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Finally Friday Cues Up Dickenson, Rogers and Orender

“Everybody’s working for the weekend,” sang Loverboy in one of the worst songs ever to worm its way into our ears and the speaker systems of grocery stores and mall food courts everywhere. Though, I hate to admit that there’s some truth in it. Fortunately there will be only songs worth hearing when three terrific artists with roots and pop leanings take the stage for Finally Friday at 3rd & Lindsley for our weekly free lunchtime concert series. You’ll be Lovin’ Every Minute Of It.

Jarrod Dickenson has been keeping it real in Nashville for quite a few years after finding his way here from his native Waco, Texas. Many of us caught on to his savvy voice and hearty songwriting through his sophomore album Ready The Horses in 2020, which Popmatters called “timeless.” Then I learned that he’d had a nice run of success in the UK thanks to enthusiasm from the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival and the BBC. The Covid era gave him a lot to think about including a long-lasting case of the illness and he came up with the songs for Big Talk, his wintry looking February opus, which he produced along with the support of Wood Brothers drummer Jano Rix. “If his previous works have ventured a foot onto the territory of rock and roll, Big Talk plants a large flag,” says his bio. “It’s classic like Petty, gritty like Waits. Big Talk sounds for all the world like a man who has found his groove.”

Up next, Benjamin Dakota Rogers is likely to slow the tempo down a bit with his contemplative folk songs, though he can rock pretty hard with his four-string tenor guitar I’ll admit. The singer songwriter was raised in back-to-the-land and folk festival settings in Ontario, taking to fiddle and guitar. But professional music wasn’t his focus until - paradoxically for a fellow who still lives quite low-tech - his music went viral on TikTok. His method? “I usually just pick up my guitar and I’ll have the story that I want to tell planned out – but no lyrics or anything. I really like alliteration, so I chase that a lot,” he told Holler magazine. “When things start to come together, and I start grinning and get very excited, nobody can talk to me for three hours while I finish it.” He finished enough to make the incisive, cozy and sometimes dark folio called Paint Horse. Rogers plays a full set at Dee’s Lounge the evening after his FF performance.

We wrap the mid-day follies with Colleen Orender, a powerhouse singer who can compete with any band-plus-horns setup with a voice reminiscent of Adele and Amy Winehouse. Our own Ana Lee flagged her as an artist to watch for NPR in 2019, calling her sound “reminiscent of a smoky, late-night jazz club with a hint of James Bond.” She’s from Tampa, FL and grew up working with a family country band. She’s performed all over Nashville and the region in a variety of roles but seems in her element singing songs like “Love Me Harder,” a funky potboiler from her album The Company of Older Men.

As always, there’s no cover and the music starts at noon, live at 3rd & Lindsley and on the radio with Jessie Scott hosting.

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