Nashville’s music scene has begun to branch out in recent years. Country, pop artists and singer songwriters still liter the streets of Broadway, but dark dingy clubs like The End and The Basement are thriving in Nashville as it grows into the big city it always wanted to be. Last night Nashville band, Innocent Flannel and company proved songwriters can develop a sound separate from the typical Nashville Hoo-Ha and break through to the young crowd that seems to be growing.

Nashville venue The End makes visitors believe the world has become the post-apocalyptic world we fear, yet its walls seem to be held up by the music that is played inside.  The wooden double doors have window panes that stretch 5×3 and leave room for players and drunks to kick open the door in order to escape.  The doorman stamped my hand while looking at his list resting on a wooden table with two legs.  The sign read Innocent Flannel with the ‘c’ tilting sideways.  The cool brick wall is illuminated by backlights and covered in neon colored writing to the far side.  The other wall is a dark black.

Mallory Graham took to the stage with her invisible friends, priming the audience with a hello to warm us up.  A handful of people lined the right side of the pit waiting for the band to start.  The first lick reminded me I was in Nashville, but with the first hits of the drum my body moving.  Mallory stomped her feet with passion while the guitar player swayed his hip to the melody.  The mix of country and indie sounds kept my attention and my feet grooving.  A duet caught my ear as the lead guitar player had a rich country like voice to pair with Mallory’s warm Alto voice.  The arrangements of each piece kept my ear awake, not knowing exactly what was coming next.  It was a great start for the rest of the night.

I struck a conversation up with the Black Cadillac’s guitar player as he sat outside waiting for the show to start.  He was lamenting about another band whose name Cadillac Black was interfering with his vision of success.  Once they got on stage I was immediately dancing to every tune they played.  The raw energy and pure rock livened my soul.  A five-piece band from Knoxville, whose sound reminded me of Silvertide, rocked every moment they played.  The lead singer, Will, did not move but followed the rhythm of the tambourine as each danced to the music.  The raw rock they played while moving together as a band impressed me considering they had to drive back to Knoxville in order for the drummer to attend class at 8am.  Hope you made it Adam!

Innocent Flannel takes the stage last and the club has filled up a bit know.  Kyle Dunn, lead singer/guitar payer, begins with hitting his guitar and beginning to play.  The red velvet curtains behind the band come alive and the place begins to move.  “Bottleneck Breakdown” was the first song and my favorite on their EP releases.  It describes a crowd who has no reaction from people action.  The frustrated singer belts his lyrics looking for a reaction from a Nashville crowd overwhelmed by music and art.  The two guitars settle nicely with each other and compliment the melodic lines of the chorus saying, “In the barrooms downtown, there’s a lot of transactions but no reaction”.  The Wilco like sound was heard but with a rocking tone heard in The Clash looking for people to wake up and listen.   You can catch The Black Cadillacs again in Nashville with Innocent Flannel on September 11, 2011 @ The Exit/In.

Mallory Graham & Her Invisible Friends:

The Black Caddilacs:

Innocent Flannel: