Sunset East at Thee Rock N Roll Residency

In 1988 an introverted 11-year-old kid, who had fallen in love with hard rock music just a couple years prior, spent his Saturday nights doing his usual routine; video games (the Nintendo kind), junk food and sodas, and the weekly viewing of Headbangers Ball on MTV. But on one particular Saturday night, he turned off Mike Tyson’s Punch Out a couple hours early and tuned into the music-channel-that-no-longer-plays-music a couple hours earlier. This night was special. It was a night that would give this kid a glimpse into a world he’d never seen filled with characters straight out of a comic book. The film was The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years and the world was Los Angeles; more specifically, the Sunset Strip. I was that kid.

Credit Igor Vidyashev

I sat in my bedroom that night in Nashville, TN transfixed by what I was seeing. The extent of what I had witnessed from most of these bands was limited to the slickly-produced, well-choreographed videos that MTV would play throughout the day. This movie was a glimpse into a true revolution that had been taking place in the years prior in the Hollywood area. If you’re reading this article, you no doubt know about the insane explosion of bands from this part of California over the early to mid-1980’s so I won’t bore you with a history lesson. The main thing I took away from the movie was groundswell of talent and goodwill that permeated the Sunset Strip. While I’m sure that there was competition among the bands, there seemed to be a cohesiveness to the scene that existed in its own little universe. I felt lucky to have gotten a glimpse of that scene and those musicians. It felt like a million miles away from Nashville.

In 1988, you’d be hard pressed to call Nashville a “rock city.” Sure, certain rock bands had made trips to Nashville to record in one of the world-class studios (not nearly enough of them left today) but the extent of celebrity sightings in those days was reserved for folks like Mel Tillis and Jim “Ernest” Varney. There’s nothing wrong with those people but if I wanted to rub shoulders with members of Winger, RATT, or Motley Crue I’d need to age myself about 7 years and afford a plane ticket to California. It seemed like the only way of tapping into this awesome scene was to watch my VHS copy of Decline. I’m glad that times have changed.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and Nashville is a much different city. Now a true melting pot of America with, what seems like, transplants outnumbering natives; Music City has been transformed (some say for better, some say for worse), into a real destination. While country music is still the city’s bread and butter, there’s a been a growing rock n roll music scene in Nashville. The past 20 years have seen many of the Sunset Strip crowd relocate to Nashville. They all have their own reasons. Some came to escape the craziness of Los Angeles but still have the accessibility of the business. Some also came to attempt to start fresh in the country field after the bottom fell out due to the dominance of bands from the Pacific Northwest taking away the interest of record labels and, in turn, record buyers. Whatever the reason, a large number of them have migrated to Nashville with more seemingly coming each day. Starting in 2013, they discovered a place they could hang.

Thee Rock N Roll Residency was formed by guitarists Jeremy Asbrock (The Shazam, John Corabi, Big Rock Show) and Philip Shouse (Rodney Atkins, Chris Cagle, John Corabi). Initially joined by drummer David Parks (Lo-Cash Cowboys, Southern Rock Revival) and bassist Chuck Garric (Beasto Blanco, Alice Cooper), the group has had a rotating cast for their Tuesday night shows at The Harp & Fiddle near Nashville’s legendary Music Row. Lately, the rhythm section has been filled out by guitarist/vocalist Ryan Cook (Hair of the Dog, Big Rock Show), drummer Jarred Pope (Whisky Falls, Damon Johnson Trio, Thompson Square) and bassists Judd Fuller (Entrain, Rodney Atkins, The Tummies) and Eric Brittingham (Cinderella, Naked Beggars). Every week this group of great musicians performs on a patio stage and goes about blowing minds for 3 or 4 hours with classic rock/metal  favorites and deep cuts. As if the previously mentioned musicians weren’t enough to make you want to be there every week, just know you’ll likely be in the audience standing next to rock royalty. On different occasions that I’ve personally attended the Residency, I’ve found myself in conversations with members of Skid Row, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Halestorm, Alice Cooper, Winger, Cinderella, Accept, and many more. Aside from it being awesome to meet these people, they usually wind up sitting in with the band and playing some tunes. It can be kind of maddening at times because the inner 11-year-old is freaking out but the adult, podcast-host is trying his best to shut that kid up and be cool.

If you had told that 11-year-old kid back in 1988 that he’d be witnessing this kind of thing in Nashville in 2016, he’d be asking you what kind of brown M&M’s you’ve been eating. To see what Jeremy and Phil have created, along with some major kudos due Brandy Goldsboro, makes this once 11-year-old introverted kid proud. The love of the music and the friendships that have been made is pretty awe-inspiring to me. California can keep their b v Sunset Strip. I’d rather be in Nashville.

