Celebrate 30 Years of Shakespeare in the Park!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: August 9th–September 16th

If we are in love, are we ever in control?


The Nashville Shakespeare Festival continues its 30th anniversary season with a celebratory production of Shakespeare’s classical comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by Jaclynn Jutting, this magical play explores the duality of love. The show runs August 9–September 9 in Centennial Park, Nashville, and then plays an encore weekend at Academy Park Performing Arts Center in Franklin from September 13–16.

In true Nashville Shakes style, the production will feature an original score by Rollie Mains, played live by the composer and local musicians, Natalie Bell, Jeff Rogers and actor/musician Matthew Cruz Benenson.The cast of 23 actors and apprentice company members includes Nashville favorite, Tamiko Robinson Steele playing both Titania, Queen of the Fairies and Hippolyta. Also double-cast is Geoff Davin as Oberon and Theseus, and Artistic Director Denice Hicks, who will be playing both the mischievous Puck and Egeus.


And here’s a bonus: Little elves and fairies can take the stage this year! Children ages 6–12 can attend Elf & Fairy Camp each week of the show, and perform alongside the pros in the show.

Blending the world of ancient Greece with an enchanting, twinkling fairy forest is set designer Paul Gatrell, lighting designer, Anne Willingham, and costume designer Colleen Garatoni. Dance choreography by Everett Tarleton.“Working on this play, with Nashville Shakespeare Festival—loved by so many Nashvillians—has been a delight,” says Director Jaclynn Jutting. “Producing it in the heart of Nashville’s Centennial Park brings Shakespeare’s Athens, Greece to the ‘Athens of the South.'” Artistic Director Denice Hicks adds: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect play to celebrate 30 years of Shakespeare in the Park. There is a lot of tension and anxiety in the world these days, and this is an event that brings everyone together to share a fun evening full of laughter and wonder.”

6:00 p.m.: Food & drink vendors open + Talking Shakespeare, with nightly special guest speakers
6:30 p.m.:  Pre-show entertainment
7:30 p.m.: Performance

The Franklin performances will begin a half-hour earlier. All shows are Thursdays–Sundays and Labor Day (Monday).

Tickets are free, but a $10 donation is encouraged. VIP Royal Packages are $75 and include reserved seating, VIP parking and a gourmet dinner by Bacon & Caviar. Tickets are available at ticketsnashville.com.

The Festival will also take a moment to honor its original founding members from 1988, and celebrate those who are still critical to NSF today, in a Founder’s Day Celebration on Sept 2nd.

All of NSF’s programming is supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Congratulations, NSF! We can’t wait for opening night—mark your calendars and don’t miss this Nashville favorite!


Musicians Corner Introduces September Sundown Free Music Series on Thursday Nights in Centennial Park


Musicians Corner, Nashville’s outdoor music destination since 2010 will introduce September Sundown, a new series that will take place each Thursday evening in September.  The concerts will showcase local Nashville artists, and will also include a variety of food trucks, the Musicians Corner Pub, local artisans, and Kidsville activities.

“We’re excited to expand our programming to offer September Sundown in Centennial Park,” said Justin Branam, Musicians Corner Program Director. “After a warm spring, we can’t wait to return to the park in September for live music in the cool, autumn evenings.”

September Sundown will take place on Thursdays, September 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 5:00–9:00 p.m.  Each event will raise awareness and donations for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, the featured charity partner for the series.  The September 13 concert will be presented in partnership with the AmericanaFest and will feature five showcasing artists.

“Lightning 100 has been a proud partner of Musicians Corner since its inception,” said Gary Kraen, Lightning 100 VP of Programming and Operations. “Between Live on The Green and September Sundown, local Nashvillians and visitors will have the chance to hear incredible free music for eight consecutive Thursday nights.”

Musicians Corner is a program of The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Since its inception, Musicians Corner has provided free public access to music in Centennial Park, while supporting local musicians.  Past artists include Chris Stapleton, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and more.

