Singer-songwriters Tom Kimmel and Michael Lille complete their Nepal-to-Nashville world tour tonight with an early-evening writers-in-the-round appearance Thursday at the Bluebird Cafe. Kimmel and Lille were recently hired to perform for a group of rafters navigating a trip down Nepal’s treacherous Sun Kosi River. As part of the gig, the two songwriters took to the wild river daily, then performed nightly for the tired, water-logged rafters, two of whom became so ill during the excursion that a rescue helicopter had to come lift them out of the wild.
In all, Kimmel and Lille covered 175 miles of raging river in nine days; along the way, both men shaved their heads to commemorate the experience. See their new coifs (or lack thereof) and hear tales of their exploits when they perform along with Kate Wallace and Richard Berman.
Lille, who won the well-regarded Telluride Troubadour Award earlier this year, will also be celebrating the release of Middle Child, a self-produced collection of thoughtful, genteel folk musings that features guests Alison Krauss, Victor Wooten, and Pierce Pettis. Lille and Krauss duet on “The Blessing of His Birth,” a modern Christmas hymn written by Lille that deserves entrance into the canon of annual holiday tunes. Current Music Row stars lining up songs for the requisite Christmas album should take note.
The Lounge Flounders return to Nashville for a Friday performance at Exit/In after spending most of 1996 touring the country behind their debut, Imaginary Saints. The band’s manager, K.C. Chopson, reports that even though the debut album didn’t achieve a major breakthrough, the band and Mercury Records feel good about the fan base they’ve built in the Southeast and certain sections of the Midwest. “It was a tough year, because there was a glut of new bands coming out,” Chopson says. “We’re not going to say that we wouldn’t have liked to have done better with the record, but we’re not disappointed with it, either. Realistically, we’ve got our foot in the door in several markets, and that will give us a good foundation when we come back with another album. We want to take advantage of how much the band has played together and grown since making the last record.”
Less than a year after its launch, the popular Western Beat Barndance is going to be the subject of an upcoming multi-artist release on D’Ville Records. The Tuesday-night Barndance shows at the Sutler, hosted by L.A. transplant Billy Block, have played a significant role in Nashville’s burgeoning country-rock scene while introducing many worthy up-and-coming talents to the city’s audiences. The CD will feature songs by many Barndance regulars, including Jill Block, the Bum Steers, Tim Carroll, Steve Conn, Sonny George, Kevin Gordon, Liz Hodder, the late Walter Hyatt, Duane Jarvis, Sheila Lawrence, Victor Mecyssne, Gwil Owen, Bo Ramsey, Kristi Rose, Jon Sieger, and Greg Trooper.
Pssst to Terri Clark: “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me” is about a woman who gets beaten up a lotyou might want to cut down on the smiles and the bouncing when you’re performing it. Sure, it’s a tough and energetic little rocker, but that was by the design of the song’s writer, Warren Zevon, who enjoyed the sinister notion of pitting a sexy guitar riff against the story of a woman drawn to abusive characters. Linda Ronstadt understood this and performed the song with a snarl and plenty of obvious irony. If we may say so, your lighthearted, gee-whiz-I’m-having-fun attitude doesn’t seem appropriate.
Pacific Blue, the USA Network show that makes Baywatch look like a PBS drama, is showing surprising taste in its musical fare. Nashville’s own Los Straitjackets have been heard regularly during the show’s jiggle-and-flex beach scenes in recent weeks.
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AGGGHHHH that last picture!
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