Steelism @ NashvilleDancin’-Riverfront Park / Nashville TN / July 3, 2014

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When it gets right down to it, doesn’t everyone like good instrumental rock music? Even if you have never heard the songs before, there is a good chance that they will at least get your foot moving if not get all of you out to the dance floor. Well, my dancing days are over, but I was moving in my lawn chair when I recently witnessed the sounds of Steelism at the NashvilleDancin’ free weekly concert series.

Normally held at Riverfront Park, this week’s Thursday night set was moved to the foot of Broadway and First to ready the park for Fourth of July fireworks the following evening. The pre-holiday crowd was somewhat light on this unseasonably cool evening to see four bands of which Steelism held the penultimate slot before the headliners, The Apache Relay.

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Although Steelism’s music was unfamiliar to me, I knew the core duo of Spencer Cullum and Jeremy Fetzer through their work backing up two local songwriters: Caitlin Rose and Andrew Combs. Tonight the band was a five-piece augmented by a rhythm section and a keyboard player on loan from local band Los Colognes. Nashvillian neo-punk rocker Evan P. Donahue joined the band mid-show to add vocals for a song.

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Cullum serves as the band’s master of ceremonies from the seat of his pedal steel. The British native is one jovial chap as well as a master of his instrument. For a slight vocal diversion, he even gave a clever comically creepy rendition of George Harrison’s “Something” through a talk box ala Peter Frampton.

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On lead guitar Fetzer’s Fender paved the way for most of the songs throughout the early evening’s 30-minute set.

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This talented duo has crafted some lovely instrumentals that I look forward to hearing on their upcoming September release 615 to Fame. You can download a sample now on Noisetrade. Is it a coincidence that the record’s title uses Music City’s area code which was also the name of perhaps Nashville last great instrumental band, Area Code 615? I think not.

 

SETLIST:

  1. Landlock Circus
  2. [unknown instrumental]
  3. (Evan P. Donahue lead vocal)
  4. Marfa Lights
  5. China Plate
  6. The Spook (Peter Drake cover)
  7. Cats Eye Ring
  8. Colt and a Pickle
  9. Something (The Beatles cover)
  10. [unknown instrumental]
  11. James Bond Theme

BAND:

Spencer Cullum—pedal steel
Jeremy Fetzer—guitar
Mike Rinne—bass
Jon Radford—drums
Micah Hulscher—keyboards

 

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