I just got home from volunteering for Musicians on Call in Nashville and I had a particularly rich experience this time. I’ve been working with MoC since summer, but I haven’t yet had the chance to write down any reflections on it. After a night like tonight, I figured it was high time I do that.
Going room to room with my guitar at a long term care medical facility, I meet the most beautiful people who are in many cases facing the end of their days, or at least the end of their days in the outside world. Their lives now take place within the confines of the hospital walls and yet still they worry over their families and their former jobs, the classes left for someone else to teach, the choir left for someone else to lead, the land they’ve left for someone else to farm. They dream of the lovers they have lost and the friends who don’t come around as often as they used to do. In short, there is a lot to be sad about in a long term care facility.
But even these broken people seem to respond very deeply to music. Those who cannot speak sometimes tap their feet. Those who cannot hear sometimes do all the talking. Those times are especially wondrous. Tonight there was a woman who warned us that she couldn’t hear well, so after a few lines of me trying to sing extra loud, she just broke in and started preaching her story. And it was a grand story. She had a strength of presence that rested in immense gratitude. She said over and over, you give, you get. She said: “People are taking care of me. I’m alive. I broke three of my fingers the other day and I’m still sitting here eating my dinner. I’ve mothered three daughters and led the church choir and always tried to kind to everyone and now they are kind to me.”
Another woman called out from across the hall asking for the music and as soon as I started singing, she joined in, as if she were my backup singer, or Aretha Franklin’s rather, she had so much soul. I’d take her on the road in a heartbeat.
There was a man who talked about his seven John Deere tractors and the 2,000 acres he could no longer farm because he’d lost his legs. And a woman who, after I sang “To Make You Feel My Love” said: “You gotta meet The Oak Ridge Boys. Now you listen to me, you go on down to Hendersonville and find William Lee Golden, the barritone. Tell him I sent you and you see what he can do for you. Cause honey, you have a voice.” She had named her all of her boys after all of The Oak Ridge Boys.
Some people don’t want to hear music when we go by, or they’re sleeping, or they’re in quarantine. On the way out of the building, a young man in a wheel chair chased me down asking for a rock and roll tune. I played “Sweet Jane” and I could tell he was remembering how to play the chords himself. Maybe he still has a guitar. I really hope he does.
What a privilege to sing with @mpjmusic and the @nashvilleballet at Schermerhorn. Cannot WAIT for ATTITUDE 2/15-2/17. See you there #nashville
The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful… Whereever you may be this season, I hope you have lots of good music to keep you company.
We’re hibernating in the studio so we can come out next spring with a brand new record. In the meantime, I’m excited to let you know that I’ve released new song on the Nashville Indie Spotlight compilation. The Itunes comp features 22 previously unreleased tracks by 22 Nashville-based independent artists, including Matthew Perryman Jones, Mindy Smith, Katie Herzig, Paper Route, and more. You can pick up my song “Hard Believing” for just 99 cents and while you’re at it, buy all 22 tracks for just $7.99. We made a video cause we are so excited about it and you can check it out here.
Looking for last minute gift ideas that won’t break the bank? For only $3.99 you can give someone the 8 song deluxe version of my latest EP, Ghost of Something New on Itunes through the holidays. The Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden full length and my solo LP, White Horses are also available on itunes, amazon, and bandcamp.
Want something for nothing? Pick up these tracks for free:
I’m on Fire - Alliance Sessions
Revolution - Ghost of Something New
Faster than Cars Drive - Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden
And as my personal gift to you, I’ve made a Spotify playlist of some songs I’ve been loving of late. I will get a rdio version up over the holidays for those of you using that service. Hope you find some new jams!
We’ll be touring a lot next year, so I’ll see you soon, but in the meantime, I’m always posting playlists on Spotify, photos on Instagram , videos on Youtube, daily musings on Twitter, and my blog is at KateTuckerMusic.Tumblr.com . Official word is always at katetucker.net
Thanks again for another great year in life and listening!
NEW SONG on NASHVILLE INDIE SPOTLIGHT
I’m so grateful to be part of this awesome community of artists including Matthew Perryman Jones, Katie Herzig, The Vespers and more. I wrote and recorded the song “Hard Believing” exclusively for this Itunes mix and all of the songs featured on this compilation are first releases, so you’re getting a whole lot of bang for your 7 bucks. AND as if that weren’t enough, you can buy all of these artists’ albums for a discounted price for the next three weeks. Christmas gifts?! Do it!!!
