Scenic City Roots LIVE at Track 29

Thursday, May 1
Doors: 6:00pm
Show: 7:00pm

Featuring

  • Uncle Lightning
  • The Rigneys
  • Jim Lauderdale
  • Suzy Bogguss
  • Amy Ray

$10 GA/ $5 w/ Student ID
All ages**Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian (21+) **18 & Over Valid Photo ID Required

BUY TICKETS

ALL AGES SHOW** Anyone under 18 MUST be accompanied by a parent/guardian (21 & older) to the show. Both the underage and parent/guardian will be marked as underage therefore not allowed to purchase alcohol. Anyone 18 & older, Valid Photo ID Required.

Uncle Lightning

Uncle Lightnin' was formed in 1995 and named for Richard's great-uncle Elijah, aka “Lightnin'” - a well known figure of the Nashville nightlife scene during the late 1940's, 50's, and early 60's. The original Uncle Lightnin' was a true "character" in the Southern sense of the word: one who lived by his own rules and marched to the sound of his own drummer. The band named in his honor makes it their mission to create music that is equally unique in character and filled with the same adventurous spirit.

Although they bill themselves as "Specialists in American Musics" they also incorporate musical influences from the British Invasion, punk, and folk music from around the world. Each member brings a unique background and diverse set of influences; each member also writes and contributes to the musical arrangements. They most admire those musicians who observe no limitations regarding what they play - good music is a genre unto itself. Uncle Lightnin' combines electric and acoustic instruments, energy, and intelligent lyrics in the belief that it is entirely possible to be stimulated intellectually and feel the desire to dance at the same time.

Richard, Millard, Doug, and Dan began the band 17 years ago after having played together previously in various combinations. Andrew joined 12 years ago as the band's mandolin player before taking over the bass duties; Milton was featured as a guest on the band's first release, Sunday Breakfast, and has recently joined full-time.

Uncle Lightnin' has released two CD's prior to Searching for Ted 'the Cowboy' Eisenhower; both releases - Sunday Breakfast (1998) and Urban Legend (2003) - received critical praise and extensive play on public radio stations across the United States and Europe. In the meantime, their time on the road helped establish a reputation among their fans and peers as a "band's band."

Their new release Searching for Ted 'the Cowboy' Eisenhower includes 16 tracks that highlight the bands' musical and literary influences; it was recorded over a two-year period and was mixed by Mitch Easter (R.E.M.) and mastered by David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers). The release date for the new work is October 11, 2012.

The Rigneys

The Rigneys are an award-winning band playing their own blend of original work and traditional arrangements that exhilarate your soul with energy, laughter and emotion. Well-known flatpicking champ, Andy Rigney, and his brother, Grant Rigney, champion fiddler and member of the 2013 International Bluegrass Music Association Youth All-star Band, front the group. Their unique, appealing blend of family vocal harmonies and innovative bluegrass instrumentation exemplifies everything that is right about family playing together.

Having entertained at many locations across the U.S., France, and Spain, they perform at festivals, concerts, radio/TV shows, private parties, weddings, and similar venues. Recent and upcoming shows include Bluegrass Underground, the Red, White and Bluegrass Festival, Silver Dollar City, Song of the Mountains, Bloomin' BBQ and Bluegrass, Historic Jonesboro Bluegrass Series, KASU Bluegrass Mondays, Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Foggy Hollow Bluegrass Gathering, The Rooster's Wife, Woodsongs and many others.

The Rigneys signed with Nashville record label Dark Shadow Recording in the spring of 2013. Their latest project, Double or Nothing, was released by Dark Shadow Recording on September 10, 2013. It was produced by Stephen Mougin, label-owner and guitarist for the Sam Bush Band. Noted musician and journalist, John Weisberger, describes it as “straight-ahead contemporary bluegrass, with some sly references to tradition, and some beautiful material that makes it home in the fertile ground between bluegrass, country and folk. The title track was selected for IBMA's 2013 Songwriter Showcase.

Band members include Andy (guitar, vocals), Grant (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Melissa (bass), and Mark (banjo, vocals). Andy is currently serving as the IBMA's Youth Council President and also was recently featured in the September/October 2013 issue of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. Both Andy and Grant have a long list of accomplishments under their belts and additional information is available on their web site.

Jim Lauderdale

Jim Lauderdale is a Grammy® Award winning musician and one of the most respected artists working in the Bluegrass, Country and Americana music communities today. He is considered one of Nashville’s “A” list of songwriters with songs recorded by artists such as Patty Loveless, Shelby Lynne, Solomon Burke, The Dixie Chicks and George Strait, who has had numerous hits with Jim’s songs. Jim’s music has been featured recently on the ABC hit show “Nashville” and he had several tracks on the soundtrack of the successful film “Pure Country.” Jim is also in high demand as a player, touring with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rhonda Vincent and Elvis Costello.