See image for lineup.

OFF THE WALL – Charlotte Avenue Announces Funding for Its Completion

Buckingham Mural 1 Finished

Last year, when we covered OFF THE WALL Charlotte Avenue, it was already three years in the making and still had a lot of blank space left on the wall. Last week, Buckingham Foundation and Aertson Midtown announced its Presenting Sponsorship grant of $15,000 for gallery wall’s completion this September. Julia Martin Wimmer, the first artist selected of the final five, completed her piece this month.

OFF THE WALL Charlotte Avenue began in 2014 as an effort to promote creative place making in Nashville’s development. The city’s first street art gallery featuring local and regional artists was envisioned to foster the diversified spirit needed for a community to thrive through arts participation and consumption. The project’s goal is to promote thoughtful revitalization.

Theresa Rhodes, Executive Director with Buckingham Foundation, said, “Buckingham Foundation’s mission is to cultivate positive change in the areas of arts & culture. OFF THE WALL Nashville encompasses Buckingham Foundation’s mission within their own by creating creative spaces for people in Nashville to enjoy.”

Julia Martin Wimmer has been a source of fresh perspective in Nashville’s arts community. Tinsley Anne Dempsey, curator of the project, said, “Julia’s piece adds a much-needed sensitivity in palette and composition. I am obsessed with her purples and greens. I’m grateful for the support of Buckingham Foundation and Aertson Midtown who have given these artists a platform to showcase their work. Thousands of people will see these pieces every day, that’s a pretty special thing.”

Julia said of her experience with OTW, “It’s a rare opportunity as a fine art painter, working predominantly in oil, to get to work so large and with so much freedom. It was a pleasure to interact with so many complete strangers literally cheering me on each day.”

The remaining artists selected will be announced in the coming months. The remaining panels will be completed over the summer, and then celebrated during a launch party with the participating artists and community members.

The gallery wall is located at 3020 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville Tennessee 37209. Please take a look at the current works completed by artists Brandon Donahue, Jay Jenkins, Kevin Bongang and Alic Daniel. Buckingham Foundation is the philanthropic partner of Buckingham Companies.


evey mural on charlotte as of May

RH Nashville Debuts, First of Its Kind in the South


Energy was high and the stage was set for a multitude of stars and star attractions as influencers from the worlds of design, music, fashion, art, philanthropy, entertainment, sports and business gathered to celebrate the unveiling of RH Nashville last night! RH Nashville is the first gallery in the South to feature RH’s seamlessly integrated culinary experience in partnership with celebrated restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff. Last night’s event benefited The Frist Art Museum.

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Betty’s Fest: Saturday Line-up


Betty’s Fest, a two-night benefit show, starts tomorrow when the doors open at 7:00 p.m. and we’ve already covered who’s playing on the first night.

Located at 407 49th Avenue North, Betty’s Grill provides a performance space for artists representing a broad range of musical styles and genres. As a token of their respect and appreciation of Betty’s, many artists have joined forces to create this event with the intention of donating 100 percent of the money raised to purchase a new PA system for Betty’s. It really represents the best parts of Nashville—community, music, and generosity.

Now let’s get to Saturday’s line-up, in no certain order:

Tennessee SCUM
Mike Scum- Guitars, Bass, backing and lead vocals, writer/producer
Christmas Scum- Lead vocals, auxiliary, writer/arrangement
Guest rhythm section including: Brian Hickman, Wesley Mitchell, Jason Dietz, Kyle Frary, Jay Palmer, Keegan Kellogg

Tennessee SCUM is an in-your-grill political punk band that spits in the face of authority. Hailing from middle Tennessee most often in the form of an aggressive 3 piece. Compromised of guest players lead by husband-and-wife duo Mike and Christmas Scum. The band was founded in 2012 and has been scumming on southern cities far and wide since. While SCUM has a sound that occupies some heavy Dead Kennedys/The Cramps territory, they embody a noise like none other with feverish vocals over surf punk guitars, who rip through their set in a whirlwind of snotty dirty south hard-core. Listen here.

