Here’s our latest conversation on what the alt-weekly The Nashville Scene is covering with its music editor Stephen Trageser.
Jewly Hight: It’s been a very tricky month for live music. A lot of shows have either been canceled or postponed because of the Omicron variant. But you and your fellow Scene editors and contributors have spotlighted an array of shows that, as of this particular moment, are still on. So let’s talk about some of those.
There are a couple of singer-songwriters with international audiences who are coming to town. Both of them ought to be on the radars of WNXP listeners already. But can you bring us up to speed, just in case?
Stephen Trageser: One of those is Silvana Estrada, who as your listeners will probably know, is from Mexico. She’s a singer-songwriter who is also a very highly skilled instrumentalist. She’s just released an album called Marchita, and she is playing City Winery on February 1st for her solo tour. Also, Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett, who is very well known for her highly detailed songs, kind of looks a little bit more inward on her most recent release, which is called Things Take Time, Take Time. She is headlining at the Ryman on January 28th. [WNXP’s own Ayisha Jaffer has a pre-show interview with Barnett.]
JH: A couple of musicians who are known either for their psychedelic or blues-rock textures and grooves are also going to be playing shows in town. Both of them have also recorded here in Nashville at one point or another. Can you give us a rundown?
ST: You’ve got Thayer Sarrano, who has long been a part of the music scene in Athens, Georgia, and has a really gorgeous, thoughtful, kind of otherworldly take on folk, something kind of halfway between a folk or Americana kind of sound and desert psych. She is playing The 5 Spot on January 30th. That same night, Memphis blues-rock ace Eric Gales is coming to City Winery. He’s going to be celebrating the release of a new record called Crown.
JH: You have also highlighted some group efforts. What kind of wild-eyed energy can we expect from the longstanding bands that have shows coming up?
ST: Well, January 27th, you can check out Low Cut Connie from Philadelphia, a band born for the stage, finally able to get back on the road. They are coming to Brooklyn Bowl January 27th. And then you also have Thelma and the Sleaze, which is a local band, one of the finest rock bands you will see anywhere. They have a stacked hometown show at Springwater on February 1st.
JH: And what about a couple of newer collaborations that are either performing here in town or beaming in their show virtually?
ST: On the beaming-in tip, you’ve got The Smile, which is a kind of lockdown-time trio featuring Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood. They’re playing with drummer Tom Skinner, who is from the jazz group Sons of Kemet. They have a sort of live performance with some filmed elements as well. You’ll be able to see that Sunday afternoon, January 30 streaming at City Winery. Then on February 1st, you have a group called Man on Man, which is a duo of Roddy Bottum, who some folks might know from Faith No More or Imperial Teen, and his partner, Joey Holman. They make catchy, heavy rock and pop tunes about being a gay couple, and they are coming to all-ages space Drkmttr over on the East Side on February 1st.