poetry

RJ Bracchitta, Abigail Flowers, Tom Eizonas, James Collins, and Chuck Beard

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to the recap and recording 116th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 115, I repeat … 115, 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’ 116. Let us begin, again.

Our first featured artist of the evening is a published poet who has earned a wide variety of writing credits that include plays, musicals, book adaptations for theater, national advertising copy and articles for the St. Petersburg Times and other publications. He has also written non-violent curriculum for schools. He taught creative writing for 6 years for 2 Art Councils in Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. Since moving to Nashville, he has written and published 5 books for children, as well as 3 books of poetry…such a slacker. On this given night, we were honored to have him share some new, fresh off the kitchen counter, original work with us. I’m talking about the always refreshing and talented James Collins.

James kicked off his set by announcing to the crowd that he is weird, his words are weird, and this reading was going to be weird, all while shuffling through his prepared work that he had continuously edited and prepared up until the last second. Some of the poems had lines through the title, and those lines were put there mere minutes before the show started. That’s how fresh this material was. I told James during the pre-show that sharing creative work that nobody has ever heard or seen before typically gets an astute audience even further on the edge of their seats. This is exactly what happened as James began to deliver his “weird” poetry.

But the thing about it was that none of the poetry or reading was weird at all. James knew exactly where he was going and how he wanted to take us with him, as we walked hand in hand with his poetic walk in the park. And this walk took us places such as trying to find love, natural love, hidden treasures while making journeys through men’s work from the head to the heart, and then several poems about the art of aging. Despite the comedic, self-defecating comments about James aging more than most in the crowd (obviously, like the laws of gravity, we are all aging at the same rate in this room), I think the aging content and ideas behind our various processes of accepting our everyday age increase were spot on and absolutely brilliant. Then, after nearly dropping the mic with a poem about the recent eclipse experience, James ended with a cure and a remedy speech as his official/unofficial encore (as demanded by the crowd). There are so many great lines that I took note of during James’ set, but the overall adventure between birth and death was at the heart of it all … it always is.

Our featured music of the night was provided by someone who was making the third time a featured charm since she had already shared the East Side Storytellin’ stage as a friend to Ally Brown and Kira Hooks. She is a versatile vocalist with a passion for great melodies. Since picking up her first ukulele in 2011, she has been busy combining her smooth vocal tone with the instrument’s simple sound to produce an intimate and emotional musical experience you will soon behold. But on this particular event, she left the trusted ukulele at home and instead brought her trusted and talented friend RJ Bracchitta on the guitar. But back to the featured musician. She is a vocalist and songwriter with specialties in jazz, Latin, and singer-songwriter styles. And she has a heart and voice of gold. I’m talking about the bright star on the meteoric rise named Abigail Flowers.

Abigail, who came straight to the show from a church choir practice, immediately brought us good karma, good stories, and a great lead song called “Bobby.” She told a short story behind the song. It was about a homeless man/friend she met while doing social work for a year in the Houston area. It was a journey of questions about life, heaven, and everything in between. It was clear that her time in Houston had been a profound experience because she went into another original song about other long-distance friendships from that time right after Bobby.

From Houston to family inspired songs, Abigail opened her heart and her vocals by sharing the sweetest 60th anniversary gift any granddaughter has ever made and given to their grandparents. As is the case in most of these recaps, I can’t fully give the story or song justice more than you taking time to check it out yourself in the recording below, but know that there were quite a few eyes in the crowd that needed tissues = happy tears, of course. But then, switching from family to relationships with boys who love Hanson, Abigail and RJ revved up the rhythm and soon began playing harmonies off of each other like a dance. They ended the set with a song called “Enough.” It was a beautiful reminder that there’s nothing out there when you’re searching for the wrong things, but there’s more than enough in the world when you are searching for the good stuff. And she sang that we get more things by giving it all away. I couldn’t have said or sang it better on this given day.

From the music ending, I let RJ jump back into the audience while asking James to return to the stage. Then Abigail and James took me on a quite the conversation about their creative upbringings, adversities, support and lack there of, and honestly articulating what makes them tick each time they go to write new material. They have a few years and different insights between them, but there was a similar passion for finding and sharing the truths they find to be self-evident in their stories. It was an absolute pleasure to share some quality time together while talking with these two humble and great artists.

