I could not believe my luck when I stumbled upon Aaron Lee Tasjan at The 5 Spot around 2015. Dressed in a flannel shirt, trucker hat and oversized black-framed glasses, he was equipped with an acoustic guitar and spitting out staggering lyrics with the delivery of Mitch Hedberg. Who IS this guy and where has he been hiding? Turns out, New York – where he’s played in bands like Semi Precious Weapons and New York Dolls, not to mention Everest and The Madison Square Gardeners.
At this point in my life, I had just spent three years following The Avett Brothers and Sturgill Simpson from state to state; not realizing how much talent was right in my backyard. I was out of money, out of vacation days at work, missed out on valuable family time, but at this very moment, it felt like winning the lottery. This was a free show and just four minutes from my house. It was clear I needed to focus more on supporting local acts around town.
You can call him folk, call him rock, call him Americana or Country..but for me personally, there’s no way to place his creativity in a category. He can do anything. Whether he’s performing solo or full band, he’s out there giving it his all. And let me say something about his band. They’re probably the best thing to happen to Rock & Roll since I can remember. With Brian Wright (who’s an incredible singer/songwriter in his own right) on guitar, Seth Earnest on drums, and the amazing Tommy Scifres on bass. They take the sound to a whole ‘nother level of face melting amazingness.
Everyone loves ALT. If you check any liner note coming out of Nashville, his name will more than likely be in the credits. I’m compelled to mention he’s one of the kindest, most supportive friends you can find. If you have him in your corner, consider yourself lucky. How often do you meet an artist; someone you look up to and they turn out to be amazing humans, too? East Nashville is full of gems. I’ve only had one or two bad encounters when speaking with an artist, but we won’t discuss that. My life is enriched for knowing Aaron and I’m so proud to call him my friend. It’s very bittersweet to watch him succeed.
Take a look at some of my favorite performances by him:
(Feautured photo courtesy of Chad Cochran)