The Blue Note & Rose Blog


Leave a comment

Must see: Steve Moakler

When: Friday, April 21. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m.
Where: Rose Music Hall
Tickets: $10
Openers: Drew Baldridge + Smithfield

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of country singer-songwriter Steve Moakler. He’s headlining SiriusXM’s The Highway Finds tour, which is how I discovered him — on the radio’s segment Highway Finds. Before the station spun his single “Suitcase,” the DJ gave a backstory on how Moakler had pinned a few hits for other established country artists, including Dierks Bentley’s “Riser.” I’m happy to report that Moakler’s sound does not fall into the dark realm of “bro-country.” Moakler isn’t into the music business for awards, money or fame, which is one reason why so many people dig him. He’s just here because he loves making music. Plus, I’m a sucker for great songwriters, so I was instantly intrigued.

 

The first time I saw Steve Moakler live, I also met him

Moakler opened in May for Billy Currington and Kelsea Ballerini at The Blue Note’s 9th Street Summerfest. It was my first day as an intern at The Blue Note and I had somehow ended up directing traffic during soundcheck. A stranger walked up to me and we started talking about the excitement of the day. He walked away and then to the stage to soundcheck “Love drunk” and I realized that I had just met one of Nashville’s finest! The show was a success and now I can’t wait to see him headline at Rose Music Hall.

I’ll be mentally preparing for the show by listening to his new album, Steel Town

Another reason to be excited for the show is the up-and-coming artists who will be kicking it off. The Highway handpicked Drew Baldridge and Smithfield to start the night right. I also picked a few tunes to get you familiar with the artists and their music before the show.

My picks:
Drew Baldridge’s “Dance With Ya”

Smithfield’s “If I Were You”

Now that you have some listening homework, all you need is your ticket. It’ll only cost you $10 to experience all three country acts in the wonderful atmosphere that we know and love as Rose Music Hall. Don’t forget to come early for Happy Hour in the park and enjoy even more live music before the show, $3 Logboat cans and tasty grub from Pepe’s Tacos. See you Friday!


Leave a comment

5 Things to do before seeing Tennis

Retro indie pop duo Tennis composed of husband and wife Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, are coming to Rose Music Hall this Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited. Riley and Moore met as students in Colorado. A project formed between them when they spent seven months on a sailing expedition. The Denver-based duo put aside their plans for law school and instead got married and took on music full time. Their music reflects the happy-go-lucky nature of their story and the breezy sights of the East Atlantic Seaboard. Tennis has something to offer to a plethora of music fans. Their style spans from old-school twee pop to surf rock and even playful psychedelia. If you were a fan of STRFKR earlier this year, Tennis is right up your alley.

1. Listen to their new album, Yours Conditionally

“Ladies Don’t Play Guitar” and “In The Morning I’ll Be Better” are my personal favorites off the album. The former shines because of its smooth baseline, clean harmonies and inherent irony. The latter for its sublime aesthetic and honesty.

2. Listen to their singles

“Origins” and “Needle and a Knife” are probably the most popular Tennis songs, and for good reason. “Origins” integrates the medley of influences that make a great Tennis song: simple song structure, a hint of psychedelic soloing and upbeat vibes. “Needle and a Knife” explores the push and pull of a long-term relationship — something Tennis can attest to — while juxtaposing its biting lyrics with a sound that emanate positivity.

3. Don’t sleep on the deep cuts

Not all of the best Tennis songs are album centerpieces. “Marathon” starts with a catchy groove that’s driven by nothing more than a snap of the fingers and a simple melody before bursting into blissful yacht rock. “Mean Streets” flirts with indie rock without straying from the delicate production and naiveté that makes their music so charming.

4. Check out their website

Whoever designed their website is a genius. It looks like an old PC screen and it’s glorious. Please, see it for yourself.

5. Come early

This weekend is going to be in the 70s and 80s which means Rose will be open all day Saturday. Don’t miss out on a beautiful afternoon in the park. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if this show sold out so get on it!

This post was written by Ben Kane, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose blog.


Leave a comment

Clutch guitarist Tim Sult talks spacegrass, guitars and touring

Hunched over his guitar and dressed in jeans, a plaid shirt and tennis shoes, Tim Sult could not look more unassuming for a member of a band that tours the world. Sult is the lead guitarist in Clutch, a rock band that played at The Blue Note this past October.

Clutch‘s sound lies somewhere in between rock, hard rock and alternative and funk metal. I hadn’t seen them live before but after having friends rave about their show last May at The Pageant in St. Louis, I couldn’t wait for them to come to town, and when I came across the chance to interview the band’s guitarist Tim Sult, I couldn’t pass it up.

clutch

Despite the placement on The Blue Note’s chalkboard bathroom wall, the show was not shitty.

The band is on tour for their latest album, Psychic Warfare. The band has been together since 1991 and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Sult says songwriting is something that is shared among all members of the band. “It keeps everyone so interested in being in the band. That we’re all artistically and creatively involved in every song from the ground up. That’s what makes it Clutch, the fact that there’s four cooks in the pot,” he says. 

“We’ve always tried to remain creative and move forward and just try to write new songs and try to work on a new album… We never really felt like artistically, we were limited. We always felt like we were allowed to do whatever we want,” Sult says.

The show opened with Don’t Mind Dying, a local rock band with a similar sound to Clutch, as well as Kyng. The bands were a perfect match and Clutch lead singer, Neil Fallon, even gave Don’t Mind Dying a shout out during the show.

Clutch took the stage and kept the energy high throughout their performance. I’ve seen my fair share of concerts that start off strong and die down until the encore, but not this one. If anything, I’d say they started off with some of their more mellow music, amped it up throughout the show, and then came back down a little toward the end.

tim sult

Clutch guitarist Tim Sult doing what he does best.

Sult strummed in a concentrated focus, rarely looking up from his guitar. Meanwhile, the audience (who sported more leather jackets than I’ve possibly ever seen in a room) kept security on their feet in a constant effort to mosh.

A fan favorite, “Spacegrass,” was the first song of the encore. “I honestly don’t know 100% what the song is about,” Sult says. “I think we had the title and we were just playing it instrumentally. When we were jamming and playing it, we thought it sounded totally trippy. That was like the early days of stoner rock and that kind of music. Niel always says it’s about driving a car through outer space.”

Overall, the show rocked. Their lyrics drew me in and led me to make a playlist of Clutch essentials. At first, I felt a little out of my element, but by the end of the show I had joined everyone in jamming out in pure rock fury.