Monday, September 17, 2018

Americana Fest: Photos Show a Lively Friday Night at Nashville Venues InDo, The Anchor, and City Winery

By Wil Comstock
Music City Arts Contributing Writer

     NASHVILLE -- The Americana Fest continued to live up to its storied reputation as the best event of its kind in Nashville. Here are a few photos from a lively Friday night (Sept. 14).


1. Eliza Gilkyson at InDo Nashville on Fogg Street.

 


2.  Eliza Gilkyson with Betty Sue on backing vocals at InDo Nashville.

 


3.  Leslie Stevens with Albert at InDo Nashville.  (“The best female country singer in LA today,” according to The Los Angeles Times)

 


4.  Mary Gauthier with Jamie Harris on backing vocals at InDo Nashville.

 


5.  Austin native Jamie Harris with Betty Sue and Graham Weber at InDo Nashville.

 


6.  Mountain Man at The Anchor.

 


7.  Peter Bradley Adams at the Anchor.

 


8.  Peter Bradley Adams with Caitlin Canty on backing vocals at The Anchor.



9.  Kim Richey at City Winery.

 


10. Kim Richey and band at City Winery.

 

(All photos by Music City Arts Contributing Writer Wil Comstock)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Americana Fest: An Innovating Bluesy Thursday at City Winery


By Wil Comstock
Music City Arts Contributing Writer

Thursday (Sept. 13):

         Chuck swung by to me up at work, and we headed to Salsas Cuban Restaurant on Palmer Place for the William Morris mixer. They welcomed us with a fireball shot! We later sampled some delectable Cuban hors d'oeuvres, washing them down with some local Yazoo beer. Yum!

         We decided to walk over to City Winery to catch their shows for the evening.

 

         Shemekia Copeland: One of the best woman blues artists alive! She treated us to songs from her new album, "America’s Child." The title was inspired by her hopes and dreams for her 2-year-old son. Producer Will Kimbrough joined Shemika and band for most of the set, starting with the driving “Ain’t Got Time for Hate.” Two highlights for me were “Would You Take My Blood?” sung to a racist that needs a blood transfusion, and the Rolling Stones-like burner “In the Blood of the Blues.” Copeland lives inside the lyrics: “I’m the jewel in the crown of the mighty kings of Africa... I’m the hands on the shaft of the spear that the slew the lion... I’m in the soul clinched wife of the man on the demon slave ship... I’m the fire in the crack of the whip on the good man’s spine.”  Lord, have mercy... this woman can sing!

 

         Guthrie Trapp: Hands down the most innovative guitarist in Nashville. He has worked with the greats from Garth Brooks to Earl Scruggs.  He blew me away on Taj Mahal’s “Buck Dancers Choice,” and his own compositions “Pick Peace” and “Patricia.”  This guy is all over the neck of the guitar sounding like two players instead of one. He is tasteful, precise and a lot of fun to watch. 

 

         John Oates: No introduction needed here. The last few years, John’s been playing roots music and loving every minute of it. He is backed by a crackerjack band that includes Guthrie Trapp. He started with the 1924 pop song “Anytime” by Emmett Miller, a personal favorite of mine.  Oates then talked about ragtime and segued into Mississippi John Hurt’s “Stack O Lee.” You can’t get any more Americana than that! John said he had recently been to Bristol Tennessee where Jimmie Rodgers recorded his next number, “Miss the Mississippi and You.” Don’t tell anyone, but I liked John’s version better than the original! Favorites for me were the Oates-penned “Arkansas” and “Edge of the World,” which reminded me of Steve Miller back in the '70s.   “Maneater” was originally written in a reggae style. Daryl Hall changed it to a pop song, and the rest is history. John played the original version, way too cool! He closed with a rootsy version of “You Make My Dreams Come True.” The band and crowd alike looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. I know I did.

         Amy Helm: Daughter of the late legendary drummer from The Band, Levon Helm. Amy stands on her own two feet somewhere between elevated rock and swamp gospel. Her dynamic vocals on “Odetta” instantly made me a fan. I loved “Rescue Me” and the title cut from her new album, “This Too Shall Light,” with it’s swinging groove and spiritual overtones. The highlight for me was hearing T-Bone Burnett’s “River of Love,” a song Burnett’s ex-wife Leslie Phillips recorded decades ago. Amy’s guitarist was having some technical problems and didn’t get to play on several numbers. Although he is integral to Helm’s style, her energetic voice carried the songs beautifully. Amy, you are making your father proud.

 

         Mountain Heart: I convinced Chuck to stick around for a couple of Mountain Heart songs. After all, we had met guitarist Seth Taylor when we picked up our badges earlier in the week. I’m happy we waited to hear them! On hearing the upbeat “Got No Complaints” and the inspirational ballad “More Than I Am,” I an instant enthusiast for this contemporary bluegrass band!

