Kendell Marvel's Honky Tonk Experience
Rick Brantley, Chris Hennessee, Keith Gattis, Frankie Ballard
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.”
If you've been wondering if rock 'n roll has truly been put to death by today's fabricated, widget-like stars "popping" out of the woodworks, rest assured that you will find the phoenix not only rising out of but bursting forth from Macon, GA-raised, Nashville, TN-based rock n' roll singer-songwriter Rick Brantley.
Brantley, writes, plays, and sings his Southern angst filled rock with the heart, soul and body of a young Bruce Springsteen or Kris Kristofferson. Brantley's songs address the same timeless issues that his protégés addressed in the 60's and 70's: the confusion and longing inherent in lovelorn youth, political and racial injustice, and a search for meaning in a world that offers harsh judgments but few solutions…while throwing a whole lot of rock n' roll swagger and fun in for good measure.
In keeping with the true rock n' roll concert tradition of his heroes, a Rick Brantley performance is packed to the gills with action. One moment Rick's fingers are hammering across the keyboards as he's belting out lyrics with a Bob Seger-like frenzy, and his full band is pounding down the house to keep up with him.
Next, Rick is center stage shucking, jiving, wailing, strapped into his electric guitar, and the next moment he's back at the keys, under spotlight, crooning out a ballad that will break your heart. His audience is always riveted.
Rick Brantley is fire and brimstome, flesh and faith, a blue collar and a broken heart.
A reason to believe.
Singer/Songwriter Chris Hennessee, long time Jamey Johnson band member has released “Wrong End Of The Rainbow.” The first song from a brand new project due in June features vocals from Jamey Johnson and was produced by noted musician and producer Jim “Moose” Brown.
“This is the most excited I’ve ever been about any project. The songs, the production, even the artwork are a reflection of where I come from and where I’ve always wanted to go musically.”
Jamey Johnson adds, “I have always enjoyed Chris' ability to hold an audience captive to his stories and his songs so it has been a real joy having him open my shows over the years and he has been a great addition to my band. This new album not only shows what a great songwriter and musician he is but it also serves as a reflection of his strong faith and his loyalty to God, his family, his friends and his country.”
Hennessee’s upcoming album project will be his 4th release. His most recent album “Greetings From Hennessee” was released in 2015.
As a songwriter Hennessee has had songs recorded by Billy Currington, Cody Johnson, Kevin Fowler, Corey Morrow, and Rodney Carrington. His song "Hennessee" written with collaborators The Wild Feathers was featured on the hit TV show "Nashville".
A member of Jamey Johnson’s band since 2012, he has shared the stage with Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris and many more.
Country music singer - songwriter
Born on 26 May 1971 in Georgetown, Texas, U.S.
When Frankie Ballard was growing up in Battle Creek, Michigan, his father played him one classic album over and over again: Marty Robbins' Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, featuring Robbins' signature hit "El Paso." Now Ballard, a quick-draw guitarist and rough-hewn singer, has cut his own metaphorical gunfighter album, decamping from Nashville to a gritty El Paso studio to record the follow-up to his 2014 breakout Sunshine & Whiskey.
For Ballard, who scored three consecutive Number One singles off Sunshine & Whiskey - "Helluva Life," the title track and "Young & Crazy" - it was imperative that he leave behind the safety of Nashville for the wilds of the Mexico border. Setting up shop at the famed Sonic Ranch, just south of El Paso in Tornillo, Texas, Ballard, producer Marshall Altman (Sunshine & Whiskey) and his band threw themselves headlong into the music, eating and sleeping at the studio. Their goal: make a bona fide album.
"I grew up listening to albums and I loved them as bodies of work," says Ballard. "But today, everyone cuts singles. Even Sunshine & Whiskey was recorded in chunks. We'd go into one studio, cut four, then go into another studio and cut another four. It's groovus interruptus, man."
To keep that groove steady, Ballard went on the lam, leaving Nashville for a few days of bare-bones rehearsals at ground zero for rock & roll and soul, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama. From there, he continued on to the Granada Theater in Dallas for another workshop session, before arriving at the Sonic Ranch, locked and loaded.
"I spur myself sometimes, like getting a metal cleat kicked into your ass so you can go harder. I do that to myself," says Ballard of the grueling road trip to El Paso. "It's as far away as you can get. I was trying to get my blood moving."
The change of scenery worked. Ballard has created an urgent, thriving record, a project that showcases Frankie the artist. It's the type of album his heroes like Bob Seger and the Rolling Stones made, a collection of 11 songs with a sonic through-line, driven along by swagger but also respect for the music. First single "It All Started With a Beer" is buoyed by equal parts nostalgia and hope.
"On the surface, it's a love story about two folks meeting in a bar and having a beer. From there, the relationship blossomed into something long lasting and now they're looking back, going, 'Man, look at this great relationship we got, and it started so simply, with just a beer.' So many people can relate to the idea," Ballard says. "But also, one of the deeper meanings of that song is sometimes the biggest shit that happens to you in life doesn't start in a big way. That makes me hopeful for the future."
The hard-charging "Cigarette," meanwhile, is unapologetically carnal. With a dirty guitar riff and winking lyrics to match, it's an explosive bit of country-rock, and the first song Ballard worked up at Muscle Shoals.
"It's about lust," says Ballard matter-of-factly. "It's not really about cigarettes. She could have had a toothpick in her mouth. It's just sexy, and it pops. It's a head-snapper."
The crunching "El Camino," however, sets the tone for the entire album. With its escapist message of hitting the road, it mirrors Ballard's own exodus from Nashville. "So get me a dog and an El Camino/roll a couple dice at the Indian casino/take this heartache somewhere you've never been before," he sings in the chorus.
"It is a really definitive song for me, and illustrates the sonic space that I'm trying to establish with this album," he says. "If somebody asked, 'Hey, what is this new Frankie Ballard sound?' 'El Camino' would be the song I played them."
"Sweet Time," one of two songs Ballard wrote for the project, celebrates the joys of taking it slow, in both life and romance, while "Wasting Time," although similar in title, is its antithesis: a straight-up rocker. "It is a ripping take," raves Ballard, pointing out the galloping drums that showcase a band in the pocket.
Ballard also emphasizes the rock on a choice cover: his balls-out version of Seger's "You'll Accompany Me." Recorded at one additional session in Los Angeles, where Ballard, ever the perfectionist, revamped two songs he says "betrayed" him in El Paso, the cover song connects the dots of Ballard's career - Seger once hand-picked him to open his tour.
If Ballard has an endgame, it's the longevity of someone like Seger, a career that continues well into the future and transcends any genre. And returns actual, honest playing to the fore.
"I miss musicianship on the radio. Everyone is doing this digital thing and they're putting all these pop sounds into country music, and I love it. I dance to it at the club. But I don't do that personally. I don't even have a computer," says Ballard, going on to lay out his plan for country music dominance.
"There is something you have to fundamentally understand about me: my dream goes the whole way. It goes all the way. So I want more people hearing my music," he says. "So what are you going to do, Frankie? Well, I guess I'm going to try to make some better music. And if it's not better than what I did before, there's no reason for it to come out. I don't want to maintain altitude - I want to fly, man."
no refunds - no exceptions. lineups and times are subject to change. valid government-issued photo ID required for entry. tickets available at the door (if not sold out). no re-entry.