Tag Archive: Tennessee


Now, just to reaffirm to you, I only qualify as a Country music critic by dint of my living in good ole Nashville, Tennessee for twelve years through the 2000s until 2012 and because I covered three CRS conventions for Michelle Jasko’s, Nashville Radio Syndication which required me to hang out with copious Country music artists front as well as back stage and reacquaint myself with similar Music Industry types who I knew from my Top 40 radio DJ days, circa, 1979, et al, thereby gleaning that “Country Music peeps are just like everybody else in “the biz” – often quite nicer to interact with. Our country, America the Beautiful, needs more of that kind of cross-cultural interaction!
I preface this thusly because of the incredible man and protector of our American way of life this recording artist, Pete Scobell, is!! How does a Navy Seal become a Country music performer? Well, one reason is because it was always in his nature! Music is not just a hobby nor something else he wants to try to conquer.
Even though the folks who wanted me to review Pete advanced the first single, “Walkin’ A Wire”, which is a catchy song, I quickly passed on that to dig into the whole CD album which they also sent. My ears quickly latched upon cut two, “Guns & Roses”. This is a hit music song with many attributes around relatable lyrics in the “now” plus an equivalence to another world-famous band. In fact, my missing Inna from Ukraine, just LOVES Guns & Roses and Axl Rose. Maybe they ran off together – Pete has a song for that.

In this great album are many songs with relatable and vivid lyrics borne of struggles all of us have experienced. Take, for example, the very tame “WILD”, which is about when your best friend is buried in the ground before your eyes. On the other hand, a few tunes sound like just another country song like “The Fight”. My other favorites are the Country-funky “Dive Bar” (“…where they still play Hank and crank that ole Country with a steel guitar…”) and the very relatable, introspective “Disappear” which caused me to become sad the first time I listened to it when I heard him sing “seems like everything I love slips through my hands….” I took some weeks away – maybe it was the juxtaposition of my personal struggles and Martha sending me this music? So I eventually dove back into the album and found a kind of musical salvation. “Feels Like You Know Me” rocks out with great drum work and a stand-out hook, “…Jesus on Sunday!” For those of us who question whether our prayers are ever heard, let alone answered there is “There’s Gotta Be A God” ~ Amen. I cried real tears at the end of the first time I listened to it. You will want to hear it and again I emphasize the relatable lyrics on this incredible album!
The next-to-last track, “Hearts I Leave Behind”, first struck me due to the military-style drum marching band ending-to-fade which caused me to revisit the song, re-read the liner notes and learn that this was originally a song he recorded with Wynonna Judd! “I Live in the hearts of those I leave behind” is strong stuff with the classic Country American instrumentation. As a drummer, I love the rolling drums to fade!! It is my second-place favorite!
“What ever happened to just seeing what happens” got me off my lazy bed to write more about this music!
Last, but surely not least is “Friends With Money” with a very different, conversational on-location intro. Again, more very clever lyrics that denote how Pete is helping us process our lives today. “I got God and I got church/I got a gun if that don’t work…” lol Love it.
Thanks to a team of songwriters and Pete’s personality, we get to listen to a production of today’s life and frustrations which just might, with appropriate airplay, help cure many of the negative afflictions we hear about here in today – the future which is now.
Hey I am about a rare thing here! Five Gold Guitars!!! I never DO this. I felt this whole album. Maybe it was the South Carolina trip, lol !!

Here is the ACOUSTIC version of “Guns & Roses” for your mind…

Pickhitt: Major Props to Ms. Martha Moore for staying on me to listen and review this album.

**SureShott: check out a more generic version of this review at my new, music-only review site,
https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/ where I am still working-out some of the kinks. Please add your comments to the community!

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Nashville, Tennessee
A beautiful, free-spirited twenty-four-year-old budding Country music star is by another name, Montana’s “big sky” farm girl- deluxe, Kayla Adams!
This is the latest spin on the “Get drunk and act the fool with your boys if you want to, but when you return to reality, your stuff will be packed-up and out on the street” theme – “Even your records and your ole guitar!”