 

         I’m pretty tired as I write this review, but I wouldn’t have missed these shows for the world. I’m sure Mr. Chuck Whiting is sleeping now with his cats snuggled beside him. Pleasant Dreams. 

(Story and photos by Music City Arts Contributing Writer Wil Comstock)
 

Award-Winning Artist/Instructor Gail McDaniel to Teach Watercolor Painting Course in Peachtree City/Fayetteville, Georgia

            FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (September 2018) -- Award-winning artist/instructor Gail McDaniel will teach a new eight-week watercolor painting course 22 miles south of Atlanta in the Peachtree City/Fayetteville area this fall.

            The course will be offered to beginning, intermediate and advanced artists on selected Thursdays starting Oct. 4, 2018 at Heritage Christian Church, 2130 Redwine Road in Fayetteville. Sessions will occur from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25; Nov. 1, 8 and 15; and Dec. 6. The class will not meet on Nov. 22 and Nov. 29.

            The artist/instructor will provide insights on composition, value, color theory and application. She also will demonstrate some of the techniques that have helped make her an award-winning artist, including abstract under paintings, disappearing purples, painting on Masa Paper, white on white, monotype paintings, let it flow, texturize your paintings, portraits, reflective surfaces, and wax-resist Batik. The course is structured to serve artists at all skill levels, from the very raw beginner to the most advanced. McDaniel will close each session with individual critiques.

            Because space is limited for the classes, reservations are required. Tuition is $165 for eight class sessions. For more information or to register, contact the artist by phone at (678) 603-1502 or send an inquiry to gail@gailmcdanielart.com. Individuals can learn more about the artist/instructor and view her artwork at http://www.GailMcDanielArt.com and follow her at http://www.Facebook.com/GailMcDanielArt and http://www.Twitter.com/GailMcDanielArt.




"English Cottage of Beatrix Potter," a watercolor painting by Gail McDaniel

            McDaniel is an acclaimed watercolorist who, by invitation, has served as an associate member and demonstrating artist/instructor for the prestigious Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network of London. She was commissioned to create four program covers for Griffin (Ga.) Choral Arts' 10th anniversary concert season. Before moving to Georgia, McDaniel spent more than 20 years working as a professional watercolorist and art instructor in Nashville and Brentwood, Tenn. During that time, she taught more than 1,400 students in classes and workshops around the world. A number of her former students have developed into professional artists with exhibitions and commissions.

            "Like me, others love the look of watercolor paintings and want to learn the medium," said the artist, who painted the invitation cover for "A Little Night of Music" starring country superstar LeAnn Rimes. "Many come for the change of pace and the new, wonderful, relaxing challenge it brings. The intermediate and advanced students come to me to grow in the medium."

            Over the years, McDaniel has seen the positive change that comes over many people when they spend three hours with her, creatively thinking from the right side of their brain.




            "It's truly a night-and-day change, not to mention the fun they have," McDaniel added. "Many who come to me with no art background find they really have a true talent for painting. Some of them never had the slightest notion they had any talent. It's such an outstanding reward for them and a source of real pleasure for me."

            A good example is Phyllis Tatum, a watercolorist who studied with McDaniel for 14 years in Middle Tennessee. She and her fellow students were thrilled when she won four blue ribbons and a red ribbon at the Tennessee State Fair. Her crowing achievement came later when she won the fair's "Best of Show", a rare occurrence in watercolor circles.

            McDaniel fondly remembers receiving a thank you note from former student Suzy Foy of Boulder, Colo., who wrote, "My whole life I have dreamt about being an artist... I never believed I could live that dream, one painting at a time. Because of my nine workshops, mentoring and support (from McDaniel), it is happening."

            "One of the obvious results of classes is the togetherness that comes upon the group," McDaniel noted. "Friendships develop, and with that interest in each other's lives and the happenings and events in their world. The group watches children grow up, grandchildren being born, and members die. The group celebrates the joys together, as well as the sad times, giving special support. Sometimes, our paintings reflect those experiences."

            The classes near Atlanta should be no exception. McDaniel will demonstrate the techniques, shortcuts and concepts that she has developed or learned by doing, reading or studying with others. She plans to show her students everything she knows, holding nothing back. Her goal is to inspire them without making them feel overwhelmed.

            During her career, McDaniel has trained artists from 36 different states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the District of Columbia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. She has taught 11 workshops at historic Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a landmark where the late Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted. She also served as a member of the arts faculty of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art.

            In 2002, she and her husband, Ken, launched the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards", raising almost $90,000 for Middle Tennessee public schools. The fundraising effort earned Gail and Ken a nomination in the "volunteer innovator" category of the 2009 Mary Catherine Strobel Award. In 2012, the artist was named the PENCIL Foundation's "Volunteer of the Year".

