More Nashville… So this cat ‘Ricky Young’ is kind of a bad ass. Very talented songwriter with a strong voice I’ve had the honor of watching mature. He’s currently working with a few other guys on a project in L.A. He’s got melodies for days. Just check him out, especially songs like ‘Your Hands On My Skin’, ‘Suitcase Afternoon’, & ‘Sing Me A Song’ (all on a record called ‘Learn To Steal’). I’m going to post one from when he visited the radio station last fall. It’s a song he co-wrote with another great Nashvillian ‘Jeremy Lister’. I’ve only heard this song a handful of times live and it kicks me in the gut every time. I heard it for the first time while this video was being recorded.
Here in Nashville, I have many good friends that are musicians. That aside… there are many great artists here in town. Friends or not, this is one of my favorites. He’s a transfer here from Chicago and I’m so glad that he’s around. This kid is amazingly talented and recorded his last record pretty much in his house. Also, it is appropriate that he is the first local artist I write about since he is really the reason I got into local music here in Nashville in the first place. I thought it was all country (like many of you) and heard this kid while interning at the radio station (Lightning 100). It was a track called ‘Radio Symphony’ and was completely different than anything we had listened to. I quickly found out his name was Kyle Andrews. Soon after, he released an album called ‘ Amos In Ohio’ and I knew this kid was the real deal. We played the track ‘Your Tester Bunny’ on the station and I personally used just about every song from it on compilations I made during college. Such a great record. Dark but playful and highly recommended. Then came a small change in his sound… and I still loved it. It was an E.P. called ‘Find Love, Let Go’ and featured great songs like ‘Give Up The Anger’, ‘Get Mad’, & my personal favorite that is completely different than most all of his songs, ‘Lackluster Love’. On that track, it’s basically Kyle and a guitar and in my opinion (sorry Kyle if you are reading this) should only be played that way :). The song stands on its own. No need for bells and whistles. It’s an intimate look inward. The simplicity of the recording and instrumentation reflects that sentiment perfectly. It’s so personal, but yet universal in it’s lovelorn message. The perfect song. Again, just my opinion. Moving on. ‘Real Blasty’ came out in 2008 and he embraced the electronic experimentation he had been hinting at for years… and it was brilliant. Easily one of my top 2 favorite records of that year. Front to back, awesome dance party rock your face off and slow it down goodness. Which brings me to the video I am posting. The first track is ‘Sushi’ and the video is great. It’s a YouTube mosaic and you can click the videos they use to take you to something random in the internet video world. So here it is…
Kyle also just released an X-mas E.P. called ‘Damn Baby, You’re Cold’ which I think works year round for the most part. So much fun.
On a personal note:
Kyle… you are one of the most interesting and talented people I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting. Keep at it, b/c you have what it takes to be doing what you love for a long, long time. And I will always be eagerly awaiting to hear what you come up with next.
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.