, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, and variety of others before starting her own blog called “The Nail Biter” and bringing other funny females together for her That Time of the Month shows.  After putting together her ‘best of book’ titled “stories to get you through That Time of the Month,” (you can find both at www.melanievare.com) she left Venice (Beach that is) for Nashville and the love of her life, her husband.  She hasn’t stopped growing her comedic vision and goals since the move.  And being a trusty patron of Zanie’s Comedy Club from time to time, I was ready to get my laugh on.

I introduced Melanie and she took control of the stand and the crowd with a personal narrative that was filled with the lighter side of near robbery, kidnap, and rape of all things.  You couldn’t hear a beer glass drop until the funny parts sent giggling waves around the room.  In the end, nobody was harmed other than the psyche of the narrator’s mom, but that’s just what happens to parents with kids growing up, right?  As you can hear below, Melanie was a superstar on and off the page.

Melanie sat down and I picked up my notes to introduce The Rough and Tumble.  I was introduced to them on the internet via East Side Storytellin’ alum Julie Lee when Lee mentioned that she had some talented friends who would be perfect for East Side Storytellin’.  When good friends talk, I listen.  I immediately went to their website, www.theroughandtumble, and listened to every song and watched every video back to back.  I was awe-struck.  I bypassed their campaign page for their contact information and asked them if they would be interested in the first open date that I had on the books, April 2nd.  Before I even surfed back to the campaign page, they had already replied and wanted to do the date.  Not only that, they came to the East Side Storytellin’ event that very night even though they were sick and tired from the road.

Fast forward to the night of East Side Storytellin’ 11 and me being giddy to introduce these two wonderful people.  Mallory and Scott had already set up ALL of their instruments just the way they wanted and proceeded to win everyone’s hearts over with their original songs, magical melodies, and heartfelt vocals.  Their music was breathtaking and their comedic banter in between songs and the stories they told before each song made me exhale with laughs each time around.  Their conversations about their campaigns (like the Save the Postal Service Campaign, the Holiday Awareness Campaign and others) had me laughing and smiling for days after the show.  Just like the first time I experienced their music on their website, I was totally won over by everything they do and are about from the first song they sang at Fat Bottom.  You’ll hear it below, but it was amazing (for lack of a better adjective).

Overall, after a fairly noisy interview session, Melanie, Mallory, and Scott were such troopers.  They made me laugh more than I have in awhile and reminded me to stay focused to the dreams and passions that I am trying to work towards in my own life.  I’m not sure if you could ask for more from an artist, can you?

The Rough and Tumble are so fierce they rock even after they rock!

The Rough and Tumble are so fierce they rock even after they rock!
Photo Credit- Jake Larson

Before I give you the link to listen to the show as edited below that aired on April 6th, 2pm, at WAMB radio (1200am/99.3fm), I want to give a few more THANK YOU shout outs.

First, to my lovely wife Emily Frances Harper Beard (www.efharper.com).  She had to work out of town this round and missed the show but she is always the cornerstone of my life.

-Many thanks to Tom Eizonas for the amount of passion he provides to this project and the job that he does with the sounds on and off the stage.  The proof of his excellence is in every recording we put together.

-Thank you artist and friend Alex Smith.  Your artwork inspires me every day and I’m honored that you share your talents with me and all of Nashville for that matter.

-Thanks to Chris Haston, Aric Carroll, and the rest of Fat Bottom Brewing Co. for letting us use your home as our home for the show for the time being.  It is a wonderful establishment on the rise and like East Side Story … the best is yet to come!

-Thanks to Melanie Vare for her stories, honesty, creativity, and courage to take any stage and tell jokes and funny stories to make others feel better about their life and laugh even when they are coming to see you to do so.  Comedy is the hardest job their is and you do it very well.

-THANK YOU Mallory Graham-Ellison and Scott Tyler for being the team that you are.  Your music, instrumental play, vocal harmonies, and deep, personal touches and insight that you add into your thoughtful songs and everything that you put together on and off your website is tremendously inspiring to say the least.  You both are destined for good things and you have such good hearts.  Thanks for being YOU!

 

Now, without further ado, here is the link to listen to the show you might have missed.  Word to the wise, don’t miss out on it below or the next show(s) to come!

 

https://soundcloud.com/eastsidestorytn/sets/east-side-storytellin-11-4-02

 

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

Date- Tuesday, April 16th, 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-  Robert Hicks (New York Times Bestselling author of “The Widow of the South” and “A Separate Country”– www.robert-hicks.com) and the musical stylings of Eric Brace and Peter Cooper (http://redbeetrecords.com/eric-brace-peter-cooper-master-sessions)

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East Side Storytellin’ 10: Words by Barry Mazor, music by Paul Burch, and the spirit of Jimmie Rodgers

March 25, 2013

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013, marked a very interesting night in Nashville.  Over at Fat Bottom Brewing Co., I was fortunate yet again to be in the middle of some of the most amazing, talented people in and around Nashville.  I mean, c’mon, when and where else can you be around a writer that has been […]

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