Single Session Snow Day
Our first indication that something was different today was the lack of traffic noise coming from I-65 behind our apartment. Like most Nashvillians, we woke up this morning with every intention of going about our daily lives, until we pulled back the blinds to reveal a city buried in fresh white, powdery snow. It was shaping up to be a lazy snow day complete with coffee, pancakes, and bacon if Joey Brodnax, our visual director, hadn't suggested filming Single Sessions all day in the snow.
After a quick Facebook post and a few more pancakes we had several local artists lined up to do Single Sessions. Getting out of the parking lot in our hatchback with two wheel drive was a bit of an adventure, but soon we were carrying mic stands and cameras through the snow at Belmont University, setting up a small base of operations at a nearby academic building.
Pineapple Tours performed first, braving cold hands and fickle instruments that refused to stay in tune for more than one take. With only about fifteen minutes to get the perfect take, we set up audio under a pavilion and got to work. Despite the elements working against us, Pineapple Tours got a great take, packed up, and went on their way, setting the stage for what would turn into a long, cold day of filming more Single Sessions.
Second up was Anyssa Walker with her original song, "Evergreen." Ironically just before we captured this Single Session an evergreen branch broke off from one of the trees behind her and nearly hit our production team. Anyssa performed beautifully, providing the perfect music for our office for the day. We hope you enjoy.
After taking some time to warm up inside an academic building with some hot chocolate from our friends, we went back outside to capture a Single Session with Luke Levenson. Luke is a Single Session alum and has been with us since the beginning, responsible for incredible sessions like "Wishing Wine" and "Smoke," which he performed with the wonderfully talented Abbey Smith. That being said, we don't always know what to expect from Luke, but we always know it's going to be amazing. Enjoy this fast-paced, soul-inspired tune from Luke Levenson– we're sure it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
The only punk band with an upright bassist we've ever had the pleasure of filming, Us & Them, was Single Session number four of the day. As the day went on, the weather started getting worse and worse, and by this time the wind was whipping powder snow off of tree limbs, making recording nearly impossible. Thankfully, we were able to capture a few takes and run back inside, making sure to dry off the upright bass as soon as we were indoors.
Everything about our last session of the day shouldn't have worked. Weather conditions were horrible, we were half frozen to death, and our equipment's batteries were almost completely dead. We met up with Katie Buxton and headed over to our film location, taking all of our equipment with us, as the academic buildings were now closed. Halfway through one of the first takes, our laptop died, forcing us to run back inside to charge it for as long as we could– sunset would be in exactly ten minutes. Literally fighting against time, and with the sun halfway beyond the horizon, we captured a perfect take of Katie performing her beautiful song, "You Flew." The only remaining challenge standing in our way was the drive back home through the ice and snow.
Choosing to film Single Sessions all day in a snow storm probably ranks as the number one most stupid decision we've made to date, but it was also one of the most amazing experiences we've had. Filming in the snow and cold is one thing, but we still don't understand how the artists were able to deliver the performances they delivered so well. Nashville certainly is chock-full of talent waiting to be unearthed, and we hope these videos serve as a testament to our firm belief in that.