So here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 116, the show where we featured James Collins and Abigail Flowers (with RJ Bracchitta) at The Post East on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. Feel free to enjoy and share it with everyone you know, over and over again.

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

You can listen to more of Abigail’s music here – www.abigailflowersmusic.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’ 117

Tuesday, October 17th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Carter F. Smith

singing- Ali Sperry

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 116 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, Matt Siffert, TJ Jarrett, and Chuck Beard

Thank YOU. Thank YOU. Thank YOU. Hello again. Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially and whole-heartedly welcome you to the recap and recording of the 97th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’. Like the 96, I repeat … 96, previous shows East Side Story has put together, we all decided to take a break from our busy lives 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 a 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. So, without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is the recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 97. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is a extraordinary writer and software developer in Nashville. She is one of the most well-respected local poets I’ve come across to date. Her work has been published or forthcoming in Poetry, African American Review, Boston Review, Third Coast, West Branch, and many others. She has earned scholarships from Colrain Manuscript Conference, fellowships from Sewanee Writer’s Conference, and has won more prizes and acclaim for her poetry than most people I know combined (and that says a lot). She has already been featured in work sold at East Side Story via her inclusion in Third Man Books’ Language Lessons, but this night we solely focused on here writing and her writing alone. I’m talking about the one and only TJ Jarrett.

TJ broke the ice with everyone be letting us all know that she was going to share what she called her B-side poems. These were works that had not found the light of day or night in some time, never published in any of her print titles yet and most had never been shared with public ever or in a very long time. Tonight was the night she was ready to share them again in a new light.

TJ has a powerful presence, a powerful voice, and probably the most powerful artistic insight translated from her life into her work that I have ever experienced. Everything is poignant, deep, and spot on for you to appreciate in your own life instantly. I was particularly blown away by the directness and simplicity of several of the following lines in different poems shared:

I want to be good.

You have learned early what I have learned late.

How does the Earth handle all of these geographies, all of these changes?

They call this victory.

They call this victory. I call having TJ on our show a complete victory. You can listen to the context of the lines above and many more that she shared in the recording link below. She says it all much better than I can write her material. You’ll find the context in which she shared her thoughts and stories, and I’m sure you’ll find something you can connect with on a multitude of levels. That’s what TJ does for everyone. She takes personal narratives and experiences and transforms them into literary adventures that you can go on with her and come out the other side changed for the better every single time. She is a treasure to Nashville and the literary world in general. We were so happy to showcase her work for a brief moment to end 2016 in style.

Our featured music of the night is brought to you by a long-time fan and friend of East Side Storytellin’. He is a an experimental singer-songwriter, combining folk-influenced songwriting with jazz, blues, rock, and spoken-word. A native New Yorker, we are proud to call him a Nashville resident. He has performed with his Cuban guitar and American bass in New York venues such as Le Poisson Rouge and Rockwood Music Hall, as well as many others from New Orleans to Florence, Italy. He has been featured in The New Yorker, Time Out New York, The Deli, I Care If You Listen, NPR, and now East Side Storytellin’. I’m talking about my friend Matt Siffert.

Matt jumped right into his zone with the coolest guitar I’ve seen in a minute, and he took command of his work in front of a sea of people in the crowd. He gave credit to friends who had inspired some of the songs he stripped down for the special set, and it was a special set indeed. It went through several styles of melodies and lyrics. My personal favorite was a short shout out of sorts to a girl in Utah. If you blink, you’ll miss it and her.

But that’s the thing with Matt and his music. He’s documenting his personal journey and giving us a soundtrack to his adventures, all the people and places he experiences. His set and his music is the epitome of what I envision the New York experimental scene embodies, mixing beat poetry from a half century ago with political observations of current situations and a love story amiss or two in between, Matt does his best to cover the gambit. Again, it was about time to get him featured on this East Side Stortytellin’ trip.

