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Country, Blues And Thoughts Of Tom Waits On Finally Friday

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We’ve got a little something different this week as we pack four artists into our two-hour lunch broadcast. And it’s one to get excited about because it’s an all Nashville lineup with some of the city’s most compelling veteran creators. On top of that, the iconic Tom Waits will be the center of attention as we shine a spotlight on Saturday night’s Get Behind The Mule multi-artist show at the 5 Spot, which will be raising funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Several artists from that lineup will join us for lunch.

In the first set, we’re packing in two of those Mule-heads. The Volcano Brothers are a little supergroup with multi-instrumentalist sideman extraordinaire Fats Kaplin, bass player Dave Jacques and all around musical mind Steve Dawson. We’re not sure what they have planned but they’re in the same segment with serene and thoughtful songwriter Angel Snow. She’ll be more ready than most for Waits-Fest, because she’s preparing to release a covers tribute to the raspy rascal early next year. Friday will mark the first single from that album “Make It Rain.”

Kendell Marvel is one of the city’s more interesting writer/artist stories. He landed from rural Illinois in the late 90s ready to take country music by storm as a picker and singer, but fate led him into the songwriting world when his first co-write in town became a No. 1 hit for Gary Allan. His vibe matched well with a certain segment of country radio’s last traditionalists, scoring cuts or hits for Lee Ann Womack, Chris Stapleton, Jamey Johnson and Jake Owen among others. But once his kids had grown up and he was looking for something new, he got back on stage and eyed recording projects of his own. We profiled him just after he’d made and released the tough and tender Solid Gold Sounds on Easy Eye with Dan Auerbach. And he’s been touring and enjoying life ever since.

And we’ll close the day with the distinguished Kevin Gordon, a fellow who took the razor sharp literary skills he honed at the famous Iowa Writers Workshop and applied them to the sultry blues and roadhouse rock and roll he came to appreciate as a native son of West Monroe, LA. When I moved to East Nashville in 1996, Gordon was one of the first locals I heard that sold me on the magic of the city’s underground. He was pretty new to the scene then, but he found his path, getting profiled early on by the prestigious Oxford American, landing at Jazz Fest in New Orleans (a set I got to see) and having his songs covered by Lucinda Williams and Keith Richards and Irma Thomas among others. Always soulful and subtly rocking, Kevin’s one of our greats.

Craig Havighurst is WMOT's music news producer and host of The String, a show featuring conversations on culture, media and American music. New episodes of The String air on WMOT 89.5 in Middle Tennessee on Mondays at 8 pm, repeating Sundays at 7 am. Twitter and Instagram: @chavighurst. Email: craig@wmot.org