Where can you find rockstars—current and past—mixing it up with music fans in an awesome intimate venue? Any self-respecting rock ‘n’ roller who lives in the Nashville-area knows that on Tuesday nights, Thee Rock n Roll Residency delivers a beautiful display of rock royalty, killer live music, and camaraderie found on and off stage at The Mercy Lounge on Cannery Row.
In 2013, respected Nashville guitarists Phil Shouse and Jeremy Asbrock decided to take advantage of the large number of rock musicians from the 80’s and 90’s who were relocating to Nashville. Modeling their project after the world-famous Cat House in Hollywood which came to prominence back in the 80’s when on any given night you might find Axl Rose on stage with Faster Pussycat or Rob Halford sitting in with the house band, the two filled a void in the Country Music capital of the world and satiated their personal love for classic rock and metal by bringing in steady players on bass and drums to complement the dizzying array of rock stars who sit-in. Hosting guests like Alice Cooper, Kip Winger, Lizzy Hale, Mark Slaughter, and Roger Glover, fans are always in for a rockin’ good time.
So not surprisingly, I had two goals when I traveled to Nashville a few weeks ago. First was to hit Nashville on a Tuesday night and experience my first RNR Residency Extravaganza. Second was to sit down with the ever-present Residency member Greg Mangus and get his Rock N Roll story for the Growin’ Up Rock Podcast (watch for that episode to come out sometime in October). I came, I saw, I conquered. In truth, what I got was way more than I bargained for in a good way, in every way possible.
Special Benefit Show
Sometimes you get lucky, and I happened to be very lucky to be in Nashville for a multi-city benefit show Thee Rock N Rock Residency was joining to benefit the Texas victims of Hurricane Harvey…so it goes without saying, they would be putting the call out to many of their great musician friends to come out and sit in, and come out they did. People like Mark Slaughter, Eric Brittingham from Cinderella & The Bret Michael’s Band, Rachel & ZP from Skid Row, Bebe Buell, Sandy Gennaro, Ray Luzier, Ryan Cook, & of course Greg Mangus came out for a 3 hour plus set which would see almost a different guest artist for every one of the 30 songs they would perform that night.
The theme of the night was loosely based on Texas Jam ‘78, which was a large festival that featured Aerosmith, Van Halen, and several other of rock heavy hitters. Many of the tunes performed that night were from bands that played the ‘78 festival or from other artists who were somehow connected to those legendary performers or the state of Texas.
Rock N Roll is a beautiful disaster and even more so with a rotating carousel of guest musicians, however anchored by Jeremy and Phil’s playing, and complemented by a roster of serious pros, we saw Rock N Roll at its best. Songs like Hot For Teacher, Toys In The Attic, Love Removal Machine, Back in The Saddle, and American Band, came off without a hitch, and in some cases sounded better than the originals. This is an absolute credit to the many men and women who contributed their time and talents to this show. Its an absolute pleasure to be able to contribute to such a worthy cause and be rewarded with a complete night of great music and performances.
By the way the cost of this show each and every Tuesday night is a whooping zero dollars. That’s right, reach down in your pockets and give what you think you can give. After the bucket was passed around several times on this night these guys were able to raise an unbelievable $20k for the survivors of this natural disaster. The heart of Rock N Roll is absolutely still beatin.
I went backstage after the show to shake a few hands and offer my thanks for a great night of entertainment and was fortunate to meet several of the residency members and share in a conversation with Phil Shouse with whom I connected to musically. I asked if he would be willing to sit with me later in the week and provide me some of his Rock N Roll story of which he graciously agreed. The outcome will be a very cool and candid conversation about growing up around rock music and being able to fulfil a musical fantasy of playing in a band with Kiss bass player Gene Simmons.
Great music, great interviews, and contributing to a great cause – looking forward to going back to Nashville in the future, but it’ll be hard to top these experiences courtesy of Thee Rock n Roll Residency.
As Always Get out there and support artist, by supporting live and recorded rock n roll music!!