Jeff Bezos with students at Madison Middle School. Photo: Erin Lee Allender, courtesy Amazon

Friday News Roundup, September 13

Americana Galore and Neighborhood News!

Metro Nashville Run Off Election Results

Nashvillians elected a new mayor Thursday with at-large Metro Council member John Cooper defeating incumbent Mayor David Briley with 69.12 percent of the votes going to Cooper and Briley receiving only 30.19 percent.

For the four open at-large council seats, incumbent at-large council member Sharon W. Hurt retained her seat with 15.3 percent of votes cast. Former District 18 council person Burkley Allen and former District 12 council person Steve Glover moved to at-large seats with 13.18 percent of votes cast for Allen and 13.06 percent for Glover. The final open seat was won by Zulfat Suara with 13.00 percent of votes cast, making her the first Muslim elected to Nashville office.

District 7 was the only East Side council to go to a run-off election and Emily Benedict easily won the seat with 68.34 percent of the votes cast.

As with the Aug. 1 General Election, voter turn-out was extremely low, with slightly over 10.68 percent of registered voters casting ballots.

And the Americana Award Winners Are…

The 18th annual Americana Honors & Awards were presented Wednesday night at the Ryman Auditorium and big congratulations to all the winners! The East Nashvillian friend and favorite John Prine took home the awards for Album of the Year for the Dave Cobb-produced The Tree of Forgiveness along with sharing the accolade with Pat McLaughlin for Song of the Year, “Summer’s End.”

Brandi Carlile took home the hardware for Artist of the Year and Americana power trio I’m With Her captured the honor for Duo/Group of the Year. Nashville transplants The War and Treaty won for Emerging Act of the Year and East Sider Chris Eldridge was named Instrumentalist of the Year.

The previously announced honorees included: Elvis Costello (Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting), Delbert McClinton (Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance), Felice and Boudleaux Bryant (President’s Award), and Maria Muldaur (Trailblazer Award). In addition, Mavis Staples received the Inspiration Award, presented in partnership with the First Amendment Center, and Rhiannon Giddens and the late Frank Johnson were honored with the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award, presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music.

Jeff Bezos Visits Madison Middle School

Amazon and Metro Nashville Public Schools announced a new partnership to bring computer science courses and robotics to 24 public schools as part of the Amazon Future Engineer program on Wednesday, which included a surprise visit to Madison Middle School by the wealthiest individual on the planet, Jeff Bezos.

According to a press release, “Amazon is providing 21 elementary, middle and high schools with robotics programming, which includes funding to launch FIRST robotics clubs along with teacher professional development, $10,000 to expand access to computer science education at each school, which could include field trips, hardware, and technology upgrades, and access to a tour of an Amazon robotics fulfillment center. In addition, Amazon is also expanding its funding of Intro and AP computer science courses to 45 high schools across the state of Tennessee with three new schools within Metro Nashville Public Schools. Amazon’s funding also provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, professional development for teachers, fully sequenced and paced digital curriculum for students, and live online support every day of the week for both teachers and students. All students participating in this program will receive a free membership to AWS Educate, which provides them with free access to computing power in the AWS Cloud for their coding projects and content to learn about cloud computing.”

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To the Moon and Beyond!

The summer of 1969 paid witness to man landing on the moon, “three days of peace and love” at Woodstock, and the Stonewall Riots, which gave would birth to the LGBTQ+ rights movement — all set against a backdrop of the controversy and violence of the Vietnam War. It was a time of conflict and optimism reflected by the music of the time — Jackie DeShannon’s “Put a Little Love In Your Heart,” Sly and the Family Stone’s “Stand!”, The Plastic Ono Band’s “Give Peace a Chance,” and more.

To the Moon and Beyond: A Tribute to 1969 — Summer is special tribute to this brief but significant era of American history and the music that supplied the soundtrack to this tumultuous time. Performers include Bobby Rush, Cody Belew, Corb Lund, Erin Rae, Gabriel Kelley, Nikki Lane, Patrick Sweany, Reuben and the Dark, Whiskey Wolves of the West and more. The summer of ’69 lands 8 p.m., Friday, at The Basement East. Admission is free for AMERICANAFEST registrants and festival wristband holders or $15 at the door.

Ain’t No Party Like a Cafe Rooster Party!

Café Rooster Records is throwing their fourth annual AMERICANAFEST party and this year’s shindig it putting the focus on rock ‘n’ roll. The line-up of talent includes the Blackfoot Gypsies, Brian Wright & The SneakUps, Cordovas, Jon Latham, Ladies Gun Club, and The East Nashvillian 2019 Music Issue stars, The Minks (who will also be bringing the noise at Grimey’s on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.)

The fun starts at noon, Saturday, Sept. 14 and admission is free. Don’t miss out on this chance to shake your tail feather in style!

There’s Something in This Sunday!

