Nashville – As the final weekend approaches for “Live On The Green” here in Nashville we are slowly reminded that summer is coming to an end. The festival is giving us a three-day, two stage send off this year with some big acts showing their stuff. This event was established in 2009 by Nashville’s local independent Lightning 100, WRLT as a free outdoor music festival right in the heart of downtown.
The weather was absolutely perfect as JD McPherson took the stage wearing his Lightning 100 t-shirt. The sun had just set and we were just beginning to cool off, but Mr. McPherson started this electric fire and tore up everything cool about that night. As his guitar sound cut through the air, his voice began to sing and there was not a single person left standing still. Band members also include Jimmy Sutton playing the spectacular stand-up bass, Jason Smay on the drums, Ray Jacildo playing keys, and Doug Corcoran blowing us away on the saxophone and also playing guitar and keys.
Singing songs from his debut album Signs and Signifiers as well as his latest Let the Good Times Roll, (Rounder Records) it seemed the crowd could sing along with both. Crowd favorites such as “North Side Gal”, “Fire Bug”, “Head over Heels”, “Bossy” and so many more… Just amazing and you could see the energy rising off the stage! Everyone loved watching McPherson and Jimmy Sutton go back and forth with one another on stage made it fun. He dedicated his song “Shy Boy” to shy guys in the crowd and a song to his two little girls. Also letting us know that “Let the Good Times Roll” was based on the final act of Romeo and Juliet. Joking and telling stories in between songs he seemed totally at ease on stage. Laughing about “losing” a go cart race before the show with members of the event, this being the reason for wearing the lightning 100 t-shirt. Ending the night a bit slower but then cranking it out as he said good night to this rock-n-roll town, leaving the crowd yelling for more.
From there I headed over to the second stage, to see one of my favorite bands, Delta Rae at the 615 stage. This is the first time the festival has had more than one stage. It was okay, but my favorite acts overlapped and that was rough on me. It did divide up the crowd which made it seem more intimate so that was nice. But as I ran up the street, I could hear those magical voices, Brittany Holljes and Elizabeth Hopkins. I first saw them at Bonnaroo in 2013 and fell in love with their onstage presence. They kill it every time. The connection they make with the audience and the passion they have is unbelievable. There are not many artist out there like Delta Rae, you can see how much they feel the music in their souls. The chill bumps on my arms never go down the whole time I watch them perform. And as I tried not to sing out loud, for fear of being kicked to the literal curb, I listened to the most amazing singing of the night. My two favorites being “If I Loved You” and “Scared”. Delta Rae is a band formed in 2009 by brothers and sister Ian, Eric and Brittany Holljes, joined by Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee and Grant Emerson.
The highlight of the night was watching them perform the last two songs, “Bottom of the River” and “Dancing in the Graveyards”. Seeing Brittany Holljes crawl across the stage and that blonde hair blow in the wind as she sang her ass off. Brothers Ian and Eric stomping and singing along with her. Elizabeth never failing to hit those high notes along with those drums making the crowd go wild and wanting more. The music they sing seems to have a life force all its own.
For more on Live On The Green and on these great bands check out their websites at deltarae.com and jdmcpherson.com.
Top two photos by Jess Sneed.
“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” –Fabienne Fredrickson
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