[Joe Novelli] Late Fall Travels in the Southeast

12.1.2014 from Knoxville, TN

December first finds me sitting outside a coffeeshop on a cool day in Knoxville, TN. I'll be writing on my various ramblings and musings to leaven the frenetic mind and compose a brand spanking new virtual column for Tucson's local arts and culture movement. Expect stories of whimsy touting my favorite places, music, and talented folks, and connecting those folks with our Tucson analogues.

For a couple weeks now I've been hitching around the southeast to see family, build a guitar, and catch up with my favorite area songwriters and producers. I first flew into Nashville, TN. My favorite Nashvillian studio owner / producer Patrick Damphier (of Field Days, The Mynabirds, and Club Roar Studios) picked me up from the airport. I had just blown smoke in the face of The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney (mistakenly, of course ... I quite like them). Patrick (Damphier) took me on a tour of his studio before dropping me of at the Highwatt to watch my favorite songwriter in the Eastern US, Tyler Ramsey.

Tyler has a giant beard and a baby, and writes awfully pretty retro folk rock. He is best known as the tallest member of indie rock moguls Band of Horses. Tyler's last solo release, The Valley Wind, is one of my favorite albums of the last decade.

After the show another producer pal, Nick Bullock (The Sound Awake, Awake Studios) scooped me up and brought me back to his studio to while away the wee hours.

The next morning Daniel Fluitt, a Knoxvillian songwriter and frontman of Lubbock's Thrift Store Cowboys grabbed me from a nearby Waffle House. We drove like wild horses towards the best venue in the southeast, The Grey Eagle. We aimed to put on an old-school songwriters-in-the-round evening with my favorite bandleaders, all stripped down and intimate. We rode a songwriter carousel in semi-circle ... Daniel Fluitt, myself, Julie Odell (of old New Orleans band Giant Cloud), Sam Quinn (of The Everybodyfields and Japan Ten), J DiMenna, and Andy Herod (of The Comas and The Electric Owls). It was darned lovely.

After a few days in Asheville, NC I headed up to Knoxville, TN to wash windows, hang christmas tree lights, play with familial youngins , and build a guitar with my Uncle Steve (Novelli Guitars). It's been rad. Tonight I cavort with Tim and Susan of the Tim Lee 3 (oft-frequenters of Tucson's Wavelab Studios), and Daniel Fluitt to go see Sam Quinn's live radio show on WDVX. Wednesday will find me back in the Old Pueblo slinging drinks at Penca and making sounds for Logan Dirtyverbs Phillips' Sonoran Strange book release at Club Congress (Friday the 5th, 7PM).

Well, that's about it for now. Until next time ...
-Joe Novelli

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