Kendell Marvel's Honky Tonk Experience
Gary Allan, Paul Cauthen, Sarah Gayle Meech, ONA
2208 Elliston Place
Nashville, TN, 37203
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
Already an award-winning songwriter, having written hits for Chris Stapleton, George Strait, Jamey Johnson and Jake Owen, Kendell Marvel makes his solo debut with Lowdown & Lonesome, a concept album that blends his musical down home country and rock & roll roots.
Having written 9 out of 10 tracks on the album, Marvel flexes his writing chops and invites listeners on the familiar journey of heartbreak, vices and all points in between. “Gypsy Woman” paints the picture of a love that’s not chasing back while on the title track "Lowdown & Lonesome” Marvel sings about hitting rock bottom and drinking about it. Lowdown & Lonesome is reminiscent of classical country greats Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. combined with the southern rock edge of the Allman Brothers and ZZ Top. “I wrote the song “Lowdown & Lonesome” with Keith Gattis and Randy Houser a few years back and we based the whole album around that track. The songs are real, they’re gritty- a combination of hurt-like-hell heartache and rowdy rebellion.”
Born and raised in Southern Illinois, Marvel began playing his first gigs at 10 years old. "My dad would take me out to bars, and I'd play old country covers," he remembers. "Dad would get free beer, and I'd get free pickled eggs or beef jerky. I was hooked."
The gigs continued as Marvel grew older. In 1998, he left his home in Illinois, moved to Nashville and began writing songs. During his first day in Music City, Marvel penned Gary Allan's first Top 5 hit, "Right Where I Need To Be.” Other hits followed, but Marvel never lost sight of the solo career he'd kicked off back in the Midwest. As his reputation as a songwriter grew, he continued hitting the highway on a yearly basis, crisscrossing the country —Alaska to Florida to the Virgin Islands — on his own solo tours.
Produced by Keith Gattis, Lowdown & Lonesome finds Marvel heading up an all-star band of sidemen and session players, including guitarist Audley Freed, drummer Fred Eltringham and harmonica icon Mickey Raphael. While the album is filled with musical heavyweights, the true stars are the songs themselves. "I'm done chasing down what everybody else is doing," he says. "I did that for years, and this, this is something different.”
With the allure of a modern day outlaw, Gary Allan has won over fans, peers and critics with his signature blend of smoldering vocals, rebellious lyrics and raucous live performances. While becoming a force on the country music scene, Allan has remained true to his artistic voice each step of the way. Allan re-signed with Universal Music Group Nashville in 2016, the label home for the entirety of his twenty-year career. He is currently finishing up work for his upcoming EMI Nashville release. His last album, SET YOU FREE, topped the Billboard 200 (Pop Chart), a career first for Allan. The album also made its debut at the top of the Billboard Country Album chart (for the fourth time in a row), and produced his fifth #1 country radio chart topper with “Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain.” The California native released his first album, Used Heart for Sale, in 1996 and since then has released eight additional studio albums selling over 7 million albums, been certified platinum on three back-to-back albums, and been certified gold five times. Allan has five #1 hits at country radio, fourteen Top 10 hits to his credit and amassed over 270 million total streams. He’s described as “dark and dreamy” in Entertainment Weekly, “soulful and rough around the edges” in Playboy and deemed a “maverick” by Rolling Stone. He sells out venues as a headliner from NY to LA, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Live with Kelly and Michael and Jimmy Kimmel Live. He has also landed on the covers of Country Weekly, Pollstar and People magazine.
“I’m a singer not a preacher, but these songs are my sermon,” says Paul Cauthen. “We’re ripping each other apart out there, and forgiveness and mercy are what’s going to get us through. I want to use my voice the best I can to spread that message while I’m here on this Earth.”
Somewhere between an EP and an album, Cauthen’s new seven-track collection, ‘Have Mercy,’ is a stunning showcase of the pure power of truth and love. Building off the success of ‘My Gospel,’ the Texas troubadour’s breakout debut, ‘Have Mercy’ pushes Cauthen’s songwriting to new heights as he searches for common ground and peace of mind in an increasingly polarized world. Fueled by nearly two straight years of personal and artistic growth on the road, the songs reflect a newfound maturity and creative self-assurance. Cauthen’s rich, velvety baritone is still very much the centerpiece here, but it’s the craftsmanship that dazzles more than anything. ‘Have Mercy’ is the work of an artist who’s turned his life over to the music, body and soul, and the rewards for his devotion are undeniably on display throughout the record.