Jim, who frequently collaborates with legends like Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello, is also a critically acclaimed solo artist with dozens of studio releases, including his latest Carolina Moonrise, written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and Buddy and Jim the critically acclaimed new duets album recorded with long time friend Buddy Miller of which Mojo states: “Miller and Lauderdale’s duets have both the easy familiarity of old friends and the musicianship of old pros.”

In addition to making music together, Buddy and Jim also co-host “The Buddy & Jim Show,” recently described as “…highly entertaining…” by NPR’s Fresh Air. Each week Buddy and Jim invite artists to Buddy’s home studio in Nashville, where they tape performances and in depth interviews with a wide variety of artists and friends. Jim also hosts the popular Music City Roots each week from the Loveless Barn in Nashville. And since winning “Artist of the Year” and “Song of the Year” at the first “Honors and Awards Show” held by the Americana Music Association in 2002, he has subsequently hosted the show each year.

Jim is the subject of a new documentary, directed by Australian filmmaker Jeremy Dylan called “The King Of Broken Hearts.” The feature length documentary tells of Jim’s unconventional and prolific story from his North Carolina roots, being immersed in the country music scenes in both New York City and Los Angeles, to breaking through in Nashville as a songwriter.

Jim’s musical influences, including the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley and George Jones, can be heard in his songs with his unique sense of melody and lyrical expertise. He won his first Grammy Award in 2002 with Dr. Ralph Stanley for Lost in the Lonesome Pines (Dualtone) and then for The Bluegrass Diaries (Yep Roc) in 2007. In addition to previously mentioned releases, as a performer Jim is credited with production, writing and collaborating on over two dozen albums including Wait ‘Til Spring (SkyCrunch/Dualtone 2003) with Donna the Buffalo and Headed for the Hills (Dualtone 2004) his first total project with Robert Hunter, Planet of Love (Reprise 1991,) Pretty Close to the Truth (Atlantic 1994,) Every Second Counts (Atlantic 1995,) Persimmons (Upstart 1998,) Whisper (BNA 1998,) Onward Through It All (RCA 1999,) The Other Sessions (Dualtone 2001,) The Hummingbirds (Dualtone 2002,) Bluegrass (Yep Roc 2006,) Country Super Hits, Volume 1 (Yep Roc 2006,) Honey Songs (Yep Roc 2008), Could We Get Any Closer? (SkyCrunch 2009,) Patchwork River (Thirty Tigers 2010), Reason and Rhyme (Sugar Hill Records 2011), and Carolina Moonrise (SkyCrunch/Compass Records 2012.)

Suzy Bogguss

Suzy Bogguss didn’t set out to craft a Merle Haggard tribute record. Some might call that serendipity; she just calls it Lucky.

“Merle Haggard is a hell of a storyteller,” says Suzy. “When I hear his songs, I feel like I’m listening in on someone’s life.” On her new album, Lucky, a collection of songs all written by Haggard, Suzy does more than just listen—the CMA, ACM and Grammy Award-winning singer makes the country rebel’s compositions her own, reinterpreting classics like “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Silver Wings” and “Today I Started Loving You Again” from a female point of view.

“Merle is one of the most masculine songwriters I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been watching boys cover his music for years. I just thought, ‘Why couldn’t a girl do this?’” Suzy says.

Turns out, a woman can—especially if that woman is Suzy Bogguss, one of country music’s most pristine and evocative vocalists. With the release of the Illinois native’s 1989 major label debut, Somewhere Between, Suzy quickly became one of the key artists that defined those golden days of ’90s country. She scored a string of Top 10 singles with country radio staples like “Outbound Plane,” “Drive South,” “Hey Cinderella,” “Letting Go” and “Aces,” and her 1991 album of that name was certified platinum. In addition, she scored a trio of gold albums and notched more than 3 million sales.

With Lucky, released on Suzy’s own label Loyal Dutchess, the singer comes full circle, returning yet again to her early inspiration, Haggard—Suzy’s Somewhere Between was titled after a Hag cut.

“My very first song on the radio, ‘Somewhere Between,’ was a Merle Haggard song,” says Suzy, going on to explain the title of Lucky, which she produced with her husband, songwriter Doug Crider. “I was sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper and the word ‘lucky’ jumped out at me. I said, ‘That’s the title of the album.’ Because I feel lucky that I get to know Merle.”

Not that Lucky is a tribute album. Of that, Suzy is adamant.

“I don’t want it to be viewed that way. I had been wanting to make a record based in country and blues and I just kept thinking of great Haggard songs,” Suzy says. “Finally it just made sense to quit denying that what I really wanted was to sing an entire album of Merle songs! I have always looked to great singer/songwriters for material outside of my own. These songs are perfect for me at this time in my life. They just happen to all be written by one guy.