I can’t think of a better way to close 2016 than with the likes of  TJ Jarrett and Matt Siffert. They stuck around to give detailed, enlightening, and entertaining answers to what motivates them to do what they do, past, present, and future. There were many laughs, on stage and off, and, as is the case with every show we’ve put together to far, everyone had a good time. Is there anything else we can ask of for each day we are alive? I think not, but that’s just my opinion. I can share with you a fact though. You don’t have to kick yourself for missing the 97th show in person. We record every single show so that you can share the experience we had together with everyone you know. You’re welcome.

So, here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 97 that featured TJ Jarrett and Matt Siffert at The Post on Tuesday, December 20, 2016. Please listen to it and share with everyone you know, over and over again.

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

You can read more of TJ’s writing here – www.tjjarrett.com 

You can listen to more of Matt’s music here – www.mattsiffert.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 some extra love to Clay Brunton, for the beautiful artwork online to promote the show and being an all-around amazing human being, father, husband, brother, and friend. If you have time, please send extra positive thoughts and prayers to Clay and his family right now while one of his closest relatives faces a recovery from surgery and some other complications.

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’ 98

Tuesday, January 3rd

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Liza Kawaller (@lkawaller)

singing- Machaela-Catherine Nesler

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 97 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, Drew Kohl, Kiely Schlesinger, Matt Johnstone, and Tom Eizonas

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

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to the recap and recording of the 87th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 86, I repeat … 86, previous shows East Side Story has put together, we all decided to take a break from our busy schedules all over town in order to sit back and relax and get everyone cultured up just right in the form of a Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing and talking about their original music, and then a round-up creative conversation with all featured guests of this event to talk about their individual journeys and personal ties to Nashville. Without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is the recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 87. Let us begin, again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

Our next show will be

East Side Storytellin’ 88

Tuesday, August 2nd

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Barry Jones (www.barryjonesstories.com)

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

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 87 and another fabulous event at The Post with East Side Story at the helm. Thanks for coming out and sharing the good word and giving some love to all of these great Nashville artists and our creative ideas. Please remember to be nice to one another out there.

much love,

mE

 

 

 

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Lilly Hiatt, Chuck Beard, Tom Eizonas, Reed McMillan, and Chance Chambers

Lilly Hiatt, Chuck Beard, Tom Eizonas, Reed McMillan, and Chance Chambers

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another epic recap and review and recording with East Side Story at The Post. Welcome to the 59th spectacular edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 58 previous shows East Side Story has put together, we all arrived here to 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’ 59. Let us begin, again.

The first featured guest of the evening was an extraordinary man and artist that, in my humble opinion, is the cornerstone of Nashville poetry. Many of you probably already know him and his work because he is also one of the biggest fans and supporters of the Nashville literary scene and has been so since the 80’s. He’s an old soul with a youthful spirit that makes words and everyone around him feel more alive. Born in Paris, TN, he’s made Nashville his home for quite some time and has literally made Nashville poetry better and better through his work with Poetry in the Brew and various other ventures since arriving. I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to get him on the East Side Storytellin’ stage, but with his blog titled the Drunken Poem Bodega, and the fact that it this show took place on Cinco de Mayo, and the other fact that he has told me that he’s already a big fan of the featured musician of this specific show after listening to her latest release, I believe this was the absolute perfect time for us to shine a positive light on this fella. I was truly honored beyond words to finally and proudly introduce the East Side Storytellin’ family and friends to the likes of the man, the literary legend, Chance Chambers!

Chance walked up to the podium like a professional. Actually, it was nothing like a professional setting. There was no “green room” or VIP backstage area. Chance had been sitting down, surrounded by circles of his favorite local poets and he had quite the time meandering sideways, back and forth, and finding a successful path to the front of the microphones because the crowd there to support him was so close knit all around. In a day and age when it seems as though every poetry event in town exceeds expectations for attendance and local love and support, this show and flood of love for Chance was even more special.

Examining the fact that he was on location at The Post even before I arrived, to say that Chance was prepared to rock us all with his literary performance on such an occasion would be a huge understatement. Several times during his readings from various original prose, Chance plugged in his iPod and simultaneously read his work to the melodies of his own creation. It wasn’t the first time a featured writer had read to music, but it was definitely just as transcendent. From the material, the mood, the tone, and the characters, everything that Chance read about all meshed together into quite the trip. There was a lot of talk about gin, despite the round of margaritas that circulated before the show started, and there was a lot of talk about life. Anyone who has read or heard Chance read his original work knows that he relays metaphors and descriptors that make ordinary life extraordinary better than most household names in literature today.

