Thanks For The Music

No disrespect to Christmas or Hanukah or New Year’s, but this correspondent’s favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It’s about family and food, with no bells and whistles. There’s actually time to reflect on the blessings of the year and share the good life with the ones you love.

For those who live in Nashville, no list of things to be thankful for would be complete without the community of music that keeps us nourished all year. It’s far more than just a bunch of great singers, pickers and writers. It’s the relationships that keep them mixing and mingling. And every now and then, some kind of fusion occurs, and a new band with its own chemistry is born.

That’s the case with 18 South, a super-group that could only have formed in Music City. Start with Jon Randall Stewart and Jessi Alexander – both exorbitantly talented artists who had turns on major labels. Both proved too unique and sophisticated for the radio route, so they both had some ups and downs, but they are as respected as anyone in town, and to make matters happier, they found each other, and now they’re married with an adorable daughter.

And because you have to have a brilliant guitarist, they added Guthrie Trapp, an acoustic and electric threat whose been traveling Jerry Douglas and recording with everyone in sight. Pianist Jimmi Wallace gives the group its funky New Orleans underpinning. And fleshing out the rhythm section are bassist Mike Bub, formerly of the great Del McCoury Band and Larry Atamanuik, the drummer who’s backed Emmylou Harris and other roots greatness.

This amalgam of talent has been working out its eclectic sound in regular sets at the Station Inn and they’re due for some big times after they finish the debut album. We’re excited to have them on the Music City Roots stage, as they’re so very much about the Music City spirit.

The bill this fine night before Thanksgiving is rounded out with the same kinds of giving, striving artists who’ve been making our lives richer for a good while. John Cowan and Shawn Camp bring soulful newgrass and smart sharp country. Plus we have emerging artists Green on the Vyne to hold high the torch for bluegrass among the under 16 set. Ah, youth and beauty. We’ve got ‘em both, and we’re thankful to be so blessed.

Craig H

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