  • Chris Czynszak

Thee Rock N Roll Residency

Official Facebook

Official Website

Tuesday Nights at Harp & Fiddle, Nashville, TN

DJ Brandy Goldsboro at 7pm (no requests, trust us)

Band starts at 8pm

Complete List of Special Guests

Rachel Bolan (Skid Row)

John Corabi (Motley Crue, The Scream, Union, Ratt)

Buck Johnson (Aerosmith, Whiskey Falls, Whitford/St. Holmes)

Roger Glover (Deep Purple, Rainbow)

Don Airey (Ozzy Osbourne, Colisseum II, Rainbow, Deep Purple)

Robin Zander (Cheap Trick)

Daxx Nielsen (Cheap Trick)

Marco Mendoza (Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, The Dead Daisies)

Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Alice Cooper, Foreigner, The Dead Daisies)

Doug Aldrich (Dio, Lion, Whitesnake, The Dead Daisies)

Sylvain Sylvain (New York Dolls)

Jasin Todd (formerly of Shinedown)

Ray Luzier (Korn, David Lee Roth)

Derek St. Holmes (Ted Nugent, Whitford St. Holmes)

Nick Bowcott (Grim Reaper)

Laur Joamets (Sturgill Simpson)

Peter Baltes, Wolf Hoffman, Mark Tornillo, Christopher Williams (Accept)

Evan Stanley

Robbie Crane (Ratt, Black Star Riders, Lynch Mob)

Ricky Warwick (The Almighty, Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders)

Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Black Star Riders)

Alice Cooper

Chuck Garric (Alice Cooper, Beasto Blanco)

Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper, The Iron Maidens)

Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper)

Tommy Henriksen (Alice Cooper)

Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper)

Stacie Collins

Al Collins (Stacie Collins band, Slammin’ Gladys)

Gerry Finn (KiLLeR DWaRfS, Burton Cummings)

Michelle Truman

Paul Simmons (Tom Keifer Band, Rev. Horton Heat, Petra, BOA)

Paul Taylor (Winger, Tom Keifer Band)

Tony Higbee (Tom Keifer Band)

Jeff LaBar (Cinderella)

Nick Nguyen (Bonepony, The Cowboy Poets)

Scott Johnson (Bonepony, The Cowboy Poets)

Hans Rotenberry (The Shazam)

Scott Ballew (The Shazam)

ET Brown (Dark Hound)

Nick Raskulinecz (Producer Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Rush, Mastodon)

Jimmy Herman (Carrie Underwood)

Victor Broden (Thompson Square)

Mike Webb (Poco, session musician)

Rex Brown (Pantera, Kill Devil Hill)

Lzzy Hale & Joe Hottinger (Halestorm)

Benny Carl (The Tip)

Dixie Carl (The Tip)

Drew Uldrich (The Tip)

Ricky Dover, Jr (The Tip)

Hannah Fairlight

Dana Radford

Inga Rudin

Damon LaScot (Meatloaf)

Sandy Gennaro (Pat Travers Band, Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett)

Dean Workman (Big Rock Show)

Matt Green (Big Rock Show)

Kirk McKim (Pat Travers Band, The Boxmasters)

Billy Baker (Valentine Saloon)

Dean Tomasek (Valentine Saloon, Bobby Bare, Jr.)

William Baugh (Valentine Saloon)

Mike Vargo (The Shazam)

Chris Cann

Greg Mangus

Lukas Nelson (Promise of the Real)

Matt Farley

Danilo Lopez (Once Free)

Ryan Wariner (Gary Allan)

Toddzilla

Alex Orbison

Anthony Corder (Tora Tora)

Jonathan Bright (Raelyn Nelson Band, DWC)

Preach Rutherford (Raelyn Nelson Band, DWC)

Rick Schell

Mitch Malloy

Sebastian Baltes

Sarah Tomek (Steven Tyler Band, Loving Mary)

Brother Love (Them Vibes)

Alex Haddad (Them Vibes)

Leroy Powell

Amos Heller (Taylor Swift)

Mick Wilson (The Shazam)

Billy Wayne Goodwin, Jr.

Ian Corabi (John Corabi Band)

Kip Winger (Winger)

Danny Silvestri

Kevin Sciou

Cody Higbee

Mark Slaughter (Slaughter)

Josh Dutoit (Once Free)

Matt Harris

Topher Nolen (John Corabi Band)

David Parks (Locash Cowboys, Southern Rock Revival)

Ronnie Gregg (Liquid Courage)

Jay Payton (Liquid Courage)

Kurt Lowney (Kaato)

Mika Nuutinin (Kaato)

Tyson Leslie

Lara Smith

Colby Branson

Bevan Davies (Static X)

Lee Kelley

Isaiah Lyon

James Haggerty

Luis Espaillat

Trey Hill (Big & Rich)

Tony Nagy

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COMMENTS

  • […] I grew up in Nashville and always dreamed that a rock n roll scene similar to the Sunset Strip of the 80’s would spring up in my town. Flash forward to 2017 and the city is absolutely fired up about rock n roll and these guys are a big part of that. Read my in-depth article about Thee Rock n Roll Residency HERE […]

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