            Before leaving Tennessee, she received an award for "Excellence in Community Service" from the Travelers Rest Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was inducted into the Cave City, Ky., Hall of Fame and named (as an eighth generation Kentuckian) to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels as one of  "Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world."

            In 2001, she was invited by directors of the "Art in Provence" program to conduct an eight-day watercolor workshop in Dieulefit, France. She also has taught in Central America, South America, and Canada. She studied under 38 noted art instructors to help build her reputation as one of the South's top artists/instructors. -- even accepting a commission to paint a family landmark for former Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn.

            Gail McDaniel's artwork was featured on the program covers of four major concerts in 2016-17 performed by The Griffin Choral Arts group. The choir, which is led by Artistic Director Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, is celebrating its 11th anniversary season.

            For more information about Gail McDaniel or to see her work, visit www.GailMcDanielArt.com.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Americana Fest: Molly Tuttle and Mary Gauthier Inspire With Moving Performances


By Wil Comstock
Music City Arts Contributing Writer

Wednesday Evening (Sept. 12):

         Standing in line to get into City Winery for the Viewing Party for the 17th annual Americana Fest Honors & Award Show, I met Rachel Guttmann, an entertainment lawyer who stood behind me. She’s very personable, and a lot of fun to be around. The woman in front of me was interested in making a career change to an entertainment lawyer and had lots of questions. Rachel couldn’t have given her better advice, warning about student loan debt and a lot of long hours at a desk doing research. She also expressed the joy she has because she loves what she does and enjoys building a relationship with her clients. In fact, she was at City Winery to catch Molly Tuttle’s (a client of her firm) set after the award show. Meeting people like this is what makes Americana Fest so enjoyable. We are one big family!

 

         My plan was to leave before the awards show was over and head to Mercy Lounge. But Rachel’s enthusiasm for Molly Tuttle and the song Molly played on the award show made me decide to stay. Did I mention Tuttle won "Best Instrumentalist of the Year?" Tuttle’s claw hammer, flat and cross picking are superb. Combined with her reed-like voice, one realizes this is a woman with a long and successful career ahead of her. She played several numbers from her upcoming album "High Road," all killer!  I loved the driving “Save This Heart of Mine” and the heart-wrenching “A Million Miles Away” written with Steve Poltz and Jewel. I’m so glad I stayed for her set!

 

         I decided I may as well stick around for Mary Gauthier, who was up next. I had seen her several years ago at the Belcourt, and have always appreciated her artistry. But this set gave me a whole new regard for Mary. Over the last five years, Gauthier has been writing with military veterans and their spouses. While listening to their stories, she crafted them into songs. These became the basis for her new album, "Rifles & Rosary Beads."  Songs from this CD are what she presented to us tonight, along with backing vocalist Jamie Harris. “War After the War,” written with military wives, reveals how they feel like the invisible victims of the war. “Who's gonna care for the ones who care for the ones who went to war? There's land mines in the living room and eggshells on the floor. I lost myself in the shadow of your honor and your pain. You stare out of the window as our dreams go down the drain.”  Nothing light-hearted here! 

 

         Mary described one of her co-writers as a “bad ass,” a female who led the first all-women squadron. They flew Obama! Over the years, many of her command committed suicide. The national average is 22 a day. The song they came up with, “Soldiering On,” is quite sobering. Mary enunciated every word as she sang “What saves you in the battle, can kill you at home... A soldier, soldiering on.”

         Once in a while, it’s good to hear of the unpleasant realities that surround us. Thank you Ms. Gauthier for touching my emotions and my conscience tonight.  Bravo! 

(Story and photos by Wil Comstock)

 

     

Friday, September 14, 2018

Americana Fest: Paul Thorn, Sarah Siskind, and Hush Kids Make For A Great First Day


By Wil Comstock
Music City Arts Contributing Writer

Tuesday (Sept. 11):

         Sneaking out of work (somewhere not far from The Local), I headed up West End to catch Paul Thorn. The place was hopping inside as well as on the outside deck. Clearly, this was the place to be on Tuesday afternoon of Americana Fest.

         Thorn was the man of the hour as he took the stage. His gospel blues infused songs are delivered with swagger and a hint of mischief behind his blue eyes. This guy has presence! Paul did a few numbers from his new CD, “Don’t Let the Devil Ride.” To the crowd's amusement, he confided that his wife only lets him “have it” once a week, but after 19 years of marriage, he feels pretty lucky! Much earlier than expected, my phone started buzzing. It’s Music City Arts editor Chuck Whiting, who texted he is out front waiting in his car for me. I squeezed out of The Local as we headed to the Weston to pick up our Americana Fest passes. 

