Wanda Jackson, Jonny Fritz and Courtney Jaye at 3rd & Lindsley Courtney Foster 8 December 2012
Nashville’s venue 3rd & Lindsley played host to a music event of epic proportions on Friday, December 7th. Local favorites Courtney Jaye and Jonny Fritz shared the stage with the legendary Wanda Jackson for a showcase of Nashville’s finest musical offerings.
First up was the beautiful and talented Courtney Jaye. Her vocal excellence and well-written lyrics took the unsuspecting crowd by surprise. Supported by a very solid backing band, Courtney captured the whole room with her vintage country and folk inspired set. Her clear voice is similar to that of Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis from her 2006 side project with the Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat, and possesses a strength reminiscent of country greats Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris.
With an effortless togetherness, the entire band set the mood for a night of stellar music, even closing her time with the classic Holiday tune, “Mele Kalikimaka.” Courtney has received quite a bit of radio play on local station Lightning 100 and is currently working on new material. Look for Courtney Jaye’s newest album, Love and Forgiveness, to be released in April 2013.
Next up was the homecoming show for Jonny Fritz, formerly known as “Corndawg.” Having toured with up-and-coming artists The Alabama Shakes, Dawes, and Deer Tick, Fritz and his band definitely lived up to the positive praises from the folks at SXSW. With his hybrid of folk, Americana, bluegrass and honky tonk, the band could easily become a Lower Broadway staple with countrywide touring capabilities.
Adding to the existing strength of the band, noted Nashville fiddle player Joshua Hedley set his strings on fire as well as adding strong backing vocals. Jonny Fritz’s lyrics are autobiographical and the crowd took on the feeling of being on tour with the group, meeting every new person and seeing every new sight along the highway. Straying from typical lyrical subject matter of love and the lack thereof, Fritz chooses to thoughtfully observe the world around him with a relatable sense of humor. The best quality about the group seems to be the fact that every member looks like he’s having a darn good time.
The last act of the night was the fabulous Queen Of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson. Despite being 75 years old and in the business since the mid-1950s, Ms. Jackson still plays over 100 dates a year, all across the country and beyond. She was a proud inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 and contacted by Jack White shortly thereafter to record The Party Ain’t Over with Third Man Records in 2010, reaching a wider and younger audience.
Ms. Jackson was backed by Lower Broadway favorites Heath Haynes & the Hi-Dollars, who used their extensive musical knowledge to nail classic country and rock tunes “Rock Your Baby,” “Funnel of Love” and Elvis tribute, “Heartbreak Hotel.” Along with crowd-pleasing tracks like “Shakin’ All Over” and “Riot In Cell Block Number 9,” she also paid tribute to the late songstress Amy Winehouse with her hit song, “You Know I’m No Good” which appeared on the aforementioned 2010 collaboration with Jack White.
Unlike most performers who have been performing as long as she has, Wanda Jackson hasn’t lost a bit of fire. A passion and love for music is evident in her feisty vocals and energetic performance. Ms. Jackson currently has a new record out produced by Justin Townes Earle titled “Unfinished Business.” Look for her on one of her endless tour dates and pick up the new album, which surely won’t disappoint.
The fortunate folks at 3rd & Lindsley witnessed an event that won’t soon be seen again. All of the performers put on jaw-dropping performances and gained some lifelong followers in the process. Check out Courtney Jaye, Jonny Fritz and Wanda Jackson to listen to some sweet tunes and find tour dates near you! –Courtney Foster
It seems as if "short but sweet" is Next Big Nashville's state of mind these days. Last year, the event's name was shortened to simply "Soundland," and this year the Nashville festival has been condensed to just one day of music. A self-described "one-day outdoor extravaganza," Soundland has a new home on the Riverfront Park lawn (which is such an ace venue in October, good choice) and the 2012 lineup features some local acts as well as some My Morning Jackets and some Young the Giants.
Local favorites such as Jonny Corndawg, Kopecky Family Band, and PUJOL are just a few of the supporting acts on the event's roster, but if the highlights aren't enticing enough, we have the full initial lineup here, too:
My Morning Jacket
Young the Giant
Kopecky Family Band
Kansas Bible Company
Soundland takes place on October 6th. Tickets are on sale now.
I like how it’s not such a shock anymore to find good country music nowadays, speaking in this case about Andrew Combs’ new 7,” Big Bad Love (physical release May 8, 2012). “Take It From Me” is lulling and warm, brightening with organ and steel, and softening with Combs’ vocals, which don’t have the sunny, almost sour, twang of lots of country artists. Rather, his just have a grey southern lilt, and the song is reminiscent of one of Ryan Adams’ lovely, defeated let-down tunes. The title track bites harder with blues groove dug out with some rough, grated guitar parts and a feather dusting of percussion shaken over it. “Feels like getting off some mean old drug/Coming down off of big bad love.” Stream both tracks below. Combs is currently on tour with Jonny Corndawg and will be back in Nashville May 11 at The Basement. – Jessica Pace