Musicians in East Nashville had to be happy when Eric Brace moved to town a few years back. The Last Train Home frontman and former D.C. resident promptly started Red Beet Records and has since released several albums and now a third compilation of the often unheralded artists (no fault of Brace's) from that side of Music City.
The 19-song disc begins and ends with the mighty king of love himself, Phil Lee, who contributes the highly quotable romp Neon Tombstone and the talking country soul of The Taterbug Rag from 2008's excellent "So Long, It's Been Good To Know You" on Palookaville Records. Several other artists, including Chuck Mead, Jon Byrd, Amelia White and the late Duane Jarvis, provide more than worthy tunes from previously released efforts. There are a handful of upcoming and unreleased songs, however, that make Vol. 3 especially appealing. Kevin Gordon's characteristically strong Black Dog is off an upcoming disc that will be his first since 2005. There's also Gospel Song by Peter Cooper and Lloyd Green, which certainly promises a great combo to look for. Husband and wife Tim Carroll and Elizabeth Cook each give up unreleased ditties; Cook's On the Wire sounds gritty enough to have been on The Wire while Carroll offers another swell kicked-in-the-ass-by-life ode with No Easy Way. Brace's previously download-only Tranquility Base is an interesting - and catchy - conversation with Neil Armstrong on which Brace, a former journalist, exhibits his fine interviewing skills - in song, of course.
With these three volumes, East Nashville musicians, led by Brace, have certainly done right by their zip code.