11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Mick Mullin

Mick Mullin

Well, here’s an 11 Questions that you will enjoy. Nashville’s Mr. Mick Mullin paid us a visit and penned replies that are as poetic as the songs on his new sophomore LP, “Mullin’ It Over.” A man whose faith helped him get past some tough times, Mick says “I sing in dive bars and honky-tonks on Saturday night and help lead worship in church on Sunday morning with the same flat-top guitar.” 

 Well, has your taste for Traditional Country grown tiresome of songs about pick-up trucks? I suggest that you start off with Mick’s whimsical “Thank God They Closed the Honky Tonks,” a song that gets my vote as the Best Song Inspired By COVID. After that, take a history lesson through the narrative tale Mullin spins in “Bristol 1927.”

“Mullin’ It Over” is sure to find its way on many Best of Nashville lists this year. I’m sure glad it came my way and I look forward to visiting one of his weekly Wednesday gigs: “Mick Mullin’s Wednesday Nite Supper at Phat Bites Deli & Bar, 2730 Lebanon Pike B in Nashville: “Original Songs, Special Guests, Good Fellowship Every Wednesday 7-11PM.”

 

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

I was born, bred, and buttered right here in Nashville. Born in the old Donelson Hospital on Lebanon Road and have lived all over town. Since high school, I’ve moved far away several times, but I’ve always come back home to Music City. I guess I’ve always been trying to figure out how to bloom where I was planted.

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

I can’t remember which exactly was first, but among the first was Nirvana’s Nevermind and it was taken away from me after a family member advised against me listening to a guy that did drugs and killed himself. It was on CD as all my first albums were and probably bought at Cat’s Music or Tower Records. The last album I bought was the John Prine tribute, Kiss My Ass Goodbye (Devil’s Tower Records/Groove Family Records), that my version of “You Never Even Call Me by My Name” appears on. It was on vinyl and bought at my favorite Nashville record store: The Groove!

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

In elementary school, we went to see Jim & the Animal Band at the Opryhouse, but my first real concert would be when my dad took me to see the Eagles. Last concert was Tim Carroll at The 5 Spot. He’s been doing Friday nights there for years and stands as the reigning king of the original music residency in Nashville, I’d say.

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

Gotta say, this is the first time I’ve ever heard about this. Kings of Leon are on there? Heck, my old band played a show with them back at Café Express in Mt. Juliet way back when. Why is Kid Rock on there and not Roy Acuff? ROY CLAXTON ACUFF! The King of By God Country Music. Like the rest of these kinds of things, this list is a sham.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

I make coffee at home, but I am a lifelong fan of Fletcher’s Pizza in Donelson. It ain’t fancy, but it’s the pizza I had when I was a kid playing little league baseball and we’d go out for pizza parties and get trophies. I grew up on this pizza and I’ve tried others from around the country and there is only one Fletcher’s. It’s the sauce.

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

That’s almost the same question as “all-time favorite album”, which is too tough to answer, but some favorites off the top of my head…Acuff’s Hand-Clapping Gospel Songs, Honky Tonk Heroes, Country Church Time, Kristofferson, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Sturgill’s High Top Mountain and Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, and though it was partially recorded in Hollywood, Sweetheart of the Rodeo is also an all-time favorite.

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

The closest Waffle House.

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

I’d round up my buds Aaron Cates, Matthew Cates and Timbo (aka Tim Bolo) cuz they’re great songwriters and we’re all from Nashville so that’d be pretty cool.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

Phat Bites in Donelson is my “home stage.” Been playing there since around 2015 and running an original music residency there on Wednesday nights for the past year or so. Other favorite venues are The 5 Spot (I met my wife there!) and the OG Basement.

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

Maybe my buddy John Bardy. He plays down at Luckenbach, TX, as an artist-in-residence. He’s a gem of a songwriter who’d fit right in. But really, we’re pretty full here as it is. I ain’t gonna name any names, but I’ll tell ya there’s a few I’d like to see move out!

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

More songs, assuredly. A lifetime of learning how to write better songs. Hopefully playing more outside of the Nashville area and maintaining the financial and physical abilities to record and perform. There’s a ton of work that goes in to doing this independently, and unless you have the resources, you’re more often than not paying to work more than working for pay. I’d love some help with all that. But the good Lord knows what’s best and he’s got a path carved out for me that I’m gonna keep walking!

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