Weekend Picks: Nashville 5/16-5/18

It’s Nashville, there’s music everywhere and it can be overwhelming. So to help guide you through the endless live music options, I’ve complied a few choice shows happening this weekend that are certainly worth checking out.

Friday May 16 

Lulu Mae Album Release Show Feat. ELEL and Oak Street Band: Exit/In 8 p.m. $5

Lulu Mae are a certainly rooted in folk, but on their newest album (released May 13) Mean River, the band kicks up the intensity considerably including elements of blues, rock, and even a little New Orleans funk. Big drums, and guitars often dominate but mesh nicely with the Joel and Sarah Finley’s versatile vocals. In addition to the new album, Lulu Mae recently won Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem battle of the bands. This band is the rise, and Mean River’s energetic tunes are sure translate well live.

Lulu Mae will be joined ELEL a Nashville Indiepop group based around shimmering synths and a sexy smooth vocals. They have a sunny west coast vibe that’s honestly a little hard to pin down, based on their latest single 40 Watt. This will be a great opportunity to preview their upcoming debut Geode! that’s due out in late June.

Oak Creek Band gets things going at 8 pm. These guys are a Denver based  roots oriented band — not in a hokey revivalist way —  but their tunes have strong elements of classic soul, country and early rock, along with some more jammy sounds. Interestinly, like Lulu Mae, lead vocals are shared by Jenna and Daniel Watters, another husband/wife combo.


SIMO, The East Side Gramblers: Mercy Lounge Door 8, Show 9 p.m. $10

I absolutely love 60′s blue/rock power trios — Cream, Jimi Hendrix Experiance, Gov’t Mule, The London Souls — I love them all, and SIMO is the absolute best you’re going to find in Nashville. Guitarist J.D. Simo, is a fantastic and has an absolute obsession for nailing the best blues/rock guitar tones from the 60′s. If you’re in the mood for serious riffs and supercharged blues/rock, this is your ticket. SIMO is joined by The East Side Gramblers, a Nashville band that plays an unabashed brand of modernized 70′s rock. Think AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead and you’ve got the idea.


Saturday May 17

Royal Family, Bootleg Glory, The Paranormals, Scot Sax: The Basement 8 p.m $5 

The two bands that caught my ear on this bill are Bootleg Glory, and The Paranormals. Bootleg Glory is from Toronto, but recorded their most recent EP in Nashville with producer Brad Stella. It’s an interesting rock/blues combo that’s sure to evoke comparisons to Jack White, The Kings of Leon and even Weezer. The Paranormals are an East Nashville group with catchy southern-rock melodies that reminded me of The Weeks.


Sunday May 18 

Dragon Music Sundays with Will Kimbrough: 4 p.m Fannie Mae Dees Park, free

This is the 7th year for the free concert series at Fannie Mae Dees “Dragon Park,” and Sunday kicks off the new summer season with Will Kimbrough. Kimbrough, a longtime Nashville musician, songwriter and producer  released Slideshow Love this year. It’s a rootsy album of heartfelt songs that deal with relationships and love from a variety of angles — hope, humor passion, pain — it’s all there. With the weather starting to warm up by Sunday, it’ll be a perfect day for some outdoor music.

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