“I didn’t try to imitate Merle, this is my interpretation of his songs,” she continues. “Besides, Merle is still doing his own thing. He’s hard at work, and people are still lining up around the block to see him.”

Lucky is remarkable in its freshness. Its acoustic-based arrangements, while sparse, crackle with vibrancy. Each song is driven by the perfect marriage of Suzy’s delicate voice and the adventurous, yet tasteful, playing of the band. It’s indicative of what Haggard himself would do in the studio. “Merle would experiment. He would take his band The Strangers into the studio and they’d be pioneers,” Suzy says. “Each one of Merle’s records sounds fresh and you hear that in these different songs we chose. I really miss that fearlessness today.”

Suzy followed suit. Assembling her own ace band at her home studio—along with an A-team of singer-songwriters, including Jessi Alexander, Matraca Berg, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Joe Diffie, Gretchen Peters and Jon Randall Stewart, to lend background vocals—she cut a dozen Haggard tunes. They range from the boozy lament “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here and Drink” and the randy “Let’s Chase Each Other Round the Room” to the somber one-two punch of “You Don’t Have Very Far to Go” and “Someday When Things Are Good.”

“Merle’s songs were on the 8-track player in my dad’s car. Saturday nights when I would drive around with my friends, this was a part of our soundtrack. Back when country music talked about real adult problems and how we deal with them. We felt like we were eavesdropping on the secret lives of our parents,” Suzy says. “Merle’s songs feel familiar... and slightly dangerous. And there’s not a truck or a bonfire in the batch.

“These are the songs that I related to, that I felt I had a reason to sing,” she continues. “They all had something that I could give them, whether it was a particular passion to a lyric or a melody. Every melody on this whole project is one that I just love as a singer.”

Throughout Lucky, Suzy’s bohemian spirit—for nearly five years, she lived in and traveled the country by camper—is palpable. In “Silver Wings,” she delivers an almost cinematic vocal. “There’s a movie playing in my head when I sing that song,” Suzy admits. “And in many of his songs.”

To further the metaphor, it’s a movie written by Haggard, but directed by Suzy. One of her goals with the album was to show fans of American music exactly what Merle wrote. “These are meaty melodies, meaty stories,” she says of the songs. “I love sinking my teeth into them.”

And she hopes both her fans who have followed her since the ’90s as well as devotees of Haggard will do likewise.

“What I really wanted to illuminate is not only is this guy awesome to see live and awesome to listen to on his records, but his songs are very relatable for somebody else to communicate to other people,” Suzy says. “Not every artist has music that is as universal as Merle’s. It’s pretty heavy-duty stuff and I think that’s why to so many of us who sing and write songs, he’s such a king among us.

“He really is the poet of the common man.” Or in this case, an extraordinary woman.

Amy Ray

Amy Ray’s progression as a singer/songwriter has taken her up and down all of the switchback trails of the South, from the dive bars of Saturday night to church on Sunday morning, with some coffeehouses and arenas along the way, too. Goodnight Tender, her first country album, integrates all of these influences in fresh, surprising ways and testifies to her range and virtuosity as an artist who is always game to follow a thread of melody into new and rugged territory.

“Although Southern Rock was standard fare at my high school in Decatur, Georgia, I didn’t really grow up with the country music I love now,” she says.

Instead, she and her high school friend, Emily Saliers, would sneak into bars with fake I.D.s and play covers until they began writing their own poetically rich folk material that made the Indigo Girls one of the most successful and enduring duos in contemporary music. They continue to grow as collaboraters, writing, recording, and touring together, and critics and listeners still marvel at their generative and resonant eloquence as artists and social activists. Meanwhile, Ray, a self-described “workaholic,” also has established a solo career, initially surprising everyone with her hard-driving songs and defiant, rocker’s growl on Stag, her first solo release in 2001, which she since has followed with Prom, Live from Knoxville, Didn’t It Feel Kinder, MVP Live, and Lung of Love.

Her extracurricular forays, musical curiosity, and jams and late-night conversations with other artists led her to conclude that punk and country are, in fact, kissing cousins.

“The Southern punks I knew listened to and got their swagger from classic country as much as anything else,” she says. “Simple country tunes, mountain songs, and heart-breaking honky-tonk sounds held the same populism and rebellion that I loved about punk rock. Neko Case and Loretta Lynn were cut from the same cloth. The Clash and Hank Williams were the heartbeat of populist songwriting. Danielle Howle and Patsy Cline were long lost blood relations. George Jones and Paul Westerberg had the same demons. There was hillbilly rock running through the veins of The Cramps.”

