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Finally Friday Is Live Full Time With Caudle, Tivel and Winwood

Finally Friday with Anna Tivel, Lilly Winwood, and Caleb Caudle
Joseph Cash
Finally Friday with Anna Tivel, Lilly Winwood, and Caleb Caudle

It’s a landmark week for Finally Friday, because WMOT’s lunchtime artist showcase is returning to an all-live calendar after more than two years of at-home shows required by the Covid-19 pandemic. And we’re returning to the last venue where the community-based shows regularly took place, historic 3rd & Lindsley. To celebrate, we’ve got a stacked triple play of important songwriters with new music to share: Oregon’s insightful Anna Tivel, British American roots rocker Lilly Winwood and the Nashville/North Carolina favorite Caleb Caudle.

Caleb Caudle will forever be an emblem for me of the 2020 lockdown because he was the first artist I spoke to as the reality of the pandemic set in. He was about to release his wonderful album Better Hurry Up, a project that felt like his arrival after a lot of growth, but his international touring plans were scuttled overnight. Like so many others, he turned inward during the lockdown, moving with his wife to their native North Carolina and spending time in nature. That served to inspire his new recording, arriving on this performance day of Oct. 7, Forsythia, named for the bright yellow flowers that appear in early Spring. “The natural world has always shown up in my lyrics but with these songs I felt that get magnified,” Caudle says in his album promo. “The beauty and force of it all became sacred to me. I felt unplugged from the hustle and free to pay close attention to the details and it completely changed my approach to life.” He took up an offer from John Carter Cash to produce his music at the moody and historic Cash Cabin in Hendersonville. They called on powerful musicians to round out the sound, including mandolinist Sam Bush, dobro master Jerry Douglas and singer Elizabeth Cook. The record is serene and deep, balancing melancholy and optimism. Caudle will follow up his WMOT hit with his debut on Mountain Stage and a long run of tour dates, we’re happy to say.

It served Lilly Winwood well to follow up her excellent 2021 album Time Well Spent rather quickly. August saw the release of her second full-length album Talking Walls, and we can hear a swagger and confidence that came from an aggressive writing and production schedule. Songs like "Good Old Days" breathe with self-reflection and self-repair, riding a lovely line between East Nashville alt-country and smart pop. Lilly, the daughter of English rock icon Steve Winwood and an American mom, grew up shuttling between two countries and cultures, and she seems to have translate that - plus a salutary journey to sobriety - into a mature and unique Americana voice.

Anna Tivel comes from the green, cloud-shrouded Pacific Northwest, a place as deep and mysterious as her songwriting. I fell for her work hard in 2019 when she released the stunning album The Question, which married bold and energetic language with heart-rending stories and subtle, smoldering groove-based acoustic music. She followed that masterwork up with 2021’s Blue World and the very new Outsiders, about which Glide magazine raved: “brilliantly imaginative instrumentation and production intertwine with Tivel’s precise, relevant and cinematic storytelling to once again open up the possibilities of what folk music can be.” I’m still getting into its layers, truth be told, because Tivel’s work, while sonically seductive on first listens, reveals its truths gradually. Few lyricists have as much poetry in them or deliver them in such a friendly yet timeless voice.

Doors open at 11 a.m. Set times are 12:00 pm (Anna Tivel), 12:45 pm (Lilly Winwood) and 1:30 pm (Caleb Caudle). Finally Friday is open to the public, and is broadcast live on WMOT, plus they can be streamed at WMOT.org and on our new WMOT App. Ana Lee and Jessie Scott will host.

Craig Havighurst is WMOT's editorial director and host of The String, a weekly interview show airing Mondays at 8 pm, repeating Sundays at 7 am. He also co-hosts The Old Fashioned on Saturdays at 9 am and Tuesdays at 8 pm. Threads and Instagram: @chavighurst. Email: craig@wmot.org