We first met Joe Fletcher and Libby Rose not long after they moved here full-time a few years ago – of course, we’d heard Joe’s songs beforehand with his band, the Wrong Reasons, and were so entranced by his gift for visceral, narrative storytelling and a freewheeling, imaginative sense of folk songcraft that we recruited him to perform for the early days of our Lockeland Springsteen video sessions. Unsurprisingly, we were blown away. Since then, they’ve come to be a inimitable force in the East Nashville musical landscape – Joe, touring the country but always leaving his soul hanging gracefully over our town, and Libby, working tirelessly to create the yearly Wildwood Revival, one of the most unique and special music experiences in existence (we’d say “festival,” but it’s so much more than just food truck burritos and sweaty sets).
And we first stumbled upon the brand Midnight Rider on various friends around town – often wearing their iconic “Listen to Townes Van Zandt” shirts, whose message with which we most certainly agree. As we got to know the brand, founded by LA-based Mitra Khayyam, we came to discover it’s not only American made, but prints these rock & roll and country-inspired shirts with the blessing of the artists themselves. This is not about manufacturing a cheaply printed top on some crunchy cotton and shipping it to the local Hot Topic – this is about sharing the message of classic, undying music on well-made, super-soft wearable billboards. Because you should fucking listen to Townes Van Zandt, and I right? And Waylon, and Bob, and Tom…
One of our favorite local photographers, Mick Leonardi, spent the day at L/S HQ to capture Libby and Joe in some of Midnight Rider’s newest wares and old favorites. Though we didn’t capture it here, we’re also completely entranced by their new reissue of Waylon Jennings’ iconic Lash Stetson, embossed with “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” on the inside (he wore the thing on the cover of his greatest hits LP in 1979 – you know the one). It’s available here, modeled by our dear Nikki Lane. All shirts and sweatshirts in the above and below photos, Midnight Rider, available here.
Our Heroes have always been cowboys (and cowgirls), too: you know, the wild ones. And here are are two of our favorites :::
Note: We received no compensation for this piece – it is strictly editorial for a brand we enjoy. All photos by Mick Leonardi for Lockeland Springsteen.