 

         Parking at Mercy Lounge, one spot opened up as we entered the lot. We quickly rambled over to the Westin. On the way, we passed Concord Records on the Circle. Finding out that they had free beer, Chuck said that we'd have to stop there on the way back! Everyone at festival registration and pass pick-up were friendly, pretty and efficient! We ran into Seth Taylor of Mountain Heart standing in line, a really nice guy whose set we’ll catch on Thursday at City Winery.  

         Concord Records was packed, and Sarah Siskind was on stage! I love Sarah Siskind. Her smooth lilting voice wraps around me like a soft blanket. This woman believes every word she sings. Chuck led the way as we rubbed shoulders and stepped on toes winding our way to the makeshift bar where we picked up our Lagunitas Ales. It was really good beer, especially since it was in a can!  

         A new band, Hush Kids, was introduced. I liked their folk-like harmonies and arrangements immediately. I later learned that Jill Andrews, one of the lead singers, is an artist in her own right. She teamed up with keyboard player, guitarist and lead vocalist Peter Groenwald to form Hush Kids. The band is completed with a lead guitar, bass and drums, all tasteful musicians.  Check these guys out on YouTube. You need to hear their song, “All My Love.” They closed with this one, just two voices and a guitar. You could hear a pin drop!

 

         We grabbed dinner at Peg Leg Porker on Gleaves Street. I had never been.  Chuck, a vegetarian, ordered coleslaw, mac and cheese, and fries.  I had the half chicken with mac and cheese and smoked green beans. I believe it was the best BBQ chicken I have ever had. The green beans and mac and cheese were also out of this world as well. Chuck raved about his coleslaw and sides. Don’t leave town without heading over to Peg Leg Porker!

         Arriving early at Mercy Lounge, we were able to get a coveted seat near the stage. We were looking forward to My Politic, and they did not disappoint. This band has been around a long while. Kaston Guffy (guitar and lead vocalist) and Nick Pankey (guitar and vocals) started playing together as teenagers. Their songs often look at the underbelly of rural life, addiction, economic woes, and mountaintop mining. Yet, these are not depressing songs, rather a slice of rural life. I especially liked “Loneliness” and “Heartless”.  

 

         Missing their last few songs, we went downstairs to the Cannery Ballroom to hear Brandi and The Alexanders. Brandi can melt your heart with a simmering blues number like “Jealousy,” and the next minute she has you rocking out on “Shaspeshifter.” She was backed by an ace band that not only accompanied Brandi but took the songs to a different place musically. There were rock riffs on a blues number, and jazz chords on a rock song. The arrangements were well thought out and executed flawlessly. Brandi and the Alexanders delivered a phenomenal show.  

 

         Before heading back to the car, we climbed the stairs back up to Mercy Lounge to catch a few tunes by Jill Andrews (also of Hush Kids). She had the same talented band with her that were at Concord Music earlier. Jill has a quiet, commanding presence. Her honesty comes through on each number. Of her "The War Inside" album, Andrews says, “When I set out to make this album, I wanted it to feel like me, but me moving, me progressing. I wanted to stretch my legs a bit.” This growth through struggle is evident on every line of her songs. My favorites were “Get Up, Get On” and “What’s Your Hurry.”  Jill Andrews and Hush Kids are becoming my new favorite artist/artists!  

 

         It was time for Chuck to drive me back to my car. I have a day job in the morning, somewhere near The Local!

         Editor's Note: Tomorrow is the Americana Fest Awards Show. This festival gets better and better every year. 

(Story and accompanying photos by Music City Arts Contributing Writer Wil Comstock)

(To learn more about the Americana Music Festival, visit www.AmericanaMusic.com.)

Watercolor Painting Course to Begin Oct. 10 in Griffin, Georgia

            GRIFFIN, Ga. (September 2018) -- Gail McDaniel, an acclaimed watercolor artist/instructor who, by invitation, has served as an associate member and demonstrating artist/instructor of the prestigious Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network of London, will lead an eight-week watercolor painting course this fall in Griffin, Georgia, near Atlanta.

            The course will be offered to beginning, intermediate and advanced artists on selected Wednesday afternoons starting Oct. 10 at Griffin First United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Drive. Sessions will occur from 1-4 p.m. on Oct. 10, 17, 24 and 31; Nov. 7, 14 and 28; and Dec. 5. The class will not meet on Nov. 21.

            McDaniel will provide invaluable insights on composition, value, color theory and application. She also will demonstrate some of the techniques that have helped make her an award-winning artist, including abstract under paintings, disappearing purples, painting on Masa Paper, white on white, monotype paintings, let it flow, texturize your paintings, portraits, reflective surfaces, and wax-resist Batik. The course is structured to serve artists at all skill levels, from the very raw beginner to the most advanced. McDaniel will close each session with individual critiques.

