Shane Tutmarc

Shane Tutmarc, Dave Eastman, Dana Malone, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to the recap and recording of the 5th anniversary and 118th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 117, I repeat … 117, previous shows East Side Story has put together, we all decided to take a break from our busy schedules all over town in order to sit back and relax and get everyone cultured up just right in the form of a Nashville writer reading from original prose, followed by an amazing local musician performing and talking about their original music, and then a round-up creative conversation with all featured guests of this event to talk about their individual journeys and personal ties to Nashville. Without further ado, fulfilling the entertainment portion of your day, this is the recap and recording of East Side Storytellin’ 118. Let us begin, again.

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

photo by @davidrobertfarmerie

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

photo by @davidrobertfarmerie

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

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

photo by @davidrobertfarmerie

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

photo by @davidrobertfarmerie

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

photo by Chance Chambers

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

photo by Chance Chambers

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

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

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

Chance, Steve, and Chuck = the crew.

Our next show will be

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

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 118 and another fabulous event at The Post with East Side Story at the helm. Thanks for coming out and sharing the good word and giving some love to all of these great Nashville artists and our creative ideas. Please remember to be nice to one another out there.

Much love,

mE

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

{ 0 comments }

Kristin Weber, Carter F. Smith, Tom Eizonas, Ali Sperry, and Chuck Beard

Thank YOU, thank YOU, thank YOU. Hello Again! Welcome to another wonderful collaboration between East Side Story and The Post. Let me be the first to officially, whole-heartedly welcome you to the recap and recording of the 117th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 116, I repeat … 116, 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’ 117. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is someone who teaches criminal justice at MTSU (Go Blue Raiders!). He was in the US Army CID for over 22 years, serving 15 of those at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where he and a loosely-organized group of investigators identified the growing gang problem in the early 1990’s. After the Army, he got a law degree and PhD. so you know we’re dealing with another slacker artist again, to be clear. He is a founding and still serving board member of the TN Gang Investigators Association and is a 3-time recipient of an award named for sociologists Frederic Milton Thrasher awarded by the National Gang Crime Research Center. You may recognize him from his appearances in the History Channel’s Gangland series, and you may be seeing him for the first time. Either way, it will be a pleasure. I’m talking about the extremely smart, kind, and talented Dr. Carter F. Smith.

Carter came prepared. He had a special event where he did a talk about his book a few days before East Side Storytellin’ and another one the day after. He had his notes, book, and photos to share with everyone present. Like I said, Carter was ready.

b/w photo of Monk Eastman

Carter jumped into his talk by giving the audience facts and proper context behind his research of gangs in the US military. He couldn’t have gone straight into the excerpts from his book, but he wanted us to get a clear picture of what is going on and how serious the matter is to our civilization as a whole going forward. That said, the historical context and figures he decided to talk more in depth about were truly fascinating to hear about. I knew a few of the figures, but the more unknown the characters were for me, the more impact they had had with the history of our country. I know there is at least two more book projects, whether Carter knows now or not, that he could squeeze out of these lemons.

After Carter set the scene of his book, he dove right in. He shared a few highlighted interviews he did while putting the book concept together and also while going down the wormhole of our criminal justice system and dangerous gangs located throughout our country. I instantly heard the back and forth dialogue as an old time radio show, and told this idea to Carter later for further tread on this book’s tire. Point being, I feel like Carter is only on the tip of the iceberg of this story and, although he’s done a fantastic job with absolutely everything he’s produced and shared so far, I’m hooked to hear more. You can take a listen to Carter on the recording below to hear just how on point he is with his research, writing, and delivery on this important topic.

Then, it was time for our featured music of the night. Our headlining musical guest is a Nashville-based indie artist whose songs are undeniably rooted in folk music, simple and true. Originally from Iowa and two musician parents who encouraged her to sing and create music from the time she could speak, her musical education was taught by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simon, among others. She moved through Syracuse University and around Chicago before being pulled to Nashville via an all-girl band called Sweetwater Rose. I know we’ll speak more about that and everything else musical and life related later, but let’s not waste any more time than we have and get this girl to sing these amazing original songs while we have her here to ourselves. Fresh off of her 2017 release of “Crooked Feelings,” her third record so far, and joined on stage by her tremendously talented friend on the fiddle, Kristin Weber, I was super excited to finally introduce the one, the only, Ali Sperry.