To close his time on stage, Chance dedicated his final two poems to a fallen friend who passed away named Tia. It was honest, personal, and deeply reflective. There was a communal sense from everyone in the crowd that was very appreciative and honored to witness Chance share such words and sentiment as much as Chance had already said numerous times how he was so appreciative and honored to be a part of East Side Storytellin’. Point being, it was perfect timing and the perfect people involved and paired together yet again.

The featured musician of this great night was someone that is superb at making music and playing songs by just being herself. Witty, brutally frank, and musically adventurous, she’s masterful at transforming rough patches of life into smart, sturdy, and sometimes even hilarious songs that don’t really sit squarely into any specific genre. She cites some of her inspirations and favorites similar to my own faves, as in The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., and Pearl Jam. Her 2012 debut titled “Let Down” was anything but, and we’re honored and super excited to have her join the East Side Storytellin’ family by showcasing fresh upon releasing her latest work called “Royal Blue.” Alongside her talented guitarist friend Reed McMillan, we were more than ready to listen to the talented Lilly Hiatt.

Lilly jumped right into the scene, feeling good that she was close to her home after doing a tour out West and proclaiming that playing a show at 7pm was just as nice for her as it was for everyone in the crowd happy to get home before midnight (definitely not the case in Nashville on the regular). She and Reed played on the same page and the sounds were so easy to follow and listen to with all of our hearts. I’ve said it before that when musicians or professionals of any job are excelling at their work that it appears effortless and easy. Well, that was the case yet again with the musicians on this show. Lilly and Reed went through song after song as if we were all sitting in their home playing a house show like none other. It was a listening crowd loving on musicians who were loving on a listening crowd. Oh yeah, and the songs were out of this world amazing to boot.

Lilly has a gift for storytelling with some of the same magic that Chance has in his prose and poetry. I seriously can’t name a favorite from the set because each tune was as poignant as the last, although I loved dissecting the “Jesus would have let me pick the restaurant” concept within the story and song she sang it in. Simply put, every song Lilly writes and performs leaves listeners with a broader sense of their world, purpose, and awe of everyday life. If you don’t have a copy of “Royal Blue” or her debut, you should go out and buy it now … just sayin’.

After the music ended, I was very excited to jump up to the microphone and share a little more time with Chance and Lilly in order to let them tell the crowd a little more about their creative paths. They talked about getting started in their art, and it was such a pleasant interview to wrap up one of the most pleasant nights I’ve had in recent history. When everything is right in the world, everything is right in the world. On this night, on this show, some very good-hearted and amazingly creative people met, shared some time and art together, and ended the day sharing their passions in a way that made everyone around them feeling better than the day before. There’s something amazing to be said about that concept.

I could write for days trying to articulate it better and better, but I’d say it might be best to just let you listen to the edited recording for yourself. So, without further delay, here is the recording of East Side Storytellin’ 59 with Chance Chambers and Lilly Hiatt (featuring Reed McMillian) at The Post on Tuesday, May 5th (Cinco de Mayo 2015). Feel free to share with all of your friends and family, and enjoy it over and over:

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

You can read more about Chance Chambers- http://chancechambers.com

You can listen to more from Lilly Hiatthttp://lillyhiatt.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 for the prints you may have seen all over the place online before 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 everything they do here at The Post to help make a vibrant East Nashville community even brighter than ever.

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event presented by East Side Story will be …

East Side Storytellin’ 60!!

Tuesday, May 19th

7pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street)

reading- Matthew Leavitt Brown  (www.riversonnet.org)

singing- Dewveall (http://dewveall.com/)

That’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 59 and another fabulous event here at The Post with East Side Story. 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

A cool shot with Chance in the reflection of the mirror enjoying the beautiful music of Lilly Hiatt and Reed McMillan.

A cool shot with Chance Chambers in the reflection of the mirror enjoying the beautiful music of Lilly Hiatt and Reed McMillan.

