HomeWorld NewsNashville’s music beyond country, Americana showcased at new Brooklyn Bowl showcase event – Tennessean
Nashville’s music beyond country, Americana showcased at new Brooklyn Bowl showcase event – Tennessean
August 23, 2023
In the second year of operations for the Nashville-based outpost of the 1000-capacity national entertainment venue chain Brooklyn Bowl, a desire has emerged for a unique corporate but national-to-hyper-local synergy to exist where, alongside a series of dance party nights honoring the 600 million albums that artists like ABBA and Drake have sold worldwide, Aug. 24 finds the multi-genre “Don’t Hassle Me, I’m Local” showcase occurring at 7 p.m. CT.
The event is headlined by rising, Nashville-based acts the Stoop Kids, Of The Dell, BCKHND and Baylee Lindsey.
Aug. 3’s event edition featured Crumbsnatchers, Crystal Rose, Hans Condor and Seth Martin.
For Brooklyn Bowl Nashville’s formerly Athens, Georgia-based operations manager and assistant talent buyer Rick Poss, the night taking its name from a t-shirt Bill Murray wears while on vacation in the now cult classic film “What About Bob” serves two purposes:
“I listen to so much local music in diverse genres from young bands and can’t add them to support our existing set of touring artists playing [Brooklyn Bowl Nashville]. So, when we have slow patches because of festivals, we can showcase great local music even if we lose a little money at the bar and door.”
“Nashville crowds don’t care if you play the hits and are willing to take chances on stuff. They care equally — or more — about the quality of the artists playing the music,” Poss continues.
“As the person responsible for opening and reading those emails and checking out social media, I know the local community must realize that we, as Brooklyn Bowl Nashville, are paying attention and care about the community we service.”
A paid, streamed and video-recorded gig with drink and meal tickets at a nationally respected venue is notable anywhere. However, Nashville’s recent flirtation with a revival of national and global acclaim for country and Americana music makes finding stage time at venues of all sizes — from small DIY independent venues like DRKMTTR to 3rd and Lindsley and The Basement to EXIT/IN, Basement East, and significantly larger stages like The Ryman Auditorium especially difficult.
Thus, moments like “Don’t Hassle Me, I’m Local” uniquely service a peculiar scenario in Nashville’s music marketplace:
Offering a once-monthly opportunity for four bands who can potentially pack out a 250-capacity venue to play a 1000-person space isn’t ideal. Still, it serves a need for the vertical growth of non-country or Americana-driven community development, plus creating achievable destination-point gigs for local bands.
For roughly decade-long Nashville resident Baylee Lindsey, her work as a Belmont University-educated “honky-tonk pop” artist veers into country, but instead of nights at Live Oak bar’s songwriting rounds, she currently works on the bar staff at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville, where she’s playing on Aug. 24.
Ask Lindsey where she’d typically consider playing these days and her thoughts immediately turn to Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge, a small yet influential watering hole with a concert stage a half-hour drive north of Music Row.
“For so many up-and-coming artists in town, It’s a delusional idea to play [Brooklyn Bowl Nashville]. Though I make country-ish music, when you’re struggling to make it, you find so many artists — regardless of genre — to whom you relate,” Lindsey says about where nights like “Don’t Hassle Me, I’m Local” lead next.
“Nashville’s a scene that is getting big on the mainstream country and Americana level. But, for other styles of music, a family-driven community of sorts is developing.”
Indie rock act BCKHND’s Conner Hastings (who also works part-time at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville) is a Nashville native who is cautiously optimistic about what lies ahead for Nashville’s local scene amid unique partnerships with venues and opportunities much larger than the scenes they’re attempting to play a hand in co-curating with the artists themselves.
He cites a decade-long rise and fall of local excitement for local music — in relationship to Nashville’s world-renowned reputation — as an “incredible” opportunity. However, he’s nervous about whether artists making a hodge-podge of sounds, including bluegrass, folk, hip-hop, indie rock, jazz and more, can rise to the “intimidating” call of a moment to bridge such a significant, unparalleled gap.
“We’re passionate songwriters making it happen beneath the city’s surface. Though it’s a little off the beaten path if you search it out and find us, it’s worth it,” Hastings thoughtfully adds.
Ultimately, Music City’s future as an unexpected yet rising hub of popular culture and pop music will not just be defined by Lower Broadway or Music Row. Instead, because of unprecedented socioeconomic, industrial and music industry conditions, spaces like Brooklyn Bowl Nashville have been unexpectedly thrust into a scene-and-taste-making role.
It’s one from which Poss — as a veteran of similar moments in Brooklyn, New York and Athens, Georgia — does not shy himself.
“Nashville’s in a place where so much good music has the potential of developing here. The diversity of locations that people are moving here from, mixed with the way people access music now, has allowed Nashville to have the potential to play a much more significant role in the musical landscape than just a hub for country and Americana.”