Ali jumped right into her song “Crooked Feelings” off the newest album. I was instantly pulled in by the lyrics “treason if you won’t fight the war” and “I quit for love!” and “I’m gonna be alright.” I thought it was the perfect transition from the dark side of life and current events explained by Carter’s work into a much more comforting and hopeful future prompted by Ali’s words, melodies, and style. I said it a few times to Tom during the performance, but Ali reminded me of a folkish version of Julie Andrew’s Mary Poppins. She was serving up the spoonfuls of sugar and it was helping us digest the real life medicine that already went down with Carter. I was feeling alive and okay.

Ali and Kristin were side by side on every note and harmony they dished to us. From the way they told the crowd to “Look at Me” with the lyric of “nobody loves you half as much as me” and “Pay attention.”, they had the entire room spellbound and in the palms of their hands. We even had two toddlers in the crowd who were recording the performance for future notes. It was very inspiring, to say the least.

Ali and Kristin ran through a solid handful of originals, from the inspiring song on hills about journeys going forward, to fictional tales and characters who Ali hopes is really real and happening somewhere in the world today, and finally wrapping up with some sad tunes and tributes to fallen friends and muses. One of the coolest moments of then night, for me, was when Ali and Kristin finished the set by covering Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ song Breakdown. You can hear it in the recording below, along with the rest of the set, but I will say that I thought it was perfect, timing and performance.

After the Tom Petty tribute ended, I was gifted with the chance to talk more about creative journeys and life passions with Ali and Carter. Both were as energetic and honest and positive as I’ve seen any duo of guests in all my time, and that says a lot since pretty much everyone I’ve had the chance to speak with is energetic, honest, and positive. You’ll hear it all in the recoding below, so I’ll save you from reading too much of my rambling post-show.

So here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 117, the night we featured the likes of Carter F. Smith, Ali Sperry, and Kristin Weber at The Post East on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017 at 1701 Fatherland. I’m no Yoko Ono, but I was not disappointed with a magical experience with all of these people and numbers aligning with the stars. Feel free to listen to this link and share it with all of your friends over and over again. Thank you.

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

You can read more of Carter’s writing here – www.gangsandthemilitary.com

You can listen to more of Ali’s music here – alisperry.com

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

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

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’ 118, the 5th anniversary show

Tuesday, November 7th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Dana Malone

singing- Solar Twin

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 117 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

{ 0 comments }

Tom Eizonas, Nick Rossi, Zach Ryan, 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 111th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 110, I repeat … 110, 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’ 111. Let us begin, again.

The first featured artist of the night is not just an amazing writer and human being, he is also a publisher of beautiful weirdos. It’s true, this guy, alongside Eric Benick, started the oober-awesome Ursus Americanus Press. With several hit projects in the bag and more on the horizon, this guy barely has time to do anything else … but alas, he persisted. When this guy isn’t eating too much sugar, spending too much time on his phone, or staying up too late for no reason, he endlessly churns out original stories on the page, over the interwebs, on countless white t-shirts, and more. His diligent work ethic is only matched by his positive attitude and energy for everyone around him. To say that he has a lot of friends and literary peers would be the understatement of the year. He has a busy year ahead with a move and work appearing in MESMER, Souvenir Lit, MAYDAY magazine, Chicago Literati, Vanilla Sex Magazine, and a few bathrooms around Nashville. He also writes and plays in a band called Choovanski. Point being, this guy rocks. It was truly an honor to introduce the man, the legend, Nick Rossi!

