Nashville Five

Nashville Five /// Tim Easton

What side of Gallatin Pike Blues do you live on?

 tim e“Some folks say they live on the right side, and some folks say they live on the wrong.” This is Tim Easton singing about Gallatin Avenue on “Gallatin Pike Blues” off of his new LP Not Cool. He could be singing about East Nashville, but he could just be singing about people in general – who straddles the line of the good and the bad, the right and wrong choice, the hard or easy living. I know what side of Gallatin Pike I live on, physically and metaphorically, and Tim’s music is perfect for those moments when you want to lie out in your Nashville backyard listening to tunes like “Troubled Times” burning every bit down to the very last ashes, letting the music (a little bit rockabilly, a little bit Dylan, a little bit rootsy rock and roll) transport you to that bad side of town – where the “a” in bad has two syllables, if you know what I mean. You do, of course.

Tim’s Nashville Five shows his city; the one shaped from time living abroad and rediscovering the place with an eye that is both inside and out; cool and not cool.  The fact that it includes the line “my three year old daughter is a drummer” only wins me over more – a daughter of three who is a drummer, is, by nature, thoroughly cool. As is Tim – “cool” with extra syllables, naturally.

Buy Tim’s record and find live dates here.

By Tim Easton :::

1. Fond Object {On the corner of McGavock and Riverside Drive in Riverside Village} ::: My neighborhood is one of the greatest in the universe.  I am convinced of this every time I walk down the street.  I realize it was a different place just a few years ago, but the past is the past and the present is what we all should focus on.  Fond Object, which is on the corner of McGavock and Riverside Drive in Riverside Village, is a multitude of necessary things.  It is mostly a collective of people getting together to do good work and create something useful to all of us.  You can find music(tons of great vinyl for sale), visual art, interior design, exploratory fashion, graphic design workshops, photography, film, and the occasional special event food and/or cocktail with live band.  It is all about the philosophy of making something new out of tried and true forms.  It is about community participation and Rock & Roll spirit.  Fond Object is what happens when creative people form a gang.

2. Live True , 3123 Gallatin Rd. ::: It was a simple case of neighborhood walkabouts that brought me into Live True Vintage and Vinyl.  It’s on the corner of Gallatin Road and Elvira Street, a street sign that is indeed the same one that an Oak Ridge Boy passed one morning on the way to a songwriting session.  Inside the shop you will find a thrifter’s dream collection, plus tons of records in the back.  It’s basically the kind of shop you wanted on the corner when you were growing up and learning about music and fashion and their infinite combinations.  They had a minor flooding incident recently which might prompt you further to walk in the door and check out the solid collection of records, vintage T-shirts, hats, etc… and participate in a neighborhood hang-out.  Rumors of future kegs o’ good beer and local bands abound.  They could have the LIVE TRUE FESTIVAL right on the spot.

I just say these things out loud because that’s the way I feel about the neighborhood I live in.  There are enough festivals…maybe we need a few more parties!  There are so many festivals now it makes me think the world is actually going to be all right.

3. Kien Giang ::: I don’t have to read any of the previous band’s NASHVILLE 5 pieces to know that one of them must have mentioned this west Nashville Vietnamese restaurant.  The PHO rates in the top broth batches that I’ve ever had, and I do make a practice of trying it everywhere I go.  It is good enough to make you think there may actually be a Vietnamese Grandmother getting up at 4 a.m. to put a huge beef bone in the broth, and later stir it, or at least somebody who learned how to do these things from an actual Vietnamese Grandmother.  The broth here isn’t over sweetened with cinnamon, something you may find in some of the neighboring restaurants. They only accept cash and the Chả giò (fried spring rolls) are exactly the way you want them.  Ask for some crunchy lettuce to wrap around the roll.  That and the house sauce is what makes them snap.

4.  Club Roar  ::: When it comes to listing my favorite places to hang out in Nashville, I would be totally remiss to not mention my #1 pick.  Many people I know spend the majority of their days in a creative headspace.  They are always writing something or building something in their minds if not on paper or on tape or computer.  Most artists need a space to cut loose in.  Some use garage, others the attic.  Some have sheds and others have warehouses.  Some are putting small ships into bottles, some are painting airplanes, some are recording bits of music and turning them into sound collages or even songs and records.

Club Roar is of the warehouse variety creative space.  It feels like a cross between Warhol’s Factory and Abbey Road.  I know that is very wishful thinking, but you just step in the door one time and tell me it doesn’t feel like a great place to get some work done.  High ceilings, loads of instruments, a stage, amazing chandeliers, and pretty much everything you need, aside from the songs themselves, to make your masterpiece.

Club Roar is run by the producer/songwriter/artist Robin Eaton and is connected to another great Berry Hill space called ALEX THE GREAT, which Robin co-owns with the producer Brad Jones.  I have used both studios as writing spaces, recording spaces, and now Club Roar is also a mastering studio.  The mastering engineer Patrick Damphier is doing things with tape and computers that you should pay attention to.  Club Roar was an actual club at one point, and today is it simply a space which relaxes you and induces you to create.  There is no front office with a secretary and somebody answering the telephone.  There is only a ping-pong table.

I recently made the video for “DON’T LIE” there and the set director said out loud “the place is already set designed.”  Perhaps you would prefer to work in a space that has more carpet and matching coffee cups.  If so, then Club Roar is not for you.  It’s a place that The Raconteurs, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Ranch Ghost, Pujol,  or any number of bands feel comfortable enough to work in, because it is extremely comfortable while retaining great acoustics.  Michael “Grimey” Grimes was married there.  Recent live shows with Angel Olson and William Tyler, to name a few, have inspired many an audience member to create something they could bring to Club Roar and work on some more.  Walking into Club Roar makes you want to make something: a song, an album, a film, a creation.

 5. Shelby Park ::: My second choice, listed fifth here because it took me a few paragraphs to just get honest with myself and picture exactly where it is, outside of my family’s house, that I spend a good deal of quality time here in my hometown of Nashville.  The fact is that without the great outdoors I wouldn’t be able to get any of the other creative stuff done.  Without a quality walk or bike ride or communion with nature in some form, my hippie-ass wouldn’t be able to write a song, and that’s all there is to it.

My three year old daughter is a drummer, so I also happen to love that somebody built some acoustic drums to wail on with sticks, adjacent to the nature center.

I’m looking to purchase the first reasonably priced canoe that comes across my path, and I’ll probably threaten often to float it to New Orleans.  I’ve been working on a new song called “Fifty Rivers.”

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