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Nashville S3 E7 

Over the last couple of years I’ve gotten to work on a good bit of the music for ABC’s Nashville, but last nights’ episode marked my on-screen debut (along with Patterson Barrett on guitar) which, ironically, I missed during its airing.  Thanks to the friends and family who caught it and let me know.  (:

w/Clare Bowen and Mykelti Williamson

w/Patterson Barrett, Clare Bowen and Mykelti Williamson

w/Clare Bowen and Mykelti Williamson

w/Clare Bowen and Mykelti Williamson


Bridge School Benefit 

After having heard stories about it for years, I finally got to play Neil Young’s Bridge School benefit with Tom Jones in late October.  The concert lineup was formidable – Neil & Pegi Young, Brian Wilson & Al Jardine, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Florence & The Machine, Band Of Horses, and Norah Jones – and every set of music was engaging and refreshingly casual.  Soundgarden and Florence in particular blew me away and, based on what I witnessed onstage and off, Eddie Vedder was the true mensch of the weekend.  

w/Tom Jones, Marco Giovino, Doug Lancio (not pictured - Rob Clores)

 

My favorite non-musical moments – precious family time with my cousins Christian & Eunji Averill (Christian was interviewed for Vice.com’s event coverage - see here), Al Jardine commenting on the strength of my handshake, gear-nerd conversations with Hutch Hutchinson and Bob Lizik, and seeing first hand what a “LincVolt” was.

Music aside, what made the event truly special was the presence of the Bridge School kids and families who shared the stage with every artist, all day long.  In the midst of all that rock-and-roll royalty, their beautiful spirits and smiles were a constant, welcome reminder of life’s beauty and fragility.

I myself took only these few photos during the events but the benefit was certainly well-covered online.

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w/ bassists Hutch Hutchinson (Pegi Young) and Bob Lizik (Brian Wilson)

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Neil Young’s LincVolt car

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Neil & the Bridge School families


Rock My Soul (PBS) 

Rock My Soul group

This was truly one for the books – The McCrary Sisters and The Fairfield Four with special guests Lucinda Williams, Amos Lee, Van Hunt, Buddy Miller, and LeeAnn Womack, live at Downtown Presbyterian Church last Saturday during the AMA conference. The concert was recorded for future broadcast on PBS and will also be available on DVD.

Many thanks to our house band – Derrek Phillips, Colin Linden, Kevin McKendree, and Ralph Lofton – for their professionalism, diligence, and brilliant, soulful musicianship.


Hey, There Sunshine hits #1 

SO happy for Danni Nicholls as she marks her first #1 single on the Roots Music Report airplay chart with “Hey There, Sunshine“!  In addition, “A Little Redemption” has ascended to #8 on RMR’s Folk Album chart.  Many thanks to all of those who contributed including Danni’s co-writer Dave Burn, Transmission Recordings, Will Kimbrough, Bryan Owings, Stephen Leiweke, and my fellow “Big Dog” Al Perkins for his stellar dobro track!

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EPIX Big Movie Shorts 

I was on set in New York late last summer for the filming of “Big Movie Shorts”, a series of vignettes created for the EPIX HD network centered around a movie and pop-culture obsessed family.  EPIX BMS

The series was conceived of and written by my friends Tom Dunn and Dan Callahan, and the charming cast includes my cousin Brendan Patrick Connor (aka “Uncle Rango“).  I provided original music and musical supervision for the series and am very pleased to here present “Get Busy Livin‘ “, the first featured episode (click here for the full series):


 

 


COMPANY! 

I first fell in love with the music of Stephen Sondheim at a Circle Players production of “Into The Woods” in the mid-nineties (I had also recently fallen in love with and in awe of the show’s pianist, Laura Donohue).  Sondheim’s mastery of the musicality of the English language makes him one of the most brilliant and influential lyricists of the modern age, and across the entire range of human emotion his music is haunting, evocative, and at times utterly hilarious.

Fast forward to 2014 and an item to check off my bucket list – a chance to play in the orchestra for the Tennessee Repertory Theatre’s production of Sondheim’s “Company” (1970).  In the pit (or, in this case, behind the onstage bar) with me are Musical Director Tim Fudge, Russ Davis, Chris Walters, Sam Levine, Doug Moffett, Mike Casteel, and Sam Wiseman.

Set in New York City, “Company” is a comedic and profound look at marriage through the eyes of Bobby (Patrick Waller).  The cast, direction, and choreography are all inspired and superb.  You can find out more information about the show at the Tennessee Rep’s website.  We’d love to see you there!


Spring 2014 

Earlier this month, I packed the contrabass and a couple of audiobooks in a rental car and drove down to Austin to meet The Grahams for a few SXSW showcases.  Our favorite set of the day was one we had performed earlier in the morning for the solar-powered KDRP, but here’s a pic from an afternoon set at the Midwest Takeover Stage:

I drove immediately back home the next day to begin rehearsals for The Tennessee Repertory Theatre‘s production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company”.  We opened on the 20th of March and the show will finish its run this Saturday at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.  I’ve been a huge fan of Stephen Sondheim’s music for many years, and this being my first Sondheim show as an orchestra member I could not be more stoked:youtube video (P8kYvy7OZrc)

Last week, most of Emmylou’s Red Dirt Boys were reunited under the direction of Will Kimbrough to cut a record for Doug Seegers.  This is a haunted voice if ever I’ve heard one:
youtube video (XMzcdeXb26Y)

From late April into early May, I’ll be performing a run of 10 concerts with Tom Jones that stretches from Atlanta to Los Angeles. His new album “Spirit In The Room” releases on 23 April.  Here’s a clip of Sir Tom performing “Tower of Song” on Jools Holland in 2012:

youtube video (GljDF4ptCMg)

Upwards, Cx


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Upcoming Shows

MAS Nashville presents "Under The MAStletoe"

The Belcourt Theatre, 2102 Belcourt Avenue, Nashville, TN

 

The 5 MAS gals - Melodie Madden Adams, Megan Murphy Chambers, Cori Laemmel, Laura Matula, and Erin Parker present an evening of fantastic harmonies, holiday cheer, glitter, high heels and humor in the polished-yet-irreverent way that only MAS can deliver! See you there - with bells on. (And we mean that literally.)

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