Similarly, the urgent, plaintive ache that characterizes all of Ray’s powerhouse vocals lends itself beautifully to country music, though her singing is soft and gentle here, suited to back-porches and small campfires.

“In the 90’s, I went out and bought classic country vinyl and fell in love with it,” she says. “I pulled out the old field recording LP’s my grandma gave me and listened to them with a whole different ear. The sounds of an old woman singing Appalachian murder ballads in her kitchen, the chain gangs working the fields, songs from the mountain to the coast reflecting a beauty that was rough and honest. Alan Lomax became a fixture in my life, and I realized a new perspective on singing and songwriting. I moved up to rural North Georgia in 1993, to a town I had gone to church camp in as a kid. The rich Appalachian culture and music started seeping into my life and songs. The first song I wrote that came out of all this was a little mountain ditty I recorded for Stag, a hanging song called ‘Johnny Rottentail.’”

Ray continued to write material in that vein, songs that did not quite fit into the Indigo Girls catalog, or on a rock or punk album. “Goodnight Tender” evokes a loving lullaby from a traveler far from home and also happens to name-check her dog, Tender; “Anyhow” came to her when she watched her dog, Chevron grappling with a copperhead snake in the woods (“I was thinking about half a life left”); and “My Dog” is a ditty she originally wrote on a Bouzouki. “This is a dog-heavy album,” she says with a laugh, which should please good ol’ boys and girls. There are also traveling songs, songs of lost love and regret, (the tunes “More Pills,” “Broken Record” and “Time Zone”) and a couple of gospel numbers, “The Gig That Matters” and “Let the Spirit.” In fact, her spirituality – Ray was a religion and literature major, and always puts those studies to effective use – pervades much of this album, including “Hunter’s Prayer,” which was inspired by her flannel-clad neighbors in north Georgia and her work with Native American causes, along with the meditative “Oyster and Pearl.”

During this time she began approaching other musicians who caught her ear – high-lonesome vocalists and other players who knew their way around a banjo, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, and pedal steel. Some, like her, also claimed punk roots. “I wanted to get just the right mix of musicians together, and stay true to old recording styles, using old microphones and old reverb plates, and the right set-up, like an old-school Nashville studio,” she says. “I knew the music would fall into place then and take on a life of its own.”

As always, she was striving for a certain purity.

“We played together at a songwriters-in-the-round event in Durham,” says Phil Cook of Megafaun fame, “and the next day, she called me and said, ‘I’ve got a feeling here – what do you think about helping with a country project?’”

He ended up playing banjo, electric guitar, Wurlitzer and singing on Goodnight Tender.

“This project felt and sounds so spontaneous because Amy has an uncanny ability to latch on to the energy in a room and encourage its flow,” Cook says. “She recognizes the spark in every situation and every artist and knows exactly how to fan it. I think Amy went back to the land and found she has a country soul. She was singing from her core, as if she were born to this style of music.”

Using her intuitive, organic approach, she assembled two different combinations of players for the album. Jeff Fielder (guitars, dobro, banjo, piano, bass), Jim Brock (drums), Jake Hopping (stand up bass), Matt Smith (pedal steel) and Adrian Carter (fiddle) helped round out the first group. Ray knew the teen-age Carter “walked the line between his high school punk band and Nashville fiddle workshops” and lured him to the studio during the middle of his senior finals. Multi-instrumentalist, Jeff Fielder became a center-piece for the record, and drummer, Jim Brock anchored the songs firmly in southern and country traditions. She brought in Asheville’s Matt Smith for pedal steel, the instrument that defined the original, tear-stained “Nashville Sound.”

For the second combo, she convened Phil Cook (banjo, Wurly, guitar, vocals), Justin Vernon (mandolin, banjo, guitar, vocals), Brad Cook (bass, vocals), Terry Lonergan (drums), and vocalist Heather McEntire. “Heather’s voice is both the call of the banshee and the siren,” Ray says. “She has sung over thrash bands and in alt-country, so I tried to learn from her, how to make that transition and modulate my vocals.” McEntire also wrote and sang lead on the song “When You Come for Me,” the only one not penned by Ray on the album of 12 originals.

Blueswoman Susan Tedeschi contributed vocals to “Duane Allman,” a tribute to one of Ray’s heroes, who left a “god-sized hole,” and belter Hannah Thomas added harmonies to “Hunter’s Prayer.”

Ray enlisted the vocal stylings of “long time friend and vocal icon,” Kelly Hogan for harmonies on the songs “Goodnight Tender” and “Time Zone.”

“The bloodlines and kinships in music feel pretty powerful and infinite to me these days,” Ray says. “I’ve heard some folks say that country is where punks go to die. I don’t know about all that, but I imagine the last mile is the most lonesome, and there’s nothing like the sound of a pedal steel to keep you company.”