“Discover,” American Songwriter’s new concert series with ReverbNation CONNECT, continues May 2 at The Family Wash in East Nashville.
Thelma and the Sleaze, Lilly Hiatt, and Ron Gallo round out the roster for the third installment of the series, which is free for fans who RSVP at Do615. Happy hour kicks off at 7 p.m. with music starting at 8 p.m.
Thelma and the Sleaze
We wouldn’t realize just how much greasy muck we’d be wiping out of our ears until Thelma and the Sleaze came on next. This trio of knockabout dames sound literally no less menacing than they look, taking their namesake much more literally than you’d expect. Combining the feminist onslaught of Sleater Kinney and the heavy pop crunch of Thin Lizzy, their sleazy, muscle-bound riffs oozed off the stage with a confrontational, disreputable tone. With the stage lit solely by a plastic, leg-shaped lamp (yep, like the one in A Christmas Story), the band’s lewdly androgynous stage presence — shirtless guitarists, black tape over the nips, etc. — ensured this was about the seediest rock show you can get without technically breaking any laws. The crowd had thinned considerably by set’s end, leaving only a hardcore row of females still pumping fists until the very last song and proving these ladies may have successfully trumped the Springwater in terms of legendary rack and ruin. – ReverbNation via Nashville Scene
Royal Blue, the second album by East Nashville firebrand Lilly Hiatt, is about the majesty of melancholy — or, as she explains it, “accepting the sadder aspects of life and finding some peace in them.” A dance between pedal steel and synths, the album examines the vagaries of love and commitment but steadfastly refuses to romanticize any notion of romance. Singing in a barbed lilt full of deep worry and gritty determination in equal measure, she conveys emotions too finely shaded to be easily named, yet will be familiar to any listener who’s had their heart broken — or has broken a heart. This is, in other words, not a well-behaved singer-songwriter album. Instead, it’s feisty and rough-around-the-edges, full of humor and bite and attitude from a woman who proclaims, “I’d rather throw a punch than bat my eye.” Royal Blue hints at autobiography without sounding self-absorbed, as Lilly transforms a rough patch of life into smart, sturdy, sometimes even hilarious songs that don’t sit squarely in any one genre. — LillyHiatt.com
Ron Gallo is a rock and roll trio lead by a tall, big-haired weirdo of the same name. As the former frontman of Toy Soldiers, Gallo spent a decade as a fixture in the burgeoning Philadelphia music scene. Now solo, Gallo is completing his second full-length record Heavy Meta. Embracing his love for fuzz, psych, garage, and early punk, Heavy Meta is a stark contrast to the “Harry Nilsson-meets-Father John Misty” sound of the previous record RONNY. After undergoing a shattering year of love, loss, purging, and a musical reinvention, Gallo sought a change of scenery and a fresh start. Drawn to the rock ‘n’ roll music currently being made by his friends in back alleys of Tennessee’s “Music City,” Gallo and his very own record label American Diamond Recordings relocated to the Bordeaux neighborhood of Nashville on New Years Day 2016. — RonGallomusic.com