Sunday morning (and afternoon) sidewalks won’t be so sleepy or lonely with Sunday Morning Comin’ Down, the (mostly) annual celebration of great music and an unofficial closing event of AMERICANAFEST week. The party cranks up at noon on Sunday, Sept. 15 at “The Compound” (919 Gallatin Ave.). Hosted by Nashville honky tonker J.P. Harris in association with The East Nashvillian and AMERICANAFEST, this year’s line-up includes JD McPherson’s Mid Tenn Three, Lauren Morrow, Molly Tuttle, Brandy Zdan, John R. Miller & the Engine Light, and J.P. Harris’ “Why Don’t We Duet in the Road” featuring Leigh Nash, Kelsey Walden, Kristina Murray, Malin Pettersen, Miss Tess, Erin Rae, and more TBA. Also on hand is a vintage and handmade goods market curated by Nikki Lane’s HCH Outpost featuring The West Place, Worn & Company, and Wilde Vintage. Nashville vintage clothiers The Hip Zipper will also be on-site with all sorts of goods! J.P.’s renowned gumbo, That Awesome Taco Truck, Gypsy Crepe Company, drinks, and all kinds of fun, so make your plans now for this special Sunday!

Presenting sponsors: BEDSTU, FieldHouse Jones

Supporting/Good Will sponsors: Fender, L.R. Baggs, Delgado Guitars, Upshot Goods, Mountain Valley Spring Water, Brothers Design Co., 6th Man Movers, Lagunitas, Weiss Liquors, Alexander’s Catering

New Program Teams Poverty and the Arts with Urban Housing Solutions

A new partnership between two East Side non-profits aims to share the benefits of art ownership while assisting artists affected by homelessness. The Shared Walls Art Program (SWAP) creates a sponsorship platform for companies and individuals to purchase art work from artists associated with the Nashville-based non-profit Poverty and the Arts (POVA) while also supplying original art for low-income individuals or families moving into affordable housing provided by Urban Housing Solutions, Nashville’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing.

According to a joint press release, the program is driven by POVA’s mission to make the arts accessible to everyone. POVA Founder and Executive Director Nicole Brandt Minyard says, “We believe that art is beneficial for everyone, whether you are a family moving into your new home, or you are heading into your office each day for work. We’re excited to offer SWAP as a way to break down barriers through ‘sharing walls’ with our neighbors in need!”

A $500 sponsorship allows a company or individual to personally purchase original art by a POVA artist (valued at $250) while also purchasing another $250 work of art (tax-deductible) for an individual or family with Urban Housing Solutions, with POVA artists receiving a 60-percent commission on the sale. SWAP sponsors will receive a Certificate of Authenticity for their original artwork, a hand-written card form the artist, a photo of the sponsored piece in its new home, and recognition on social media, the POVA website, and at POVA’s annual Shared Walls event. For more information, visit povertyandthearts.org.

Quick Bits

  • A quick reminder to grab your copy of the 2019 Music Issue of The East Nashvillian now! This issue features Music City power couple Buddy & Julie Miller on the cover and inside you’ll find the in-depth story of their lives, love, and music. Also on tap are profiles on blues psych rockers the Minks, hip hop up-and-comer Tim Gent, jazz stylist Dara Tucker, DIY punk popsters Peachy, musical troubadour Drew Holcomb, and more. Tommy Womack also surveys the re-birth of Nashville’s hippest suburb and songwriter supreme Kevin Gordon checks in to share his love of American folk art.
  • And speaking of our current Artist in Profile, Kevin Gordon, be sure to catch his AMERICANAFEST set at The Basement, 1604 8th Ave. S. on Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • The run for the Nashville Children’s Theatre production of The Itsy Bitsy Spider has been extended from September 22 until October 6. Performances are Tuesday-Friday at 9 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. All performances are at Nashville Children’s Theatre, 25 Middleton St. For more information and tickets call 615-252-4675 or visit org.
  • The Wah Wahz, a new Nashville-based kids’ music group will playing at The Getalong, 700A Fatherland St. this Sunday Sept. 15 at 4p.m. For more info, check out the Wah Wahz on Facebook.
  • Once Upon a Time in France, a 1920s-style French bistro and wine bar is set to open at 1102 Gallatin Ave. this fall, according to a story in Nashville Scene. Former Parisian, Melvil Arnt, along with his father and mother, Laurent and Valérie Champonnois, will operate the new restaurant which will feature classic French cuisine such as steak frites, beef Bourguignon, escargot, and more, as well as French wines, European beers, cocktails, and cordials. For more info and updates visit onceuponatime-infrance.com.
  • The proposed new pub and restaurant, Eastwood Assembly, planned for the former church at 714 Gallatin Ave. is meeting stiff opposition from neighborhood residents. As we reported in August 30, 2019 News Roundup, Eastwood Assembly is the latest venture of Jim Higgins and Rick Piliponis, who also own Noble’s Kitchen and Beer Hall on Main Street. According to a story reported by WSMV-TV News 4, homeowners in the nearby area have cited concerns over noise, trash, and parking as well as objections to a beer permit waiver voted for by outgoing councilperson Scott Davis. A neighborhood meeting was held on Tuesday, Sept. 10 to organize opposition to the proposed business.