“Sober & Sorry”, Kayla’s catchy debut single [SSM Entertainment] for one thing, is a hybrid of classic Country music ( I call it a funky “square dance”) rhythm of “one-two…three-four…one-two-three…three-three-four and the rockin’ country trend which emerged circa 2007 and was co-penned by her along with Pete Nanney and Billy Atherholt.

Born of a past personal relationship experience, Kayla employs what Authors often do when life hurts, “writer therapy”.
Don’t let “a shot o’ Jack” make you do something stupid that you will be sorry for when the drunk (alcohol) wears off! This could be the first of a stream of hits by this fine, young blond and blue-eyed starlet.
Kayla is an aspiring navigator of the winding-musical artist road and is straight-with-no-chaser on this one!

Her cover art shot for the single!

Her cover art shot for the single!

Her first album is in the works for late Summer/early autumn 2014 release. Kayla identifies LeAnn Rimes as one of her musical role-models and you can hear it!
Check-out her website, http://kaylaadamsmusic.com/

Mean relationship revenge aside (don’t try this at home girls), I can happily bless “Sober & Sorry” with four out of a possible five Country guitars, with a bullet!
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At the time of me penning this review, the music world lost a veteran of rhythm and blues, Bobby Womack, one of my all-time favorites who had recently appeared at Bonnaroo in Tennessee. He, like Kayla, was a musical free spirit; maybe an indicator of God’s heavenly balance – as one leaves another arrives.

If I was still a DJ on the radio, I would back-announce it by saying, in my deepest, sexy man-voice, “Oooh, Yeaah!… Don’t mess with Kayla…” lol

Please add your comments. Thank you.

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The latest volley to flash across my musical bow comes from Blossom, Texas-born Jeremy Pheifer, who, with that non-Country music-sounding name, brings us “Take the L Out Of Lover”. Not only is his name non-traditional Country, but so is his look. To me, he appears to be enforcing the guitar into the song, rather than playing it. Hunched-over his axe on the dropbox video (which I can only link here as wordpress does not support a viewable upload apparently), I can see why he used to be a bouncer and American football defensive/wide receiver! Sports and music are this hunk’s two major personal passions and his touch on guitar is surprisingly tender at times. https://www.dropbox.com/s/am9toib48bsqcd8/TakeTheLOuttaLoverc.mov

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Physical presence notwithstanding, the hook lyric, “If you take the ‘L’ out of lover and its over…” is clever and true. I can think of a couple similes like, “take the ‘M’ out of mother and its “other”, or “take the “N” out of never and its ever…” But I guess I digress as only a wordsmith would. None in love want to remove the “L”! Indeed, it might be over. Can you relate? Tell your story in our comments section, ok?

This latest single is the culmination of Jeremy’s life hurdles and struggles which include losing his baby sister as a child and special educational challenges with reading. Music runs in his blood as his dad, Jerry is a legend in the state of Texas, who has is own studio and is the backbone of his band on pedal steel.
Jeremy Phifer and the Texas Bad Water Band, with a sound he describes as “Lynyrd Skynyrd on cornbread meets Alabama”, has toured all over the Texas/Oklahoma casino circuit and from Paris to Dallas in The Lone Star State itself. Apparently however, it was not until they “put together a team of pros from the New York/Los Angeles music city of the south, Nashville, that the lyrical aspirations began to move forward for this young entertainer.

I give “Take the L out Of Lover” three (3) bold Pajama Bar stars *** out of a possible five, mainly for the creativity of the title and conceptual play on words. What do I know, it’ll probably be a smash!

If I were him, I would just use “Jeremy” as my stage name and polish-up my act not to look so ordinarily “just off of the truck”. Yet again, having spent many-a-day in Nashville, I understand that J.P. surely sounds different when said by a southerner, and his father and nine-year-old son who is pickin’-up in his footsteps would give him grief if he did that, lol. As Jeremy put it after a recent gig where all three shared the Elks Loge stage in Paris, Texas, “To have three generations of Phifers playing together is a memory I’ll cherish forever”. Just remember, if you take the ‘for’ out of forever it is “ever”.

