Out East Soundtrack
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For this very special edition, my associate editor Randy Fox, publisher Lisa McCauley, and I decided to compile a "Greatest Hits" version of the "Out East Soundtrack." While revisiting some of our favorite tracks from a few of the many artists who've graced our cover over the years, we quickly realized that there isn't enough space to cover them all!
Well, at least in print. Which is why the online version of the "Soundtrack" will be extended to accomodate them. We'll even have Spotify and Apple Music playlists embedded for your listening pleasure! We hope you enjoy.
"Sail on, My Friend"
Todd Snider (2021)
Todd Snider has been something of a spiritual presence for The East Nashvillian from the beginning. His songwriting embodies tenderhearted mercy while maintaining poignancy and relevance, along with the recognition of our humanity, warts and all. Although "Play a Train Song" from East Nashville Skyline (2004) must be mentioned - being the Eastside's kinda unofficial anthem, after all - I went with "Sail on, My Friend," from last year's First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder. Written for his late friend Jeff Austin, the beauty of this song is in its road-worn celebration of life in the face of loss. I cried the first time I heard it. And still do.-CA
Lilly Hiatt (2017)
After our first feature on Lilly Hiatt, we were all looking forward to her next record. But when Trinity Lane dropped, it was one of those precious musical moments where an artist transcends all expectations. Drawing from a well of hope that can only be dowsed after travels on troubled waters, the title cut is sanguine slice of celebrating life while taking it one day at time. -RF
Aaron Lee Tasjan (2016)
From his sublime album Silver Tears, I picked "Little Movies" because it's melancholy writ large wrapped up in a beautiful pop song. And when ALT delivers the line Angels born in hell will sing our praises, Like this broken song deserves, you know he's getting to the heart of all our little movies. -LM
"Madonna of the Wasps"
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians (1989)
Hopping in the time machine back to one of my favorite albums of '89, the delightfully weird Queen Elvis. Upon seeing Robyn on our cover, a friend recalled my singing "Madonna of the Wasps" in its entirety while sitting at the bar of Elliston Square (now The End). Needless to say it was a surreal moment when, 27 years later, I found myself having coffee with Robyn at Bongo East prior to shooting the cover there. "Is it love?" Definitely! -CA
Jason Eskridge (2014)
The title says it all. Think of a well-concocted drink at Lockeland Table and substitute a soft-soul R&B vocal delivery for the alcohol, and you'll be able to visualize this one in your mind's ear. The 5 Spot's Todd Sherwood teaming up with Eskridge for the Sunday Night Soul series embodies the spirit of neighborhood. -LM
"Feeling the Elephant"
Bill Lloyd (1986)
When I moved to Nashville in the late summer of 1986, Bill Lloyd's "Feeling the Elephant" was in heavy rotation on Vanderbilt University's radio station, the late WRVU-FM. Thirty-six years later, when we began work on our first post-2020 Tornado and post-COVID print issue, the song seemed to be the perfect soundtrack for the new world. -RF
"Hurtin' (On the Bottle)"
Margo Price (2015)
I've seen a lot of great shows at Mercy Lounge, but seeing Margo there a few months before Midwest Farmer's Daughter took the world by storm ranks as one of the best ever. She and the band were absolutely on fire. It was one of those rare nights when everyone knew they were witnessing something that only happens once: a hometown performance by an artist on the cusp of greatness. "Hurtin'" blew the roof off the joint and, in another rare occurance, the balls-to-the-walls live energy was captured on the recording version. -CA
"Perfect Girls of Pop"
Elizabeth Cook (2020)
In terms of geographic origin, culture, and accent it would be pretty hard to find someone more country than Elizabeth Cook. In terms of musical classification however, mainstream country radio has kept her locked out of their small pen for some time and the bigger pasture of Americana couldn't hold her. With her 2020 album, Aftermath, Cook officially slipped under the wire, delivering a record with a big rock tsunami of sound built on a bedrock of twang. "Perfect Girls of Pop," a honey-dipped barb directed straight at the heart of an industry that simply wants women to "smile more," is a stand-out favorite. -RF