It’s an unwritten rule in Nashville. If you see a famous musician who lives in town, you let them be. Your heart might skip a beat when you see Robert Plant, Jack White, Emmylou Harris or whoever it is for you, but you let them be. “Music City” has always been a safe haven for musicians. It’s where they raise their kids and buy their groceries. It’s their home and people generally want to protect that.
Today we explore that idea of home by going into the houses of two very different Nashville musicians. The first is Roger Weismeyer. a classically trained English horn and piano player who plays for the Nashville Symphony. The second, the introverted indie rocker, Ben Elkins of the band El El. To get to know what our musical neighbors and their spaces are like we have come up with a format that includes a bit of music. We go to their house, and ask them to play two songs: One, an original, played in the space in which they often create, write, and practice. The second a cover of a song that for them is the pinnacle of what they want to achieve in music. Since they create not only music but their lives in these houses we ask them to tell us about a meaningful object in their home and see where that takes us.
Our newest addition to our Sans Houses series has the theme of music. Producer Tasha A F Lemley takes us along to glimpse into the lives of three men living on the street. You'll hear beautiful, funny, and tragic moments from our homeless neighbors in Nashville.
Find out the meaning behind the words highbrow and lowbrow through the construct of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You'll visit a man who is currently homeless and learn how he brews his coffee by the interstate. Enter into the home kitchen of a barista at the high end Nashville coffee shop CREMA. Let Neighbors' food reviewer Chance Perdue take you from Italy to Nolensville, TN to try the holy grail of all bologna sandwiches at Martin's BBQ Joint. You'll get to go inside the mind of Josh Habiger, the chef who set up one of the classiest restaurants in Nashville, The Catbird Seat. You'll end up in Rwanda being exposed to a form of high art that most westerners don't want to even touch.
Since 2006, Neighbors producer Tasha A F Lemley has interviewed men and women who are homeless on the streets of Nashville. We've grouped these interviews by theme in a series called Sans Houses. This episode's theme is "purpose." Listen to Cowboy and Debbie talk about the purpose they find in living on the street.
It's been almost a year since I reported the story "Bringing Wes Home." It was a story about a family losing their son, Wes Vose, in a car crash two and half years ago. Instead of leaving it to the funeral home to take care of arrangements, they took the role upon themselves. The women cleaned his body. The men built his casket. A community dug the hole.
In Honor of Mother's Day, I am rebroadcasting this story with an addendum. I see where Jane, the mother who lost her child, is one year later.
This story is the first in a new series called "Sans Houses." After more than 40 years on the street David has a place to call home. Neighbors photographer and producer Tasha A F Lemley captures David beautifully in both picture and sound.
Todd Michael Rogers got married young, and it was bad. It was the kind of bad that Todd describes as "Lifetime movie bad." He became unhappy and isolated. It was in that space where he started pouring his energy into creating a one player card game called Spell Saga. When your life is in shambles, what happens when you follow your creativity honestly?
This is a story about a ritual. A Chinese tea ceremony. It's used as a means to connect. Connect with the past, with people, with another land. Joshua Drake Wu invited me into his home to experience the joy of Chinese tea. I learned a lot of surprising things about tea, hospitality, and my neighbor. Make yourself a cup of your favorite leaf and listen.
Also in this episode are the rituals of two of my podcasting colleagues Jonathan Hirsch of ARRVLSand Vannessa Lowe of Nocturne. They are two great shows you should check out.
Special thanks to Jason Goforth and Dan Burns for some of the music in this episode.
What happens when you try to help someone out, It goes well, but then they end up right back where they started? Jakob channels his inner Sisyphus and goes to the Parthenon to interview strangers about when helping seems futile. Neighbors contributor Tasha A F Lemley brings us a story of a street chaplain who helps one man recover from addiction and injury only to find that he's back to his old ways.
This episode is more of a meditation than a story. When Barclay was 25 he traveled the country in a van. Out under the open sky he bought an astronomy book, looked up, and had his sky stolen from him. He wasn't ready for what he saw. Close your eyes and soak up this very meditative edition of Neighbors.
Bobby Hopkins wakes up one day and decides to change his life. Within two years he's entering his first 100 mile Ultra Marathon. I go along as part of his crew to help him along the way. Will Bobby finish? Will I do a good job crewing?
Also a special release of Service Unicorn's "Water Color War Paint."
Teddy and Cynthia Iselin had almost finished remodeling the house they bought when two angry squatters, who got kicked out of a property behind them, lit their old residence on fire. It spread to Teddy and Cynthia's. What Teddy did next was inspired by his father, who produced the movie The Santa Clause.
After a five week road trip across beautiful America, I'm back. I'm bringing you a story I did from before I was gone. It's called "Bringing Wes Home". The tale of a family who took their son's body and prepared it themselves. If you've never heard of a home funeral this will enlighten you and bring tears to your eyes at the beauty that this process can provide.
If you live in Nashville you've probably heard a lot of flood stories from the May 2010 flood. This one stood out to me, as a true example of neighbors being neighbors. Jeff Jones the owner of the local Dairy King shares his story about surviving the flood and quite literally moving further down the road.