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I have been through the financial “mill” at the time of this post, having to make sure that my retro move at the age of sixty [60] is truly temporary and be able to repay the lady I want to marry for her help in 2010, while a fifteen-year younger, sick-in-the-head sibling seems hell-bent upon having me be stuck there, ensuring the failure of the remnants of our “family” while I try to help my octogenarian Mum, my fiancee` overseas and her elderly Mum! OMG! Heaven help me now, or end this madness!

I always push to leave every situation that I encounter better than when I found it. it is my “motto”.
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Therefore, I now offer for better or worse, the lessons that I have learned via sixty years on this rock, with the prayer that, if nothing else, they will entertain you to maintain your cool – which in these days and times without my soul-mate in the same postal code , is so very hard to do.
“Observe!”

1. Patience is a virtue because it is so difficult to consistently sustain. However, the payoff is worth it because most often, when we get what we are waiting for, it comes like a torrential rain following a drought.
2. There comes a point when I have to push the envelope to get the results I need.
3. I never liked banks and adulthood validates this thus far; they are greedy and try to get something for nothing every chance they get.
4. Driver’s licenses are much too easy to obtain (skill wise and especially with all of the distractions in the cockpit installed by automakers these days)
5. When given the chance these days, most people will cheat the laws or be lazy.
6. When It rains, most lose the ability to drive their vehicles safely.
7. To take my time; allow enough time so I do not have to rush to work or an appointment – or for love to happen.
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8. Watching TV is a waste of time
9. Not to watch the “news” so as not to have high blood pressure regarding the drama of the world that I cannot control.
10. Not to watch this era’s rich millionaire athletes in shorts run up and down basketball courts while I am struggling to make ends meet! (none of them would lend me a helping hand, anyway) I do not “identify” with their values (or lack thereof).
11. To be concerned, but not to worry.
12. That there are some people that I will never reach – even those technically “related” to me – never, just move on, because “family” will disappoint more than any stranger because I have (false) high expectations thinking that they “know” me…
13. Man is his own worst enemy (our brain).
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14. Technology ended common sense (the sixth one)
15. To listen to the hopeful, quieter voice in my head more than the louder, frustrated voice on the other shoulder.
16. To take my time, do not always be in a rush because you will usually get there at the same time anyway
17. The degree that I value more than my high school or college diploma is the one I earned at the “Cool School” whose classes were held on the mean streets of New York City, circa 1960 – 1989.
18. “Don’t believe the HYPE!” (still applies, y’all)
19. No matter when I want something, if I just put things in-place to happen, they will evolve to fruition when they are supposed to…unless my traitorous, fifteen-year younger lesbian sibling gets wind of it, to block it, for some unbeknownst reason that it will never reveal (demonic spirit we surmise…).
20. To embrace the positives that people bestow upon me and try to earn money with them for Nina and me! cafe 2013
20-A. That being back in New York City briefly, has reinforced that it is not the “great” city that it was prior to “9/11’ but now an Orwellian police state, still running scared and recently managed by a Nanny Mayor who greedily over-regulated the adults who inhabit it.
21. I really believe “everything in its own time” is true.
22. That life is like cycling the hills of Nashville: we work hard, pumping-up the steep hills in order to enjoy the pay-off which is the coast down super-fast on the other side of it.
23. It is true that many dogs resemble their owners! (Not you and Sonya, Inna, lol)
24. To pick my “spots” in life like a basketball player (I once was pretty good at it); there are times to be aggressive; times to give the “head-fake”; times to show patience…
25. That there are more idiots and morons in the world than ever in our “Ossie & Harriot” youthful days! Not that I am perfect, mind you, but come ON guys, enough dumbing-down of America (and stop letting every other country’s criminals come over here just because you want more people to pay taxes!)