            Because space is limited for the classes, reservations are required. Tuition is $165 for eight class sessions. For more information or to register, contact the artist by phone at (678) 603-1502 or send an inquiry to gail@gailmcdanielart.com. Individuals can learn more about the artist/instructor and view her artwork at http://www.GailMcDanielArt.com and follow her at http://www.Facebook.com/GailMcDanielArt or http://www.Twitter.com/GailMcDanielArt.


Award-winning artist/instructor Gail McDaniel (Photo by Ken McDaniel)

            "Participants are encouraged to paint their own choice of subject matter, in their own style, at their own speed, all the while being challenged to work out of their comfort zone and having fun along the way," said McDaniel, who was commissioned to create four program covers for Griffin Choral Arts' 10th anniversary concert season. "My classes provide opportunities for artists to develop their skills and find success.

            Before moving to Georgia, McDaniel spent more than 20 years working as a professional watercolorist and art instructor in Nashville and Brentwood, Tenn. During that time, she taught more than 1,400 students in classes and workshops around the world while raising almost $90,000 for student arts supplies through the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards".

            "The Griffin area has a host of artists, so it's the ideal community to teach classes," McDaniel added. "I'll be demonstrating the techniques, shortcuts and concepts that I have developed or learned by doing, reading or studying with others. I show my students everything I know, holding nothing back. My goal is to inspire them without making them feel overwhelmed."

            During her career, McDaniel has trained artists from 36 different states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the District of Columbia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. She has taught 11 workshops at historic Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a landmark where Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted.



"Guatemalan Market" by Gail McDaniel

            In 2002, she and her husband, Ken, launched the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards. The fundraising effort earned Gail and Ken a nomination in the "volunteer innovator" category of the 2009 Mary Catherine Strobel Award. In 2012, the artist was named the PENCIL Foundation's "Volunteer of the Year".

            The couple also hosted fundraising events such as the "Chase Away The Blahs Party Artistically" benefiting school children in their Franklin, Tenn., home and the "Building Bridges Through Art" exhibition at CharacterEYES Boutique in Franklin, Tenn., benefiting Bridges Domestic Violence Center.

            Before leaving Tennessee, she received an award for "Excellence in Community Service" from the Travelers Rest Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was inducted into the Cave City, Ky., Hall of Fame and named (as an eighth generation Kentuckian) to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels as one of  "Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world."

            McDaniel gained international notoriety in 2001 when she was named an associate member of the Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network in London, England, and invited by directors of the "Art in Provence" program to conduct an eight-day watercolor workshop in Dieulefit, France. She also has taught in Central America, South America, and Canada. She studied under 38 noted art instructors to help build her reputation as one of the South's top artists/instructors. -- even accepting a commission to paint a family landmark for former Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn.

            Other commissions have included painting the invitation cover for "A Little Night of Music" starring country superstar LeAnn Rimes; 13 pieces for the annual Nashville Scene N-Focus social calendar; and a promotional streetscape of four homes for Newmark Homes and five other paintings for the Nashville Home Builders Association/SunTrust Bank 2001 "Parade of Homes."

            The artist has showcased her original paintings at 56 solo exhibitions. She also has served as a member of the arts faculty of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art in Nashville, teaching weekly art classes. She created and painted the design for the theme poster and t-shirt for the Nashville Symphony’s "Italian Street Fair" two years in a row.

            Gail McDaniel's artwork was featured on the program covers of four major concerts in 2016-17 performed by The Griffin Choral Arts group. The choir, which is led by Artistic Director Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, is celebrating its 12th anniversary season.

            "Griffin has a wonderful arts community, and I'm delighted to contribute," McDaniel said.

            For more information about Gail McDaniel or to see her work, visit www.GailMcDanielArt.com.

 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

'Tunesmithing' to Celebrate Americana Music Week With Songwriters Show On Sept. 15

         NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 2018) -- Five Nashville songwriting acts will take the stage on Sept. 15 (Saturday) during Americana music week at "Tunesmithing," a monthly songwriters show at WXYZ Restaurant/Bar at the Aloft Nashville West End Hotel, 1719 West End Ave. 

          Attendees will enjoy original songs and instrumentals by AJ Bigler, Sally Burgess, Mary Beth Cross, Chris Garner, and Mike Rodgers. Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Nashville composer-educator-publicist Chuck Whiting will emcee the show. Songwriter/audio engineer AJ Bigler will handle sound. 


          "Tunesmithing" songwriters showcase is sponsored by Music City Arts Network, Striking Moon Music, and Shine Time Music. The monthly show was founded in 2003 to spotlight emerging, professional and hit songwriters, as well as artists of all kinds. The event offers mentoring, career growth and networking opportunities for artists at all levels.  

          For more information about "Tunesmithing", call (615) 423-9857, write Info@MusicCityArts.net, or visit http://www.Tunesmithing.com.



