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|Dave Petrelli '05|
June brought many arrivals to Nashville, including lots of heat, pollen, and tourists to see their favorite country artists at the annual Country Music Association Music Festival. Among the sea of pink cowboy hats, bedazzled jean jackets, and nightly packed showcases, our local alumni have managed to stand out with some remarkable accomplishments of late.
Charlie Hutto '06 is relatively new to Nashville, but he has made the most of his time here. His group Williams Riley Band appeared on a recent cover of MusicRow magazine. Currently the band has a video in regular rotation on the Great American Country channel supporting its self-titled album, which also features guest artists Edwin McCain, Bryan White, and Slash. Yes, that Slash. And as if band success weren't enough, Hutto recently signed his own publishing deal with Great Wide Open Music Group and completed production on a record for Jenn Bostic '08.
Jeff Miller '01 has released his fourth independent album, Can You Hear the Music. The disc was recorded in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Casey Driessen '00 recently appeared at the world famous Ryman Auditorium for the "Unwigged & Unplugged" concert featuring Spinal Tap's own Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer.
Eve Fleishman '05 recently celebrated the release of her first solo album, Peace or Drama, with a CD release show at the Listening Room, one of Nashville's best new live-music venues. The disc is available on CD Baby. Fleishman has also been a part of the Music Playhouse, which under the direction of Rachel Hoffman '99, just opened its first permanent nationwide studio in Nashville. The program offers music-education classes for children up to seven years old. Visit www.themusicplayhouse.com.
Songwriter Joe Doyle '87 recently had his songs recorded by artists ranging from Universal Music Group artist Mallory Hope ("Blossom in the Dust") to country superstar Tim McGraw ("Forever Seventeen"). Vincent Leffler '87 engineered and mixed a full-length CD for singer/songwriter Zack Mack of Holly Springs, MS, entitled The Night the Barn Burned Down. Leffler also played electric bass, keyboards, percussion, and sang background vocals for the disc, which will be available on iTunes in August.
Singer/songwriter Deborah Adams '89 is playing numerous gigs and hosting writers' rounds at such venues such as the Bluebird Café. Jerry Tachoir '76 and his jazz outfit the Jerry Tachoir Group, recently released an album titled Travels. It has received accolades and airplay in the United States, Canada, and Europe and is available at CD Baby and iTunes.
Bassist Luis Espaillat '94 is headed out on the road this year with artist Jimmy Wayne as part of Brad Paisley's U.S. tour. On June 30, Nashville indie label Me and the Machine Records (owned by Josh Preston '99) will release Dakota, the debut album by the band Stillhouse Hollow.
Percussionist Joe Smyth '79 and Matrix Percussion Trio has played to nearly 9,000 Greater Nashville-area students this year to date. For his "other" gig (drumming for Sawyer Brown) Smyth is beginning the fair and festival season, and the band has a new studio album due out by summer's end.
Enjoy your summer.
Dave Petrelli '05
Nashville Berklee Alumni Chapter Leader