Aida Victoria photographed by Shervin Lainez

East Side Buzz, June 11

First, the sad news: On June 2, Bolton Matthews of Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish passed away after fighting Stage IV colon cancer for the past three years. 

In May the city presented Matthews with a resolution that recognized him “for his contributions to the culture, economy, development, and panache of the City of Nashville.” The official document, which was presented to Matthews on May 23, celebrated many of Matthews’ accomplishments, including the fact that Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish is one of the oldest Black-owned businesses in operation on Main Street and that Matthews and his wife Dollye continued to keep Bolton’s running — serving “delicious and comforting food to the friends and neighbors of East Nashville — throughout multiple catastrophes, including the 2020 Nashville tornado and COVID-19 pandemic.”

Funeral services are this Saturday, June 12, at noon at First Church of Nazarene (510 Woodland St.). Visitation begins at 11 a.m.

Sincere condolences to the Matthews family.

E2 Expands to Nashville

You can still see damage from the March 3, 2020 tornado when driving through East and North Nashville neighborhoods. It hasn’t helped matters that this spring more severe weather hit the city — hail, and winds caused widespread damage to several more homes and buildings, some of which have yet to be repaired.

In May Fox 17 reported that residents at the Porter East apartments are being forced to live with leaks and mold because insurance hasn’t cleared the building’s claim after the roof was badly damaged in storms earlier this year, and even once the claim is approved, it could take months before repairs can begin since contractors and lumber suppliers are facing drastic backlogs. 

Elizabeth Evans is the owner and founder of the Florida-based home building and roofing company E2 Homes (pronounced E squared). Friends of hers had homes and businesses damaged in the March 2020 tornado and as she helped them maneuver their mess of confusing insurance paperwork and find reliable contractors, she decided to expand her offices to Music City.

“I couldn’t help them as a roofer because I wasn’t licensed in Tennessee, and they waited months for someone to help them,” she says. “I saw a gap in this market. It’s not unusual for wind and hail to come through here. A couple of months ago we had a hail storm — I was here! We took cover in a parking garage downtown.

“And the market hasn’t gotten any better with contractors being available, so I said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna go get my Tennessee roofing license, there’s obviously a service that’s needed.”

Evans, a colonel in the Florida Army National Guard, was inspired to found E2 after being deployed to provide aid to survivors of Hurricane Irma in 2017. She says she not coming to Music City to cash in on the development boom and she cites her experience in the National Guard as one thing that sets her and E2 apart from other companies.

“My company’s full of military veterans and a military veteran’s purpose in life is to serve others, that’s what we do,” she says. “Especially with me serving in the National Guard. The National Guard’s the people that come in when the tornado hits — when COVID-19 hits. For me, it’s a service that we’re providing. The last thing I want to see someone have to do is to sell their home because they have no option to repair it.”

Evans currently serves as a J-5, making her a strategic planner for the National Guard. When COVID-19 hit, it was her job to help Florida organize and execute plans for massive state-wide testing. She says she and her crew were some of the first in the country to utilize NFL stadium parking lots as testing sites.

“When I say that I’m a strategic planner, I plan big things,” Evans says. “So when you ask, at E2, how do you guys handle it and orchestrate this and that, I just say, the experience that we learn in the military definitely can help me plan out and orchestrate how we help the most amount of people after disaster strikes.”

Music City Bands Together Proposes Series of City-Funded Benefit Concerts

Last week organizers at local non-profit Sow Good launched the Music City Bands Together campaign, a proposed series of city-funded concerts that would raise money by way of ticket sales to benefit “a whole host of community organizations and initiatives.”

Every year the city grants a sum of money budgeted as the Event Marketing Fund to an organization that produces large-scale events that “provide revenue in order to create/support signature major visitor-generating events and stimulate visitor spending in Nashville/Davidson County.” Previous recipients include the CMA Music Festival and the show Nashville, among others.

Music City Bands Together proposes to use the fund to produce “10 large-scale, multi-artist recovery concerts” that would take place next spring. Participating acts, they hope, would be big enough to draw in non-locals, and the money raised during these concerts would be used to “benefit more than 160 non-profit organizations, supplement Metro School’s budget, save the Morris Memorial Building, bolster racial justice efforts … revive the hospitality and music industries,” and more.

