Cory Branan, a new addition to the Bloodshot Records roster (home of Justin Townes Earle), is also a new Nashvillian: he’s lived here since fall, prepping for the May 22 release of his upcoming solo LP, MUTT, when not out on the Revival Tour with Chuck Ragan. Counting influences like John Prine, Tom Waits, Todd Snider and Earle, his tunes are lyrical, gritty but not reckless and heavily steeped in a confessional, storytelling tradition.
Branan plays the Basement on 6.15, which will kick off a national headlining tour with Audra Mae, winding down in his hometown of Memphis on 7.20.
Nashville Five by Cory Branan :::
1. Santa’s pub– What’s not to love about a bar in a triple wide trailer with Santa riding a Harley mural painted on it? How about a jovial, welcoming white bearded bartender/owner named Denzel? Not sold yet? 2 dollar beers. That’s what I thought.
2. Monell’s– While I’ve admittedly only been to this country cooking mecca once (I just moved to town in October), I ate enough that time for a few visits. Aside from the feast of serious home cooking, I dig the family style seating. It’s like eating with a giant family that doesn’t know any of the bad things you’ve done.
3. And 4. The Basement and Grimey’s- could probably be bundled together as Mike Grimes. Dig the dude. And he’s got a killer record store and supportive venue that are integral to Nashville’s music scene and deserve to be listed separately.
5. Yeah, another bar. Dino’s. What can I say- I do love a dive. The warbly jukebox and roof access are dearly missed, but the smoke plumed air and palatable lack of self-respect suit me just fine.
* Branan’s photo above is by Joshua Black Wilkins