Many people know Ann Tiley from sight: she's often seen around town behind an easel, painting Hillsboro Village cityscapes and other landmarks. But for two decades the Nashville artist and singer-songwriter has issued tapes of homespun recordings that function almost as newsletters—updates about her travels and where and how she's living now. She's an integral part of the bohemian folk scene that coalesced around Springwater in the late 1970s, when artists like her hero Townes Van Zandt were still regulars: she's performed for more than 20 years in Springwater's fabled "Working Stiff Jamboree" alongside talents such as Tom House and her Cherry Blossoms comrades John Allingham and Peggy Snow.
Tiley has just released her 31st album, You're the One For Me
, and like the others it's a collection of plain-spoken back-porch songs that commemorate milestones in her life at the moment—as large and public as Hurricane Katrina and the death of Rosa Parks, as small and private as the trip she took last year to Scotland, from which she emerged with newfound appreciation for Tennessee sun. She performs 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Bobby's Idle Hour on Music Row with her friends and collaborators Carole Edwards, Tim Jones, Al Wiseman, Dean Goodsell and Ted Stevenson.
Here's a taste of Tiley: a menu sampling of MP3s