Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Local Black and Red

Folks frequently ask who some of my favorite Nashville artists are. Today's YouTube Wednesday is a tribute to some of my favorite local heroes, both in Nashville and elsewhere.

Because I want to get the conversation going, I'm only listing a few. For every Antenna Shoes there are five more deserving of all your Wednesday-morning-adulation-and-possibly newfound-fanship. So click some videos and say what's on your mind. But mostly, I'll open this up as a question...because I don't talk enough about local artists in this space:

Who are your favorite local artists?

This can be for Nashville folks or anyone, anywhere. Everyone's got a favorite artist from their zip code that they'd like to share with the whole world. Who, on a local level, are some of your favorites?

Now, here goes:

Antenna Shoes, Memphis ("All You've Left Behind")
Something of a supergroup of local Memphis musicians and individual artists, and one of many projects for singer/songwriter Tim Regan. I could gush all day about guitarist Steve Selvidge (and have in the past), and trumpeter Nahshon Bensford, or the exciting number of pop-leaning Memphis bands these days, or how good they were when I caught them in Nashville last fall...

For now just enjoy this video from Ardent Studios and tell me "All You've Left Behind" isn't one of the best songs the Black Keys haven't written.

Tommy and the Whale, Nashville ("Blackout")
In a town where country remains king, they are an ideal alternative: consummate musicians, artistically honest, inclusive, versatile, and always listenable. As performers, they're exciting and uber-sharp, always tight but still spontaneous. Some of their best stuff features a horn line, but for now enjoy this vid of "Blackout."

Caitlin Rose, Nashville ("Things Change")
One popular gripe about Nashville artists is that they're frequently predictable. Industry towns often want their new artists to sound like their old artists, which spawns a large number of sad, semi-successful imitators chasing the proverbial rabbit. I love Caitlin Rose because she is too talented, her voice as an artist too unique, to ever be derivative. In a town of paint-by-numbers songwriting, Caitlin always says something I've never heard before.

John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives, Memphis ("Lookin' for a Thrill")
Continued proof (post-Petty) that so much good can come out of three little chords.

Sam & Ruby, Nashville ("Heaven's My Home")
Full-disclosure here: Sam Brooker was one of the first songwriters I met in Nashville when I started playing. He's the posterchild for everything good about the Nashville scene: generous, eager to help, talented. Together, he and Ruby are an impressive combination live. I was in attendance the night this video ("Heaven's My Home") was shot, and it's still one of my favorite moments at any Nashville concert.

Jump Back Jake, Memphis ("Easy Answers")
Self-described, "Brooklyn hustle, Memphis muscle," I found them off a friend's recommendation and heard they were crazy-good this year at SXSW. All I can vouch for are the sights and sounds online, which are dynamic, visceral, and exciting. I imagine, though can't testify, that they're fun live. See what you think.

So, let's open this up! Who are your favorite local artists?

Really had to stare,


Lady M said...

Even though they're nationally known (though still not *so* much) and have been around for a loooong time, I still consider Buddy & Julie Miller a local act and I've never seen them put on even a good show...they're always great or better.

Andrew Osenga never disappoints, either... or any of the Square Peg Alliance, really. Great song writers.

Can't really go wrong with the 10 out of Tenn crew.

TownCharacter said...

Tim Regan sounds a lot like one of my favorite singers, Englishman Gary Brooker. Loved that vid.

Caitlin Rose said...

aww shucks : )

Post a Comment