We shot this video with Anthony Simpkins of Nashville’s GemsonVHS, out in the STICKS of Tennessee. Hope you enjoy Charlie’s songwriting as much as I do- its dang good.
So, I first had the pleasure of meeting Eratosthenes, or Tos as we call him, in October of last year. I went up to Seattle for the CD release show for my friends Lower Lights Burning at Columbia City Theatre (love that space) and spent the weekend tagging along for all of their festivities. On Sunday of that weekend, Graydon and Amanda took me to Ballard, where theres a cool open mic at Conor Byrne Pub. Tos met us there and we walked down to the water and filmed my first “Ballard Session”.
The first thing you’ll notice about Tos is his wonderful hair. Never have i known a man with such a voluminous mane of hair, and I’m willing to bet you haven’t either. Its amazing. BUT. Thats not why we’re here. What you’ll soon learn after any interaction with him, is that he is such a sweet, open spirit. He creates these beautiful videos that capture artists in their element, and he does them so so well. I recently had the pleasure of hosting Tos here in Nashville during one of the hottest and most humid weeks in Tennessee history, which he was SUCH a trooper about. I filled our days trying to fit in as much Nashville stuff as possible, Historic Franklin, Kimbro’s Pickin’ Parlor, Puckett’s Grocery, The Full Moon Pickin’ Party, as well as all the trespassing we did to film “Ballard Sessions” with as many people as we could fit in. He went along for it all, and I am so grateful for the conversations we had and the adventures we went on.
Tos, your art is a beautiful gift, and I’m so grateful for you, and to get to share what you do with everyone I know. Thank you for the gift of you! Love you!
Here are a couple of examples of The Ballard Sessions. Enjoy=]
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!
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=]