Nashville Notes

  David Petrelli '05

In Middle Tennessee, the near-constant buzz of cicadas is ever present in the air at this time of year. As well, many of Berklee's Nashville alumni are creating buzz of their own in Music City. A number of us gathered at the home of alumnus Gabriel Hizer '71 for a potluck networking and jam session, where we reconnected and learned what everyone has been up to.

Keyboardist James Farrell '06 is playing with Vanguard Records artist Matt Nathanson. They appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 22, and will open for Maroon 5 and Train in August and September. Eve Fleishman '05 and Joseph S. Smith '05 are touring to promote Fleishman's project Peace or Drama, a Journey through Music and Art. Also appearing on the album are Sarah Johnson '05, Nomad Ovunc '04, and Charlie Worsham '06.

The Lunabelles, an all-female band featuring multi-instrumentalist Alexandra Kline '08, has signed with BNA Records (Sony Music Nashville) and released the single "A Place to Shine." Steffon Hamulak '92 produced a track featuring vocalist Richie McDonald (formerly of Lonestar) for the project Gold Star Wives of America.

Hillbilly Culture, a publishing company founded by Amanda Williams '99 and her father, top songwriter Kim Williams, hosted a four-day songwriter retreat in June. Emma White '10 played at New York's famous venue the Living Room on July 21. Matt Mangano '00 has been producing artists for Zac Brown's Southern Ground record label. Mangano coproduced, engineered, and played on records for Clay Cook '98, Sonia Leigh, Nic Cowan, and Levi Lowrey.

Singer/songwriter Jesse Terry '10 performed for the U.S. and NATO troops in Greenland from June 29 through July 8. John Mattick '80 cowrote and produced all 14 songs on Chris Carpenter's new CD Next Right Thing. Sarah Brown '09 released a self-titled EP in May, and the single "Let it Go" was named song of the month by Songwriter Universe magazine. Guitarist Chris Loocke '08 is playing on the tour with former American Idol contestants Josh Gracin, Kristy Lee Cook, and Love and Theft. Guitarist Gus Berry '10 toured with Liz Longley '10 throughout July and served as an assistant engineer on the new record by Charlie Worsham. This summer, Worsham will open for Taylor Swift. Singer/songwriter Jenn Bostic '08 released her album Jealous of the Angels to iTunes and in June. Charlie Hutto '06 cowrote and produced song "Missin' a Man" with Bostic for the album. Visit to see the video of the title song.

Josh Preston '99 and his label Me and the Machine Records will release Adam Burrows's new album Tall Tales on July 26. With help from a Berklee Alumni Grant, Joe Smyth '79 and his percussion trio performed for 5,600 underserved Metro Nashville students at 14 schools this spring. Vocalist, pianist, and songwriter Kira Small '93 has been touring the country with her husband, bassist Bryan Beller '92. The bluegrass band Nu-Blu recorded Small's "Other Woman's Blues" for its album The Blu-Disc. Veronica Petrucci '90 has signed an agreement with Lataillade Entertainment and Central South Distribution for her label Latin Soul Entertainment. She will release the CD Made It Out Alive and her first book, How I Made It Out Alive, this year. Ashleigh Caudill '07 took second place in the bluegrass category of the MerleFest 2011 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition with her song "Row By Row."

Finally, yours truly, David Petrelli '05, signed with Shadow Mountain Publishing LLC and released the EP The Petrelli Project. It's available at and will be released on iTunes and in August.

That's all until next time.

David Petrelli '05
Nashville Berklee Alumni Chapter Leader