“I wanted to make an honest leap from ‘My Gospel’ to ‘Have Mercy,’” Cauthen explains. “I wanted to elevate everything: the songwriting, the sound, the live show, the look and the feel of it all. I’ve given up everything for the music and I’ve grown stronger because of it.”
While he’d already earned a reputation as a fierce and fiery frontman from his days in the critically acclaimed band Sons of Fathers, it wasn’t until the 2016 release of ‘My Gospel’ that Cauthen truly tapped into the full depth of his prodigious talents. Rolling Stone called the album “a triple-barreled blast of Texas country, soul and holy-roller rockabilly delivered by a big-voiced crooner,” while Vice Noisey dubbed it “a somber reminder of how lucky we are to be alive,” and Texas Monthly raved that Cauthen “sound[s] like the Highwaymen all rolled into one: he’s got Willie’s phrasing, Johnny’s haggard quiver, Kristofferson’s knack for storytelling, and Waylon’s baritone.” The album landed on a slew of Best Of lists at the year’s end and earned Cauthen dates with Elle King, Margo Price, Billy Joe Shaver, and Cody Jinks along with festival appearances from Austin City Limits and Pickathon to Stagecoach and Tumbleweed.
It was during those relentless months of touring that Cauthen first began to explore the songs that make up ‘Have Mercy.’
“A lot of these songs are tunes we’ve been playing live and fans have been asking about for a while,” says Cauthen. “They’re showstoppers when we play them out on the road, and I believe the whole purpose of putting out a record is so that people can have a little bit of that concert experience back at home.”
To that end, Cauthen and producer Beau Bedford recorded the album as live as possible at Modern Electric in Dallas, capturing all the raucous passion of the stage without sacrificing any of the nuance and sophistication the songwriting demanded. Fortified by contributions from The Texas Gentlemen, a 21st century Wrecking Crew of all-star musicians that’s backed everyone from Leon Bridges to Kris Kristofferson, the album is a plea for kindness and grace, both internally and externally. As easy as it is to hear these songs as an appeal for compassion from his fellow man, there are moments when it’s clear that Cauthen is singing as much to himself as anyone else, a reminder that love and forgiveness aren’t just for our brothers and sisters, but also for the faces staring back at us in the mirror.
“I’ve done a lot of reflection lately,” Cauthen says. “I’ve brought meditation into my life, and I’ve slowed my roll a bit. I’ve started to pull back on the reigns when it comes to living hard out there on the road. I love my band and I’m thankful to be where I’m at as a writer, and I think these songs really reflect that.”
The collection opens with the ominous chain gang percussion of “Everybody Walking This Land,” a righteous tune that thunders with the authority of God handing down the Ten Commandments. In a booming, half-spoken/half-sung drawl, Cauthen rattles off a list of all the things that divide us, insisting that they mean nothing compared to the humanity that we share. “Lord we pray we make it through the day,” he sings, “all you mothers, you brothers, you sisters, you fathers, believers, pretenders, bonafide sinners, everybody walking this land.”
“That song just means everything to me,” Cauthen explains. “Beau and I wrote it like two maniacs drinking coffee and pulling out our hair around a Steinway piano, laughing about doing the Lord’s work.”
Despite the album’s sometimes-heavy themes, that underlying sense of levity and brotherhood is the lifeblood of the collection. Cauthen never loses sight of the sheer joy he derives from playing music, and through all the ups and downs, he recognizes that good times are hollow if you can’t share them with the ones you love. On the funky “Resignation,” he learns to appreciate the present by letting go of his struggles and joining his pals for a drink at the bar, while the playful Jerry Reed-meets-Elvis Presley shuffle of “My Cadillac” finds bliss in the simplicity of joyriding with friends, and the epic, horn-and-string laden “In Love With A Fool” pays tribute to the partners who keep the home fires burning while their lovers are out chasing dreams on the road.
