Mention the word ‘Nashville’ in any town outside of it and people immediately think cowboy boots, honky tonks, and country music. Tourists come to town hoping to spy their favorite country stars in their natural habitat. The often overlooked hottest commodity you’ll find in Nashville, however, is the surplus of Grade A musicians. Nashville has the highest concentration of the country’s top musicians who tour alongside those marquee names. Several days a week they play what they have to. Given a choice, they’d likely play something entirely different.

     Beginning August 3 at Douglas Corner in Nashville, Tom Hurst is bringing back the Loud Jamz! DOUGLAS CORNERWith a custom-built house band that will use a variety of instrumentalists and vocalists with a broad range of featured guests, this will be a players jam without high tech assistance. Skilled musicians who know their craft, and aren’t afraid to put the creative pedal to the metal, will turn up the volume and the musicianship to challenge themselves and entertain what is sure to be a packed house. Drawing predominantly from a master repertoire of songs that cover all genres across the musical spectrum, the goal is to bring out the soul in the music and the player in a way that incites a riot of movement. Technologically, this will be no pedestrian ensemble of sound. Nothing short of bad ass will do.

     The format of the show will feature four distinct musical sections. Beginning at 8pm until 8:40, the house band will play roughly seven songs. From 8:50 to 9:30, an established group or artist will perform a six to seven song set. The house band will return from 9:40 to 10:30 to play another seven or eight songs, and from 10:20 to 11pm, the show will end with an open jam. With just two ten-minute intermissions, this is nearly three hours of an eclectic set list you won’t find anywhere else. The first show, set for August 3, will open with a three song jazz set by Belmont vocal professor, Stephanie Adlington. Following her, the house band will perform six songs ranging from British rock icon, Genesis, to a short-lived heavy metal band from San Francisco, T-Ride. Cosmifunkpop band, Flat Land, will play a 50-minute set, followed by the return of the house band for five songs that cover Big Wreck, Audioslave, Crash Kings, and Stereophonics. How the songs are interpreted will be in the hands of the players.

     In part, the goal of this jam session is to provide a platform for vetted players and guys who may be new in town to showcase skills that may be outside their touring wheelhouse. Invited participants will come from different styles, age ranges, and expertise backgrounds. This blending of parts that make the player is intended to produce the most unique approach to interpreting the songs. The open jam to close the show is an opportunity for the players to challenge their creativity and improvisational abilities. Some of the best moments in music history, both recorded and live, have come from the perfect storm of player, instrument, song choice, and fellow players coming together to blend their soulful tension. The vibe in the room may contribute to what happens here as the transfer of energy from the audience to the players feeds an inspired musical journey. Music that truly moves is an unrehearsed occurrence.

     Mervin Louque, owner of Douglas Corner, has once again teamed up with Tom Hurst in providing the perfect venue for a Loud Jamz event. The show is scheduled for the first Monday of each month, with the exception of Labor Day. Mark your calendars for August 3 and 31, October 5, November 2, and December 7. Admission is free with a tip “drum” at the door, should you wish to applaud the house band with your contribution. This is the only compensation participants will receive as this is solely a volunteer effort.

     Tom’s goal in putting this together is to provide a fun monthly hang where some of the best players in Nashville get to show you where they came from in terms of their preferred musical expression. Most of TOM HURST PRESENTS LOUD JAMZwhat you typically see them do on a concert stage is a verbatim rendering of music that suits the artist they play for, not the musicians themselves. All of these players were inspired in their young lives by music not considered a Nashville hallmark. They may have studied different styles and found their passion in a mingling of genres. What you’ll hear interpreted from the songs of the master list will not be an old school reminiscence to indulge their past. This will be a full-on demonstration of what music can be in the hands of players with the skills to test its limits. No auto-tune, no pre-recorded tracks, no playing to sound like the record. The only thing restricting these players is how much sound the walls of Douglas Corner can take. The Return of the Loud Jamz promises to be an exhilarating evening of music that lives by one standard – if it’s too loud, you’re too old!

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Bev Miskus

Blogger of all things music related in Nashville and beyond.

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