This Is Why I am “Driver49″

This is the 1949 Chevy Pickup that I got for myself back in 1999 when I sold to Gaylord Entertainment.  I don’t get to drive it much, it’s really a ridiculously impractical vehicle on today’s roads.  It starts to shake itself to death at about 55MPH.  I in the 15 years I’ve had this truck I have taken it on an interstate exactly once, and it was the scariest four miles I ever drove
But every spring, I take the truck across town in order to get my lawnmower serviced, and this year I went on a gorgeous beginning of spring day that just made driving an old truck with no radio a sheer pleasure.

What I’m driving around #nashvilleTN today. #chevy #oldtruck #antique #didsomethingright#nashville #nashvilleguru #igersnashville #heartnashville #nashvilleinstagram # #nashvillegram #nashvegas #tennesseeinstagram #tennessee #musiccityliving #musiccityusa #musiccity #615 #nashvillescene #nashvillelife
©2015 aka @driver49

Sally Taylor at TEDx Nashville

I was actually a little disappointed in the line up at this year’s TEDx conference… the acronym stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design” – but this year’s lineup was light on those three elements and heavy on social issues.
One notable exception was this presentation by Sally Taylor about “The Beautiful Dilemma of Our Separateness.”  It was an interesting take on art and perception that I cannot do justice to.  I’ll post the video when they make it available.
I chatted with Sally a bit at a reception the evening before the conference.  I did not know at the time that her parents are James Taylor and Carly Simon.  I wonder what difference it would have made if I had known… ?

Sally Taylor @ConsensesArt @TEDxNashville

Tennessee State Capitol Building

Arriving early for the TEDx Nashville event at TPAC this past Saturday, I had a few minutes to wander around before the festivitives started.  The rising sun shone brightly on the Tennessee State Capital building, I got this nice shot and let my camera convert it to a vintage B&W look.
Funny, but 21 years now I’ve been living in Nashville and I’ve still never been inside this building…

TN State Capitol, waiting for the opening of @TEDxNashville

More “Joy Of Making Music”
Rachel Ries

I had the good fortune to photograph Rachel Ries when she opened for Melissa Greener at Douglas Corner in Nashville last month:

Originally from South Dakota, Rachel has a very interesting background:

Rachel_Reis-P2130161Daughter of Mennonite missionaries, Rachel Ries hails from the inspiring, vast expanses of South Dakota, by way of Zaire. Her formative years were filled with Congolese spirituals, Mennonite hymns, Suzuki violin and The Carpenters. Currently splitting her time between rural Vermont and New York City, Rachel crafts sly and compassionate songs for the crooked hearted. With an electric guitar, clear voice and steady hand, she pulls the listener into her world of city grit, country dirt, and her open-eyed search for redemption and reason. Her songs are fine-tuned delicacy with a snarl and disarming candor. Proudly carrying the torch of her love for the domestic arts, Rachel’s homemade preserves and hand-stitched notebooks can often be found at shows, nestled amid the 180 gram vinyl, cds and t-shirts.

She also has a  cool new album, Ghost of A Gardner.

And good as her music is, I think this album cover art may be my favorite so far this year: I


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More “Joy of Making Music”
Melissa Greener

Melissa_Greener-P2130647I’ve known Melissa Greener since she first arrived in Nashville (from native Detroit) about five years ago.  We have traveled in familiar circles all that time, but I think I have actually heard/seen her perform just once, when she sat in for a few songs amid somebody else’s set… somewhere.  The details are fuzzy, all I remember is she played a “fan fret” acoustic guitar – an instrumental choice indicative of a woman of some distinction, even if I can’t remember now what exactly she played on that exotic instrument.

Well I sure remember her material now.

Last Friday, Melissa performed a set at the Douglas Corner Cafe in Nashville – which she mentioned from the stage was her first full show here in the entire time she’s called Nashville home.

It was worth the wait.  Boy, was it worth the wait.

For this show, Melissa assembled a full band (sorry, I don’t know the name of all the players – will update when that info comes across my transom). The stage was filled with keyboard, bass, drums, lead guitar and two harmony vocalists.  And despite all that personnel, this was the blessed (i.e. rare) show where the quantity of sound did not drown out the lyric content.

Melissa Greener proved to be an incredibly compelling performer.  Start with deft, intricate guitar figures played on both acoustic and electric guitars (no fan frets); add rich, thoughtful lyric imagery (that you could actually hear!) sung with a solid, soaring alto and joined byroof-raising harmonies from Kira Small and Vicki Carrico, and you’ve got the makings of one of the most outstanding shows I’ve seen in Nashville in quite a while.

The house was full, no doubt a testament to the many friends that Melissa has made over the five years she’s been among us.

But what was really impressive was the response when the show was over: these jaded Nashville audiences rarely rise at the end of a club show by a local; but this night, as Melissa Greener wrapped up her final tune, the audience was on its feet.

Or as one observer from the audience commented after the show, “we knew that she was good… but we didn’t know that she was that good!”

Melissa pours her heart and soul into every note and word.  Hopefully these photos catch some of that spirit.

Listen to the opening track from Melissa’s  2013 CD “Transistor Corazon” while the slide show plays.  When it’s over, click the Spotify link below to listen to the entire album.  And when it’s over, don’t be surprised if you feeling like playing it again (as I am doing as I finish this post…)

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