Friday, August 3, 2018

Tunesmithing to Spotlight Four Songwriting Duos in Nashville on Aug. 18


         NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 2018) -- Four Nashville songwriting duos will take the stage on Aug. 18 (Saturday) at "Tunesmithing," a monthly songwriters show at WXYZ Restaurant/Bar at the Aloft Nashville West End Hotel, 1719 West End Ave. 

          Attendees will enjoy original songs and instrumentals by Mark Elliott & Gary Culley, Nancy Moran & Fett, Tim & Myles Thompson, and Carol Warren & Dale Whitehead. Admission is free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Nashville composer-educator-publicist Chuck Whiting will emcee the show. Songwriter/audio engineer AJ Bigler will handle sound. 


          "Tunesmithing" songwriters showcase is sponsored by Music City Arts Network, Striking Moon Music, and Shine Time Music. The monthly show was founded in 2003 to spotlight emerging, professional and hit songwriters, as well as artists of all kinds. The event offers mentoring, career growth and networking opportunities for artists at all levels.  

          For more information about "Tunesmithing", call (615) 423-9857, write Info@MusicCityArts.net, or visit http://www.Tunesmithing.com.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Nashville Composer-Author-Educator Chuck Whiting Releases New Album 'Dreamer On The Prowl'


         NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 2018) -- Nashville composer, author and educator Chuck Whiting has released a new album of original songs and instrumentals featuring performances by respected Nashville musicians.

         Whiting describes his first solo effort, "Dreamer On The Prowl," as a reflection of his life's work. For many years, he wrote songs with the goal of landing cuts with other artists. Now his passion is aimed more towards the arts and originality, with a focus on film and television. 

         "I have a love for all kinds of music," Whiting said. "For me, recording this album wasn't about trying to fit into a particular genre. It was more about being true to who I am. I hope listeners will appreciate the authenticity. At this stage of my life and career, my work is more about expressing myself and being real."

         "Dreamer On The Prowl" features eight instrumentals and four vocal tunes, with guest appearances by acclaimed musicians such as clarinetist/saxophonist Max Niederle, harmonica player Chris "Freight Train" Floyd, violinist Myles Thompson, guitarist Tim Thompson, cornetist/guitarist Bryan Cumming, and the Grammy-nominated The WannaBeatles.

         The album is available at a host of online retailers, including CD Baby and iTunes. To hear or download selections from "Dreamer On The Prowl," visit http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/chuckwhiting3 or https://itunes.apple.com/mn/album/dreamer-on-the-prowl/1324598666 .


         "These incredible Nashville area artists helped lift my work to a higher level than I could have done myself," Whiting added. "They totally understood what I was reaching for."

         Highlights on the album include the Broadway-esque instrumental and vocal tune "Baby You're Good" (written with Candy Paull), the inspirational pop ballad "When You Have Love" (written with Lisa Aschmann), the classical instrumental "Water" (a duet with violinist Myles Thompson), a New Orleans-inspired instrumental called "Ragtimer Blues," and an "outside-the-box" jazz instrumental arrangement of "You Never Give Me Your Money" (a classic cover written by Lennon/McCartney). Max Niederle duets with Whiting on several instrumentals, including the title track.

         "I couldn't record my first album without including an instrumental cover of a Beatles song," Chuck continued. "They've been with me since the very beginning."

         Selections from "Dreamer On The Prowl" were recorded in various recording studios with engineering support from Fett, Bryan Cumming, Tim Thompson, Eric Normand, Dennis Scott, John Nicholson, and Michael Erin Woody. The project was mastered by Fett, and graphic design was handled by Brian T. Cox.

         Chuck Whiting is a songwriter, composer, pianist, singer, author, publicist and educator. He began his career as a reporter for The Mobile (Ala.) Press Register and The Birmingham (Ala.) News. He worked in the PR field after that, including a seven-year stint as the PR representative for the Opryland Hotel. He launched his own Nashville company, Music City Arts Network, in 1993. He currently serves as an instructor of Mass Communications for Motlow State Community College in Smyrna, Tennessee. 

Chuck Whiting performs at "Tunesmithing" in Nashville
         Music-wise, Whiting has previously released the Christmas book and CD, "The Littlest Star: a musical story." The song hit the Top 100 on various charts, landing radio airplay around the world. Performers on the project include Nashville Chamber violinist Conni Ellisor, country star Margo Smith, and Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist Denny Jiosa. Chuck also runs a monthly songwriters night in Nashville called "Tunesmithing." His arts blog, Music City Arts Update, provides insights on arts happenings in Middle Tennessee. Follow Chuck Whiting on Facebook @ChuckWhitingMusic or on Twitter @ChuckWhiting


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Gail McDaniel to Return to Nashville in November 2018 for Watercolor Painting Workshop

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. (2018) -- Award-winning artist/instructor Gail McDaniel will return to Nashville this fall to teach a new three-day watercolor painting workshop.

