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Kim Sherman and Cotten Music

Posted: March 20th, 2011 | Filed under: collector, feature, good friend, home, musician, photographer, retail, singer | 41 Comments »

Kim Sherman and I go all the way back to about 1983 or so. I was a punk kid, with a studio down on Second Avenue North, (current home of Mulligan’s Irish Bar). I lived downstairs, and had a studio upstairs on the second floor. I shot about three album covers a week at that time; the music business was on fire at that time. Kim was doing a record with Phil Johnson for The Benson Company. Fifteen years go by, and we met again through a mutual friend — this time, through photography. (She’s another in this line of strong Renaissance women — she collects art; she cooks; she does photography; she writes songs; she collects bicycles; she co-owns a high-end guitar store. I think I’m going to rename this blog

It turns out, Kim and I both grew up in Kentucky, about two hours apart. Her father farms about 1900 acres in western Kentucky — mostly corn, soybeans and wheat. She has three sisters, and loves her very tightly-knit family. In 1996, Kim joined ranks with Darcy Cotten to run Cotten Music in Hillsboro Village. She’s now writing songs again, and collaborating with friends. A few years ago, she purchased a gorgeous Manuel Zeitlin-designed loft on Belmont, and helped design the interior, even down to importing some of the wood flooring for her sleeping loft, from her father’s barn in Kentucky.

She’s as fine and honest a person as you’ll ever come across. Pure as the day is long; kind-hearted and genuine. Wander into Cotten Music in the village, look down at that tile floor, and feel the history.

Mike Grimes: Grimeys New and Pre-loved Records

Posted: March 8th, 2011 | Filed under: collector, feature, mini-feature, retail, storefront | 1 Comment »

Everything comes full circle. Jon and I stood there in Grimeys Records the other day, on Eighth Avenue South, and he gently pulled out an LP from the liner, and said, “You know, there’s just something about holding a large record like this. Holding it in your hands, and reading the lyrics off the liner, and having a large 12″ piece of art to look at; it’s just so different from downloading a record off of iTunes”.

I’m 52 years old. Of course I knew what he was talking about. I can remember vividly one of the first records I ever bought — it was a Carly Simon record, from Taylor Drug Store, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Not sure the year — probably about 1972. I loved Carly Simon at that time, but the main reason I bought that particular record was because of the nipples sticking thru her blue T-shirt. Let’s not forget — I was probably 14 years old at the time, and in 1972-repressed-Southern-Baptist-Kentucky, that album cover was pretty scandalous. (I can imagine that panicked scene today, in some record company conference room, when the film was delivered — that look of panic on the publicist’s eyes, saying “We can never send out these pictures; we’ll have to Photoshop them out!”) I guess I justified buying it to my mother because it had “You’re So Vain” on it, which was a huge hit at the time.

Fast forward to about 1976 or so. I was a redneck goofball, about to graduate high school. I made this deal with the local record store (and Head Shop), to drive to Nashville and pick up a stack of concert tickets for every show at Municipal Auditorium. I think the name of the shop was Headquarters. Hint, hint. And yes, those bongs under the counter were meant for tobacco. Right. I’d ride my father’s Harley from Bowling Green to Nashville, pick up a stack of concert tickets, turn around and ride right back to Bowling Green. For this service, I was paid two concert tickets. I loved it. I felt important.

So Mike Grimes is preserving this period of time. I can’t imagine that vinyl has a chance to compete with iTunes on any large scale, but maybe there is enough market share there to at least stay profitable. I completely understand the tactile quality of a 12″ record, that Jon mentioned. There’s nothing like it — even the pops and cracks and skips. I can still remember when Physical Graffiti came out, and the record was die-cut, and the title of the record showed through the window frames of that building.

I heard the other day that there’s now a guy trying to bring back the eight-track tape as well. Vintage is nice, but some things just ought to die, for good.

Edit/Update: I received this note from Mike after posting. He wanted to add this to the message of the video:

If you don’t mind, perhaps place this at the end of your piece:

‘Grimey sometimes gets nervous being interviewed on camera, when viewing please
replace the term Contemporary Country Music for Traditional Country music, he loves
Hank, Ernest and Buck, not as crazy about Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, you get it.’

Would really appreciate it.

Nichole Hanna: Bellydancer, Mother

Posted: February 21st, 2011 | Filed under: bellydancer, collector, home | 6 Comments »

I met Nichole Hanna very recently at a Yoga Carnival at Steadfast and True. She was set up in the corner, doing henna treatments on anyone in the crowd. She had on a beautiful metal headdress that night. So we called her about a week later, to see if we could shoot more images. She and her husband Brandon, (who runs Lone Wolf Tattoo), bought a foreclosure home in East Nashville and brought it back to life. They met on the Renaissance Festival tour. Now, with the addition of their son Aidan, they’ve settled into a nice family life.

Nichole in the dining room of her home; background image of detail from her costume.

Nichole in her back yard, in front of the bamboo wall.

Her son Aidan in the driveway, sneaking a kiss.

Details from her collection, from international travel.

Chastity Belt and other jewelry.

Henna treatment.

Her husband Brandon, with son Aidan, in their driveway.

Allison Marusic: Vintage Home

Posted: February 16th, 2011 | Filed under: collector, home | 2 Comments »

I met Allison Marusic last summer. Somehow I heard about her Red Barn Roundup, and it sounded exciting. At that time, I lived in a condo in East Nashville. I think RBR started as a pot-luck for a bunch of East Nashville friends, and they added live music in the covered carport behind Allison’s home. But it’s not until you enter her home that you really get the full effect — every room is like a vintage museum, detailed with wonderful furniture, artwork, personal photographs, and globes. (I didn’t count how many world globes, but a lot). Plus, to boot, Allison is as sweet as they come — always welcoming, with a smile, and just a kind genuine person.

Once upon a time, I was married, long long ago, and our home was decorated (by Gina) in a very similar style as Allison’s, so maybe that’s why I feel so at home there. (I told Allison the other day about a story of our old home, where the kitchen cabinet doors were removed, to highlight the FiestaWare collection, and I was given one tiny, skinny cabinet for my real-world coffee cups). It was kind of a funny story. Kind of.

I’m not sure about the plans for the next Red Barn Roundup; I think it might even be June of 2011 before she cranks it up again.