Written by Eddie Ferranti
ImageAfter seeing Ana Popovic tear down the City Winery in Nashville (7/1), followed by Tim Carroll’s band featuring Reeves Gabriels smoke it up at the 5 Spot (7/3), Rose and I ventured to 3rd and Lindsley on the 4th of July for something called Red, Whitey & Blues. Little did we know that we’d be blown off our seats by three very talented and experienced aces of the blues in the persons of Lee Roy Parnell, Gary Nicholson and Jack Pearson !
The format was loose and basically had each gent do his individual thing and then  be joined by special guests, who were mainly interchangeble bad ass parts of the mentioned trio. Plus there was an added treat that the music of BB King was being honored throughout the gig.

Two of the three hailed from Texas. Nicholson goes by an alias of Whitey Johnson (or vice versa!) and lives in Tennessee touring worldwide. He had a killer sense of humor and played a mean blues guitar. He stated “I’m hungry for some fried chicken and Memphis women. And when I say I dig legs, thighs and breasts I’m talkin’ chicken!”  Classic dude.
His songs have been recorded by a who’s who list of greats including BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Keb Mo, Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton to just name a few!  The guy looked as slick as a mafia Don and rifled out the blues effortlessly.

ImageLee Roy Parnell is part of a long line of Texas roots-music afficiados and is a three prong performer deluxe. The man can mash on the electric blues rock guitar, has a good set of pipes and is an accomplished songwriter ta boot. I’ve always known of his name, but when I actually witnessed his hard to pigeon hole style and delivery, I was taken a back and then some. His inluences ooze of soul, Delta type blues, straight up rock and in your face Southern down deep boogie! Talk about good “guitar face”! He was a photographer’s dream. Parnell was pimping a new CD and did “This Could Take Forever”, plus “Too Far Gone” and “Heart’s Desire” to just name a few. LRP has enjoyed a long run of success on the country and blues charts and shows no sign of slowing down.

Jack Pearson came recommended by Nashville musician bud, Brian Ashley Jones, who told me the storied history of his appearing in the Allman Brothers Band in the period after Betts left and Haynes came in.  The guy is a stud guitarist extreme and wears many hats in the N-Ville music scene, which includes producing, session work and holding guitar clinics.
ImageAfter seeing him do “Blue Sky”, I was on board with all the accolades this gentleman has had  thrown upon him from the likes of Gregg Allman himself who said he was one of thee best guitarist he’s ever been around. He performed with a 3-piece for his set and it was masterful.
As BAJ pointed out to me:  “He’s so damn smooth and easy going that you just don’t appreciate how complex his playing really is!”  Amen to that son.  He’ s stated that : “I’ve always felt like the Lord must have made me to play music.” It is obvious that he didn’t take that gift for granted.

This was an incredible evening of music that is really hard to “review” per say.  Egos were left at the door and the jamming by the three musicians was impeccable to say the least.  Toss in tight drum work , bass, side guitar and the talented backing voice of Etta Britt, who hopped in and out all night on stage and this 3+ hour show – for $10 cover- was a masterful delight. The low down elongated rockin’ blues rendition of King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” was a mind bending send off that we’ll never forget. It left us shaking our heads and giving the Nashville music scene a well deserved thumbs up at a very cool venue. Acoustics were very good and the set up sweet with a balcony and many comfortable vantage points from the bar to all around the big stage.

GOT this place, and town, on our come back sooner rather than later list for sure…………..God Bless the BLUES!   Eddie