The Chewers
The Chewers are Travis Caffrey and Michael Sadler, two freaks from the woods of West Virginia. After incubating separately in the strange, timeless hills of the back-woods, they met and eventually wound up (quite arbitrarily) in Nashville, Tennessee.

Within a dense fog of cultish isolation, they create deliberately off-kilter music. Each Chewer plays various instruments which coagulate into an eclectic blend of deadpan, primitive rock, heavily focused on rhythmic interplay and unbalanced semi-melodic car-crashes.

The songwriting has a strong isolationist streak running through it. The songs feature characters who are immersed in psychological hells, struggling with deep disconnect and dissatisfaction with the society they live in. Though thematically dark, these subjects are presented with a crooked sense of humor and the absurd. Listen here.

Thank You Please
Thank You Please is an Electro Punk Doom Duo that has been performing and writing together since 2016 and members Kent Osborne and Jerry Bennett have known each other since their early years of playing instruments. The two met in Atlanta-, which is where they spent majority of their life and have since migrated to Nashville. The duo pushes the boundaries of what two people can do musically and they constantly bend the genres of punk and metal. Listen here.

National Recording Artist Vladopus9 is the accumulation of many years of eclectic musical experiences. Joseph Page’s influences originate from the classic rock, hair metals bands, and heavy/speed/thrash metal bands of the 1980’ into the punk scenes that dominated the 1990’s and early 2000’s. While cultivating his techniques and musical agendas through writing, playing, and performing in various alternative, punk, folk, noise, and rock bands throughout the years-, the music that Page is now creating is a true reflection of what influenced him the most within all of those musical communities as well as the life experiences, and worldviews that drive daily life. Lisa Rau is the truest example of how a love for music can produce real talent. With her unique and honest approach to vocals, alongside her passion to never imitate another performer-, her vocal style is compelling, honest, and her own. While trying not to lose his mind and wondering where he is or going, Chris Simpson’s drumming pursuits began influenced by the video age and by crawling under a rock and digging just enough to uncover the surface in order to see what was beneath it all-, Simpson developed an approach to music unique to himself. Previous projects range from heavy metal jazz and trainswrecks-, to straight-forward punk rock and Simpson continues these influences on with structured dynamic drums-, while playing the kitchen sink or campy, burned-out triggers/samples. Simpson plays to the vocals while setting the heartbeat of the songs with his driving raw/heavy/fast noise, to dropping stops/fallout silence with the true passion of all great drummers/artists. From Tim Geiger’s earliest musical pursuits, his style was his own. Whether from his background in finger-picking folk, punk, or alternative six string guitar playing-, Geiger strove to create sounds both creative and personal and although he began as a six string guitarist-, his transformation/evolution into a bass guitar player, has truly catapulted him into a level of musicianship that can not be duplicated. Listen here.

Others scheduled to perform:
And some of our favorite peeps from WXNA’s “Nashville U” will conduct an on-air interview from 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Nashville can tune in at 101.5 FM and everyone else in the universe can stream it at wxnafm.org. As always, listen again and again via their archives once the show has aired.
ONE MORE THING: Today is the last day to enter to win 372WN’s Betty’s Fest Ultimate Fan VIP Package – we’ll deliver it to one lucky winner tomorrow!

Betty’s Fest: Friday Line-up


If you missed the article about pie wagons in our very first issue, go back and check out the entry regarding Candy John’s Pie Wagon to learn about what would eventually become Betty’s Grill.

For some of Nashville’s most innovative artists, Betty’s is more than just a favorite local dive with fantastic cheeseburgers—it is an institution willing to give them a place to perform. In gratitude and love for Betty’s, some of these artists have joined forces to create Betty’s Fest, which will raise money that will be used to purchase an upgraded P.A. system for Betty’s Grill.