 

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Tiana Clark, Deli, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

Tiana Clark, Deli, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

Thank YOU for visiting this page, hello, and welcome to another spectacular edition of East Side Storytellin’. Because we are counting and we make every single one count, it’s important for me to remind you that this is our 51st show! Like the 50 previous shows we’ve put together from East Side Story, we’ve all arrived at this spot, here and now, to 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, this is the recap and recording for East Side Storytellin’ 51. Let us begin, again.

The first featured guest of this evening was one of the most appreciated pre-East Side Story artists from the standpoint of my household. A few years back, not too long ago, this young lady brought her amazing character, work ethic, professional manners, and beauty forward to help a little creative movement in their own right called magpie etc, teaming up with Nashville fashion guru Rhiannon Guillet to help put on quite the shows. Since then, she has taken time away from the catwalk, carrying with her that same impeccable sense of character, work ethic, professional manners, and beauty towards performing through her words. She is a Pushcart Prize Nominee and member of the Lucille Clifton Collective and studies at MTSU’s Writer’s Loft program. Her poems have appeared in Sisterhood, Southern Voices: Volume 8, Southwestern Review, All the Livelong Day: Motif Anthologies, Volume 3, The Raven Chronicles, and Nashville Arts Magazine … to name a few with more on the way. She is a rising star in the bright Nashville poetry spotlight, and I was honored to have her start and liven up this final show of 2014. It was a jam-packed house of artists that helped give a much anticipated and deserved warm welcome to the stage for Tiana Clark.

Tiana didn’t waste any time. She put her wine glass on the floor beside the podium and hit the ground running with words that moved everyone in a space where so many were packed together that it was difficult to literally move. The crowd was so close, and combined with the powerful energy brought forth by Tiana’s insight and ideas that swayed the crowd towards her, I felt the scene came off as something similar to a school of fish going wherever Tiana’s flow took them. Basically, she was dropping mad life knowledge that took us all to school. She talked about her family, society, race, the times and world we live in, and did so effortlessly but with bravery on her sleeve. She knew she was in front of an attentive and appreciate, but don’t let that take away from the fact that Tiana never holds anything back from sharing her truth and unique view of the world she experiences on the daily.

After she dissected a lot of current newsworthy issues within her art, she took a second to show much love to her mother and their relationship. As a fitting early Christmas gift from a daughter to a mother, I’m sure there were a few happy tears shed from the crowd after so much sentimentality and honesty and love poured from the speakers over the crowd (directed all on one very proud mama). Once again, I don’t do enough justice with these recaps because you honestly had to be there to get the full effect of everything that came together this particular evening (note to yourself: don’t miss these shows!).

And then, as if she just took the microphone moments before, she dropped her final words of thanks for the crowd, the show, and everyone who has helped her to date, picked up her wine glass, and took a seat by her loving husband and family and friends. It was the perfect set-up for the musical stylings of the night.

The featured musician of the show was also a multi-talented artist within any medium she so chooses to give her mind, heart, body, and soul into. She plays several instruments, looping sounds in between like magic, and combines constant melodies and wonderful stories with few words. Talk about poetry, her music has been described as a surrealistic pillow, a soothing place for the physical weight of one’s head while supporting the stream of visions excited in the listener’s relaxed, unconscious mind. I first found out about this gem of a human when I was doing research on Float Nashville and stumbled upon an epic festival that this artist was a part of with that company last year. In fact, you should do yourself a favor and do some similar research to learn more about that business and this artist when you finish this page (you’re welcome). Back to this show though, all of the blinking lights and focus fell justifiably on the majestic that was the one and only artist that goes by the name of Deli.

Deli kicked off her shoes, took a seat in front of her peddles of sound shifting wonder, lifted her guitar to her lap, and set sail into the great sound. The guitar playing skills were fine tuned, but she did everything so calmly and in such a relaxed manner that the music she played instantly drew a meditative painting over the room. It was perfect for reflecting on my own life and times (I can only speak for myself, always, although I’m sure I’m never alone in saying these things), and it was even more perfect (if that is a possible phrase that makes sense) for reflection on everything that Tiana had recently shared to everyone. Point being, it was perfect.

