“You came and went, like a hit of cocaine,” sings East Nashville country-folk artist Samantha Harlow on the track “Trouble Fades” off her recent release, Love Letters. It’s the world-worn lyrics delivered with a soft-tone that makes Harlow stand out as she tells of love lost and lessons learned – and the amazing local musicians she recruited for her debut, including Kenny Vaughn and Derek Hoke, certainly don’t hurt either. Samantha just opened for Lisa Marie Presley on Monday and will play 3rd and Lindsley tonight. Listen to her tunes here.
So in the theme of her album title, Love Letters, here are Five Nashville Things Samantha Harlow Would Write A Love Letter To :::
1. The jukebox at Dino’s Bar: It’s the best jukebox in town, filled with a ton of classic country and rock favorites. Dino’s was one of the first places I began playing regularly in town, and it quickly became one of my favorite places to fly solo. There’s nothing like a beer, a cigarette and some Patsy Cline, with no one bothering you or pushing past to get a drink.
2. The Groove Nashville: Most of my best album purchases have happened at The Groove, and I’m pumped that they are carrying a few copies of my own. Combing through the New Arrivals shelf is a cathartic experience. I once found a copy of the Basement Tapes there, but have misplaced it in subsequent years. Bummer.
3. Lower Broadway: Where else in the world can you walk from door to door and listen to the music that defines an entire culture, played by a handful of musicians that can outplay anyone from London to LA? What a gift to be welcomed into a phenomena that costs nothing but the money you put in their hallowed tip jar. I cut my teeth on country music, listening to bands such as Brazilbilly, Monte Good and The Western Swingers and the proof shows through my own songwriting.
4. The Ryman: If I never see another show in another venue, I can die happy, knowing I’ve seen some of the best grace the Ryman stage. It doesn’t matter where you sit, every note rings out the same. The colors that come off the stage lights shine as brightly on the first row, as the last. Getting to see acts such as Aretha, Crosby Stills and Nash and Gillian Welch have made the music I grew up loving come alive in technicolor.
5. Country Music Hall of Fame: Over the years, I’ve spent hours in the Hall, whether it was as a visitor or a volunteer. It’s more than a comprehensive history of country music, it’s a summary of where a group of people have come from, where they’ve been and where they continue to go. History fascinates me; both knowing where I fit into it and how I can add my own voice to it.
Samantha playing “Diamond in the Rough” :::