Nick took to the microphone like a caged animal who had been drinking caffeine all day while trying to decide if he needed to make brand new prose and poetry ready for a reading or if he should just rely on his old and trusted friends. I believe he ended up drinking a few pony high life’s and doing a little bit of both. All in all, Nick was in his zone. He apologized for his Chicago voice, gave a multitude of personal shout outs throughout the reading and night, and set the mood of the event perfectly with his tales of life on the road and not so light material that felt right at home for this day and age.

photo by Chance Chambers

I though Nick did a beautiful job of tying together the three stages of his Nashville experience. He shared a poem that explained why he decided to first come to Nashville (he apologized for the lack of edits for parts he claimed that sucked but everyone else in the room agreed that his words and reading did everything but suck). He spoke about the places he had come from and where he is going soon. Somewhere in the middle, he shed light and a deep perspective of privilege that he and so many of us other white males live with on the daily in this country, all the while sharing vivid examples and imagery of references with the abuse towards African Americans in this world. Like Nick’s shirts, his words and thoughts are extremely powerful. The sooner you get in the groove of how to digest the manner in which he races through his words, thoughts, and pages, the better you are to understand the pure heart and passion for literature and life and connecting with other people that Nick exudes on the daily. It’s all right there in his work. You can hear it as plain as day right there in the recording below.

Our featured music of the night is someone who has been playing music regularly since the age of 11. He’s chased his dream under a multitude of names and across several genres, but he’s still truckin’ and searching for his truth. After spending years doing the solo artist thing, his current project is The Wanderers (not to be confused the That Thing You Do’s The Oneders). Drawing inspiration from sounds and folks like Tom Waits, David Lynch, Chet Baker, and Dick Dale, The Wanderers just finished a record due to be released in late September. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to wait until September to here this guy play his great music. Via a wonderful connection and introduction with our mutual friend Shane Tutmarc, I was thrilled to finally be able to shed a spotlight on the one and only Zach Ryan!

I recently watched a segment of CBS Sunday Morning that featured John Mellencamp. They were talking about how Mellencamp had originally moved to New York City on a visual art scholarship but then got a record deal as soon as he got there. When he first played an original song for the suits at the label, he didn’t believe they heard any of his words and could just tell from the first five seconds of his playing that he had that special something. Mellencamp later mentioned in the interview that he really believes you can tell when a person has that special something of talent in any creative medium in the first few moments. Fast forward to hearing and seeing Zach Ryan play the guitar at The Post and I was not alone to be completely blown away by his virtuoso skill and sounds and musicianship that struck us all like lightning in the first few chords he played and sang. Again, you can hear what I’m talking about it the recording below.

Zach’s music is guitar driven and guitar led, and surrounded with the air of cinema. Some of the people in the crowd mentioned that he looked like the great actor Robert Mitchum, and I said I’d love to hear Zach play his melodies to old Robert Mitchum movies that are filmed out West and have the uncertainty of death and dark subject matter … almost like a not-so-funny but still as brilliant version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’m sure there are a million great references that came out of this specific show from the music and story themes, but nobody could deny that Zach was on the top of his game, even without the extra players in his band. Zach, like Nick, came correct to the show with some stories and melodies that took our breath away and blew our minds at the same time.

During the conversation portion of the show, we learned that both Nick and Zach had roommates by the name of Carl (with a C, not a K, because that’s much cooler) … shout out to Carl Carbonell. What was not planned before the show and with the pairing but was acknowledged by Zach very early into his set was that the darker subject matter shared by each unprompted or pre-curated artist reflected like a perfectly symmetric swampy sunset that made you appreciate the glow of the sun descending but at the same time scared you to death about what was hiding in the dark to come. Not to make you jittery while reading this, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. There was plenty to smile about, during the talking and the reading and singing. In fact, one of Zach’s happy songs was about a man finding joy in moving away and getting away with murder. You really need to take a listen to it below to get where I’m coming from about loving these guys so much.

photo by Chance Chambers

It was my pleasure and an honor to share the stage and shed the spotlight on this unique pair of troubadours. I do want to add a little note here for the sake of big transitions and moves for Nick Rossi. He told me when I booked him for the show that this would be fitting  for him since East Side Storytellin’ was one of the first literary events he attended when he moved to town and it would be one of his final public readings (outside of a fun Life is Boring reading event the Friday before he moved later that week). In between those two shows, Nick has become a beacon for the literary community at large and we were lucky enough to promote and share his books and journals while we ran the retail portion of the first chapter of East Side Story. We are gonna miss him, but we are thankful he will continue being awesome in Chicago and connecting our Nashville family with people and ideas beyond the city limits for years to come. Plus he is going to come back and visit often. Plus plus he is going to hire me when he gets his white t-shirt company off the ground and going. This will happen.

