- Article by: Alyson Holland
- Posted: 10/04/2011
The first day of October brought an assorted and lively crowd to this week’s Musicians Corner in Nashville. With acts like Deep Fried Five, Steve Moakler, Fragile, Adam James and Stephen Garrett, the city certainly listened.
Deep Fried Five, a band finely tuned to its funk roots, grooved to melodic lead vocals, punchy key arrangements and soaring hooks. Even the World Vision and Mére Bulles food truck camps, as composed and professional as they wanted to be, couldn’t help but pulse with the music.
“Mr. Nice Guy,” equipped with a synthesized key introduction, rivaled that of Mario Bros. making it agreeable in every way. It was that kind of agreeable that causes you to purse your lips together, causes your arms to bend at the elbow and legs to wobble in skillful timing.
“That soul food was right on time,” sang lead man, Eric Koslosky – and we agreed. Deep Fried Five unabashedly took us under their funky, crispy wing.
Stephen Garrett, a local singer-songwriter, came next with a fresh and authentic collection of songs. The melodies that came forth were not at all imposing. Garrett’s setlist didn’t even assume that the audience would lend an ear. But, like most appreciated acoustic sets go, Garrett’s songs were heard and absorbed by the crowd.
“Someone to Love” caused us to warmly reminisce on otherwise drab moments with, “I want a smoke-filled bar/ I need the lights down low/ I need a song playing that no one knows/ I need a stranger to come in close/ don’t tell me how it feels.” Ultimately, this singer-songwriter proved that Nashville is a beautiful platform for a song, one that names our feelings or, perhaps more telling, the lack thereof.
Fragile then pervaded the stage with a five-piece string section, two guitars, bass, a strong drum center and a gritty lead vocal fed through a guitar rig to muddy up the frequencies even further.
Despite the complete turn of sound from the previous act, Fragile were easily adopted as dancers and feelers alike bobbed around the stage, creating an atmosphere that emphasized the band’s driving choruses and affected sounds.
Even their Beatles cover, “Helter Skelter” caused the audience to reach a kind of nirvana as, “Well will you won't you want me to make you/ I'm coming down fast but don't let me break you” permeated the air. Fragile truly married contemporary effects with classic melodies, proving to be a delicate yet determined contrast.
Adam James and Shantelle Williams were next, armed and ready to showcase their favored pop/country style. The duo started with “Could Have Been Perfect,” a song that showcased their vocal blend and music style. The couple’s polished and braided voices quantified this act as easy listening to an already interested crowd.
So, what can be said of a showcase comprised of so many sounds? Could Nashville have eclectic taste? Could our weathered listeners appreciate talented acts of all kinds? Well, the answer is simple: Does Rico dance? Visit Musicians Corner Saturday, October 8 at 3 p.m. to find out.