Amy Ray Band w/ Becky Warren

Wed Jul 31 2019

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

The Basement East

917 Woodland St Nashville, TN 37206

$15 - $25

Ages 18+

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The WMOT Wired In Session will be an intimate performance with Amy Ray Band from 5:45 - 6:45pm.

Amy Ray Band w/ Becky Warren

  • Amy Ray Band

    Amy Ray Band

    Folk Rock

    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 (2014), 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.

    Her follow up 2015 release, The Tender Hour, is a live document of her country exploits with the songs of Goodnight Tender thus far, and a healthy dose of live rock and punk as well. It was recorded at Seattle’s legendary club, The Triple Door, and was mixed by Craig Montgomery and Trina Shoemaker. Ray is working on a new batch of songs for live performance and to get down in the studio in 2017!

    “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.”
  • Becky Warren

    Becky Warren

    Folk Rock

    Becky Warren's sophomore album, Undesirable, is about humanity. Distilling the stories of a group of homeless and formerly homeless entrepreneurs in her home base of Nashville, Warren relays the essence of the human experience, and shines a spotlight on the relatable, common ties that bind us together, regardless of our demographic. 

    Following the success of her first solo album, War Surplus, the gritty love story of an Iraq War vet and his girlfriend partly inspired by Warren's own life, many asked her, "How the hell do you plan to follow that up?" After the album earned her a Veterans Day feature on NPR's All Things Considered, a regular opening slot with The Indigo Girls, and an A rating from the dean of American rock critics himself, Robert Christgau, Warren admits that even she sometimes worried she wouldn't be able to make a second record she was as happy with. With this new and inspired set of compelling, catchy, guitar-driven songs in the spirit of heartland rock n’ roll masters like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, Undesirable puts those worries to rest. 

    "The rewarding thing for me about the response to my last album," Warren says, "was that it gave me a chance to write about veterans—a group of people who are often seen as somehow different or 'other'—in ways that showed listeners that their struggles and lives are actually really similar." So when Warren started planning her second project, she looked around for another group of people who seemed "othered,” and right away she thought of one of her favorite things about Nashville: The Contributor, Nashville's street paper, which is sold around town by homeless and formerly homeless vendors. The vendors buy the paper from the non-profit that produces it, and then sell it for a profit. Warren went to a few "paper releases,” the weekly event where vendors can buy the new issue for the first time, but quickly realized that the best way to learn people's stories was to approach vendors as they were selling, introduce herself, and ask to talk with them while they sold the paper.

    In less talented hands, the result might have been political, didactic, depressing. But for the protagonists of Warren's songs, homelessness is never a defining characteristic. Instead, they're people who are mourning loss, ditching bad relationships, striving against ruthless odds, falling in love—in other words, completely human. "I actually thought there would be a fair amount of overlap with subjects I already knew well from writing about a veteran with PTSD—mental health, substance abuse—but I learned after just a couple interviews that those were complete misconceptions," Warren admits. "To make a living selling The Contributor, you have to get up every day, no matter the weather, take a long bus ride, and stand outside for hours making a real connection with your customers, like any good salesperson. You have to be incredibly hardworking, with an unshakable belief in yourself to make it work."

    Supporting Warren on Undesirable is an impressive musical cast led by producer/guitarist Dan Knobler (Lake Street Dive, Rodney Crowell, Kelsey Waldon), including Warren's longtime bassist Jeremy Middleton (also of Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen) and her friend and musical mentor, Indigo Girl Amy Ray, whose vocals make the blistering first track, "We're All We Got", a standout, and an anthem for the people portrayed on Undesirable, who've been dealt a tough hand but are determined to play it and win.

    Photos by Anna Haas
     

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This event is 18 and over. Any Ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 18 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

ALL PATRONS MUST BRING A VALID FORM OF IDENTIFICATION.
WE ONLY ACCEPT TICKETWEB TICKETS.
BACKPACKS are not allowed inside the venue.
Most shows are standing room only.
Handicap accommodations can be arranged.

ALL ALL AGES and 18+ SHOWS ARE NO RE-ENTRY. If you leave the venue, you will not be allowed back in. Thanks!

Amy Ray Band w/ Becky Warren

Wed Jul 31 2019 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

The Basement East Nashville TN
Amy Ray Band w/ Becky Warren

$15 - $25 Ages 18+

The WMOT Wired In Session will be an intimate performance with Amy Ray Band from 5:45 - 6:45pm.

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Access Code

Select Tickets

Ages 18+
limit 4 per person
GA
G.A.
$15.00
GA + WMOT Wired In Session
$25.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Mail
UPS
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 18 and over. Any Ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 18 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund. ALL PATRONS MUST BRING A VALID FORM OF IDENTIFICATION.
WE ONLY ACCEPT TICKETWEB TICKETS.
BACKPACKS are not allowed inside the venue.
Most shows are standing room only.
Handicap accommodations can be arranged.

ALL ALL AGES and 18+ SHOWS ARE NO RE-ENTRY. If you leave the venue, you will not be allowed back in. Thanks!