and the Devil himself...

and the Devil himself...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nashville Songwriters, A Tornado and Going Home With Kara Clark

Kara Clark, Barefoot and Badass
 at the V Club, Huntington, WVA
I honestly don't know what was more intense, the tornado or the weekend with Kara Clark in Kentucky and West Virginia. She and her music, are just that badass. Oddly, the weekend began out on a fairly mellow note. Typical Nashville, typical songwriter's round. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's this cool, mellow show where several singer/songwriters sit in a line and play their songs, individually and together. There's more structure to it, of course but that's the basic idea. They're generally very good songwriters because it's Nashville and the streets there are, you know, paved with very good songwriters.

So, there I was, sipping bourbon, listening to nice tunes at Douglas Corner Cafe with no indication of the coming storm. I played a few songs, met a few cool people, was back home in Mayberry/Peyton Place/Bowling Green by 1:30 am. I don't watch t.v., so still had no idea of the coming level 9 tornado but I sure did have trouble sleeping. I think I fell asleep by six and had strange dreams about ancient storm gods between then and 8 a.m. when the phone rang. It was a tarot client asking if she could come earlier than suggested because this:

was on it's way. Yep. That's the actual one. After the reading I check mail and am getting im's saying,  "National Geographic Channel is here, we're tornado fodder." I'm thinking, mannnnnn I have NOT had enough sleep for this and Kara's coming tonight @#$%, (shaking fist at Storm Gods in the sky). I was alarmed enough that, by 11:30 a.m., she who a few days before sat cracking Oz jokes with the door open watching a tornado warning was seeking shelter from the storm. It touched down close-by enough to take down the Outlaw Amish's barn. (You may recall the Outlaw Amish from the barn videos and barn photos - thank god it wasn't that barn the tornado took out but way too close for comfort.)

Needless to say, it was a rather stressful afternoon. When you hear on the radio, "We are not kidding. This is serious. It does not matter if it looks normal outside the tornado can touch down with no warning." and then hear that it's touched down a few miles away; not a good thing; not a good thing at all.

SO I'd had nearly no sleep, had frightening lucid dreams about battling storm gods in the two hours I did sleep and then spent the day fearing impending doom. By the time Kara and her band got to town for their show at the Twisted Tap I honestly didn't see how I was going to pull a third wind out of my hat. But of course, I did.

One word for those of you who are in Bowling Green and have not gone to the Tap yet, GO. Their music standards transcend even their food standards and they've got the best chef on the square. They also have the most professionally run sound/lights of any venue I've been to here. AND they had the good sense to book Kara Clark there.

(If you don't already know and love Kara, check out the photo blog I did a while back featuring her with new husband Eerie Von, (Misfits/Danzig): LA PhotosMore Photos by Anthony Scarlatti. We also co-wrote one of my favorite blogs here ever: Top Ten Things Outlaws Always Have and Top Ten Things Outlaws Never Have.)

Kara, who's Grandfather played with Hank Williams, Sr., has an amazing new CD, Southern Hospitality out. The project was co-produced by Kara, Kenny Olson, (Kid Rock) and Mark Lambert, (Leon Russell) with engineering by Toby Wright, (Metallica, Alice in Chains). Olson and Eerie Von are also featured on the album.

Here are Kara, Eerie and Kenny playing one of the songs: 

Kara's phenomenal band, (which includes the cousin of an influential Old Time musician, Roscoe Holcomb, Matt Shively on bass, David Walker, Charlie Joseph Abbott and Johnny McCormick), played at the Tap on Tornado Friday before heading out to her hometown of Huntington, WVA for her CD release party there at the V Club. (The V Club, by the way, is ALSO an extremely cool venue. I did not expect to find an in house poster artist with work reminiscent of Bob Masse, fabulous murals of HST and other coolness on the smoking deck, fabulous lighting and the quickest, easiest and best sound check any of us had ever seen yet LO there it was. If you're in Huntington, go to V Club.) Eerie had also painted a super extremo cool back-drop for the show. (Raise your hand if you think Eerie Von painting band backdrops positively RULES).

Example of cool V-Club poster:

The shows were BOTH utterly amazing - all of her songs are fantastic but I think my two favorites are/were The Devil Don't Cry and Living Proof, (scroll down the page to titles, it's so worth it). 

Live at the V Club
Here's video from the show. Kara's playing with her nephew, Jared Beckett. The song, "Southern Hospitality", criticizes racism in the South and was co-written by the very talented Beckett.

We partied till the wee small hours at the closest thing to a David Lynch set I've ever seen, an after-hours place called The Crowbar. It didn't look like Twin Peaks but like the other dimension they all jumped in and out of. Red and black, a long wall of doors at one end, a stage curtain in an odd place where there seemed to be no stage...

I made the mistake of saying, "This looks like a David Lynch set!" Which was not well-received by a rather large, drunk and somewhat angry looking West Virginian to my left.said, "WHAT???" I quickly replied, "No, no, I don't mean that in a bad way, I mean it in the other dimension, midgets going to come out from behind the curtain at any time kinda way." He promptly laughed and bought everyone, (in the bar, I believe), a shot in honor of being on a David Lynch set.

The tales told on the way to and from WVA would fill another blog and I just may do that, (I took good notes, as my friend Mike O'Neill once advised was best always done in our Grateful Web interview). But for now I'll leave you with what I returned to, having to display my Outlawness by breaking into my house because two SOMEONES, locked the keys inside!

Photo by the someone least to blame for the break in, Candy Monk:

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