Monday, January 31, 2011

Songs From A Couch

Hey, the Girlfriend:

I miss Nashville. Can we live there?

Radley Balko presents "Songs From My Couch" over at the Nashville Byline.

Tom House - "Suzanne" from Mark Crozier on Vimeo.

Nice bit about the Springwater here. I remember it fondly:

So do you have any good "only in Nashville" stories for me?

Let me see. Well about 25 years ago at Springwater we started something called the “Working Stiff Jamboree”. The only stipulation to play at the jamboree was that you couldn’t have a job in the music industry. You had to have a regular job. Terry Cantrell let us put them on long as we didn’t advertise. So that went on for a long time and got pretty big, just by word of mouth. It wasn't glamorous. There used to be holes in the roof, so when it would rain, the show could sometimes get rained out. The water in the room would be an inch or two thick. But it was a very democratic thing. A lot of the songwriter nights can get pretty political about who gets on stage. But for this, anyone could come up. You could be some left-wing Irish political band, a jazz band, German polka, whatever. We had them all.

You’d get some crazy people in the audience at those shows. Sometimes you’d find yourself having a dialogue with someone in the audience in the middle of the song. People would just start talking to you. I remember one guy, this character David Wall, he used to line up beer bottles on a table in the front row, and he’d blow across the tops of the bottles along with whatever song they were playing on stage.

In tune?

Yeah. In tune and everything. He was a weird and talented guy. Looked like Tom Waits. He moved to Nashville after he got out of prison. He had this homemade three-string guitar, and he actually wrote a few good songs for it. He’d just slide his finger up and down that one string. Really one of Nashville’s true characters. He lived here about 10 years. I think he's in California now.

But the best story from those shows I can remember, there was a couple on stage singing this really stilted, operatic version of “God Bless the Child”. The woman, I think she worked in public radio, she was a very nice lady, but I think she thought of herself as some sort of classical singer, which didn’t go over well. There was a guy in the audience--and he’s still around so I won’t mention his name--he got fed up. He was a hard-core music fan, used a lot of drugs, he's pretty well-known around town. Anyway, he gets fed up, so he walks up to the stage and he actually sets the sheet music on fire while they’re playing. The poor woman didn't know what to do. Her music was on fire. Of course, the place just went nuts.

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