Tucked inside midtown’s Hutton Hotel is one of Nashville’s newer live music venues that, I’m happy to report, has incredibly good sound. Analog at the Hutton is, if a room could be so described, sexy. Dark, intimate, and with clear-as-a-bell sound, this venue is one you should check out. We were able to catch a writer’s round there last night comprised of Ruthie Collins, Natalie Stovall, Femke Weidema, and Nikita Karmen. My second all-female round this week, last night showed the power of collaboration, friendship, and support within these small writing families.
While these artists often toe the line between country and pop, their varied influences run deep, sometimes reminding the ears of Oasis and Lisa Loeb alongside many country legends. In particular, Femke’s “Learn Your Language” and “When You Know You Know” and Nikita’s “Next to Me” registered those wonderfully reminiscent 90s vibes. Both artists bring non-native perspectives to their work. Femke hails from the Netherlands and Nikita from Australia. Especially strong in Femke’s songs is a theme of isolation and foreignness as identity in the larger industry.
Natalie Stovall’s work may hew closer to tradition, but her voice is all power. Her “Brooklyn” was a powerful meditation on reaching out for life and help. After an event in New York City with the Coast Guard, a young serviceman told Stovall that they are often the first responders when someone considers suicide by leaping from the Brooklyn Bridge. And, with a staggering accuracy, they can often tell who will jump based on whether they’re facing the lights of the city or away from them.
Ruthie Collins’ focus has been on writing in the moment, which almost registers as a reaction against our Insta-culture. Being present, documenting with words, and recalling in exacting details the textures and colors of a moment, Collins’ “24 Hours in Brooklyn” and “Dang, Dallas” explored what moments actually mean in our lives.
The most memorable songs came out of a collaboration between Collins and The Voice alumnus Natalie Stovall that they call Honeysuckle Rose. While “Sugar Mama” focused on a woman spending her hard-earned money on wooing and entertaining a man and “Fun and Games”… well, as the lyrics said, “It’s all fun and games ’till somebody gets knocked up.”
Tin Pan South continues Saturday at venues across town. Check in with their website for more information on times, locations, and artists!