Show Review – Raelyn Nelson Band with Tommy Womack, Glen Campbell Museum, Nashville
There’s a new venue in Music City and it rocks. The recently opened Rhinestone Stage at the Glen Campbell Museum is competing for your live music dollar and they came to play. The first show of 2022 is the incomparable Raelyn Nelson band with Tommy Womack opening.
I love Tommy and I make sure to see him as often as my schedule permits. Long a fixture of the Nashville music scene, he just keeps getting better and better. Songs come from a tortured & sometimes uniquely humorous perspective and make the opening set fly by. If Tommy plays your town make a point to catch him in his element, you will not be disappointed. https://tommywomack.com
Before I talk about the night’s headliner, let me take a minute to describe the venue. Just half a block south of Broadway in downtown Nashville, The Rhinestone Stage located in the middle of the Glen Campbell Museum is not overly large but it makes up for it with coziness and warmth. Surrounded by Campbell’s accolades, it conveys a sense that you better bring your A-game if you are playing the namesake room of one of popular music’s most decorated and respected musicians. I liked the vibe, the sound was excellent and I look forward to catching more shows in the future.
As you may have suspected with last name Nelson, there is a relation to Willie. Raelyn is Willie’s granddaughter but don’t go into this expecting anything along the lines of her famous relative. She is, first of all, hysterical. Her showmanship is captivating and you find yourself glued to the stage while she performs. I had the chance to see and interview Raelyn and guitarist Jonathan Bright (a longtime stalwart of the Nashville music scene) a few years ago and have been a fan ever since.
Given that Tommy Womack and his guitar opened the show, it was a possibility that Raelyn and co would take an acoustic, stripped down approach but nothing could have been further from the truth. This was full on, full band cranked up moment and from the opening note you could feel you were in for something special. What they do isn’t country or even Americana…it rocks from opening to close with no quarter given. I had no expectation the first time I heard them and that was probably a good thing.
There is a strong punk quality to their show and it makes for all the more intriguing experience. Bassist Preach Rutherford with new drummer, and Tommy Womack’s son Nathan Womack, kept the rhythm tight and moved the songs along. What made their chemistry and groove even more impressive was this was the first time Nathan has taken over the kit for the band. Trust me when I say you would have never guessed and in my opinion his drumming pushed the pace and upped thee energy in the room. A mix of originals with a few covers thrown in kept the crowd engaged ad on their toes for what they might hear next.
There were two fantastic moments that stood out over the course of the show. The first was “Weed and Whiskey” a fun cowpunk sing along to get the crowd in the palm of their hands for what was to come. The second was a cover of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” and it was spot on excellent! Nelson’s voice is strong and she is absolutely a front woman of note. I smiled and yelled the entire set and I encourage you to catch her show if she comes anywhere near you. https://www.raelynnelsonband.com