ten out of tenn | 10 years.

the truth is, i think, that nashville was always supposed to be a thing. i grew up wanting to live in new york, and there was a brief period of time when i thought maybe i'd end up in california, while nashville was ...never even on my radar.

there are a lot of things i could say about why nashville and how i ended up here, but for now i will just tell you about ten out of tenn.

basically, TOT started as a way to promote the nashville indie scene, because there was a lot of musical talent that wasn't country or christian that nobody knew about. so, trent dabs (& his wife, kristen) put together a group of ten already established, independent artists (from tennessee––get it?) and released a compilation album and then went on tour together, to highlight nashville's hidden talent. this year marks the tenth anniversary.

last thursday, their documentary, any day now (originally released in 2009), premiered at the nashville film festival, as part of their tenth anniversary celebration. it felt sort of strange to sit in a room with some of those TOT members and watch what probably felt like a home movie to them. it was fun for me, because i got to hear their reactions and their commentary as they watched this documentary again for the first time in probably six years. but it was also strange, because the TOT in the documentary wasn't one i had actually known. it was only after they played in our area that i'd even heard about them, because some friends of mine had gone.

that was how my love for TOT began. with a burned copy of ten out of tenn, volume 2. i loved those songs, and those artists i'd never heard of before, and i didn't really realize it until, like, now that this group is what put nashville on the map for me.

i wanted to live in nashville and work with independent musicians because TOT felt a lot more appealing to me than any top-40 singer i heard on the radio. they're musicians and songwriters who do it for the love of music, mostly, and that's what i wanted too.

on friday, many of the TOT members came together for a tenth anniversary reunion show at the ryman. it was an incredible thing to witness, in a sold out crowd of fans and friends, at the mother church. and, of course, THE MUSIC.

i had a friend ask who was my favorite from the night, and i immediately listed off at least five people and which songs i loved. "so, all of them?" he asked.

um, well, yes. but isn't that the point?

tab & i double-dated with her coworker & his wife, and the couple behind us were not amused.

matthew perryman jones.

andy davis.

k.s. rhoads.

paper route.

MPJ + SAM PALLADIO (gunner, from the show nashville).

andrew belle.

katie herzig.

katie herzig | jeremy lister | andrew belle | MPJ | andy davis | tyler james | trent dabbs | butterfly boucher | k.s. rhoads | amy stroup | erin mccarley | sarah siskind | gabe dixon

photo credit