            "Watercolor Underpainting/Eight Unique Applications" will be offered to beginning, intermediate and advanced artists from Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018 at Plaza Artist Materials, 633 Middleton St. in downtown Nashville. Sessions will occur from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.

            The artist/instructor will show attendees eight unique techniques to create exciting underpaintings that feature areas of sparkling whites. The course is structured to serve artists at all skill levels, from the very raw beginner to the most advanced. McDaniel will close each session with individual critiques.

            "With this process, you, to some extent, must let the medium dictate the direction you will take," said McDaniel, who now teaches and paints near Griffin, Georgia, south of Atlanta.


Former Franklin/Nashville artist/instructor Gail McDaniel (Photo by Ken McDaniel)

            Because space is limited for the workshop, reservations are required. Tuition is $175 for all three days of training. Attendees are eligible to receive a 30 percent discount on the purchase of art supplies from Plaza Artist Materials. For more information or to register, contact the artist by phone at (678) 603-1502 or send an inquiry to gail@gailmcdanielart.com. Individuals can learn more about the artist/instructor and view her artwork at http://www.GailMcDanielArt.com and follow her at http://www.Facebook.com/GailMcDanielArt and http://www.Twitter.com/GailMcDanielArt.

            "Gail can get more color out of watercolor than you can imagine," said Bev Silsby, an artist/student in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who helped host McDaniel for a similar workshop in 2005. "She is literal, impressionist and abstract."

            McDaniel is an acclaimed watercolorist who, by invitation, has served as an associate member and demonstrating artist/instructor for the prestigious Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network of London. She was commissioned to create four program covers for Griffin (Ga.) Choral Arts' 10th anniversary concert season. Before moving to Georgia, McDaniel spent more than 20 years working as a professional watercolorist and art instructor in Nashville and Brentwood, Tennessee. During that time, she taught more than 1,400 students in classes and workshops around the world. A number of her former students have developed into professional artists with exhibitions and commissions.



Gail McDaniel works with students during a watercolor painting workshop in Nashville (Photo by Chuck Whiting)

            "Like me, others love the look of watercolor paintings and want to learn the medium," said the artist, who painted the invitation cover for "A Little Night of Music" starring country superstar LeAnn Rimes. "Many come for the change of pace and the new, wonderful, relaxing challenge it brings. The intermediate and advanced students come to me to grow in the medium."

            McDaniel will demonstrate the techniques, shortcuts and concepts that she has developed or learned by doing, reading or studying with others. She plans to show her students everything she knows, holding nothing back. Her goal is to inspire them without making them feel overwhelmed.

            During her career, McDaniel has trained artists from 36 different states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the District of Columbia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. She has taught 11 workshops at historic Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a landmark where the late Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted. She also served as a member of the arts faculty of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art.



"Bubbles" by Gail McDaniel

            In 2002, she and her husband, Ken, launched the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards", raising almost $90,000 for Middle Tennessee public schools. The fundraising effort earned Gail and Ken a nomination in the "volunteer innovator" category of the 2009 Mary Catherine Strobel Award. In 2012, the artist was named the PENCIL Foundation's "Volunteer of the Year".

            Before leaving Tennessee, she received an award for "Excellence in Community Service" from the Travelers Rest Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was inducted into the Cave City, Ky., Hall of Fame and named (as an eighth generation Kentuckian) to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels as one of  "Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world."

            In 2001, she was invited by directors of the "Art in Provence" program to conduct an eight-day watercolor workshop in Dieulefit, France. She also has taught in Central America, South America and Canada. She studied under 38 noted art instructors to help build her reputation as one of the South's top artists/instructors. -- even accepting a commission to paint a family landmark for former Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn.

            Gail McDaniel's artwork was featured on the program covers of four major concerts in 2016-17 performed by The Griffin (Georgia) Choral Arts group. The choir, which is led by Artistic Director Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, is celebrating its 11th anniversary season.

            For more information about Gail McDaniel or to see her work, visit www.GailMcDanielArt.com.

Heritage Church in Fayetteville, Georgia, to Host Watercolor Painting Course

            FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (July 2018) -- Award-winning artist/instructor Gail McDaniel will teach a new eight-week watercolor painting course 22 miles south of Atlanta in the Peachtree City/Fayetteville area this summer/fall.

            The course will be offered to beginning, intermediate and advanced artists on selected Thursdays starting July 26, 2018 at Heritage Christian Church, 2130 Redwine Road in Fayetteville. Sessions will occur from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on July 26; Aug. 2, 9 and 16; and Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27. The class will not meet on Aug. 23 and Aug. 30.