You can read Music City Bands Together’s full proposal — with a breakdown of how the money will be used — here. Sow Good has a petition at Change.org and they’re also asking folks to contact the Mayor’s Office, Metro Council members, and the Event Marketing Committee, which oversees the Event Marketing Fund, to show their support.

Metro council is expected to vote on fund applications during the June 24 budget vote.

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Hooray It’s Record Store Day This Saturday

This year Record Store Day is actually Record Store Days, with celebrations being held across the country on both June 12 and July 17. Here’s where to go to show some record store love in East Nashville this weekend:

The Groove and Acme Radio Live are throwing a free, all-day party at The Groove. Liza Anne is headlining, playing her new record Bad Vacation in its entirety, and there will also be performances by Ian Ferguson, Keeps, Babe Club (uh, best band name ever?), Teddy & the Rough Riders Super Jam, Bryant Taylor, Jess Nola, a tribute to John Prine from Devil’s Tower Records and more. They’re also giving away a plant! Doors open at 9 a.m., the bar opens at 11 a.m. and the music starts at 11:30 a.m. 

Grimey’s isn’t yet hosting in-store events just yet (get vaccinated, people!), but co-owner Doyle Davis tells me the store will open at 10 a.m. and they’ll be selling their Record Store Day merch outside to better accommodate the crowds. Neighboring Living Waters Brewing will be open in the a.m., too, to serve coffee to the early birds, and Grimey’s will also have DJs from WXNA spinning tunes throughout the day. Those looking for specific Record Store Day releases are encouraged to sign up for Grimey’s newsletter, as they’ll be sending out a full list of available titles on Friday, and the limited-edition merchandise will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis.

Vinyl Tap will open at 9 a.m. and the store will have a designated Record Store Table inside. Two customers will be allowed in the store at a time, and they ask that others lining up outside — the line will surely start to form before 9 a.m., btw — follow the sidewalk markers to keep at least six feet between parties. The bar and the rest of the shop will open at noon as usual.

Good luck to all RSD-ers! I hope you get all the records you’re looking for. The forecast says Saturday’s high will be in the 90s, so stay hydrated!

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Quick Bits

  • Our new issue is out! In it, Tristen talks about her fantastic new album Aquatic Flowers. Her album release, Tristen the Night Away 2, will be live-streamed from The 5 Spot via StageIt Friday night. Tickets here.
  • Dino’s announced they’ll be closed Tuesday until further notice, “in an effort to not overwork the two cooks we have.” (Related: They’re hiring line cooks.)
  • This week United Way of Greater Nashville launched their annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive. You can help the organization distribute much-needed school supplies to students in Cheatham, Davidson, Hickman, Robertson, and Williamson counties by donating money, purchasing supplies through United Way’s online wishlist, or hosting an online supply drive of your own. All the info is here.
  • A recent report found Tennessee could lose out on $485 million because Gov. Lee canceled federal assistance. Way to go, Gov.
  • There were 551 active cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday. The numbers are going down! Good job! Get vaccinated! 
  • And, finally, in case you haven’t heard about this yet and want a heartwarming animal rescue story to lighten up your day, check out this NewsChannel5 story about Bitty the Bird. #gobittygo
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Love Buzz

I love Adia Victoria. Love, love, love. Last year she released the simmering, stormy call-to-action “South Gotta Change” and that song is definitely worth a listen if you haven’t heard it yet, but the song that I’m currently obsessed with is 2019’s “Dope Queen Blues.” I revisited the song after seeing Japanese Breakfast at Outloud Fest last weekend because there was one point during Japanese Breakfast’s set — during the song “Side Tackle” — that the saxophonist delivered a smooth and sexy sax solo that drove the crowd wild. Imagine, a crowd of light-stick-waving post-pandemic music fans enthusiastically cheering for … a saxophone solo? Nature really is healing!

ANYWAY. My point is, saxophones are cool! Some people write the instrument off as some kind of archaic smooth jazz tool for tasteless businessmen stuck in the 80s, but well-utilized sax action (saxction?) can elevate the mood of a song in unexpected ways. Such is the case for Japanese Breakfast and such is the case for “Dope Queen Blues” by Adia Victoria.

If you have any other contemporary songs that make good use of the sax, send ‘em my way. It’s gonna be a saxy summer, I can tell you that right now.