The Band

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.

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Chuck Beard, Brian Rogers, Tony Keats, Jennifer Justus, Kyle Walsh, Brian Pitts, and Tom Eizonas

Chuck Beard, Brian Rogers, Tony Keats, Jennifer Justus, Kyle Walsh, Brian Pitts, 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 90th epic edition of East Side Storytellin’! Like the 89, I repeat … 89, 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’ 90. Let us begin, again.

Our first featured artist of the evening is someone who writes about food and life, telling stories that help us see other perspectives while reminding us of our common humanity. Her formal training in food writing came from creating her own curriculum at Boston University with courses of Journalism and Gastronomy, a cultural study of food founded by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin. She worked as food culture and lifestyles reporter at The Tennessean for 6 years before a successful dive into freelance work that has been featured in Time, Serious Eats, and Southern Living, to name a few. She is the author of Nashville Eats and The Food Lovers’ Guide to Nashville. I didn’t think she was going to read from one of her favorite stories of covering a nudist community or traveling with an unsigned rock band, but I had been wrong before. I’m talking about the one and only Jennifer Justus, ya’ll.

photo by Chance Chambers

photo by Chance Chambers

Jennifer asked me during the pre-show set up if she could read one short story before the music and then another one after the band. As usual, I agreed. Nobody knows art like the artists who make it. Jennifer had a better feel for presenting her work that I or anyone else. She kicked things off with a pre-published work that involves Nashville hot chicken and the first date she had with her now, newly wedded, husband (Tony Keats, the same fella leading the featured band of this evening. See picture below and you can instantly see they were made for one another to be happy.)

Photo by Chance Chambers

Photo by Chance Chambers

Anyways, Jennifer read her story with humor and confidence that was radiating from the page. You can listen to hit below or Google it online, but it is a tremendous tale about an epic break-up story. No. They didn’t break up and get back together before being married. Jennifer read the story about a break-up from vegetarianism and random relationship insecurities. As with my favorite stories by Jennifer written so far, food is the springboard of her stories to much deeper meaning and life questions. The only big question I had by the end of the first story was what “steak night” is planned for September. You’ll understand what I mean after you read/hear it. Look. Jennifer is so talented at what she does that none of her stories need any condiments added to her original thoughts and words.

Our featured music of the night is a self-proclaimed band of seasoned players. A four-piece band based in Nashville, TN, with influences from artists like The Band and Leon Russell, some of our big pink personal favorites, they bring a cool, funky southern sound. Hot off a six-song EP this spring, they’re recording a new record for early 2017. Anything but ragtag slackers, each member has played in numerous projects supporting Nashville artists before coming together as this group officially in 2015. Tom and I agreed that at least once a year it’s tradition to bring in a full-size band to get really loud. Tonight, it was the likes of Brian Pitts, Tony Keats, Kyle Walsh, and Brian Rogers joining creative forces and rocking East Nashville as the group American Watermelon.

Photo by Chance Chambers

Photo by Chance Chambers

American Watermelon, was exactly what I thought it would be … awesome! These guys did have elements of The Band, when they were jamming in the middle of the songs and seamlessly transitioning between rhythms of rock, country, americana, and jazz. You could tell they have been playing a very long time individually, and that they have a great feel for where each person fills in the circle of their music when playing together. I loved each and every one of their songs, but Down South (maybe their 5th track) was my favorite. Story of my life, “Do it wrong until I do it right.” Seriously, I can’t do these guys justice (Jennifer pun here) with a wordy recap of their set or song stories. Do yourself a favor and give the entire set a listen. Then let me know what you think your favorite tune is.

Photo by Steve Simpson

Photo by Steve Simpson

After the music ended, Jennifer took the stage once again and read from a brand new story, maybe even finished hours before the show for all I know. It was a poignant, revealing and heartfelt and deeply personal, tale about a friend having a baby while coming to grips with her own decision never to have one herself. As much pressure as there is around for people to have babies, from friends and family and beyond, I think there are even more pressures or false assumptions thrown at individuals who choose not to procreate. Jennifer hits the topic right on its head, all the while tackling a humorous account of reliving a first hand experience with a close friend having her second (accompanied by the father of the child, a sibling of the child, the mother of the child, a chocolate cake for the family, and a dog named Waylon). Whether you have a child or plan to or not, this story will speak to you in a great way. Again, Jennifer is so immensely talented at what she does.

Photo by Tom Eizonas

Photo by Tom Eizonas

So before I called it a night, I was fortunate enough to have the still honeymooning couple, Tony and Jennifer, up on stage to speak for everyone involved in the night. It was a fun exchange of questions and answers, and I think we hit a solid groove or honesty, candid personal notes, and shout-outs to friends and family in the crowd throughout. Once again, everyone who attended was touched by the stories and talents shared by every individual who hit the stage. Ninety shows in, and it never gets old. Nashville has heart and talent and everything what’s nice about this world.

So, here is the edited recording of East Side Storytellin’ 90 that went down on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. It was a night that featured classic, unforgettable stories and songs by Jennifer Justus and American Watermelon. Feel free to share and enjoy, over and over again.

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

You can read more about Jennifer’s writing here- jenniferjustuswrites.com

You can listen to more of American Watermelon’s music here – www.facebook.com/americanwatermelon

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



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

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

art design by Clay Brunton

art design 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’ 91

Tuesday, September 20th

at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) at 7pm

reading- Sally Anderson 

singing- The Daily Fare

That said, that’s all for East Side Storytellin’ 90 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

I don't normally post pictures of me solo, but I like this one taken by Chance Chambers. And any time I can give credit to my friend and talented wordsmith, Chance Chambers, I'm gonna do it.

I don’t normally post pictures of me solo, but I like this one taken by Chance Chambers. And any time I can give credit to my friend and talented wordsmith, Chance Chambers, I’m gonna do it.

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