Nathan Conrad// Nashville, TN

ImageImageImage

I heard of Nathan before I knew who he was. He’s had a shoe-gazey hip-hop project for a number of years called Spoken Nerd based out of Nashville, TN. Nathan has had a great influence and impact in the hip-hop and indie music community here in Nashville and is an all around great guy. I first met him a couple years ago when he became roommates with Ian Lincoln, who I was starting to play music with and befriend at the time. I was intimidated by Nathan for so long, because he’s HILARIOUS, and I wanted him to think I was funny, too, but that made me think too much so I hardly talked the first few times I was around him.

This past winter, I caught wind of Nathan and Ian planning a month-long tour for May of this year, and since I sing with Ian in the project Beards, I asked Nathan if I could tag along. He said I could if I learned his songs and performed with Spoken Nerd as well, so I did just that! Not only is Nathan one of the greatest entertainers/ performers/ comedians I’ve had the pleasure to know, but he is SO generous with the knowledge he’s acquired in his years of making great music. I was able to learn so much about touring as an independent artist, and meet a ton of wonderful people, and see more of the country than i’d ever seen. I was able to ride along with out the stress of planning the whole thing, and just watch and learn from him and other musicians we met, and learn a lot about myself and how I want to proceed with my own music career. It was definitely a shifting point for me in perspective and of course an eye-opening experience. Every time I get to travel somewhere new there’s the opportunity to learn and grow- and for this most recent experience I am SO grateful to Nathan for having me along.

Check out Nathan’s work here.  

Here’s a little take-away show Ian shot for us while we were in Pittsburg, PA! 

 

Advertisements

Graham Bechler// Nashville, TN

ImageImageImage

I met Graham first at Cafe Coco (see- I told you, I meet everyone there!!) show, shortly after he had moved to town. He offered to play drums for me if I ever needed it, and we traded info but neither one of us followed up, as it usually goes. Fast forward about 8 months, and we re-meet through my friend Cori LeCain, and we all started hanging out all the time. A few months later, Graham started playing with our band The Means, which consisted of Cori LeCain, Ben Ewen, and myself. Graham started to really encourage me about playing my own music, and over time decided to make a record with me! So what I’m getting at here is that Graham is the reason I’m about to have an EP to release.

Graham is not only one of the greatest friends a person could ask for- so giving and encouraging and hilarious- but he is a brilliant musician. One of the best drummers I’ve ever seen, a great songwriter, and a great producer. He has the gift of really being able to see a song in a full, fleshed out way, a gift that i hope to see used more and more with many other people… like Ben Ewen??!! eh? Anyway. He’s toured with a handful of artists- Andrew Belle, and currently Canon Blue to name a couple. I feel so fortunate to have this guy as a friend and on my team musically. I’ve learned so much from him already, and I can’t wait to learn more and continue working with him.

Here is a link to some of his own music- which is AMAZING.
http://www.myspace.com/123latenights

And also, a video of Graham, Cori, and I (The Meanwhiles) covering Feist’s “Gatekeeper” last summer.

Daniel Kirkwood// Washington, D.C.

ImageImage

If you were to read each and every post here, and continued to follow this blog, you would soon notice that many of my connections have stemmed from the open mic night at Cafe Coco in Nashville. I spent/spend a LOT of time there, especially in the first year or so. It is a watering hole of creative beings and eclectic personalities, which has really fed me in so many ways. Last summer, I happened into the open mic after not having been for a while, and caught Daniel Kirkwood’s set. I had arrived pretty late in the evening, so i signed up last, and I planned to talk to Daniel after the show about playing together sometime. BUT, he started to walk out right before I played, and with out thinking I jumped up and said, “DON’T LEAVE!”, and then proceeded to say very awkwardly that if he liked my voice I would love to sing harmony for him sometime. Honestly, until five minute ago, I had forgotten that’s how we met and now I’m embarrassed to tell you. Anyway, he and his girlfriend did stay, and he did like my voice, and he happened to be in town from ALASKA for a couple of weeks to begin recording his album! So, we talked turkey and other poultry and I came to the studio a few days later. He recently just returned to Nashville for a few weeks to record some more, and add some finishing touches to what we had down last year, and I took these photos this time. Daniel’s music is really cool, and I’m really proud and honored to be part of this project! Jamison Sevits recorded and produced the project, and a handful of other talented musicians as well! We plan on having an official cd release show in Nashville at some point this summer, but until then, check out Dan’s band camp to hear the sounds! And below is a live take of a song a few weeks back.

Thank you, Daniel, for the gift of you!

http://trawler.bandcamp.com

Mike McKaskle// Nashville, TN

Image

Well, I thought about putting (aka- Pops) in the title for this entry, but I figured I’d leave a little suspense. For those who don’t know already, Mike McKaskle is my Dad, and probably the greatest reason I play music at all right now. I grew up listening to him finger-picking his 76′ Martin guitar- which he paid $600 for new, btw- and he and my mother would sing together in the kitchen after dinner, and at coffee shops and county fair sort of events in West Tennessee. When I was really small I’d sing with them, but mostly I got to soak up the influences of the greats like Doc Watson, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Rogers, John Prine, and Greg Brown, as played by my father.

I began singing with him again when I was about 17, and for my 18th birthday/ high school graduation, he got me my first guitar! He tried teaching me a few chords, but it wouldn’t be until the end of my first (and only) semester away at college that I’d start to really be interested in learning. One of the greatest joys I have is the gift of getting to share music with him, and it has been a connection that has carried us through difficult periods in our relationship.

He played in bands growing up, and most recently has formed a band with his fancy-fingered friend John Zajdel, under the moniker, “The Grindstone Plowboys”. Have a listen!

I Love you, Daddy! Thank you for the gift of you=]