Cauthen writes with a unique blend of Biblical and modern vernacular, a style he likely picked up from his preacher grandfather. “Have Mercy” lands like a secular hymn for a country still coming to terms with the deep wounds of its bloody past and divided present, while ‘Lil Son’ lifts straight from generations of family teachings.
“That song is a message from my granddad,” Cauthen explains. “The lyrics come from riding around with him in his jeep when I was a kid, just listening to his instructions and learning from his morality.”
As Cauthen says, he’s ultimately a singer not a preacher, and the songs on ‘Have Mercy’ cut across cultures and creeds, speaking to truths that are bigger than any particular faith. The music is timeless, the themes universal. Whether you believe in the next life or not, our days are numbered, and Paul Cauthen’s here to remind us that a little love goes a long way.
“When I’m gone,” he concludes, “I hope that someday somebody picks up one of my records and says, ‘This guy was a hard worker. He honored the songs, he honored the music, and most of all, he honored his listeners.’ That’s the legacy I want to leave behind.”
Sarah Gayle Meech
Nashville based country artist, Sarah Gayle Meech is blazing a
trail of her own, one that the founding fathers of country music
would have been proud of. Having lived in Tennessee for only five
years she successfully blends the city’s nature, spirit and seasons into a beautifully unforgiving soundscape. Drawing inspiration and hailing from Longview, Washington, she was surrounded by evergreens, small towns and people with grit, themes that surface often in her songwriting. After moving to Los Angeles for ten years she honed her writing skills and decided to put down roots in Nashville.
Her first album, One Good Thing, (released August 2012) was well received by fans and critics. SavingCountryMusic.com said “One Good Thing is country through and through, piercing the
breastplate of honky tonk with an adrenaline shot right to its
heart.” Since that release she began regular touring and holds
residencies at famed Robert’s Western World and Layla’s Bluegrass Inn.
Her latest album Tennessee Love Song (available March 31) was
produced by Meech and Andy Gibson (known for being Hank
Williams III steel and dobro player), who also plays on the album.
Sarah Gayle explores themes of love, heartache, loss and
loneliness, achieving a perfect balance that truly exemplifies her
character. Meech says she drew inspiration from personal
experiences, Southern Gothic literature, and “...all the crazy
weather and beautiful landscapes in Tennessee.” She comments
on Tennessee Love Song, “I made it exactly how I wanted to. I had a vision, and was able to bring it to life. I wrote every song, coproduced it, and handpicked the players." She says that she was always intrigued by Tennessee’s history and spiritual energy, with her musical influences being “. . . literally, all over the place! At the time I was listening to a lot of Glenn Campbell, Carole King, Don Williams, Faces, Merle Haggard, Neko Case, Johnny Lee, Dawes, Aretha Franklin, Tammy Wynette, Dwight Yoakam…too many to name. I love and am inspired by so many different
As her popularity rises, so do her achievements. She has a song
and performance featured on the new season on ABC’s Nashville, frequent airplay on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country, songs featured on hit FX TV series Justified, recently won the 2015 Best Outlaw Female Ameripolitan Award, and is soon to play alongside Merle Haggard at the first annual Ink n Iron convention in Nashville this summer. Tennessee Love Song will release worldwide on March 31st, 2015.
Ona is an indie-rock band comprised of longtime friends Brad Goodall (keys), Bradley Jenkins (vocals/guitar), Zach Johnston (bass), Max Nolte (drums), and Zack Owens (guitar).
The band formed in late 2013 and are based in Huntington, WV. Ona’s debut record ‘American Fiction’ reached critical success appearing on NPR best of lists, SIRIUS Radio airplay, and a spot on nationally syndicated radio program Mountain Stage.
From New York City to Birmingham, AL, the five piece unit has garnered a faithful fan base on the east coast and Midwest regions. The band recently signed with New Frontier Touring based in Nashville, TN and plans to expand their time on the road in 2018.
Currently the band is working with Athens, GA-based producer/engineer, Drew Vandenberg (Of Montreal, Toro y Moi, Drive By Truckers) at Chase Park Transduction Studio. Their forthcoming album will be released in 2018, no official release date yet.