That said, before I say goodbye for this round of fun, I’d like to give a big round of thanks for Nick and Zach for sharing their stories, talents, and time with us. These are two of the good ones doing great things and both are just getting started. The best is yet to come.

So here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 111, a show when we were lucky to feature the likes of Nick Rossi and Zach Ryan at The Post on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Feel free to listen to this one and share it with everyone you know, over and over again. You’ll thank me afterwards.

You can read more of Nick’s writing here – www.ursusamericanuslit.com

You can listen to more of Zack’s music here – zachryansongs.bandcamp.com

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

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

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’ 112

Tuesday, August 1st

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Eric Benick

singing- Kira Hooks

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 111 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

{ 0 comments }

John Cannon, Chuck Beard, Tanya Montana Coe, Shane Tutmarc, Linda Barnickel, and Tom Eizonas

John Cannon, Chuck Beard, Tanya Montana Coe, Shane Tutmarc, Linda Barnickel, 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 84th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 83, I repeat … 83, 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’ 84. Let us begin, again.

Before I get to the recap, I want to make a special note for a dear friend who tagged along on this particular show surrounded with such history to shed light on the historical creative accomplishment he has made. I’m talking about John Cannon from The Idea Hatchery family and for creating and sustaining his art studio, John Cannon Fine Art, for ten years and counting. I asked that he bring along some of his artwork to set The Idea Hatchery mood just right and we were honored to have him and his wife join our fun for the night. Congrats, John! Here’s to ten more years and more ahead!

John Cannon Fine Art - Happy 10th anniversary!!

John Cannon Fine Art – Happy 10th anniversary!!

Now, back to the original program you’d expect to read and hear from us. Our first featured artist of the evening is one for the history books. She is an archivist, freelance writer, and historical researcher. In 2006, she wrote Oral History for the Family Historian for the Oral History Association. Her articles have appeared in Archival Issues, North and South Magazine, and the Tennessee Historical Quarterly, among others. She is the celebrated author of the extraordinary non-fiction book, Milliken’s Bend: A Civil War Battle in History and Memory, from LSU Press, and winner of the A.M. Pate Jr. Award and the Jules and Frances Landry Award as well. She’s appeared on C-SPAN’s BookTV, read at the Southern Festival of Books, and was a featured speaker at Vicksburg National Military Park. For the second time she’d spoken about Milliken’s Bend at The Post, having presented a pretty cool reading and lesson for attendees about about a year ago to the date, it was my honor to introduce the likes of Miss Linda Barnickel.

Before the show, It’s safe to say that Linda was the most prepared reader for any show we’ve ever hosted to date. I’ll give her all the credit in the world for her efforts. You must remember that she researched for nearly a decade and wrote for a handful of more years before finishing her non-fiction book. Before our show, she painstakingly tried to condense what could very well be a year-long college course at any established university into a 15 minute talk to a crowd who more than likely had very little knowledge about Milliken’s Bend before this night. And she pulled it off like Muhammad Ali, Allah bless his soul, like a champ. And with all that said, without even over-exhorting ourselves in planning or pairing any of these shows, it just so happened that this show featuring Milliken’s Bend took place on the 153rd anniversary of the battle! Talk about the universe coming together and perfect timing.

Linda had her special copy of her book and notes handy and ready to tackle the task of educating us all. She had an attentive crowd at the edge of their seats and she dove right in. First, she dished out a lot of factoids, including specific dates, names, and a little backstory of the importance of this battle that had been buried in the pile of history books before Linda came along.

photo credit by Chance Chambers

photo credit by Chance Chambers

Then, after setting the stage for the legendary battle, Linda decided it would be best to read a solid excerpt from the war experience and leave the audience with a cliffhanger so they could go to East Side Story later and buy the rest of the story too. Like I said before, Linda did a superb job of being as efficient with her story as anyone I’ve ever hosted on the show. She did it all with eloquence and confidence and a spark of interest in the past that few seldom show and that was infectious to everyone in the crowd to want to learn more and appreciate the present at the same time.