Deli, to me, had elements of her sounds like a young Erykah Badu … but better. It was innocent and pure, but complex and made me feel like she was on another level that we wanted to go to meet her there and she was looping the melodic formula of the songs in a manner that allowed us to take that trip with her as our guide. No, I’m not on drugs as I type this nor was I in the crowd. But it was, as this entire show was, transcendent. To say I highly recommend you catching a performance and learning more about each of these featured bad ass women artists in the future is a complete understatement.

Anyways, I do feel the need to apologize that we didn’t have time to set up the equipment more properly to allow for Deli to do more looping (again, she’s a genius = listen to her stuff online). With that said, I’m not sure how the show could have been better. When the music faded and I had the chance to ask the ladies a few questions for closure to the performances, each said some very enlightening answers. I’ll let you listen more for it in the recording below, but Tiana talked a good deal about bravery within her writing process and performance while Deli spoke earnestly about the topic of vulnerability and how that opens doors to art that isn’t there without it being present. It was/is some very deep, awesome, and profound stuff to behold, remember, and practice for each of us going forward into the new year.

That said, this was a great transitional show in a lot of ways. One, it was the final show at Mad Donna’s, for reasons mentioned below of where we plan to go next. Secondly, it was a show that had so many Nashville literary rock stars and leaders in the writing community that it all just felt right. The Nashville literary scene, even more so with the poets, are so close and supportive for everything everyone does that I have no doubt that we will collective move mountains with the talent, strength, and spotlight that is in the making to help shine THE light on everything inside and beyond for Nashville.

Before I sound too crazy here, I’d now like to present to you the golden opportunity to listen to the edited version of East Side Storytellin’ 51. You can listen to it countless times by just re-clicking it, over and over, and you can share it with as many people on and off-line as humanly possible. In fact, why don’t you share it with as many people as you can and let me know how many humanly possible is. There might be a prize for the winner. Either way, enjoy this prized link right here and now:

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

You can read more from Tiana Clark here – www.tianaclark.com

You can listen to more from Deli here – www.facebook.com/delicolortempo

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 –http://eastsidestorytn.com/in-our-own-words/

I’d also like to show much love to Clay Brunton for the beautiful artwork for the prints made by Kevin Anthuis at 5 Points Digital Imaging (http://5pdi.com) to celebrate tonight’s show- seen here=

art by Clay Brunton, printed by Kevin Anthuis of 5 Points Digital Imaging

art by Clay Brunton, printed by Kevin Anthuis of 5 Points Digital Imaging

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

I’d like to give one last shout out to the crew at Mad Donna’s for allowing us to celebrate East Side Storytellin’ for over a year. We may be back in the future, but it’s time to announce the next step on our journey.

The NEXT East Side Storytellin’ event will be …

East Side Storytellin’ 52

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Riverwood Mansion (1833 Welcome Lane)

7pm

reading- Walker Bass

singing- Kirabelle (http://kirabellefrabotta.com)

East Side Storytellin’ is trying out something new for the next couple of months. Every story needs revising, right? East Side Story has partnered with UnBound Arts to bring a limited edition run of Storytellin’ at the Riverwood Mansion. They still have the usual rigmarole planned– part book reading, part musical performance and author/musician interview. However, they’re spicing up the menu a bit, with Chef Debbie Sutton of 8 Lavendar Lane Catering. Sutton is crafting special meals influenced by each evening’s readings. They’re bringing these stories to life, one bite at a time. Check out this supped-up version of Storytellin’ through March. Email chuck@eastsidestorytn.com or unboundartsnashville@gmail.com to see about purchasing tickets. 1833 Welcome Lane. 

OR purchase your tickets and share with friends here- https://www.eventbrite.com/e/east-side-storytellin-tickets-14892378505

And read more information about the location and Need to include the following links too-

www.eastsidestorytn.com

www.facebook.com/unboundarts

www.riverwoodmansion.com

http://5pdi.com

That’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 51 and 2014. Thanks for coming out and sharing the good word and giving some love to all of these great Nashville artists and our creative ideas. Feel free to visit me at East Side Story (1108 Woodland Street, Unit B) for all of your literary holiday gifts, and please remember to be nice to one another out there. Thanks and good day your way.

Much love,

mE

not 1 BUT 2 for the road (a great send-off for 2014, not 1 BUT 2 for the books):

 

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