Switzerland!

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Hope you like pictures!
There are pleeenty more where these came from. I mean, hundreds. A bit overkill. Maybe. 

I just haven’t been able to get enough of this beautiful country. I landed in Switzerland on the 18th of September, met by my wonderful, generous host Jean-Luc Berkovits. If you’re wondering at all how this trip was made possible, it is because of this guy, and his investment in music. I met Jean-Luc in Nashville almost two years ago now while he was studying with Brett Manning to become a vocal coach. Now, he has been back and in business at JLBStudios here in Tannay, Switzerland guiding folks of all ages to more knowledge about their own voices, as well as organizing a show series called “Nashville Nights”. 

Annalisa Nutt (Arkansas, soon to move to Nashville) and I were the lucky ones for the 2nd of what will hopefully be many more “Nashville Nights” and have had a truly wonderful time here, complete with a boat trip over to Ivory, France, a day in The Alps, several pink sunsets, and lots of bread, cheese, and chocolate. I leave tomorrow to return to Nashville, and I cannot believe 12 days have passed so quickly. 

Special thanks to Ben at La Parenthese in Nyon, Switzerland, Dawid at Bleu Lezard in Lusanne, and Clare and Sebastian at Cafe Nemo in Geneva. These are wonderful, wonderful people, passionate about investing in music and providing great venues and lovely, lovely hospitality. 

Still to come will be the release of some neat covers we filmed in the mountains here for Jean-Luc’s Youtube channel. Annalisa covered “Delicate” by Damien Rice, and we covered “Fake Empire” by The National. Mei Fa Tan was our talented filmmaker, and I cannot wait to see what she did with the beautiful scenery and her camera. Those are to be released before the end of the year. 

Also, I’ll be adding a tab strictly for tour dates to the site now, where you can find all the information for my upcoming tour with Courtney Marie Andrews (Seattle), beginning at The Stone Fox in Nashville on October 8th. 

Looking forward to developing all these film rolls I’ve filled on this trip.. hopefully some turn out and are worthy of sharing=]

xox

Erin Rae

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Nathan Conrad// Nashville, TN

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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! 

 

Mike McKaskle// Nashville, TN

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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=]

Andrew @ Cotten Music// Nashville, TN

For Inventory, Service Inquiries, and Hours of Cotten Music- Click Here!!

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So. The summer between my 4th and 5th grade years(1999), my dear ol’ dad decided to finally get a pick-up put in his 1976 Martin, (which, I might add, he bought new for 600 bucks.. lucky) so we made the 3 hour trek to Nashville to have it installed. I remember it was raining, I remember going down a one way street near Hillsboro Village, I remember being bossy with directions to the movie theatre, and I remember the man fixing up my dad’s guitar was named Andrew.

I also remember being pretty intimidated by this gruff luthier, only to find out 12 years later that he’s actually one of the sweetest, most tender-hearted people you may have the pleasure to meet. I have come to find this out since I began taking guitar lessons with John Mock (who you’ll meet soon) at Cotten Music last summer.

Cotten Music has become a second home to me, and thankfully Andrew, Kim, and Darcy have allowed for that. I can come in that place having exactly the kind of day I’m having, and Andrew will pick me out a guitar to play and listen to me talk through some of it, as well as doing some of the talking. His presence, encouragement, and sense of humor have become invaluable pieces of my weekly life for which I could not be more grateful.

Andrew is one of so many people who have loved and encouraged me until I could do it myself, and even still.

Love you, Andrew! Thank you for the gift of you.