Our featured musician of the night is another treasured member of the Idea Hatchery family. She is co-founder and owner/operator of the legendary vintage store called Goodbuy Girls, having already found international publicity and notoriety with the work she has done with that and like with her music, she’s just getting started. Raised by a single mother, surrounded with several younger siblings, she worked service industry jobs to pay her way through MTSU (go Blue Raiders) to earn a BA in Accounting and finding a lucrative corporate gig before she realized that wasn’t her bag of tea. An actual Nashville native, her life has unfolded like a number 1 Country song from the early 80’s. She picked up a guitar in her early 20’s and hasn’t put it down since. Her first album, Silver Bullet, is making quite the impression on the Nashville music scene. Accompanied by her favorite collaborator and singer songwriter/producer Shane Tutmarc, it was such a privilege for me to welcome the one and only Tanya Montana Coe to the East Side Storytellin’ family!

Tanya, like Linda, was a little nervous before the show because she had never done a show in such a setting so intimate and quiet. It didn’t take long for her and Shane to realize that imitate and quiet was not a bad thing and that it probably more closely resembled the description of a crowd that was close and listening. She started the set with a song titled Rebel Heart that perfectly matched the tone set by Linda’s battle cry. Then she knocked my socks off with her song Gamblers. You can take a listen to this track and all of the set below, but I beg you to find any act that has played at The Post yet that has ever finished any song the way she finished Gamblers to a full-blown applause from a stunned crowd.

After rolling through track after track without saying much in between, you could tell that Tanya was feeling the room and her confidence was really booming as she told a few tales after the songs and let us know just how special the songs were to her and Shane’s cowriting process. Writing this post the day after the show, I’ve already had several people come up to me or write separately telling me just how remarkable Tanya’s songs were and how they complimented Milliken’s Bend’s sentiments. Point being, the non-formula for booking these shows seems to be the right formula for the best outcomes possible to reveal themselves.

One special note I’d like to add for you to remember as you take a journey into the set below is to appreciate the subtle harmonies that Shane and Tanya shared in several songs. They never overdo the melodies or flood you with too much harmonizing and in doing what they do and how they do, you get the absolute most of the stories they are telling through music. There. I had to say that because I was as blown aways as the rest of the crowd present.

photo credit by Chance Chambers

photo credit by Chance Chambers

So after Tanya played her debut album’s title track, Silver Bullet, she played a brand new one and then let Shane take a seat. As we do in every show, I had the fortunate opportunity to gather the featured artists up on stage again and ask them some slightly personal and yet fully insightful questions so the audience could get to know the people behind the art. Tanya asked me in pre-show if there would be tough questions that would make her cry and I told her not to worry.

photo credit by Chance Chambers

photo credit by Chance Chambers

As we got into the background basics and both Linda and Tanya hit their groove of the best ways to tell people where they were coming from, that’s when it happened. I’ll let you listen to the show to see if you can tell when emotions got the best of all of us in the best of ways, but let me just say that it was by far the sweetest moment of an artist revealing themselves to a room filled with family, friends, and complete strangers, that I’ve ever witnessed. It was something I shared with my wife who wasn’t able to make it to the show firsthand and she was happy that it all happened the way it did.

Which brings me to close this recap and say I’m also very thankful that everything and everyone  came together in the manner and timely fashion that we did for this particular show. I couldn’t be more proud of the show team, everyone who came out to the show, everyone who promoted this one online, and, most importantly, Tanya Montana Coe, Linda Barnickel, Shane Tutmarc, and John Cannon on the side for coming together to making East Side Storytellin’ 84 such an historic night in my world.

So, while I have your attention and you’ve been waiting ever so patiently, here is the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 84. Enjoy it over and over and share with everyone you know, including your baby mama’s mama:

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

You can read more about Linda’s writing here- www.millikensbend.com

You can listen to more of Tanya’s music here – www.tanyamontanacoe.com

You can look at more of John Cannon’s visual art here – www.johncannonart.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.

