SHOW OF THE WEEK: Decembersongs Holiday Show at Pump House Concerts

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 6:49 pm
Smitty Smith

What sort of concert is a little bit low rent, a whole lot of great new songs, some sentimental favorites and a lot of belly laughs? Decembersongs ’14 is described that way, and the power lineup of Nashville Americana singer songwriters makes its annual concert stop at Pump House Concerts on Monday, December 8. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the music starts at 7pm. The suggested donation is $20.

Decembersongs '14 is an East Nashville Holiday Concert with critically-acclaimed songwriters Amy Speace, Rod Picott and Doug & Telisha Williams (of Wild Ponies). Imagine if The Bluebird Cafe moved to East Nashville, where folkies and hippies, rockers and hit songwriters all collide in a funky neighborhood that is enjoying a bohemian renaissance. Picture The Bob Hope Christmas Special hosted by alt-Americana/Roots/Folk songwriters who aren’t afraid to put “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” right next to their original song “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” with a touch of “Driedl, Dreidl, Dreidl.” The bill will include a blend of traditional holiday songs, and original songs both traditional and holiday-themed.

“Amy Speace’s songs hang together like a short story collection…it’s a gift to hear a heart so modest, even when it’s wide open,” writes legendary rock critic Dave Marsh. A former Shakespearean actress who started putting her poetry to music only in her late 20’s, Speace was discovered by folk/pop legend Judy Collins who signed her to her imprint Wildflower Records in 2006. After 18 years in New York City, three critically-acclaimed releases, and a lifetime above the Mason-Dixon Line, Speace moved to East Nashville, Tennessee to explore the rich songwriting community and to deepen her own writing and sound.

Doug and Telisha Williams offer dead right, honest songwriting delivered in a hauntingly beautiful yet gritty, neo-traditional Americana wrapper. Hailing from Martinsville, Virginia, in the shadow of The Blue Ridge Mountains, where boarded up factories stand as monuments to how fast the world can change, Doug and Telisha write and sing songs about dying small towns. When they do, they know what they're talking about. Their 2009 release, “Ghost of the Knoxville Girl” received wide critical acclaim and spent 15 weeks in the Americana Music Association Top 40 Radio Chart

Rod Picott's songs are inhabited by sheetrock hangers, drinkers, circus hands, boxers and working girls and he sings about his characters with intimacy. Listening to a Rod Picott album you can smell the gasoline on a mechanic’s hands and the perfume of lovers in dark corners. The son of a welder and former Marine, Picott grew up in the small mill town of South Berwick, Maine and worked construction jobs from his high school graduation until the release of his first CD, Tiger Tom Dixon's Blues in 2001. Ray Wylie Hubbard, Slaid Cleaves, and Fred Eaglesmith have all recorded songs written or co-written by Rod Picott. His 2011 release “Welding Burns” spent 10 weeks on the AMA chart and reached #1 on The FAR Chart. Picott was voted Songwriter of the year and Male Artist of the Year by the Far Chart reporters.

Pump House Concerts shows are donation-based. A $20.00 donation is requested of all adults attending this show, and all of the money is given to the artists. The Pump House is a neighborhood-run listening room located in the heart of the Bailey Neighborhood in East Lansing, at 368 Orchard Street. It is a converted water-pumping facility built by the WPA in the 1930s. This intimate atmosphere provides a comfortable and intimate listening environment.

Smitty Smith is the co-founder (and along with his dog Champ) is the host of Pump House Concerts

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