While he likely awaits a phone call from his “boss” about what might keep him busy in 2020, Garry Tallent made a one-off appearance at Nashville’s 5 Spot in the 6pm slot on a Tuesday night. There wasn’t much advance fanfare, and unless you were checking the venue calendar, you likely missed this delightful musical event.
Garry made his way onto the low 5 Spot stage promptly at starting time and summoned up the players who he said represented “two of the three bands” that he has played with. This merger of his recent touring band and ex-Jerseyites and Americana pioneers, The Delevantes, made for an ensemble of mighty musicianship.
Tallent recently released his second solo record, More Like Me, which follows his 2016 debut, Break Time. With two full LP’s behind him, there was plenty of material to play, and he and the band wound up playing most of his catalog. However, to make things interesting, the song running order for the night came courtesy of Garry pulling slips of paper with song titles out of a beer bucket!
With all this original music to choose from, it was quite a surprise when the first pick of the night was Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock.” It did however set the stage and show just how strong a band this was. Garry put his bass aside for the evening and played a hollow-body Guild electric guitar and was just one-fourth of the guitar army that included the Delevante brothers.
While Garry isn’t known for being a singer, he made quite a fine effort as front man. As expected for an East Nashville event, there were other musicians in the house, and a few made brief appearances on stage. Bill Lloyd and Kristi Rose both shared vocals with Tallent and Kristi’s husband, Fats Kaplin came on board with both his fiddle and accordion.
Tallent’s musical collective really showed its chops on a few instrumentals, one of which was The Venture’s “Walk, Don’t Run” that Garry chose when he pulled a “Wild Card” option out of the bucket. The Delevantes, for whom Tallent has produced both of their albums, also had one of their songs selected from the bucket and also played another that Garry latter requested from them after the bucket had run dry.
While the room wasn’t near capacity, all those who came out sure got their $5 cover charge worth with the set running just under two hours. The final song of the evening was a redo of Garry’s “Charlene” since he felt they didn’t do it right, and he forgot the words to the last verse.
After the successful take, Garry remarked “I thought we’d have to do them all over.” This was far from the truth since the band sounded like they had rehearsed for months rather than just getting together on such short notice. It was just another “Only in Nashville” night!