12.10.09 – The Start…

So yes.  Allow me to introduce myself.  I am Justin Hammel.  A 27 year old living in Nashville, TN.  Music City U.S.A.  I want to share that with you.  This town gets pegged as a hub for country music, and it is… but there is so much more going on here.  I want to show you the underbelly.  I work at an independent radio station here called Lightning 100 and DJ at a bar called the Flying Saucer… and the occasional house party :)  I love music.  Live music, vinyl, physical media, REAL country, REAL hip hop, soul, music that’s real in general.  It’s my life.  I have to say that I am a huge lyrics person so it doesn’t really matter what style it’s in.  As long as the message is real.  At the radio station I edit a show called Music Business Radio.  This week, I’ve been editing a show with two of the founders of Rounder Records.  They, along with a co-worker (Lt. Dan Buckley), have inspired me to finally start posting about shows I see and bands I love.  So thanks guys for the encouragement.  I’ve always been like, “who cares what I have to say?”  Not really sure if you will but, maybe someone will actually dig it.  So, the only way I can think to start this blog is with my favorite songwriter in the world.  He’s from Memphis and goes by the name of Cory Branan…  One of the first shows I saw when I moved to Nashville in 2002 was Mary Lou Lord @ a tiny club called ‘The End’.  It was E.J. Friedman (who as far as I know doesn’t play anymore but was a decent songwriter),  Cory, & Mary.  When Cory went on, I was floored.  He stood on stage completely alone with an acoustic guitar.  His songs were fierce and yet tender.  So much emphasis on every word.  He used the last bit of breath he could muster to finish his metaphors.  He let you in on the most intimate moments of his life.  He was tongue and cheek and in the same line dead serious.  He made you feel like… well, a friend.  I was so taken back and felt so inferior.  Hence, me being apprehensive about my own writing.  After the show was over and Mary (who I went to see in the first place) and the boys were all selling merch near the bar, I snagged a poster off the wall for her to sign.  I got up there and started talking to Cory.  Immediately, I bought his CD ‘The Hell You Say’ and Mary asked me if I wanted her to sign the poster.  To which I replied, “if you want.”  and continued my conversation with Cory.  Afterwards, I felt like an ass b/c I didn’t mean it like that at all.  But, I think she understood… hopefully.  You can’t deny this guys lyrics and he stole the show.  Oh, and he continues to do so.  So here’s a video.  It’s not a song off ‘The Hell You Say’ (Amazing album by the way) but a more recent one that isn’t really on a record just yet but was recorded by Ardent Studios.  It’s called ‘Survivor Blues’.  If it’s too much, just look up some vids and find ‘Tall Green Grass’… everyone seems to like that one.  Probably because it’s a happier love song haha.

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