Tristen @ Grimey’s New & Preloved Music / Nashville TN / October 29, 2013


These days there is no shortage of new exciting young talent in Music City. Often, it takes an old musical curmudgeon like me some time to get around to checking them out. I am so thankful that Grimey’s allows me to see new acts up close and personal for free at an early hour. Such was the case for this in-store to launch the latest release by Tristen.

In 2011, I actually saw Tristen once before when she opened for The Features at a Nashville Scene event at the pretentiously sacred Third Man Records. Unfortunately, I left that night’s wall of noise with nothing more than hearing damage. Why do some places think it is hip to be overly loud?

Tristen transplanted herself to Nashville in 2007.  She started out selling homemade CDs at her live shows. Staying business savvy, she self-released Charlatans at the Garden Gate in 2011.  It was a country-tinged effort that garnered national acclaim as well as the Nashville Scene’s nod as Best Local Album of the year. This afternoon, she and her band were promoting CAVES at my favorite record store. This self-released album was funded through Kickstarter with marketing support from the folks at Thirty Tigers.  In December, CAVES landed Tristen a repeat when it was named the Scene’s Best Local Album for 2013.


CAVES veers from the country sounds of her previous works to a slicker synth-pop sound that found her switching between electric guitar and keyboards. Looking quite sharp in some neon-purple slacks, Tristen treated about fifty supportive fans to seven of the eleven songs from the new release. Her band was led by guitarist and husband, Ben Hughen.


The set was short and sweet with sound (which for some reason was not left to Grimey).  It could have been mixed a little better to stay behind her vocals. Nonetheless, I walked away a fan of this bold and adventuresome young artist. It didn’t hurt that I somehow managed to win the drawing for a special clear vinyl copy of CAVES and two tickets to her upcoming show at The Stone Fox.  I know I am by far not the first to say this, but Tristen is another artist who will make people take notice of the great sounds coming out of Nashville.


  1. Catalyst
  2. Dark Matter
  3. Island Dream
  4. Monster
  5. Forgiveness
  6. Gold Star
  7. No One’s Gonna Know

Tristen Gaspadarek–guitar, keyboards and vocals
Melodie Morris–cello
Sharon Koltick–bass
Sammy Smith–drums
Buddy Hughen-guitar

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