One big shout out for Bret and Meg MacFadyen to making The Idea Hatchery and giving us all a chance to know and grow and love one another as we make good ideas into realities for our loving community!

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

art by Clay Brunton

art by Clay Brunton

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

Our next show will be

East Side Storytellin’ 85

Tuesday, June 21st

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading-Joshua Moore

singing- Jon Latham (www.reverbnation.com/jonlatham)

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 84 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

 

{ 0 comments }

The Jealous Mime Syndrome Band = Justin Quarry, Megan Palmer, Chuck Beard, and Tom Eizonas

The Jealous Mime Syndrome Band = Justin Quarry, Megan Palmer, 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 recap and recording of the 83rd epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 82, I repeat … 82, 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’ 83. Let us begin, again.

Our first featured artist is a Senior Lecturer in English and Program Coordinator of Undergraduate Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University. He holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt, where he received high honors in English, and an M.F.A. from the University of Virginia, where he was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. His fiction has appeared in a number of publications, including TriQuarterlyThe Southern ReviewNew England ReviewAlaska Quarterly Review, and The Normal School, which awarded him its Normal Prize in Fiction. He is also the recipient of the Robert Olen Butler Short Fiction Prize, an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council, and a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, among other honors. In addition to teaching at Vanderbilt, he also serves on the faculty of the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference at the University of the South. The room was filled with several handfuls of friends to support the one and only Justin Quarry.

Justin prefaced the show by becoming the very first featured artist to bring a bouquet of fresh flowers for me and the other artist of the night. Let me just say, it was the nicest unexpected way to start any of the shows so far but that’s just how Justin rolls. Before he reached the podium in front of the adoring crowd, we had already talked a bunch about what he refers to as the “creative crisis” that he was faced with recently when taking a break from writing to experience life in other ways to get re-charged to tackle writing creatively once again. After completing his handgun certification and training (it is the South and it totally relates to a major inheritance he received that he tackles in his nonfiction essay), Justin decided to take a break from his novel in the works to try something new. He was shaking just a tad, and no more than any other reader who we’ve heard so far on this show, and brave enough to share his new work for the first time since writing it.

Before he got to the story, he took more time to thank everyone involved with the show, from production to the audience in front of him. I’ll tell ya, the kindness that beams from this guy is radiant and effortless. After he finished with his thankful speech, he jumped into his essay about his father, guns, college, getting lost in the woods only to be saved by sirens ringing just over the trees next to him, and coming out of the closet with those he loved and all the while wondering what his father was seeing in the future as he looked out from his deathbed. It was pretty deep stuff but it was perfect. Once again, I could’ve sat there and listened to the featured author read for an entire day. I’m definitely not alone in wanting to read the next essays on deck.

Before I get to the music, and before you take a listen to Justin and Megan sharing everything they so gracefully shared, I must add that there were so many gems laid out in this amazing essay. I definitely wrote more notes in this show than I had in some time (and that says more about the magical combination of Justin and Megan than anything else). Here are a few tidbits that made my soul smile and belly laugh to keep an ear out for while you listen to the reading: no girl scout cookies in the wood, hiking = a pacifist’s parallel to hunting, “looking at me how only the dying view the world …” , red hair and Sarah McLachlan pen, “death rattle” and its definition and context within families and friends near death, camouflage Cabbage Patch Kid doll, and many more. Point being, Justin is a brilliant writer, whether he is diving into non-fiction, fiction, or whatever strikes him with a pen in  his hand (or a laptop close by). We happily await his forthcoming novel and everything else in between that finish line.

