11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Jarrod Dickenson

Jarrod Dickenson (Photo by Josh Wool)Photo by Josh Wool

Are you ready for “Ready the Horses,” the new album from singer-songwriter Jarrod Dickenson which arrives on May 22? In the meantime you can listen here to the single, “Your Heart Belongs to Me.” This beautifully sweet duet with his wife Claire was just what you needed to send your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Love songs aside, the Texas Dickenson native gets good and gritty on “Gold Rush,” another song from the upcoming record whose video you can watch here now.

Jarrod closed out 2019 strong with his sold out “Unplugged and Distilled” tour of the UK with our friend Darrin Bradbury. With touring of course having fallen apart so far this year, hopefully the dates he has planned stateside later this year will come to pass. In the meantime, you can catch his weekly streaming shows on Facebook and help fill his virtual tip jar.

Thanks, Jarrod for a great 11 Questions session and be sure to check out my Nashville pizza recommendations!


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I am originally from Waco, TX. I spent the first 20 years of my life in Waco, and then moved down to Austin in 2006 to finish college at the University of Texas and immerse myself in the Austin music scene.

I’m currently on my second stint in Nashville. I first moved here in 2010 after leaving Austin and lived here for a little over a year before moving up to Brooklyn, with a brief stopover in L.A. in between. My wife and I moved back down to Nashville from Brooklyn about three years ago, in search of not so much greener pastures as cheaper ones! It’s been a good move, and we’ve met some wonderful people here in town.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

I think the first record I ever bought with my own money was Bad Company’s 10 from 6 album on CD. Around that time, I also bought Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band on CD as well. Before that, the first CD that was given to me was Let It Be, from my father. That was the real starting point of my musical education.

The most recent purchase was a few old 45rpm singles that I found at a record shop in Charlotte, NC while we were on the road. I found quite a few good ones, including Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou,” Eric Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally,” Link Wray’s “Rawhide” and Wilson Pickett’s “634-5789.”

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

My first real concert was a double bill with ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX. I was in junior high school, and I went with my dad. I remember going into it, I was more excited to see Lynyrd Skynyrd, but I left the show thinking that ZZ Top was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. The visual aspect of their show was incredible, but the sound that those three guys put out was HUGE!

The last concert that I’ve seen (excluding shows where I was on the bill) was JD McPherson’s Christmas concert at The Basement East this past December. JD and his band are one of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands on the planet right now, in my opinion, and that Christmas album of his, Socks, is a flat-out killer record. (This show obviously took place before the tornado sadly ripped The Basement East to shreds… hopefully they’ll be able to rebuild soon.)

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

I don’t know how John Prine isn’t already on the Music City Walk of Fame, but he’s a no-brainer. I don’t know of any other songwriters or artists who have meant more to the city or inspired as many young songwriters as Prine.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

My favorite coffee shop in Nashville is the Dose on Murphy Rd. To be honest, we’re still searching for a favorite pizza place here in town. We were spoiled by the seemingly endless great pizza joints in New York. Got any suggestions? (Plenty! You can check here.)

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Oh, man, that’s a tough one. There are so many, and probably plenty that I didn’t realize were recorded here.  If we’re talking singles, I’d have to put Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely” pretty high up the list. It’s such a beautiful tune. The recording is stunning. It’s an absolute classic. If we’re talking about albums, Neil Young’s Harvest or Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde would probably get the nod, though I also love the Alison Krauss and Robert Plant Raising Sand album.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Dino’s or Monells are hard to beat! The taco cart behind The 5 Spot has also gotten a fair amount of business from my wife and I over the years!

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

I’d ask my pal JP Ruggieri, Chris and Stephanie Turpin (who make up the duo Ida Mae) and Seth Walker. In fact, can we make that happen? That would be a blast!

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

I have a lot of great memories from playing the original Basement countless times, and The 5 Spot is always a good hang. We’ve played City Winery a handful of times, and they always spoil you rotten! I’ve only played 3rd & Lindsley once, but I remember it being a great show with really nice sound on stage.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

Are we shooting for the stars here? Tom Waits!

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

I have a new record coming out on May 22 called Ready the Horses. I’m excited to finally get these songs out into the world, and once this pandemic subsides, we’ll be hitting the road harder than ever in support of it. I’m also hoping to get back into the studio later this year to make the next album.


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