25A. I am not an “African-American”. I am a Black American (with a little native-American Cherokee mixed-in), the proud descendant of the slaves who were brought here from Afrika, against their will. I’ve never been to Africa, nor do I have the desire to go there (allergies), unless Nina can convince me it is a romantic trip to take, and even then we will have to meditate upon it, lol! “African Americans” are those imports since the 1980s who “look” like us, but who have much more disdain for the Brothas from the USA, and more money to spend with the traditional American establishment!
26. Things DO happen in “threes”. For-example, get one “cut” on your hand or other body part, two more are sure to follow very soon! Or, famous deaths – they always happen in “threes” (three in-a-row)!

I hope that you have comments on a similar vibe in your own cosmic existence which you can espouse here…

Incongruous, obtuse, annoying, insulting, reneging, baffling, rude, phony, sanctimonious, unemploying for a “Yankee”, nice and folksy are some of the words that come to mind about my eleven years in Nashville (or as one of my college buddies described it back in 2008, “Hootyville”, in a partial-reference to the old TV sitcom, “Petticoat Junction”), Tennessee. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all negative, in fact I hurdled many obstacles, wrote and published two books among them, which satisfied a long-held goal of mine. But I never “medaled” there.

It was the first time that I heard people really talk like the characters on one of the main TV shows that I grew up watching, “The Beverly Hillbillies”!

Until then, I guess nobody ever suggested that this was even close to a real way of life for a segment of the USA population to me. Even the Black people still act subservient, slavery-like to the whites there in talk, word and deeds! For example, if your name is William Jones, they say stuff like, “Hello, Mista William” instead of “Hello, Mr. Jones…” I never liked that.
I learned there some things I wanted to, some things I didn’t want to about human beings and life.
On the positive tip, I found out that I like hot, Slavic chicks and how cool it would be to merge cultures with one like Lenny Kravitz’ parents did in producing him! I Gardened, landscaped, removed trees on the property that I rented and even had a consistent handyman client who brought out the hammer and “DYI” in me; got darker-skinned under the Tennessee sun on the tennis courts (though hard to find a consistent partner) and cycling the rolling hills on my ole ten-speed! Endured toil, strife and was dragged into court room drama due to NO fault of my own and yet enjoyed many peaceful evenings on my front stoop at the end of my street without neighbors who could spy me – even if I came outside buck-naked. Here now is my “Olympic” top eleven:

11 – That a radio General Manager of the radio station that recruited me to Nashville in the first place can suddenly and without any provocation on my part, fire you at gun-point, in front of witnesses during a bogus staff meeting and that upon filing an assault complaint, local, Nashville lawyers will be reluctant to defend you because, “Hey, he didn’t shoot you, so what are you complaining about??” [For more, please read my Memoir book]

10 – That because of number eleven, I’d become well-versed in drawn-out courtroom proceedings in the southern United States – and probably elsewhere in the country too. [Again, see my Memoir book for more] Even have considered becoming an “Advocate” overseas!

9 – The fulfillment of being a Volunteer English Tutor. Even though I did it as “therapy” for numbers eleven and ten, it vicariously reawakened the “English Major and Teacher” that I originally went to the University to become back in the 1970s! It also lead to and dove-tails with the fulfillment of being a Community Volunteer radio Dee Jay on Vanderbilt University’s former over-the-air college radio station which reawakened the kid who was supposed to become an English teacher, but who became sidetracked by the lure of music, money and show business fame on the airwaves.

8 – That I could successfully manage a two-bedroom house on ¾ acre of land by myself. It was like living in a park [I also mention this in a chapter in my Memoir book]. From clearing brush to mowing for hours at-a-time, to seeing snakes initially while I was hacking away at overgrown vines and tree limbs and jumping back in horror! lol I did it all and got the compliments from those who had lived and worked in the neighborhood, because now they could finally see the nice little cottage. Thanks also to the two property management companies who helped me, especially ERA Woodmont, the original guys who put a new, stable roof on the house, circa 2003 and always came to fix stuff for me, the “low-maintenance” tenant. Prior to moving there and being from New York City where my parents bought the house I grew-up in, I didn’t know one could rent a house! By the time I put Hootyville in the rear-view mirror of my moving Budget rent-a-truck, I wished I had known about renting with the option to buy going in!! [See previous posts on this blog for more on that about-face by the landlord].