Our featured musician has been on East Side Storytellin’ two times before while supporting our friend Tim Easton way back in East Side Storytellin’ 22 and then again East Side Storytellin’ 77 with Darrin Bradbury. To top that show connection, she is so cool that her website bio was written by one of our all-time favorites in Aaron Lee Tasjan! She started in Ohio and explored New York City before making her way to Music City. Beyond her gifts with music, she spends her spare nights and days as a Palliative Care Nurse at Vanderbilt University Hospital, often beginning work in the morning and then closing concert gigs late in the night. She’s been extremely hard at work at her latest album called “What She’s Got To Give” and it’s already being toted as the next big must have in this city … not that anyone who knows her and her music is surprised. Tasjan gracefully put it like this- This record leaves the impression that Megan is one of those rare people who truly care. She expertly communicates in her songs her sense of kindness and compassion even when there’s good reason to behave otherwise. It’s not just something she says, it’s also who she is as an artist and a person. I’m honored to finally feature this fine friend and musician. I coined her as our version of Paul Simon to the first years of Saturday Night Live (the best years) … I’m talking about the unforgettable Megan Palmer!

Like every other time Megan has graced us on East Side Storytellin’, she didn’t come alone. But instead of bringing other talented players to be by her side, she brought along a plethora of instruments to liven up her original songs the only way she knows how … the best ways possible. That’s right. Her car was packed with an electric piano, a fiddle, a guitar, brand new CD’s hot off the press, and the same positive attitude that Megan brings to every show and day. She is a bright star.

After a said a few nice words for introductory purposes, Megan laughed and said that it was ironic how I said those nice words and yet her first song was gonna be her new track involving a knife. So that made for number 4 on the synchronicity of this show’s pairing between Justin and Megan (Vanderbilt connection, caretakers beside a bed, artists just out of their own versions of creative crises, and now violent symbolism within their stories via guns and knives). Oh, and both of these artists are super down to Earth and cool as cucumbers fresh from the fridge. Megan then followed up knife talk with a new take on a classic syndrome called jealous mind syndrome (to which I thought initially she said jealous mime syndrome and I was totally going along with it). It’s where you want your friends to become famous but not too famous without you getting there too, or something like that. Like everything else I write here, the artists read and sing much better than how I can relay the message to you in this post-show recap. Megan jumped on the piano for the next few tracks to add a little soul to her string play and it felt like Tuesday night church by the Cumberland River once again. Like Justin’s essay took us on a personal trip, Megan lifted our spirits with an original tale about what it’s like to be a pilot.

Megan finished strong and calm by picking up her fiddle and playing a cover song that could easily make a grown man cry if he was moved to do so. I’ve seen Megan play several times and one of my favorite things about her musical talents is when she owns the fiddle. She can do more to a song in her pauses than most guitarists do by thrashing the strings non-stop. She highlights the notes and words she gives the world by making the most of the spaces in between. She is truly gifted at telling stories through music. And her new CD is pretty kick ass too!

Once again, I took great pride in the fact that I had a few minutes with the featured artists to see behind the curtain of their creativity and let them talk a little more about their art than what their stories and songs give on the surface. The crowd was attentive, the atmosphere was chill, the humor was witty and candid, and the personalities on stage couldn’t have been more delightful and genuine. These two professionals broke it all down so that even someone in the crowd who doesn’t write or sing or do many things creatively could leave The Post and feel like they had been a part of something special and could then go forth and create something with the time and energy they have left in the day, week, and year ahead too. These two are special people.

So here it is, the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 83 which featured the likes of Justin Quarry and Megan Palmer on Tuesday, May 17th, 2016 at The Post (one day before my Mother’s birthday … Happy 60th!). Enjoy and feel free to share with everyone and your mother as well!

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

You can read more about Justin’s writing here-  http://as.vanderbilt.edu/english/bio/justin-quarry

You can listen to more of Megan’s music here – http://meganpalmer.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’ 84

Tuesday, June 7th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Linda Barnickel (www.millikensbend.com

singing- Tanya Montana Coe (www.tanyamontanacoe.com

That said- that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 83 and another fabulous event at The Post with East Side Story at the helm. Thanks for coming out and sharing the good word and giving some love to all of these great Nashville artists and our creative ideas. Please remember to be nice to one another out there.

much love,

mE

One more "normal" group shot for the road (before our new band hits the road) ... Chuck Beard, Justin Quarry, Megan Palmer, and Tom Eizonas

One more “normal” group shot for the road (before our new band hits the road) … Chuck Beard, Justin Quarry, Megan Palmer, and Tom Eizonas

{ 0 comments }