Brillig Felt Right At Home in Southern USA

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27 April 2015 “Scootin’ around the South of the USA”

2015-4-27-BLOG-skylineAs it happens when you travel, you get so wound up in the action that there’s barely time for a postcard!

So it was on our recent jaunt to the USA in March/April. You may have seen a tease or two on Instagram, and we offered a teeny rundown on our latest eNews, but allow us to fill you in on some of the highlights.

Firstly, Nashville.

SIGH. What a glorious place.

Those at our live shows know that we were so inspired by the previous trip that we wrote 2 new songs about it! And yes, we did play “Nashville Now” and “Ballad of the Ryman” in their namesake places.

2015-4-27-BLOG-rymanboothIn fact, it was quite a surreal moment when we entered the sound booth at The Ryman Auditorium itself, and recorded a song about the venue, which we’d written after enjoying our recording experience there in late 2013.

Full circle!

We’ll never tire of those stained glass windows of the “Mother Church of Country Music.”

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Then there’s Third Man Records.

If you’re not familiar with the Willy-Wonka-esque genius of this label, driven by Mr Creative himself, Jack White, then do yourself a favour. The retail shop has expanded since last time (great T-shirts too – “Vinyl Killed the MP3” – go Jack!), and it houses the most amazing pieces of old-time technology…

2015-4-27-BLOG-voiceboothThe “Voice-O-Graph” machine is from the 1940s, the size of a phone booth (look it up, kidz). Let’s just say it’s a pretty tight fit.

It records straight to a clear vinyl single, which you retrieve as if from a vending machine at the end.

You have 2 1/2 minutes to make your mark, and it’s a thrill.

We did it 3 times!

Matt & I (Elizabeth) each recorded our very first solo efforts. Historic, really.

Then we worked out we could (sorta) squeeze in there together and do a duo run…. Too fun.

The result is 3 crackly, very vinyl sounding old school recordings. On frickin’ clear vinyl. Oh baby.2015-4-27-BLOG-vinyl

Now we know why Neil Young recorded an entire album in the booth! It’s pretty darn original. Alas, we won’t reveal what our tracks are yet, but we love having them up our sleeves for a future unveiling.

As for shows, we discovered the warmly welcoming scene at Bobby’s Idle Hour, the only live music venue on “Music Row”.

It’s the real deal, folks. Songwriters galore, a supportive audience, and no fuss. We’ll be back with bells on!

We also ticked off a major item on our ‘Bucket List’ – playing at THE Bluebird Cafe. It’s an experience to remember, and the best known ‘listening room’ in town. Again, Brillig got a thumbs up, and a big smile on our faces.

In between we met so many fine industry folks & punters in a few short days (you know who you are!!). Good people make good travels.

Gathering up our new pile of cowboy boots, we then headed east to Georgia for some more deep South musical goodness.

2015-4-27-BLOG-corndogWith a home base in Atlanta, we visited our good pal from the “Corndog Power Hour”, King Corndog himself, and enjoyed an interview and live recording at the very swish studios of WLMB AM1690 “The Voice of the Arts”.

He’s a hoot! (pictured left with producer extraordinaire John Lemley). You can listen to the shenanigans when we reveal the podcast link soon.

We also discovered our new favourite venue in town, The Red Light Cafe. They couldn’t have been nicer to us, and it was a lovely turnout & show of support for our set by the “Hot-lanta” locals. Can’t wait til next time!

 

Our time in GA is not complete without a ‘lil trip to Rome. It stands out as perhaps the most hospitable town of music lovers on our trip – which is really saying something because everyone was so damn lovely everywhere we went!!

2015-4-27-BLOG-ridgeWe played live-to-air on The Ridge 92.7fm with a fellow Star Wars fan Bryan Mullins at the helm of “Mullins Mania”.

Always a pleasure to chat & play in a family-run station with real roots in the scene – and a beaut of a southern style building to boot!

The Dark Side of the Moon café was delightful as well; a shining spot on the picturesque main street, with its sweet cousin The Moon Roof out the back. A centrepiece for the music lovers indeed.

Special props to the Jugtime Ragband, our support act who played some outstanding dixie-time/blues/roots – love you guys!

Last but by no means least is the inimitable Mary Todd’s Hair Co.

2015-4-27-BLOG-mtYes, by day it is the most kick-arse salon you’ll find in the south – complete with bespoke pomade!

By night, they get their music on, and we were privileged to be a part of their popular “Way Down in Cabbagetown” series.

They filmed 5 tracks of us playing live in situ, and we can’t wait to see the results. Here’s some of their previous work to whet your appetite.

Oh, and along the way we started collecting a sweet suite of new instruments that await our return.

A cute Nashville-acquired ukulele, a customised Autoharp (now with more minor chords – hooray!), and a darling little Scandalli Silvana accordion.

2015-4-27-BLOG-accordionA huge thank you to new friends Jerry and Janice, who helped us acquire the latter. What total sweethearts.

Jerry’s been playing accordion for 65 years!!

More kudos and tips of the hat to Steve and SIR who kept Matt happy with some lush guitar action in GA & TN respectively, and accordion afficionado & all round good guy Jeff Jetton of Nashville who’s “Red Baron” was a real treat to play.

It was with heavy hearts and heavy suitcases that we departed the US of A.

But after hearing all our tales, our bass player Denni is chomping at the bit to get a taste of the action, and we are angling for another long haul flight ASAP.

On that note…

We’re keen to hear from any of our American readers about when/where you’d like to see us play, and we’ll start our scheming in the meantime!

Thanks for the memories, and let’s create more soon.

Til then:

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