            The artist/instructor will provide insights on composition, value, color theory and application. She also will demonstrate some of the techniques that have helped make her an award-winning artist, including abstract under paintings, disappearing purples, painting on Masa Paper, white on white, monotype paintings, let it flow, texturize your paintings, portraits, reflective surfaces, and wax-resist Batik. The course is structured to serve artists at all skill levels, from the very raw beginner to the most advanced. McDaniel will close each session with individual critiques.


Award-winning artist/instructor Gail McDaniel

            Because space is limited for the classes, reservations are required. Tuition is $165 for eight class sessions. For more information or to register, contact the artist by phone at (678) 603-1502 or send an inquiry to gail@gailmcdanielart.com. Individuals can learn more about the artist/instructor and view her artwork at http://www.GailMcDanielArt.com and follow her at http://www.Facebook.com/GailMcDanielArt and http://www.Twitter.com/GailMcDanielArt.

            McDaniel is an acclaimed watercolorist who, by invitation, has served as an associate member and demonstrating artist/instructor for the prestigious Winsor & Newton Creative Artist Network of London. She was commissioned to create four program covers for Griffin (Ga.) Choral Arts' 10th anniversary concert season. Before moving to Georgia, McDaniel spent more than 20 years working as a professional watercolorist and art instructor in Nashville and Brentwood, Tenn. During that time, she taught more than 1,400 students in classes and workshops around the world. A number of her former students have developed into professional artists with exhibitions and commissions.

            "Like me, others love the look of watercolor paintings and want to learn the medium," said the artist, who painted the invitation cover for "A Little Night of Music" starring country superstar LeAnn Rimes. "Many come for the change of pace and the new, wonderful, relaxing challenge it brings. The intermediate and advanced students come to me to grow in the medium."


"Swan Song" by Gail McDaniel
 
            Over the years, McDaniel has seen the positive change that comes over many people when they spend three hours with her, creatively thinking from the right side of their brain.

            "It's truly a night-and-day change, not to mention the fun they have," McDaniel added. "Many who come to me with no art background find they really have a true talent for painting. Some of them never had the slightest notion they had any talent. It's such an outstanding reward for them and a source of real pleasure for me."

            A good example is Phyllis Tatum, a watercolorist who studied with McDaniel for 14 years in Middle Tennessee. She and her fellow students were thrilled when she won four blue ribbons and a red ribbon at the Tennessee State Fair. Her crowing achievement came later when she won the fair's "Best of Show", a rare occurrence in watercolor circles.

            McDaniel fondly remembers receiving a thank you note from former student Suzy Foy of Boulder, Colo., who wrote, "My whole life I have dreamt about being an artist... I never believed I could live that dream, one painting at a time. Because of my nine workshops, mentoring and support (from McDaniel), it is happening."

            "One of the obvious results of classes is the togetherness that comes upon the group," McDaniel noted. "Friendships develop, and with that interest in each other's lives and the happenings and events in their world. The group watches children grow up, grandchildren being born, and members die. The group celebrates the joys together, as well as the sad times, giving special support. Sometimes, our paintings reflect those experiences."

            The classes near Atlanta should be no exception. McDaniel will demonstrate the techniques, shortcuts and concepts that she has developed or learned by doing, reading or studying with others. She plans to show her students everything she knows, holding nothing back. Her goal is to inspire them without making them feel overwhelmed.

            During her career, McDaniel has trained artists from 36 different states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the District of Columbia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines and South Korea. She has taught 11 workshops at historic Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, a landmark where the late Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted. She also served as a member of the arts faculty of Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art.

            In 2002, she and her husband, Ken, launched the "Students and Friends of Gail McDaniel Awards", raising almost $90,000 for Middle Tennessee public schools. The fundraising effort earned Gail and Ken a nomination in the "volunteer innovator" category of the 2009 Mary Catherine Strobel Award. In 2012, the artist was named the PENCIL Foundation's "Volunteer of the Year".

            Before leaving Tennessee, she received an award for "Excellence in Community Service" from the Travelers Rest Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was inducted into the Cave City, Ky., Hall of Fame and named (as an eighth generation Kentuckian) to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels as one of  "Kentucky's ambassadors of good will and fellowship around the world."


            In 2001, she was invited by directors of the "Art in Provence" program to conduct an eight-day watercolor workshop in Dieulefit, France. She also has taught in Central America, South America, and Canada. She studied under 38 noted art instructors to help build her reputation as one of the South's top artists/instructors. -- even accepting a commission to paint a family landmark for former Kentucky Gov. Louie B. Nunn.

            Gail McDaniel's artwork was featured on the program covers of four major concerts in 2016-17 performed by The Griffin Choral Arts group. The choir, which is led by Artistic Director Dr. Stephen J. Mulder, is celebrating its 11th anniversary season.

            For more information about Gail McDaniel or to see her work, visit www.GailMcDanielArt.com.