This Friday (May 18th) and Saturday (May 19th), fourteen (seven per night) bands will converge to share their ART. Here’s a look at the official bios and links to listen to some of Friday night’s lineup, in no certain order. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.—for five bucks (or more, if you’re generous), come on out and experience a piece of authentic Nashville!

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Bandwagon Music receives $20,000 award to grow business + enrich community

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Last month, Bandwagon Music and Repair was awarded $20,000 as part of the Synchrony Financial Working Forward Small Business Awards.

Bandwagon was selected as one of 10 winners in the contest out of more than 1,400 entries from across the U.S. Jennifer Lantz, who owns Bandwagon with her husband Linden, submitted an essay detailing how she and her husband would use their winnings if selected. “Even if we hadn’t won, it was a great exercise to sit down and think through how we could grow our store and contribute more to our local community,” Jennifer said.

The $20,000 prize is awarded as two separate $10,000 components. $10,000 goes toward a business growth initiative. The Lantz family plans to add more instrument options to their store, which opened in October of 2016. To help alleviate the strain of running all aspects of the business themselves, they also plan to hire a part-time employee. The other $10,000 goes toward a community initiative. Bandwagon plans to continue and expand their efforts in helping area schools enhance their band programs by improving band classrooms and providing instruments at no cost to lower-income students who may not be able to afford the cost of instrument rental.

Jen Robinson, Synchrony Financial’s Small Business Awards marketing leader, said, “Linden, Jennifer and their two kids embody Synchrony’s values perfectly. They’re deserving of this award and we are honored that we’ve had the opportunity to hear their story, meet them and support them in working forward to realizing their dreams.”

Bandwagon is located at 7639 Highway 70 South in Bellevue.

dessert + coffee = frothy

It’s a very simple formula to make your season bright: dessert + coffee = frothy.

BAKERY by frothy monkey is baking up holiday treats again this year, and not just for the Frothy Monkey locations. From now through December 19th (by 10:00 a.m.), you can pre-order their delicious Christmas pies, cakes, cookies and bread, and schedule to pick up on either December 23 or 24 at any Frothy Monkey location (fees may apply). Rumor has it the cookies are Santa’s favorites, so order extra and stay off the naughty list!

And while you’re there, don’t forget to stock up on Festivus, their special 2017 holiday blend that combines coffees from Sumatra and Ethiopia, with notes of cherry and blueberry + vanilla + baking spices. Even the packaging is special, featuring hand-lettering (screenprinted) by local artist Neal Russler. Available in-store or online. Great gift for yourself and the coffee connoisseurs in your life.

If you’re searching for just the right finish to your holiday meal—or, let’s get real, the best way to start your day—remember dessert + coffee = frothy.

Music for Seniors Celebrates 10 Years with Inaugural Benefit on December 9

Saturday’s supposed to be cold, but here’s an event that’ll warm your heart. Music for Seniors invites the public to join them as they, along with their Musician Partners, board, friends and supporters celebrate 10 years of “Sharing live music, lighting up lives!” In honor of this anniversary and the holiday season, they will host Lighting Up Lives! on December 9 at 3rd & Lindsley Bar and Grill (818 Third Avenue South).

The celebration will include performances by Grammy-award winning artist and Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie McCoy, along with John England, the Ukedelics, Richard Griffin and more. In addition to a concert, the inaugural recipient of the Lois and Gilbert Fox award will be announced. The Lois and Gilbert Fox Achievement Award was established to recognize the Foxes’ commitment to Music for Seniors, their lifetime of service to the community and their civic leadership.

Gilbert Fox stated, “While my wife Lois was in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s showing no responses, when Sarah sang, Lois smiled. Some achievement!”