Blessed is the road that keeps us homeless.
Blessed is the mountain that blocks our way.
Blessed are hunger and thirst, loneliness and all forms of desire.
Blessed is the labor that exhausts us without end.
Blessed are the night and the darkness that blinds us.
Blessed is the cold that teaches us to feel.
Blessed are the cat, the child, the cricket, and the crow.
Blessed is the hawk devouring the hare.
Blessed are the saint and the sinner who redeem each other.
Bessed are the dead, calm in their perfection.
Blessed is the pain that humbles us.
Blessed is the distance that bars our joy.
Blessed is this shortest day that makes us long for light.
Blessed is the love that in losing we discover.
I’m sitting at Barista Parlor drinking some thick dark tonic that steams its way upward into the chill fall air, thanking my lucky stars that I ended up here in Nashville at this exact moment.
I’m happy to be sinking into preparation for new record, writing and thinking and playing every day with newness. In the meantime, I’m enjoying staying in one place to see what comes to me. And here’s what’s been coming around of late.
Angel Snow releases her beautiful eponymous offering of songs to the world today and tomorrow, Wednesday Oct 3, she’ll play an album release show at the Basement in Nashville to kick off a month long tour with Mark Scibilia, another wonderful artist we are lucky to have here in town. Check out Nashville’s own Native Magazine covering Mark in the September issue, and be sure to pick up Angel Snow’s record. It boasts a stellar lineup including my fave Seattle drummer Matt Chamberlain keeping it real way back in the pocket. All-star crew aside, Angel’s voice and song are worth every Itunes penny and more.
As if these two aren’t enough to get you out of your seats, SHEL will be joining them at the Basement October 3. I had the good fortune to meet the sisters in SHEL earlier this summer and have enjoyed writing and singing with them. If you haven’t seen them perform, it is an other-worldly affair entirely. They have a beautiful new album produced by Brent Maher and if you’re looking for a little magic in your hat, you best get your hands on this quick, cause they are moving fast.
Other exciting shows and bands I’ll be checking out this week live and in stereo include
Antibalas at Mercy Lounge tonight
Charlie Peacock’s Album Release Show tonight at 3rd and Lindsley
and The Shins at the Ryman Sunday October 7
And finally, my favorite new release is Neil Halstead’s Palindrome Hunches. Can it get any better than this?
I’d love to hear what you’re loving right now. Send me new songs to sing in the shower.
Being Able to Hear Music for the First Time Ever -
I’ve never understood it.
My whole life I’ve seen hearing people make a fool of themselves singing their favorite song or gyrating on the dance floor. I’ve also seen hearing people moved to tears by a single song. That was the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around.
I was born profoundly deaf and all music sounded like trash through my hearing aids.
That is until a couple days ago when I put on a new pair of hearing aids for the first time in years.
The first thing I heard was my shoe scraping across the carpet; it startled me. I have never heard that before and out of ignorance, I assumed it was too quiet for anyone to hear.
I sat in the doctor’s office frozen as a cacophony of sounds attacked me. The whir of the computer, the hum of the AC, the clacking of the keyboard, and when my best friend walked in I couldn’t believe that he had a slight rasp to his voice. He joked that it was time to cut back on the cigarettes.
That night, a group of close friends jump-started my musical education by playing Mozart, Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Elvis, and several other popular legends of music.
Being able to hear the music for the first time ever was unreal.
Got some exciting shows coming up in Nashville, including a special acoustic set at Musicians Corner on September 8. Also playing that day is Matthew Perryman Jones, Goodbye June, Marie Hines and more! If you haven’t been out to Musicians Corner in Centennial Park, it’s a lovely way to spend your Saturday afternoon, and it’s FREE!
More info at musicianscorner.com
Later that night I’ll be heading to The 5 Spot in East Nashville for another killer lineup with The Lonely H, Magnolia Sons and Quiet Company. Special guest Michael Shepard will join me on some songs.
The following weekend, Sept 15 we’ll be playing a full band show at the first East-Centric Music Festival in East Nashville. You can catch some great music from noon- 8pm all for free! We’ll go on around 5:30pm. Hope to see you soon Nashville!