If you happened to miss it, there’s no reason you can’t go back and listen to the fab 2020 LP “You Had Your Cake, So Lie in It” from Nashville’s Chelsea Lovitt. Beneath her swampy guitar and gritty vocals, you will hear some great song-smithing from Chelsea. Don’t believe me? Check on the recently-released video for “State of Denial” and watch her croon the Dylan-inspired tune as she delivers flowers in Music City on a real-life Valentine’s Day delivery gig. Cleverly and creatively awesome!
You will also want to see her and her band kick it on a recent quarantine live stream from Dees’ Country Cocktail Lounge. Thanks, Chelsea for visiting the 11 Questions desk and hopefully we can all come to see you in person at Dee’s real soon. And keep those great LP titles coming!
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
Mississippi. I moved here for a year in 2008 after I graduated college because I knew I wanted to be in music in some capacity and write songs. Something felt right about Nashville when I came to visit for a weekend before I graduated and left after a year to teach English in France and take a “writing respite.” I ended up between New Orleans, Mississippi and France until 2016 when I moved back to Nashville to get back to business.
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 CD I had was given to me by my friend’s older brother who I had a crush on because he played guitar. He handed me this Ace of Base record he was over! Ha-ha. I think the first CD I bought was Third Eye Blind, maybe at T-Bones Records in Hattiesburg way back in the day? The last record I got was also given to me by my roommate at Christmas, it’s a 45 of “Everyone’s A Winner” by Hot Chocolate. I honestly can’t remember the last record I bought because I end up trading my vinyls at shows. I think it may have been John Prine’s last record when he played at the Basement East for the release show a few years ago.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
My first live concert I think was when Lynyrd Skynyrd came to Mississippi and performed at the Forrest County Multipurpose Center where they have livestock events. I went with my church youth group. I think I was about 12. The last live show I saw was last night when I played at Dee’s for the Madison Guild Songwriter night and watched my friends play before me. It was a distanced, limited-capacity live stream, if that counts. If we’re talking pre-COVID, the last big show was when I played Okeechobee Music Festival last year and stumbled upon Bassnectar after. LOL!
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Obviously, John Prine. How is Kid Rock on this already (even before Prine passed away) and not John Prine?
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Bongo Java in Five Points and Five Points Pizza.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
That’s hard to say. Even though Blonde on Blonde was started in New York, it was finished and shaped here. And it was certainly an influence for my records.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
I’d ask my friend Sierra Ferrell, Leo Rondeau, and Waylon Payne.
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge is like my home and they not only have a solid setup for live streams and safely done shows but are cool enough to let me shoot videos before they are open. They are all around just the best bar and they let me bring my dog in. Mercy Lounge is where we had the record release and is definitely part of an OG Nashville sound and scene. I’ve played Honky Tonk Tuesday/Saturday many times at the American Legion Post 82 and love The 5 Spot too.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.
My guitar player and collaborator Marc Ottavi who did brilliant work on my record and lives in Paris where we met. He came to Nashville for a month to record when we tracked, and we built ideas and sounds for a year prior to going into the studio. That record wouldn’t be what it is without him and he deserves more credit than he got. I wish he lived here so we could make another record.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
I am working on a new record that is a dystopian spaghetti western concept that has a lot of instrumental songs I’d like to get on a Cohen Brothers or Tarantino film or a Netflix show. I have a side band project I’m building from the ground up called Long Tall Shorty, in the process of finding the right people to be in the band.