Doors open at 1:00 p.m. with live music from 2 :30–4:00 p.m. Tickets start at $15 and VIP packages are $100 and include a 4-top reserved table with best-in-house seating, four drink tickets. Tickets are available at http://www.3rdandlindsley.com. Parties larger than four are encouraged to contact  Rickey Chick, development director at rickeychick@musicforseniors.org.

Music for Seniors, a 501(c)3 nonprofit performing arts organization, connects area musicians with older adults through live music programs designed to engage, entertain and educate seniors—promoting health and well-being, reducing isolation and enriching the lives of all participants. Founded in 2007 by Sarah McConnell, who now serves as executive director, the organization enlists over 200 musicians, including youth and seniors. Three distinct programs feature a wide variety of genres and focus on the preferences, tastes and unique needs of senior participants. Programming includes outreach to groups in nursing homes, residence communities, dementia care providers and others; a free daytime concert series, which is open to the public; and live performance learning labs that offer group lessons in ukulele and percussive arts led by qualified teaching artists. Music for Seniors’ programs reach 24,000 audience members yearly.

 To learn more about Music for Seniors, visit http://www.musicforseniors.org.

And for these, we are thankful.

Did you draw the last straw and now you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year? Or did you promise to bring a dish or two to someone else’s Thanksgiving? Maybe you’ve got the basics covered, but need an extra pair of hands to finish out your Thanksgiving feast? These local spots can get you all mmmms and ohhhhhs without breaking a sweat.

McCabe Pub

Customers may provide their own baking dish for McCabe Pub to prepare a take-home version of any of their family recipe casserole favorites. Their squash, broccoli and sweet potato casseroles are must-have items on the Thanksgiving table as well as their homemade apple crunch, pumpkin pie and red velvet cake. Bulk items such as Sister Schubert rolls, tea punch and seasonal soups are also available for purchase. Orders can be placed starting now and will continue throughout the holiday season. The deadline to order for Thanksgiving is Monday, November 20 (pick up by by November 22), and the deadline for Christmas is December 16, and pick up by December 23.

The Food Company

This tiny spot in Bandywood is a must-visit spot for any last-minute Thanksgiving needs. The Food Company chooses the most popular items from the holiday catering menu and stocks the fridge on both Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to Thanksgiving. Catering options are available for whole Thanksgiving meals serving up to six, tasty side dishes such as truffled corn pudding and seasoned roasted asparagus and even brunch options for the holiday weekend. The Thanksgiving order deadline is Thursday, November 16, and orders can be picked up until 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22.

Something Special

There’s something special about the premier catering company on Heady Drive in Belle Meade. Owner Frances Pilkington explains, “We are traditional cooks of the highest quality, and that’s just it.” From creamed potatoes and sliced beef tenderloin to stuffed dressing and pumpkin pie, Something Special has it all. This year they are featuring the complete Thanksgiving meal, which includes turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce and a vast array of sides, cakes and pies. If dessert is what takes the cake for your family, Something Special has a full menu of cakes and pies, including gluten-free chocolate truffle cakes. Something Special will be open until 6:00 p.m. on November 22.

Chef’s Market

This one’s a bit off the beaten path but oh, so worth it. Let the staff at Chef’s Market create a warm, comforting meal for your family this Thanksgiving. Items can be purchased individually to supplement your holiday meal, or whole Thanksgiving feast packages are available starting at $230 to serve 12 people. You won’t want to miss the “Radiate!” package, which includes an herb-crusted turkey with Riesling gravy, three accompaniments, homemade cranberry pecan relish, butter rolls and choice of one memory-making cake. Other mouth-watering items include Chef’s famous spinach con queso dip, Tennessee cheese straw chicken tenders, blueberry & goat cheese flatbread, smoked gouda mac n’ cheese, squash casserole and salted caramel apple pie. The Thanksgiving order deadline is noon on Friday, November 17 and orders can be picked up until 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22.

When you need an extra pair of hands helping with your holiday cooking, what are some of your favorite go-to places around town?