7 – How to endure obtuse incongruence, defacto racism, people telling me what they thought I wanted to hear instead of what would move the envelope forward progressively in the midst of some genuinely good, folksy people and government workers who actually provided a safety net for me not to totally fall though the cracks into the abyss of poverty or worse because, in large part, of my ability to articulate verbally and communicate in-writing.

6 – My way around a personal computer. One of the best purchases I ever made was back in 2002 when I had a serious monetary windfall come my way and purchased my old Dell 4400 Dimensions desktop computer and workstation (both which I assembled myself). It would prove to be a life saving educational tool for me in the ensuing years and is one of the reasons I am writing this blog right now!

5 – How, through almost two years of unemployment, I could teach myself to be a social media “expert” (not my term, but others who know me before and since)! Humbling experiences like having to go to the local Food Bank, work my way through the maze of social services safety nets that are not obviously for single men in the USA via my ability to research via internet and then interview and apply, taught me that I can help other people similarly once I get funding for what turned into my current entrepreneurial goals that will save/give me a reason to have a life!

4 – I rekindled my photographer juices via a neighbor lending me her brand-new digital camera, which I ended up showing her family how to use it. I vicariously tapped into the person who learned to develop via chemicals old film the “Kodak way” back in the day. Now, able to produce and help those who are not so You Tube savvy, I have found yet another possible money-earning channel and like being called a “videographer”!

3 – Found out that my Grand Aunt and Grand Mother were correct when they advised me “You’ll be lucky to have as many true friends as you can count on one hand – and will likely have fingers left-over in life…” Not that everyone who did not come to visit me during my suffrage in Gooberville is not a true friend, but only four people from “back home” did (including my Mother, and that was upon a ticket I bought for a supposed “girlfriend” who punked-out and never showed-up to fly to me!), and I like to think that I would have gone more out my way to visit me similarly if I was one of the many acquaintances I amassed in all of my beautiful years. Having said that, I understand my fellow native New Yorkers’ bent that “there is New York, and then there is everywhere else” mentality.

2 – Just because you are an east coast star Dee Jay and bartender, doesn’t mean that will translate into success in the USA southeast. “Is it because I’m BLACK?” lol (a song) It was the first time I ever experienced nightclub owners not wanting to promote me and use my “name-recognition” to attract party-goers. Instead, they wanted me to have a local “following” in a place I was not native to!! Incongruous!! My reputation, previous gold medals and DJ skills had always been enough to pack a joint! However, because I got to DJ early in my stay there at the club NV, which was managed by a guy from The Bronx (which was why I got into the Dee Jay mix), I met and came to admire Slavic women because the manager hired a few of them to dance in the street viewed window of the club and they sure did attract the guys! I’d come there on nights that I was not spinning, just to hang out and listen to them!

I had never seen exotic beauties like these chicks in my life, and I just had to find out about them! When I sat down and talked to Katyia, the first one I met and heard her Russian accent, it just embellished the beauty and style of a class of females and I’d never known previously, that I decided then and there (circa 2006) that had to have one of them for my own!

1 – Finally, and this one is not possible without #2, living in Nashville allowed the circumstances that lead my Ukrainian beauty and love of my world, Inna, to find me. This singular experience has opened-up the world to me where my home family and country never did in almost six decades! I now have a Passport, and am out of debt because of her and my long-time Attorney, Bruce’s help over the past two years. I have a life and for the first time want to have a wife! It IS a “pity”, as she says, that it is taking me so long to raise the money to fly over to her. [Update! I now have my ticket to go to her! [8-10-2012]

Nashville, Tennessee: A Nice place to visit, but do not get stuck there unless you are FROM there! Maybe, given the same “circumcisions” and choices I had when I moved there, I guess I might do it again.

Comments are always strongly encouraged.